Fall Foilage
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Fall Foilage
In the Fall of 2006 we wanted to take this trip north into New York, New Hampshire and Vermont. At the same time we were in the process of downsizing our home and finding a new one. The good news....our home sold and we bought a new one....the bad news....we had to cancel our Fall Foliage trip. So, once again here we are in the Fall of 2007 and we plan to depart on this journey once again. We expect to be on the road for about 32 days and hope you enjoy our journal and pictures below.

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  Sunday  -  September 2, 2007

Tomorrow we plan to spend a few hours with the motorhome to do some cleaning and minor maintenance items. I want to replace the air filter and inspect the new fan & alternator belts that had to be replaced last week. Also I want to replace windshield wiper blades, top off the gas tank and give the coach a quick exterior shampoo in preparation for our departure next Sunday.

   
  Sunday  -  September 7, 2007

We have waited for more than a year and finally this morning we departed home around 8:00 AM with a short 140 mile drive ahead of us.  The weather was clear, and unseasonably warm & humid for this time of year.

Our planned route consisted of 202 North, I287 North to Exit 17 onto I87 and then about ten miles on Route 300 North to KOA Newburgh, NY.  This route worked out nicely with convenient rest stops along the way and good road conditions.  Traffic volume for the entire route was quite comfortable without any congestion.

We made numerous stops along the way because check in time at the campground was not till 2 PM.  In Flemington, NJ we stopped to take a short walk in a shopping center and spent some time looking for bargains in Kohl's.

Along the way the dash air conditioning started to make a shrill screeching sound. At this time I'm still not certain about the cause of the problem.  It could simply be a loose belt or perhaps a bad bearing in the AC compressor.  For now the problem was easily resolved by turning off the dash air conditioning.  I'll most likely wait until we get home to have the problem corrected by Bergey's GM Truck Repair since they replaced all the engine belts a few weeks ago.

The Newburgh KOA Kampground is actually quite nice with large, level sites with abundant foliage between sites.  The interior roads are hard surface and the sites are gravel covered.  Each site includes full hookup including cable TV, fire ring and table.  The entire campground appears to be clean and nicely maintained. We were on site 70 and it was quiet and private.

   
  Monday  -  September 10, 2007

Rainfall early this morning caused us to adjust our touring plans for today.  Originally we had planned to visit West Point Academy but since that involves extensive outside walking we decided to avoid the rain showers and instead visit Franklin D. Roosevelt's Library & Museum. From the campground the FDR Library is an easy 26 mile drive north to Hyde Park.  We used the Garmin Nuvi 350 GPS and navigated the back country roads with confidence and ease.

As we drove these back roads it was apparent the apple trees are filled with an abundance of red ripe fruit.  Large wooden crates along the roadside are filled to the top with apples.....a certain indication that Fall is arriving. Also, an occasional maple or oak tree can be seen displaying vibrant red colors meaning the other trees will soon be changing colors.

The tour of FDR's Library was informative and interesting.  We were both impressed with the large volume of artifacts on display from FDR's life.  To completely review the grounds and museum you could easily comsume a full day or more.

   
  Tuesday  -  September 11, 2007

The weather today will certainly play a role in our activities.  Its a rainy dreary morning and the dense shade from the surrounding trees make it look like night time outside even though its 9:30 AM right now.  The overcast skies and rain seems appropriate for those mourning at the World Trade Center in recognition of the sixth anniversary of 911 tragedy.  Hearing the victim names being read aloud on TV is saddening.

It's 7:30 PM and the rain continued on and off all day.  I sure hope we are getting this rain back home and we certainly needed it badly.  We spent today visiting the Woodbury Common Outlet situated about 25 miles south of the campground.  The complex contained about 220 high end outlet stores.  We did not find any bargains...in fact we were disappointed by the stores.  On our return home we stopped at Kohl's to purchase some long sleeved tops and also came across a Super Wal-Mart and stopped for a few grocery items.

