The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘Allegheny Reservoir’

The End to Cabin Fever

As it was for much of the United States, we experienced cold weather and bitter wind chills at the end of January.  On the morning of February 2nd Pennsylvania’s legendary groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, saw his shadow, which means that Spring is right around the corner.  I hope that Phil is correct in his prediction.  Regardless of whether he is right or wrong, Spring will be here on March 20th.  Here, in Northwestern Pennsylvania, the weather forecast this past Saturday for the next several days makes it look like Spring is on our doorstep.

Spring is knocking on our door!

 

We went for a drive late Sunday morning into the early afternoon. 

A portion of our drive was along the eastern side of the Allegheny Reservoir.  Our first stop was at Big Bend Recreation Area, located just below Kinzua Dam, where we looked for eagles.  We didn’t see any.  

We continued our drive on Pennsylvania Route 59 to Pennsylvania Route 321 past Sugar Bay on the Allegheny Reservoir.  We stopped here.

Sugar Bay on the Allegheny Reservoir

The “My Two Cents” Snowman at Sugar Bay

Bob built the snowman, while I was taking pictures of the bay.

Continuing our drive on Pennsylvania Route 321 we came to a T-intersection.  We turned left onto Pennsylvania Route 346.  At he New York state line Pennsylvania Route 346 becomes New York State Route 280.  We followed Route 280 to Allegany State Park.  

We drove through Allegany State Park, making only one photo stop.  We drove over a bridge and had gotten a few hundred feet further along the road, when I said to Bob “We have to turn around!  I saw something that I want to photograph!”.  Bob turned around.

A snow and ice sculpture I found in one of the streams at Allegany State Park.

A snow and ice sculpture

Bob said the snow and ice sculpture resembled a porcupine.  I thought it resembled a peacock or turkey, with its feathers fanned out.  

From Allegany State Park we made our way back home.  We returned home around 2:00 pm.  I am glad that we went for a drive.  What a beautiful day it was with blue skies, brilliant sunshine and a high temperature of 52 degrees!  I could feel my cabin fever breaking, as the sunshine beamed down through the moon roof and especially when I stepped out into the pleasantly warm outdoor air. 

First Saturday 2019

It was such a pretty day yesterday.  Sunshine has been scarce the past few weeks.  It has been an unusual Winter season thus far.  We have had much more rain than snow.  So little snow, in fact, that Bob has not yet felt the need to use the snow thrower on our driveway.  He has not felt the need to use the snow shovel much either.

Yesterday on Facebook I noticed that a few friends of mine had something to say about our Northwest PA weather as well.

“I have a low grade fever and the type of headache that makes ya want to punch kittens. Yet – this is the first sunny Saturday I can remember in the last 3 months. We ARE going for a walk in the beautiful (retina scorching,head stabbing) outdoors!!” ~Sheila F.

“sure feels good to have the sun on my face after 3 weeks of permacloud in PA!” ~Allison C.

“Finally some sunshine…went for a ride around the Kinzua Dam….” ~Patti B.

Neither Bob nor I were feeling well yesterday morning.  I blame our intestinal distress on the side salads that we ate at Applebee’s the previous evening.  I recovered first and was able to keep a 10:00 am haircut appointment.  It took Bob longer to recover.  He did feel better in the afternoon, so we decided to enjoy the sunshine with a drive around the Allegheny Reservoir. This is the route we traveled.  The starting point is located a little less than 5 miles from our home.

We made only two photo stops, both at the beginning of our drive.  We stopped at Big Bend Recreation Area, located below Kinzua Dam.  I took pictures of the Allegheny River and Kinzua Dam from an observation platform located above the river.

Kinzua Dam at Big Bend Recreation Area

Kinzua Dam at Big Bend Recreation Area

Allegheny River at Big Bend Recreation Area

Look at that blue sky in each of the photographs displayed above.  It had really been a long, long time since we enjoyed a cloudless sky and abundant sunshine.

Our second stop was at Bent Run Falls, where I took a video of the rushing water.

 

As we departed the eastern fringes of the reservoir, the sun was slipping behind cloud cover.

