Falling for Watkin

I’m back! Woo! Sorry it’s been so long. I was looking for that inspiration to figure out how to write about such a majestic weekend. Last weekend my girlfriend and I went up to The Finger Lakes in N.Y. She’s from Wisconsin and said she’d always wanted to visit the Finger Lakes. Uhmmm ok..if she wants to go there’s got to be some kool stuff to see. Whelp, she right!!

First stop (and the stop this post is going to be about) was Watkins Glen Falls.

Watkins Glen is small town in upstate N.Y. and has it’s own national park. It’s about a 5 1/2 hour from from where I live on Long Island. Watkins Glens is extremely convenient because you could also camp within the park if you’d like however we opted for a place a little more off the beaten path. (No thanks to the mass amounts of families swarming around yelling at their kids who were yelling back. I SWEAR I don’t hate kids…just the screaming ones and the screaming parents..ugh…bitch don’t kill my vibe). About a 15 minute drive along the shores of Lake Seneca

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Ms. Seneca have you been working out? You’re looking so slender 😉

and up one of the most steep hills I’ve ever driven (I’m fairly certain these hills are also called MOUNTAINS!) lies a campground call the Blueberry Patch Campground. It’s nestled within the Finger Lakes National Forest and is first come first serve.

When you pull in, drive around, claim your spot then drive back to the entrance. There are only 10 sites so I highly recommend making staking your claim #1 priority. As for payment, it’s just like Morton. You fill out an envelope, put your cash in and slide it into a big locked container. Best part, it’s only TEN DOLLARS A NIGHT! YEAAAAA BUDDY!! There are 2 outhouses but I do NOT recommend them.They look nice and very large from the outside but I made the mistake of opening the door. No exaggeration, 1000 flies came rushing out. NO-THANK-YOU!!! Grab the biodegradable toilet paper because…“shitter’s full!”

 

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Home sweet home

Now that we’re settled it’s time for some falls! Back into town we go. I believe it was a $10 parking fee to get in. Cash is key when adventuring so always make sure you’ve got some with you in different denominations.

Let’s get down to brass tax. Enough with this and that. First let me say there will be a bunch of pics in this blog but it does NOT do this place justice. Sometimes you cannot capture the beauty of MoNay (Mother Nature – keep up people) with a camera. Which is why I highly recommend you go out and adventure! Our eyes are cameras for our souls. This is how we make memories! It’s frikking magic people!

You enter the park at the bottom of the falls so throughout the journey you’re working your way to the top.

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The hole you see in the rock just under the bridge was once attached to a flume that helped power a flour and feed mill. The falls were dammed up to redirect water to flow through the flume. You’ll climb up some beautifully crafted steps and make your way over the bridge in this photo. All in all you will experience 19 falls through out the trail!!!

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A pool shaped like a heart?!  

Something that Amber and I marveled at was how smooth the sides of pools were. Hi I’m Water and I will trump Rock any day…just give me a few hundred years…I’ll get there and I will be GRAND!

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Cavern Cascade
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Behind Cavern Cascade – B.F.F. bandannas unite!!!!

I was going to put descriptions after each photo etc. etc. but neh….I’m a picture book kinda girl so here you go, picture blog time!

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There are no filters on any of my photos and although I’m sure it would  “enhance” this or that but I refuse. #sorrynotsorry So much of what we see these days is filtered or altered so much it’s hard to tell what’s real and what isn’t. Well this…this is real.

Through out our hike I thought about the love and care that had to go into creating these structures, these walkways. Granted nature did the work carving out the gorge and fueling the falls but the surrounding areas are man maintained.

You guys, there was one thing that urked me pretty badly while visiting these falls on the mile and a half upward venture….the trash! So many tourists come through here and they just throw their garbage ALL over! This inspired me to add to add the following feature to my blog

Ladies and Gentleman I introduce to you:

DON’T BE A DOUCHE!

This is a one GALLON zip lock bag. I pulled it from my pack not even a 1/4 of the way into our hike. Everything from plastic bottles, tissues stuffed into the sides of the rocks (no that does NOT count as a garbage can), parking ticket stubs, cigarette butts (barf-a-roni), plastic bags, a camera user guide, band aides (*heave!*) and even a….nope ya know what? I’ll spare you guys. This bag was stuffed to the gills by the time we got back down to the bottom it wouldn’t close. Some people asked what I was doing and when they realized they thanked me. I ask of everyone who is reading this blog, when you hike or adventure, keep a zip lock bag in your pack. If you see trash, pick it up. Help keep these amazing places clean. Show respect and lead by example.

Onward!

Along with falls and trash we came across some neat little creatures.

Left: Tussock Moth caterpillar – This little guy was awesome. He was super bright yellow and had 3-4 little tufts of hair coming off of his back. As adorable as he was and as much as I wanted to just “coochie coochie coo” him, I decided against it. I watch enough Discovery channel to know this dudes probably trouble. After coming home and Google machining him, I was right! These little guys are venomous. Coochie coo him if you’d like some big old itchy welts.

RightGrapeleaf Skeletonizer – excuse me but what?! Sounds terrifying but it’s not. These little guys just eat leaves and leave the leaf veins. Appropriately named.

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SNAKE!!!! I dig ya little buddy! We almost stepped on him as he blended in so well on the path (top picture). Across the path and up the rocks he went. Another creature I really wanted to pick up however the ring around his neck left me a bit leary. He’s just a Ring-Necked Snake. Usually they come out at night and feed on amphibians. We were blessed by this little guy’s presence. So thank you Mr. Snake for crossing our path. You’re adorable.

Hmmm this post is missing something. What could it be? Hmmmm….what’s that you say? A MAP!!! You’re correct!

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We hiked 4.3 miles up and then back down. As you can see we did a lot of squiggles all over. At times we were spinning in circles trying to take it all in. We were here for 2.5 hours and left when the sun started to go down. This was nice because the crowds had left and our descent was fairly empty. By the time we got back to the car we were one of 5 left. When visiting a place like this I recommend taking your time. It was only 4 miles but we made the most out of it, took our time and experienced everything we wanted.

My dear Watkin, thank you for a magical day.

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Until next time,

peace, love and adventures.

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This post is dedicated to my mersister, Amber. Thank you for planning such a freeing and inspiring trip for us, for wearing matching outfits (unplanned), having matching shoes (unplanned), for pretending to read the map out loud until those people passed so we could pee in the woods privately and for appreciating every experience we had this day to the fullest. XOXO

 

 

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