I should also mention we stopped by the Orange County Chopper Store and then drove about 2 miles down the road to visit the Shop.  The store has about 20 deluxe custom cycles on display. One cycle is more beautiful than the other.  The Shop is not open to the public so the best I could do there was talk a few pictures of the building exterior.  Unfortunately due to a camera problem I lost all pictures from Orange County Chopper.

   
  Wednesday  -  September 12, 2007

The outside temperature was 56 degrees when we woke up this morning.  The rains have cleared out and the day was filled with bright sunshine, a pleasant breeze and cotton white clouds floating in a deep blue sky.  The weather made for a perfect day to visit West Point Military Academy.

West Point is located about 30 miles south of the campground and the drive took about 40 minutes.  The last few miles along Route 9W provided some magnificent views of the Hudson Valley.

We took the 2 hour bus tour through West Point and were fortunate enough to view the 4,000 cadets assemble for lunch.  The facility is rich with tradition and history.  We were glad we included West Point in our travel plans as we found the tour thoroughly enjoyable and educational.

   
  Thursday  -  September 13, 2007

The drive from Newburgh KOA to Turning Stone Campground, Verona, New York was a total of 188 miles on I87 north and then a left turn at Albany on I90 west.  Both are toll roadways on a very smooth surface.  A ride along this route in the fall would be breathtaking since the route is bordered by an abundance of trees on both sides. We started our trip at 8 AM and took our time arriving at Turning Stone around 1:30 PM.

By 3 PM our friends Dick & Barb arrived from Massachusetts and we spent the evening around a campfire. We had not seen Dick & Barb since last visiting with them in Charleston, South Carolina when we were both returning from our 2006 winter stay in Florida.  But now that I think of it, we also met them in the Fall, 2006 when they were attending a rally in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

   
  Friday  -  September 14, 2007

This was a fun filled day from 9:30 AM this morning till 11 PM this evening. 

Our first stop for the day was Camping World which is located about 35 miles west of the campground.  We purchased some odds and ends for the motorhome and then toured through some of the RV's.  It's so easy to get the "bug" to buy a new RV.

On the return to the campground we found a Super Wal-Mart and like loyal campers we had to stop and get supplies.

For dinner we found a local restaurant that serves good home cooked meals at very reasonable prices.  The Knotty Pine Restaurant is a short 4 mile drive from the campground located on Route 365 on the right just past the Super Wal-Mart.  Perhaps not the most attractive looking place but if you are ever in the area give it a try, I think you will like it.  In fact we will more than likely stop there for breakfast on Sunday or Monday morning.

We ended the day at the Turning Stone Casino attending a performance by country music legend Loretta Lynn.  The theater was sold out and Loretta quite entertaining. 

   
  Saturday  -  September 15, 2007

Lake effect rains have had significant influence on the weather for the past 18 hours.  Lots of wind and rain arriving in bands. One minute the skies would be blue with fluffy white clouds and the next minute dark dreary clouds with heavy rain. The outside temperature only reached 60 today....but even though the weather was not ideal we enjoy this type of Fall weather.

For the past few years I've been wanting to attend a dirt track stock car race and just never seem to come across a track when we are traveling. As luck would have it we accidentally discovered a track today but this was the final day of the season and it was too late in the day to attend.  The Utica Rome Speedway is located just 9 miles east of the campground on Route 5.  From the road it looks like it could be a fun venue.  Maybe next time we are in this area.

   
  Sunday  -  September 16, 2007

This was a day of complete rest.  The rains moved out and left behind a day of sunshine with cool temps only reaching 62 degrees.  By noon we had a campfire started and had lunch around the fire with our friends Dick & Barb.  We all spent the entire day sitting around the campfire and talked and talked and talked until we ran out of fire wood around 8 PM.

