Sunday, September 25, 2016

Leaving New York

Tuesday, September 20 - Saturday, September 24, 2016
Clayton and Chateaugay, New York and South Hero, Vermont

We take our time over second cup on Tuesday morning, enjoying the beautiful water views from our front yard. 

St Lawrence River at Merry Knoll Campground
Mid-day we meet John and Pam at Coyote Moon for a final meal (for this time) along the river. Per usual the conversation is enjoyable - and entertaining - and the weather still perfect. Tessa lies as close to Pam as she can, she knows what's what.

Tessa only has eyes for Pam
They are doing some painting at her mom's house and "want" to get back to it, so we part ways on Main Street. We so enjoy their company, we'll catch up with each other again down the road. Love being able to say that!

Sure had a great time with these two!
We take our time walking the little town again, picking up a pair of Keene sandals and some yummy cheese.

A quick stop at the grocery store and back home to get ready for our Wednesday departure.

Highways 12, 37 and 2 are all good roads with pretty scenery. Randy (GPS) takes us on 37B which is probably shorter in distance, but it's a rough and narrow route which I'm sure takes us longer. John's suggested detour on Hwy 122 is a much better :-)

We stop for one night at High Falls Campground in Chateaugay, NY. Guess what they have here?

Site #2
A large park with seasonal sites along the river (no water views), lots of shade, huge playground, showers and laundry, and yes - a waterfall that is only accessible from the park. We're one of two in the over-night section. Many of the seasonal locations look like they're closed up until next summer.

Thursday morning we walk to High Falls on the Chateaugay River. It's beautiful (and high) through the trees. There is a rickety-looking and steep set of wooden stairs that look like they might take you to the bottom. Not me. You maybe.

It begins
High Falls, Chateaugay, NY

Pretty colors on the forest floor
Creepy bugs in the branches
Rain is expected so we get on the road before 9:30. 

Once we cross Lake Champlain and enter Vermont - state number 18 - Randy makes another short-cut on Lake Shore Drive. This one is also narrow, but runs along the water's edge and is a real treat!! She's forgiven for her earlier poor judgement.

We really enjoyed our month in New York, even with the hot and humid weather. Being from the west coast, we think of New York as the City. Our time here has shown us how inaccurate that is. 

Apple Island RV Resort is a very nice, clean and peaceful park at the south point of Lake Champlain. The store is just across Hwy 2 from the marina, but the campground is higher up in the trees with few water views. FHUs with 50 amp and good water pressure. Gravel roads with grass and gravel sites. More seasonal sites than overnight, all very well maintained. Swimming pool and hot tub, restrooms, showers and laundry.

For the first time, we change sites after moving into the first one where our satellite won't connect. The new spot has a great view until we get neighbors on Friday afternoon, but it's level and has lots of space on the living side. And satellite works well for Sunday :-)

Before the rain arrives, Bill finds a fun spot for lunch in an apple orchard. The Accidental Farmer is a young guy and his labradoodle with an outdoor kitchen and seating. Live music on Friday nights, open from May through October. We enjoy our burgers, buy some maple syrup from the little store, and return home as the first drops fall.

Pick-your-own orchard at Allenholm Farms
Just 9 months old - a big, friendly boy
It rains all night - wonderful, steady rain without wind or thunder. For the first time in months, I turn on the heater. The heater!

Friday we take advantage of having a large city nearby (8 miles). Burlington is the largest city in Vermont, and home to the University of Vermont. Both auto and pedestrian traffic is heavy here, but for some reason it doesn't bother us. 

Tessa gets dropped off for a bath and nail trim so we spend a couple hours at the ECHO Leahy Center on Lake Champlain. A small center focused on the eco-system of the water and surrounding area, it is a nicely done education facility.

A World of Fish
Several reptiles and amphibians live here, either for rehab or because they are unable to return to the wild. We enjoy the presentation on the frogs, some who are not native, which includes their feeding. The young woman shares a lot of information, and is good with the youngsters who crowd in to see the fruit flies, worms and crickets become lunch.

Exhibit on invasive species in the lake including Zebra Mussels - completely encased this bicycle in two years
Eastern Box Turtle - this one's red eyes identify it as a male
Lake Champlain has its own serpent - Champ!
American Bullfrog, the largest native frog in North America
Cool effects look like you're walking under water
Common Garter Snake
Explaining that the non-toxin fruit flies mean their Poison Dart Frogs are not poisonous
Still brightly colored, but not dangerous
There are three children's areas with interactive exhibits. The terrain-changer is addictive. Place your hand over a spot and it "brings the rain". Change the weather pattern by building mountains, digging canyons - it is soooo much fun!

