Sunday Gulch Trail, the Black Hills, South Dakota, Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Sunday Gulch Trail, the Black Hills, South Dakota, Tuesday, June 16, 2020
Sunday Gulch Trail, the Black Hills, South Dakota, Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Travel Day Along the St. Lawrence Seaway - Tuesday, July 30, 2019

On this trip, our timing seems to be impeccable. I don't know how we do it, but things work out for us.

First, our destination today is Wilmington, New York. This past weekend was the Ironman Triathlon in Lake Placid, one of the triathlons to qualify for the Ironman in Kona, Hawaii. The race was on Sunday. Many people stayed until yesterday to leave the area. We arrived today to a lot fewer crowds.

We had a couple of different routes we could take to Wilmington. One way was to take State Route 3 from Watertown through the Adirondack Mountains. The other way was along the St. Lawrence Seaway. We chose the latter in hopes of seeing a ship go through the locks at Dwight D. Eisenhower Lock. Bob had checked the shipping schedule, but he thought ships were about three hours away. We went anyway.

We left Clayton, New York at about 8:30 a.m. to drive along the St. Lawrence Seaway in New York. The highway had very little traffic, was mostly level, and had nice shoulders. But the best part of this drive is the scenery! Driving along the St. Lawrence Seaway is beautiful. We saw one big tanker heading upriver. There were bays and ponds and rivers all along the way. 

People we had talked to told us we needed to go under the lock in a tunnel to get to the north viewing area. So, when we drove up from the highway, we passed by the entrance to the Dwight D. Eisenhower Visitor Center and went through the tunnel. 

The entrance we missed. We didn't expect it
so quickly after we got on this road.
Through the 13' 6" tunnel (no problemo).
We got to the north viewing area and very quickly noticed that we could not get close to the lock, fences kept us out. A ship was at the entrance to the lock! 

We quickly took the 5th wheel back under the tunnel and made our way to the Eisenhower Visitor Center. As you can see in the photo below, the parking lot is almost completely empty. There were maybe five other vehicles there.

Rigamarole and Beauty in the Visitor Center lot.
When we walked up to the first building you see by the parking lot, the security guard came out and told us if the lot fills up we would have to move our rig. Bob said, "Oh, yes, of course." The guard told us a lot of times when people read that a ship is coming through the locks they race in and fill up the parking. But then he also said he doubted they'd get that many people on a weekday morning.

The guard was so concerned about our parking job, he didn't remember to check my bag. Crazy.

Anyway, Bob and I had a big laugh about the lot filling up. There were more birds in the lot than cars.

We made it to the viewing platform in time to see the ship pull into the lock. The ship would rise up 40 feet. It took about 30 minutes from the time the ship pulled in until it was raised up and left the lock heading upriver.

The ship nestled 40' down in the lock.
And here she is up at river level.
A close up showing how big this thing is.
The ship is the Algoma Harvester on a return trip to Canada to pick up iron ore. We saw some huge factories on the Canadian side of the river, but we don't know what was being made in them.

The ship is underway now.
In addition to watching the ship go through the lock, you could check out a couple of outside displays, and a Visitor Center with a 20-minute movie narrated by Walter Cronkite about how they made the St. Lawrence River navigable for large ships; however, the supertankers being built today will not fit through these locks. 

The valves that let water into the lock.

A map of the seaway system from the Great Lakes
to the Atlantic Ocean.
The display below is pretty interesting. The bottles contain samples of the 30 principal cargoes shipped via the seaway.


The shipping channel buoys and my boy.
After watching the movie, we checked out the gift shop (didn't buy anything). Then we had a lunch consisting of chicken salad sandwiches, macaroni salad, and cherries in the 5th wheel. We weren't fighting traffic in that parking lot! It was even emptier when we left.

Thunderstorms were brewing just west of us and it was time to skedaddle to Wilmington, New York. The roads through the mountains were fine; no steep grades or sharp curves. From Massena, New York, we took Hwy 37, to Hwy 30, to Hwy 86 through Saranac Lake and Lake Placid. We did get a really heavy downpour along our way. It didn't last too long.

It was pretty hairy hauling the 5th wheel through Lake Placid which was chock full of pedestrians, a long, narrow main street, semi delivery trucks blocking lanes, and people who didn't know how to parallel park their trucks and were sticking out into the street. But Bob navigated the truck-infested streets with aplomb. We made it safely through the maze.

