Around the Finger Lakes…A Little

Yesterday, the kids went to their friend’s house for a little sledding party.  It was so bitterly cold, but the sun was shining gloriously and the skies were brilliant!  It was just an outstanding day, all the way around!

Mark and I dropped the kids off and then went for a drive.  Since the price of gas to has dropped down, it has made it more feasible to take some day trips. I told Mark I really wanted to travel a bit between Keuka Lake (pronounced like cuke-uh) and Seneca Lake.  These are both part of the eleven Finger Lakes.  I know I have bragged about the Finger Lakes region before, but in these photos, I think you will see why!

We drove from Midlesex, near Canandaigua Lake, to Penn Yan, located on Keuka Lake.  We stopped at a Chinese restaurant, as Mark hadn’t eaten all day!  I remember one night when Michelle was a wee little one.  Mark had come home from work (at about 6 pm) and I asked if we could go to this same restaurant. (The restaurant is located about 35 miles from our home.)  It was winter and the roads were atrocious! We went anyway, as the food was just that good!

As Mark ate, I thought about where to go, and took photos! What else?

Chris in Scotland had inquired about the Amish population here in our region.  Penn Yan has a large Amish, as well as Mennonite community.  It is very common to see horse-drawn buggies along the highways. The horses are kept moving at a very brisk pace.  The horse and buggies belong to the Amish.  The Mennonite community is much more progressive, driving  cars, minivans, and trucks. The vehicles are generally black or dark colored, so as not to appear “flashy”.  Also, young Mennonites in their late teens and early 20’s are often seen riding bicycles along the hilly countryside.  (We once saw a huge group of them in Penn Yan at about 10 pm)

After Mark finished eating, he set the GPS to take us for a little jaunt over to Seneca Lake.  This was such an enjoyable drive and it seemed more and more beautiful as we went.

Driving from our home in hilly woodlands, this area of hilly farmland is quite a contrast.  The views are spectacular and very memorable.  The farms appear to be well-tended and lucrative. Many of these farms do belong to Amish and Mennonite people.  In every direction, there seems to be….farms!

This farm was perched on a knoll and overlooks Seneca Lake. It was just amazing!

As I mentioned, the sun was remarkable…the terrain was sparsely covered with snow, but what was present was wind-burnished and glistened in the sun’s rays. Mark was even getting into the photo-taking session, calling out, “take a picture of this!”

As we made our way towards large Seneca Lake, we passed this little building which I am quite sure is an Amish schoolhouse.

If you click to expand the photo, you can see pairs of Wellies hanging on pegs on the front porch of the building.  Homemade curtains appear in the windows. Outside the building, there was a small swingset, a volleyball net, what appears to be a baseball diamond, as well as two outhouses. 

Our ride took us past many more windswept fields sparkling in the sunlight….

and more tidy picturesque farms.

We finally got to the route that runs parallel to the lake. We stopped at a small marker, giving a short historical account….

As the sign notes, there are vineyards everywhere. There are also seemingly hundreds of winerys and micro-breweries,  many offering free tastings.  I do know that in the summer and autumn months, there are all sorts of offerings for tours of many of these businesses.

Mark and I drove up the lake, stopping here and there to look around and take some photos. We discovered a tiny village we had not known about along the lake and saw some breathtaking sights.  I saw many things I would love to photograph, but our time was growing short, as we had committed to picking the kids up at 6 pm. 

We pulled over in Geneva alongside the railroad tracks for a few minutes.  As we sat there, we noticed a huge flock of crows! Mark rolled his window down and took a picture of the large birds, and thus, stirred them up, causing them to fly about in a frenzy!

It was getting late in the day, and as Mark checked something on the GPS,  I took a couple of train photos.

This second photo was taken between seizures of laughter….

Mark called that orange machine a “rail sweeper”. Funny thing is, he probably is right, but my take on it just kept me in stitches! “Mark!” I exclaimed, “That thing is made from pieces of sheet metal and rubber hoses!”

We giggled as we pulled away.  We had spent a few hours in this region, in the most wonderfully relaxing and awesome way.  The Scotties were content to lie on the seat and sleep and it was so much fun just wandering about with no “real” destination.  We stopped  for a bite to eat, and as the sun set low in the western sky, the temperatures fell mercilessly!

What a refreshingly glorious outing! I would love to wander the Finger Lakes Region in the four seasons, and write a book with photos, of the area….

12 Responses

  1. That’s really fascinating – what a great day out!

    I have a friend who is a member of (we think) the only Mennonite congregation in the UK, in London. They’re very hot on pacifism.

  2. Hmm….Jackie, I know the Mennonites here are very involved in world relief efforts. Could your friend possibly be a Quaker? They are vehemently opposed to any and all violence, at all cost. My mother’s ancestor’s who came to the US in the 1700’s from Gemany were Quakers. I had a friend from childhood who joined the Quaker Church….otherwise, I did not know they still existed!

  3. I’ll buy the book! A wonderful area, from your equally wonderful photos.

    I particularly love the sun-glistening-off-the-snow ones; it is so beautiful.

  4. I’d buy the book too! I bet with your comments and fantastic pictures it would be a wonderful book!

  5. Another set of beautiful photos!

    Just curious as to the name of the small Finger Lakes town you and Mark found. Cy’s grandparents lived in the tiny hamlet of Owasco, where his grandfather owned an auto repair shop for many years. We recently drove through there, and while the shop is gone, the building still stands, along with a tiny ice cream stand where Cy remembers going with his grandparents, at the age of 9 or 10.

  6. Sign me up for the book too! Your pictures and storytelling are terrific! Sounds like a great day. Honestly, we were just discussing living in the Finger Lakes today….and we wouldn’t want to live anywhere else!!

  7. Great Pics Mom!
    I miss those drives with no definite destination. We used to take those in Canada quite often when we lived in Buffalo. Nowadays I supposed border patrol would have issues with someone “going for a drive” with no set destination though.

    I’d buy the book too!

  8. It is great that you just get out! When it is this cold I just tend to stay in! I love taking these little photo trips with you!

  9. She’s definitely a Mennonite (though I have no doubt in sympathy with Quakers too). They’re not numerically large here, but do exist!

    I’d buy your book too 🙂

  10. Good GRIEF! I dream a little on my blog and wazzah! Suddenly, my friends are in line to buy my book! Wow! Thanks for all of the encouragement! I am truly blessed by this!

    I am seriously going to think about this. I love photographing this area. Well, I love photographing everything!!!!

    Madeline, the little village we discovered is Dresden. It is off route 14, and is right on the lake. It looked so charming, but we didn’t even go down any of the streets to check it out. (I need a new driver!!!!!!)

    Thanks again, guys!

  11. Oops!

    Jackie, does your friend wear a little prayer cap? Mennonite ladies here are fairly easy to spot. They make their own dresses, typically in pretty pastel, Springlike colors…they wear the prayer cap with the ties dangling down and wear sneakers! They are so wholesome and pretty and quite friendly!

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