Sunday, August 18, 2013

Finger Lakes, New York

We took a protracted route through upstate New York to get to the Finger Lakes area for our next stop.  This was to avoid taking the very expensive toll roads.  Some of the non-toll roads have bridges that are too low for our rig so it involves researching several maps and other travel items to navigate.  Do you think I look a little grim?    

We finally arrived at our RV park called Sned-Acres.  Beautiful rolling hills and farmland with Lake Cayuga in the distance.  Very beautiful place.  After we had been there a few days we ran into another couple, Larry and Sharon Weaver, who were also driving a Tiffin RV.  Turns out we had met them earlier at a Tiffin rally in Brunswick, GA.  What are the odds!  The Captain was supposed to get a picture of them but he didn't so I can't share them with the rest of the group but we had a great time together.  Over a few glasses of wine we talked about our earlier stops this year and we mentioned we had taken a tour of the U.S. Naval Academy and how impressed we were.  Turns out Larry is a graduate of the academy.  Hats off to you, Larry, that is no small feat!!!
Our rig is in the center in the distance .  This is where we stayed for a week and the pups loved it.  They had lots of acres to run in and didn't need to be on a leash.  The Finger Lakes area was having a wine-tasting event called 'Grapehounds' which benefited Greyhound dogs and local animal shelters.  In our park there were at least a dozen Greyhounds along with their owners.  We met a lot of nice people and saw how gentle and shy the Greyhounds really are.

Besides the wineries :) we also took the pups hiking through some spectacular state parks.  Our first stop was Taughannock State Park.  Before the Revolutionary War, the area surrounding Taughannock Falls was inhabited by the Cayuga Indians.  According to legend, the Cayugas are said to have killed  the Delaware chief, Taughannock, and thrown his body over the falls.  In Algonquin language, the name Taughannock means "full of trees."

The rock you see in the river gorge was once formed at the bottom of an ancient sea 380 million years ago.  The gorge floor is made of light-gray limestone that once was lime mud made from the skeletons and shells of algae and marine organisms.

Above the limestone, the crumbly rock on the gorge's walls is shale made of clay and silt that settled on top of the lime mud and eventually hardened into stone.  The water moving through the gorge slowly carved the shale away.

The Taughannock Falls is 215 feet high and the rock walls are 400 feet high.

Since the Ice Age, the Taughannock Creek has progressively eroded through shale and sandstone farther into the hillside creating the gorge.
The Taughannock Creek slowly traveling down the gorge into Lake Cayuga in the distance.

It was a hot day and many people were wading in the river gorge enjoying the cool water.  The water temperature was 61 degrees.

The Finger Lakes are a pattern of eleven lakes in the west-central section of upstate New York.  The lakes are long and narrow and are oriented on a north-south axis.  The two longest are Cayuga Lake and Seneca Lake and are among the deepest in the United States.  Both are close to 40 miles from end to end and 3.5 miles wide.  Seneca is the deepest at 618 feet with Cayuga 435 feet. 
We saw some other sights during our stay including this building which was an entrance to a cemetery.

A jazzy rig that was staying at our camp site.  The awnings and door were in purple.

One of our favorite wineries was called Buttonwood Grove and they also had cabins to rent.  Also a few farm animals including this goat who looked like he had had enough for the day.  

This is Melody, their Scottish Highland cow.  She is quite the celebrity and supposed to be very gentle.

The Thirsty Owl Winery.  Many of the wineries had very unique names.

The Cayuga Ridge Winery was inside this old barn that had been built in 1880.  It was still the original roof.

 We took a drive down to the end of Cayuga Lake to see the town of Ithaca, NY.  It's a pretty neat town which also happens to be the home of Cornell University.  What a place that was!

Artwork in downtown Ithaca.

Ithaca Falls right in the heart of the city.

The water was really rushing down.

Some of the buildings on the campus at Cornell.

A statue of Herakles on the campus.

Cornell University was founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White on land owned by Cornell.  The university is organized into seven undergraduate colleges and seven graduate divisions teaching in all fields of knowledge from the classics to the sciences.  Cornell's idea was to create an institution where any person could find instruction in any study.

The campus in Ithaca is spread over 2,300 acres.

Cornell sits above the city of Ithaca giving you a great view of Cayuga Lake.

It's quite the place but I can imagine in winter it is a really cold campus to walk across. 

My favorite park was called Robert Treman State Park in Ithaca.  It had numerous waterfalls along a rigorous 4.5 mile round hike trail.  The trail follows Enfeld Creek into rock formations in a deep, narrow gorge.  There is a large multi-tiered cascading waterfall called Lucifer Falls.  The trail can be hazardous so in inclement weather, or during the winter, the trails are gated.  We were lucky we chose the day we went there because the next day we had heavy rain.

You had to climb up hundreds of steps to get to the top and see Lucifer Falls and then you had to walk hundreds of steps back down again.  It was well worth it!
Notice what looks like a long rock ledge standing out from the rock walls to the right of the picture. 

Look closely and you can see the steps with people on them which was part of the trail.

In different areas of the trail you could walk into the water or sit on a ledge. 

An arched bridge above the water.

People of all ages were enjoying the pools of water at different levels in the park.

Lucifer Falls.

One of the best things about traveling is meeting new people.  While staying at Sned-Acres we met Rick and Susan Lee who live in Vermont.  After a couple bottles of wine we became fast friends!!!

They were visiting the Finger Lakes 'Grapehound Festival' with their greyhound, Katie (and what a sweet pup she is).  Rick and Susan have a business called  Katie's Kollars and they make beautiful dog collars in multiple sizes and colors.  Lucy and Max have several now and they look really Klassy!  
Time to move on.  Lake Placid, NY, is calling us.  Peace!


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