We all gathered together to think of what we might like to do. Michelle said we definitely needed some groceries, so how about going on a picnic first? YES! We all agreed a picnic would be so much fun and as you know, we don’t lack in New York State for beautiful parks to spend some time in! Now the next question was, where?
Michelle, being college educated and all, now, thought perhaps making Mom happy might be a great perk to add to the package. She suggested stopping in Geneseo at Kentucky Fried Chicken, then heading on over to Letchworth State Park. Well, who could argue with such a splendid suggestion? Not I. Not Mark. Not Ben.
We set off at about 10:30 in the morning on our (very) grand adventure! We drove to Geneseo and stopped at Kentucky Fried Chicken. The kids decided they didn’t *want* chicken, however, so we all switched gears and wound up with $2 meals from Taco Bell! (the store we went to is both a Kentucky Fried Chicken and Taco Bell)
Mark plotted Letchworth State Park as our destination on the GPS and we were off again for the park. Upon entering the park, we were a bit surprised that there were many, many picnic tables open. We had thought since it was the 4th of July weekend, the park would be packed out. We sat down and enjoyed our little meals and afterward had some grape pie for dessert. I had baked the pie the night before and we packed it in a cooler…that was a nice cool treat!
After eating, the kids headed on over towards a playground area that was aso strangely vacant. Yes, our kids are big, but they still love to swing! Suddenly, acting almost as one, Ben and Michelle went to the truck to grab the Scottie boys! The fun then followed!
Okay, so the swings were a lot of fun, but Angus thought he would like a bit more adventure, via the slide!
And Baby Murphy could not be outdone. He also went down the slide, but asked for a bit of assistance!
Murphy thought that was a piece of cake, so he decided to go down once again. This time, alone! He did a fantastic job! Until…
Oops..Murphy! You were supposed to land on your paws, not do a face plant!
Michelle and the Scotties retreated to the truck while Mark, Ben, and I strolled along one of the paths running alongside the deep gorge. It really is breathtaking and beautiful. We found a picnic table with a view…..
Oh how nice it would be to sit there and just enjoy looking out over the gorge! Interesting that the sign on the fence so politely asks that visitors remain behind the fence. With drops of 600 feet, it would seem more fitting to place warning signs or even run electric fencing to keep folks back. Instead, that fence stands only about 3 feet tall! Hardly a deterrent! Sadly, we read on Sunday that a young man fell to his death over a wall near the falls on Saturday night. This park is certainly spectacular, but one must be careful and cautious at all times.
The next photo shows how the fencing must be moved forward over time due to erosion. You can see the posts that held the fence at an earlier time. In some areas, the fencing has been moved several feet. I would imagine the pathways must be inspected regularly to keep them safe for visitors.
From Letchworth Park, we decided to head on down to the small Christian college town of Houghton. Neither Mark nor I have ever been to Houghton, so this was a new adventure and we would pass through some new places.
One of the tiny communtities we passed was Castile. I mentioned earlier about the fact that Saturday was part of the July 4th weekend, so many towns proudly displayed American flags. Castile was one of these.
Right next to the area I stood at to photograph the flags was a beautful monument remembering soldiers who fought in World War I.
The monument stood right near a church. I really liked the little message posted on the sign out front…
We continued our travels and arrived at the college late in the afternoon. We were shocked to find that basically, the town of Houghton *is* the college! There is very little else located in this town. The college, a Wesleyan school, was absolutely beautiful! It is small, nestled on a hill. All of the residences look like they are very nice! The college looks like it would have a nice feel to it for anyone wanting to attend a not-too-large college. I think the word “cozy” comes to my mind! Because it was getting late in the day, I didn’t take any photos.
We left and began driving once again, stopping at another state park called Stony Brook. This park is small and very beautiful. It has a rugged feel to it and once again, we were surprised to see few people enjoying the grounds. The gate keeper told us that the governor’s cuts caused the beautiful natural swimming area to be closed. What a shame. A dam formed a perfect little basin where people could swim. Not anymore.
We decided to stop at WalMart to pick up groceries and things we needed. We looped around again to Geneseo and along the way, we encounterd a young woman pulled off a small road, signalling that she needed a cell phone. The vehicle ahead of us pulled over and Mark stopped in front of it. Mark hollered out the window, asking if everything was okay.
We discovered the young woman had hit a fawn on the road. She said both rear legs appeared to be broken and it needed to be put down. She called 911 for assistance and had to await someone to come. As we were about to pull away, Michelle pointed to a tiny fawn running about in the woods next to the road. I wondered if there were twins and the one got hit. This whole thing put a damper on our fun and it was some time before we began to talk and laugh again.
We shopped first at Aldi, then at WalMart. I sat waiting in the truck with the Scotties as it was pretty warm and I didn’t think it would be wise to leave them alone. As I was sitting there, I was so surprised to see our friends Jon and Cindy from Naples! Naples is quite a haul from Geneseo and Mark and I always giggle that we must be the only people crazy enough to travel 40 miles to go shopping. Hmmm….I guess not!
It was getting late as we pulled out of the parking lot and began our travels homeward. Not too far up the road from WalMart’s we encountered tons of traffic! There were endless Sheriff cars parked alongside the road. As we slowly made our way eastward, a display of fireworks began in Lakeville, a tiny community located on Conesus Lake. Well, Mark and Ben could never pass up a good display, so we pulled over into a big parking lot and watched a display unlike any I have seen before.
Conesus Lake is a small lake and we watched in amazement as fireworks were displayed not only at the park at the north end of the lake, but around the entire lake! Awesome isn’t even close enough a word to describe what we saw!
We sat and watched for about 45 minutes, then decided we needed to head on home. We didn’t get back until about 11pm! What fun we had on this adventure and the kids even said they had a great day!