The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘Covered Bridge’

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.

Maine Vacation: Amsterdam NY to Peru VT

We set the GPS to avoid highways for our drive from Amsterdam NY to Peru VT.

Our first stop was for lunch at Sunset Grill in Ballston Spa, NY. Bob ordered a Cobb Salad; I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich.  Our lunches were good.  What caught my attention, though, were the salt and pepper shakers at the tables near us.

Salt ‘n Pepper Shakers

Our waitress said that the salt and pepper shakers were brought to them as gifts when patrons returned from travels all over the world.

In May this year Ballston Spa held its second annual birdhouse competition.

I like how the birdhouses are displayed in the park.

The Soldiers Monument is located at Front and Low Streets.  The monument lists the names of local soldiers from the towns of Milton, Ballston, and Malta who served in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican War and the Civil War.

The Soldiers Monument

The Soldiers Monument

The monument features a Union Army infantryman, known to local residents as “Civil Sam”.  Soldiers Monument was first dedicated on June 16,1888.  Over the years the monument fell into a state of disrepair.  Soldiers Monument was restored and rededicated in June 2013.

As an aside, I learned recently that my maternal second cousin, Dr. Naton D. Leslie, Jr., lived in Ballston Spa.  Naton died in December 2013.  I never met him.

Our second stop was at Buskirks Covered Bridge.

Buskirks Covered Bridge is 165 feet long and crosses over the Hoosick River.

Buskirks Bridge is in the town of Hoosick but takes its name from the hamlet in which it is located.

Our third stop was at Eagleville Covered Bridge.  

Eagleville Covered Bridge is 100 feet long and crosses over the Battenkill River.

Eagleville Bridge is in the town of Jackson-Salem, NY but takes its name from the hamlet in which it is located.

Our fourth stop was at Arlington Covered Bridge.

Arlington Covered Bridge is 80 feet long and crosses over the Battenkill River.

Arlington Bridge is in the town of Arlington, VT.  According to the people at this bridge, the river here was a fine place to swim.  On the other side of the bridge we saw lots more people in the water, swimming and using inner tubes.

The Norman Rockwell House is very near Arlington Covered Bridge.  We drove in front of the house.  I wasn’t impressed, so I didn’t take any photographs.

We arrived at our night’s accommodation, the Lodge at Bromley (Peru, VT), at 6:00 pm — 12 1/2 hours after leaving home.  After checking in and carrying in our bags, we went in search of dinner.  But, first, I took a couple pictures of the view from our balcony.

We could see Mountain Adventure Park from our balcony.

We had a corner room, so we could see the mountains across the road from our balcony too.


There are a few restaurants nearby.  The first place we went to — J.J. Hapgood — was very crowded.  We opted to turn around and go to Bromley Market Country Store that we had passed on our way to J.J. Hapgood.  The country store was closing, as we arrived.  We ended up eating at Raven’s Den, located in Manchester Center, VT.  It was an excellent restaurant choice.  We ordered a 12-oz prime rib dinner with split plate.  For an additional $19.00 we shared the prime rib and had full portions of the unlimited salad bar and three vegetable side dishes (carrots, green beans and corn on the cob).  Our meals were delicious; the service was excellent; and the split plate option was a good deal.  

This post concludes Day 1 of our 10-day vacation (June 28-July 7, 2019).


Sachs Covered Bridge

Bob and I vacationed in Gettysburg earlier this month.  During the morning of Monday, November 19th (our last day there), we visited Sachs Covered Bridge.

Sachs Covered Bridge was built around 1852.

Sachs Covered Bridge is a 100-feet long, Town truss covered bridge and crosses over Marsh Creek.

Sachs Covered Bridge

During the Civil War both the Union and Confederate armies used Sachs Covered Bridge in the Battle of Gettysburg and its aftermath. It is reportedly known to be severely haunted as a result.


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.  We chose to eat breakfast at the Boomerang Cafe, after hearing lots of positive reviews from friends who have eaten there.  Another incentive for choosing the Boomerang Cafe as our breakfast destination is our friend Tina works there. Our arrival time was perfect. Within minutes of sitting down, Tina’s daughter Chiana walks in with her daughter Kelsi.

Chiana and Kelsi

Breakfast was hearty and tasted very good. Bob ordered a meat lovers omelet with hash browns and homemade thick rye toast. I ordered a western omelet with home fries and thick multigrain toast. The jam selections, strawberry and blackberry, were homemade and delicious. I mentioned that breakfast was hearty. I left behind about a quarter of my omelet, as well as most of the home fries.

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.

Marilla Reservoir

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

This is Route 59 in Warren County, PA.

We made a few stops along Route 59.

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

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

Bent Run waterfall

Bent Run waterfall

Self-portrait at Bent Run Falls

Bob and I at Bent Run waterfall

Our 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!

