Thursday, August 30, 2018

It's Starting to Feel Like New England

August 20-26, 2018
Leroy - Fayetteville - Austerlitz, New York

When we started planning and prepping for our new life on the road I discovered the wonderful world of blogs. Some bloggers were already on the road, others like ourselves were still planning and dreaming. Getting to know Sue and Dave, and their darling pups Lewis and Sasha, on Beluga's Excellent Adventure meant also getting to know their beautiful farm and lakeside property. Once the farm was sold and the lake cottage was built they hit the road as fulltimers. We've had a great time meeting up with them in different states over the last few years.

Two years ago we were in the Finger Lakes area, but they were on the west coast. Somehow when planning this year's quick route across the top of New York I spaced on their being at the lake cottage during the same time. Nooo! We have to stop and see them, so I make a couple of reservation changes and confirm they're going to be home. 

Monday we drive small country roads for 60 miles to Leroy, New York. There's not much in Leroy, but there is the Timberline Lake Campground which is perfect for a one night stop. With 90% seasonal residents, it's a small park with a few over-night sites on the upper tier along I-90. FHUs and 50 amp, but we just plug in and head out again. 

Forty minutes later we're pulling into a driveway along the water. And there's our friends :-)))

It's perfect in every way. We enjoy happy hour on the boat at the little dock then a delicious summer BBQ on the patio. Dave hands Bill a fishing pole and I'm not sure we'll see any more of him, but after catching a couple little ones, he joins us back at the house.

As good times always do, the visit is over too soon, and we need to get back home. We're so grateful for these good friends.

Sue and Dave

Tessa isn't real sure about the dock, taking her time back to shore. Isn't that the most perfect cottage?

Happy fisherman. We learn that the overcast skies are the smoke from the west coast fires. Wow!

This patio has seen a lot of visitors this summer. We're so glad we had the chance to be here as well!
We drive by their "former" farmhouse and big red barn. One of those big stunners that look like a great place to live and raise a family and lots of critters. Love getting to see it after all these years!

Tuesday we're back on the expressway. We learned the hard way that they only take cash at the tollbooths and we're prepared this time. 115 miles and $28 later we arrive at Green Lake State Park

With level asphalt pads, large green sites, 50 amp FHUs, and surrounded by trees, this is one of the prettiest state parks we've stayed in. Although we have open skies above us, our satellite doesn't connect over the trees behind us. 

Our large site in the full hook ups loop.
Tessa is overdue for grooming so she has an appointment in nearby Syracuse. While she's having her spa time, Bill finds a little dive for breakfast. As is often the case, the food is wonderful. 

With a little time to kill we check out some of the city. There's always something interesting to look at. Soon we get the call and pick up our girl. It's only been a couple hours but we're all happy to see each other :-)

All clean and fluffed.

We don't usually do the bows - but these little bees are so cute, they stay in for a week.
The state park is well maintained with two small lakes - Green Lake and Round Lake. There are a few trails to the water, and a pretty drive through the forest.
Another very green three-hour drive east on Thursday takes us to Woodland Hills Campground. The last 1/2 mile is on a dirt road through the trees. Fortunately the temps have been cooler so I don't pay the extra fees for using our AC. Our back-in site is at a weird angle, but we're able to get level and our front yard view is sweet. The shade trees are nice, but once again we don't pick up satellite. Both cell and WiFi are sporadic.

Throughout our stay we experience a first for us. Campground announcements from loud speakers throughout the park! We are told when it's dark and that no bike or golf cart riding is allowed now. We are reminded of upcoming events. It's definitely different, and makes us laugh every time. With all the kids playing and riding and fishing it feels like summer camp - all three of us are entertained.

It gets busy around the water on the weekend, but overall it's a beautiful and peaceful site.
We're in the Berkshires, and that unmistakable feel of New England is everywhere. We start out in Stockbridge and take our time driving around the country. Because the Berkshires are a whole area, you end up in interesting locations when you enter it in the GPS :-)

Lots of historic memorials and 200 year old churches.

Not usually something I look for in a financial institution.

How cute is this B&B?

Next door is this red shingled beauty.

Love the chimney.

The Farmington River runs through the little hamlet of New Boston.

We want this view from our front porch when we eventually land - perfect!

Crossing the Farmington River, this vintage covered bridge is a private driveway.
Lots of birdsong along the marshes, but we don't see them.
Months ago I bought a jigsaw puzzle, but haven't had the perfect spot to sit outside without wind to put it together. It's just a 400 piece, but with a few adult beverages we have fun completing it in our lovely front yard. 

