"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

June 11, 2019

June 7 - Ricketts Glen State Park

“Everything we do is infused with the energy in which we do it. If we're frantic, life will be frantic. If we are peaceful, life will be peaceful.” - Marianne Williamson
We've wanted to hike Ricketts Glen for the past three years, but the weather or time always seemed to get in our way...until Friday. What a wonderful day to spend hiking this amazing park, the sun was out and the temperature was in the lower 70s. Ricketts Glen State Park is one of the most scenic areas in Pennsylvania and is comprised of 13,050 acres, which crosses into three counties. We hiked a little over four miles on the Ganoga Glen, Glen Leigh and Highland Trails. The loop took us by 18 of the 21 named waterfalls in the park, although we saw many other falls that weren't considered special enough to be named. Each waterfall cascades through rock strewn clefts of this ancient hillside and the hike was incredible. The waterfalls ranged in height from Cayuage Falls at 11' to Ganoga Falls which is 94'...they were all spectacular.

In 1868, Colonel R. Bruce Ricketts bought land in northeast Pennsylvania to timber it. Fishermen exploring the lower reaches of Kitchen Creek discovered waterfalls. Explorations revealed that two branches of Kitchen Creek cut through deep gorges in a series of waterfalls then united at Waters Meet and flowed through a glen (Ricketts Glen) among giant pines, hemlocks and oaks. Colonel Ricketts built trails to the area of the waterfalls, which came to be known as the Glens Natural Area. 

Colonel Ricketts was a member of the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society and he named many of the waterfalls after American Indian tribes. The others he named for his friends and family. The Glens became a registered National Natural Landmark in 1969, and in 1993 became a State Park Natural Area and is protected and maintained in a natural state.

Here are pictures of the falls...we started in the Ganoga Glen and finished the hike on the Highland Trail.

Mohawk Falls 37'
Oneida Falls 13'
Cayuga Falls 11'
Ganoga Falls 94'
Seneca Falls 12'
Delaware Falls 37'
Mohican Falls 39'
Conestoga Falls 17'
Tuscarora Falls 47'
Erie Falls 47'
Wyandot Falls 15'
B. Reynolds Falls 40'
R.B. Ricketts Falls 36'
Ozone Falls 60'
Huron Falls 41'
Shawnee Falls 30'
F.L. Ricketts Falls 38'
Onondaga Falls 15'
The trail....
The Midway Crevasse on the Highland Trail
 The statics on our hike today
Here's a map of the trails we took today. The Falls Trail system is just a small portion of the park, which offers 26 miles of hiking trails.

June 10, 2019

Finger Lake Wineries (Part V)

"The best wines are the ones we drink with friends."

Frontenac Point Vineyard began producing wines in 1982, it became the 44th New York farm-winery., there are now over 400 wineries in the state of New York. The property is on the west side of Cayuga Lake  and has a panoramic view of the lake. They work hard to maintain the winery’s small size and hands-on approach, currently producing just 2000 to 3000 cases a year. All the grapes used to make their wines are grown in the winery’s own 18-acre vineyard. Their focus is on dry wines. We tried their 2015 Riesling one of the best we've had on the lake.
The 10-foot-tall Stay Sail, is a kinetic sound sculpture that was installed on the bow of the winery deck, beckons people to bring food, relax under the canopy, and enjoy the lake and vineyard view.
Sheldrake Point Winery is named for the prominent point of land on which it sits, located on the western shore of Cayuga Lake. The property  operated as an orchard and dairy farm from 1850 to the mid-1980s, in 1997 a small group of wine enthusiasts organized the purchase of the land and founded the winery. Today, Sheldrake Point Winery plants 55 acres with 10 vitis vinifera varieties, which are used to make approximately 8,500 cases of estate grown, produced, and bottled table and ice wines.
We enjoy buying a bottle of wine and sitting on the deck taking in the few. We tried the 2017 Dry Riesling - It has an invitingly vivid nose of peaches, fresh oranges, and honeysuckle transitions to lemon peel, sweet pineapple and hops on the palate. Tea and peach skin support the mineral driven finish.
Toro Run Winery offers all the beauty of the Finger Lakes with a Spanish flair. They sit on 64 acres 530 feet atop a glacier-carved hillside overlooking beautiful Cayuga Lake with one of the best views in the Finger Lakes. The winery officially opened in 2013 and serve true world class wines including their signature estate grown, Gruner Veltliner and Pinot Meunier. They produce 10,000 cases of wine a year in their vine-to-wine facility with a wine menu that has a little something to offer for everyone – from white to red, dry to semi to sweet. 

