The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘Train’

Ohio Vacation Day 3 – Boston Mill Visitor Center (6/27/2021)

After our walk around Kendall Lake, we drove to the new Boston Mill Visitor Center. The visitor center is located at the southeast corner of Riverview and Boston Mills roads in the Village of Boston in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

I was attempting to take a selfie at this location,
as we were walking to the Boston Mill Visitor Center.
A fellow visitor asked if we wanted her to take our picture.
I said yes and thank you.
the Boston Mill Visitor Center

The original function of the Boston Mill Visitor Center building was a general store that was constructed in 1905 for the Cleveland-Akron Bag Company.

The new visitor center opened on October 25, 2019. The Boston Mill Visitor Center serves as a central, one-stop resource for visitors to plan their journeys in the national park and Ohio & Erie Canalway. The visitor center includes the main visitor center building (displayed above) and two smaller buildings nearby, which serve as public restrooms and office space. An outdoor pavilion and courtyard provide visitors with park information and resources 24/7, while indoor exhibits orient visitors to the park and its geography, natural resources, history, and surrounding areas.

The Boston Mill Station is located near the visitor center. We watched the 11:45am train arrive and leave the train station.

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Train approaching Boston Mill Station
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Train at Boston Mill Station
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Train departs Boston Mill Station

We see this train often, when in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. So far we have not ridden the train. Some day we hope to ride the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Train on its National Park Scenic Excursion.

We ate lunch at Fisher’s Cafe and Pub in Peninsula. It was our first time eating there. We have passed by this restaurant many times, while on other trips to this area. I always thought we should eat there sometime. “Sometime” was today. Bob ordered a Yellow Fin Wrap (Medium Rare Caribbean & Cajun Seasoned Yellow Fin Tuna, Wrapped with Romaine Lettuce. Thai Rice, Kung Fu Teriyaki Sauce on the Side) with potato salad. I ordered beer-battered fish and potato salad. Our meals were delicious and filling; our waitress was attentive.

Please return for a blog post about our visit to Brandywine Falls, also on Day 3 of our Ohio vacation. I hope to publish that blog post tomorrow.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park Visit (Day 2 of 2)

We spent two days during the Easter weekend, enjoying the sights and sounds of Cuyahoga Valley National Park.  This blog post provides photographs and details of our second day in the park.  If you missed reading about our first day in the park, you will find the blog post here.

After a good night’s sleep, I awakened at 5:45 am, took a shower and got dressed. We went to breakfast around 6:30 am. Our hotel accommodation included a complimentary Deluxe Breakfast Buffet. I had scrambled eggs, sausage, Tater Tots and French Toast.

We spent a few hours in the morning visiting points of interest in the central and south regions of Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Our first stop was at Brandywine Falls, arriving there shortly before 8:00 am.

A boardwalk takes you to upper and lower observation platforms.

Brandywine Falls
Bob and I on the upper observation platform

Brandywine Falls is 65 feet high;
it is one of Ohio’s highest waterfalls.

Brandywine Falls
Bob and I on the lower platform observation

Here is a short video that I took of Brandywine Falls.

Our second stop was at Blue Hen Falls, arriving there at 9;00 am. The trail leading to Blue Hen Falls begins at a small parking lot and takes hikers down an old driveway to Spring Creek.  The trail crosses Spring Creek via an old wooden bridge.

Blue Hen Falls Trail

Just beyond the bridge, we continued to the right and quickly reached the Blue Hen Falls viewing area.

Blue Hen Falls Trail
Approaching the waterfall viewing area

Just past the wooden fence we found a trail, something akin to a goat path, that led us below the viewing area. I managed to hike down that trail, with the assistance of a hiking pole. I needed the hiking pole and Bob’s help to hike back up the trail!

Blue Hen Falls

Blue Hen Falls

Here is a short video that I took of Blue Hen Falls.

Our third stop was at Beaver Marsh, arriving there around 9:50 am. We stopped here the day before as well, but later in the day. We wanted to see if we would see anything different earlier in the day.

We walked from the parking lot, a short distance, along a tow path to an observation platform.

We saw the same wildlife at Beaver Marsh, as we did the day before…wood ducks, Canadian geese, and tree swallows. What we didn’t see were turtles. The day before there were lots of turtles out, basking in the sunshine.

The goose was still sitting on its nest.

Wood Ducks are beautiful.
Add in reflections for a lovely scene!

Our fourth stop was at Deep Lock Quarry Metro Park, arriving there at 11:00 am. Deep Lock Quarry features a 1.4-mile loop trail, which leads from the parking lot through the forest to the deepest lock on the Ohio & Erie Canal. We began hiking the trail but decided to turn around, as radar showed rain moving in. We did get to see a train go by, which was very cool as it was close to us.

