After our outing to Taughannock Falls, Mark and I thought perhaps Michelle would like to take a quick look at Cornell University. Taughannock Falls is located just a short distance from Ithaca, home of Cornell, so it only made sense. Mark and I were anxious to show Michelle this institution, as it is so old and impressive….almost a city unto itself!
As we drove through the university’s large and diverse area, Michelle became overwhelmed. Everywhere we drove, there was new construction going on and Michelle told us this school was “way too big” for her! Attending a community college, she feels like going to such a large school would be too much! She was so amazed at the size…
Well, Mark and I are certainly not committed to making Michelle ever attend any specific university, but with her grades being high and the fact that she is a very good student, we would like to see herdo well. I told her that the sky is the limit and she can certainly aim high…after all, we are only given one life here and there is nothing so dismal as looking back and wishing one could start over again.
After motoring through the university, we also visited Ithaca College, which is a nice school on a much smaller scale. Michelle loved the smaller size. She told us she thought this was more in line with the type of school she would like to attend. We will be visiting schools sometime soon as she finishes her first year (how did that happen?) of college next week.
After looking at academia, we were ready for another little fun adventure, so we were off to Buttermilk Falls, just a stone’s throw from the two schools! Buttermilk Falls is a smallish park. I must interject here and say that one of the reasons I have been wanting to visit parks is because our New York State parks are in jeopardy of falling into disrepair, or worse yet, closure. Our Governor Paterson has threatened closures due to fiscal woes. We know that New York is one of the highest taxed states and it just seems to make no sense.
Buttermilk Falls is a beautiful area with a large pool at the bottom of the falls. The pool has been a swimming area, but this year, there will be no swimming as this is one of the cuts suffered. I also noticed that the park did not have the well manicured look to it that we have seen in many other parks.
If you click the above photo to enlarge it, you can see a trail running to the right of the falls. Near the top you might be able to make out a small observation lookout. Ben and I decided to make our way up there.
This view was taken from a small bridge we needed to cross in order to make our way up the trail.
Thenext photo is from the observation area. In looking down, it seemed like we were much higher up than it looked from below! Once again, if you look at the enlarged photo, you can see Mark looking antlike sitting down below!
The rock formations, like those of Taughannock Falls, are mainly shale on the low levels with sandstone on top. This makes for some very delicate situations, for if the loose shale falls out, the sandstone above can tumble down!
I forgot to mention “how” we got up the falls trail. Stairs. Many stairs! I had knee problems for many years. Somehow, in my old age, my knees are much better now than they were in my 20’s and 30’s. But, as we mounted these stairs, my poor knees felt like they were on fire! I did climb up a bit fast, keeping pace with Ben. The good news is that because I have been walking frequently, my knees suffered no pain the next day!!!
Growing along the falls was the most beautiful Columbine!
We drove up to see the camping area at Buttermilk Falls and decided this would be better for tenters than campers like ours! The climb to get to the camping area is wild….steep and on a (very) narrow road. There is no electric and when we saw the dump station, it looked as though it had not been used in years! We were somewhat shocked as we saw a small camper enter the park later and make its way up the road to the campground!
We had one more stop on our journey for the day, so I will show that in the next entry.