I have to pick up another one now!
We don't always visit state capitals, but Albany is "just up the road" so on Saturday we make the drive. Lots of historic buildings with some uber-modern structures along the Hudson River, it's worth the trip. Like our own capital, Sacramento, the nice downtown is surrounded by impoverished neighborhoods. 

A very impressive capitol - it fills a whole city block.

The Education Department is nearly as large - this is half the front.

A modern, marble museum and theater structure.

Then there's the "Egg" which is more boat or space ship to us. It houses two large theaters.
Delicate arches of an old church.

A few of the older buildings have a definite "fort feel" to them.

Another view of the capitol from the back. Beautiful!
Although the old row houses have seen better days, they  maintain a feel of historic pride.

Hudson River
Last night while grilling dinner, Bill met our neighbor. He and his wife have spent 15 summers at the park. We're invited to come over and visit this evening.

There's a pig roast at the park but we rarely participate in these events. Instead, we enjoy dinner at home then walk the 5 yards to see the neighbors.

Kyle and Laurie have lived in the area most of their lives, with kids and grand kids that keep them here. We have a good time getting to know them, sitting around the fire, and watching a few kids fish the pond. As we're saying our good-nights, a young boy pulls a large bass. Lots of excitement, simple pleasures.

August 20 our darling Maximus turned 2!! These little guys are growing up too fast.

Sunday we'll leave New York for Salem, Massachusetts. A big bucket list place for me - can't wait!


  1. Love Tessa's new "do" and oh, all that gorgeous architecture!! Safe travels.

    1. She always "acts" like she's prettier after the groomer :-)

  2. We’ve never stopped in Albany...looks like we need to do that, Jodee! Very pretty.

    1. It was a fun day trip, and especially on a weekend when the government buildings were all closed so very few people.

  3. So glad your travels took to Dave and Sue's for a visit. They do have a beautiful spot, don't they! Now if we could airlift it to the west somewhere:)

    Who knew Albany had so much to see. Kevin has a full day lay over there in Sept, so I was sharing the places you found.

    Maximus is grow up so quickly. Seems like only yesterday that he arrived in this world.

    1. That lake cottage is perfect in every way except for that pesky eastern address!

      Maximus' little brother is due in the next couple weeks. It does seem like it was his arrival not too long ago!

  4. Love your “picture” of Sue and Dave. Can’t believe the West Coast fire smoke is all the way in New York. This is so sad. We really liked the New York State Parks we stayed in around the Finger Lakes. Green Lakes looks great. Did you miss Watkins Glen? That’s a must!! Sounds like you are having a bit of a forced electronic vacation. Good for us all. Love the view out what looks like your door at Woodland Hills. The B&B looks like it just dropped in from the Cotswolds in England. The pink one needs a beach community. Hardly a staid New England color. What do the neighbors think? LOL!! But an absolutely great chimney. I think I’ll need not only that view but a covered bridge as my driveway. Somebody should spruce up that darling set of row houses in Albany. Anxious to see what you’ll think of Salem. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAXIMUS!

    1. I've seen that little metal statue for years so it was meaningful to see it in person :-) I've now missed Watkins Glen twice while in Northern NY - I'll probably have to turn in my RV card now! Both the large house and the covered bridge were quite "bright" for the area! I loved those row houses!!

  5. How fun that you made a detour to see Sue and Dave—I know that was a good time! So excited that you're exploring New England. I lived in Boston for 10 years and loved it (although the winters are too damned cold). I'm interested to see what you discover. I know you'll find all kinds of things for us to add to our list for next fall. That cottage in the Berkshires looks like it's straight out of a fairy tale!
    Birthday blessings to your sweet little Maximus. :-)

    1. That cottage was the cutest thing I've seen in the country!! The roof is fascinating - wish I could have seen inside. Boston is a pretty city with wonderful history, unfortunately we could have used some of that cold for our very hot visit.

  6. The architecture is superb! Guess I miss that kind of stuff by not visiting towns and cities. You give a great tour.

    1. Thanks! It's a fun break but we prefer being out in nature.

  7. I love the architecture of older buildings. Sometimes photos make them look even more interesting than when you're in front of it as different details show up. Happy 2nd Birthday to Maximus :-)

    1. Those individual details are so fun to check out with the zoom lens! And the contrast of the new with the old is always a favorite too.