We woke up in the parking lot of a winery in the Finger Lakes – on purpose! One aspect of this full-time living that we are truly enjoying is having a familiar living space with ever-changing views. We wake up in the same beds and have all our things in their respective places, but our location changes as often as we want it to. We feel at home even when the land under our tires is different from the night before.
We planned a short stop over in the Finger Lakes on our way to our longer stay in the Adirondacks, and I think we all wish we had been able to explore just a little bit more. After we left Sinnemahoning, we meandered our way along historic Pennsylvania Route 6 and then turned north into southern New York.
Since we had some time before we were able to check into our spot for the night, we decided to check out Taughannock Falls State Park. The parking situation was not exactly travel trailer friendly, but the staff at the gate helped us find a good parking place, and we set off up the Gorge Trail. The marker from the trailhead said that the trail is 0.75 miles to the falls, but whether it was because we were a little on edge from navigating the parking lot or because Little Bird was in desperate need of a nap, it sure felt quite a bit longer.
Regardless of the length of the trail or our moods getting to the falls, the hike was 100% worth it. The trail was in great condition – and we could have taken the stroller, which likely would have made it at least marginally more enjoyable, but we live and learn! The Gorge Trail follows Taughannock Creek. There is a small waterfall right at the beginning, which was even smaller than normal due to the drought. The creek bed is limestone and you can hop down from the trail in many places and walk on it. It was neat to see how the water has eroded the limestone in places.
The end of the trail brings you to a small bridge that opens up into the end of the gorge and the beautiful waterfall right in the center of it all. We did not stay long soaking in the views, as there were quite a few people milling around and we just are not really about that these days, so we snapped a few pictures, took some good looks, and made our way back to the truck. If you are ever in the area, we highly recommend this hike.
Once we were back in the truck, we made our way to Chateau LaFayette Reneau Winery where we were parking for the night. This was our first true boondocking experience (i.e., camping with no hookups) and everything went so well. In our research prior to launching, we learned about a membership called Harvest Hosts, which allows you to boondock at wineries, farms, and other such places after you join the program. We were more than happy to buy a bottle (or 2 or 3) of wine in return for a place to stay for the night. This was our first Harvest Hosts experience, and we are already looking forward to checking out more places along our journey.
The winery was perched along the shore of Seneca Lake and had gorgeous views of the lake and surrounding area. Once we set up and ate dinner, Little Bird and I explored the hillside. After she went to bed, Will and I enjoyed a bottle of wine while watching the sunset over the lake.
Our time in the Finger Lakes flew by, and we already have a bucket list of hikes and wineries for the next time we are in the area…I am concerned this is how we are going to feel when we leave every place we visit!