Day 143: A Day Of Fire And Ice


time of year

Eternal Flame Falls, Orchard Park, NY. Eternal Flame Falls is a 35-foot waterfall in Shale Creek Preserve, a section of Chestnut Ridge Park in western New York,(1.2 total out and back, 137’ elevation) that has a small flickering flame ranging from 4-8” high in one of its grottos. It’s believed it was originally lit thousands of years ago by Native Americans. Not really eternal (sometimes it goes out and has to be re-lit), scientists have no idea where the gas feeding the flame is coming from.

Understandably popular on this summer weekend, once we got down there, we had to line up to get a picture of the waterfall and flame without a bunch of other people in it. It’s the first waterfall with a flame we’ve seen, and it’s on a very pretty trail, so still cool despite all the people. Maybe try to come at a better time.


difficulty: 3.5

Rock City Park, Olsen, NY. $8/person. (0.7, 131’ elevation). “World’s Largest Exposure of Quartz Conglomerate”. Rock City has been an attraction since 1890. We had a fun time weaving in and out of the rock crevices and walking around the huge rocks covered in moss and lichen.


Coudersport Ice Mine, Coudersport, PA.$5/person. Our guide told us that National Geographic determined that this mine is coldest spot on East Coast at this time of year. Scientists believe that the winter cold air is pushed down into the shale surrounding the failed silver mine the mine and in warmer, damper weather the air comes back out creating ice in the mine in the spring and summer only. It’s been a tourist attraction since 1894, growing enough ice in spring to last until fall.


Rough Cut Lodge, Gaines, PA. Rough cut indeed. Originally I was going say that other than the late check in, and the traffic noise, it seems fairly nice here. There’s a nice a cabin-y feel, peaceful sounds of birdsong and a pretty view of a river and a small mountain.

But, there’s a story to tell…

We booked this room through, which we use often. Check In started at 3pm. We got there at 5:30 and our room/suite still wasn’t ready for us. The cleaning lady was very nice and apologized for being much busier than usual and running behind. The lady in charge said that “it’s not their fault the room isn’t ready”(???). After we booked the room through we got an text from Rough Cut Lodge asking if we were going to bring our own sheets, which is a little weird for somewhere offering overnight stays. Then we got an email from Rough Cut Lodge saying that they charge an extra $10 PER PERSON for making up the bed and for providing bath towels, none of which was in the listing, these are all post agreement add-ons.

In the morning after we checked out and left they texted us to ask for our credit card so they could charge us an extra $22 for incidentals. Sorry, but you agreed to charge a price on and we agreed to pay it. Then we got a text asking us to leave them a 10 rating.

Price: $92


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