American Locations 39 – Watkins Glen 2

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.

Although there is an access from the campground into the gorge from this wooden foot bridge that spans it.

Here is the view you get from up on the bridge.

The best place to enter the gorge is from the entrance at the bottom.

That way you are ascending while you are fresh, and descending, which is much easier, when you are weary. Of course, once you get to the top and exit the gorge you can catch a shuttle to take you back to the lower entrance, but what fun is that. By walking back down you get to see everything again, but from a different perspective.

Stone steps take you to this stone bridge, which arches above the lowest waterfall.

The view of the gorge from the stone bridge.

From the stone bridge, the trail leads up a series of steps to waterfall after waterfall.

Steps lead inexorably up the gorge.

There are other stone bridges to cross.

As you go ever higher up the gorge.

Cascade after cascade, pool after pool.

To yet another stone bridge.

Looking down from a stone bridge.

As you can see, the walls of the gorge are not as high. At this point you are nearing the end.

A twisty waterfall.

A series of cascades.

Almost at the top. The gorge is getting shallower.

The stream levels out near the top. And yes, that is a naked baby playing in the water.

At the top a train trestle passes over the gorge.

At the very end, there is a spiral staircase that takes you up out of the gorge. I didn’t get any shots of it, but I did take several photos from the staircase looking back down into the gorge.

My wife took the tram back to the bottom, but I wanted to walk back down. Here are some good photos I took on the way.

Finally, back on the first stone bridge and looking back into the gorge.

And back out the lower entrance.

Out and looking back in at the lowest waterfall and first stone bridge.

There is also a rim trail you can walk along the gorge.

But as you can imagine, the views from on top aren’t nearly as good.

But it does lead to the waterfall at the very top, which you can’t reach on the gorge trail.

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After spending 3 days at Watkins Glen State Park, we were ready to move on.

Next Location – Taughannock Falls

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

American Locations 34 – Penobscot Peninsula, Bucksport, Camden State Park, Wiscasset, & Wells

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.

Leaving Stonington, we drove north on 15 up the north side of Deer Island.

We pulled off at this small roadside park for a snack and a nap. That’s what great about traveling in a motor home, you can do this practically anywhere.

Further along the way, we found this lighthouse.

We drove off Penobscot Peninsula and turned south on Hwy. 1. We crossed the Penobscot River at Bucksport.

We stopped for the night at Camden State Park.

The next morning we continued south on Hwy. 1. We crossed the Sheepscot River.

 Into Wiscasset, where we stopped to stretch our legs.

We continued south on Hwy. 1 until we reached Brunswick, where we gave up the scenic drive and got on southbound I-295. We took this to I-95 in Portland, then continued south. We exited the interstate at Wells, where we found a private campground.

Next Location – Back to Boston

American Locations 33 – Penobscot Peninsula, Little Deer Isle, Deer Island, & Stonington

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 back off Quoddy Head peninsula and turned south on Old Dump Road, which led to Boot Cove Road. We followed this south along the coast. We skirted Baileys Mistake (an inlet), then turned south on Dixie Road (191), staying as close to the coast as possible. All this time we were traveling through undeveloped forests, a very nice drive. Eventually, we turned onto Hwy. 1 and continued south. We drove past the turnoff for Acadia National Park and stopped for the night in a private campground in Ellsworth.

The next day from Ellsworth we drove south on 72 onto Penobscot peninsula.

We turned onto 15, which made a scenic loop along the coast of Penobscot Peninsula. We crossed this bridge over onto Little Deer Isle.

We continued south on 15…

…onto Deer Island. We continued south along the southern coast on 15 until we reached the southern end of Deer Island, and the town of Stonington.

We parked our motor home and walked around the waterfront.

We found a statue.

Also, a lot of small boats.

There was also a really nice big boat in Stonington harbor.

This was the base of what once was a lighthouse.

We saw what looked like a bunch of tourists learning how to row a boat.

After eating lunch on the waterfront, we walked around the town.

Late that afternoon we climbed back into our motor home and drove north out of Stonington on 15.

Next Location – Penobscot Peninsula, Bucksport, Camden State Park, Wiscasset, & Wells

American Locations 32 – Quoddy Head

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 4 days on Campobello Island, we were ready to return to the US. Before leaving, we stopped to see the lighthouse on the southwestern end of the island.

And the views from there.

Then we drove across the International Bridge into Lubec.

We drove southwest through Lubec on 189, then turned south to follow the coast on South Lubec Road. This led us out onto the peninsula jutting into the Atlantic Ocean, West Quoddy Head, and to Quoddy Head State Park. We parked at the lighthouse.

From there we gazed out to sea. This was supposed to be another good location to spot whales, but we had no luck.

Although we saw no whales, we saw plenty of birds.

After returning to relax at the lighthouse…

We gave up on spotting whales and hiked around the rocks.

But I couldn’t convince my wife to scale the granite heights.

I thought it would have been the perfect place to spot whales from, but she declined.

So we got back into our motor home and continued.

Next Location – Penobscot

American Locations 31 – Campobello Island 3

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.

The main attraction to Campobello Island is the Roosevelt summer home. Although Franklin Roosevelt spent little time here late in his life, Eleanor Roosevelt spent much of her time here while her husband was President. We spent an afternoon touring the house.

And the grounds. The gardens were impressive.

Including their roses.

The views outside were good, too, if foggy. Gazing from the back porch across the bay to the US.

This is from just above their dock.

Views of Lubec from the grounds.

Interior photos were allowed. In most museums they aren’t, but with this being operated by the US government it was.

There is a story behind this bullhorn.

The Roosevelts had a large family, and frequently there were cousins visiting, too. So Eleanor used this bullhorn to call all the children to meals. It was said she could be plainly heard across the bay in Lubec.

We had an afternoon tea, much like guests would have been served at the time Eleanor Roosevelt was here.

There were a few other buildings besides the main residence.

We got to see their interiors, too.

I especially liked this room.

And the view from this large oval window.

There was even a shed with some old tools of the era.

As you can guess, it was a full day touring this place.

Next Location – Quoddy Head

American Locations 30 – Campobello Island 2

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.

The first thing we did after getting settled into our camp site was go see the whales. We had heard they were passing the north-eastern end of the island, so we drove to the very tip.

There is a little island at the very tip, to which you can walk at low tide. See the stairs? They mostly disappear at high tide.

At low tide you can cross over to the isle on dry rock.

The view from down there.

There is a lighthouse on the isle.

And a lot of birds.

There were plenty of boats out in the bay between US and Canada. Such as this fishing boat and tour boat.

There were also several kayaks in the middle of the bay. With a heavy fog bank rolling in. It became a race. The kayakers were trying to stay ahead of the fog, which was threatening to engulf them. They would have been totally lost, with several large boats moving around in the water unable to see them. That would have been scary. But they made it back to land before the fog had them.

We saw several dozen right whales. They surfaced so fast and unpredictably I couldn’t get any photos of them. We were lucky a whale scientist was there to view them, also. She pointed out the best places to look for them to surface. It seems birds follow them around, so when you spied a flock hovering just above the water there was a good chance of a whale coming up there.

We went there several times, so we got to see the tide coming in, too. The tide rushes in like waves and the land bridge to the isle the lighthouse is on is completely submerged.

The flow between the lighthouse isle and the bigger island was very turbulent.

As you can see by the water line on the rocks, this is still nowhere near high tide.

Of course, I had to pose at such a picturesque locale.

We made 2 trips to this end of the island while we were camping there. It was a beautiful place, and we saw plenty of whales.

Next Location – Campobello Island 3