Confluence, Pennsylvania and “Old” Friends
According to Wikipedia “in geography, a confluence is the meeting of two or more bodies of water.” Confluence, Pennsylvania is where three rivers converge and is a sleepy little town. One of the reasons I really loved it was because it reminded me of a dear friend.
You know how wonderful people will come and go through your life, particularly if you are a traveler. However, there are a few that you hold in your heart and it feels like they are always there. Tracy is that kind of friend. We both moved away from where we met and she now lives in a small town in Michigan which she says is so small that they only have one traffic light that they turn off at night.
Well, Confluence was like that except it didn’t have a traffic light. We could walk everywhere but the stores all closed at 5 p.m. (except the Hardware Store that stayed open until 7 p.m. – this last statement was told to us by a local in a very excited tone – radical.) If it wasn’t for the fact that they get a lot of snow in the winter, we could have lived in this town permanently. (Yes we are “snow wimps” – I guess we need to try it one winter to see what we are missing.)
Outflow Recreational Area, COE Campground and the Great Allegheny Passage
We stayed at a campground which was located across the Youghiogheny River from Confluence and right on the Great Allegheny Passage, a rails-to-trail for biking and walking. This was a feel good park and, of course, another Corp of Engineers Park. It was fun to watch the bike riders wheel-in and set-up camp as they traveled to/from Pittsburg to Washington D.C.
The Outflow Camping Area is in the heart of the Laurel Highlands. Clean waters, forested mountains and steep-sided valleys provide a peaceful setting. It is a true outdoorsman paradise as camping, fishing, boating, water skiing, snowmobiling in the winter, hiking, biking, picnicking and sightseeing are all popular activities. This area is also renowned for its excellent trout fishing and is stocked from April to September each year and each day we would sit on the river bank and watch the fly fisherman.
Somerset for Farmers Market, and a Farm Store (& Breaking the Code for finding Farm Products)
We went to the Farmer’s Market in Somerset but it was really a craft market with just a few farm products. However, we have finally learned how to look for fresh farm products by Yelping “Farm Stores.” Yelp led us to a small town with a wonderful farm store and I knew we were in for treat when there was a huge English Bulldog sleeping in the doorway blocking our way and demanding we give her a belly rub. It just made us feel at home.
Ohiopyle and Ohiopyle State Park
Ohiopyle was only 10 miles along the Great Allegheny Passage from Confluence. Ohiopyle is near the Ohiopyle State Park and is known for some of the best whitewater in the East and is often the location of national kayaking competitions. We went hiking in Ohiopyle to view the waterfalls in town and near town. We also went to lunch at the most wonderful little place right outside the town called Bittersweet Cafe in Farmington.
Fallingwaters, Frank Lloyd Wright
One of the highlights for the area is the famous Fallingwaters home built by Frank Lloyd Wright for a well-known family from Philadelphia during the depression. It was built as a weekend place, deep in the woods, and to take advantage of a stream that goes under the house. (You can fish through a hatch on the deck and this hatch also provided cool air from the stream for the house.)
You aren’t allowed to take pictures inside the home but you can take them of the house outside. The home was built to be a part of the landscape and if you ever get a chance to visit the home do it because it is one of those magical places!