The Beauty Around Us

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

Posts from the ‘Pennsylvania’ category

More Leaf Peeping

We enjoyed another day of leaf peeping.  Tuesday, October 11, was a sunny and warm Autumn day. We drove to Wellsboro PA, where we enjoyed the scenic vistas at both Leonard Harrison State Park and Colton Point State Park

The following photographs were taken at Leonard Harrison State Park. Leonard Harrison State Park is on the east rim of Pine Creek Gorge, also known as the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. 

From Leonard Harrison State Park we drove into Wellsboro. We parked on the street in front of The Green. We walked across the street to The Native Bagel for bagels. My bagel was cinnamon and raisin with cream cheese.  Bob’s bagel was Asiago cheese with butter.  Both bagels were toasted and delicious.  We also had a cup of tea (me) and a cup of coffee (Bob).  We try to go to The Native Bagel, whenever we are in Wellsboro because we went there on our honeymoon.

After eating our bagels, we walked across the street once again and strolled through The Green.

The Wynken, Blynken, and Nod Statue is the centerpiece of The Green.

Leaving Wellsboro, we drove to Colton Point State Park. Colton Point State Park is on the west rim of the Pine Creek Gorge. The following photographs were taken at Colton Point State Park.

I took this picture, after parking at the first overlook.
First Overlook
This was the view from the parking lot, looking away from the first overlook.
Fiery Foliage
This was the second overlook. Look toward the sky underneath the bare tree branches. You can see the overlook at Leonard Harrison State Park.

On our drive back home we stopped in Coudersport at Cream ‘n Sugar.  Bob got a piece of chocolate cake with peanut butter icing.  I got a small peanut butter cup ice cream.  The ice cream was from Penn State Berkey Creamery. We were aware that ice cream was available on the Penn State campus and that it was a well known creamery. The ice cream was smooth and creamy … delicious. Bob wished afterward that he would have gotten ice cream instead of the cake, although the cake was good too.

We enjoyed our day trip very much so.  It looks like we chose the day well to make the trip, as Wednesday was cloudy and today (Thursday, October 13), it is raining.

Leaf Peeping at Kinzua Bridge State Park and Allegany State Park

Wednesday, October 5th, was sunny and a typical fall weather day.  We decided to go on a leaf peeping drive. We left home around 8:30 am and returned home at 2:00 pm. 

Our first stop was at Kinzua Bridge State Park near Mt. Jewett PA.

The Viaduct, or Kinzua Bridge, once was the longest and tallest railroad structure at 2,053 feet long and 301 feet high.
The Viaduct was partially destroyed by a tornado in 2003.
The Viaduct was reinvented as a pedestrian walkway in 2011.
Stroll 600 feet out on the remaining support towers,
peer miles out into the Kinzua Gorge, and
gaze down through the partial glass platform
at the end of the walkway.
The foliage color is really nice this year!
Looking down, way down, from the bridge
The support towers taken down by the tornado still remain on the forest floor 19 years later.
Proof that Bob and I were at Kinzua Bridge State Park 🙂

Our second stop was at Allegany State Park, which we entered via Limestone Road near Bradford PA.  It has been more than 5 years since we used that entrance point to the park.  We used to enter the park via Limestone Road, when we wanted to avoid the park fee (not every visit but sometimes).  We have purchased the NYS Park Empire Pass for the past several years and will continue to do so. We no longer concern ourselves with the cost to enter a New York State Park. The Limestone Road was just as rugged as we remembered it. We didn’t drive all over Allegany State Park, as we usually do when we visit the park. Instead we visited only Science Lake and Quaker Lake.

Science Lake at Allegany State Park
This tree by the fishing pier at Science Lake was quite vivid. This picture doesn’t even come close to the brilliance that my eye saw.

During our many visits to Allegany State Park, I take photographs mainly at the northern end of Quaker Lake near the Spillway Overlook. The lighting wasn’t good at that end of the lake, so I concentrated on the southern end of the lake.

Quaker Lake at Allegany State Park
Quaker Lake, looking north
Quaker Lake

From Allegany State Park we drove along part of the Allegheny Reservoir, past Kinzua Dam,  and then home.  The leaves are definitely changing colors, but neither Kinzua Bridge State Park nor Allegany State Park have reached their peak color. If time permits, we may make a return visit in a week to one or both of the parks.

