Niagara Falls, NY to Waterloo, NY

“Days go by, I can feel ’em flyin’, like a hand out the window in the wind.” – Keith Urban

Miles traveled: 198.2

This morning, we escaped the casino and made our way through a few tolls and towards the Finger Lakes region of New York. Picture perfect day as we drove down to Watkins Glen, NY for the first stop of the day. After passing through the old, small town of Watkins Glen, we arrived at Watkins Glen State Park, got our hiking shoes on, grabbed the camera and proceeded on a great day hike. We took the Gorge Trail through Watkins Glen, which takes you along the creek that cuts through the gorge, up over 820 steps, and past 19 waterfalls. So when they label a trail as ‘strenuous’ in the state of New York, they mean strenuous. Really awesome place and great hike – the layered rock in the gorge was absolutely fascinating (that’s for you, dad) and if you are a waterfall person, this belongs on your bucket list for sure. Enjoy the pictures – words just don’t really do it justice.

Watkins Glen

Watkins Glen

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After a muscle-burning hike, a quick stop through the park shop for the elusive postcard/sticker combo, and a hydrating refreshment from the sticker-laden YETI, it only felt fair to enjoy some of the wine that the Finger Lakes region is known for. We had our picking of vineyards to select from and I opted to swing the Jeep (which was given a bath in Cleveland along with it’s oil change – phew) into the one with the full parking lot called Lakewood Vineyards. Mom and I did a tasting of both their dry and sweet/semi-sweet wines. We both leaned more towards the sweeter wines. It was a fun way to relax after the hike, and also cool to learn about the wine, how it was made, and what you should be smelling and tasting in the different wines.

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After the wine tasting we meandered up route 14 along Seneca Lake, passed through the quaint town with massive old homes of Geneva, and made our way to the hotel in Waterloo, NY. After kicking back for a bit, we hopped back in the Jeep to grab some dinner at a classy little 50s diner called Connie’s Diner. Any place with an old, well-aged Dodge pickup parked out front has got to be a good spot. And it was. Perfect little diner, super cheap and good food. I had a grilled cheese for $2, sitting next to one of my favorite comedians (Lucille Ball). I mean come on. And in New York. Just stop. We got a couple of homemade vanilla milkshakes to go, and headed back to the hotel for the night.

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Seneca Lake

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Me and some old friends at the Diner

Me and some old friends at the Diner

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Awesome day in a beautiful place!

Until next time…

-traveljunkE

day 32

day 32

trip totals

trip totals

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