Sunday, October 17, 2010

Letchworth State Park, Sweetest Day

Yesterday was Sweetest Day, and since the weather was fantastic, we decided to treat us all and take a trip to Letchworth State Park, about 1 hour away from home.
The way that we traveled went through the town of Sheldon NY, the site of much angst in recent years because of these:
They are Wind Turbines. People who own the land get paid to have them in their property, wind energy is tapped in and turned into a commodity. You either love them or hate them. I suspect your feelings depend on whether you are are the receiving end of the paycheck or just have to look at these ugly things out your window. Some say they are loud, some say they kill birds, some say they interfere with normal migration of birds, insects, which in turn affect the ecosystem. etc. Some say they are a wonderful energy alternative that does not depend on foreign oil, but other nay-sayers talk about the need to use fossil fuel (oil or coal) to convert the wind energy to a usable form.
I think they look like a horizon on a foreign planet. I mean, you are driving along and What? There they are HUGE, at least several hundred feet, and bright white. They are placed in farm fields, near a high elevation, to maximize wind-catching.
We have had 6-8 wind turbines along Lake Erie that you can see when driving to Downtown Buffalo-they take advantage of the wind off of the lake. They were always a novelty, but not too intrusive, they are in a mixed area which is mostly industrial, but still has some homes-we should ask those people if they are bothersome.
I think having these THINGS right in the middle of a beautiful rolling hills vista is too bad. But again, I am not a down on your luck, barely making ends meet farmer, and these things do benefit them. So who am I to judge what means are used to survive?
SGrandson was with us, and he happens to be studying Wind Turbines in Technology Class, so he reeled off the names of the components, and we printed up some pictures for him to take to his class tomorrow.

But, the opening act of the Wind Turbines was nothing as compared to the headliner-Letchworth State Park and all the countryside along the journey. The trip is to be enjoyed, not just a method from A to B. The hills show so many different views, "as far as the eye can see".
When we arrived in Letchworth State Park (named after William Pryor Letchworth from Buffalo NY-this was his summer home!) there are so many places to see the beautiful gorge with the many types of trees-this variety is what gives the scenes so much beauty0different trees-different shades of color. Most of the Maple Trees have lost their leaves there, which usually account for the deep red color, but enough leaves still remained on the trees to make your senses pop. Letchworth State park is known as the "Grand Canyon of the East".
Looking at the license plates on the cars in the park will give you an idea of how popular this beautiful park is.

These next two pictures are from the Letchworth web site.
This is my header for the month-I have used pictures from my trip to Italy for a year, now it will be nature photos for the next 12 months.
Here is a picture that has a bonus,

SHusband and SGS spotted a hawk floating over the gorge-I had the camera and could not track the hawk, so SGS took the camera and ran off. See in the middle-just to the left, above the shade line, with the light colored rock as a backdrop? That black speck is the hawk. SGS was very proud of this picture, and he put it on his facebook account.

The cute couple:
Here is a picture of my guys-notice they are all wearing clothing to reflect their interests.
These are some other shots of the area.

And these are rocks making up the way-too-low retaining wall that keeps people from tumbling down into the ravine: 550 feet below. These rocks were originally in a river bed.
SH said the wave patterns are Ripple Marks from Turbidity Currents formed when water movement causes disturbance of the material at the bottom of a body of water, then this material is covered with other material, and the pattern underneath is hardened, and presto, 350 million years later, we are looking at them! Someone nicely collected them and put them in the border fence for all to see.
The park is also know for having an incredible Restaurant/Hotel called "The Glen Iris Inn" (see above), very sheshe, elegant place. Big verandas overlooking the breath-taking falls. If you want, you can rent a room upstairs there and wake up to the sound of the falls-I have done that. This was the home of Mr. Letchworth. It is bright yellow and very well maintained, with unique gardens. This is a destination wedding venue for many couples.
They also have a marvelous museum-we could not find a handicapped entrance. And, they have a train trestle in the southern end of the park-some stupidos actually go up there to prove that they are invincible-duh!

Also, there is a HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE available-can you imagine what that must look like??? Pass, I am way too chicken for that.

SGS gave me a present for sweetest day of two fused acorn tops that look like a heart since he knows I collect them, and for his Grampa-he found two pieces of flint-you know the rocks you smack together to start a fire (note, do not attempt this in the house, or your grandfather who never yells at you will be very stern with you).

For Sweetest Day, SS gave me some coconut candy-nice surprise, and my guys all got treats from me. My gift from SH was his ability to go yesterday, and to make it up the hill to see the Mary Jemison display at the Park-the last time we went he was not able to. I know it was hard for him (and the fahkockatah wheelchair lift did not work at home, so he had to use the steps with SS carrying the walker up and down the steps for him-I will make another very upset call to company again tomorrow), and we had a struggle going back down the hill to the car, we should have brought the wheelchair, because even though he can sit on his walker, he did not have enough strength to hold up his legs so that we could push him down to the car. I know he was tired-BUT, not too tired to have some big desserts at a restaurant we returned to from a visit about 4 years ago. It is in Perry NY, called "John and Sarah's" 127 N. Center St. (Route 246) 14530 (for those using their GPS).

It is small, with big, tasty hamburgers, as verified by SS and SGS:

SH and I shared one bowl of soup and a sandwich-I know some people thing this is disgusting, but it works for us-we both wanted dessert, and we had our own spoons:

SGS/double chocolate cake which he could not finish (trust me, he did later that night):

SS/Peanut Butter Chiffon Pie(trust me, it was there):SH/Peanut Butter Chiffon Pie (trust me, he did finish it):

SME/Coconut Cream Pie (trust me, I ate most of it, but it was finished by SH, that is why the plate is nestled next to his plate):
Trust me, we had fruit, veggies and yogurt for supper.
On the way home, we did a pumpkin stop for SGS:

My SFamily has gone to Letchworth State Park for many years, since Matkas's birthday is in October. This year, we can only give her fall flowers.

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