Contemplating the flows of time, with waterfalls and ice cream.
Living in a bustling city as big as NYC is equal parts exciting and overwhelming. And on those days that it is the latter more than the former, we always yearn for an escape. There is nothing quite like the whisper of an evening uninterrupted by sirens or wails, or a night sky marbled in clouds and dotted with the sparkle of stars, to remind you that there is a different way of living beyond your NYC shoebox apartment. And there is nothing quite like the roar of a waterfall as it cascades and carves its way through layers upon layers of bedrock that reminds you how our lives are just a blink in a timeline of infinity.
Last month, in peak fall season in New York, we visited the Finger Lakes area. Closer to Toronto than it is to NYC, it is an area of extraordinary beauty. Reminiscent more of the Italian countryside than of the Lake District in northern England, verdant vineyards and vast farmlands border somewhat under-developed long silvers, or “fingers”, of lakes. At the southern tip of one of the larger lakes, Seneca Lake, one may find Watkins Glen. If one can overlook the high volumes of people traffic, entering it is what we imagine entering the elven hideout of Rivendell in the Lord of the Rings might have been. Fragranced with the musty scent of fallen leaves, echoing with the soft tinkle of numerous streams, it is particularly unforgettable for the ethereal way in which the afternoon sun gingerly filters through each twist and turn of the rocky gorge.
Further westwards, there is another natural wonder locally known as the “Grand Canyon of the East.” Lechworth State Park is a family friendly attraction. For the adventurous, you can camp and hike underneath canopies of sunflower yellow leaves. For all others, you can drive the length of the park, stopping at various outlook points for photos of the Genesee River as it plunges over three waterfalls, accompanied on each side by a patchwork of golden and copper-coloured trees.
Once we were done contemplating the millenniums it took for the river to sculpt curves into prehistoric shale, sandstone and limestone, we turned from watching eagles swoop into ravines to being ravenous for food ourselves. Returning eastwards, we stopped by Seneca Farms at the northern tip of Keuka Lake. Because nothing quite reminds you of the joy of the present like the crunch of fried chicken and ice cream in a multitude of autumnal flavours – cinnamon, butter pecan, apple crisp pie, pumpkin cheesecake, orange sherbet. Really only missing an apple cider doughnut, perhaps.
Dessert adventure checklist
- ☑ Dessert destination: Seneca Farms, 2485 NY-54A, Penn Yan, NY 14527.
- ☑ Budget: $.
- ☑ Sweet irresistibles: Ice cream.
- ☑ Must-eat: The seasonal fall flavours.
- ☑ The short and sweet story: Contemplating the flows of time with waterfalls and ice cream.