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Benezette Weekend Getaway: Day 3

This blog post contains photographs and details of our third, and last, day of our weekend getaway. If you missed Days 1 and 2, you may catch up by clicking here.

On December 20 we drove home, leaving from Weedville around 8:00 am, after eating our oatmeal breakfast at the Airbnb.  We didn’t see any elk at the Airbnb during our stay, as we had hoped.  Elk are not predictable!  

Before leaving the area, we went for a drive to Benezette.  We looked for elk at places where we had seen elk the previous day and on Saturday afternoon.  There were no elk at the Mt Zion Historical Park.  There wasn’t any elk at either the Benezette Store campground or at the field past the Benezette Store.  We went for a drive on Winslow Hill.  We didn’t see any elk at the Elk Country Visitor Center or at the Winslow Hill viewing area.   As I wrote earlier, elk are not predictable.  We did see a few elk this morning at a couple other places, but not nearly as many as we saw the previous two days. I did not write down the location where we saw these elk.

Five Bull Elk
We believe these elk are the same ones that we saw
at the Mt Zion Historical Park the previous day.
A Bull Elk and Two Cows
Two Bull Elk, Sparring
One Bull Elk

On our way home we stopped at Joey’s Bakery in Ridgway PA for a mid morning snack.  The bakery items were slim pickings by the time we arrived.  We did find a couple to our liking, though, and purchased tea and coffee as well. 

We returned home around 11:30 am. We had a wonderful stay at ”Creekside Cabin”. Both of us agree that we want to spend more time at this Airbnb, possibly in the summertime 2022.

Benezette Weekend Getaway: Day 2

This blog post contains photographs and details of our second day of our weekend getaway. If you missed Day 1, you may catch up by clicking here.

We got up the morning of December 19th around 5:30 am.  We ate breakfast at “Creekside Cabin”.  Breakfast was simple fare — oatmeal and peaches with tea / coffee.  

We left at 8:30 am to go for a drive.   Our drive took us through Benezette, Driftwood, Sinnamahoning, through the Quehanna Wild Area to Medix Run. 

We saw seven bull elk at Mount Zion Historical Park. 

Five Bull Elk at Mt Zion Historical Park
Two Bull Elk at Mt Zion Historical Park

We saw two bull elk and many cow elk at the Benezette Store campground. 

We caught the last moments of the first bull elk chasing the second bull elk.

This was the first time ever that I heard an elk bugle!
Elk at Benezette Store Campground
This was the first bull elk.
Elk at Benezette Store Campground
This is the second bull elk.
Elk at Benezette Store Campground
I believe this is the second bull elk.

We believe this elk herd is the same herd that we saw at Ruffo Flats the previous day.

In the Quehanna Wild Area we stopped at two waterfalls — the Wykoff Run Falls and Table Falls. 

Wykoff Run Falls

Table Falls was a new-to-us waterfall.  Bob hiked down a steep hill to take some pictures and video of Table Falls. I didn’t hike. 

Bob hiking down Table Falls Trail
Table Falls (video by Bob)

I walked around to the other side of the Table Falls trail.

Bob waving at me from the Table Falls area

Bob returned to the parking lot via a different trail than the one he used to hike down to Table Falls.

Bob is hiking out of Table Falls,
not using the yellow-blazed trail.
This trail is steeper than the yellow-blazed trail!
It was a difficult climb!

While Bob was hiking, I found a scenic scene of my own.

This is Paige Run.
Paige Run feeds Table Falls.

We left Table Falls and drove to Medix Run, where we turned right and returned to Benezette.  We ate lunch at the Benezette Hotel.  We chose prime rib sandwiches and chips and, for dessert, apple pie. Our lunch was delicious!.

After lunch we drove to The Cross. We followed Route 555 west and turned right onto Gray Hill Road. Gray Hill Road turns into Mt. Zion Road. Continue going straight. You will see signs for the cross on your right. There is a small parking lot in which we parked.

The Cross is a place of worship. There are several benches in front of the cross where worshipers can sit, contemplate, pray, etc. It is also a place to memorialize someone. There are several memorials near the cross.

The Cross
Memorials Left at The Cross
I have photographed people at The Cross.
I can’t remember having my photograph
taken at The Cross.
Thank you, Bob, for taking my picture.

From The Cross we returned to ”Creekside Cabin”. We ate dinner at our Airbnb. We ate leftover ham steak, individual size pizzas and pudding.