A Facebook friend also went for a drive around Allegheny Reservoir and experienced blue skies turning into cloudy skies.

“We also went around the dam….I was surprised at the snow up on top of the hill…..and loved the water coming our of the spill way. …  got cloudy on us on the way back on I-86 but still a nice ride.” ~Patti B.

I expressed surprise, too, seeing the snow up on top of the hill.  Bob said we were at a higher elevation and it was shady; therefore, the snow stays on the ground for a longer time.  Patti also mentioned that the water level of the reservoir was so low.  We noticed the same, especially looking down on Sugar Bay (on the east side of the reservoir).  We saw people walking on a patch of land, way out into the reservoir.  We should have stopped at Sugar Bay, but we didn’t.

On the western side of the reservoir we drove to Webb’s Ferry, but we didn’t get out of the car.  By then we had lost the sunshine, and clouds once again covered the sky. 

We made one last stop before returning home.  We stopped at Scandia General Store, where we purchased a 12-inch sub, cheese curds and apple butter.  This was the first time that we have stopped at Scandia General Store.  We will be back! 

We returned home around 4:00 pm, at which time we ate our delicious turkey and ham sub.

We enjoyed the sunshine yesterday, while it lasted.  I wonder how many more days will pass before we see sunshine in abundance.

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.

 

Late Winter Sunday Drive

Bob and I went for a Sunday drive late this morning to early afternoon. We were out and about for 3-4 hours. It was a beautiful day for a drive. The sun was out; the sky was blue to partly cloudy; and the temperature felt more like Spring than Winter.

Our first stop was at the Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store in Jamestown, NY. I purchased 2-32 oz. bags of Poly-Fil Poly-Pellets Stuffing Beads for use in a camera bean bag.  I paid $11.86 for these beads, after coupons deducted $9.00 from the total cost. A little later in the day I ordered from Amazon a large-sized, black Grizzly Camera Bean Bag. The cost for this bean bag was $17.95, after using a $15.00 gift card that I earned from Bing Rewards. Bing Rewards lets you earn credits for searching on Bing or trying new features from Bing or other Microsoft products and services. Bing Rewards credits can be redeemed for a variety of gift cards and other rewards.  I save my Bing Rewards credits for Amazon gift cards!  My Camera Bean Bag is scheduled for delivery on Wednesday.

Our next destination was Allegany State Park, located near Salamanca NY, where we spent most of our time. We entered the park via the Quaker Run entrance. We made a few stops along Quaker Lake to take pictures of ice fisherman and Canadian Geese.

_LG20034 4x6Ice Fisherman on Quaker Lake

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Canadian Geese at Quaker Lake
On my Facebook page I am going to ask my friends to add captions to these two photographs.

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We stopped at Science Lake and snagged a couple pictures.

_LG20040 4x6Science Lake

IMG_20160306_115454 4x6Bob took this picture of me standing on top of the Science Lake Dam.

Somewhere along the way between Science Lake and Red House Lake, we stopped to photograph a beaver lodge.

_LG20044 4x6Beaver Lodge

According to the Beaver Solutions website, there are two main types of beaver lodges — the conical lodge and the bank lodge. The most recognized type is the conical shaped dwelling surrounded by water. It is made from sticks, mud and rocks. One of the primary reasons beavers build dams is to surround their lodge with water for protection from predators. The second type of lodge is the bank lodge. It is typically excavated into the bank of a large stream, river, or lake where the water is too deep or fast moving to build the classic conical lodge.  This is a conical beaver lodge.

Our last photo-taking stop at Allegany State Park was at Red House Lake, where we photographed Canadian Geese, and a crow posed for me to take a picture.

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Canadian Geese on Red House Lake

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Canadian Geese on Red House Lake

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_LG20056 4x6A crow, looking out across Red House Lake

We departed Allegany State Park via the Red House entrance.

We returned home along the western side of the Allegheny Reservoir, making one stop at Webbs Ferry.

_LG20061 4x6We discovered a fishing pier. The pier looked like it had been there for a while.

_LG20059 4x6We have visited Webbs Ferry a few times over the years.
Neither of us remembered seeing this fishing pier.

