As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, the day started early with me at the keyboard and coffee in hand. The camp ground was foggy early in the morning as the night had been chilly. First night out on the air mattress, I should have refilled it..it had gotten a bit soft and in our wisdom we decided that sheets would be all we needed as the day was so hot. Well we both froze and neither of us slept very well mostly because of a late night visitor. The raccoon returned and got into our big kitchen box and although there no food in there except sugar packets, there was sugar everywhere. I shoo-ed him away and secured the box and he returned five minutes later. I am glad we are in the woods and the sites are well scattered as I must have been a sight running around chasing raccoons… After the morning trips to the restrooms we made breakfast, eggs and ham and of course more of the life-giving coffee. The little coffee pot we are using has traveled far with us, have been our primary pot while cruising the great loop and living aboard Vera Segunda, our little Grand Banks trawler. Lots of good memories started on days with coffee made in that pot. As a side note I really do like the new stove - it is performing nicely.
After getting everything tidied up and secure we headed out to explore the park. As I mentioned the campground is well away from the main scenic areas. We drove to the far end of the park hoping to start at the Upper Falls, but all access to the was under construction and no access was allowed. So we made our way to the Glen Iris Inn which overlooks the Middle falls, which are the grandest falls along the Genesee River, which has cut this swath through the area. Amazingly tall and wide and lots of water tumbling over, and we have been told that the water is low this year. The geology here is all laid out in front of you so you can see back through time.The gorge at the lowest end is has exposures that are 380 million years old. . .yikes! The Inn was a cool old building filled with period stuff from the time it was occupied by the Letchworth’s who donated this land to the State of New York in 1907.
The inn, which was originally the main house sits on an overlook of the Middle Falls, what a view they had. We hiked down to the falls from the inn and we both took many many photos and hiked back up to the inn and drove to the next place. Inspiration Point. This was my favorite vantage point to view the gorge. From this point you could look straight up the gorge and see both the Middle Falls and the Upper Falls and of lot of the geology I mentioned.
There is a huge stalactite forming on the west wall of the canyon that has been building for centuries, the result of a natural spring in the rock wall. I know this because Carol read it from the placard at the overlook. After another hike and catching glimpses of bluebirds (the NY State Bird), pileated woodpeckers, chipmunks and
squirrels and wandering through the forest we returned to the road to journey into the town of Perry. Earlier we had stopped and talked with a ranger asking about the hours of the camp store..it had been closed in the morning as well..the ranger said that a contractor runs the store and is unreliable. He said we should run into Perry,’it’s only two miles away and a hell of a lot cheaper’. So, when the hiking was done we drove into Perry to the Perry Market and got some provisions. It is always interesting to go into local markets when you travel as a lot of what we buy at the store is locally made. We got fresh local tomatoes and fresh bread from a bakery right in Perry and found condiments that we had not seen before. On the way back to the park we stopped at a farm house and bought wood for the campfire..$4 a bundle..not a big bundle, but big enough for the evening. Carol made lunch. We had BLTs (local bread mmmmm) and I had got some ‘NY Chips’ which I am guessing are made in NY somewhere. During lunch our son Jason called to check in on the happy campers and we all chatted for a while. Technology continually amazes me..even out here in the woods we can talk to whoever we want and share photos and such..well at least most of the time. The signal here faded in and out but it is better that smoke signals. It was at this point when I drove into Mt Morris to get free wifi at McDonalds, about 12 miles away, to post yesterday’s blog post and do the monthly bills. Back at the camp we got the fire going took a hike around the camp area, Carol knitted and I edited photos, and we had gooey eclairs and cheese and a fresh baguette made in Perry.
The campers in the site just through the trees behind our site are from Canada, and around 9 PM someone broke out a guitar and sang for a couple of hours..nice voice and good music filled the area. My favorite was his rendition of Rocketman. I stowed all the food goodies in the car to keep all of the raccoons at bay, and we turned in around 10PM, serenaded by a Canadian guitarist. A fine day in upstate New York was coming to a close.
We have come to the conclusion that the park is truly one of the more beautiful places around, however as a park, it is just a spectator sport. You can’t hike down into the canyon, can’t go near the river and the trails are more just walking paths, wide and flat, and several were paved..spectator sport…like they are saying ‘here, look at this, and move along now’. We did manage to hike a few miles and I took lots of pictures of fantastic sights. It is the 14th of June and as I mentioned the camp store was closed, another restaurant was closed, the concessions stand was closed and the trail and road to the upper falls will remain closed until September of 2018.
The ice cream stand was closed, for goodness sake! Oh, and if you want to fly your drone here, there is a $50 application fee, a two week waiting period and you have to purchase a $2 Million liability insurance policy! Sorry no drone footage here. . . However, below is a gallery of some of the sights. Click any image below for a larger view.