Off the Grid, In the Woods

· Taking the road less traveled... ·

June 26, 2016 0 Comments

"Two roads diverged in a wood and I - I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." ~ Robert Frost

After spending a week in the wilderness, I am actually happy to be back. It’s nice to escape to paradise, but there’s no place like home. Made it in just after midnight last night. I have spent all day cleaning. Translation: I am exhausted. Hart of Dixie is playing in the background and I am typing this lovely entry in between munching on some Star Wars cereal.



I spent the week camping at Ives Run in Tioga, PA. Now let me tell you…I haven’t been camping since 2001 and not in a tent since 1997. I’ll admit, I was a bit nervous that I wouldn’t enjoy myself. But it ended up being a lot of fun. One thing I learned from this experience is I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO RELAX. Holy shit, I didn’t realize I was so tense. I could not find it in me to just sit still for 5 minutes. If I did, my mind would race and thoughts would exponentiate. I had to move. Had to hike. Had to explore.

I know I have it in me to relax. I do. It’s somewhere. I’ve just been operating at 7000 RPMs for so long that anything less than that seems unreal.

So, anyway… I set up my tent next to the lake. It was so peaceful. Cell phone reception was hardly existent. Luna and I did some exploring. We visited Watkins Glen and Letchworth in New York. We drove out to Kinzua Bridge and the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. Not every day was spent on the road; we did explore some local trails around the park.

My tent was so cozy – it has a removable rain cover and without it on, I can see the star-filled sky. I couldn’t tolerate sleeping directly on the ground anymore, and not wanting to purchase an air mattress, I used an old-school cot.

I think Luna was confused/anxious about her first camping experience. She loved the hiking during the day, but I think the night-time confused her – why she wasn’t sleeping in an actual house. My poor baby girl. She did great though. SO many people complimented on her good behavior.

The crows on the camp site were like piranhas! Luna and I took a small evening stroll and when we came back they back pecked through my trash, eaten all of Luna’s food and were pecking through all of the bags. Seriously!? Well, I learned my lesson.

Dragonfly at Watkins Glen, NY

Dragonfly at Watkins Glen, NY

Kinzua Bridge was really nice. I have a funny, embarrassing story and I’m going to share it with you just because I am that awesome. So, on the drive to Kinzua Bridge, there was a detour on one of the main roads. And of course there was no cell phone reception. I followed the orange detour signs, consulted my old school paper map and eventually made it to the Bridge. By the time I arrived, I had to pee so incredibly bad. There were no bathrooms, but rather just porta potty things.

I knew Luna and I wouldn’t fit in together, so I took her back to the car. It was hot, so even though it was going to be a quick trip, I couldn’t walk away without first cracking the windows. Of course it was like a horror movie – key wouldn’t go in the ignition, kept dropping the keys. Meanwhile, I’m squirming. ANd cursing. Windows eventually cracked. I run back over to the porta john, lift the lid to and give a big hell nah to building a nest. This was hover territory. I turn around, hover, and go. I see a little dribble on the floor. Confused. DIdn’t pay it any mind at first. Then I saw a wet spot developing on the pants I had around my knees. WTF. The lid had fallen down and I was peeing on top of the lid – it was all running down the front, the side, on my pants. The harder I try to stop, the more it just comes out. I lean forward on the door and it opened a couple inches. I hadn’t paid any mind in locking it when I went inside I see and hear a family nearby. I close the door and lock it really quick.

I clean up as best I can. CHeap ass toilet paper – takes about 13 trees to soak up everything. I rob the hand sanitizer and then step out. Of course, as I walk out, an attractive guy is walking over. After millisecond-eye-contact, a panicked me runs back into the porta john from which I just stepped out of. I didn’t want this attractive guy to know that I fail at basic potty training concepts. Like seriously, fuck my life.

I stayed inside, door locked this time, until I heard him walk by and enter another porta john.

SO yea. That was fun. I’ve never struggle so much with a basic human function. hahaha.

Moving on…

Watkins GLen was really nice. There was an event going on, so it was a bit crowded. Because I had Luna, I was limited to what trails I could hike. I was not able to go into the Gorge to take photos.

Letchworth was my favorite park in New York! Omigosh – it was so beautiful! We didn’t even get to see the whole park. We only checked out the Lower Falls. It was hot that day, and after I ran out of water for Luna, I decided to call it a day. She was pooped! I also think she was overwhelmed with the amount of people wanting to pet her. Groups of people cooed and cuddled and ooed and ahhed. She’s so soft. She’s so pretty. Her spots! Her eyes. She’s so cute. lol Meanwhile. Luna is just like…let’s go.



The sad thing about Letchworth, is that two boys, aged 6 & 9, were found dead at the park as recently as June 11th this year. Curious who the crosses were for, I googled it. Turns out, a family was swimming in the restricted area of the water. The family (a total of 5 or 7, don’t remember) were swept over the edge of the waterfall. They were all rushed to the hospital and the 2 boys were dead. So, because your parents are assholes and cannot respect the law, two innocent CHILDREN die. Like seriously. Was it worth it? Assholes!! Ugh, I was in tears reading about this. How incredibly tragic. So, take this as a warning to anyone going to a park, building or anywhere – if there are signs that restrict access – OBEY the signs! I’d say 80% of the time, they just don’t want people in certain areas. But realistically, they are to protect us. Don’t be an asshole.

P.S.A. done. Letchworth. It is beautiful! I’d love to go back and finish exploring the park.

Another day Luna and I explored a trail local to Ives Run – Archery Trail. They have targets set up all throughout the trail. So, you can bring your bow there and practice. The trail was beautiful, but …omg. Overactive imagination. I imagined at least 37 bears, 17 murderers (like the machete-wielding kind), and 3 rapists. My mind just cannot handle a serene walk in the woods. OMG WHAT WAS THAT? Oh, just a tree branch dropping in the leaves. HOLY SHIT SOMEONE IS COMING TO MURDER ME. Nope, just a squirrel running through leaves. I just can’t. lol. At some points I even started running. I was so freaked out. In ALL FAIRNESS, there was the MOST UNGODLY noise I heard in the woods. After talking to my parents, my dad thinks it was a FIsher – an animal that resembles a weasel. Holy shit that was a freaky noise. Thankfully I didn’t have another Peegate Scandal. lol

My parents drove up Saturday. After helping them set up, we drove up to COrning, New York and explored the glass museum. We even made some glass goodies! It was a great day! 🙂

Well, as much as I would love to continue writing about my adventures, it is 11PM and if you could see me right now, you’d understand how badly I need beauty sleep. (Think: Wookie) lol

P.S. – still going to be mostly M.I.A. on social media. No hard feelings – just need a break. 🙂 Take care everyone.

Jessica Mariella

Amateur Photographer. Nature Enthusiast. Traveler. Foodie. Green-eyed girl with a big heart from Aschaffenburg, Bavaria.