Author Archives: theBALKO

Yoder Falls Revisited

A quick drop in and slow climb out of the Yoder Falls ravine today

Yoder Falls and the Artist

Yoder Falls and the Artist

Yoder Falls and the Artist[/caption]I made a quick run to Yoder Falls this morning, hoping I could catch some snow scenes. Three different weather sources and, again, three different forecasts for this morning but one predicted a break in precip before the snow changed to rain. No such luck. Continue reading

New Grouse/Woodcocks Habitat

Gallitzin State Forest – Day 2

I love what you’ve done with the place…

Sunrise in Gallitzin State Forest

Sunrise in Gallitzin State Forest

The promise of a bit of sunlight and the time to experience it sent me scurrying last week back to Gallitzin State Forest to capture the images I had visualized on my earlier scouting trip. Up at 4:00AM, a bit of coffee (some stupid left his thermos sitting on the kitchen counter), dressed for the chill, pack the kit and on the road by 6:30. What an exciting visual adventure this would turn out to be. Continue reading

Mill Run - Clear Shade Wild Area - Gallitzin State Forest, Babcock Division

Surprising Winter Color in the Clear Shade Wild Area

What a difference a couple of weeks makes

Gallitzin State Forest, Babcock Division

Gallitzin State Forest, Babcock Division

New Year’s Day, pre-dawn, found me wandering around the Clear Shade Wild Area of Gallitzin State Forest’s Babcock Division, desperately seeking a composition, a wash of light, a compelling subject, anything that would help to create an image Continue reading

Best Views #4 – The Stonycreek Canyon

“Here, kayakers and rafters can find 15 rapids in four miles — the longest set of continuous rapids in the eastern United States.” – Mark Nale – Centre Daily Times

Kayakers in the Stonycreek Canyon, Johnstown, PA

Kayakers approaching the Carpenter’s Park put-in while navigating the Stonycreek Canyon

Without a doubt, the best way to enjoy the scenic views of the Stonycreek Canyon is by boat: kayak, canoe or raft, but you’re going to want more than a bit of experience and training to take on these world-class rapids. For more information on seeing this unparalled natural beauty while having the time of your life, check out the Benscreek Canoe Club. Continue reading

Central Park Christmas Tree Proposed

Discover Downtown Johnstown Partnership Plans A New Christmas Tree

Winter Time in Downtown Johnstown

Central Park at Christmas

I was mildly dismayed last week when I read in the Tribune Democrat of Discover Downtown Johnstown Partnership’s plans for a new Christmas tree to cover the Pasquerilla Fountain in Central Park.  Don’t get me wrong. I’m not opposed to the idea of the new holiday feature in CP, but I’m not in love with the plan to erect it over the Pasquerilla Fountain. Continue reading

Progress for the Steeples Project

Photographing Johnstown’s Cultural Heritage

The Steeples Project churches

As reported in this morning’s Tribune Democrat, The Steeples Project continues to make progress in the preservation of the three Cambria City church structures under their care: The Grand Halle on Broad Street (former Immaculate Conception), SS. Casimir & Emerich’s, and St. Columba’s. It’s been my privelege to help support the Project through my photography, and to explore these monuments of Johnstown’s heritage in that pursuit. Continue reading

Best Views #3 – The Conemaugh Viaduct

“Who has not heard of the famous viaduct?” – J.J. McLaurin, Harrisburg Telegram

viaduct 1Next up on our list of the Best Scenic Views of the Southern Highlands is my favorite vista anywhere. No, I haven’t been everywhere, but I’ve seen the sun rise silver over Good Harbor Beach on a frosty November morning. I’ve seen a star-filled night on Assateague Island, just me and the ponies, that would have driven van Gogh sane. Continue reading

Best Views #2 – Yoder Falls

Yoder Falls – You can’t get there from here

(Scroll down if you can’t wait to see the photos)

Second on our list of the best scenic views in the Southern Highlands is Yoder Falls in Conemaugh Township, Somerset County. It’s hard to believe that my aunts and uncles scrambled up and down these ravine walls 85 years ago and Grandma would have had a ‘conniption’ if she had known. Continue reading

The Point in Johnstown, confluence of the Stonycreek and Little Canemaugh Rivers

Best Scenic Views of Pennsylvania’s Southern Highlands

“What a delightful prospect it must have afforded…when the morning sun
first touched with its rays the summit of the Allegheny, and in its setting,
flooded the heights of the Laurel Hill with a sea of gold, and bathed
the whole intervening country with its soft and mellow light.” -Hon. Wm. H. Koontz, 1895

Continue reading