The Beauty Around Us

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

Posts from the ‘Pennsylvania’ category

Gilbert Reservoir

We visited someplace new to us today.

There are three water supply reservoirs totaling over one billion gallons in upland reserves that serve the Bradford, PA water system:

1 – Gilbert Reservoir – 206 Million Gallons – Constructed 1888
2 – Marilla Reservoir – 120 Million Gallons – Constructed 1898
3 – Heffner Reservoir – 760 Million Gallons – Constructed 1956

Two of the reservoirs, Marilla and Gilbert, are open for free public access. Both the Marilla and Gilbert Reservoirs are located along Pennsylvania Route 346, approximately five miles west of Bradford. Both reservoirs offer awesome scenery and a wide variety of shared recreational opportunities. Visitors are encouraged and welcomed to enjoy miles of hiking trails, in addition to canoeing, kayaking and fishing at these two reservoirs.

We have visited Marilla Reservoir a few times. I have shared several photographs of Marilla Reservoir on Flickr that you may view by clicking here.

Across from Marilla Reservoir is a gravel road that leads to Gilbert Reservoir. Today we followed the gravel road for 4 miles UP, OVER and DOWN a hill.

_LG26287The gravel road dead ends at a parking lot located at Gilbert Reservoir.

The reservoir grounds have been upgraded recently.  A new trail leads to a new fishing pier.

_LG26290Gilbert Reservoir
This trail leads to a fishing pier.

The trail and pier are handicap accessible.

_LG26293Bob walked past the pier into the woods beyond.

Bob asked me to join him in the woods.

Don’t even go there! 🙂

Bob wanted to show me something that he had found in the woods.

_LG26298Bob found these butterflies, which were attracted to pieces of charcoal.

_LG26301Bob takes in the view from the fishing pier.

_LG26300This is another photograph of the reservoir from the fishing pier.

On our way UP, OVER and DOWN the hill from Gilbert Reservoir, as we approached Pennsylvania Route 346, we were treated to a magnificent view of Marilla Reservoir.

_LG26303Marilla Reservoir

The scenery at both Marilla and Gilbert Reservoirs is absolutely beautiful.  I am sure that we will make return trips to both reservoirs many more times.

Willow Dale Cemetery

This past Friday Bob and I found my Aunt Alice and her husband Richard’s final resting place. Alice was my paternal grandmother’s first born child.

Alice was born in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania on 7 January 1907.  I do not know Alice’s father’s name, only that my paternal grandfather was not her father. I expected to find Alice listed on the 1910 census.  The 1910 census lists Alice’s mother, described as single, living in the same household as her parents.  Alice is not listed in the 1910 census.  Alice first appears in the 1920 census, where her address is listed as North Buffalo Township, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania.  Alice’s mother married my grandfather in December 1911.  In the 1920 census my grandparents have five children, including Alice.  Alice is listed on the census, as having the same last name as her siblings.

According to ancestry information provided by one of my cousins, Alice married Harold Biggs, and a daughter named Clara was born about 1928.  Harold died in February 1929.   The death certificate lists the cause of death as acute fibrillation of the heart.  Harold was only 27 years old, when he died.  I found Clara listed in the 1930 census.  She was living in the same household as her paternal grandparents.  Clara’s age was listed as 2 years old in the census.  I have not found a listing for Alice in the 1930 census.

On 18 April 1931 Alice married Richard H. Evans.  Alice was 24 years old at the time; Richard was 55 years old.  The wedding ceremony took place in Allegany, Cattaraugus County, New York.  Both Alice and Richard were living in Bradford, Pennsylvania at the time of their marriage.  It appears that their residence continued to be Bradford until their deaths.  Richard passed away in April 1961.  He was 85 years old.  Alice passed away 30 years later, in April 1991.  She was 84 years old.  I never met Aunt Alice.

