Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Fossils on the Trail, Mice in the Kitchen, Unique Graveyard in the Woods

Friday September 2, 2016                                                        
Dingmans Campground                                                               Most Recent Posts:
Delaware Water Gap  National Recreation Area                    It’s Carefully Doable But Probably Not Advisable
Dingmans Ferry, Pennsylvania                                                 A Park Within a Park in the Delaware Water Gap





If you read a previous post on Traveling South Through the Delaware Water Gap (link here) then you remember the Pocono Environmental Center with its giant snowball.  We stopped by a few days ago on our scouting trip and took a look at their trail map to find that we could put together a nice hike to yet more waterfalls. 

I had no idea when I planned to visit the Delaware Water Gap that there were SO many waterfalls here.  They are lovely despite the very low water conditions.  I can only imagine how awesome they are during normal times.  David decided to stay back at the rig to take care of some medical and other business.  It’s such a beautiful day, I really have to get out and hike.

The first part of the Tumbling Waters Trail and the Nature Trail are the same.  Both begin and end at the Center.  I’m hiking from #1 on the map south to the waterfall then up to the lake and back.


Istart out on the center’s Nature Trail called the Fossil Trail and find big trees to hug and they are labeled.





In this section of the trail I can see bedrock which is a continuous mass of solid rock that is usually covered by topsoil.  My Nature Trail guide tells me these parallel scratch marks are called glacial striations.  Rocks carried in by glaciers apparently made these marks as they scraped across the top of the bedrock.   They say you can measure the orientation of these glacial striations with a compass to determine the direction of the movement of the ice through the area.   The Wisconsin Glacier, the fourth and final glacier, retreated here about 11,000 years ago.



The other wonderful thing here are the fossils. 






It is so exciting to see these ancient reminders of our ocean origins.




This stone fireplace is all that’s left of a small cabin that once stood here.,  There’s no information about what it was or whose it was but it has a great view of the Delaware River Valley.




All of this land is part of the 80,000 acre Delaware Water Gap Recreational Area.  It was acquired by the federal government in the 1960’s with plans of building a dam on the river.  The entire valley below was almost a giant reservoir until plans for the dam were dropped and the government gave the land to the National Park Service.  We must all be very glad those plans were dropped.  But I wonder why.


The ridge across on the other side of the gap is the Kittatinny Ridge in New Jersey where we were at the end of our scouting trip south when we stopped at the Kittatinny Visitor Center.  This  400 mile long ridge is part of the Appalachian Mountains.  The AT runs along the ridge.  I hope to hike a part of it while we are here.





A railing appears as the trail heads down to the falls.




The fuller falls appears to be the one at the top so I walk around to see if I can get up there for a closer look.







Looking down from above I can see the bottom pool.




This green frog’s ears are as big as his eyes.  They look like a large set of speakers.  There are days when I could sure use these.




As I move beyond the falls the trail becomes very rooty.




Love these amazing mushrooms.  He looks like he’s got a lot to say doesn’t he?




There are some obstacles but they aren’t great.


In fact, in going under, I get a close up view of the art work of insects.






When I see Pickerell Pond I know I’m most of the way around the circular trail.





Beautiful Pickerell Pond was built by the Pharo family by damming a small stream.  It sure turned into a beautiful lake.





Taking the trail around the pond I find some really beautiful mushrooms. Some right in the trail. Boy they sure look like they’d like to be on my dinner plate.












Sure looks like some rough sitting spots.






Rocky rooty path from here.


I can see that this bridge I am about to cross has been someone’s breakfast table.





Pretty sure this walnut is what was for breakfast at the bridge.



I reach the what is known as the front pond.  I’m not sure if this is a natural or man made pond.  It is only a short distance from here to the Center.







Along the last narrow stretch of the trail I come upon a great graveyard.


The Trash Graveyard tombstone says “This trash was laid to rest in June of 2016.  This graveyard demonstrates how slowly trash decomposes when exposed to the elements.”




Here are all the things that were “buried” beneath their tombstones.








Back at the center it’s time to get off my feet.







Last night we were visited by an audacious mouse who walked right out into the kitchen and stood up on his feet.   David put a trap under the kitchen drawer in front of which the mouse stood up.  Over the night, 4 mice were drawn to the peanut butter one right after the other.

Although we cleared out everything in the kitchen, we saw only some calling cards of mice.  It wasn’t until I opened the cupboard beneath the bathroom sink and found that they had shredded several rolls of toilet paper and made a real mess.  









