The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Posts tagged ‘Motorcycling’

Motorcycle Ride to Austin Dam

Bob and I belong to a local motorcycle riding group called 2 Scoop Cycletherapy.  Bob and I and some of our motorcycle riding group friends went on an all-day motorcycle ride on Sunday, July 17. The ride was planned and led by our friend Mark. Our destination was the Austin Dam in Austin, PA.

According to its website the Austin Dam broke in 1911 “and water engulfed much of the town of Austin and claimed over 78 lives.  In 1994 the Austin Dam Memorial Park Association was formed and they since have worked diligently to preserve the dam remains and to create a beautiful natural park.”  Bob and I visited the dam ruins a few years ago. Our friends had never been there.

Sykes Vista

The view of the dam ruins from Sykes Vista was overgrown with weeds. I had to stand on top of a wooden rail to get a picture of the dam ruins.

From Sykes Vista we rode into the Austin Dam Memorial Park. The entrance to the park was on the left a short distance from Sykes Vista. I should mention that the park entrance road, which I believe is a mile in length, is a narrow, gravel road that is steep in places.  The road is especially steep on the descent into the memorial park.

Mark, Bob, Scott and Paul and Debbie making the descent
into Austin Dam Memorial Park.
Faye, Donna and I walked down the steep gravel road.

We did ride 2-up on our way out of the memorial park and up the gravel road.  I asked Bob if it was a wise choice for me not to ride down that steep gravel road with him.  He said yes, as he was able to handle the motorcycle better without a passenger when driving at a very low speed.

Paul at the Flood Victims Memorial

Austin Dam Ruins

The eight of us at Austin Dam Ruins

The Nutschke Pavilion contains pictures and accounts
about the flood of 1911 on its walls and on a couple of tables.

I mentioned earlier that Bob and I visited Austin Dam one time before.  That visit as in October 2013, which you may read about here. I noted improvements since our earlier visit. There were informative maps located under glass on picnic tables in the pavilion. A park attendant was on hand, who talked about the tragedy that occurred in that area on September 30, 1911.  There were permanent bathroom facilities available, rather than a port-a-john.  The Austin Dam Memorial Association newsletters found on its website are full of information pertaining to the past, present and future of the Austin Dam.  The Bayless Pulp & Paper Co. Mill ruins are also nearby.  We passed by the ruins, while riding on State Route 872.  We didn’t stop, as Mark did not see anywhere to pull off.  According to one of the newsletters, there is a place on State Route 872, along Freeman Run, to stop and observe the ruins of the paper mill.  The park attendant informed us that a trail is being planned that will link the Austin Dam ruins with those of the paper mill ruins.  One of our friends remarked that he likes the kind of motorcycle rides that stay in your head for a while.  Our visit to Austin Dam was that kind of ride.

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.

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.


Four Rides

My husband and I belong to a local motorcycle riding group.  We call ourselves 2 Scoop Cycletherapy.  Frequently our rides include a stop for ice cream.  Since June 26 we have ridden four times with some of our 2 Scoop Cycletherapy friends.  Two rides included lunch; one ride was for ice cream; and the latest ride began in the early morning and included breakfast.


On June 26 at 7:15 am I received the following Facebook message from Paul, one of our group members:

“Short notice! We’re meeting Scott and Donna at 9Am at their house … then riding to Corry to meet my brother at the flea market in the parking lot by McDonald’s. From there we will just ride…”

At 8:00 am Bob and I decided to ride with our friends. Paul, Debbie, Bob and I met up with Donna and Scott at their house.

Preparing to leave from Scott and Donna’s House

At 9:00 am we rode to Corry, where we met up with six more riders: Paul’s brother John, Robin, George, Trudy, John and Carol.  The ten of us departed Corry en route Woodcock Creek Lake around 10:30 am.

Preparing to leave from Corry, PA

Woodcock Dam, located a few miles southeast of Saegertown PA, was within an hour’s ride of Corry. We stopped at an overlook of Woodcock Creek Lake Dam.

We arrived at the Woodcock Creek Lake Dam around 11:30 am.

Woodcock Creek Lake Dam Overlook

I would like to make a return trip to Woodcock Creek Lake.  The pathway across the dam is around 1 mile in length.  I’m sure that there are some picturesque views from that pathway.  Across the street from the overlook was a sign for a nature trail.  The trail interests me as well.

We departed Woodcock Dam around noon and rode to Fat Willie’s Wing House in Edinboro PA.

