The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘Benezette PA’

Benezette Weekend Getaway: Day 3

This blog post contains photographs and details of our third, and last, day of our weekend getaway. If you missed Days 1 and 2, you may catch up by clicking here.

On December 20 we drove home, leaving from Weedville around 8:00 am, after eating our oatmeal breakfast at the Airbnb.  We didn’t see any elk at the Airbnb during our stay, as we had hoped.  Elk are not predictable!  

Before leaving the area, we went for a drive to Benezette.  We looked for elk at places where we had seen elk the previous day and on Saturday afternoon.  There were no elk at the Mt Zion Historical Park.  There wasn’t any elk at either the Benezette Store campground or at the field past the Benezette Store.  We went for a drive on Winslow Hill.  We didn’t see any elk at the Elk Country Visitor Center or at the Winslow Hill viewing area.   As I wrote earlier, elk are not predictable.  We did see a few elk this morning at a couple other places, but not nearly as many as we saw the previous two days. I did not write down the location where we saw these elk.

Five Bull Elk
We believe these elk are the same ones that we saw
at the Mt Zion Historical Park the previous day.
A Bull Elk and Two Cows
Two Bull Elk, Sparring
One Bull Elk

On our way home we stopped at Joey’s Bakery in Ridgway PA for a mid morning snack.  The bakery items were slim pickings by the time we arrived.  We did find a couple to our liking, though, and purchased tea and coffee as well. 

We returned home around 11:30 am. We had a wonderful stay at ”Creekside Cabin”. Both of us agree that we want to spend more time at this Airbnb, possibly in the summertime 2022.

Benezette Weekend Getaway: Day 2

This blog post contains photographs and details of our second day of our weekend getaway. If you missed Day 1, you may catch up by clicking here.

We got up the morning of December 19th around 5:30 am.  We ate breakfast at “Creekside Cabin”.  Breakfast was simple fare — oatmeal and peaches with tea / coffee.  

We left at 8:30 am to go for a drive.   Our drive took us through Benezette, Driftwood, Sinnamahoning, through the Quehanna Wild Area to Medix Run. 

We saw seven bull elk at Mount Zion Historical Park. 

Five Bull Elk at Mt Zion Historical Park
Two Bull Elk at Mt Zion Historical Park

We saw two bull elk and many cow elk at the Benezette Store campground. 

We caught the last moments of the first bull elk chasing the second bull elk.

This was the first time ever that I heard an elk bugle!
Elk at Benezette Store Campground
This was the first bull elk.
Elk at Benezette Store Campground
This is the second bull elk.
Elk at Benezette Store Campground
I believe this is the second bull elk.

We believe this elk herd is the same herd that we saw at Ruffo Flats the previous day.

In the Quehanna Wild Area we stopped at two waterfalls — the Wykoff Run Falls and Table Falls. 

Wykoff Run Falls

Table Falls was a new-to-us waterfall.  Bob hiked down a steep hill to take some pictures and video of Table Falls. I didn’t hike. 

Bob hiking down Table Falls Trail
Table Falls (video by Bob)

I walked around to the other side of the Table Falls trail.

Bob waving at me from the Table Falls area

Bob returned to the parking lot via a different trail than the one he used to hike down to Table Falls.

Bob is hiking out of Table Falls,
not using the yellow-blazed trail.
This trail is steeper than the yellow-blazed trail!
It was a difficult climb!

While Bob was hiking, I found a scenic scene of my own.

This is Paige Run.
Paige Run feeds Table Falls.

We left Table Falls and drove to Medix Run, where we turned right and returned to Benezette.  We ate lunch at the Benezette Hotel.  We chose prime rib sandwiches and chips and, for dessert, apple pie. Our lunch was delicious!.

After lunch we drove to The Cross. We followed Route 555 west and turned right onto Gray Hill Road. Gray Hill Road turns into Mt. Zion Road. Continue going straight. You will see signs for the cross on your right. There is a small parking lot in which we parked.

The Cross is a place of worship. There are several benches in front of the cross where worshipers can sit, contemplate, pray, etc. It is also a place to memorialize someone. There are several memorials near the cross.

The Cross
Memorials Left at The Cross
I have photographed people at The Cross.
I can’t remember having my photograph
taken at The Cross.
Thank you, Bob, for taking my picture.

From The Cross we returned to ”Creekside Cabin”. We ate dinner at our Airbnb. We ate leftover ham steak, individual size pizzas and pudding.

Ride to Benezette, PA

Bob and I went for a motorcycle ride on Saturday, June 25. We departed home at 9:30 am, en route Benezette PA. Our first stop was in Ridgway PA.

