Posts Tagged ‘pennsylvania’

Rickett’s Glen

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Another sumptuous breakfast cooked to perfection by Billi – French toast and omlette for me and some “more than you can eat” delights for The Princess.

We were showered and packed by 1100 so we mounted our mechanical steed and headed off in the direction of Wilkes-Barre.  This large town is located around 15 minutes from Bischwind and it is a regional hub for this part of the Poconos.  The aim of our visit to W-B was to find a Starbucks – not a simple feat.  After driving around the town for around 30 minutes we came to the conclusion that there must be a ban on Starbucks in PA!  Fortunately, with our Chai Tea and Latte pallets in need of a serious recharge we managed to find an outlet inside a Barnes and Noble store downtown – what a challenge!

With hot takeaway cups in hand we headed out of town to the beautiful Ricketts Glen area.  Billie had sung the praises of Ricketts Glen and we were up for the adventure.  It took about 30 minutes to drive out to Ricketts Glen and despite a truck driver that must have been watching “White Line Fever” the night before we enjoyed the drive along the scenic country roads.

Ricketts Glen is home to a beautiful lake and an area that has two gorges that are home to spectacular waterfalls.  We spent 4 hours hiking “The Glen” and photographing the waterfalls in each gorge.  The walkways along the gorge are quite challenging in places so we had to pay attention to our footing.  To capture the falls we had to use our tripods and, at times, flashes.  The thick overhead flora made for some spectacular sunlight effects but it also meant that capturing some shots was difficult.  A great day of challenging photography.

We had a great day of hiking and working off some of the breakfasts we have been eating.  It was nice to get out and do some physical and mental exercise.  If you are traveling to the Poconos region then make sure you pay a visit to Ricketts Glen – you won’t be disappointed.

We left Ricketts Glen just as the sun was getting low in the sky (quite late at this time of the year) and drove back to Wilkes-Barre.  We returned to a mall area that we had passed by a few times and settled on dining at The Olive Garden Italian restaurant.  The meal we chose was very nice however the wine was a bit average – you can’t win them all!

We arrived back at Bischwind around 2115 and took some time out to update the website.  After a long day of walking and photography we were ready for a long sleep – this was achieved in no time shortly after our heads hit the pillows.

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Driving New York and Pennsylvania

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Today was the day we had chosen to leave Niagara Falls and travel through New York state and down to the Poconos region of Pennsylvania.  With quite a long drive mapped out for the day we decided to rise  early and get on the road by around 8.00am.  To achieve this we got up around 5.30am had a shower, packed the car and headed off in the direction of the USA.

We crossed into the US via the Rainbow bridge and, fortunately, at this time of the day is was very quiet (another reason for getting up early).  There was some confusion with my entry permit because when I came into the US (on the 2nd of August in San Francisco) the immigration officer didn’t give me the “arrival/departure card”.  Fortunately I had a copy of my electronic travel authorization (ETSA) and the immigration officer at Rainbow Bridge was happy with this so he let us through.

After leaving the immigration post we drove down to Buffalo Internationl airport in order to sort out the new contract for the car.  When we arrived in Toronto we hired the car under a Canadian contract and to reduce the cost of the hire they suggested that we “return” it to the company in Buffalo and rehire the car in the US.  It saved us a lot of money so we didn’t argue with the logic.  The staff at the Buffalo airport were wonderful and we were sorted out and back on the road in less that 20 minutes (same car). We drove into a nearby strip mall and found a nice Starbucks restaurant in a place called Cheektowaga.  We had a lovely mid morning “breakfast” – coffee and a bagel whilst sitting outside in the small dining area they had setup.

We returned to the road and traveled via the beautifully paved Interstate Highway 90 (i90) toward a place called Clifton Springs.  Just past Clifton Springs we left the i90 and turned south onto Highway 14 and drove down the western edge of Seneca Lake (one of the beautiful lakes in the “Finger Lakes” region of New York state) before heading east on the across to the i86 toward Binghamton.

The last part of our 6 hour trip saw us arriving in Pennsylvania from the north on i81.  The relatively short trip from Binghamton to Scranton, past Wilkes-Barre and onto Bear Creek was a pleasant drive along the now forest lined highways in the beautiful Poconos region of Pennsylvania.

With our very trusty “surfer dude” talking GPS (Nokia x6) guiding us around the side roads near Wilkes-Barre, we found our palatial accommodation (the beautiful Bischwind B & B in Bear Creek) around 5.00pm.

Our lovely host, Billi, met us on arrival and checked us into our beautiful room – The Bear’s Den.  What a beautiful place!  This incredible family home is an icon in the Bear Creek and Wilkes-Barre area and we felt like royalty in the place.

After settling into our stunning room we returned to the main dining area a met the “Queen Mum” (Barb). Barb is Billi’s mother and it was a real pleasure to be able to spend time with this beautiful lady and learn more about the history of Bischwind.

After familiarizing ourselves with the house and the environs we headed back into Wilkes-Barre to pick up some take-away pizza and a bottle of wine.  I had my mastermind call on this evening so we decided to “eat in” and relax after a long drive down from Buffalo.

Falling to sleep in the delightfully comfortable bed in “The Bear’s Den” was very easy and we achieved this task around 2300.

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