Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thanksgiving in Leetonia

Sign front

Support for bear

Cushman View
Got up here Wednesday evening for a nice long weekend in my favorite place. A couple weeks ago, I found my large carved bear laying on the ground. In the past bears have knocked over the small one so I figured one gave the big one a push. When we went to lift him back up the base he was sitting on broke.  I had to chain saw it off making him about a foot shorter and put a board into his back to keep him upright. It looks like this will be his last winter and I will need to carve a new one in the Spring. The new one won't be as big. The eagle on my rock also suffered a blow to the face and is missing part of his beak. Not a good year for my carvings.
I decided to put in a ceramic floor in my downstairs bath as I really liked the one I did upstairs a number of years ago and the vinyl was worn out. So my big project was taking everything out and doing the floor. I am going to wait until next week to put everything back on it and give it a week to cure. Of course now that I did it the wall don't look so good so now I will have to paint them. I bit of reverse order from the way I like to do it, but it shouldn't be bad with everything out. 
Saturday I took a bit of a break and hiked up to Cushman view a little over 3 miles from the house. I said, hi, to Mick who has his permanent view up there. I have to say he chose a good spot. For those of you who don't know Mick, he was a long-time resident of Leetonia and a true mountain man. I heard via Facebook that a lot of people got bears this year. John Schilken from the Tannery got his first. So far I haven't heard anyone say they got Snaggle Nose, but it will be Spring before we know if he escaped another season. The weather has been unseasonably warm and the small amount of snow we had earlier is gone. Deer season starts soon and then the long cold winter will really begin.  I for one am enjoying the mild days while I can. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Snaggle Nose a Survivor and Victor

Snaggle Nose 2016 by John Schilken of the Tannery in Leetonia

Snaggle Nose 2011
Yes, Snaggle Nose followers he is still ticking after all these years. The first I heard of Snaggle nose was the summer of 2009 when my neighbor called me stressed about an adult male bear who had part of his face hanging and bloody from a fight with another bear. This bear had to be at least 3 and probably 4 by that time. He is close to 11 years old now and is a force to be reckoned with. The other bears run when they see him and he doesn't hesitate during the summer non-hunting season to stroll around Leetonia in the middle of the day and take any food he can find.
His size is at least 600lbs and he sports a permanent growling appearance, which is not as noticeable in the top picture. John said, Snaggle Nose came up behind him while he worked on the door of his place. I am sure he quickly stepped inside the camp. John said, "Snaggle nose was smelling the back of Pats truck when I yelled at him. All he did was turn to get his picture taken. Walked on back side of truck and up the drive." Pat had left some feed in the back of his car and Snaggle nose would have been happy to relieve him of that burden.
This bear teaches me a lot of what it means to be gravely injured, heal and not only survive but thrive. If any of us had gone through what he has..would we have given up, hidden somewhere embarrassed by our deformity?  Would we have held so much trauma in our brains that we never again became a functioning member of this earth. Snaggle Nose didn't give it a thought. He healed, he grew, and he became the biggest bear in all of Leetonia. He is a force to be reckoned with and honored. We should all have the heart of this bear and not retreat from life, but face it with whatever face or body we have been given.  Of course he did not get it by having an easy life...his strength came through a journey from a challenge, then through pain, growth and victory. I am not sure how many cubs his has in the area, but you can bet the heart of this bear beats on in many of them and his legend will never die. Mountain Girl, Paula, logging out.

Friday, July 15, 2016

1900 Bridge rail lives on?

Bradley Wales Railing

Bradley Wales railing
postcard 1930 to 1945

Leetonia Bridge late 1800's to early 1900's

John Schilken emailed me these pictures.The first two he took up at Bradley Wales on West Rim. You can see a rail that suspiciously looks like the rail on this old Leetonia Bridge. The last picture was taken off of a glass negatives, which were only around from 1880 to the 1920's. The bridge seems much longer than it does today unless since it is so narrow is an illusion. You will have to click on picture and make it large to see the metal rail clearly. Also notice the points of the rail in original were not bend over as they are above. This is looking into town from the South point first bridge. Leetonia hotel is on the left and Zimmerman's camp is on the right.After first posting this I found a color postcard with the railing on it by 1930.
Mrs. Lee?
This picture of a woman with a bicycle was also part of the group of pictures and based on looking up clothes style and the popularity of riding bikes for woman it looks like 1900. John thinks this has to be Mrs. Lee cause the poor workers in the mill would not have been able to afford such a luxury as a bicycle or nice clothes.

