2015 Vacation: Friday...finally, a classic summer day

No pallets visible this morning, not surprising as I heard activity across the way go on till quite late. Loud was up early though, getting breakfast and starting to tear down the camp.

We are hiking around the lakes today, anxious to get a good look at the wonderful colour the lakes

produce. It will be a nice day, so we want to grab a swim and some solid beach time after our hike. It has been such an unusual summer, here it is mid July, and we have had far too few opportunities to enjoy a nice swim in a lake.

2015 Vacation: Thursday...a bit of city tossed in

I have no idea how late that Loud went. He did seem to tone it down a bit, but I remember waking up at some point to the sound of pounding and muffled bellowing. In the morning though, there was nary a wooden pallet to be seen. That's a lot of wood to burn.

Just a couple of things on tap for today, very city like activities.
There is a huge mall in Syracuse, which seems to be a destination for Canadians doing some cross border shopping. We are going to go and see what all the fuss is about. The highlight for me though will be our plans for dinner...Dinosaur BBQ. Apparently home of some great tasting smoked ribs, and other assorted delicacies. Our friend Sandra has been there and raved about the place, not only for the food, but the atmosphere as well, a classic smokehouse bar.

The mall was just that...a big giant mall. We did manage to find a few deals, and it was a nice way to wander around in coolness, on a stinking hot day.

Spotted a great tow vehicle...definitely unstopable

2015 Vacation: Wednesday...there's loud, then there's Loud

Heading to our last campground of this vacation, Green Lakes S.P., just outside Syracuse. We have been slowly circling back towards home, and this park will put us a nice drive from Ottawa. It is not a long drive today, so we took our time getting ready.

A woman wandered over who was quite interested to see the Alto, so Dale gave her a bit of a tour and a brochure.

2015 Vacation: Tuesday...a low key day

Overcast this morning, and they are calling for isolated thunderstorms. Today is low key after the excitement of the gorge trail, so we are heading into Ithaca to have a look at this little city. Along the way we stopped at Enfield Falls to see if we can grab a quick swim.

These falls empty into a pool below, and apparently the swimming is quite nice. Unfortunately we learned as we arrived that the swimming was closed for the day as the water did not pass the daily testing. Now that's a nice thought, I guess all that flows out of the forests is not pristine.

2015 Vacation: Monday...a walk on the wild side

A big storm rolled through late in the night, lots of thunder and lightning, and pounding rain. It passed quickly, and fortunately there were not any high winds. Today we explored the gorge, using our bikes to travel to the top of the trail.

There are many hiking paths, so we decided to follow the upper trail down to the base of the gorge, then hike the gorge trail back up to where our bikes were.

2015 Vacation: Sunday...moving on

On the road by 8:00am this morning, making our way to Watkins Glen S.P. in New York. A bit of a cross country trek, through upper Pennsylvania and into NY state. Quite the drive, lovely countryside, but very hilly, long slow ascents that seem to go on forever, then you crest the peak and head right back down the other side. Lots of bridges as well, and with the gusting winds, bounced the car and Alto around a bit more than normal. Fabulous views though, at the top of the hills you can see  long way. The heat of the day has caused a bluish haze to hang over the views.

Watkins Glen is at the base of Seneca Lake, a large body of water, carved by the glaciers so many moons ago. The park surrounds a spectacular narrow gorge where you can hike right alongside the rushing waters. The entire Finger Lakes area was carved and then filled by the receding glaciers. Since then, water has flowed and slowly carved away the softer rock, creating the rugged gorges here today.

We arrived in the late afternoon, always amazed how what appears to be a simple drive, as predicted by Google, can turn into an all day endeavour. The campsite is situated along the rim of the gorge, in a large stand of ramrod straight pine trees. The sites are quite nice, although somewhat open. Quite a few campers are here, it is a very busy spot. We see a lot of Ontario plates, not surprising given how close we are to the border. Got nicely set up, once again using the Anderson Leveler to precisely adjust the Alto. Totally sold on this little piece of gear.