Richard and Alice are buried at Willow Dale Cemetery in Bradford, Pennsylvania behind a pond that Bob and I have visited or passed by several times over the past 19 years that we have been married.  I never knew, until recently, that my aunt was buried at Willow Dale Cemetery.

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Willow Dale Pond is located in front of Willow Dale Cemetery.

 

Aunt Alice and her husband, Richard, are buried in the Veteran’s portion of Willow Dale Cemetery.

_LG25768This is the Veteran’s portion of Willow Dale Cemetery.
Aunt Alice and her husband Richard’s burial plot appears in the foreground of this photograph.

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Veterans Memorial

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Aunt Alice and Richard are buried beside each other.

 

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I wonder why Aunt Alice’s grave marker does not display at a minimum her birth and death dates.

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Richard was a Sergeant in the Spanish American War.

I began building my family tree in late December last year.  Genealogy is a very enjoyable hobby!

Blue Ridge Cemetery

This past Saturday I joined the Taphophile world, according to my sister-in-law.  In other words, I became a cemetery enthusiast.  Bob is my second set of eyes, while looking for burial plots.

Since early January, I have been building my family tree.  I discovered that many of my ancestors are buried in cemeteries that are within a 2-3 hour drive of my home in Warren, PA.  Some of my ancestors are buried even closer than a 2-3 hour drive.  One such cemetery is the Blue Ridge Cemetery in Barnett Township in Forest County, PA.

That cemetery is only a hour’s drive from our home.

We drove on a bumpy, dirt road for a couple miles before reaching the cemetery which is located on Blood Road.

_LG25531Blue Ridge Cemetery
Can you make out the steel pipe in front of the break in burial plots?
My family members’ burial plots are in front of that steel pipe.

We found eleven family members buried at Blue Ridge Cemetery, all from the maternal side of my family tree:

Great-Grandparents Benjamin F. (1859-1936) and Lula M. (1873-1930) Leslie
Great-Uncle Noah Leslie (1888-1964)
Great-Uncle Harry D. Leslie (1899-1979)
Great-Aunt Elizabeth R. (1897-1960) and John E. (1892-1968) Gregg
1st cousin 1x removed Andrew F. Gregg (1919-1920)
1st cousin 1x removed John A. Gregg (1933-1964)
1st cousin 1x removed Larry E. Gregg (1937-1937) (note story below)
1st cousin 1x removed Ruby A. (1918-2002) and Walter W. (1906-1992) McKinney

I plan to visit cemeteries, from time to time, at which my ancestors are buried. I chose to visit Blue Ridge Cemetery first because this is the site of Ruby McKinney’s final resting place.

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Ruby A. McKinney’s final resting place

In 1987 Ruby mailed me a blue notebook full of names and birth dates of family members, as well as a couple stories about family members.  That notebook has become invaluable to me, as I build the maternal grandfather’s portion of my  family tree.

One of the stories in the notebook is the heartbreaking story about the birth of Ruby’s brother, Larry E. Gregg.

Before leaving on our drive to Blue Ridge Cemetery, I had not yet completed my great grandparents’ ancestry profiles.  What a surprise I had, when I discovered that Benjamin F. and Lula M. Leslie are buried at Blue Ridge Cemetery!

20180324_162616561_iOSMy Great-Grandparents Final Resting Site

I plan to return to Blue Ridge Cemetery, when the snow is gone.  At which time, I plan to take photographs of each of my family’s burial plots.

 

Indian Foods Dinner

Tim, one of Bob’s high school classmates, invited us in early September to join he and his wife for a traditional Indian Thanksgiving dinner. That dinner, the 58th Annual Indian Foods Dinner, was held yesterday at 1:00 pm.

