The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘Kinzua Dam’

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.

An All-Day Motorcycle Ride

In the late afternoon on Friday, July 24th, a friend posted a status in the 2 Scoop CycleTherapy Facebook group, asking if anyone wanted to go to Springville, NY to the vintage motorcycle museum at Northeast Vintage Cycle. Bob and I said that we would go. We left home at 8:30 Saturday morning and departed from Herb’s house in Scandia at 9:00 am.

We rode to Springville, making one brief stop (a stretching break) along Route 219 in Ellicottville, NY.


There was a pretty flower bed near where we stopped in Ellicottville.

We located Northeast Vintage Cycle without any difficulty. Unfortunately the store/museum was closed and will be closed for the next two Saturdays, while the owners attend vintage motorcycle shows in the area.

We turned around and rode back to Ellicottville. Prior to reaching Ellicottville, we stopped at Griffis Sculpture Park (Rohr Hill Road Site) in Ashford Hollow.

Griffis Sculpture Park – Rohr Hill Entrance

Griffis Sculpture Park – Rohr Hill Entrance

Griffis Sculpture Park – Rohr Hill Entrance

Griffis Sculpture Park – Rohr Hill Entrance

Griffis Sculpture Park – Rohr Hill Entrance

Griffis Sculpture Park – Rohr Hill Entrance

Griffis Sculpture Park – Rohr Hill Entrance

We walked among the towering sculptures set in fields and woods just off the road.

Rohr Hill Sculpture

Griffis Sculpture Park – Rohr Hill Entrance

It was Herb’s first visit to Griffis Sculpture Park, and he enjoyed the visit. A question that kept coming to mind, while he walked in the park was “why?”.  This Wikipedia article provides the following explanation for “why”.

“The idea for an outdoor sculpture museum came to artist Larry Griffis while he was touring Italy with his family. While watching his children play on the ruins of Emperor Hadrian’s villa, Griffis realized the value of interactive art. As Simon Griffis recalls, his father said, “This is absolutely remarkable. Look at my kids. I’ve taken them to the finest museums and galleries but they’ve come alive in this environment where they can interact and they can smell the flowers and they can touch things.”

Upon returning to the United States, Larry Griffis looked at many possible sites for the park, but had a vision that included site-specific terrain. He required a combination of valleys, woods, lake and open space. Kissing Bridge Ski Resort and Lewiston’s Art Park were possible candidates for the vision, but were passed over by the artist.

In 1966, Griffis purchased 100 acres…of Ashford Hollow in the Southern Tier of Western New York and placed 15 of his own 25 feet…welded steel works on a hillside along a country road. The Ashford Hollow Foundation acquired another 325 acres…and drummed up commissions for additional sculptures.”


We made a fuel stop in Ellicottville, and then continued on Route 219 to Bradford, PA. In Bradford we turned onto Route 346 and headed toward the Allegheny Reservoir.

We stopped briefly at Marilla Reservoir.

Marilla Bridges Trail

It was Herb’s first visit to Marilla Reservoir.


From Marilla Reservoir we stopped for lunch at the Giordano’s Corydon Hotel. We planned to stop at The Willows, but the place was packed FULL of motorcycles and motorcyclists participating in the annual Kids & Cancer Benefit Run. Lunch at the Corydon Hotel was a good choice. Herb and I enjoyed our burgers. Bob enjoyed his Cajun Chicken Salad.

Our last stop before parting ways was at Kinzua Dam.

Kinzua Dam

Herb headed home via Dorcan Road. Bob and I decided to take a ride to the other side of Kinzua Dam.

We got up close and personal to Kinzua Dam, the closest I have ever been!

We returned home at 4:00 pm. We rode 196 miles. It was a beautiful day for a ride. The ride was most enjoyable, even though its original purpose was not realized.

Happy Birthday to Me

Yesterday was my birthday, and I spent the day with my best friend — my husband, Bob.

