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West Virginia and North Carolina Vacation – Day 7 of 9: More Waterfalls and Lunch

As I wrote in my previous vacation blog post, we spent the better part of 10 hours chasing waterfalls on Friday, May 15th.

We saw seven waterfalls before lunch.  I shared photographs and videos from Cullasaja Falls, Quarry Falls, Dry Falls and Bridal Veil Falls in my previous post.

The last three waterfalls that we saw before lunch were:

  • Silver Run Falls
  • Toxaway Falls
  • Batson Creek Falls

 

Silver Run Falls is located on North Carolina Route 107, approximately 4 miles south of Cashiers.

Silver Run Falls is a 25-foot high waterfall.

 

Located on U.S. Route 64 near Lake Toxaway is the 150-foot Toxaway Falls.  Many travelers drive across the top of Toxaway Falls without realizing it is there!  We crossed the bridge and parked in a pull-off area on the left side. Bob stayed in the car, while I crossed US 64 to see the falls on the south side.

Toxaway Falls

The last waterfall that we saw before lunch was located in Connestee Falls Park, about 6 miles from Brevard along U.S. Route 276.  A very short stroll to the viewing area begins at the right rear of the parking area.  From the viewing area you are actually at the top of Connestee Falls, which I couldn’t see, and are looking over at Batson Creek Falls.

Batson Creek Falls

If you look closely at this photograph, you may see what appears to be steps on the right of the falls, near the middle.  Through an Internet search I determined that these are, in fact, steps.  Residents of the private, gated Connestee Falls residential community can hike a trail that ends in this set of steps. From there, there is a view of Connestee Falls.  The trail is not open to the public.

 

From Connestee Falls Park, we drove into Brevard and found parking near the Transylvania County Courthouse.

Transylvania County Courthouse

Transylvania County Courthouse

We ate lunch (pizza) at Jaime’s Creole Brasserie.

We were seated on an outside verandah.

Our wood-fired pizza had a thin crust and was covered with marina sauce, cheeses, pepperoni and banana peppers. The pizza was very tasty. The host and waitress were very friendly and served us well.

From Brevard we drove a short distance along U.S. Route 276 to Looking Glass Falls, which is located in the Pisgah National Forest.

Looking Glass Falls

Looking Glass Falls is 60 feet tall.

In my next vacation blog post I will continue sharing details and photographs from our 7th day of vacation.

Weekend in Ohio – Day 1 and the Morning of Day 2

We spent the weekend of September 6 in Ohio’s Amish Country.  The purpose of our weekend getaway was to attend a Central Ohio Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (VROC) motorcycle rally.

We departed our hometown of Warren PA on September 5th a little after 8:30 am en route Wooster OH. We followed U.S. route 62 most of the way, with the exception of Route 27 from Pittsfield to Oil City and Route 30 into Wooster.   Our original plan was to spend 3 nights at a hotel in Wooster and ride to Whispering Hills Campground, rally headquarters, located about 20 miles south of Wooster.  Every one attending the motorcycle rally was staying at Whispering Hills Campground, either in a tent or a cabin, except for Bob and me.  We do not have a trailer or room on our motorcycle for camping essentials such as sleeping bags, so a hotel stay was our only option … or so we thought.  Since Thursday a thought had been bubbling inside my head.  I wondered if the cabins at Whispering Hills campground included linens.  I had never checked out that possibility, had never given it a thought, when we made our hotel reservation for the weekend.  I didn’t act on my thoughts, until Friday, while en route Wooster.

I asked Bob to stop in Oil City.  I telephoned Whispering Hills campground to ask if bed linens were provided for cabin rentals.  I expected to be told that we would have to bring our own bed linens, so I was pleased to learn that bed linens were provided when renting a deluxe cabin.  An additional pleasant surprise was to learn that Whispering Hills campground was running a special – 2 nights for the price of one.  I attempted to cancel all 3 days of our hotel stay at Best Western; however, it was past the time for a no cost cancellation. I changed our hotel reservation to one night and made a reservation at Whispering Hills for 2 nights.

We made two more stops after Oil City.  We stopped for gas and a bathroom break at Sheetz in Mercer PA, and we stopped for lunch at Denny’s Restaurant in Hubbard OH.  We arrived at Best Western Wooster at 3:00 pm. I was so happy to stop riding. Temperatures were in the upper 80s / lower 90s.  It had been a long, hot ride!

