TRIPS WE TOOK
I was lucky enough this summer to spend some time with my children. I'm a single father who most of all loves to show my kids the wonders of this beautiful planet we live in. One of my greatest trips this summer was with my children, a very special friend and her son. We were lucky enough to have read about The Crystal Grove Campground and quarry. After an interesting trip along the N.Y. State Thruway looking at drumlins and other formations created by the glaciers we arrived to find a beautiful campground with a babbling brook right next to our tent. We pitched our tent and spent some time talking to some of the other campers while preparing for the next morning. The next morning while I went to the Herkimer Quarry following a fresh blast the kids took to their own using screens and small garden shovels. The owners who are a lovely couple rent equipment for very reasonable prices if you forget to bring something . Judging from the sight I saw when I returned, it looked as if the boys were bored and my daughter wasn't. Walking up to where she was digging, I noticed she had a bag full of loose crystals and some on matrix. We spent the rest of the day checking out different sites and were about to leave when a friend of mine from the Buffalo Geological Society, Dean Lagermill happened to come visit us. Dean was very generous in sharing what he found with the children and I want to thank him for that. For information on the Crystal Grove Campsite and Quarry call 1-800-KRY-DIAM. And thanks to Bob's Rock Shop for the tip.
The other trip we took this summer was to a place in the Southern Tier of New York State. This place is in a little town called Panama and rightly so is called "Panama Rocks". This place is the remnants of what were once "Sea Islands". The 300 -million year-old rocks were used as shelter during the Stone Age, as a storage area for bandits during the early 1800's and as a lovers' retreat during the 1900's. During the Ice Age, a glacier split the gigantic marooned rocks into thousands of caves, crevices and passages. This place is great for kids and adults alike. The forest these days seems to be swallowing the rocks alive because trees grow on the ledges and the exposed tree roots snake over the rocks. The owner figures close to 20,000 visitors came in 1993 alone. A waiver is required prior to entering the rocks, but supervising your children in an area like this is essential. There are 16 major rock formations and trails running throughout the area. Wear good shoes and a flashlight is advisable to bring. A great weekend to go is the weekend of October 4th and 5th when the park holds a Foliage Festival. We went that weekend and found it to be well worth the visit. Information can be found by calling 716-782-2845.
Another view looking down one of the many paths in the park. Just so happened that the foliage was starting to turn colors this weekend which made it even more scenic. On the particular weekend we were there, The Fall Foliage Festival was occuring. The whole area was bustling with everything from Indian exhibits to arts and crafts.