Camping at Watkins Glen State Park

Last week a few friends from school and I went camping at Watkins Glen State Park, out near the Finger Lakes! We had heard good things about it and decided stay a few nights.

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We arrived later in the day and set up our tent. There was rain the forecast, so we wanted to get it up while it was still dry! That night we made dinner at our site, veggie burgers, salad and of course, wine!

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The next day we decided to hike the Gorge Trail at the nearby State Park–we could walk there from our campsite.

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Watkins Glen State Park boasts gorgeous views of 19 different waterfalls, 832 steps and 500′ of elevation over bridges, tunnels and even behind some waterfalls. It was such a neat place!

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After our hike of about 7 miles total, we went back to camp and decided to upgrade our tent site to a cabin for $35 extra due to impending storms. It was worth it because our stuff stayed dry! That afternoon we drove into town for lunch at the Wildflower Cafe, part of Rooster Fish Brewing Company–This is the Cocoa Porter.

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Following lunch we walked around Watkins Glen and stopped by Seneca Lake.

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But a stop in the Finger Lakes is not complete with a trip to some wineries on the Seneca Lake Wine Trail. We stopped at Castel Grisch and Lakewood Vineyards, two wineries that were close to the campground.

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That evening we had a glamping experience complete with wine and local cheese!

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I would highly recommend camping at Watkins Glen! It was a gorgeous area and the campground was enjoyable!

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Running the Seneca 7 Relay Race

Last weekend I had the opportunity to run the Seneca 7, a 77.7 mile relay race out in the Finger Lakes, around Seneca Lake.

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One of my co-workers runs it every year on a team of 7 women. One couldn’t run this year due to an injury and she asked me to be a replacement. Of course I said yes.

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The race started in the Geneva, a city on Seneca Lake (it was about three hour drive from Albany). I drove up Saturday afternoon and had dinner with my team at a nice Italian restaurant in Geneva. The next morning we were up bright and early to start the relay!

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My teammates and I, the Vineyard Vixens! I really loved our costumes. Such foxes!

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Our wave started at 7am and I was the first runner! Like Ragnar, each runner of Seneca 7 has three legs. But it’s different because Seneca 7 is only 12 hours, versus Ragnar, which is 36 hours. No sleeping in the van! Our legs are shorter, too.

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My first leg was 3.6 miles of rolling hills through Geneva along Seneca Lake. It was a gorge0us morning.

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Leg 1 – 3.7 mi, 9:17 /mile

I finished my leg and handed off to our second runner, then had to get on a shuttle to the next exchange. The area was too small for all the vans to park, so the runners had to be shuttled back and forth.

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Exchange 2!

A few hours later, my next leg came up. It was supposedly the hardest leg of the relay, with good reason.

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There was a very steep 1 mile long downhill, followed by a 1 mile long uphill. It reminded me of when I ran the Tongue Mountain Leg during Ragnar ADK!

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The downhill…

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Followed by up.

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Still going up…mostly walking.

Leg 2 – 3.2 mi, 10:07/mile <–not bad for the monster hill

My legs were sore for days after running that downhill. Needless to say, it was a tough leg. Thankfully I had a few hours to recover until my third leg.

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Running along the vineyards for my third leg!

My last leg was 3.7 miles, but our second runner wasn’t feeling great and had an injury so I offered to run her last leg of 4.0 miles, for her. Her leg was partly on some trails and ran by an old abandoned psych. center. It was extremely creepy!

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Part of the trail run. A part of this leg also was on a nice bike path. I ended the race with a total of almost 15 miles under my belt. Now I could relax and enjoy and cheer on the rest of my team!

Leg 3 and 4 – 7.7 mi, 9:40/mile

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Here are teammates Randi and Monica at one of the exchanges. At around 7pm, our last runner was finishing. We crossed the finish line after 12 hours, 3 minutes and 7 seconds, with a team average of 9:17!

Time to celebrate!

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The post-race party served delicious chili, both veg and real, with cornbread, cookies and local juice. It was an amazing spread. This race was so well-organized and just so much FUN!

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During the race we even got to stop at one winery on the way where I got a bottle of Riesling to take home. There were wineries everywhere, all along the lake. I definitely want to go back and check more of them out!

Overall I had a great time during the Seneca 7. It was a last minute decision for me to run this race (as a fill in for someone else on my co-worker’s team), but it was the best decision. It was a blast.

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