Saturday, June 27, 2015

Finger Lakes - Part 2

Roger here... Dianne and I are loving life in the Finger Lakes region of New York.  In the last post we documented our winery and museum visits with Jay and Nancy.  This post will have more of an outdoor theme, filled with the fun that our Retama friends Larry and Sharon (who have a summer home about twenty minutes from our campground) organized. 

Speaking of the campground... we booked two weeks at Bristol Woodlands, near Canandaigua.  It is located on the slopes of Bristol Mountain where the local winter ski resort is located.  Talk about a serene and beautiful setting!  The pictures above and below were taken along the long gravel entryway to the park.

This picture shows the steep road (on the left) that leads to the RV sites.  It took a while, but we finally adjusted to the very slow (and enforced) 5 mph speed limit that requires continual riding of the brakes.  The speed limit rule was a great trade-off, considering the setting.

The dogs have been enjoying long walks on the campground trails, and up the gravel road that leads to a zip line course.  We  frequently encounter wildlife, especially deer.  The photo above shows Bandido checking a lone deer out in the distance.

Here is our huntress, Tequila, at the same moment.  The action increased exponentially one morning when a napping doe woke up and leaped across one of the campground trails.  I may need to go to a doctor to have my right arm put back in the socket :-).

Enough about the dogs.  Let's show some of the people fun.

Our first morning with Larry and Sharon was idyllic.  Larry took us on a paddle (not really a paddle) on Canadice Lake.... 

.... while Sharon walked our dogs on one of the lakeside trails.

Larry (in a single kayak) led the way as we glided from the south end of the lake to the north end, and back.  The lake is 3 miles long.  The water was calm (no wind).  Motorized boats and swimming are not allowed on this particular lake since it is a water source for the city of Rochester.  

I hinted that this was really not a paddling trip (although it could have been.)  Larry and Sharon's Hobie kayaks are pedal powered.  They are steered  by a hand-operated rudder that turns on a dime.   The only time we used the paddle was at the landing, when the pedals were raised and the rudder was trimmed.  What a wonderful way to get some exercise while enjoying the quiet on the nearly deserted lake.  Note the reflections in the photo below.  For an instant it is difficult to determine if the puffy white clouds are in the sky or the clear water.

We returned to the campground around 3:00 p.m. to get ready for dinner.  Larry and Sharon picked us up.  We ate on the porch of an old house in the town of Woodville.  The restaurant (named Roots) was surrounded by a small-town street with historic homes on the front and extensive vineyards in the rear.  Many of the dishes were made with the roots of vegetables (radishes, etc.), thus the name.  The food was tasty and interesting.  Sharon and I had cabernet-infused chilled pasta --- not very appetizing to view as the red pasta resembled earth worms, but it tasted great.  You just needed to close your eyes.  

After dinner, Sharon insisted that we find some ice cream.  (Ice cream is a big deal in this area.  Every small town seems to have an ice cream shop.)  After dessert, we then enjoyed an early evening tour of some of the local sites.

This picture was taken from a foot bridge on the edge of one of the scenic small towns.  The rocks in the bed of the stream were  slate, very common in this area.

On the way back to the motor home we stopped to gawk at Honeoye ("honey oi") Lake.  Sharon graduated from high school in the nearby town of Honeoye.  The was a good place for a couple of couple shots.

Sharon and Larry

Roger and  Dianne

This was such a great day.  However, I must say that the adventures of the next day matched the first.  Our friends rented a pontoon boat on Canandaigua Lake for a perfect four-hour cruise.

Larry was the skipper for our trip.  We traveled from the south end of the lake to the north end, and back (15 miles each way).  Luck was with us again, weather wise --- 75 degrees with more of those puffy, white clouds.

What a great picture of Sharon with the lake and those green hills of her native western New York in the background.

Many of the homes along portions of the lake were perched at the top of slate cliffs.  The stairway to the right has 200+ steps, according to the owners who talked with us from their boat while we took this picture.  Wouldn't you hate to have forgotten your sunglasses after reaching the bottom?  If you look carefully to the left of the dock, you will see the infrastructure of a very steep trolley system.  Many of the cliff homes had these.  Something new for me.

As we neared Canandaigua at the north end of the lake, Captain Larry stopped the boat so that we could enjoy some munchies and ginger ale.  Please ignore my ridiculous-looking hat that protects me from the sun.  In my case, it seems that sunscreen is not enough.  Too many hours in the sun as a lifeguard many years ago.

Dianne took pictures of some of the gorgeous homes on the trip back to the dock.  Even though we personally no longer want to take care of a large home, many of these were spectacular, intriguing, and likely exorbitantly expensive.  We hear that the property taxes alone on the lakefront home sites are incredible.  (Dianne here:  It was still fun to try to imagine sitting on the terraces, balconies, or porches of these elegant homes and enjoying a cold drink with a view of the lake and rolling green hills beyond.)

This next home was voted the favorite of all four of us.  It was actually a compound and required three photos to capture the entire property:

Waterfront Guest House

Hilltop Guest House

The main house

Hilltop Farm Viewed from Lake
Land ho!  It is 4:00 p.m. and time to disembark.  Thanks so much to Larry and Sharon for this amazing time on the water.  

After the cruise, it was time to drive a few miles to Naples for ice cream, what else.

And if ice cream was not enough, we drove a few more miles for a stop at Monica's Pies, a very popular local spot.

Larry and Sharon bought two pies as well as a chicken pot pie.  Dianne bought FOUR mini-pies:  peach, grape, key lime, and chocolate chip (for me).

The grape pie, a regional favorite, turned out to be Dianne's dinner that night.  It is a good thing that we are getting plenty of exercise, considering all the ice cream and pie we have been eating.  

The adventures in the Finger Lakes are not yet over.  The theme of the next post will be two days of big, big waterfalls.

The pet picture of the day shows Bandido with the big stick that he found along the road in front of the campground.  He is very proud of his stick.  Actually, as our friend Sue says, he is gloating.


Nancy and Bill said...

Spectacular!!! Such a beautiful place and how lucky to have friends that can show you around:o)) Keep having fun... really like that pedal kayak!!!

heyduke50 said...

love the finger lakes...

Steve Conrad said...

Forgot to tell Tequila "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" from Doodlebug, Eddie and Bumble. Looks like you two are having a great time.