Fat Willie’s Wing House

After lunch at Fat Willie’s Wing House, we departed for Corry.

We stopped at TJ’s in Corry for ice cream.

We stopped for ice cream at TJ’s in Corry.

One of our friends asked for ice cream in a cup.
His ice cream was scooped onto a cone.
What a mess!

From Corry we made our way back to Warren and home.



On June 29 at 6:00 pm five motorcycles and eight riders departed from the North Warren playground parking lot en route Peaches & Cream in Randolph, NY.  We rode through Scandia and along the Allegheny Reservoir to Route 394 into Randolph, NY.

We rode by the Onoville Marina (NY) on the Allegheny Reservoir.

Arriving at Randolph Peaches & Cream

Peaches & Cream is a popular destination for our ice cream rides.  It was the first time ice cream there was a disappointment. The hard ice cream was a bit soft.

We made it back home before 9:00 pm.




On July 2 at 10:00 am we departed from the North Warren playground parking lot en route Bob’s Trading Post in Kane, PA.

Bob’s Trading Post

As I was preparing to take this photograph of everyone at Bob’s Trading Post, a man asked if I wanted him to take our picture.  Sometimes I carry a tripod, when we ride with our 2 Scoop Cycletherapy group friends.  I didn’t carry the tripod with us on any of these four rides.  A great big THANK YOU to this nice man at Bob’s Trading Post, as I was able to be included in our group photo.

The twelve of us enjoyed lunch, while sitting on the front patio (located behind us in the above photograph).  Thank you, Shawn, for suggesting a lunch ride.  It was wonderful sharing lunch with our friends!

After lunch, we rode around the Allegheny Reservoir to Marilla Reservoir and back home. We made two stops, the first at Sugar Bay and the second at Marilla Reservoir.

Sugar Bay is located in McKean County, PA on the Allegheny Reservoir.

Sugar Bay

Marilla Reservoir is located along Rt. 346, approximately 12 miles west of Bradford, PA.

Marilla Reservoir Covered Bridge

There were eight of us for this portion of the ride.  Four riders had prior commitments and weren’t able to join us.



On July 3 at 6:00 am four motorcycles and seven riders departed the North Warren playground parking lot on an early morning ride.

Preparing to leave on our early morning ride

We rode counter clockwise around the Allegheny Reservoir. We made two stops, one at Sugar Bay and the other at the Riverview-Corydon-Cornplanter Cemetery.

The fog was lifting off the water, while at Sugar Bay.

A bonus sighting, while at Sugar Bay, was a beaver.
I took this photograph with a short focus lens.
I hurried back to our motorcycle to change camera lenses.
When I returned with my long focus telesphoto lens, the beaver decided it was camera shy.

In addition to the beaver we saw five deer cross the road and two foxes (one alive along the side of the road and one dead on the road), while on our ride.

The fog lifting off the water at Sugar Bay made for a breathtaking picture.

Our next stop was at the Riverview-Corydon-Cornplanter Cemetery, located on a bluff overlooking the Allegheny Reservoir. The individual cemeteries were moved here in 1964 before they were flooded by the Allegheny Reservoir, which was created when Kinzua Dam was completed in 1965. The Riverview-Corydon-Cornplanter Cemetery contains the remains of relatives and descendants of Seneca Chief Cornplanter, along with residents of Corydon and the surrounding area.

Riverview Cemetery

Corydon Cemetery

This is the Cornplanter Cemetery. The tall structure is Cornplanter Monument.
The remains of Chief Cornplanter are supposedly buried under the monument.

Our final stop, before returning home, was at the Route 62 Diner in Russell, PA.

Our arrival at the Route 62 Diner

Another 2 Scoop Cycletherary group friend, Bill, met us there.  So we had a party of 8 for breakfast. Bill’s timing was impeccable.  He had arrived within moments of our arrival.

This was Bob and my first time eating at the Route 62 Diner. Our breakfast entrees were very good; the price was good; and service was great.

We returned home around 10:00 am. It was a chilly, but great, ride. The temperature was in the mid 40s for the most part during our ride. We want to go on another sunrise ride, but on a morning with warmer temperatures!


I wonder where our next ride will take us?


Dinner Ride

We went for a motorcycle dinner ride with friends yesterday evening. We met Paul and Debbie and Scott and Donna at the North Warren playground parking lot, departing from there at 6:00 pm. We rode to The Pad in Kennedy, NY for dinner.  If you click on the link, you will note that The Pad has many positive reviews.

