Sunday, July 3, 2016

2016-18 Lilly Dale, Upstate New York

Rev B. Anne Gehman at her 80th Birthday Party

New York, Falconer
New York, Lilly Dale
Pennsylvania, Sheffield

Whispering Winds Campground
Campground:  Whispering Winds Campground, Sheffield PA.  $18 full hookups, cable tv $2 extra.  Passport America rate.  Book says two nights at PPA rate, but will extend days Monday-Thursday.  Most campsites are along a nice flowing creek.

Campground:  Top-a-Rise camping, Falconer NY.  Two week stay.  50 amp full hookup.  PPA rate $18 for 4 nights.  $30 a night regular rate…most I’ve paid this season.  Very nice campground, lots of space, very grassy sites.

Distance traveled:  70 miles

Pennsylvania into western New York 

I’ve moved from oil country to the heart of the Allegheny National Forest.  More trees, imagine that. The drive was a bit of an adventure since as I headed out, I took a wrong turn (obviously not listening to my GPS) and ended up going a very very rural route, taking me down farm roads.  One road was named Arnold, that’s when I began to go hmmmm.  Wondering the entire time where the heck was I. some roads were barely patches of pavement put down years ago over rolling, uneven land.  At times I could feel the truck and camper leaning to one side seeming rather precarious, but in reality probably wasn‘t all that bad.  Finally I reached hwy 6, then hwy 66 and finally hwy 666.  Good Lord, who would name a road 666?

Entrance to Warren PA, oil refinery

Arriving in the middle of this vast National Forest, in the town of Sheffield.  There are signs that oil is still being discovered and pumped out throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  Yes, it’s often still referred to as a Commonwealth rather than a State.  I drove over to the town of Warren for lunch and past a fairly large oil refinery right in town.  The smell of petroleum permeates the air.

Kinzua Sky Walk

Kinzua Sky Walk State Park

As luck would have it, there was an attraction that I was interested in seeing in the area.  It’s called Kinzua Sky Walk and has quite the history.  The Kinzua viaduct was built in 1882 and took only 94 days to complete.  Built out of iron.  By 1900 the bridge wasn’t strong enough for all the train traffic and was replaced, section by section with steel.  It stood for over 100 years as predicted by the engineer.  Fate played a big part in it being destroyed.  An F1 tornado and misfortune to not change out the anchor bolts from iron to steel.  The iron bolts couldn’t hold the bridge in place and 11 of the 20 towers flew into the air before crashing to the bottom of the valley.  When it was destroyed in 2003 work was ongoing to strengthen the aging structure, just not in time to save it.  30 seconds of destructive tornado brought it down.

looking down from the sky walk

a tornado took is down

The bridge was re-imagined as a sky walk and on Sept of 2011 was opened to the public.  Five years later, I walked out onto the sky walk and looked down 301 feet to the valley floor.  Even walking over a glass deck and looking straight down.

Surprisingly it wasn’t scary.  The bridge is very sturdy and had no sway or movement of any kind.

the double rail tracks

The original rail tracks still stand in the center of what remains of the bridge.  Two sets of rails, in case the train jumped the tracks while going across the bridge.  Even at that trains only traveled 5 mph over the 301 foot high span due to strong whistling winds traveling through the valley.

301 feet down

the sky walk

Distance traveled:  34 miles

Falconer New York
Jamestown New York
Lilly Dale New York

Enjoyed the short drive, with two stops at Walmarts today.  Oh, my Google maps (GPS) has a new feature.  When I crossed into New York my smart phone with google maps said “Welcome to New York”.  How cool is that?

Now you know I love my electronic stuff.  Well most of the time until they die on me.  Like my little MP3 player that I constantly used in the truck to listen to all my music.  I guess I wore it out.  So of course I could just go out and buy another MP3 player but then I had a brilliant idea.  So what did I do?  I purchased a Samsung Galaxy Tab E Lite.  $118.00.  And like all good electronic purchases, this one is multi-purpose.  I can now use it for:

Steaming MP3 music, especially thru my trucks stereo
Internet access
Kindle E-book reader (will replace my Kindle Fire)
Larger screen to view all my favorite smart phone apps (like my campground search apps)

Needless to say, it’s an early birthday gift to myself (approx. ten days early).   Thanks, I love my birthday gift.

The campground I’m at for the next two weeks is definitely on top of a hill and the views out front are pretty spectacular. A rural golf course is across the street surrounded by farms.  On July 4 weekend they are going to have a country singer perform in the park.  He is apparently quite good and has a groupie following expected to be here as well.  Really looking forward to that.

Lilly Dale
A Spiritualist community of approx 100 homes and over 55 mediums in residence.  

from small outdoor venues to large assembly halls
Lilly Dale has many opportunities to experience a Spiritual awakening 

one of the many cottages in Lilly Dale

My visit to Lilly Dale is one of spiritual renewal as well as visiting with Rev. B. Anne Gehman.  Anne was our minister and medium in Orlando Florida over 40 years ago and I hadn’t seen her since.  I’m also here to help celebrate her 80th birthday, though she doesn’t look a day over 62.

