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The Eaton Calendar – September 23

The Eaton Calendar – September 23

The Eaton Calendar - Update

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - September 23, 2020

  1. Turkey Path at Leonard Harrison State Park is Now Open to the Public
  2. Three Hermansen Family Members Go Solo and Successfully Complete All Three Legs of Step Outdoors TRYathlon
  3. Wellsboro Growers Market is This Thursday, Sept. 2
  4. Hamilton-Gibson’s “Stray Cats” Rehearsals Begin
  5. Drowsy Maggie and Special Guest Ethan Hawkins to Present First Free Saturday Afternoon Concert Outdoors on Oct. 3

Diane Eaton
dianetn@ptd.net
(570) 724-3800

TURKEY PATH AT LEONARD HARRISON STATE PARK IS NOW OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

At 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 18, the Turkey Path was opened to the public for the first time since last Thanksgiving.

This popular out and back hiking trail is on a steep slope that descends 800 feet to the bottom of the gorge where Pine Creek flows and bikers, walkers, hikers and runners can be found on the rail trail.

The Turkey Path starts near the entrance to the overlook on the east rim of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon at Leonard Harrison State Park, 10.7 miles from Wellsboro. This trail is described as combining “stunning views with several outstanding waterfalls.”

Closed each November due to ice buildup in the winter months, the Turkey Path normally would have opened this past April. That didn’t happen.

In January, it was discovered that a large, old growth white pine had fallen. The white pine and its massive root ball took down three small hemlocks and caused major damage to wood structures on the Turkey Path. The falling trees undermined a platform walkway, completely destroyed the upper waterfall viewing platform, and the steps that connected the upper portion of the trail to its lower end.

Repair work was delayed by statewide COVID-19 guidelines, including a reduced workforce. The park office did not open until mid-May.

Platinum Tree Service LLC was awarded the contract to remove the trees. Only two tree services had submitted bids. The dangerous work was done in early July by partners Jason Webster and David Perrins, both of Wellsboro and Joe Wilson of Covington with assistance from Jeffery Fitzwater of Columbia Cross Roads.

After assessing two quotes for the development of a reopening plan and overall evaluation of the Turkey Path, park staff selected Peter S. Jensen and Associates LLC of Washington, Vermont. A consultant skilled in advanced trail rehabilitation, Jensen visited the area in mid-July to assess the damage. He then submitted a written proposal and design.

Tim Morey served as the park’s project manager, securing supplies and materials and directing work details for the rebuilding of the Turkey Path platforms and stairs.

Jensen spent two days in August training the Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps crew members in the skills they needed to do the work. Among those skills were interpretation of drawings; how to effectively use salvaged materials; how to efficiently cut and install timbers using rebar and timber screws; how to use timber cribbing to widen the old trail for the waterfall viewing platform; and construction of the foundation for the new stairway.

The five-member crew included: leader Andrew Haraschak, 29, Williamsport and members, Nate Lyons, 21, Forksville; Michael Sarno, 22, Towanda; Dylan Peters, 21, Mill Hall; and Hunter Gardner, 22, Montgomery.

Based in Williamsport, this crew worked four eight-hour days a week for five weeks, from Aug. 10 through Sept. 10 salvaging materials; demolishing the rest of the damaged platform, decking and stairs; and constructing a crib wall to retain the soils on the steep slope and to widen a section of trail for the new waterfall viewing platform they built. They also constructed a new base platform, a long set of steps, a new middle platform and upper steps to link to the crib wall and the viewing platform.

All of the work was done on a very steep slope and required excavation of tons of soil and rock at different locations. More than 200 feet of rebar was used and many six-foot long pins had to be driven into bedrock to secure the timber.

The Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps offers work experience, job training, and environmental educational opportunities to young people who complete recreation and conservation projects on Pennsylvania’s public lands. It is run by the Student Conservation Association and financially supported by DCNR and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s Reemployment Program, along with private contributions made through the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation.

Last week, park staff repaired railings, replaced posts and railings that were failing along the Turkey Path, installed a new crib retaining wall to help secure the trail for upcoming winters and bench cut a new section of trail into the hillside around a wet area. This work would normally have been done in April but was delayed due to COVID-19.

For more information about the Turkey Path, call the Leonard Harrison park office at (570) 724-3061.


Photo provided by DCNR
Standing on a section of the stairs on the Turkey Path are the five members of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps.

THREE HERMANSEN FAMILY MEMBERS GO SOLO AND SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE ALL THREE LEGS OF STEP OUTDOORS TRYATHLON

Three members of the Hermansen family of Mansfield soloed in this year’s COVID 19 Special Edition of the Step Outdoors TRYathlon and each successfully crossed the finish line.

This was the first time Ruth Hermansen had ever participated in the TRYathlon. Because she has been a member of the event organizing committee since 2011, she had never had the opportunity to enter it until this year.

