On and Off The Mountain-Stephanie Grubert

Our first week of August has been fairly dry and cool. There was rain Monday morning and my walk was postponed for later in the day. My garden struggles to thrive this year but we are getting enough squash to put some out for the neighbors to take. Still no tomatoes but the netting I put over the tops of the cages I have them growing in has minimized the earlier animal destruction. The beans and the beets struggle to grow new leaves to encourage the fruit to mature. I picked enough beans for one family dinner this week including a meal of stir-fry that included home grown squash, broccoli, beans, celery, carrots, and one tiny beet. There is still time to get some red tomatoes and maybe a cucumber this month.

Keeping the garden and the flowerbeds cultivated and relatively weed free is my Saturday activity. No matter what the harvest I enjoy the outdoor exercise and watching the plants grow.

Hobbie Carnival

Our family enjoyed the Hobbie Carnival last weekend. We like to go on Saturday to experience the tractor pull event. There are 8 events for tractors of different sizes for adults and 2 events for the younger competitors. I looked over the qualifying rosters and the longest distance to quality was 197 feet in the adult division. The track is 200 feet long so that is the almost the whole distance. You never know when a contestant will have a really good pull so that makes the event entertaining.

The Hobbie Volunteer Fire Company organizers have the most delicious homemade food for sale. I enjoy the Pigs in the Blanket and this year added the bean soup to my meal with a shared funnel cake for a sweet after dinner treat. Other family members enjoyed burgers and fries, pulled pork sandwich, and cotton candy and ice cream. The food stands are very well organized by Diana and Barry Bloss and their team.

St. Jude’s Picnic

This weekend is St. Jude’s Parish Picnic on August 11, 12 and 13. The St. Jude’s campus has been buzzing with activity this year with the new church construction. Dedication and opening of the church is planned for September. The old church was razed for parking. The corner of Route 309 and Church Road in Wright Township has a whole new look. Shuttle Buses will run between Crestwood High School and the picnic grove. Next year the area should be ready for permanent parking.

The church project has been eight years in the making according Fr. Joe Evanko, who took on the challenge with the help of his parish committee. It is not often that a new Catholic church is built in the diocese. Mountaintop’s St. Jude’s tradition has entered a new era.

Rail Tunnel Surprise

The Dicus family made their annual trek to the Rice Township rail tunnel Sunday afternoon and were astonished at what they found. Parking at the old Rice Township Firehall, the one-mile trail had been graded and graveled the width of two car lanes. Upon arriving at the tunnel they found that a huge pile of soil and rocks at least 30 feet high had been piled in front of the old tunnel, which served the electric railroad between Wilkes Barre and Hazleton through Mountaintop from 1903 until 1933. Known as the Cannonball line the 2684-foot tunnel was sealed up when I-81 was constructed in its path in the 1980’s. The old tunnel most likely was in what we now know as the rock cut. My daughter Lara thought the road upgrade may have been to accommodate trucks that could be working on power line upgrades and the pile in front of the old tunnel was the residue.

The kids took video of each other climbing the pile in front of the tunnel entrance and they could see it far below. The tunnel entrance was closed several years ago to protect the bat habitat inside it. It had been open to us from the time we first discovered it in the late 70’s. It was dark, damp and had water running into it.

There are some beautiful photos of the tunnel on the Internet. Now that is the only way to experience the old historic rail tunnel.

New Season Coming

It’s still early in August, but the new school year is fast approaching. Crestwood schools open Monday August 28, the week before Labor Day September 4. The Mountaintop Eagle will publish the school bus runs for all Crestwood and private school students in two weeks.

Our family has been shopping for new school clothes, backpacks and supplies for the last few weeks. With the weather cooling down just a bit we know that the summer days are waning.

Fall sports will soon be on the schedule including football, American Legion Baseball, Mountaintop Little League Fall Baseball and Softball, and in the academic arena soccer, field hockey, volleyball, football, and cross country. I may have missed a few, but we want to hear from those teams too. Be sure to send in your game reports and scores to news@

mteagle.com.A team photo or

action picture is also most welcome.