Today I made my tenth and last trip to the Poconos for the year. My primary goal on this trip was to see the Columcille Megalith Park, the Pennsylvania Stonehenge. The Columcille Megalith Park is described in detail in the travel guide Insiders’ Guide to the Pocono Mountains by Janet Bregman-Taney and Kenneth R. Clark (ISBN: 0-7627-3458-2). Columcille Megalith Park features dozens of stone megaliths scattered around a park and in the woods. It is intended to be a spiritual place for New Age meditation or Zen meditation. I can appreciate that because I have found the solitude of the woods to be very relaxing and peaceful. Hiking is an excellent way to get exercise and reduce stress. I often see massive rock formations in the Pennsylvania woods which look like ancient monuments. Columcille Megalith Park is an attempt to make that implicitly spiritual experience into an explicitly spiritual experience.
I used my TomTom GPS to navigate to the park because it is buried deep in the woods and requires driving along twisting roads in the woods. Even the travel guide I read complains about how difficult it is to find this place. Fortunately I didn’t have any trouble. It is now late fall and the trees have all changed color. Soon they will begin to lose their leaves. This makes the woods especially lovely with leaves on the hiking paths and splashes of yellow leaves in the trees. The most attractive photos of Columcille Megalith Park which I found online were taken in the fall so the park looked just like that.
I saw stone circles, a trilithon, dolmens, megaliths along the path, and a stone arch portal like a Stargate. I found a trail through the woods which offered more of a hike than I was expecting, but it was an easy hike and led me to the stone arch portal which I wanted to see. I didn’t do any meditating but I found myself slipping into a dream state while driving to this place, probably because I was a bit tired. I thought Columcille Megalith Park was quite magical and worth the trip.
After exploring the park my next goal was to drive along Route 209 and stop in at various establishments. Route 209 is one of the major commercial strips in the Poconos but that means the highway is often congested. My first stop was at Odd Lot Outlet which sells a lot of cheap goods, the sort of crap you find in a dollar store. But they did sell some Poconos souvenirs so I bought a couple of key-chains and a Poconos mug. I also bought a polished stone with the word “Dream” chiseled into it and a cheap pair of earphones for my smartphone. Next I stopped in at a CVS Pharmacy and bought a newspaper, the Pocono Record. I was mostly interested in reading the news about the manhunt for Eric Frein. They still have not caught that sniper. Last I heard he was spotted near the Pocono Mountain East High School so he hasn’t perished in the woods yet.
I then found my way to the Pocono Bazaar Flea Market. This flea market occupies a mall with a movie theater. I’m not sure if this was a failed mall that was taken over for the flea market, or a flea market that became a mall. I wandered through various little shops and eventually bought a DVD of the movie The Backwoods staring Gary Oldman. I figured this movie would remind me of hiking through the woods. I was going to eat at one of the restaurants along Route 209 but I decided to eat at the Pocono Bazaar Flea Market to save money. I ordered a gyro from one of the food stands but they wouldn’t give me a coke since apparently they don’t understand English. Fortunately, I had a bottle of Sparkling Ice in my car so I drank a little of that.
My final goal was to visit the Pocono Indian Museum. I didn’t have a lot of places to visit for this trip because I have practically exhausted the possibilities in the Poconos, without going to a resort. The Pocono Indian Museum was actually a bit cheaper than I expected, only $6.00 instead of $7.50. The gift shop was almost as large as the museum so it was more of a commercial venture than anything else. They gave me an audio device which played a recording as I went through five or six small rooms with exhibits. Pennsylvania used to be inhabited by the Lenape or Delaware Indians but they were pushed out of the state by the 18th century. The Pocono Indian Museum does have a fairly decent book store with a wide selection of books on Native Americans. The book store was located upstairs in the Starting Gate Action Sports store which was connected to the Pocono Indian Museum gift shop. I bought two books; The Journey of Crazy Horse by Joseph M. Marshall and Pennsylvania Deer And Their Horns by Henry W. Shoemaker. I’m not a hunter so I was undecided about the Shoemaker book but eventually I decided to reward the book store for stocking one of his books. I did see a lot of dead deer along the highway on this trip. Some of the carcasses where hideously bloated.
Before I headed home I found my way to Shawnee on Delaware and took some photos of a small strip mall containing just Inti Peruvian Cuisine and Popcorn Buddha. The Peruvian restaurant didn’t open until 4:30 p.m. but it would have been a great place for an exotic meal. Popcorn Buddha is one of those entrepreneurial food specialty stores which crop up in the Poconos because there is no other industry. Popcorn Buddha sells bags of creatively flavored popcorn. I was going to buy some but there was a line and it seemed to be moving very slowly so I left without buying anything.
This wasn’t much of a trip. Maybe I should have gone to Bushkill Falls to see it with fall foliage but it did begin to rain a little during the afternoon. This will be my last trip to the Poconos this year because there is not much more for me to do or see. I could make another trip along Route 6 to see a few more attractions but that would be checkbox tourism. I’ve already seen enough of Route 6 to understand its place in the Poconos. My eventual goal is to move to the Poconos to be closer to New York City so I should see about the transportation options to get the city.