The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Posts from the ‘USA’ category

Wedding Anniversary Celebration – Day 4

We departed the Birdhouse Inn Confluence Airbnb at 8:00 am, en route home.  We had a very nice, relaxing stay in Confluence.  We plan to make a return trip here one day.

We stopped for breakfast at Zambo’s Country Cottage in Rockwood, PA.  The restaurant is located in the middle of nowhere, farm country, less than 30 minutes from Confluence.  The service was excellent, and the food was delicious and filling.  Bob ordered a western omelet and rye toast.  I ordered two pancakes, eggs, bacon and wheat toast.  The pancakes were huge.  I boxed half of them and my toast and placed the box in our cooler.  We were back on the road at 9:05 am.

In Penn Run, PA we made a slight detour by driving into Yellow Creek State Park

The 720-acre Yellow Creek Lake occupies about 1/4 of the 2,981-acre state park.
We couldn’t have picked a better day to visit Yellow Creek State Park.
The sky was blue and reflected so beautifully on the lake.
Yellow Creek Lake

After taking these pictures, we turned around and returned to Route 422.  The park would be a nice place for a picnic, had it been lunchtime.

We returned home around 1:30 pm.  Wickett, our cat, was really happy to see us.  She ran up and down the hallway, tail raised high, as we carried stuff into the house from the car.

Wedding Anniversary Celebration – Day 3

We awakened to rain on Day 3 (September 28th) of our wedding anniversary getaway. I got up shorltly before 7:30 am and made a cup of tea. I sat outside on the side porch in my pajamas and bare feet, drinking that cup of tea, and listening to the falling rain.  The Birdhouse Inn Confluence Airbnb has two covered porches, one in the front and the other on the side.  The side porch is my favorite.  The rain started earlier this morning, around 4:15 am, accompanied by thunder and lightning. The rain stopped falling mid morning, but stayed cloudy all day.

My knee is back to its usual discomfort, so we decided to hike the Ferncliff Peninsula in Ohiopyle. We arrived on the peninsula around 11:50 am.  We followed Ferncliff Trail along the rocky Youghiongheny River to where we could see an overlook of the Ohiopyle Falls. 

There are two trails in this picture.
Ferncliff Trail is to the left and right; Oakwoods Trail is straight ahead.
We took Ferncliff Trail on the left and exited the hike on Oakwoods Trail.
Hiking Ferncliff Trail to Youghiogheny River
One of several fossils
that we saw along Ferncliff Trail
Bob on the Ferncliff Trail
Youghiogheny River, as seen from Ferncliff Trail
First view of Ohiopyle Falls from Ferncliff Trail
Bob took this picture of Ohiopyle Falls,
after hiking down some several stone steps.
Ohiopyle State Park Visitor Center,
as seen from the Ferncliff Peninsula

My right knee is weak and wobbled a bit sometimes, while navigating the rocks along the Youghiogheny River.  Soon after the waterfall overlook we came across a trail that led up away from the river toward the center of the peninsula. The first few feet of that trail was eroded, steep and difficult. Bob had to pull me up one of the steep steps.

I gave Bob a thumps up that I was able to climb up off the rocky trail along the Youghiogheny River.
We took the Buffalo Nut Trail to cut across the peninsula, to shorten our hiking distance. 
Buffalo Nut Trail was much easier to hike
than the Ferncliff Trail!
We saw lots of moss-covered tree branches, while hiking Buffalo Nut Trail.

At the end of Buffalo Nut Trail we hopped onto Oakwoods Trail that took us back to Ferncliff Trail and our origin point. 

We turned right onto the Oakwoods Trail.
I took the 360 degree video that follows
at this point on Oakwoods Trail.
Please have volume ON for the video.

We made it back to our origin point by 1:15 pm.  We enjoyed our hike on Ferncliff Peninsula.  I feel I have accomplished quite a bit in the past two days—the 10 mile bicycle ride on Monday and this hike.

After our hike we went to lunch at the Yough Roadhouse Bar & Grill just outside of Confluence.  We sat at the bar.  There was one other couple there, and one girl behind the bar.  The girl behind the bar was the only one there to wait on customers.  We sat at the bar to make her waiting on us easier.  Bob ordered a fish sandwich with chips, and I ordered chicken strips and beer-battered fries.  Our meals were delicious.  The service was excellent.  We enjoyed the conversation, too, with the other customers and our waitress.  The other customers are staying in Confluence as well, at a campground.

