We spent the week of May 14th on vacation in Virginia and North Carolina. I have been uploading blog posts about our vacation since May 29th. This blog post is about our eighth, and final, day of vacation.
I wish I had slept better the night before. Bob’s snoring awakened me, and the room temperature wasn’t good. I was either too warm or cold. Apparently I slept with an ant too. While half asleep, during the night, I changed my sleeping position. I rested the side of my head on another pillow. I heard a buzzing noise…bee? fly? I turned on the light and lifted my pillow….nothing. I lifted the other pillow…nothing. I pulled back the bed sheet and shook the covers…nothing. I eventually went back to sleep. Later on, I placed my hand underneath the pillow and felt movement. I brushed my hand outward. I got up, looked underneath the pillow and saw a black, plump ant moving quickly to the head of the bed. I flattened that ant, without a moment’s thought.
We departed A Holiday Motel on Sunday, May 21, at 5:15 am, in the rain. We arrived at Cracker Barrel in Asheville, NC at 5:50 am. We had an approximate wait of 10 minutes before the restaurant opened. While we ate, it got lighter outside. The rain, however, continued. We were back on the road around 6:30 am.
Our next stop was 3 hours later at the Rocky Gap Safety Rest Area/Welcome Center, located along Interstate 77 in Virginia. The only thing noteworthy about this rest stop was some old vehicles that we saw in the parking lot.
Interstate 77 in Virginia at the
Rocky Gap Safety Rest Area/Welcome Center
The rain turned into drizzle, as we entered West Virginia and soon stopped completely.
We ate lunch at Shoney’s in Summersville, WV. We were back on the road at noon.
The Pennsylvania Welcome Center in Waynesburg is a very nice welcome center. It is full of brochures and maps about places throughout Pennsylvania, as well as coloring and activity books for children. There is also a coal miners memorial at this welcome center.
Coal Miners Memorabilia at
Pennsylvania Welcome Center in Waynesburg, PA
Monument Dedicated to all Coal Miners at
Pennsylvania Welcome Center in Waynesburg, PA
The coal miners memorial was of interest to me, as both Dad and my brother, Jim, were coal miners.
The rain started up again soon after leaving the Pennsylvania Welcome Center, and followed us home.
We got off Interstate 77 at the Slippery Rock exit, several miles sooner than routed by the GPS. We were getting tired of interstate travel.
We returned home at approximately 5:30 pm. We drove in rain at least 75% of our drive home.
We spent the week of May 14th on vacation in Virginia and North Carolina. Earlier this week I uploaded blog posts about the first two days of our vacation. This blog post is about our third day of vacation.
We checked out of Best Western Waynesboro on Tuesday, May 16, at 7:00 am, after a complimentary breakfast at the hotel.
We logged most of our miles driving south on Interstate 81.
Bob took this picture of me, driving.
I was at the wheel for about 20 minutes from Warren PA to Maggie Valley NC; Bob drove rest of the time.
Around 11:00 am we ate a picnic lunch at the Tennessee Welcome Center along Interstate 81 (Bristol, TN).
Tennessee Welcome Center
(photo by Bob)
We stopped briefly at Metcalf Overlook, shortly before the North Carolina border.
I think that the overlook on the opposite side of Interstate 26 would provide more interesting photo opportunities. I will have to remember my thoughts the next time we pass through this area.
Interstate 26 near Mars Hill, NC
We were within 50 miles of Maggie Valley, when I took this picture.
Those mountains call my name!
We arrived at A Holiday Motel in Maggie Valley NC around 2:15 pm. We checked in and unpacked. A Holiday Motel, where we would spend the next 5 nights, is home base for the Southeast Vulcan Riders and Owners (SEVROC) motorcycle rally. The rally’s official start was not until Thursday, but rally attendees began arriving on Monday. SEVROC is an annual event. This year marked its 19th year. This is our fourth SEVROC rally. We attended the rally previously in 2008, 2014, and 2015. Our mode of transportation in those years was by motorcycle AND car. I have never been able to ride long distances on the motorcycle, but I have been able to make the drive. I was uncertain if I would be able to drive this year, as the arthritis in my right knee appears to have worsened in the past year or so. Therefore, we opted to travel by car only. VROC rallies are more about the PEOPLE than the bikes, so it doesn’t really matter how you travel to a rally. What is important is that you come to the rally! Over the years I have come to think of a VROC rally as a family reunion.
