Ohio 2002

01-AlleganySP-SweetwaterTrail.jpg (142909 bytes)

We've been in NY for 25 years and this is the first time we've been in Allegany State Park. There is a network of XC Ski Trails that are open to biking, so we tested 'em out. This one is called Sweetwater. It is an "easy" 2.7 mile trail, and after we did that, we did another 3 mi on Ridge Trail; 8 miles roundtrip, including connections.

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Tracy Ridge Campground in Allegheny NF. Yeah, PA spells it differently than NY. We did a couple of miles around the campground before settling in for our evening brews. Hordes of gnats and black flies kept us in RVan.

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We left Tracy Ridge and found a forest road up to Willow Ck ATV trail. Bikes are also allowed on these trails so we checked it out. Whew! Rocks, roots, more rocks and more roots; it was a real learning experience. Fortunately, some of the trail coincided with forest roads. They are MUCH better. Sorry Jason ;-)

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The strangest thing happened while we were on the forest road - an injured Red-Eyed Vireo was right in the road. By the time I got the camera, it had flopped to the edge, but that's all. Here s/he is. We did 6.5 miles at Willow Creek ATV trail ... and found a bunch of free campsites along the way. That's what we will do next time. 

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Next we headed to Buzzard Swamp in the southern part of ANF. There are two connecting loops around dam-impounded ponds - that's what we did next to the tune of 9.5 miles. This is a shredded tree stump ... bear or more likely a porcupine ... dunno ... neither was working on it when we were there.

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Another strange occurrence - a snake right in the road. I'm not supposed to tell you this, but it was dead. Recently killed by someone running over or stepping on its head. It looked so real, I had to touch it to make sure it was dead. Pretty thing - we'll look it up later. It is depressing that the life of such a beautiful creature can be extinguished so easily. Who did it? Why? I looked it up. It is a Green Snake ... go figure ;-)

08-BuzzardSwamp.jpg (86591 bytes)

Janie biking across the dam at Buzzard Swamp. We didn't see any buzzards, but we did see a Kingfisher and a lot of swampy areas, some of which we brought back on our shoes, pants, bikes, etc..

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There were a bunch of small dug-out ponds around the bigger ponds. This one was inhabited by this big ol' frog. We saw salamanders in a couple of the others.

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This is our FREE camp in ANF. We had to drive several miles on this forest road because the first half was one oil well pad after another - and a pipeline following the road. Eventually, it got less civilized and we found this spot. This is the first time we've ever just camped in a National Forest. We've looked several times, but never found a suitable site. This one was very nice. It had a dime in the firepit and a stream next to it. See ...

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Stream next to ANF campsite.

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Gunter & Janie get ready to celebrate his retirement after 40 years at OSU. You Da Man, Gunter. After attending Gunter's retirement reception at the Faculty Club and having dinner at The Old Town Inn, we were ready for house clothes and an adult beverage. 

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