Oct 3, 2018

Driving the West Side of Cayuga Lake

When the leaves start to turn people often head to the Adirondacks and, for sure, they have some awesome foliage.  I especially like the ride to Old Forge and beyond. The panoramic view from the McCauley chair lift is awe inspiring. A boat ride on the Clearwater from Old Forge on the Fulton Chain is a relaxing way to see the area but they are coming to the end of their season. 

However, the Finger Lakes are also a wonderful place for a fall trip.  Recently, John and I drove down the west side of Cayuga Lake. We stopped at the 215 foot-Taughannock Falls, one of the highest waterfalls east of the Rockies.  The last time we were there it was basically dry – not this time.  There are trails in the area and steps to the bottom.  We enjoyed the view from the top. 

They claim that the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail was the first of its
kind.  There are many wineries and u-pick farms.  We went to the Wednesday Farmer’s Market in Trumansburg.  There was music, homemade items and plenty of fresh produce.  We went on a Wednesday because the Atlas Bowl is just down the road from the Farmer’s Market and every Wednesday during the harvest season, the chef, Brittany Laughlin, creates a locavor menu. What is a locavor?  It is a person whose diet
consists only or mainly of locally grown or produced food. Each week Chef Laughlin shops at the farmer’s market and creates a special menu from the items available. So, each week is different. Our meal was a scrumptious mix of grilled chorizo, roasted chicken, sweet corn, red potatoes, beet greens, and tomatoes.  Basically, it was all tossed together. The chorizo gave it a bit of a kick. There were a lot of flavors that melded together making it a great meal.  It was served with grilled corn
bread which was the best corn bread we ever had.  The restaurant is called Atlas Bowl because it is part of a bowling alley.  It must be the “in” place to eat in Trumansburg because there were many families dining there but only a father and two sons bowling. I know many restaurants now try to use locally grown produce whenever they can but I think there should be a restaurant in every area that offers a locavor menu once a week – on farmer’s market day.  

We know how to end a great meal. In Ithaca we went to Purity Ice Cream for dessert.  Since it opened in 1936 Purity Ice Cream has been making ice cream “…the way it used to be made! In small batches. With local, high quality ingredients, including BGH-free milk from upstate farms.”   

The next day, before starting home, we took a boat tour on CayugaLake. The lake is the longest Finger Lake but not the deepest.  The weather was perfect so there were many recreational water crafts on the lake.  I was surprised there were no resorts on the lake.  Most of the houses are privately owned (some people have more money than others!) some of
which are rentals.  I was surprised to see that Cargill has a salt mine.  They load the rock salt in train cars and off it goes to communities to be ready for the winter. At one time there were steam ships that crisscrossed the lake now there is the Teal and private boats, canoes, and sailboats.