Saturday, August 22, 2009

Pennsylvania and New York

We’re back! We haven’t had access to WiFi in over a week. So...I’m playing catch-up. We left the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on Thursday August 13th. Spent the night in Wauseon, Ohio. That day we hit the Ohio turnpike and drove all the way through the northern part of the state. We spent the night at Greenville, Pennsylvania, then on to Warren, PA the next day. On Sunday we drove into New York toward Lake Erie. We spent two nights at Lake Erie State Park. The next day, August 18, back through Pennsylvania, western Maryland, the eastern edge of West Virginia, then Virginia to the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. That is where we are now. The photos below will bring you all up to date. You'll need to start at the bottom of the post and read up...

After visiting the falls, and a quick stop for burgers, we drove east to Lockport, NY. That is where we saw Lock 34 on the Erie Canal. The town itself is pretty with several bridges crossing the canal. Did ya’ll learn the song about the Erie Canal in school? My sister Kathy and I did. North Ward Elementary in Mrs. Schmidt’s music class. “I’ve got a mule her name is Sal...” Ring any bells?? Okay, enough of that...

A couple of barge workers on the Erie Canal. Not sure if they are “Hoggees”, the men and boys who drove the mules pulling the barges.

The Erie Canal was opened in 1825. It ran 363 miles across upper New York state connecting Buffalo and Albany. The original canal was only four feet deep with 83 locks, each measuring 90 feet long by 15 feet wide.
This photo is of the “five flights” that were part of the original canal. The lock gates have been removed and now it is used as overflow.

On Monday we got up early to drive over to Niagara Falls. We were glad we got there so early as they were having another heat wave. It was still cool when we first got there and there were so few people that we felt like we had the park to ourselves. This is the American Falls. You can see people on the 230 foot tall observation tower. You couldn’t pay me enough to go up there because you know how I am about heights.

Another view of American Falls. Niagara Falls State Park is America’s oldest established in 1885. There are a lot of things to see and do in addition to the falls - the Great Lakes Garden, the Discovery Center, Niagara Aquarium, Cave of the Winds, Maid of the Mist and the Adventure Theater.

A nice lady from Rhode Island offered to take our picture after Donnie had done the same for her and her family. The morning sun hit the waterfall mist just right to make this cool rainbow. Shelby doesn’t look too impressed though. Think we got her up too early.

We walked over a pedestrian bridge to Goat Island to get a better view of Horseshoe Falls. You can see one of the Maid of the Mist boats that take a roundtrip near the base of both falls. We passed on the boat ride as we saw how wet some of the passengers got!

We stopped in Westfield (east of state park) at a car show that was hosted by the VFW. There were all kinds of cars there, but of course we only took pictures of Mopars!

I really liked this car, a 1965 Plymouth Belvedere, so Donnie snapped our photo!

In the same area there are miles and miles of vineyards. We stopped at a produce stand and talked to a very friendly lady who had grown all the fruit and veggies. We bought homegrown tomatoes (Donnie was in heaven!!) and some really wonderful peaches. She told us that in 3-4 weeks the concord grapes would ripen and the air would be scented with them.

On Sunday we were driving along the edge of Lake Erie when we saw this lighthouse. It was near a beach where lots of locals were trying to cool off. While camping at Lake Erie State Park the temperatures were in the low 90s.

Guess you can tell where this photo was taken? Yep, a WalMart parking lot. We were stopped here in Greenville in western Pennsylvania. Donnie noticed the shed with a horse and buggy parked in it. We saw several Amish couples and families coming in to WalMart to do their shopping. Downtown Greenville was small and quaint with narrow streets and some really interesting old buildings.

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