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The Lovely Finger Lakes Region, NY

Greetings from the Watkins Glen Public Library.

The library is in the same building as  the International Motor Racing Research Center.  

Watkins Glen, NY has a 6.6 mile racing route.

Watkins Glen State Park

Watkins Glen State Park, where I am camped, is on a hill above town.  

When I drove in to get to my camping spot I saw a lot of the same brand of campers throught the campground.  Altos were having a gathering.  I had researched these campers when I was dreaming of driving the country.  They are made in Canada and currently there is a two year wait to receive one once you order it.

The first morning I was in the park, I drove part-way down the hill and then walked the Gorge, which is a big feature of this park. The instructions on the campground map was to stay to the right of a pond and then go down "Coaches Staircase".

While I walked the Gorge trail, I kept saying "WOW!".  The CCC's had created the stone stairs and walkways. Then I remembered Steve comparing this to the glens and caverns we visited at Hocking Hills.  I texted him, "You are such a faker!  This is wow, wow, wow!" OMG.  It is a mile and a half from the visitors center to the end of the walkway, and all of it is beauty, water falls, and rising dramatic cliffs.

I kept having to remind myself that the stair-step falls and the winding cuts were not man made, but beautiful acts of nature over.  Water running its course over 12,000 years.

Twice this week I have walked from the campground on a trail down to the Gorge, arriving in the Gorge one mile from the visitor's center.  I decend many steps to get down, having to pause and take in the majesty and magic once in a while.  

I then walk into town because I called a local fitness gym and got permission to come there for $10 per time.  To me, it is worth the money to maintain my strength so I can continue to be able to lift my bicycle into my truck.

The instructions the owner gave me were: enter the code on the door... the door isn't marked;  turn the gold knob;  enter the hall and enter the code into the second door, this one is marked with the name of the gym; go upstairs; sign the waiver,; the $10 in the envelope; put the your name on the envelope; and put the envelope in the basket.  

It is in a 100 year old building with refinished wooden floors and probably aspestos ceilings.  I am happy.  Often when I arrive between seven and eight a.m., I am the only one there. 

In the early morning when I head out there is hardly anyone in the Gorge.  But when I return, I am chugging up the stairs past many visitors.

Getting Together With Florida Friends

I contacted Christie and Mark, (Steve's neighbors in Florida), and we set up a time to meet and a brewery by Ithaca.

Then on a different day we would go to a winery and brewery and hopefully get music.  

I contacted Donna and Craig, (from my old neighborhood in Inverness), and they invited me over to their house on Keuka Lake (the lake is just west of where I am camped near Lake Seneca.)

Donna and Craig live right on the lake!  You have to walk down a full flight of stairs to get down to their house level.  But then on the other side of the house they have a lovely patio looking out over the lake, and then a few more steps down to the dock.  I remembered when Donna had an injury and I wondered how she ever managed.  They told me that firemen came and carried her down to the house.

They took me to a winery and treated me to a wine tasting.  I ended up buying two bottles of wine.  It was fun.

Then they took me to a boat museum.  Both Donna and Craig do a lot of volunteer work for the museum.

It was facinating!  I think I was more interested in the building than the boats, though they were fun to see too.

The building was a huge, multi-building complex that was a winery!  It was donated to the boat museum.  Craig said it was a huge mess and a lot of work, all or mostly done by a small team of four or five volunteers.  When you see the work done on both the boats and the buildings it is VERY impressive.  I was lucky to get to see some of the areas not open to regular visitors because I was with these two active participants in the creation of this museum.

Donna told me about working with school children.  They make boats while there to learn about buoyancy.  They make the boats out of corks and tape and aluminum foil.  Then they have a contest, dripping pennies into the boats to see which one holds the most pennies before sinking.  Fun idea.

I got on the rowing machine they had there that was used by olympic rowers.  Donna took a great picture of me on the rowing machine. 

Oh, found it.

There is a mural on the wall showing the finger lakes.

