One of the things I forgot to mention about Glimmerglass State Park is that a significant colony of crows hangs out there, and makes a tremendous racket every morning.
With the heater on overnight, it’s not much of a problem, and I like crows anyway. But just sayin’.
The crows weren’t nearly as noisy as all the children that came in for the weekend. We were surprised at how full the campground got – of course, it might have been because of the Morgan Rally.
When JB mentioned there was to be a Morgan gathering up at the Museum House (Hyde House) I was really looking forward to seeing lots of horses.
Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be leetle, low-riding cars that looked like MGs. Actually, they were pretty cool. I looked up the Morgan Car Company and it’s a family-run biz that’s been in Worcestershire, England since 1910.
This was a “Quite British” event, with the tweeds and fine hounds, and some of the folks were going to participate in a race after the show, and they wore early 20th century leather “helmets” with goggles.
The weather persisted in being gloomy, and every day you could smell rain coming or just past; we never got our bikes off the rack, and never got back into Cooperstown. But Otsego Lake (“Glimmerglass Lake” in James Fenimore Cooper’s [1789 – 1851] Leatherstocking Tales) is beautiful in any light.
We gathered for a campfire at Ken and Dianne’s site to share a variety of Ken’s homemade cheeses and go-withs, had a final celebratory whisky to cheer friendships old and new, and hit the hay. We had (mostly) broken camp before the rain dumped over our final night at Glimmerglass and we got an early start for a mostly uneventful trip to Bald Eagle State Park in PA.
None of us had ever been to this park before, so we were looking forward to seeing what it had to offer. We are also scheduled to have dinner with some of the Russell family, as we had done last year when Glo, Kerry and we had paused in this neck of the woods, not too far from Avis and Jersey Shore where Russell family cousins abound.
Jack and I drove straight to the campsite while the Hilton clan stopped in Woolrich at the Woolrich store. Meanwhile, JB and Martha had a leisurely departure from Glimmerglass since they had a Monday appointment for a dealership to have a look at his dash lights/breaking situation. Their Sunday night was promised to be spent in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Wilkes-Barre.
Lovely looking place, Bald Eagle SP: here’s our camp site (#92). How bad could it be, since we saw a bald eagle flying by as we set up? That makes 3 baldies for Jack (he saw one at Shenandoah River that I missed) and 2 for me.
We’re not likely to have robust cell service at Douthat State Park in VA, so I’m trying to upload this bit while it’s still possible. Much more about Bald Eagle SP in the next missive.
October 8, 2015
We headed out after the torrential rains and 100-year flooding in Floyd to “The Nawth.” Our original intention was to wagon-train our trailer and two campers of friends up to Cooperstown, NY to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame, on the bucket list of one of the friends.
Health matters intervened, however, so the one among us who really REALLY wanted to see the Hall of Fame, and his wife, were unable to go. So it ended up being an RV and our Roomba heading from VA on Monday, Oct. 5, to stay at one of my fave places (as of our most recent trip): Pine Grove Furnace State Park in PA.
In the creek near the Iron Furnace, someone had done a lot of work to balance rocks in the stream.
We found a great little diner called (of course) The Lincoln Diner near the railroad tracks downtown and had a great lunch of sandwiches. Very friendly folks there, too.
Dinner was salmon on the grill, with delicious cole slaw that Gloria had made, and a wild rice mix — again, enjoyed around the blaze of a fire, all four of us sharing adult beverages and stories.
Before we left PA we stopped for some beer for me, at just about the only type of place PA allows folks to buy beer any longer — a specialty shop. They actually had some good craft beers, and I looked again for the “Fresh Squeezed IPA” from a brewery in Oregon (Deschutes). This beer has been highly recommended to me by a longtime friend in VA, and I thank you for that, Julia, because it is quite good. Yes, I found it at last, after striking out on my search during our last adventure to the northern climes. The only downside is I had to buy an entire case without having tried it. But between Julia’s advice and the enthusiastic recommendations of the two fellows running the beer store, I felt I was on solid ground jumping into the deep end and hauling a case of bottled beer around with us. I have not been disappointed!
