After leaving Circle B, we finally made it to wine country and tried some tasty organic wines, some of which are flavored with Chuck and Lynn’s pears and apples. We continued down Seneca Lake to Watkins Glenn State Park and actually spent $19.75 on our nights stay. We have been travelling for over two weeks and this was the only time we have had to pay for a place to stay. It’s amazing how hospitable and generous people have been on this trip. Americans really are nice people. The next morning we checked out Watkins Glen Gorge and its many waterfalls, tunnels, and pathways. We had a picnic in the park and then went to a natural food store to get soap and laundry detergent. Jyll, who runs “Good Grocceries,” runs her VW off of veggie oil, so she told us where to get some. We went and sucked up 3-4 gallon, but blew the fuse on our pump a few times because the oil was too cold. Fortunately we had filled up pretty close to capacity at one of the vineyard’s restaurants the day before.
(Betsy on a bridge in Watkin's Glen Gorge)
We left Watkins Glen around 5pm and drove three hours (quite a stint for us given the slow paced tone of our trip thus far) to get to Betsy’s friend Mikey’s house. He lives in Orchard Park, which is right outside of Buffalo. Betsy lived with Mikey in Scotland four years ago when they were both doing a semester abroad at Findhorn, an intentional community in Scottland. Mikey was out celebrating his younger sister’s 21st birthday in Buffalo when we arrived, but encouraged us to make ourselves at home. We made some dinner and drank some wonderful white wine given to us by Ron. Mikey’s friend Dave and his older sister Sarah came home and we had a fire before heading to bed. Mikey lives in a beautiful farm house that overlooks Buffalo, so you can see all the lights of the city from their living room, and on a clear day you can see the mists of Niagra falls.
The next day we went swimming at this really cool waterfall with Sarah and her dog Sasha. The water was surprisingly warm for October and it was a beautiful day (it’s a bit freaky how warm it still is, but it makes traveling much easier and more enjoyable). We jumped off the water fall and slid down the rocks for a while and then dried of in the sun. After we were back home for a while, Mikey arrived with his younger sister Becca and a bunch of food, including lobster. We made some dinner and an exhausted Mikey promptly fell asleep. We feasted on delicious eggplant parmesan and then followed Mikey’s example.
(Betsy going for a slide)
Saturday we awoke early and went with Mikey and Sarah to their friend Dave’s bakery. We helped bag and label the fresh bread he had been cooking all night (we may have eaten a bite or two here and there) and then brought it to the farmer’s market in downtown Buffalo and helped to sell it. It rained for the first time in days while we were at the market, resulting in a small amount of chaos with the bread and what to do with it. We eventually got everything sorted out and headed back home for a nap, a walk, and an awesome dinner, including homemade pumpkin pie made from a pumpkin from the Circle B farm. We went to bed pretty late after a pretty awesome day. (Mikey and Jori enjoying some pumpkin pie)
Today we spent the morning sleeping in a bit, planting ginseng seeds with Mikey, and mowing his field in preparation for the football game we will be having this afternoon. The sun is back out after a wicked thunder and lightning storm last night (which is quite an experience in the bus). Fortunately our roof hatch did not leak very much this time. Hopefully we will have an injury-free football game and everyone will have a good time. We will probably be heading out tomorrow or Tuesday to go to Niagara Falls and head into Ontario on our way to see my Uncle Dan and Aunt Sheila and their kids in Michigan. It’s funny; I told Dan that we’d be there in about a week, nine days ago. We have definitely been taking our time going through NY, but there’s really no need to hurry or anywhere to be. It’s nice to have a flexible schedule, because then you don’t miss out on experiences or meeting cool people, due to feeling pressured by time. Also, we don’t have to try to get veggie oil constantly since we’re not burning ten or twenty gallons each day.
Anyways we want you all to know that we love you and we appreciate so much everything everyone has done to help us before we left and while we travel. All the good wishes have definitely been following us on our travels. I have said it before, and it is still true: if everyone was as blessed to have friends and family like us, world peace would be attainable and brotherhood of mankind would be a reality. Thank you all for everything you have done for us, we are some of the luckiest people on earth. (sorry for the sapiness)
Until next time, lots of love,
-Jori & Betsy