Two things before I begin this blog.
First, a pronounciation quiz
Try correctly to pronounce the name of these local falls – Taughannock.
Now give the local Finger Lake a shot – Cayuga.
Check out the bottom of the page for the locals’ pronunciation.
Second, Hannah and I are new Fitbit owners. These sleek wrist watches primarily calculate how many steps one takes. Typically, 10,000 steps is the daily goal. We LOVE ’em. We never thought of ourselves as Fitbit folks since we get plenty of exercise anyway. But we do love the affirmation of our exercising life and the reminder to move rather than sit for long periods of time.
As you might have already guessed, my Fitbit reinforces my shallowness and the pathetic measuring of my self-worth by how many steps I get each day AND whether I beat my brother Richard (which I haven’t yet).
After a morning of babysitting our ten-month old grandson Brooks, we know that though the forecast is raw with rain, we are going to find a hike and step, step, step to our Fitbit content. With gorges aplenty here in central New York, we choose the Taughannock Falls, ten miles north of Ithaca, for our chilly willy hike with layers of clothes, gloves, and ski caps this mid-April Thursday.
With many of the local falls’ trails still closed this spring day because of ice on the stone walkways, Taughannock is ice- and snow-free. Soon we are climbing the stone steps to the South Rim trail, hundreds of feet above the gorge below.
Having the trail mostly to ourselves, we, as exercise-first hikers, appreciate that there are no roses to smell or crowds to get in the way of our mission for 10,000 steps!
The south rim offers views into the gorge, but, as yet, we don’t see the waterfalls themselves. After crossing over a century old bridge above the falls, we descend on the fenced-off north rim trail where waterfall viewing awaits.
Arriving at the stone work overlook, we ask two folks to take our picture. We soon learn that they are among the nicest people in the world (by that I mean, they are Canadians).
Once completing the rim loop in just over an hour, we have part deux – the popular gorge trail for our hiking pleasure. Twenty feet wide, bordering the Taughannock Creek, the trail is ¾ of mile of levelness to the base of the falls.
At the end of the trail, we ask another couple to take our picture. In turn, Hannah asks if their family would like one as well. Mom demurs. And then this is where Hannah’s persistence and understanding of the human condition shines brightly. Three minutes later, Hannah sweetly asks one more time. They agree, I shoot, and they are so damn pleased with the result.
Fact is, “Yes” has been our go-to answer when someone offers us something. It’s amazing what doors that affirmation opens.
Two hours after we start, we are back at the trailhead ready to hang out with Brooks pleased that our Fitbit step goal has been destroyed.
Taughannock – Ta-GAN-ick.
Cayuga – CUE-ga.
How’d you do?
Additional photos from Taughannock Falls