One of my absolute favorite things to do when I visit a new place for the first time is to check out their food. Syracuse was no different. There were a few places I wanted to try and thankfully they were all within a few blocks of each other. This allowed me to eat way more than I should have and then be ready to get on my way.
Eating Through Syracuse
The first place I went was Pastabilities (DDD). They were put on the map for their duck bacon pizza which didn’t disappoint. As a freebie, you also get this amazing spicy tomato sauce with your bread. I actually ended up randomly sitting next to the saxophonist who was playing in the live jazz band who recommended to me that I get the duck bacon flatbread pizza. We sat and chatted about NYC food for a while until he realized he was supposed to back playing and the band started without him. So I paid my bill and went across the street to Kitty Hoynes (DDD) for a beer and some Rueben Fritters. They taste exactly how you think they would, amazing.
By that point I had already eaten too much and decided to call it a night. I woke up early the next morning and drive out to see the International Boxing Hall of Fame. It was a little smaller than I had expected. But it had a lot of great stuff including the original ring from Madison Square Garden. Muhammad Ali fought in that exact ring 8 times and Laila Ali (his daughter) fought in that ring once. That ring has had a who’s who of boxing in between those ropes.
If you are wondering why the International Boxing Hall of Fame is 30 minutes outside of Syracuse, NY, you aren’t alone. There is apparently a good reason for that.
The idea for a boxing hall of fame germinated out of a town’s love for two of its hometown boys who became world champions. In 1982 residents of Canastota, NY decided to honor former welterweight and middleweight champion of the late 1950s, Carmen Basilio, and his nephew, Billy Backus, who won the world welterweight title in 1970. The townspeople raised funds for a showcase that would celebrate the achievements of their two local heroes.
The only other place I want to make sure I stopped to eat was Funk N Waffles (DDD). I had their Jive Turkey and All Shook Up waffles. It was actually, again, way more than I intended eat. But i t was really really good and I needed the calories for hiking and camping. If I ever say I want waffles, this is almost exactly what I’m thinking.
Two Lakes and a Lot of Water
The last place in the Syracuse leg of the journey was Two Lakes State Park. This park is absolutely beautiful. There are two natural green glacial lakes that comprise this park. This was also where I was planning on spending the night. I get in, I setup camp, and then immediately starts a torrential downpour. So Charlie and I hunkered down in the tent for a few hours while the storm blew through.
Once the storm was over, Charlie and I hiked down to Round Lake, which is a National Landmark Site. A National Natural Landmark is site designated by the US government department of the Interior for protection. Round Lake happens to be a particular kind of lake called a meromictic lake. In other words, it has layers of water that never intermix. This idea is sometimes referred to as nature’s time capsule. Therefore the goal of making this lake a landmark is to ensure the area stays preserved so the lake can remain in as close to a natural habitat as possible.
Finally, we crashed for the night to pick up the trail to Green Lake in the morning. Even though it wasn’t a bright and sunny day, Hiking green Lake was still absolutely gorgeous. One of the many interesting things about Green Lake is that, apart from it also being a glacial lake, it has it’s own section of live freshwater reefs. These reefs are created from microscopic organisms called cyanobacteria. For thousands of years, theses cyanobacteria have lived on the reef’s surface absorbing sunlight and using nutrients that occur naturally in the ecosystem to build the reefs. When the nutrients are deposited on the reef, they create a type of limestone called Marl that hardens in to the white reef structure you see here.
Both Round Lake and Green Lake are also what’s known as glacial lakes. This means that the lakes came from a melting glacier. The melting glacier then eroded the land to make room for a lake. It also has its blueish-green color due to the salinity of the water near the surface and a high gypsum content coming from the earth below.
The gallery of pictures from Syracuse and Two Lakes is available on Google Photos.