3 Friends & John P. Saylor Trail

A 3 day backpacking trip to Gallitzin State Forest in Pennsylvania. The weather started out sunny on day one, day two provided a nice cloud cover, day three, well it also provided cloud cover along with rain. Not even the rain could drive away the beauty of the trail, or the experience. Oh-No, Sweetbabyd, & myself thought the John P. Saylor trail was fantastic. It provided many things to see and enjoy. Plus it makes a backpacking trip much more enjoyable with good friends.

We started our trip close to the Babcock Picnic area. Day 1 provided sunny skies and warm temps, although the night would have temps drop. We made our way along the trail to the intersection of the small 5 mile loop and the main JPS loop. We found the swinging bridge which crosses Clear Shade Creek and had to cross it. After playing on the bridge a little we found a beautiful camp site near the creek in a piney section and setup camp. After setting up camp and getting a fire started we sat around enjoying each others company, stories, & gear talk. Before darkness fell, a family 6, 8, heck, I can’t remember, well they decided to setup camp across the creek on a small island directly from us. I do know, as Oh-No put it, they reminded us of a colony of ants. All working together crossing the creek many times gathering wood. Even tried to gather up some wood we where using. It was a little disturbing, but they did hit the one tent at a decent hour and made little noise. Which was also a little strange, If I am counting correctly they had 3 males, 3 females. I would assume a Father, Mother, 2 Daughters, & 2 Sons. We did find out they did not believe in the LNT philosophy, they left there toiletry paper right along the trail.  Anyway, onto day 2.

Day 2 we rise with the ant colony still in the tent. We made some breakfast, a small fire, and enjoyed the morning. A little later the ants start scampering out of there mound. It’s now time for us to pack up and hit the trail. The morning provided some cloud cover, this did not change throughout the day. We started across the swinging bridge and hiked the small 5 mile loop coming once again to the swinging bridge. Once across we continued on the main JPS trail loop. As the day grew shorter we had to find a camp spot, luckily the area has plenty to choose from and we found a very nice spot next to a small stream under some pines. As we settled into are routine of setting up camp, getting a fire going, cooking dinners, and enjoying conversation, it started to sprinkle rain. We had the fire just at the edge of a nice thick pine. We sat relatively dry under it as we enjoyed the evening. As the rain picked up, it was time to hit the hammocks and dream away the night.

Day 3, the last day, rain. The day started with light rain & fog. It was kind enough to slack off for us to have breakfast and break camp. Me, not trusting the weather forecast decided to not carry the weight of rain gear, I should have trusted the forecast. But one of the great things about being out in the middle of the woods with everything you have is that you have to adapt. I had a piece of Tyvek home wrap I use as a ground cloth, sure enough, if you cut a slit in it just big enough to slip your head through, it provides a make shift rain cape. Hey it worked. After packing up we hit the trail. I love hiking in the rain, everything just looks so clean, smells so clean. After hiking a distance we come upon Wolf Rocks, what a great place. This is the part of hiking in the rain I don’t like sometimes, visibility. I’m sure the scenic view from atop the rocks would have been amazing, but fog was thick, and the rocks was slick, so no grand view for our final day. It’s still all great. After finally reaching the picnic area again and our rides home we changed out some wet clothes for dryer ones, took our final farewell pic of the trip, and headed to a dry place to have lunch. The end.

So much more I could talk about and show, but some things you just have to experience yourself. Those are the experiences that stay in the memory for us to remember the rest of our lives. When you have great friends, you end up with a great trip. I wish some of our other friends could have made this trip with us, you where missed, and you missed a great trip. Yeah, rubbing it in a little I guess. 🙂

Enjoy the video.


Link to the adventure A shortcut to the trip page. It provides a little more info as far as my pack.

6 Responses to “3 Friends & John P. Saylor Trail”

  1. nothing freshens up a stylish outfit like a fanciful Tyvek poncho! ;)) wonderful video BC!!

    • I know, did you see how I was laughing in the video. That was right after you asked me something and I said Tyvek Man. Enjoyed yours and Oh-No’s company, as always. Just wish a few of the others could have made it also.

  2. …. Wish I had been able to get there! Just watched Oh-No’s slideshow pics before I got news you had posted the video. Just excellent!



  3. Great video, as always, BC – you’re skills with the camera and editing software are outstanding.

    Looks like you guys had a great trip! I’d love to get out and hike with you guys again, so definitely keep me in mind for future excursions if you don’t mind me tagging along!

    By the way, what was the second song in the video?

    Take care –


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