The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘Salamanca NY’

Indian Foods Dinner

Tim, one of Bob’s high school classmates, invited us in early September to join he and his wife for a traditional Indian Thanksgiving dinner. That dinner, the 58th Annual Indian Foods Dinner, was held yesterday at 1:00 pm.

The Indian Foods Dinner is sponsored by the Jimersontown Presbyterian Church. The dinner was held at the Seneca Nation of Indians Administration Building in Salamanca, NY. When we arrived at the administration building around noon, Tim and Kathy were already seated at a table set for eight. We gave our names to the cashier, then Tim’s name, then Kathy’s name…reservations were under Kathy’s name. We paid our $13.00 each and joined Kathy and Tim. Bob sat next to Tim. I sat next to Kathy. As I wrote earlier, Bob and Tim know each other from high school. Bob remembers Tim from a younger age in the neighborhood and riding the bus to high school together. Bob had never met Kathy. I knew Tim only from Facebook. He commented on photographs that I posted in the You Grew Up in Warren PA Facebook group and was, in general, a frequent commenter on other posts in the group. Conversation flowed quickly. Bob and Tim reminisced; Tim, Kathy and I initiated the small talk that begins the process of getting to know one another. We were joined by a woman. I didn’t catch her name. She sat down next to Bob. Just before the pastor of the church welcomed us to the dinner, Wayne and Lori  joined us. Lori sat next to me; Wayne sat next to Lori. Another woman joined us, sitting down next to Wayne. I didn’t catch her name either.

We were welcomed to the dinner by the pastor of Jimersontown Presbyterian Church. He, then, introduced us to Tyler Heron. Tyler is one of the organizers of the dinner, as well as one of the preparers of the traditional foods. In addition, Tyler is featured in the film “Lake of Betrayal” narrating portions of the film and appearing in segments of the film. Lake of Betrayal is the story of Kinzua Dam. The film examines the US government’s taking of Native lands for dam building and the extraordinary fight the Seneca Nation undertook to protect its sovereignty and ensure its cultural survival. This film will be aired on PBS November 6, 2017 at 9:00 pm. A short word of prayer was said, after Tyler spoke to us. Then it was time to eat.

The menu for the Indian Foods Dinner included Roast Turkey, Mashed Potatoes with gravy, Green Beans, Hulled Corn Soup, Roast Venison, Boiled Corn Bread, Pumpkin Pie, Cranberry Sauce, Cole Slaw, Fry Bread, Apple Cider, Coffee and Water.

My plate of food (minus the venison)
I gave my venison to Bob.

The food was delicious.

During dinner, conversation continued to flow nicely. New friendships were initiated. I really enjoyed Tim, Kathy, Lori and Wayne’s company. Kathy and I are the same age, as are Bob and Tim. Lori is a few years younger than Kathy and me. Lori is older than Wayne. Kathy, Lori and I are all older than our husbands. Some of the things I learned about our new friends include the following. Kathy traveled cross country years ago. She slept in a pop up tent that was attached to a pickup truck. Kathy and Lori are nurses. Wayne and Lori moved to New York from Texas recently. Wayne and Lori enjoy travel. Everyone likes to eat at Sprague’s Maple Farms and at The Plaza in Warren. Wayne and Lori have a blended family. Lori and Wayne have six children; no grandchildren.  I believe we are well on our way to new friendships.

It was 3:00 pm, when we said our goodbyes and parted ways. Tim said we should do something together again. I hope that we do. We had a good time.

Leaving the Seneca Nation of Indians Administration Building, Bob and I drove to Allegany State Park.

DA211811Seneca Nation of Indians Administration Building
(view from ASP 1 overlook)

From ASP 1 we enter Allegany State Park’s Red House area.  We made stops at Stone Tower, the Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge and the Red House Administration Building.

DA211819Stone Tower
The Stone Tower dates from 1933.  It was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps,
as part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal effort.

The lure of Stone Tower is the panoramic view afforded from its vantage point.

DA211815View from Stone Tower

DA211818View from Stone Tower road

Our next stop was at the Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge.

DA211827Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge

The Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge was built in 1989. It is a pedestrian bridge. In addition to foot traffic, the bridge is used by bicyclists and, in the winter, by snowmobile riders.  Its 110-foot length spans Red House Creek.

Our last stop in the Red House area was at the Red House Administration Building.

The Pumpkins in the Park event was just ending, when we arrived at the Red House Administration Building.

