The first weekend opening at the popular campground was right after Labor Day, the three-day holiday that traditionally signals the end of summer. Timing was perfect as we were to visit our friends on nearby Seneca Lake before we headed south toward home. It was also the weekend of the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Celebration where the reenactment of America's first Grand Prix automobile road race takes place through town and on local roads. I was surprised to find any campground openings then as that is a very popular event.
Watkins Glen State Park does not have individual water to any of the 283 sites, and electricity is available only on the Mohawk loop making that one loop extremely popular with RVer's. All six camping loops are named after Indian nations of the region, and since we didn't have a campground map, we had no idea where to go. We decided to walk the dogs, have lunch in the trailer, and wait for a park attendant.
|The South Pavilion|
I wondered where the old race track used to be as we drove up the hill on highway 329 looking for the turnoff to the park entrance. It turns out we were on it.
The turn off by the famous Seneca Lodge, leads to the parking area at the south Pavilion, and getting to the campground from there is a short but steep drive. The South Pavilion also marks the beginning of the footpaths down the beautiful Glen gorge. Most park visitors rarely venture further up than the Pavilion, which also boasts an Olympic size swimming pool. The pool closes on Labor Day.
It was like a walk back in time for me. One of the first cars on display was a pristine, black 1952 MG TD, identical to the car that Leonard Estrada owned back when we were all somebody else. We had driven his MG TD from Denver to Miami back in 1961 when we were in the Air Force, and seeing the old car brought back a flood of memories. It was to be a weekend of memories! While many, many old memories surfaced, many new memories were made.
|Turk and I check out a vintage race car... Really!|
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