The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘Wellsboro PA’

An All-Day Motorcycle Ride

Bob and I, along with two other couples, went on an all-day motorcycle ride on Saturday. We left home at 7:30 am and returned home about 12 hours later. We rode 266 miles.

We rode to Leonard Harrison State Park in Wellsboro. We made two stops en route the park. Our first stop was in Smethport, along Route 6.

Smethport, PA

We had just ridden over several miles of Route 59 that was tarred & chipped. This stop was to stretch and to commiserate with each other about having to ride over a road surface that had been recently tarred and chipped. Bob, Paul and John were driving at speeds to minimize the effects of fresh tar and chips to the motorcycles. People passing us drove too fast, disregarding what could happen, as they sprayed chips in our direction. Bob heard gravel hit our motorcycle. He thought the gravel hit the windshield. When he checked, he didn’t find a ding in the windshield. Bob said if the motorcycle sustained a ding, he will find it when he washes the bike. I hope none of the motorcycles received dings from flying gravel.

We did see immediate injury from a flying piece of gravel, though.

Paul was hit in the cheek with a flying chip. He sustained a small cut. Thankfully, his injury wasn’t any worse!

Our second stop was a fuel stop at Sheetz in Coudersport.

There is a very pretty park near Sheetz in Coudersport.
The park is where I took this very nice photograph of Debbie and Paul.

Oh no!  Not again!
We had no alternative but to ride on this road.
We were on the road leading into Leonard Harrison State Park.

We took our time admiring the view of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, while at Leonard Harrison State Park.

Pennsylvania Grand Canyon

Leonard Harrison State Park

John, Carol, Bob and I

It was John and Carol’s first visit to Wellsboro. They liked the ride to the park, as well as the views from the park itself.

From Leonard Harrison State Park we rode into Wellsboro and ate lunch at the Wellsboro Diner. The diner was crowded, when we arrived. There was a booth available in the main part of the diner and a round table in the gift shop area. We chose the round table, as it provided more room and was in a quieter location. Everyone except for Bob ordered cheeseburgers and fries. Bob ordered a steak sandwich and onion rings. Lunch was very good.

On our way back home we made three stops. We made a fuel stop in Port Allegheny and we stopped for ice cream in Mt. Jewett. In between those two stops we visited Kinzua Bridge State Park. We walked across the Kinzua Skywalk.

Kinzua Skywalk

Remains of Kinzua Bridge, after tornado

It is quite an experience to walk out onto those blocks of glass.  I am smiling here.  I wasn’t smiling a few minutes before this photograph was taken.  I probably had a look of surprise on my face at that time, as Bob, Paul and John jumped up and down on the block of glass that I was standing on!

 

Paul is peering down to the forest floor below the bridge.

All six of us on the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk

We hung around the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk for a while. It was fun to watch and listen to people’s reactions, as they contemplated whether or not to walk on the blocks of glass from which you could see way, way down to the forest floor.

Oh, I almost forgot.  While riding en route Port Allegheny, Bob had to dodge flying square pieces of slab wood. He rode over one. Thankfully, we didn’t blow a tire and, more importantly, none of us were injured!

We had an amazing day with great friends. We enjoyed the ride, the laughter, the fun and making memories with our friends. Bob and I have visited Leonard Harrison State Park many times since we were married. We have enjoyed the beauty there together, alone.  Saturday was the first time that Bob and I were able to share the beauty of the view of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon from Leonard Harrison State Park with friends.

Cabin Fever Relief

Saturday was a perfect day to relieve cabin fever. The day started out frigid (-17 degrees at 5:00 am). The sun was shining; the sky was bright blue; and the temperature had risen to almost 0 degrees when we departed Warren at 8:42 am en route Wellsboro, PA. Our plan for the day was to visit two state parks, Colton Point State Park on the west rim of Pine Creek Gorge and Leonard Harrison State Park on the east rim of Pine Creek Gorge, eat lunch in Wellsboro and then go back home.

We reached Ansonia at 11:12 am. As we approached the road to Colton Point State Park, we noticed a lot of parked trucks. We realized very quickly that snowmobiles had been transported to this site by the trucks. Pennsylvania DCNR officers were stationed at the foot of Colton Road to check that the snowmobiles were properly registered before allowing them to proceed into the park. I asked the DCNR officer if the road was open. He said that we could go but to be careful because there was lots of snowmobile traffic. Also he recommended not going past the first overlook, into the park, as it was likely we would get stuck. I asked if it would be better if we went to Leonard Harrison State Park. He said “definitely”. We decided to visit only the east rim of Pine Creek Gorge at Leonard Harrison State Park.

Leonard Harrison State Park, although accessible, is not maintained in the winter. The road to the park was plowed, and there was very little snow on the roadway.  At the park the visitor center, gift store and rest rooms were closed.  I was thankful to find a port-a-john in the parking lot. We were able to make it to the overlook, although the steps were not cleared of snow. We were rewarded with a breathtaking view of Pine Creek Gorge.

Pine Creek Gorge

Bob and I at Leonard Harrison State Park

Pine Creek Gorge

There are steps underneath all that snow!