The Lake Placid/Whiteface Mountain KOA is huge! We have a pull-through site in a grove of trees. There is no grass around, just lots of forest floor dirt/sand. At least it's dry and level.

Over the next three days, we plan to go to Ausable Chasm (waterfalls), High Falls Gorge, Roaring Brook Falls, Beaver Meadow Falls, Rainbow Falls, Stag Brook Falls, drive Veterans Highway to the top of Whiteface Mountain, and do a 10k Volksmarch in Lake Placid. 

Life is good.



Monday, July 29, 2019

A Walk Across the St. Lawrence Seaway - Monday, July 29, 2019

In the past week, a number of driving trips back and forth across the 1000 Islands Bridge over the St. Lawrence Seaway to our campsite at Wellesley Island State Park convinced us we needed to walk the bridge over the river. At 11:30 a.m. today, we parked at the North Country Welcome Center on the south side of the bridge. 

North Country Welcome Center

A quick stop in the Welcome Center and we knew it would be a one-half mile walk to the middle of the bridge and one mile, one way if we continued to the end of the bridge on Wellesley Island. It was easy to walk from our parking spot to the entrance of the bridge. 

Thousand Islands Bridge over the
St. Lawrence River
The government entity responsible for
inspecting and maintaining the bridge.
We have now entered the designated pedestrian/bike pathway over the bridge. The driving portion of the bridge is only one narrow lane in each direction with no room for pedestrians or bikes. This is the bridge we took our 5th wheel on to go to Wellesley Island State Park. This is I-81, the main highway to Canada from Watertown, NY. All the semis use this bridge as well.  

Pedestrian/bike path on the bridge.
Even though this looks steep, the climb is actually gradual. I didn't get out of breath at all. The views from the bridge are awesome.

Getting closer to the top.
The St. Lawrence Seaway...no salties or lakies
today. (Hint: Those are the types of ships,
saltwater or freshwater.)
Wow! Looking up at the top.
Checking the east for ships. 
Two jet skis below us.
As we looked down we saw some of the houses along the river near the base of the bridge. Does anyone else see a "face" on the tan house to the left of the blue-roofed house? The windows look like two eyes and a mouth.

Do you see the face on the tan house?
Jet ski on the river.
Looking west we saw pleasure boats, a lighthouse,
and some islands.
Bob at the top of the pedestrian path.
I made it too.
A nice yacht below us.
Zooming in farther west to see more islands.
When we were at the top of the pedestrian path, three guys climbed up from under the bridge. It must have been their lunchtime. I asked them if they work up there every day and they said they do. Their job entails scraping off old paint, putting on new paint, and checking for loose bolts. They help keep the bridge in good shape so it will last a long time. What a view they have from up there. They said they know most of the ships that come through back and forth and they wave at them.

We returned back to the car and went grocery shopping. Then we called it a day and headed back to our 5th wheel. 

Oh, except Bob went out again to fuel up the pick-up truck for our travel day tomorrow. He also walked up the bridge again to watch the sunset. He didn't see any big ships and he said the sunset wasn't all that great so I didn't miss anything by staying in the rig.

Tomorrow, we will have a long travel day to Lake Placid, New York. We will travel along the St. Lawrence Seaway and stop at Massena to see if any ships are going through the locks.

Travel bug out.


Sunday, July 28, 2019

Taking Stock - Sunday, July 28, 2019

Well, well, look who's here? Bob is going to help me do a recap of what we've done in the past 4-1/2 months. We figure we're a little over half-way into our trip (139 days). Our best estimate is that we've driven over 14,000 miles in 20 states.

Let's take stock of where we've been and what we've been doing. From January 1 to June 29, 2019, I have walked 706.5 miles, well on my way to my walking goal of 1,000 miles this year. [Hint: We've been so busy, I haven't written a blog in over two months!]

Before we get started on all the details, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY SISTER, JANYCE. She went to a birthday breakfast with Mom, my brother Frank, and my sis-in-law Gina at La Provence restaurant in Lake Grove, Oregon, this morning. 

One of my favorite things: I absolutely love springtime. The way we planned our trip, we had spring all the way from Tennessee to the Finger Lakes Region of New York. For those first three months, each location we visited had dogwoods, azaleas, rhododendrons, roses, hydrangeas, lilies, snowball bushes, and many other flowers in bloom. It has been lovely. 

