Friday, July 24, 2009

Touring Ithaca

Kate and I have had some breaks between her violin sessions to tour Ithaca and the surrounding areas. We visited Cornell University, where I'd spent four months as a visiting student 23 years ago. The photo above shows Williard Straight Hall, and it houses the Ivy Room in which I had a good many lunches. I spent much of my time at Cornell studying in the beautiful, old Uris Library, which unfortunately was closed when Kate and I arrived. I also tried to visit the North Campus townhouses, which are not particularly interesting but holds some nostalgic value for me. Sadly, the entire campus seemed under construction and after several tries, I gave up trying to find an open route there. Nevertheless, it was wonderful walking on Cornell's beautiful campus again.

The Finger Lakes region is well-known for its waterfalls, and it's not surprising that so many people here are sporting "Ithaca is Gorges" T-shirts. One afternoon, we popped over to the Buttermilk Falls, just a 5-minute drive from Ithaca College. Buttermilk Falls is actually a series of small waterfalls rather than one large drop. Kate and I worked our way down one of the two trails following the falls and saw a number of interesting rock formations along the way.

The next day, we took the longer drive to Taughannock Falls, which supposedly has a greater drop than Niagara Falls. We parked near the lower part of the gorge, where we were able to hike 20 minutes on a wide and gentle trail to the base of the waterfall. If you're in the area, I highly recommend a visit. The views of the gorge and waterfall are stunning.

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