Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Finger Lakes Trip - Saturday

I woke up early on Saturday morning. VERY early. Not impressed. However, things improved when we went for a wander and I discovered a very enterprising vendor had set up shop - Java Junkie. There I could could get a latte - something I desperately needed. Sean took a photo of me placing my order - he thought it was funny that the sign was right above me head:

We spent the morning relaxing. I even braved the showers and found no line. A good thing as my hair was less than presentable by that point *g*. The others went off on various long rides, but Sean and I decided to do something we hadn't done on either of our previous trips to the area - explore Watkins Glen itself. So just past 11am we saddled up again and headed into town. Parking was easier to find than we thought it might be. First I visited the Post Office and picked up some American stamps for my SASEs, then we trundled along to the lakeshore and marvelled at the beauty of Seneca Lake. By that point we were hungry, so we stopped in at the Crooked Rooster Pub for lunch, before hitting the bookstore (surprise, surprise) and then, finally - the Gorge.

Located at the entrance to the Watkins Glen State Park is an amazing gorge. You can hike in there and follow a long trail. I wasn't wearing the right shoes (open sandals, rather than hiking boots), so we only went so far, but still managed to get some cool pics.

The first thing you see upon looking up is a bridge, connecting the first parts of the trail. I went up and Sean took this photo of me. You can't see my face, but I quite liked the halo effect from the sun behind me *g*:

After snapping that shot, Sean joined me and we continued on. The stairs are quite narrow in spots, muddy and wet, but the scenery is breathtaking. We paused at one of the lookout spots for more photos. Sean took his turn in front of the camera:

then insisted on taking another photo of me. Isn't the rock formation spectacular? Behind me you can see the narrow staircase leading further into the gorge.

The next bridge was quite crowded, so we turned around at that point and went to the gift shop to buy postcards in case the photos didn't work out. Then, after a quick stop at CVS, we headed back to the camp site and had a wee nap before dinner.

Dinner is catered and this year steak was on the menu, along with assorted veggies, salad and yummy whole wheat rolls. We sat down at one of the picnic tables and were soon joined by two very nice people, Jim and Shirley from Connecticut. Turns out they've ridden all over Canada, so we had a great conversation about riding on both sides of the border.

By the time we finished, the sun was starting to set, so we sat outside the tent to finish our wine - Sean set up his picket sign again:

Every year there's entertainment on Saturday and Sunday nights. Saturday's band is always fun, so we headed over to the mess hall to catch their show. It was crowded and hot, but the music was great so we danced until about 11, then turned in.

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