We are underway once again. We started a journey north to see foliage and just escape the day to day at home. The Doodle is running well and has had it maintenance done, the fridge and pantry are packed and Harper is in her bed between the seats as we roll out of Rhode Island and head toward Lowville New York. As we headed up Route 146 in Rhode Island we began to see color, right from the start. As we moved onto Route 90, the Massachusetts Turnpike, the color began to intensify and we became awaretaht Autumn is upon us. We moved west and into the mountains stopping only once for coffee. The White Mountains and the Berkshires were a blaze of color, even under the overcast skies that we had. Soon we were nearing the Hudson River and the border of New York State and something quite surprising happened. The color disappeared and the trees were all green once again. Amazing. As we headed west from Troy, following the Erie Canal we reminisced about the time we had cruised the canal, the summer of 1999 in our little 32 foot boat. That year we did the Great Loop - from Rhode Island to Chicago to Mobile to Key West and back up the East Coast to Rhode Island, all at 7 mph by boat. That’s a story for another day or link here for the ancient website I made back then.
We stopped for lunch in Amsterdam, New York at a nice little neighborhood dive called Sporty’s Southside. The service was great and the portions overwhelming. We ate half and had the rest the following day for lunch. Two lunches for the price of one. We filled the tank before leaving Amsterdam and I figured we were averaging about 17 MPG, and I am pleased with that. As we headed West there were only small spots of color here and there, the fall foliage hasn’t happened here yet, but the overcast skies departed and we drove along in nice sunshine. Siri guided us along as we left the turnpike and followed very scenic back roads to Lowville. The farmlands and houses and barns are a painters dream in this area. This is a very scenic area, even without full fall color. We had made reservations at Tug Hill Vineyards, through Harvest Hosts, a collective of vineyards, breweries, farms, museums and golf courses. The stay is ‘free’ but hey, it’s a vineyard so you gotta buy a bottle or two. The people here were very nice and we met a nice couple, Deb and Ken who were also traveling by van. We told lots of stories and hopefully will meet up again with them, they seemed to be very nice folks. We went in to town to make a few last minute food purchases of things forgotten and made our way back to the vineyard for the night.
With the Doodle all snuggled in amongst some raspberry bushes and blueberry bushes we made supper and did a bit of hiking about and played ball with Harper who was leash free running around up and down the berry rows. What a pleasant evening and soon the sun was down and the moon was up as we looked out over the valley and Eastward toward the Adirondacks. With the bright moon I didn’t have dark skies for any good star shots, but with he right conditions this would be a very spectacular place for some astrophotography.
When the sun rose the temperature had dropped to the frosty point so awe put the furnace on while we made breakfast. Harper didn’t really want to go outside and walk in the frosty grass but with a little bit of encouragement we made the morning walk, she had on her fleece and I was still in my pajamas. It was a lazy morning after a long days drive and we didn’t get underway until just about 11:00. Driving down into Lowville looking for ‘the big cow’ we found a lovely little town and ultimately, the big cow at the dairy store. They had an amazing selection of all things cheese, along with jellies and meats, all made there I Lowville. The also sold real farm stuff like tags for you cows ears and ear punches and other farm bits I didn’t recognize. This store is the real deal. We spent way too much on cheese and meats and jellies and such, but we couldn’t resist. Poor Harper had to wait in the van while we shopped but when we returned we walked her in the yard with ‘the big cow’ and she had a few moments of ‘crazy dog’. - it was a fun morning.
The drive to Wellesley Island State Park only took about an hour, a civilized about of drive time. About two miles short of the park Siri, to us to stop and walk the rest of the way..we continued to drive and discover a wonderful park overlooking the Saint Lawrence River and the Thousand Islands area. What a beautiful place. We drove to our site (number 46) and had lunch (sandwiches from yesterday) and took Harper for another romp. After lunch we drove into the nearest town, Clayton, and poked in and out of shops along Main Street and saw all sorts of wonderful things but bought nothing, although we did find an ice cream shop on the way back to the park, and felt obligated to stop. Mmmmmmm.
It only takes a few minutes to get completely set up, we leveled the van, hooled up water and electric, sat out our chairs and settled in all proper like. We are here for a few days. So with a beautiful sunset, a warm supper in our tummies and three Canadian stations on the TV we settled in for the evening.