Watkins Glen

September 25, 2015DSC_0895We bought our tent 3 months ago, right after our first camping experience, promising ourselves that we would go camping often this summer. It’s after summer and here we are, loading our new tent, packaging unopened in our car. We are going camping with B and J,  and between the 4 of us we have so many bags that it’s like fitting together a 3-D jigsaw in the car. Almost as soon as we pull out of the apartment complex, we realize we left the cooler behind. When we go back, we find out we had left the cooler and a bag of grillables behind. We drive a little more before we remember we forgot the crackers for s’mores. This time we simply pick it up from a drug store. Further on, we turn back again because we never brought the mattress topper along. We have delayed enough that it makes sense to have lunch and then proceed.

 At the campsite, it still feels like summer. No camping experience can be considered complete without a fire and some songs!  Our *antakshari  continues well into the night. When we finally turn in, all of us are very comfortable in our tents. My sleeping bag is super comfortable too. I do have a recommendation though – there should be some way to roll up the head and tie it to make a pillow.

September 26, 2015

*Lonavle mein chikki khayenge, waterfall pe jaayenge Khandala ke ghaat ke upar photu kheech ke aayenge

**Lonavle mein chikki khayenge, waterfall pe jaayenge
Khandala ke ghaat ke upar photu kheech ke aayenge

We are all excited about the Watkins Glen hike. B & J have done it before, but it’s our first time. I always imagined doing it in fall. Well, we are doing it in fall only not like I imagined with all the colours out. As advised by the man-at-the-campground-visitor-centre-who-just-wouldn’t-let-us-go, we took the Gorge trail up and the Indian trail down. The Gorge trail is like walking through a series of postcards. Shady gorges carved out by running water, spanned by bridges; little cascades, dark pools, curtain falls – it was completely worth every step. Our fellow hikers are quiet and respectful of nature, almost like worshipers in a gorgeous cathedral. Now imagine how much more tranquil it would have been to be absolutely alone in a place like this! Or would the silence be too overbearing?

Watkins Glenn2The Indian trail overlooks the Gorge trail, so it affords you a whole new perspective of the gorge but is just not as charming or serene. At one point the Indian trail becomes a narrow road alongside a cemetery. It’s hard to walk by and not wonder, how do they bring the deceased up here? The trail is no proper road for a hearse. Perhaps there is another road on the other side. Watkins Glen is also the home of the famous  Watkins Glen International racetrack, and the historic Watkins Glen Grand Prix.


Photo Courtesy Ganesh Sankaran

At the trailhead, or end depending on which way you look at it, there is an ice-cream shop that seems to be very popular. We finish our ice-creams before the sun can get as much as a lick of them and go to Seneca Lake. Once upon a time, five Indian tribes lived in this region – the Seneca, Cayuga,  Tuscarora,  Onondaga and Oneida . The land around the Seneca Lake was the home of the Senecas. Is the lake named after the tribe, or does the tribe take its name from the lake, I don’t know.

No trip to the Finger Lakes region is complete without wine tasting, so we drive up the wine trail  and end our trip with some average wines and a fabulous view.

*antakshari – example 

**Lonavala mein chikki khayenge … – 2:35 to 2:45 here. Don’t forget to turn the subtitles on.

P.S :

Lunar Eclipse (clockwise from top left)

Lunar Eclipse (clockwise from top left)

On the way back we saw the blood moon +  lunar eclipse while on the road. Most of it atleast. When the Earth’s shadow covered 80% of the moon, the clouds decided to play spoiltsport. We witnessed the end of the show from our balcony.

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