On Saturday, October 5, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful day by going for a drive. We hoped to see some pretty Autumn colors. Our original plan was to go to Allegany State Park, near Salamanca NY. This park is about a 45-minute drive from our house. We were about half way to Allegany State Park, when I asked Bob how far it was from our location to Letchworth State Park. “Hey Google. How far is it from my location to Letchworth State Park?”, Bob asked. Well, we didn’t have a signal, so that question had to be repeated a short while later. Instead of turning right onto Interstate 86, we went straight ahead, and that is how we ended up at Letchworth State Park instead of Allegany State Park.
Letchworth State Park is located 35 miles south of Rochester, NY. The park, often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the East”, is a spectacular place. The park’s magnificent scenery includes waterfalls (three major ones on the Genesee River) and a gorge. We have visited Letchworth State Park many times over the years. We enjoy our visit each time we go.
We arrived at the park a little after noon, entering via the south (the Portageville entrance). We have the New York Empire Pass, which provides unlimited day-use vehicle entry to New York State Parks. We made stops at the Upper and Middle Falls between the Portageville entrance and the Archery Field exit.
Rainbow at Middle Falls
We ate lunch at the Charcoal Grill in Perry, NY. This is a great place to eat, if you are in the area. There are three food places — the grill, a pizzeria and an ice cream stand. We have stopped at the Charcoal Grill a few times, while in the area. So far we have eaten at each food place, except for the pizzeria. The pizza smells really good, though … maybe next time. I ordered broasted chicken with coleslaw and french fries. Bob ordered beef on weck and onion rings. As always, the food was delicious.
After lunch we drove farther north and reentered Letchworth State Park via the Mt. Morris entrance.We drove south, making a few stops to take pictures of the gorge, before exiting the park via the Portageville exit.
The photographs (and video) that follow were taken in the Great Bend area of the park.
We watched several rafters go down the Genesee River.
Not much color yet
This was the most color that we saw, while at Letchworth State Park.
Many people took advantage of the nice day, as we did.The park was full of people!
We had a wonderful day.We returned home around 6:00 pm.
On Sunday, March 10, Bob and I went for a drive along NYS Route 5, between the Daniel Reed Pier in Westfield to the Dunkirk City Pier in Dunkirk, and NYS Route 60 to McCrea Point Park in Jamestown. We saw a waterfall, seagulls and waterfowl. Today’s blog post is about the waterfall that we saw, while at the Daniel Reed Pier.
Once you are parked on the Daniel Reed Pier, walk along the waters edge towards the cliff. Walk along the base of the cliff for a short distance to Barcelona Falls. The sandy shore line of Lake Erie changes from year to year so access to the base of the falls is unpredictable. On the day that we were at the pier, it was best to observe the waterfall from a distance.
Barcelona Falls is located on an unnamed creek that flows into Lake Erie.
According to the falzguy.com webpage, Barcelona Falls “has a height of 18 feet, a crest width of 4 feet and faces to the north northwest. The elevation of the crest above sea level is 590 feet.”
The flow of Barcelona Falls can be anywhere between a trickle to a deluge. The waterfall is best viewed in the early spring or after a period of heavy rain.
In my next blog post I will share some photographs of the seagulls and waterfowl that we saw on Lake Erie.
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.
This blog post continues the activities of Tuesday, September 4th.
We were still talking about our surprise helicopter ride, as we left the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel and drove to Rainbow Falls. Rainbow Falls is located at the northwest border of Hilo and quite easy to reach. From the parking lot it is a very short walk to an overlook of the falls.
(Photo by Bob)
Rainbow Falls is 80 feet high. The waterfall cascades over a lava cave that according to legend is home to the ancient Hawaiian goddess Hina, the goddess of the moon.
Depending on the amount of rainfall upstream in the preceding days the falls can be either roaring or they can be reduced to a trickle.
I took this photograph of Rainbow Falls in May 2010.
The amount of water falling was less in 2010 than it was this year.
Late August this year Hurricane Lane dumped many, many inches of rain on Hilo. I believe Rainbow Falls was flowing well still from the amount of rain that fell then. Watch this video, which was filmed on August 23, twelve days before we visited Rainbow Falls.
Rainbow Falls during Hurricane Lane
August 23, 2018
Bob and I at Rainbow Falls this year.
