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June 7 – Ricketts Glen State Park

“Everything we do is infused with the energy in which we do it. If we’re frantic, life will be frantic. If we are peaceful, life will be peaceful.” – Marianne Williamson

We’ve wanted to hike Ricketts Glen for the past three years, but the weather or time always seemed to get in our way…until Friday. What a wonderful day to spend hiking this amazing park, the sun was out and the temperature was in the lower 70s. Ricketts Glen State Park is one of the most scenic areas in Pennsylvania and is comprised of 13,050 acres, which crosses into three counties. We hiked a little over four miles on the Ganoga Glen, Glen Leigh and Highland Trails. The loop took us by 18 of the 21 named waterfalls in the park, although we saw many other falls that weren’t considered special enough to be named. Each waterfall cascades through rock strewn clefts of this ancient hillside and the hike was incredible. The waterfalls ranged in height from Cayuage Falls at 11′ to Ganoga Falls which is 94’…they were all spectacular.

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Finger Lake Wineries (Part V)

“The best wines are the ones we drink with friends.”

Frontenac Point Vineyard began producing wines in 1982, it became the 44th New York farm-winery., there are now over 400 wineries in the state of New York. The property is on the west side of Cayuga Lake  and has a panoramic view of the lake. They work hard to maintain the winery’s small size and hands-on approach, currently producing just 2000 to 3000 cases a year. All the grapes used to make their wines are grown in the winery’s own 18-acre vineyard. Their focus is on dry wines. We tried their 2015 Riesling one of the best we’ve had on the lake.
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May 22 – Keuka Lake Outlet Trail

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” ―George Eliot  

There are so many places to explore around this area and it seems like we’re finding new places all the time. Today we drove over to Pen Yan and walked part of the Keuka Lake Outlet Trail. The trail follows an old rail bed; previously a canal towpath (Crooked Lake Canal), that even earlier, was a pioneer dirt trail. The canal is now mostly dismantled or buried, but it can be traced by swampy ditches and crumbling locks. Along the trail you can see old factories and mill foundations. It was fun trying to envision what the area looked like hundreds of years ago.
The Keuka Lake Outlet is a natural waterway that drains the waters of Keuka Lake into Seneca Lake crossing over 8 miles and dropping 280 feet along the way. The first saw and grits mill on the outlet was built in 1790 and over the years there have been 40 mills in operation on the outlet. Now the outlet caters to recreation with a multi-use trail that offers access to the outlet waters. 
Birkett Mills is the only mill that remains on the Keuka Lake Outlet. It’s has been in continual operation since 1797 and today is the world’s largest producer of buckwheat products.
Seneca Mill Falls is the most popular stop along the trail. The falls are a three-tiered cascade that starts as a small dam spillway and then crashes down two large limestone drops into a deep pool. The remains of the paper mill can be seen at the foot of the falls and above the falls you can see the rusty old mechanics that once harnessed the power of the outlet, and was a component of the electrical plant that took over the site after the paper mill left. 

This is a picture of the falls and the Seneca Paper Mill built in 1884

Cascade Mill Falls is about half the size of Seneca Mill Falls, and definitely not the prettiest site, but the complex is made up of old mills, factories and oddities that are in an advanced state of decay. Most notable is the Baker Chemical Company’s carbon bisulfide plant, which resides right next to the falls, and the Kelly Tire building which reconditioned tires and relied on carbon bisulfide for rayon. 

After hiking the Outlet Trail we stopped at the Spotted Duck Creamery for a little reward. This creamery makes their custard using organic local ingredients…much of it comes from their farm. They use duck eggs, enhance the name Spotted Duck. Why ducks…according to the own’s, they “make a far superior custard than chicken eggs; the increased yolk size makes a much richer flavor while the firmer whites are a better suspender, giving our frozen custard it’s signature creamy texture.” The farm was beautiful, the service from Dane was exceptional, the ice cream was very good and the flavors were fun. 

We shared the Hollywood, which was a flight of four flavors….we choice: Raspberry Truffle, Maple Nutt, Emu Tracks and Real Cookies n Cream.

May 13-20 Lots of Visitors

“Family and friendships are two of the greatest facilitators of happiness.” – John C. Maxwell

We had a busy week…weather is starting to improve, here and there, so we can finally get out of the boat. The theme for this week was visitors. Our first visitors arrived on Wednesday. Barbara and David from Miss My Money are back in the area getting their boat ready for the season. We had a great visit and enjoyed lunch at a local place overlooking the lake. We’ve known them for a long time and it’s always nice to reconnect.
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May 11 – Sodus Point, NY

“A sailor’s joys are as simple as a child’s” —Bernard Moitessier

We took a little road trip on Saturday…we ended up in Sodus Point. The village is on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, straight north of Cayuga Lake. It’s a point of land on the northwest edge of Sodus Bay. The name “Sodus” is derived from a native word meaning “Silvery Water.” Sodus Bay is six-mile-long and three-mile-wide and is the largest natural harbor on Lake Ontario.

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April 6 – Last Day in Paradise

“Family and friends are hidden treasures, seek them and enjoy their riches.” – Wanda Hope Carter

We spent our last morning on Eleuthera at our favorite beach soaking in this incredible view. Looking at this water never gets tiring to me.
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April 5 – Harbour Island, Eleuthera

“When all the dust is settled and all the crowds are gone, the things that matter are faith, family, and friends.” – Barbara Bush 

By Friday we all decided to go our own way for part of the day…Eric and his family spent the day at Sky Beach Resort, Kyle and his family went back to our favorite little beach on the Exuma Sound and Stan and I drove north to explore Harbour Island. The island is located at the northern end of Eleuthera and is called “Briland” by the locals. A sign welcomes you that reads, “Welcome to Harbour Island, Home of Friendly People”. 
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Family Time

“These hands have held many things, but nothing as sweet as the hand of a grandchild.” – Unknown

The best part of this vacation was watching our grands play…we all had a wonderful time together. Most of our week was spent relaxing on the beach, swimming in the pools and enjoying our beautiful house. Here are a few pictures from our fantastic week in Eleuthera.

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April 3 – Dinner at the Beach

“You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.” – Desmond Tutu
One of the most enjoyable evening while we were in Eleuthera was spent at Tippy’s. The restaurant sits on the Atlantic beach just south of Governor’s Harbour. We had a large table on the deck overlooking the water…the view was wonderful, the food was very good and the kids had fun playing in the sand before and after dinner. 

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Exploring Eleuthera

“Families are the compass that guides us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights and our comfort when we occasionally falter.” – Brad Henry

One afternoon when the little ones were resting Stan, Eric and I went exploring. Our first stop was Hatchet Bay Caves. These caves are located on the western side of Queen’s Highway, just outside of the Hatchet Bay settlement…easy to find, just enter the name into your Waze app. It’s the most extensive cave system discovered on Eleuthera, extending about 1100 feet underground, with over a mile of twisting passages. We didn’t have the right kind of footwear for the adventure, so we didn’t venture in very far in. We weren’t too impressed with what we saw, but fun to see something a little different. The area is rumored to have been a favorite playground for pirates…maybe there are buried treasures in the cave.

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