Tuesday, February 28, 2006

06-20 Angelica New York

Angelica NY

Letchworth State Park

Well I’ve finally made it to New York, my furthest destination on this summers trip. It’s taken quite a while to get to upstate NY and if you’ve been following my journey, and of course you have, you know I’ve gone north, south, west, more west then finally headed north again into Michigan, across into Canada to finally ended up in New York.

What a great way to journey through life. In a self contained camper, being able to travel anywhere the roads will lead. Exploring, discovery, taking the time to find life at a slower pace.

My friends Doug and Steve who own a campground near Angelica NY were surprised when I called them and told them I was finally heading into NY from Canada. After all, it has taken me all summer to get up here. They set me up on one of their HUGE campsites on the lower end of a large sloping open expanse of grassy campsites. Beyond my campsites, the heavily wooded campsites begin, down along the creek that runs through the property.

Touring a new area is half the fun. Driving along rolling mountains, forest and farm country, about 20 minutes north of the campground is Letchworth State Park. The Grand Canyon of the East. Now you’d think after having seen Niagara Falls I wouldn’t be interested in another water falls, but Letchworth has three very impressive ones. What a great way to get some exercise, hiking along the trails throughout the park, leading to the Upper, Middle and lower falls. Seeing the stone walls, bridges, and picnic pavilions that the CCC built years ago. The water falls cutting a gorge through the stone walls along the river. Learning the history of the man Letchworth who discovered this region after it had been decimated by the lumber industry. Still able to see the beauty in it and gradually restoring and replanting the trees that had been cut down along this now beautiful tract of land. Or about the White Woman of Genesee, Mary Jemison. A young 15 year old girl from Ireland who was captured by the Seneca Indians and raised by them and remained with them the rest of her life. So many stories that make up the fabric of our country.

Oh, and a tip if you go to Letchworth St Pk. Your $6.00 entry fee will be reimbursed if you have lunch at Glen Iris Inn located in the original summer home of the Letchworth family in the park.

Exploring the T-tiny towns of Houghton NY (which I had to see since I grew up in Houghton Mich.), Fillmore (they have a laundry mat, grocery store and Dollar General), Angelica with it’s antique stores and Cuba and Olean down the road a piece.

Steve, one of the owners of the campground, pointed out the longest wooden bridge just outside of Angelica. This is one of those things that you’d never know, unless you could read the small sign next to the bridge, or someone told you about it. It looked like any other flat bridge from the surface. I drove back to it on my way to Angelica for a bit of antique shopping the next day and was blown away by the beauty of the bridges struts and enormous curved wooden arches. Looked like something Frank Lloyd Wright would have designed. Or the town circle that contains 5 churches with an old fashioned park in the center. A pleasant walk around the circle after shopping a couple of the great antique stores in this quiet NY town.

Steve and Doug have restored a 1954 Half Moon trailer and of course I got a grand tour of it. That’s the one they used in the Lucile Ball movie, “The Long Long Trailer“. What an awesome job of restoring a vintage trailer. I was envious of this gem they’ve restored.

Summer. Fresh air, big blue skies with white puffy clouds, cool crisp evenings around a crackling campfire. Time to nourish the soul.

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