Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Isle of Que

View from the Isle out over the Susquehanna River
The husband/lover/best friend and I learned in the last few days that we will be having a houseful of company beginning tonight and continuing through Monday.  So, in anticipation of the busyness, we thought we'd go out last night by ourselves and just have a quiet evening together before the mayhem begins.

After eating at one of our favorite places, BJ's Steak and Rib House in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, we considered seeing a movie, but instead decided to enjoy the outdoors and take a leisurely ride and explore an area nearby that was not very familiar to us.  From downtown Selinsgrove we turned southeast on Pine Street and crossed the metal bridge onto the Isle of Que.

There is some debate as to the real meaning of "Que" in its name.  For some historical background on the Isle and the various theories about the meaning of its name, you can read this article.  Some historians speculate that Isle of Que means Isle of Dead.

The Isle of Que is a peninsula of land attached to Selinsgrove that juts out into the Susquehanna River.  One can take a lovely four mile walk, bike ride, or drive as we did along its scenic river road.  As we traveled the length of the river road, we saw lovely homes and farmlands on one side and the river bank and gorgeous views of the sunset over the river on our other side.  There is a one boat launch with seating for picnics nearby, and we did also spot some kayakers out on the river.  A number of folks were enjoying their walks or jogs along the river.

Beautiful old home facing the river
The downside of this area is that The Isle of Que residents dread the frequent floodings.  In spite of that, we did see many signs of new construction going on.  Many of the new homes are being built above their garages, to minimize the damage when the floods do come.  However, those who live right on the riverfront must so value their scenic view that it is worth the hassle of dealing with frequent flooding and its subsequent rebuilding.

For me, just driving along the river road was plenty of enjoyment without worrying about losing my home every so often.

We saw all sorts of interesting homes on the Isle, including some that looked very old.  Quite a few of them had decks or porches on their upper levels, affording good views out over the river.  Some homes looked like quaint, year round, coastal cottages.  These creative homeowners connected two grain silos
to their house and incorporated them as part of their living space:

Apparently riverfront land owners' properties extend down to the water's edge, for all along the river's edge we saw families' platforms and sitting areas for gathering, grilling food, and simply enjoying the view.

We had such a good time driving along the river route that we turned around and went all the way back, looking for what we had perhaps missed the first time.  It was simply a lovely evening drive, a calm prelude to what most certainly won't be a quiet weekend.  

We love our family though, and wouldn't have it any other way.  Let the fun begin. 


  1. We have camped along the Susquehanna many times. It can be a relaxing experience. Enjoy your company.

  2. Your pictures are stunning. They look like travel brochure pics. :)

    Have fun this weekend. Can't wait to hear all about it. xo JG

  3. Both sets of my grandparents lived along the Alegheny River. My Dad's parents lived in Foxburg and my Mom's lived in Philipston. When I was young, I spent a lot of time on or in the river, fishing, swiming, boating, etc. The bridge at Foxburg had car traffic on the bottom and rail road tracks on the top for trains. Very unique. It isn't there anymore.

  4. Looks like you had an Enjoyable Quiet day for just the two of you. Good luck with the company this weekend. Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  5. Did you see Isle of Que River Guides? Jim and Judie Charles offer a fabulous view of the Susquehanna River. Jim is a master story teller, ecologist, and historian whose understanding of the local history and the Susquehanna River can't be beat! A lifelong resident of the Historic Isle of Que, Jim not only provides you with his vast fishing knowledge but also provides interpretive details of the local history and lore that only a master storyteller can provide. After spending a day on the river with Jim, you will share his deep love for this majestic middle section of the Susquehanna River. Rent a kayak or take a john boat ride with Jim and you will have a much greater vision of the mighty Susquehanna!