The Beauty Around Us

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

Posts tagged ‘Allegheny River’

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.

In Search Of … Loons

I wasn’t feeling my usual chipper self yesterday morning.  I don’t know what made me feel down … the colder than usual temperatures perhaps. It has felt more like Winter than Spring the past few days. Getting out of the house in the afternoon, though, revived my spirits.

I accompanied Bob on a few errands (taking cardboard to a recycling center, purchasing fluorescent tube lighting at Howe’s True Value and buying whiskey at the liquor store), and he drove me around town in search of loons. According to a Facebook post by the Allegheny Center for Arts, loons have arrived in the area and were seen in downtown Warren on the Allegheny River. We didn’t see any loons downtown along the Allegheny River.

There wasn’t much activity at Crescent Park, on the Allegheny River.  We didn’t see any loons, but we did see these three ducks.

We found more interesting ducks across from The Point on the Allegheny River.
No loons, but the Red Headed Merganser Duck was cool to see!

 

We even drove to the Big Bend Recreation Area, just below Kinzua Dam, in search of loons.

I didn’t see anything to photograph on the Allegheny River at Big Bend Recreation Area.  There were lots of robins, though, flying around.

Can anyone please tell me if this is a photograph of a robin or could it possibly be a catbird?

 

We drove on River Road in Starbrick (western part of Warren), along the Allegheny River, in search of loons.

Again, we didn’t see any loons.  We did see a bird I hadn’t seen personally though, when we turned around at the end of River Road.  Bob chased this killdeer bird out of a mud puddle.

We saw a swan, too, while driving on River Road.

 

Swan on Nest

 

We gave up our search for loons.  It turned out to be a pretty nice day, so we drove to Washington Park before returning home.

Washington Park provides a bird’s eye view of Warren.

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.

Saturday 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.

Jakes Rocks Overlook of Allegheny Reservoir

Jakes Rocks Overlook of Allegheny Reservoir

Bob and I at Jakes Rocks Overlook of Allegheny Reservoir

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

We 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.

View from Elijah Run Boat Launch

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

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

a fishing pier
Bob, making his way down to the shoreline

On 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.

I took this photograph of Bob’s Trading Post in April 2011. 

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!

A River Flows Through Its Downtown

Bob took off work Monday and Tuesday. I planned Monday’s activities; Bob was in charge of Tuesday’s activities. As one would expect, Monday was filled with photographic opportunities. I am sharing the fruit of those photographic opportunities with you throughout this week.

We departed home (Warren, PA) around 9:00 am. We didn’t return home until 9 hours later! We drove through several western Pennsylvania counties. Our first stop was in Clarion, PA.  Our second stop was at Brady’s Bend Overlook and East Brady.  Our third stop was in Parker.  We made a few photo stops while on the road between Parker and Cranberry.  We ate lunch at Bob Evans Restaurant, while in Cranberry.  After lunch, we drove to the Kennerdell Scenic Overlook.  From Kennerdell we drove to Oil City.

Oil City is in Venango County, Pennsylvania.  The city is located at the confluence of the Allegheny River and Oil Creek.  Foothills surround the city.  We have passed through Oil City numerous times since 1998, the year that I moved to Warren.  Until Monday, we had stopped in Oil City only one other time, way back in June 2008.  We stopped at a coffee house that day, while on our way to Pittsburgh.  That stop in June 2008 was short.  Monday’s stop, although for a longer period of time, was too short as well.  I would like to spend more time in Oil City.

Photo by Timothy Rudisille

Photo by Timothy Rudisille (Please click on image to view larger size.)

With the city surrounded by foothills and the Allegheny River flowing through its downtown, Oil City is very picturesque.  The photograph displayed above was taken by Timothy Rudisille.  I know Tim from Facebook.  Tim is an outstanding photographer.  You may see more of his wonderful photographs at Timothy Rudisille Photography.

Center Street (Route 8) Bridge
Oil Creek Ice Jam

View from Petroleum Street (Route 62) Bridge
The Allegheny River is in the foreground.

On our way out of Oil City, we stopped at Murray’s Scenic Overlook on GrandView Road.

The overlook provides a spectacular view of the Oil Creek Valley upstream.

At the overlook, there are picnic tables for sitting, a telescope for viewing, interpretive plaques for reading, and a hot dog restaurant for eating (in season).  Oil City played a key role in the initial exploration and development of the petroleum industry.  After the first oil wells were drilled nearby in the 1850s, Oil City became central in the petroleum industry while hosting headquarters for the Pennzoil, Quaker State and Wolf’s Head motor oil companies. The plaques contain information about the early refineries and the flood and fire of 1892 where, according to a Wikipedia article, some 60 lives were lost and property valued at more than $1 million was destroyed.

