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The Willard Waterfalls


Picture: Taughannock Falls, Trumansburg

© Fien Leysen

On our second day in Willard, we meet Alta Boyer for the first time. She used to be a librarian at the Willard Psychiatric Hospital. She is turning 104 years old. We bring flowers for her.

Alta's hearing is declining, our talk requires great effort on all our parts.

Afterwards, we drive around with Mary, the kind woman who cares for Alta.

She gives us a tour on the Willard grounds. From the car.

Lunch with a view

We quickly get a sandwich in the neighborhood.

Tom knows the perfect place to eat our lunch. During his first trip to the US, when he ended up here completely coincidentally, he found the perfect spot. Taughannock Falls. With her 66 meter height, she is the tallest single-drop waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains.

We use the rest of the day to contact people, make plans, come up with questions.

In the evening, we're invited to join Lesley and David for dinner. Today is David's birthday. The pater familias is cooking an extensive meal. His daughter and son-in-law come over for dinner. David's sister Roberta, also joins. And suddenly, we seem like part of the family. As if it has always been this way.

Niagara Falls

Picture: Niagara Falls, NY State © Fien Leysen

On the last day, we rest. To run over things in our head, get everything straight and organized. We've worked for 6 days, from morning 'til night. Our jetlag did not catch up with us.

"What would you like to do on our day off?", Tom asks. Fien chooses a place from her bucket list. Niagara Falls. Considered worldwide as the 8th wonder of nature. One of the largest and most famous waterfalls in the world.

And even though it is quite spectacular, very wide, with an impressively strong and huge amount of water, the drop is not so high. It reaches a maximum of about 60 meters.

Maybe it was because of the grey day we picked. Or the many tourists around us. Or the prices that were charged to view bits of nature up close. Or maybe it was just us. And the 6 days we barely needed to fall in love with Willard and Trumansburg. But when we walked back to the car, we both knew it for sure.

"Our" Taughannock Falls is so much nicer.

Niagara's got nothing on our waterfall back home.

Tomorrow we head back, leave the yellow home and the waterfalls.

Tired but happy. Sad to go, yet satisfied.

We have met so many wonderful people, seen so many beautiful places. We can't wait to come back.

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