Tuesday, July 29, 2014

1000 Islands

Wellesley Island State Park was the location of our next stop.  We had a beautiful travel day. Crossing the 1000 Island bridge, I had a wee case of height issues and did not look out the window at the scenery.  I had my head tucked down looking at the floorboard of the truck.  I am sure that our friend Bill totally understands!
Bridge to Wellesley Island

We have been on the road about 3 ½ years and have been extremely lucky when it comes to campsites. When I booked our site at Wellesley Island State Park, it showed that it could accommodate a 50 foot rig. Since we are 38 ft, I assumed we would have no problem.  When we were checking in at the office, I noticed that they had a map of the campsites and that our site, #5 in the Heron Loop, was listed as a 30 ft site.  Ut-oh.  I questioned this and the worker asked us to at least try as most of their sites in the Heron Loop could accommodate a rig our size.  So, off we went.  We got to site 5 and quickly realized we would not fit.   We drove back to the office with Gin and Syl following us as someone was still on their site.  Double ut-oh.  Long story short, a few hours after we arrived, we both got settled onto sites.  Gin and Syl on their original site and we were moved to a site right across from them.  Our  new site is a non-reserveable site that the office keeps open in case of emergency.
Our site at Wellesly Island SP 
We took the first day and got ourselves acclimated by pedaling around.  It’s a large park with many loops with the majority being tent and small rig sites.  We are very pleased with our sites in the Heron Loop.

While pedaling, we saw deer, bunnies (my favorite) and squirrels….black squirrels.  That’s something new for me!

We took a little road trip one day and went to Cape Vincent to see Tibbett’s Point Lighthouse. Dan and I had seen this before but I never tire of lighthouses.  Tibbett’s Point is where Lake Ontario meets the St. Lawrence River.  It’s  very peaceful and we sat down and enjoyed relaxing and taking in the views.

Windmills and boats
And we took the obligatory lighthouse photos….

Gin and Syl

Dan and I
Wellesley Island State Park has quite a network of hiking trails and Dan, Syl, and I set out one day to explore.  We didn’t have a plan but did have a map so off we went!
The park offers Voyageur Canoe trips.  That's one BIG canoe!
One of the trails follows the waterfront of Eel Bay (off of the St Lawrence)  for quite awhile.  We made frequent stops to take in the views…

I could never tire of seeing the houses on the islands.  I try to imagine what it would be like to live on an island that small!

We learned about glacier potholes.

The glaciers provided the height necessary for water and rock debris to rush down and create these holes.

The blue green of the water was eye-catching.

We weren't the only ones enjoying the outdoors

Beaver pond

We got quite  a treat on the trail….
"Trail" mix!
Blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries all in the same area.  Nancy - you would have loved this!  The blueberries and raspberries were so sweet and tasty.  But, the blackberries were a bit tart!!

Some of the views reminded us of Maine
 We were treated to this surprise on the trail

We were walking and heard quite a bit of rustling in some brush right off the trail.  I think we disturbed this sleeping fawn.  It bounded away very quickly
Black squirrels!
Towards the end of our hike, we stopped by the park’s butterfly house.  The butterflies were not impressive to us but the flowers were!

The park also has an exhibit demonstrating the different wing spans of the various birds found here.
Dan's "wingspan" is almost as big as a bald eagle's! 
We played tourists two days and took a boat tour around the 1000 Islands.  We also toured Boldt Castle and the Boldt Yacht House.  Dan and I had done this a few years ago, thoroughly enjoyed it, and wanted to do it again.

I was just as intrigued with the small houses on islands as I was the large!

Gorgeous day to be on the water!
So many islands 

Boldt Yacht House (which is actually on Wellesley Island)

Dan, Gin, and Syl looking at the wonders in the yacht house
Ongoing restoration on Boldt Castle

The insides of the castle and the view from the castle were breath-taking

Front parlor

Wonderful views

Blue skies
Back at the campground, Dan had found the perfect place to watch the sunset.  So the four of us set out one night.  We had the dock to ourselves for the majority of the time but could see a houseboat anchored out in the bay.  After awhile, it started heading towards us and docked at the dock we were sitting on.  As soon as it did, a boat came speeding towards us/them.  My first thought was “border patrol”.

and it was!
The houseboat was fine anchored in the water as it was international waters.  However, when it docked, it was on US land and the agents wasted no time getting to the houseboat and questioning them.  All was good, the people on the houseboat answered their questions and off they went.  A little bit of excitement!

