On the way up the mountain
During my recent vacation to Europe we were talking to some wonderful people from Australia and the conversation got onto what would you recommend someone to see around where you lived. I had honestly not ever paid any attention to such a thing. I always figured I'd tell people to go to Pittsburgh or Philiadelphia or Niagara Falls, but never paid much mind to things to do right around where I lived. In true Suzi fashion I have decided that this summer that will be my mission, I will see as many things around the Western Pennsylvania area that I can.
I decided I was going to go to the mountains above Uniontown, PA on Flag Day because it is a holiday for me and decided to go to Laurel Caverns.
on the Blue Star Memorial Highway or the famous National Highway, route 40
. The caverns are located right off US Route 40, which is also known as the historic National Road or National Pike around here and has now been renamed the Blue Star Memorial Highway. I had been to Laurel Caverns before but not for many years and actually the last time was during the halloween season because they had a haunted cavern tour, so you really didn't get to see much of the caverns themselves. Laurel Caverns is a geological park that includes Pennsylvania's biggest cave. It covers 435 acres and is just 50 miles south of Pittsburgh. They have a regular 45 minute guided tour and a 3 hour spelunking tour. I opted for the 45 minute tour. The cool thing about the cavern is that the owners also work with the boy and girl scouts so inside there are areas set up for caving, climbing and rappelling so that the kids can earn their merit badges. It's a pretty easy tour, there are a couple of areas where the climb back up is pretty steep and there is one area where a golf ball rolls upwards instead of down. The guide explained the reason, but I was to amazed watching to really pay attention, I know I suck :)
There's a snack bar outside and also a store, the requisite gem panning operation that seems to go with most caverns and an outside balcony that has great view of the Laurel Highlands and mountains.