After leaving Oil City, we made two more stops before returning home.  I will share photographs from those two stops in my next blog post.

Allegheny River Overlook

Bob took off work Monday and Tuesday. I planned Monday’s activities; Bob was in charge of Tuesday’s activities. As one would expect, Monday was filled with photographic opportunities. I am sharing the fruit of those photographic opportunities with you throughout this week.

We departed home (Warren, PA) around 9:00 am. We didn’t return home until 9 hours later! We drove through several western Pennsylvania counties. Our first stop was in Clarion, PA.  Our second stop was at Brady’s Bend Overlook and East Brady.  Our third stop was in Parker.  We made a few photo stops while on the road between Parker and Cranberry.  We ate lunch at Bob Evans Restaurant, while in Cranberry.

After lunch, we drove to the Kennerdell Scenic Overlook.

The overlook was a short 10-mile drive from Bob Evans Restaurant.

 

Hundreds of feet down from the Kennerdell Scenic Overlook is the winding Allegheny River.  This photograph consists of eight images, which I stitched together using Adobe Photoshop.

 

Monday’s day trip began at 9:00 AM.  We arrived at the Kennerdell Scenic Overlook a little bit before 3:00 PM.  We were 1 1/2 hours from home.  It would take another 3 hours (and more stops) before we returned back home.  Our next stop was in Oil City, the subject of my next blog post.

An Interlude

Bob took off work Monday and Tuesday. I planned Monday’s activities; Bob was in charge of Tuesday’s activities. As one would expect, Monday was filled with photographic opportunities. I am sharing the fruit of those photographic opportunities with you throughout this week.

We departed home (Warren, PA) around 9:00 am. We didn’t return home until 9 hours later! We drove through several western Pennsylvania counties. Our first stop was in Clarion, PA.  Our second stop was at Brady’s Bend Overlook and East Brady.  Our third stop was in Parker.  Today’s blog post showcases photographs taken while on the road between Parker and Cranberry, where we stopped for lunch.

 

 

 

There was no ice jam on the Allegheny River in Foxburg, PA.

Owl sculpture near the border of Venango and Clarion counties

According to a Weird Pennsylvania article, this owl sculpture sits in a field near a cemetery.  I didn’t see a cemetery.  I did see a picturesque barn, though.

Barn located across the owl sculpture, along Route 38
I believe this is an Amish barn,
as there were wagon wheels in the snow leading to the barn door.
I like the fancy window at the peak of the roof.

Continuing along Route 38, we saw a most colorful sight.

Multicolored caterpillar,
located near the intersection of Routes 38 and 322
in Cranberry, PA

We ate a late lunch at Bob Evans Restaurant in Cranberry.  We each ordered one of the 3-course dinner selections.  I chose the Potato-Crusted Flounder entree served with fresh steamed broccoli, a Farmhouse Garden Salad with Ranch Dressing, one slice each Banana Nut Bread and Chocolate Bread and, for dessert, a fresh fruit dish.  Bob chose a steak entree (if I remember correctly) served with vegetables, a Farmhouse Garden Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing, two slices of Chocolate Bread and, for dessert, a double chocolate cookie.  Bob Evans breads are high in calories and carbohydrates, but they are very delicious!

From Cranberry, we drove to the Kennerdell Scenic Overlook — the subject of my next blog post.

Brady’s Bend Overlook and East Brady

Bob is on vacation.  He took two days off work, yesterday and today.  I planned yesterday’s activities; Bob is in charge of today’s activities.  As one would expect, yesterday was filled with photographic opportunities.    I am sharing the fruit of those photographic opportunities with you throughout this week.

We departed home (Warren, PA) around 9:00 am.  We didn’t return home until 9 hours later! We drove through several western Pennsylvania counties.  Our first stop was in Clarion, PA.  Today’s blog post showcases photographs taken while at Brady’s Bend Overlook and East Brady.

It was a short drive, 31 miles, from Clarion to Brady’s Bend Overlook.

 

 

 

 

Brady’s Bend Overlook provides a spectacular 1,500-foot panoramic view of a bend in the Allegheny River. 
This photograph consists of eight images, which I stitched together using Adobe Photoshop.

Continuing on Route 68, East Brady is 1 mile east of Brady’s Bend Overlook.  Upon reaching East Brady and crossing over the Allegheny River, we turned right onto Seybertown Road.  You can see Seybertown Road, on the other side of the Allegheny River, in the photograph shown above.  Neither Bob nor I had never been on that road.  The remaining photographs in this blog post were taken along Seybertown Road.

Look up at the top of this photograph.
You can see Brady’s Bend Overlook from here.

You may have noticed a break in the ice in the photograph I took at Brady’s Bend Overlook.  Here is that break in the ice at river level.

See the snowman?

Continuing upstream, our next stop was in Parker–the subject of my next blog post.

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