We hope to visit 3 or 4 different campgrounds on this loop through Up State New York during three weeks in mid September. In this journal I'll include maps showing our planned routes and destinations. The maps are files saved from Delorme Streets Atlas 2005.
Remember....simply click any picture to enlarge it....also, any words that are underlined can be clicked for more information.
August 7, 2005
Below is a Delorme Street Atlas map for the first leg of our trip into Up State New York. Right now our departure from home is expected around September 8th. Our destination for this first leg is Association Island RV Resort and Marina located at Henderson Harbor, New York. The distance from home to Association Island is an all day drive of approximately 315 miles and should be a scenic trip. I still need to make reservations for the campground but won't do so until about a week before our departure.
|After a 7 night stay at Association Island we will head further north to Clayton, New York and our destination of 1000 Islands Campground. This should be a very pleasant drive less than 60 miles. The Delorme map for this leg is directly below.|
|We do not have reservations yet for 1000 Island Campground and I'm not certain how many nights we will stay....most likely 5 nights. The map for our 3rd leg of the trip is shown below. Villages RV Park at the Turning Stone Casino will be our destination after driving 125 miles from 1000 Islands Campground. Here at the casino we will be meeting with several other RV'ers that we met during the Gettysburg Rally in May of this year. This should be a real fun time as these are very nice people and we look forward to meeting again.|
|The next leg of our trip is still uncertain at this time. We may go directly home from here, or stopping at the KOA is Newburg, New York is also a possibility. We will finalize these plans in the weeks ahead....but right now we are anxious for this trip to begin. The weather for the past few weeks has been very dry, humid and temperatures ranging from the high 80's to mid 90's so the cooler September days in New York will be most welcome. If we decide to head towards the KOA Newburg the route to be followed is below.|
|While at KOA Newburg we would like to visit the West Point Military Academy and also the home of Franklin D. Roosevelt. After a few days at Newburg we will definitely head home following the route below.|
2005 - Tuesday
Plans for this trip have been in limbo for several reasons, (1) the price of gas continues to be at an all time high due to the devastation from Hurricane Katrina, (2) the health care needs for our mothers in Pittsburgh and (3) most recently Rebecca, our miniature Schnauzer , had to undergo surgery yesterday.
I'm pleased to report the price of gas has stopped climbing and in fact has started to decline ever so slightly. In our area the cost per gallon is averaging around $3.24 but can be found at $2.99 at a limited number of stations. I expect for this trip our fuel costs should not exceed a grand total of $400.
Both of our mothers are doing OK at this time. My mother is still going to therapy twice a week due to her broken hip which happened this past May. Diana's mother is up and about after her surgery from 4 weeks ago.
Rebecca, our miniature Schnauzer, came through her surgery yesterday very well. She had a cancerous growth removed from her back. The incision starts at her shoulder and continues for about 4 inches toward her rear. This morning she is getting around almost as if she never had the surgery. For being 14 years old (98 in people life) she is doing remarkably well. The vet said it would be fine for her to travel.
2005 - Wednesday
After 312 miles and nine hours later we have arrived at Association Island RV Resort. Just a few miles north of Syracuse we found a new Super Wal-Mart and stopped there to stock up on groceries and while there had lunch in the motorhome. Let me tell you, its good that we bought groceries because there is nothing near the campground. Once we left Interstate 81 we drove through 16 miles of farmland before reaching the resort. The last 3 miles of this final leg of the trip was on a dusty, I mean very dusty, gravel road.
The campground has about 300 sites and right now only 50 or so are occupied since this is the off-peak time of year.. Starting in September the overnight rates are reduced by $15 per night. Our site is categorized as "premium" and the cost is $39 per night which means during the peak season the sight would be $54. The "premium" sites are unique since you drive straight into the site and face directly onto Lake Ontario. What a gorgeous view we have out the front window of the motorhome. By the way, our site is L15.
Following dinner Diana and I took a stroll through the campground. It's quite evident that much construction has been done to the facilities in this campground. Many of the old buildings have been meticulously renovated to become the laundromat, bar & grill and a recreation building. There are still several of the old buildings still in need of repair. Obviously money is being invested in this campground and the results show.
If you are looking for peace, quite and just plain relaxation, then this is the place for you. When sitting outside all that can be heard is the water from Lake Ontario splashing onto the shore with an occasional screech from a sea gull.