Our arrival at The Pad

The Pad sits by itself along a country road. It has indoor/outdoor seating and bars, a good amount of parking and a pond with a fountain. We sat outside on the patio. Debbie, Paul and Donna ordered burgers; Bob ordered a Reuben sandwich; Scott ordered wings; and I ordered a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. Service was somewhat on the slow side.  When we received our meals I discovered that my grilled ham and cheese sandwich was delivered without the ham. How could they forget the ham on a grilled ham and cheese sandwich! I told our waitress the grilled cheese sandwich was was OK but to change the order slip to reflect what was served, a savings of $1.00. Everyone else got what they ordered.

Paul said his experience last year wasn’t great either. He waited over 2 hours for a taco on taco night and still didn’t get it.

Although I wasn’t impressed with The Pad, the ride and being with our friends was great!

Friday Night Ride and Wiener Roast

Bob and I are members of a local motorcycle riding group.  We call ourselves 2 Scoop Cycletherapy because we ride for ice cream and relaxation.  So far this riding season some members of the group have ridden together three times, all three times this past week.  The only ride that we were able to participate in was yesterday’s ride and wiener roast.

We met at a friend’s house house at 6:00 pm. We dropped off food and beverages for a wiener roast that Mark and Faye were hosting for later in the evening.

Pre-ride Chit Chat

Shortly before 6:15 pm we departed on a 50-mile motorcycle ride. There were six motorcycles and twelve riders – Mark and Faye, Bill and Marlene, Scott and Donna, Paul and Debbie and “Knobby” and Barb.  We rode through Frewburg NY to Onoville NY, where we stopped for a few minutes.

Onoville, NY stop
In the background is the Onoville Marina, located on the Allegheny Reservoir

It was starting to cool off, so some of us pulled on our hoodies.

When we decided to continue the ride, our motorcycle wouldn’t start. After several minutes our motorcycle did start. The consensus seems to be that something is loose or corroded. We returned to Mark and Faye’s house via Scandia and Priest Hollow Road, returning there around 7:30 pm.

Mark cooked wieners over a fire.

Accompanying the wieners were foods brought by others in the group
to include vegetable and fruit trays, cheese cubes, macaroni salad
and chocolate chip cookies.

We sat around a fire eating and chatting among ourselves.

Bob and I were the first to leave, at approximately 9:15 pm. We had a wonderful evening with our friends and look forward to our next ride.


Kinzua Bridge State Park Visit

As is usual on Friday, Bob came home from work at noon. Soon after coming home, we went for a ride on the motorcycle. We rode to Kinzua Bridge State Park, via U.S. Route 6.

Kinzua Bridge State Park is located in McKean County near Mt. Jewett, PA.  The park features remnants of the 2,053-foot railroad bridge (viaduct) that an F1 tornado struck in July 2003. A visitor center is under construction.  Until the visitor center is open, visitors park in the overflow parking area.  From the overflow parking lot it is a short, easy walk to the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk.

Kinzua Park Visitor Center

We walked past the Kinzua Bridge State Park Visitor Center on our way to the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk.  The construction of the new visitor center appears near completion. According to a park brochure dated January 2016 the visitor center will include park staff offices, conference room, gift shop, reception area, lobby, restrooms, classroom, exhibits and vending machines.

A deck wraps around the north and west sides of the visitor center.
The deck will offer views of the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk, debris field and gorge area.

We followed the trail shown in the photograph displayed above to the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk.

Kinzua Bridge Skywalk
(Note the Picture Taking Platform below the skywalk.)

We walked across the skywalk.

Bob walking across the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk

At the end of the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk is a glass floor, through which you can see the forest floor way below you.

We encounter people every time we visit Kinzua Bridge State Park
who are afraid to walk across the glass floor.

Remnants of railroad bridge (viaduct) on forest floor,
as viewed from end of skywalk

We walked back across the skywalk. We saw signage for the Kinzua Creek Trail, which provides access to the bottom of the gorge. We opted not to hike this trail on this visit. The trail is 0.4 mile one way and is described in the park brochure as a “steep, challenging trail”.  We did follow a short side trail from the Kinzua Creek Trail to the Picture Taking Platform. This platform is located under the skywalk and provides a view of the remaining support towers.

