Wow! What a great weekend! Not only was the weather spectacular, warm with the first hints of autumn crispness, but we got to do such a variety of great things, many of them outside.
My diverse weekend began with the opportunity to attend a Ho’oponopono workshop on Friday night and Saturday. Ho’oponopono is a Hawaiian spiritual practice. Look for a full post on the notions I gathered from the event. I had never attended anything like it before, and it was quite a refreshing experience!
The biggest lesson from the workshop was in Harry's jovial attitude and belly laugh.
On Sunday morning, we headed out early to grab some breakfast takeout from the Blue Sky Café.
I had the Steel City omelette with applewood bacon, shallots, wild mushrooms, tomato and smoked gouda.
pretty creekside berries
On the spur of the moment, we didn’t take our breakfast home, but instead took it to Monocacy Park for a picnic so we could enjoy the beautiful morning. We ate at a picnic table near the creek and then took a walk through the nature preserve, watching the fly fishermen in the water.
The Monocacy Nature Trail has sustained some damage from the recent heavy rains and wind. Although the water has receded, it is quite obvious that the water reached well across the pathway, eroding land and pushing plant matter in its path. Several trees remain down across the pathway, requiring us to do some bushwhacking to get by. It also seems that the old rope swing branch over the stream has finally broken. The park is still a welcome serene spot in the middle of Bethlehem.
I know graffiti is wrong, but it was nice to see a positive message in vandalism instead of a gang tag. We sat on this bench by the creek for a while.
In the afternoon, we were off to Northampton for open farm day at Valley View Farms. We had seen that a geocache was planted near the farm, so we first ventured out to find it. Here’s a little explanation for those of you who don’t know what geocaching is:
It’s a bit dorky, sure, but free and fun! Plus, we’ve found a ton of cool places in the area through geocaching. This weekend, we found Indian Trail Park in Northampton. I had passed this park on Rt. 248 on my way to Jim Thorpe, but never took the time to stop. I wish I would have sooner! First, we found the cache, hidden near some old concrete chunks that we later discovered were the remnants of an amusement park that existed on the grounds in the 1920s.
Indian Trail Park Geocache
We caught this little frog near the cache site.
A small stream ran through the park, with pavilions and a playground on one side and a large, pretty serious looking bike park on the other side. While wandering down the trail, a little girl told us she had found some crayfish in the water, so we found a rocky shore area and started looking. I had never seen a crayfish in the wild before, so I was psyched to find some. We ended up seeing about 5, including a huge blue one that looked more like a lobster!
Hunting for Crayfish
Finally, it was time for open farm day. I have been looking forward to this event for weeks, and it did not disappoint! Valley View practices rotational grazing for pasture raised chickens, cows, sheep, goats and pigs. It was really interesting to hear how it all balances out and to see how happy the animals were. So, commence cute animal photos:
This is Jack, the ass who is in charge of keeping predators away from the chickens while they sleep. He followed me for the whole length of the field, wanting an apple.
As soon as the cows heard the farmer's voice, they came trotting up the hillside towards our hay wagon and surrounded us, thinking it was time for them to move to a new pasture. This is the big bull.
The chickens can come and go as they please from this old Venture Crew bus turned chicken coop! When it's time to move to a new pasture, they board the bus and get a ride. HOW COOL IS THAT?!
Jim, the farmer, looks on as his son holds a piglet up for others to see.
Finally, we remembered the St. Nicholas Greek Festival as we were arriving home. Looking at the clock, we realized there were only 10 minutes left! So, we dashed across town and ran in with two minutes to spare. It ended up being perfect timing, as everything was buy one get one free at the end! We have food to last for days!
2 Greek salads, 2 dinner rolls, 2 desserts, 2 orzos, 2 green beans, 2 kabobs, pastitsio and Athenian chicken—All for $13!