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Buttermilk Falls, Geneva Shoetree, and Bologne Valley
photowhore
soopageek
About a month ago, the weekend before she rode in the truck with me, I got to visit with welfy in Dorksville, PA.  I had visited with her there a few times prior to that visit, but never for an extended period of time with daylight and time to actually DO things other than hang-out.  She had told me on the first night we met that there was a shoetree in nearby Beaver Falls on the campus of her alma mater, Geneva College.  Naturally, this was a high priority on my list of things to do in the greater Dorksville area.  On a gorgeous Monday afternoon, we set-out for Beaver Falls.

Along the way, we stopped at Buttermilk Falls.  A couple of weeks prior, her shutterbug LiveJournal friend outmused had visited her and she had taken him there as well.  When she showed me the photos from that day, the following photo was an immediate favorite.



As we wound down the path to the view point near the top of the falls, she pointed out the tree used in the photo at the edge of the ravine.  With some help from Welfy, I decided to make an homage to my favorite photo.



You can see a bit of the waterfall in the background.  Actually, it's more of a trickle, really.  There were some historical photos on markers along the trails which surrounded the falls and it was much healthier in its heyday.  It's still a very tranquil and picturesque spot... and ripe with photographic opportunities.

We made our way to the top of the falls and Welfy decided to sit on a big rock and polish-off her sandwich while I played around with the camera.



I sat down on a rock in the stream.  Welfy decided she wanted to play in the water a little bit.









When she grew bored of the water, she returned to the rock to put her sandals back on and I changed my vantage-point. As you can see, the wall running behind Welfy is part of a much larger man-made project.



It's part of a railroad trestle which towers over the creek bed which feeds the falls.  Through the underpass, it is possible to continue upstream along the rocks strewn about.



We walked a little ways on the other side of the underpass, hopping from rock to rock....



...then we decided to walk down to the bottom of the falls.  Like most waterfalls, the constant splashing of water creates a recess in the rock behind the cascade.  This was easily accessible from the path and allows you to stand virtually beneath the falling water.





I'm willing to work it for the camera, baby.



Heck, I'll even give up a little leg.



Buttermilk Falls is well off the beaten path and the sort of place that only locals know about.  It's safe to say that a lot of the locals don't know about it, or at the very least, have even taken the time to stop while they pass by on the busy highways just beyond the trees.  I spend a lot of time on those highways, the asphalt humming beneath me as I trade one zip code for another.  It's good to take the time, though; to stop and smell the flowers.




We got back in the car and continued to Beaver Falls, making our way to Geneva College.  Geneva is a very small, private, Christian college nestled in the Beaver River valley, a tributary to the Ohio River watershed in western Pennsylvania.  It may be of interest to some of my fellow Kentuckians that Geneva has a somewhat dubious claim to fame.  My alma mater may PWN, but Geneva is the birthplace of college basketball.



Anyone who has travelled the interstate system in the United States, has surely noted the familiar sight of "Trust Jesus" plainly scrawled in spray paint on overpasses.  I've always found this to be a curious phenomena, one which seems at odds with the basic principles of Christian doctrine.  The sanctity of property is well-rooted in Judeo-Christian teaching, as far back as the time of the early Hebrews and the ten commandments, a full one-fifth of which is devoted to the concept of property.  I'm not suggesting that all Xtians are complete saints, but I've always found it somewhat ironic that someone would espouse their religious ideology publicly in a manner which was contradictory to one of its prime mandates.  Here at Geneva, in a town which doesn't offer much in the way of entertainment, mischeivous college kids take it to a whole other level.





And verily, Jesus did say unto his disciples, "I heart monkeys".



But the main reason we came to Geneva was to see the shoetree.  Over the past couple of months I've gained a number of new livejournal.friends who may not be aware of my fascination with them.  I say verily unto you that I heart shoetrees.  The one in Geneva is much like the one I visited with atthestarz at the University of Minneapolis and in some respects like the Indiana Shoetree; that is to say, it was created and is perpetuated by an inclusive group rather than a large public one.  It is not as tall as either of these trees, though, and closer in shape and size to the Oregon and Nevada shoetrees.  As for volume of shoes, it's probably the most scantily adorned of the lot, but it gets points for location.  The old stone buildings and the tree-blanketed mountain-sides add a picturesque element which can't be ignored.  It doesn't hurt when there's a pretty girl sitting on the steps of the building, either.


















We wandered around campus some more and ended up by the football field.  We strolled across the well-manicured grass as the sun began to set.  On one side of the field were huge concrete bleachers built into the hillside for the spectators to cheer-on the Golden Tornadoes of Geneva.  On the other side of the field was a much smaller set of bleachers, the old wood-on-metal-frame variety.  As we left the football field, our stroll took us along the backside of these bleachers.  We were pretty much done with our tour of the campus by now and had been walking all day.  I thought it'd be nice to take a small break and enjoy the setting sun, so I suggested we take a seat...  under the bleachers.  There, with the soft light of the dwindling afternoon streaming through the wood planks, Welfy looked so pretty.



I'm not so pretty, but I had an idea.



How many more opportunities in life will a guy like me have to make-out with a pretty girl underneath the bleachers?  More importantly, when will there be a camera handy, the presence of mind, and willing participant in my photographic hi-jinks?!




We left Geneva and drove across the river into the town of Eastvale.  Welfy wanted to show me one more thing nearby that she thought I might enjoy.



Oh, I imagined a valley lined with scrumptious deli meats, rivers flowing with melted cheese and fountains filled with mayonnaise.  But this wasn't to be.  But it was pretty cool, because, one of Bologne Valley's inhabitants were the Beegles.  And the Beegles like stuffed animals.



Their tree-lined driveway was guarded by snakes....







...and a pig...



and a bear was guarding these old pipes.



They had all sorts of critters around the yard.





They all seemed content, friendly, and happy...



...if a bit weathered.




I've been wanting to get this written and posted for so long.  Thanks for enduring it. If you are so inclined, you can view all of the photos from that day here in the photo gallery.

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i'd been wondering about all the stuffed animal pics - i peeked at your albums a week or so back. i'd thought that maybe you and the welf had decided to build your own kingdom, and these were your loyal subjects.


hahah, no... but what a great idea. welf has lots of stuffed animals of her own.

hrrmmmmmm.

But...but...I like my stuffed animals!

(Oh, but wouldn't it be kinda fun to make a stuffed animal tree with some crappy stuffed animals from a claw machine or something?)

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