Headed from Pine Grove Furnace to Glimmerglass State Park in New York next, which is a glorious campground near Cooperstown. Glimmerglass is at one end of Otsego Lake and CT is at the other. The whole place is quite picturesque.
Again, because of a later arrival, we had spaghetti that Gloria thawed for our meal, built a fire, and enjoyed beverages.
Next day, we all hopped into the car to see Cooperstown and send our Hall of Fame friend some photos. We all decided, however, that we’d save our actual visit to the HoF until all health issues are past and our friends can accompany us. It really will be much more interesting when there’s an enthusiast among us.
First stop was at the lakeside, where we read the following plaque:
“This part of Cooperstown has long been one of the most used access points to Otsego Lake for residents and visitors alike. When the first commercially successful steamboat company opened on Otsego Lake in 1871, this area developed as a pleasure ground. By 1894, ten private and public steamers were operating on the lake from this dock area. In 1902, part of the site was opened as a village park. Soon after the steamers stopped running in 1935, the village park achieved its present size. Today, docks still provide slips for local people’s boats, and a ramp allows boats on trailers to launch.
“The sidewheeler, ‘Natty Bumppo,’ named for James fenimore Cooper’s main character of the Leatherstocking Tales, first plied Otsego Lake in the summer of 1871. The original ‘Natty’ burned in 1872, but was quickly replaced by a second ‘Natty’ in 1873. The steamers linked the railhead at Richfield Springs with Cooperstown, allowing tourists to travel the last seven miles of their journey by water. Most camps along the lake had docks from which the campers could flag the boat to stop.
“Launching of ‘Mohican,’ 1905: The ‘Mohican,’ launched in 1905, was named for Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tale, The Last of the Mohicans. Able to carry 400 passengers, her maiden voyage from this park was a festive affair. ‘Mohican’ closed the steamboat era on Otsego Lake in 1935 when she was taken out of service.
“The village of Cooperstown acquired the park in 1901 and opened a new pavilion in 1902. By 1937, the boat livery and the steamboats were gone. The village demolished the pavilion and landscaped the park, giving it a more formal look with circular paths, lawns, and an open bandstand.”
Cooperstown is a simply beautiful downtown, and you don’t need to be a baseball fan to really enjoy the place. Certainly, most every business is baseball-centered, but the storefronts are lovely and the amenities are vast. We counted at least five ice cream stores, a couple of coffee houses, at least one bakery, and many interesting offshoot businesses along with the (often tongue-in-cheek) baseball paraphernalia stores. There’s evan a minor league stadium right in the downtown area.
This will be a totally lovely place to tootle around on a bicycle. The surrounding residential streets are full of B&Bs, small hotels, and renovated historic homes that are truly beautiful. You can tell this is a place that has been here a long time, occupied by folks who love it here.
I took so many photos, I’ll just arrange them into a gallery so you can pick and choose which ones you care to see.
We took a short jaunt out of town to hit a craft brewery that had been recommended to us by cycling friends: Ommegang Brewery just outside of Cooperstown. It serves food, so we headed there for lunch. Great place, very good beers, and a delicious lunch. I highly recommend a visit to my beer enthusiast friends.
Upon our return to Glimmerglass we wanted to get some exercise, and the ranger who checked us in had recommended a walk down to the lake and into the woods. She had also recommended a visit to an historic home perched on the side of the hill, but we elected not to pay the entrance fee to go inside. So we put on our hiking shoes and walked from our campsites to see the oldest covered bridge (no longer in service) in America, and then to the lake front and into the woods for a walk along a fire road for about a mile or so. The weather held to its glorious setting and we had a very fine time, indeed.
We shifted our dinner efforts from Kerry and Gloria’s setting to ours, as Jack grilled asparagus and pork loin for our shared dinner. I built the fire and we sat around it after dinner until the embers glowed red and all was quiet in the campground.
Then the rain began — the first less-than-stellar weather we’d experienced since leaving home. Heck, tomorrow is a travel day, so it might as well rain. Happily, before hitting the hay tonight, Jack and I had taken down and stowed the awning and the footprint, and all the stuff that normally sits under the awning before the rain began, at about 2AM.
Next stop: Little Pine State Park in PA, another new spot we will be able to check off our State Parks list.