From Rainbow Falls we drove to Zippy’s Restaurant, which is located at the Prince Kuhio Plaza Shopping Mall. After breakfast Dorothy and I went shopping at Skechers, Sears and TJ Maxx. I purchased a pair of Skechers sneakers, as the sneakers that I wore to Hawaii were falling apart.
We took Highway 19 out of Hilo and drove north up the Hamakua Coast. We followed Highway 19 to about the 7.5 mile marker, at which point we make a right hand turn onto 4 Mile Scenic Drive. We followed this scenic drive until it took us, in 4 miles, back to Highway 19. This road twists and snakes around tight curves and over one-lane bridges, through a lush tropical rain forest lined with streams. There are breathtaking views of the ocean, coast and the collapsed Onomea Arch in Onomea Bay.
According to Hawaiian legend King Kamehameha threw his sword and created a tunnel in solid rock. Onomea Arch stood for thousands of years until an earthquake in 1956 caused the top of the arch to collapse.
Further up the road we saw a large hole in the cliff side spilling water under a bridge and into the stream.
Shortly before 9:00 am on Sunday, May 27th, we left our home in Warren PA, en route Letchworth State Park in New York. We arrived at Letchworth State Parkat 10:45 am. The Castile entrance to the park was manned that morning, so our Empire Pass saved us the $10.00 entrance fee. We drove to High Falls and walked from there to Middle Falls.
Walking towards the Upper Falls
The direct link for this video of Upper Falls may be found here, in the event it doesn’t appear (or play) on your device.
We saw a snake on our way to the Middle Falls.
Garter Snake seen on trail between Upper Falls and Middle Falls
Bob and I at Middle Falls
Returning to our car, we drove to the Council Grounds. The Council Grounds preserves a portion of the native heritage of the Genesee Valley.
Log House Built by Mary Jemison
Next to the log house is a fenced-in area, in which stands a memorial to Mary Jemison.
Mary Jemison Memorial
The remains of Mary Jemison are buried in this enclosure.
Mary Jemison Memorial
Mary Jemison Memorial
Seneca Council House
The final structure standing on the Council Grounds is a viewing platform.
I believe, at one time, that this viewing platform provided a place from which one could
contemplate the view over the Glen Iris towards the railroad trestle and Upper Falls.
From this viewing platform I contemplated the view of the Council Grounds.
Contemplating the View of the Council Grounds
From the Council Grounds we drove to Inspiration Point.
We passed by a Civil War Monument on our way to Inspiration Point.
The monument was decorated with flags in honor of Memorial Day.
Both the Upper and Middle Falls are visible from Inspiration Point.
We left Letchworth State Prak, after visiting Inspiration Point. We used the Castile entrance both entering and exiting the park.
It was around 1:30 pm, when we exited the park. We drove to Perry, New York and ate lunch at the Charcoal Corral.
the Charcoal Corral
The Charcoal Corral is a go-to place in Western New York for great char-grilled food and entertainment – including a drive-in, miniature golf, a video arcade, and much much more. They have a restaurant and drive-in combo with an eat in dining area and an outdoor dining area. They also sell pizzas and ice cream. They have an arcade and putt putt golf. On select days they have inflatables for the children, cruise nights, talents shows and more. I wish we lived closer to the Charcoal Corral, as this would be an excellent place to bring our grandchildren.
In the photograph displayed above, the restaurant at the far left serves char-grilled food. Pizzas are sold in the center, and ice cream is sold in the Ice Cream Parlor.
Inside the Charcoal Corral Restaurant
Food is ordered at this counter.
You have a choice to eat indoors or outside.
I ordered two pieces of white broasted chicken (breast and wing) with macaroni and cheese, coleslaw and a dinner roll. Bob ordered a taco salad. Our food selections were good, and the price paid was a good value.
After lunch, we walked a couple doors down, to the Ice Cream Parlor, and had ice cream for dessert (a twist custard cone for me and a peanut butter sundae for Bob).
We returned to Letchworth State Park after lunch. We entered via the Mt. Morris entrance at a little after 2:00 pm and made our way south through the park back to the Castile exit. We made several stops on our way south.
We stopped at the Mt. Morris Dam Overlook.
We stopped at the Hogsback Overlook,
which is so named because
the ridge jutting into the canyon resembles a wild boar’s high hunched spine.
