America through the Windshield--Getting to Know the First Americans travel blog

Greg has become most skilled as an RV driver. He maneuvers our big rig with care and caution. His proficiency in tight turns, crossing narrow bridges, heading down twisty drives and backing up into teeny parking spaces continues to amaze me with proficient problem solving at the spur of the moment. We are in good hands when we are mobile, very similar to his driving the car. He’s always on the watch for careless drivers; we really see so many foolish moves in our “high chairs”.

We needed to make a detour in route from Cape Ann; we were too heavy for a bridge repair. Upon our arrival to the Mystic KOA Campground we discovered that our site was quite extravagant; the manager bumped us to the more expensive site as the vacation season winds down and there were few campers since fall has arrived—no longer the peak season. We never pay for special amenities that might enhance the camping experience; Greg routinely researches the available sites and chooses those that provide our basic needs. We need 50 amps to run our RV with a parking site large enough for a 43-foot RV having 4-popouts and full hookups (sewer, water and electricity—having no additional charges for energy use). We were a little more than impressed when we drove up to the assigned site; it had a lovely patterned patio with a slider swing and two lawn chairs along with a bar-height table matching high chairs. And, to our total shock there sat a gigantic gas grill with a full tank of propane. So this is how the wealthy campers rough-it!

We got set up and then headed to Mystic Seaport. It is in an idyllic setting, a beautiful seaport town connected with a drawbridge to an equally beautiful lake. Our destination was Mystic Pizza (as in the Julia Roberts movie, Mystic Pizza). Our timing was perfect, Mystic Seaport had hosted “Chowder” street festival over the weekend. We arrived at the end of Sunday; the crowds and most of the vendors were packing up to head home. When we walked in we knew we were at the right place, there were photos, posters covering the walls and the movie playing on each of the TVs. They were busy but quick in getting us seated. We were so excited to try the pizza. We each ordered a large pizza with our favorite ingredients; we wanted leftovers (leftover pizza is always good when reheated on a baking stone). We were not disappointed!

Only two nights in Mystic Seaport. The next day we walked for a couple of hours then had an ice cream lunch at the Drawbridge Ice Cream Shop—another good choice for store-churned ice cream, made in small batches. We then headed to a very tiny Native American museum (Tomaquog) in Rhode Island. We spent the afternoon with a young Indian man who shared much personal information about his tribe, his family and his ancestry. The countryside was beautiful on a wonderfully warm fall day. We stopped at a lake where an old mill once stood. The water rushed over a wall and provided a picture postcard setting for picture taking. There were old stone walls, stone stairways and doorways, along with fishermen in a small boat. The lake was surrounded with hardwood trees spreading their leaves like a painted shawl to the edge of the lake. We were there at the perfect time of the day, the sun was low and the shadows were behind the trees.

The next day was a travel day; however, we had a stop to make. We discovered that the Pequot Reservation had a grand museum (in addition to the gigantic casinos and hotels). We had checked out the parking lot capacity and knew that we could park the RV (with the car in tow) in their parking lot. We were so excited that we could squeeze a visit into our travel day. The museum had been closed on Monday, we knew this was our only chance to get inside. We were in awe the entire time we were there. Each room brought more amazement with each doorway . The quality of the life sized displays, the enhanced technology , the content of the videos, the artifacts were of superior quality. They exceeded the Smithsonian American Indian Museum a hundred times over. The Prehistoric Village, the hunting camp; the dugout canoes; the mannequins were so true to life that our imaginations took flight and we were there alongside the Natives. We spent three hours and only scratched the surface of information. We wanted to stay longer but our itinerary was set so we left without making it through the museum. We will spend days in this museum next year; in fact, we plan to be present for the Pequot Pow Wow in October, 2012.

Our afternoon drive took us through some of the most colorful fall foliage that we had seen. The colors were so rich and vibrant that we felt that we had been wrapped in a blanket of beautiful flower petals. I kept the camera in my lap and snapped away until we drove through rain showers. We were delighted when the rains stopped and the sun reappeared just as we reached our campsite in New York. The trees were golden as the sun set behind them enriching the colors until they were almost transparent as they glowed in the last rays of sunshine.

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