Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Labor Day 2012- Letchworth State Park, NY

We decided to spent the labor day weekend at Letchworth State Park, in New York this year.  A friend of Mike's from work recommended it.  It's known as the "Grand Canyon of the East," and it's super cool.  We had the best time.  We're so very lucky to have two kids who are so adventure-ready.

I'm going to upload some photos, mostly of the kids.  I'll try to add some of the cool scenery later.

Best family photo ever! 

We also had a chance to take a tour of the Mt. Morris Dam.  A very funny and enthusiastic member of the Army Corps of Engineers took us on the tour, which included going down inside the dam, 20 stories underground.  It was very dark and damp and chilly and echo-y, but pretty cool.  The kids spent the rest of the day gleefully making up sentences using the word "dam" to sound like they were cursing, without getting into trouble.  It was pretty much just like vacationing with the Griswolds.

You can still make either one giggle maniacally just by mentioning going on a "dam tour."  Try it!  It's pretty funny.

Halfway down the 127 steps to the lower falls.  Taking a break to be adorable.

The boys, with the Middle Falls in the distance.

All four of us, plus the Middle Falls, and a telescope :)

Monkeys.  In a tree.  They spent about 25%* of this trip up in trees.

My boys, at Wolf Creek.  Aren't they the sweetest?

I love this one.  It's the background on my computer at work right now.  It's going to come in handy on those cold, dreary winter days to bring a smile to my face!

Other highlights:  really nice campground, clean bathrooms, most sights easily accessible by car, hot air balloons lifting up over the valley (!!), and no problems with raccoons or other wildlife, but we're pretty good about keeping food put away properly.

This one's super sweet, too.  The boys wading in the Genessee River.  As always, I sort of got us into a spot.  It was really hot and I was desperate to get in the water.  Any time you were closer than 345 feet above the river, there was a sign saying you couldn't go in.  Finally, we managed to get the scoop from an insider about a place where you could go wading.  Well, maybe not state-endorsed, but at least without much interference :)  So, we set off for that place, on a trail that was supposedly only .5 miles long and "easy."  Har har har.  45 miles and 9000 feet of elevation* later, we finally found it!  The kids loved it.  I told them they weren't allowed in above their knees.  If you look very, very closely, you can see one little dry spot on Natey's shoulder in this photo, so you can see about how well that worked out.  They listen like rabbits.  Also, Nate managed to kick Mike's lens cap into the river, and they went looking for it but were predictably unsuccessful.

Anyway, in this photo, Brendan is building a dam to try to trap water in a pool, and Nate is making a mud painting on that rock.  I sat behind Mike as he took this picture, with the fading light making them glow like little angels and thought "I am going to remember this moment forever." 

*This may be a slight exaggeration.  Slight.

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