July 8th and 9th 2017
It had rained so hard that morning I was sure that any plans for the outdoors would be smashed. I even thought about NOT going. I am so glad I did.
Toughannuck Falls state park is actually listed as being in Ithaca, but I went an entirely different route then I had to get to Buttermilk Falls and for the conference I had attend a few weeks back. This trip took us along Route 89 and all of those Wineries. (Oh yes) It's was about an hour and a half drive from my house but a beautiful drive and with such great company the time went quick.
We arrived just at 11 to meet up with these lovely women whom I have come to really enjoy.
The Women Outdoors group is a national organization that is built around women who enjoy doing things outdoors. (thus the name.) Today's event made my fourth time meeting with the group. I have since decided to become a member myself. Here is the link.
The Finger Lakes region is the one I met with.
Up first was a meeting and lunch.
Some of the ladies getting their prizes. I wish I could remember everyone's name, but this lovely lady lives in the area.
Almost immediately you walk onto a small falls along the trail.
The creek bed runs along one side of the trail while the deep green woods is on the other.
Taughannock Falls' main cataract is a 215-foot drop (66 m), making it 33 feet (10 m) taller than Niagara Falls. It is the tallest single-drop waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains. The waterfall is located along Taughannock Creek, which flows through a long gorge with cliffs up to 400 feet (120 m) high.
The waterfall and gorge comprise an example of a hanging valley, formed where Taughannock Creek's stream-carved valley meets the deeper glacially carved valley that contains Cayuga Lake. The gorge has continued to retreat westward from Cayuga Lake as easily eroded shale near the fall's base is worn away by the stream, which supports erosion-resistant siltstone and sandstone found in the upper portions of the gorge. Annual freeze and thaw cycles also act upon small faults in the rock, causing large sections to occasionally break away, further expanding the gorge.
The gorge supports a "Shale Cliff and Talus" community of plants, including three regionally rare species classified as threatened in New York State: Butterwort (Pinguicula vulgaris), birds-eye primrose (Primula mistassinica) and yellow mountain saxifrage (Saxifraga aizoides).
I also read that Toughannock roughly translates to "Great Falls in the woods" from the native American people.
The $5- admission fee was a little steep to view taxidermy animals, but Tami asked about the "unemployed" discount (She really is) and her admission was only $1-. Can't hurt to ask...
Tami thought Ichabod (below) was "beautiful". I struggled to see this definition, (every time I see vultures I think of that old movie The Red Pony, I saw it when I was very very young....but I still remember the vultures above the pony in the end. ) I have to admit " "Ick" as we were told, was pretty cool when he began to show off his wings for us and dance in a circle on his perch.
Time to find the Tree house...so up the small trail we went into the woods. (There are also trails for hiking too. Tami and I were simply to tired to take any route that was unnecessary) and there we spotted it.
Can I get another "WOW". Is this just about the coolest thing ever?????
and this little falls and stream runs right next to it.
Charming....and the trail is cute too.
Tami and I left the Cayuga Nature Center and headed back down Rt 89 towards the state park again. We talked about stopping at the upper fall, but decided wine tasting was a much better idea. There are a number of wineries along this stretch of road which borders along Cayuga Lake...(Which is beautiful by the way.) Americana is one we know from previous tours and we both like their wines.
They also have fudge, cheese, wine items and lots of samples to try. Tami tried the 5 tastes on the traditional wines, while I had 3 tastes of the bubbly. (I am driving you know.) Yum! I was sold on the Bubbly Blush. A bottle now sits in my fridge.
The small gourmet pizza's were pricey at $10-$12- per personal sized (they do not sell by the slice). I had a not so out of the box sausage, while Tami had the pesto pizza. (I thought I took a picture but I could not find one on my camera or phone.) It was good, I would have liked less sauce, but it was tasty. Tami absolutely loved hers. We found seats on the lawn and stayed for some time just enjoying the weather, the views and each others company.
Back on the road...we came up on the Thruway deciding that we had been away from our families long enough, we should head home. So homeward we went having had a GREAT Day...
Mark had suggested that we go to Del Lago casino. Having missed my stop at Waterloo outlet mall on Saturday, I jumped on the opportunity to take another trip out this way.
Mark, my Mother in Law and I made our way back on the thruway to Del Lago resort and casino.
I played a few of the slot games...up a little. lost a little...then up again. We had brunch at the buffet. Deserts win big...but Turning Stone Casino wins for everything else buffet wise. I generally like to keep my money so having more in my pocket then when I came nearly $80- I left the two of them to play and headed out to the Outlet mall. Although I have been to the outlets before, I did not recall just how big it was. I circled the area one whole time before I found a section that had what I was looking for. COACH.
I have wanted my very own coach bag for so long...but they are so expensive. I really just wanted to check it out and get an idea about prices. After all...I can always find one at the second hand store if I want one that bad I thought.
I walked in the store and the staff was SOOOOO friendly...and every item seemed so cheep. (In comparison to most COACH bags) Bags that cost $250-$350 were on sale for $89- I was thrilled. So thrilled in fact I spent over 45 minutes circling four different styles of purse/bags and wallets. The reverable tote bag was great. Big and able to fit all of my work stuff. I have two others at home (Vera Bradley not coach..but nice) The mid-sized purse I found was a real number in red, but I really didn't want to have a shoulder bag. I like much longer straps. I did however like the idea that I could fit my camera in this bag. The over sized wrist-wallet was a great idea as I am always taking my poka-dot blue and green one (Thirty one bag) out with me and it is getting quite frayed. But I did not like any of the colors they had. The purple body cross bag was the smallest of the bags...but also the only one that was all leather, and had the long straps. Plus I could pretty much take it anywhere and it would fit just what I needed for the most part, just no way would my camera fit in it.
Ahh...decisions decisions.....I finally went with the cute little purple body cross purse.
What a great weekend full of fun in the Finger Lakes. Maybe someday I will make it to the rest of those digits. Is Cayuga the pinkie or the thumb?