We spent our 5-night stay in Room 4, the room right next to the office on the left. In 2014 and 2015 we stayed in room 5, which is located next to the office on the right. In 2008 the rally was held at another hotel in Maggie Valley. Room 4 is furnished with two full size beds separated by a nightstand, which occupy three walls. A mini refrigerator, topped with a microwave and coffeemaker, and a two drawer dresser topped with a small flat screen TV occupy the fourth wall. The fourth wall contains the door to the bathroom and a small closet. It is a small, but comfortable and clean room.
We didn’t see any of our VROC friends, when we first arrived at A Holiday Motel. I would say within an hour of our arrival, though, “Skid” and Sandy rode in. “Skid” and Sandy arrived at A Holiday Motel on Monday afternoon and had been out for a ride and ice cream at Dairy Queen. While chatting with “Skid” and Sandy, “Bass Man” rode in.
At 5:30 pm we left for dinner. We ate dinner at Sagebrush Steakhouse in Waynesville with “Skid” and Sandy and “Bass Man”. “Skid” and Sandy accompanied us in the car. “Bass Man” followed on his motorcycle. Sandy ordered a half size Harvest Salad. “Skid” ordered Rodeo Chicken. Bob ordered Tenderloin Tips, sauteed with peppers & onions and mushrooms. I forget what “Bass Man” ordered for dinner. I ordered a Turkey Cheddar Melt with bacon and tomato, served on toasted Wheat Berry bread. Sandy and I each ordered a blackberry cobbler with ice cream for dessert. The cobbler cost only $3.99 and was huge. I shared my cobbler with Bob. Sandy didn’t share her cobbler, and she wasn’t able to finish it. The food was excellent and reasonably priced. Service, however, was slow especially when waiting for the bill. It was around 8:00 pm, when we returned to A Holiday Motel.
“Wrong Turn” and “KT” arrived this evening. We chatted with “Wrong Turn”, “KT” and Sandy, before retiring at 10:00 pm for the night.
Our friend “Skid” wrote a blog post about this day as well. Please click here to read his account of the day. Some of the photographs that “Skid” shared in his post include pictures of Bob and me.
This past Tuesday an announcement about a Memorial Day ride was posted on the 2 Scoop Cycletherapy Facebook group page. The announcement read that we would meet at the Tractor Supply parking lot at about 11:00 am and ride to The Farmers Inn in Sigel for chicken BBQ. Our return route would include an ice cream stop.
As planned, we met at Tractor Supply in North Warren at 11:00 am yesterday morning.
Tractor Supply Parking Lot
We left en route Farmers Inn at 11:30 am. Our riding group was made up of five motorcycles, nine riders and Bob and I riding shotgun in our car.
I think everyone, except for Bob and me, ordered BBQ chicken. Bob and I ordered burgers and onion rings. We ate outside the ice cream parlor, the building in which we ordered our lunches.
Eating Lunch at Farmers Inn
We spent about two hours at The Farmers Inn…eating, shopping, chatting and watching the goats.
This is Mark; he planned our Memorial Day ride.
I caught him shopping at the Bulk Foods and Candy Store.
This is Debbie.
It looks like she had a successful shopping experience at the Bulk Foods and Candy Store.
I found Scott checking out the melons at the Bulk Foods and Candy Store.
The melons were a handful.
There are lots of goats at Farmers Inn, and they were fun to watch.
We left The Farmers Inn around 2:50 pm.
Leaving Farmers Inn
Our next stop, after The Farmers Inn, was at nearby Beartown Rocks. Beartown Rocks is located in Clear Creek State Park. I think Paul and Debbie and Bob and I were the only ones who had previously visited Beartown Rocks. I should have taken a walking stick with me. I was unsteady making my way on the trail over the rocks. I made it safely to the overlook and back to the car, without incident. I am thankful there were plenty of hands and shoulders available to provide assistance, when needed.
Rod and Beverly at Beartown Rocks Overlook
Bob at Beartown Rocks
Scott and Donna at Beartown Rocks
All of us at Beartown Rocks
We departed Beartown Rocks around 3:40 pm. Our next stop was in Hallton. I am not certain of our route. I do know that we had the Clarion River alongside us for most of the way.
