15-18 Sep, 2016; New York State to Mass…Beautiful Country

Howdy everyone from New England!  We made it to northern Massachusetts today, and have been in the rain most of the day.  Not an issue though…the sites along the way were fantastic!  The Berkshires, even enveloped in clouds and fog proved spectacular.  We were up and at it about 0630 today so we could make it to the next park before they closed the office for the day…not to worry…all went well, and we got to  our park in Bernardston, MA right around 2:00 pm.  I’m getting ahead of myself…we have had a blast the past few days, so let’s get started.

I told you the park that we were in was very tight…here is how our camp ground was set up:

Neighbor needs a can of Franks and Beans? No problem...open the window and pass it over.

Neighbor needs a can of Franks and Beans? No problem…open the window and pass it over.

Not complaining…the parks in the Niagara Falls area are very expensive, and we got this gem at a great price with full hook ups.

The interior section of the park. These sites are very short and not level at all...would have been a better

The interior section of the park. These sites are very short and not level at all…would have been a better “ambiance,” but we were out and about and busy anyway.

We were up fairly early on the 15th to check out the area north and east of us along Lake Ontario.  Here are some shots.

This is the Freedom Crossing monument in Lewiston, NY. This was where a major portion of the underground railroad operated. We had heard about this the day before from our tour guide. Impressive..

This is the Freedom Crossing monument in Lewiston, NY. This was where a major portion of the underground railroad operated. We had heard about this the day before from our tour guide. Impressive..

Here you can read most of the history for yourself...some cut off by the Bad Ron photographer, but you can Google it!

Here you can read most of the history for yourself…some cut off by the Bad Ron photographer, but you can Google it!

This is the Niagara River below the falls where it really opens up before entering Lake Ontario. this is where Josiah Tyron would take the escaped slaves in his row boat to more safety in Canada...even though the Northern states were against slavery in this area, many escaped slave hunters from the South would comb this area to find them and return them to the South. In Josiah's mind, as well as many others that operated the Underground in this area, the only way these folks would actually be safe was to get out of the country.

This is the Niagara River below the falls where it really opens up before entering Lake Ontario. This is where Josiah Tyron would take the escaped slaves in his row-boat to more safety in Canada…even though the Northern states were against slavery in this area, many slave hunters from the South would comb this area to find escaped slaves (even though they were now free) and return them to the South. In Josiah’s mind, as well as many others that operated the Underground in this area, the only way these folks would actually be safe was to get out of the country.

Another shot of the same area looking up stream. Looks beautiful and peaceful now. Back then, the falls would have been much closer, and crossing this area at night would have been treacherous at best.

Another shot of the same area looking up-stream. Looks beautiful and peaceful now. Back then, the falls would have been much closer, and crossing this area at night would have been treacherous at best.

Further up the Coast, looking over Lake Ontario. It did not come out in the photo, but with the naked eye, we could see Toronto from this little state park.

Further up the Coast, looking over Lake Ontario. It did not come out in the photo, but with the naked eye, we could see Toronto from this little state park.

Looking to the North East this time.

Looking to the North East this time.

No matter which body of water we come to, Terri has to stick her foot in it...

No matter which body of water we come to, Terri has to stick her foot in it…she said it was quite warm.

We took a nice long ride through the countryside, and stopped in a few areas just to enjoy the scenery.  A lot of the farm land in this area now seems to be taken over by grape vines…much more on that later.

After a stop at the grocery store, and a quick meal, it was time for a shot of the sunset before bed.

After a stop at the grocery store, and a quick meal, it was time for a shot of the sunset before bed.

Friday was move day.  While getting ready to roll, we got a chance to talk to our neighbors from the past few days.  You rarely find folks in the camp ground here, as they are out and about touring the area.  In any case, the folks next to us were from Colorado and headed to Maine as well.  In fact, after we got set up and did some touring in the afternoon, we ran into them when we stopped for gas.  I was surprised, as they were planning on doing over 360 miles, and we only did about 120.  I guess they took a wrong turn, and were still going to motor on down the road…at least that was his story…hers was different, LOL!

We’ve received a lot of question about how we find camp sites, and I’ve mentioned the All Stays app a few times.  We use it most of the time to find and review the camp sites we are looking at.  Here is a screen shot of the place we landed on Friday:

As you can see, you get a wealth of info. Number of sites, rating, hook ups, price rating, etc. Phone number and web stie as well. It works real well for us.

