Memorial Day Weekend: Saturday
On Saturday, May 23, we spent the day riding. We left home at 8:30 am. I had put the liner back in my leather jacket and dressed in layers, as it was only 36 degrees when we left home en route Niagara Falls.
We crossed into Canada via the Peace Bridge. We had no delay crossing into Canada; however, the border crossing guard was a bit brusque. After we (and others) had entered the lane to his booth, he closed the lane. I believe his brusqueness was due to his desire to take a break or to end his work shift. The guard had us remove our helmets, not an easy task when one hand is holding passports. He could see I was having a little trouble handling my helmet and handing over the passports to him. He made no effort to help ( e.g. he did not step closer to reach the passports). I had trouble putting my helmet back on. I was wearing a dew rag that came off, as I removed my helmet. I needed two hands to put the dew rag back on, so I just put on my helmet. I stuffed our passports in my jacket pocket. We stopped soon after getting on Niagara Parkway so that I could put on my helmet properly, with dew rag underneath it. Bob placed our passports in a locked cubicle on the dashboard.
We drove along Niagara Parkway to Niagara Falls, enjoying the beautiful views of Niagara River along the way. We drove through Niagara Falls to Rainbow Bridge.
The crossing into the United States was more hectic than the crossing into Canada. There were cars and people EVERYWHERE! Niagara Falls State Park’s parking Lot 1, located near the Niagara Falls Visitor Center, was full. Niagara Falls State Park’s parking Lot 2, located on Goat Island near the entrance to the Cave of the Winds tour and Top of the Falls Restaurant, was full as well. We were directed to another parking lot somewhere on Goat Island, but the line was very long entering that parking lot. We decided not to go for a walk in Niagara Falls this trip. I much prefer visiting Niagara Falls off season, or at least not on a holiday weekend!
We began our ride back home. We traveled by way of Route 219. We made a fuel stop in Springville, NY and ate lunch at the nearby Ponderosa Steakhouse.
Prior to arriving in Ellicottville, NY we stopped at Griffis Sculpture Park–the largest outdoor sculpture park in the United States. For over 42 years, the steel sculptures of Larry Griffis, Jr. and other international artists have been residing in the woods, fields, and even ponds of Griffis Sculpture Park. The 400 acre park is located eight miles outside of Ellicottville near Ashford Hollow, NY (Cattaraugus County). Griffis Sculpture Park is split into two sections, the Rohr Hill Road Site and the Mill Valley Road Site. We visited the Rohr Hill Road Site, where a majority of the sculptures are visible from the road.
We wandered about the meadow and the woods of the Rohr Hill section of the park, while I snapped pictures of some of the sculptures.
Who would have thought that you could find something so beautiful in a meadow in the middle of nowhere!
Rather than take Interstate 86 home, we drove through the Allegany State Park via ASP Route 1. Our NY State Empire Passport provided free entry to the park. We made two brief stops, while in the park.
From Allegany State Park we took Routes 280, 321 and 59 home.
We returned home at 5:45 pm. Our trip odometer indicated that we put approximately 280 miles on the motorcycle. By the way, it began to reach a comfortable temperature around 3:30 pm!