Grand Canyon of the East?


Wendy has already mentioned the 10% grades she encountered between Buffalo, NY and our next destination. As our bus guru Howard has said, “it gets a little tense at moments”. We ran the Grand Junction to Denver run on I-70 the first solo day in the bus in 2010 and I don’t recall it being nearly so ‘puckering’. Nevertheless, we made it to Letchworth State Park in time to get checked into the camp ground in time. Interestingly, if you get to the campground too late (7:30 pm) you’re supposed to park in the lot and wait for the morning. After the day we’d just had, I’m not sure that bird would have flown! Not that we’d had a bad day, not at all, but we were fried by the time we arrived and, trust me, neither of us were really ready for anymore surprises.

We were directed to our site #725, which I had selected online a couple of months back, but it was just not possible to get our 40′ bus into that site. So, we backed into #710 and shut it down. Wendy jumped on her bike to run up to the office and change our site. Fortunately, the campgrounds were mostly empty and we had no problem changing. While the roads in the campground are narrow and tight, it is very nice with plenty of shade, good privacy and complete with electric, water, picnic table and fire ring. You can move in and stay awhile if your care to.

And that’s just what we did. It was cocktail hour very shortly after arrival. Amazingly, we had great internet access so we fired up the ipads and caught up on world events. (same ol’ murder movie)

I had planned two nights here so we had a down day before the NAOC convention (more later). In the morning, we woke to find the kitties glued to the windows as a pair of cardinals chattered and pecked at the bus windows. They were just inches from the cats and seemed fearless! The cats were loving it, but as cats do they soon lost interest. The cardinals, however, kept it up all day! See links here and here.

Letchworth is billed as the Grand Canyon of the East and has some spectacular water falls. However, I think it is a little over the top to compare it to that canyon in Arizona. Nonetheless, I wanted to see what there was to see so I set off on my bike the next morning. My plan was to find some overlooks or access points to the canyon itself to see what was what!

Riding in Letchworth was beautifull, the road was very smooth, quite hilly, but ran through a cool, dense forest. The terrain was steep, so you sensed a deep chasm somewhere. I found several scenic overlooks, but no falls. This canyon is very different from others out west in that it was tree covered and green. So after 12 miles I elected to turn back. It was cool and overcast, so it was still a very enjoyable ride.

The next day we packed it up, hit the dump, took on some fresh water and took the bus south hoping to encounter the falls of Letchworth. We stopped at several overlooks and found the lower and middle falls. Here’s an action shot of the Middle Falls.

Then we headed for Elmira, New York for the NAOC Convention.

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