The Beauty Around Us

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

Allegany State Park Day Trip

Well, we made it to Allegany State Park after all the day after our day trip to Letchworth State Park.  (See today’s earlier post about changing our destination, when en route to Allegany State Park.)

Allegany State Park is located near Salamanca, NY.  The park is divided into two sections: the Red House area and the Quaker Run area. The Red House Area is the northern half of Allegany State Park. Its attractions include Stone Tower, Red House Lake, the Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge, and the Tudor-style Administration Building. The Quaker Run area is the southern half of the park. Its attractions include Quaker Lake, Science Lake, an Amphitheater, and Thunder Rocks.

Allegany State Park is a frequent destination for Bob and me, as the park is less than an hour’s drive from our house.

With the exception of one weekend camping trip several years ago, our visits to the park last only a few hours. We visit various attractions, which I photograph.  We sometimes shop at the gift store and eat lunch at the Red House Restaurant, both of which are located in the Administration Building. I would like very much to spend a weekend, once again, at Allegany State Park.

We entered Allegany State Park from Interstate 86 and entered the Red House Area on ASP Route 1.  We gained free entry by showing our New York Empire Pass.  It would have cost us $6.00, if we did not have an Empire Pass.

ASP Route 1 Overlook

Red House Lake

Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge

Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge

There is a new trail off ASP Route 3 that goes on the other side of Science Lake.  The trail was opened in late Spring or early Summer this year.  We hiked some of the trail, for the first time, during our visit to Allegany State Park.  I learned afterward that there is a kiosk at the front of Science Lake that provides information about “school in the woods” ruins that can be reached by hiking the Science Lake trail.  We didn’t hike far enough, so we didn’t see the ruins  … next time 🙂

Science Lake Trail Trailhead.  The creek feeds Science Lake.

The trail was well marked. The blue hiking sign indicates that the trail is easy.

Science Lake Trail; Science Lake in the distance.

The people who built this trail did an EXCELLENT job!

Feeding Science Lake

Science Lake, with fishing platform in the distance

Science Lake Trail.  This is another  instance of a well-built trail.

The trail was a bit rocky in places.  Some rocks were strategically placed, though, to keep one out of the mud!

Looking across Science Lake

OH!  I see the kiosk that provides information about the “school in the woods” ruins!

The bridge over Science Dam was fenced off several years ago.

It would be nice, if funds were made available to make repairs to the dam / bridge.  A great loop trail would then be possible around Science Lake.

Bob hiked over to the bridge.  I stayed on the trail.  This is where we ended our hike.  We turned around and returned to the car.

One last parting picture of Science Lake

 

While we were at Letchworth State Park the day before, I remarked often about “so many people” being at the park.  My oft-spoken remark, while at Allegany State Park, was that there were “too many bugs”!  No bugs bothered us, while at Letchworth.  We should have applied bug spray, especially before hiking behind Science Lake.

Leaving Science Lake, we continued on ASP Route 3 past Quaker Lake.  We exited the park onto Interstate 86, just 10 miles south of where we entered the park.

Day Trip to Letchworth State Park

On Saturday, October 5, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful day by going for a drive.  We hoped to see some pretty Autumn colors.  Our original plan was to go to Allegany State Park, near Salamanca NY.  This park is about a 45-minute drive from our house.  We were about half way to Allegany State Park, when I asked Bob how far it was from our location to Letchworth State Park.  “Hey Google.  How far is it from my location to Letchworth State Park?”, Bob asked.  Well, we didn’t have a signal, so that question had to be repeated a short while later.  Instead of turning right onto Interstate 86, we went straight ahead, and that is how we ended up at Letchworth State Park instead of Allegany State Park.

Letchworth State Park is located 35 miles south of Rochester, NY. The park, often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the East”, is a spectacular place. The park’s magnificent scenery includes waterfalls (three major ones on the Genesee River) and a gorge. We have visited Letchworth State Park many times over the years. We enjoy our visit each time we go.

We arrived at the park a little after noon, entering via the south (the Portageville entrance).  We have the New York Empire Pass, which provides unlimited day-use vehicle entry to New York State Parks.  We made stops at the Upper and Middle Falls between the Portageville entrance and the Archery Field exit.  