We parked on South Broad Street, beside the courthouse.

Parked on South Broad Street in Ridgway, PA

Elk County Courthouse
Ridgway, PA

As I do whenever we pass through Ridgway and have no time constraints, I telephoned a friend who lives in Ridgway. Gretchen answered my call, AND she was in Ridgway. She wasn’t at her house, though. She was at her parents’ house, which is in Ridgway as well. Gretchen gave us directions to her parents’ house. A few minutes later we crashed her dad’s birthday BBQ.

I LOVE this picture of Baby “A”, Bob and me. Baby “A” is Gretchen’s granddaughter. We crashed Gretchen’s father’s birthday BBQ so that we could meet this beautiful and precious baby girl and, of course, to see our friend. Baby “A” is 6 weeks old in this picture.  Thank you, Gretchen, for taking this picture of the three of us!

After a short visit with Gretchen and her family, we left for our next destination, lunch at Rose’s Hilltop Diner in Weedville, PA.

Rose’s Hilltop Diner

This diner was Dad’s favorite place to eat, while at his cabin in the “mountains”. I had hoped to see my cousin, Chrystle, who waitresses at the diner. We didn’t see Chrystle, as she wasn’t working that weekend. Bob ordered a Reuben sandwich with onion rings. I ordered a club sandwich. The food and service were excellent.

After lunch, we rode to Walmart in St. Marys. I purchased a lightning cable to charge my iPhone, while riding the motorcycle.  I had forgotten to charge my iPhone before leaving on our ride.  I am sure that the lightning cable will come in handy on other rides too.

From Walmart we rode to Benezette, to the old schoolhouse pavilion. We stopped at the pavilion to wish Cora and Dave congratulations on their marriage, which had taken place earlier in the day. Family and friends were gathered at the pavilion to celebrate their wedding.

Cora and I knew each other only via Facebook, via the Benezette Elk Camera Club group. We became Facebook friends in May 2012. We met in person for the first time at her wedding celebration.  I walked up to Cora, soon after she arrived at the old schoolhouse pavilion.  I said hello to Cora and asked if she knew who I was.  It didn’t help Cora identify who I was, when I said that I was a member of the Benezette Elk Camera Club.  The camera club has over 300 members, and Cora has not met everyone in the club.  When I said that I lived in Warren, I could tell there was recognition on Cora’s part.  She asked tentatively “Brenda?”.  I said close enough, that my name is Linda Gross.  It was nice to finally meet Cora in person, after 4 years of being Facebook friends.

Congratulations Dave and Cora!

Bob and I spent about an hour at the pavilion. We visited with a few other camera club group members in addition to Cora. Some of the club members we met 3 years ago at a club picnic in Benezette at the same location as the wedding celebration.  Some of the club members were new to us, known until then only via Facebook.  I am hoping that Bob and I can attend the next Benezette Elk Camera Club picnic, which will be held in late September.

From the old schoolhouse pavilion we rode to the Elk Country Visitor Center and to the elk viewing site on Winslow Hill. We didn’t expect to see any elk, given the time of day and how hot it was. We didn’t see any elk, as expected.

Oh WAIT!
We did see one elk, this one, while at the Elk Country Visitor Center.

I guess we should have stuck around for a longer time at Cora and Dave’s wedding celebration.  Cora said that two deer and a elk came to visit!

We returned home around 5:00 pm, after a stop at Bob’s Trading Post in Kane, PA for pizza and ice cream.

 

Benezette, PA

The main reason that my husband and I visit Benezette is to see elk.

Benezette Daycation

There is an elk herd located an approximate 1 1/2-hour drive from our house.  We like to drive to Benezette, PA a few times a year to check out the elk herd.  Yesterday was one of those days that we went in search of elk.   The overcast, cold day didn’t provide much motivation to get out of the house.  When we drive to Benezette, we usually leave early to mid-morning.  Yesterday we left home late, around 1:00 pm.

There is an area known as “the saddle” that photographer friends have hiked numerous times, looking for elk.  Bob and I had never been to the saddle area, until yesterday.  After parking our car, we hiked up to the saddle area.  There is a path that surrounds the saddle area.  We stayed on the path for our first saddle hike.

We didn’t see any elk during our hike in the saddle area.  However, we were rewarded with wonderful views of the countryside!

After our hike in the saddle area we returned to Winslow Hill Road.  Immediately, we saw an elk herd in a field across the road from the Winslow Hill elk view area.

I spotted one elk with spikes.
He spotted me too!

