July 6, 2010

Ithaca Falls

I've now been in Ithaca for several days and have only finished 2 posts...and one of them wasn't even about Ithaca. So for the next couple days I want to try to make up some lost time and show you bits of this lovely little town.

I thought Ithaca Falls would be a good place to start. Ithaca is surrounded by deep shale gorges that carry many little streams and bigger rivers into the local "finger": Cayuga Lake. If you REALLY want to look like a tourist (or an over-enthused local) you can get one of the ubiquitously available bumper-stickers or t-shirts sporting the punny logo: "Ithaca is Gorges". As campy as this may sound though, the gorges are indeed...gorgeous! Ithaca Falls is literally a block down the road from Rob's current apartment on Gun Hill.

Until 2005, the Ithaca Gun Company owned and operated on the land surrounding the falls using it as a power source, convenient dumping location, and live ammunition testing area. Because of this, the ground has been severely contaminated with lead and was designated as a superfund cleanup site. This is easy to forget, however, when you wander along the wooded banks of Fall Creek and confront the continuing majesty of the falls.

It's difficult to get a sense of the size of this cascade from a photo, but here's one Rob took of me during one of my past visits...look closely...I'm standing, arms outstretched, right at the base of the falls. What an amazing thing to have in your backyard eh!?

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