   
  Monday  -  September 17, 2007

At daybreak the temperature was 36 degrees. The forecast for the week calls for abundant sunshine with temperatures moderating in the low 70's.  Thankfully the overnight lows will return to more seasonable numbers in the low 50's.  Around 9:00 AM our friends Dick & Barb departed on there journey west that will take them to an Excel Rally in Ohio, then on to Branson and ultimately to New Mexico where they will trade their 5th wheeler for a brand new Excel.

While I'm thinking of it I should mention a few words about Turning Stone Campground.  We are on site 306 which has worked out well.  It is a back in site with lots of space between sites and an open field behind.  The site is hard top and slopes ever so slightly to the rear which accommodates our motorhome leveling jacks well.  This entire campground is among the very best you will ever visit.  All sites are "good".  The play area for kids is well equipped and maintained.  The camping fee for this time of year was $36 per night plus tax.  I should also mention for future reference that gas is selling for $2.76 per gallon.

Most of today was consumed with grocery shopping, laundry, walking and preparing the motorhome for departure tomorrow morning.  We should arrive at Ledgeview Village RV Park, Lake George, NY, by 1:00 PM.  The total mileage should be less than 160 miles.

   
  Tuesday  - September 18, 2007

After a leisurely 160 mile drive we arrived safely at Ledgeview Village RV Park located about 3 miles south of downtown Lake George.  This campground is another very clean facility with spacious level sites.  We are on site 110 which is a pull thru about 80 feet in length.  It appears that 60+ percent of the sites are seasonal and during this time of the year the owners most likely only visit on weekends......therefore the campground is quiet.  Also, pets are not allowed so the absence of barking dogs is noticeable.

The spectacular weather continues to dominate Northeast United States and we are benefiting from the high pressure system.  The daily temps are peaking in the low to mid 70's and overnight lows dropping into the mid 40's.  The forecast for the next few days indicates this weather trend will continue.  The color on the trees has just begun to change and hopefully we will see some more dramatic change before heading home the end of this month.

   
  Wednesday  -  September 19, 2007

Since we had visited Lake George once before a few years ago it wasn't necessary for us to make a mad rush to tour the area today.  We took our time and leisurely enjoyed the day.  Diana packed a nice lunch and we drove up Prospect Mountain Summit where we enjoyed some fantastic views of Lake George and the Adirondack Mountains rolling along as the backdrop for the lake.

We also took a short ride along the western shore of the lake and stopped at Bolton Landing.  We strolled along the short stretch of the lake and enjoyed the scenery.

Since we are departing on Friday I knew we would be missing the 35th Annual Hot Air Balloon Festival.  However, while reading one of the local newspapers I discovered the kick off for the festival will take place on Thursday in Glen Falls at 5 PM.  Yippee...we plan to be there and hope the weather will cooperated to allow the balloons to launch.

   
  Thursday  -  September 20, 2007

It is 6:45 PM and we just returned from the Hot Air Balloon Festival.  We simply had to take a short 6 mile drive south on Route 9N to the small town of Glens Mills.  The take off point was Crandall Park....a small recreation field. When we arrived around 4 PM the activities were getting underway with a live band and activities for the kids.  We never thought of bringing lawn chairs but we were lucky enough to get a seat on a park bench located by the tennis courts.  At this location we were about 30 yards from the spot where the balloons were preparing for take off.  As each balloon went skyward the crowd would erupt in applause. What a spectacular sight.

A few years ago when we visited Lake George we discovered an ice cream shop that has the worlds best ice cream.  Once again we found the shop....Martha's Ice Cream located on Route 9 directly across from the amusement park.  The portions are huge...and I mean huge and the ice cream is delicious.  Give it a try if ever in the area...you will not be disappointed.

