Posted by: sunnyharvy | December 4, 2016

Florida: Northeast Coast

Our first stop in Florida was just over the border at Fernandina Beach. When we arrived at our Boondockers Welcome host location, Mike invited us to walk with him and his granddaughter into town for the Christmas tree lighting festivities!

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I didn’t get a shot of the tree, but thought this truck was pretty cool.

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Beautiful post office building downtown. We found this area quite charming and although this visit was brief, we hope to return later this winter.

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Old Town has sandy streets and nice old homes. Some still awaiting restoration.

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Remnants of what used to be a thriving shrimp industry.

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Fernandina Beach after which the town is named.

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Next we moved down the coast to St. Augustine where I was reunited with Kim. She rented a room from me in Rhode Island over 25 years ago. She and her husband Rod were great hosts!

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Kim, who is a great cook (she had been in Rhode Island to attend Johnson & Wales Culinary School), prepared many delicious meals for us. Here Al enjoys shrimp grits and collard greens. Can’t get much more southern than that!

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Kim with her “babies.”

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Resident chickens

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Further on down the road this sculpture greeted passersby in front of the Baliker Gallery.

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Flagler Beach, the first place the water was warm enough to swim in!

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More damage from Hurricane Matthew. It goes on and on. Not far from here the highway literally fell into the ocean.

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A little piece of “Old Florida” along the Ormond Scenic Loop.

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We would have missed this drive if Kim hadn’t suggested it. Gotta go with local knowledge every time!

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Great birding here too.

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Now we are loving the sun and surf in Cocoa Beach where fellow Westy owner Dave is our host.

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A beautiful day at the beach…in December!

This area is referred to as Florida’s “Space Coast” because Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center fueled development here. It is also one of the area’s primary tourist attractions. We spent an entire day there enjoying educational entertainment at its best. We touched an actual moon rock and experienced a simulated shuttle launch.

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We began with a bus tour of the campus. That launch pad will be used by SpaceX.

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This crawler transporter is used to move rockets to the launch pad. It is one of the largest land vehicle on earth.

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Several of the shuttles launched from this pad. That big pole at the top is a lightning conductor.

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Part of the “Rocket Garden

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A life size mock-up of the fuel tank and booster rockets that launched the shuttles.

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We were in the actual ground control center from the Apollo program. It has been turned into an amazing theater. Follow my link to see it in its entirety.

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Saturn V, the largest rocket ever flown. It was used to launch the Apollo Race to the Moon spacecrafts. NASA restored the rocket and then erected the building around it.

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Saturn V’s rocket engine nozzles. Almost everything here is HUGE.

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Except for the capsules the astronauts had to live in. This is from Apollo 14.

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Many spacesuits are on display. This one seems almost medieval.

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Space shuttle Atlantis

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Moon Buggy

We have now been chillin’ here in Cocoa Beach for a few days. We are camped just a half block from the beach so we spend a lot of time there as well as riding our bikes around the area. I captured the following shots at sunrise yesterday.

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Time for another beach walk. See you later.

 

 

 

Posted by: sunnyharvy | December 1, 2016

South Carolina Low Country

On our way to the coast we had one more overnight near Augusta, Georgia thanks to a Boondockers Welcome host we never met. We camped in a conveniently located grassy storage yard he owns. From there I walked to Earth Fare, a regional organic food market, where I stocked up on goodies for our Thanksgiving dinner.

We hit the coast just south of Beaufort, South Carolina. We camped at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot on Parris Island to avoid the holiday crowds at public campgrounds.

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One of the most beautiful military bases we have visited.

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We rode our bikes all around the waterways and marshlands.

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One of three one-third sized models of the famous monument of the raising of the flag atop Mount Suribachi during the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945.

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Al getting ready to grill up some turkey thighs for our Thanksgiving supper.

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Not too shabby, eh?

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On the road once again. It’s easy to see why this is referred to as Low Country. Most of the land is barely above sea level.

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Another example of damage caused by Hurricane Matthew all along this coast.

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Historic Beaufort, South Carolina is quite charming.

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A beautiful river side park features a row of these swings.

