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

May 31, 2017

May 31 – Cascadilla Gorge Hike

Allan H. Treman State Marine Park

To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” ―Bill Bryso
It was a beautiful morning (it did rain this afternoon), so after Stan tried his luck at fishing again, we road our bikes to the trail head of the Cascadilla Gorge. This gorge is located in downtown Ithaca and is one of the most picturesque gorges in the Finger Lakes Region. The Cascadilla Gorge Trail connects the downtown area with the Cornell Campus. The trail ascends over 400 feet, carving through bedrock - shale, siltstone and sandstone - exposing sedimentary rocks that were deposited 400 million years ago. You can see ripple marks on the rock surface, which once was the muddy floor of an ancient ocean.
The stone trails and staircases were originally constructed in the 1920’s. The lower section of Cascadilla Gorge is truly a "gorges" display of rock, water and trees. There are eight waterfalls along this gorge ranging in height from 25’ to 80’. The steepness and depth of the gorge hides the fact that it’s surrounded by roads and buildings…it’s a little oasis in the midst of a hectic world.
Cascadilla Gorge
Can you see the gazebo in the top of this picture? It is part of the Lambda Chi house on the campus of Cornell...what a view.
Lunch at Collegetown Bagels was a nice stop before we headed back down the falls to our bikes. Yes we did the trail twice.
Lots of choices...it was a nice reward after our morning hike
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May 30, 2017

May 30 – Ithaca, NY

Allan H. Treman State Marine Park

"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." – Socrates
Sorry it's been awhile since I've posted. We've been settling into our summer home...meeting the neighbors, cleaning the boat, doing laundry, doing a little exploring and hiding from the rain. Mostly hiding from the rain. 

We got to explore the Ithaca Farmers Market on Saturday (pics when the weather is nicer). There's a nice bike trail that runs from our marina in Allan H. Treman Park to the market at Steamboat Landing, but when the weather is nice we can go by dinghy. The market seemed wonderful but a little slow this weekend since it was wet and cold. I think we'll enjoy having the market so close…lots of great booths and entertainment. 

Sunday was our only day without rain, so Stan took the dinghy out and did a little fishing...no luck catching fish, but he had fun. We hope to find some streams to fly fish in once we have our car. While he fished, I wandered through little shops in the downtown area near the Commons. Getting around Ithaca is pretty easier on a bike. 

View towards the inlet to the lake from our boat
Our greatest find so far in Ithaca is Wegmans...upstate New York's version of HEB or Publix. It's by far the very best grocery store we've ever seen. It not only has 10s of thousands more items than the normal grocery store, but it is also a beautiful place. This place is a definite bonus we're going to enjoy this summer...we'll be spoiled when we have to leave in the fall.

Stock photos from the internet of Wegman's Grocery store
Thanks for reading our blog and spending part of your day with us. The Pearl is also on Facebook - stop by and say hi or follow us on Instragram or Google+.

May 27, 2017

May 26 – Ithaca, NY

Allan H. Treman State Marine Park
The Finger Lakes Region of New York State covers 9,000 square miles. It’s a wonderland of deep gorges, cascading waterfalls, sparkling lakes, and acres of forests, farms and vineyards. It includes miles of spectacular shoreline on 11 glacial lakes and one Great Lake. The 11 Finger Lakes from east to west are: Otisco Lake, Skaneateles Lake, Owasco Lake, Cayuga Lake, Seneca Lake, Keuka Lake, Canandaigua Lake, Honeoye Lake, Canadice Lake, Hemlock Lake, Conesus Lake.

The Finger Lakes are long and narrow, and mostly run north to south. The lakes' shapes reminded early mapmakers of human fingers, and through the years the name stuck. Cayuga (435 feet deep) at 38 miles long and almost 67 square mile in total area is the largest. Seneca Lake at 618 feet deep is the deepest of the lakes is among the deepest in the United States; its bottom is well below sea level.  
The lakes originated as a series of northward-flowing streams, but southward movement of glaciers from the Hudson Bay area widened, deepened, and accentuated the existing river valleys. Glacial debris left behind by the receding ice, acted as dams, allowing lakes to form. 

The Finger Lakes area is New York's largest wine producing region, with over 100 wineries and vineyards located around Seneca, Cayuga, Canandaigua, Keuka, Conesus, and Hemlock Lakes. Because of the lakes' great depth, they provide a lake effect to the lush vineyards that border their shores. Retaining lingering summer warmth in the winter and winters cold in the spring (no wonder it’s still so cold here), the grapes are protected from disastrous spring frost during shoot growth and early frost before the harvest. The main grape varieties grown are Chardonnay, Riesling, Gew├╝rztraminer, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Vidal Blanc, and Seyval Blanc.

As soon as it warms up a bit and the rain slacks off we’ll be visiting some of the wineries in the area and finding some of the waterfalls that are so abundant around Ithaca.

Wineries in the Finger Lake region 
Thanks for reading our blog and spending part of your day with us. The Pearl is also on Facebook - stop by and say hi or follow us on Instragram or Google+.

May 26, 2017

May 25 – Home in Ithaca

Allan H. Treman State Marine Park

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” ―Ralph Waldo Emerson

We did our last Eric Canal lock and one on the Cayuga-Seneca Canal today, then we cruised down Cayuga Lake to arrive in our summer slip in Ithaca...all in the rain, OF COURSE. We're beginning to think the sun doesn't shine around here very often. We're getting excited about our summer in Ithaca, although it'll be a little different than the way we usually spend our summer. We look forward to hiking, fishing, wine tasting, exploring upstate New York and spending time with family in Pennsylvania. Stay tuned for exciting new adventures.

The view out the isinglass today
A little better looking out of the lower window 
Sights along the lake coming into Ithaca 
Coming into Ithaca...our marina is right in the center 
Our new home 

Thanks for reading our blog and spending part of your day with us. The Pearl is also on Facebook - stop by and say hi or follow us on Instragram or Google+.

May 25, 2017

May 24 - Last Day on the Erie Canal

Baldwinsville Free Town Dock

“It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit." —Unknown
Brewerton, NY
We left Sylvan Beach this morning. The first 20 miles were across Oneida Lake. It was a smooth trip although the wind did pick up a little. We went through Brewerton, were we spent a few weeks on our first trip up the Erie Canal in 2012. That year we rented a car to do a little sightseeing before we headed home for the birth of our first Grandwonder. Today we cruised straight by remembering our time here. 

We went through our last two locks on the Erie and docked in Baldwinsville at their beautiful free town dock. The whole town is pretty and the canal runs right through downtown with lots of restaurants and shops along the bank. We arrived in time to have a late lunch and do a little browsing in a few of the shops. We thought we might be the only cruisers going this way, but three other boats joined us this evening. Baldwinsville is a nice relaxing stop and could be a nice place to stay for awhile, but we are only two days away from Ithaca, so we'll move on tomorrow.

Areal view of of Lock 24, the free dock and part of Baldwinsville. We had lunch at the blue building on the left above the bridge
Typical scenery today...there were homes along the river in some areas
Looking across Lock 24 at the town dock
Our view at lunch. The river is flowing very fast, there is a lot of water up stream
Lunch in town...the view was nice and the beer was cold. The rest wasn't much. 
A street in Baldwinsville along the canal
Looking across the Seneca River from our boat
Looking east to Lock 24 and Baldwinsville
Our home for the night
Thanks for reading our blog and spending part of your day with us. The Pearl is also on Facebook - stop by and say hi or follow us on Instragram or Google+.