For those of you who don't know, I live in the Poconos, which is a big mountainous region in Northeast Pennsylvania right at the edge of the New York Metropolitan Area. It's nice—to visit, please don't come live here. Over the past thirty years or so, the place has really been taken over by New Yorkers looking for cheap rents in exchange for commuting into the city, and now we have a fentanyl problem. Swell.
Still! That doesn't mean we don't have some nice scenery. I'd like to turn this page into a big photo gallery of trips to various local parks, either hidden away, side of the road trails or bigger community areas. I've taken these on a variety of cameras because I find phone stills boring. I guess some people might find the filters or lo-fi cameras kinda annoying, but I like it. Without a car, I can't hit up a lot of the ones I'd like to, but nevertheless, here's what I've got for you!
Pinebrook Park (October 5, 2023)
Brought the DSi along for this one. It was unseasonably warm that day, and I was out practicing driving; a conversation over dinner with my folks the prior night got me thinking about a set of three parks along the same stretch of road (two of which are connected to each other). We technically did them backwards, Pinebrook into Brodhead Creek into Red's Park (which isn't shown here because it's effectively a small nook in the woods with one picnic table and no trail).
We must've wandered for two hours straight, enjoying following the creek, exploring the shady corners, and seeing the early fall foliage. I can certainly feel it in my legs as I sort through these. We actually went out a lot further than I've ever been in those parks (and believe me, I've been here a couple times in my life), but I'll talk about that more in the Brodhead Creek bit. Just enjoy Pinebrook's trails for the moment.
Brodhead Creek Park (October 5, 2023)
This park is technically separate from Pinebrook, because it has its own parking lot and everything, but we just wandered from one side entrance to the next. Brodhead Creek has more pavilions than Pinebrook, which is probably why I remember it more—community gatherings and all that.
Going way past the parking lot led us onto a very long stretch of trail that actually terminated at some kind of water treatment facility, which was all bright red brick and frankly looked more residential than industrial at first. I also found a park down that trail that I'm sure I've been to before, but I couldn't quite place where (maybe some sporting event when I was a little kid?). You'll see which one it is when you get to the sign below.
Knights of Columbus (July 4, 2021)
Small little park a couple streets down from where I used to live. Funnily enough, it's right across from the high school by way of a bridge over a river, but when we lived there, that bridge was broken, and by the time I actually started attending that high school, we no longer lived down there, so the bridge was useless. Otherwise I would've been able to walk to school every day. Feel like I missed out a little.
This (and a lot of the trips around this time) were an excuse for me to play with BitCam, which is a camera app for iOS that filters all photos through a faithful reimplementation of Atkinson dithering, the dithering algorithm that Bill Atkinson implemented in the original Mac OS' QuickDraw library (and the UI is built to look like an old System 7 app to match). If you pay for the app, you get an additional 16-color mode, which is fun.
If dithering is your thing like it is mine, this one's for you. If not—I got other galleries below taken with more normal cameras.
Pocono Creek Nature Reserve (May 21, 2021)
And this one's not far from where I live now! This is a humble little hidden away dogwalking trail that runs next to the titular creek, and with its tall cliffs, winding paths around steep hills, and tree tunnels, it feels basically built for that.
The day we visited was pretty exciting. Our dog chased some animal halfway through the path (we still don't know what it was, possibly a stray cat), and we also stumbled across a broken ancient RCA "New Vista Color" TV (so 60s, roughly) and some real dirty, labelless records basically tossed into the grass. Their weight and the TV suggests to me they were cheap commodity pressings from the 60s or 70s as well, probably the 70s.
The, uh, creek
Big Pocono State Park (June 24, 2020)
Big Pocono is nuts. It's right on the edge of Camelback, which is a big water park and ski resort in our area, and one of my photos was actually taken looking down at the ski lift. You're just surrounded by valleys, trees all around you who knows how far underneath you, with those classic NEPA mountains in the distance. It's such a good view, and there's also some old buildings and a radio tower (!) up there.
Most photos taken with my normal phone camera at the time, but one of the shots I still like was BitCam, so enjoy that crunch as well.
Dansbury Park (May 13, 2020)
This one's down in East Stroudsburg, where I spent some of my time growing up (being bounced between parents and all that). More BitCam, plus a lot of shots of the banks of the river, which I believe was manmade, but don't quote me on that.