The Beauty Around Us

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

Posts tagged ‘Salamanca NY’

An Afternoon of Autumn Leaf Peeking

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

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

I took a picture of the restaurant interior too.

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

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 So in 1933 they repealed the law and made beer and liquor legal.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

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

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

Quaker Lake

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

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

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

Bridal Falls

Bridal Falls

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

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

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

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

Stone Tower View

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

Stone Tower View

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

View from atop the Stone Tower

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

View from atop the Stone Tower

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

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

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

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!

We made a brief rest stop en route The Willows.

The tiny black gnats were BAD!

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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.

Bear Mountain Resort

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

This was Mandy’s lunch.

This was my lunch.

We 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.

Peaches & Cream Ice Cream Stop

The mums were beautiful!

Everyone ordered ice cream
except for Mandy.

Mandy 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!

Mandy and Shawn make a great-looking couple!

This 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.

Thunder Rocks

Bob found a sliding rock.

Thunder Rocks

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

Red House Lake
with Red House Administration Building in background

Red House Lake

Our picnic lunch

 

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

We stopped at the Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge.

Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge

We stopped at Stone Tower.

View from Stone Tower

We stopped at Bridal Falls.

Our last stop was at Quaker Lake.

From Quaker Lake we took 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.

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.

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.

Quaker Lake

Red House Lake

We saw a little bit of snow at higher elevations.

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.

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

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.

Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge

Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge

Self Portrait with Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge in background

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

Photographic Portal to the tower’s southern view

This winding staircase leads up to the top deck.

The view north, while standing on the top deck of the Stone Tower

The 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.

20120812 E Family Photoshoot 8x10

20120812 E Family Photoshoot-2 8x10

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