Webbs Ferry

Yesterday we ate breakfast at Wendy’s Cafe in North Warren.  I ordered a  “Small Big Breakfast” (2 eggs scrambled, half portion of home fries, half portion of bacon and toast).  Bob ordered an “Everything Omelet” (ham, sausage, bacon, veggies and cheese with home fries and toast).  Breakfast was delicious and filling.  

After breakfast, we went for a drive to and through Allegany State Park (near Salamanca NY).  Before reaching the park, we stopped at Webbs Ferry. 

Webbs Ferry is located in Pennsylvania in the Allegheny National Forest on the western shoreline of the Allegheny Reservoir.

This map shows the location of Webbs Ferry.

As you might suppose from the topographical map, Webbs Ferry is a boat launch for loading and unloading boats. We didn’t stop at Webbs Ferry to make use of its boat launch. From the parking lot there is a foot trail to a fishing pier. We climbed down two flights of stairs and followed a trail that wound through the woods to the fishing pier. If you prefer not to use stairs, the pier is reachable by walking the foot trail alone.

The Webbs Ferry Fishing Pier is 45-feet long.

The fishing pier is completely out of the water, preventing fishing and exposing needed repairs. The entrance to the fishing pier is blocked with caution tape. A sign indicates that the fishing pier will remain closed until repairs are done and a safety inspection is successfully completed.

The views at the fishing pier, though, made the hike down from the parking lot worthwhile.

View just left of the Webbs Ferry Fishing Pier

Webbs Ferry was our only stop. The drive through Allegany State Park was enjoyable, though, on such a beautiful day.

A Day in Erie

We spent the day Saturday, July 30, in Erie with my brother Jim, our sister-in-law Judy, and their dogs Piper and Ru. Jim and Judy arrived in Erie on Friday and spent two nights there. We met around 10:45 am near Sara’s Restaurant, along the road to Presque Isle State Park.  We drove around Presque Isle, making a few photo stops. 

Our first stop was at the Perry Monument.  I didn’t take any pictures during our walk at Perry Monument.

Our second stop was at the North Pier Lighthouse and then the houseboats on our way back out to the main park road. 

We walked first to the beach side of North Pier Lighthouse.
We then walked the North Pier to the lighthouse.
This houseboat, with a lighthouse, on Horseshoe Pond is my favorite.
According to this article, there are 24 houseboats on Horseshoe Pond.

Our third stop was at the Presque Isle Lighthouse. 

Presque Isle Lighthouse, with art show

We browsed the various artists’ wares for sale, but didn’t buy anything. 

Presque Isle Lighthouse

There is a fence surrounding the lighthouse property. The beach is behind me. There was a gate to the beach; however, it was locked. We tried to walk on the beach to where the gate is located. The beach is badly eroded.

Judy walking on a trail on a sand dune at Presque Isle Lighthouse beach. Some of the sand let go, and Judy slid down the dune. She had some difficulty getting back up, as the sand kept giving way. I didn’t go any farther on the trail, than where I am standing taking the picture!

While Judy, Jim and Bob attempted to make their way to the beach side of the lighthouse, I photographed the beach itself. By the way they didn’t make it to the lighthouse.

Presque Isle Lighthouse Beach
Presque Isle Lighthouse Beach

I believe if we had driven past the lighthouse a short way that we may have been able to walk back to the lighthouse.

From the lighthouse we drove to Smugglers Wharf, near Dobbins Landing, where we ate a late lunch / early dinner. 

Smugglers Wharf Restaurant
Photo obtained from Library of Congress

It was the first time that any of us had eaten at this restaurant.  We were not able to get patio seating. We were seated inside the restaurant with a view of Presque Isle Bay. We requested a table with a view, so that Jim and Judy could keep an eye on their dogs, who stayed in the car with all windows down. With the exception of Jim, we ordered seafood. Jim ordered chicken. Our food was good.  The service was OK.  Our waiter didn’t ask if we wanted anything other than water to drink or if we wanted any dessert.  He saved us money because we didn’t order any drinks or dessert!

After lunch/dinner we walked around Dobbins Landing.  

Dobbins Landing

We enjoyed seeing an old pirate ship. The pirate was squirting water at those passing by. He didn’t squirt water at us.

Old Pirate Ship near Dobbins Landing
Jim and Ru on a Seal at Dobbins Landing

The pirate on the old ship attacked the Skallywags Pirate Ship.  There was ship-to-ship water cannon battles.  It was a bonus that we were able to see the show unfold at Dobbins Landing.

