California, PA on the Monongahela River
A Quaker influenced by Hinduism might say "there is that of God in every river" and here in the Monongahela valley the river has always been the flowing life force, feeding, transporting and nurturing inhabitants.
Hindus hold all rivers sacred, and no place more sacred than the place two rivers come together, a "confluence" in English. Confluence, PA is a nearby town on the Youghigheny River (say "yawk-a-gay-nee" or just say "the Yock" to sound like a native), which has its own confluence with Monongahela a few miles downstream from California, PA. The “Mon,” honored as Pennsylvania's River of the Year for 2013, flows northwards towards one of the most significant confluences in America, the city of the three rivers, Pittsburgh, PA. Thus is California, although in Pennsylvania, a western town; whatever you put in the river here flows to the Mississippi.
The Monongahela and nearby rivers and the mountain streams wind through the scenic Laurel Highlands of western Pennsylvania.
Consider visiting these sites before or after the Gathering. Return here in late November to see a list of likely field trips.
Hiking,biking camping, white water sports at Ohiopyle State Park.
Meadowcroft, an archeolgical dig of the earliest documented human habitation in North America (16,000 years old!) also features preserved and re-created18th century settlers village and Indian village.
Fort Necessity national battlefield site. The events surrounding a later battle of the French and Indian war, which started at Fort Necessity, are mentioned by John Woolman, in the same section as he talks of love being the first motion.
Pittsburgh is about an hour drive away, with all of the attractions of a big city including:
The Gothic Revival skyscraper, centerpiece of the university of Pittsburgh, that Pitt Chancellor John G. Bowman commissioned in 1921 houses the "nationality classrooms" donated by the various immigrant communities which populated Pittsburgh at the time.
Roller coaster enthusiasts have probably heard of Kennywood, home of 2 historic wooden 'coasters' and lots of other rides and games.