Allegany Pictures

This is the Stone Tower located in the Red House area of Allegany State Park. Ben overheard someone saying this structure was built over 100 years ago as a lookout for fires in the mountains.

Inside the Stone Tower.

Steps leading to the top of the Stone Tower.

It was drizzly and wet when I took this picture from atop the tower, but one can see that on a clearer day, it is possible to see for miles and miles!

Another view from the tower with the sky brightening up a bit! Vision was still somewhat limited.

As I was entering into one of my daydreaming states, admiring the beautiful scenery, I was rudely snapped to reality by the kids…..imploring I take *just* one picture of them……

As Ninjas, fighting atop the tower….and I thought *I* was the one with the vivid imagination?

As we were readying to leave the park, Mark pulled over onto a flat parking lot to make and adjustment to the hitch of the camper. As he and Ben worked, I grabbed the camera to take just a few parting shots. The above photo is a little island located in the Red House Lake.

Michelle standing on a beautifu pier made from stone for people to fish on the lake.

And lastly, a beautiful covered bridge located on one of the many bike paths located in the park.

Good bye, Allegany State Park. I do believe we will be returning once again to visit this stunningly beautiful gem!

And All Good Things Must Come to an End…..

Saturday evening, my parents and brother came out to the camp for dinner and to enjoy a little time in the woods! It was a beautiful evening, and as always, food tasted so much better sitting outside next to a campfire!

Sunday, we decided to take a little shopping trip to Erie, Pennsylvania. Erie is another terrific place to visit, but we were there to shop, not to visit! I was in sorry need of some new summer clothing. I generally only buy three or four outfits for any given season, but I was down to one weary-looking sundress that really needed to be replaced. I washed it too many times!

I made out like a bandit! I had some money left on a Macy’s gift card and my mom happened to have a 20% off one day’s shopping there. After looking throughout the store, I was not impressed with the styles of clothing they had. As we passed by a clearance rack, however, I saw a sweater that caught my eye. Then, another sweater jacket, then a blouse! I was so happy to have some beautiful clothes for a fraction of *Macy’s* prices! They will be perfect to wear in the evening when it is cool.

After that, we hopped over to Value City. Wow! I hit the motherload….I found two really pretty sundresses as well as a couple of skirts and three blouses! Ben found a pair of Levi jeans and two nice dress shirts. As I went up to the register, I discovered that if I applied for a credit card, I could get 20% off. I did, and was totally amazed at the amount of clothing I purchased for only a bit more than $100!

After all of this strenuous shopping, we went to Presque Isle, and ate at an outdoors hamburger “joint” called Sara’s. This place is really hopping in the summer. Behind the restaurant, there is a large campground. What a busy place, and summer hasn’t officially started yet!

We looked around a bit more in a few stores, then headed off to my parents’ home. We stayed for a little bit, then were off to the campground. Rain began and fell all the way there, and continued thoughout the entire night. It was cool and felt so good!

This morning, we awakened and began to make ready for our trip home. Somehow it always seems so hard to get motivated to return home, even though responsibilities await us! All of the memories begin to play out in my mind, and I enter into dreamland, romanticizing about the “what-if’s”. And so, I began daydreaming about how the woman at the gift shop explained how people actually camp out in the rustic little cabins at Thanksgiving and Christmas time. She said people decorate with lights and the whole nine yards. Ah, what a fun experience that would be! It must be that tiny amount of Indian blood within me that draws me….I have always wished to live in a tiny little house in the middle of the woods….Not so sure how all of my “techno-stuff” would play into this, though!

I am going to post one more entry with some more pictures.

And, On Saturday……..

Michelle and I relaxed a bit while Mark and Ben went out. Mark took Ben around the park to several places, including swimming and to the gift shop. They picked out the coolest souvenir.

They found some iron ore stones that were smooth as glass that had been magnetized. They are super magnets, and are just so fun!

I took several pictures at the park. As I stated previously, the park is just one beautiful area right after the other. Situated on 65,000 acres of natural beauty, it isn’t hard to imagine the rugged gorgeous scenery stealing one’s heart with rolling forested mountains and breathtaking streams running everywhere! The park has over 400 campsites, as well as rustc cabins and housekeeping cottages.
The only thing I kind of missed was my laptop. Although our Blackjack was working in the park (and I was able to post an entry to my blog on Saturday morning) most of the time, my laptop was so sluggish, I finally gave up trying to use it and just decided life could be lived without a laptop!

The above pictures are of the Red House Lake. This little lake offers so much….there are boat rentals and swimming areas. There are also bicycle rentals, as there are miles and miles of paved trails running throughout the park! There is also fishing allowed in the lake.