Due to the coronavirus, the 2020 event was not on a specific day at a specific time. Rather, registrants could choose to do the TRYathlon as a team or solo or run the 5K only any day between Saturday, Sept. 12 and Sunday, Sept. 20 at Hills Creek State Park at 111 Spillway Road, near Wellsboro. The three legs of the TRYathlon include the 5K, the 1.75-mile canoe or kayak course on Hills Creek Lake and the eight-mile bike course.

“This was the seventh time my husband Gary participated in the TRYathlon,” said Ruth. “He was on a team once, soloed five times and was successful in completing all three legs again this year,” she said. Their son Andy, 13, did the TRYathlon on a team last year and soloed this year.

“The best part about doing the TRYathlon solo was sharing this experience with my family and Sandy Beideman’s team. It was pretty neat to see it from a participant’s vantage point rather than as a committee member,” Ruth said. “Gary was way ahead of Andy and me on the course and finished first. Andy crossed the finish line next and I was last,” Ruth laughed. “I accomplished my goal – to finish. Andy is already talking about doing the TRYathlon solo again next year. I think it is important to find things that are fun to do and also healthy for you,” she said.

“At 10 a.m. this past Sunday, we met Sandy and her team at the park. On Friday, Sept. 18, we had decided to do the event at the same time. Sandy and I are friends. I know her because I place the Step Outdoors T-shirt order with Mountain Graphics and Mark and Sandy are the owners,” said Ruth.

The team of Beideman, Mark Newruck and Leigh Twoey, all of Wellsboro, had originally planned to do the TRYathlon on Sunday, Sept. 13. When their plans changed, Newruck wasn’t able to do it on Sept. 20, the last day, so a different biker was needed. On Sunday, Twoey did the kayaking, Beideman the running and Matt Kiess of Williamsport, the biking. Beideman and Twoey stood at the finish line cheering on the Hermansens and Kiess.

Twoey said she had been on a team for many years but this was the first time she had been on the Beideman team as a kayaker. “I knew Matt biked and asked him,” Twoey said. “I just started biking again this summer,” said Kiess, explaining that he had three back surgeries. “I hadn’t ridden a bike this much in a long time. I am absolutely hooked. I enjoyed it. Going uphill was a struggle but it was exhilarating to get to the top of a hill like that and to also cross the finish line,” he said. “I am pain free, too.”

One suggestion that Ruth plans to make to the TRYathlon committee is to hold both a nine-day event like this year’s in addition to the regular event on a specific day at a specific time as done before COVID 19. “Several people commented to me about that. I think It allows you to choose a day and time that works best for you and your family. It may be a good idea but only as long as it doesn’t hurt registration for the regular TRYathlon and 5K if it can be held in 2021,” said Ruth.

For more information, call Tim Morey at (570) 724-8561 or email tmorey@pa.gov.


Photo by John Eaton
Ruth Hermansen bikes across the finish line to successfully complete her first Step Outdoors TRYathlon.


Photo by John Eaton
13-year-old Andy Hermansen paddles his kayak around the 1.75-mile course on Hills Creek Lake. He soloed all three legs of the TRYathlon for the first time.


Photo by John Eaton
Gary Hermansen is shown on the 5K course, first leg of the TRYathlon. He soloed the course.


Photo by John Eaton
Successfully completing the three legs of the TRYathlon on Sunday, Sept. 20 are (from left) the three-member team of Leigh Twoey who kayaked, Matt Kiess who biked and Sandy Beideman who ran.

WELLSBORO GROWERS MARKET IS THIS THURSDAY, SEPT. 24


Photo by John Eaton
Keeney Farm pumpkins and vegetables, such winter squash, sweet peppers, tomatoes, beets, cabbage, onions, broccoli florets, kohlrabi and white and cheddar cheese cauliflower will be at the Wellsboro Growers Market this Thursday, Sept. 24 from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. on the front lawn of the First Presbyterian Church at 130 Main Street in Wellsboro, weather permitting. Scrubbing the pumpkins for the market are Cheryl and Gary Keeney’s daughter-in-law Heather Keeney of Whitneyville and their grandson Jacob Baldwin, son of Eric and Reva Baldwin of Catlin Hollow. Those who want decorate with cornstalks can call Gary Keeney to arrange for pickup at (570) 376-2120. Customers are asked to wear face coverings and maintain six feet of distance from others.

HAMILTON-GIBSON’S “STRAY CATS” REHEARSALS BEGIN

Rehearsals for “Stray Cats,” a play being produced by Hamilton-Gibson Productions, a community theater group based in Wellsboro, began last week.

“Since this is Hamilton-Gibson’s 30th Season, we had designed it to celebrate our history by bringing back both small cast and large cast shows we had produced since 1991 when HG first started,” said Thomas Putnam, artistic director.

