I often get on what I call my "soapbox" when people insult my birthplace of Scranton. Scranton is not perfect (no place is) and of course it has its flaws. But what is definitely not true of Scranton is that "there's nothing to do," a phrase I've heard uttered by many who live here. Of course these folks and some others have often muttered much worse about the city through the years. Being more of a defensive person (yes I'm aware and I admit it), I tend to respond to these comments or even the hint of them by saying all of the great things that are going on here.  But why should I play defense when I can be on offense. I can talk about what I enjoy in the city of Scranton any time. I can put it out there and let people decide for themselves. But at least they'll have the information.This light bulb lit this afternoon when I finished a run around Lake Scranton - one of my favorite places to visit in Scranton. I thought why not take pictures and even record the places I think make the city great and then share them by posting them. I didn't photograph today but I will the next time I go there to run. In the mean time I can use words to describe it. The distance around is about 3 1/2 or 3 3/4 miles. I say "or" because, while I believe it is 3 3/4, I'm not positive. There's plenty of shade from beautiful trees to provide shelter from the sun and intense heat on really hot days, which is why I enjoy running there. And in addition to the shade, there are a few spots to stick your hand in refreshing fresh water to cool off as I did today.

I love that the path around the lake has a variety of people enjoying it. There are families, couples, friends and individuals all there to enjoy the beauty in their own way. Some take a slow stroll stopping to look at birds through binoculars or to photograph the water, the geese or the trees, others walk briskly for exercise, families meander with little ones and others run - some times going around twice or more. There are some pesky hills that make it tough to continue conversation with a friend. These are the parts of the run where I choose to be silent. Let's face it, my mouth is going for most of the rest of the run. And that's even when I'm by myself :-)   No, I don't talk to myself at the lake. It's enough that I do it in my car and at my house. I haven't begun doing it in public yet.

A warning to new comers about some waste: beware of the poop left by the geese. It's quite messy but at least it tends to be confined to one area near the large bridge. It becomes a bit of a mine field but I'd like to think of it as a fun obstacle.

Lake Scranton is beautiful in every season. When the leaves begin to change color it truly is beautiful to see the oranges and yellows falling from the trees, probably my favorite time at the lake.  And you can often catch a glimpse of deer crossing the path as well. Years ago when I was a teen-ager there were black bear spottings but I haven't heard of anything lately and I've never seen a bear.  If you like squirrels and chipmunks you're in luck. I won't taint this with my thoughts on squirrels. Let's just say they're not my favorite furry critters - to say the least.

If you haven't been to Lake Scranton, I recommend you visit. It's free and it's beautiful. You can get exercise in an idyllic setting. It sure beats the treadmill.  A couple notes: bikes, scooters, roller blades (any things with wheels) and pets are not permitted (Nay Aug and McDade Parks, which are also beautiful, do allow bikes and pets though so don't get excited).

I hope you enjoy the lake as much as I do. I think we're fortunate to have it!