We’ve been following the Fall season color for about a month. Our next stop was to be THE Fall photo spot but… Mother Nature seemed a bit ahead of us. Many of the trees were quite bare but many were still dressed in glorious reds, yellows and oranges. Our stop would be at Lechworth State Park along the Genessee River Gorge. Often referred to as the Grand Canyon Of The East, the gorge drops almost 600 feet to the riverbed below. Last year about this time we were at The Grand Canyon Of The South (see our post in October 2012 archives).
The Highland camping area at Lechworth has both serviced (30 amp, tank water) and unserviced sites. Some loops allow pets and some do not so be sure to specify that when you make reservations. We’d picked a site close to a water fill point in the 700 loop. After Steve backed in we realized the site was extremely unlevel side to side. We tried two boards, then three, then four. At last with five boards under the tires on the right we were even. This was the most leveling we’ve ever had to do. Even using the stool at the end of the steps it was a steep climb into the trailer and I felt I should be singing “Climb Every Mountain”. For non-campers there are cabins and a lovely hotel in the park. The park staff was great and not only accepted our mail at the Visitors Center but brought it up the nine miles to the camp office.
Weather however was not as cooperative the first few days. Our first photos of the gorge were blah and very contrasty. Thanks to HDR technology we were able to counteract the contrast problem to more accurately show what our eyes enjoyed. We’d almost finished the scenic drive when the sun appeared so back we went to redo some of the more photogenic spots. Here’s a brief tour.
A few days later we drove over to Watkins Glen State Park. Steve had been there as a child and even though I grew up in New York State, I’d never been to the Finger Lakes area. Watkins Glen was a grist mill area that became a privately operated tourist attraction in July 4, 1863. I thought it was interesting that the day before people were attending the opening and strolling along Watkins Glen, the battle of Gettysburg was happening only a state away. Then in the early 1900s Watkins Glen became the first New York State Park in the Finger Lakes area. Dogs aren’t allowed on the Rim Trail so we gave Opal a walk on the South Trail and left her in the truck while we did part of the popular Rim Trail. Here you can cross a suspension bridge and go down into the gorge, walk behind a waterfall and get great photos. The path tends to stay quite wet and muddy. Even though there are numerous signs to wear “appropriate” footwear there were folks in flip flops, high heels and stylish boots. Watching them try to get through puddles without getting their feet wet was entertaining. Glad we had on our hiking boots and could just plod on ahead. Here’s another quick tour.