The Indian Foods Dinner is sponsored by the Jimersontown Presbyterian Church. The dinner was held at the Seneca Nation of Indians Administration Building in Salamanca, NY. When we arrived at the administration building around noon, Tim and Kathy were already seated at a table set for eight. We gave our names to the cashier, then Tim’s name, then Kathy’s name…reservations were under Kathy’s name. We paid our $13.00 each and joined Kathy and Tim. Bob sat next to Tim. I sat next to Kathy. As I wrote earlier, Bob and Tim know each other from high school. Bob remembers Tim from a younger age in the neighborhood and riding the bus to high school together. Bob had never met Kathy. I knew Tim only from Facebook. He commented on photographs that I posted in the You Grew Up in Warren PA Facebook group and was, in general, a frequent commenter on other posts in the group. Conversation flowed quickly. Bob and Tim reminisced; Tim, Kathy and I initiated the small talk that begins the process of getting to know one another. We were joined by a woman. I didn’t catch her name. She sat down next to Bob. Just before the pastor of the church welcomed us to the dinner, Wayne and Lori  joined us. Lori sat next to me; Wayne sat next to Lori. Another woman joined us, sitting down next to Wayne. I didn’t catch her name either.

We were welcomed to the dinner by the pastor of Jimersontown Presbyterian Church. He, then, introduced us to Tyler Heron. Tyler is one of the organizers of the dinner, as well as one of the preparers of the traditional foods. In addition, Tyler is featured in the film “Lake of Betrayal” narrating portions of the film and appearing in segments of the film. Lake of Betrayal is the story of Kinzua Dam. The film examines the US government’s taking of Native lands for dam building and the extraordinary fight the Seneca Nation undertook to protect its sovereignty and ensure its cultural survival. This film will be aired on PBS November 6, 2017 at 9:00 pm. A short word of prayer was said, after Tyler spoke to us. Then it was time to eat.

The menu for the Indian Foods Dinner included Roast Turkey, Mashed Potatoes with gravy, Green Beans, Hulled Corn Soup, Roast Venison, Boiled Corn Bread, Pumpkin Pie, Cranberry Sauce, Cole Slaw, Fry Bread, Apple Cider, Coffee and Water.

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My plate of food (minus the venison)
I gave my venison to Bob.

The food was delicious.

During dinner, conversation continued to flow nicely. New friendships were initiated. I really enjoyed Tim, Kathy, Lori and Wayne’s company. Kathy and I are the same age, as are Bob and Tim. Lori is a few years younger than Kathy and me. Lori is older than Wayne. Kathy, Lori and I are all older than our husbands. Some of the things I learned about our new friends include the following. Kathy traveled cross country years ago. She slept in a pop up tent that was attached to a pickup truck. Kathy and Lori are nurses. Wayne and Lori moved to New York from Texas recently. Wayne and Lori enjoy travel. Everyone likes to eat at Sprague’s Maple Farms and at The Plaza in Warren. Wayne and Lori have a blended family. Lori and Wayne have six children; no grandchildren.  I believe we are well on our way to new friendships.

It was 3:00 pm, when we said our goodbyes and parted ways. Tim said we should do something together again. I hope that we do. We had a good time.

Leaving the Seneca Nation of Indians Administration Building, Bob and I drove to Allegany State Park.

DA211811Seneca Nation of Indians Administration Building
(view from ASP 1 overlook)

From ASP 1 we enter Allegany State Park’s Red House area.  We made stops at Stone Tower, the Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge and the Red House Administration Building.

DA211819Stone Tower
The Stone Tower dates from 1933.  It was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps,
as part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal effort.

The lure of Stone Tower is the panoramic view afforded from its vantage point.

DA211815View from Stone Tower

DA211818View from Stone Tower road

Our next stop was at the Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge.

DA211827Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge

The Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge was built in 1989. It is a pedestrian bridge. In addition to foot traffic, the bridge is used by bicyclists and, in the winter, by snowmobile riders.  Its 110-foot length spans Red House Creek.

Our last stop in the Red House area was at the Red House Administration Building.

The Pumpkins in the Park event was just ending, when we arrived at the Red House Administration Building.

I found this flyer on the Allegany State Park’s Facebook page.  The information about this event indicated it was in its second year.