Scallywags and Old Pirate Ship near Dobbins Landing

We parted ways at Dobbins Landing.  We are very glad that we were able to meet up with Jim and Judy and spend the day with them. I can count on one hand the number of times we have spent the day together in Erie.

A Meet & Greet

The L.L.Bean Bootmobile stopped by for a meet & greet with the Zippo Car this morning, from 9:30 am until 11:00 am, at the Zippo/Case Museum & Flagship Store in Bradford PA. Bob and I live about an hour’s drive from Zippo Museum and Store, so we decided to meet & greet the Bootmobile too!

The L.L.Bean Bootmobile

In 2012, L.L.Bean celebrated its 100th anniversary by unveiling the Bootmobile – a 13-foot-high, 20-foot-long, road-ready replica of the iconic L.L.Bean Boot

The L.L.Bean Bootmobile and the Zippo Car

The L.L. Bean Bootmobile is on tour, traveling through 10 states in 10 days, to commemorate its 10th birthday.

The L.L.Bean Bootmobile stopped by for
a meet & greet with the Zippo Car.

We did visit the Zippo Store and Museum, briefly. We have visited Zippo many times over the years, and I chose not to take photographs during this visit. Inside the museum Zippo displayed plans for a renovated museum/store, to open in the summer of 2023. I will be sure to make a return visit then AND take pictures!

Chincoteague VA Vacation (4th post)

We got up around 6:00 am on Monday, April 18th and saw another gorgeous sunrise.  

Chincoteague Island Sunrise

My breakfast was two bowls of oatmeal in a cup.  I included sliced peaches in one bowl.  I also ate an orange.  Bob ordered from McDonalds. With the exception of Bob’s McDonalds breakfast, we ate breakfast at our AirBnb “Tranquil Shores” throughout our vacation.

We ate lunch at “Tranquil Shores”.  We had plenty of leftovers to put together a very filling lunch.  Leftovers included grilled ham steak, macaroni and cheese, two hush puppies each and three shrimp each.  For dessert we had applesauce.

For dinner we ordered delivery (free anywhere on the island) from Famous Pizza and Subs.  It was our first time ordering from this restaurant. Our order was for two baked spaghetti with garden salad and garlic toast.  We added meatballs to one spaghetti order.   We shared the meatballs.   

Baked Spaghetti Dinners

We are happy that the restaurant delivered, as it was a chilly, windy and rainy day.   Dinner was delicious.  We could have easily split one spaghetti dinner with meatballs.  I couldn’t eat all of my spaghetti.  It will not go to waste, though.  I placed it in a storage container, and we will carry it home with us in the cooler.

So, this was a stay-at-home day. It was a relaxing day.  We read, surfed the Internet, and watched TV.  Bob played the ukulele. We packed for our drive back home.


We departed Chincoteague at 7:30 am on Tuesday, April 19th. It took us longer to get home than it took to get to Chincoteague because we told the GPS to avoid highways on our way home.

We ate breakfast at Dayton’s Restaurant in Salisbury MD.  This appeared a popular restaurant. There was seating available, but not much! It seemed the waitresses knew most of the patrons by name. The food and service were both great.

Early afternoon we stopped at Sheetz in Lancaster PA for a bathroom break and to pick up a light lunch/snacks. 

Our route took us over two mountains — Blue Mountain and Second Mountain — via seven-mile long Gold Mine Road. Gold Mine Road begins in Union Township PA off Route 443 and ends on Route 325 south of Tower City in Schuylkill County, near the Dauphin County line. 

We are on Gold Mine Road,
crossing over Second Mountain.
GPS indicated that we were in Jonestown PA.
We are on Gold Mine Road,
soon after crossing over Second Mountain.
GPS indicated that we were in Tower City PA.

It really was surprising where our GPS took us, when we told it to avoid highways.

The GPS directed us onto the Quehanna Highway,
near Karthaus PA in Clearfield County.
It was snowing, as we approached our hometown of Warren PA.

The next time we travel to and from Chincoteague, we will not avoid highways (unless we split the travel time into 2 days). We returned home at 7:14 pm, approximately 12 hours after we had left Chincoteague!

This concludes my account of our Chincoteague VA vacation. We are already making plans for a return trip next Spring. We plan to go in May next year. Perhaps the weather will be more consistently warm a few weeks later.

