ADP Fall GatheringThis was the 16th Annual ADP Fall Gathering! And what a great weekend it was weather wise. Not a drop of rain for the whole weekend.
This year the gathering was held at Tracy Ridge Campgrounds, a very nice camping area that might be on the chopping block, and might be closed.
Some of us arrived on Friday afternoon to set up the camp.
There were plenty of tables and awnings to set up, as well as the wash station, and cooking stoves. This year we were fortunate enough to have a vault toilet near-by.
Friday night we pretty much stuck around the camp, and had a real fun campfire. We turned in pretty early Friday evening after a great dinner! Mary and Bill really outdid themselves this year .... as they always do! Great food and a real great setup!
I did a head count Saturday evening around dinner and counted 30 people in camp, but more people showed up after dinner Saturday, and as always there were people coming and going. I believe we may have had up to about 40 different people who stopped by during the weekend. All in all a great turnout!
Saturday morning we made plans to hike to Indian Point, a large rock area on a point above Indian Run, a creek that flows into the North Branch and then into Sugar Bay.
The hike started out from our campsite, and then trekked across the old Moses Johnson farm, the Johnson's being the first whites to settle the area around Tracy Ridge.
Since the hike was across the area named "Chestnut Ridge", we did find some old Chestnut trees that have been dead since the 1920's or so. It's easy to spot old Chestnuts by the lines or cracks that form along the length of the tree.
We started out hiking on an old abandon road that crossed "Chestnut Ridge", but the road hike was relatively short .... then it was through the woods!
Along the hike, we also came across some giant piles of "scat". Some were bigger than others, but I only took a photo of a smaller pile.
And we did come across some really big, old trees on the ridge heading to the rocks.
After about a three mile hike we arrived at the rock area. We sat and rested at a couple of rock overhangs probably used by the early Americans who lived in the area (Indian Run).
On our way back some of us went down into a crevice between two rock walls. There was a real cool, winding passageway that had several overhang "cave openings" off of it.
I photographed a strange mushroom growing in a darker overhang cave out of the sunlight.
My sister Laurie found a Bench Mark along the road on the way back to the farm:
After our adventure hike to Indian Point, some of the group went on a "forest destruction hike" led by Bill B.
He visited the Kinzua Heights "compressor" or "generator" site owned by Minard Run Oil, and then took the group down 267 to show the many awful things down that road. Including large gravel pits, roads near the North Country Hiking Trail (an oil well site within a few FEET of the NCT!), and the usual leaking ponds, oil in creek headwaters, numerous roads segmenting or fragmenting the forest, and other environmental atrocities.
We couldn't help but notice that the ANF closed it's Bradford Ranger Station because of a leak in their roof that is obviously an unsurmountable or unsolvable problem for them.
Some of us have seen these awful sites too many times and decided to stay back at camp. But I did take a few people to see a couple smaller rock outcrops right near the camp site. I didn't bring my camera on that hike, maybe Tom B can provide some photos?
Saturday evening we had another great bon-fire, and it was very well attended. We may have to start a second row around the campfire. The ADP group is getting too big for one bonfire! Lot's of friends joined us on Saturday.
And as per usual, I led the Saturday, after-dark "fright hike". We basically just went to the big open field and watched the sky for a while.
Most of the group got to see shooting stars. Ryan C pointed out some satellites. And we seen plenty of planes. No UFOs this year! Nor did we get quite the fright we got at last years "fright hike". That truly was the king of all fright hikes!
Earlier in the day, I filled a balloon with Hydrogen, during a hydrogen demonstration (I had two of my best electrolyzers with me) and during the night hike, we lit a balloon off in the field and they heard it back in camp!
Demonstrating the power of water!
FREE power that is!
I charged the 12 volt battery bank (car battery) with a solar panel so the whole demonstration of the "power of water" was totally "off grid" and used only renewable, replenish-able energy.
The electric came from the sun- totally free and we split water that came from rain, and when the balloon "exploded", it simply re-bonded the Hydrogen and Oxygen atoms we split with the free energy from the sun, and reformed the exact amount of water we started with!
Water can be used as energy and we get back the same amount we use! It is never depleted or used up!
Sunday morning Ian and Catherine and I led a hike very close to camp. Ian and Catherine did a talk on edible plants that was very educational! Next year we may make a large pot of soup made from harvested ingredients from around our campsite.
And finally, my part of the hike was showing the group a smaller large rock area, with some rock overhangs or passageways between the rocks.
After our short Sunday morning hike, we started breaking down camp and everybody started leaving.
As always, Bill and Mary did way beyond their share of the work! Everybody did pitch in, but Bill and Mary were working constantly throughout the weekend.
A very big thanks to Bill and Mary, and thanks to everybody else who came out, and helped make this one of the best ADP Fall Gatherings ever!
PS- No visits from the "oil goons" or "the man" (ANF workers). Nice site for the Gathering I guess!
Here is a trip report from the 2008 15th Annual ADP Fall Gathering:
ALLEGHENY OUTDOORS PAGE