You will recall I posted Sunday that we had taken a drive with the beagle, 11ish hours, nearly 500 miles to western NY and back. twas awesome! We just packed a pizza and left....
The idea came about because we were both reading a novel by a novelist and teacher the wife knows, Stewart O'Nan who wrote, among other books, WISH YOU WERE HERE which is about a family vacationing at Chautauqua Lake in far western NY. We both enjoyed the book so much we wanted to SEE the place, and we were delighted--the Book Barn he writes of..is there! The restaurant, the fish hatchery! All these things. We had a blast, but that turned out to be the shorter part of our trip.
In looking for our route on the map we noted that we would be passing Allegany State Park, New York's largest, in the mountains of western NY. The highway goes right past, and I remembered visiting there once as a kid and being amazed at the beauty--wooded mountains, valleys, lakes, miles of trails....we spent most of the day there, hiking nearly 6 miles for the day and seeing both lakes and also driving through most of the park. It is open every day of the year, any sport you can imagine, it is beautiful it is clean, it has the prettiest MANSION you have seen on the lake for the park office...mindblowing place and we will go back soon and again and again (Chautaqua Lake is further from our house, Allegany a lot closer).
this is pretty amazing http://exploreamericasparks.org/ny/redhouse/vt/