Mid-Week Getaway: Third and Final Day – Return to Trough Creek State Park

On the morning of Thursday, March 24, we returned to Trough Creek State Park.  Our first stop was at the Balanced Rock Trail.  We walked across the suspension bridge, as we did the prior day

The Suspension Bridge on the Balanced Rock Trail

The prior day I photographed Bob, as he walked on the suspension bridge.

During our second visit, Bob photographed me while I was crossing the suspension bridge.

We continued on the trail to Rainbow Falls. 

Balanced Rock Trail
Balanced Rock Trail
Balanced Rock Trail
Rainbow Falls
Bob crossed over the bridge beside Rainbow Falls and continued the hike to the Balanced Rock.
I stayed at Rainbow Falls, while Bob hiked up to the Balanced Rock.
Bob took this picture from the Balanced Rock Trail.
Do you see me on the bridge?

While Bob was hiking, I was taking pictures of Rainbow Falls.

I LOVE this long exposure picture of Rainbow Falls!

I had to, of course, take a selfie of me and the waterfall.

Rainbow Falls and me
The Balanced Rock
(photo by Bob)
Bob took a picture of our car from the Balanced Rock.
Bob hiking back from the Balanced Rock.

There is a short, a very short, clip in the above-displayed video where it looks like Bob lost his balance, while hiking down from the Balanced Rock. He was just messing with me 🙂

Bob said the climb to the Balanced Rock was steep; the trail was slippery in places.  He ended turning the wrong way and ended up on a trail that was even worse than the trail to the Balanced Rock.  At one place on that trail, he had to climb underneath a fallen log. Bob said I decided correctly to stay at Rainbow Falls.  I enjoyed staying at the falls.  It was peaceful there, with the only sound being the falling of water.  On our way back to the car, as we crossed the suspension bridge, three men crossed too.  Boy! Did that bridge sway and bounce!  

Bob and I with the Balanced Rock behind us

From the Balanced Rock Trail we drove to the Ice Mine. 

Ice Mine

According to this Ice Mine “is an artificial adit, probably a prospect hole for early iron miners. The ice is formed by cold air from the crevices of the surrounding rock which flows into the adit during spring and early summer. It stops at the end of summer, depending on the outside temperatures, and the ice starts to melt.  For this to work, the rock must have decent crevices, allowing a continual air current flowing through the rock. The hillside is formed by loose boulders with numerous clefts. During winter a convection of cold air happens, which cools down the rocks and gets warmed by the rock. The temperature difference is the reason for the air flow. In spring the convection changes its direction, now the warm air from outside gets cooled by the cold rocks and leaves the boulders at the foot, right where the Ice Mine is located.  The cold rocks get warmed by the air current, as much as the air is cooled down, and so the convection comes to an end usually by late summer.”

Ice Mine entry steps
Ice Mine adit

As we were driving out of the state park we made one other stop.  I liked a stream of water of which I caught a glimpse.  The stream of water is Laurel Run, which flows under Trough Creek Drive to Trough Creek.

Laurel Run

I think the foliage in the picture of Laurel Run is Mountain Laurel. Mountain Laurel and Rhododendron are abundant in Trough Creek State Park. I would love to return to the park one day and see these shrubs in bloom.

From Trough Creek State Park we drove back to Ridenour Overlook, where we had stopped on Tuesday on our way to the airbnb.  I had hoped for a nicer view with better weather.  The view was not better.  It was overcast and the mountain tops were in low-hanging clouds.  I didn’t take any pictures.  In fact, I didn’t even get out of the car!

At this point Bob and I discussed the purchase of rechargeable walkie talkies.  When Bob was hiking to the Balanced Rock, it would have been helpful if we had walkie talkies.  Our cell phones had no signal.  Bob could have used a walkie talkie to let me know it was taking longer than expected on the trail because he made a wrong turn.  I was beginning to worry because he was gone longer than expected.  We decided to buy a pair of walkie talkies at Walmart in Duncansville PA.  Bob placed the order, and we began our drive there.  We stopped in Huntingdon for lunch at Hoss’s Steakhouse.  After lunch we continued our drive.  We picked up the walkie talkies and drove back to our airbnb.  

What a nice afternoon it was!  We enjoyed some time in the sun, sitting on the patio at our airbnb.

Relaxing on Patio at Airbnb

We returned home from Martinsburg on Friday, March 25. What a wonderful 3-night vacation we had! Guess what?!? We just booked another 3-night stay at the same airbnb for early summer!

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