Road Trip & Running: New York's Finger Lakes Region

My husband Dave, greyhound Django, and I went to the Finger Lakes region in New York for a long weekend.

My car is small and Django is big, so he takes up most of the car, leaving us to squeeze our stuff into a half a seat and the back floors.

Django ready for a road trip!
When we stopped at a Sheetz, I accidentally locked the keys in the car...with Django in the car. Luckily the back windows were partially down, and some PennDOT guys were there. They let me borrow a tool to get my keys that were in the front seat. Oops!

Are we there yet?
We got to the cottage we rented late Thursday afternoon. It was on Seneca Lake, about halfway between Geneva in the north and Watkins Glen in the south. It had a fenced-in yard, which Django loved. He ran around like a nut! 

It also has a dock, a fire pit, and a hot tub (which was great for massaging my feet!). Here's the view of the dock and lake from the back porch.

Dave took this picture of the dock (he's a much better photographer than I am).

Our first order of business after unpacking was making a trip to Wegmans. No trip to New York is complete without a trip to Wegmans! If you have never been to Wegmans, you don't know what a really good grocery store is. Pretzel rolls! A Mediterranean bar with homemade hummus--caramelized onion hummus to boot! Wegmans brand vegan veggie burgers! In the three days we were there, we visited Wegmans three times.
Best supermarket!
Pretzel rolls from Wegmans
Friday's forecast called for rain all day. But by 10 a.m. it had stopped raining, so I took Django on a long walk in Dresden, where we were staying.
Morning walk with Django through Dresden

The area (especially nearby Penn Yan) was experiencing some flooding from all the rain. On our walk, I saw lots of gushing streams.
Streams were gushing because of the flooding
We walked past this cool but super creepy abandoned house. I was glad Django was there to protect me!
Cool/creepy abandoned house in Dresden
After our walk, I went back out for a run. I had planned to do a long run the next day on the Keuka Lake Outlet Trail. It's a seven-mile shady rails-to-trail where you pass waterfalls and abandoned buildings. So Friday morning I ran through Dresden to try to find the start of the trail. Once I got to it, I decided to run on it for a little bit. Less than a quarter mile on the trail, I met a river. The trail was completely flooded. I turned around and headed back, so it was a short, 30-minute run.

That afternoon we drove a half-hour south to Watkins Glen, which is at the very southern end of Seneca Lake.
Dave and Django in Watkins Glen
Django watching me (blurry in the background)

Django and me in Watkins Glen
The Finger Lakes is, of course, known for its wineries. The lakes create a climate ideal for grape growing, and the Finger Lakes is known for its Rieslings. We stopped at Red Tail Ridge Winery for wine tasting. Neither of us were expecting much, and I personally don't like sweet wines. But the wines were really great! The Dry Riesling was one of my favorites, and even the Semi Sweet Riesling wasn't too sweet. Also, the red wines were completely different from other reds. They were full of flavor but very light. We ended up buying a bunch to take back with us.

This winery participates in Grapehounds, which is a wine-tasting event open to greyhounds and their owners in July in the Finger Lakes, so Django had a very warm welcome. The woman giving the tastings said that they have more than 200 greyhounds come through just over the Grapehounds weekend, and she's never seen an ill-behaved greyhound. Django was a perfect gentleman (he is only goofy at home with us), though curious about everyone and everything.
Django checking out the wine selection
Django wonders if he can taste some wine
Dave at the winery
Saturday was gorgeous--sunny but still cool. Perfect running weather and Django weather. This is a picture of the sun rising in the morning and breaking through the clouds.
Sunrise on Seneca Lake
With the trail I planned to run on flooded out, I ran five miles on the country roads near our cottage. It was still scenic with barns and farms on one side of the road and views of the lake on the other.

Saturday was a big day for us. Django's littermate's mom had found me online last fall (the magic of the internet!), and we've been chatting ever since about our boys. She lives close to Watkins Glen, so we planned to meet at Taughannock Falls State Park.

We have been looking forward to this reunion for months and were very curious whether Django (racing name Iruska Promiser) and Myles (racing name Iruska Sweetpro) would remember each other. Greyhound litters are together for nearly two years before they begin training to race and then race. Because they were together for so long, there's a good chance they'd remember each other. But, it has been almost two years since they last saw each other. Here is a short video of Django meeting Myles (white with brindle patches) and Lola (fawn, unrelated but is Myles' adopted sister).

So did they remember each other? There was lots of tail wagging, but that's normal when greyhounds meet each other. It doesn't look like they remembered each other. Bummer! Django was, however, completely enamored with Lola. I had to scold him from trying to hump her several times. Still, it was so nice to get together and finally meet Myles and Lola, who are both super sweet, as well as Myles' mom Jessie, who I've been chatting with online for months. We had a really nice time hiking together.

Myles and Django

Myles and Django (they have the same eyes and face!)

Hiking to the falls
Django at Taughannock Falls
Wondering how to get a picture of all three dogs
Success! Django, Myles, and Lola
Dave, me, and Django at Taughannock Falls
Myles brindle patches are the same color as Django's brindle
Django, happy to be walking in water, one of his favorite things
Django and me
Lola and Django

It was such an awesome afternoon, and I was thrilled to meet everyone! Afterward we drove to Ithaca, which has a ton of waterfalls nearby. We stopped at Ithaca Falls, which was right in town, but we were all tired and it was late, so we headed back. Ithaca seems like a super cool little town with lots to see (plus, the pioneering vegetarian/vegan restaurant Moosewood is there!), so we definitely want to come back when we have more time.

Before driving back on Sunday, we drove up to Geneva and walked around. Geneva is also cute with a pretty decent sized downtown for a small town, plus some cool historic brick rowhouses (cool to me, since I live in one!)
Django enjoying Seneca Lake in Geneva

Django and me
Overall, it was a really fun weekend, and while my running didn't go quite as planned, I was happy to get in some decent runs while I was there. We definitely want to come back another time and explore the area more.

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