September 9, 2009
Today we drove the 90 miles to Watkins Glen. We have attempted to stop here on two different occasions but other factors prevented us from doing so.
Watkins Glen was craved by glacial waters moving through shallow river valleys leaving deep, steep sided throughs. That on-going process is responsible for what is now the park’s rugged gorge and spectacular waterfalls (19 of them).
To start our hike through the gorge we had to pass over a suspension bridge which sits 85 feet above the gorge creek bed. During the great flood of 1935, the water rose to within five feet of the bridge. Now that’s a lot of water.
In the 1800’s, the dining room of the three story Glen Mountain House peered over the gorge next to the Suspension Bridge and Lily Pod. Today the resort hotel is gone but we did see remnants of the building’s foundation.
The gorge is 1.5 miles long and hundreds of feet deep with 19 waterfalls, two of which you can walk under (we did) with over 800 stone steps to climb. We were enamored with the beauty of the place and as always amazed at the geological aspects of the formation of the gorge.
We walked up the 800 steps for the 1.5 mile trek through the gorge and then we retraced our steps for the 1.5 mile trek back to the car. I lost count of the steps at around 1300 but I’m sure the 1600 steps round trip was accurate. We enjoyed that wonderful walk and we are both happy we finally got to see the place.
On the map there was an Iroquois Lodge noted. We have seen so many beautiful lodges associated with both state and national parks that we had to check this one out. Oh yes, did I mention that all those beautiful lodges were in the Midwest and on the West coast??? The lodge here was quite different – not a lodge at all but a long building with a roof to accommodate picnickers. I guess the definition of a place depends on where you are in the country.
Another wonderful day in our adventures with a great day of exercise for us both.
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