The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘Finger Lakes’

Labor Day Weekend 2015: Warren PA to Horseheads NY

**Republished August 3, 2021**

This is Day 1 of our 4-day Labor Day weekend vacation.


Shortly before 1:00 pm today, we departed Warren PA en route Horseheads NY.

We purchased a new GPS (Garmin nuvi 65LM) recently and plan to use it for our trip to Arkansas later this month. We will be traveling by car and motorcycle, when we go to Arkansas.  Bob will use the old GPS on the motorcycle, and I will use the new GPS in the car.  The new GPS has a larger display and more features than our old GPS, and we are using this trip to acclimate ourselves to the functions of the new GPS. We had the GPS set for the shortest route. The GPS directed us to two non-existing roads. We changed the setting from shortest route to fastest route and had no more issues.  I love the larger display of our new GPS.  The Up Ahead feature, where you can easily find places you want – like restaurants, gas stations, ATMs and shops – without leaving the map, is helpful.

We stopped for lunch around 2:30 pm at Sprague’s Maple Farms in Portville, NY.  It is rare that we stop at Sprague’s other than for breakfast.  Bob ordered a char-grilled center cut boneless pork chop dinner, served with maple baked beans, garden salad and maple-cinnamon applesauce.  Breakfast is served all day at Sprague’s.  I ordered the “Main Line” – two pancakes, two eggs and bacon.  I ordered crisp bacon. The bacon arrived burned to a crisp. The waitress quickly provided me less crisp (fried just right) bacon. Our respective lunches were very good.

We arrived in Horseheads around 5:15 pm and checked into the Rodeway Inn Marshall Manor, our home in the Finger Lakes region for the weekend.  This is the second time we have stayed at this hotel.  Our hotel room is the same room we had, when we last stayed at this hotel in June 2014.

Rodeway Inn Marshall Manor

Our red Nissan is parked in front of our hotel room.

Our hotel accommodation is a spacious room with two double beds, a nightstand, a small dresser, an upholstered bench, table and two chairs, TV, microwave, and refrigerator. The bathroom is of a good size. There are two sinks, one in the bathroom and one inside the room.  Outside, there are picnic tables, a gazebo with tables and chairs, and a pool.

Rodeway Inn Marshall Manor gazebo


Rodeway Inn Marshall Manor swimming pool

The gazebo is my favorite outside spot.

About an hour after checking in, we drove to the nearby Jubilee grocery store and picked up pop and beer and some snacks for the three nights we will be here.  We found a friendly-looking Frankenstein at the Jubilee.

Anyone for some Snickers?

We had no plans for rest of day, except to relax. That is exactly what we did. We didn’t even go out for dinner, choosing instead to eat in our hotel room. We dined on cheese and pepperoni sticks, almonds, peaches and tuna salad with crackers.

I don’t know what I did to my back, while sleeping last night. My lower back has been hurting since I awakened. A hot shower, a 24-hour anti-inflammatory pill and four Tylenol for Arthritis pills have not stopped the pain. I did not envision spending my Labor Day weekend sitting in our hotel room with a heating pad on my back. That, however, is exactly what happened this evening. I hope my back feels better tomorrow!

Finger Lakes Weekend

Bob and I spent the weekend of June 20th in Horseheads, NY and visited Watkins Glen, Watkins Glen State Park, and drove around Seneca Lake. 

On June 20th we made a spur-of-the-moment decision to take advantage of the great weather and embark on a weekend getaway. Early in the morning I sent Bob a text message that he would receive at his 9:30 am work break. I asked Bob if he wanted to go to either Wellsboro or Watkins Glen for the weekend, if I could reserve a hotel room. Bob said Watkins Glen would be nice. I made arrangements for our neighbor to take care of our cat.  Then, I searched for a hotel. I found a room available and made a reservation for two nights at the Rodeway Inn Marshall Manor in Horseheads, NY.

Bob came home from work at noon. We ate a quick lunch; Bob packed for the trip (I had packed earlier); and he mowed the yard. We were ready to roll at 2:00 pm. This was our first weekend trip on the Kawasaki Voyager.

We had a pleasant and uneventful ride from home to the hotel in Horseheads. We made a few stops on our way. Before leaving Warren, we fueled up at the Kwik Fill. We rode through Scandia to Interstate 86, which we followed most of the way to Horseheads. We stopped at M&M Junction, outside of Limestone NY, to get water and to stretch. Another stop was at a scenic overlook along Route 86. We could see what looked like a dam in the distance. This stop was to stretch. We stopped for dinner at Ponderosa in Bath NY. We arrived at our hotel around 6:45 pm. We checked into our room and settled in for the night.