 

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We received an Autumn welcome
at the Red House Administration Building.

IMG_20171021_155841Bob took this picture of me with a large smiling pumpkin that we found
on the grounds of the Red House Administration Building.

We left the Red House area and drove to Quaker Lake.

DA211837Quaker Lake

Our plan for Allegany State Park was to take some pictures and hang out until 7:00 pm, when Paul Crawford would be performing at the Quaker Bath House in the lakeside room.  According to promotional information about the concert, Paul has been playing contemporary and classic rock, contemporary country, and some originals for over twenty-five years. Paul is the administrator on a few Facebook pages that feature the Allegany State Park. I have enjoyed his photography on those pages for a few years but have never heard him play guitar and sing.

DA211840Quaker Lake
Across the lake is the Quaker Bath House.

Bob and I decided a 4-hour wait for Paul’s concert was too long. I took a few pictures in the park, and then we left for home. I hope in the future we have another opportunity to hear Paul perform.

On our way back home from Allegany State Park, we stopped briefly at Sugar Bay on the Allegheny Reservoir in McKean County, PA.

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The water in the Allegheny Reservoir is quite low.

A father and son, with kayaks, arrived at Sugar Bay as we were leaving. They would have to carry (or drag) the kayaks quite a distance before reaching open water.

What a great day!  We ate a very tasty dinner; we made new friends; and we enjoyed Autumn’s beauty at Allegany State Park.

 

Our Outer Banks Vacation – Warren PA to Fredericksburg VA

Last night we made plans to go out for breakfast, before beginning our two-day drive to the Outer Banks.  When everyone awakened this morning, I asked if it would be OK if we ate breakfast at home instead of going out.   Everyone was amenable, so I made breakfast for the four of us. Making breakfast saved money and made for a leisure start to the day. Breakfast included scrambled eggs, bacon, coffee/tea and fruit cocktail.

We were on our way out of Warren by 7:30 am, en route Fredricksburg, VA. We will overnight in Fredricksburg and continue on to Corolla, NC in the morning. Bob and I were in the lead; Jim and Sandy followed behind. Jim’s Walkie Talkies provided  great communication between the two cars.   Our day started out foggy.  We drove in and out of fog for about an hour. The rest of the day we enjoyed blue skies and plenty of sunshine.

Our first stop was about an hour later in Brookville, PA at Sheetz. We filled the fuel tanks and took advantage of the bathroom facilities

Our second stop was at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, PA.  This was Bob and my third visit to the memorial. It was Jim and Sandy’s first visit. We arrived at the memorial shortly before 11:00 am. We visited the Visitor Center Complex (new to us) first. We walked the Flight Path Walkway and Overlook.

_LG24700Flight Path Walkway
My back is to the Overlook.

_LG24699Flight Path Overlook

The overlook provides a view of the Memorial Plaza at the crash site.

A National Park Service volunteer spoke with us for 25-30 minutes, providing information regarding Flight 93.

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National Park Service Volunteer

The volunteer’s talk was riveting and emotional.

Inside the Visitor Center were several informative exhibits regarding Flight 93, as well as the three other flights that crashed the morning of September 11, 2001.  The following three photographs are displays showing some of the thousands of artifacts that have been left at the memorial.  There were several other informative exhibits in addition to the ones displayed below.

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Some of the thousands of artifacts left at the memorial

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More artifacts

From the Visitor Center we drove to the Memorial Plaza.  We followed the pathway to the Wall of Names.

_LG24719Wall of Names

A wooden gate is located at the end of the Wall of Names.  My back is to this wooden gate in the photo displayed above.

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The white walls behind the fence show the flight path.
The boulder seen through the fence is where Flight 93 crashed.

This was not the first time that we had seen the Flight 93 Memorial. We visited the Flight 93 Memorial for the first time in April 2008. It was a temporary memorial at that time.