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Train

We left Cuyahoga Valley National Park around 11:30 am and drove to Chagrin Falls, OH for lunch.  I will share photographs and details of our visit to Chagrin Falls in a later blog post.

After our visit to Chagrin Falls, we returned to our hotel and relaxed for a few hours.

Around 5:00 pm we decided to return to Cuyahoga Valley National Park to see one more point of interest. We drove to Everett Covered Bridge.

Everett Covered Bridge crosses over Furnace Run.

We returned to the hotel around 6:00 pm, where we stayed for rest of evening.

It was a nice day, but not as nice as the day before. It was a mostly cloudy and sometimes rainy day. We dodged the raindrops for the most part. The rain fell hardest, as we were driving to Chagrin Falls and while we ate lunch. It began clearing up, when we stopped for the day (around 2:15 pm). The weather didn’t hinder my picture taking. In fact, the overcast day provided great lighting for photographing waterfalls.

National Train Day

Today is National Train Day.  There are at least two events in my local area commemorating National Train Day.

It is a rainy and chilly day, a day that I didn’t feel like spending too much time in the outdoors.  My husband and I did drive to Sam’s Club in Jamestown, NY this morning.  We usually go shopping at Sam’s Club once a month.  We stopped in Falconer, NY on our way home.  A photographer friend shared the fact that the locomotive that will steam into Jamestown at noon today prepares for its journey in Falconer.  Hence, the reason for our stop in Falconer.  I am happy that we made the stop.

American Viscose Company of Roanoke VA had Locomotive #6 built in 1925 by Baldwin Locomotive Works Philadelphia, PA. It was scrapped in the early 1960s to Gem City Iron & Metal Company of Pulaski, VA. Number 6 was purchased by Scott Symans of Dunkirk NY in 2004 and completely restored to operating condition between 2004 and 2007.


The following video, captured by a drone, shows Viscose Company #6 steaming into the Jamestown Railroad Station at last year’s National Train Day event.

The OC&T Railroad

Bob and I went on a train ride this past Sunday (October 12). We departed home at 7:30 am and drove to Titusville, PA. We left home without breakfast, opting to stop for breakfast in Titusville.  By searching the Internet we found Sam’s Restaurant in Titusville..  Unfortuantely Sam’s is closed on Sunday.   We ended up eating breakfast at Perkins Restaurant in Titusville. We were reluctant to eat at this particular Perkins Restaurant, as the last time we ate there Bob wasn’t impressed with the food. The food, however, was good on Sunday.

After breakfast we drove the short distance to the Perry Street Station, the departure point for our train ride. We parked the car and went inside the station. We walked up to the ticket window and picked up the tickets that we had purchased via telephone the night before. We then wandered the grounds, taking pictures, until it was time to board the train.

Perry Street Station
The railroad crossing shadow is a nice touch!

The moon had not yet set.
See the moon in between the two trains?

The moon

Yet another picture of the moon

The Wabash Cannonball provides first-class accommodations for train passengers.

Most train passengers rode in a car similar to this one.

While taking pictures, a man approached me and said “it has to be you”. The man was remarking on my picture taking, when he made that statement. The man was Ken H., who is one of my Facebook friends. Until Sunday I had known Ken only through Facebook, most notably via the Facebook group named “You grew up in Warren PA if…” Ken didn’t just happen to be at the train station at the same time as Bob and I. Before leaving for Titusville, I sent Ken a Facebook message telling him that we would be in his neck of the woods later in the morning for a train ride.  After breakfast, I saw that Ken had responded to my Facebook message. Ken asked what time we would be boarding. Boarding time was 11:00 am, and it was not yet 10:00 am. Ken wrote “I have to go to town, watch for a scruffy looking character…rough looking jeans and dirty blue Carhartt work jacket.” Ken gave an estimated arrival time of about 20 minutes. Ken had no trouble finding me. I was the girl who was taking lots of pictures.

While talking with Ken, I heard someone call my name. The person who called my name was a 6-year-old boy named Eric.  I learned on Saturday evening that Eric and his parents would be on the 11:00 am Sunday train as well. I am Facebook friends with Sonya, Eric’s mother, as well as Eric’s Aunt Mary.  I met Mary in person some time ago but had never met Sonya. I have watched Eric grow up since birth via photographs that his Aunt Mary shared on Facebook. I met Eric and his dad one time, when I worked as a cashier at Howe’s True Value.   I recognized Eric from his photographs on Facebook.  As it turns out, I knew Mark long before I knew Mary or Sonya. Mark and I worked together at a local Internet provider more than 15 years ago!  He worked evening hours, while I worked during the daytime. Our hours sometimes overlapped. I talked briefly with Sonya, Mark and Eric. When they went into the train station to pick up their tickets, I returned to my conversation with Ken.