2005 - Thursday
A rumble of thunder and a flash of lighting startled us both about 3:30 am this morning. I think even Rebecca with her hearing impairment was able to hear the thunder because 15 minutes later she wanted to go outside. Fortunately the storm was still out on Lake Ontario and we were able to go outside without being in the rain. The thunder and lighting never did come ashore but a nice rain shower continued for an hour.
A car ride to Henderson Harbor and then to Sackets Harbor made us realize the sparse population in this area. When driving along the country roads it was rare to see any vehicles. Henderson Harbor is a small collection of homes and a marina stretching about 4 short blocks along the shore so we never stopped to walk the streets. We continued on for another six miles to Sackets Harbor. This is a quaint old town with a few small shops, a bank, a playhouse and an assortment of restaurants and pubs. We seemed to be the only tourists in town. We walked up one side of the main street and down the other and completed this in less than 30 minutes. Very picturesque town but not much to do so we headed back to the motorhome.
I should comment about the weather which we have experienced so far. Yesterday for our drive up the weather was unseasonably warm...in fact for this time of year it was a bit too hot going into the high 80's. Now today the weather has cooled off since that brief early morning rain shower. Right now at 6:00 pm the sky is perfectly clear and the outside temp is a perfect 73 degrees with the ever constant breeze coming off Lake Ontario.
Association Island is a very nice campground and as improvements continue this location will become even better. The facilities are very good and very well maintained. If you are looking for a place with lots of quiet and no tourist distractions ....then this is the place for you. We enjoyed our 2 days here and now look forward to heading further north.
Mother Nature gave us a special farewell this evening with a beautiful sunset that we viewed from the comfort of our motorhome.
2005 - Friday
Nature's alarm clock sounded at 6:30 am this morning when a small flock of geese did a low altitude flyby.......honking loudly enough to awake me from a sound sleep. Sure beats the radio alarm clock.
By 12:30 pm we arrived at our new destination, 1000 Islands Campground. This small campground is centrally located between Clayton and Alexandria Bay, New York. This is our first visit to the region and we look forward to touring these quaint harbor villages.
The temperature has certainly changed toward the Fall season. Currently at 6:30 pm we are having rain, 20 to 30 mph winds and the temp is a chilly 62 degrees. For peace of mind I retracted the patio awning rather than sitting here and worrying that a gust of wind would do damage.
2005 - Saturday
The days seem to just melt away. I've lost track of time and find it hard to believe that today is Saturday already. The weather is very "Fall like" with cloudy skies, cool temps and a mist in the air. We decided this would be a good day to visit the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton since most of the displays are inside and protected from the elements.
The museum was quite interesting and in particular the narrated tour of Mr. Boldts' house boat La Duchesse. This boat was just added to the museum this past July and the history of the boat is fascinating and worth the price of admission. Even if you are not a boating enthusiast ( we once enjoyed boating when we had our Sea Ray) this museum will capture your interest. After touring the museum we had a late lunch at a small restaurant, Koffee Kove, located near the center of the village.
Late afternoon we took a short drive across the I81 Thousand Islands toll bridge onto Wellesley Island and then drove to Fineview located on the southern tip. This village was comprised of endless variations of Victorian homes that no doubt have been here since the early 1900's. The village is definitely a summer vacation destination and it was quite evident the busy season has passed as we were practically the only people there. We felt like we were visiting a village that had be evacuated. The Victorian decor made this an uniquely charming destination.
2005 - Sunday
This day was spent taking a 2 1/2 hour cruise aboard the Island Princess. Viewing the St. Lawrence from the ship gave us a whole new perspective of how beautiful this region is. There are nearly 1800 islands gathered here and practically each one has a home more splendid than the other.
The highlight of this cruise was the visit to Boldt Castle. The layout and amenities contained within this castle are beyond what I can describe so hopefully the pictures below will help tell the story.
This was a memorable day.
2005 - Monday
Originally we had planned to leave today and start our journey to Turning Stone, but last night we decided to extend our stay here at Alexandria Bay another day. Before lunch today we walked through many of the shops in Alexandria Bay and then sat on a bench near one of the many marina docks. From there we walked up to an overlook that gave a good vantage point for some more pictures of the river and Boldt Castle.
For lunch we stopped by the Captain's Landing Floating Restaurant and enjoyed the fine cuisine. Because this is off-peak season for tourists we were the only people in the main dining room so we had the entire facility to ourselves. The view out the window of the restaurant varied from luxury speed boats, marine life such as sea gulls and geese and we also saw a large ocean ship pass by. Great food, awesome view and fantastic company. Another memorable day of our lives.
