Friday, June 14, 2013

Watkins Glen and Taughannock Falls - NY

Livin' in the big city can through a woods lovin' girl for a loop sometimes. I kind of always knew I'd turn into a woods lovin' girl, and I see myself down the line (after a good long while [social] working with court-involved youth and their families and changing the way juvenile justice functions) moving to the woods or just closer to greenery. My parents sent me and my brother off to camps or grandmothers of friends for the summer each summer for years. Our dearest friend Tkalich (RIP sensai) built a house up in Willowemoc 20 or so years ago and we have been going up there as a family once or twice a year for at least 14 years (it's where we were for good ol' Y2K).
Said house. Me with the guitar in 2009 when I still played it.
So while I may not be taking big journeys across the Pacific or the Atlantic or across any state or country borders these days, I'm still trying to get my escape on...So, when we go Upstate NY, we always stay at Tkalich's house - there's no toilet (outhouse set up out back, don't drop toilet paper down there - its naturally decomposing) or electricity but there's a kick ass печка, we almost always have a campfire, and we bring enough food to last us three days. 
печка. "Stove" Russian style. Keeps your house warm
Sometimes we go on a hike (October 2010)
Sometimes we go to a Buddhist Temple (Chuang Yen Monastery in Carmel, NY)
Sometimes we dance on the road while waiting for a glorious sunset. (Маша, я скучаю. Вернись уже!!)
But without fail we always see

For Memorial Day, my family, bro's girlfriend, and I went upstate for 3 days, 2 nights. Lots of driving this time and not so much hiking - let's not get into the details of how irate I was about that - like a teenage, hah. ANYWAY, I hope we'll go there a few times this summer and I'll post about any neat things we do or see. Today I'll post about two waterfalls we saw on ONE day both near Ithaca, NY. 

Watkins Glen State Park is one of the parks in the Finger Lakes region. It's got a stream running through a beautiful gorge and has a total of 19 waterfalls along the roughly 1.5 mile leisurely walk to the end (it's not really a "top"). It's very pretty - but very popular and overcrowded so if you can do it on a week day, it would probably be even better!

Mama Bear

Under water

A flower pause....
And then we drove a few minutes over to Taughannock Falls in Ulysses, NY. A 215 feet drop. It's one of the highest waterfalls east of the Rocky Mountains.
The view from above...

The view from afar.

The view from up close.
And a sunset over Cayuga Lake...