After the Coal Mine

Once we left the coal mine, we headed out to an area called Bilgers Rocks. This was a great park, with rock walls that are over 300 million years old. Most of the rock walls are 20 to 25 feet thick. I've never seen anything like it.

As we were coming into the park, I said hello to a man walking to his car. He asked me if we were tourists (was it that obvious?). He said that he had lived within a few miles of Bilgers Rocks his entire life and had played in them thru out his childhood. Now, at the age of 80 something, he was a volunteer with the park. He asked if we would like a guided tour. We couldn't turn that down, so off we went.

He led us thru the rocks, climbing more nimbly than I ever have. He told us stories about different carvings, and provided a great deal of history. He took us into very narrow walk ways, and took the girls into a cave (after mentioning that Vicky and I were probably too big to squeeze thru). It was extremely interesting, and we got a lot more out of the experience than we would have if we wandered around alone.

Soon, the man left us to return to his wife at home. He didn't want to be late and make her worry. We explored the park on our own for a few minutes (there were some great wood carvings as well). We found that the park hosts a number of events each year - concerts, hayrides, dances. It sounds like a great resource for the locals, and I'm really glad we went.

The next place on our stop was the Bed and Breakfast that we would be staying at for the remainder of the trip. The Victoria House was a beautiful old ( built in 1894) house right in the center of town. We had a fabulous view of the lake, and were within walking distance of almost anything in town.

We had the entire 3 floor of the house all to ourselves. There were 3 bedrooms, a kitchenette, skylights, and a large bathroom with a whirlpool tub. It was very nice. (The only downside was lugging the suitcases up 3 flights of stairs.

We didn't have much time to explore the house or the town, because we had more things to do that day. After a quick bite to eat at a great hole in the wall pizza joint, we changed into our oldest clothes for our next adventure - BOW FISHING!

To be honest, I had never heard of bow fishing. It didn't make much sense to me - why shot a fish with a bow when you can catch it on a hook? And, we were going at night. That didn't make much sense, either.

We arrived at the home of our fishing guide / expert - Stacey. He taught us how to use the equipment while we were still on land. It was fun shooting at soda bottles. We knew that there would be one other person on the trip with us, but we were surprised to find out that it was the woman who creates the local traveler guide. She would be taking pictures of our expedition, and we would perhaps be in the 2010 Clearfield County Travel guide! Very cool.

We followed Stacey to the lake, and waited while he put the pontoon in the water. As we were heading out into the lake, Stacey explained that night time was a great time to catch fish. They would be active and feeding at the time. Stacey shined huge lights into the water, and we were amazed at all of the fish we saw. We also saw several turtles, many of which were larger than dinner plates.

We would only be catching carp on our trip; however, Stacey quickly assured us that if we accidently caught another type of fish, he would eat it. His confidence in us was almost funny.

People don't usually eat carp. It is in the same category as goldfish. The carp that is caught during these trips is used to feed the turtles and other lake wildlife.

Vicky and I really got into the fishing. Zoe tried fishing for a few minutes, but had a hard time holding the bow and arrow. Maddie was incredibly bored, especially since she couldn't even pick up the bow and arrow (they are heavier than you would think).

Stacey was a great guide. He clearly loves fishing, and knows the lake and local wildlife very well. Vicky and I had a great time. We stayed out on the boat until well after 1am. We would have kept going until dawn (and Stacey would have been happy to stay with us), but the girls were very bored and very tired. Maddie even fell asleep in her chair.

The highlight of the trip, however, was when Vicky caught her fish. My camera had broken by now, so I don't have any pictures. Never fear! It is very likely that she will be in the Clearfield County Visitor Guide next year.

We promised the girls that we would do something VERY fun the following night to make up for how bored they were on this trip. They were great sports about it. We rolled into bed, trying to figure out how we squeezed so much into our day (swimming, weight lifting, coal mine tour, Bilgers Rocks and 6 hours of bow fishing). Before bed, the girls reminded us that they wanted to get up nice and early for the yard sales in the morning. They didn't want everyone else to get all the good stuff!!


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