I think where we parked used to be the grounds of the Hallton Sawmill.
Kevin’s family hailed from Hallton. He discussed the history of Hallton with us.
Hallton History Sign
Looking away from the signage, there was a picturesque view of the Clarion River.
Too bad I didn’t have the long lens on my camera. I might have captured a photograph of an eagle, as it flew along the river!
We departed Hallton at 4:22 pm. We passed through Lolita and turned left onto Route 66 in Mariensville. In Leeper we turned right on Route 36 and followed it to Tionesta, where we hopped on to Route 62. We followed Route 62 to Tidioute, where we stopped for ice cream.
Ice Cream Stop
Everyone wondered why Mark hadn’t made an ice cream stop sooner. We passed by a couple ice cream stands before arriving in Tidioute. We jokingly said that Mark’s backside must be made of iron.
Standing in line at the ice cream stand
Leaving the ice cream stand, we took Route 337 home.
It started to rain on our way home, but not hard and not for very long. We arrived home around 7:10 pm. Faye posted on Facebook that we rode 170 miles.
Shortly before 7:00 this morning I saw a post shared on a friend’s Facebook page “Friend just texted me about a fire at FI. What is going on and how bad. She didn’t know which building.” A quick search uncovered the fact that there had been a fire at The Farmers Inn early this morning. The restaurant and gift shop, as well as the ice cream shop, are gone. Thankfully, no animals or people were harmed. This loss saddens me greatly. Bob and I go to The Farmers Inn at least once a year, most years more than once. We took our granddaughters there last year and planned to take them again this year. I hope that the owners are able to rebuild.
We spent the week of May 14th on vacation in Virginia and North Carolina.
We departed Warren PA on Sunday, May 14 at approximately 6:45 am, en route Front Royal VA. Around 7:30 am we stopped for breakfast at Joey’s Bakery in Ridgway, PA. We ate from the Mothers Day brunch, which included.scrambled eggs, ham and pineapple slices, hash brown potatoes, fried potatoes, Italian hot sausage and peppers, beef brisket, cut-up fruit (strawberries, pineapple and blueberries) and various donuts. Food was good, as was the service. We were back on the road around 8:00 am.
We arrived and checked in at Quality Inn Scenic Drive in Front Royal around 12:30 pm. Normal check in time is 3:00 pm; however, the front desk clerk was able to accommodate us early. Our hotel room was on the second floor, room 206. It was an average size room, nothing extraordinary about its furnishings. The room was somewhat shabby, but clean. The view from our hotel room included the swimming pool and office.
The view from our hotel room
About an hour after checking in to the hotel, we went in search of lunch. Front Royal’s main commercial thoroughfare, East Main Street, was located across U.S. Route 522 from our hotel. Located on East Main Street is Main Street Mill, where we decided to have lunch.
We walked across U.S. Route 522 and followed East Main Street to Main Street Mill.
See the red checkered sign on the right?
That is Market Street Mill.
The restaurant was located in a renovated feed mill.
Here’s a picture of me that Bob took inside Main Street Mill.
I liked the restaurant’s tall ceilings, exposed wood posts, the wood floor and the wrap-around wall mural. Bob ordered a Cobb Salad; I ordered a Taco Salad. Our salads were delicious, and service was good.
After lunch we walked to the Warren County Courthouse.
On the way to the courthouse we walked through the Front Royal Town Square.
Front Royal Town Square Gazebo
The Front Royal Town Tourism Office is located inside a historic train station.
The tourism office lies adjacent to Front Royal Town Square.
This caboose is located in Front Royal Town Square.
The caboose was given to Front Royal in 1989 by the Norfolk and Southern Railway Company.
It sits on original tracks.
The Millennium Sundial is located in Front Royal Town Square.
The sundial was dedicated on December 31, 1999 to commemorate the end of the 20th century and to celebrate the beginning of the 21st century.
We saw this beautiful Irish Wolfhound, while walking to the courthouse.
I think it was a 5 block walk to the courthouse.
Warren County Courthouse and Confederate Monument
The courthouse was built in 1936.
