Friday June 24 2016 – Monday June 27,2016 Most Recent Posts:
Allegany State Park Last Minute Visit to Chautauqua – My Hang Up the Keys Spot
Salamanca, New York Shawnee’s Lake Shore and On to Allegany
Allegany State Park has two separate camping areas. We are in the Quaker area in the south with the larger lake. Today we decide to make a grocery run to the nearest town of Salamanca which means we will need to drive north all the way through the park. Remember the park is 65000 acres in size so this is a 20 mile trip.
Along the way we check out the trail heads along the road and stop at the other camping area called Red House. We drive around the campground which appears to be almost the same as the Quaker campground in its set up of sites on hill sides and variously level. The Red House area is kmown for its historic Tudor administration and restaurant building. Not sure exactly why it is called historic since it was built in the 1930’s but it is a lovely building undergoing renovation when we arrive.
Inside is a lovely lodge type sitting room with gorgeous windows over looking the lake. Since we have no internet or cell service at the campground, David takes this opportunity to check his messages.
Both ends of the room have wood burning fireplaces which I’m sure are much appreciated in winter when the park is opoen for cross country skiing and snowmobiling.
The Inn looking registration building is the home of the rental office for cabins, yurts, campsites and other things at Red Hill.
The Red House Restaurant is located upstairs in the building but they have a new patio on the ground floor overlooking the lake. We ask our waitress what she thinks about all the exercise going up and down the steps and she tells us a dumb waiter was installed. It’s a lovely site for lunch so we do.
Since doing a panorama with my Canon SX50 is not a simple point and click task, you can see the finished renovations on the lake side in these two pictures of the building.
David is enjoying what they call a Polish Reuben for a late lunch/early dinner. They have substituted polish sausage for the usual meats in the sandwich.
Driving on toward Salamanca we turn off the main road and drive up to what is known as the stone tower. Built in the 30’s by the CCC it was used as a fire look out for many years. Now it is just a beautiful 6 sided stone structure with a terrific view.
The stone work is impressive as the works of the CCC usually are.
We find an ecological survey marker in the foundation of the building telling us we are at 2202 feet above sea level.
Sure seems higher than 2202 feet.
And then its on to the day’s errand. Our choices were Save-A-Lot Grocery or Parkview Supermarket. We stop at the latter. This is the first grocery store we have been in where the clerk takes your groceries out of your cart, rings them up and puts them right back in your cart. You pay and push your cart to the window counter and bag your own groceries. Have you seen this practice anywhere else. I like it fine since I know how to bag by not putting the bread or the grapes in the bottom of the bag.
For a quicker trip home we jump on I 86 at exit 20 and get off at Exit 18 and drive East into the southern section of the park. Just outside the campground on a power pole we spy this osprey with her hungry chick. There are quite a few osprey nests near the lake and they all seem to have chicks at this time of year.
Not sure what the tongues out thing is about. Both the mother and chick were doing it quite a bit. Maybe it’s a cooling mechanism as it was a pretty hot day.
We had our dolly company Demco ship a new fender to us here at the campground. It arrived yesterday so David puts it on today. He has to modify it because as I mentioned the day of the accident, we could not find either the exact right rim or tire on that Sunday. As it turns out, these 14” rims and tires are so odd that they have to be ordered from Demco or on line. We’re not crazy about spending double the money to replace them so David is trying to make do. Here he’s installing the taillight which we had to buy separately of course and the wiring harness for a third price.
Huh, he says when I ask him to look up as he’s trying to get the tail light to go into its spot.
While he’s doing that, I go check out a trail that David skipped yesterday. Not sure why he was in a hurry driving through the park but he was, until we got to the restaurant. The trail called Bridal Falls caught my attention right away as we passed by yesterday so today I go back and find that David has some sort of trail perception.
It starts out beautifully but is less than 1/4 of mile long and leads to what might be a lovely little falls when there is water.
I can see it is wet but you have to be right up there to see any falling water.
The rocky stream bed is only damp but still really lovely.
On my way back to the rig I swing by the new bath house on Quaker Lake which opened for the first time today. I had taken some pictures of it yesterday from across the lake on our return trip from Salamanca when the road to it was still closed but today the folks are enjoying the water.
In the evening, I take a walk around the campground and find this home made tear drop type trailer.
Nice awning to put the picnic table under.
It’s builder and owner is quite proud of his design which he has put on a utility trailer from Harbor Freight. He says that was the biggest cost of building it. There are doors with screens on both sides for good cross ventilation.
The screens can be opened or latched closed.
Inside is the bed on a full double bed mattress which is visible under the sleeping bag. Look closely in the back and above the head of the bed is a shelf just big enough for his grandson to come camping out with him.
The trailer is wired and has a DVD Player and flat screen TV and an Air conditioner. He’s not lacking for comforts.
Accessible from the back is a storage bin under the shelf bed. In it he has his propane, his stove and other camping equipment. Everything you need all boxed up in one little package. Probably not for full timers but for a week-end fishing get away it’s got comforts a tenter would envy.
We spend this day in Chautauqua one of our very favorite places. I posted about it in my most recent blog. The link is at the top of this post.
On Monday David puts the finishing touches on customizing the fender to work with this odd tire. What a pain!
Today is our last day here in Allegany so in the afternoon we head out for the Eastern Meadow Trail. It shares a section both the Finger Lakes Trail, a network of trials in New York, which is part of the long distance North Country Trail which stretches approximately 4,600 miles from Crown Point in eastern New York to Lake Sakakawea State Park in central North Dakota. That’s twice as long as the AT at 220 miles and nearly twice as long as the PCT at 2650 miles. I wonder if anyone has through hiked it? There might be a book and a movie in it. Although I have to say I’m not sure why Cheryl Strayed’s book was so much more popular than the equally powerful books written by AT through hikers over the yerars.
We both really enjoyed the healthy looking big hemlock trees. Not sure if the wooly adelgid missed this spot or they survived but we’re thankful for whichever it was.
The blue metal markers are for the Eastern Meadow trail and I assume the white marks are for the North Country Trail. I now wonder if all long distance hikes are marked by white blazes. I had thought it was only the AT.
Looks like we just missed the blooming of what are early spring wild flowers in Virginia. This giant trilium has really large rich deep burgandy flowers. I’ve heard it called Wake Robin but am not sure if that’s just locally.
The May Apple flowers are gone but we see the little apple hanging under neath the umbrella leaves.
David is about this far behind me when I signal him. But he can’t get up to me in time as the black bear runs across the trail in front of me and down the hill. No time for a picture either. But as always I’m so happy to have seen them wild and free here. 65,000 acres should be wonderful for them. Hats off to New York.
Other than my excitement at the seeing the black bear, it is a wonderful quiet restful hike. We see no other people, hear nothing but bird song, not even planes in the air.
We’ve been looking all the way for the Eastern Meadow for which the trail is named. On the trail description they say you’ll come to a meadow overlook before the trail loops back to the trail head. Don’t see how we could have missed a meadow.
We do see lots of ferns along the way. It’s been good to be out on a “real hike” again. But it’s the only one we’ll have time to take here as we will be on our way tomorrow to Niagara Falls.