I found this flyer on the Allegany State Park’s Facebook page.  The information about this event indicated it was in its second year.


We received an Autumn welcome
at the Red House Administration Building.

IMG_20171021_155841Bob took this picture of me with a large smiling pumpkin that we found
on the grounds of the Red House Administration Building.

We left the Red House area and drove to Quaker Lake.

DA211837Quaker Lake

Our plan for Allegany State Park was to take some pictures and hang out until 7:00 pm, when Paul Crawford would be performing at the Quaker Bath House in the lakeside room.  According to promotional information about the concert, Paul has been playing contemporary and classic rock, contemporary country, and some originals for over twenty-five years. Paul is the administrator on a few Facebook pages that feature the Allegany State Park. I have enjoyed his photography on those pages for a few years but have never heard him play guitar and sing.

DA211840Quaker Lake
Across the lake is the Quaker Bath House.

Bob and I decided a 4-hour wait for Paul’s concert was too long. I took a few pictures in the park, and then we left for home. I hope in the future we have another opportunity to hear Paul perform.

On our way back home from Allegany State Park, we stopped briefly at Sugar Bay on the Allegheny Reservoir in McKean County, PA.

The water in the Allegheny Reservoir is quite low.

A father and son, with kayaks, arrived at Sugar Bay as we were leaving. They would have to carry (or drag) the kayaks quite a distance before reaching open water.

What a great day!  We ate a very tasty dinner; we made new friends; and we enjoyed Autumn’s beauty at Allegany State Park.


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.

IMG_3288I 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.”

IMG_3289I 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.

MA101094 4x6Quaker 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.

MA101104 4x6Someone has marked the trail leading to Bridal Falls with a green ribbon.

MA101097 4x6Bridal Falls

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

MA101106 4x6This is the stone fishing pier on Red House Lake.
The Red House Administration Building is on the hillside in the background.

MA101111 4x6We 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.

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MA101121 4x6There is a lot of color on those hills, but a lot of green still remains!

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

MA101124 4x6View from atop the Stone Tower

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

MA101125 4x6View from atop the Stone Tower

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

MA101126 4x6That 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!

Labor Day Motorcycle Ride

In today’s blog post I want to share with you the motorcycle ride that Bob and I went on with some of our friends today.  The friends we rode with we have ridden with on Wednesday nights on our ice cream rides.  Recently we gave our riding group a name.  We call ourselves “2 Scoop Cycletherapy”.

Today’s ride began at 10:00 am from the North Warren playground parking lot. Bob and I almost didn’t go on this ride. It rained around 9:30 am, and the roads were wet. Paul, the ride organizer, convinced us to go. It really didn’t take too much persuasion, though.  We were really keen on riding today.  The weather outside at 9:30 didn’t look that great, but the forecast for rest of the day didn’t sound bad.  There was only a slight chance for rain.  No storm cells appeared on radar anywhere near us.  Paul said I made his day, when I said that Bob and I would go on the ride.

Six motorcycles and 12 riders went on today’s ride. We did start out on wet roads, but the roads were dry shortly after leaving Warren. We rode first to The Willows Restaurant and Bar, a restaurant located on Route 346.  We made one rest stop along the way.  Boy was it buggy at that stop!

IMG_3064 4x6We made a brief rest stop en route The Willows.

IMG_3066 4x6The tiny black gnats were BAD!


Holding your hands in the air will help keep the gnats away.
(Photo by Paul S.)


It was during this brief rest stop that I discovered I had not brought along an SD memory card for my camera.  All the photographs in this blog post were taken with a camera phone.

The plan was to go to The Willows for lunch. The Willows was closed. We learned that the restaurant is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.  After a short discussion, we decided to go to Bear Mountain Resort in Salamanca, NY for lunch.

IMG_3079 4x6Bear Mountain Resort

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We ate lunch outside, on the deck.  We occupied three tables.

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IMG_3076 4x6This was Mandy’s lunch.

IMG_3077 4x6This was my lunch.

IMG_3078 4x6We even had live entertainment, while we ate lunch.
This duo sang country songs and sounded pretty good together.

We spent longer than expected at our lunch stop. The restaurant was busy, and service was slow. The food, however, was good, and the view was excellent.

From Bear Mountain Resort we rode through Ellicottville to Randolph, where we stopped for ice cream at Peaches & Cream.

IMG_3082 4x6Peaches & Cream Ice Cream Stop

IMG_3088 4x6The mums were beautiful!

