American Locations 38 – Watkins Glen

This trip goes from Cincinnati, Ohio, to the Boston area, then up the New England coast all the way into Canada, then back through the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York.

Before exploring the state park, which was our reason for coming here, we spent our first day exploring the surrounding area. I am not a NASCAR fan, so I didn’t even know there is a major track here. In fact, while we were here a race took place, in which one of the drivers was killed. I never knew about it until we got back home. We were more interested in seeing other sights.

Such as this marina. They rented all kinds of water craft – motorboats, jet skis, canoes, kayaks, paddle boards – but we didn’t try any of them. They did have a bar and grill with a good band in the evening. We did enjoy that.

We were more interested in the natural attractions. Such as this waterfall.

We walked up to the top.

We drove to another waterfall in the area.

To see another waterfall we had to hike a short trail.

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This one actually had people in the water. I felt the water. Too cold for me.

We also wanted to enjoy the lake like others were doing.

So we took a dinner cruise.

The lake is 33-miles long. The cruise took us 11 miles north from the southern tip. The food was okay.

But it was the scenery we were after. Here you can see out boat passing the marina we’d found. We could easily hear their music out on the lake.

Away from Watkins Glen, the scenery improved.

A lot of cabins were situated along the shore.

We saw a nice sunset.

And a nice moonrise.

The next day we devoted to hiking the waterfall trail in Watkins Glen State Park. It was strenuous, but well worth it.

Next Location – Watkins Glen 2

American Locations 37 – Finger Lakes Region, New York

This trip goes from Cincinnati, Ohio, to the Boston area, then up the New England coast all the way into Canada, then back through the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York.

We drove south out of the Adirondack Mountains into Utica, where we got a motel room. We were too exhausted to camp. The next day we took I-90 west to the exit for Seneca Lake. We drove south on 14 to Geneva, the town on the northern shore of this largest of the Finger Lakes. Our first stop was Seneca Lake State Park.

Although there was a small sandy beach with people on it, I didn’t see anyone in the water.

Next, we drove over to see another nearby Finger Lake, Cayuga Lake. On the way we stopped to see the canal connecting these 2 largest Finger Lakes. There were 2 restored canal boats.

And personal boats docked.

At the northern end of Cayuga Lake is Cayuga Lake State Park.

Another sandy beach. This one even had a lifeguard. But no swimmers.

We drove south along the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake and around the southern end of it to the southern end of Seneca Lake, were we found a camp site in Watkins Glen State Park.

Next Location – Watkins Glen

American Locations 36 – Vermont & the Adirondacks

This trip goes from Cincinnati, Ohio, to the Boston area, then up the New England coast all the way into Canada, then back through the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York.

It was a 3-hour drive from Stowe, Massachusetts, to Stow, Vermont. We took I-495 out of the Boston area northeast to Lowell, then exited onto Hwy. 3 and continued north. In New Hampshire we took I-293 around Manchester, then continued north on I-93. In Concord, we got on I-89 and headed west. We crossed into Vermont, and continued north to Waterbury, where we exited the interstate onto 100. We continued north into Stow. Once away from the congestion of the Boston area, it was a beautiful drive through the mountains and forests of New Hampshire and Vermont.

The reason for coming to Stow was to visit the Von Trapp Family Lodge. I hope everyone has seen ‘The Sound of Music’ and knows who the Von Trapps were. After escaping the Nazis over the Alps into Switzerland, they made their way to the U.S. and settled in Stow, Vermont. They claimed the mountains there reminded them of their home in Austria.

Besides the lodge, they also maintain a coffee house and bakery.

And also maintain a working ranch.

There are trails to hike in the surrounding countryside.

There is also ski resorts in and all around Stow.

Since we were so close (9 miles), we stopped to tour where Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is made.

Like in most places, I wasn’t allowed to take photos inside. But we did get to taste several flavors at the end of the tour. After, we wandered through the Ben & Jerry cemetery (where retired flavors are memorialized).

Leaving Stow, we continued west on I-89 into Burlington, where we exited onto Hwy. 2, which took us north along the eastern shore of Lake Champlain. Nearing the Canadian border, we crossed Lake Champlain into New York at Rouses Point.

Here we stopped to stretch our legs. We walked out onto the bridge over Lake Champlain a little ways.

And around the park on the New York side. Where we found an ornate lighthouse.

We wandered all through the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. I’m not sure of our route, but we generally headed south and west. The open countryside was beautiful.

There were private cabins throughout the area. This looked like a good place to fish.

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We stopped to eat lunch at a lakeside restaurant. It was a relaxing day spent driving through great scenery.

Next Location – Finger Lakes Region, New York

American Locations 35 – Back to Boston

This trip goes from Cincinnati, Ohio, to the Boston area, then up the New England coast all the way into Canada, then back through the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York.

After camping one night in Wells, we continued south on I-95 out of Maine through New Hampshire into Massachusetts to the Greater Boston area. We visited with family in both Beverly and Stowe. In Beverly we were introduced to sunflowers.

I never realized they were such a big deal. Apparently, people like having their pictures taken with sunflowers.

So, why not?

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In Stowe, we visited the Minuteman National Historic Park. Here is a brief introduction to the park from their official web site:

WELCOME TO MINUTE MAN NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK

Minute Man is located 22 miles outside of Boston within the towns of Lexington, Lincoln and Concord, Massachusetts. The park commemorates the opening battles of the American Revolution on April 19, 1775 by protecting, preserving and interpreting the significant historic sites, structures, landscapes, events and ideas embodied by these events.

The park consists of the 5-mile road between Lexington and Concord where most of the fighting took place in the battle that initiated the American Revolution. It is unpaved, and the countryside around it has been either preserved or restored to its condition at the time of the battle in 1775.

We walked a good stretch of the park, stopping to see exhibits along the way.

Sites of major engagements along the road are marked, and the British dead were memorialized, also.

We also kayaked up the Concord River to Old North Bridge. We started from the Lowell Road boat ramp. It was only 4 miles, and the current was weak so it was easy going upriver. We passed under Old North Bridge then got out to walk around the site of the Revolutionary battle. I didn’t take my camera with me because I’m not that sure of myself not to tip a kayak over, so there are no pictures. But it was an enjoyable relaxing trip.

After these forays around Boston, we continued our camping trip.

Next Location – Vermont and the Adirondacks