Hartford, Connecticut: Population = 122,217, elevation = 16 feet, average January low temp = 18.3, Average July high temp = 83, average sunny days = 189, annual snowfall = 31.6”, annual rainfall = 42.4”, air quality index = 17.8, water quality index = 52, comfort index = 51
After the excursions into the Boston megacity, we really need some rural time off to decompress. Fortunately, this is a very good time of year to book resorts in the Mid-South. Summer activities are wrapping up and it is too early for winter sports, so resorts are on sale with big discounts. We book a cabin in someplace called Tamiment, PA. That is a bit too far to drive comfortably in a day though, so we pick a nice halfway spot to break up the drive: Hartford, Connecticut. Touring state capitols has become something of a hobby with us and Hartford has a beauty.
The Hartford capitol was designed by Richard Upjohn, a cathedral architect. It was completed in 1878 and restored from 1979 to 1989. The resulting building looks, to me, like a Roman palace. The halls are adorned with intricate mosaics, roman columns, and arched doorways. Ceilings feature golden trim and geometric patterns. Regal statues add a gallery flavor. The rotunda is brilliant and colorful.
Viewing capitals is thirsty work so, of course, we find a nearby pub to slake our thirst and rest a bit. McLaddens has a great selection and some tasty happy hour specials (candied bacon and buffalo mac-n-cheese). And I guess they believe in recycling.
Bushkill Township, Pennsylvania: Population = 8,220, elevation = 200 feet, average January low temp = 20.6, Average July high temp = 86, average sunny days = 204, annual snowfall = 25.2”, annual rainfall = 46.7”, air quality index = 8.9, water quality index = 53, comfort index = 48
Our resort in Pennsylvania, among the Poconos, in an area called the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. The map says Tamiment but it actually lies within the limits of Bushkill Township. The name Tamiment comes from an old resort that used to be in the area. Camp Tamiment opened in 1921 as a resort for a Socialist group. Eventually, it became more of a regular resort with water sports, a golf course, and a theater that featured live variety shows by the likes of Imogene Coca, Carol Burnett, Danny Kaye, Woody Allen, and Bea Arthur. Wayne Newton owned it at one time. As times changed and the resort faltered, it was sold and sold again and finally, in 2005 it was demolished with the intent of building condos. Today there are only the ruins of what once was.
At the other end of the Tamiment area is our resort, Eagle Village. Not much to do around here in the fall except swimming in the pool and hiking in the woods and around the lake. But it is peaceful and quiet and, when you get away from the few street lights, you can see the Milky Way up there. We take the time to read and write and relax, sit on the deck and watch the birds go by. At dusk we walk quietly along the road to avoid spooking the very tame deer that call this woods home.
One day we visited nearby Dingmans Falls Visitors Center for a bit of a nature hike. The little creek gurgles musically over the rocks as it passes through the tall, mossy hemlock pine forest. Lush beds of ferns and walls of rhododendrons line the route of the boardwalk up to the waterfalls. The sound of falling water reaches out to touch something primeval in the human heart, to sooth and calm it. The scent of pine and misty forest wafts over the hills.
Every now and then, we need a stay in the woods to slow down, to unwind, to get back in touch with our inner serenity. Tamiment was a good week for just that. Now, it’s back to the road and the cities, refreshed and poised for more adventures.
Up next: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania