Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cherry Run Hike

A hiking post!! No waterfalls, but at least I got out hiking again. It's been way too long. This was a super easy, flat hike on a well-maintained trail that is actually an old railroad bed.

I hiked this trail once when I was younger, with the Boy Scouts. I wanted to go back and since it was a fairly nice day I thought I'd get out. It was a little chilly, but as long as I kept moving it wasn't bad.

Along most of the path, it's just piles of rocks.

It's very The Hills Have Eyes. I kept expecting some inbred mole person to crawl out of the rocks and eat me.

Barring any mole person attacks, it's a pretty uneventful hike until you get to the old train tunnel. I remember loving this tunnel last time, but it's slightly terrifying by yourself.

That's the opening now. It used to be big enough for a train, but because of structural integrity or whatever, they filled it in so there's just this little 6-foot tube at the start of the tunnel. It's a little claustrophobic to start with, and the fact that the batteries in my flashlight were dying didn't help. It took all my guts, but I finally sucked it up and went in.

It's really not that long, but once you get through the little tube, it opens up to the original size. Have you ever seen The Descent? Well, a friend and I decided the things that live in the caves look like a cross between Voldemort and Smeagol... Voldemeagols. I'm still pretty convinced this tunnel is full of Voldemeagols.

Once I got through, the view from the other side is much less claustrophobic looking, but still kind of terrifying since I knew I had to go back through.

Since I didn't die in the tunnel, I thought I'd explore a little. On this side of it, there were a bunch of cabins, probably 8 or 10. There was no one at any of them, but there were a couple of cars of other hikers. There's an old railroad bridge over Penns Creek that I'm kind of in love with.

And the creek is gorgeous.

After walking around a bit, I headed back through the Voldemeagol tunnel and back to my car. On the way back, I got attacked. It was terrifying. I almost got my face licked off. I'm not sure where they came from, but there was a woman with a very friendly Jack Russell. He kept running up to me, then back to her. :-)

I'll definitely go back there soon. I want to do the 8-mile loop that I did with the Scouts at some point. Just up to the tunnel and back is about 5 miles.

I'm excited to be hiking again, and the next nice day I think I'll tackle the 7-mile loop trail in R.B. Winter State Park that I read about in one of my new hiking books.

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