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

August 22, 2020

Aug. 12 - Carpenter Falls

“Quit your job, buy a ticket, get a tan, fall in love, never return.” –Unknown

We haven't taken the time to explore many new places this year, but the weather has cooled off a little and we decided to check out Carpenter Falls. It's located along the southwest end of Skaneateles Lake. Carpenter Falls is a ninety foot waterfall that has carved a notch out of the rock and plunges into a deep round pool, which makes a great swimming hole on a hot summer day. There was plenty of water in the pool for a swim, but the waterfall was only a trickle since we haven't had much rain this summer.

From the parking lot we took the main trail west to the falls, but the view was hidden by all the trees and under brush. There was a sign at this point saying not to go any further, but we trekked on to the top of the falls. Once at the top of the falls we noticed we could have hiked from the parking lot back along the road to this same point. Along the upper trail we could see a lower trail that looked like it would go to the pool at the bottom of the falls. We headed back to the trailhead and looked for another trail. The lower path started just east of the main trail sign. The trail was a gradual hike down the gorge to the creek, to get to the bottom of the falls we hiked along and in the creek. This trail was the best way to see the falls and we were glad we spent the time to find it.

The trailhead starts right at the parking lot.
The trail to the top of the falls.
The lower trail, but getting to it from the main trail was very steep. (steeper than the picture shows)
This is the view of the falls from the end of the trail. 
The view from the top of the falls looking down into the gorge.
Looking over the top of the waterfall.
The hike through the creek to the falls
There wasn't a lot of water...but well worth the effort to get to the pool.
Hiking back to the parking area through the creek...such a beautiful place.
Trail map of Bahar Preserve & Carpenter Falls. The green line shows the path we took.

August 19, 2020

Aug. 6-10 - Keuka Lake Family Vacation

Penn Yan, NY

"My family is my life, and everything else comes second as far as what’s important to me." -Michael Imperioli


We were fortunate to spend another staycation with Kyle and his family. This time we stayed at a nice house in Penn Yan, which is located on Keuka Lake. We brought our little run about with us so we could explore the lake and go swimming. We enjoyed five days of playing with our kids, swimming, boating, eating well and relaxing...the perfect vacation. 

Keuka Lake is one of the major Finger Lakes and is a couple of lakes west of us. Unlike the other 10 Finger Lakes that are long and narrow, Keuka Lake is Y-shaped. Because of its shape, it was referred to in the past as Crooked Lake. There is no major industry on the lake so the water is cleaner and clearer than the water in Cayuga Lake. It would be a great place to have a lake house. 

Keuka Lake empties into Seneca Lake, through a stream called Keuka Lake Outlet at the lake's northeastern end in Penn Yan. At one time the outlet was developed into a canal called the Crooked Lake Canal. The canal was later replaced by a railroad and is now a hiking and cycling trail. We actually hiked part of it last summer

The house...during normal times it's a bed and breakfast. The Wagener Estate B&B. 
The entry hall, dinning room and living room
The kitchen
The bedrooms
Part of the side yard
While the guys went and got the trailer and loaded up Tiny Pearl, the girls enjoyed a walk in the park. We picked flowers, watched the birds and really enjoyed the beautiful weather.
The first morning we found little stowaways on the boat. They were in a nest inside the neck of the trailer. I'm not sure they were ready to be on their own, but Mommy was back in Ithaca. We enjoyed watching them. The kids dug up worms to feed them.
After a nice breakfast on the porch, watching and feeding the baby birds and a walk...we went into town. We did a little exploring and some shopping (the first time I've been in cute little shops since March). The Keuka Candy Emporium was a big hit with everyone, especially the kids.
A summer vacation wouldn't be complete without a campfire and s'mores.
Graham ate four!
After a busy day it's nice to relax with Poppy.
We enjoyed the large front porch. We started the day there with breakfast, painted rocks and drew pictures during the day and had cocktails there in the evening. One night we even enjoyed a fun game of hearts here.
On our second morning we went to Keuka Lake State Park to play, swim, and enjoy a picnic.
After quite time (naps) we went to The Spotted Duck for ice cream. This creamery makes their custard using organic local ingredients...much of it comes from their farm. They use duck eggs instead of chicken eggs, hence the name Spotted Duck. We shared their sampler flight...every flavor was wonderful.
Half the fun of having ice cream at the Spotted Duck is seeing all the animals.
No family vacation for us in the Finger Lakes would be complete without a visit to a local winery or brewery, so after ice cream we visited the Climbing Bines for pint. This was my favorite picture of the brewery...look at the size of those hibiscus.
On Sunday we took Tiny Pearl out on the lake...what a wonderful day. We enjoyed the ride, the view, the water, the swimming and the company.
Life really doesn't get much better than time with family on a beautiful day on the water.
We docked and had lunch at The Olney Place. Deli sandwiches with a view of the lake...lake life is fun.
After lunch we went for a second swim...even Hattie had fun in the water. What a perfect day!