Benezette Weekend Getaway: Day 1

December 18th began with breakfast at Mama Janes Restaurant here in Warren.  Bob ordered corned beef hash and eggs with breakfast potatoes, rye toast, coffee and orange juice.  I ordered two eggs, 4 slices of bacon, wheat toast and breakfast potatoes with tea.  I gave Bob two slices of bacon and left behind one slice of toast and some of my breakfast potatoes.

We planned to leave home mid morning, en route Weedville PA, but didn’t leave until noon.  The weather forecast didn’t motivate us to leave earlier, as a winter weather advisory was in effect until 1:00 pm.  Mixed precipitation was forecasted, with ice accumulations of a light glaze and snow and sleet accumulations of up to one inch.  Here in Warren I believe all that fell had been rain.  Looking at Wunderground at 11:45 am it showed rain between Warren and Weedville, with temperatures well above freezing.  Rain did stay with us all afternoon and into the evening.

Our first stop was in Benezette at the Elk County Visitor Center.  

We arrived at the Visitor Center around 2:15 pm.
This elk is ready for Christmas.

We went inside the Visitor Center and looked at the exhibits. The elk outside was not the only exhibit ready for Christmas.

There was a nicely decorated Christmas tree at the Visitor Center too.

We even took a couple close-up pictures of the exhibits.

I took this close-up picture of a bear.
Bob took this close-up picture of a Bull Elk.

We looked around the Visitor Center gift shop but didn’t buy anything.  It was raining, so we didn’t walk any of the trails.

Our second stop was on Utz Hollow Road at Ruffo Flats, where we saw at least 2 dozen elk in a field.  We reached Utz Hollow Road by turning left off of Winslow Road.  Utz Hollow Road is the first right turn just past the Benezette Store.  This was our first time stopping at this viewing area.  There were two bull elk in the group.  

See the two Bull Elk?
One is lying down; the other is standing up.

Our third stop was at Family Dollar in Weedville.  We picked up water and snacks.

Around 3:15 pm we  checked into our Airbnb “Creekside Cabin” in Weedville.  Our home away from home for two nights was a trailer with three bedrooms, an eat-in kitchen, living room and bathroom.  A creek, Kersey Run, flows close to the trailer.  There is a covered porch with table and chairs.  We were pleased to find that our hosts had decorated for Christmas.  

Airbnb living room

Our Airbnb has more Christmas decorations than we have at home.   Oh, and that TV stand fireplace…I want one!  The fireplace adds ambiance to an already cozy home.

We ate dinner at our Airbnb.  I prepared a ham steak, fried potatoes and onions, green beans and apple sauce — all brought from home.

We had hoped to see elk before sunset at our Airbnb.  The elk didn’t show.


A Saturday Drive

I wasn’t going to publish a blog post about yesterday’s activities, as I had posted pictures and video on Facebook. I have several blog followers, though, who are not on Facebook or not my friend on Facebook. So, I decided to publish a blog post after all.

We decided to go for a drive late yesterday morning.  

 I wanted to go to Chadwick Bay in Dunkirk NY.  I had hoped to see some waterfowl.  I didn’t see any waterfowl and only a couple seagulls. The waterfowl and seagulls were probably taking cover somewhere, as the wind was howling.

Lake Erie was churning from windy conditions. 
I took this video from inside our car. 
If I stepped outside, I would have gotten wet!

From Dunkirk we drove to Gowanda NY because I wanted to find the waterfall that a friend had apprised me of in October.  In October I shared a photograph of Buttermilk Falls in Ithaca NY on Facebook, and my friend commented that she “got a  pic of this [waterfall] in Sept. Its  beautiful.”  She realized a short time later that “this isnt the falls I was thinking of, we  stopped at the one very near the Gowanda Harley shop  and there are no sign[s] or picnic tables but  Harley staff told us it was  called Buttermilk Falls.”  We found the waterfall!

Buttermilk Falls

According to this article, this waterfall is known by several names in addition to Buttermilk Falls. The waterfall has been called Buttermilk Cascade, Waterman Cascade and Schoolmarm Falls. The waterfall is estimated to be 70 ft. tall. When there is a high flow, the waterfall can widen significantly and become pretty frothy. This is probably why the waterfall has been called Buttermilk Falls or Buttermilk Cascade. The Waterman Falls name most likely comes from the fact that a small tributary to Waterman Brook is the source of water for the waterfall. The Schoolmarm Falls name comes from the legend that a child, trapped atop the falls, was rescued by a schoolmarm, at the cost of her own life. No credible source can be found for this story.