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One of many fine homes from the Civil War era surrounded by moss-draped live oak trees.

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The Church of the Cross in Bluffton, heart of the Low Country.

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An afternoon nap?

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Down by the lazy river.

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Much less lazy on Riverside Drive in Savannah, Georgia!

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Doing a quick drive-through of busy tourist area.

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Lunch near one of many green squares in the north historic district.

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Lots of interesting old houses around. Some humble.

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Some a tad fancier.

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And others quite grand.

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Up next: Florida, the Sunshine State.

 

Posted by: sunnyharvy | November 22, 2016

Fall Foliage, Southern Style

We had a very pleasant stay with Dexter and Nancy at their new home in the charming little town of Oriental, North Carolina. Nancy cooked us a few delicious meals while Dexter provided tours of the area by land and sea. We all went out to a couple of local restaurants and we had them over for dinner aboard haRVy. We also attended a play at the historic Old Theater where Nancy helped with the set decorations and Al had an interesting experience (more on that later).

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Nancy wanted a waterfront home and she got it! This beautiful view is from the living/dining area.

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Looking back at the yard and house from the dock.

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Nancy and Dexter on their new boat.

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Dexter multi-tasking.

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Full moon rise over the river.

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Back to theater story… Upon reviewing the cover of the playbill, Al immediately recognized the names of the directors as the couple who bought our old boat 12 years ago. We spoke with them after the performance and found out where the boat was docked. Dexter took us there the next day. That is “Blue Dragon” (formerly Isosceles) on the right in photo above. Prior to this incident, we had no idea where the boat was.

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The working waterfront in Oriental.

Next we headed west across North Carolina to keep an appointment with Doktor A, the widely recognized Sprinter guru, in Central, South Carolina. Andy has helped Al with questions and problems out over the phone and via email many times. Now was his chance to get an expert’s opinion on haRVy’s mechanical health. (He passed with flying colors!)

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On our way we spent a night next to this pond at another Westy owner’s home in Apex, NC. Thank you Mike and Therese, it was fun to meet you both. Hope to meet up again on the road someday.

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New England apparently doesn’t hold an exclusive on beautiful fall foliage.

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Short hike at Morrow Mountain State Park.

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Cleaning up after dinner in haRVy’s great galley.

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Lunch break at Lake Norman.

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Doktor A doing a thorough inspection under haRVy’s hood.

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While I take a nice long walk through the woods with his wife Barb.

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Al gaining knowledge from the Doktor.

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A thoughtful Doktor A after 3 hours of work. Thank you!

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Heading back towards the coast via the Savannah River Scenic Byway we camped at Lake Hartwell.

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Morning view from our pillows through the skylight.

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This plantation home is somewhat of a relic from the past. This entire area used to be filled with prosperous cotton and tobacco growing plantations, but not so much anymore.

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Lots of houses are very rundown or abandoned.

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As are some of the churches.

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I will leave you with this sunset over Lake Hartwell.

Posted by: sunnyharvy | November 12, 2016

We Are Off Again… 8 States in 7 Days!

Our first seasonal tour as “Snowbirds” has begun. We are wandering down the eastern seaboard visiting friends, old and new. Our first night was spent with Bob and Susan at their lovely home in Hamden, Connecticut. We arrived early enough to enjoy some lively conversation before a delicious vegetarian dinner prepared by our hosts. Thank you so much, it’s always good to see you both.

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The drive we dreaded most, past New York City into New Jersey, was not as harrowing as anticipated (maybe because we did it on a Saturday). However, we were happy to get off Route 95 onto Route 206 to enter the Pine BarrensThis heavily forested area of coastal plain deserves more serious exploration in the future, but this time we were happy to appreciate the brilliant fall foliage as we negotiated the country roads. At the end of the day we settled in at Southwind Vineyard, a Harvest Host, near Millville, New Jersey.

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Free campsite at Southwind Vineyard within easy walking distance to the tasting room.

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One of the more curious Lipizzan residents.

The next morning we headed out to the coast.

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Boardwalk at Wildwood, just north of Cape May, Closed for the season.

