Recap: Our intrepid band of explorers – Ron, Carol and I – had traversed a slippery, tortuous trail through the dark heart of Enfield Glen. We had passed a couple of large cascades, but were hearing something bigger. Much bigger, and much more ominous.
Then, the bottom dropped out, and we found ourselves staring into the abyss…
It was a soft summer morning in the Finger Lakes, tranquil and warm. On such a day, the warning seemed out of place. Paying it no heed, our little band of adventurers descended into the dark bowels of the Earth – to meet the Devil himself.
A wise man once said “You can’t always get what you want…but if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need.”
For my last day in Ithaca last summer, what I wanted was to go to Buttermilk Falls, one of those MUST-SEE places people were talking about. What I got was a balky knee that wouldn’t handle the steps to the second floor without complaint, much less all the climbing to be done at Buttermilk.
Change of plan.
I know what you’re thinking. That I am neglecting something in the tale of my trip to upstate New York last summer. Waterfalls, rocks and way too much geology – enough! The region around Ithaca is known as the Finger LAKES, not the Finger GORGES, after all. Something’s missing!
What about the LAKES?
Before I came to Ithaca, NY, I never really questioned why waterfalls occur where they do. It’s a simple equation: Steep mountainsides + creeks = waterfalls.
I wouldn’t have called the Finger Lakes Region “mountainous,” though. Not compared to the Adirondacks or the Appalachians. “Rolling hills” is more like it. So where did all these gorges and waterfalls come from?
To find out, I walked through Taughannock Gorge – and back through time.
Expectations. We’ve talked before about the expectations I bring to each new area I visit. How I go to a new place with certain assumptions? Only to find the surroundings have something unexpected to say for themselves?
Last summer brought me to a new region that has been on my bucket list for a while: New York’s Finger Lakes. In lieu of the usual family gathering in Michigan, my cousin and her husband invited me to join their son and daughter-in-law and a close friend for a week at their home in Ithaca, New York. For them it would be a stay-cation; for us, a chance for new adventures in a year where a change of scenery was desperately needed.
The company of family and friends was incentive enough. To further entice me, Becky and Ron promised lots of outdoor activities. Hiking, swimming, kayaking, gorges, waterfalls…