Daryl was chuffed to be invited to give a colloquium at the prestigious Cornell University. A 4 hour drive from Princeton through wooded landscape took us into Pennsylvania – allowing glimpses of the Appalachians – before entering upstate New York. Abundant fall foliage, despite past peak in most places, made the drive quite picturesque.
While a packed room of Ivy League mathematicians gave Daryl their full attention, I meandered through the attractive campus. The ivy covered buildings certainly exude serious scholarliness. How much of our world and our lives have been shaped by the minds that graced these lecture rooms?
In the middle of campus is Beebe Dam. A quick trek from Malott Hall (the math building) got me in the midst of nature. On this very mild Thursday afternoon I followed a trail along the lake, my spirits soaring from all the beauty around me. The heavily forested area around the lake was at peak fall colors. A waterfall gushed down a steep gorge. From a pedestrian bridge I gazed at the vertical gorge walls and False Creek. I kept gasping at the vibrant fall foliage colors.
|Lake Cayuga - the longest of the Finger Lakes|
These lakes were formed from receding glaciers. Further erosion carved out the deep gorges. Ithaca lies at the southern tip of this lake.
Taughannock Falls, though skinny, are taller than Niagara Falls. The weather turned brisk on Saturday when Kelly and Jason took us on a drive. Clad in a thick woolen hat and chunky sweater from Kelly, plus my down coat and fleece gloves, I braved the chill and did the 3/4 mile hike to the falls. Definitely worth it.
Back in town we marched over to Ithaca Falls. These wide falls – 175 ft in width – were the most powerful of all the waterfalls I'd seen in Ithaca. It's amazing that this huge, cascading beauty plunging into a big pool is minutes away from downtown.
We stayed with Jason and Kelly in their 100 year old house at the edge of downtown Ithaca. Warm friends sharing with us their house full of character – creaking oak staircases, paneled ceilings, bay windows – made our time here very enjoyable. Saturday evening we had dinner at the home of Tim and Tara. Tim's very polished culinary skills were evident in a stuffed portobello mushroom dish - a recipe from Plenty, an Ottolenghi cookbook. Good conversation, some opinion differences, lots of Malbec, delicious apple pie from Ithaca Bakery, and a lot of laughter. A fine way to end a visit.