One of the highlights of our departure from Cape Liberty was that our ship turned “up” the Hudson River for a sail-by of the Statue of Liberty. For me it was special, because previously the only view I had had of the famous landmark was the view from an airplane window as we landed in Newark. And that was nearly 10 years ago.
We discussed coming to Jersey City a day or two earlier, but as I said in my last post, we decided to keep this trip a little more simple. And, knowing that our ship was due to sail past the statue meant that we didn’t have to endure the lines and the crowds to sail to the island itself. Another time, for sure.
So as we sailed out of the port, around (well not quite around) the statue, we got a “sea level view” of the NYC and Jersey City skylines and waterfront, and a fish-eye view of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge as we passed below it. In no time at all we were at sea, steaming towards the <suspenseful music plays> Bermuda Triangle. More to come!
Growing up in western Pennsylvania, I had actually visited New York many times prior to this most recent trip. I went to Peek’n Peek to ski, visited Buffalo, Corning, Watkins Glen, Troy and even Lake Placid. But those visits were all before I started getting serious about photography, and many of them, including Lake Placid, were Before Kathy, and I wanted to take her there. While I had some photos that would have worked – they’re our rules, after all! – we decided that another swing through the state would be the right way to do it. Plus we wanted to visit the Finger Lakes.
Departing Burlington, we swung around the south shore of Lake Champlain, crossing into New York near the town of Moriah. Moriah’s claim to fame is as the home of Johnny Podres, 1955 World Series MVP for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Your trivia for the day. 😉 The rain and fog were still with us, but as we drove north and west the skies finally began to clear.
Our first destination was Lake Placid, and we arrived there in time for a late breakfast and a few photos of the fall color on the lake. We didn’t stay long, since we had a long day ahead and didn’t want to linger at the beginning. Also, the town was in the process of some major road work in town. Main Street was torn up and loaded with piles of dirt, rocks and road equipment, rendering the normally picturesque town pretty rough looking. Another technicality is that the lake in town is actually Mirror Lake, and that Lake Placid is out of town to the north. We did stop to see the Olympic ski jumping site on our way into town, but didn’t try to take a tour.
Leaving Lake Placid and heading west through Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake, we crossed a bridge over the Raquette River near Piercefield and were greeted with a lovely park overlooking the river, complete with still water reflecting the fall color of the trees along the riverbank. The skies were clearing but still mostly cloudy, providing us with ideal conditions for photos. It made for one of those unplanned stops we were glad to have taken the time for.
Our ultimate destination was a lodge on the west shore of Seneca Lake, one of the Finger Lakes and central to the Finger Lakes wine region. I had a chance to do a little early photography before heading out to explore the area attractions. We visited three wineries, bought souvenirs at two of them, visited a distillery and the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport. We took a boat cruise on Saranac Lake out of Watkins Glen. That was the seventh boat cruise of our trip – do you get the feeling we like boat cruises? 🙂
One of our days there was dedicated to a drive to Rochester, where we visited the George Eastman Museum and, most importantly, met up with two of our long-time photo buddies Paul Maxim and Ken Bello. We had lunch with them and Ken’s wife before driving along the shore of Lake Ontario through Webster (Where Life Is Worth Living) and ultimately returning to our lodge.
New York made for our 49th state visited. Number 50 is Hawaii, and we have plans to visit there in February. After that? We’ll have to see, but there is a lot more of this country we want to see, we have friends to visit all over, and we might want to see a little bit more of the world. 🙂
We capped off our adventure today with a cruise on Seneca Lake and a visit to both a distillery and a winery. More souvenirs! This is a pretty typical and boring tourist shot but it is a landmark in the town of Watkins Glen.
Kathy & I drove to Rochester today to visit the Eastman House and – more importantly – meet up with some of our photo friends (more on that later). This photo is not necessarily representative of the experience but is one of my favorites for the day.
We’ve got one more day in the Finger Lakes before we head south on Saturday. We should be sleeping in our own bed on Sunday and are looking forward to it!
Other than the Wright Brothers, perhaps no other individual is as important to the history of aviation than Glenn Curtiss. Just a few years after the Wright Brothers’ first flight in 1903, Curtiss, almost single handedly, improved and advanced the newfangled airplane to see ever expanding commercial, military and personal application.
Curtiss’ various ventures centered in the area around Hammondsport, New York. The Glenn H. Curtiss Museum is a tribute to this aviation pioneer and is a fascinating place to learn about this area of aviation history.
I’m finding it quite easy to make these early morning excursions when I am in an interesting place to photograph. I went out this morning in front of the lodge where we are staying. It is still cloudy, although forecast to start clearing today. The soft cool morning light made long exposures easy. In this case 7.5 seconds on a tripod gave the water a nice blur while preserving some of the detail.
I forgot to mention in yesterday’s post that we are now officially at 49 states! The last one, of course, is Hawaii. We have plans to go there in February.
We happened upon this spot on our drive from Lake Placid to the Finger Lakes area of New York. Within minutes the breeze picked up and erased the reflections. A reminder to shoot what we see when we see it.