I am glad that Ken came to the train station to meet Bob and me. I am glad, too, that I met Sonya. I have met other online friends, both Facebook friends and blogging friends, with whom I have communicated for a while. Meeting those friends in person has always been a pleasant experience. Sunday’s exchanges were pleasant as well.

Bob and I boarded the Oil City & Titusville (OC&T) Railroad train about 15 minutes before the 11:00 am departure time. We walked through several cars, until we reached the car right before the open-air car. Even though it was very chilly (we had a freeze warning on Sunday morning), we planned to ride in the open-air car. We sat in the next-to-last car for the first 15 minutes of our ride. We were not able to walk out on the open-air car until after the first stop at Drake Well Station. I don’t understand why we were not permitted on the open-air car at the beginning of the ride, as we were able to be in the open-air car throughout the remaining duration of the ride all the way back to Perry Street Station. The train ride lasted 3 hours. We traveled 13.5 miles of winding railroad tracks, alongside scenic Oil Creek, through the Oil Creek Valley – “the valley that changed the world”. It was in the Oil Creek Valley that oil was discovered. We made two brief stops, one at Drake Well Station and the other at Petroleum Centre Station, and a 20-minute stop at Rynd Farm Station.

The following photographs were taken between Perry Street Station and Rynd Farm Station.

Bob and I rode the open-air car.

Departing Petroleum Centre Station

It took a little over an hour to reach the Rynd Farm Station.

Rynd Farm Station

There was a 20-minute stop at Rynd Farm Station, and we were able to get off the train. Directly in front of the station is Oil Creek.  There were several picnic tables between the station and the creek.  This stop is a good location for a quick picnic.  You can see Coal Oil Johnny’s House, too, which was reconstructed on this site.

While at Rynd Farm Station, the engine was uncoupled from the rest of the train and driven to the far end of the train, directly in front of the open-air car, for the return trip.

The following photographs were taken during the return trip.

During the return trip Sonya, Mark and Eric joined us on the open-air car.  Eric didn’t like the loud noise of the engine train whistle at crossings, so they went back inside after a while.

Crossing the railroad bridge again

The train ride was excellent. In addition to viewing the scenic surroundings (we even saw an eagle!), we learned a little bit about the history of the Oil Creek Valley.

We returned to Titusville at 2:00 pm and began our drive back home shortly thereafter. We made two stops on our way home. Our first stop was at Double D’s, where we ate lunch (burgers and chips). Our last stop was at Dairy Queen in Youngsville, where we had twist cones for dessert.

Easter Vacation – Day 4 of 5

The fourth day of our vacation fell on Easter Sunday (April 20th).  After breakfast we checked out of the hotel and were on our way west by 7:00 am.

Wait a minute!  Weren’t we supposed to stay four nights at our hotel?  Our original plan was to stay four nights in Waynesboro VA.   We awakened early on Easter Sunday.  While waiting for the breakfast room to open, Bob mentioned wanting to go home a different way than the route we took coming to Waynesboro. He said the different route home would add about an hour to our travel time. When we made our vacation plans, we talked about driving Skyline Drive in addition to driving the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We had crossed off driving Skyline Drive soon after our vacation began.  As we didn’t have anything planned for Easter Sunday, I asked Bob if he would be interested in starting home a day early by way of the new route. I love spontaneity!

So, at 7:00 am, we departed Waynesboro VA.  We drove to the Best Western Grove City Inn in Grove City PA, where we spent the night.  Here is a map of our route.

The first part of our drive to Grove City was via U.S. Route 250.  This could be one of the best routes we have ever taken.  U.S. Route 250 takes you up and over two large mountains, with great scenery all around.    We followed U.S. Route 250 west through Staunton VA and the George Washington National Forest.   We made our first stop while in the George Washington National Forest.

According to the inscription on this marker I was standing in the middle of what was once Fort Edward Johnson, when I took this picture.  Confederate soldiers built this fort in 1862 under the command of Brigadier General Edward Johnson, a career officer from Virginia.

To the right of the interpretive marker was a 0.5 mile trail.

Confederate Breastworks Interpretive Trail

The trail led to what remains of the mile of trench and breastworks, which were built by Confederate soldiers to defend the Shenandoah Valley from an invasion by Union Troops marching from the west.

Confederate Breastworks Interpretive Trail

Returning to our car from the trail, we admired the view from what used to be Fort Edward Johnson.