   
  Happy Friday  -  September 21, 2007

Oh wow!  Oh wow!  Oh wow!  These were words that both Diana & I repeated from the time we departed Lake George this morning until we arrived in Lake Placid this afternoon.  The trees have commenced to explode in vibrant hues of orange, red, brown, yellow and purple.  In this area it appears the leaves will be at peak color in the next 7 to 10 days.  The last 30 miles of our ride to the campground was filled with one gorgeous view after the other.  At one point the road took us through a twisting and winding route through a narrow gorge with mountain walls on both sides of the road.

Upon completion of setting up the motorhome at the campground we jumped into the car and took a quick ride into Wilmington and then over to Lake Placid.  we made a brief stop at Whiteface Ski Slope and then into Lake Placid.  Now we have a better idea of how will will plan our sightseeing for the next few days.

   
  Saturday  -  September 22, 2007

Lots of Olympic Games history and stories to be learned here in Lake Placid.  An early morning visit to the ski jump was exhilarating.  When standing at the foot of the 90 meter and the 120 meter jumps you gain an appreciation for this event.  There were about a dozen young teenage boys and girls actually performing jumps on the 90 meter hill.  The jump is kept wet with water and the landing area is covered with a plastic material and it too is kept wet.  Awesome sight seeing them travel down the jump and taking off at speeds of 50 to 60 miles per hour.

We rode the chairlift to the base of the two jump structures and then rode the elevator to the top of the 120 meter jump.  From there the sight was breath taking.

Early afternoon we toured the Olympic Center where the USA hockey team defeated the Russians during the 1980 Olympic Games.  Diana and I had our picture taken sitting on the bench of the USA team. 

On the way back to the motorhome we stopped at an area along Route 86, overlooking a babbling brook and had a late afternoon picnic lunch.  What a swell day.

   
  Sunday  -  September 23, 2007

I should mention we have been staying at the Lake Placid - Wilmington KOA for the past few days.  This is another nice KOA.  Our site is a level pull through about 70 feet in length.  The site has some gravel but mostly a some sort of sand and pine needles.  The interior roads are gravel covered and narrow but do not pose any problem it just means you must exercise extra caution.

To reach the town of Lake Placid a pleasant drive of 10 miles on Route 86 is required.  Whiteface Ski Area can be viewed from the entrance of the campground.  Be sure to bring your food since grocery stores are far between.

Our time here in Lake Placid has been much busier than expected.  Each Olympic venue we visit is better and more interesting than the previous.  The high winds this morning prevented us from taking the gondola ride at White Face Mountain so we moved on to the drive on Memorial Highway.  The road stretches 8 miles, all uphill, until terminating at the summit of White Face.  The temperature at the peak was 40 degrees with winds gusting 35 to 40 mph.  Burr....but the views made up for the cold.  Once at the top we then rode and elevator another 300 feet to an observation deck.  From there we walked on rather rocky, difficult trail back to the car.

On our way to the bob sled run we had to pass the gondola ride and we were delighted to see it running, even though the winds were still blowing at 20 to 25 mph.  The gondola car moved quietly up the mountain as we enjoyed more panoramic views of the colorful Adirondack Mountains.  The ride each direction takes about 12 minutes with a few unexpected stops.

The visit to the bob sled run was informative and fun to watch some folks taking a 4 man sled ride down the old track.

   
  Monday  -  September 24, 2007

Not much happening today.  An early morning walk and then Diana did laundry while I prepared the car and motorhome for our departure tomorrow.  Following lunch we took a short drive to Saranac Lake.  While walking  through this small town we came across an old fashioned clock repair shop.  We went in and struck up a conversation with the elderly gentleman that owned the business.  He allowed me to take his picture along side his pride and joy....a 1926 grandfather clock that he completely refurnished.

   
  Tuesday  -  September 25, 2007

150 miles and 7 hours later we are now in Twin Mountain, New Hampshire.  To get here we had to traverse Lake Champlain on a one hour ferry and about 100 miles of secondary 2 lane roadway across Vermont and New Hampshire.  While on the ferry the winds we actually howling at 35 to 45 mph.  We arrived at the dock about an hour early and almost changed our minds about taking the ferry because the winds conditions seemed alarming.  After getting the motorhome onboard the fear left us and we enjoyed the ride.