After a few minutes, we continued on our way down Winslow Hill Road.  We stopped for an early dinner at the Benezette Hotel.  The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner.  Bob ordered a steak salad; I ordered a taco salad.  Bob had to help me eat the taco salad, as it was huge.  Both salads were delicious and reasonably priced.

After dinner we drove back up Winslow Hill Road to see if the elk herd was still grazing in the same area.  They were!  I took some more photographs.

Elk

We drove back down Winslow Hill Road and turned right onto Route 555.

We saw more elk at Benezette Store Campground.

An elk at the Benezette Store Campground

I am happy that we got out of the house yesterday.  Our visit to Benezette provided us with fresh air, blue skies and sunshine and, yes, elk views!

Sunday Drive: Benezette to Warren

Bob and I went for a drive on Sunday.  We were gone all day and covered a little more than 200 miles.  We drove along the Clarion River; through Brookville, DuBois and Reynoldsville; saw elk in Benezette and ate an early dinner in St. Marys before heading back home.

In yesterday’s blog post I shared photographs taken during our drive from Warren to Benezette.  The portion of our drive from Benezette and back to Warren is highlighted in the following map.

Today’s blog post shares photographs taken while in Benezette.

Upon arriving in Benezette, we continued to drive on Rt. 555 to Grant Hill Road.  Grant Hill Road eventually turns into Winslow Hill Road.  I noticed a sign that read chains were required for travel on Grant Hill Road.  Chains were not needed on Sunday, as the road was clear of snow and ice.  I can see, though, where chains would be needed when the road is covered with snow and ice.  Grant Hill Road is very steep!

Our first stop in Benezette was at the Dents Run Elk Viewing Area along Winslow Hill Road.  We didn’t see any elk in this area; however, we did enjoy the view.

MacDarvey Castle is visible from the
Dents Run Elk Viewing Area.

Our next stop was on Dewey Road, at Elk Viewing Area #348.  We didn’t see any elk, at first.

There were blue signs posted all along Dewey Road.

I was reading one of the signs, when Bob said “there they are!”.  I looked in the direction in which Bob pointed.

 

An elk herd was resting near the top of a hill.

We returned to Winslow Hill Road and had just passed by the Winslow Hill Elk Viewing Area, when we spotted another elk herd!

Elk Seen on Hillside just past Winslow Hill Elk Viewing Area

elkBob took a picture of me photographing this elk herd.

We continued our drive down Winslow Hill Road to the Elk Country Visitor Center.

This was the only elk that we saw at the visitor center.

After our stop at the Elk Country Visitor Center, we made one other stop before leaving Benezette.  We turned onto Gray Hill Road from Rt. 555.  Gray Hill Road becomes Mt. Zion Street, along which is a field on which stands a wooden cross.  You will not be able to see the cross from the road.  Watch for “the cross” signs on both sides of Mt. Zion Street.  There is no parking lot, so you have to pull off on the side of the road as best as you can in order to park.  You will walk across a field to reach the cross.

There is a sweeping view of the countryside from the cross.

The Cross

We returned to our vehicle and continued driving on Mt. Zion Street to Rt. 255.  We followed Rt. 255 into St. Marys, where we enjoyed steak dinners at Hoss’s Steak and Sea House.  After dinner, we departed St. Marys and made our way back home to Warren.  It was a beautiful day for a drive.  The morning started out cloudy and cold; however, by afternoon bright sunshine made the temperature bearable and brightened the day considerably.

Day at Camp

Bob and I spent the better part of the day, Saturday (July 13th), at my brother’s camp in Jay Township near St. Marys, Pennsylvania.   Most of my brother’s family was there, as well as a few of Jim and Judy’s friends.  Everyone had fun that day, especially the children.

More Fun

My brother’s camp

My sister-in-law asked me to take a picture of all the children at camp.  This photograph shows all the children that were at camp, minus one.  My brother was gathering up the children for this picture.  When these six children were in the wagon, I asked Jim if all the children were here.  He counted them and said “yes”.  We missed one … sorry Kaitlyn!  I do have a photograph of Kaitlyn, though.  She can be seen in the second collage displayed above, in the photograph of the hula hoop contestants.  Kaitlyn is the girl on the far left.

 

 

We left camp around 7:45 pm.

We saw this deer within minutes of leaving the camp.

When we reached the end of the camp road, a right turn would take us home.  A right turn also would make us drive into the setting sun.  The sun was very, very bright.  Rather than drive into the setting sun, we opted to turn left and go into Benezette to see if we could find any elk.

We saw a few elk.
This one lone elk, though, provided the best photo  opportunity.

By the time we made it home it was 11:00 pm.  What a great day we had!  I am happy that we were able to spend time with my family.  It had been six long months since we last saw them.

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