A couple of weekends ago, I went with my sister to visit my brother in upstate New York. He’s always been complaining that no one comes to visit, so we decided to indulge him. Tom’s living in the Syracuse area, about an hour away from the Finger Lakes area, and he wanted to show us Watkins Glen Gorge and wine country, so that Saturday, he and his roommate Rich took us all up there.
In hindsight, it’s strange–for some reason, my sense of direction was totally reversed. I thought we were heading north to the lakes, then along side the eastern side of the lakes. It was only when we were heading back that I realized that we were to the west of where Tom lives. We had started along the west of Lake Seneca, south to Watkins Glen, then back up the eastern side of the lake, then over to Lake Cayuga, and finally over to Skaneateles for dinner.
Despite the confusion, it’s beautiful country, with lots of wineries and farmlands. It would be an awesome tour on the bike, and in fact, there were a lot of motorcycles out that weekend.
Watkins Glen Gorge
We spent a large part of the day going through Watkins Glen Gorge. Over the centuries, the river has carved a gorge, fairly deep in spots, through the soft shale. The bedrock is mostly soft sedimentary rock, layers upon layers of it, and you can see the layers in the walls of the gorge. At some point, paths and foot bridges were built in the gorge, with a total of 800 steps. We chose to take the shuttle bus up to the top of the gorge, and walk down.
After we reached the bottom of the gorge, we drove up the east side of Lake Seneca, then along the western side of Lake Cayuga, visiting four wineries along the way: the J. Dill Winery, Lamoreaux Landing, Hosmer Winery, and Swedish Hill Winery. While the others did wine tasting, I did photography. At the last one, I spotted sunbeams pouring through the clouds and onto a field. After the last stop, we headed to Skaneateles (pronounced scan-ee-at-tell-less) for dinner.
That Sunday morning, we had a long day of driving ahead of us, and Tom had a flight ahead of him, so after a fruitless search for a local place to have breakfast (we ended up at a coffee shop for coffee and muffins) we ended up along the east side of Onondaga Lake. It has a nice park, with footpaths and dedicated bike paths. It was sunny with big puffy clouds. Quite nice.