Back in the USA

Thursday, Sept. 10 & Friday Sept. 11
There’s actually not much to say about our long drive south. We went through customs without a hitch, and it rained the whole day.

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We took a one-nighter at a great campground called (oddly) Rip Van Winkle near Saugerties, NY, in the Catskills. It’s an enormous campground with lots of seasonal RVs permanently installed. There are tons and tons of things to do there, especially for kids.

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We arrived in the rain and set up (but didn’t un-hitch) in the rain. The best thing about Rip Van Winkle? There’s a pizza place nearby and THEY DELIVER to the campground! After the long drive, we opted for delivery to our campsite instead of re-heated pasta (again). It was very cool and the pizza was sublime.

We were parked under a tree, and the leaves were catching the rain that came in waves, and then depositing (what sounded like) enormous drops onto Roomba’s roof at varying intervals. It was so loud and inconsistent, that we both had to put in ear plugs just to sleep. We couldn’t even use the roof vent for “white noise” because of the rain.

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In the morning, the rain had stopped, but everything was coated with forest duff splashed up from the ground by the rain. So we rinsed everything that had been on the ground so we wouldn’t unduly filth-up our trunk. Drove out at about 8:30 with the aim to get breakfast on the road.

The tourist season is definitely not over up here — the leaves of the maple trees are just beginning to turn and every community is preparing for leaf peeper season, and pumpkins and Hallowe’en.

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Two very lovely communities we drove through and want to recommend for future visits are Stone Ridge NY, off the Rt. 209; and Waverly, PA, near Lakawanna State Park (our next stop).

Lakawanna is a great campground, as you’ve heard before from me. It’s quiet and there are lots of trees between sites, and if you’re a kayaker, canoeist, or fisher person, it’s a great place for activities. Not much in the way of cycling options except right around the camping areas, but we like it anyway.

We got a great, deep site with electric and water (but didn’t hook up the water) and the fire ring is well off-pad, downhill in the woods.

Our set-up is for two days, so we have the awning out, the grill and camp kitchen set up, and even put out my “firefly” LED lights. Home sweet home for the next couple of days.

The weather stayed brilliant, but we needed to get some supplies so we drove into the ‘burbs of Scranton and found an excellent wine store, plus a Weis grocery store. You might have noticed we’ve not cycled since Cape Breton, and that’s a shame. But our arrival/departure timing and the weather have prevented us from bothering to take the bikes off the Roomba rack.

Provisioned, we returned to the campsite (#28) and began dinner and a fire. Ate ‘burgers with fresh tomato, potatoes au gratin, and fresh corn. As we sat by the fire afterwards, at around 8:30P, an unexpected visitor showed up: a small skunk with a startlingly white tail came strolling out of the woods to check things out. As if it owned the place.

It probably does.

It nosed around the fire ring as we sat still as stones (Jack was keeping his flashlight trained on it, which didn’t seem to bother it at all). It appeared to finish with us and headed up to Roomba, and nosed around the grill area a bit, then under the trailer, then back down the small hill to us again.

This second foray, I really thought it was going to come and sniff our very feet and I knew I wouldn’t be able to stay still for that adventure. But it thought better of that plan, and headed back to the trailer, but then veered off and went into the woods, proceeding to another campsite.

I couldn’t get any photos for fear the flash would scare it into spraying, and it was full dark so the flash-less pix didn’t show anything but blurrs.

We left the fire, which still probably had 45 minutes to an hour of good burning to watch, and retreated to the safety of our nook in the trailer. Just in case our stripey neighbor decided to return, we didn’t want to be trapped outside again.

I honestly regret leaving that beautiful fire.

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We listened to some music read some books, and then hit the hay, hoping our striped friend would not return or feel the need to spray anything nearby.

One thought on “Back in the USA”

  1. Just caught up on your travels. A very comfortable read, great descriptions of your destinations, and of course the photos. Really like reading about daily adventures, and of course, food. Lots of ideas to be captured and stored away.

    The skunk could have made that campfire extremely memorable…luckily he did not.

    Jim

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