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Posts tagged ‘Hammondsport NY’

Birthday Celebration Days 3 and 4

We celebrated my 61st birthday during a 3-night vacation in New York’s Finger Lakes region. Our home base was at the Best Western Plus The Hammondsport Hotel in Hammondsport, NY. Our hotel accommodation included a complimentary breakfast each day.

We started our third day of vacation (Friday, February 24) with a large breakfast.  Bob loaded up with scrambled eggs and sausage. I, on the other hand, made a waffle that I topped with blueberries and a dollop of whipped topping. We finished breakfast around 7:30 am and left for a drive along the east side of Keuka Lake.

During our drive along Keuka Lake, I found myself spending equal time looking left toward the hillside and right across the picturesque lake. What drew my eye to the left were the many rivulets of water tumbling down the hillside.

Our first stop was in Branchport, where I photographed three store fronts; we went on an off-road adventure; and we visited a state park.

_XZ40565Branchport Storefronts

The off-road adventure happened at the Verdi Burtch Bird Refuge, located at the Eastern edge of Branchport along Sugar Creek. The bird refuge is a marshland with an observation platform overlooking the marsh and Keuka Lake. There was no sign that prohibited motor vehicles from using the trail.  It appeared as though motor vehicles had driven to the observation platform at some point in time.  The trail was deeply rutted, but also muddy and very wet.  Thankfully, we were driving a 4-wheel vehicle.  We got stuck in one of the deep ruts.  After rocking back and forth a few times and getting even more stuck, Bob decided to try to back up.  Finally we were out of the rut; however, it was not safe to keep backing up.  Sugar Creek was very close to us.  Bob gunned it, and we made it through the rut traveling again in the direction of the observation platform.  The trail actually looked a little better, after the deep rut.  We made it to the observation platform and got turned around.  I went “live” on Facebook on our way back to the road.

Here is the direct link to the flickr video, in the event you are using a device that will not play it.

Our off-road adventure was a hair-raising experience, as both the creek and lake were very close to the path that we were on. We didn’t get out of the car at the observation platform, and we didn’t look for any birds. We were concerned only with making it back to the road, without getting stuck (or worse getting pulled into Sugar Creek!).

After our off-road adventure we made one more stop in Branchport, at Keuka Lake State Park, where we enjoyed picturesque views across the lake.

_LG20546View across Keuka Lake at Keuka Lake State Park

_LG20542View across Keuka Lake at Keuka Lake State Park

We drove through Penn Yan, making two stops: one to give our muddy SUV a bath and the second for a much-needed bathroom break.

From Penn Yan we drove towards Corning, NY with the intent of visiting the Corning Museum of Glass. We made two photo stops along the way.

_LG20547Barn located on a rural route somewhere between Penn Yan and Corning

_LG20549-EditMill Pond, off Lamoka Lake (near Bradford, NY)

We changed our minds about visiting the Corning Museum of Glass, neither of us much interested in the museum offerings. Perhaps if admission to the museum were free, we would check it out.

We ate lunch at The Outback Steakhouse in Elmira. After lunch we drove back to Hammondsport, making one photo stop along Route 54.

_LG20551Keuka Lake, as seen from Route 54 near Hammondsport

We returned to our hotel around 1:30 pm. A couple hours later we drove to downtown Hammondsport.  We parked along Shethar Street.  We walked from there through Hammondsport Village Square to Depot Park.

_XZ40599G. Frey Opera House (c.1901) on Shethar Street

_XZ40597Walking down Shethar Street

_XZ40596Shethar Street Art

_XZ40576Hammondsport Village Square

_XZ40578Hammondsport Storefronts

_XZ40579Looking across the village square to Shethar Street

It was motorcycle-riding weather in February!

_XZ40589Depot Park on Keuka Lake in Hammondsport, NY

_XZ40582This is the old depot, from which Depot Park gets its name.

_XZ40585Depot Park
We sat on a park bench for a while and enjoyed the picturesque view of Keuka Lake.

We returned to our hotel, after our walk in downtown Hammondsport.  We stayed in for rest of the afternoon and evening.


We began our fourth and final day of vacation (Saturday, February 25) with a large breakfast.  The hotel’s complimentary breakfast was very good each day. We had choice of scrambled or hard-boiled eggs, sausage, home fries, a variety of breads and pastries, cold cereals, waffles, fruit topping for the waffles, a variety of juices, coffee, tea and hot chocolate. Later in the day complimentary fresh chocolate chip cookies were available. The hotel is relatively new, as it opened in June 2016 I believe.  The rooms are very nice; the beds are comfortable; and the staff is helpful and pleasant.  We would definitely stay at this hotel again.

