Getting on/off a motor coach; driving about 75 miles round trip with stops, each driving segment approximately 1/2 hour. Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day; flat terrain at museum; at Watkins Glen Gorge, 832 stone steps downhill; shorter hikes with fewer steps available.
In the Dining Room at 7:00 a.m., cereal, yogurt, fresh fruit, and milk, 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. After breakfast, we’ll make sandwiches to take with us in a cooler for lunch.
For our first field trip, we’ll ride to the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport near Keuka Lake. Glenn Curtiss (1878-1930) was a renowned inventor and aviator. He was dubbed the fastest man on earth after a 1907 race riding a motorcycle of his own design to a speed of 136 miles (218 km) per hour. He wrote “The Curtiss Aviation Book” that told how he went from being a boy messenger to a pioneer aeronaut. He made the first officially witnessed flight before the Wright Brothers completed their experiments, won the world’s first international air meet in France, and made the first long-distance U.S. flight. We’ll explore the museum with a docent to see early motorcycles and airplanes. We’ll also get to know how an airplane works, make our own balsa wood model airplanes, and have a flying contest outside. Then it’s a short ride to lunch.
At Champlain Beach on Keuka Lake, we'll eat the sandwiches we made this morning plus fruit, chips, cookies, lemonade, and iced tea.
Back on our motorcoach, we’ll ride over to Seneca Lake for a field trip to Watkins Glen State Park, named one of the top three state parks in the country. We’ll hike down the famous Watkins Glen Gorge with its waterfalls and deep caverns. Many years ago, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built stone pathways through the shale. The full walk down consists of 832 stone steps — about a mile and a half — that usually takes approximately 90 minutes. (There are two alternatives involving many fewer steps.) As we go, we’ll take pictures of the effects of erosion over thousands of years. We’ll return to Watson Homestead with time for a swim.
Dining Room buffet.
We’ll walk over to the three-sided climbing and rappelling tower that is 36 feet to the top. Certified staff belayers will teach us about safety requirements and assist grandparents and grandkids in climbing as far as they wish to go, then rappelling back down.