Upper Falls

Middle Falls

Rainbow at Middle Falls

We ate lunch at the Charcoal Grill in Perry, NY.  This is a great place to eat, if you are in the area.  There are three food places — the grill, a pizzeria and an ice cream stand.  We have stopped at the Charcoal Grill a few times, while in the area.  So far we have eaten at each food place, except for the pizzeria.  The pizza smells really good, though … maybe next time.  I ordered broasted chicken with coleslaw and french fries.  Bob ordered beef on weck and onion rings.  As always, the food was delicious. 

After lunch we drove farther north and reentered Letchworth State Park via the Mt. Morris entrance.  We drove south, making a few stops to take pictures of the gorge, before exiting the park via the Portageville exit.

Hogsback Overlook

The photographs (and video) that follow were taken in the Great Bend area of the park.


We watched several rafters go down the Genesee River.

Not much color yet

This was the most color that we saw, while at Letchworth State Park.

Many people took advantage of the nice day, as we did.  The park was full of people!

We had a wonderful day.  We returned home around 6:00 pm.

Weekend in Hudson, OH

We spent 3 nights September 20 through September 23 in Hudson, OH.  We rented the Hudson Home AirBnB.  The location of this AirBnB was ideal for our activities. We went bicycling on trails in and near Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and we visited the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.  A food market and restaurants were within walking distance from our rental.

We were en route Hudson, OH at 7:15 am on Friday, September 20.  We stopped for breakfast in Youngsville, PA at Richard’s Family Restaurant. “That was good; it was enjoyable”, Bob said after breakfast. Bob had a Greek omelet with home fries and toast. I had French toast and bacon.  The service was fast, as we were back on the road at 8:10 am.

We told Google maps to take us to Hudson OH, using an off highway route. From Youngsville Google maps said it was 133 mi 3 hours and 25 minutes to our destination, with an ETA of 11:23 am.  A deer ran across the road in front of us, shortly after leaving the restaurant. If there had been a second deer, it is likely we would have hit that deer.

We arrived in Hudson around 11:45 am. We passed by our AirBnB and drove to Szalay’s in Peninsula for lunch. The  farm market was open; the outdoor eatery was not. We drove back to Hudson.

We ate lunch at Johnny’s Diner, located in Hudson at the Acme Market plaza. This is what the webpage says about Johnny’s Diner:

“Go back in time to the glory days of malt shop diners. Johnny’s Diner is a delicious blend of 50’s style diner and hometown Hudson.”

Johnny’s Diner

Johnny’s Diner

I liked the diner’s 50s ambiance; the service and food was good as well. We didn’t order anything that the diner appears to be noted for i.e., burgers and shakes. We can, though, attest to the fact that the Chef’s Salad and melted tuna sandwich are delicious.

After lunch, we drove to the AirBnB that we rented for 3 nights. The AirBnB is located about 1/4 mile from the Acme Market plaza. We “checked in”, carried in our baggage and got settled in. Checking in involved entering a combination for a lockbox and using the key inside the lockbox to open the front door. Once inside we returned the key to the lockbox. Near the kitchen door was a key to use for the rest of our visit. That key was for the back door, which happens to be the most convenient door to use. Parking is at the back of the house.

Our rental AirBnB – living / dining room

Our rental AirBnB – back yard

Our rental AirBnB – Our host left snacks for us.

Later in the afternoon we walked the quarter of a mile to the Acme Market and purchased a few groceries (mainly breakfast items, beverages and snacks).

We ate dinner at Perkins Restaurant, located in the Acme Market plaza.

This AirBnB does not have a TV. It does, however, have the Internet and a computer monitor. Bob didn’t bring the Fire Stick, as the AirBnB listing said there was no TV. Therefore, Bob assumed that there would be nowhere to plug in the Fire Stick. He could have plugged the Fire Stick into the monitor. We were able to watch Amazon Prime and Hulu, though, by hooking up Bob‘s Surface Pro tablet to the computer monitor.

 

The next day (Saturday, September 21) we ate breakfast at the house from purchases that we made the day before. Then we went for a bicycle ride, which you can read about here.

