Day One of our road trip started with a long drive up through Pine Creek Gorge, Pennsylvania, known as the Grand Canyon of the East. We took a route that primarily wove alongside the river at the base of this beautiful wooded valley, with a few stops in small towns and scenic overlooks along the way. It was a pretty gorgeous place and was quite reminiscent of mountain towns out west. Though we didn't go to either rim of the gorge for the more spectacular views, I imagine they're quite breathtaking, especially on clear fall days when the trees are dressed up in reds, oranges, and yellows.
|One of our stops was to this interesting mini-golf course. It was a steaming hot day and we bypassed the first mini-golf place we came to, then decided to stop at this more shady and rustic option.|
|The Nature Center where we stopped had this huge rooftop succulent garden on one level of the vast building. It was visible to visitors out on the observation deck and offered a cool contrast to the lush evergreen scenery of the gorge.|
|Succulents up close.|
Then we headed east through New York state. We stopped for dinner in Corning, one of the most adorable little historic Main St. districts we saw on this trip. There were tons of delicious restaurants, adorable coffee spots, and independent shops. We opted for Mexican and, though a little underwhelmed by our choice once we realized how many other options existed at the other end of the street, we were pleased nonetheless to have stopped in Corning.
|The Mexican restaurant had these cool stained-glass partitions. I particularly enjoyed this martini-style one directly next to our table.|
We ended our night in Hancock, a tiny town in New York state that Mike and I totally adored. The motel we stayed at advertised High-Speed Internet, on-site ATM, and two free movie tickets to the theater next door that, unfortunately, only showed films on the weekends and we were there on a Tuesday. The quaint and neat motel was definitely up to par but we decided to explore Hancock for the last few hours of daylight after our day's drive. There wasn't too much to see but what was there looked great. A historic inn, a few cute restaurants, and a great diner called the Circle E where we breakfasted the next morning. There was even a McDonalds whose parking lot we utilized in order to get free wi-fi because we couldn't access it at the motel (though it turns out you needed to use an ethernet cable). We really loved Hancock, small as it was. But I think that's a huge part of it's charm. Nestled in a gorgeous woody valley, this was the kind of place where everyone knew each other. At the diner where we had breakfast the next morning, talk was constantly running back and forth over the counter between patrons and employees, waves were being thrown at outdoor passersby. We were the only people in the place who weren't locals but it was still a friendly, welcoming, and delicious place to breakfast.
|The lovely Capra Inn Motel|
|Flying by the Circle E Diner as we explored Hancock.|
|Enjoying a delicious diner-style breakfast.|