It's a humid Monday. It's not too bad but it makes my allergies act up a little. I feel tired as this was a semi-active weekend. Friday, I took a spill in the backyard and fell on my side, skinning my elbow and knee. Fortunately, nothing was broken and I'm glad there weren't any cars driving down the alley at that moment. I was trimming the hedge with an electric trimmer, which I wasn’t holding, thankfully, at the time of my fall. Still, I'm feeling the aches even today. Mostly, in the lower back and neck. I stepped on some broken cement (plants had grown under it) and I thought it was sturdy. But I ended up falling. Oh, well...part of life, I guess.

So, I ended up walking stiffly around but nothing was broken. I did some painting of Lydia's room but really felt awful the next day. We ended up taking Sunday really slow. We drove to the Jaffa Mosque and found some goodies. Only spent $2.75 and got some good deals. I'll share those later.

Then, we drove around and almost went to Gallitzin park but started to feel like we might need supplies for that. We may go out next Sunday or sometime next week. We'll see.

We ended up driving back and took a detour. We found a strip mine from the 1940's which is going through a greening process, thankfully. I don't know very much about the mine, except that it's inactive and you can see the horrible effects of acid

rock. I took some pictures of the area. Some areas are just so awful...the water is orange and sickly looking and the moss (which should be a healthy green) is brown and orange. Very sad looking. No bugs live there and the few trees that are in the water, are dead. This is more reason to go solar.

Apparently, it was much worse about 20 years ago...But now, various parts are looking much better. There are spruce trees and Quaking Aspen as well as wildflowers growing everywhere.
It nearly looks like you're in the Southwest with the rocks and sparse trees. A strange sort of stepping through time, for me. Apparently, a lot of off roaders (people on dirt bikes) like to use these roads. I can see why. If dirt bikes weren't so loud, I'd be tempted to ride them just so I could see things at a closer view with frequent photo stops.

We gathered various types of rocks...slate, coal, what might be a lime rock with iron in it, and some bluish gray rock (have to identify that one still). I love rock collecting and was in heaven...just so much variety and even if the rock is covered with orange iron, it still makes interesting patterns.

On Saturday night, we drove through this town called Mill Run. It has a lot of local history and some of the more colorful characters from the early 1940's.

We drove past this farm that was owned by a German man in the 1960's and now his kids have it. There are lots of gorgeous trees and woods that have been protected because of the Altoona Water Conservatory. These are breath taking. I didn't have the camera with me and it would have been too dark for pics, I think. The woods are thick and we listened to the cries of some unidentifiable bird. Bear marks on a tree made me realize just how out in nature we were. A few glimmers of fireflies gave the feeling of other worlds. It just seemed so haunting and quiet. I know we were being watched by some sort of creatures...I like to think they were the woods spirits.

We also ran into some dirt bikers coming out of a hidden trail...I'm glad people do this. In some ways I wish more people would do this and appreciate going on trails and protecting them from being made into Wal Marts or citified.

It's funny how you think oh, I can't believe I've moved to this place...I need shops, stores, people...But then, you go for a drive or walk around at a state park, you think, thank God there are places to escape to. To be alone and have the quiet of the world around you. It's a relief, really to escape to these places.

In the middle of last week or so, we drove to see the Elk farm

and then stopped for ice cream outside of town called The Milky Way. Normal, everyday people getting ice end up people watching while eating ice cream. Very nice, actually. These are more quiet moments...eating ice cream in the car and enjoying a warm day.


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