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Winter Visits the Finger Lakes

This time the weatherman was right on with his prediction of 6-10 inches of new snow in the Finger Lakes on Saturday night. Those of us who live in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State are no strangers to snow, yet for the last three or four years, our winters have been particularly mild. But this winter seems to fit into a more typical winter weather pattern with enough snow coming at Thanksgiving time to be able to track the deer during hunting season and then even more snow before Christmas to cover the fields with a lasting blanket of snow.

Despite the cold temperatures, the Finger Lakes are just beginning to freeze along the edges where the water is shallow and still. For these lakes to begin to freeze over, it takes more than a month of temperatures below freezing to even form a skim of ice over the lakes. Jeanette and I headed to the Phelps Hotel in Phelps, NY for our Sunday afternoon brunch. The roads were in good shape since the plows went to work before dawn this morning to clear the snow and sand the roads. The outlet of Canandaigua Lake near Shortsville looked icy and cold as the water headed north to the Erie Canal at Lyons, NY.

We particularly like to drive on the back country roads through Shortsville, Clifton Springs, and Phelps. We weren’t disappointed as our favorite house in Phelps was all decorated for Christmas and the the sun came out just enough for me to take a picture. You can’t miss this house as it sits right along the road near the big church and each year it is lovingly decorated by its owners in time for the Holidays. And at night, it brightly shines and reflects the warmth of those living inside.

The food is good at the Phelps Hotel and the atmosphere suits us just fine as it reminds us of what Upstate NY was like in the late eighteen hundreds to the early nineteen hundreds. The Town Hall is decorated with a single huge Christmas wreath. In the old days, folks used to come to the Phelps Hotel to dance and share a few stories over a drink. Today, the Hotel serves dinners and hosts wedding banquets and parties for the local people.

Up the road near Lyons, NY, we stop at Alloway and take a few pictures of the old cobblestone octagonal barn. The mill which sits along Canandaigua Lake Outlet used the water from Canandaigua Lake to power its grist stones which have been silent for a long time now. The area is still very much agricultural and much corn and soy beans are grown in the fields.

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