exploring, pa

At the end of July, we went on a family vacation where we stayed in a cabin-like resort in rural Pennsylvania. There was access to a small lake, a pool, a basketball court, and lawn games which is great when gathering a big group together.

We got the entire family together on the first night to play trivia which was hosted by the resort. This trivia included physical challenges and was a ton of fun for our competitive family! We broke out into two teams: The In-Laws (or as they called themselves, the Win-Laws) vs. the natural-born Chases. The Win-Laws were in the lead the entire time but the Chases pulled out a victory at the very end! To say we won bragging rights for years to come is an understatement.

Phil and I only stayed for two nights since we had already used a lot of our PTO up for trips earlier in the year. On Sunday though, our second day there, Phil and I were ready to do a bit of exploring.

We were in a really tiny town with very little around but I had done some research before and knew we were near The Delaware River. After a quick drive down a few bumpy back roads, we had located it. The tricky part, we learned, was finding somewhere for us to actually get into the water. There was one cute shop we visited that offered kayaking but the rentals were expensive and were for a 4-hour tour which was more than we had bargained for. The owner of that shop, however, recommended a shop up the road that had river-tubing.

Lou’s Tubes had $6 tube rentals which was a deal we couldn’t refuse so we grabbed tubes and life vests and headed down to the water.

The typical tubing route was off a small embankment near a bridge where the water moved at a slow pace. Laying in the tube with our feet in the water was one of the most relaxing things I’ve done. It was so peaceful hearing the birds chirp alongside the cicadas. The river was surrounded by leafy green trees and then large slabs of sheetrock where people were sunbathing and jumping into the water from.

After about 20 minutes you hit small rapids. My plan was to swim to the side before I hit the rapids however the strong current had other plans. Water splashed around me as my tube rockily balanced on top of the water. The first experience through the rapids was intense by manageable and fun. Once we made it through the rapids we pulled off to the side and made the walk back to the beginning, kind of like an all-natural amusement park ride.

The second time down the river I expected to be more prepared however that wasn’t the case. My tube was taking a path into intense rapids that I couldn’t paddle against. After a big dip, I flipped out of my tube. It was scary as I was splashing around in heavy current with huge waves that kept dumping on me, knocking me underwater. Phil saw the whole thing and panicked and jumped off his tube to try and come help but the current was too strong for any type of control. I somehow managed to keep my glasses on my face and when the rapids slowed we paddled to the shore. It was fun for a bit but falling off definitely had us shaken up so that was the end of that!

It was cool though seeing the park full of people sunbathing, tubing, white water rafting, kayaking, and swimming. It felt like a community which was unique being a part of for a little bit.

Overall, it was great spending time with family and exploring an area we would have otherwise never visited. Being forced to put our phones away (due to limited cell service) is always a nice reminder to live in the present moment. It was also a great reminder that no matter where you are, there’s something waiting to be explored and discovered.