From the courthouse we walked back to our hotel. We spent rest of the afternoon / evening in our room. We ate a picnic-style dinner in our room. Later in the evening we watched the movie “Night at the Museum“. Bob downloaded this movie and its two sequels before leaving home. He thought we would watch all three movies during vacation. We ended up watching the last two movies, after returning home from vacation.
Stay tuned. In my next vacation blog post (which may take a few days to prepare), I will share details and photographs of our drive on Skyline Drive.
We spent the weekend of May 5 through May 8 in the Pocono Mountains. As I have much to share with you, I plan to upload several blog posts about our Pocono Mountains weekend getaway. This is the third blog post about our weekend. You may read the first through third blog posts here, here and here.
From Raymondskill Falls we began our drive back to Stroudsburg, via Route 209 South. We stopped at Dingmans Falls Visitor Center. The visitor center and the falls are at the end of a 1-mile approach road off Johnny Bee Road, which intersects Route 209 near milepost 14, just south of the traffic light at Routes 209 & 739 in Dingmans Ferry PA.
Dingmans Falls Visitor Center
The visitor center had not yet opened for the season.
The visitor center’s 2017 operating schedule is May 26 through September 4. It is open on Wednesday through Sunday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The visitor center is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
From the visitor center we walked along a wooden boardwalk to Dingmans Falls.
The first waterfall that we saw on our walk was Silver Thread Falls.
Silver Thread Falls
Here is a direct link in the event you cannot see the embedded video displayed above.
Silver Thread Falls
Bob and I on the boardwalk trail to Dingmans Falls
The walk to Dingmans Falls was a pleasant and leisurely stroll. It began to rain while we were on this trail. We were prepared, though. Bob carried an umbrella, and I had my L.L. Bean raincoat.
Our first view of Dingmans Falls
According to Internet sources, Dingmans Falls is 130 feet tall and is Pennsylvania’s second tallest waterfall.
We returned to the visitor center by retracing our footsteps.
We left Dingmans Falls Visitor Center at 1:43 pm. We hadn’t yet eaten lunch. It was raining. Rather than have a picnic lunch, we decided to eat a late lunch out and save our picnic lunch for later at the hotel.
We ate lunch at Alaska Pete’s Roadhouse Grille in Marshall Creek. This was a very nice restaurant. Here are a couple pictures of the view from our table.
Alaska Pete’s Roadhouse Grille
It was Bob’s birthday, and he ordered prime rib.
Bob’s prime rib meal
I ordered Chicken Parmesan and brought back to the hotel 1/2 of my meal. Bob and I could easily share rest of my meal for lunch and our hunger would be satisfied. The rain stopped while we were eating.
We made two stops before returning to the hotel. We stopped at Walmart and picked up Earl Grey K-cups and creamer. Our room at Flower Field Inn & Cottages had a Keurig coffee maker. Coffee K-cups were provided, along with sugar and dry creamer. Tea K-cups were not provided. I wanted hot tea available for rest of our weekend stay, which was forecast to be chilly and wet. We stopped also at Best Buy, where Bob looked for a charger for his Fitbit. Bob had forgotten to bring the charger for his Fitbit. Best Buy didn’t have a charger available.
The reason that we decided to come to the Pocono Mountains, Stroudsburg in particular, was for Bob to meet up with motorcycling friends who are members of the Northeast contingent of the Vulcan Riders & Owners Club (NEVROC). There was a Bug Run scheduled for Sunday, May 7. Each year, in the Spring, NEVROC rides the Bug Run in memory of Don “Foggy” Conner, a fellow rider and member of NEVROC. Bob made plans to go on the Bug Run a few weeks prior. On our way back to Flower Field Inn & Cottages from Best Buy I received a Facebook message from Brian, one of our motorcycling friends. He said that Sunday’s Bug Run was postponed, moved to May 13th. As it turned out, that run was postponed also due to weather. The Bug Run finally took place on May 21. This was the second year in a row that Bob attempted to ride the Bug Run. Last year he did meet up with his motorcycling friends for breakfast. A Bug Run was attempted but stopped early because of rain. Perhaps one year Bob will be able to ride the Bug Run with his motorcycling friends.
We returned to the hotel around 5:30 pm, where we relaxed for rest of the day.
Stay tuned! More details and photographs of our Pocono Mountains Weekend still to come!
