The Beauty Around Us

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A Weekend’s Ride – Day 2: Keuka and Seneca Lakes

This past weekend (August 14-16) we rode more than 600 miles on our motorcycle. During the weekend we visited a museum, we rode around two lakes, and we attended a family reunion. I blogged about the first day of our ride a couple days ago. I will write about the second day of our ride — Saturday, August 15th — in this blog post.

Our hotel, Americas Best Value Inn, in Painted Post was just a short drive from New York’s Finger Lakes region. The purpose of this weekend trip was to ride around Keuka Lake and Seneca Lake, two of the eleven Finger Lakes. After eating a continental breakfast, we departed the hotel en route Hammondsport at the southern end of Keuka Lake. Our first stop was at the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum, located on Route 54 one half mile south of Hammondsport. We arrived at the museum at 9:30AM. You can’t miss the museum. There is a large airplane sitting at the main gate.

Linda at Curtiss Museum
Bob took this picture with his camera phone. I am standing beside the C-46, a WWII transport aircraft, which guards the main gate to the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum.

The Curtiss Museum is dedicated to the memory of pioneer aviator, Glenn Curtiss. Neither of us knew much about Glenn Curtiss, so we began our tour by watching a 14-minute video about Curtiss and his achievements. After watching the video, we spent the next 1 1/2 hours fascinated by the various exhibits housed in the museum. The exhibits provide a great deal of detail about Curtiss’ life and his bicycle and motorcycle businesses and his achievements. Curtiss’ achievements include attaining a speed of 136.4 MPH on a V8 powered motorcycle in 1907 and flying an airplane a distance of over 5000 feet that earned him America’s first pilot’s license.

Q8150584Glenn H. Curtiss was dubbed “the fastest man on Earth” when he attained a speed of 136.4 MPH on this V8 powered motorcycle in 1907.
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In 1908 Glenn H. Curtiss flew the “June Bug” a distance of over 5000 feet that earned him America’s first pilot’s license.

In addition to bicycle and motorcycle exhibits, there are exhibits of airplanes and aircraft engines that Curtiss produced over the years. The museum also documents Curtiss’ move to Florida, where he helped establish several well-known communities such as Hialeah, and developed the Aerocar, a forerunner to today’s motor homes and travel trailers.

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A 1940 Buick serves as a tow car for the Curtiss 1938 Aerocar travel trailer.

The museum contains a collection of items relating to Finger Lakes history as well. Some of these items are: tools, toys, wine-making equipment, clothing and home furnishings. If you are ever near Hammondsport, make it a point to stop at the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum; you will not be disappointed!

When we left the museum we continued on Route 54 to Hammondsport and then followed Route 54A up the west side of Keuka Lake to Branchport. Route 54A follows the contours of lake, providing us with lots of turns and up and down curves. We kept a slow pace, as we admired the many cottages along the way and savored the scenic views of the lake.

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Craft show at Hammondsport, NY

If the day’s goal was not to ride around both Keuka and Seneca Lakes, we would have stopped at the craft show.
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I snapped this picture of Maloney’s Pub in Hammondsport, NY, as we veered left onto Route 54A that would take us along the shores of Keuka Lake.
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Keuka Lake, NY
(somewhere between Hammondsport and Branchport)
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Sunbathers on Keuka Lake, NY
(somewhere between Hammondsport and Branchport)
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Branchport, NY

From Branchport we continued on Route 54A to Penn Yan, where we picked up Route 54. We followed Route 54 until we reached Route 14, along Seneca Lake. We followed Route 14 North to Geneva. We made two photo stops in Geneva. Our first stop offered splendid views of Seneca Lake.

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Bob, enjoying view of Seneca Lake at Geneva, NY

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Seneca Lake at Geneva, NY

Our second photo stop was at Geneva’s Pulteney Park in the Historic District.

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Pulteney Park
in Geneva, NY
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Row Houses at Pulteney Park in Geneva, NY
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Collins Music Hall
at Pulteney Park in Geneva, NY

From Geneva we rode inland a bit to Ovid; we returned to the lake shore a few miles north of Watkins Glen. Just prior to reaching Watkins Glen we stopped to admire Hector Falls, which is alongside Route 414.

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Hector Falls, NY

We drove through Watkins Glen to Montour Falls, where the main attraction is the 150-foot waterfall located on the west side of the village.

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Montour Falls, NY

After admiring Che-qua-ga Falls (or She-qua-ga Falls as it is sometimes spelled), we returned to Watkins Glen, which is located at the southern end of Seneca Lake. The Watkins Glen Harbor is a most picturesque site. The harbor consists of a marina full of bobbing sailboats and fishing boats, a New England-style red schoolhouse at the end of the public fishing pier, and hillsides rising from the lake.

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Bob and I at Watkins Glen Harbor
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Watkins Glen Harbor
The “schoolhouse” at end of fishing pier
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Watkins Glen Harbor
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Watkins Glen Harbor Wedding
How’s this for being in the right place at the right time!

From Watkins Glen we rode Route 14 along the west side of Seneca Lake as far as Glenora, where we made another photo stop.

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Glenora Wine Cask
Seneca Lake and vineyard-laced hillsides in background

We backtracked to Route 14A, which took us back to Penn Yan via Dundee. From Penn Yan we traveled the east side of Keuka Lake back to Hammondsport. We made one final photo stop at a park at the southern end of Keuka Lake.

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Keuka Lake at Hammondsport, NY

This weekend in the Finger Lakes was one of many weekend trips that we have made to the region. We have been visiting the Finger Lakes region since 2001. It is one of our favorite destinations.

Our ride around Keuka Lake and Seneca Lake was approximately 200 miles. It was around 11:00AM when we finished touring the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport. We returned to Hammondsport at approximately 6:00PM. It was a long, but very enjoyable day. Click here for a map of our route.

3 Responses to “A Weekend’s Ride – Day 2: Keuka and Seneca Lakes”

  1. Corker2

    In snooping and reading thru your Blog, I see that you and Bob have rode quite a number of places on the bike. Looks to me like a nice one. Don't really recognize what type of bike it is, since we don't ride the “Wing” anymore. The reason we don't ride is there are just too many “nit-wits” out there. I had over $1000.00 in lights on our bike and one stupid driver said that she didn't see me! WTF!After Touring the country side for more than 20 yrs. from Vermont to Florida, we just gave it up. Sold the Wing and Trailer. However, I do miss it at times. On a nice Spring, Summer, or Fall evening, it was always nice to go on a “Supper or Ice Cream” Ride. We've already rode to Harrisburg just for a cup of coffee!Ride Safe!

    Reply

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