After lunch we returned “home”, where we relaxed for rest of the afternoon and evening.

Wedding Anniversary Celebration – Day 2

I got up on September 27th at 7:00 am, after a good night’s sleep. Bob got up about an hour later. Shortly after 9:00 am we drove to the nearby Confluence Food Market handpicked up a few groceries. Back “home” Bob made us breakfast — scrambled eggs, sausage links and orange juice.

Around 10:00 am we left on a bicycle ride, which you may find details and photographs of by clicking here. This blog post begins where the bicycling blog post ends.

Shortly before 3:00 pm Bob returned to Ohiopyle from Confluence. I met Bob in the Ohiopyle State Park parking lot. Bob loaded my bicycle on the carrier. Then, we walked back to the Ohiopyle Falls overlook for one last look.

Bob and I at Ohiopyle Falls

Nearby the falls overlook we happened upon a cat.

The cat’s tag reads:
I live in Ohiopyle. I am not a stray.

Tonto is not an ordinary cat. There are many articles on the Internet about Tonto. Click here for one of the articles I found about Tonto.

On our way back “home” from Ohiopyle we visited three sites — Cucumber Falls, Baughman Rock Overlook and Youghiogheny Dam. 

We hiked down to Cucumber Falls. Thankfully the hike wasn’t too far, as my knee still hurt from our earlier bicycle ride.

Cucumber Falls

The waterfall was OK, but I was disappointed that the water flow was low.

All we saw from Baughman Rock were trees.  The view from there is supposed to be Pennsylvania’s deepest gorge.  We didn’t see the gorge; all we saw were trees. 

Baughman Rock Overlook Trailhead

The view was disappointing, after hiking up Baughman Rock’s steep face.  That hike was painful for me. My knee complained loudly! The view from Baughman Rock will be beautiful, when the leaves change color. When the trees shed their leaves I believe, then, the gorge will be seen.

Our last stop before returning “home” was at Youghiogheny Dam.

Youghiogheny Dam

We drove across the dam and back.

Youghiogheny River Lake was established in 1944
with the construction of the 184-foot high, 1,604-foot wide Youghiogheny Dam.

We returned to our Airbnb, the Birdhouse Inn Confluence, around 4:45 pm.  We spent rest of the afternoon and evening at ”home” relaxing and allowing my knee time to recuperate.

Wedding Anniversary Celebration – Day 1

This past Sunday, September 26th, was our 23rd wedding anniversary.  We celebrated our anniversary with a mini getaway–3 nights at an Airbnb in Confluence, PA.  

Before leaving home, Bob made us omelets for breakfast.  We put the dishes in the dishwasher and started the cleaning cycle.  We packed the car.  Bob placed our bicycles on the carrier.  We left home at 8:15 am, en route Confluence.

We made one stop in Ebensburg and arrived in Confluence between 12:00 and 12:30 pm.  Check in wasn’t until 3:00 pm.  We drove by our rental Airbnb.  There was a car parked outside the front porch, which we supposed belonged to the cleaner(s).  

We had a few hours to kill, so we decided to do some sightseeing.  We saw a sign on our way to Confluence for a nearby covered bridge.  We drove to the Lower Humbert Covered Bridge and checked it out.

Lower Humbert Covered Bridge

The Lower Humbert Bridge is a 126 1/2 feet long Burr Arch truss covered bridge. It crosses over the Laurel Hill Creek in Lower Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset County. The bridge was built in 1891 and rebuilt 100 years later. It is one of ten remaining covered bridges in Somerset County.

The Lower Humbert Bridge is a Burr Arch truss covered bridge.
Bob and I at the Lower Humbert Covered Bridge

From the bridge we decided to drive to Ohiopyle State Park.  We parked near the Visitor Center and walked a short way along the Youghiogheny River.  We enjoyed the view of the Ohiopyle Falls.

Ohiopyle Falls on the Youghiogheny River

We visited the Visitor Center as well.  I picked up a map and brochure for the park.

We returned to the Birdhouse Inn Confluence Airbnb shortly before 3:00 pm.  The cleaner was still there but left as soon as she made one last bed.  The Airbnb is a cute 2 story house.  There are two porches, one in the front and one on the side.  I love the side porch.  It is where we sat, waiting for the cleaner to finish up.  The chairs are comfortable, and the view is a cornfield in front of a hill.

Shortly after 5:00 pm we walked to the River’s Edge Cafe, where we had a 5:30 pm dinner reservation.  The walk took only a few minutes, so we were early for our reservation. 