IMG_20160306_132504 4x6Bob took this picture of me standing on the fishing pier.

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Bob walked below the fishing pier.
When the Allegheny Reservoir is full, we think that these rocks
would be covered with water.

This week’s weather looks especially nice.

7-Day_Weather

I hope to spend some time outdoors, enjoying the sunshine!

 

An All-Day Motorcycle Ride

In the late afternoon on Friday, July 24th, a friend posted a status in the 2 Scoop CycleTherapy Facebook group, asking if anyone wanted to go to Springville, NY to the vintage motorcycle museum at Northeast Vintage Cycle. Bob and I said that we would go. We left home at 8:30 Saturday morning and departed from Herb’s house in Scandia at 9:00 am.

20150725_140129302_iOSWe rode to Springville, making one brief stop (a stretching break) along Route 219 in Ellicottville, NY.

 

135939541_140029266_140105519_portrait-advantage-06 8x10There was a pretty flower bed near where we stopped in Ellicottville.

We located Northeast Vintage Cycle without any difficulty. Unfortunately the store/museum was closed and will be closed for the next two Saturdays, while the owners attend vintage motorcycle shows in the area.

We turned around and rode back to Ellicottville. Prior to reaching Ellicottville, we stopped at Griffis Sculpture Park (Rohr Hill Road Site) in Ashford Hollow.

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We walked among the towering sculptures set in fields and woods just off the road.

20150725_153116917_iOS

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It was Herb’s first visit to Griffis Sculpture Park, and he enjoyed the visit. A question that kept coming to mind, while he walked in the park was “why?”.  This Wikipedia article provides the following explanation for “why”.

“The idea for an outdoor sculpture museum came to artist Larry Griffis while he was touring Italy with his family. While watching his children play on the ruins of Emperor Hadrian’s villa, Griffis realized the value of interactive art. As Simon Griffis recalls, his father said, “This is absolutely remarkable. Look at my kids. I’ve taken them to the finest museums and galleries but they’ve come alive in this environment where they can interact and they can smell the flowers and they can touch things.”

Upon returning to the United States, Larry Griffis looked at many possible sites for the park, but had a vision that included site-specific terrain. He required a combination of valleys, woods, lake and open space. Kissing Bridge Ski Resort and Lewiston’s Art Park were possible candidates for the vision, but were passed over by the artist.

In 1966, Griffis purchased 100 acres…of Ashford Hollow in the Southern Tier of Western New York and placed 15 of his own 25 feet…welded steel works on a hillside along a country road. The Ashford Hollow Foundation acquired another 325 acres…and drummed up commissions for additional sculptures.”

 

We made a fuel stop in Ellicottville, and then continued on Route 219 to Bradford, PA. In Bradford we turned onto Route 346 and headed toward the Allegheny Reservoir.

We stopped briefly at Marilla Reservoir.

20150725_165928514_iOSMarilla Bridges Trail

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It was Herb’s first visit to Marilla Reservoir.

 

From Marilla Reservoir we stopped for lunch at the Giordano’s Corydon Hotel. We planned to stop at The Willows, but the place was packed FULL of motorcycles and motorcyclists participating in the annual Kids & Cancer Benefit Run. Lunch at the Corydon Hotel was a good choice. Herb and I enjoyed our burgers. Bob enjoyed his Cajun Chicken Salad.

Our last stop before parting ways was at Kinzua Dam.

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Kinzua Dam

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Herb headed home via Dorcan Road. Bob and I decided to take a ride to the other side of Kinzua Dam.

_LG17001 4x6We got up close and personal to the dam, the closest I have ever been!

We returned home at 4:00 pm. We rode 196 miles. It was a beautiful day for a ride. The ride was most enjoyable, even though its original purpose was not realized.

Cabin Fever Relief

We have had a very mild Winter so far.  I can recall only one major snowstorm in early December.  We had no snow for either the Christmas or New Year holiday.  Winter, though, is set to blow in this evening and stay with us for a while.  With temperatures hovering around 50 for most of the daylight hours today, I felt the need to get out of the house.

