Going up into the Poconos is like taking a trip through the mini-Alps. I know the reason that the Alps are impressive is because the mountains are big, so it really doesn’t make sense to say “min-Alps” and have it mean much. Yet, every time I head up to the Poconos I feel like yodeling. O Lay He Ho….
On a beautiful and sunny June day, a buddy, his girlfriend, and I made a trip up to Barley Creek Brewing Company in Tannersville, Pa. The brewpub is very close to Camelback Mountain.
I got this photo off of a VRBO site:
Visions of snowboarding all day and then retiring my aching frame to the hearth for food, friends, and crafts beers, danced like sugar plumbs in my head.Visions of my skiing wind up with me in the hospital. Snowboarding is more my thing (my good knee compensates for my bad knee; in skiing, my bad knee is on its own like a child out in the ocean without a life preserver). Not that I am much of a snowboarder either.
If my wife and I stay in Pennsylvania, I hope to get a place up in the Poconos. I love the mountains and the lakes…I guess that is why she and I fell in love with Montana. I can go to a beach for a day or two but then I get hot, bored, and start to eat sand. When I start to crunch sand in my sandwich, I know it is time to go. Sit on beach, roast. Go in water, cool off. Sit on beach, roast. Go in water, cool off. Repeat. I get it.
I also love summer in the mountains. Here is a summer picture from another VRBO on Camelback Mountain:
I was in no way compensated by the owners for displaying their fine homes…although I am open to it they contact me!
Here is a picture from the top of the Camelback mountain…I was finding that my I-Phone camera just could not capture the majestic beauty of the valley….or maybe I am just a doofus…
You fill up my senses like a night in a forest, Like the mountains in springtime….I found this song with German subtitles to enhance to Alp-like theme. John Denver’s birth name was Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. Now that is a German name!
The affection I have for the mountains must be because I spent part of my youth living in West Virginia. I do not however have a love for moonshine or…never mind I won’t go there. I think that qualifies as “course jesting” that the Apostle Paul warns about.
I did take a picture of a mountain meadow of flowers:
As a caveat, danger lurks in these mountain paths. My buddy found like ten regular-sized ticks on him. I found one and his girlfriend found one. For some reason, he was especially attractive to the blood-suckers, even though we pretty much stayed on the same path. I thought of a saying, “Every trail has its ticks.” Kind of like every rose has its thorns type of idea.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: I had contracted Lyme Disease in the fall of 2009 so I am especially wary of ticks, big and small. The small ones, the deer ticks, are the real dangerous ones. The big ticks are just gross but not as deadly. If you ever get flu-like symptoms in either the spring, summer, or fall, get a doctor and get tested for Lyme’s. Not everyone gets the red bulls-eye. If you don’t catch and treat Lyme’s in the first phase with antibiotics, the second and third phase of the disease are really bad. Most Dr.’s are clueless or underinformed. Fortunately, I did get the bulls-eye and demanded that the waffling doctor put me on antibiotics even before the test came back. It is dangerous to wait even a couple of extra days…it is that bad. I recovered fine…I think.
Now, to focus like a bulls-eye on the beers:
I have to say that I found the beers to have a distinctive taste streaming through them all except for the IPA where the hops dominated. My buddy’s girlfriend thought it was like wine…I was thinking more along the lines of vinegar. You know how all of Dr. Seuss’s characters look the same even though different…ie: the pointy fingers, arched brows, and the elongated bodies and lumbering gate? Well, these beers had Seuss-like qualities and it wasn’t good in my book. I really can’t define it but I am fairly certain I could ID these BC beers in a blind taste-test. With Seuss, his style is cool and quirky. With this beer, in my opinion, it was kind of displeasing.
The setting in a mountain-lodge type of structure is nice. My buddy Jeff is one of these build anything type of guys and he was impressed with the framing and construction. The food was delicious and both the drink and food were a little higher than average but not egregious. It is a tourist area after all. The waitress was very friendly. So all in all, it was a good visit.
Yet, I think that the brewers need to stop being so rote in their brewing. In simplifying their system and recipes, it seems to my relatively untutored taste that they have lost creativity and innovation. It just all tasted the same despite the superficial differences in color. Maybe switch yeasts and the malts and hops. Maybe they do…I just don’t know what it is. But, it just is.