We awakened early and watched a couple episodes of “House of Cards” before 9:00 am. “House of Cards” is an American political drama television series.  The entire first season, 13 episodes, premiered on February 1, 2013, on Netflix.  A second season of 13 episodes premiered on February 14, 2014.   Netflix announced on February 4, 2014 that the show had been renewed for a third season.  Both Bob and I enjoyed watching “House of Cards”.  We watched the last episode of Season 2 last night, after returning home from my birthday drive.  We look forward to Season 3.  It will be a long wait.

After watching a couple episodes of “House of Cards” yesterday morning, we went for a drive.  Our final destination was the Seneca Allegany Casino in Salamanca, NY; however, we made a few stops along the way.

Our first stop was at Kinzua Dam.

While at Kinzua Dam, we spotted a couple eagles standing way out on the ice.  I barely had time to get my camera from the back seat and exchange a 12-50mm lens for a 75-300mm lens, before the eagles flew off.  I need to learn how to capture good pictures of birds in flight. My pictures are grainy and blurry. Part of the problem is that I don’t have enough reach with my camera lens, even though my 75-300mm lens provides an equivalent focal length of 600mm. The other problem I have is focusing on a moving object, especially when I have only one opportunity to lock in that focus.

This is the best picture of an eagle in flight that I captured yesterday.

From Kinzua Dam we continued on Route 59 to McKean County, where we turned left onto Route 321.  This route was most picturesque, with the trees frosted with snow and the overcast sky giving way to blue skies.

Frosty Trees Along Route 321 in McKean County, PA

Frosty Trees Along Route 321 in McKean County, PA

Frosty Trees Along Route 321 in McKean County, PA

Frosty Trees Along Route 321 in McKean County, PA

Upon reaching the intersection of Routes 321 and 346, we turned right onto Route 346 (towards Bradford, PA).

Marilla Reservoir

After a quick photo stop at Marilla Reservoir, we continued on Route 346 to Bradford.  We turned left onto Route 4009, which we followed to Allegany State Park.

Our first stop was at Science Lake.

Quaker Lake

Bob, with Red House Administration Building in background

Bob took this photograph of me, with Red House Administration Building in background

Red House Administration Building

We started our drive outside the park from the Red House area.  We drove along ASP Route 1 to the park’s Salamanca, NY entrance.

We saw young deer grazing alongside ASP Route 1.

There is a scenic overlook just past the Salamanca entrance to Allegany State Park.  The overlook provides a spectacular view over the valley and to the hills in the distance.

The road seen in this photograph is Interstate 86.
In the distance there is a farm.
If you see yellow farm buildings, you have located the farm.

I have always wanted to photograph this farm. I admire it each time we pass it Interstate 86.  I never stopped to take a picture because of the fast-moving traffic. When I recognized the farm from the scenic overlook, I was so happy that I had my long lens with me.

Valent Dairy Farm, as seen from ASP 1 overlook

From the scenic overlook, it was only a few minutes’ drive to the Seneca Allegany Casino.  We arrived at the casino in the early afternoon. We ate lunch at Thunder Mountain Buffet.  The casino has a special promotion on every Sunday through Thursday through February 27–buy a buffet and get $15 free slot play.  Bob and I received $15 each. I received an extra $5 credit because it was my birthday (another promotion). Bob received an extra $10 credit on his card. We don’t know why, although I think it was because he had enough points on his card to qualify for $10 free slot play. According to the “Free Slot Day Every Day You Play” promotion, Bob should have received an email informing him of the $10 free slot play.  As far as I know, he didn’t receive that email (or he overlooked it).  We had a good luck at the casino!  I left the casino with $46 and change; Bob left with $19 and change. I didn’t spend a penny of my money. Bob did spend $33 for our lunches, which was my birthday present.   It was nice that he got back $19 of that expenditure.

It was a great day overall, one of my favorite birthday celebrations.

Kinzua Dam

Kinzua Dam (5/31/2013)
as viewed from Big Bend Recreation Area

Kinzua Dam is located 6 miles east of Warren, PA along Route 59.  The dam was constructed by the U.S. Corps of Engineers and was completed in 1965.   The main purpose of Kinzua Dam is flood control on the Allegheny River.  Additional benefits of Kinzua Dam include drought control, hydroelectric power production and recreation.

