Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Last Days in New York


July 19 to July 22:

We left Wilkins RV with repairs finished and headed east towards Binghamton, New York. We had made reservations for one night at the Belden Hill Campground in Harpursville NY which is a few miles east of Binghamton. We pulled into the campground and were assigned to Site 7. This site is a pull through site located near the back of the campground. We had a beautiful view out our front windshield of the hills and valleys located south of the campground. There is a golf course located across the street from the campground that looked like it would have been a good place to play.

We got set up for the one night, walked around the park for a while and then called it a night. We try and get as little as possible out when we are only staying one night, but there are certain things we store on the bed and in the shower when we travel that we have to move. This was a very nice park and we would like to have stayed for a little longer in the area.


The next morning we travelled northeast to Lake George NY. This is a “resort” area that has a lot of activities for families. We are spending two nights in the King Phillips Campground and Resort which is the campground closest to Lake George. It is about 1.5 miles from the lake and there is a hike and bike trail that goes from the campground to the town of Lake George and the lake. We were assigned to Site C-3 and backed into our site with an electrical wire running over our site at a height of just over 13 feet so our rig’s air conditioners barely fit under the wire. We only have 30 amp service at this campground and with the day time temperatures close to 90 degrees we could only run one A/C to cool down the motor home. We did get some shade from the trees and it was not too bad. The sites are very close together and we had only a few feet between our neighbors. The campground was full both night we were there.

After getting set up we visited the local “outlet malls” to see if Connie could find any shoes. We went to several stores but none of them had anything Connie liked in her size. The next morning we rode our bikes into Lake George on the hike/bike path and then rode around town for about 15-20 minutes before returning to the campground. It was downhill from the campground to the lake and so the ride home was 1.5 miles up an incline. We were both able to make it without having to stop and get off our bikes. Lake George is a resort town with a number of restaurant, bars and tourist shops. It is also the home of Fort William Henry which was built in 1755 during the French & Indian Wars. We met a couple originally from Myrtle Beach who have been full timing for a while, Tom and Kim Cooke, and visited with them for a long time on Wednesday night. Tom has travelled all over the place and has taken a number of trips on his motorcycle. They carry the motorcycle on a rack that sits between their motorhome and their tow vehicle.


On Thursday night we met Fred and Bonnie Lee at the Logjam Restaurant to visit and get caught up from the last time we had seen them in San Antonio TX during January 2016. Bonnie has been taking care of her mother over the last few months so they have been “off the road” here in the Lake George area. We had a good meal (great salad bar) and thoroughly enjoyed our visit. They are hoping to start travelling again this fall.

Friday morning we packed up the Duchess, hooked up the Jeep and headed towards Essex Junction, Vermont for the 56th Ecapees Escapade where we will be for the next week.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Spending Time in New York

June 28th to July 19th:
It has been a while since we have posted to the blog, so I will try and get caught up with our activities over the last few weeks.

We arrived at Wilkins RV in Bath NY on Tuesday afternoon and got set up in their “campground” which is a section of their parking lot. They have 50 amp electric and water hookups for about 10 RV’s and a dump station located near the campground area. On Wednesday we had them diagnose our leveling system/jack problems. The front two jacks are going to have to be replaced and the parts will have to be ordered from HWH (it will take 2 weeks for them to arrive). We also had them check out our middle air conditioner which has not been working. The A/C is OK, but the control board for the 110 volt connections in our motorhome has gone bad. At some point in time we had an electrical arc and it burned out part of the board. This will also take two weeks to come in. We looked at our Progressive Surge Protector and saw where it was area around the plug connections were cracking. We called Progressive and will have to sent the unit back to them for repairs. Progressive has a lifetime guarantee on their surge protectors so we will only have to pay for the shipping costs. We also decided to have the fiberglass on the coach repaired while we are waiting on the parts to come in. Wilkins RV uses a local shop, Goodrich Auto Repair, to do their body work and we are going to use them to have the repairs made. The downside of living in your RV is the repair work is a “pain in the ass” since you are always on someone else’s schedule and not your own.

We scheduled the fiberglass repairs for July 11-13 and the other repairs for July 15th. Since we already had a reservation in Watkins Glen NY for the week of June 30-July 7, we decided to go ahead and spend our time there rather than wait in Bath for all of the parts to come in. We made the short trip to Watkins Glen and got set up in the Clute Memorial RV Campground which is located across the street from Seneca Lake. The campground is a city run facility with sites that are very close together. There are also tent camping sites located around the campground among the RV sites and we had a family in tents about 5 feet from the back of our motorhome. The campground was packed for the July 4th weekend with lots of kids and families enjoying the holiday. There was a fireworks show on Friday (July 1st) night that lasted about 30 minutes in the park across the street from the campground. We were able to enjoy the fireworks show a few yards away from our RV site.

While we were in the area we visited a number of wineries and distilleries that are located along Seneca Lake. I believe that there are over 65 wineries located around this lake. The wineries are located on the hills around the lake and some of them have great views overlooking the water. The wines in the area range from dry to sweet with a number of places using several types of grapes created at Cornell University in Ithaca NY. We sampled a “Dry Riesling” at several wineries and were surprised by the taste: very dry and not like the sweet Riesling wines we were used to.