We ate our anniversary dinner at the River’s Edge Cafe.

We sat at a picnic table and enjoyed the view and sound of the Youghiogheny River.  Dinner was excellent. Bob ordered a Oak Barrel steak dinner; I ordered a Smoked Barbecued pork chop dinner.

After dinner we went for a short bicycle ride to the Confluence Town Square.  Our bicycle ride took us over the Casselman River on a bike/pedestrian bridge. In all we didn’t even ride a mile from our “home” to the town square and back “home”.

Ode to a Cow

When life seems one too many for you, 

Go and look at a Cow. 

When the futures black and the outlooks blue, 

Go and look at a Cow. 

For she does nothing but eat her food, 

and sleep in the meadows entirely nood, 

Refusing to fret or worry or brood, 

Because she doesn’t know how. …  

Whenever you’re feeling bothered or sore, 

Go and look at a Cow, 

When everything else is a fearful bore, 

Go and look at a Cow. 

Observe her gentle and placid air, 

Her nonchalance and savoir faire, 

Her absolute freedom from every care, 

Her imperturbable brow. …  

So when you’re at the end of your wits, 

Go and look at a Cow 

Or when your nerves are frayed to bits, 

And wrinkles furrow your brow; 

She’ll merely Moo in her gentle way, 

Switching her rudder as if to say:

“Bother tomorrow! Let’s Live today! 

Take the advice of a cow!” …  

from The Old Farmers Almanac – 1936 – 

Ellicottville, NY

Late this morning we drove to Ellicottville, NY, a small town located about 50 miles northeast of where we live.

The first thing I noticed, as we pulled into a parking space on Washington Street was a different kind of tree sitting in front of the post office.

Ski Tree

Ellicottville’s Ski Tree went up in November 2017. According to the ski tree stands 31 feet tall and is constructed of over 400 skis, it is the largest ski tree in America.

Close-up picture of the Ski Tree

The Ellicottville Coffee Company was near where we parked our car on Washington Street. We stopped in the shop to browse. Bob ended up purchasing a compact Aeropress Coffee Maker that was priced the same as one he had seen on Amazon.

We ate lunch at The Gin Mill. It had been a while since we last ate at The Gin Mill. In fact the last time we ate there was Dec. 7, 2015. Today Bob ordered a Buffalo chicken wrap; I ordered a BLT sandwich. Both sandwiches were accompanied with potato chips. We have always enjoyed our meals at The Gin Mill, and today was no exception.

We ate lunch at The Gin Mill.

The Gin Mill moved down the street to a new, bigger location since we last ate there. At first we thought The Gin Mill had closed. We were pleased that it was still a viable business.

We went for a short walk down Monroe Street, after lunch. I admired a store front and took a couple pictures.

Looking up Monroe Street toward Washington Street
Pretty store fronts

On the way home we drove through Randolph, NY. We stopped for dessert (ice cream) at Peaches ‘n Cream.

We returned home at 4:00 pm. What a nice way to spend a few hours!

Ohio Vacation Day 7 – Waterfall and Ducks

We ate lunch at Fisher’s Cafe & Pub in Peninsula. We ate at Fisher’s earlier in the week. The food and service was good, so we made a return trip. We weren’t disappointed eating here again.

After lunch we drove to Viaduct Park, located in Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s Bedford Reservation. In Viaduct Park is a waterfall–the Great Falls of Tinkers Creek. Going to the waterfall was the reason for the drive to Viaduct Park.

Great Falls of Tinkers Creek

This morning, before leaving for the Akron Zoo, we saw a couple Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks in the wetlands.

Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks

Back at the Airbnb later in the day we once again saw two Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks. I took a close-up picture of one of the ducks.

Black-Bellied Whistling Duck

It is rare to see these ducks so far north. Our Airbnb hosts said it was the first time they had seen a Black-Bellied Whistling Duck in their pond. We were thrilled to see these ducks and to have the opportunity to photograph them!

The next day (July 2nd) Bob got up at 5:00 am. I got up an hour later. We packed, got showered and dressed, and said goodbye to Deborah (John was on a grocery run). We were on our way home at 7:20 am. By the way we didn’t see any Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks before our departure.

Our first stop was for breakfast at Bob Evans Restaurant in nearby Streetsboro, OH. After a filling breakfast, we were back on the road at 8:15 am.

We returned home around 11:40 am.

We had a wonderful vacation! We look forward to visiting Hudson, OH again and staying (hopefully) at the same Airbnb.


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