[Please note that this blog post is backdated to September 5; the post was published on November 7.]
This is Day 2 of our 4-day Labor Day weekend vacation.
Our hotel room was quiet and I slept well last night, but not without discomfort. I awakened around 1:30 am, with acid reflux. The room felt stuffy, and I was a bit warm. My back hurt, but the pain had lessened. The bed is soft. I prefer a more firm mattress. Bob put on the AC, which removed the stuffiness and warmth. I drank some coca-cola, which relieved some of the acid reflux symptoms. I was able to go back to sleep, awakening again at 6:00 am. I still had acid reflux. I am taking PriLOSEC again, the first one this morning. I found about a week’s supply in my toiletry bag. I took a shower and got dressed. My back still hurts. I am able to move more freely, so that is an improvement. Bob got up, when I did. He showered and got dressed.
A complimentary breakfast is included in the cost of our room. We decided we wanted a full, hot breakfast, not the continental breakfast provided by the hotel. We ate breakfast at Classic Chef’s in Montour Falls. We ate at this restaurant in June 2014. It isn’t a fancy place.
As was the case last year, breakfast at Classic Chef’s was great and reasonably priced. Service was quick too.
After breakfast we drove to Ithaca, via NY 79. Our plan for the day was to drive around Cayuga Lake, traveling north on the eastern side of the lake and traveling south on the western side of the lake.
Our first stop was at Ithaca Falls. This was Bob and my first visit to Ithaca Falls. It is a picturesque waterfall; well worth the visit.
We, then, took a short walk through the woods to the base of the falls.
There were signs along the wooded trail leading to the waterfall warning visitors not to swim, as well as alerting visitors that lead contaminated soils have been detected in the area. The warnings did not stop people from visiting the falls, and we saw two young men swimming at the base of the falls.
Before taking the wooded trail to the waterfall, we noticed on the right a concrete structure.
Ithaca Gun Factory began large-scale manufacturing of sporting shotguns and rifles in 1880. Additional information about the Ithaca Gun Factory, Ithaca and Ithaca Falls may be found by clicking here.
From Ithaca Falls we took NY 34 north. We stopped a short distance north of Ithaca in the village of Lansing. We were trying to find a road down to Cayuga Lake. On the map it looked like a road off of Blackchin Blvd would provide access. We turned left onto Blackchin Blvd and discovered that the road down to Cayuga Lake (Bolton Point Road) was blocked and designated as a Greenway trail.
We parked in a small parking lot along Blackchin Blvd at the top of Bolton Point Road. We walked down Bolton Point Road, which was long and steep, to the lake front.
Soon after beginning our descent, we met another couple making their way up the road. I remarked that it appears to be a quick trip down to the lake but a slow, tiring climb back up the road. The couple didn’t respond to my comment, asking instead if we had seen the lake shore from the railroad tracks. I said “no”. They said the views were beautiful and that you could go into the water as well.
The Bolton Point Water Commission pump station is at the bottom of Bolton Point Road. To reach the lake shore, railroad tracks had to be crossed and you had to walk past the pumping station. A man, who worked for the water commission and who was getting into his car to leave, said hello to us. I asked if it was okay to cross the pumping station grounds to get to the lake shore. This man postponed his departure and walked with us to the lake shore. He told us about Poison Ivy Point, reached by following the railroad tracks for about ¼ mile. He didn’t name the area Poison Ivy Point, only cautioned us to stay off the peninsula owing to the large amount of poison ivy present on the peninsula. He pointed out some landmarks not to miss (Myers Park, Salt Point, Montezuma Wildlife and Taughannock State Park), north of where we stood on the lake shore.
After admiring the lake shore, we climbed back up Bolton Point Road to our car. It was a half mile down and another half mile back up. Whew! What a climb that was! When I posted on Facebook about the climb back to the car, a friend named Tim left the following comment on Facebook: “From “in bed with bad back and heating pad” to “that was quite a climb”! Nice recovery!“. I replied that I was not going to let a back ache stop me from enjoying our weekend getaway!
Continuing our drive around Cayuga Lake, via NY 34 and NY 34B, we stopped at Lansing Park marina. Myers Park, which the man from the Bolton Point Water Commission mentioned, charged $4.00 admission. As we intended only to make use of the bathroom facilities and to check out the park lighthouse at the point, we didn’t feel justified paying admission. We turned around at the gate and pulled into the adjacent marina. The bathroom facilities were locked, accessible by keypad. I asked at the marina office if we could use the bathroom. I was told yes and provided the password for the keypad. I had hoped to get a picture of the Myers Point Lighthouse from the marina. The place from where we would be able to see the lighthouse was marked as private property, so I didn’t get a picture of the lighthouse. I did, however, capture some nice pictures of the marina.
We drove to Salt Point, too, as recommended by the Bolton Point Water Commission pump station worker, but we didn’t see anything that caught our attention.
At King Ferry to continue our drive around Cayuga Lake, we had to turn onto NY 90. We checked the John Harris Park in Cayuga.
Just north of Cayuga we turned left onto US 20 and ate lunch at the Nice N Easy grocery shop. The food counter reminded me of a Subway. Bob ordered a chicken chipotle wrap; I ordered a Philly Steak sub. Service was very slow; our sandwiches, though, were good.
After lunch, we visited the nearby Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. We followed the 3.5-mile Wildlife Drive, which is a one-way auto tour that provided many opportunities to observe and photograph wildlife. The main feature of the drive is the 1,600-acre wetland which hosts a rich diversity of waterfowl, waterbirds and other wildlife. I took the following pictures from the comfort of our car.
The Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge would be a great place to return to again and again!
Before our granddaughters arrived, I rarely noticed playgrounds. I notice them all the time now. Harper and June would have enjoyed playing in this playground.
From Cayuga Lake State Park, we continued our drive south. We followed Lower Lake Road back to NY 89. We stopped on the road to Thirsty Owl, where I took a photograph of the vineyard, with Cayuga Lake in the background.
We made an ice cream stop at Cayuga Lake Creamery in Interlaken. We ate our ice cream sitting at a picnic table, located in front of a wooden train.
Our last stop along Route 89 was at Taughannock Falls State Park. The Empire Passport provided free day use vehicle entrance into the park.
We walked the Gorge Trail, which was a very pleasant ¾ mile mile walk on a flat, wide trail that ended near the base of the falls.
There wasn’t much water falling at Taughannock Falls. Still, it is a picturesque place.
From Taughannock Falls we drove back to our hotel, using the GPS as our guide (we didn’t go through Ithaca).
It has been a long day. We did see lots of beautiful sights and even checked out a distillery (didn’t buy anything). I was ready for a good rest, when we returned to the hotel. I really gave my arthritic knee and my back a workout today. I did well, though. I have a lot more freedom of movement in my back than I did this morning. My knee is causing the most grief right now. The knee will be OK, with rest.