After the last couple dreary days, posting about our sunny Labor (not Memorial :P) Day is a nice break :)
We went to Nockamixon State Park in Upper Bucks County (between Haycock and Bedminster townships). The park is over 5,200 acres surrounding the 1,450-acre Lake Nockamixon - the largest lake in Bucks County - and it must be one of the most beautiful reasons to live in this area.
There are hiking trails, horseback riding trails, a swimming pool, rental cabins and boats, picnic areas with grills, and walking/bike paths. The Tohickon Creek runs into the lake, and you'll often find kayakers there in June and November, when water is released from the lake's dam, turning it into whitewater perfect for an aquaholic. It's a great spot for birthdays, Father's Days, and Momma's Days. There's something for everyone to do. And, it's 15 minutes from our front door :)
We've been known to pack up the Party Car* (my dad's Volvo wagon) with bikes, kayaks, frisbees, dogs, fishing poles and picnic food to spend the whole day there. Avery inherited his Grandpa Dan's high energy, hyperactive, short attention span personality, and, let's be honest, that's the real reason why we love Nocakamixon.
*please read that as "Potty Cah." We're from Rhode Island :P
The two of them can go from fishing, to a spin around the lake in the kayak, to a bike ride, to taking photographs, to sneaking off to buy an ice cream eclair from the boat rental building (yes, we saw you :P) and back again without bothering those of us who prefer a slower pace of reading the newspaper, cooking veggie burgers, playing cards and meditating on the landscape. The park is fun for the whole family, as they say :)
My pops didn't go with us this time, and we kept it low key, only bringing the bikes, Avery's fishing gear and a tote with a couple books and the newspaper for Jase and me, some water and trial mix and a blanket. And the camera, of course.
Avery "fished" a bit. He's more into the process and the different lures and the weights than he is about actually fishing. Which works out great because he never catches (read: never harms or kills) anything :) He's much more content when his hands are doing something, and so usually abandons fishing once he's organized, tested out, then reorganized his gear. He's good at finding stuff to build; this time it was a raft made of sticks, a discarded styrofoam cup and fishing line.
While Avery was building and launching his raft, Jase and I read, and we all observed bugs.
You'll notice that the stick bug and the spider are missing legs. We also saw a grasshopper with a missing leg. I don't know if this is the usual state of bugs at the end of the summer, but hey, it makes sense, right? Spending all summer battling birds, bigger bugs, little toddlers, adolescent boys and footsteps. Come August, it's like the end of a war. Note that the tank looking bug with armor and spikes has all of her appendages. I don't think that's a coincidence, kids. (More pictures here.)
It was a great trip to Nockamixon, as usual. We were a bit sad to be saying goodbye to summer, but the lake gave our spirits a little boost and helped our heads get ready for another school year.
I'll leave you with encouragement to visit the park, with no worries that summer is nearly over. If it's too cool for picnics, there are plenty of great eating places, and check out The Wagon Wheel and The Raven's Nest for incredible music.
It's absolutely gorgeous in the fall, as you can imagine. There's the water release in November that lures river rats from all over. My dad and his buddies run the release every year, and were even featured in a photo essay in Bucks County magazine last year. We spent Thanksgiving in one of the cabins, which was just lovely - who knew family holidays could be so quiet and serene - and include hiking? In the winter you'll find cross country skiers, ice skaters and ice fishers.
And hey, let us know if you go! :)
Nockamixon State Park: http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/Parks/nockamixon.aspx