The next morning we took a quick look at the breakfast selections and decided we wanted a full, hot breakfast, not the continental breakfast provided by the hotel. I searched the Internet and found a restaurant in Montour Falls that served breakfast, the Harvest Cafe. We rode into Montour Falls, intending to eat breakfast at the Harvest Cafe. The cafe was closed and would not open until 8:00 am, which was about an hour’s wait for us. We took pictures of  Montour Falls and headed for Watkins Glen, where we would no doubt find a restaurant that served breakfast. We found a place to eat breakfast before we arrived in Watkins Glen. In fact, we were still in Montour Falls when we came upon Classic Chef’s Restaurant.  The restaurant isn’t a fancy place. Breakfast, though, was great and reasonably priced. Service was quick too.

After breakfast, we rode into Watkins Glen. We arrived too early for admission to the gorge at Watkins Glen State Park (the park opens at 8:30 am), so we decided to ride around Seneca Lake and walk the gorge trail afterward. We took Route 14 to Geneva and parked along the lake shore. We took a short walk on the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Campus grounds. We had ridden by this college several times in the past but never took the time to stroll through the grounds. The college campus is lovely. We took several pictures of the buildings and grounds. From Geneva we followed Route 20 to Route 96A to East Lake Road to Kennedy Road to Route 96A again to route 414 into Watkins Glen. Along the way we stopped at Hector Falls and took pictures.

Upon arriving back in Watkins Glen, we entered Watkins Glen State Park. Admission was $8.00. We rode a shuttle bus to the upper gorge. The bus ride cost an additional $3.00 each. We ate lunch (chicken salad sandwiches) at the Upper Gorge Snack Bar and then followed the gorge trail to the bottom. The Gorge Trail is 1 ½ miles long. It is the trail closest to Glen Creek and runs over, under and along the park’s 19 waterfalls by way of stone bridges and more than 800 stone steps. We stopped often, while on our descent, for photo opportunities.

I am sure you have noticed the lack of photographs accompanying the preceding paragraphs.  After we completed our climb down the gorge, I sat down to review pictures I had taken that day. There were only 18 pictures on the memory card. I have no idea what happened. I was heartbroken and felt like crying. Bob saved the day. He suggested that we ride around Seneca Lake again so that I could retake the pictures I had taken in the morning. We rode around the lake in the opposite direction than the direction that we had ridden in the morning. I removed the memory card with lost pictures and inserted a new one. I had hoped to be able to recover the photographs on the other memory card once we returned home, with a photo recovery program.  Unfortunately, I was not able to restore the pictures, but all was not lost thanks to my wonderful husband!

Here are three photographs from our hike down the Watkins Glen gorge trail.

Cavern Cascade

Looking down on the Gorge

Waterfall at entrance to Gorge

The next few photographs were taken during our second ride around Seneca Lake.

Hector Falls

This vineyard is located along the SE shore of Seneca Lake, 1 mile from Leidenfrost Vineyards.

Historic District of Geneva, NY – Rowhouses

Historic District of Geneva, NY – Peace Fountain in Pulteney Park.

This fountain was “erected to the memory of Geneva patriots who served our nation in her wars that freedom might remain our most cherished heritage”.  The fountain was dedicated on May 30, 1939.

Geneva, NY – Seneca Lake

Geneva, NY
Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Geneva, NY
Hobart and William Smith Colleges

The statue is of Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female physician in the United States.  St. Johns Chapel is in background in the photograph displayed above.

Hobart and William Smith Colleges – Elizabeth Blackwell

After returning to Watkins Glen from our second ride around Seneca Lake, we stopped at the Village Marina.

Watkins Glen, NY
Seneca Lake

Watkins Glen, NY
Bob and I at Seneca Lake

We ate dinner at the Village Marina Bar & Grill.

Village Marina Bar & Grill

 Bob ordered a Reuben burger with onion rings. I ordered battered fish, fries and cole slaw. Dinner was excellent.

After dinner we returned to our hotel, where we spent rest of the evening.

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.

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.

Glenn 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Keuka Lake, NY
(somewhere between Hammondsport and Branchport)

Sunbathers on Keuka Lake, NY
(somewhere between Hammondsport and Branchport)

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.

Bob, enjoying view of Seneca Lake at Geneva, NY

Seneca Lake at Geneva, NY

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

Pulteney Park
in Geneva, NY

Row Houses at Pulteney Park in Geneva, NY

Pulteney Park in Geneva, NY

Collins Music Hall

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.

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.

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.

Bob and I at Watkins Glen Harbor

Watkins Glen Harbor
The “schoolhouse” at end of fishing pier

Watkins Glen Harbor

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

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.

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.

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