IMG_3085 4x6Everyone ordered ice cream
except for Mandy.

IMG_3086 4x6Mandy said she felt “less full” eating chocolate candy.

One thing I like about my 2 Scoop Cycletherapy friends is that we laugh a lot.  When Mandy said she felt “less full”, Bob and I thought she said she felt “lustful” eating chocolate candy.  You should have heard the laughter!

IMG_3083 4x6Mandy and Shawn make a great-looking couple!

IMG_3092 4x6This is Paul, our 2 Scoop Cycletherapy ride organizer.
He does a GREAT job organizing our rides!

From Peaches & Cream we rode through Conewango Valley, Ellington, Gerry, Falconer, and back home.  We returned home around 5:00 pm. All total we rode about 150 miles. I am happy that Bob and I decided to go for the ride today. The day turned out to be dry, sunny and warm. Paul said that I made his day when Bob and I decided to go on the ride. Well, Paul, you made our day as well! It was a wonderful ride and an exceptionally good time with friends.

A Sunday Drive

On Sunday, July 27th, Bob and I went for a drive to Allegany State Park near Salamanca, NY. This park is located an approximate hour drive from our home.  It is one of our favorite local destinations to commune with nature.  Our first stop in the park was at Thunder Rocks, where I took several pictures as we walked around the massive rock formations.

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P7276639 4x6Bob found a sliding rock.

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Our next stop was at a picnic area near Red House Lake. We brought a picnic lunch with us and ate it here.

P7276650 4x6Red House Lake
with Red House Administration Building in background

P7276648 4x6Red House Lake

IMG_2998Our picnic lunch


After lunch we made a couple more stops in the park.

P7276653 4x6We stopped at the Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge.

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P7276657 4x6We stopped at Stone Tower.

P7276659 4x6

P7276660 4x6We stopped at Bridal Falls.

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Our last stop was at Quaker Lake, before taking Route 280 back home.


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.

P2233605 4x6Our 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.

P2233600 4x6This 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.

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

P2233612 4x6Marilla 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.

P2233614 4x6Our first stop was at Science Lake.

P2233617 4x6Quaker Lake

P2233618 4x6Bob and I at Red House picnic area,
with Red House Administration Building in the background

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P2233625 4x6Red 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.

P2233627 4x6We 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.

P2233629 4x6The 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.

P2233631 4x6Valent Dairy Farm

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.

Allegany State Park Visit

On Sunday Bob and I visited Allegany State Park near Salamanca, New York. Allegany State Park is New York’s largest state park and is known for its natural beauty. The park is divided into two sections: the Red House area and the Quaker Run area.  Allegany State Park is a frequent destination for Bob and me, as the park is only an hour’s drive from our house.  This “Days to Remember” blog contains many posts from our visits to Allegany State Park.  I will share photographs from Sunday’s visit in today’s blog post.

Even though a lot of leaves have fallen, Autumn color could still be found at the park.

EB033479 4x6Quaker Lake

EB033497 4x6
Red House Lake

We saw a little bit of snow at higher elevations.

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We seem to see something new each time we visit Allegany State Park.  We saw Bridal Falls for the first time during Sunday’s visit.

EB033496 4x6It’s a short (~.25 mile) hike to Bridal Falls from the Program Site 62 sign on ASP Route 1.

EB033485 4x6
Bridal Falls

Now that we know where to find Bridal Falls, I’m certain we will make a return trip there one day.

The Thomas L. Kelly covered bridge is a frequent photography subject, during our visits to the park.

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EB033509 4x6Self Portrait with Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge in background

Our last stop before leaving the park was at the Stone Tower.

EB033524 4x6The Stone Tower dates from 1933.  It was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, as part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal effort.

EB033535 4x6
Photographic Portal to the tower’s southern view

EB033526 4x6
This winding staircase leads up to the top deck.

EB033529 4x6The view north, while standing on the top deck of the Stone Tower

EB033532 4x6The view south, while standing on the top deck of the Stone Tower
In the distance is Red House Lake.

As always, we enjoyed our visit to Allegany State Park.  I am already thinking about our next visit!

E. Family Photo Session

I met the E. Family at Allegany State Park near Salamanca, NY, at 10 A.M.  this past Sunday (August 12th).  For the next couple hours I had a wonderful time photographing this young family at various sites in the park.

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20120812 E Family Photoshoot-2 8x10

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