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The temporary memorial included a 40-foot (to commemorate the 40 passengers and crew) chain-link fence on which visitors left flowers, flags, hats, rosaries, and other items.

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The Wall of Names now stands where this temporary chain-link fence stood.

We also visited the memorial in September 2012.

E9143974 4x6Approaching the Wall of Names during our visit in 2012

We departed the Flight 93 National Memorial at 12:15 pm and continued driving east on U.S. Route 30.

We ate lunch at McDonald’s in Everett, PA.  We were back on the road at 1:24 pm.

We continued our drive on U.S. Route 30 to Breezewood, where we picked up Interstate 70. Soon after entering Maryland we exited onto U.S. Route 522 to Berkeley Springs, WV.  From Berkeley Springs we continued on U.S. Route 522 through Winchester, VA to U.S. Route 17 South.  Traffic was light driving through both Berkeley Springs and Winchester.

We arrived at the Best Western Fredericksburg around 4:45 pm. We checked into our respective rooms. We are on the second floor, with one room separating us.  After a hearty dinner at Shoney’s Restaurant, which is located on the hotel grounds, we spent rest of the evening relaxing in our hotel rooms.  Part of our relaxing was done together in Jim and Sandy’s room.  Jim opened a bottle of Eagle Rare.  Bob and Jim shared a glass of bourbon, while Jim began work on his blog and conversed with us at the same time.  Sandy caught up on Facebook, and I edited pictures taken today.

Bob and I returned to our room maybe an hour later.  I worked on the narrative portion of my blog.  Tiredness overcame me (and Bob too).  We were both in bed by 9:00 pm.

Please click here for Jim’s blog post on today’s activities.

Meeting a Blogging and Facebook Friend for the First Time

I met a blogging and Facebook friend for the first time yesterday morning. Eileen and I began reading and commenting on each other’s blog posts in December 2009. Eileen has three blogs, of which I read most often the blog entitled “Viewing nature with Eileen”.  Eileen and I became Facebook friends in September 2010.

Eileen and her husband, Michael, live in Maryland.  They are in Pennsylvania on vacation.  Their vacation plans included visiting two Pennsylvania State Parks —Cook Forest State Park and Presque Isle State Park— and meeting me, if possible.  Another Pennsylvania State Park was added to their itinerary, when Eileen and I made plans earlier this week to meet at Kinzua Bridge State Park.

I met Eileen and Michael at Kinzua Bridge State Park yesterday at 10:00 am. Kinzua Bridge State Park is located near Mt. Jewett, PA in McKean County.  It is the home of the Kinzua Viaduct.  The Viaduct, once known as the longest and tallest railroad structure at 2,053 feet long and 301 feet high, was partially destroyed by a tornado in 2003.  I drove to the park from my home in Warren, PA. Eileen and Michael drove to the park from Clarion (where they stayed while visiting Cook Forest State Park).  While at the park we walked across the Kinzua Viaduct (now known as the Kinzua Bridge skywalk); we viewed the bridge and its ruins from three observation platforms; and we walked through the Visitor Center.

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Eileen and Michael on the Kinzua Bridge skywalk

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Eileen and me at the end of the skywalk

20170920_142759945_iOSKinzua Bridge skywalk and bridge ruins
(view from first observation platform)

We walked down to the lower observation platform seen in the photograph displayed above.

20170920_143221561_iOSKinzua Bridge skywalk and bridge ruins
(view from second observation platform)

On our way to the Picture Taking Platform under the skywalk, a colorful scene stopped me in my tracks.

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Autumn is right around the corner

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A nice woman took a picture of the three of us
and the remaining support towers from the Picture Taking Platform.
I LOVE the “3D” effect behind us.

I reciprocated the favor by taking a picture of the woman with her father.

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I LOVE the “3D” effect!

