August 26, 2018 Watkins Glen, NY (Day 2)

We woke up to partially cloudy skies and warm temps.  We packed a lunch for our drive on Highway 14 up the west side of Seneca Lake all the way to Lake Ontario.  Before we left, Auggie got a chance to meet Heidi–the black and tan Dachshund just across the road.  
They had so much chasing each other around and wore each other out.  She is only 15 weeks old, but what a sweetie.  At 15 weeks old, she is either going to be a standard size dachshund or a very large mini.  
We began our drive at 9:30 from the south end of the lake where all the marinas are.
Along this highway there are many beautiful wineries, both large and small.  
They are surrounded by vineyards that cover the hillsides.
There are so many wineries, how can a person choose which one to go to?  One of the wineries that caught our eye was this one.
The Shaw Winery–a small family-owned winery started by Steve Shaw (Bob’s got a younger brother named Steve.)  What a coincidence!
We noticed that there were still grapes on the vines waiting to be picked.
One of the towns we drove through was Geneva, at the top end of the lake.  Our approach was down a steep hill lined with trees that seemed to be changing colors.
Geneva is the home of the Hobart and William Smith Colleges.  Hobart College (men) and Willam Smith College (women) are private liberal arts colleges.  Students were moving in to the houses along the main street and downtown there were groups of freshmen getting an orientation to the college/town led by upper classmen.  For a Sunday, the area was crawling with students. These were some of the colorful row houses that lined the street.

Geneva is the location of the Seneca Canal which connects the two lakes–Seneca and Cayuga. This is where the canal begins in Seneca Lake.
That heron on the pier made me feel right at home.  We drove a little farther and got a view of the canal beyond the railroad bridge.
We stopped for gas just outside of Geneva at a full service gas station.  When is the last time you saw a “full service” station?  Bob hopped out of the truck and fueled the truck himself before realizing that service attendant was supposed to do it.  The attendant told us it was against the law in New Jersey to fuel your vehicle yourself.  We’ll check that out when we visit New Jersey.  
The next stop on our trip north was in the town of Lyons.  
Lyons is the home of Lock 27 of the Erie Canal.  The historic downtown was a ghost town on this Sunday.  
We found a path that paralleled the canal and took us to Lock 27.  
Along the path, that followed the canal were pictures of how the canal was constructed.
According to this map, we were centrally located on the system of 56 locks.  
There is docking and pumpout for boats that want to tie up along the wall there.  The lockmaster told us that most of the boat action at his lock takes place in the morning.  We weren’t lucky enough to see any boats going through the lock (12.5 ft. drop) while we were there, but it was cool to finally see the Erie Canal.

Our final destination was Lake Ontario at Sodus Point.
Driving out to the point, we drove through the town of Sodus Point.  It was a busy place.
We drove along the bay where we saw lots of boaters enjoying their Sunday on the water.

Dark clouds hung over us for awhile and we had a few ran drops fall on us, but nothing to hamper our plans.  We came out here to see the Sodus Point Lighthouse and the sun finally came out.  
We parked at Sodus Point Beach Park where we ate our lunch as we watched many boaters returning from a day of fishing or cruising.  Boat traffic was active.
At the park, I took a walk out on the breakwater pier to the lighthouse.  
The first lighthouse was first constructed in 1825 and has been replaced by the current tower.
The original lens was a 6th order Fresnel lens which was replaced with a 3 1/2 order lens.  The park has a life-guarded beach where I waded in to test out the water.  Not bad!

I can now say that I have been in all 5 of the Great Lakes.  Ontario was the last one.  Our drive back took us an hour and 15 minutes (64 miles) without any stops.  Coming back, we got a different view of the Seneca Lake.  There were a lot of boats on the lake today enjoying the beautiful day.  Sailing is very popular on this lake.

Traffic in Watkins Glen was not as crazy as on Saturday when we arrived.  We stopped at Wal-Mart for a few groceries and headed back to the campground.  Auggie was waiting for us and enjoyed some time outdoors.  Many weekend campers had left the park and there were a lot of empty spaces.  Things would be a lot quieter tonight.  We had dinner and took Auggie on his evening walk around the campground.  Tomorrow we have a big day planned to do some hiking on the Gorge and Rim Trails in Watkins Glen State Park.  I am looking forward to seeing all those waterfalls.  

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