Continuing northeast I went through the little community of Driftwood before turning left at Sinnemahoning. I enjoyed the contrasts between the deep shadows and fog and/or smoke still in the hollows. The artistic nature of myself sees such things as beautiful. I was heading due north towards Austin, Pennsylvania to pick the stones with art prints applied to them. However, I had a few stops before reaching that destiny. One place I stopped at the George B. Stevenson Dam to walk about. Lots of Canada Geese were visible.
The water level behind the dam has been dropped due to construction work up creek from the dam. That fact alone pushed me farther north on the Sinnemahoning. I wanted to fish in the area of construction for bass, bluegills and pickerel. The area of this dam and watershed is part of the Sinnemahoning State park. The roads to this area were closed, too.
Native Indians called this area “Achsinnimahoni”. This meant “stony lick”. The 1800 era saw massive logging operations. In less than a century the mountains became denuded causing erosion and allowing for wildfires.
The dam was built in the early 1950 time frame.
I arrived along the First Fork of the Sinnemahoning around 9:30 A.M. the eastern sun was just beginning to peak over the mountains on my right as I traveled north. The mountains on my left were in sun. Later, in the day, as I began my trip south the opposite was the case. Heavy frost was present at any areas where the sun’s presence was yet to be felt.
I stopped and picked up the stones around 9:45 and, now, I had the rest of the day for myself. I drove up a road that ran alongside of Bailey Run. I had mixed feelings of traveling back this road. Thirty years ago later this month four of us stayed at a camp to hunt bear. The four were Allen Smail (My father.) my brother-in-law, Bob Hudson and a friend David Olinger, and myself. We had a great time. The mixed feelings came about because in two months from our hunt, Bob would die in a work-related accident. The owner of the camp and a fellow friend would die in August of 1987 while mowing around the camp. (Just a note my Uncle Carl Smail died forty years ago on November 4th, 1976. he would hunt these hills with my dad and uncles. He passed away while hunting ducks.) This memories were permeating my thoughts as well. I could still feel the happiness, as well as, the grief over this venture.
I hiked a trail that paralleled the stream course. I, eventually, walked through head high goldenrods and such taking photos of this beautiful waterways. I saw a Golden Eagle and Wood Ducks. later, I stumbled upon a wetland area seeing Red-Spotted
Finally, around 1:00 I worked down to the Sinnemahoning to try my luck fishing. The water was fast in this area and snagging became an issue. However, I took a fall on slippery rocks along the shore. My aging knees were having trouble negotiating on these stones. The rocks, while wading, we worse. I fished about half-an-hour and decided to explore and take photos.
Native Brook Trout
Later, I headed up Brooks Run to fish for Native brook trout. I had a blast fishing for these beauties.
They never attain any great size in such small waterways, but I always enjoy catching them. Around three o’clock I began heading towards Quehanna to search out a trail a friend told me about. As stated a lot of the road heading south was covered in shadow by this time. The sun was already dropping behind these high peaks.