Conventions (so far):
  1. Escapees Escapade RV rally, March 17-21, Pima County Fairgrounds, Tucson, Arizona.
  2. American Volkssport Association (AVA: America's Walking Club):
    • Pre-Convention Walks:
      • Portsmouth, New Hampshire, June 9
      • Danvers, Massachusetts, June 10
      • Springfield, Massachusetts, June 11
    • Convention Walks:
      • Albany, New York 5k fun walk with an ice cream social, June 11
      • Cohoes/Waterford, New York, June 12
      • Saratoga National Historical Park and Schuylerville, New York, June 13
      • Downtown Albany, New York, June 14
    • Post-Convention Walks:
      • Cooperstown, New York, 6k, June 15
      • Niagara Night Walk, New York, 5k, June 15
      • Buffalo, New York, War of 1812 6k walk, June 16
  3. (Upcoming) U.S. FreedomWalk Festival, Arlington, Virginia, Oct. 19-21
State Capitals (so far - in the order we walked them):
  1. Phoenix, Arizona, March 23
  2. Nashville, Tennessee, April 9
  3. Atlanta, Georgia, April 19
  4. Columbia, South Carolina, April 23
  5. Raleigh, North Carolina, April 26
  6. Richmond, Virginia, April 29
  7. Trenton, New Jersey, May 6
  8. Annapolis, Maryland, May 10
  9. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, May 13
  10. Providence, Rhode Island, June 3
  11. Hartford, Connecticut, June 4
  12. Boston, Massachusetts, June 7
  13. Concord, New Hampshire, June 8
  14. Albany, New York, June 14
Friends and family (in the order we visited):
  1. Rick and Jan Roemmick, Vail, Arizona
  2. Skip and Sally Mendenhall, Carefree, Arizona
  3. Charis and Mike Gulino, Scottsdale
  4. Louise Alton (visited us from Las Vegas)
  5. Laura Alton (visited us from Las Vegas)
  6. Charlie and Debbie Smith, Sun City, Arizona
  7. Sue Haynes (childhood friend and next-door neighbor for years), now in Rossville, Georgia
  8. Anna Cade (blogger friend), Raleigh, North Carolina
  9. Dave and Faye Malouf, Lums Pond, traveling in their 5th wheel and we found each other in the same campground at the same time.
  10. John Baumann, Bob's cousin, Newport News, Virginia
  11. Nicki and Paul Tiffany (long-time online friend), Delmarva Peninsula, Cape Charles, Virginia (their winter home)
  12. Cynthia Myers, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware (friend of a friend, now our friend, too.)
  13. Susan and Darren Medlin (from San Antonio) at Volksmarch Convention
  14. Mark Johnson (from San Antonio) at Volksmarch Convention
  15. Pat Roberts (formerly from San Antonio) at Volksmarch Convention
  16. Mike and Kathy Schwencke  (from San Antonio) at Volksmarch Convention
  17. Ellen Ott (from San Antonio) at Volksmarch Convention
  18. Susan and John Ives (from San Antonio) at Volksmarch Convention
  19. Andy Thomas (from San Antonio) at Volksmarch Convention
  20. Joanne and Carlin Forinash (from San Antonio) at Volksmarch Convention
  21. Derrill Rothermich (from El Paso) at Volksmarch Convention
  22. Audrey Vertucci (from San Antonio) at Volksmarch Convention
  23. Randy and Marge (from Texas) at Volksmarch Convention
  24. Susan and Joe Noonan (from San Antonio) at Volksmarch Convention
  25. Susan Fine (from Texas) at Volksmarch Convention
  26. Sammy Hunnicut and his wife (soon to be in San Antonio) at Volksmarch Convention
  27. Nicki and Paul Tiffany, Lyndonville, New York (their summer home)
Volksmarches completed (AVA: America's Walking Club):
  1. March 14: Tucson, AZ - Saguaro East National Park, 10k
  2. March 15: Tucson - Sabino Canyon, 12k
  3. March 15: Tucson - Downtown/University, 11k
  4. March 23: Phoenix, AZ - Capital, 6k
  5. April 9: Nashville, TN - Capital, 12k
  6. April 10: Nashville - Music Row & Universities, 11k
  7. April 11: Nashville - Historic East Nashville, 5k
  8. April 16: Chattanooga, TN, 10k
  9. April 19: Atlanta, GA - Capital, 10k
  10. April 23: Columbia, SC - Capital, 10k
  11. April 23: Columbia - River Walk, 10k
  12. April 24: Charleston, SC - Historic, 10k
  13. April 26: Raleigh, NC - Capital (Downtown Wolfpack), 10k
  14. April 26: Raleigh, NC - North Carolina Museum of Art, 10k
  15. April 27: Durham, NC - Duke Univ., 10k
  16. April 29: Richmond, VA - Capital, 10k
  17. May 1: Newport News, VA - Noland Trail, 10k
  18. May 2: Williamsburg, VA - Colonial Williamsburg, 10k
  19. May 3: Jamestown, VA - Jamestowne National Park, 5k
  20. May 6: Trenton, NJ - Princeton Historic/Capital, 10k 
  21. May 8: Dover, DE - Capital - YMCA, 10k
  22. May 9: Rehoboth Beach, DE - Town and boardwalk, 10k
  23. May 15: Harrisburg, PA - Capital, 10k
  24. May 15: Hershey, PA - Town, 10K
  25. May 18: New York City - Lower Manhattan, 12k
  26. May 20: New York City - Central Park, 11k
  27. May 21: New York City - Midtown, 12k
  28. May 22: New  York City - Highline, Little Italy, Chinatown, Greenwich Village, 13k
  29. May 25: Highland, NY - Walkway Over the Hudson, 8k
  30. May 29: Kent, CT - Appalachian Trail, Housatonic River, 10k
  31. May 30: West Point, NY - US Military Academy at West Point, 10k
  32. May 30: Fort Montgomery, NY - Appalachian Trail, 5k
  33. May 31: Newport, RI - Scenic Cliff Walks, 10k
  34. June 1: Mystic, CT - Mystic, 10k
  35. June 3: Providence, RI - Capital walk, 10k
  36. June 4: Hartford, CT - Capital - River walk, 10k
  37. June 5: Fall River, MA - Battleship Cove Walk, 6k
  38. June 7: Boston, MA - Capital - Freedom Trail, 11k
  39. June 8: Concord, NH - Capital, 10k
  40. June 9: Portsmouth, NH - 10k
  41. June 9: Salem, MA - 5k
  42. June 10: Danvers, MA - Danvers Historical Walk, 6k
  43. June 11: Albany, NY - Evening fun walk at convention, 5k
  44. June 12: Cohoes/Waterford, NY - 11k
  45. June 13: Saratoga National Historical Park & Schuylerville, NY, 10k
  46. June 14: Albany, NY - Downtown capital, 6k
  47. June 15: Cooperstown, NY - 5k
  48. June 15: Niagara Falls, NY - Evening walk, 5k
  49. June 16: Buffalo, NY, 6k
  50. June 19: Lockport, NY - Erie Canal, 10k
  51. June 21: Youngstown, NY - War of 1812, 11k
  52. June 21: Williamsville (Amherst), NY, 10k
  53. June 22: Buffalo, NY - Pan-Am Buffalo, 10k
  54. June 23: Rochester, NY - Downtown, 5k
  55. June 24: Rochester, NY - Ontario Beach, 10k
  56. June 27: Rochester, NY - Highland Park, 5k
  57. July 2: Watkins Glen, NY, 10k 
  58. July 4: Ithaca, NY - Cornell Univ., 10k
  59. July 19: Saratoga Springs, NY - Spa Park, 10k
  60. July 21: Chimney Point, VT - Champlain Bridge VT/NY, 10k 
  61. July 24: Sacket's Harbor, NY - War of 1812, 10k
  62. July 24: Watertown, NY, 10k
  63. July 28: Cape Vincent, NY - Lighthouse Walk, 10k
What's Out There Weekend, Nashville Tours:
  1. Belmont Mansion
  2. Music Row
  3. The Hermitage
  4. Clover Bottom Mansion
  5. Tennessee State University
  6. Cheekwood Estate & Gardens
Colleges and Universities (in the order we visited them):
  1. University of Arizona, Tucson
  2. Belmont University, Nashville
  3. Vanderbilt University, Nashville
  4. Tennessee State University, Nashville
  5. Georgia Tech, Atlanta
  6. Georgia State University, Atlanta
  7. University of South Carolina
  8. Charleston College, South Carolina
  9. North Carolina State, Raleigh, North Carolina
  10. Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
  11. William & Mary University, Williamsburg, Virginia
  12. Princeton University, New Jersey
  13. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland
  14. New York University, Manhattan, New York
  15. West Point Military Academy, New York
  16. Salve Regina University, Newport, Rhode Island
  17. Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
  18. Coast Guard Academy, New London, Connecticut
  19. Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
Museums:

