Better Beards Long For Better Beer. Rachel and I escaped Brooklyn on the July 4th weekend and headed north to explore Upstate New York’s Finger Lakes Region looking for great scenery, clean lakes, good hikes, and great craft beer. First stop on the Craft Beer Trail to test out our Better Beards Long For Better Beer theory was Two Goats Brewing overlooking Seneca Lake. Rachel snapped this pic of me upon arrival next to our van and overlooking Two Goats. Beautiful views, great craft beer, good music and friendly people. You can’t go wrong at Two Goats. Verdict? None yet, but with every sip of GOAT MASTER ULTRA PALE ALE we grew more persuaded of the validity of the theory. The setting certainly didn’t hurt the mood. Highly recommended.
Rachel took this shot of me as I turned away from the bar with two cold ones in hand and headed towards the back door at Two Goats leading to the deck overlooking the lake. Behind me you can see a little of the Two Goats Tap Room, very cool. I must say, there is a look of very deep satisfaction on my face. We had left Brooklyn early in the morning and had been on the road for a good 7 hours before tasting our first drop of beer. We had stopped in Ithaca on the way up, looked around quickly downtown and checked out the Ithaca Farmer’s Market . Parking was easy and it was a nice outdoor market but a little busy and a little crowded. We clearly wanted a much quieter setting with great beer so we headed straight to Two Goats. It was a very good move.
Here’s a OneDTQ Team pic on the deck at Two Goats, very happy to have found such a great spot after a day on the road. At this point, after couple of brews, NYC seemed like a world away. We took a short walk on the hill while we waited for the band to begin to play and sat down under a shady tree and listened to the wind blow through the treetops and watched the big white clouds float down from Canada. We listed to the music on the hillside for a while, took a peek in at the band and headed back up to our van to get back on the road. We left Two Goats and headed north on our way to Syracuse where we would check out Armory Square and spend the night. Interesting that we chose to spend the night in the city? Well, Armory Square looked liked a great place to visit and we wanted to go out at night and have some fun. It was beautiful but very quiet. We decided to go back sometime when during the school year and see it at it’s best. Still, it was nice to walk around and see the sites. Must be really something in the fall.
The sun shone brightly on July 4th and our plan was to drive west from Syracuse and explore the towns on the northern tips of the lakes starting with Skaneateles (pronounced Skinny Atlas) and continuing on through Auburn, Seneca Falls, Geneva and arriving in Canandaigua in time for a big fireworks show at Kershaw Park. Our first stop was in Skaneateles and we were very pleasantly surprised. A beautiful small town right on the lake with grassy waterfront parks, swimming, a marina and lake cruises available on vintage lake boats. It’s an upscale town with fine shops, dining, inns and expensive homes on great lawns overlooking Skaneateles lake. Rachel took this pic of me standing by the lake modeling one our OneDTQ Medicine Man’s T-shirts. It was late morning and a great start to what would be memorable day.
Here’s a shot of me in front of the Sherwood Inn, Skaneateles. The Inn was established in 1807 and is just across the street from Shotwell Memorial Park on Skaneateles Lake. We saw the flags out front and stopped for a few shots. Although you can’t see in this pic, the flag behind me is a Betsy Ross Flag with a circle of 13 stars representing the original 13 colonies. I posted this pic on Instagram and wished our friends a Happy Independence Day. We grabbed some coffee in a nice little bakery on a side street and hopped back in our van and headed off west on Route 20. Out of town there were a couple of vintage Motels that looked like they were in were very well kept up over the years. I wished we had stayed in one with the van parked out the door and the pool right there with the fence around it. I had stayed in a few of these as a kid with my folks and they were great. Maybe next time. They were a nice surprise slice of Americana and took me back to a simpler time.
Next stop was Seneca Falls which sits on a sleepy canal connecting Cayuga and Seneca Lakes. This pic is taken of me standing next to the canal. On the right you can see the backs of the buildings that sit on the main street. It was peaceful walk along the canal and we chatted with a couple moored there for a few days on their cruise around the lakes. It was in Seneca Falls that I put the six pack of craft beers I had purchased at Wegman’s just outside of Syracuse in the cooler to be tasted and tested later. Wegmans, by the way, is a fantastic supermarket. Rachel was in heaven and it didn’t hurt that they have a great selection of craft beers and that you can pick and choose and craft your own six pack. Into the cooler and back on the road….
We drove through Geneva fairly quickly with our sights set on Kershaw Park in Canandaigua and the fireworks. The beer was getting cold in the cooler and I had remembered to throw our beach chairs in the van so we were getting ready for a nice relaxing evening on the lakefront and enjoying a swim, the fireworks, and our picnic dinner. We arrived only to find a mad, crowded, scene and promptly turned back to Skaneateles where we settled down in Shotwell Memorial Park with our beach chairs. I went for a nice swim in the very clean lake and had a chat with a lifeguard who was kind enough to tell me to pay no heed to the signs prohibiting picnicking and alcohol. As the sun set we enjoyed some tasty snacks and some fine craft beer as shown in the pic above. Verdict? It’s getting clearer sip by sip.
The next day it was time to start heading south back towards the city. On the way we stopped at Watkins Glen and hiked the Gorge Trail. It was amazing! This is a pic of us along the trail We had such a great time that decided right after to hike all the time and have done two great hikes since then. Rachel and I agreed that beer never tastes as good as after a nice hike. Those last two of the six pack were gone in a flash.
This quiet town at the southern tip of Keuka Lake is a real gem. A peaceful, small town with a grassy park right on the lake with a small marina and swimming beach. Pictured is a sailboat moored just adjacent to the beach. We swam, cooled down and rested in our beach chairs before the journey home. We didn’t really want to leave. It was idyllic.
We drove back along Scenic Route 6 in northern PA to Scranton and then home. It was a beautiful drive along Route 6. We stopped here at a lookout over the Upper Susquehanna River. Pictured is Rachel savoring the moment as the sun drops in the west. This was a trip we will remember for a very long time. Now it’s back to Brooklyn and OneDTQ Beard Care. We returned renewed, refreshed and with some new craft beers in our artillery. Verdict? To be determined, need some more evidence :)