We checked out of the hotel around 7:30 am and began our drive home. It was still warm, 58.6 degrees. The temperature at home, in Warren PA, was close to the same. The temperature would fall throughout the day , leading to a realistic temperature for the month of February. The unseasonably warm temperature during our Finger Lakes Region vacation was very nice!  Bob couldn’t have picked a better time to take vacation. We LOVE 70 degree weather in February!

Since breakfast, Bob’s morning went downhill. Before breakfast Bob created a route map, with directions home that would keep us off the Interstate.  He sent the map from his tablet to his phone.  The map disappeared! Before leaving Hammondsport, Bob spent $2.00 for a car wash. Our SUV was STILL muddy from our previous day’s off-road adventure!  The coin machine took his money, but didn’t give him a car wash. On our way home we ended up on I-390 instead of staying on I-86. We didn’t realize the error until we were almost in Rochester! We came home from Hammondsport via Batavia NY, which was way out of the way! It rained hard, and it was very windy. I am glad that we got off the interstate at Batavia and took slower routes home.  We returned home at 12:30 pm. If we had not gone out of our way, we would have been home between 10:00 and 10:30 am.

Bob’s bad luck continued later in the afternoon, after we returned home.  Bob dropped a 2TB portable hard drive. The hard drive is no longer readable. Stored on the hard drive are system images of our desktop computers and Bob’s Microsoft Surface Pro 4 tablet.  Understandably, Bob was upset about the loss.  Thankfully he had just used a system image stored on that hard drive to repair his tablet, before the hard drive fell to its death.

What a memorable birthday celebration!


Birthday Celebration Day 2 Continued

After visiting the Newfield Covered Bridge, we returned to Ithaca and stopped at Buttermilk Falls State Park. We entered the park via its lower entrance.  It was a short walk from the parking lot to the base of Buttermilk Falls.

_LG20480-EditButtermilk Falls

We drove to the upper park entrance, with the intent of driving to Lake Treman.  The park road to Lake Treman, however, was closed.  I don’t know if that part of the park road is open only to hiking, or if it is open to motor vehicle traffic sometime during the year.  Not knowing the hiking distance, we chose not to hike to Lake Treman.  Our drive to the upper park entrance, though, was not a loss.  We did see a small waterfall on Buttermilk Creek.

_LG20482-EditButtermilk Creek Waterfall

Our next stop was at Ithaca Falls. Wow! The water falling over that waterfall was quite impressive!

_LG20485-EditWe saw Ithaca Falls first from the Lake Street bridge.

We, then, took a short walk through the woods to the base of the falls.

_LG20488-EditIthaca Falls is over 100 feet tall and stretches nearly 175 ft across at its base.
I love the contrast in this monochrome photograph!

We visited Ithaca Falls for the first time in September 2015.

_LG17791 4x6Ithaca Falls, September 2015

There was nowhere as much water falling at Ithaca Falls in September 2015, as there was during our most recent visit!


Our next stop was at Taughannock Falls State Park.  We stopped first at Falls Overlook, where we enjoyed a lofty view of Taughannock Falls.

Taughannock Falls plunges 215 feet past rocky cliffs that tower nearly 400 feet above the gorge.

There are two levels from which to view the falls.  Only the top level was open; the stairs to the lower level were closed for the season.

For the first time we discovered the trail heads for the south rim trail and the north rim trail. We hiked the north rim trail for a short distance. We were impressed by the rapidly moving water (the Upper Falls) making its way to Taughannock Falls, as well as the view into the gorge.

_LG20501Upper Falls
Taughannock Falls State Park

_LG20503-EditTaughannock Gorge

At Taughannock Falls State Park we hiked the gorge trail as well.  The gorge trail, muddy and icy in places, winds 3/4 mile past Lower Falls to the base of Taughannock Falls.

_LG20505-EditLower Falls
Taughannock Falls State Park

_LG20523-EditTaughannock Falls

The last time we visited Taughannock Falls was in September 2015.

_LG17884 4x6
Taughannock Falls, September 2015

What a difference in water flow from September 2015 to February 2017!

We ate lunch at Creekside Cafe in Trumansburg, per Bob’s sister’s suggestion. Bob ordered a chef salad. I ordered a ham and cheese sandwich. The chef salad and the side salad that accompanied my sandwich contained edible flowers, seeds, and unusual greens. Both of our meals included a large serving of ham. The salad was out of my comfort zone, but both meals were good.

Leaving Trumansburg, we drove alongside Cuyago Lake to the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. We were disappointed to find that the wildlife drive is closed until April 1.

