The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


September 29, 2012

Bob Garrett column: Plenty of local hikes planned this week

The local Sierra Club is leading a true classic hike today. Up in the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, you and your family can hike out of Blackwell and climb to the top of Pennsylvania’s Matterhorn: Gillespie Point. Then the hike a loop back down to Blackwell and back up on the Bohen Run Falls Trail to the West Rim Trail and finishing back down on the Pine Creek Rail Trail.  

If you can tag along, please meet at parking lot behind Lewisburg Post Office at 7:45 AM or at the Blackwell boat launch at 9:30 a.m. You should bring along some high-energy munchies, lunch and water. Today’s hike leader is Duane Button and you may reach him at 596-3454.

This afternoon might be a perfect time to check out the early fall foliage on the “Jewel of the West Branch” kayak trip that goes from Muncy to Montgomery starting at 1 p.m. On this guided and recreational-level trip, you and your family members may see wildlife while improving your paddling skills and generally having a good time with your fellow paddlers. Everything that you will need is included for just $55 per person with a $10 discount if you use your own gear.  

The whole outing benefits the North central Pennsylvania Conservancy. Check out for more information or call 524-7692 to make your reservation.

It’s a “two-fer” day at the Montour Preserve this afternoon.

There’s an hour-long program titled “Tall Timber” that starts at 2 p.m. Van Wagner, who is a multi-talented singer, songwriter and educator will discuss a time in Pennsylvania when trees stretched to the sky and the lumbermen who came to harvest those trees were hardened laborers whose lives often ended early due to accidents and long days clearing forests. After this presentation, Wagner will offer a variety of original songs about life in north central Pennsylvania starting around 3 p.m. Both the presentation and the concert are in the Environmental Education Center. More information is available at

Early this morning, when most of us were in bed, the Harvest Moon crested. In traditional “skylore” the Harvest Moon is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox, which was last weekend. So tonight, God willing and clear skies, you will be able to see this full moon in all its glory. You may ask: Why is the Harvest Moon so special? Well, it’s not. In fact, Harvest Moon is just a name.

However, nature is particularly cooperative around the time of the autumn equinox to make the full moonrises a bit unique. When a full moon happens close to the autumnal equinox, the moon rises only about 30 minutes later daily for several days before and after the full Harvest Moon. The reason for this is ecliptic — or the moon’s orbital path — makes a narrow angle with the evening horizon around this time of the year. So head out somewhere particularly dark this evening and really enjoy the beauty of this beautiful evening.  By the way, the admission is free for this fine show.

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