Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sampson State Park Photo-Safari

Aurora and I took a few hours last weekend to drive up Seneca Lake to the Sampson State Park. We have driven past this park dozens if not hundreds of times, and yet never stopped there.  This weekend, the leaf-peeping forecast said that the last of the Fall color would be peaking (they lied - it was gone).... so we went out with the intention of getting some great fall color.

Few parks have such a complex history as Sampson.  Named for Rear Admiral William T. Sampson of nearby Palmyra, New York, Sampson served as the country's second largest naval training base from 1942 to 1945--the height of World War II.
After World War II, the many buildings and barracks, connected by miles of roads, were converted into Sampson State College, which educated returned serviceman and -women.
Then, during the Korean War (1950-1956), Sampson served as a training base for Air Force personnel. It is estimated that the combined number of men and women trained at Sampson was close to 750,000.

Strangely enough, after suffering through the grey-ist, wettest, rainiest three months of my life, this weekend was starkly clear skied. Blue heavens and white fluffy clouds. A sharp chill was in the air, but the sun more than made up for it. We spent the better part of an hour roaming around Sampson St. Park. We explored the marina and gave Georgia Rose a chance to get out of the van and explore a bit. I think the next time we are up this way we'll have to bring our bikes and plan on an afternoon of exploring the area. From the online information it sounds like we could bike back towards the nearby town of Willard. Might be a fun Spring ride.

One of the other things I would love to see is the Museum at Sampson. We arrived on a Sunday and they were closed. My hope is to head up sometime during the week or maybe a Saturday and see what the museum has to offer. So far, from what we saw just outside the museum, we were captivated.

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