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What else could you possibly need for a day at the beach?

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Couldn’t quite figure out what this diorama had to do with the store below, but it’s mighty elaborate.

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Cape May Lighthouse

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Popular bird watching marsh area in Cape May

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Grape vines at Jessie Creek Winery, another Harvest Host

We had to go to Newark, Delaware to have new house batteries installed in haRVy. We arranged to meet and stay with fellow Westy owners who lived nearby in Wilmington.

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HaRVy camped out with another Westy.

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Our extremely gracious hosts Mary and Mathew. Glad we met both of you and hope our paths cross again.

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Back to the coast and another boardwalk. Rehoboth Beach, Delaware this time.

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Quite a nice beach day for early November!

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Lots of folks out enjoying the fine weather.

We came to this area primarily to visit Assateague Island, a a 37-mile long barrier island located off the eastern coast of Delmarva. The northern two-thirds of the island is in Maryland while the southern third is in Virginia. Most of it is designated a National Seashore.

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Assateague is best known for its wild horses a couple of which visited our campsite.

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Over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge

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and Tunnel we go!

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Memorial to the Wright Brothers in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

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The Wright Brothers National Monument sits atop a hill where early 20th century pilots tested their experimental gliders. The Wrights chose this location not only for the steady wind, but also for the soft sand, high sand dunes, and isolation.

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This incredible life-sized sculpture recreates the world’s first powered flight. It was erected on the Centennial (2003) of that historic event. Visitors are actually welcome to crawl around on it.

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Orville Wright at the helm

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The only known photograph taken during the momentous occasion

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A volunteer from the local Life Saving Station manned the camera.

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He supposedly didn’t know how to use the camera, but did manage to capture the epic moment.
You can read more about the first powered flight here.

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Ferries crossing between Hatteras and Ocracoke Island.

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Dunes at Ocracoke National Park Campground

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A small example of the many piles of debris along the roadside.
Rain from Hurricane Matthew flooded Hatteras and Ocracoke in areas locals had never seen water before.

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Typical Outer Banks vehicle

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Ocracoke Lighthouse

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Leaving Ocracoke on ferry to Cedar Island

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We barely made it onto the Havelock ferry

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A bit of a tight squeeze. Glad we didn’t have to wait another hour.

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Sunset over Pamlico Sound, North Carolina from the ferry.

In case you lost count, the eight Eastern Seaboard states we traveled through in just seven days included: RI, CT, NY, NJ, DE, MD, VA, and NC. We are presently taking a bit of a breather with Dexter and Nancy at their beautiful new home in Oriental, NC. They recently moved here from Rhode Island.

Posted by: sunnyharvy | June 8, 2016

Home At Last!

We got to our home in Rhode Island a couple of days ago after driving some 45,000 miles over the course of 2 years and 8 months…whew. Even I can’t believe what we did!

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HaRVy happy to be home once again. (Please ignore the weeds.)

Now it’s time to wrap up the final reporting on our adventure. In my previous post we had just crossed over the border into Canada along the north shore of Lake Superior. After our morning tour of Fort William we were back on the road. Thanks to generous Boondockers Welcome hosts, we camped overnight near the shore of Whitesand Lake near Schreiber, Ontario.

The sun finally came out for our last afternoon and evening on Lake Superior while we were camped at Pancake Bay Provincial Park. Got the bikes out for a little ride and took a couple short walks on the beach.

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3 kilometer sandy beach on Lake Superior at Pancake Bay Provincial Park.

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Lunch stop at Bruce Mines harbor on Lake Huron.

We were lucky enough to find several Boonodockers Welcome hosts on this portion of our trip home. We thank them all for generously allowing us to stay on their property. We hope to host some boondockers at our home this summer…come on down! Our next overnight boondock was with Doug near Sudbury, Ontario. We spent a couple of hours together pouring over maps and telling traveling tales.

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OK, will do.

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Snowmobile suspension bridge over French River. The largest of its kind in the world.

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Wild Columbine – love it.

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Another picturesque lunch stop. This one at Sturgeon Bay Provincial Park.