  1. Pima Air & Space Museum, Tucson, AZ.
  2. State Capital Museum, Phoenix, AZ.
  3. Graceland, Memphis, TN.
  4. Pink Palace, Memphis, TN.
  5. Lorraine Motel, Memphis, TN.
  6. Cotton Museum, Memphis, TN.
  7. Rock 'n' Soul Museum, Memphis, TN.
  8. Stax Soul Museum, Memphis, TN.
  9. Sun Studio, Memphis, TN.
  10. Casey Jones Village Museum, TN.
  11. Cheekwood Estate, Nashville, TN. (Susan only)
  12. The Mariner's Museum, Newport News, VA.
  13. Eastern Shore of Virginia Barrier Islands Center, Machipongo, VA.
  14. Historic Tredegar Iron Works, Richmond, VA.
  15. Civil War Museum, Richmond, VA (Bob only for the grand opening.)
  16. Historic State House, Dover, DE.
  17. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NY (Susan only).
  18. West Point Museum, Highland, NY. 
  19. Mystic Seaport Museum, Mystic, CT.
  20. Herreshoff Marine Museum, Bristol, RI.
  21. Naval Academy Museum, Annapolis, MD.
  22. State House Museum, Annapolis, MD.
  23. Teddy Roosevelt Inaugural Site Museum, Buffalo, NY.
  24. The Locks District Museum, Lockport, NY.
  25. Erie Canal Discovery Center, Lockport, NY.
  26. Harrisburg Train Station, Harrisburg, PA.
  27. George Eastman Museum, Rochester, NY.
  28. Genesee Country Village & Museum, Mumford, NY.
  29. Glenn H. Curtiss Museum, Hammondsport, NY.
  30. Seneca Falls Visitor Center and Museum of Waterways and Industry, Seneca Falls, NY.
  31. Women's Rights National Historical Park Museum, Seneca Falls, NY.
  32. Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY.
  33. National Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, NY.
  34. New York State Museum, Albany, NY.
  35. Visitor Center and Museum, Ticonderoga, NY.
  36. Star Trek Sets Museum, Ticonderoga, NY. (Susan only.)
  37. Boldt Castle and Heart Island, Alexandria Bay, NY.
  38. Minna Anthony Common Nature Center, Wellesley Island State Park, NY.
  39. Cape Vincent Historical Museum, Cape Vincent, NY.

