Thursday, August 26, 2010

Allegany State Park Vacation Part V

Friday morning was dull, but regardless, Rob insisted we cycle down to the beach and back. We set off with the sleep barely out of my eyes but I did remember my camera. As expected nobody else was down there apart from a few workers cleaning up ready for the morning crowd. We shot a few photos and Rob found a quarter in the pay phone. He has all the luck until I realized later when it happened again, that he had set it up. He gets me every time but I'm slowly learning.
 We cycled back to the cabin having done about 4 miles which was plenty for me as I was having a problem being energetic. But I soon perked up when I realized that we were going back to the trains. After a fry up and a shower we were on our way.
One of Rob's uncles had told us to look out for this carving outside a guy's house. It was amazing and there were other tree trunks lying in the yard so we'll have to check again next year to see if he's done more. Then finally we arrived at Gowanda and I leaped across the tracks to start exploring while Rob snoozed and recovered from his early morning exercise. 
What beautiful engines, These FPa4 units were built between 1964 - 67 and are now just sitting here. The last jobs they had were for tourist excursions up and down the line. Gowanda station has been in two movies, 'Trains, Planes and Automobiles' and 'The Naturals'.
An Alco S4 NYLE 78 and a B&O 9078 sat corroding on old tracks, maybe used as sources for parts.
This Alco C 425 NY&LE 1013 was in the movie 'Trains, Planes and Automobiles' and pulled the passenger train. It had ConTrak lettered on it for the movie.
I climbed over every train there and managed to get inside some passenger compartments. The above photo was the ladies' powder room and had a very 50's feel to it.
I snapped some last shots of the C424s and headed back to Rob really pleased that I'd managed to see these gorgeous units. The 490 at Baltimore is still my favorite engine but these come in at a very close second. We then started driving back to camp passing through the town of Cattaraugus.
 I thought this welcome image was awesome. Only in America!
 The small town was very old fashioned, like stepping back in time. We stopped for sodas in a quaint store and I had to snap this vintage car looking very much at home parked outside the old buildings.
We passed this booth, the only photo I'd managed to get of an Amish buggy but where's the horse? I'm definitely on a mission to get Amish photos next year.
We got back to camp in plenty of time. We'd been told that for Mexican night we should not be late as this was a very popular meal and the food went fast. Dennis was cooking the meat and apparently cooked over 30lbs in the evening. It was delicious.
The finale was with all the kids, big and small, walloping the pinata. Not very clear about the rules for this as I've never played but Jonathan was very pleased with his 'leg' trophy.
Once it was smashed open everyone flocked like vultures to collect the candy. I'd never seen any of the family move so fast as on this evening. it was cleared in seconds!
Here is Cindy Lou, a chubby sausage dog, and actually the chubbiest one I've ever seen, who proved she was a suitable candidate for Camp Consumption. She was very sweet.
After the food had been eaten, people drifted back to their cabins and as we headed back to ours, Jackie and Gary's place was lit up like a beacon so we stopped to join the party. Sitting by the fire, I had an enormous Bacardi and coke from Gary's bar which comprised of bottles lined up in the eaves of the cabin. He was very well stocked.
Robin's sons provided music on their guitar and keyboard and everybody chilled out. I was feeling sad that this was our last evening and wanted to stay as long as possible by the fire enjoying the company and atmosphere. But our eyes were falling shut and we had to admit defeat so back to the cabin we trudged for our last night in our little cozy haven. I didn't enjoy having to pack up the next morning and liked even less the realization that within a few hours, we'd be back to urban civilization, work and the constant call of cellphones and computers. We'd really managed to relax this week and were reluctant to return to our every day routines.
As we cleared out the cabin, Rob took this photo of me and the strawberry wafers on the windowsill. I'd been desperate to see a bear and although posters all over the park warned about the perils of feeding bears, I just had to leave a snack for them hoping for a glimpse. They'd been on the sill for a few days and had originally started out as 4 wafers but we returned one day to see that the pile had been disturbed and only 3 remained. We also heard a bear snuffling and grunting one night outside while we were in bed but never saw him. I was a bit miffed that my offering had been snubbed as I thought bears ate anything so maybe next year I'll try a cheese sandwich.
Camp Consumption was a wonderful week full of everything great, food, drink, Rob's family, so much laughter, and a cute little cabin which we've already earmarked for next year. I can't wait.

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