As you can see, you get a wealth of info. Number of sites, rating, hook ups, price, rating, etc. Phone number and web site as well. It works real well for us.

I’ve talked about Passport America a lot this trip, and it’s paid off well.  This place has Passport, but only during the week, but they gave us a military discount that almost equaled the Passport rate.  Always pays to ask!

Here is a screen shot of the park we are at now. They offer PA rates, and we have two night of full hook ups, 50 AMP for a total of $30...can't beat that out here! The WiFi is spotty, but working for me, and the camp hosts are awesome.

Here is a screen shot of the park we are at now. They offer PA rates, and we have two nights of full hook ups, 50 AMP for a total of $30…can’t beat that out here! The WiFi is spotty, but working for me, and the camp hosts are awesome.

Getting ahead of myself again.  The manager at the Waterloo Harbor Campground was great, and gave us a lot of ideas of what to do over the next two days.  We started with a bike ride along the north shore of Seneca Lake, which is located in the City of Geneva, NY.  Sheesh…we were just in Geneva On the Lake, OH the other night, and spent time in Lake Geneva, WI this summer…those Swiss!  It was a nice ride along some nice bike paths.

North end of Seneca Lake.

North end of Seneca Lake.

A harbor at the edge of the State Park.

A harbor at the edge of the State Park.

It was Friday night, so I had to take a shot of the local Tiki Bar for my friends in FL!

It was Friday night, so I had to take a shot of the local Tiki Bar for our friends in FL!

After we got back to the camp ground, we headed out to tour a bit of the northeastern shore of the lake.  We ended up at the Three Brothers Winery and Estates, as recommended by the manager at the campground.

Looking west over Seneca Lake. These photos to not do justice to the awesome scenery!

Looking west over Seneca Lake. These photos to not do justice to the awesome scenery!

Very nice place with nice facilities, live music and food. We had to leave a bit early, as they had a private party going on.

Very nice place with nice facilities, live music and food. We had to leave a bit early, as they had a private party going on.

I almost forgot...they have a soon to be legendary brewery on site too!

I almost forgot…they have a soon to be legendary brewery on site too!

We decided to head into Geneva for dinner, and I had the best pot roast sandwich I’ve ever had at the Brews and Beef Cafe.  The scenery and history and buildings in this little town at the north end of the lake are fantastic.

Downtown buildings. Could not get them all, so only took a shot of a couple.

Downtown buildings. Could not get them all, so only took a shot of a couple.

When we were headed home, we saw the Harvest Moon on the rise over the lake.  I’ll post a pic here, but there is absolutely no way we can do justice to the awe-inspiring sight it was with the moon rising over the lake!

Moon rise over Seneca Lake.

Moon rise over Seneca Lake.

That was about it for the night.  We headed back to camp, and met the new neighbors next door who were from Syracuse and spent the remainder of the night chatting with them around the camp fire.  We were up and at it early on Saturday to head down the western shore of Seneca to go to the Windmill Farm and Craft Market in Penn Yan, NY, then a trip further to the southern tip of the lake to take in the Watkins Glen State Park.  Here are some shot of the rest of the day.

Awesomeness with potatoes! Yes, I used an E like Dan Quayle does. don't know if I spelled his name right though?? The Pierogi's were awesome, as was the rolled cabbage.

Awesomeness with potatoes! Yes, I used an E like Dan Quayle does (even though I think it is proper in this case…have to ask Betty Beggs, my high school English teacher,  but I don’t think she’s around any more.) Also, I don’t know if I spelled his name right?? The Pierogi’s were awesome, as was the rolled cabbage.

There are a ton of shops at this market, but we only came away with a basket of concord grapes and some honey crisp apples!

On to Watkins Glen State Park.  Here is some info on the park from our friends at Wiki before we get to the pics.  If you are ever in the area, check it out.   More than worth the $8 parking fee:

“Watkins Glen State Park is located outside the village of Watkins Glen, south of Seneca Lake in Schuyler County in New York‘s Finger Lakes region. The park’s lower part is near the village, while the upper part is open woodland. It was opened to the public in 1863 and was privately run as a tourist resort until 1906, when it was purchased by New York State.[1] Since 1924, it has been managed by the Finger Lakes Region of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.[2]

Jacob’s Ladder, near the upper entrance to the park, has 180 stone steps, part of the 832 total on the trails

The centerpiece of the 778-acre (3.15 km2)[3] park is a 400-foot-deep (120 m) narrow gorge cut through rock by a stream – Glen Creek – that was left hanging when glaciers of the Ice age deepened the Seneca valley, increasing the tributary stream gradient to create rapids and waterfalls wherever there were layers of hard rock. The rocks of the area are sedimentary of Devonian age that are part of a dissected plateau that was uplifted with little faulting or distortion. They consist mostly of soft shales, with some layers of harder sandstone and limestone.