Hamilton-Gibson first produced “Stray Cats” as an entry in the March 2001 Pennsylvania Association of Community Theatres Festival (PACTFest) held in Altoona, Pa. “We were selected to move on to regionals at the Eastern States Theatre Association (ESTA) Festival in April,” said Putnam. “That summer, we also presented the play as a main stage production at the Don Gill Elementary School in Wellsboro,” he noted.

“Because ‘Stray Cats’ has a small cast and we had produced it 19 years ago, the HG Artistic Planning Committee chose it to be one of our 30th Season’s fall productions. Our hope was that we could get the original cast members to reprise their roles,” said Putnam. The 2001 cast included Putnam, Ryan Dalton, Dave Driskell and Bill Kovalcik. “We were successful in getting three of the four,” he said. “Each of the three actors plays more than one character. Rob Kathcart will be performing the roles played by Bill Kovalcik ,” Putnam added.

“When COVID-19 hit and we had to reschedule all of our large cast plays, we explored options such as online performances, live streaming and outdoor productions,” said Thomas Putnam, HG artistic director. “Instead, we decided to continue offering live theater experiences by adding more small cast shows and keeping those we had already planned to do, including ‘Stray Cats.'”

The play, written by Warren Leight, is a series of monologues by men who are alone for a wide variety of reasons. Some guys are leaders, some guys are joiners, some guys are “stray cats.” This collection of musically influenced monologues portrays nine “stray cats” as they hit bottom, paint themselves into a corner, or reach a moment of transcendence with a unique blend of humor and sadness.

“The use of monologues to tell their stories underscores the solitariness of their lives: one man, alone, on stage, talking about his life,” said Putnam. “Tying the characters and scenes together is a jazz motif created by local musician Dave Driskell. “Throughout the play, Dave’s saxophone is heard between stories, and he and his saxophone are an active element in the final scene,” Putnam said.

“We see the unique world of each of these men – what the playwright calls their “out-of-sorts and out-of-luck souls” – which is expressed as much by the haunting improvisational sound of Dave’s saxophone as the individual narrations. Funny. Sad. Touching, Jazz,” said Putnam.

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 9 and 10 and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 11 in the Warehouse Theatre at 3 Central Avenue in Wellsboro and on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 18 at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are $14 for adults and $6 for youth, 18 and under. Also available are FlexPasses for $60. No tickets are sold at the door. They have to be ordered in advance and prepaid online at hgp.booktix.com or by calling the HG office at (570) 724-2079 with credit card information.

Seating is limited. Reserved seats allow HG to meet pandemic social distancing protocols. All audience members are asked to wear masks and have their temperatures taken upon entering the building.


Photo by John Eaton
In “Stray Cats”, Rob Kathcart (pictured) plays a clown who has become discouraged and having difficulty with the disjunction of the laughter a clown offers and the personal life of the man.

DROWSY MAGGIE AND SPECIAL GUEST ETHAN HAWKINS TO PRESENT FIRST FREE SATURDAY AFTERNOON CONCERT OUTDOORS ON OCT. 3

At 3 p.m. on October 3, the first Saturday afternoon concert at the Deane Center for the Performing Arts at 104 Main Street in Wellsboro will feature Drowsy Maggie and a special guest on the outdoor stage on the Central Avenue side of the building. The concert is free and open to the public. Donations are appreciated.

The group will be playing and singing a variety of folk, country rock, bluegrass and old-time songs such as Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon”, Andy Griffith’s “Moonshiner” and Emmy Lou Harris’ “Boulder to Birmingham,” along with standards such as “Whiskey Before Breakfast” and “Wagon Wheel.”

Drowsy Maggie band members who will perform on Oct. 3 are: Danny Shipe on guitar and banjo, Molly Cary on guitar, Daria Lin-Guelig on hammered dulcimer and concertina, and Bruce Smith on upright bass. Both Cary and Shipe sing lead and harmony vocals.

Appearing with them will be Ethan Hawkins, a multi-instrumentalist and lead singer, guitarist and main songwriter for The Mudskippers, a Boston-based acoustic band that embodies New England-style grass, modern songwriting and a respect for bluegrass and old-time traditions.

For this free concert, bring lawn chairs and sit on the grass in front of the outdoor stage or on Central Avenue, which will be closed to traffic between Main Street and the Warehouse Theatre to provide space for social distancing.

For more information about this and other free concerts in the Saturday afternoon series, visit deanecenter.com, email office@deanecenter.com, or call (570) 724-6220.


Photo by John Eaton
Drowsy Maggie includes (from left) Molly Cary, Daria Guelig, Bruce Smith and Dan Shipe. Performing with them on Oct. 3 will be Ethan Hawkins (not shown). The four band members stood at least six feet apart and were asked to take their masks off for this outdoor photograph.

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