We are now at Twin Mountain KOA.  I'll more fully describe the campground tomorrow and also take some pictures.  A word of advice, before traveling into this area make certain you have a full tank of gas and some extra groceries in the RV.  Stores and gas stations are available but at times cannot be found for 15 miles stretches.  Also, expect to encounter some steep (7 degrees and a 13 degrees climb) ups and downs on the back roads.

   
  Wednesday  -  September 26, 2007

Right now at 5:00 PM we are experiencing our first heavy rainfall since we started this trip.  Within a matter of three minutes the sky went from cloudy to pitch black and then the rain poured.....but no lighting or thunder yet.  A minor problem did surface....a small drip from the roof vent in the living room area.  Upon close examination I can see a small crack in the plastic lid which is allowing  a slow drip.  Fortunately I have a spare lid but will have to wait for the rain to stop before going on the roof to fix it.  Under normal conditions it take 10 minutes to remove the old lid and install the new one but I'm not going onto the roof with the winds at 30 mph.

Early this morning we took a twenty minute drive to the Mount Washington Cog Railroad.  This historic attraction made its maiden trip in 1869 and has been in service since.  The coal fired steamed engine pushes the passenger car up inclines as steep as 37 degrees to the 6,288 foot peak.  Just before arriving at the peak we traveled into the clouds so visibility was limited to 25 feet.  The temperature had dropped from 75 degrees at the base station to 45 at the peak with sustained winds of 50 mph, gusting to 60 mph....strong enough to give you a good push.  The roundtrip takes three hours including a 20 minute stop at the peak.

I'm really jumping around with my documentation this evening.  I'm happy to report there has been a break in the rain sufficiently to allow time to replace the defective plastic roof vent lid.  It only took 10 minutes and sure enough the old led had a small crack in the one corner...just enough to allow an occasional drop of rain to sneak through.  No damage done and I'm glad this happened while we were camping so I could address the problem before any serious damage was done.

   
  Thursday  -  September 27, 2007

The day was spent visiting small towns that are within a 30 mile radius of the campground.  The first stop was Gorham and then on to Berlin.  Neither of these small towns offered any sort of "Main Street Shopping" but we did come across an old time JC Penney.  Also, just we discovered a new Wal-Mart Super Center on the road between these two towns so you know we had to stop for groceries and stuff.  We had planned to stop at a local restaurant for lunch but did not find anything that appealed to us so we returned to the motorhome for lunch.

Later in the day we headed to Littleton about 15 miles from the campground.  Here I was surprised to find the Littleton Coin Company.  We stopped in the gift shop but only had a few minutes since the shop was closing at 4 PM.  From here we drove into town and decided to have dinner at the Littleton Diner.  At first we were reluctant to try the diner since it looked a bit run down form the outside.  Turns out our meals were quite good.

While driving the back roads we have been looking for moose but I suspect our chances would be much better at dusk.  Moose signs are frequent.

KOA Twin Mountain Campground has been some what of a disappointment.  The campground reviews on the internet have all been 9's or 10's but the best I would give would be 7.  The sites are level with gravel but extremely narrow and short.  The cable TV is good and the free WiFi is a strong signal where we we located in site #14.  I almost forgot to mention most of the full hook up sites are located about 100 feet from a busy road which means noise is a problem.

   
  Friday  -  September 28, 2007

Chores kept us occupied today...laundry, cleaning inside the motorhome and preparing for our trip to Hinsdale tomorrow.  The rainy weather was OK with us since it will make way for a large high pressure system that will dominate the area for the next week.  Plenty of sunshine and daily temps in the low 70's are expected in the long range forecast.

Tomorrow we should depart around 8:30 AM and have a short 150 mile drive to the Hinsdale Campground.

