As a person who likes to look at the positives in life, sometimes to the annoyance of others, I recently was reminded that I am right and that there is always something good, even in the strangest of circumstances. A couple weekends ago, I traveled to Everett, PA. “What in the hell is in Everett?” you ask. So did most of my friends and colleagues. My boyfriend and I just wanted to get away somewhere close by to do a little camping, maybe some kayaking and just relax. I was also thinking that we could do some wine tasting along the way. So, I went to visitpa.com, which is a really helpful website by the way, and found a campground that would fit all of these things – The Woy Bridge Campground.
First of all, Woy Bridge? Just saying the name made me feel like a six year old with a lisp or Elmer Fudd. But, sites were only $20/night, kayaks were $12/day and the sites were riverfront spots. So, to Woy Bridge we would go! Making a reservation proved to be a challenge. When you dial the number from the website, a woman who sounds like my great aunt from smalltown Minnesota instructs you to call Bill at a different number. Seems sketchy, but a lot of small campground use host campers. Hint to anyone who wants to go to Woy Bridge – here is Bill’s number 814-977-2845. So, after calling Bill a few times and getting his voicemail, we decided to chance it and just drive up there. (The day of our drive we did eventually get a hold of Bill to find out that, happily, there would be a site for us!)
After a pleasant drive, a stop at Sheetz and some Sirius radio with yours truly as the featured dj, we were getting close to Everett and nearing the part of the drive when we would need to use a detour. The Woy Bridge website kindly noted that a bridge was under construction and gave detour details. However, we got all sorts of turned around. We meandered through farm country, cutting through the odor of cowpies, for about 20 minutes until we finally found the gravel road we were supposed to turn down. It was, as the website had described, “located between a house trailer and a farmhouse.”
We checked in with our host camper – an ancient looking man who moved at one pace and one pace only…his own. It was not so much that he didn’t have the physical ability to move any faster, but that he did not care to. He methodically checked us in and we were on our way. The first couple sites were a bit creepy. People had been staying there so long that some of the campers didn’t even have tires on them anymore. Awnings, tables, adirondack chairs, pop-up showers, tiki torches, large grills and even family welcome signs rounded out many of these sites. I was starting to think this was more of a crazy, backward living community than an actual campground. Still, when we got to our site it was GREAT! It was directly on the river, had tons of space and had a giant stone fire pit. With little fanfare or fuss, we set up our camp and then promptly set out to go to a local vineyard.
Briar Valley Vineyard – Walking into Briar Valley, there is not much going on. However, nobody was there, the tasting host was very friendly and the tasting was $2. If you only taste 2 or less wines, it’s free. One glass in, I realized I had not gone to the bathroom the whole road trip and really needed to go. I was dumbfounded to find out that there was no public bathroom and that I could go across the street to Burger King to use theirs. So, we took a tasting time out to visit BK. Despite that ridiculous detail and that it was not the typical tasting atmosphere – think outdoor seating, cheese/meat & cracker trays, and maybe even some live music – the wines were pretty good. One stood out as unique and delicious – The Lemberger. We bought a bottle to have with our buffalo burgers later and it was absolutely tasty. I would stop in just to take a quick taste of it and buy a bottle!
During our bathroom break, we noticed a store that was called On eBay. After describing to Ryan the store from 40 Year Old Virgin (he hasn’t seen it), we decided to pop in for a look. This was not at all what we thought it was going to be. Instead of a collection of eBayesque items that are random, unique, interesting, fun, bizarre, etc. this place was more of a thrift store meets Marshalls. Metal shelving units held old-looking houselhold items (not vintage….outdated) and countless duplicates of the same boring castaway shirts hung from the clothesracks. We were in and out in minutes.
Back at camp, Ryan (my boyfriend) had a stare-down with a crazy old lady who was either our camp host’s mother or wife (maybe both?) and dealt with two yippy chihuahuas in order to gather our wheelbarrel of firewood. We made it back to camp, sat down by the river Coors light in hand and just relaxed. A raging fire, some buffalo burgers and a good bottle of wine was exactly what we had in mind when we set out for Everett and it is exactly what we got. Overall, I would definitely say that the Woy Bridge Campground, and Everett, PA as a whole, is definitely not without its charm.