David took the shelves and floor out looking for their nest but didn’t find it. We’ve looked through all the bins as well. Over the next few days, we neither see nor hear any more mice, they don’t set off the trap and we never find whatever nest they were making.


  1. Guess the mice were just paying you a little visit. We had one in the kitchen a few years ago that we found drinking out of the cats' water bowl. It finally got in the heating ductwork, and the next day it was gone. We never could figure out how it got in or out and haven't ever seen another one inside since.

  2. Hmmm... I wonder if the man with the great chimney had to vacate for the proposed dam or for the park? Love the fossils, mushrooms & unique graveyard. I would have enjoyed that hike for sure! Don't know where all those mice were coming in and going, but I sure found a lot of possibilities in my search which took a LOT of time and trouble with no evidence of a nest anywhere I could find short of complete disassembly of the coach! I was glad to sleep after the last mouse was trapped and find the trap still set in the same place weeks later, untouched.

  3. I love seeing fossils along the trail. You found some nice ones. Great mess of tree roots! Very cool group of mushrooms! Sure looked like a beautiful hike:) Yuck! Mice! Hope they moved on for good!

  4. You have one beautiful scene after another in this post. Love the photos, and when I think I've found the one I like best, another comes along to take its place!

    What cartoon character used to say "I hate those meeces to pieces". That's always been the way I've felt about them.

  5. All those fossils are better than finding a geocache. Natures little treasures left for you to find. Perfect!

  6. Well, you got the better task for today;o)) Lovely hike...so green, but stay away from those mushrooms...not for human consumption unless you really know what you are doing!!! David sure made an effort to find the varmint...they can get in the tiniest spots. We had the same problem and manage to trap our's as well. Just one of the not so great aspects of this otherwise wonderful lifestyle:o))

  7. People are so ignorant about recycling...such a shame :/ Love that big chair!!! :) Mice, oh no, better Dad than me! ;) Lovely hike. Love the water and all the green. What big eyes and ears you have tiny frog!

  8. I have no idea why mice scare me so much.

  9. Good luck with your battle with the mice, they really are such pests. We had a visit by two mice in our Journey, I saw one run across the floor one night. I immediately bought glue traps and caught two the next morning, one which was a pregnant female. Got them just in the nick of time. I found an entry place and closed it up with steel wool and (knock on wood) we never had any repeat visits.

    Now if I could just keep bugs out of the Journey as easily... ;c)

  10. Lovely, lovely photos.

    Too bad about the mice. We've never had them (so far) but fortunately we have Rosie on hand who is an excellent mouser!

  11. Ahh yes ... those pesky visitors. We tried the humane way of dealing with them, but it didn't work. Our battery-operated traps, on the other hand seem to do the trick when we need to trap one.

  12. Love the big eared frog and the big mouthed mushroom - and then the big chair!! Lovely cloud reflections on the little lake. The trash graveyard is a great visual for an important message, I can't believe there are still so many irresponsible people. That was quite the mouse hunt! Hope the trap took care of all of them - toilet paper isn't cheap!

  13. Great discoveries along this hike. I've thought of doing a pencil rub on the bug trails. But all I want to do with mice in my house is rub them out. Outside fine, inside no. Hope you got out on more of the AT.

  14. I rarely comment but I love visiting your blog and all the wonderful places you visit. Your Pictures are so beautiful!

  15. The old fireplace really catches my eye!

  16. The trash cemetery is a great reminder for those you are careless and just plain irresponsible. I hate it when these slobs just toss their trash anywhere they feel like.
    There is another frog!
    Mice! we killed it with peanut butter and the rest of the family never came back.

  17. We had a couple of mice take up residence in our RV a few years ago....we found rolls of chewed up toilet paper just like yours. They also ate my chocolate chips. And then we woke up to the pitter patter of little feet running around in the night. :-( We managed to lure them out and get rid of them without killing them. But we are very, very careful now to have every possible entry sealed. Cute photo of you in the big chair!

  18. I don't know how I missed this post! Too cool to see fossils on your hike. Oh no, not a mouse in the house!? I hope you eventually found the nest, and hope they didn't have babies before you killed the 4.

  19. Those fossils are really cool! I was pretty excited when I was in Utah to see dinosaur fossils. To bad you didn't have a humane trap so that you could relocate the mice FAR away from Winnona.. You look like Edith Anne (Lily Tomlin) on that big chair. xxxooo

  20. Oh! I forgot to mention that the frog is lovely!


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