We got up early and packed up so we could fit in one more Poconos excursion before heading back to the Philadelphia suburbs and our four kiddliwinks. Since there was so much more to see and do in Hickory Run State Park, we decided to head there and do a different trail. The one we chose was called Shades of Death. Thankfully the gloomy, doom-laden name was not indicative of the trail itself.
I was initially disappointed as the trail was very close to the road, and even had us skirting along the side of the road at one point, but then the trail began to curve away from the roadside and we lost the traffic noise at the same time the walk became far more scenic. The rocky trail meandered along the banks of the Sand Spring Run. The rock formations created lots of attractive waterfalls and there was an appealing dam weir at the midway point of our hike. Logging and tanning were once undertaken in these woods and whether from that period in time or some other, we could see the remains of various stone built structures. These included a narrow flight of steps. Despite my initial reservations, it was actually a very picturesque hike.
Driving through a town named Lehighton, we came across Country Junction, “The World’s Largest General Store”. Well, how could we pass up the opportunity to partake of that gem of Roadside America? We parked up and entered. When we entered, there was a fudge stall on one side and a screen playing ‘The Wizard of Oz’. This was my kind of place! It transpired that Oz was a theme throughout the store. The instruction was to “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” which was useful advice because I am pretty sure I could have become lost in the store amid all the amazing clutter had I not clung to the painted yellow bricks on the floor.
The store was crazy. It sold anything and everything. Hardware and DIY items, elaborate taxidermy, garden sculptures on every scale and for every taste, jewellery, hand bags, pickles and jams, toys, pets …. Anything and everything you could think of. There was even a petting zoo but we skipped that until a time when we would return with the boys. It was ludicrous, brilliant, awesome and bizarre. It was the perfect conclusion to our getaway in the Poconos.