Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Out and About in Schuylkill County

For the last two days, I have been spending time on Route 61 delivering brochures and checking out the scenery while the weather is being cooperative. In fact, I just returned from a brochure run to Frackville and I have to tell you, today is a great day to explore Schuylkill County. The temperature is hovering in the upper 70s and the fall foliage colors are everywhere.

Yesterday, I drove down to Cabelas and Hawk Mountain to deliver brochures and to get out of the office. Looking north from the Cabelas parking lot, the sky was a perfect blue and the Blue Mountain was showing early fall colors from the ridgeline on down. The scenery was quite impressive. When I pulled onto the Hawk Mountain access road, a group of hikers and bird watchers were heading off to visit the South Lookout with binoculars in hand. The parking lot was nearly full and the Visitors Center was humming with activity. The air was perfect on top of the hill, the fall colors painted against that blue sky made the trip worthwhile. My visit made me think that this weekend will be a busy one for Hawk Mountain and Schuylkill County. My reasons you ask?

First: The peak fall foliage season is upon us from this weekend, through the third full week of October.

Second: The raptor migration (Hawks, Eagles etc.) is at its peak this month.

Third: Have you seen the free fall in gasoline prices?

The drive to Hawk Mountain was made pleasant for a number of reasons, and one of those reasons is the present price of gasoline. Can you believe they are forecasting $2.50 a gallon by Thanksgiving (or at this rate, Halloween)?

So let me tell you about gas prices on Route 61. When I left Pottsville yesterday the price was $3.15 at Norwegian Street. In (Schuylkill) Haven it was $3.05 and $2.99. At Renningers Market the price was $3.06 and at Pine Dale, $3.09. At Molino, gas was again, $3.15.

Today when I left Pottsville, gas was $2.99, while the three gas stations near Saint Clair sold the cheap grade at $2.99, $2.98 and $2.99. At Frackville, the I-81 travelers were paying $3.07. Falling prices have got to have a positive impact on business right? I hope the combination of falling prices and falling leaves generates an increase in business and visitation for Schuylkill County this weekend and the remainder of the month.

My Visit to Frackville

Since my trip to Frackville coincided with the mid-day hour I figured I would visit the Dutch Kitchen for lunch. Checking the lunch specials at the counter, I ordered the Pot Pie Casserole and the Crab Bisque Soup. Now I have eaten Lobster Bisque in the past, so I figured Crab Bisque would be just as good. The Dutch Kitchen did not disappoint! The soup was perfect, and the two fresh pieces of bread were light, fluffy and recently baked. After finishing the first piece of bread, I knew the other piece was toast, .. er, I mean gonna be history. But I was going to save the second piece for after the main course.

The Pot Pie Casserole was yummy and there was a flavor sensation I could not convince my taste buds to identify. Was it cabbage or celery? I used to say I lost my taste buds when I served in the Army, but today, the Dutch Kitchen resuscitated them. After finishing the second slice of fluffy bread, there was no way I had space available for dessert. I left the Dutch Kitchen happy and satisfied. It is no wonder that Dutch Kitchen has been featured on the popular travel website,