Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Willow Bay Recreation Area, Allegheny National Forest

Monday the 27th:
Todays mission was to check out different Forest Service campgrounds located on the east side of the Allegheny National Forest. I learned that the Allegheny’s are actually a part of the Appalachian mountain range which was formed between 500 million and 430 million years ago. That’s during the Taconic orogeny; whatever that is. We stopped at the Kinzua Beach picnic area located on the Reservoir. Gopher had a good swim. This has been the first alligator free, fresh water since we left home. A chance to wash off some of the dirt.

We drove through Red Bridge, Kiasutha, Dewdrop and Willow Bay campgrounds before deciding on Willow Bay. We have a very nice campsite right on Willow Creek. There are some sites directly on Willow Bay but they are all reserved through the 4th , in fact almost everything is reserved through the 4th.
The sun’s out today; a noteworthy event so far on our tour through PA . Mostly it’s been cloudy or overcast.

There is no cell phone or VZ data service in this area. I was looking at my cell phone and saw a missed call from the head nurse at the place where my Mother lives. Melinda doesn’t call to just chat, so we packed up and headed towards Bradford, the nearest town, expecting some bad news. About 10 miles from here we got cell phone service. My mother has an Alert One system; one of the, “Help ! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” devices. Melinda had called just to tell me the system was giving a low battery alarm. I called Elizabeth, the women we hired to help Mom when we were gone. All’s well. Elizabeth was one of our better ideas in quite some time.

Tuesday the 28th:
The three of us took a nice walk to the picnic area located on the bay. Gopher went swimming again. The water here agrees with her fortunately. Sometimes after drinking from a stream, she gets diarrhea a few hours later then I wind up dealing with that mess for the next day or so. During the walk, Gopher alerted to something. Her ears stood up, she raised her head high and started sniffing the air. In a few seconds, a deer came bounding out of the woods just in front of us. A dogs sense of smell really is amazing and Gophers not even a scent hound. The two weiner dogs we had for years, Balou & Bagera, would have picked that deer up a block away.

Wild flowers are everywhere. The blackberry bushes are loaded but need another week or two. We saw hills covered with mountain laurel as we drove here but couldn’t find a place to pull over for pictures. This is a beautiful time to be in this part of the country. A little sunshine would be a plus, but at least it’s not raining. In the woods, an assortment of mushrooms grow. A friend of ours, Gail, is working on her Naturalist Merit Badge. As part of the requirements, she has to identify and eat wild mushrooms. Here are pictures of two mushrooms I came across. Are they edible? Not by me they’re not.

More & more people are pulling into the campground. Mostly families. Two or three kids and a dog or two, per site, seems to be the norm. We walked up to the check-in booth to see about sites for the weekend. There are five still available. Tomorrow we’ll decide what to do. Stay put, or set out and hope for the best.
I was doing a little cleaning today; mostly dog hair. I’m still coming across red dust from last years trip to the Southwest. We both like that area, but the wind seems to blow constantly and it carries a powder-fine red dust that covers everything. We’re talking about heading to the Southwest again this year right after Christmas. We’ll see. Ginny will be in Florida by then, so it will be her turn to take care of Mom.

Wednesday, the 29th:

Woke up to a chilly, grey, misty rain type of day. We decided to go into Bradford to check phone messages, e-mail, do laundry & stop by WalMart. There is a wonderful bakery in Bradford. John Williams European Pastry Shop. I got a piece of apple strudel for us to share. We're trying to be good these days. Both of us have health goals. One big one is maintaining a healthy weight. We travel with our bath scale from home to keep track of our weight. We're both outside of the acceptable range so it's time to cut back on the calories. Years ago we were both fat people. We will never repeat that mistake.

Thursday, the 30th:
Took our morning walk to the picnic area. Some camping neighbors pulled in. Six RV's from an extended family group. They've been coming here each 4th of July for over 20 years. Real nice people from New York & PA.
If we wanted to stay here for the weekend there was room. As of this afternoon there were two vacant sites but we've been here long enough. We've enjoyed watching the families pull in, the children racing here & there,the barking dogs, on & on. Your typical, family 4th of July weekend. By tomorrow afternoon, this place will be pure bedlam. :-)

The campground.


The creek behind our campsite.

Eat this? Not me.

This one either.

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