Monday, July 27, 2009

Ithaca - Day 5

Saturday, July 11, 2009

After Vince left Ithaca to return to Philly/Jersey, Carol broke camp and I prepared the Casita for departure. Before going over to Tracy's house we went to reprovison ourselves at the Farmer's Market. Because it has a permanent facility, it has become one of Ithaca's great standing traditions. There are lots of food and craft vendors selling everything from organic vegetables to pottery to local estate bottled wine. Strolling through the covered arcade I found it difficult to pass the numerous bakery stalls without an oatmeal raisin cookie or two. The Market is on the water, so we sat under trees and ate our cookies, while live, spontaneous music played nearby. We ran into Knut there with Tiny. It seems he's inspired to get out and about more often. Let's hope it sticks.
Later in the afternoon we arrived at Tracy's. She has a rambling old farmhouse in the village of Newell, about 10 miles from Ithaca. She and her two daughters welcomed us most graciously. There was plenty of space to park the Casita but was one snag: the house had eleven cats. After about 10 minutes sitting in the living room, it became apparent that the cats had marked their territiory thoroughly. I started to feel nauseous. I looked over to Carol and saw she felt the same way. Tracy, Aurora and Cynthia would be leaving for a wedding in Cincinnati before the Grassroots Festival, but there were several days between now and then. This was not going to work. I felt it would be extremely awkward if Carol and I parked the Casita outside and never came in the house to socialize with them. They are lovely people but we didn't want to offend them by staying out in the Casita the whole time. We in turn didn't want to be offended by feeling obliged to hang out in the house every day. Better, I thought, to stay somewhere else until they left the following Wednesday for their road trip. The house would be vacant then, and we could go in and feed the cats, fish, hamsters and plants, spending as little time as possible in the house. Therefore, since the house was cluttered and it was apparent that it was a staging area for their trip, I explained to Tracy that we did not want to be in their way while they packed. It would be best for them not to have houseguests during this time, which was true, and said we'd go up the road to find a place on the lake for a few days. She agreed, and seemed relieved. We said our goodbyes, and Aurora send us off with some apple cider and apple donuts made fresh that morning at the orchard she works at.

Back in the van, we headed north to see if there were any campsites available at Cayuga Lake State Park, located on the northern end of this finger lake. Pulling in late in the day, after stopping first at the top of Taughannock Falls, we found the place nearly empty and we had an entire loop to ourselves.

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