We relaxed in the hotel for about 1 ½ hours. Relaxation time included a shower. The shower was very refreshing, after being so hot and sticky from the ride to the hotel!  Around 4:30 pm we left the hotel and rode to the Whispering Hills campground, located 3 miles south of Shreve OH, where we met up with our VROC friends.  We sat around in a circle and chatted for a bit. A picnic table was pulled to the circle so that Bob and I would have a place to sit. As I mentioned earlier, our motorcycle is limited in space. We had no room to carry camp chairs.  We are talking about installing a rack on top of the truck to add more space.

We left, as a group, and rode to the Iron Pony Saloon for dinner.  Dinner (bacon cheddar hamburger with fries for me; prime rib and fries for Bob) was very good, and the conversation lively.  If I remember correctly, there were 17 of us at dinner.  After dinner, Bob and I rode back to our hotel in Wooster.

It was a stormy night. The wind awakened me around 12:30 am. Then the rain hit hard against the window for a while. At 8:30 am on September 6th, it was cloudy but dry. We ate breakfast (complimentary) at the hotel cafe. Breakfast was excellent and included selections such as waffles, eggs, sausage, yogurt, hot and cold cereal, fruit, pastries, and a variety of beverages.

We checked out of the hotel at 9:30 am. We spent an hour in downtown Wooster photographing the courthouse, a monument and the farmers market. I used my iPhone to capture the sights.

We walked from our parked motorcycle
to the courthouse in the background
and back to our motorcycle.

This Civil War Monument is located across the street
from the courthouse.

Civil War Monument

The courthouse entrances are flanked by Atlantes.

Wayne County Courthouse

Wayne County Courthouse

A Farmers Market is held on Saturdays,
across from the courthouse.

 

After our short walk in downtown Wooster, we sat outside the Open Spoon Market and shared a chocolate and peanut butter cinnamon roll (delicious!).

Open Spoon Market

We departed Wooster en route the Whispering Hill campground at 10:30 am.

Stay tuned!  I will be sharing more about our Weekend in Ohio in future blog post(s).

Clarion County Courthouse

Bob is on vacation through Tuesday (March 4th).  I planned today’s activities; Bob will plan tomorrow’s activities.  As one would expect, I filled the day with photographic opportunities.    I will share 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 today.

Clarion_PA

Our first stop was in Clarion, PA.

Clarion is the county seat of Clarion County.

Clarion County Courthouse

The Clarion County Veterans Memorial Park is across the street from the Clarion County Courthouse. The park includes a large gazebo plus the Clarion County Veterans Monument, the Civil War Memorial, the WWII Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the POW/MIA Marker.

Clarion County Courthouse

Clarion County Courthouse clock tower

Stay tuned.  My next blog post will showcase photographs taken while at Brady’s Bend Overlook and East Brady.

An All-Day Motorcycle Ride

Yesterday was a beautiful day for a ride.  Bob and I left home about 9:00 AM for a 10.5 mile stretch of road that neither of us had been on before. Bob heard about this stretch of road on the Internet. State Route 3001 runs between Emporium, PA and a point west on route 120 between Emporium and St. Marys, PA.

We headed out of Warren on Route 59, where Bob planned to pick up Route 46 south out of Smethport, heading toward Emporium where the famed SR 3001 was supposedly located. Our first stop was at a visitor’s center on route 59 near Wolf Run Marina. I needed to put on a sweater and also took some pictures here.

Allegheny Reservoir Overlook

Bob at Allegheny Reservoir Overlook

We met a retired couple here who were taking a navigation break looking at their map. He wanted to take some back roads and was asking Bob about the unpaved road leading from Jake’s Rocks, and where it led to. As Bob explained, the wife protested to her husband that they didn’t need to take any more back roads this trip. In speaking with the couple, we learned that she was a retired bus driver and he was a retired police officer. They both spoke of the motorcycles they had and adventures they had on them. We didn’t have time to get a word in edgewise, but it was fun listening to them. When we were ready to pack up and continue on, we had to interrupt and say so.

In Emporium we stopped to fuel up, since we already had 35 miles on the trip meter when we left home. It read 105 at this stop, 70 miles so far. While we took a break and ate a Slim Jim, I noticed a large building on the hillside. It happened to be the Cameron County courthouse. I like to capture courthouse pictures in towns we visit, and this was no exception. We took a ride over to the courthouse.

Emporium, PA
Cameron County Courthouse

When we left the courthouse, Bob wanted to see the back of it, so we rode around the block that the court house occupied to get a look. Bob could tell at the first turn that his skills would be tested because the courthouse is on a hillside, and the first side street was kind of steep. At the top was a yield sign, and Bob was thankful he didn’t have to stop. He probably wouldn’t have anyway, because it would have been difficult to get going again. The next street over was easier to maneuver, since turning to a downhill grade is easier for him.

