Monday, September 21, 2009

A Weekend of Contemplation and Remedial Geography

I had to get away this weekend; to think, to ponder, to just be. So, I high-tailed it to the Finger Lakes region of New York State, which must be one of the most incredibly beautiful places I've been. It is stunningly spectacular in autumn; if you want to see fall colors and geography so incredible that you might actually cry, and you're heading north on Interstate 81 (I have no idea what the directions are if you're heading south...), take Exit 15 towards Dunmore/Throop and follow Route 20 West (it will become the concurrency of Routes 5 and 20 at some point, don't worry about it, and keep driving!). You'll pass through some breathtaking valleys and several towns, including Skaneateles (pronounced approximately as Skinny-Atlas), Seneca Falls (home in 1848 of the first Womens' Rights Convention), and Auburn (home of Harriet Tubman and William Seward).

But, I didn't go that way this time. I drove up via Ithaca, and meandered the western shore of Cayuga Lake. Tons of wineries and an apple cider-y (worth a stop; who knew there were so many different flavors of apple cider), and some fine, FINE ice cream. None of which I partook of this trip, alas. Though some may contemplate best over ice cream and adult beverages, I opted for the great outdoors.

Which is how I encountered my lesson in remedial geography. I've posted about visiting Taughannock Falls before. I went again. Here's the thing: there is a lovely, mostly-flat, groomed, three-quarter mile trail along the bottom of the gorge that takes you to the base of the falls, which looks like this:
The falls are about 33 feet taller than the ones at Niagara. The falls there, in the left of the picture? Are falling about 215 feet. And are beautiful!

But something possessed me to take the rim trail. I did not make the connection between the bottom of the gorge and the rim and the vertical distance between them. Somehow, I forgot that up = climbing. Note the rim is well above the water fall.

There were stairs. Many, many, many stairs. Witness (and this is not all of them!):

I am not in the best shape, so the equivalent of approximately 2o stories of stairs were a challenge. But, up I went. Thankfully, there was a bench at the top!

Down was easier. And I am a little more sane than I was last Friday.


squadratomagico said...

Congratulations on the sanity. Hope you gained some insights into whatever occupies your thoughts! And thanks for sharing such lovely images.

Digger said...

Thanks, Squadrato~ ... and yes, I did find some insights and some resolution.

RPS77 said...

That looks like a lovely area. I had no idea that there were cliffs and waterfalls that high in that part of New York.

Digger said...

Hi, RPS... amazing, isn't it? :D

Ink said...

I'm feeling ever so homesick now. Very glad you had a lovely visit! Great pictures!