Back in the late 70's my Dads uncle Johnny passed away. During that time he owned a small simple log cabin along a small stream that fed into the Cross Fork Creek near Windfall Run about 6 miles outside Cross fork in Potter county. It was simply called the 'Whippoorwill'.
The cabin would come to be part of our families by way of those willed not wanting it.
As we traveled up there the first time we found an old hunting camp with signs of past deer camps "written" in just about every corner of the cabin. Old pots and pans, wires with sheets hung on them to seperate the sleeping areas, bunks, gun racks with old guns, pictures, old memorabilia, card decks, cigars, woolrich, etc..
I remember the smells, the look as if camp was actually still going on, but the older members had gone. The place was a little ratty, but had some great character.
My dad fixed up the place. Added a new stove, new floor, new ceiling, added a ceiling fan, new fixtures and many other items. However, much of what made this camp special was kept intact.
I remember traveling up there in winter and having to shovel off the porch top to get the weight of all the snow off. I remember snowmobiling all over them woods, riding motorcycles, fishing, hunting, hiking, skipping rocks, spotting at night for deer and bears.
We would take lots of families and friends up there to experience "Gods Country" and they would have the time of their lives. It was as if we had actually gone to another planet or country altogether. It was awesome!!
I remember running out of gas on my dirt bike in the evening about 15 miles from camp and my brother had to leave me there to go back and get my dad to come get me. I remember getting our 4x4 Suburban stuck in the snow after my dad went off the road with 4 snowmobiles in tow. I remember my Grandfather having a snowmobile accident and killing a deer in the process that he ran into. I remember running into town and going to Kinney's... loved going there. Lots of other great memories.
One of my favorite memories is the smoke that used to roll from my Grandpa's pipe with the cold winter chill and snow on the ground!! He would only smoke outside. Man, I'm not sure why that's so ingrained, but if I smell a pipe today, especially if it's burning cherry, it just takes me back.
My Grandpa isn't able to hunt anymore, but we still talk about Potter County and what the Whippoorwill meant to us and the fun we had there. He wishes he'd have bought the place from my Dad when he sold the place. Wasn't sure why he didn't, but he didn't.
I've driven by their several times since we sold it. Even pulled in when the owner was out and talked to him for a bit. Come to find out that the current owner (as of a few years ago) is only the second person to have it since it left our hands. Still has the same 'Whippoorwill' sign that my Dad had made back in the late 70's.
I'm sure many here share some great thoughts and memories that they to have wooven into their minds that will never be erased. It's a special place. And to those who currently have a camp up there. Enjoy your time, pass along memories to those you share your place with, don't take it for granted and respect the beauty and the land.
Here's the old Whippoorwill...