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Punxsutawney, the Weather Capital of the World?


I didn't want to get to my next assignment in NJ too late, so I decided to leave on Sunday and spend the night somewhere about halfway. I checked out the route and saw that Punxsutawney PA was not much of a detour. So hey, I went to visit the groundhog!

I spent the night in Du Bois, which was a gritty town, but looked like it might have been interesting had I had more time to explore it. I was really in the mood for Italian, so I called a place that had good reviews on YahooLocal to place a take out order. Wouldn't you know it, they were closed that night to put down new carpet.

Chicken fried rice was a poor substitute. :-(

The next morning, I drove to Punxsutawney. I tooled around the downtown area, which wasn't as touristy as I thought it might be. On a side street I stopped to take a picture of what looks like it ought to be a haunted house in a movie or something. What do you think?


Punxsutawney bills itself as the weather capital of the world, seems like a huge stretch to me, but hey, it makes them happy! They have a place there called the Weather Discovery Center http://www.weatherdiscovery.org/ and I figured I may as well check it out. I was there during the posted open hours, but there was a sign saying 'be back at 1:30' and I didn't want to wait around that long. You gotta love small towns! :-)

You know how you will drive through a town and see animal statues painted by area artists or businesses? I've seen pigs, horses and other animals I can't remember. In Punxsutawney of course, they have groundhog statues.

Here is one in front of the closed Weather Discovery Center called Weather Wizard


Then there was this one near the entrance of the town square. Town squares are another thing I love. This one is called Freedom Phil


I liked this one in front of the post office, I guess you could call it Postal Phil


This one was in front of a hardware store


There were others, but I didn't take pictures of all of them. I noticed a Fireman Phil when I was on my way out of town, but I didn't go back to take a picture. I kinda wish I had.

I asked where I could see Phil and was told there were two or three Phil's and I could see them at the library right on the square. I went and found two that I could see in what they call the Groundhog Zoo. There is a window on the outside of the building as well as one inside in the children's section. There is also another one of the groundhog statues out front. Here is the Groundhog Zoo and the statue


Here is one of the Phils


Also on the square, in front of the bandstand is a nice carved groundhog


I asked about Gobblers Knob and was told there really wasn't anything worth seeing there, but I kind of wish I had gone. I mean, it was only about a mile out of town. http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/17332

Posted by NancyA 22:20 Archived in USA

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Awesome! Love that small town kitsch. (And with small town kitsch you can generally find some small town home cooking... usually at a diner — have any?)

by Elysia

No I didn't. I hate to eat in restaurants by myself, which is something I need to get over. I mean, in a lot of small town restaurants I could always take something to read if there isn't much chance to strike up a conversation with a local.

If I find a place to eat on http://roadfood.com/ or YahooLocal, I tend to just get take out, which isn't the same experience at all of course. :-(

by NancyA

Yea, whenever we move back I would LOVE to do a roadfood trip across US. It's on my "list-to-do".

by Elysia

That would be a lot of fun. I want to take hwy 30 (the Lincoln Hwy) from coast to coast one of these days and I would be eating at the local places for sure.

by NancyA

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