Leaving the waterfall, we returned to Gowanda and ate lunch at a bar called “The Wicked Glen”.  Bob ordered an 8 oz burger with tavern chips. 

I ordered a tuna melt with macaroni salad.

The service was good, and both meals were delicious. We would definitely return to The Wicked Glen to eat.

We were back home by 4:00 pm.  It felt so good to see something other than the four walls of our house.

Our Thanksgiving Holiday – The Last 3 Days

We spent Thanksgiving Day and two days afterward in New Hampshire. The activities of our first three days of our Thanksgiving holiday are provided here.

On Saturday (November 27th) the only plans we had for the day were to meet up with a blogging friend and her husband, to go shopping at the Merrimack Premium Outlets and to pack in preparation for our drive back home the next day.

We met Dorothy and Patrick at the 99 Restaurant, located on our hotel grounds, at 11:30 am.  Dorothy and I are blogging friends.  We have been blogging friends for at least 8 years.  This was the first time we met in person.  Dorothy’s blog is called “The Frog and PenguINN”.   Our visit lasted about 2 hours. Our lunch choices were delicious.  Conversation flowed naturally and pretty much non stop.  I am happy that we met and hope that the opportunity presents itself to meet again.

Dorothy and Patrick
Dorothy and me
(photo by Patrick)
The four of us

After lunch we went our separate ways.  Bob and I went to the Merrimack Premium Outlets

Bob and I at the Merrimack Premium Outlets
This is the only moose we saw, while in NH.

Merrimack Premium Outlets was hopping; people everywhere!  Most people carried at least one bag; many people carried several bags. It was a good shopping day for the outlet stores! We found what we were looking for, and we got some exercise.  We have been doing way too much sitting since Wednesday morning.

[NOTE: When we returned home, we discovered that Bob’s purchases at Merrimack Premium Outlets turned out not to be what Bob thought he purchased.  The PJ set was a woman’s PJ set, not a man’s set.  The PJ set is too big for me. We offered the PJ set to someone in our local Facebook Helping Hands group, who is gathering Christmas items for those in need.  The two Under Armour shirts are short sleeves, not long sleeves.  Bob will keep the shirts. I helped Bob with both of these selections. I guess, after 20 months of avoiding shopping in stores, we are not good at in-store shopping any more!]

We returned to the hotel around 3:15 pm, where we stayed for rest of the afternoon / evening.

On Sunday we started our drive back home.  We checked out of the hotel.  Then, we ate a filling breakfast at a Denny’s Restaurant near our hotel. 

Breakfast at Denny’s Restaurant

This breakfast was the best since arriving in NH. 

Shortly after 8:00 am we were on our way back home.  When we left Nashua, the sky was partly sunny. It wasn’t long, though, until the sky became overcast. On our way to NH we didn’t see any snow.  On our way home, we saw snow on the ground in NH (not far from Nashua); Wilmington, Woodford and Bennington VT; Hoosick NY to Albany NY (very little in Albany; snow flurries falling there but short lived). There was much more traffic on our way home than there was on way to NH!

As we did on our way to New Hampshire, we made a stop at the Hogback Mountain Overlook.

Hogback Mountain Overlook
(Marlboro, VT)
This building is located below the Hogback Mountain Overlook platform.

Here are a few snowy scenes, while driving on the Molly Stark Trail (Route 9).

Woodford VT
Woodford VT

and my favorite …

Woodford Hollow Church
Woodford, VT

The snow returned in Duanesburg NY, where we turned onto I-88. Snow stayed with us from Duanesburg to Owego.  Thankfully the roads were clear of snow for the most part.

We arrived at Best Western Oswego Inn around 2:40 pm and checked into room 108.  This hotel used to be a Holiday Inn Express.  I don’t know when it changed hands.  Our hotel room is spacious.  Its furnishings include two double beds, a chest of drawers with a tv sitting on top of it, desk and chair, two end tables and a kitchenette complete with refrigerator, microwave, two burner stove, Keurig Coffee Maker, a sink and cupboard/drawer storage.  We paid for this room by using reward points.

On Monday we checked out of our hotel and ate breakfast at a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts. We were on our way home by 7:45 am. At that time the sky was overcast; the temperature was 31 degrees; and the trees were lightly frosted.  There was a light dusting of snow on the ground.  The road surface was wet, not icy.

We encountered occasional snow showers most of the way home.  The ground was snow covered along I-86 in the Finger Lakes area (NY); tree branches were snow covered.  The most snow we saw was in Jamestown NY, where there was easily a foot of snow on the ground.  

