Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Return to Ohiopyle

Saturday 15, 2013
#19 Tub Run COE Campground
Confluence, PA


Today turns out to be an overdoer’s day for us.

In my previous post, I explained that we start the day by going out to breakfast to celebrate David’s immune system’s triumph over the fever which had him down on Friday.  Not only did he recover, but amazingly after all that rest and some fever reducing medicine, he was as good as new and nearly wore me out today.

After Breakfast we drive over to Ohiopyle and some spend time before our 2:00 tour time at Fallingwater.


Like I was when I first saw it, David is amazed at this cute little town within this beautiful park.  We head down the Allegheny Trail multi use path and cross the railroad bridge.   Looking over the bridge we see lots of people doing every kind of outdoor thing you can imagine.


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It is a glorious day.  The river is really stunning.  I could probably stay for hours right here on the railroad bridge above and soak in the view.




While we are here I want to see the Ohiopyle State Park Campground called Kentuck. 



There is a very steep climb uphill from the main hiking/biking Allegany Trail path which leads to the campground.  David stops several times to catch his breath.  Low red and white blood counts have changed the kind of hiking he can do.  Or at least the ease with which he can do it.




The campground looks a little sketchy for a big rig.  It’s in a beautiful forest but there are only a few electric sites and even fewer which would be adequate for a big rig. We find two or three sites that would be fine for Winnona in the electric section IF we could get a reservation for them.  There are many really nice tent sites including some very fine walk ins. 




I’m very tempted to just stop right here and spend the rest of the day.

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The campground is lovely and so close to everything but the big negative for me is that Ohiopyle was and is a railroad town and the trains still go through on one line every hour or so blowing their whistles long and hard……….all day AND all night.

Guess I’ll have to think about the camping options for next time.


On our way to go back down the trail we pass this cutie and unanimously choose it to receive our 2013 Summer Tent Award.




At this point, it is 1:00 and time to head back down the steep trail and over to Fallingwater.   That post is here if you have not yet seen it.  What an amazing house and grounds it is.  No wonder it made Frank Lloyd Wright’s reputation as America’s top architect. 


There are a lot of things going on around the river.  At least one makes me really wonder.


As we cross back over the bridge toward our car, we find that the traffic has definitely increased in the river on this Saturday afternoon.  A flotilla of rafts is approaching the rapids already filled with kayakers. 

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I’m amazed that the kayaks can get out of the way for the rafts.

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Here’s what all the excitement is about.  There are rapids all around this horseshoe bend here in Ohiopyle.   So when they set out, there are 4 or 5 sets of rapids to run.


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On the opposite side of the bridge, I look down and see this. Of course so does everyone else on the bridge or the shore or the street.   Are you kidding? David’s comment,  “ What is he thinking??”

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Just beyond the bathing beauty and up on the auto bridge we see a parade of over 100 would be rafters all in uniform: life jacket, helmet, paddle, walking down the street toward the launch site for apparently another round of Flotillas.   If you want to do any of these river sports during the summer, I suggest you try mid week and for sure avoid Saturday.


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At this point we leave for Fallingwater and stay until they close the gates at 4:30.  But there is still a lot of daylight left and David is determined to wear me out.  So we return to Ohiopyle.


First thing on the agenda is dinner.


Of course first we have to check out every restaurant in the little town - SIGH.  There is the Ohiopyle Bakery with sandwiches and home made breads,  there is the  Ohiopyle BBQ with an outside smoker filling the air with BBQ where you can get ribs for $21 and hand cut fries for $5 to eat outside on picnic tables.   There is the Ohiopyle House Cafe & Tap Room which is in has a wide ranging menu from sandwiches, to ribs, to PBJ or full meals and of course beer.  Everyone sitting outside seems to be drinking beer.  The folks eating must be inside. 


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And finally there is my personal favorite, The Firefly Grille.  They have the nicest outdoor seating, an extensive menu and the most reasonable prices.  For less than $20 David has a huge sandwich with home made fries and I have an enormous vegan wrap with what seems like enough home made cole slaw for two.  No table service, order at the window, they call your number, you pick it up.  Simple, easy, delicious.


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It’s a good thing the days are now LONG, we have time to hike off some of that food.


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We head back across the bridge and take the first set of steps down to the river so we can walk along it and see the “Ohiopyle” Falls. 


Along the water the wild mountain laurel are in bloom.  Reminds me of the mountains back home in late May and early June when the mountain laurel and rhododendron are blooming.  The mountain laurel are just over their peak here and the rhododendron have yet to begin.



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The people are also in bloom down by and in the river.


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The nice dirt path turns into a walk along these rocks, which leads to beautiful views of the water.

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We reach the falls from the back.  It is a bit of a climb to get up on top and even more of a scramble to get out to the front.  They are building the new visitor center to have the finest view of the falls from the other side.

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While on top of the rocks next to the falls we meet the most interesting individual of our day. 


He is the companion of two lovely young women but he is so handsome that it is his picture I take and if I could have gotten away with it I would have taken him too.

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Meet Cooper.  Isn’t he fabulous???