20170920_144425872_iOSA side view of the Kinzua Bridge skywalk and the bridge ruins

Eileen and Michael told me that they visited Kinzua Bridge State Park, with their young son, many years ago.  The park looks a lot different now, compared to when they first visited.  Their first visit was several years before the tornado hit that knocked down the railroad bridge.  A train still traveled across the railroad bridge on their first visit.

We departed each others company, after visiting Kinzua Bridge State Park.  Eileen and Michael headed to Presque Isle State Park; I returned home.

I am glad that Eileen, Michael and I were able to get together, albeit for a short time. We enjoyed each others company and conversation, while taking in picturesque views.

Labor Day Motorcycle Ride

We enjoyed an all-day motorcycle ride with friends on Labor Day (September 4th).

We met our friends at 7:30 am at the Hog Wild BBQ just outside of Warren.

20170904_112444983_iOSOur ride began at the Hog Wild BBQ Co.

It was a chilly (and sometimes foggy) ride through lunch time. To prepare for the cold ride I wore the liner in my leather coat and leggings underneath my jeans.  I wore a long sleeved shirt underneath my leather jacket. A pair of gloves completed my cold weather wear.  Everyone else dressed warmly as well.  We removed layers, as it warmed up.  It was very freeing, when the last of the warm weather clothing was removed.  Donna and I were in agreement that doing so was freeing.  We could move freely once again!

We followed Pennsylvania Route 59 and U.S. Route 6 to Wellsboro, making one stop in Port Allegheny.

20170904_124800914_iOSWe stopped briefly at Sheetz in Port Allegheny, PA.

Debbie was inside Sheetz at the time I took the picture displayed above.  I wasn’t in that picture, because I took the picture.  Scott said I am never in any of our group pictures.  I handed Scott my iPhone, when Debbie came out of Sheetz.

20170904_124846909_iOSDebbie and I at Sheetz
(photo by Scott)

The purpose of our ride to Wellsboro was to see Pennsylvania’s Grand Canyon. It was the first time three of our friends had ever been there.  We enjoyed the view from both Colton Point State Park and Leonard Harrison State Park.

_LG24568Donna and Scott at Colton Point State Park

_LG24569Bob and our friends at Colton Point State Park

We even enjoyed (after the fact) an off-road ride on a slick, muddy trail at Colton Point State Park. The muddy trail was a bit treacherous riding on heavy street motorcycles!   Thankfully, there was no mishaps.  That is why I wrote that we enjoyed the off-road rode AFTER we successfully made it to pavement once again.

From Colton Point State Park we rode to Leonard Harrison State Park.

_LG24582A very nice young couple took a picture of all of us at Leonard Harrison State Park.

I reciprocated the favor by taking a picture of the two of them at this overlook.

We ate lunch at the Wellsboro Diner.  The diner was crowded, when we arrived.  It stayed busy for our entire stay.  We had hoped to get the big table in back, but we settled for two booths, one in front of the other.  I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch of an omelet, toast and home fries.  Bob said his roast beef club sandwich was good.  I heard nothing but praise for each lunch selection.

We made three stops on the way back home.  Our first stop was for fuel in Wellsboro.  Our second stop was at Sheetz, once again in Port Allegheny.  It seemed like it took longer to get here on the way home than it did on the way to Wellsboro!  The motorcycle riders sure needed a break to stretch.  A few of us needed caffeine and carbs to alleviate sleepiness!

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Paul cheated at the Port Allegheny stop.
He put up the soft top on the jeep.
The jeep was pretending to be a motorcycle.

The wind was bothering Paul’s ears.  I suggested ear muffs next time.  Someone else suggested that Paul wear a helmet.

Our third stop was for ice cream at the Mt. Jewett Family Tastee Freeze.  We call our group “2 Scoop Cycletherapy”, and we always include an ice cream stop on our rides.

We rode about 260 miles, returning home around 6:00 pm. We had a fun day with our friends sharing beautiful vistas, laughs, conversation and food.  The ride was a great way to conclude the unofficial end of summer. I hope, though, that we get in a few more rides before the riding season ends!

 

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