Monday, March 21, 2011

Love Letters to Central Pennsylvania: Mountains

I think the one of the most prominent differences between central Pennsylvania and my native region of northeastern Ohio is the mountains.  It wasn't until I moved here that I realized I really am from the Midwest, because although Youngstown isn't flat by any means, the hills I grew up with are nothing like the ones here.

State College is located in the ridge-and-valley Appalachians.  It's embarrassing, but before I lived here, the only image the word "mountain" conjured up in my mind was one like this:

Given that, I was surprised the first time I drove out here to see that Pennsylvania mountains are not ginormous, rocky, pointy protrusions.  In fact, my initial impression was that they were rather "fuzzy."  (That's what happens when they're covered with trees, Weez.)   Also, I didn't realize that mountains could be miles and miles long, as they are around these parts.

I'm happy to say that, after a few years of living here, I'm no longer scared to death of driving on them.  (Having to travel over a mountain to and from work every day didn't hurt.)  They are beautiful and majestic, and I enjoy being able to look out my back window and see my good friend Tussey.

Of course, we also live near Mount Nittany, the namesake for a certain Big Ten mascot of local import.  Personally, my favorite area mountain is Bald Eagle Mountain, thanks to this view:

The picture, which I took from inside the car on a rainy day, doesn't do it any justice.  I get to see this ridge just outside State College on my way home to Ohio on I-99/US-322.  It's an absolutely gorgeous vista!

*This post is part of a series I'm writing on my favorite parts of Central PA.  Read the post on Meyer Dairy hot pepper cheese here and the post on blueberry picking here.


  1. The first time my husband drove through the Appaalachians he was very disappointed because he was expecting them to look like the first picture you posted. I still don't think he has gotten over it because he refuses to call them mountains now.

  2. Haha! I can understand that. I met a girl at a conference here who is from New Mexico, and she was flabbergasted that we refer to them as "mountains."