  Sunday  -  September 30, 2007

Yesterday our drive to Hinsdale Campground went smoothly.  We are practically the only people staying here in the campground.  About 50% of the sites are occupied by seasonals and of course those folks are off to work so I think there are only 3 other RV'ers here.  Sure makes for a peaceful campground. At check in we decided to cut our trip short by one day so we will be heading home on Wednesday.

This campground is OK.  All sights are level with a fair amount of space between.  They charge $40 per night and then an additional $2 if cable TV is desired.  The cable lineup only includes about 12 stations so it hardly seemed fair to impose an additional charge.  Also, they forbid the use of portable electric heaters and electric hot water tanks.  Now to me this does not seem fair either....they charge $40 for full hook ups and then tell you you how you cannot use the electric.  WiFi service is free and the signal is very strong at our site #29.

Today Diana suggested we go sightseeing to the Yankee Candle store located about 20 miles south of here in South Deerfield, Massachusetts.  She called it sightseeing but I was not fooled...it was really shopping.  The Yankee Candle store is truly a destination with everything including a fine dining restaurant. Yankee Candle considers this as one of their flagship stores. The assortment of candles was unbelievable and drew a large crowd of people.  The grounds surrounding the store are beautifully maintained.

We drove through Historic Deerfield but did not stop to walk though the area.

  Monday  -  October 1, 2007

Now we are the only people here at Hinsdale Campground.  Very, very quiet.

A trip to the Peterboro Basket Company was in order today.  Driving around in this area has me confused because at one moment you are in New Hampshire and the next in Vermont or Massachusetts.  We expected the Peterboro Basket Company would have been a larger facility and also disappointed that they no longer offer a tour of the factory. 

After leaving Peterboro we head back toward the campground and found a nice roadside stop to enjoy the lunch we had packed.  Following lunch we headed to another store....Basketville.  We had lots of fun here.

  Tuesday  -  October 2, 2007

We spent the entire morning getting the motorhome ready for our drive home tomorrow and also getting it ready for winter storage.  Diana washed the walls and cabinets and then shined the oak wood to a brilliant luster using Liquid Gold.  While she was doing her chores I did mine on the outside.  I installed a new Max Air vent over the bathroom roof vent, cleaned and organized the basement compartments and flushed the black and grey holding tanks.  Once we get home I'll thoroughly wash the exterior, change the engine oil and shampoo the carpets before putting the motorhome in storage for the winter.

Following lunch we drove into Brattleboro and took a brief walk through town.  It was neat walking the wood floors in the old Ace Hardware store.  Each footstep caused the floor to creak just like it did in the 5 & 10 cent stores when we were kids.

We are now getting anxious to head back home after being on the road for nearly 4 weeks. We have had a wonderful time but there is still no place like home.  We will attempt to be on the road by 7:30 AM tomorrow morning and face a drive of about 330 miles.

  Wednesday  - October 3, 2007

By 8:30 this morning we had traveled from Hinsdale, New Hampshire through Massachusetts and into Connecticut.  We arrived home at 2:30 PM after driving 312 miles and the journey went smoothly.  Once again we are very thankful to have such a wonderful trip the past few weeks and it felt good to be home again.

   
  Trip Notes & Observations

1,256 total miles traveled in the motorhome.

987 sightseeing miles traveled in the car.

Left Pennsylvania traveled to New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut & New Jersey.

Price for a gallon of gas ranged from $2.51 to $3.02.

Daily temps were unseasonably high in the mid 70's to low 80's most of the time.  Normal daily temps should have been in the high 60's.

Only rained on one day.  Rain is badly needed and most lakes and rivers were had noticeably low water levels.

Some KOA Kampgrounds are nice and others are "typical KOA's".  Lake Placid KOA was very nice and Twin Mountain KOA was not nice.

West Point Military Academy, FDR's Library, Lake Placid, Lake George and Mount Washington COG Railroad are great attractions and worth the visit.

New York is a picturesque state for camping.