We made three more stops before leaving Letchworth State Park. We stopped at the Tea Table Overlook, Wolf Creek and the Big Bend Overlook.
The Tea Table Overlook is several hundred feet above the Genesee Valley Gorge floor. The Genesee River flows through the gorge.
One of the views from the Big Bend Overlook
We departed Letchworth State Park at 3:30 pm and began our drive home.
Upon reaching I-86 we decided to take routes 280 and 59 home. I was driving at the time and had been driving for only a short time. My knee started to hurt, with the pain radiating into my calf. I guess I overdid the walking, while at Letchworth State Park. It was past time for Extra Strength Tylenol, which I take every 8 hours, as needed, whenever we are riding the motorcycle, driving the car, or doing a lot of walking. We pulled into the parking lot for Quaker Lake at Allegany State Park to change drivers. Who do we see in the parking lot, a few of our local motorcycle riding friends — Paul and Debbie, Scott and Donna, and Craig Myers out on on Sunday ride. Paul said they were on their way to Bob’s Trading Post for ice cream and asked us if we wanted to join them. We said “yes” and tagged along.
Following our friends to Bob’s Trading Post
Bob’s Trading Post, with an eye-catching car parked in front of it
Paul, Donna, Debbie, Craig, Bob, Scott and I at Bob’s Trading Post
After ice cream, Bob and I returned home via Longhouse Scenic Drive and Route 59. For the first time I heard Longhouse Scenic Drive referred to as “LSD”. What a hoot!
Bob and I returned home around 7:30 pm. I don’t know what time the others returned home, as we left a few minutes before they did. I don’t know what route they took home.
It was a long, but great day. The weather was much better than expected. We expected cloudy skies and an all-day rain with some thunder. We saw very little rain today. It was cloudy at times, but sunshine was plentiful too.
Yesterday’s blog post detailed how Bob and I spent Thanksgiving Day. Today’s blog post is about our drive back home from Niagara Falls.
We crossed over the Rainbow Bridge from Canada into New York. Our first stop was in Niagara Falls, but not at the falls. We stopped at the Old Stone Chimney.
Old Stone Chimney
The Old Stone Chimney is a masonry chimney, which was built as part of a two-story barracks on the site of the French “Fort du Portage,” or “Fort Little Niagara,” by Daniel de Joncaire in 1750. The Chimney has been repurposed several times since by British and American interests and relocated three times (1902,1942 and 2015). The Old Stone Chimney is currently located between the Niagara River and the Robert Moses Parkway east of the Adams Slip along the bike path on the river. We have passed by it several times driving to and from Niagara Falls. This was the first time that we stopped at the Old Stone Chimney. What a beautiful location! Standing in front of the Old Stone Chimney, the skyline of Niagara Falls Canada can be seen in the background.
As we did on Thanksgiving Day, we chose not to cross over Grand Island. Our route home took us down the east side of the Niagara River through Tonawanda. We made a couple stops in North Tonawanda. Our first stop was at Fisherman’s Park, where we visited two memorials: a U.S. Marine Corps Memorial and a U.S. Navy Seabee Veterans Memorial.
U.S. Marine Corps Memorial
The next four photographs are pictures of the U.S. Navy Seabee Veterans Memorial.
This sculpture is what caught my eye on Thanksgiving Day, as we drove by the park.
It was 11:00 am, when we departed Fishermans Park.
East Hill Foundation
The lighthouse caught my eye, as we drove through North Tonawanda on Thanksgiving Day.
The gate was locked, so I took pictures through the fence.
East Hill Foundation sits alongside Niagara River.
From North Tonawanda we followed I-290, I-90 and Route 219 through Ellicottville, NY. We stopped in Springville at Ponderosa for lunch. It had been a while since we ate at Ponderosa, as we do not have that restaurant near to our home. The buffet food selections were extensive. Everything we ate was delicious, especially the stuffed peppers. I went back for seconds of the stuffed peppers.
We were back on the road at 12:45 pm.
We drove through Ellicottville to Allegany State Park, where we made one photo stop. We stopped at Bridal Falls.
It’s a short (~.25 mile) hike to Bridal Falls from the Program Site 62 sign on ASP Route 1.
Bob found these memorial stones near Bridal Falls.
