Sunday, July 31, 2011

A short holiday in the Finger Lakes region of New York State,

 On Wednesday we travelled from Ottawa to Ithaca, NY in the heart of the Finger Lakes Region of New York State. To get there we relied on our new Garmin GPS unit. Our old unit gave up the ghost on Tuesday. The GPS, known as Gypsy 2, took us on the 416 and 401 highways in Ontario and the 91 in New York State before going on more interesting byways.
 Once we were in Ithaca, we explored the town and then the countryside. One highlight on the first day was being advised to leave the local grocery store (Wegmans) since there was a fire emergency. "Leave your shopping carts where they are and exit the store immediately." It proved to be a false alarm.

Thursday was spent exploring three nearby State Parks. At Buttermilk State Park (shown in the photographs) we hiked the rim trail and the gorge trail, trials on either side of Buttermilk Creek. Steep slopes, beautiful views, and waterfalls were there to see as we walked one and a half miles in total and ascended and descended 600 feet. At a second park we hiked a total of four miles with similar ascents and descents.

On Friday we travelled around Seneca Lake and went on to Watkin's Glen. It was a rainy day.

On our return we decided to by-pass all Thru-ways, and to take the quiet, scenic route home. We went north until we reached the south shore of Lake Ontario, and then followed that shore to Cape Vincent. Then memory told us we could take the ferry to Wolfe Island at the entrance to the St. Laurence and the Thousand Islands. While waiting for that ferry and for the next from the island to Kigston added about two hours to the journey, it was well worth it. Similarly, the journey on the quiet roads of upper New York Sate was much more enjoyable that motorway travel.

From Kingston, Gypsy 2 estimated it would take us another two hours to reach home via the 401 and the 416. We ignored her, and took Highway 15 and the Franktown road home, taking 15 to 20 minutes less on quiet roads once more.

The GPS system is fine for travelling to places you do not know, but it does have its drawbacks.

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