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The “Big Chute” Marine Railway, Lock 44 on the 386 kilometer Trent-Severn Waterway. The only lock of its kind in North America.

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The carriage picks up boats here.

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And carries them down this hill.

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To this lake, which is 58 feet lower. Unfortunately, we did not get to see it in action.

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The next day we got luckier as we watched three boats ride this mammoth Lift Lock at Peterborough.

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It’s pretty amazing how it uses only the weight of water to operate.

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This is Lock 21 on the Trent-Severn Waterway. We’d love to boat there someday.

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Cool tunnel next to the lock we just had to take haRVy through.

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The lovely garden we camped in at the home of BW hosts Ron and Pat near Picton.

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Wooded pathway to their lower 40 acres of land.

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Pat’s creativity was evident throughout their property.

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A quick 15-minute ride on the FREE Glenora Ferry took us towards Kingston, Ontario.

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Our front row position almost felt like we were driving the boat.

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Lunch stop on shore of Lake Ontario.

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Camped near the shore of Charleston Lake north of Gananoque where we also took a look around.

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An enjoyable paddle after dinner.

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A nice pink sunset sky at the end our time on the water.

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Alongside highway 68 near Ogsdenburg, New York after we crossed the border back into the USA.

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Just love the ADKs. Almost felt like home we’ve been there so often.

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This was our first time at Lake Eaton. Nice site just a few feet from the water.

Our night onboard haRVy at Lake Eaton was supposed to be our last of this grand adventure we’ve been on for nearly three years, but Mother Nature had other ideas. Less than an hour after a delicious lunch at our favorite ADK eatery in Chestertown, the wind and rain became intense enough to make driving a bit uncomfortable. Since we had no schedule to meet, we pulled into yet another Boondockers Welcome driveway in Saratoga Springs to camp. The next day was sunny and clear providing a very pleasant drive to our home in Tiverton, Rhode Island.

I am looking forward to taking a break from blogging, but next time haRVy is on the road I will be back! In the meantime, come visit us this summer. Y’all welcome! Sincerely, Sunny Harvy.



























Posted by: sunnyharvy | June 6, 2016

Still Out Here

It is a LONG drive from California to Rhode Island! Especially when you choose to take the northern route over the Great Lakes. We don’t have any real schedule to meet, so we’re (mostly) enjoying the ride.

Just before crossing the Canadian border from Minnesota, we stopped at Grand Portage National Monument where we learned about the extensive fur trading that went on in this area in the early 1800s. The partnership between the Grand Portage Ojibwe and the North West Company was reportedly quite agreeable. The beaver pelts the natives brought to this bustling depot found their way to Montreal, New York, London and Paris to be made into fashionable hats. They traded the pelts for items such as blankets and metal cooking pots that made life a bit easier for them.

Our tour included an excellent video presentation at the Heritage Center as well as a self-guided tour of the depot that has been reconstructed in its exact original location.

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A foot powered lathe being demonstrated.

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Outdoor kitchen.

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Bedroom/office for one of the North West Company’s executives.

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Some of the goods available for trade.

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Examples of the furs brought in by the Ojibwe.

One of the interesting things we learned was that the Jay Treaty between Great Britain and the United States acknowledged American control of the area where the Grand Portage depot was located. To avoid American taxation the North West Company moved their depot further north. The new fur trading post was located on the Kaministiquia River and named Fort William after William McGillivray, chief director of the North West Company from 1804-1821.

Today, with 57 heritage and modern buildings on 250 acres, Fort William Historical Park offers a vivid and rich tapestry of fur trade life, running the gamut from culture to crafts, medicine to business, domestic life to heritage farming. With our curiosity piqued at Grand Portage, we felt compelled to visit Fort William next.

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We took the first tour of the day.

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Nice to see the fort without a lot of tourists about.

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Shops where several different trades are demonstrated.

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Onsite working farm.

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One of the interiors recreated with incredible historic detail.

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Birch bark canoe building shop.

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Tinsmith working at his craft.

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We were there very early in their season, so much was still getting setup.

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The busy cooperage.

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The complex has camping right outside the gates so we took advantage of that.

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