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Park provides one-day vacations

March 08, 2001

Park provides one-day vacations



Caledonia State Park has been Susan Freed's favorite spot close to home for as long as she can remember.

"You feel like you're on a one-day vacation," said Freed, of Hagerstown.

"In high school, my friends and I would spend a day there, get a suntan lying on the concrete pool deck, enjoy a dip in the pool and eat a picnic lunch," Freed wrote.

She has had many picnics since then at the park off Pa. 30, about 10 miles east of Chambersburg, Pa. Sometimes she and her guests select a table in a secluded place in the woods, other times they choose one along the stream.

Freed has passed her love for the park through generations.

She spends days there with her children, their friends and her grandchildren. She frolics in the same stream she did as a youth, now holding a bucket to help her grandkids collect water creatures.

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"This was my place, and now it's my kids' place and my grandkids' place," Freed said.

Freed has also brought friends from church along to share a potluck meal by the stream. On hot days, they set folding chairs along the stream and stick their feet in the cool water.

When entering the park, "You just kind of take a breath" from life's hectic, overwhelming pace, Freed said.

Ventures to the park often are her way of fulfilling the Lord's will for a day of rest. She says it is a place for mental, physical and spiritual renewal.

Caledonia is a place to enjoy year-round, at any time of day.

"Late in June, the park becomes a sanctuary of floral beauty, as the pale pink blossoms of the profuse native rhododendron are everywhere," Freed wrote. "Not only is it special in summer, but in spring, when the tree buds open to light green leaves and azaleas are in bloom, and in fall when trees in blazing color transform the landscape. Sometimes in winter, snow blankets the ground and edges every stream bank.

"Nights spent in the camping area with our family were always special. Living in the outdoors and surrounded by such beauty, and falling asleep smelling the wood smoke from camp fires and the scent of the pine trees is an indelible memory," she wrote.

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