2005 - Tuesday
A thunder storm and wind was our farewell gift from Mother Nature this morning. Thankfully the storm was over by 6:00 am, so our 60 mile drive from Alexandria Bay to Turning Stone Casino, Verona, New York was not hindered by rain. However the winds were blowing from the southwest at 25 mph with an occasional gust of 30 to 35 mph. That means the entire drive was directly into a head wind. By 1:00 pm we arrived at the casino campground.
This campground, The Villages at Turning Stone, is among the finest that we have ever visited. The sites are large, level and well maintained. All facilities are absolutely spotless. Our site is 416 and it faces a small fishing pond. For a 6 night stay the fee is $190 and this includes full hook up, 99 cable channels and free wi-fi service. The casino is about a mile from the campground and shuttle service to and from is also provided as a free courtesy. The staff are exceptionally friendly and helpful.
After setting up at the campsite we took a short ride to explore the area. A Super Wal-Mart is located 6 miles down the road and even better yet an Oneida Factory Store is also a short 6 mile drive.
2005 - Wednesday
The gas here in the area of Verona is averaging $2.79 a gallon and that is the lowest price that I have seen in the past 6 weeks. But, as I prepare this journal entry another major category 5 hurricane is traveling through the Gulf of Mexico and the current track shows a landfall on the coastline of Texas. News sources are predicting gas prices will jump to $5 a gallon because of the catastrophic damage that is being anticipated. Not a good situation.
2005 - Thursday
The Turning Stone Casino is located just 1 mile from the campground and until today we have not gone there. Before lunch we drove to the casino to check it out. From the outside the grounds are very nicely groomed but the building exterior is not glamorous like the Vegas or Atlantic City Casinos. Therefore, before entering the casino we did not expect too much of the decor. To our surprise the casino interior was landscaped with lots of palm trees and foliage.....and sparkling clean. The slots and tables were about 30% occupied and the bingo hall was filled. Neither Diana or I were in the mood to make a "gambling donation" so we decided to leave after our short visit.
Late this afternoon our camping friends from RV.net started to arrive. We had a very nice hotdog cookout at Bruce Brown's campsite, while exchanging and enjoying each others camping stories.
2005 - Friday
The threat of Hurricane Rita continues to be the big story. She remains to have the intensity of a category 4 hurricane and will most likely come ashore on the borders of Texas and Louisiana. CNN reports show the enormous numbers of people evacuating the coastline cities.....massive traffic jams and the shortage of gasoline to fuel the vehicles. The scenes are terrible......horrible confusion and chaos.
The pot luck dinner was the main event for today. As usual lots of great food!! The evening weather became cool so the warmth of the campfire was welcomed by all.
2005 - Saturday
The overnight temperature dipped to 48 degrees and is starting to feel more like Fall weather.
Three cars were filled with anxious potential motorhome buyers and we drove 40 miles to Meyers RV's just west of Syracuse. We all had fun looking through the new class A motorhomes. Fortunately no one was "bitten" by the new motorhome bug.
This evening we all rode the shuttle bus to the casino to indulge in a feast at the Seasons Harvest Buffet. Larry and Linda Cadman treated the entire group to dinner as their guest. Good food and excellent friendship made for an enjoyable meal. Following dinner some of the folks went to the magician show, some visited the casino shops and others tried their luck at the games of chance. Then everyone met back at the campground for a nice warm campfire. Just a perfect eveing.
2005 - Sunday
Sad day today. All of our RV.net friends departed by 11:00 am checkout time. We had a wonderful visit with these folks and we missed them being here with us today. We will depart for home early in the am hours tomorrow.
2005 - Monday
4:45 am I was awakened by the din of rain falling on the roof of the motorhome. I dosed off and was awaked for a second time by the shrill beep of the alarm clock at 6:00 am. Diana and I went into our departure routine and within 45 minutes we were driving away from The Villages at Turning Stone.
The rain wasn't much more than a drizzle for the entire 250 mile drive home but the wind gusting to 30 and 35 mph made for an exciting drive at times. This weather was the remnants of Hurricane Rita. We were in no hurry so I never exceeded 60 mph and safely arrived home by 2:00 pm.
We hugged and thanked each other for another wonderful trip. During this trip we saw beautiful scenery and further established a friendship with our RV.net friends.