Posted by: Kath Usitalo | October 7, 2011

Friday Foray: Western NY Fall Color Drive

Droid photo of Chautauqua Lake, NY hints at the beauty

At the heart of the Great Lakes Gazette is Michigan, the Great Lakes State. But on some Fridays we’ll make forays to the rest of the region that touches the Great Lakes Huron, Michigan, Superior, Erie and Ontario:  New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Ontario, Canada.

Yesterday I drove to Ithaca, New York—fortunately it was a beautiful autumn day—to pick up Paige from college for a long weekend break at home in the 313.

It was so great to see this mature young lady so at home in her new surroundings and loving it! I met some of her friends and as we left campus she gave me a rapid-fire tour, pointing out the buildings where she has classes, shortcuts she takes, which dorms have the best food, all-important bursar’s office, and places she hangs out with her new buds.

It’s a 9-hour drive (with stops for gas and coffee) and of the two routes, through Canada and the states (Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York), I prefer staying stateside. The stretch in New York is gorgeous, through the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains.

There are so many interesting spots to tempt me to exit and explore. So far I’ve resisted detours along that route, but I’m making mental notes for a research trip(s) that will include a visit to the Chautauqua Lake region; the museum and sites in Jamestown, Lucille Ball’s hometown; Corning and the glass museum, the Finger Lakes wineries, and more.

On this beeline drive I had fabulously sunny, warm weather that helped pass the time and tolerate the orange barrels along the way.

The fall color is just starting along I-86 between Erie, PA and Elmira, NY, where I turn north to Ithaca.

When I saw the “scenic view” sign at Chautauqua Lake rest area in Western NY, I had to pull off. It is beautiful; great spot for a picnic or snack. My Droid photo doesn’t really capture it; I haven’t mastered the cell phone as camera.

Welcome to New York: Beautiful rest stop at Chautauqua Lake

The showplace visitor center is staffed with volunteers; a young-at-heart couple offered me lots of brochures for planning my future trips.

In the meantime, I’m hoping for another clear, dry day on the return trip next week. More leaves will have changed color and Paige and I will have a fantastic show to keep us entertained en route.

Visitor Info Clicks:

Western NY Fall Foliage Report

Chautauqua Lake

New York State 

The

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