One last parting shot of Bridal Falls
It was around 4:30 pm, when we returned home. What a wonderful Thanksgiving mini vacation we had! I hope that your Thanksgiving holiday, was as nice as ours!
This blog post continues our daycation to Canada this past Saturday. In my previous blog post I wrote about our visit to Niagara-on-the-Lake.
We departed Niagara-on-the-Lake around 11:30 am and began our drive on Niagara Parkway to Niagara Falls.
About half way between Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls we stopped for lunch. We ate lunch at Walker’s Country Market. This is a great little lunch place, off the Niagara Parkway, right next to the Living Waters Wayside Chapel. We purchased two turkey sandwiches (Oven Roasted Turkey Breast with cranberry orange sauce, mayo, walnuts, and romaine lettuce on multigrain whole wheat bread) and two peanut butter ganache brownies for lunch. We sat outside on bistro-style seating and ate our lunch. We would definitely return here for lunch, if in the area. I give Walker’s 5 stars! Next time I would hope that we would do a bit of browsing at the market. There was also fresh produce, jams, maple syrup, ice cream and more available for purchase. Note to self: box lunches can be purchased at Walker’s Country Market. A picnic-style lunch at Niagara-on-the-Lake would have been nice!
After lunch we took a few pictures of the Living Water Wayside Chapel.
Living Water Wayside Chapel
According to Internet sources, the Living Water Wayside Chapel is the smallest chapel in the world.
Living Water Wayside Chapel (interior view)
We were back on the road at 12:14 pm and arrived in Niagara Falls at 12:45 pm.
We parked in the Bird Kingdom parking lot ($3.99 for 2 hours). We walked from there, just past the Hornblower Niagara Cruises entrance. On hindsight I wish we had parked closer to the falls, as I may have been able to walk all the way down to Horseshoe Falls and back. My arthritic knee was not very cooperative, while in Niagara Falls.
The Falls at Niagara Falls
the American and Bridal Falls
People, people EVERYWHERE!
MistRider Zipline to the Falls
We would have had a good vantage point to watch riders on the zipline. We stayed at this location for a while and stood alongside the cliff (where all the people are), waiting for someone to ride the zipline. No one rode the zipline, while we waited. When I asked if anyone would be riding the zipline soon, I was told that the tailwinds were too strong.
On the way back to our car, we walked through Oakes Garden Theatre.
Oaks Garden Theatre
This spotted seagull posed for me.
Oh look … a wedding party!
We found a fish pond.
Goldfish at Oakes Garden Theatre
This bridge crosses over the fish pond.
What a tranquil setting!
We stopped at the duty free store before crossing the Rainbow Bridge into New York. We made our purchases at the duty free store, namely bourbon and maple filled cookies. We returned to the USA at 2:30 pm. The U.S. Border control guard asked Bob to remove his sunglasses, asked him how tall he is and how much he weighs. She said our last name is a common name, and some people with that name have done very bad things.
Niagara Falls, NY was too crowded for a pleasant visit. We will visit Niagara Falls, NY at a later date.
We decided to drive to Erie PA for dinner. We ate dinner at Texas Roadhouse. We had a 15-25 minute wait to be seated. It was worth the wait. Our dinners were good, although we brought enough home with us for another meal for each of us. Neither of us were as hungry as we thought we were.
We were back on the road at 7:50 pm.
We chased Saturday night’s sunset. We saw the setting sun, as we drove over the Interstate 86 bridge that crosses over Chautauqua Lake at Bemus Point, NY. We exited Interstate 86 at Bemus Point. We couldn’t find anywhere to park, as the Bemus Pops Concert series was happening that evening.
Sunset at Bemus Point, NY
I snapped this sunset picture from inside our car.
Bob thought he could make it to the Interstate 86 Chautauqua Lake Rest Area before the sun set. We made it there in the nick of time.
Sunset at Interstate 86 Chautauqua Lake Rest Area
Sunset at Interstate 86 Chautauqua Lake Rest Area
I posted these three sunset pictures on Facebook, while on our way home from the rest area. My Facebook friend Christi C. said it best, when she made the comment “You chased the sun till it dipped below the world and said good bye for the final time today!”
It was a very long day. We departed home at 6:00 am and returned home around 9:30 pm. We drove 340 miles. It was a long day, but what a wonderful day we had!