However, it was bit like the Niagara Amusement Park with all the attractions that one could participate in or attend. We did almost all of them...and in one marathon afternoon.
|We were sure to take a ride upon the Maid of the Mist which literally takes you down to the base of the Falls in all the Niagara River spray, hence the complimentary blue ponchos|
|A view from the base of the Falls - all the little white specks you see are the 20,000 birds that visit the rocky shores of Niagara daily, to the right is a view of the Canadian border|
|Me at the Canadian border - northern terminus for the Conservation Trail|
I would also like to say thank you to Dick's Bicycle Shop, the Grandfather of Bicycles himself had a new water bladder overnighted to me when my other one got snagged on a blackberry bramble some miles back. And I had just happened to pass by his shop in Tonawanda while on trail one morning.
After this side-trip adventure, I headed back to the main FLT. Oh sweet main trail. It felt so good to return to my eastwardly direction and the well-maintained, easy to follow trail. I have had the pleasure of staying in a number of lovely lean-to's along my route since such as the one you see above. I've also had the pleasure of staying with and meeting some new awesome and integral figures to the Finger Lakes Trail...
|Dick Hubbard and I at the Camp Rd access point on the FLT|
Irene Szabo, an FLT and North Country Trail volunteer and editor for both newsletters that these conferences issue to members, picked me up at the trail junction and drove me to the northern terminus where I would hike south back to the main trail. Besides shuttling me, Irene and her 15 1/2 year old dog, Sandy, were excellent company and I enjoyed not only trail talk with Irene who has also completed the trail but a walk at the county park with Sandy. Irene has also been helpful via email in answering a good number of my questions regarding the trail. Thank you, Irene!
|A view from just one of the many lookouts along the northern portion of the Letchworth Trail|
|Mount Morris Dam at the Genesee River in Letchworth State Park|
The Letchworth Trail follows along the rim of the gorge that is the pathway for the Genesee River, so powerful and wide that for many years, along with heavy rains, caused major flooding downstream. The Mount Morris Dam, built in 1954, now regulates how much water is allowed through at once. The FLT headquarters is located just across the parking lot from the dam as well, so if you come out to Letchworth, be sure to stop in and say hi to Dick and crew. The Letchworth Trail has thus far, been one of my most favorite portions of the trail - to walk alongside this gorge for miles is incredible, and then to duck into the woods for many miles more on pristine trail with more creeks tumbling over flat shale rock than roads to cross, a treat in and of itself.
Before I go... I have a few more to which I'd like to express my gratitude...thank you to Greg and Karen Lovejoy who graciously offered me the use of their power outlets at their house up the road when I was denied (for the first time ever) by the owner of convenience store to charge my phone. Thank you also to Gary, a driver for Maplevale Farms, whom I met at the Sierra Inn in Swain, for the friendly conservation, helping me fill my water bottles, and handing off a slice of pizza to me at the end of my long day. And thank you to my fellow thru-hikers, Shepherd and Star Left who have been a true delight to cross paths with every day and who were so incredibly generous as to offer their vehicle this morning for town resupply while they finished their miles. They too are keeping a trail journal of their adventure from Niagara to the Gulf which can be found here: trailjournals.com/greateasterntrail2015 or at facebook.com/shepherdadventures. Lastly thank you to Wally Wood, first president of the board for the Finger Lakes Trail, for dreaming up this skin-shredding, muscle-building, heart-lifting beautiful trail!
|Monument to Wally Wood, first president of the board for the Finger Lakes Trail and to have the idea to build a trail across New York State - this can be found near the Hesse Lean-to.|