Rivers/Lakes/Harbors We Have Walked Across or Next to:
  1. Mississippi River (Memphis, TN)
  2. Cumberland River (Nashville, TN)
  3. Tennessee River (Chattanooga, TN)
  4. Congaree River (Columbia, SC)
  5. Ashley River (Charleston, SC)
  6. James River (Richmond, VA)
  7. Susquehanna River (Harrisburg, PA)
  8. Lums Pond (Bear, DE)
  9. Spa Creek (Annapolis, MD)
  10. Severn River (Annapolis, MD)
  11. Back Creek (Annapolis, MD)
  12. East River (on the Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan, NY)
  13. Hudson River (Highland, NY) 
    Walk Over the Hudson 
    Walk Over the Hudson bridge
  14. Housatonic River (Kent, CT)
  15. Mystic River (Mystic, CT)
  16. Connecticut River (Hartford, CT)
  17. Easton Bay (Newport, RI)
  18. Taunton River (Fall River, MA)
  19. Charles River (Boston, MA)
  20. Boston Harbor (Boston, MA)
  21. Piscataqua River (Portsmouth, NH)
  22. South Mill Pond (Portsmouth, NH)
  23. South River (Salem, MA)
  24. Salem Harbor (Salem, MA)
  25. Mohawk River (Cohoes, NY)
  26. Hudson River (Albany, NY)
  27. Niagara River (Niagara Falls, NY)
  28. Buffalo River (Buffalo, NY)
  29. Erie Canal (Lockport, NY)
  30. Niagara River (Youngstown, NY)
  31. Ellicott Creek (Williamsville, NY)
  32. Genesee River (Rochester, NY)
  33. Taughannock Creek (Trumansburg, NY)
  34. Lake Champlain (Crown Point, NY)
  35. Sackett's Harbor (Sackett's Harbor, NY)
  36. Black River (Watertown, NY)
  37. St. Lawrence River (Wellesley Island, NY)
Waterfalls:
  1. The waterfall at Sabino Dam, Sabino Canyon, Tucson, AZ. The water was too high for us to hike all the way to Seven Falls, so we made do with the water flowing over the dam. 
    Sabino Canyon Dam spillway/waterfall.
  2. Garvan Woodland Gardens, Hot Springs, Arkansas. Aunt
  3. Cherokee and Hemlock Falls (Cloudland Canyons State Park, GA)  
    Me by Cherokee Falls, GA
    Did I mention we've done about a gazillion stairs
    hiking to all these waterfalls?
    We are at Hemlock Falls, GA.
  4. Raymondskill Falls (Milford, PA)
  5. Dingman Falls (Dingmans Ferry, PA)
  6. Silverthread Falls (Dingmans Ferry, PA)
  7. Buttermilk Falls County Park (Walpack Township, NJ)
  8. Kent Falls (Kent, CT)   
    Kent Falls, CT
  9. Lower, Middle, and Upper Genesee Falls (Letchworth State Park, Mt. Morris, NY)   
    Lower Falls (Letchworth S.P.)
    Middle Falls (Letchworth S.P.)
    Upper Genesee Falls (Letchworth S.P.)
  10. Lower Falls, Middle Falls, Upper Falls (Stony Brook State Park, Dansville, NY)
  11. Glen Falls (Williamsville, NY)
  12. Hector Falls (Watkins Glen, NY)
  13. Shequaga Falls (Montour Falls, NY)  
    Shequaga Falls, NY
  14. Aunt Sarah's Falls (Montour Falls, NY)  
    Bob in front of Aunt Sarah's Falls, NY
  15. Eagle Cliff Falls (Havana Glen Park, Montour Falls, NY)
  16. Deckertown Falls (Montour Falls, NY)
  17. Twin Falls (Sugar Hill State Forest, NY) [Hardest to find of all the falls we saw!]
  18. Lucifer Falls, Lower/Enfield Falls (Robert H. Treman State Park, Ithaca, NY)
  19. Buttermilk Falls (Buttermilk Falls State Park, Ithaca, NY)
  20. Entrance Cascade, Minnehaha Falls, Cavern Cascade, Diamond Falls, Central Cascade, Glen of Pools, Pluto Falls, Rainbow Falls...a total of 19 waterfalls in two miles (Watkins Glen State Park, NY)
  21. Triphammer Falls (Cornell University, Ithaca, NY)
  22. Cascadilla Glen (numerous falls, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY)
  23. Ithaca Falls (Ithaca, NY)
  24. Taughannock Falls (Taughannock Falls State Park, Trumansburg, NY)
  25. Ludlowville Falls (Ludlowville, NY)
  26. Cowshed Falls [NOTE: We could not hike to Upper Falls at the end of the trail because of a landslide that closed the trail after the fourth bridge] (Fillmore Glen State Park, Moravia, NY)
  27. Chittenango Falls (Cazenovia, NY)  
    Chittenango Falls, NY
  28. Pratt's Falls (Manlius, NY)
  29. Bash Bish Falls (Bash Bish Falls State Park, Mt. Washington, MA [but hike to it from the NY trailhead, much easier]).  
    Bash Bish Falls, MA
  30. The Falls of Carillon/LaChute River Trail (Ticonderoga, NY)
Incidents:
  1. March 16: Pick up truck would not start at end of the day at Pima Air and Space Museum parking lot in Tucson, Arizona. We got kicked out of the grounds because they were closing for the day (company policy) without our truck. Stranded along a busy highway, we called Uber to pick us up and take us to the airport so we could rent a car. First thing the next morning (Sunday), we were back at Pima Air and Space Museum parking lot where a tow truck hauled us to a truck repair facility.

