DAY 1: The Drive
I enjoy cooking so it was really neat experience to be able to cook over a “real fire”. I brought my marinated chicken from home, which had been marinating in a ziplock bag overnight and was ready to go. Laid the pieces over the fire and basted with reserved marinade.
I paired the chicken with Near East Tabouleh Wheat Salad Mix. Just add boiling water to the bulgur wheat. While that’s “cooking”, I chopped the tomatoes right there on site, and when all was ready, mixed everything together and added in olive oil and lemon juice. Voila! One complete delicious meal done. These are the luxuries one can enjoy with car camping.
Of course, for dessert, and every single night thereafter, we all had s’mores.
The BEST Chicken Marinade
This is the marinated chicken recipe that I used courtesy of Mom on TimeOut. I cut the recipe in half and used skinless chicken drumsticks and skinless chicken thighs. Put everything in a ziplock bag, and reserved some marinade on the side for basting. It was incredible.
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar (or other vinegar)
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- ⅛ cup lemon juice
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp dried rosemary
- 2 tbsp Dijon or Spicy Brown mustard
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 6 chicken breast or 3.5 lb chicken
DAY 2: Hiking & Rafting
The day started with an 8 mile out and back hike on the Great Gorge Trail. We drove to the Cucumber Run Picnic Area where the trailhead was located, and started there. At the end of the Great Gorge Trail, we added on the Sproul Trail which is a XC skiing route. Big mistake – very overgrown grasses and definitely not hiking. More like tramping. So lesson learned – stay off the XC trails unless, you know, you’re actually on skis. The Great Gorge Trail was enjoyable enough, though forgettable.
Later in the afternoon we went white water rafting down the lower Youghiogheny River which was one of my favorite parts of the trip. This was a 7.5 mile run in Class III – IV rapids. We went with Laurel Highlands and did the Express Tour. Really fun, I highly recommend them. Our guide was super knowledgeable and kept everyone laughing. Plus, there was hardly any work involved in any actual paddling. Just a few strokes here and there. You were mostly taking in the scenery and getting splashed with water. Super fun, my first time white water rafting.
Getting outfitted for the trip
Checking out the natural waterslides
DAY 4: FallingWater & Homeward Bound
Packed up camp, and then did a short little 2 mile group hike down the GAP (their choice not mine, haha) for our last group bonding time, then we parted ways. I got some frozen yogurt for the second day in a row (this is shocking for me) and toured the Visitor’s Center. The Visitor’s Center is very well-done inside and I even enjoyed a session about butterflies. This was all to kill time before our reservation to tour FallingWater.
Fallingwater is a house built between 1936 and 1939 over a waterfall. Frank Lloyd Wright designed the house for his clients, the Kaufmann family.
Touring FallingWater was such an awesome experience. The tour is comprehensive, and the house is just impressive. Really good way to close out the trip. I highly recommend stopping here on your way home. Plus, the cafe is incredibly delicious.