The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘Watkins Glen State Park’

Watkins Glen Day Trip

We spent yesterday (Saturday, September 9) driving to, driving home from and in Watkins Glen, NY.  We were on our way out of our hometown of Warren, PA at 6:45 am. We drove through Scandia to Onoville to Interstate 86. We saw ten deer along the way. All but one deer was along the side of the road or crossed the road in front of us.

It was a chilly and foggy start to our day.

20170909_115345575_iOSThe sun is shining; the fog is beginning to lift.
It is going to be a beautiful day!

We arrived at Watkins Glen State Park (Upper Entrance) shortly before 10:00 am.  Our Empire Pass Card provided free admission to the park.  We hiked the Gorge Trail to the Main Entrance, stopping often to take pictures.  I put together a slideshow to share with you the pictures taken during our hike.  I used Photoshop Premiere Elements to create the slideshow.  It was the first time that I used that program to create a slideshow.  I found the slideshow creation to be simple and easy.  I need to download royalty free music, though.  If the music loop in the video becomes annoying to you, please click on the audio icon and turn it off!

If you are not able to view the embedded video, you may view it by clicking on this YouTube link.

What a great day for hiking the Gorge Trail! It was a cool morning, with a touch of Autumn in the air.  It was a much more enjoyable hike, when the air was cool instead of on a hot summer day.  Additionally it was off season, and the trail was not crowded. It took us 1 1/2 hours to hike down the gorge.

We arrived at the Main Entrance, as the shuttle bus that would have taken us back up to the Upper Entrance was pulling out. It was a 30-minute wait for the next shuttle bus. The shuttle bus costs $5.00 each.  As a side note, we could have saved the cost of the shuttle bus by taking either the Gorge Trail or Indian Trail back to the upper entrance.  Bob would have been able to make the hike back to the upper entrance.  I, on the other hand, would not have been able to make the hike back, given my current condition (overweight and arthritic knee).

We ate lunch at the Village Marina Bar & Grill, our go-to restaurant when in Watkins Glen.  We started our lunch with a basket of onion rings.  Bob’s entree was a Southwest Chicken Salad. I ordered a Honey Glazed BBQ chicken sandwich with house-made Kettle chips. Both the service and food was excellent.

We finished lunch around 1:15 pm and began our drive home. We made a few stops on the way home — the Cuba Cheese Shoppe in Cuba NY, the Sheetz in Bradford PA for a caffeine fix, and a fuel stop at Exxon also in Bradford. We returned home around 5:30 pm. Bob and I both agree that our day trip made for a fun day.

Five NY State Parks in One Weekend: Watkins Glen State Park

We spent two nights at the Best Western Grand Victorian Inn in Sayre, PA during the weekend of June 26th.  We decided to go on our planned weekend getaway to the Finger Lakes region, regardless of the weather.  The weather forecast called for a very soggy weekend. Rain amounts of 1-2 inches (or more) was expected to fall.

We departed home at 12:45 pm on Friday, June 26th, en route Watkins Glen, NY.  We arrived in Watkins Glen around 4:00 pm and entered Watkins Glen State Park, using the Empire Passport that we purchased earlier in the year. Within the park, Glen Creek descends 400 feet past 200-foot cliffs, generating 19 waterfalls along its course. The gorge path winds over and under waterfalls and through the spray of Cavern Cascade. Rim trails overlook the gorge.  We caught a shuttle bus ($5.00 each) to the upper entrance to the gorge and hiked the 1 1/2 miles down to the main entrance. Our hike took us about 1 ½ hours, with lots of photo stops.

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Jacob’s Ladder has 180 steps!

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_LG15933 4x6Mile Point Bridge

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Rainbow Falls

_LG15953 4x6Rainbow Falls

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 Central Cascade

_LG15974 4x6Cavern Cascade

LJG15985 4x6Bob and I at the bottom of the gorge

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Sentry Bridge

It was a perfect afternoon for a hike. It was a warm, not a hot and humid day.

After hiking the gorge, we drove to Sayre and ate dinner at the Original Italian Grille.  This restaurant was recommended to us by one of Bob’s coworkers.  I ordered lasagna and a side salad.  The lasagna was generous enough that two people could have eaten it easily.  Bob ordered the Seared Ahi Tuna Salad (Chilled Sashimi-style tuna, rubbed and seared, served rare, with tomatoes, red onion, wonton crisps and sesame seeds paired with our Wasabi vinaigrette).  In addition to the tuna salad, Bob helped me eat the lasagna.  Our meals also were served with homemade bread.  Dinner was delicious, and the service was okay. The waitress made a couple mistakes with our order. She brought me water instead of unsweetened tea, and she forgot to bring me a salad. The mistakes were quickly corrected.

After dinner, we drove the short distance to our hotel. Our accommodation at Best Western Grand Victorian Inn was a generously-sized room with king bed, two night stands, dresser and flat screen TV, desk with chair, arm chair with ottoman and small refrigerator and microwave. The closet was large enough to walk inside. The bathroom was large as well.  As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, the Best Western Grand Victorian Inn was home for us for 2 nights.

 

 

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.

P6215763 4x6Cavern Cascade

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

P6215781 4x6Hector Falls

P6215791 4x6This vineyard is located along the SE shore of Seneca Lake, 1 mile from Leidenfrost Vineyards.

P6215794 4x6Historic District of Geneva, NY – Rowhouses

P6215796 4x6Historic 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.

P6215804 4x6Geneva, NY – Seneca Lake

P6215813 4x6Geneva, NY
Hobart and William Smith Colleges

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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.

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

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We ate dinner at the Village Marina Bar & Grill.

P6215836 4x6Village 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.

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