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At this point the day is waning and David wants to go back for a beer so he heads back that way.  Being no beer drinker, I walk on down the trail a little further.  I have what’s around the next bend syndrome and find it hard to leave a path unfinished.  I find even more beautiful mountain laurel.  These have a pinkish tinge.  They make the walk so beautiful.  They are around every bend and hanging over rocks.


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I take one last shot of the river before the path moves to higher ground and then I head back through the upper paths.  I do a great job of not getting lost even though I do not have the map that I thought I had but that actually David has.  I think I’ll call David to laugh about that fact and make sure that I’m on the right trail to cut back since I do not have time to go all the way around on our original trail.  But I find that my cell phone battery has died.  Oh well…………….do they ever really work when you need them???


When I return to Ohiopyle the town,  I find David sitting at a table with his Southern Tier 2x IPA brewed, he tells me, in Lakewood New York only a few miles from Chautauqua one of my favorite places.  A good beer and a great car make his day as he strolls up the street to chat with the owner of this 1954 Ford.

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Tomorrow we have to make tracks toward our date with a COE park in Vermont.  We’ll be doing a couple of one night stands, my least favorite travel mode, but then we’ll get to stay for nearly a week in Vermont before David’s date at Dana Farber.

It’s been a great, though way too short, visit to Ohiopyle and Fallingwater.  I especially want to come back to do the bike path at least twice -  once as far as I can go in one direction and once the same in the other.  No time for that in one day split with Fallingwater.

Only one day here -  what WAS I thinking?????
I just hate having reservations so I’m forced to pack up and move on.


  1. OH COOPER! *swoon* He's beautiful. Those eyes.

  2. Maybe only one day, but you packed in five! Love, love, Cooper!!

  3. Looks gorgeous but crowded on the water. I'd take Cooper in a heart beat. Yes, those eyes.

  4. Great looking park. The rafting sure looks inviting:)

  5. I think PA has an abundance of those little restaurants and cafes where you can sit indoors or out, and they have some great beer.

  6. love it all ... my kind of place ... and my gawd... the food! ahhhh can hear the water.

    HAHaaaa whatta mug... now, there's a dawg...

  7. Can't I get any Sun without you clowns making fun of my speed o.

    That was whopper of a hike. I am glad David is able to keep up with you.

  8. Ohiopyle looks fabulous!! It would be a great place to visit in the fall when the kids are back in school and the leaves are changing color. Put that on our list:o))

  9. A great day at Ohiopyle ... it's obvious that we will have to go back for a stay in the area so we can do the hikes this time.

    P.S. those blooms are mountain laurel I believe, not azaleas.

    1. And of course you are right and I knew that and have no idea why I typed azalea over and over. Where was my brain? I've fixed it thanks to you.

  10. Just picture perfect...a rafting dream come true. Can't you just feel everyone's excitement being and doing what they love in such a beautiful place.

  11. You two sure made the most out of one day. It was even exhausting to read it all. :)

  12. That looks like a great place to spend more time. As much as I like to hike I think I would have turned around with David to get an IPA!

  13. Wow! How did you resist getting in the river- at least your feet anyway. Yes and Cooper indeed is a gorgeous boy. I'm trying to remember what breed he is. We are in Duck to celebrate our anniversary (which was yesterday)- #38. Take care and have fun.

    Love, Pam

  14. Another lovely part of PA. Wow, never seen a river so busy! Of course, Cooper steals the show of this post :)

  15. I am now officially exhausted :) Quite the day you had. I hate, hate, hate reservations! They are definitely a necessity for NE travel though :(

  16. Great pictures of you hike and a great picture of David, he looks so well and happy. Amazing what a good sandwich will do for a fellow.

    I can see why you wanted to steal Cooper, the nerve of those girls not letting you have him. ;c)

    Seeing all those pictures of river rapids reminded me why I still have scars on my butt from riding rapids in a tire tube when I was a young, stupid teenager...(TMI?)

  17. Your scenery there looks much like our scenery here, except I guess the Mountain laurel have already bloomed here. They are beautiful and I envy your hike with flowers blooming everywhere.

    Kayaking on that rocky river would not be for me. I'm too much of a coward I guess. I much prefer a slowly moving river where I can stop and look around.

    You two have sure covered a lot of ground. We seem to find a spot we like and never get ready to leave!

    Can't wait to see Vermont with you. I hope you get to stay longer!

  18. Cooper is fabulous and that looks like a great place. I love to go rafting.

  19. I think I would have had to plop my rear end down in that water and just let the water flow over me. Too inviting.

  20. Seems from these comments that Cooper stole the show! The bathing beauty certainly raised my eyebrow and I can just bet how annoyed I would have felt as a kayaker with all those rafters coming down. What a beautiful waterfall and lovely mountain laurel. Sounds like a great day - food and bear included! :)

  21. Wow, this looks fantastic! And I'd have been tempted to take Cooper with me, too! Glad you guys are out having a blast. :)

  22. You obviously have broken the tie with Florida....Good to see you are able to venture farther away and experience new sights and sounds. What a cutie pie Cooper is. Yup he could find himself dog napped one day. All he would have to do is bat those big doggie eyes and that would be it!! Safe and Happy trails!!


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