Immediately above Kinzua Dam is an upper reservoir.


I obtained this image and much of the information provided in this blog post from a Wikipedia article on the Kinzua Dam.  This is an aerial view of Kinzua Dam and the Seneca Pumped Storage Generation Station.  According to the Wikipedia article the Seneca Pumped Storage Generating Station is a hydroelectric power plant that uses pumped storage of water to generate electric power.  Water is pumped into an upper reservoir (the crater of water seen on the left).  When energy is needed, the water is allowed to fall back down and drive generators along the way.

Bob and I visited the upper reservoir yesterday afternoon.  We traveled there via Brown Run Rd. and Jakes Rocks Rd.  We really enjoyed our drive to the upper reservoir.  We saw one doe and one fawn at two different locations.  I didn’t capture a photograph of either family pair; however, the images of both deer families are locked in my memory.

It was a short climb from a parking area to the upper reservoir.

I read that the upper reservoir is 60 feet deep and 1/2 mile in diameter.

From the upper reservoir we continued on to Jakes Rocks.

Kinzua Dam impounds the 12,080-acre Allegheny Reservoir, of which 7,783 acres are within Pennsylvania.  The remaining 4,297 acres are in New York.  The Allegheny Reservoir is 27 miles long with 90 miles of shoreline and includes many recreational facilities to include marinas, boat launches and campgrounds .  There are splendid views of Kinzua Dam and the Allegheny Reservoir from Jakes Rocks.

Jakes Rocks Overlook of Allegheny Reservoir

Allegheny Reservoir, as viewed from the overlook

Allegheny Reservoir, as viewed from the overlook

Jakes Rocks Overlooks of Kinzua Dam

From Jakes Rocks we backtracked, following Jakes Rocks Road and Brown Run Road to Route 59.  We hoped to see more deer along the way.  We didn’t.  We still enjoyed the drive though.  We had the road mainly to ourselves.  Once on Route 59 we drove to Kinzua Dam, stopping first at the Big Bend Recreation Area.

Kinzua Dam
as viewed from Big Bend Recreation Area

We had a bonus sighting, while at Big Bend Recreation Area.  We saw three baby foxes (and the backside of a fourth baby fox when they all headed into the weeds because some children were shouting and running down the path towards them).

I had never seen a baby fox.  What a cute baby!

From Big Bend Recreation Area we drove the short distance to Kinzua Dam itself.

Kinzua Dam and the Allegheny Reservoir

Kinzua Dam

I leave you with a short video clip that I took, while at Kinzua Dam.

An Afternoon Spent with Tom and Heather

We have two families – the families that we were born into and our Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (VROC) family. We have strong ties to both families. We spent yesterday afternoon with Tom and Heather, two members of our VROC family, whom we met briefly at the Wolfman’s Wandering Rally in June 2009.

Tom and Heather at Wolfman’s Wandering Rally 2009

Tom was looking at me, as I took this picture. Heather is sitting beside Tom, behind her mother. Although we had not seen either Heather or Tom since June 2009, we kept in touch via blogging and Facebook.On June 18 I received a Facebook message from Tom. He and Heather were planning a short camping trip to Evangola State Park, which is located along the shores of Lake Erie in New York between the cities of Dunkirk and Buffalo. Tom expressed an interest in riding through the Allegheny National Forest on Saturday and asked if I had any tips as to what is a must-see while around that area. I replied to Tom’s message the next day, providing him a list of places to see while in the Allegheny National Forest. I told Tom that Bob and I would be happy to ride with Heather and him, if they wanted to meet up with us. Tom replied to my message that same day. He and Heather would definitely like to meet up with us.Tom and Heather arrived at our house around 11:15 AM this past Saturday. Soon after their arrival we departed for downtown Warren. After Tom and Heather had topped off their fuel at Kwik Fill and took a few photographs of downtown Warren, we were on our way to the Allegheny National Forest.We followed the Allegheny River to Kinzua Dam.