On Sunday, July 3rd, we drove over to Honeoye Lake, one of the smaller of the 11 finger lakes, to visit my grandson, Rhys, his mom, Grace McKay, and her parents, George & Pam McKay. George retired from the Houston Police Department last year and they bought a house on the lake to spend their summers at. The house needed a lot of work and they are almost finished with all of the renovations to the inside of the house. Grace and Rhys were spending a few days visiting her parents and so we took advantage of their invitation to spend a day a their “lake house”. We had a great time visiting with everyone and capped off the day with George giving us a tour of the lake in his boat.

While we were in Watkins Glen we took a couple of days to ride our bikes along the Catherine Valley Trail which is a rails to trails path that runs for a number of miles from Watkins Glen south. The path follows an old canal/channel for several miles then goes along an abandoned railway. We stopped in Montour Falls to see the waterfall that is above the town. Again with the lack of rain there was very little flow down the waterfall. One day after our ride we stopped in at the Rooster Fish Brewing place located in Watkins Glen and sampled some of their beers. One evening we watched a Little League All Star playoff game at the field directly behind our camping site. The team from Watkins Glen beat the team from Elvira NY 8 to 1 to advance in the playoffs. We also got our inflatable kayak out one day and paddled up a channel that runs into Seneca Lake for several miles before returning back to the campground.

We also spent one day hiking the gorge in the Watkins Glen State Park. There are a number of waterfalls located within the park, some small and some much larger. There are over 800 stone steps along the path that takes you from the main entrance to the upper entrance to the park. We walked the Gorge Trail up to the Upper Entrance before taking the rim trails back to our Jeep. They have a shuttle bus for anyone who wanted to ride back after walking up all of the steps along the gorge. This area of New York has had very little rainfall this year, so the waterfalls are not as spectacular as they could be. Even though the trail is only about 2 miles in length (one way), the fact we were walking up and down steps the whole pathway wore us out. The morning started out cool, but by the time we finished we were both sweating as the day heated up.

On Thursday, July 7th, we packed up the motorhome and headed back to Bath NY. We got set up in the Wilkins RV campground (we had to wait about 2 hours for a space to open up) to spend the weekend before starting the body fiberglass repairs on Monday. We had trouble starting the motorhome after our wait for an open campground space, so we added that to our list of repairs to be done on the July 15th. When it rains it pours as they say. On Friday we walked a trail a the Mossy Bark Park which overlooks the city of Bath. The week-end was spent cleaning the motorhome and walking around Bath.

Monday morning we drove the Duchess from Wilkins RV to the Goodrich Auto Repair shop which is located a few miles south. We dropped the motorhome off for the repairs and headed off to Rochester NY to do some shopping. We made the 1.5 hour drive north and did some shopping at Costco, Trader Joe’s (no wine available in New York stores) and Sam’s along with a couple of other stops along the way. We came back to Bath to Goodrich and worked on getting the motorhome into the one spot they have for overnight hookups (30 amp electric connection only). On Tuesday we took a drive up to Letchworth State Park and visited the Grand Canyon of New York. There a three large waterfalls located along the gorge in the park and we walked the trails along the Genesee River. We ate lunch in the Glen Iris Inn which was the home of William Pryor Letchworth who donated the land for the park.

Wednesday we visited the Glenn Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport NY. Curtiss was born in Hammondsport, became a bicycle mechanic, then a bicycle and motorcycle manufacturer. He became the first American to take off and land a plane on water at Keuka Lake in 1908. He was an early pioneer in the aviation business who specialized in aircraft that took off & landed on water. He invented the first “fifth wheel” travel trailer that was used as a recreational vehicle.  Curtiss set a land speed record for motorcycles that stood for 20 years. Unfortunately he died in the late 1920’s while still in his fifties. His company merged with another aviation manufacturer to form the Curtiss-Wright Corporation which is still in business today.

On Wednesday we attended a “Music in the Park” concert in Bath with Blue Eyed Soul providing the music. On Thursday night we went to Hammondsport to their “Music in the Park” with a group called Mystic Karma. Both groups were very good and they played songs that we had grown up with.

Friday the motorhome went back into the shop to have the repairs done. The jacks were repaired and our diesel engine starter was replaced. However the A/C controller board was the wrong amperage and the tail light was the wrong one. Each of these had to reordered and hopefully will arrive on Monday.

Saturday we rode our bikes around Bath and then on Sunday we took it easy while I watched the final round of the British Open golf tournament. Monday was Connie’s birthday and we celebrated by having “breakfast” at a local restaurant and then our evening meal at a local family style establishment. We spent the day visiting the wineries around Keuka Lake. The Keuka Lake Wine Trail has only about 15 wineries (which is a lot but not when compared to Seneca Lake Wine Trail)surrounding the lake and we were able to make the entire loop during the day.

Tuesday the board was replaced that controls our A/C units (it came in Monday) and we packed up and headed east to a campground near Binghamton NY.