Tuesday, September 6, 2016

We Love NY!

Some days feel like things cannot get any better, and then they do!  We are in western NY and have been super happy here!  What a picturesque area of the US.  This is Lake Seneca.

As I write we are in the Finger Lakes National Forest at Backbone Horse Camp.  We were lucky enough to find this spot on Thursday (8/31) as Blueberry Patch Campground was full (only 10 sites).  We forgot that this was Labor Day weekend!

Well, this little camping spot for horse riders has really large sites with spots for putting hay and tie-up posts.  There's a corral, too.  When we pulled in to check this campground out, no one else was here.  So we selected a spot even though we were not sure if it was okay to camp here.  There were no signs saying we couldn't be here, so we chose a site away from the corral.

 Fortunately,  a family took the site to our left (no horses) so we felt better about being here.  Horse trailers began rolling in throughout the weekend  and hearing the horses neigh and seeing the riders go by has been awesome!

We are surrounded by apple trees and woods and green grass.  The folks next to us, mom and dad and two adorable boys, have really helped to make this place special.  As we sat around a fire together last night, conversation turned to Native American culture.  I mentioned that I play the Native American style flute and they asked me to play which gave me much pleasure.   I ended up giving the older son the High Spirits pocket flute that had been gifted to me by a bus driver at Glacier National Park last September.  Just a joyful experience!

We are just outside of Watkins Glen,  known for its international racing Speedway.  On Saturday,  we went into town to do a mountain of laundry, and then walked around.  Watkins Glen attracts sports cars of all shapes and sizes and colors as well loads of cool motorcycles.  On the sidewalks, there are imprints of race winners, and I spotted a couple of women!

A scenic ride to a small town nearby called Mecklenburg took us to a post office so we could pick up our general delivery mail.

Prior to arriving here we had been in Olean, at a Walmart for a night.  We had traveled through Seneca Nation (Allegany)  near Salamanca and stopped to visit a cultural museum that was unfortunately closed.  Signs showed their messages in the Native American language too.

Jamestown NY is home of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute; he is known as the father of modern birdwatching.  There's also an Audubon
Sanctuary.  However, we didn't visit them as wanted to keep on track to Ithaca to visit the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for a couple of days.  We will visit Jamestown in the future.

We've been traveling east on I 86.  The scenery has been green and lush.  Labor Day, we will continue east, with a possible detour north to Seneca Falls on Cayuga Lake.  Although we have visited this spot years ago, the birth place of the women's rights movement has a really great museum.  The route on 414 is also designated as a scenic route.  More to follow on our Finger Lakes travels!