2010 Christmas Light Group Run

December 21, 2010

A nice sized group of about a dozen of us set out from the West Side Stadium for a light-seeing tour of the southwest fringes of State College. We hit the 12 Days exhibit on Sparks St, then wound our way up to Orchard Park and thence to the bike path into Stonebridge. We hit Cali's house, where Esther and the Calis' majestic greyhound greeted us. We sped by Sheakoski's house, then dropped Kathy LDC off at her place. From there we headed downhill to the dark neighborhood of Scrooges near Bwana's house. The lone pool of light at Casa Bwana was a welcoming sight, as were Mrs. Bwana and the Bwanas' ever-vigilant watchdog/media star Sheila. After some cookies, hot cider and bourbon, the crew staggered back to the West Side Stadium for a nightcap.

Sorry to those who showed up late and had to find/catch us. I had a route in mind prior to the run but wasn't sure how much we'd hew to it. Next year I'll put out a cell number for those who want to play catch-up along the route!

2009 Christmas Light Group Run

December 22, 2009

It was cold, but not snowing for this year's Christmas Light run. The crowd was modest, but jocular. John Wilcock, Marty Mazur, Andy Arndt, Dave Moore, Bob Cornwall, Tim Spigelmyer, Dave DeGroote, Jonathan Thurley, Paul Ruby, Denise Weaver, Mary Conner-Righter, Hank Aaron, Carly Simon, Rep. Henry Waxman, the ghost of Ulysses S. Grant, Brooke Shields, Lech Walesa, the Dalai Lama, Homer Simpson, Steve Tyler, Barry Manilow, John Cusack, Ben Bernenke, Gisele Bündchen, Cardinal Franciszek Macharski, Dick Enberg, and Lucy Liu headed out from the High School parking lot.

The crew headed through the Vatican City (the neighborhood behind OLV) for the 12 Days exhibit, then got on the bike path to Stonehenge. But they were too late for the Winter Solstice sacrifices. They thought of dropping by Tom Cali's house to pester Esther (Tom was at a CVIM Board Meeting, followed by a penmanship class), but decided to head straight to Sheakoski's house. There, the group was greeted by a Scrooge-like visage who turned a deaf ear to their pleas for beer. Disappointed, but undeterred, the runners wended their way slowly down the hill and into Marty's neighborhood, where they were warmly accepted for cookies and a wee nip at Bwana's house. After a round of bourbon, the runners did a jolly jig as they headed back to the High School parking lot to get their rides home.

A great time was had by all. Stonebridge had the best lights and Bwana's street (except for Bwana's warmly inviting pool of light), the worst. Next year, Bwana will provide bunny slippers and brandy snifters for all. The group might never get back to their cars.

Directions To Game Lands Runs

People new to our frequent runs in State Game Lands 176 usually need directions to the meeting spot. First of all, SGL 176 is divided in two parts, the Scotia and Toftrees sections. The larger Scotia section is northwest of town. The smaller Toftrees section is north of town. Here is a map by the Game Commission showing the locations of the two sections.

There are two common meeting spots for a run in the Scotia section, so people organizing Game Lands runs need to specify where the run will start. The most common meeting spot is the first, the Patton Woods parking lot, because it has more parking. The Greenbriar entrance is about two miles from there by car (or just over a mile by Game Lands trail). The meeting spot for a run in the Toftrees section of the Game Lands is near the Ale House in Toftrees.

Directions to Patton Woods Parking Lot: From State College, take W. College Ave  west (it's also Rte 26 south) to Science Park Rd. Go right on Science Park. A bout a mile and a half later, there is a big intersection with a light where Science Park meets Circleville Rd. Continue straight past this intersection. Science Park changes names to Valley Vista Dr. Up the hill about a quarter-mile, make the left at Bachman Dr. A block later, bear right as the road turns into Circleville Rd. Continue on Circleville about 3/4-mile. As you head down a hill toward a curve in the road, there is a gravel lot on your left. That's the Patton Woods lot. If you have left the woods and are driving by some farm fields with a park on the right (Circleville Park), you have passed the lot. Here's a link to a map:

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF&msa=0&msid=101374492592006061341.000452dac4de80375e33d

Directions to Greenbriar Entrance: The Greenbriar entrance to SGL 176 doesn't have a parking lot, per se, but just a small turnout area on Sleepy Hollow Rd. This starting spot is used less frequently than the Patton Woods lot. As above, take W. College Avenue to Science Park Rd. Then, at the light at Circleville, turn left.A block later, the road continues but becomes Sleepy Hollow Rd (Circleville turns right up). Stay on Sleepy Hollow. About a half mile later, there isa large sign for the Greenbriar development on the right. There is a parking turnout at this sign. This is the Greenbriar entrance. Here's a link to a map:

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=101374492592006061341.000462ccd7c9654dd9286&z=15

There's a fairly detailed map of many of the trails in SGL 176 available here, in case you want to explore on your own.The map makes more sense once you've been into the Game Lands a few times. So come along on the next guided tour!

Directions to the Toftrees Game Lands Entrance: The Toftrees Game Lands parking lot is right next door to the American Ale House in Toftrees. There are two ways to get there. You can follow Fox Hollow Rd from the PSU stadium for a couple of miles and turn left onto Cricklewood. The Game Lands parking lot will be a 1/4 mile on the right. Or, turn right off the expressway onto Waddle Rd, right onto Toftrees Ave, and then left at Cricklewood. The Game Lands will then be 3/4 mile on the left, just past the Ale House. If the parking lot is full, there are places to park on the road.