The entrance desk is shaped like a boat.

Here are some pictures of the winery that they took me to before the boat museum.

It was a great day!  

Donna had told me about a farmers market near Watkins Glen.  So the next day was Saturday.  I had fun there too.  I bought a tupperware salt shaker for my trailer.  Now maybe my salt won't cake.

In the afternoon, I was meeting up with Christie and Mark!  I got to meet Christie's sister, Jackie and her friend Diane.  We had a great time.  We had take-out Thai for lunch that we ate it outside the winery. They treated me to a wine tasting, and then we went to a brewery with music about to start!  Perfecto!

The band was "Sweats" and they were pretty good!  I only got Christie to dance one dance. Which was fine.  I ususally don't drink much and with the wine tasting and then part of a beer, jumping around didn't feel to healthy.

Christie and Mark have a blueberry farm.  They invited me to leave the campground and come plug at their place this coming weekend.  Definately music and a brewery.

Treman State Park Hike

Steve told me I should visit Treman State Park while I am here.  So yesterday, after walking Watkins Glen Gorge and going to the gym...

I packed a lunch and drove about 1/2 an hour toward Ithaca, NY.

I was at the restroom sink when I saw this grandaddy long-legs on the soap dispensor and reflected in the mirror.  It was pretty cool to see, but I didn't quite capture it.

I took the trail to walk to the upper falls.  A sign said 2.25 miles or so.  I went about 1.25 miles and decided to turn around.  I was beginning to tire from all the stairs.  I read there are 800 stairs at Watkins Glen.  The route I take to town probably has two hundred...  here I started counting on my way back 1/2 way down.  I counted 167 steps.

I drove to the upper falls.  I had already noticed the water wasn't crystal clear here like at Watkins Glen.  That is because they had flood damage and were doing a re-build on the edges of the river upstream.  The water was flowing right over the material set up to catch the run-off.

The falls were still impressive.  

I forgot to tell you, the lower falls had a pool that Steve said I could swim in.  So even though it was a cool, sweatshirt kind of day, I wore my swim suit under my long pants.  But when I entered the park there were signs all over, "No swimming or wading."

When I got back to camp and was cleaning up the dishes after supper, a neighboring camper came over to inquire about LILAC.  I am always happy to talk about my camper.  We chatted awhile.  He asked if he could bring his wife over, because after looking at it and hearing about it, he thought it was just what they were looking for.  His wife came over a few minutes later.  She liked it!  And after we chatted a while they invited me to join them at their campfire!  I got to meet the two other couples they are camping with.  Fun!

I gave her Alzheimer's Trippin' with George because they were talking about traveling out west next year.  Which is what George and I did in 2016 and I wrote about in the book.  

I told Jennifer and Doug that in the book I write about the places we went and they might get some ideas of where they want to go.  She said she was going to get me to sign it before they left.

One day I rode the trail near here.  It starts in Watkins Glen but it took me a while to find the start, which is behind the high school, I think.   It is called the Catherine Valley Trail.  When it goes through towns it takes the streets, and sometimes I missed the turn signs.

Sometimes it was a flat rail trail, at other times it was curvey and went over hills.

The phone number on the sign doesn't work.  I tried it twice.

An interesting building in Montour Falls.

There is a large waterfall right in the town of Montour Falls.

The trail is only 14 miles long and I didn't do the whole thing.  I would do it again.  It was mostly fast and downhill on the way back toward Watkins Glen.

I have two more places I want to see while in this area.  Corning has the Rockwell Museum and the Corning Glass Museum.  Tomorrow it is supposed to rain so it will be a good day to go do inside stuff.  

I also want to go to Seneca Falls where there is a park commemorating the women and events and the first convention for women's rights that lead eventually to a woman's right to vote in the United States.

Steve has been busy with his house stuff.  But he ordered a cap for his truck so that we can carry the trikes when we travel together next summer season.  We have finally decided to head North to NY to visit his family and home, and then head West to Wisconsin, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico... and states in between.  So much to see, so little time.