One last look at Pine Creek Gorge

From Leonard Harrison State Park we drove into Wellsboro. We parked next to The Wellsboro Green. There were lots of people there, especially children. I walked into the park, where three adults stood next to a sign that read “snow mini golf”.   I learned that today was Wellsboro’s Winter Celebration. Winter activities for the family, such as snow mini golf and snow crafts, were being held at The Wellsboro Green. I learned, too, that other activities, e.g. Ice sculpturing, wood carving and chili tasting, were taking place down Main Street. During the conversation with the snow mini golf organizers, I asked if they could recommend a family-style restaurant.  They recommended Harland’s Family Style Restaurant, located a short distance from The Green.

Lunch at Harland’s was okay. Bob ordered a chef salad. I ordered a crunchy chicken salad. Our salads were fresh and tasted good. Service was very slow, owing to the fact I believe that there were only two waitresses covering 20 or so tables. One of those tables had seven diners. I doubt we go back to this restaurant, as we found nothing remarkable about it.

We didn’t check out the Winter Celebration activities, as we had a couple hour drive back home and didn’t intend to be away from home all day.  We started our drive back home around 1:30 pm.

Cabin fever relief was obtained, at least temporarily.  More snow fell on Sunday, adding to the deep piles of snow already on the ground.  I did see the temperature rise into the mid-30s on Sunday.  This is a good start to March.  The month of February was one of the coldest on record!

Independence Day Ride

Bob and I went for a motorcycle ride yesterday.  We rode to Wellsboro PA, located approximately 2 hours west of where we live.

We departed home at 9:00 am and stopped for breakfast at Don & Lu’s Place in Smethport.  Bob’s breakfast consisted of a bacon and cheese omelet, toast and coffee.  I had scrambled eggs, bacon, home fries and toast for my breakfast.  Both breakfasts were very good.  We arrived in the vicinity of Wellsboro around noon.

Wellsboro is home to Pine Creek Gorge, which is better known as the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.  Two parks, Leonard Harrison State Park and Colton Point State Park, provide spectacular views of Pine Creek Gorge.

Our first stop in Wellsboro was at Leonard Harrison State Park,
where we enjoyed this view of Pine Creek Gorge.

From Leonard Harrison State Park we rode into downtown Wellsboro, where we took a short walk along Main Street to the town square.

Wellsboro’s town square is known as The Green.  At its very center is a large Fountain with Winken, Blinken, and Nod.

 

Across from The Green is the Tioga County Courthouse.

While walking along Main Street to and from The Green, we heard piano music.

This piano is one of several located along Main Street.  The pianos appeared on Main Street on June 22, at the beginning of Wellsboro’s Summer Fringe–a week-long exploration of the performing arts including music, dance, theater, art, writing, poetry, comedy, storytelling, and photography.

Victorian gas lights line Main Street.

Our last stop in Wellsboro was at Colton Point State Park, where we once again admired Pine Creek Gorge.

Pine Creek Gorge
Colton Point State Park

On our way home we stopped for dinner at the Barrel House Restaurant and Tavern, located at the intersection of Routes 6 and 219 in Lantz Corners. Bob ordered a prime rib steak salad; I ordered a taco salad.  Both salads were delicious.

We returned home around 7:00 pm, tired but happy about how we spent this year’s Independence Day.

Back Home – The End of a Great Weekend Vacation

We returned home from Wellsboro today. Before leaving the Wellsboro area we visited Leonard Harrison State Park. The park provides spectacular views of Pine Creek Gorge, which is better known as the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.

Bob and I at Leonard Harrison State Park

It was an easy ride today, less than 130 miles. It was a gorgeous day for a ride. The sky was blue; the sun was shining; and it was a warm (not hot) day. We made two stops on the way home. We made a fuel stop in Coudersport. While Bob filled up with gas I took a walk through the train depot park, which was located next to the gas station.

C & PA Railroad Caboose

Coudersport and Port Allegany Train Depot

The depot, which has been refurbished, now houses the town offices for the City of Coudersport.

Knox & Kane Railroad Car

Our last stop before returning home was in Smethport. We drank cool beverages while admiring the McKean County Courthouse.

McKean County Courthouse

We returned home at approximately 2:00PM. I can’t believe that I rode over 600 miles this weekend. I wonder when our next road trip will be and where it will take us. I can hardly wait to find out!

Click here for a map of today’s route.

Plans Can and Do Change

With the Bad Luck Bash behind us, it was time to begin our ride back home.

I didn’t sleep as well last night as I did the previous night. My restless night had nothing to do with our accommodations at Motel Deska but everything to do with storms that passed through during the night. I was awakened twice during the night by thunder, lightning and heavy rain. Today’s weather forecast is calling for more of the same. Should we or shouldn’t we ride to Wellsboro today, as planned? We thought on that question as we showered and dressed for the day. Yesterday I wrote that there was little or no hot water while we showered. Our showers were enjoyable today, as we had hot water. After we were dressed, we discussed our options for the day. We could lay low and spend another night at Motel Deska, and then visit Roadside America (an attraction that we had planned to visit this weekend) and ride to Wellsboro tomorrow when the weather forecast was calling for sunny skies. Another alternative was to visit Roadside America and spend the night nearby at a hotel with more amenities than that offered by Motel Deska. We didn’t even consider riding to Wellsboro today. We opted for option #2. Prior to leaving Motel Deska we reserved a room at Comfort Inn Midway near Bethel, PA, a few miles east of Roadside America.