We stopped at Friendly’s in Geneva NY for ice cream, in celebration of my birthday. On our way back to Hammondsport, we stopped at Wegman’s to pick up water.  Our 4-year-old granddaughters called using Facebook Messenger, while Bob was in the grocery store.  During a video chat, the girls wished me a happy birthday. The girls were at a playground with “Big Grandma”, after a trip to the dentist.  Isn’t technology grand!  I loved seeing and chatting with our granddaughters, while we were miles and miles apart.

From Wegman’s we returned to Hammondsport, where we stopped briefly at Champlin Beach.

Champlin Beach at Keuka Lake
The airplane sculpture rising out of the lake caught my eye.

_LG20534This airplane sculpture commemorates native son Glenn Hammond Curtiss.
Mr. Curtiss was the Father of Naval Aviation.

We returned to the hotel around 5:00 pm, where we stayed in for rest of the day.  We ate a picnic dinner and watched three shows on Hulu Plus: The Path, Blindspot and Bones.

Birthday Celebration Day 1

We celebrated my 61st birthday during a 3-night vacation in New York’s Finger Lakes region. Our home base was at the Best Western Plus The Hammondsport Hotel in Hammondsport, NY.

We departed our home in Warren PA shortly after 6:00 am on Wednesday, February 22.  We followed routes PA-59 and US-6 to Coudersport PA, where we enjoyed a delicious and filling breakfast at Kaytee’s Family Restaurant.

After breakfast, we veered off US-6 and followed routes PA-44 to PA-49 to I-99. Shortly before entering I-99 we stopped at Cowanesque Lake near Lawrenceville, PA. While Bob took a nap, I went for a short walk from the parking lot to the beach.

_LG20433Cowanesque Lake South Overlook

A short distance from the South Overlook was an overlook of the Cowanesque Dam.

_LG20437Cowanesque Dam on Cowanesque Lake

Soon after leaving Cowanesque Lake, we turned onto I-99 north towards Corning NY, where we hopped onto I-86 east. It wasn’t long until we were on NY-414, heading towards Watkins Glen. We turned off NY-414 onto NY-16 and drove to Montour Falls, where we saw our first waterfall of the day.

_LG20442Shequaga Falls in Montour Falls

Shequaga Falls did not disappoint. There was abundant water tumbling down the waterfall! After taking a few pictures of the waterfall, we headed towards Watkins Glen.

We saw another waterfall along NY-414 en route Watkins Glen.

a Montour Falls waterfall

We have driven by this waterfall during past visits to this area; however, we never stopped.  The water flow had not been much more than a trickle of water.  Well, as you can see, there was a lot of water falling this time!

We drove into Watkins Glen passing by the lower entrance to Watkins Glen State Park.  A quick glance, as we were driving by, showed that the state park’s lower entrance parking lot is under construction.

We drove out of Watkins Glen on NY-414. We stopped at Hector Falls, our third and final waterfall of the day.

_LG20459Hector Falls in Hector, NY

We decided to drive around Seneca Lake, so we continued on to Geneva via NY-414 to NY-96A.

In Geneva we stopped briefly at Pulteney Park before continuing around Seneca Lake on NY-14 to Watkins Glen.

_LG20467Pulteney Park
Our Lady of Peace Fountain

_LG20466Pulteney Park
Our Lady of Peace Fountain, with First Presbyterian Church in the background

In Watkins Glen we took a short walk at the marina.

_LG20469Seneca Lake Marina in Watkins Glen

The Seneca Lake marina in Watkins Glen looks so different out of season, with no boats docked at the slips! Our plan to eat lunch at the Village Marina Bar & Grill was squashed, as the restaurant is closed for Winter.

Leaving Watkins Glen we took back roads to our hotel in Hammondsport.

We checked in to Best Western Plus The Hammondsport Hotel a little after 2:00 pm. After settling into our room, wed drove the short distance to Hammondsport Village Square.  At the suggestion of our hotel clerk, we ate lunch at Burgers & Beer.


20170222_195608425_iOS 4x6
Bob ordered a Taco Salad.

20170222_195602359_iOS 4x6
I ordered a Cowboy Burger, with an order of fresh cut fries.

The hotel clerk’s suggestion for lunch was excellent.  Both of our meals were delicious.

We returned to our hotel at 4:30 pm, where we spent rest of day.  I would like to say a word about today’s weather.  Today’s temperature was in the low 60s. It was more cloudy than expected, and we did walk through a little bit of rain late this afternoon.  What wonderful weather for the end of February!

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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