Back down to a main street in town, we found the street that would lead us to SR 3001. As we left town and crossed a couple of intersections, Bob finally saw the sign “10 1/2 miles of winding road ahead”. They weren’t kidding. Looking at the topo map the night before, Bob didn’t notice that the first curve we encountered was uphill and 90 + degrees. It kind of threw him for a loop, especially riding two up, but he maneuvered through it using most of the available road. Luckily, nothing was coming the other way.  We stopped a short distance up the road at an overlook that views Emporium.  There was a lot of mountain laurel on this stretch of the road too.

Route 3001

Route 3001 Emporium Overlook
You can see the Cameron County Courthouse in the center of the photograph.

The speed limit on SR 3001 is 35 mph, which is generous. Many of the sharp turns had gravel in the road, so Bob was taking it especially easy through them. The road condition is good for the most part, with a few bumpy areas. There are several markings on the road, apparently for future construction fixes. Around one curve was a large white tailed doe standing in the road watching us approach. As we got closer, she decided to get out of the way, which was nice. A short blast of the air horn encouraged her to move only a slight bit faster.

After 10 and a half miles of winding road, we approached route 120, west of Emporium. This was the last time Bob had to finesse with clutch and balance for this ride. It was an uphill stop on an intersection that was pretty much blind to the right. Inching as close as he could to route 120 without going into the eastbound lane, we waited for an eastbound car to pass. After it did, we successfully completed the left hand turn and were on Route 120 west headed for St Marys.

In St. Marys, we visited Decker’s Chapel. The chapel was built by Michael Decker after a back injury. Some say it is the smallest chapel in America.

Decker’s Chapel

This Bible was lying on the altar, opened to the day’s reading.

A few miles down the road from Decker’s Chapel is Rose’s Hilltop Diner. When Dad was alive, he enjoyed eating at Rose’s Hilltop Diner while at his camp. Bob and I try to stop at Rose’s Hilltop Diner for a bite to eat whenever we are in the area. As we walked into the diner I thought I recognized one of the waitresses behind the counter. I asked this waitress if she was married to Randy. She said “yes”. I know that she was trying to place me by the look on her face and the sound of her voice. The waitress behind the counter was my cousin (by marriage). We started chatting on Facebook earlier this year. Yesterday was the first day we met in person. It was a pleasure to meet Chrystle. I hope that our paths cross sometime again in the future!

Rose’s Hilltop Diner

Chrystle and I

It was in the middle of the afternoon when we stopped at the Elk Country Visitor Center in Benezette, PA. We knew it was unlikely but hoped to see an elk. We didn’t see an elk, but we did see a nicely restored Hudson in the parking lot.

Restored Hudson

After we stopped at the Elk Country Visitor Center, we decided it was time to head for home. We took Route 555 to Weedville, backtracked up Route 255 toward St. Marys, and then turned north on the familiar to us Route 948. Stopping in Ridgway, we fueled up again. 74 miles on the trip meter here, 144 miles so far. About 50 miles to reach home, we continued out of Ridgway on Route 219, turning on Route 321 to Kane, where we finally picked up Route 6 back into Warren.  We made an ice cream stop at the Dairy Delight on the corner of Routes 59 and 6. While there Bob listened to a voice mail left by a friend who was having computer trouble. The friend was on the way home, so we made a stop there before returning home (subject of next blog post).

Memorial Day Weekend – Front Royal, VA

We spent the Memorial Day weekend in Virginia. During our vacation we drove the entire length of Skyline Drive from Front Royal, Virginia, to Waynesboro, Virginia. We spent two nights in Alexandria, VA. We visited with my cousins, Vernon and Wendy, and their 2-week-old son, Aiden, on Memorial Day.

We left home, en route Front Royal, Virginia, around 12:30 PM on Friday, May 27 . We reached the Quality Inn Skyline Drive approximately 6 hours later. The drive (yes, we drove the car; we did not ride the motorcycle) was uneventful, although we did run into a few heavy downpours. I am happy that we weren’t riding the motorcycle through those heavy downpours!

As soon as we checked into our hotel room, we went to dinner. The hotel clerk recommended the Main St. Mill Restaurant, which was within walking distance of the hotel.

The restaurant was located in a renovated feed mill.

Here’s a picture of me that Bob took inside the the Main St. Mill Restaurant.

Memorial Day Weekend - Front Royal, VA

I liked the restaurant’s tall ceilings, exposed wood posts, the wood floor and the wrap-around wall mural. Bob and I each ordered a grilled chicken breast dinner. The service was excellent, and the food was good.

