Ralph Melton (ralphmelton) wrote,
Ralph Melton

Cook Forest

Last weekend, we went up to Cook Forest for our annual fall trip to the Cook Homestead Bed and Breakfast.

We did manage to get off as early as possible; I picked Lori up just after school ended, and we were off. It was a beautiful clear day for our drive, though the trees still seemed mostly green.

Stopped at an herbs and collectibles shop along the way whose name I've now forgotten. The place was adequate, but didn't have much that really interested me. I considered picking up some Shoofly Pie mix, but decided against it. We did pick up some ginger snaps that were not terribly tasty.

We got to the B&B at about 5:30, much earlier than usual. We then went back down to Brookville to eat at the Gold Eagle restaurant. This was not as pleasant an experience as our previous visit; the waiter was new and not so adept, and the food didn't seem as good as the last time we'd eaten there.

The leisurely dinner meant that we got back for the parlor conversation at the B&B about 9:30, later than we intended. But that didn't matter much, because the presidential debate was playing on the radio, and so no one was talking. I decided that I wanted to relax, so I left the debate and went up and read in bed.

Breakfast was mixed fruit, and a casserole with eggs, Italian sausage, spinach, and cheese. Very tasty.

Lori and I took a short hike up to the Forest Cathedral area of the forest. It was a nice time for us to walk and talk together.

After that, we wanted to find a new restaurant to eat at, since our plan involved mostly familiar restaurants. We looked for the Cooksburg Cafe for a bit, but didn't realize that it was a minor joint near the river that we were familiar with. We ended up at the Farmer's Inn, where we had once had a horrible buffet dinner. Our food this time was decent but undistinguished.

We spent a while at the Farmers' Inn petting zoo. I actually enjoyed it; I don't remember getting to see coyotes or wolves in the flesh before. (They were not pettable.)

We'd hoped to play some miniature golf that afternoon, but we declined to play the Farmers' Inn's courses, and the Wet and Wild park was not doing any business. We ended up not getting any miniature golf in.

We stopped by MacBeth's Discoveries to pick up our new cut-work lampshade. I'm not sure how to describe this, but trust me, it's very pretty.

The sky was overcast most of the day, but this seemed to really bring out the colors of the leaves. The reds and golds really leapt out at times.

We went to the Sawmill Art Centers, where Lori was bitterly disappointed in finding nothing to covet, went to Seneca Point to see the hillsides of autumn color (but not up the fire tower as we usually do, because it was quite windy and cool), and went back to the B&B for a bit of rest..

In the evening, we went to dinner at the Wayside Inn, which looks undistinguished outside, but very pretty inside, with very good food. I didn't completely enjoy my steak, but that might just be me being grouchy from being stressed with work before the trip; I felt that way a lot this weekend.

We got back to the campfire just after most folks had gone inside. It was a fairly nice conversation, but I still went inside early.

Breakfast featured fabulous baked apples and a couple of quiches. The ham quiche was tasty, but I found the vegetable quiche a bit too watery for my taste.

At the B&B, we got flyers for a Cider Pressing and Tasting at a winery about 20 miles away (near Brockman), so we went off to that. When we were there, the cider pressing was basically a bunch of guys in jackets standing around a kid cranking on a cider press. We tried a few of the wines, and found none of them particularly tasty.
We then ate lunch at a restaurant called Dutch Pantry, in the hopes of getting interesting Pennsylvania Dutch food. Unfortunately, my meatloaf was pretty tasteless, (though it got some points for interest for being served on top of stuffing), the peas tasted like they came from a can, and the apple fritters we had for dessert had little taste but "sweet".
The drive there, though, was spectacular, with lots of gorgeous hillsides of brilliant colors. It certainly justified the trip, even though the destinations did not.

We drove through more gorgeous leaves to get to Tall Oaks' "autumn fest" (with a worried detour to get gas in Russell City). There again, Lori was disappointed in her shopping. For my part, I had very low expectations that were perfectly met; I brought along a Perry Mason book and gave each shop a brief going-over and then read on a bench while Lori took her time.

After that, our last destination was the Flickerwood Winery in Kane, where we had bought some nice sweet red wines on our previous trip. We got there and back with fewer navigational errors than last year, and were fairly quick while there.

We made one final stop at a herb emporium (where again I made my initial look-see and then sat in the car reading and listening to a boogie-woogie show on the radio that we'd heard in Flickerwood Winery), then started the drive on home.

For dinner, we stopped at the 322 BBQ in Brookville, which I had first tried a month previously. The sandwich was reasonably tasty, but the meal was far too much food for either of us. If we're not very hungry, a single sandwich & sides for the two of us might be reasonable next time.

I think that we really hit the leaves just right, at least for me. I've come to the conclusion that what makes me say "Ooh!" most about autumn leaves is not frequency of color, but contrast. A single brilliant red-orange tree against a backdrop of green trees will impress me more than a hillside of red/orange/yellow/brown. And this year really showed that off well; the trees were a bit more green than usual, but that really showed off the trees well. It was beautiful.
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.