I am looking forward to being back there with him for a while.  He is getting a lot done without me there.  Yes, I miss him.

I got a nice text from my daughter-in-law commenting on how brave and amazing they think I am.  That is one of the reasons I am on top of the world today.  I told her my bravery comes from not watching much sensational news (if it bleeds it leads) and not watching scary movies.  

I do believe that the vast majority of people are really great.  And statistics are the logical side of it.  A car accident or heart attack is much more likely got get me than Jack the Ripper.

I practice over-coming fear every day.  Most of us do.  Notice it and be proud.

Another reason I am feeling on top was before I came to sit at the library I rode my bike around camp and ended up biking up a long hill I challenged myself to do.  Feeling mighty proud, thumping my chest.  

I just found out my granddaughter has put herself into college!  She is working full-time and studying a LOT.  It makes me hopeful and proud of her.

And I started the day with a nice phone call and some texting with Steve.  Good Morning!

All of this shall pass, but it is fun while it lasts.

Thanks again for your comments and contact and for Trippin' with me.


  1. Once again Zip and I marvel at your ability to move through this life with so much joy. You inspire all of us.

    1. You inspire and delight me and all who know you. Lovely lady dancing for the first time in your 80's. Yep! You are incredible ❤️.

    2. Ride Susan Ride! I loved the pictures of the Finger Lakes Region. You are amazing, girl!

  2. Susan, thank you for taking time, & making the effort to find places to post the "Great" pictures. I love traveling with you vicariously, while I appreciate, a bit more, assisting with planning of large & small bike rides. You spur me on & I WILL get back to work outs & exercise classes. Thanks for the push, & make safe choices, you have a lot of "Friends" who love being in your world.

    1. One time a friend was feeling bad about having such good fortune of being happy months after his partner had passed away. I told him, there are sooooo many people around you that love you and they are wishing (praying) for you to be happy and well. You are just being carried along on that good energy.

      Steve and I often will remark that Margaret and George arranged for us to be together.

      Good ju ju.

    2. I am so blessed. And you, Mary Ann, are loved by many. You are very special to me.

      I am glad I am inspiring someone to exercise. It is amazing how we can prevent injury through stretching and strengthen ING, even at our age.

  3. We are so happy that you are visiting this beautiful area, the impressive gorges, interesting museums and tasty wineries. We haven’t visited the boat museum/winery you went to with friends so that may be a future visit for us when we are next in Ithaca. Enjoy your visit to Seneca Falls and the museums and have a fantastic visit at the Corning Glass Museum. It is amazing.

    1. Yes, maybe you can get a behind the scene tour like I did. It was amazing... (There is no such tour, I just got lucky.)

  4. Inspirational! Your comments and your joy are just plain ole inspirational! So enjoyable to be on this adventure with you vicariously!

  5. I love reading your posts. You are so adventurous. I, for one, appreciate your sharing the pictures and information of the beautiful places you’ve been to.

    1. Thanks for letting me know. I love that you are enjoying the journey with me.

  6. I enjoy reading about your adventures. I am traveling myself right now. I have a 9’ trailer “Alice”. I have fear sometimes also about all the crazy things I am doing. Safe travels. Tommie

    1. 9 feet! That is even smaller than LILAC. Are you in Michigan? It isn't crazy to want to live life fully while we can. A big hug to you, Tommie! And high five.

  7. Love your posts. Peter and I loved traveling to the Finger Lake Region. You are amazing. Thanks for sharing your adventures. I have been exercising, doing immuni Qi and line dancing. Never felt better. Following your good example.

    1. I am so glad you are taking care of yourself. Feeling better is a big plus, o. Top of the fun you are having. I LOVE QI GONG.

  8. Really enjoyed this trip’s history, and love the photos! Stay safe and happy travels­čą░

    1. Hi Mackie! Nice to hear from you. Thanks for being with me virtually.


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