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Remember: Bake Oven Knob

Monday, August 10, 2009

Bake Oven Knob

Visiting Bake Oven Knob you get one of the most unique natural experiences in the Lehigh Valley. Thirty miles north of Allentown on what we call the Blue Mountain is a peak of bare stone outcroppings. The elevation is about 1500 feet above sea level. While 1500 feet may seem small compared to the grandiose peaks of the Rockies out west; these feet are high above a valley. The view from here has no comparison.

But before we get to that view, we have to get to the top of the mountain. Bake Oven Road winds its way upwards to a parking lot which is located about a half of a mile from the Knob itself.

The trail that leads there is actually part of the storied Appalachian Trail; the famous vein of travel that stretches from Maine to Georgia.

This part of the AT is noted for the rocky travel that you can see in these pictures. After an upwards climb that starts of pretty smooth and ends in a boulder field,

the north lookout is the first stop you come across. Here, you can look straight across the rolling foothills of the Pocono mountains:

Directly behind the north lookout and past more boulders,

is the south lookout. Here, is Bake Oven Knob. On a clear day you can see both Allentown and Bethlehem in the distance as well as the South Mountain which frames the southern border of the Lehigh Valley. (You are standing on the northern one.)

Nearly two thousand feet above sea level, this view is unparalleled in our Valley. What would be the canopy of the forest to someone on the ground now looks like a great green carpet stretching out under your feet. Bake Oven Knob is known to bird watchers as one of the best places around to watch the autumn raptor migration. On the day I visited I was able to see hawks, vultures, and golden eagles.

Bake Oven Knob is certainly not a park. It is a present day primal reminder of the geologic history of our area. Most importantly, aside from being scenic, the view from the bare rock atop the ridge helps to define perspective. You see, on most days, the majority of us are surrounded by the entrapment of our civilized world. We are plugged in, logged on, tweeting, and status updating so often that the world around us has become better defined by a blue tooth plastic blackberry than a blackberry that grows on a mountainside.

Even here, by the parking lot and on the rocks in broken glass shards are the reminders of the sadly most significant thing the human race is leaving of itself on earth.

Bake Oven Knob is most certainly worth a visit if you never have been there. If you have, I suggest you take the time to go again. It will remind you of the strong beauty of nature. It will allow you to breathe the air that seems to stretch across the sky as eternity. Most importantly, Bake Oven Knob provides the opportunity to look at our humanity and wonder if the way we are living, is the right way.

Directions from 15th and Chew in Allentown:

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OpenID nosferatu318 said...

How long did it take you till will yourself to sit on that rock in the last picture?

August 10, 2009 at 1:43 PM  
Anonymous sean said...

I have a picture of that dog. And the toad

August 10, 2009 at 3:11 PM  
Blogger Katie Bee said...

you have inspired me to visit bake oven knob this week.

August 10, 2009 at 5:04 PM  
Anonymous Jenny said...

I see my house in one of your "view" photos!

August 11, 2009 at 10:45 AM  
Blogger Andrew Kleiner said...

Jenny, that's awesome.

August 11, 2009 at 10:57 AM  

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