Anne Gehman's pink house so warm and inviting

Anne's home next to a park and
water views

Anne signing a copy of
one of her books to me

Anne has had a storied carrier with numerous books having been written about her.  A biography called “The Priest and the Medium” is a favorite of mine and yes, she did marry a Catholic priest.  Her most recent book which she is very proud of is called “Self Empowerment, nine things the 19th century can teach us about living in the 21st”.  Ann just gave me a signed copy and I can’t wait to sit down and enjoy reading from her life lessons.

While driving back from having lunch, she began to tell me some of her favorite stories.  She is often sought after by not only the wealthy, but also by royalty, such as the king of Brunei and has traveled and lived at the palace a number of times.   Appropriate since the motto of the country is “always in service with God’s guidance”.  But getting back to a few of the stories she told me.  One a local farmer and his wife came calling on her one day asking for her assistance in finding their bull who had wondered off.  A most unusual request that she had never gotten before.  She quickly drew a map and pointed out the spot where the bull currently was.  Then marked a second spot on the map and said, by the time you get there, he’ll be over here.  True enough, they checked the first spot and found “evidence” of his being there, quickly moving on to the second location and found their errant bull.

She also recounted her early days while in high school, and though she was popular and even made class president and cheer leading, she was also working three jobs to help support herself.  Her principle saw her walking between jobs one night and confronted her the next day and told her she needed to get “off the streets”.  He had no idea she was going between jobs, baby sitting etc.  She took it to heart and purchased her first car for $200.  Paying $10 a month to pay it off.  The principle later learned of her situation and profusely apologized to her.

During her many mediumship readings,  she recounted one of her all time favorites.  Two siblings had been separated at birth and for years, each tried to find the other.  The Brother had joined a friend who was to have a reading and requested that Anne fit him in if possible as he said he was at the end of his rope trying to locate his long lost sister.  Anne told him to wait on her porch after his friends reading and if she had time would get back to him.  In the mean time,  a woman had called Anne desperate for a reading.  Anne at the time was booked up for over a year in advance, but told her to call her back a little later in the day as she felt there might be a cancellation.  There was and the gal came for the reading.  During the reading the woman told Anne that she was hoping to find information about her brother.  At that point Anne said, “he’s sitting outside on the porch right now.  And yes, siblings were reunited and as Anne says it was totally inspired and guided by spirit to bring the sister and brother together.  Anne was just the medium to be a part of a divinely guided reunification.

Anne Gehman is one of the few mediums who has worked with police in finding missing persons, worked with various government officials and celebrities and has an ongoing relationship with an oil producer in Bartlesville Oklahoma using her physic abilities to find oil.  When she does such work, she is able to tell not only where the oil is but at what depth to find the oil.

Anne Gehman and her two twin granddaughters (13 yr old) looking on

Anne and her long time assistant

the room filled with many mediums and friends

At her 80th birthday party I had a chance to meet many of her friends and hear a few stories about her life.  The chef who was catering the affair told me how he was privileged to know her during her years in Virginia just outside of Washington D.C.  At the time he worked as a chef at the Pentagon and recalls how Ann had been a medium and consulted not only with every president during that period but many senators and congressmen as well.  But he was most impressed one day when he saw a picture of Ann with the Dali Lama.

Lilly Dale got it’s start much as the Chautauqua organization got started.  Chautauqua provided lectures, music, dance and other education entertainment in the 1800’s as a means to provide education to adults such as farmers and the working class who may not have been able to finish their education.  They would gather at a Chautauqua center, setting up tents and camping out during in-between the planting and harvesting period of farming in the summer.  Later Like Lilly Dale, these communities were so popular that people would build small cottages to stay in during the summer months and enjoy all that educational entertainment.

the large assembly hall used for
Church services, seminars and educational presentations

one of the B&B's

the many cottages in Lilly Dale, a Spiritual community

Lilly Dale with it’s 100 or more cottages and homes and over 50 mediums/healers/ and ministers provide tons of seminars, classes in spiritual development and of course provide spirit readings as well through their various forms of mediumship.  There are many free events throughout the day as well as those classes that can cost upwards of $150 to attend.  The Dale, as most of the residences refer to the place, also has a couple of restaurants, coffee shops, a book store and even a gift shop or two.

Rv Info:  Lilly Dale has four  back-in campsites with new 30 amp electric and water sites.  Additional sites have 20 amp service as well as primitive tent sites.  I consider their dump site as inaccessible to most all Rv’s and would recommend using one outside of the community.  I was told a black bear has been hanging around that area this summer so be careful of leaving any food out or storage doors open on your camper.

four campsites have 30 amp service and water
as well as tent and no hookup sites

Kinzua Sky Walk, Pennsylvania 

Upstate New York, Lilly Dale

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