June 20 - 25, 2019: Watkins Glen, New York
When we left Mississauga on our way to Watkins Glen, New York it was overcast and beginning to rain. Most of the drive we encountered rainy conditions but not enough to cause any delays.
The reason we choose Watkins Glen is because it is one of and the largest of the five finger lakes and Watkins Glen International Raceway is here. Since we knew we were coming this way, we bought tickets a few months ago to the SCCA Majors Supertour Race weekend.
While waiting in the line to cross the border into the US, this was a cool reflection from the trailer in front of us
On the bridge between Canada and US
Cool sculpture as we waited in line to cross the border back into the US. This was on the Canada side.
Border crossing back into US. This time we crossed St. Catharines
Yes, this is an electrical pole, looks more like a piece of art!
Weather during most of the drive, until we started coming down along Seneca Lake to Watkins Glen
Cool painted snow plow blade
We are back in New York and the East, so we'll be seeing more horse and buggies on the roads
Highway 14 along Seneca Lake between Geneva and Watkins Glen is FILLED with wineries! I thought other places had a ton, but this area - holy cow! You can see Seneca Lake in the background
We stayed in the Watkins Glen State Park which is close to downtown and the raceway. What a great park! We were not able to get one space for the entire time, so we switched to a second camp spot after 3 nights.
Our first campsite for 3 days
Notice the sign for the Watkins Glen State Park and also the Watkins Glen Historic Road Course? Before the raceway was built, the races were ran on the roads. It is a windy and hilly course!
Our second campsite. Craig is watching a movie on his tablet.
One of the days, we walked around downtown and ate at Nickel's Pit BBQ. YUUUMMM
And yes, we then walked for dessert : ) The Great Escape had homemade hard ice cream, soft serve, yogurt, sorbet, custard, and dessert. A GREAT selection and good ice cream!
The whole reason why we came to Watkins Glen was because of the Watkins Glen International Raceway. We were fortunate enough that the weekend we were in town, there was some racing going on! We bought tickets to the SCCA Majors Supertour Race and had a great time over the 3 days we attended. We met some really nice people that were spectators, racers or support personnel. The first day was cloudy with some scattered showers, but the other days were awesome!
This is the shape of the racetrack
Really cool camper that was in the pits area
This is where the cars lined up to queue for the race to start. It was cool because we could get right down among them!
After each race, the drives would pull into the staging area where the top three went through an impound tech inspection. This was to make sure they hadn't made a modification prior to the race thus...winning. Then from here the awards would be handed out. Cool again, because...we could walk among the cars and talk to the drivers.
This was one of the awards presentations. The picture on the left is Amy Aquilante on the center podium who won her class race. She is from a whole family of racers; father, brother, sister, brother-in-law. They had about 10 cars in the races that weekend and their mom Mary Jo took us under her wing and guided us around, invited us to a variety of things and introduced us to a ton of people. What a great family!
Also cool was the fact, we could walk among the paddocks and chat with the drivers and check out the cars. This is where we met some great people who we then cheered for during the races.
Saturday after the races there was a free buffet and hosted bar for everyone (racers, spectators, etc. Awesome food!!! And...a very cool weekend of racing!
Since we spent three days at car races, we decided to take the next day and hike the Watkins Glen Gorge Trail. Not sure of the exact miles, but I believe it was about 3.5. Fortunately, we were able to start the hike from our campground! There are 19 waterfalls along the trail and is an amazing and beautiful area!
We also took a day trip to Corning, NY and visited the Corning Musuem of Glass. Wow...what a great educational museum with a lot of hands on exhibits, live demonstrations, and then the museum artifacts dating back 3,500 years! There are over 50,000 pieces of glass and after 4 hours in the museum, we still needed more time.
This was in the gift shop. I don't know why Craig would not let me buy it...the price IS in US Dollars and yes...it is $52,500.00. The piece of art is the size of a bowling ball and very very cool!
Yes, this is a tower made out of the corning dishware you use in your kitchen. These were created by a lucky accident that made those casserole dishes possible.
We had a great time in Watkins Glen and...we never even made it to Seneca Lake! Too much to do in such a small town. We will definitely need to come back and spend more time : )