New York to Pennsylvania

It was real windy driving yesterday and I don’t know if that was from the hurricane or not.  We drove through the Catskills to as far as Lock Haven, PA where we spent the night at a Flying J.  This one has two dumps and the RV’s are coming and going every few minutes to use them.  I had my best nights sleep here in a while because it really cooled off. We spent 3 days at a campground in the Adirondacks while it was so hot so that we could run the AC.  Steve was offered a job there for next summer.  Free campsite with full hookups and $50 a day for a three day work week.  Not bad but the trees were so thick you couldn’t see the sky and people started their campfires at 5 in the afternoon when it was 87 degrees out.  Crazy.  I would bet money that many of the people smoking us out would have a hissy fit if someone lit a cigarette in front of them.  Anyway, there’s no way we can stay in one place a week let alone all summer.  If we don’t go to Europe, Alaska is calling Steve. 

It’s supposed to be cool today and tonight too and then warm up again.  We are slowly making our way to Shenandoah National Park to arrive after the labor day crowd is gone We’ve hardly spent anything on RV parks.  Averaged $5.40 per night for August.  The solar panels are at least paying for themselves a little bit.  NY was really smoggy. At least we have clear blue skies here in Pennsylvania.  We drove the back roads as usual and the countryside is so pretty. The huge bonus of driving the smaller roads are the roadside vegetable stands.  We’ve been eating fresh tomatoes every meal of the day.  People in Vermont were selling them for $4 a pound in their front yards and now we are buying tomatoes for about 50 cents a pound.  Fultonham, NY has a huge, huge market that I’d give anything to have access to everyday.  We bought onions, garlic, cantaloupe, broccoli, apples, lettuce, cucumbers, bell peppers, little sweet peppers all for $12.  We had just loaded up with tomatoes from a front yard stand or we would have bought them too.

LakePlacid-1

IMG_6278                               Town of Lake Placid

IMG_6307                                    Saranac Lake

IMG_6322

IMG_6328 The huge market structure in Fultonham has flowers and vines growing all around it.

IMG_6332This steep hill had longhorns grazing even at the top.  It sure reminded me of mountain side farms in Switzerland.

IMG_6341

Fort Ticonderoga, NY

“During the 18th century, when nations fought to control the strategic route between the St. Lawrence River in Canada and the Hudson River to the south, the fortification overlooking the outlet of Lake George into Lake Champlain was called “a key to continent.”

The French constructed here in 1755 the stronghold they named Carillon and made it a base to attack their English rivals.  The British renamed it Fort Ticonderoga”.  (The preceding text is from the Revolutionary Day website.)

IMG_6201 There is much to see at the site of this restored fort including demonstrations, tours, fife and drum music, a great museum, and gardens.  Admission is a little steep at $15 each so now I can no longer complain about Canadian admission prices.

IMG_6193

IMG_6212

IMG_6224

IMG_6236

  Today was our first time to be hot since last winter in Mexico and even that wasn’t very bad.  We are heading to higher ground (Adirondacks) and hookups so we can use our A/C until it cools off a bit. 

 

1000 Islands

To be exact, there are 1,894 islands in the island region of the St. Lawrence seaway.  We stayed at an RV park in Alexandria Bay and then took a 2 1/2 hour boat tour around some of the islands.

IMG_3134

The St. Lawrence River is half in  Canada and half in the US.  Our boat tour took us to both sides of the seaway and also to Millionaires Row.  These are summer homes built mostly by the very rich during the Industrial Revolution on private islands. There are cables running under the water to give each island electricity, water is obtained directly from the river as it is 95% pure, and special “honey wagon” barges come to the individual islands to empty the septic tanks.  Here are a few of the houses:

IMG_3137

IMG_3145

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3201

This house was built by a Texan who also has an exact replica of it in Texas.  He and his wife have decided the houses are too big and have put them up for sale.  Supposedly, a country rock star is looking at this one.

IMG_3204

The person who owns this house has their property in two countries.  The main house is in the US and the little island across the bridge (which has the two nations’ flags on it), lies in Canada.

IMG_3168

Then there is this fixer upper that has been reduced to 2.25 million dollars. Maybe it’s the weather but we have seen many large structures that have caved in like this. It was noon when we took the tour and as a result the water isn’t showing up as blue as it really is.  The whole seaway is a beautiful deep blue.

Towards the end of the tour, the boat stopped at Boldt Castle on Heart Island and we got off to have a look.  Shuttle boats run to this island every 30 minutes and we got a later one to return us to Alexandria Bay.  The castle was built in 1904 by George Boltd and was to be a surprise for his wife on Valentines Day. However, she died of pneumonia at age 42, in January.  George stopped work on the castle and never set foot on the island again.  The Thousand Islands Bridge Authority took ownership in 1977 and began a rehabilitation program.  The castle has 127 rooms and 365 windows.  It’s quite a site.

IMG_3136

IMG_3239

IMG_3228

Niagara Falls

All I can say is “what took me so long to go there” and “why doesn’t everybody see Niagara Falls just once in their lifetime”?  So I won’t write anything else and will just post some pictures.  The dilemma is which ones do I choose.  No matter how good the view from one spot, there’s always a fantastic view in a few more steps, or on the other side of the river, or from the bridge, or from the top of the falls, or from Goat Island.

                    American Falls from the Canadian side

NiagaraFalls-7

       Ladies looking at American Falls from the Canadian side  

NiagaraFalls-9

                        Horseshow Falls from the Canadian side

NiagaraFalls-15

 American Falls on the left and Horseshoe Falls on the end.  This picture was taken from the Rainbow Bridge which crosses to Canada.  We walked the entire way down to Horseshoe Falls and beyond on the Canada side and then to Goat Island and to the top of Horseshoe Falls on the US side.

NiagaraFalls-42

                        
                              Maid of the Mist
  

NiagaraFalls-20

                This was taken on Goat Island (US side).

NiagaraFalls-66