Watch the sun rise up over the rolling hills that surround our beautiful campus. Take a self-guided walk through our labyrinth, stroll or jog along our serene meditation trail or take an early morning walk to visit our Red Schoolhouse. Maps and information will be provided upon check-in at Watson.
In the Dining Room at 7:00 a.m., cereal, yogurt, fresh fruit, and juice, coffee, tea, water will be available. At 7:45 a.m. and each day of the program following, there will a rotating variety of choices such as a hot cereal, eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, or French toast.
We’ll be joined by Josh Teeter, an environmental educator with the Finger Lakes Parks, who will give us an overview of glacial geology and the formation of the Finger Lakes region, its gorges, and waterfalls. In particular he’ll identify spots we’ll look for on our Watkins Glen gorge hike to see evidence of glacial erosion and fractures caused by continental collision. We will then head up into the Watson Woods for a hike to stretch our legs and introduce tree species native to the Finger Lakes parks.
In the Dining Room, we’ll have a buffet lunch that includes a salad bar, featured entrées, desserts, and beverage choices of lemonade, coffee, iced tea, water.
After lunch, we’ll be treated to a performance by none other than Mark Twain! Local historian and impersonator, Jim Ketchum, will use Twain’s own words to describe “the whole damned human race.” Afterwards, we’ll board a coach to Elmira where Jim in street clothes will speak about Twain and the important tis he has to this area. We’ll visit Woodlawn National Cemetery where nearly 3,000 Confederate prisoners of war who died here are respectfully buried. We’ll also learn why Samuel Langhorne Clemens—Mark Twain—is buried here in the Langdon family plot and see his gravesite. We’ll visit Elmira College and see Mark Twain’s octagonal study where he wrote many of his most famous works. It was moved here in 1952 to allow greater public access. We’ll then walk next door on campus through the original 1855 college building, Cowles Hall, and see an exhibition that is part of the college’s Center for Mark Twain Studies. On our way back to Watson Homestead, the coach will travel down historic Market Street for a quick tour. Enjoy the history, architecture, and shops of Market Street from the comfort of the coach. This will also give you an idea of where you’ll want to eat dinner on Wednesday night.
Dining Room buffet.
Local historian, John Babbitt, will discuss the 1930s the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) project and the Watkins Glen gorge.)