June 7, 2017, Byron, New York
Letchworth State Park and Niagara Falls
About an hour south of us is Letchworth State Park, commonly know as the “Grand Canyon” of the east. The Genesse River roars through the gorge with three waterfalls, Upper, Middle and Lower, which are between cliffs as high as 600 feet, with lush forests surrounding the river. The Upper falls trail was closed due to construction of the bridge.
The state park was once the native land of the Seneca Indians. In the 1800’s W.P. Letchworth purchased 1,000 acres that he deeded over to the State of NY, making the state park 14,350 acres so that the park could be preserved for future generations. Letchworth worked to preserve the Native American history of the Genesse Valley. In 1913 the museum opened and includes Native American artifacts, photographs, with a movie that showcases the park history.
There are 65 miles of hiking trails, there are also trails for horseback riding, biking, and snowmobiling. In 2015, out of 19 state parks, Letchworth State Park was voted as the best State Park in the U.S. by USA Today.
The Glen Iris Inn and Restaurant has been welcoming guest since 1914 and is the former country estate of William Pryor Letchworth and is located adjacent to the middle falls. Since it was lunch time, the vote was let’s eat. What a wonderful restaurant, with excellent food, Guy and I had onion soup and shared a burger (not your ordinary burger, onion rings, bacon, pepper jack cheese and an awesome sauce) Gary had broccoli cheese soup, sharing a monte cristo sandwich with Carolyn.
One of the highlights for me was our tour of Niagara Falls!! The first thing Guy and I did was walk across the Rainbow Bridge from the American side over to the Canadian side of the falls leaving Carolyn and Gary on the American side.
About half way across we noticed a group of people, police, camera men, men and women in shorts and tees, men in regal attire with plumed hats all heading in our direction…with a banner…as they got closer we could read the banner..”Torch Run for Special Olympics”.
Wow, how exciting…I worked with Special Olympics many years ago with my friend, Shelly, who has a Special Son, Dustin. Shelley’s husband, Phil is a retired police officer, who also runs with the Torch Run for Special Olympics. Guy and I also, 40 years ago, had a Special Son, Ryan. So this torch run holds a special place in our hearts.
There are many things to do while at the falls, one thing I noticed on the Canadian side is that its more or an amusement park, with zip lining, ferris wheel, with many large hotels with awesome views of the falls. The US side was more sedate, the one large building was the observation tower (no way was I going on that thing) it has a ledge you walk out on and can view the falls. There are tour boats on each side of the river that take you into the Horseshoe Falls, wearing rain gear, thinking your not going to get wet…but guess what if you are under the falls your getting wet.
There is really nothing you can add to this experience…of Niagara Falls….so I will let the pictures do the talking…enjoy
The day before we toured the falls we had gotten some really bad news that Guy’s sister Robin’s husband, Rubuen had a heart attach while riding his bike. He was with 4 of his buddies and had a heart attack and died on the scene. We immediately starting making plans for Guy to head to California, plane tickets, hotel, car.
Also, changing our reservations for our next stop, the camp ground we were in was full for the weekend, we had to move to the group camp area, better reception, for both the tv and internet and less expensive, a win for us. I took Guy to the airport on Thursday morning, the flight was 10hrs, his flight home on Sunday is 12 hrs, 2 stops both ways.
One day while Guy and I were walking around the campground we came upon a beautiful campsite, paved patio, storage house with patio, a rock carved statue of wolves, at the end of the street surrounded by trees. Something triggered in my head that I had seen this before but not sure where. The name sign said “Bott”…I looked it up on the computer and low and behold it was David and Brenda from “Outside our Bubble .com”. I have been reading their blog since they started their full time traveling. Guy and I have watched their videos and bought or done some of the suggestions they have made. I sent them a message, they walked down to visit with us and Gary and Carolyn. Soon we were all at their place checking out all the things they have done to their lot.
Before you know it a party had been organized for the next night, with Gary singing and playing guitar, David playing the box drum. The owner of the park, Mike come down with his guitar and joined in. The weather was perfect, the fire was nice and warm, the 20 some people were truly enjoying themselves.
Gary and Carolyn, left the next day, Friday to our next spot in Henderson, Ny. Guy and I caught up with them on Monday and we shall all continue on our merry way thru the east.
Thanks for reading about our travels, come on back and check out where we head next, in the mean time y’all have a Blessed week.