This is the administration building. It sits majestically overlooking Red House Lake. It houses a gift shop, a small museum featuring samples of the various birds and wildlife that dwells in the park, a lodge with lovely chairs overlooking the lake, the park police, and upstairs, a restaurant! I would love to have gone to the Sunday morning brunch, but Mark would have had a terrible time trying to navigate up the stairs, as the building has no elevator.

This park is located in close proximity to Salamanca, NY. Salamanca is a small city owned by and under the jurisdiction of the Seneca Nation of Indians. I guess that because of this, it is so easy to imagine this property many, many years ago when the Indians were living there with no modern conveniences!

One of my deepest regreats is that we were unable to go camping when Michelle was little….When she was just a little snippet, she loved the woods so much! Her make-believe friend was John the Baptist. Well, technically, according to her, John was her constant companion, as well as boyfriend! She dreamed of being an Indian princess. She would take Ben into the woods about a hundred feet behind our house, and the two of them would lash small pieces of rope around the trees and fashion amazingly well-constructed lean-to’s. She even masterminded a beautiful “patio”, constructed from flat shale found around the area. I look at my complex little girl who isn’t much of a little girl anymore and wonder where the years have gone. With her dark eyes (a woman at the grocery store once called them “dark as chocolate chips” when she was only weeks old) and hair, she certainly could be an Indian princess. Besides, I do believe there was an influx of (I think) Algonquin blood in my mother’s bloodlines!

Fish Fry Friday!

OK, so when we went on our little camping excursion, we were not too far away from the home of my parents. We were excited about seeing them, and getting together to have some fun!

My brother had taken off the week to help paint my parents’ home, so my dad and brother worked during the day, but we were able to get together for some time in the evenings. This was so much fun, and I cannot think of a better way to visit! By staying in our camper, we would not impose on my parents at all. Although my mom is one of the most gracious hostesses I have ever met, I love staying in the camper so Mom isn’t stuck with tons of laundry to wash, nor dishes piled to the ceiling!

So, on Friday night, my parents invited us to the Rod and Gun Club they belong to. This is a REAL highlight, as this particular club serves the most delicious haddock meal on Friday nights! I have never been a big fan of fish, but this fish is so mild and tender….thinking about it is making my mouth water!

We met for dinner and, once again, the meal was beyond description! What is even more appealing is the fact that as we left, the bill for our four dinners (all haddock) AND sodas, came to less than $33.00! Believe me, this is not a place that you leave feeling hungry!

After dinner, we spotted many Canada Geese with their goslings in tow, walking near the lake. We decided that I had better grab my camera…..

I will never tire of taking photos of these pretty birds. I have always loved Canada Geese, although I am told that in some areas of the country, they have become a terrible nuisance, causing people to grow rather angry with them! Ah well….

As the sun edged nearer and nearer to the western horizon, this group headed westward, ho! Notice the second little one…it was so tiny compared to the other goslings. I am convinced this little one was no gosling at all, but rather, perhaps a little mallard duckling! I mean, HOW could that teeny tiny baby be a sibling to those others?

After leaving my parents’ home, we stopped at a supermarket to pick a couple of items. And, what should be *appearing* in the parking lot?

Yes, a dozen Mallards! What struck me most about this little band of beggars was that ten of these birds were male, with only two females. Hmmm….Anyway, I hadn’t noticed the ducks as I went into the store. However, when I returned to the truck, Ben was outside with them, throwing “breadcrumbs”? at them.

It was only after I crawled into the truck and we were on our way that Mark told me Ben had gotten into Michelle’s “doggie bag” and grabbed a handful of HER leftover fish to feed the ducks. Ben remarked that ducks *do* eat fish, after all!

Where We Have Been!

Last Thursday, we pulled out from our little home in the Bristolwood, and took off for Allegany State Park, in southwestern New York State. The above is a picture of our little home on wheels as it sat for the next few days.

We purchased our little camper four years ago, thinking it would be fun to be able to pull out and enjoy being away from home for a time. This was one of the best investments we ever made! When things feel as though they are about to “swallow us”, it is so fabulous to be able to take off and spend a few days away from the heat of the situation! I have never been fond of spending time in a hotel/motel, but going out and getting into the great out-of-doors is just the ticket. Mark, growing up in a home where they spent time camping as a family, agreed one hundred percent!

Um…I would say that the kids rather enjoy camping as well. Michelle spent much of her time on the BlackJack, AIM’ing friends, but she also enjoyed getting out, as well. It was amazing. I grew up a short distance, relatively speaking, from this park, and never really enjoyed it as I should have! Everywhere we looked, there was an abundance of beauty!