Year-End Daycation

Our last daycation of 2014 was on Monday, December 29th.  We hadn’t been out of the house in a while, except for shopping and errand running. We wanted to get out of the house, so we went for a drive to Volant, PA.  Volant is a unique village of quaint shops and restaurants located on Route 208 in the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania Amish country, only a few miles from Grove City. Our trip to Volant wasn’t for shopping or to eat in any of its restaurants. We visited Volant a couple years ago. The only camera I had with me that day was the camera on my mobile phone. I wanted to take some pictures with my Olympus digital camera. The day started out nice but clouded over very quickly. I took some pictures but feel I can get better pictures on a sunny day. We will return another day, perhaps in the fall.

Imagine seeing a fisherman at Volant Dam during the last week of December!

Covered bridge at Volant Mills

Volant Mills

Volant Mills and Route 208

In addition to Volant, we drove into New Wilmington, PA. New Wilmington is home to Westminster College and serves the Old Order Amish community in the surrounding Wilmington Township. We attempted to fuel up at a BP in New Wilmington. The fuel pump worked very slowly. I approached a cashier about the slow-moving fuel pump. The cashier said to hold the nozzle in the air for 30 seconds. Then return to pumping gas. Bob did as suggested, but he didn’t see any change. After several minutes, Bob stopped filling the tank at $2.72.  Life (and apparently fuel pumps) move slower in Amish country! We made two more stops in New Wilmington. We stopped at The Cheese House, where we purchased a sampling of cheese, sugar free fudge and no sugar added blackberry jam. We could have spent so much more money. The Cheese House has one of the largest varieties of Gluten Free foods in the area; over 75 different types of Amish Jams and Jellies to choose from; hundreds of greeting cards; gift baskets made to order; dozens of pickled foods; mustard for every occasion; old-fashioned popcorn; an arrangement of pastas and noodles; and of course cheese! Our second stop was at a covered bridge.

The Banks Covered Bridge is a wooden covered bridge that spans the Neshannock Creek. Constructed in 1889, the bridge is a Burr arch truss built on stone foundations and supported by steel girders; it is 121 feet long.

Banks Covered Bridge

Banks Covered Bridge is drivable.

In my opinion the best photograph I took, while photographing the bridge, was NOT the bridge. 

I loved how the light hit a tree, setting it apart from everything around it.


 Our day away from home was enjoyable.  I am looking forward to daycations in 2015!

An Afternoon of Autumn Leaf Peeking

Bob and I spent Friday afternoon checking out the Autumn colors at Allegany State Park near Salamanca, NY.

It was a little after noon when we left home, so our first stop was to get something to eat.  Lunch was at Miller’s Grove “Shorty’s” in Fentonville, just over the New York border. Bob and I are members of a Facebook group called “You grew up in Warren, PA if …”.  The primary purposes of this Facebook group are “to bring back memories and stay connected with our roots, connect with friends from our past, and to reminisce and talk about fun and positive things that we knew growing up in Warren.”  Soon after we were seated, Bob took a picture of the restaurant interior and posted that photograph on the group site.

I took a picture of the restaurant interior too.

Bob expected (and received) lots of commentary from his “You grew up in Warren, PA if…” group post.  At last count, Bob’s post had 112 likes and 93 comments.  A group member named Garry shared a link that provided a historical account of the restaurant.  According to the link

The Coconut Grove Restaurant was built in the time of the Model T Fords, in 1927, by Carl and Sam Lupica. It was operated as a gas station at first, this was the time of prohibition when alcoholic beverages were prohibited for sale by the Federal Government, but “rumor” has it that alcohol could be purchased not only for the car but also for the driver. This was the time of Al Capone, Dutch Schultz and many other bootleggers, who were peddling illegal beer and liquor all the way from Canada to Miami, Florida. So in 1933 they repealed the law and made beer and liquor legal. The Coconut Grove then started selling food along with the new legal beverages and soon became a popular dining establishment, famous for steaks and spaghetti. Because of the short stature of the owners the place soon became known as “Shorty’s” a name that has stayed with it to this day, though the right name is Coconut Grove.”

I ordered  spaghetti. My meal included Italian bread and a tossed salad. Bob ordered two Parmesan meatballs. Each Parmesan meatball was the size of the one meatball on top of my spaghetti. Bob finished his lunch. I couldn’t finish mine. I brought home spaghetti and meat, enough to feed two people!

After lunch, we drove to Allegany State Park. Our first stop was at Quaker Lake.

Quaker Lake

After taking a picture at Quaker Lake, we drove through the park gate.  No vehicle admission fee was collected.  Since after Labor Day weekend admission fee is collected only on weekends and holidays. If I read the park’s rules correctly regarding admission fee, after October 14th no admission fee will be collected anytime during the week until Memorial Day weekend next year.

Our next photo stop, after Quaker Lake, was at Bridal Falls.

Someone has marked the trail leading to Bridal Falls with a green ribbon.

Bridal Falls

Bridal Falls

I would like to visit Bridal Falls sometime, when there is more water cascading down to the creek below!

This is the stone fishing pier on Red House Lake.
The Red House Administration Building is on the hillside in the background.