Our first stop was at Kinzua Dam.

Our second stop was at Rimrock Overlook, which provides a lofty view of the Allegheny Reservoir.

Bob, Tom and Heather at Rimrock Overlook

Heather, Bob and Tom on stone stairway that leads to the base of Rimrock Overlook

Stone Stairway

Leaving Rimrock Overlook we backtracked a little ways to Jakes Rocks Overlook. Here we enjoyed one last look at Kinzua Dam.

Tom and Heather at Jakes Rocks Kinzua Dam Overlook

Leaving Jakes Rocks we took Longhouse Scenic Drive (FR262) to SR321, where we turned right towards Kane. Before reaching Kane we stopped for lunch at Bob’s Trading Post.

After lunch we rode through Kane and Mt. Jewett to Kinzua Bridge State Park.

Tom and Heather at Kinzua Bridge State Park
In the background is what is left of Kinzua Bridge.

It has been 8 years since Kinzua Bridge was blown down by a tornado. Remnants of the bridge still lay on the forest floor. I wrote a blog post about the Kinzua Bridge in September 2009. If you are interested in reading that post about Kinzua Bridge and seeing a few more photographs, you may do so by clicking here.

From Kinzua Bridge State Park we made our way to Quaker Lake at Allegany State Park in New York, where we said our goodbyes. I’m so happy that Tom contacted me about his and Heather’s plan for riding through the Allegheny National Forest. Bob and I enjoyed Tom and Heather’s company and enjoyed riding with them. The chilly and wet weather couldn’t put a damper on the good times that we shared.

Tom uploaded a blog post about our ride through Allegheny National Forest as well. Please visit Tom and Heather’s blog, “Tales from the O.C.”, to read his description of the day’s ride as well as view additional pictures from the ride.

Click here for a map of Saturday’s ride.


Mother and Daughter Photo Session

I mentioned in my previous post that I would be photographing my stepdaughter, Stacey, and her mother in the near future. That photo session happened yesterday.  The photo session took place at three locations: Kinzua Dam, Bent Run Falls and Rimrock Overlook, all three locations in the Allegheny National Forest and not far from our home in Warren, PA.

Stacey and Chris at Kinzua Dam

Stacey and Chris at Bent Run Waterfall

Stacey and Chris at Rimrock

In addition to photographing Stacey and her mother, Chris, I managed to capture a couple photographs of the dads too.

Stacey and Jay at Bent Run Waterfall

Stacey and Bob at Bent Run Waterfall

After the photo session we went to Stacey’s house, where we were joined by Mike (Stacey’s fiance) and Jeff and Vanina (Jeff’s brother and sister-in-law). A pot luck BBQ dinner was enjoyed by all. All in all it was a wonderful day!

Mother’s Day Ride

Bob and I went for a motorcycle ride on Sunday. This was my second motorcycle ride of the season. On my first ride, we rode 65 miles. We rode 135 miles on Sunday. I’m working my way up to a longer ride in July.

We rode to Ellicottville, NY, where we ate lunch at The Gin Mill. We’ve enjoyed a lunch of burgers (and the service) at The Gin Mill in past rides. Yesterday was no different. The burgers and service was great!

From Ellicottville we drove through Allegany State Park and along the Allegheny Reservoir, a ride that we have made numerous times. We made a few photo stops in the park and at Kinzua Dam.

Allegany State Park
Fisherman at Red House Lake
Red House Administration Building in background

Allegany State Park – Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge

Do you see Bob and the motorcycle at end of bridge? The visor on my helmet came undone. Bob was fixing my visor, while I was taking photographs.

Allegany State Park
Here’s a picture of the creek that flows under the covered bridge.

Allegany State Park
Here’s a daisy that was growing near the covered bridge.

Our last stop before returning home was at Kinzua Dam.

My Mother’s Day was an enjoyable one. I hope that each of you had an enjoyable Mother’s Day as well!

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