A few miles outside of Wilkes-Barre is a place of unique natural beauty, the Seven Tubs. Once a county park, it is now a part of the Pinchot State Forest. The Seven Tubs has become a very popular destination for hikers and mountain bikers, and whitewater kayakers have been known to paddle Laurel Run in high water. It is odd to see a place of such beauty so close to an urban area.
Our goal was to hike to a ridge above the Seven Tubs to see the sunset. We hiked down to the tubs as the water shot through a narrow gorge dusted with snow. The strong current fed a string of deep pools carved into the bedrock. There were many hikers on the trails, but we soon left them to hike on the ridge. We climbed to an old rail grade and then climbed further up the ridge, passing massive boulders, cliffs, and even a cave. The geology of these ridges are interesting, one side of the ridge had sloping ledges, the other had tiers of cliffs and boulders, between which were ponds and vernal pools. We hiked up the spine of the ridge, enjoying views across the Wyoming Valley.
Our hike followed some unofficial trails which led to a forest road on top of the ridge with grassy meadows and more views. The sun continued to sink towards the horizon as we reached the view from some large boulders. The sky became enflamed as the sun sank into the horizon. There were swirls of red, orange and yellow. The colors transformed to green, blue, purple, and black. The last light of the day illuminated the serrated ridges that headed down to Nanticoke and Shickshinny. At one point, I could see all the colors of the rainbow as the drifting clouds glowed red. We sat there as the sky shed its colors and the last light of the day faded. The lights of Wilkes-Barre twinkled below. With a different perspective, you can see that even in a place like Wilkes-Barre, there is so much more, so much potential.
Our fun was not over. We sped through the forest, passing ponds and scrambling down ledges. The forest began to fuse into black. Ryan grew up nearby and remarked how he once hiked somewhere with his dad; he remembered that he scrambled up a cliff with metal rungs to hang onto. We came upon an old sloping skid trail. This led down to a cliff. Ryan was ahead and saw the metal rungs. It was the same place he had hiked with his dad many years ago. We descended the cliff in the dark, hanging onto the rungs in the deepening twilight. It reminded me of hiking in the Adirondacks. We hiked out on the old rail bed in darkness, which is to become a new bike trail, and returned to our cars. All the other hikers had gone, we were the last as the stars began to shine overhead and traffic rumbled on Route 115 with searing headlights.
Map of the Seven Tubs.