We had a leisurely morning, then got cleaned up and headed back to Rome to see Fort Stanwix. It was worth it as it has been rebuild beautifully and really gives you a feel for what it was like in the late 1700’s. Our guide, Willie Scott, did a great job of explaining why it was so strategic. There is a narrow land bridge between two rivers that allowed travel and trade, while everything around it was marshy or water. Right behind the fort is beautiful St. Peters Roman Catholic Church, so we went in for a quick visit. What beautiful architecture and stained glass windows!
Returning to the campground, we hooked up and headed up Rt 46 over to Rt 12, which is a scenic byway along the Black River. Rt. 12 is a beautiful road with little traffic and we could easily hold 60mph and enjoy the scenery. We missed a turn, so we only got a glimpse of the Black River, but it was gorgeous. If we had no itinerary, this would have been a great place to stay and explore the Black River. There is trout and salmon fishing on the river and sounds like a pretty exciting raft trip. I started to turn into Pixley Falls State Park, but Martha said we would probably have to pay to get in, so I drove on. Am I with Kelly or Martha? By the time we got to I81, we were happy to see light traffic and a very good road in contrast to what we saw in Pennsylvania and southern New York, where this major highway is in poor condition with very heavy traffic. New York has some very nice rest areas.
It is a very narrow and high bridge crossing the first half of the St. Lawrence Seaway to Wellesley Island with a 40mph speed limit. The trucks don’t seem to mind, but it seems like you are almost touching side view mirrors when you pass them. The campground is full, so there is a lot of activity, which can be entertaining, but not my kind of place, but we are happy to stay in one place for three nights and rest up a bit. It was 86 degrees, which was plenty hot as we unhooked and put out the awning for the first time. We love our outdoor mat that our neighbor, Leslie, gave us, full of color and we can now wipe our feet before coming into the trailer.
A little exercise will be good tomorrow – maybe a bike ride to explore a bit.
I can’t remember the last time I slept 8 hours, but I think I got 8 1/2 last night. Still groggy, we enjoyed a relaxing morning and a nice breakfast. Martha did yoga with a video she brought. Off in the distance we heard a lot of children making a lot of noise. As I walked up to the bathroom, I saw a lot of cars parked through the trees. Someone on a microphone was yelling out instructions and what sounded like 100 kids were shouting back replies. It sounded like a drill sergeant from my VMI days, but the kids were obviously having fun, and it was obviously a big, popular event. Then there was music played on the loudspeaker. I wanted to go over there to see, but we needed to get on the road. We didn’t see much of this park, but it’s a huge lake with a nice campground and beautiful fields.
We got on the road at 10:00, winding along small country roads and small towns along Pennsylvania countryside until getting on I83. With heavy truck traffic, it is much like I81, which we eventually got on. It takes a while to get through Pennsylvania, and we were glad to finally cross into New York. I was surprised when a warning light came on. “Gas cap is loose”. Never having seen that before, I looked in the side mirror, there it was dangling by it’s little cord. Geez! 81 is no easy place to stop, but found a weigh station that was closed and put the gas cap back on. Now how the heck to you rested that alert? By the time we go to Syracuse, it was rush hour and were diverted by the GPS to avoid traffic. Sometimes you feel like you just shouldn’t pay attention to that thing, because they are often wrong and will take you on some screwy routes, but this time, it worked great. My big rule is to be in camp by 5:00, but we still had a ways to go. Now I was getting tired and grumpy, but tried to hold it together. Finally arriving at Delta Lake State Park at 6:00, we checked in, found our campsite, backed in, leveled the trailer and unhooked. It rained a little while we were doing this, but just as we finished, it poured. I was happy not to be in a tent.
Martha had said she didn’t want to become an alcoholic on this trip, having seen how Kelly and I had cocktail hour every night on our trip three years ago, but after driving on I83 and 81 in heavy traffic all day, you need a drink!! She had made some ratatouille before we left and we had some leftover steak from a nice dinner with our neighbors, Danis and Reetie. Adding some potatoes, we had a nice dinner. By then the rain had stopped, so we walked out the back of our campsite to the lake to see a beautiful sunset. Nice and cool, we opened the windows and finally enjoyed a cool breeze.