Monday, June 10, 2013

Back on the Road, Part 2: Swimming Holes, Wine Country, and Abandoned School Houses

After the buffalo, deer, and lighthouses in the early part of our afternoon yesterday, our day continued to be amazing. Right on the border of Pennsylvania and New York, we stumbled on this awesome place. 

This really neat tunnel through the hill was finished in 1905 and caught our eye from the road.  

When we turned the car around to come back to the neat tunnel, we discovered we were at Twenty Mile Creek. 

Right next to our neat tunnel was a bridge that spanned a deep ravine, and a second, massive tunnel had been built to direct water at the bottom. This was the view down from the bridge. We knew we had to go check it out. 

 From the bridge, we saw a path that led down to the creek. I wasn't really dressed for an adventure and it wasn't terribly practical, but we couldn't resist.  

Clearly this path has been well traveled. The climb is steep, so some kind souls had put ropes between the trees all the way down to the creek. They were really helpful. 

When we got to the bottom, we saw why this was such a popular spot. There was the perfect swimming hole! This would have been an even more delightful find on a really hot summer day. 

There was also an unlimited supply of excellent skipping stones. 

This was a really beautiful place. 

                                     This tunnel was enormous! Dave said it must be 75 feet tall.

                              The view downstream was lovely as the sun filtered through the trees.

The water was freezing! We walked across the shallow section to take pictures from the other side. 

After we left the creek, we continued along Rt. 20 North in our quest to avoid the tolls on I-90 across New York and take in more scenery. This was one of those beautiful surprises; it turns out Rt. 20 runs straight through New York wine country and follows along the Chautauqua wine trail! I'd never driven through any wine country before, and that drive definitely goes on our top three places on this trip so far. Seeing nothing but vineyards, wine tasting spots, and adorable houses for miles and miles was breathtaking. It was Sunday evening, so none of the wineries were open, but just cruising through, passing miles of grapevines that stretched as far as the eye could see, and driving through a string of picturesque small towns and villages was perfect. 

Since we've been in New York, we encountered several abandoned old schools like this one, which was at once eerie and neat to see. Oddly, they are still cutting the grass in front. 

We continued our drive along Route 20 and eventually landed in Buffalo, where we stayed the night. We couldn't have asked for a better first day back on the road! We love exploring and the freedom this offers us at this time in our lives. 


  1. The swimming hole you found in 20 mile creek is locally called the snake hole, if you would have gone a little further south on Gulf Rd to the next set of tracks there is another nice swimming hole under the trestle.

    1. Slim,

      Thank you so much for your comment! I apologize for not responding sooner. It's great to know the name of where we were. Thank you!!! :)

      Arianna and Dave


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