Fort Edward Johnson Overlook


Leaving the George Washington National Forest, we passed through the town of Monterey.  Our second stop was just past Monterey.  We pulled off alongside the road, and I took several photographs of the Blue Grass Valley.

Blue Grass Valley

Blue Grass Valley

Blue Grass Valley

The Blue Grass Valley is beautiful.  We had to content ourselves with a bird’s eye view of the valley, as time constraints did not permit us to drive through the valley.  Oh, how I would have loved to meander the rural roads of the Blue Grass Valley!

Blue Grass Valley

Blue Grass Valley

While taking these photographs of the Blue Grass Valley, I enjoyed the song of birds singing, geese honking and the warm sunshine beating down on my head.


We made one last stop in Virginia, shortly before the West Virginia border.  The reason for the stop was not to photograph a scenic vista.  The reason for the stop was to photograph a deer alongside the road.

The deer was not skittish; it seemed curious about us.

Our next stop was in the town of Durbin WV, located in the heart of the Monogahela National Forest.  While traveling along U.S. Route 250 I kept finding reasons to return to this part of Virginia and West Virginia.  I found yet another reason for a return trip in the town of Durbin.

Durbin’s Main Street

Durbin Train Depot

Durbin Train Depot

Durbin Train Depot

The town of Durbin is home to a tourist train, the Durbin Rocket. I want to take a ride on this train!

Leaving Durbin we climbed Cheat Mountain.

At the top of Cheat Mountain, we enjoyed this view of the Allegheny Mountains.

Soon after leaving the Monogahela National Forest we turned north onto U.S. Route 219 and made our way to Interstate 79.

We were fairly certain that we would not drive all the way home in one day, even though it was quite possible to do so. It became a certainty that we would be making the trip home in two days at 1:00 pm, when I booked a room for us at the Best Western Grove City Inn in Grove City, PA.   Having the Internet on our mobile phones, while traveling, is a convenience that we both enjoy.

We reached our hotel in Grove City around 4:00 pm.    We checked in, and then went in search of a restaurant. Hoss’s Steak and Sea House was closed. Kings Family Restaurant had been open but closed early, as was the case for the Eat ‘n Park Restaurant.   We finally found an open restaurant.  Primanti Brothers was open.  It was the first time either of us ate at Primanti Brothers.  We each ordered fish ‘n chips for dinner, a far cry from the baked ham dinner that I had hoped to have for Easter dinner.  After dinner, we retired to our room for the night.

Oh, we did make another stop before arriving at our hotel in Grove City.  We stopped at McConnells Mill State Park, which is located about 20 miles from Grove City.  I will share photographs from McConnells Mill State Park in my next blog post.

Weekend in Ohio

Today is our 11th wedding anniversary. We drove to Ohio, where we are spending the night at Best Western Inn & Suites in Akron.

Our initial plan was to attend the Yankee Peddler Festival in Canal Fulton and then go to the hotel. We changed our minds, though, when we saw the weather forecast (rain and more rain). The festival is held rain or shine; however, we didn’t feel like walking through the mud and slipping and sliding up and down the wet, grassy slopes. The weather forecast looks much better on Sunday, so we made plans to attend the Yankee Peddler Festival tomorrow.

So, what to do today? We talked about visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. Then I learned that today is Smithsonian Magazine’s fifth annual Museum Day, which offers free admission at museums in the USA. Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is one of the more than 1,200 museums that participates in Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day. As we expect free admission to encourage a large turnout at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and neither of us particularly enjoy crowds, we decided not to go to the museum.

So what did we end up doing today? We went to the Lodi Station Outlet Mall located in Burbank, OH. The outlet mall was located approximately 20-30 minutes west of our hotel. This outlet mall features two vintage trains in addition to a lineup of nationally-known retail brands, including Aeropostale, Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store, Gap Outlet, The Children’s Place, Bath & Body Outlet, Nautica Factory Store and Tommy Hilfiger, and many others. The trains, the Sophie and the Victoria, were built by hand and hail from England. The trains follow tracks that wind all around the outlet mall, with several stops for passengers getting off and getting on the train. This mall is quite unique. I don’t believe there is another one like it in the United States. Please correct me if I am wrong!

Train stop outside Food Court

The Sophie

We ate lunch in the food court at Subway, did a fair amount of window shopping and made a couple purchases. We didn’t ride the train. I don’t know why we didn’t ride the train; it would have been fun. Oh well, next time ….

We checked into our hotel around 2:00PM and spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing in our room. This evening we enjoyed delicious steak dinners at the Longhorn Steakhouse, which was located near our hotel. All in all, we had an enjoyable day on this our 11th wedding anniversary.

Tomorrow: the Yankee Peddler Festival!

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