The stars aligned on Monday: beautiful weather , a nearby state park with a noted feature that does not require a death-inducing hike to get there. I’m in! The namesake feature of Taughannock Falls State Park (pronounced te-kon-ic) is a 215 foot waterfall straight down, supposedly the highest such fall east of the Rockies (higher than Niagara). This is one of the many gorges in the Finger Lakes area where streams feed one of the lakes, in this case Cayuga Lake (pronounced by the locals as Cyuga, like Cuba). The Falls can be reached by a leisurely stroll along the floor of the gorge, which takes you to the bottom of the fall. There’s a road that goes to an overlook that puts you eye level with the top of the fall, which is where I went first. This is where it all came a cropper.
Somebody turned off the spigot. Still good as a bird bath, though.
False advertising aside, I went to the gorge floor and made that hike, and that’s where the lemonade got made. A very nice hike with interesting explanations along the way.
No doubt it would be a nice site if someone would add water.
The geology of this is interesting. Receding glaciers cut the finger lakes, which are pretty darn deep, and then the streams feeding the lake come down from as high as 500 or 600 feet above the lake, so the flow is forceful enough to erode away the bed of the streams.
This is really intriguing. All of this area was once under the sea. Talk about climate change!
This was really fascinating too. They tried to reintroduce peregrine falcons into the park. Hard to read the end of the story on the right side, but turns out the owls ate them. Bastards!
All said and done it was a worthwhile excursion. Some tasty lemonade after all.
What to do after communing with nature? Why, hit the wine trail, of course. As previously mentioned, there’s a bunch of wineries over on Seneca Lake, but Cayuga Lake has its fair share. I made stops at two spots: Americana and Sheldrake. Americana had a couple of interesting wines, mostly white. The reds up here are just too wimpy. Sheldrake had a very nice setup: well maintained buildings, lush landscaping, plus it is located right on the lake, an exception to most of the wineries that are several hundred feet up the hill from the lake.
After tasting the wine I’m thinking they might want to move up the hill a bit. Even so there was an interesting sight in the parking lot.
I thought Muffy and I were back at the country club c. 1930. Just a bunch of guys from Indiana showing off their babies, on their way to Vermont.