We were not disappointed with the sunset….

We would definitely come back to Wellesley Island State Park if in the area again.  But, we would only stay in the H Loop.  The spaces are large, there are not too many of them, and we got US Verizon coverage for cell/internet!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Summer Fun....

We celebrated the 4th  of July with a cookout at Tim and Ann’s house.  We had a great time hanging out with everyone.
Ann and Tim

Timmy and Colleen

Dan and Doug

It was a cooler day but a gorgeous one nonetheless for a get together.  After we ate, Colleen and I decided to have some fun on the farm.
Bocce ball with hay bales!
We rolled a few manually and then got the "mule" to get the rest.  

Doug and Colleen’s dog, Abby, had a grand time with us!
Me and my partners in crime!
On July 6th, we left the farm to start our summer travels.  We were meeting friends Gin and Syl, Charlie and Dot, and Doug and Darlene at Sampson State Park.   We caravanned to the park with Doug and Darlene and everyone else showed up within about 30 minutes.  We got settled into our sites and started a campfire.

Charlie had organized having pizza delivered and then we celebrated Syl’s birthday (albeit a bit late), with Nutty Buddy pie.
Dan's way of lighting the candles!
We spent five days at Sampson State Park and enjoyed our time….
Bike riding with Doug and Darlene

Checking out Doug's gas campfire logs
Wildlife on the bike trail...these two actually came running towards us! 

Gorgeous views of Seneca Lake

Taking a break from our bike ride

Darlene and Doug  
The gang off to see the sun set.


Dot and Charlie enjoying the sunset

Syl and Gin watching the sun go down  

Gorgeous moon shot
Sampson State Park used to be a military base for both the Navy (training facility during WWII) and then the Air Force (Korean War).  There is a wonderful museum depicting life at Sampson during both periods. Dan, Doug, Syl and I had a nice time exploring this one morning.

Statue honoring the Air Force
Syl and Dan playing around 

Syl in the brig

Checking the view from the periscope

Artist's rendering of the USS Midway.  My father served on this ship in the Korean War. 
One thing I really wanted to do while at Sampson State Park was to drive over to Watkins Glen and hike the Gorge Trail.  Dan, Gin, Syl and I attempted to do this a few years ago and went on a day where the temps were rather toasty.  Dan was the only one that made it thru the gorge that time.  With cooler weather, I wanted to try again.  It was a gorgeous day for a hike….

Doug, Darlene, Syl, Dan, Tricia, Dot, and Charlie
Gorgeous gorge!
B&O railroad trestle

Heart shaped pool

We ate lunch at the top of the gorge and then headed down the Indian Trail to get to the bottom.
After we finished hiking, Charlie and his angels (Dot, Syl, and I), headed to a few wineries.  :-)  But first, a picture of some very pretty falls...

Hector Falls
Hazlitt Winery - home of "Red Cat" wine

We sampled six wines at Hazlitt and Syl and I split a “sweet package” to take home that included 4 bottles of wine.  Gin and I now think that “White Cat” has replaced “Red Cat” was one of our favorite wines!

Penguin Bay Winery

We then went to Penguin Bay Winery and had another sampling of six wines.  None of them knocked our socks off so we left without making any purchase.  But not before we got this silly picture…

We then went to a winery with the cutest sign out front….

Charlie wanted to make a purchase at Pleasant Valley Winery.  While we were waiting, Dot asked the attendant if we could try some of their Chocolate Lab wine.  She poured us each a sample and told us to try half but save half.  We did and then she added some strawberry wine to the second half.  Oh my!  It was sooooooooooo Good.  We each ended up buying some Chocolate Lab wine.  :-)

We had a great time hanging out with our friends at Sampson State Park.  We bid Dot, Charlie, Doug, and Darlene “see ya down the road” and continued our summer travels north with Gin and Syl.