We left home at 8:30 am. Our first stop was at Sheetz, where we filled the gas tank. There was plenty of gas in the fuel tank, as it took only 6.352 gallons of gas to fill up. Gas was $2.399/gallon, with a $0.10/gallon discount from using the Sheetz card. Bob added air to my tires, while at Sheetz. The tires are losing air. Bob thinks that the valve stem caps are leaking and need to be replaced.

Our second stop was in Busti, NY for breakfast at the Boomerang Cafe in Busti, NY.

From the Boomerang Cafe we went to the Seneca Allegany Casino in Salamanca, NY.  We had $20 each to play in the slot machines. I lost my $20. Bob increased his $20 by $27.

From the casino we made our way to Route 59 and the Kinzua Dam. We stopped for an ice cream lunch at Dairy Queen in Bradford, PA. We also made a brief stop at Marilla Reservoir, where I photographed the covered bridge and the spillway.

M1041919 11x15Marilla Reservoir

We would have taken a walk around the reservoir, if it had not been raining.

M1041921 11x15This is Route 59 in Warren County, PA.
We made a few stops along Route 59.

M1041926_7_8_tonemapped 11x15We stopped at the Big Bend Visitor Center overlook.
I was so happy to see some blue sky and sunshine!

M1041943 11x15

We stopped at the Bent Run waterfall.
The waterfall was flowing nicely!

M1041938 11x15Bent Run waterfall

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M1041934 11x15Self-portrait

M1041937 11x15Bob and I at Bent Run waterfall

M1041945 11x15Our last stop was at Kinzua Dam.
This photograph is of the Allegheny Reservoir, which the Kinzua Dam impounds.
Look at that blue sky!
This is the calm before the storm!

We returned home around 2:00 pm. What an enjoyable day!  It sure felt good to be outside, away from the four walls of our house!

A Drive Along the Longhouse National Scenic Byway

Bob and I went for a drive on Saturday afternoon. It was warm enough to ride the motorcycle that day; however, we opted to travel by car. We don’t want anything to happen to the Nomad prior to April 25, when we plan to trade it in for the new motorcycle. We wouldn’t want our new motorcycle to be ridden after putting down a deposit on it, and I would think the dealership would rather we did not ride the Nomad needlessly.

Saturday’s travel destination was Forest Service Road (FSR) 262, which is part of the Longhouse National Scenic Byway.   Before reaching FSR 262, we stopped at Big Bend Recreation Area.

P4124244 4x6Saturday was the first day of trout fishing.  This man was fishing in the Allegheny River.  The release of Allegheny Reservoir water by the opening of Kinzua Dam gates the past week raised the level of the river significantly.

Our next stop was at Jakes Rocks.  The access road for Jakes Rocks is about a mile up FSR 262.  After parking at Jakes Rocks, we walked a paved pathway to an overlook of the Allegheny Reservoir.

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Returning to FSR 262 we made one more stop before leaving the Jakes Rocks area.

P4124256 4x6We stopped at an overlook of the Casey Bridge (Rt. 59) and the Allegheny Reservoir.

The next major stop along FSR 262 was at the Elijah Run Boat Launch.

P4124262 4x6View from Elijah Run Boat Launch

On our way back to the car from the boat launch we noticed a trail across the parking lot.

P4124272 4x6

This trail led to a fishing pier that I had seen from the boat launch, off to the left.

P4124265 4x6a fishing pier
Bob, making his way down to the shoreline

P4124267 4x6On the fishing pier,
looking back toward the boat launch area

 

From Elijah Run Boat Launch, we continued our drive along FSR 262.  At the end of that road, we turned right onto Route 321 and stopped at Bob’s Trading Post.

E4301179I took this photograph in April 2011.  I will take an updated picture of Bob’s Trading Post in a few weeks, with a photograph of our new motorcycle in front of it!

When we find ourselves at Bob’s Trading Post we usually stop in for some ice cream.  Both Bob and I watch our carbohydrate intake and were happy to find the availability of no sugar added butter pecan ice cream, which we asked for in a bowl.

After eating our ice cream, we went home by way of Gibbs Hill, Sheffield, and Clarendon.  All in all, it was a very nice Spring day for a drive!

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