In addition to visiting Cuyahoga Valley National Park during Easter weekend, we spent approximately 1-1/2 hours in Chagrin Falls, OH. On Saturday, April 15, we left Cuyahoga Valley National Park and drove to Chagrin Falls, arriving there at noon. We ate lunch at Flip Side. Bob ordered a Black ‘n Blue burger; I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich. We shared an order of onion rings. Lunch was delicious; our waitress was efficient and friendly. We would return to this restaurant.
After lunch we checked out the waterfall that gives Chagrin Falls its name.
There are two vantage points from which to see Chagrin Falls, one on each side of the falls. A boardwalk leads down to an observation platform from each vantage point.
This photograph was taken from the second vantage point.
Do you see the boardwalk on the opposite side of the falls? The first three photographs of the falls were taken from various points along that boardwalk. The white building that you see above the falls is the Popcorn Shop.
Here is a short video that I took of Chagrin Falls from the second vantage point. If you are not able to view the embedded video, the direct link may be found by clicking here.
Did you happen to notice anything that is in the video, but not in the photograph? Look in the tree to the left of the waterfall. The blue material, shown in the video, is missing in the photograph. It was an easy edit to remove that distraction from the photograph. It is possible to edit the video as well, but I forgot to do so!
After photographing the waterfall, we stopped at the village’s famous Popcorn Shop for a vanilla custard cone. According to reviews, the Popcorn Shop has three of the best things on earth: popcorn, coffee and ice cream. I had looked forward, since we left on our weekend getaway, for a custard ice cream cone. The custard ice cream was as good as I remembered it from other visits to Chagrin Falls…so rich and creamy; delicious!.
As we were preparing to leave Chagrin Falls, I spotted the Easter Bunny. We delayed our departure a few minutes, while I photographed the Easter Bunny.
We spent two nights (April 14-16) at the Clarion Inn, located in Hudson, OH. We stayed at this hotel one time before for one night, a couple years ago, while en route Eureka Springs, Arkansas. During that stay, we noted that the hotel was in close proximity to Cuyahoga Valley National Park. When we decided to visit Cuyahoga Valley National Park this past weekend, we chose to stay at Clarion Inn.
We left our home in Warren PA around 5:30 am en route Ohio.
We ate breakfast at Richard’s Family Restaurant in Youngsville, PA. We ordered omelets with toast (rye for Bob; wheat for me), one order of home fries to share and coffee for Bob / tea for me. Bob had eaten breakfast there before. I hadn’t. Breakfast was delicious and filling. We were back on the road again shortly after 6:30 am.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is located between Akron and Cleveland in Northeast Ohio. The 32,950-acre park can easily be divided into three regions: North Valley, Central Valley and South Valley. We used this map, which I found on the U.S. National Park Service website, as a guide during our 2-day exploration of the park.
Points of interest 1 through 5 are located in the North Valley region. Interest points 6 through 9 are located in the Central Valley regions. Points of interest 10 through 13 are located in the South Valley region.
We arrived in the North Valley region of Cuyahoga Valley National Park at approximately 9:45 am. In particular, our arrival point in the park was at the Cleveland Metroparks Bedford Reservation. This was our first visit to the North Valley region of Cuyahoga Valley National Park. We discovered there were many points of interest in this region.
Our first stop was at Bridal Veil Falls. We parked at the trail head and walked across Gorge Parkway. It was a short descent from the road via boardwalk and steps to a platform that overlooks the falls.
Boardwalk and stairs to Bridal Veil Falls Overlook
Once you reach the bottom of the boardwalk and stairs, a bridge crosses over the creek.
The waterfall observation platform is visible from the bridge that crosses over the creek.
Bridal Veil Falls
Bob and I at Bridal Veil Falls
Our second stop was at Tinkers Creek Gorge Scenic Overlook. The viewing area is located next to the parking lot.
Tinkers Creek Gorge Scenic Overlook
This overlook provides a panoramic view of the valley from the rim of the gorge. The view would be spectacular in the Autumn. The lighting was particularly good, so this was the only photograph that I took during this stop. We did return to this overlook, and I have a photograph of the view later on in this blog post.
Our third stop was at Willis Picnic Area, which we mistakenly thought was Viaduct Park. The two areas are next to each other. There are several points of interest at Viaduct Park, and we were not finding any of those points of interest. One point of interest was Great Falls. We could hear rushing water, but couldn’t see the waterfall.