Roadside America is located on Rt. 22 & I-78 at Shartlesville, PA, approximately 15 miles from Wernersville. We arrived at Roadside America shortly before its 9:00AM opening. We rode there in heavy rain. It wasn’t raining when we left Motel Deska. We didn’t ride far at all before it started to rain hard. Our visit at Roadside America lasted a little over an hour. Roadside America is promoted as “the world’s greatest indoor miniature village”. Actually, it is not one village, but many. This was my second visit to Roadside America; it was Bob’s first visit. My first visit was 23 years ago, in December 1986. The attraction looked the same as I remembered.

It was still raining as we departed Roadside America. We hopped onto I-78, riding east. We hadn’t ridden far when we hit pooled water that crossed both traffic lanes. Bob slowed before we hit the pooled water. A car passed by at the same time that we hit the pooled water, and we got splashed in the feet and face both by a wall of water! Full helmets saved the day. Comfort Inn Midway was approximately 7 miles from Roadside America. It was only 10:30AM, too early to check in, so we decided to get something to eat. Conveniently, there was a restaurant located on the hotel property.

After eating a scrumptious breakfast at the Midway Family Restaurant, we found that the weather had improved. It was no longer raining. We changed our travel plans right then and there. We decided to ride to Wellsboro. If the weather turned crappy again, we could always stop overnight at another town in another hotel. We canceled our hotel reservation at Comfort Inn Midway, hopped on the bike and rode. Well, guess what? We made it all the way to Wellsboro, without another drop of rain! We even saw some blue skies and a few rays of sunshine along the way.

 

We saw this pretty butterfly garden as we were passing through Catawissa, PA.

Our ride to Wellsboro was not without incident. When we were about 20 miles from Wellsboro, the battery on our GPS died. We ended up going 16 miles out of our way, to a town called Slate Run on Route 414. We stopped at a general store in Slate Run and asked for directions to Wellsboro. The best way to Wellsboro was to double back on the road that we had just traveled. The scenery along Route 414 is beautiful, however, we did not particularly want to ride along that road again. Route 414 is extremely BUMPY! Before departing Slate Run, Bob set the shocks one notch higher. The stiffer ride did improve Bob’s handling of the motorcycle on that bumpy road. We made our way back to Morris, on Route 414, where we turned left onto Route 287. Eleven miles later we arrived in Wellsboro. Lesson learned: Always carry a road map with you. A GPS can fail you!

Here are a few photographs that I took while riding Route 414.

En route Slate Run, PA

En route Slate Run, PA

General Store (Slate Run, PA)

Returning to Wellsboro from Slate Run (Rt. 414)

Returning to Wellsboro from Slate Run (Rt. 414)

Returning to Wellsboro from Slate Run (Rt. 414)

Returning to Wellsboro from Slate Run (Rt. 414)

When we were certain that we would make it all the way to Wellsboro, we telephoned ahead and made a room reservation for one night at the Sherwood Motel. We chose to stay at the Sherwood Motel based on favorable review of the hotel. A month earlier Skid and Sandy (fellow VROCers from Canada) stayed at the Sherwood Motel. They said it was a nice place and that they would stay there again. The Sherwood Motel is in the heart of Wellsboro, within walking distance of the Green (a park), a grocery store, several restaurants and shops, and a movie theater. Our room, which consisted of two double beds, was located directly behind the main house. We agree with Skid and Sandy. The Sherwood Motel is a nice place, and we would stay here again as well.

Sherwood Motel

Our hotel room is the one with the door open.

Our hotel room

This evening we ate dinner at the nostalgic Wellsboro Diner.

Wellsboro Diner

Wellsboro Diner

After dinner we walked to the Green, stopping to window shop at various shops along the way. We also admired the gas-lit streets of Wellsboro. At the Green we sat on a park bench for 15 minutes or so and admired the Wynken, Blynken and Nod fountain in the center of the park.

Picturesque Main Street lined with trees and gas lights

Wynken, Blynken and Nod fountain

When we returned to the Sherwood Motel, we relaxed on chairs outside our room. I listened to an audio book, while Bob checked email and surfed the Internet on his iPod. We also chatted with two Canadian motorcyclists who were in Wellsboro on holiday. One of the Canadians told me that Monday is a Canadian holiday. He told me the name of the holiday (Civic Holiday). The holiday is observed the first Monday in August. We also chatted with two young men from Louisiana, who were traveling in a truck. These two young men had bought a $9.00 BBQ grill at the grocery store across the street from the hotel. They were cooking dinner on the grill in the bed of their truck.

Truck bed BBQ!

Click here for a map of today’s route. We rode a distance of 204 miles.

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