September 19, 2014

Yoga Sunset Hike

I recently participated in a Yoga Sunset Hike hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC). It was a beautiful evening with blue skies and temps in the low 70s. About 30 of us gathered on the grass near the gazebo next to Children's Lake in Boiling Springs at 6:00 pm. The yoga instructor led us through a 30-minute gentle yoga session. The easy-to-follow moves were ideal for beginners. After the yoga session, we gathered for our guided hike along the Appalachian Trail. Participants had the chance to choose between two hikes: one into the woods or the other into the fields. I choose to follow the AT into the fields. There were about 18 of us in the group. We walked past Children's Lake and the Iron Furnace, over the Yellow Breeches Creek, and eventually into a what looked like a never-ending field. The trail skirted the edges of a corn field to one side and a soy bean field to the other side. With the sun shining on the mountains in the distance, it was a peaceful scene. The trail is not very wide at this point, but is easily marked with white blazes. It was also very flat and the pace of the hike was gentle to moderate. The guide mentioned that Cumberland Valley is one of the only locations where the trail is surrounded by active farm lands. As the trail came to Leidigh Road, we stopped and observed an incredibly beautiful sunset. The guide pointed out where the trail continued and suggested a hike to Center Point Knob. Another option was to explore White Rocks Trail which intersects with the AT just south of Center Point Knob.  We then turned around and headed back to Children's Lake. With dusk falling, we returned to the ATC office at around 7:45 pm. It was an enjoyable evening and I look forward to exploring more of the AT in the Cumberland Valley.

September 18, 2014

Wine Tasting at Castlerigg

In early September, a group of 6 of us went to Castlerigg Wine Shop on South Hanover Street in downtown Carlisle and we enjoyed it tremendously. It wasn’t crowded—partly because we went at 6 p.m., between afternoon drop-ins and evening revelers, I suspect. But there were enough people to make it feel as if we weren’t alone having fun. Amongst us we tasted quite a few of the wines, although we didn’t do a regular tasting, which is available whenever they are open, and found most of the wines very drinkable. The wines come from two wineries – one near State College and the other in Mount Joy. Having tasted some PA wines on a wine tasting trip to the south of Carlisle, we found these to be much superior. The snacks offered, prepared when ordered in the kitchen at Castlerigg, were all delicious—spanakopita, stuffed dates, and several dips, among other things. In addition, when you order wine by the glass you can start a Castlerigg Glass Club card. After buying 10 glasses, you are entitled to one free. We all expect to go back! 

-Jo Ann

August 15, 2014

Labor Day Weekend Fun in Cumberland Valley

1. Shippensburg Corn Festival
August 30 - This will definitely be the corniest festival you'll ever experience and you will be happy that you did, especially if you love corn and crafts as much as we do. The Shippensburg Corn Festival has a craft show with over 300 vendors, corn in every form imaginable, live entertainment, a corn eating contest and an antique car show.

August 11, 2014

Cumberland Ag Expo

Summer. School’s out. Cumberland County families can be found enjoying local fairs and festivals every weekend in the beautiful July and August weather. Agriculture fairs have been a tradition in the United States for over 200 years. The Cumberland Ag Expo in Newville has been entertaining and educating fair goers for over 100 years.  Did you know that it is the continuation of the Carlisle Fair from the 1980’s? Everyone has a favorite part of the fair. For me, it is really more of an experience - the smell of the food stands, the taste of funnel cake and French fries.  Homemade ice cream –Leo’s Homemade, to be specific – and some burgers and sausage from the local butcher shop, grilled to perfection, leave me planning a return visit later in the week.

August 1, 2014

We All Scream...

Summer, summer summertime in the immortal words of the “Fresh Prince” Will Smith and there is nothing better than beating the heat with ice cream. Regular ice cream, soft serve, frozen custard, milkshakes, and even frozen yogurt…they all do the trick. Types, flavors, kinds, and toppings all need to be considered when choosing your ice cream. Throughout the summer I’ve made stops at some of the area’s best ice cream spots (I know you pity me, but somebody has to do it) and tried a lot new ice cream flavors and recipes.