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

We headed east the following Sunday. As we traveled we were fascinated by the changes in topography from low flatlands to the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains—so beautiful and we became aware of additional waterways and the Hudson River. Now, we have all read about the Hudson Bay Company and how they made a fortune on beaver pelts! It was so neat to be right in the middle of the American History sites and to read about the history that took place at these locales.

We have discovered that we LOVE Perry’s Ice Cream, made in NY. Birthday Bash is to die for—tastes just like birthday cake with ice cream AND it is available in Perry’s ice cream drive ins and in the grocery stores. We stocked up and filled what space we had in the freezer with this GREAT ice cream. I know I shouldn’t eat it daily; so I’m attempting to eat it every-other-day. What a SACRIFICE!

Believe it or not—there are oodles of individuals who live in trailers, trailer parks and modular homes up here in this cold-weather country. We were shocked! However, it is very common—guess there are Americans here that need housing that is affordable and quick to access. AND—it seems that EVERYBODY uses firewood. We’ve seen stacks and piles of firewood in every community—some take up as much room in the yard as the footprint of the house!!

We’re loving the fresh veggies at the produce stands—we were shocked at the first stand where there was no one there, just a locked money box, bolted down—honor system being used. This appears to be part of the NY culture—we’ve run across it everywhere in the state—works for us!

The little towns and villages as well as the cities are so OLD—beautiful old buildings, fantastically restored and maintained Victorian homes and even small businesses. So many quaint communities that are so close together—lots of early American history up here!! We’ve come across several small Amish communities in every state, except Mississippi. There are lots of Native American names for towns, communities, businesses, etc. Just like where I grew up in southern Mississippi.

As we drove through Saratoga on our way to our RV site in eastern NY, Greg decided to email his best friend in Baltimore, telling him, “come on up to join us at the Saratoga Race Track”. Boy were we surprised when we learned that they were actually flying into eastern NY the next day to go to the Saratoga Race Track and vacation in the area for a few days. HOW NEAT! We were able to spend some time together on 2 different days—visiting Lake George in the Adirondacks the day before they flew out (a day earlier than expected—last flight to BWI from Albany—prior to Hurricane Irene’s visit).

We were just out of Albany and Saratoga (horse racing country) so we were able to spend 2 afternoons with a very dear friend. (She joined the Sisters of Notre Dame in Baltimore when a teenager and taught a first grade class—learning from a veteran teacher each night—learning what she was to teach the next day—AND ONLY 17 YEARS OLD.) She left the order, went to college and we met at Memphis State University—where she attended postgraduate school with Greg and I in Memphis, TN (during our first 2 years of marriage). We’ve only seen her 2 or 3 times since we moved from Memphis in 1981. She is joined a religious order so is once again “Sister Shannon”. We just picked up from our last visit, over 20 years ago—such a fantastic person in our lives. We plan to see her again next year. We have too much to share to let time pass like this again.

We discovered a small museum (again from digging through regional brochures) that had some Native American artifacts, it was small, but a wonderful find. The museum was named the Rogers Island Visitors Center in Fort Edward, NY. What a find! A new sewage system was about to be installed when a great discovery was made—the original Ft. Edward (think French and Indian War) ruins were discovered when the digging began in 1991—since then they have dug deeper and discovered Native American artifacts dating back to 8000 BC. We gained not only additional information; but found 4 or 5 fantastic books that will be helpful to us!!

What FUN! We attended the Washington County Fair—one of the more popular fairs for eastern NY. We had so much fun and wouldn’t you know it—our stop after we left the fairground was a new ice cream shop (The Ice Cream Man) with all homemade flavors. OH NO! These were better than Perry’s Ice Cream—what should we do? Of course, we decided to go back—one last time before pulling out ahead of Hurricane Irene.

The RV sites are all very different. The one we were in on the Vermont/NY line was in the country high above a lake. We were scheduled there for one week—and then Hurricane Irene decided to travel up the eastern seaboard, as each of you well know. We were scheduled to leave NY and drive into Vermont (150 miles) on Sunday, Aug. 28; however, we decided that we were not up to testing out the RV in tropical strength winds and rain—so instead, we moved out on Saturday, Aug 27, and headed west—back toward Niagara Falls. We found an RV park east of Syracuse that could accommodate us. And, so we parked at the Oneida (Native American Nation) Resort and Casino complex. It is a huge place and obviously caters to those who wish to spend their money!! When we arrived we were delighted to have such a nice RV site—it accommodates 175 RVs and recreational trailers/tents.

We made the most of our backtracking and our parking on the Oneida Reservation. We were able to visit a great museum located on the Oneida Reservation—so beautiful. This detour lasted 3 nights—and then we headed back to our RV camp site in VT. I’ll catch up for September and October and get that out in a few days.

NO SCRAPBOOKING YET; however, we’ve made thousands of pictures (none printed so far). When we slow down during the winter, I should have more “at-home” time to get my scrapbooking materials out and enjoy the process of getting our adventures into scrapbooks.

Greg and I plan to pull some of our pictures and attach to the Sept/Oct updates—I will attempt to get that info forwarded to everyone before the end of this week.

Our love to all—we will be in back in MD in a few days. We are getting excited about reconnecting with friends. Greg is planning to play LOTS of golf—he’s not really played as much as we thought he would. Our weekly schedules have not been too busy; but, we have moved around an awful lot since our departure in July. As of today (October 17, 2011) we have camped in 13 states—not counting MD. Plus, we have weathered extreme heat in southern MS (too hot for golf), tropical storms, excessive rains and many—many—many days devoted to traveling.

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