Before returning home we stopped at Shults Auto in Jamestown to pick up spark plugs that Bob ordered online on Black Friday.  He saved 20% on his purchase. Now, he needs an ”Indian Summer” type of day to install the spark plugs.

We returned home at 11:30 am.  Much less snow was on the ground in Warren than in Jamestown.  There might have been 3 inches of snow on the ground at our house.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. It is always good to be back home, though.

Our Thanksgiving Holiday – First 3 Days

We spent Thanksgiving Day and two days afterward in New Hampshire.

We drove from our home in Warren PA to Bennington VT on Wednesday. We left Warren at 7:20 am. It was a gorgeous, but frigid, morning.  The temperature was 18 degrees, when we left home.  

After making a few stops (for fuel, breakfast, stretching and bathroom), we arrived in Bennington VT shortly before 3:00 pm.  Our drive there was smooth sailing all the way.  The weather continued to be gorgeous; the traffic wasn’t bad; and the temperature got warmer.  When we arrived in Bennington, the temperature was 36 degrees. 

We checked into the Best Western Bennington, room 172.  Our hotel room was spacious, with access to an outside deck. 

Our hotel room

The room looks nice on the surface.  If you look closely, though, you will notice a moderate amount of wear and tear.  The room was clean and appeared to have been recently painted.  The refrigerator was turned off, and wouldn’t turn on.  We assumed it was plugged in, but there wasn’t a way to check this as the refrigerator was bolted in place.  We didn’t have anything with us that had to be kept cold. We didn’t say anything about the refrigerator until the next day, when we checked out, only to alert the hotel to the fact that the refrigerator was not working.

At 4:00 pm we ate dinner at Bennington Pizza Plaza, located in a strip mall behind our hotel.  I had baked ziti with meat; Bob had stuffed shells. Both meals came with garlic toast.  Dinner was delicious.  Bennington Pizza Plaza, with its attractive table and chairs for dining in and tasteful seasonal decorative touches, was a notch up from a regular pizza joint.

On Thanksgiving Day we drove from Bennington VT to Bob’s sister and our brother-in-law’s house in Amherst NH. We got up at 6:15 am and went to breakfast about an hour later.  We enjoyed a hot breakfast, with all the selections (waffles, eggs, bacon or sausage, pastries, etc.) normally offered by Best Western hotels. We departed the hotel at 7:45 am, en route Cynthia and Larry’s house. Our route took us on the Molly Stark Trail (Route 9) through the Green Mountain National Forest. 

We stopped for a photo opportunity at the Hogback Mountain Overlook,
a short distance east of Wilmington VT.

Leaving the Green Mountain National Forest, we stopped briefly for a photo opportunity in West Brattleboro at the Creamery Covered Bridge

Creamery Covered Bridge

Cynthia and Larry were not expecting us until after 11:00 am. In order to kill some time we drove into Nashua.  We parked below Water Street at the entrance to Le Parc De Notre Renaissance Franchise.

These art murals are located where we parked.
The art murals appeared to be 3-D.

We walked a short way along the Nashua River, in Le Parc De Notre Renaissance Franchise. The first thing to catch my eye was a sculpture of a woman and a child.

This sculpture pays tribute to the women and children who worked in the textile mills during the first half of the 20th century.

Later in the week we would meet up with a blogging friend and her husband. My blogging friend and her husband live in what used to be a textile mill.

Clocktower Place, a former textile mill,
is where my blogging friend and her husband live.

From Nashua we drove to Cynthia and Larry’s house, arriving there shortly after noon.  Lunch was served around 1:00 pm. 

Table set for four
(Photo by Cynthia)

We enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast of roast turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, baked squash, green beans, Brussels Sprouts with walnuts baked in maple syrup, and cranberry salad.  For dessert we had a variety of delectable cupcakes to choose from.

Dessert selections
My dessert
The four of us and Weezie

We left Cynthia and Larry’s house for our hotel sometime between 4:00 and 4:30 pm, with plans to meet up again at 1:00 pm the next day. We drove to the Clarion Inn located in Nashua NH.  The hotel is about a 20-minute drive from Cynthia and Larry’s house.  We checked into room 235, which would be our home for the next 3 nights. Our hotel room was spacious with a king-size bed and a couch that would fit three people comfortably. Our room would sleep four people, as the couch pulls out into a bed. The room is equipped with a refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker.

