Today was our last day in Elverson, PA and Connie picked out a nice hike for us to go on. We stayed within the boundaries of French Creek State Park. First stop was the Hopewell Forge National Historic Site…this is a reconstructed iron forge from the late 1700’s. It produced pig iron all the way up through the Civil War and provided a good deal of war material for the Union side. Very similar in layout, construction, and purpose as the Catoctin Forge we visited last week but Hopewell has been rebuilt a lot more and has working charcoal kilns as well as a rehabilitated iron master’s house, cooling shed, and other forge buildings. Here are photos of the house, cooling shed, forge, and kiln areas.
Next stop was Hopewell Lake itself. Neil had ridden the bike by it a couple times this week and it was all downhill from the forge area; about 700 feet drop total from the campsite. They sat by the lake and ate a picnic lunch then headed back around the lake to the dam to head back to the campsite. On the way Connie took a picture of some lily pads in the lake right next to the hiking path.
After crossing the damn back to the north side of the lake it was all uphill back to the campsite. With the grade and temps in the 90’s Connie was sucking wind pretty badly on the way back…but Neil took it easy on her and stopped a couple of times for her to catch her breath and get a drink (he didn’t tell her that he was happy they had a break as well). Got back to the rig with a total hike length of almost 4 miles. They sat around in the rig for a few then went up and had a shower at the bath house. The remainder of the day was spent running out to WalMart for groceries, filling BAT with diesel for tomorrow’s tow, eating a NY Strip steak for dinner and then Olympics on the TV.
Yesterdaty they picked up the car after the repairs were complete. Turns out the battery was cracked as well so they had to go by Sears and get it replaced under warranty. They have no idea whether it was damaged in the deer collision or cracked on it’s own but Sears was happy to replace it so they’re good. They stopped by the mall and bought a couple new pairs of shorts each then went to an Italian restaurant named Inn at Saint Peters. It’s in a little (like 10 houses little) village named Saint Peters Village. There’s the Inn, a quarry full of water that you can swim in, and a nice little brook running by the Inn. They sat on the veranda and ate seafood pasta…with leftovers they’re keeping for tomorrow night’s dinner after the travel day…they’ve learned already to make sure they have a simple dinner on travel days if at all possible.
Tomorrow we head off for Flanders, NJ for a 5 night stay at Fla-Net Park. Plans are to host Lynn and Ed (prospective New Horizons owners) for lunch on Sunday (they’re bringing steaks and wine, Neil is making side dishes and dessert) for a tour and discussion on things to do and not to do when ordering from New Horizons. Side trips next week will likely include Menlo Park to visit the Thomas Edison Laboratory, maybe a trip into NY for lunch, and whatever else comes to mind. Neil says they should go hike up the First Wachung Mountain…after all he’s heard about it he might as well go and see it he says.