Our hotel was located about 1 mile from the entrance to Skyline Drive. On Saturday, after breakfast at the hotel, we left for our all-day drive on Skyline Drive (the subject of my next Memorial Day weekend blog post). Before leaving Front Royal, though, I took a couple pictures of the court house.

Warren County Court House and Confederate Monument

The Warren County Court House was built in 1936.

Back Home – The End of a Great Weekend Vacation

We returned home from Wellsboro today. Before leaving the Wellsboro area we visited Leonard Harrison State Park. The park provides spectacular views of Pine Creek Gorge, which is better known as the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.

Bob and I at Leonard Harrison State Park

It was an easy ride today, less than 130 miles. It was a gorgeous day for a ride. The sky was blue; the sun was shining; and it was a warm (not hot) day. We made two stops on the way home. We made a fuel stop in Coudersport. While Bob filled up with gas I took a walk through the train depot park, which was located next to the gas station.

C & PA Railroad Caboose

Coudersport and Port Allegany Train Depot

The depot, which has been refurbished, now houses the town offices for the City of Coudersport.

Knox & Kane Railroad Car

Our last stop before returning home was in Smethport. We drank cool beverages while admiring the McKean County Courthouse.

McKean County Courthouse

We returned home at approximately 2:00PM. I can’t believe that I rode over 600 miles this weekend. I wonder when our next road trip will be and where it will take us. I can hardly wait to find out!

Click here for a map of today’s route.

Kentucky Vacation – Day 7 of 10 (Part I)

As I write this post, we are home from our Kentucky vacation. We returned home today, in the mid-afternoon. We arrived home a day later than expected (the reason why is the material for another post :-)). I am SO FAR BEHIND in blogging about our Kentucky vacation. In the interest of uploading a post sooner rather than later, I decided to divide details of day 7 of our 10-day vacation into two blog posts.

On Friday, June 12th, Bob and I traveled by motorcycle west of Richmond to Loretto, Kentucky. According to the route that we mapped out at Google maps, Loretto was approximately 76 miles from our hotel. We traveled on winding country roads past inviting historic towns, hay fields, fields of corn and other crops, well-maintained horse farms, goats grazing in open pastures, and lots and lots and lots of cows … brown cows, white cows, black cows, brown and white cows, black and white cows. We stopped briefly in a few of those inviting towns while en route Loretto.

The first city in which we stopped was Lancaster, Kentucky. According to the KyHomeTown website, the city’s name “is said to be derived from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, from which many of the founders originally hailed”. Lancaster is the county seat of Gerrard County.

Gerrard County Courthouse in Lancaster, Kentucky

Our next stop was in the city of Danville, Kentucky. Danville is the county seat of Boyle County.

Boyle County Courthouse in Danville, Kentucky

According to Wikipedia, Danville is called the “City of Firsts”. The first courthouse in Kentucky was housed in Danville. Danville had the first U.S. post office west of the Allegheny Mountains. It hosted the first state-supported school for the deaf. In Danville, Ephraim McDowell became the first physician in the world to successfully remove an ovarian tumor. Danville is home to the oldest college administration building and campus west of the Allegheny Mountains. What caught my eye as we rode through Danville was this statue of two figures standing in a circle.

This statue is in Governor’s Square. Bronze plaques honoring every governor of Kentucky surround the statue.  An image similar to the bronze statue of the two figures is depicted on the flag of Kentucky, as shown below.

kyflag
Kentucky flag obtained here 

Governor’s Square is part of Constitution Square State Historic Site, which is a 3-acre park that houses the courthouse that was the site of ten conventions that eventually produced the Constitution of Kentucky. There are several other buildings of interest as well.

This was the first post office west of the Alleghenies.
(exterior and interior views)

Replica of the original Meeting House
(exterior and interior views)


The Meeting House housed the first Presbyterians in Kentucky.

The Jail
(exterior and interior views)

The Courthouse housed the Supreme Court of Kentucky. The Constitution Conventions that led to Kentucky’s statehood were held in the Courthouse. (exterior and interior views)

Our last stop before arriving in Loretto was in Lebanon, Kentucky. The city of Lebanon is the county seat of Marion County. According to Wikipedia, the city was named for the Biblical Lebanon because of the abundant cedar trees.

Marion County Courthouse in Lebanon, Kentucky

Bob in downtown Lebanon, Kentucky

We left our hotel around 9:30AM. Approximately 3 hours later we finally arrive at our destination — Loretto, Kentucky. What, you might ask, was the purpose of our ride to Loretto. Maker’s Mark Distillery is located in Loretto. The purpose of riding to Maker’s Mark Distillery was to go on a tour of the distillery. I will write about our distillery tour in my next blog post.

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