Day 16: Letchworth State Park and Stony Brook State Park, NY Following our two performances in Rochester, we enjoyed two days of rest and relaxation before our departure. These were planned into the tour schedule due to Rochester being the childhood home of Magoon and McRage. On the first of these days of relaxation, we had the opportunity to explore two awe-inspiring State Parks in upstate New York: Letchworth and Stony Brook. Prior to the park exploration, the crew (minus McRage, who stayed with family) had a lazy Sunday morning at Claire and Zach's residence. Claire instructed Magoon in basic strategies for Backgammon, and we pieced together our breakfasts from generous gifts: bagels from the former coworker of McRage's who had booked our show last night, fresh fruit and cottage cheese, and raspberry preserves prepared with love by Magoon's aunt. A modified crew headed out in the early afternoon, bound for the "The Grand Canyon of the East," Letchworth State Park. The crew included Magoon, Molhy, the Captain and I, along with the day's captains and guides - Claire and Zach - as well as Zach's sister Jess, and the dogs Xena and Ugly Bear. We arrived in the early afternoon (1345 hours). Aside from seeing a pit-boxer mix in the visitor center parking lot to which both dogs vocally objected, a lovely time was had by all marveling at the canyon and waterfalls carved by the Genesee River. As the park is quite large, and the Captain sports one metal knee, we chose to gaze into the gorge from two viewpoints and then make our way to Stony Brook, where we could more easily wander into the a gorge amongst its waterfalls.
At Stony Brook, we left the men, Jess, and Ugly Bear at the enclosed swimming area, and Molhy, Magoon, Claire, Xena and I wandered upstream through the rugged gorge, scaling stone steps carved on the sides of myriad small waterfalls. Xena was distraught despite the beauty of her surroundings, glancing back every few steps to see if her master Zach was anywhere to be seen.
We had a taste of the local attitude toward marijuana during this hike. Magoon, upon discovering a bag of the stuff abandoned next to the brook, alerted the woman sitting nearest to the spot. This woman momentarily took her eyes from supervising her children playing in the brook to express delight at this find. "Ground score!" she exclaimed, thanking Magoon for her diligence. After wandering upstream for a while, we returned to the swimming area where the men, Jess and Ugly Bear awaited, and Xena reunited gladly with her master Zach. Claire and I swam briefly before we split up into separate cars and headed home to her residence. As we rode, I became privy to an insight into Magoon's character. At the tender age of thirteen, she was taken ill with pneumonia, during which time she watched television constantly for seven days. There then came a breaking point at which she sickened of watching television, which explains her current distaste for the activity, and "got really into two things: trying to move things with my mind, and cooking." The insight harkened back to my early attempts at telekinesis, and more current attempts to use any kind of stick or baton as a wand and invoke the spell "Accio" to bring objects to my hands.
Back Claire and Zach's residence, a grilled feast was prepared, featuring burgers, Claire's signature spicy macaroni with cheese, hot dogs, and a local delicacy called White Hots. Claire and Magoon educated us on additional local delicacies - salt potatoes, meat sauce, and garbage plates, and the regionally-invented but nationally recognized Buffalo chicken wings - as we feasted. Magoon's brother Jack joined in the festivities, along with another close friend of the Rochesterians.
I suggested a reprise of Lugia's ice cream following the meal, which was seconded by the group. Jack, not having been present at the first visit to Lugia's unwittingly ordered a "medium." Like many famed ice cream parlors, Lugia's is extremely generous with their ice creams, and the resulting swirl of soft serve covered in green sprinkles extended the entire length of Jack's face. The rest of us ordered a "baby" size, based on our learning from the previous visit.
Magoon slept immediately. She is beginning to feel ill, which is of great concern for the whole crew, as without her we cannot perform. I am glad that we have two more days for her to rest and restore her health before we head onward to Philadelphia for our next performances. Molhy, the Captain and I wound down the evening with an episode of Wynonna Earp. The Captain could not keep his eyes open, but the cliffhanger at the end of the episode was so suspenseful that Molhy and I continued through another episode upstairs in our guest room before sleeping.