Willis Picnic Area
We saw a sign at Willis Picnic area that read “trail closed”. It looked like high winds had passed through the picnic area at some point in time, and the downed trees and branches had not been cleaned up. Behind the picnic pavilion we found a “trail” that looked like it led to the bottom of the gorge. Bob hiked down that trail, and it did lead to the bottom of the gorge. Bob didn’t find a waterfall. He found a tunnel, through which Tinkers Creek flows. We later saw the other side of the tunnel at Viaduct Park.
Willis Picnic Area Trail to Tinkers Creek
If you look closely, you will see Bob making his way back up the trail. I am glad that I didn’t attempt to hike down that trail. Bob said he had some trouble navigating the trail.
Our fourth stop was at Viaduct Park. This small park features a very nice waterfall, view of a large viaduct, and information signs dotting the trail as you walk through the park. The parking lot is at street level. When we visited the park, we had to drive over a curb to reach the parking lot. From the parking lot there is a paved trail that descends down to Tinkers Creek, where the Great Falls of Tinkers Creek can be viewed from an observation platform. We spent about an hour exploring Viaduct Park.
The Cleveland & Pittsburgh Railroad stone viaduct across Tinkers Creek Gorge was completed in 1864. It replaced the original wooden truss bridge, which opened in 1852. The viaduct is 225 feet long and towers 120 feet above Tinkers Creek.
The Great Falls of Tinkers Creek
I love this picture of me that Bob took at The Great Falls.
Here is a short video of The Great Falls. If you are not able to view the embedded video, the direct link may be found by clicking here.
Remember earlier I mentioned that Bob hiked down to Tinkers Creek from the Willis Picnic Area? He saw a tunnel there, through which Tinkers Creek flowed. Here is the other end of that tunnel, which is called The Arch.
The Arch was built between 1901-02. Its purpose is to control the flower of Tinkers Creek, while providing a base for the railroad above. The Arch is 512 feet long, with a 20 degree turn inside. The openings are 40 feet wide and 32 feet high.
Our fifth and last stop at Bedford Reservation was a second stop at Tinkers Creek Gorge Scenic Overlook. As I mentioned earlier the lighting was better than it was during our first stop.
Again, this is Tinkers Creek Gorge Scenic Overlook.
If you walk to the end of the overlook, you will be rewarded with a panoramic view of the valley from the rim of the gorge.
View from Tinkers Creek Gorge Scenic Overlook
Leaving the overlook, we continued on Gorge Parkway to Dunham Road. We turned right onto Dunham Road, crossed over Tinkers Creek, and turned left onto Tinkers Creek Road. We followed Tinkers Creek Road to its terminus, at which time we turned left onto Canal Road. About this time we decided it was time for lunch. We were hungry, which was understandable. We ate breakfast around 6:00 am, and it was after 1:00 pm.
We ate lunch at Joe’s Family Restaurant in Northfield, OH. The salad bar and soup were excellent. Service was excellent. Our main entrees (meatloaf for me, boneless pork chops for Bob) were piping hot and delicious. Our side dishes were not so great. My mashed potatoes and our mixed vegetables were lukewarm. Our waitress did bring me a new dish of mashed potatoes, which were piping hot. I am surprised she didn’t do the same with the mixed vegetables. Perhaps she didn’t hear me, when I said that the mixed vegetables were also lukewarm.
After lunch we drove back to Cuyahoga Valley National Park, in particular to the South Valley region. We stopped at Beaver Marsh. It was a short walk from the parking lot, along a tow path, to an observation platform. We saw wood ducks, geese, tree swallows and lots of turtles. Bob saw a muskrat, briefly.
Wood Ducks at Beaver Marsh
One of several turtles at Beaver Marsh
Goose Sitting on Nest
From the Beaver Marsh we drove to the Great Blue Heron Viewing Area.
One of two trees making up the Great Blue Heron Rookery
Great Blue Heron
We didn’t stay long at the Great Blue Heron Viewing Area, as there wasn’t much activity at the heron rookery.
We checked into the Clarion Inn around 5:30 pm. We spent rest of the day in our room. We had picked up a few grocery items, after lunch, so we were able to eat a picnic-style dinner in our room.