No, I wasn’t so exhausted from my trip I had to take the final journey to the boneyard. There are other reasons for my visit.
One subtext of A Taste For The Woods is that the outdoors is for everyone, and that we have many opportunities to participate. Often these opportunities are nearby and neglected. For instance, I’ve written about the Freedom’s Foundation Medal of Honor Grove, and how its ignored because its located just outside Valley Forge National Historic Park.
Even more ignored are cemeteries. Most people only visit a cemetery for an interment, theirs or somebody else’s. I visit them all the time for walks. They are usually well landscaped, scenic, quiet, and have very few visitors. I can be alone with my thoughts. And as a writer I know every stone tells a story – the monument with the wide span of time between dates speaking of a life lived with worldly success; the small blank marker letting the world know here lies a child who died before he was named; the faded stone showing someone fading into historical oblivion.
But you don’t have to think of the stories around you. A cemetery is a quiet place to stretch your legs. And I found one just outside Coudersport on my drive home that served as a good place to stop.
Eulalia Cemetery is on PA Route 6 just west of downtown Coudersport. I’ve passed it before, and this time, having all day to drive, I stopped for a few minutes. The graveyard is built onto the side of a steep hill. While there are steps I could have walked up, I chose the paved road. In a couple of minutes I was sweating as I climbed the slope. I was not only getting to experience nature, I was getting exercise. As the photo shows, I got not only a workout, but a view as well. Downtown Coudersport is to the left in the photo, obscured by trees. I parked near the Family Dollar store in the photo.
After a few minutes of contemplation and drinking in the view, I headed back to the car. My mood was lightened by unintentional comic relief; a Mr. Toombs is interred here. I doubt he minded a chuckle about his family name appearing on a headstone.