A River Fell Through It

For me, the long holiday weekend started with my fifth-grade students planting flags at the graves of veterans buried in the Bath National Cemetary.  It would end there four days later when we pulled those numerous flags for use next year.DSCN6464

Son Brent, and Catherine, came to visit us from northern Virginia. On Saturday night we traveled to the Railhead Brewery in Hornell for craft beers and pizza. Daughter Alyssa bartends part-time at the brewery but on Saturday night she sat with us at a table while a jazz band played and lent an air of cool to the summery night.

Next day we would visit Letchworth State Park (recently voted America’s #1 state park). The weather was sublime. My home river, the Genesee, is a rare northward flowing stream, and its three large waterfalls and its 20-mile canyon in the park have to be seen if you’re ever visiting western New York State.

DSCN6461Events unfolded at a pleasant clip: we had an evening cook-out and a bonfire by the stream with friends and family. The next morning featured a cat memorial to the family pet, Mustache, who succumbed to an illness in April. A small collection of orangish fur was given to the winds at some of Mr. M.’s favorite haunts.

Brent and Catherine departed on Monday afternoon but not before my wife and daughter and I accompanied the pair along the Cedar Mountain Road to Slate Run, PA and to one more picnic on the banks of big Pine Creek.

There was even some fly-fishing over the weekend, stuff to spark another blog postDSCN6465 somewhere down the road.

The fine holiday was over, washed down through the hours as if on the waterfalls of the mighty Genesee.

Hopefully you and all the Rivertop readers had an excellent time, and soon enjoy the shift from late spring into summer.DSCN6458DSCN6437DSCN6477DSCN6479DSCN6447DSCN6449DSCN6453DSCN6435

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About rivertoprambles

Welcome to Rivertop Rambles. This is my blog about the headwaters country-far afield or close to home. I've been a fly-fisher, birder, and naturalist for most of my adult life. I've also written poetry and natural history books for thirty years. In Rambles I will mostly reflect on the backcountry of my Allegheny foothills in the northern tier of Pennsylvania and the southern tier of New York State. Sometimes I'll write about the wilderness in distant states, or of the wild places in the human soul. Other times I'll just reflect on the domestic life outdoors. In any case, I hope you enjoy. Let's ramble!
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24 Responses to A River Fell Through It

  1. plaidcamper says:

    What a great weekend – just as it should be! Thanks to your excellent photos and descriptions, I’ve added the Genesee to the ever expanding list of places to visit. Enjoy your evening!

  2. Plaidcamper,
    It was good, indeed, and yes, you’d enjoy the river and park, I’m sure! Thank you for the kind words, and for taking the time to read the post and comment.

  3. Brent says:

    I was just starting out on my own recap when you posted this, although mine might not be finished for a few days. Those are some incredible pictures that manage to capture some of the power we all felt with the falls.

  4. Sounds like a terrific weekend, well spent with family and nature.

  5. Les Kish says:

    Nice scenics Walt. Quite the canyon and set of waterfalls. Looks like a tough climb out without a trail.

    • Without a trail, Les, the canyon exit would be… pretty much non-existent, or a helluva long float downriver. There’s some rafting that goes on, below the lowest falls, that is. Thanks.

  6. Pete says:

    I’ve really been enjoying your rambles Walt. Lechtworth is a real special place to experience.
    Nice picture of Brent and his wife. I think the last time I saw him was 17 years ago plcking up golf balls in my pasture.
    Your posts have brought back many memories. Thanks.
    Pete

    • Always glad to hear from you, Pete, and happy that the posts are bringing back some memories of the old homestead. Yeah, Brent was pretty small back in those days, and still mentions the “job” he had picking up golf balls in the sheep pasture after you’d shoot them down the hill. I’ll let him know you thought of him!

  7. Dale says:

    Was at slate run Sunday did a little fishing on pine!

    • I was there on Monday for a while, but the only real Pine hatch that I saw was the kayak flotation, which was kind of annoying, but to be expected. We’ll see you soon.

  8. Mark W says:

    Fond memories of Letchworth during my collage days including my first experience with “lake effect” snow one early December day and dinner at the Glen Iris with the young lady I would eventually marry. A neighbor of mine just got back from fishing Big Pine and he said the big browns were chasing March Browns !

    • Mark, I remember you saying something of college days at nearby Houghton, conveniently located close to the park. Glad that Letchworth holds some good memories for you also. Yes, big Pine Creek and other north-central PA streams are currently alive with March Brown, sulphur, green drake, and other fun hatches. It’s time to be there with a fly rod!

  9. Bob Stanton says:

    Beautiful Columbine, Walt. Came across some pink Ladies Slipper yesterday during a run the on Heart’s Content ski trail. Moments later, I had no less than four species of warbler present in one young white pine not fifteen feet away from me. A pair of agitated Ovenbirds(I was probably too close to their nest), a male Black Throated Green, a male Blackburnian, and what I think was a male Parula, with a couple of Philadelphia Vireos flitting overhead. ‘Twas a special morning.

    • The columbine’s one of my favorite wildflowers, Bob. Last weekend I looked for the pink ladies slipper (moccasin flower) and I found it but the bloom wasn’t quite developed yet. By the time you found it, those blossoms near Oswayo would’ve been in full color, too. That’s great to locate four warbler species in a single pine tree! The Parula is quite the find around here. I’ve seen it occasionally in the yard while migrating, and it nests in a sanctuary near Olean. The warblers make the month of May a special one for birders.

  10. Walt
    Absolute beautiful area; I had never heard of this park until reading your post. Those falls are spectacular. Have you fish the Genesee?
    I looked at the website and the activities one can experience in this place are endless. What a hidden gem!!! Enjoyed the post
    Outstanding images!!!

    • One can find a great variety of outdoor activities to enjoy in this state park, Bill. I’m glad you enjoyed the subject of this post, the falls and canyon are majestic. Yes, I do fish the Genesee, but well upstream of Letchworth where the water is more conducive for trout, although the smallmouth fishing is pretty good in the park area. I fish the special regs water south of Wellsville and the headwaters of the Genesee in Potter County, PA. Thank you for reading and commenting!

  11. howardlevett says:

    What a great looking area to spend some time. I’d sure love to get back to that area to experience the wonders of PA!

  12. Doug Paugh says:

    Yeah, it’s beautiful place. Glad you all had a great holiday.

  13. Mike says:

    What a nice family weekend, Walt. The pictures are beautiful too. Always enjoy reading about and seeing your adventures. RIP Mustache.

  14. Thanks for that, Mike. Hope that spring life is getting a little easier, smoother, more relaxing, although in my experience, that’s hardly the case at this time of the season.

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