Saturday, August 17, 2013

Highland Park to Watkins Glen

Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013

It was somehow no big surprise that we didn’t get out of town today until noon. Joe had oodles of paperwork to do, and no matter how much I try to do ahead of time, at the last minute I always find stuff that I forgot to handle. So we pulled out at noon, made our customary u-turn two blocks later to return for a pair of glasses I’d left behind, and then set off toward Watkins Glen State Park in New York. We got to Pennsylvania and then stopped for lunch—too demoralizing to stop while we are still in New Jersey!  And then we stayed on the interstate until Scranton. 

I got a big kick out of playing with my smart phone. It’s still only a few months old, and this past week I downloaded apps which give me maps and info on all the NY State Parks, which are now stored in both my phone and my Tab 2. I also played with Waze, which cautioned us about cars stopped at the side of the road, objects in the road (potentially dangerous), police cars ahead, and warned about traffic congestion.  So for a while we were very “hooked up”, with the phone, the GPS, and occasionally the tablet for when I needed a detail map. Ironically, I had a paper map in my lap most of the time too, because I still prefer it to the GPS systems.

We left the interstate at Scranton and turned onto PA Route 6, a very scenic route along the river and through small towns…. And I mean SMALL towns!  Other than the scenery (which is gorgeous), the drive was unremarkable, except for one appalling sight. We stopped at a light and noticed on the side of the road a digital sign which had a video of the Beatles, probably from the Ed Sullivan show, or certainly something from that era. We watched it while we sat, and then the video stopped and showed the advertising—for a senior residence “for those who want a home environment with wonderful care.”  OMG!!!!!!!  The Beatles are now being used to market senior citizen housing??  It was horrifying! 

It took a while to recover from THAT, and we were very happy  to stop at the Marie Antoinette Scenic Overlook when it appeared. It offered a gorgeous view of the river below us, with green farmland on the other side and mountains in the distance. The farmland was called Azilum (Asylum) and was a colony, lasting from 1793-1803, established by French Royalists who fled from the French Revolution. Their hope was that Marie Antoinette might find safety there. An entire village was built around the Great House.  The scenic overlook was a project of the WPA in 1930. 
Looking West

Looking East
From there we continued west and then north through Elmira to the village of Watkins Glen. It was getting latish by this time—somehow we extended a drive of 4-1/2 hours to 7 hours!  But we finally made it, up the side of the mountain, to the park, where we have reservations for two nights. If this is a sample of the NY State Park campgrounds, we are going to be VERY happy on this trip! The sites are very large, with a lot of space between each one, and we are in the forest, which is lovely. It’s very interesting, we are basically the only RV, although we saw several pop-up trailers. I guess most folks who drive RVs want hookups (there are none here) but we really prefer to be in the woods and have no worries about having water and electric supplied—our tanks are full and we have enough light from our batteries and lanterns.

Joe made us an awesome supper based on previously cooked chicken which we brought from home (still frozen.) He defrosted it by steaming it, used the broth from the steaming as a base for a pepper, onion, and tomatoey sauce, and served it on rice. YUM YUM!!!!! 

 So that was our first day. Tomorrow we will go see the Glen, hike on at least one of the trails (one is accessible not too far from our campsite), and just relax. We are still trying to arrange our belongings inside Samantha, and as this is our first extended trip in her, we will probably be tweaking everything for a few days. We do have so much room, though… Joe is in the bedroom, I’m in the “living room” (in the front), and it seems like he is miles away. Roxy is happy, too…. She played with her squeaky toy and now she’s sleeping next to me. A successful first day! 

Added: I am LOVING this phone! I took these photos with the phone. Now the phone is also my mobile hot-spot and for the first time, we don't have to worry about where to find wifi to upload this blog.  What a miracle of technology. And it even allowed me to talk to my daughter earlier today :).  Very very cool!


maria wulf said...

What fun!

maria wulf said...

I came upon Watkins Glen years ago. It's a magical place. I can't wait to see where you end up next.