The park features three trails – open mid-May to early November – by which one can climb or descend the gorge. The Southern Rim and Indian Trails run along the wooded rim of the gorge, while the Gorge Trail is closest to the stream and runs over, under and along the park’s 19 waterfalls by way of stone bridges and more than 800 stone steps. The trails connect to the Finger Lakes Trail, an 800-mile (1,300 km) system of trails within New York state.[2]

Onto the pics:

Entrance to the trails.

Entrance to the trails.

Amazing!

Amazing!

One of many waterfalls...although not as majestic as the ones we saw in Oregon, most impressive to say the least!

One of many waterfalls…although not as majestic as the ones we saw in Oregon, most impressive to say the least!

Looking out from behind one of the falls.

Looking out from behind one of the falls.

Caught this glimpse of a natural bridge formed when a tree fell over...

Caught this glimpse of a natural bridge formed when a tree fell over…

They have done a fantastic job making this place accessible to the many throngs of folks that visit here each year. It is over 1.5 miles from one end to the other, and over 880 steps if you take the gorge trail up. we took the gorge trail up, and the Indian trail back down. Fantastic!

They have done a fantastic job making this place accessible to the many throngs of folks that visit here each year. It is over 1.5 miles from one end to the other, and over 880 steps if you take the gorge trail up. We took the gorge trail up, and the Indian trail back down. Fantastic!

Under Rainbow Falls.

Under Rainbow Falls.

We marvel at the work the State has done to keep this in great shape so anyone can visit.

We marvel at the work the State has done to keep this in great shape so anyone can visit.

On a suspension bridge on the way back down overlooking the gorge. I lifted the camera do you can see over Seneca Lake to the East.

On a suspension bridge on the way back down overlooking the gorge. I lifted the camera so you can see over Seneca Lake to the East.

Wow…what an adventure!  We wish we had time to visit all of the finger lakes, but, I guess it will only be Seneca this time.  We often laugh at the pronunciations and names of things…when you are not local, you screw up.  The guy at the camp ground office kept talking about a must see which is a little town at the north end of “Skinny Atlas” lake.  We could not find the lake on the map on the map!  Come to find out, it was very close to Seneca Lake and is spelled “Skaneateles.”  We love it!

After that 3+ mile hike up and down, we took another suggestion, and headed to the Grist Iron Brewing Company in Burdett, NY.  It is on the SE side of Seneca Lake.  What a nice place.  We had a beverage, and just enjoyed the scenery.

Before the pics, a bit of a side bar…we mentioned while we were in Oregon that you likely could not swing a dead cat (sorry cat owners) without hitting a microbrewery or a winery…well, watch out Oregon!  I think New York State is heavy on your heels!  they may be able to do it with a dead squirrel.  Seriously…there would be four or five vineyards located every mile along a 10 mile or so stretch.  This was in several areas!  And they were all busy.  Side bar closed…

Looking West from the patio overlooking Seneca Lake. We had to move inside, because Terri had a Pumpkin Beer that had a cinnamon and sugar mixture on the rim, and the bees in the area were more than happy to take it from her! She was not that inclined to allow them.

Looking West from the patio overlooking Seneca Lake. We had to move inside, because Terri had a Pumpkin Beer that had a cinnamon and sugar mixture on the rim, and the bees in the area were more than happy to take it from her! She was not that inclined to allow them.

Interesting bathroom signs?!?!

Interesting bathroom signs?!?!

Our beverages. Terri's on the right, with the sugary substance now gone.

Our beverages. Terri’s on the right, with the sugary substance now gone.

As mentioned earlier, we are in Bernardston, MA and will be here for two days, then on to Maine.  We have reservations starting there on Thursday, so we will take a couple of days getting there enjoying this beautiful country of ours!

Before we sign off, we have to wish my mom a very, very happy and blessed 88th birthday!  Courtesy of my sister, here is a pic of her and my dad at half her age, I can only hope we have the strength, faith and fortitude these two have had all their years together…love you!

As always, we hope this finds you Happy, Healthy, and Living Your Dreams!!!!

 

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