A bin of "terrain" in varying elevations
Hold your hand in one place to make it "rain". A very powerful feeling - could go to your head!
Drag a finger and make a canyon, changing the weather pattern.
While I'm playing God, Bill gets a call from his aunt who has just returned from taking his mom to the doctor. Mom's health has been up and down since the end of July, and he has discussed several options with the facility where she lives. Her sister's report confirms what he already knows, that Mom needs to move up to the next level of care. Needless to say this puts a damper on the rest of the day.

I jump through some hoops to get my prescriptions filled since our insurance company has changed their policy on mailing them out of state. Paying out of pocket and waiting for reimbursement is never my first choice. Still, we are blessed to have fully paid insurance so I'll do what I need to do.

We pick up our clean fluffy dog, grab some tasty fish and chips at Union Jack, and head for home in the 5 o'clock traffic.

All clean again.
One of my Vermont bucket-list items is the Shelburne Museum, just 20 minutes from us. Bill has phone calls and paperwork to complete for his mom, and isn't really feeling like a day at a museum, so I'm out the door at 9 AM for a solo adventure. Tessa stays home to "help" Dad.

My tastes are definitely eclectic, finding joy in many different genres and time periods. Americana is probably my very favorite, and the Shelburne is one of the best places to see everything from art to structures to transportation to textiles to furniture to collections of collections. I'm very excited!!

And I'm early. Fortunately the Farmers' Market is open just down the street so I spend some time and a little money there first. 

Our campground provides a coupon in their packet so I save $6 off the $24 museum entry fee. Sweet! By the end of the day I would gladly pay full price and more, it's that great.

Although it's Saturday, only three other people are here when I arrive. A large tent with "Private Event" warns of larger numbers arriving later. 

I pick up a map and step outside. At that point I know this will need its own post. Maybe two.

Two of 39 buildings at the Shelburne.


  1. Burlington is a great place. We like the city campground but bet it is already closed for the season. Have fun peeping at those leaves.

    1. We're keeping an eye on when places are closing along our route the next couple months - not something we're used to thinking about!! The leaves are very slowly turning, we're hoping they give us a show before we have to turn south :-))

  2. It is great to know you'll see friends "down the road." The falls are spectacular. I too think city when thinking New York but you and others are bringing me around. I've been running heat for weeks. Love the terrain-changer. The kid in me could play with that for hours.

    1. I didn't find the info on what it was made of, but believe me you could play with it all day! With the heat finally behind us I have twice as much energy - hope you get a break soon.

  3. So glad to hear you found some Keens! I, too, brought some cheese back with us (we decided to come back to York on Sunday). I saw a small Tessa down by the river the other day. She could have been Tessa's twin, but didn't have the same cute personality:)

    You certainly found some neat places as you moved on. Love the waterfall! The ECHO Leahy Center sounds like my kind of place! I really enjoy all the environmental info and the displays and hands on sure looked great. How cool to create weather and physical features! Sorry to hear things aren't improving for Bill's mother. Hope decisions can be made from the east coast:)

    1. Would you believe the Keenes were for Bill?? Yep, he found a pair in his size in that better style. Since I'm already back in boots, he got the new sandals :-) The ECHO is nearly all hands-on so you'd love it.

  4. Ah lucky you, having several opportunities to meet up with Pam and John this year! Looks like you've found some nice places to stay too.

    1. We really have been fortunate with all the water views we've had, and the little parks have been great. Always fun to meet up with friends in our travels!!

  5. I felt the same way about the Finger Lakes, glad I went despite the heat and humidity of this summer but I’d sure like to go back again when the area isn’t in a drought. Wish I’d still been there when you guys and John and Pam were there. Love Tessa’s Pam fixation! I know you are much braver than I in the driving you have done with your rig but trusting a GPS to pick roads is WAY beyond me. You are intrepid. You have shown me a waterfall I didn’t see so many thanks. It looks more full than what we saw this summer. That exhibit on the Zebra mussel really shows pretty graphically how invasive they are. Looks like a great museum. We don’t usually hit “cities” but the pictures of the terrain-changer sure make me want to do that. What a great education about the power of water. I do love the hands on museums. Who dreams up these great things? Looking forward to your Shelburne post. It’s been years since I was there.

    1. I "over-ride" the GPS sometimes, if I know for sure there's a better way from using Street View the night before, and sometimes I don't catch that it's sending us a different way until we've already turned - on these smaller New England roads we've been lucky :-) I still don't know why Burlington's cityness didn't bother me. I really love Vermont though!!