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Last weekend the girlfriend and I went for a 120 mile trip around Central PA... Unfortunately, the only pictures I took were at the very beginning.

We started our trip in my hometown, Millersburg, PA. From there, we took the last wooden stern paddle wheel ferry boat in the county across the mile-wide Susquehanna River. I haven't been to the other side in years... The last time I went across is when we swam across the river when I was... 13?







When we hit the boat launch, we were greeted by 4 other bikers, and then a 5th showed up after we were there for a few minutes. I believe it was 3 Harleys, a Honda, and then a Buell that showed up last, along with my S40.







The boat docks at a small campground on the outskirts of Perry County. We stopped in the general store for some ice cream and to spend a few bucks at their arcard room (reminds me of the 80's)...







That's right... 95 tickets got us a one of those plastic change purse/holders, a rubber lizard, and an orange squirt gun. My nephew loved them. :)

From the campground, we shot up 11/15, making a stop in Hummels Wharf for some water at Sheetz. Then headed over to Shamokin for a bite to eat at McDonalds (after almost being run down by a speeding VW out of their parking lot... Idiot)...

After cooling down a bit and getting some grub, we headed out past Mount Carmel into the town known as Centralia. If you've never heard of the place, it's an old coal mining town that has been evacuated, the government bought out all the land and relocated familes elsewhere... This was because of an underground mine fire that started in 1961... It's STILL burning today. I guess when someone almost fell into the fire, after the ground gave way beneath him, it sparked national attention and that's when the government got involved... Now - there's not much left anymore... There's about 6 or 7 houses left standing, which people still live in. But mostly it's just old streets and sidewalks, covered with grass and weeds, a few old cemetaries (that are kept up VERY well), and the sporadic "vent tube" that was put in place to monitor the fires, that only helped them continue to burn.

Lots of extra information and pictures is available here and I have pictures that I took awhile back on my website here.

It sounds crazy... But I can't get enough of this place, and it usually ends up with me driving through there once a month or so, since it's only about 40 minutes from my house. The ground smokes, there is a section of Route 61 (the major highway through the town) that has been closed off and relocated around because of how warped the road got.

Anyways - Back on topic! From Centralia, we headed down through Ashland, another coal mining town (which I believe is in jeopardy of having the mine fire spread THERE next), then over to Frackville for some more water... And then hit 81 and headed back home.

I believe we clocked a total of 120 miles on the bike... And we had an EXCELLENT time. :)
 

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That looks like a cool trip. Last time I was in the Shamokin and Centralia area is when I was a kid and headed to Knoebels Amusement Park.
 

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On that note, today in the hisotyr channel, they had a show about what happened at centralia in great detail.
 

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Looks like a cool ride. If I'm ever down that way again (I live in central PA myself) I'll stop and check out the ferry. I did some riding down that way not too long ago.
 

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I have just spent a good 30 minutes following the link you posted. It must be an eerie place to be, seeing deserted roads and no buildings and then seeing the smoke coming out of the ground.
 

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I have just spent a good 30 minutes following the link you posted. It must be an eerie place to be, seeing deserted roads and no buildings and then seeing the smoke coming out of the ground.
Yeah, it's very bizarre. It's like riding through a ghost town.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
CB750 - That's cool! The ride across the river is pretty cool. I think I paid $3 for me and the bike, $2 for the girlfriend as a passenger.

It's about a 20 minute ride across.

Sherab - Seriously?! I wish I could've saw that, it would've been great to DVR... Like I said, for some reason, I just can't get enough of the place! I just enjoy going there, walking around, etc.

kitty - I'm glad you enjoyed the links. I've spent hours researching stuff like this... My next adventure is going to be to the closed portions of the turnpike in PA... There are 3 tunnels that have been closed down and routed around on the PA turnpike. :)

As for being a ghost town... It's actuallyreally awkward. If you didn't know the story of Centralia... You'd probably pass right along and not think much of it. The weeds and grass have grown up so much through the old streets that it almost looks like a field. But yeah, seeing the smoke and smelling the sulfur is enough to tell you that something is going on. :)
 
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