    The repair shop did not open until Monday. Our truck was not fixed until Wednesday afternoon. They did a lot of testing and replaced the starter kit. A good samaritan from the Escapees convention towed our 5th wheel from the campground we were in to the Pima County Fairgrounds for the convention.
  2. April 6: Southaven, Mississippi (a suburb of Memphis): Tornado warning at 8:50 p.m. No tornado, but torrential rain and lots of thunder and lightning.
  3. April 8: Truck lost power on the freeway. Bob checked under the hood and found a hose had come off. He duct-taped it together and we limped the truck/5th wheel into a Ford dealership. The truck had a bad CAC tube. They were able to fix it that afternoon and we continued on our way. 
  4. April 26: We were looking for a parking space for our 5th wheel in downtown Raleigh, NC. Bob was making a turn into a multi-level parking garage. His cow guard hit the ticket box and knocked the ticket dispenser faceplate off of it. He reported it to the attendant who called her boss. He drove over and said, "Don't worry about it."
  5. June 13: I developed severe upper abdominal pain on our walk in the afternoon. By evening, my pain was so severe, it felt like my upper abdomen was being ripped apart inside. I insisted Bob take me to the emergency room. After numerous tests and many hours in the E.R., I found out I have gallstones. They got better by 2:30 a.m. and they discharged me.
  6. June 29: We were at Genessee Country Village Museum. They were having an interactive event: walking on stilts. Bob decided to try. He was able to get up on the stilts and walked a few steps. He fell off one of the stilts and sprained his ankle. (It is finally better--July 19.)
  7. June 30: Bob was dumping our tanks on our way out of Genessee Country Campground. The dump station is at a narrow, two-way passage into and out of the park. We were stationary. A very long truck/5th wheel combination decided to try to get around us after they checked into the park. Bob had put in his side mirrors and the guy came really close to our truck. He looked at me in the passenger seat and nodded/smiled. I was afraid he was going to hit us, but he got his rig past where I was sitting. I thought everything would be okay.