We ate lunch at Szalay’s Outdoor Eatery. Bob had a polish sausage, and I had a hot dog. For dessert we had fruit sundaes–vanilla soft serve ice cream with pineapple, blueberries, strawberries and bananas.

After lunch we returned to the house, where we stayed until late afternoon.

We ate dinner at Subway in the Acme Market plaza.  I am sure that you can tell that we made good use of the nearby shopping plaza.

After dinner we drove to the Ira Trailhead on the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, where we went for a short evening bicycle ride.

We returned to the house around 7:30 pm.

 

On Sunday, September 22, we went to the zoo.  We felt that the zoo was a better choice, given the extreme heat, than riding bicycles.

We were en route Cleveland Metroparks Zoo at 9:00 am. We arrived about 50 minutes later. Our tickets were half price because we are members of the Erie Zoo. We visited all seven zoo locations.

I put together a slideshow of some of the zoo animals that we saw during our visit.

Bob put together a short video too.

What a hot day! The car thermometer read 94 degrees, when we returned to the car. We had an enjoyable time at the zoo. Our time there, though, would have been more enjoyable had it been about 20 degrees cooler. The animals may have been more active too.

We departed the zoo at 2:00 pm. We were back at the house by 3:00 pm. We were both whipped, and our feet hurt. Still the day’s activities were better than riding bicycles. At least we were able to find some relief in air conditioned buildings.

 

We departed Hudson at 7:30 am on Monday, September 23. We stopped for breakfast at Bob Evans Restaurant in Streetsboro, OH. We both ordered Classic Breakfast – 2 eggs, 2 pancakes and bacon.  Filling and delicious!

When we left Hudson it was cloudy and a comfortable 68 degrees. It started raining in Conneaut, PA and the rain stayed with us rest of the way home. We returned home around noon.

What a wonderful weekend getaway!

New Blog Website

 

I have a new blog “Bicycling the beauty around us”. I created the blog as a logbook, of sorts, to track my husband and my bicycling adventures. I have spent the past few days putting the blog together, adding content from 2016 to the present (in chronological order)  My new blogging website may be found by clicking here. Please check out my new blog.  At present there are 36 published blog posts.  I still plan to use this website, “The Beauty Around Us”, so please don’t stop following me here!

Maine Vacation: Utica NY to Warren PA

We checked out of the Red Roof Inn in Utica NY, and we were on the road by 7:00 am.  Neither of us slept well last night, but our lack of sleep was no fault of the hotel or other guests.  We were just restless (to get home, I believe).

We ate breakfast at the Port Byron Diner in Port Byron, NY.  Bob ordered an omelet with potatoes; I ordered chocolate chip pancakes with scrambled eggs and bacon.  Breakfast was filling and delicious.

After breakfast we drove to the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, where we drove around the Wildlife Loop.  We saw an eagle today and a few other birds.  There wasn’t much activity.  We prefer coming to this wildlife refuge in the Spring.  I talked with a man who was photographing the eagle.  The eagle had not left his roost in 1 1/2 hours!  We spent about 30 minutes waiting for the eagle to fly.

Eagle on its roost

I thought for sure that the eagle was going to fly.

What a stubborn eagle!

Leaving Montezuma, we drove to UBREAKIFIX in Buffalo.  Bob had arranged to have his Google Pixel 2 phone repaired.  The thumbprint sensor quit working.  He was quoted a price of $80-100 a couple weeks ago and told the work would take a couple hours.  Today he was told the cost of the repair would be $150 and would take 3 hours to fix.  Bob opted not to have his phone fixed.

On our way home from Buffalo we made two stops.  Our first stop was at Tim Hortons in Fredonia, NY.  We ordered coffee/tea, two cookies (for Bob) and an apple fritter (for me).  Our second stop was a fuel stop at Mobil in Fredonia, NY.

We returned home around 3:00 pm.  Bob drove 2,070 miles total, while we were on vacation.

This blog post concludes Day 10 of our 10-day Maine vacation (June 28-July 7, 2019).  We are already talking about returning to Maine some day, perhaps in the fall.  We really enjoyed our stay in Maine!

