Category Archives: Destination

From Quaker to Kinzua Dam

(Edited to add a couple pictures our friend took while we were at the Dam! Thanks Roy!)


Just to the south and west of Allegany State Park’s Quaker Area is the Kinzua Dam, and the trip runs along the southeastern shore of the Alleghany Reservoir.

And the Reservoir runs from New York into Pennsylvania.

After our trip to the Cain Hollow campground, we went with our friends to visit the Dam,  a 180′ x 1877′ concrete monstrosity that holds back 24 miles of river whose surface area comprises over 21 thousand acres when full.

Kinzua Dam from the air.

The day was fine, sunny and warm, for October.  The trip was a workout for the bus, with some of the roads having some pretty steep grades that we had to crawl up in third gear, at about 35 miles per hour.  But the scenery was nice.

I caught some of the trip on the dash-cam, but for some reason on the trip to the Dam the camera turned itself off. It’s really odd, as the whole trip back to Buffalo was captured, as have been all our other trips.

Once we got there, we parked at the Dam to walk up on top, then drove down to the Nature Center/park that is just downstream from the Dam for a picnic.

(Kinzua) Dam Facts!  (Photo by Roy Clay)
(Kinzua) Dam Facts!
(Photo by Roy Clay)
Downstream of the Kinzua Dam. (Photo by Roy Clay)
Downstream of the Kinzua Dam.
(Photo by Roy Clay)
Upstream of the Kinzua Dam (Photo by Roy Clay)
Upstream of the Kinzua Dam
(Photo by Roy Clay)

We had a nice drive after back up through Bradford, PA and then home on the 219.  It was a nice learning experience of how well the bus hauls, and an exercise in patience in getting where we wanted to be (which was home) along unfamiliar roadways.  But lots of fun.


A Week in the Bus (Allegany State Park trip – Part I)

So, after a hectic summer hiatus of making updates, I’m back.

Not much has happened on working on the bus, but we DID get to make a trip, and I got some night footage on the dash-cam.  During the last week of August, we spent a whole week in the Red House area of Allegany State Park.  Due to some other scheduling, our Saturday departure (and the less than 24-hour prep time) wasn’t during the afternoon, like I’d hoped, but well after dark.

But with the bus relatively packed and the canoe on the car (with my wife following behind) we started off on the ~80 mile trip.  The trip encompassed well-lit streets, in Buffalo, and smaller villages like Ellicotville and Salamanca, as well as expressways that ranged from well- and sparsely-trafficed, and from well- to poorly-lit, and then there were the more rural two-lane roads as well.  And then there was some rain – an interesting test, as there’s no wipers up on the eyebrow window.

I thought that in the well-lit (lots of streetlights) or well-trafficed (lots of headlights), the camera did well.  After I had the alternator rebuilt, the headlights are MUCH brighter, but in some places in the recording you’d never know they were on.  And the footage of the reflective signs on the 219 where there was hardly any late-night traffic reminded me of an early 80’s driving game I had for our family’s Apple IIe.

But once we were there, we did plenty of troubleshooting (another upcoming post), socializing, and I got requests to sound the horns!  But perhaps the coolest thing was when we were driving the canoe to the launch and saw a warship out on the lake.  We ran into Gerald and Esther Kirk who were our running their nearly 11 foot long working model of the U.S.S. Boston (CAG-I) (A heavy cruiser converted to a Terrier missile cruiser, much like Buffalo’s USS Little Rock (CLG – 4) which is a light cruiser with a Talos missile system.)

When we get our pictures downloaded, I’ll add a couple, but I did find this bit of video  which doesn’t do the model justice, and Gerald HAS the Terrier launchers in place, and they not only rotate, but can elevate the missiles as well.  The thing is a work of art and hard work, and Gerald spent the better part of 40 minutes giving us a ‘tour’, explaining life on the ship, and answering kid’s (and our) questions on both the real ship and the model.


More on the trip in Part II.

Sounding the horns

So, the other day I took a quick trip up to the Niagara Gorge at

Artpark State Park, Lewiston, NY.
Artpark State Park, Lewiston, NY.

Lewiston, and while I was there, I sounded the horns.  It was pretty empty while I was there, but there were some people with dogs (who were supposed to be on lead, but weren’t), and a bunch of wildlife, so I didn’t want to go too wild with the horns.

The Canadian side of the Gorge.
The Canadian side of the Gorge.

The area is awesome, if you’ve never been there, as the Niagara River has carved the gorge with a constantly ‘advancing’ set of falls, of which our iconic Niagara Falls is only the latest version.

Some of the top half of the stratigraphy of the Gorge.
Some of the top half of the stratigraphy of the Gorge.

With the dramatic drop of the cut, you can see the whole stratigraphic column of the bedrock exposed.


But at any rate, here’s a clipped version (due to upload size restrictions) of the recording of both the air chimes and the Supertyfon.  Enjoy!