    All of sudden "CRUNCH"! He was trying to make a turn to the left at the end of our rig and there was a tree he needed to avoid. His tail swing hit our back rear passenger side of the 5th wheel. He took out our rear passenger safety light on the side, took off part of our molding, scraped a patch of bumper off, and the upper back of his 5th wheel hit our awning topper and yanked off our topper's end cap and made a long crack in our 5th wheel's fiberglass shell around where the awning topper connects to the shell of the 5th wheel. Yikes. Our RVs blocked the passage in/out of the campground while information was exchanged. They called their insurance company, who then called us. When we return to San Antonio, repairs will be made to our rig.
  8. July 20: We stopped at a parking area along I-87 in the Adirondacks on our way to Ticonderoga. The truck would not start up again. There was no AT&T service! Bob asked some guys in a pick-up if he could borrow their phone. They had Verizon which allowed us to call Good Sam Roadside Assistance. A tow truck came to tow the truck to a mechanic. We had to drop the 5th wheel in the parking area. It was 90 degrees and humid. We had no electric hookup to run the AC. I stayed with the 5th wheel and the cat. I opened all the windows and vents. An intermittent breeze helped ease the heat and humidity. Bob was gone for a few hours. He came back in the pickup. It had been repaired and we were good to continue on our way. It was the starter again! The mechanics told Bob that the starter was really hot and it shouldn't have been. They believe the starter that was put in in March was defective and recommended we find out if there was a warranty on it. If not, we should return it to the auto parts store chain where we bought it and at least get back the core charge. [UPDATE: Bob drove to O'Reilly Auto Parts store in Glens Falls, NY, and they partially refunded the amount of the defective starter.]
We are now in Clayton, New York, near the St. Lawrence River/1000 Islands region and will soon head off to Lake Placid, New York, in the Adirondack Mountains. 

Animals we have seen on our journey include fox, wild turkeys, lots of white-tailed deer, two WHITE deer, a mink, osprey, bald eagle, groundhogs, snake, lizards, sandhill cranes, turtles, terns, seagulls, cormorants, grebes, ducks, hummingbirds, robins, red-winged blackbirds, American goldfinches, and cardinals.

Stay tuned for upcoming blogs. I'm going to have a free day tomorrow, so hopefully, I can write a couple more. 


Cape Vincent Lighthouse Volksmarch - Sunday, July 28, 2019

Other Volksmarchers have reported favorably about the Cape Vincent Lighthouse walk. Today we drove from 1000 Islands Campground in Clayton to the small town of Cape Vincent, New York. Even though it's the weekend, we found on-street parking and lightly traveled streets.

