Thursday: We went in to the farm store after breakfast and got our syrup and a couple of other things. Then headed out about 11:40. We followed 2 all the way back toward Burlington --- avoiding the interstate, then 2A around Burlington, and back on 2 for the trip up the islands. We followed the route Alan had taken us in the convertible on Tuesday, even stopping for lunch in the same place. However, we ate it there, since we didn’t intend to take the side trip to St. Ann’s Shrine.
We crossed the bridge into New York, still following secondary roads through farm country. We saw one large collection of wind turbines, otherwise it was not a particularly interesting run. Jean found a campground and we were settled in by 5:00. It was a quiet spot in the pine woods --- with sites spaced well apart.
We watched The Last Wave on our new “entertainment center,” then settled in to bed. At 12:25 the power went out. I reset the fridge to gas and plugged the CPAP in to the 110V inverted outlet, just like when dry camping. I got up at 3:30 and the power was back on again, so I reset the fridge to AC. Just another camping adventure.
Friday: It rained some during the night but it was okay in the morning, just cloudy. Jean saw an ad for the Bear’s Den Restaurant and suggested that we go out for breakfast. But first she wanted to go back into Malone to a store that advertised Tevas. So we pulled out and headed back to Malone. After some fiddling around, we found the outdoor clothing store and went in. It is huge! I bought some water shoes for kayaking, but she found nothing to tempt her.
So off we went in search of the Bear’s Den. Along the way we stopped at a Dollar General and got a new phone cord for the one that broke mysteriously. An hour after we left Malone, we spotted the Bear’s Den. But it turned out to be just a gas station. They told us the restaurant was another five miles. They had a good price for diesel, so I topped up --- full service by the way! I hadn’t seen that for years.
We finally found the right Bear’s Den and got there about noon. We could still get breakfast, so we had omelets, which were big enough so that we decided we didn’t need anything more until supper.
Pressing on, we took the roads that ran closest to the St. Lawrence and were occasionally rewarded with some good views.
We ran through some rain showers, then eventually a real frog-choker. That seemed to end it, for we soon were under blue skies and sunshine. With the sun, the temperature, which had been in the 70’s soon went back up to the 90’s. We stopped at a pull-out to get a picture of the motorhome near the river, and the sky was pitch black in the direction we had just come.
After some checking around, Jean found us a campground with water and electricity --- and space. We worry a little bit on Fridays and weekends because that is when the campgrounds usually fill up. Don’t know what it will be like tomorrow as we approach Niagara. We were checked in with the air conditioner running by 5:30. We talked briefly with a man working on his pontoon boat, took a walk to the bathroom, and settled in. Cuba Libré time!
Saturday: Rain during the night, but just overcast when it was time to leave. We were startled by loud sirens during the night. It turns out that the sirens were from across the river on the Canadian side. Apparently to call volunteer fire-fighters.
Overcast most of the day, with occasional rain --- one very heavy. We followed the road closest to the shore. It is marked as a Scenic Route, the the scenery rarely includes a view of the lake. We started into one state park, but they were charging fees, so we pressed on.
We did pay to go in to one park, New Haven Beach.
|New Haven Beach|
Jean got her beach fix and collected a few shells and stones --- and a tiny piece of beach glass. I took a couple of pictures and a bottle of sand (my last bottle unless I empty a couple of the Florida ones).
After missing a turn (we think) and back-tracking a bit, we made it to Sodus Point Light, a now-discontinued stone lighthouse. The grounds were set up for a wedding but no one was there yet We looked around and took some pictures in the threatening weather (with thunder). We got away just as the rain started.
|Sodus Point Light|
We stopped for lunch (late) in Pultneyville, at a place that called itself a deli and pub. The pub part wasn’t open yet, and the deli only served salads and baked desserts. Both were very good. We talked for a while with an interesting old guy who had done the whole Blue Ridge Parkway --- on a mule!
We followed the shore road through Rochester, hoping there would be less traffic. We don’t really know, of course, but there was more than enough traffic for us. We stopped for fuel and once again had full service.
We made it to the campground by 6:15. The site is large --- both deep and wide. We had room to squirrel around and find a level spot. When I hooked up we discovered that the pump was running continuously, even though all the taps were closed. I went ahead and hooked up water. Then I discovered that we merely had air in the lines. That cleared, I shut off the pump and we will be on city water tonight. Tomorrow I will top up the tank and dump.
We tried the TV on the antenna --- nothing, but we are in the trees. Subsequently I found a broken wire to the TV. I don’t know if that is it. We needed the AC until after we went to bed.
Sunday: What with some chores, it was after 11:00 before we got away. The woman in the office gave Jean directions to a good breakfast place, but we failed to find it and ended up farther away from Niagara. The only pace we spotted was a shacky-looking roadside café, but we went in. We got delicious Eggs Benedict. You just can’t tell by looking. Subsequently, we learned that Jean's brother Chillie was familiar with the place. He seems to have been everywhere.
On in to Niagara, which was just as crowded and tacky as we expected. At one point it took us at least 20 minutes to drive around the block. Still, we were able to park in a lot across the street from the Visitor Center, where we got a map and directions. We started out by turning the wrong way from the Visitor Center and getting a little lost. But we soon found the state park and headed toward the falls.
The approach to Prospect Point is along the rapids, which are a sight in themselves. I estimated the current at 20-30 knots as it tumbled over rocks and ledges. There was, of course, a crowd at the point, which is the classic view of the falls. We could hear half a dozen languages as we went. You could see the crowded boats, filled with people in red or blue ponchos down on the river 184 feet below us. The spray and mist rises at times higher than the falls.
After resting, we walked back to the pedestrian bridge to Goat Island. From there is another short bridge to Luna Island, which is in the middle of the American Falls.
|View from Luna Island|
We had done a lot of walking. It was hot and humid. The overcast was not good for photography --- but it kept the temperature down some. Still we chose not to continue to Terrapin Point overlooking Horseshoe Falls. Instead we headed back to the Roadtrek.
Along the way we stopped and got Cokes and ice cream. When we got back there was a Class C parked next to us. He was running his generator, whose exhaust pipe was pointed at our open window. This was in order to run the air conditioner for the dog inside. Our vent fan was running, so there didn’t seem to be any fumes inside.
On the way back, we consulted the GPS for nearby grocery stores. The first place we went to was in what had been the old city market. Unfortunately, they were about to close. Oh well, it was a pretty sketchy neighborhood anyway. We tried again farther out and found a nice supermarket that was just off our route home. We picked up the necessary things and headed back to the campground.
Gene cleverly missed the turn to the campground and we went several miles out of our way. When we finally got to the almost deserted campground we found that the small cone we had left to mark where we wanted to park was gone. It was not quite hot enough to run the air conditioner, we just opened some windows and turned on the vent fan and took a nap for a couple of hours. Tomorrow we head in to Canada.