I grew up hiking, camping and exploring places off the beaten path but for some reason I had never been to (or heard of) a glen. So, when Brian and I proposed a camping trip to our friends, we jumped in the car and drove north to Ithaca and—wait for it—Watkins Glen.
We loaded up our cars and armed with good music, plenty of snacks made the 3 1/2 hour drive to Ithaca, NY. After a quick stop for firewood, we arrived just in time to shake out our stiff legs and take a much needed, *ahem*, potty break. Ithaca was hosting a fun street fair that day (no pics, but I swear it happened) and we traipsed around town for a little bit before heading out.
It was still early enough in the day that we didn’t need to worry about losing daylight, so after setting up camp and thoroughly enjoying a rest in Greg’s ENO hammock we gathered our things and headed out for hike.
I have to admit, we had pretty big ambitions of not only knocking off a portion of the Interloken Trail but also making our way over to the Glen for a short hike as well. Thanks to a few wrong turns (still don’t know where we went wrong) and some beautiful sprawling countryside, we found ourselves getting way too caught up enjoying Blueberry Patch trail.
Oh, and some cows—actually, a lot of cows. Who apparently, really love the sound of human whistling, specifically, Brian’s.
Eventually, the sun began to set and the call of cold beers and dinner roasting over campfire beckoned us back to camp. So, we followed the trail back to our campsite and hopped on an offshoot that led us in through a short and narrow path to a convenient backdoor entrance. In the morning, though, we were heading to the glen.
Glen /noun/ a narrow valley.
I’ll say this about Watkins Glen: it is a magical, fun, waterfall wonderland that has some pretty awesome middle earth vibes (nerd alert!). The misty spray from its 19 waterfalls and lush greenery sprouting out of the rocks made everything feel so vibrant and alive as we climbed all 832 stone steps to the top. The coolest parts were the moments when we would stop and look down (or up!) into the glen and take in its intricacies and colossal size. Experiencing the life that hummed and flowed along peacefully in this valley was so thrilling—I felt as if we had discovered a secret spot that was hidden away from the rest of the world. After all, that is the premise of this blog: to find joy and wonder in the everyday, especially when it requires a bit of adventuring to get there.