Travel Diary: JIM THORPE, PA | November 10 – 12, 2017
FRIDAY, NOV. 10
On Friday, my parents, brother, and I drove a few hours to Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania for the weekend. We have visited this quaint town before but wanted to visit it again because there were a few more things we wanted to see that we didn’t on our first trip.
Jim Thorpe is a lovely town tucked deep into the mountains of Pennsylvania and provided me with that warm, cozy feeling that made me feel like I was on the set of Gilmore Girls. This town reminded me of the show because it is tiny, full of quirky independent shops, and welcoming people who made our stay that much better.
SATURDAY, NOV. 11
Saturday morning, my family and I drove deep into the heart of Pennsylvania, near Jim Thorpe, to a local mine that we toured. We delved into a dark hole in the earth to learn all about the miners who worked in the area years beforehand and how difficult and strenuous it was to be a miner.
Because it was too dark to take photos, I don’t have any to share from the mine but know that it was cramped, flooded in darkness, and occasionally echoed the drips of water splattering onto the floor beneath us as we walked deeper into the earth.
After the mine tour, we drove into Jim Thorpe to walk along the narrow streets brimming with colorful storefronts and smiling faces of strangers walking past us. The architecture of the town is so whimsical looking and reminded me of Diagon Alley in Harry Potter because each building had its own sense of character that invited us to explore each store.
My favorite store that we wandered about was this hole-in-the-wall bookstore cluttered with books spilling out of the shelves lining the store’s walls. It was a cozy store forcing its perusers to stand close as we gazed at the packed shelves. It was there that I bought a second copy of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
We found ourselves wandering into various stores on the main street of Jim Thorpe to see the antique shops selling old dishware, first edition novels, and rustic furniture along the way.
After grabbing dinner, we rushed back to Jim Thorpe for a ghost tour that my dad signed us up for. I was ecstatic for this part of the trip because I find it so entertaining that people are genuinely afraid of ghosts, meanwhile, I don’t believe they exist, and this tour was one of the most fun parts of our trip.
The tour was conducted after the sun had dipped below the mountains surrounding the town on all sides, hiding it from the rest of the world. We huddled up with a group of twenty or so people and one adorable German Shepard-mix that loved to lick my hand whenever I stood by her during our frequent stops. Our tour guide, dressed in elegant period attire clutching a gas lamp, led us through the darkened streets of Jim Thorpe to various houses and stores to tell us alleged stories of ghost encounters that happened in town.
The tour lady’s voice and storytelling were so atmospheric and whimsical that it felt as though we were emersed in the cryptic stories she told us. It was such an entertaining ghost tour set at night that not only tried to scare us but also told us a bit of history of the town.
SUNDAY, NOV. 12
On the last day of our trip, we went on a train ride that took us around the outskirts of Jim Thorpe, showcasing the mountains and rivers surrounding the town. The train ride gently rocked us in our seats as we took in the red, orange, and yellowed forests that still had leaves clinging to the trees’ branches.
After the train ride had returned to the train station, my family and I set out to wander the town some more and take some photos of the architecture, stores, and nature before we decided to have lunch at a place called ‘Through the Looking Glass’, inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
The menu of the charming restaurant was inspired by the famous novel and was cluttered with Alice inspired decor. There we sat in the main room of the tiny eatery as a man played well-known songs on his acoustic guitar, causing my brother and I to try guess each song he played. As a big fan of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, I adored the restaurant and had such a lovely time eating at an amazing place that served the best pancakes ever.
All in all…
The short trip to Jim Thorpe was a soothing one full of laughter, adventure, and storytelling. We learned countless facts about coal miners, back in the day. We learned about the history and paranormal experiences that occurred in Jim Thorpe. And we learned about the nature surrounding the town, during our train ride. I love visiting small towns tucked deep into the heart of America because they always have the most to offer to those who are willing to look for it. Hopefully, we will be able to visit more towns like this, in the future, because small towns always capture my heart.