Our route from Ohio on US I-90 took us through a corner of Pennsylvania (past Erie and Presque Isle, a lovely spot remembered fondly) and into New York State, which is rural, agrarian, and scenic. Nothing against New York City, but upstate NY is the greater attraction. Our destination, Allentown, is a small town going the way of so many throughout the United States. Consolidation closed the school--a beautiful brick edifice that's the focus of efforts by our friend to preserve and somehow restore it to use. (Jack--now retired-- attended this school until its closure sent him to Wellsville High School for the remainder of his public education.)
Many of the Allentown residents are aging, employment opportunities have taken offspring far away, and high taxes are driving some folks out of the large, well-preserved older homes.
Small-town America is disappearing....or at least, undergoing changes. One positive sign: many Mennonite and Amish farm families are moving into the area, buying the farms that come on the market.
Last time we visited Jack and Raye, we were introduced to 'Beef on Wick,' an upstate tradition. This time, Raye fixed 'salt potatoes,' also a dish unique to the area. Delicious! (Google these if you are curious and/or adventurous.)
Next we were headed for Pennsylvania, and Jack recommended 'the scenic route,' which took us down through the Alleghenies to The Grand Canyon. (I am Not Making This Up.) Not that Grand Canyon-- Pennsylvania has one of its own! Happily, a Tioga County Welcome Center helped us choose one of the two state parks (the one with an 'easy' hike) and confirmed our route. The CCC created the parks and trails during The Great Depression; a statue commemorates this work. Here are the pictures:
|We were above the clouds, watching the morning mists rise.|
|Our hike offered many lovely views.|
|Late Summer flora|
|A forest is always in a cycle of life, death, and renewal.|
|The river, far below, continues to carve the canyon.|