The Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania

The Wyoming Valley is a region of northeastern Pennsylvania.  It’s like a metropolitan area better known as known as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area, after its principal cities, Scranton and Wilkes-Barre.

View from the Mohegan Sun

View from the Mohegan Sun

I was unfamiliar with this section of Pennsylvania until I entered a low residency MA and MFA creative writing program at Wilkes University.

Creative Writing Office of Wilkes UniversityDuring my first semester in January, I found the town fascinating, though even more so during the summer residency when the sun doesn’t go down until close to nine o’clock.   Being in the valley, I understand, it takes a bit longer for the sun to set in Wilkes-Barre, and it seemed strange, even eerie, to have extended daylight at such an hour.

Wilkes University Campus

Wilkes University writers on campus

The Susquehanna River occupies the southern part of the valley, which is notable for its deposits of  anthracite which have been extensively mined. Deep mining has declined, however, following the 1959 Knox Mine Disaster when the roof of the Knox Coal Company’s mine under the river collapsed.

As I walked around the Wilkes-Barre area during my two weeks of residency every year, in June and in January, I experienced a town whose people have lost much and who struggle to maintain their town and way of life.   In the three years that I’ve been a student at Wilkes University, I now see a city that is coming back, with a Chamber of Commerce that has vested itself in the community.  A new River Walk has been added, Victorian buildings maintained and beautiful suburban homes in the Pocono Mountains are rich with culture and pride.

The Mohegan Sun casino at Pocono Downs has given the residents of the Wyoming Valley employment while enticing others thinking of relocating into this beautiful valley.

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs

The Rustic Kitchen on the promenade inside the Mohegan Sun is one of the best menus I’ve experience inside a casino.   Not too pricey, the food is original and the owner of the restaurant comes to every table to make sure its clientele is happy with its order.

I enjoyed the Rustic Kitchen so much that I had my graduation party in their lovely wine room.  And it was enjoyed by my children, grandchildren, and my husband and I.   What a great addition to Wilke-Barre-Scranton, Pennsylvania area.

The Rustic Kitchen in the Mohegan Sun

I recommend you try the arancina, tiny deep fried rice balls with mozzarella inserted, covered over by rich marinara sauce.   They were so delicious, I forgot to take a picture.

Maybe one day you’d like to visit the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania.  You will like the laid-back pace.

Photos:  Patricia Florio