We decided we would not drive too long when it was time to leave NYC, but just long enough to get us out of the hectic mess and try for a couple of days with full hook ups for laundry catch up. Calling around looking for space we found Sylvan Lake Beach Campground in Hopewell Junction. We only got one night’s stay there, if we wanted the original 3 night’s we wanted they were going to have us move to a different site each day…a big “no go” for me. So with a destination plugged into the onboard GPS (trucker’s version), off we went. All I can say is, I needed some phenobarbital by the end of the travel day. “Rosie” started me off navigating some of the narrowest and most crowded side streets no bigger than alleyways, to get me onto the 95 North. Any of you wish to come visit this whole northeast corner of the USA, be prepared for toll road after toll road. I should have done better with my navigational research, 95 takes you across the Hudson River via the George Washington Bridge. That bridge alone was a mere $84 toll for a 40’ bus towing a Jeep. All in all, I think we got fanged for a total of about $130 give or take for all the tolls we had to cough up on just this one travel day. I think a few bourbons to wash down the phenobarbital was now in order! But we got to the campground and were able to put a big dent in our pile of dirty laundry in just the one day. The park itself was SO not worth the $50 per night rate. But parks in this state are all pretty much overpriced, and there are not a lot of alternative choices available.
We did find our next stop for a week’s stay, Pinecreek Campground outside of Ithaca, NY, in the area of the Finger Lakes. Ithaca is on Cayuga Lake. The weekly rate worked out to about $40 per day which was about as reasonable as we could hope for. The campground is OK, we had a lot of space, but it was in the trees and our site had no satellite reception. And the WiFi/cell service was HORRIBLE! But the area is beautiful around the Finger Lakes.
Our first outing we wanted to check out Watkins Glen on Seneca Lake. We drove to Watkins Glen State Park and walked the Gorge Trail. That is a very nice trail along Glen Creek that has some 19 or so waterfalls. I guess they classify the smallest of drops as falls around here, I was not real impressed with the falls here as a whole. But it was a nice walk. This was the one park in this area that did not allow K-9’s on the trail, so Woody had to stay home.
Since the state parks charge for parking at most of them, and the parking pass is good for the same day at all the parks, we decided to hit a couple of the other waterfall sights. Taughannock Falls State Park contains it’s namesake waterfall, which is touted as the tallest single-drop waterfall east of the Rockies (215 feet, 3-stories taller than Niagara Falls). They do allow doggies on the trail here, so we picked up Woodrow Wilson and took him with us. The hike to the foot of the falls was only 3/4 mile along the Taughannock Creek.
Woody again got to go with us to check on Buttermilk Falls at Buttermilk Falls State Park. That was no hike at all, the falls are right off the parking lot. We walked the stairs up the hill along the falls so we could get a view from the top.
The next day we actually drove all the way around Seneca Lake, with a stop in Geneva to walk Woody along the boardwalk area. On our way home driving the west side of the lake we discovered pretty much the whole west side was their Wine Country area, nothing but wall to wall vineyards and wineries. Sorry, but the tiny size of the vineyards we saw is NO COMPARISON to the size of those from whence we come from (Napa/Sonoma Counties and the central coast area in California). California’s vineyards cover whole mountains and valleys and acres and miles, many for as far as the eye can see…
A few other waterfalls in the area called to us. We found Ithaca Falls in downtown Ithaca. Triphammer Falls is located on the campus of Cornell University. Both of those required no hike. Our final waterfall was a few miles of hiking, right from our campground into Robert H. Treman State Park. We took the Gorge Trail here to Lucifer Falls. This was a very nice trail, a bit strenuous (series of steep stairs), but Lucifer Falls was very scenic.
Jeanne wanted to visit the Corning Glass Museum, a tribute to all things glass. This was a neat little museum, with displays of art, science, and live demonstrations of glass blowing.
Tomorrow is moving day, headed up to the Thousand Island region near Canada. We’ll tell you all about it…next post…