Originally, I had planned on spending a couple hours at Seneca Park Zoo today. It’s been quite a few months since my last visit, so it seemed like a good idea. However, when I got there and saw how full the parking lot was, I realized that the place was going to be packed. As such, I came up with a quick plan B and headed for Genesee Valley Park instead.
I haven’t been to Genesee Valley Park since I went there for the Pride Picnic last July. I was a bit worried that I’d have trouble finding it again, but everything came back to me as I drove down Elmwood Avenue. In fact, I found the turn I should’ve taken to park next to the area the picnic was in last year. So I spent a good amount of time just wandering around the paths.
For those not familiar with the Rochester area, the park straddles a section of the Erie Canal, cutting it neatly in half. The picture to the left is of the foot bridge that connects the two halves of the park. I wandered along the paths along the east side of the canal. As I crossed another foot bridge, I noticed a group of people kayaking along the canal. I grabbed a quick shot of a couple of them.
One of the things that truly surprised me in my wandering is just how small of a space this city is packed into. After I crossed the bridge where I saw the kayakers, I soon found myself passing under a highway. I was quite surprised to discover that this was not only I-390, but it was near the south bound exit to get onto West Henrietta Road by way of the East River Road. considering I had taken that exit to get onto West Henrietta Road and then drove a mile to get to Elmwood Avenue and eventually to my parking spot in the park, I was surprised to find myself able to get back to this spot with just a few minutes of walking along a path.
As I continued my walk, I quickly found another path under the highway. Here, I found a nice little resting area snuggled under the highway. I could just image sitting there with a walking partner (especially one I was also romantically involved with) and taking a brief rest while we shared a quiet conversation. The idyllic nature of the scene comes to my mind quite easily.
My wanderings eventually took me beyond the bounds of the park. The Canal Path seems to go on endlessly. In fact, I find myself wondering if it isn’t all part of the path I followed when I walked along the canal in Pittsford. It wouldn’t surprise me.
I followed the canal path for a while, but eventually turned back. However, instead of taking the direct route back into the park, I decided to follow a side path which took me up through part of the University of Rochester and by Strong Memorial Hospital. This eventually dropped me back into the path via the road I originally drove in on. It made for a nice circuit.
One thing I noticed in the walk was the number of cyclists who were sharing the route with me. I was quite impressed by their courtesy. I noticed that more than one rang a small bell (presumably installed for just this purpose) to let me know that they were coming up on me. This would give me the chance to get over to one side, for which they would thank me as they passed.
In the park itself, I passed a number of people who were just relaxing, sunning themselves, or playing frisbee. I even passed a small cluster of college guys who were playing softball (though I get the impression they were doing so with a tennis ball, which struck me as somewhat odd). A number of them were playing shirtless due to the heat of the day, and naturally I had to ogle them. I even managed to snap a picture of the one.
To be honest, this is one of those experiences that remind me just how much I like to go for walks. I think this will become a regular part of my weekend activities. Though I do hope I can find a friend to share the experience with.