On the Road Again – Corning, NY to the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania
We had begun the morning with a sumptuous breakfast in the Gaffer District of Corning, NY and then enjoyed ourselves visiting the Rockwell Museum of Western Art. Now it was time to fill up with gas, take a last look at some of the interesting old buildings of Corning and head south the 25 miles or so to a completely different type of surroundings.
Christ Church (Episcopal)
The Frank B. Howes Scottish Rite Cathedral
New Yorkers complained about the gas prices but they were about 20% less than they were in Ottawa so we weren’t complaining about what we paid until we drove south into Pennsylvania and found out that Pennsylvania gas prices were even less expensive.
There a few one-way streets and divided roads in Corning and to go south we first had to go west but eventually we got our orientation sorted out and headed south to Pennsylvania.
Officially known as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania rather than as the State of Pennsylvania, the area of Pennsylvania that we were heading to was also refer to as the Wilds. We were on Highway 15 heading south and conditions for traveling were excellent. We encountered a bit of traffic congestion at one point enroute where a highway crew was patching potholes but we were soon past that bit of older roadway and back out onto the divided highway with open valley vistas.
We were soon across the order into Pennsylvania where we stopped at their large “Welcome Center” looking out over the broad valley and the Tioga-Hammond and Cownesque Lakes Project.
To control flooding downstream from this location, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built a couple of dams and associated control structures to provide flood protection on the North Branch of the Susquehanna River. In particular, the structures were designed to mitigate the serious flooding of the variety that affected the downstream communities of Tioga, Corning and Elmira when Hurricane Agnes dumped 7 inches of rain in the Pennsylvania area in 1972.
The welcome center itself is well designed with an open concept and more than enough vacation information to overwhelm even a pamphlet collector like me. We used their visitor services to book a bed a breakfast location for the night and were soon on our way to our next stop Mansfield PA . As we traveled south, Spring was taking over and everything was turning green. I did find one fire hydrant, though, that needed a Spring makeover and paint job :-).
Mansfield is ideally located as a gateway for visitors wanting to visit the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania and for hikers and cyclists wanting to travel along the rail trail through the canyon alongside the banks of Pine Creek. In recent times, it has also become one of the hubs for the seismic testing and natural gas fracking operations in this area of Pennsylvania. This increased industrial exploration and development activity has been beneficial, no doubt, for the local economy, but has also put additional pressure on the available lodgings. Summer vacationers beware! Book ahead, if you want to stay overnight in the area.