Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Counrty Junction World's Largest General Store

Country Junction near the town of Lehighton boasts itself as the World's largest general store. As I got lost strolling through the aisle ways I found their assessment to be true, and never had so much fun being lost. I could have easily spent an hour wandering through their candy lane. Ogling over all the old time favorites, as well as homemade fudge.

Almost every available square inch of floor space is utilized in this massive market. Contained therein is a plethora of assorted merchandise, ranging from hardware, flooring, furniture, and anything in between. The store also specializes in unusual gifts and unique treasures. I found myself in amazement staring at life sized "Scarface" and "Blues Brothers" characters spouting famous lines from their respective films.

Besides all the great merchandise the store also boasts a large petting zoo. The zoo contains llamas, alpacas, bunnies, sheep, and much more. Including a spacious fish pond. If that's not enough the general store also boasts one of the largest wine selections in the region. Definitely something here to appeal to every member of the family, no matter what age!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Paulinskill Viaduct Hainesburg, New Jersey

Traveling around the byways of New Jersey I began to doubt the directions I found, after all how hard could it be to spot what was once considered a wonder of the world. As I traversed the narrow roadway it began to emerge right before me. Focusing my eyes in between the massive trees the mammoth structure began to develop more. I drove my car to the side of the road and exited the vehicle. There I stood before one of the largest structures of it's kind in the world.

Towering 115 feet above the Paulinskill river, the Hainesburg trestle was originally built by the Delaware,Lackawanna, and Western railroad. The viaduct consists of 7 magnificently designed, intricate arches. Each arch is accessible for inspecting the integrity of the viaduct. Completed in 1910, the Paulinskill viaduct, as it's often referred to was once the largest trestle in the world. That recognition was short lived. The following year after the viaduct opened, a larger more massive one was built in neighboring Pennsylvania. But I wasn't here just to take in architectural beauty and American history.

The rail company used the viaduct until they were eventually outsourced in 1979. In 1985 the tracks were tore up and the viaduct became a popular destination. I approached the massive structure and checked for the normal "No Trespassing" signs, to my surprise, I spotted none. I began my slow ascension to the top of the steep hill, approximately half way up the hill I spotted a climbing rope. I gave the rope a hefty tug to make sure it would support me. I supported myself to the top of the hill and onto the colossal structure. I strode across the behemoth railroading bridge, taking in all the surrounding natural beauty of the area, proceeding with more caution every step I took. Many areas of the extension have no supporting rails and there's nothing between you and a hundred feet dive into the shallow waters below. Adding more danger, the structural stability has also become decayed in numerous areas.

There are also numerous narrow manholes atop the overpass. These manholes lead you into the arches of the Paulinskill viaduct. It's the enthrallment of exploring these internal chambers that brings so many urban explorers to this particular place. Getting inside these arches can be quite difficult and very dangerous. Inside the arches are small ladders which guide you from arch to the next, climbing higher in elevation the further along you traverse. There is nothing inside these arches to prevent you from falling into serious injury, or possibly death. Since the demise of the railroad the locals have been braving trips into these abandoned and dangerous chambers.

The once magnificent arches are now mainly covered in graffiti. Most of it your normal obscene art that most teens so proudly display, but also disturbing satanic images are prevalently displayed. Many who live nearby, believe that inside these chambers, rituals are held to summon evil spirits. Throughout the years several murder victims have been found within the vicinity of the viaduct, and several suicides have also taken place at the abandoned structure. It's also believed that during construction a worker died and was buried within the trestle. Maybe that's why I felt someone was spying on me during my entire visit!

Monday, November 7, 2011

My Memories: Digital Scrapbooking Give-Away

November is the month for art every day. Folks around the World are encouraged to be creative and artful. In celebration I decided to share "My Memories", not so much my personal experiences but a new software I recently uncovered.
My significant other first introduced me to this digital scrapbooking software. On first mention of it I'll admit I wasn't all that enthused. I thought the idea was ingenious and creative, but it didn't peak my interest too much. The more days that passed the more she began to rave. Finally I took a look and played around with the software myself. Pretty soon we both found ourselves immersed in the software, and began designing new blog headers.

Since then I have begun to realize the potential and the ease at which you can make numerous designs. I have also been creating digital scrapbook pages that I can use to forever remember our unique travels. Putting these pages together has helped me to recall all the fun and interesting moments we've shared, while allowing me to create a digital photo scrapbook that will last forever.

November is the month to be creative and "My Memories Suite" is a fun, unique, and easy way to get your creative juices flowing!

My Memories has given me a copy of their digital scrapbooking software to giveaway!

To enter to win My Memories, pick out your favorite paper pack or layout. Then leave a comment below with the name of your favorite. Make sure I have a way to get in touch with you if you win!

If you don't win or can't wait to get started, I have a great deal for you! Get the MyMemories Digital Scrapbooking Software $10 off!! Find it here MyMemories Scrapbooking Software and use code STMMMS45991 when you check out. Plus, after you purchase the software, you receive $10 off in the MyMemories store. That's a total of $20 off!!

**Make sure to use the code above to get the discount. (Tip: cut and past the code to make sure you get it correct!)

Giveaway winner will be announced on Wednesday November 16, 2011 2pm EST.

Legend of Toad Road and the 7 gates of Hell

Located in Hellam Township, in the middle of York county, lies a mysterious road. Trout Run road is often referred to by it's more sinister name, Toad road.

According to local legend, there was once an insane asylum located deep in the woods off this road. During the 1800's, there was a large fire in the institution. Due to the Toad road asylum's location in the woods, the firefighters were unable to get back to the hospital to assist in extinguishing the blaze. What ensued was total chaos, something right out of a horror film. Hundreds of criminally insane individuals ran rampant through the dark, dense, woods. The State police were eventually called in to handle the situation. According to local legends the police combed the woods and beat into submission all the patients they were able to track down. It's been thought that for many years there were still survivors in the woods just waiting for a trespasser to find his old burned out home.
Traveling down the road it seems like your average rural thruway. Lively trees dot the pavement, country homes pass by, and farmlands sprinkle the pathways. But just as your immersing up the country beauty, something strange occurs on this seemingly pleasant way. The road becomes unpaved, and quite rocky, a feeling occurs like you should no longer be here. As you pass around a sharp bend, you notice a red gate and an abundance of "No Trespassing" signs. Welcome to the first gate of hell!

The City of York supposedly put these up to discourage folks from trespassing back the paths. Local legend states that there are six more of these gates located in the woods, if you find the seventh gate you'll be on the site of the burned out institution-or you'll be in Hell itself!

The City of York of course denies all these stories, and unfortunately there's not much hard evidence to support the folklore. Many people claim the city did all they could to cover up these heinous activities. Could you blame them?

For the full effect of this trip we would recommend a nighttime visit, when our imaginations seem to run a little bit higher. If you put the windows down, maybe you can still hear the screams and cries of a lost psychopath roaming the woods, still waiting for that unsuspecting visitor!

WARNING!! Entering the woods on Trout Run road without permission will attract an unwanted visitor and they will have no problems issuing a citation for trespassing!