They also serve authentic Spanish tapas that include conch chowder, plates of Manchego cheese or Spanish jamón, stuffed peppers, sliced chorizo, blue cheese stuffed olives and Chardonnay kielbasa. We enjoyed a bottle of wine and a few snacks on their deck while visiting with cruising friends and taking in the breathtaking view of the lake. 
We enjoyed a bottle of 2017 Grüner Veltliner - (it has a fruity, crisp beginning of grapefruit with a dry sharp ending giving it the perfect balance) and a few tapas on the deck.
You can read about other wineries we've visited in the Finger Lake area at the following links.

May 24, 2019

May 22 - Keuka Lake Outlet Trail

Allan H. Treman State Marine Park 

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” ―George Eliot  

There are so many places to explore around this area and it seems like we're finding new places all the time. Today we drove over to Pen Yan and walked part of the Keuka Lake Outlet Trail. The trail follows an old rail bed; previously a canal towpath (Crooked Lake Canal), that even earlier, was a pioneer dirt trail. The canal is now mostly dismantled or buried, but it can be traced by swampy ditches and crumbling locks. Along the trail you can see old factories and mill foundations. It was fun trying to envision what the area looked like hundreds of years ago.
The Keuka Lake Outlet is a natural waterway that drains the waters of Keuka Lake into Seneca Lake crossing over 8 miles and dropping 280 feet along the way. The first saw and grits mill on the outlet was built in 1790 and over the years there have been 40 mills in operation on the outlet. Now the outlet caters to recreation with a multi-use trail that offers access to the outlet waters. 
Birkett Mills is the only mill that remains on the Keuka Lake Outlet. It's has been in continual operation since 1797 and today is the world’s largest producer of buckwheat products.
Seneca Mill Falls is the most popular stop along the trail. The falls are a three-tiered cascade that starts as a small dam spillway and then crashes down two large limestone drops into a deep pool. The remains of the paper mill can be seen at the foot of the falls and above the falls you can see the rusty old mechanics that once harnessed the power of the outlet, and was a component of the electrical plant that took over the site after the paper mill left. 
This is a picture of the falls and the Seneca Paper Mill built in 1884
Cascade Mill Falls is about half the size of Seneca Mill Falls, and definitely not the prettiest site, but the complex is made up of old mills, factories and oddities that are in an advanced state of decay. Most notable is the Baker Chemical Company’s carbon bisulfide plant, which resides right next to the falls, and the Kelly Tire building which reconditioned tires and relied on carbon bisulfide for rayon. 
After hiking the Outlet Trail we stopped at the Spotted Duck Creamery for a little reward. This creamery makes their custard using organic local ingredients...much of it comes from their farm. They use duck eggs, enhance the name Spotted Duck. Why ducks...according to the own’s, they “make a far superior custard than chicken eggs; the increased yolk size makes a much richer flavor while the firmer whites are a better suspender, giving our frozen custard it’s signature creamy texture.” The farm was beautiful, the service from Dane was exceptional, the ice cream was very good and the flavors were fun. 

We shared the Hollywood, which was a flight of four flavors....we choice: Raspberry Truffle, Maple Nutt, Emu Tracks and Real Cookies n Cream.

May 22, 2019

May 13-20 - Lots of Visitors

Allan H. Treman State Marine Park

“Family and friendships are two of the greatest facilitators of happiness.” – John C. Maxwell

We had a busy week...weather is starting to improve, here and there, so we can finally get out of the boat. The theme for this week was visitors. Our first visitors arrived on Wednesday. Barbara and David from Miss My Money are back in the area getting their boat ready for the season. We had a great visit and enjoyed lunch at a local place overlooking the lake. We've known them for a long time and it's always nice to reconnect.
After lunch we took Barbara and David up to Taughannock Falls. All the rain we've had makes the waterfalls beautiful.
On Friday our son and grand kids arrived for the weekend and they brought the sun with them. It was a beautiful weekend and we had a great time playing with the kids. We stayed very busy...the kids wore us out and we wore the kids out having so much fun.

Graham is learning to ride his new bike
We had a wonderful sunset and enjoyed seeing the full moon rise over the marina on Friday night.
After breakfast on Saturday we started our fun at the Ithaca Farmers Market. Where we picked up ingredients for a wonderful dinner.
Our next stop was at the Ithaca Children's Garden. It's an amazing place...one of the kids favorite places to go and mine too. We could spend all day here. This is the frog (tadpole) pond. 
After playing hard at the garden we enjoyed lunch on the patio at the Ithaca Beer Co. We got to relax and the kids had fun playing with the other children while we waited for our pizzas.
In the afternoon we enjoyed a little time on the lake. The kids enjoyed driving Poppy's boat.
Sometimes you just have to take a break from having fun.
Giving Poppy a back massage.
Our last visitors for the week were Ted and Sally from Amici. They stopped by on their way home from seeing other friends in the area. We spent the afternoon visiting and enjoying a picnic at the Lucas Vineyard. We may only see each other once or twice a year, but it seems like we've never been apart. Catching up with friends is always fun.
Our view for the afternoon
Dinner at the Boatyard Grill