The Finger Lakes Region of upper New York state is often called the Napa Valley of the East Coast. I would have to agree with them.
We were in Napa Valley for the first time in 1972. It was a fun place to visit. The Vineyards were happy to see you. They let you sample wines using real wine glasses for free (or nominal fee). We visited again in the 1980's and it was totally different. You were herded through (as if on a timer). You paid dearly and in return received a small paper "medicine cup" for your sample. Not fun!
Today I am touring the area on my own (after all, it is an NFL Sunday). No wine tours til tonight!
My first stop is the Watkins Glen State Park. It is described as more of a "walk" than a "hike". The gorge trail is paved with many stone steps, bridges and tunnels. The trail takes you along the river and 19 water falls. You have to admit, this seems perfect for me since I love waterfalls!
The first few feet is very doable and pretty. Many photo opportunities.
After shooting the above photos, I decide to read the signs. Guess what. There are 800 stone steps and zero railings over the course of this trail. Knowing me you understand that even if I really took my time and climbed those 800 steps, there is no way that I can come back down the steps with no railing or cane. I am, after all, alone on this journey.
I take one final shot and decide to look for easier photo ops!
A neighboring town beacons me with the promise of Chequaga Falls. Of course this has been a very dry summer, so we have more of a trickle than falls. The community does light it at night which I'm sure is beautiful in the spring.
I pick RJ up and we go to the Chateau Lafayette Reneau for a tasting. Their wines are very good, and all seem to be dry which I appreciate. Have you every tried a "Franc"? I'm either very wine ignorant or it's not common in the midwest.
We met a fun couple from Connecticut (mid 40's) who seem to travel almost as much as we do. They have a theme for their travels - they seek out active volcanoes. It was so much fun listening to their adventures around the world. They convinced me I was wrong to pass on a trip to Belize a few years ago! A couple of their adventures were in locations they had to describe to me since I had no idea where in the world they had gone.
They come to this area a few times each year and restock their wine cellar. They gladly shared a couple other favorite stops that we can try tomorrow.
Tomorrow RJ and I will tour together and try a few more local wines.................