If any of you know if the rail from this 1900 bridge was used at Bradley Wales let me know. I will post some of the other pictures from glass negatives later. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Friday, July 8, 2016


As a kid I remember walking up to Lee Firetower and climbing up to see the ranger. The tower swayed back and forth in the wind and it was an unsettling experience and at the same time exhilarating to see the entire forest. Some time in the late 80's the firetower was taken down. Satellites replaced the eyes of the ranger and something was lost. I wished that I could have re-erected it on the top of my hill a bit lower view for it but it would have been wonderful. I have even looked at other firetowers for sale, but the cost of moving and re-erecting them is out of my budget. I would imagine keeping people from climbing it and the insurance, and maintenance would also be costly. Of course in my child mind none of that mattered...just seeing it again would be great. A friend who writes another blog reminded me of the Lee Firetower with her recent post about the Cherry Springs Tower, which is still there. Here is a link to her blog. The firetower originally costs only $621 dollars to erect. Now even for an old one it would be in the 10's of thousands. A salute to the Lee Firetower. Mountain girl, Paula, Logging out.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

July 4th Mid State Trail hike

Just to North of Little Pine State Park

Rock person
Lee and I spent the weekend of the 4th hiking almost 17 more miles of the Mid State Trail from Silver Springs to Ramsey Rd. over 3 days. It is a vigorous hike with a lot of steep climbs and steep descents. Speck, the Chihuahua walked all of it with us and didn't break a sweat. I wish that were true of both of us. We finished each day before noon to avoid the heat. The bugs were at a minimum due to low amounts of rain we have had in June. The hike has a lot of foot trippers in it, little rocks and roots that keep you watching the trail unless you fall. A lot of nice ridge walking, which Lee says is her favorite, partially because it is the flattest part of the hike. We have now complete over 100 miles of the trail which is 325 miles long. It is getting more time consuming to drive to starting points and I will have to say we will be camping over once we get much past Woolrich on the map which is the 120 mile point. Our little hikes keep us connected to the woods while our cabin is being rented out. We did run up to Leetonia on the 4th and it looked like most all the people had left by noon. 
Small dog big heart!
Still love Leetonia the best. I camped out on top my hill last weekend in the hammock with the little dog. That was a huge mistake as he snored and farted all night. I didn't sleep as well as him. Still loved being back home. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

June a month of Festivals

Mountain Laurel getting ready to bloom. 
Orange Salamander crossing road.
So June is the month for festivals; the Rattlesnake festival this coming weekend and the Mountain Laurel festival the weekend of the 25th. I took a 2 mile walk today up the mountain to the pipeline and noticed the Mountain Laurel will be opening soon and should be in full bloom for the festival. The temperature took a bit of a dive from the 80's to the 50's making the walk up hill a lot more enjoyable.
During the hike, the dogs and I saw one of the colorful, orange salamander's crossing the road. I saw several deer with fawns over the last couple days and turkey now that the hunting is done all the animals seem to know and show up a bit more.
I spent a few days at camp cutting willows down in the creek, which seem to grow as fast as I cut them. I also got to replace my water heater. A job thanks to its location in the basement which is made harder by the fact that I had to maneuver a 148 lb heater through a closet and down a trap door. The new ones have a plastic control valve that you have to make sure not to bang against anything or you will have a broken water heater. When it was all said and done I decided someone else will lift then next one down the hole in 10 to 14 years, cause if I try this in my 70's the water heater will probably be my headstone. 
Even with all the work, I dreaded coming back to Wellsboro tonight and returning to work tomorrow. The woods always calls my name. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Memorial Day in Leetonia...things to do.

There are two interesting things to do related to Memorial Day in and near Leetonia. First is to go up to Leetonia Cemetery and visit the soldiers grave sites.  This site is just about 600 yards down Francis Leetonia Rd to the left as you come up to Leetonia from the South. The graveyard is on a steep hill. There is also a row of babies buried up there from a whopping cough epidemic in the late 1870's. As you go up the hill you will notice an old foundation. That was the site of the first school house/church/meeting room in Leetonia.

The next thing involves a bit of driving out to Captain Lawrence Ritter's crash site. In 1946 this pilot crashed his WW2 P47 into the side of the mountain and was not found until 7 months later by bear hunters. I have instructions at the link to get there. If you are not familar with the roads but know where my place is. You head to the right out of my driveway and make the first left towards Cushman view then down the mountain and the first right is Francis Leetonia Rd. follow site directions and pictures from there. This involves about 3.5 miles of hiking to get to the wreckage site. Please do not take any of the wreckage out of respect.

Enjoy the weekend, but take a little time to remember all those who came, fought and died before us. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.