After we visited Letchfield State Park, we moved farther east and settled in Newfield, NY just outside of Itaca, NY. It is a very nice area and there are probably about a dozen state parks and state forests within an hour's drive of our campground. So far, we have visited four of them.
The day after our arrival we drove to Watkins Glen State Park. We had done a little research online and found that the park trail ran a little over a mile through a canyon and dropped over 500 feet (over 800 steps). Our research also revealed that there was a small parking lot at the top of the canyon and for a small fee, there was a shuttle bus service that took you from one end to the other. Since we are now apparently seniors (more on that later) and planned several more hikes over the next few days, we decided to park in the upper lot and walk down.
It was a beautiful hike! After a steep descent down several switchbacks of stairs, we were in the canyon. We learned after we completed the trip that the canyon was abnormally dry, but there was enough water for us to enjoy what followed. The two hours we walked down the canyon were pretty much indescribable. The routine looked pretty much like this: walk 20 steps, look forward, look back, up and down, take pictures. Make sure the other person saw it. Walk 20 steps. Repeat. It was a feast for the eyes!
I need to thank this Amish teen for such a great pose in the picture. I didn't notice him until after I had taken the picture.
This was our view on the way back to our scooter.
We decided we needed another day in the park, so we hope to return there in the next few days.
After spending the morning in Watkins Glen, we came home for a late lunch. After lunch we decided to check out a smaller park nearby, Treman State Park. The entrance was less than a mile from our Campground.
There was no shuttle at this park, so we decided to walk downhill until the return (uphill) hike seemed too difficult for our senior constitution. We walked farther than we should and were a little sore the next day. Treman was another great park. It was a little less populated than Watkins Glen, but folks were allowed to swim in the river, so it was much more interactive. Here are a few shots of our walk down.
On another day we took a drive around the Finger Lake near Ithaca. We drove through dairy lands and the aroma of dairy was prominent (not a chocolate milk or cheddar cheese aroma, but an aroma a little closer to the cow.) The land was beautiful and it was great to see the houses and barns as we drove past. In Auburn, NY we unecpectedly came up on the Harriet Tubman Home Museum. We decided to do a quick U-turn and check it out. After the Civil War, Harriett bought a parcel of land here and built this brick home after her wooden home burned down.
Years later, she purchased an adjacent 25 acres where she opened a home for the aged to serve the local black population in Auburn. Her story was quite inspiring. She lived her life to help make the lives of others better. First in helping them find freedom, then in caring for them when they could no longer care for themselves. We need more Harriet Tubmans in this world.
On our drive around the other side of the lake, we made a stop at a local ice cream shop (yum!) then stopped at another State Park. Taughannock Falls State Park is supposed to have a great waterfall along a large rock cliff. We drove to the lookout to check out the view.
Yep, New York is in a drought so there wasno water going over the falls. This falls is only about 20 miles away, so we will check it out later this week. We've had about an inch of rain today and we hope some of that rain will find the falls. Our friend Jim is retired from working in the NY Parks Department as a park manager. He saw the state of the falls in another coworkers post. Apparently this has not happened in 5 decades. Jim graciously asked his old companion at the park to please turn on the water so that we could see the falls while we were here. What nice yanks we have as friends! :)
OLD and stuff
Our other days have been filled with work. It was a productive few days, but with slow internet some tasks seemed to take forever.
Sunday morning before church we decided to get breakfast at Taco Bell (breakfast crunchwraps are quite good). We noticed the total price of our meal seemed less than what we expected. When we asked about it, the kid behind the counter said sometimes the prices change and they don't update the registers or the menus right away. Seemed logical to us. Later, we happened to take a look at our receipt and saw the real reason for the lower price: "Senior Discount - $.92" Surely the kid pushed the wrong key, right? I mean Trey has a lot of gray hair but does he look that old?
We moved campground sites in between rain showers today. On this new site we have 50 AMP electricity rather than 30 AMP on the other. It is not always easy to remember to turn the AC off when you want to cook a meal or throw a towel in the dryer. With 50 AMP, we can have more than one appliance going at a time. That is great news when it is humid and the temps are in the 90's. We will spend another week here working and seeing the beauty of God's creation before moving farther east.