We got up for the day on Friday around 6:30 am, after a good night’s sleep.  The clerk who checked us in the prior night said that our room would be quiet, and it was. The rooms on our side of the hotel are used only as needed in late fall and winter. An hour after awakening we had showered, gotten dressed, had breakfast and were back in our hotel room.  There were less offerings at breakfast here than there were in Vermont.  We could make our own pancakes or waffles; there were cereal and packaged muffins selections; yogurt was available ; and there were juice, coffee and tea selections.  We preferred the breakfast at Best Western Bennington.

We spent Friday afternoon and evening with Cynthia and Larry.  We enjoyed a second Thanksgiving dinner that included open-faced turkey sandwiches with gravy and soup that Larry prepared using leftover turkey, rice and vegetables. Later in the day we left to go to an inaugural outdoor light show, located on The Links at LaBelle Winery golf course in Derry, NH. Unfortunately it was raining, so we didn’t see the display.  We drove by a couple houses in Bedford that are usually lit up for Christmas.  One house had decorations outside, but the lights were not turned on.  The other house didn’t have any decorations on display.  So, we didn’t get to see any Christmas lights. For dinner we had Chinese take-out that Bob and Larry picked up.  After dinner we sat in the living room and chit-chatted for a while.  We left for the hotel around 7:45 pm.  Twenty minutes later we arrived at the hotel.

Thank you, Cynthia and Larry, for a wonderful Thanksgiving! We enjoyed our time with you and look forward to the next time we get together with each other.


Corning NY Mid-Week Getaway: Day 3

We spent three nights the week of October 17th in Corning, NY. I published blog posts previously about our activities on October 19th and 20th. This blog post is about our activities on October 21st.

We ate breakfast at Donna’s Restaurant in downtown Corning. 

Donna’s Restaurant

The restaurant is full of vintage Pyrex dishes on display.  It is a quaint, homey restaurant.  Bob had a steakhouse sandwich (shaved ribeye, sautéed peppers & onions, egg and cheese on a grilled everything bagel) with corned beef hash.  I had a western omelet with home fries and wheat toast.  Our breakfast entrees were delicious and filling.

See that older man, looking at me? I showed him his picture. He liked it. All during breakfast I caught him looking at me. The few times are eyes met, he would give me the biggest smile.

After breakfast we went for a walk to Centennial Park. 

Centennial Park Bridge
This is a pedestrian bridge that crosses Chemung River.
We walked halfway across the bridge.
Chemung River, as seen from Centennial Bridge
Corning Inc. World Headquarters and Little Joe Tower,
as seen from Centennial Bridge

According to a Wikipedia article, the Little Joe Tower “was built in either 1912 or 1913 by Corning Glass Works (now known as Corning Inc.). The construction came during a period of growth for the company, and the 187-foot tower was used in drawing glass for thermometer tubes. On the outside of the white tower is a blue stenciled silhouette of “Little Joe”, a glassblower, giving the tower its name.” 

The Centennial Park Pavilion is attractive.

The Farmers Market is held at Centennial Park each Thursday from 10:00 am-2:00 pm. We visited the next to last Farmers Market this year, as the last one was held on October 28th.

Centennial Park Pavilion and Farmers Market
Centennial Park Farmers Market
Centerway Square Clock Tower is at one end of the market, and
Centennial Bridge is at the other end.
Fresh Vegetables at Centennial Park Farmers Market
Flowers at Centennial Park Farmers Market

Bob purchased soft ginger snaps at the Farmers Market. The cookies were delicious!

Centerway Square / Clock Tower

We returned to downtown Corning around 5:00 pm, when we went to dinner at Sorge’s Restaurant.  Bob had lasagna; I had spaghetti and meatballs.   Both entrees were accompanied with salads and fresh bread.  Dinner was tasty.

When we weren’t downtown, we were at our Airbnb resting and relaxing.

Relaxing on the backyard patio at our AirBnb
Relaxing at our AirBnb


We got up around 7:00 am the next day. We showered, got dressed, and ate breakfast.  We packed our stuff and carried it down to the car.  We left, en route home, around 9:00 am.

Shortly before 10:30 am we stopped at Tim Hortons in Olean NY.  I had wanted a Boston Creme donut since the start of this trip.  We picked up two donuts and coffee/tea at the drive thru and ate our treat in the parking lot. This wasn’t the best mid-morning snack, but it sure was tasty!

We returned home around 1:00 pm. We enjoyed our getaway, but we always are happy to return home too.

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