Duuuudes… you ever have one of those mornings when you feel an overwhelming desire to get the heck out of town or you may just lose your mind?!?!?! That is exactly how I felt Saturday morning. I was suppose to go snowshoeing with friends and was really looking forward to it as I have never been snowshoeing before. However, when I opened my eyes I knew I had to pack up a few things and hop in my car. It was a loooong week at work and some personal stuff was just brewing up inside me and that my friends makes for a great “get the heck out of dodge and drive to somewhere beautiful” kind of a much needed day! So I pack a bunch of warm clothes, a thermos of hot coffee, some snacks, loaded up on gas and hit the highway. I am not going to lie…. the weather was somewhat crappy but I didn’t care.
I knew exactly where I wanted to go. I friend had told me about a place called “The Grand Canyon of the East” about a year ago. I googled it and found it to be located in Letchworth State Park in Castile, NY. So dudes, I plugged it into the map app on my phone, hit the open road and let my car take me there.
There is something about a road trip that gets me so totally excited and I feel so at peace and free. I remember when I was moving from Venice Beach, CA up to San Francisco, I felt this feeling of relief knowing that I get to move someplace new and exciting…again! Having the freedom to travel whenever I want to is so….sacred to me. Sacred is the only word that I can think of to describe the feeling. Although Cleveland is my home base for now, I would never rule out moving someplace new again. 😉
First I entered Pennsylvania (very short drive through this part of PA) then onto to New York. The drive to New York wasn’t that bad. I hit a few snow squalls heading of out Cleveland and in PA as well but I never thought to turn around. It turned out to be a pretty decent drive for the most part. I just took my time and wasn’t in any kind of hurry 🙂
I love driving along long stretches of land and looking out over the farms with really old barns and old houses with high pitched roofs. Everything looks really pretty when it is snow covered. Like a moment from a postcard from 60-70 years ago. The landscapes seem to stand still in time when they are blanketed with snow.
After driving 4.5 hours and plenty of beautiful farms, I finally arrived at Letchworth State Park.
It. Was. Cold….very cold! I arrived and checked into the ranger’s station only to find out that that part of the park was closed due to the weather. A lot of roads in the park were closed because they were not passable. I also inquired to see if I could get a cabin for the night. I had this idea in my head that I was going to take a nice warm shower, read, write, relax and meditate until my heart’s content. That didn’t happen! I figured no one would be wanting to spend the night in a sub zero temps out in a state park, even if it was in a cabin. Wellll I forgot that it was Valentine’s Day weekend. Bummer because there was not single cabin available. So what’s a lady to do? I put on my winter gear and went for a hike around that part of the park. It was breathtaking! The following description is from the New York State Park website,
“Letchworth State Park, renowned as the “Grand Canyon of the East,” is one of the most scenically magnificent areas in the eastern U.S. The Genesee River roars through the gorge over three major waterfalls between cliffs–as high as 600 feet in some places–surrounded by lush forests. Hikers can choose among 66 miles of hiking trails. Trails are also available for horseback riding, biking, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. Letchworth offers nature, history and performing arts programs, guided walks, tours, a summer lecture series, whitewater rafting, kayaking, a pool for swimming and hot air ballooning.” It was also named by USA Today, America’s favorite state park 2015.
I cannot wait to go back in the late spring or early summer! I want to hike for a couple of days and tent camp. I don’t know if there is much backpacking in the park but I will have to find out for sure. Wikipedia does a great job of explaining the history and formation of the canals and waterfalls within and around Letchworth State Park. I tell you guys it’s worth the read 🙂
I hiked around and soaked up the scenery for while before heading back to Ohio. The skies were so blue with wispy clouds spread out over the horizon. The sun was bright and I could not have asked for a better day. Even if it was insanely cold out! The cool (pun intended!) part was the contrast of the blue sky against the evergreen trees. The trees just POPPED against the blue. Very cool 🙂 Also the water below that was flowing through the canyon was a greenish blue color. The color of VERY VERY VERY cold water. Brrrr…. I had this thought that what if the cliff gave way and I slid hundreds of feet to the bottom of the canyon!? Morbid I know but seriously…lol! As I drove out of the park the wind picked just enough to blow some snow of the evergreen branches and they kissed my car gently as if to say, “Thank you for wandering around and see you soon.”
I stopped in a little town (the name of it has slipped my mind) to have dinner which was much needed after eating only a few snacks over the course of 8 hours. I thought about staying in that little town but I really wanted to be in a cabin surrounded by snow and trees. A small town hotel would not have had the same effect!
Well folks that is it for now! I hope you had a good start to the week and I will check in again very soon. I have to tell you about Sunday’s mini-road trip!
Oh and my friend Pete just posted a trip to the Wind River Range in Wyoming in August! So stoked!!!
Happy road trippin’ ;D
“Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow