Posted by: sunnyharvy | September 18, 2017

Upstate New York and Our Beloved ADKs

From Bill’s house in Rochester, NY we headed directly north to the shore of Lake Ontario, an area we had not yet explored. He suggested a few stops along the way, which we checked out. What we did not know is that the Great Lakes are actually flooding their banks in many places due to abundant rains this year. Can you say Climate Crisis?


We had a snack at Sodus Point. Many of the homes here were surrounded by walls of sandbags.

We ate lunch and took a brief but strenuous hike at Chimney Bluffs State Park.

Not much of a beach left at Selkirk Shores State Park, where we camped overnight, due to the high water level.

We might have paddled this picturesque marsh had we planned to stay longer.

Another Westy owner, suggested we could boondock at the Tibbetts Point Lighthouse, which we did.

The setting sun cast a nice glow upon the lighthouse.

The old foghorns.

This turned out to be one of our all-time favorite boondocking spots. We were about 6 feet from the waters edge with the sunset in clear view. Once visiting hours were over at the lighthouse we had the whole panorama to ourselves.

Next we drove eastward along the shore of the St. Lawrence Seaway to the charming town of Clayton, NY in the Thousands Islands district. We have explored this area before, but it was nice to see the familiar territory again.

Our ultimate destination lie at higher altitudes in the Adirondacks. We followed some winding back roads into the mountains and on to The Wild Center in Tupper Lake. This was our third or fourth visit to the center, but we still found it fascinating. I especially wanted to stop again to see two new outdoor attractions.

The Wild Walk – it’s not just for kids!

View from the eagle nest platform.

The Wild Walk is wild, the movies fascinating, inside exhibits enlightening, and watching the otters frolic is fun, but our favorite activity at the center is iForest, which we went through twice. Actually could have spent hours there. It is that enchanting. This installation is impossible to explain in a few words and really must be experienced to appreciate, but you can read about it and watch a video here.

A friend’s sister allowed us to stay overnight in her driveway. The property, right on a secluded point on Tupper Lake is spectacular. View above is from our campsite, below is their dock behind the house. I wasn’t quite ready to accept that it was time for Fall foliage, but it made for very pretty accents to all the green.

Nearby Bog River Falls passes under this picturesque stone bridge.

Camped on Square Lake at the Fish Creek Ponds Campground for two nights so we would have time to kayak.

Paddling beautiful Fish Creek.

One of our favorite signs – the other is “Overnight Parking Allowed.”

Picnic lunch stop on Copperas Pond. This is actually a designated wilderness campsite, but we prefer the luxury of haRVy.

Heading back to Square Lake on Fish Creek.

Our last ADK night was spent alongside Lake Harris near Newcomb.

Typically foggy Adirondack morning.

Established boardwalk and hiking trail near Newcomb Visitor Center.

Sucker Brook as viewed from trail.

Our second hike was on an obviously much less traveled Hewitt Eddy Trail near Minerva.

It got a bit challenging at times. Can you find the way through this mess?

This guys seems to be waiting patiently, which you will now have to do, since I have no idea when my next post will be. We have no definite travel plans at the moment, but I am sure our feet will get itchy before too long. Stay tuned.

 

 

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Posted by: sunnyharvy | September 17, 2017

Westyfest X

We don’t often take short trips aboard haRVy for two reasons. It takes quite a lot of time and effort to load everything that we need and once we’re “out there” it is always difficult to return home. This trip was exemplary. We planned to be out for a week to ten days and we had to force ourselves to head back after two weeks. Life on the road in a small campervan seems to suit us well.

Our extensive travels over the past several years prevented us from attending Westyfests #5-9. Because Al had haRVy partially dismantled for various modification and maintenance projects (his favorite hobby), I wasn’t sure we would make #10 either. In the end, he pulled it all together just in time to join other owners of vehicles like haRVy on Cayuga Lake in Union Springs, New York.

Thanks to one of our favorite organizations, Harvest Hosts, we spent our first night camped for free at Bowman’s Orchard in Rexford near Schenectady, New York.

Bowmans0757c

We arrived just in time to try out the owner’s tasty homemade ice cream. The next morning I stocked up on delicious fresh produce grown on site. My latest discovery is the deliciously sweet and tart Zestar apple (not shown in photo above, sorry).

Our first evening at fellow Westy owner Bill’s property on Cayuga Lake featured this lovely sunset.

Nobody organized a group photo this year, but here are few of haRVy’s cousins.

Some Westy owners are more active than others.

But we all like to converse about how much we love our Westys.

We all love to eat too, of course. The pot luck dinners were scrumptious.

More conversations and fun. Thank you all for coming and especially Bill for hosting.

