When I last left off, it was spring and I was taking too many classes, but at least it was moderately warm and sunny. Now it’s cold, wet, grey, and miserable. Back in June, I spent the first portion of the month at home before returning to Ithaca for research and unassociated shenanigans. At home, I managed to go kayaking four times in the span of eight days, twice on lakes and twice on the river. I’m not a huge watersports person, but I liked my sailing class well enough, and I enjoy kayaking.
When I returned to Ithaca and moved into my apartment, I discovered that my roommates had already achieved the accomplishment of watching the entire first two seasons of The Walking Dead. However, when we weren’t watching zombies being shot and hacked at, we did all the things there are to do in Ithaca in the summer. Which was more than watch The Walking Dead. Which we may also have watched the next two seasons of.
We hiked at Buttermilk Falls, Taughannock Falls, and Lick Brook Falls. We visited the Museum of the Earth, went to a free concert on the arts quad, and climbed up the 161 steps to the top of the clock tower. And we went to work during the week and returned to the apartment at night to make dinner and watch The Walking Dead.
At this point of my career at Cornell, I’ve hiked pretty much everything there is to hike in Ithaca. Over the summer, though, I made my first visit to Lick Brook Falls. It was quite an experience, and not just because it was a first time visit (Buttermilk and Taughannock were both repeat hikes). My roommate and I, among other things, ran across a road, bushwhacked down a very steep slope, leapt across a stream, saw a snake, and missed our bus, resulting in us walking four miles to Wegmans. If you’ve ever heard of the types of fun, I thought it was type I fun except for having to walk next to cars on the highway. And even that didn’t exactly suck. It just wasn’t very fun.
We actually ended up at Lick Brook because it had rained the day before, when we had spent a few hours at the Museum of the Earth. It’s a nice place, well organized, and small enough so that you can see everything, but large enough that you’re not reading when each piece of rock was transported to feel like you’re getting your money’s worth. The Museum of the Earth has fossils arranged in chronological order. There are trilobites. Lots of trilobites. The museum wasn’t something we had to see in the summer, but it was a good way to spend a rainy Saturday, plus all the rain was what brought us to Lick Brook the next day – it’s best viewed after rainfall.
If a museum isn’t a typical summer activity (at least not when the weather’s nice), the concert on the arts quad was quintessential summer in Ithaca. While the band played folk bluegrass or something like that, families sat on lush green grass on lawn chairs as the sun set in the distance, and my roommate and I played Frisbee until it got too dark to see. We saw a lot of sunsets over the summer, the sky flaming orange and pink before fading to black. We did not, however, see those sunsets either time we visited the clock tower for chimes concerts. But still, the view’s okay.
And that was just the start of summer. The adventures would continue until the start of the new semester, at which point I would trade one kind of craziness for another. But back in June, things were pretty good, and we still had two months before fall semester.