We went in search of Autumn colors.
We certainly found Autumn colors at the Thomas L. Kelly covered bridge!

Our last stop before departing Allegany State Park was at the Stone Tower. Right before we reached the Stone Tower, we came across a scene that made me say “Wow!”  After parking at the Stone Tower, I walked down the road a short distance and took several pictures of the view I saw as we were approaching the Stone Tower.

Stone Tower View

There is a lot of color on those hills, but a lot of green still remains!

Stone Tower View

I returned to the Stone Tower, climbed the steps, and took a picture of the same view atop the Stone Tower.

View from atop the Stone Tower

I walked over to the railing and took another picture of the view.

View from atop the Stone Tower

While standing atop the Stone Tower, looking in the opposite direction, there is another view not to miss!

That body of water you see in the distance is Red House Lake.

We departed Allegany State Park via the Salamanca entrance and took Interstate 86 East to the U.S. Route 219 exit. We followed U.S. Route 219 to Bradford PA and then followed Pennsylvania Routes 346,  321 and  59 back home.  What a wonderful afternoon we had in the great outdoors!

Weekend in Ohio – Days 3 and 4

September 7th was our last full day in Ohio.  Bob and I were showered, dressed and standing on “Top -o- World” by 6:50 am.

Top -o- World at
Whispering Hills Jellystone Park Camp-Resort
(photograph taken the day before)

We watched the sunrise together at 7:01 am.

The humidity and cool temperature (49 degrees!) added fog to the air.
The sunrise with fog was very pretty indeed!


Bob and I ate breakfast at the campground cafe. We ordered 2 egg cheese omelets with diced ham, home fries, toast and sausage. Orange juice and tea/coffee were complimentary. Breakfast was reasonably priced and very good.  After breakfast Bob and I walked to the West Terrace to say goodbye to our VROC friends. Everyone, except Mike, had already departed. Mike said we missed everyone else by 10 minutes. We said goodbye to Mike. Then we hopped on our motorcycle and went for a ride.

What beautiful countryside to ride in!

 We rode to Mohican State Park, near Loudonville OH.  We saw a fire tower, a covered bridge, a gorge overlook and a memorial shrine to Ohio’s deceased veterans.

According to the Mohican State Park website,
this is one of the last remaining fire towers in Ohio.

The Mohican Covered Bridge crosses over the Clearfork River.

Clearfork River

Clear Fork Gorge
The view from this overlook would be spectacular in the Autumn!

Memorial Shrine to Ohio’s Deceased Veterans

This shrine houses records of all of the names of Ohioans who lost their lives in all wars and conflicts. Printed books are available to look through, and hand written books containing all of the names are displayed under glass.

Leaving Mohican State Park we rode west and ended up in Bellville OH.  We ate lunch in Bellville at K.C.’s Steak & Ribs. Bob ordered a steak salad. I ordered grilled chicken. For dessert we shared a chocolate chip Cakie (a cookie and cake combination).  If we are ever in the Bellville area, we would definitely eat at K.C.’s again.  The food, service and ambiance were very good.

After lunch we began the ride back to the Whispering Hills Jellystone Park Camp-Resort . We made two stops on our way back to the campground.

Nice-looking barn!

This barn is located about half way between Bellville and Butler on Ohio State Route 97.  We passed by the barn on our way to Bellville.  When I realized that we would be passing by the barn again on our way back to the campground, I watched for it.  I asked Bob to stop so that I could take a picture.

Before we departed Bellville, Bob had programmed our route into the GPS.  He must have forgotten to instruct the GPS not to take us on dirt / gravel roads.

Riding Down Crooked Road, south of Butler OH

On Saturday, during the group ride with our VROC friends, I caught glimpse of a covered bridge. I made a mental note of the location,of that bridge. Bob and I found the “Bridge of Dreams” covered bridge during our ride.

Bridge of Dreams
located near Brinkhaven, OH

The Bridge of Dreams is 370 feet long and spans the Mohican River.  It is the second longest covered bridge in Ohio after the Smolen-Gulf Bridge, and third longest covered bridge in the United States.

The Bridge of Dreams is closed to motorized traffic but is often used by Amish buggies.  In fact, while we were at the river’s edge looking up at the bridge, we heard an Amish buggy crossing overhead.  I would have loved to capture a photograph of an Amish buggy crossing this bridge!

We planned to eat dinner at the campground cafe, same as the night before. Our plans changed, though, when I discovered that the kitchen and camp office/store closed at 4:00 pm. We ate dinner at East of Chicago in Shreve, located about 3 miles from the campground. Bob ordered a buffalo chicken salad. I ordered a personal size pizza with pepperoni and a side salad. The food was good.

The moon was almost full our last night in Ohio.
We were able to see it from our cabin’s porch swing.


The next day we departed Whispering Hills Jellystone Park Camp-Resort, en route home, at 7:20 am. Our first stop was an hour later on U.S. Route 62 near Canton OH.  We stopped for breakfast at Bob Evans Restaurant.  We made it home around 1:30 pm.   What a wonderful weekend we had!


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