Another Westy owner named Bill invited us to drive a bit further west to stay at his place in Rochester. His enthusiasm was contagious so, after checking the Road Atlas for interesting routes, we headed over to spend two nights in his driveway. He was a great host, offering exactly what van dwellers need most (laundry and shower facilities) plus warm hospitality that included a delicious pasta dinner.

Our primary outing in Rochester was to the George Eastman Museum.

This institution is often called the Kodak museum even though the Kodak company has nothing to do with the non-profit organization that runs it today. Since both Al and I have a deep interest in photography, we enjoyed hours perusing the various exhibits. If we lived closer I would definitely take advantage of some of their workshops and classes.

My first camera was one of the 75 million sold!

George Eastman’s home, which is part of the museum, has been lovingly restored and maintained.

This trip continues in my next post, which I hope to publish soon. Why does life feel more complicated and busy at home than it does on the road?

Posted by: sunnyharvy | April 21, 2017

This Journey Concludes

After exiting Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park we headed to nearby Hume, Virginia where Harvest Host Desert Rose Ranch and Winery provided our picturesque overnight accommodation. The wine was good too!

Historic Mount Bleak House at Sky Meadows State Park in Paris, VA.

Absolutely love Dogwood blossoms!

Often towards the end of our journeys there comes a point when I am ready to be done with it. I have no interest in seeking out interesting new destinations or diversions, I just want to get home. This time that occurred right after we visited Al’s niece Jodi, her husband Rick, and daughter Miranda in Mt. Airy, MD.

We began our drive through Pennsylvania on scenic back roads as usual, but after a few hours we both decided it was time to make tracks on Interstate highways through the rest of Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

Lunch break next to this bridge over the Susquehanna River in Columbia, Pennsylvania.

Home Sweet Home somewhere on a Pennsylvania back road.

 And so ends my narrative of an enjoyable six month exploration of the Southeastern United States.

Posted by: sunnyharvy | April 21, 2017

Seeking Spring in Shenandoah

A few years ago we missed traveling through Shenandoah National Park due to the government shutdown. Since we did not want to drive up the eastern seaboard again, we headed across the State of Virginia to enter the park at Swift Run Gap. Our visit was during the busy Easter weekend so we made sure to arrive fairly early in the morning to snag a site at the Lewis Mountain Campground.

Lewis Mountain is the smallest campground in the park with just 31 sites. It was mostly populated by tent campers during our visit, so the atmosphere was quite laid back. A group of camping musicians provided a delightful impromptu concert before a wild thunderstorm struck the area.

We learned that this area was originally established “for colored visitors.”If you want to know more about segregation in the park click here.

Skyline Drive runs the entire 105-mile length of the park.

The vast Shenandoah Valley with a bit of rain falling in the distance.

Click on the panoramic photos to see larger images.

You can see that we were not there at the most picturesque time of year, but there were some refreshing hints of Spring present. I especially enjoyed the brilliant Eastern Redbud trees.

Other evidence of Spring required closer observation.

One of our hikes took us to Dark Hallow Falls. Not terribly exciting, but it felt good to get on a trail again.

Lunch on our convertible table with a spectacular view.

Not much clearance above haRVy’s 12-foot height on this tunnel!

But we made it through without a problem.

Onward!

 

Posted by: sunnyharvy | April 19, 2017

Final Days in North Carolina

Seems like it has taken a long time to get through North Carolina, but we have enjoyed the journey. We followed designed scenic byways when possible stopping to investigate whatever happened to draw our attention.

More roadside attractions.

A big storm must have pushed this boat was way upriver.

First time I’ve ever seen a “No Wake” sign for road vehicles.

Apparently feeding an alligator unintentionally is OK.

Mattamuskeet Wildlife Refuge

Lake Phelps in Pettigrew State Park

Somerset Place, which operated as a plantation from 1785 until 1865, is located within the State Park.

Cumulatively, Somerset Place was home to more than 800 enslaved men, women, and children of African descent.

The boat canal through the Great Dismal Swamp is closed until further notice due to damage from the flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew.

One of North America’s great wetland forests, the Great Dismal Swamp offered a refuge to runaway slaves, some of whom lived in maroon colonies deep within the swamp.

Our last stop in North Carolina in Moyock at the home of Boondockers Welcome hosts Leigh and John. They travel in a small Class B campervan as well so we had many stories to share. We enjoyed meeting this couple and look forward to hosting them this summer.

Posted by: sunnyharvy | April 14, 2017

Northeastern Carolina Backroads

Allow me to take you on a photograph ride along the back roads of Tyrrell County, North Carolina. I am not captioning the photos, but welcome your comments. Many of these structures are currently occupied.

Care to make an offer on this income property?

 

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