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End of Summer Ride 2006

It was one of those three day weekends I will pull from memory and dream about years from now when I am too old for adventures of this nature....
End of Summer Ride 2006
The air was seasonably cold as we set out from Kent Ohio on our journey to the Chatauqua wine country of eastern New York Friday morning. It was 38 degrees on wake up so we waited a while for the sunshine to warm things up a little. Bidding goodbye to the" kids" (Ms. Lucy and George, my dogs) we pulled off into the mid morning traffic and began our 205 mile journey northeast to the eastern shores of Lake Erie.
The route we had charted carried us first through Sharon Pa. and past Oil City to route 62 and into the Allegheny National Forest. Our first stop was at a small roadside diner where we had a couple unspeakably awful sandwich like things they simply called "a wedge".... now with a little creativity this might have been a good thing.... but it wasn't happening. Back on the road again we were treated to spectacular views of fall colored trees against perfect blue sky.
The deeper into the forest we traveled the higher the vistas loomed up around us. In the shaded areas I could feel the cold air curling down through the trees to wrap itself around me and send an icy chill down my neck and spine... Large moss encrusted boulders lay strewn about the forested expanses like lumbering giants, and the delicate fronds of thousands of ferns bobbed their heads at us as we traveled by.
A number of hours later, we reached our destination, Westfield New York.
We passed the B&B where we had reservations to have a quick look at the town, and caught our first glimpse of Lake Erie sparkling in the late afternoon sunshine. After stopping for gas we headed back and landed in an exhausted heap at the Inn.
The flu I had been fighting for a few days kicked my butt and had me down for the count almost immediately on arrival, so after having pizza that was comparable in quality to the already mentioned "wedge" I slept restlessly through the night and awakened to a beautiful sunny fall morning.
Breakfast at the Inn was nothing to write home about, but I enjoyed the muffins they had baked. The air was warm as we pulled out on our way to Bemus Point for some sight seeing... first stop was Long Point State Park for a leg stretching walk and a few quiet moments gazing across the lake. We met a couple friendly jack russell terriers and their owner who we chatted with briefly before we continued on our way.
The restaurant we planned to stop at in Bemus Point was closed for the season, so we walked around a little and browsed some of the shops. As hunger started getting the best of us we pressed on and went across the bridge to the other side of the lake where we discovered what was to be the best meal of the trip at a place called Webbs. From the looks of the outside, I was not expecting much, but we went in and the restaurant was really amazing. The interior was almost all wood, and tastefully decorated, (even the bathroom!) The service was excellent, and the food.... two thumbs up! I had the best broiled scallops / scampies... makes me hungry thinking of them!
After our dinner we cruised around a little on the back roads... riding past miles and miles of grape vines we could smell, (even through my stuffy nose) the sweet sultry aroma of the ripened Concorde grapes the area is known for. I could see the huge purple clusters hanging on the vines waiting to be harvested. As it grew darker we found our way back to the Inn for a quiet evening. Sitting on the porch smoking we heard the furtive snapping of twigs and rustling of leaves to remind us we were not alone in the warm starlit evening.
This morning we skipped the breakfast and slept in an extra hour before beginning the "packing process" and heading on down the road. The trip home was a warm one, almost too warm at times. The coolness of the forest was actually welcoming this time. I don't think that we could have asked for better weather for a ride. We sadly pressed on homeward all said and done almost six hundred miles from start to finish. We did not take even one picture the whole time.... it was just a pleasure to decompress.!