Sunday, July 12, 2015

July 12–To Finger Lakes, New York and Taughannock Falls

Yesterday we did the 2 hour drive north into New York State and the Finger Lakes area, to the Pinecreek Campground near Ithaca.

The trip was entirely on secondary highways, which are much more interesting visually but also more challenging when driving a large motorhome.

At one point we saw a sign saying that an upcoming bridge was only 12’ 6” high. It was a good thing that I had carefully measured the RV for the bridge in Shenandoah National Park so I knew that we are 12’ 2” tall. It was still a bit nerve wrecking to go underneath and I went REALLY slowly. There was also no good place to turn around if we had been too tall.

When I booked our site the lady said that to get an open one for the satellite dish, I would have to take a treed one for one night and then could move to an open one when some people left the next day. When we got here, it turns out that the man who was in the site we wanted to move to, had a stroke that previous night. They called an ambulance to get him to the hospital and needless to say they won’t be moving their RV any time soon.

We found another site where I just just barely see the satellites over the trees. It is actually better because the trees do give us some afternoon sun protection.

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I would say that about a quarter of the sites are seasonal. Some are very permanent.

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Some have been here a long time.

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I wonder if they host concerts here because they have a huge stage in the middle of a field.

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The place is nice if a bit pricey. It has two strikes against it though. The road up from the highway was very steep for a very long time with some 10 mph corners. The RV transmission did not like it one bit.

The other was that they do not provide any WIFI access. Naturally they don’t mention it on their website and I missed the the lack of the checkbox on the review website I use. I have just come to expect it at a modern campground so we are back to using our cellular hot spot.

Today we went about 1/2 hour north to Taughannock Falls State Park. The hike we did was only 1.5 miles round trip and essentially flat but it still took us almost 2 1/2 hours because there was so much to look at. The 215 foot falls are at the end of a relatively narrow and almost vertical walled 400 foot high gorge.

Taughannock Falls State Park Map

We got to the trailhead at about 10:30 and got the third last spot in the small parking lot. If it had been full there is a massive parking area just across the road for the beach. Being that the weather was good and that it is Sunday it got very busy here. When we got back there was a line up to get in to the large parking lot partly because you have to pay to use New York state parks. This is the first time we have had to pay this year. In all the other states the parks were free.

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Because I had not told Jennie much about the hike, she quite rightly wondered if these were “the” falls.

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There is a trail in the woods that you can take all the way to the falls.

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But the interesting thing about the gorge floor is that it is solid stone and almost flat so for most of the way you could walk out there, either in or out of the water.

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We had to be careful of the little pockets of water. They were covered in very slippery algae.

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The creek was never very deep.

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There was one place where we had to take the trail because the water was too deep for our water resistant hiking boots.

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We were soon back out on the rock.

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I think this intricate rock sculpture was a group effort.

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On the way back we noticed that someone had very carefully added to the spire in the middle.

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Back into the woods.

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The wide angle shots never give a proper sense of how the cliffs towered over us.

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Some kind of bird of prey circled above us.

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Finally at the bridge just as we round the corner to the falls.

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Below, notice the tiny people, on the viewing area in the lower right, for a sense of scale.

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It was very misty and wet at the very end of the trail.

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We sat back a bit farther and had our lunch.

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It got busy at times but never really crowded.

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Heading back someone pointed out a non-rattlesnake sunning itself just over the rock wall.

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Some take the high road but most take the low road.

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Back at the car, I headed over to the beach for a quick look.

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The aroma from this guy’s smoker was heavenly.

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This inn overlooks the beach.

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There are two hiking trails that run up each rim of the gorge. The climb up from the gorge entrance looked pretty severe. We just drove to the the falls overlook.

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We made a quick side trip into Ithaca visitors center and loaded up on brochures before heading home.

1 comment:

  1. That long, flat, shallow stream looks pretty neat!!!

    ReplyDelete