We had already checked in via the OLSB (On-line Start Box at my.ava.org) and printed out our directions. It was easy to hop out of the car and start walking. The town is very cute and has a few homes and buildings that stand out architecturally. It was originally settled by the French.

The first unique building we passed was the Cape Vincent Fisheries Station. It is home to the Research Vessel (RV) Seth Green and an aquarium that highlights local fishes. I would have gone to the aquarium, but it is closed due to flooding.

Cape Vincent Fisheries Station (with Aquarium)
I liked the weird arch at the top and
the lintels over the windows.
Sackett house with sunken garden.
1870 - Erastus Burnham house. He owned a
thriving seed and lumber business.
In the photo below you can see the water washing over the dock and the blue police "do not cross" barricade. The locals say the water has come down a little from its high point.

Normally this is the public dock.
Speaking of flooding, if you aren't aware, all the Great Lakes are flooded due to the immense amounts of rain this spring. It is especially evident all around Lake Ontario and along the St. Lawrence Seaway. Docks are closed because they are covered in water. Some businesses built a taller dock on top of the dock that they had so they could get to their boats. [NOTE: We experienced that when we went on the boat tour to Boldt Castle. (That blog is yet to be written.)]

A mural welcoming travelers from Canada to
the U.S. at the Cape Vincent Ferry Terminal.
After walking a few blocks in town, we stopped to check out the Cape Vincent Historical Museum. Below is a Friendship Quilt. It helped raise money for St. John's Episcopal Church. People paid ten cents to have their name embroidered on the quilt. The quilt was then stitched together by the women of St. John's Guild at the rectory. It is recorded that this quilt made somewhere between $72.70 or $74.90 for the church between 1925 and 1928 (which was a tidy sum back then).
A Friendship fundraiser quilt.
The stove below was made in the Forsythe Foundry which was located in this building in the 1800s.

Stove made by the Forsythe Foundry in Cape
Vincent, New York in the 1800s.

The efficient Petit Godin Stove.
Description of Petit Godin Stove above.
Wooden shoes.
We then walked (thankfully not in wooden shoes) two miles to the lighthouse. We loved the view of the St. Lawrence Seaway and the beautiful homes lining the road. There was also a cool breeze coming off the water. 

And, we got caught in a downpour. The rain was driving sideways and it was impossible to keep the umbrella up. We took shelter on the down-wind side of a huge tree trunk. That worked to keep most of the rain off for the short duration of the cloudburst.

A piece of history we did not know: Napoleon Bonaparte had a refuge built for him in this town. The Cup and Saucer House was built by Count Pierre Francois Real in Cape Vincent. Of course, Napoleon never made it. The house burned in 1867.

The Stone House - built in 1815 by
J. D. le Ray du Chaumont to shelter Canadian
rebels during the Patriot War in 1838.
Maple Grove, established 1838.
These mansions all have views of
the St. Lawrence Seaway.
A pretty lighthouse gate in front of a home.
Entrance to Tibbetts Point Lighthouse. It seems
Tibbetts and Tibbits spellings are both correct.
Bob watching his ship come in.
On the lighthouse grounds are a Visitor Center, keeper's home, Fog Horn Building, and an International Hostel. 

Info about the Fog Horn Building.
Tibbetts Point Lighthouse.
Lake Ontario.
Bob walking along the St. Lawrence River.
You can see how high the river is splashing.
Canadian Steamship Line heading downriver.
Small car ferry heading from
Canada to Cape Vincent.
I zoomed in on the car ferry and the ship.
When we returned to town, the finish of our walk was through more city streets. There were a few cool things to see...
Patriotic birdhouse condo.
Below is an idea that has some merit, although it would have to be closely monitored for expiration dates, bulging cans, broken glass, ants, etc. It is a Food Bank "lending library" (for lack of a better term). It is sponsored by a church.


After the walk, we had lunch at Cape Vincent Brewing Company. It was popular but was just okay in our opinion. They did have funny signs on the wall. 


On the way out of town, we drove a different way and found a previous lighthouse which had been moved to this location to welcome people to Cape Vincent. This lighthouse stood on the Cape Vincent Breakwater from 1900 to 1951.

The previous lighthouse.
We called it a day and headed to the 5th wheel.

Many thanks to the Niagara Frontier Volkssport Club for this wonderful walk.