Maine Vacation: Edgecomb ME to Utica NY

We departed Pioneer Motel shortly after 6:00 am this morning, on our way home.

Our first stop was for breakfast at McDonald’s in Bath, ME.  We had our customary bacon, egg and cheese bagel and sausage burritos meals.

Our second stop was at Cynthia and Larry’s house in Amherst, NH.  Cynthia is Bob’s sister.  We arrived at 10:45 am and left shortly after 2:00 pm.  We enjoyed good conversation and a delicious lunch. 

Our Lunch at Cynthia and Larry’s House

Our lunch was steak-lamb-turkey kabobs with potato salad and smoked bay scallops in a salad.  Dessert was brownies and lemon/raspberry bars.  Thank you, Cynthia and Larry, for the wonderful meal!

Shortly before we left to continue our drive home, I took a family picture.

The four of us and Weezie

We stopped for the night in Utica, NY at Red Roof Inn.   It was 7:45 pm, more than enough hours on the go!  After checking in, we drove to the nearby Denny’s Restaurant for dinner.  Shortly before 8:30 pm we returned to Red Roof Inn, where we stayed for rest of the night.

This blog post concludes Day 9 of our 10-day Maine vacation (June 28-July 7, 2019).

– TO BE CONTINUED –

Maine Vacation: Winding Down

We ate breakfast at McDonald’s once again, after a break for a couple of days.  My meal of choice this past week has been a bacon, egg and cheese bagel, hash browns and orange juice.  Bob ordered two sausage burritos, hash browns and coffee.

This morning we visited the Maine State Aquarium, located in West Boothbay Harbor.  After paying the $7.00 each admission fee, we walked past the gift shop into the aquarium.  The first thing we noticed were two large touch tanks.  At center stage was a tank that held sharks and skates.  We petted a shark!  Its skin felt like sandpaper.  Inside the second touch tank, the Tidepool Touch Tank, were lobsters, horseshoe crabs, hermit crabs, sea cucumbers and other invertebrates.  You could touch AND pick up any of the invertebrates in this tank.  Recessed tanks along the walls held a variety of species native to the Gulf of Maine.

We attended a talk on lobsters.  The Aquarium features lobsters in all sizes and colors.

This lobster was in the Tidepool Touch Tank.

We learned why a lobster is banded. The bands prevent lobsters from eating each other!

We met Neptune.

This is Neptune, a 14-lb lobster. His age is estimated to be between 15-18 years old.

We learned that fishermen bring the aquarium odd-looking lobsters, e.g. lobsters with multiple claws or lobsters with no claws and a variety of colored lobsters.

Our granddaughters would have enjoyed spending time at the Maine State Aquarium.  Not only would they have enjoyed the touch tanks, but they would have enjoyed the opportunity to do some sport fishing from the aquarium dock.  Rods and reels are available free-of-charge, and staff provides necessary instruction.  We watched some children fishing for a few minutes.  We didn’t see anyone catch a fish.  There were a couple lobster traps hanging from the dock, which were available to be pulled up.  One trap contained a lobster, which was dropped back into the water.  The trap that we pulled up had a crab in it.  We just dropped the crab and trap back into the water.

Leaving the aquarium, we returned to Pioneer Motel at 12:30 pm.

Around 4:30 pm we drove into Boothbay Harbor, where we enjoyed the refreshing breeze and bought pizza (2 slices each) at Pier 1 Pizza. 

Boothbay Harbor Footbridge

Boothbay Harbor Footbridge

Our Lady Queen of Peace Church

Boothbay Harbor Waterfront

Boothbay Harbor Waterfront (near where we bought pizza)

Boothbay Harbor Waterfront (near where we bought pizza).

Leaving Boothbay Harbor we drove to Southport Island to Newagen, where we saw The Cuckolds Lighthouse once again. 

The Cuckolds Lighthouse

Bob and I on dock with The Cuckolds Lighthouse behind us

We took Route 27 north to River Road through Damariscotta to the Mobil Fuel Station, where we filled up.  We will start home in the morning with a full tank.  We returned to Pioneer Motel around 7:30 pm.

This blog post concludes Day 8 of our 10-day Maine vacation (June 28-July 7, 2019).

– TO BE CONTINUED –

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