View from the Picture Taking Platform

We waited for a short time before taking pictures from the Picture Taking Platform.  When it appeared that the two girls in the photograph displayed above would not be leaving anytime soon, I held up my camera and said “your picture is going to be on the Internet”.  Neither girl moved, and the girl on the right smiled nicely for me.  Having the girls in the photograph does add perspective.  At the time I didn’t know whether or not Bob would climb up there to have his picture taken.  The girls did leave a few minutes, after I took this picture.

The “3D” effect is interesting.

Bob did climb onto the bridge.


An overlook of the remnants of the railroad bridge (viaduct) is located a short distance from the Picture Taking Platform.

Railroad Bridge Remnants overlook
(view from the skywalk)


We stopped at the overlook on our way back to the parking lot from the Picture Taking Platform.

Railroad Bridge (Viaduct) Remnants Overlook

On our way back home we stopped for lunch at the Barrel House located on U.S. Route 6 at Lantz Corners in Kane, PA. Bob had a prime rib wrap, while I had teriyaki chicken on a bed of wild rice. We each ordered peanut butter pie for dessert.  Our lunches were filling and delicious.

We returned home around 4:30 pm.  It was a very good day for a motorcycle ride.  I am glad that we went for the ride yesterday.  The forecast for today and tomorrow call for rain.  Neither of us like to ride in the rain, unless we have no choice.

Our First Motorcycle Ride this Year

Yesterday Bob and I went on a motorcycle ride, our first 2 up ride this year.  We rode to Sigel, PA to have lunch at Farmer’s Inn.  About an hour before we departed home, I posted on Facebook that we would be riding.  I received several comments about riding safe and to have a good day. One particular comment came to mind several times during the day. Tim, one of our Vulcan Rider & Owner’s Club friends, wrote that he and Dee would be “riding to Danville, In. to have lunch at the ‘Mayberry Cafe’. Will be riding with you in spirit.”  I thought of Tim’s comment throughout the day.

Tim’s comment brought to mind that our VROC friends, though we see them infrequently, are our friends for life.

We didn’t ride straightaway to Farmer’s Inn. We rode through Cook Forest State Park, alongside the Clarion River (River Road) to Route 36.

Clarion River

We turned right onto Route 36 and rode the short distance to Fire Tower Road. We followed the dirt/gravel road to the parking lot for Seneca Point. We hiked up to the Seneca Point Overlook, from which there is a breathtaking view from more than 850 feet above the Clarion River Valley.

Seneca Point Overlook

view of Clarion River from Seneca Point Overlook


As we were leaving Seneca Point Overlook, exposed tree root(s) caught my eye.

Isn’t it amazing how little dirt is needed for a tree to grow?

Before leaving Seneca Point, we walked over to the fire tower.

Bob climbed up the fire tower.

The enclosed structure at the top of the fire tower was locked.

Bob saw only the top of trees from the fire tower.  The view would be spectacular in the autumn. From Seneca Point we returned to Route 36, turning right, and followed it to Route 949. We turned left onto Route 949 and rode the short distance to The Farmer’s Inn.

Goats at The Farmer’s Inn

Llama at The Farmer’s Inn

Goats at The Farmer’s Inn

What?  You don’t have any food for me?

After watching the llama and goats for a short time, we went inside The Farmer’s Inn to eat lunch.  The Farmer’s Inn opened up for the season on Friday.  The restaurant will be open weekends only, until Mother’s Day.  We both ordered burgers and onion rings. For dessert we split an apple dumpling, with soft serve vanilla ice cream. It was 1:30 pm, when we departed Farmer’s Inn en route home. We had the choice of two routes to ride home: PA Route 949 through Ridgway or PA Route 949 back to PA Route 36 through Marienville. We chose the shorter of the two routes, the route that took us through Marienville.

In Marienville we made a bathroom stop at Kwik Fill. Who do I see, when I walk out of the bathroom?  We are 30 miles from home and find a neighbor who lives two blocks away!

Bill and Bob

Bill was returning home from a motorcycle ride.  He rode with us back to Warren.

When we were a few miles from home, we passed by Dairy Delite.  I spotted our friends Jesse and Karen in the parking lot. I waved at them, just before we almost got creamed by a van pulling out of Dairy Delite. I am thankful that the van stopped and that Bob hit his brakes. Bob said it happened so fast that he had no time to blow his horn. In the past week I have read of multiple motorcycle accidents. I am thankful that we were not a statistic!


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