2015 Vacation: Saturday...another day that feels just Wright

Relaxing morning, our tour is not until 1:30, so we can just take it easy. Tidied up a few things in prep for heading out tomorrow, then headed over for the tour.

Kentuck Knob was another commission of Wright, for the Hagan family, owners of a major dairy outside of Pittsburgh, and friends of the Kaufmanns. The Hagans had been to Fallingwater a number of times visiting their friends, loved the house, and wanted Wright to design one for a piece of property they owned, just down the road from Fallingwater.

2015 Vacation: Friday...Fallingwater

Fallingwater today. Our tour started at 8:30, so we were up and out early. It is only a short drive from the site, but we will be going down SR2019 to Ohiopyle, which is the road they recommend that large RV's avoid. They are right!

Even going downhill without a trailer was a bit unnerving, as the road is quite steep, with many blind hairpin corners. I imagine pulling a trailer uphill would be a challenge, regardless of the size.

Fallingwater is nestled into the forest, just a short drive off the highway.

2015 Vacation: Thursday...the hills of Pennsylvania

Big drive today, so we were up early to catch the ferry. A woman in a shop told us the big ferry leaves on the half hour, so that was our target time. The lake was much calmer today, and our passing was relatively smooth.

Today is another of those A to B days, where the interstate is used to just chew up the miles. Along the way, in Akron, we stopped at a Camping World, which, truth be told, did influence the route today. Never been to one, so it became a way point in our journey. Nice drive, stopped for gas and a bit of breakfast for the road. Amazing how tasty a McD egg mcmuffin can be when you are sitting in a car cruising along the blacktop. Egg white fever.

2015 Vacation; Wednesday...who knew a golf cart was on Dale's bucket list?

Heading back to Kelly's Island to get the Alto and an overnight stay. The storm of the past couple of days has blown by, so it will be interesting to see how rough Lake Erie is.

Good drive back, and as luck would have it, the larger ferry was just arriving at the dock. If it had been the smaller one we would have waited the 1/2 hr to the next one.

2015 Vacation: Monday & Tuesday...time to catch up

Monday & Tuesday
Up early to catch the ferry, Alissa and Richard following us. We have left the Alto at the campground and are off to see Bill & Ann. The small ferry was in dock and we soon pulled on. There is a big storm closing in from the midwest, and although it may pass above the campground, we may feel the effects. As soon as we got offshore a bit, the wind and the waves became very apparent. The little ferry was doing a lot of tossing and rolling, we were chatting outside and we had to lean against the cars to prevent ourselves from stumbling on deck. Needless to say, it was a bit unnerving. It did not help knowing that we had two future ferry rides ahead of us to come back to pick up the Alto, and that there was a storm coming. We vowed the next times to only get on the bigger of the two ferries.

We made our way up the 75 to Detroit, the relaxing drives we experienced on the I81 & I90 was soon replaced by the congestion and dominant presence of massive transport trucks. We knew this would be the case, as the I75 is one of the key north/south highways to transport goods. We encountered many transports that consisted of 3 seperate trailers, hitched together to make a massive train of a vehicle. I still have no idea how one of these rigs would be ever backed up, but I guess they are. Took a few quick shots of an impressive bridge in Toledo.

2015 Vacation: Sunday...breakfast and farewells till next rally

A pot luck breakfast this morning, starting at 9:00, as a number of people are pulling out and heading home. The drizzle of rain could not put a damper on the breakfast, as we all just started talking where we left off last night.

2015 Vacation: Saturday...you can never have enough Altos for a tour

An Alto tour this morning, followed by a group BBQ in the evening. For the tour we started are doing the rounds of all the Altos, with each of the owners providing a little insight to what they have done to their Alto, their favorite accessories, and any other anecdotes they wish to add.

We started in the far row, and will make our way back to our row, with Mark and I being the last on the tour.

2015 Vacation: Friday...Altos, Altos everywhere

Set the alarm for a little before 5:00am, to give us a little leaway to make coffee, a bite to eat and get squared away to pull out. On the road by 6:00, a little overcast, so it should be a good day for a road trip.

We are heading to Interstate 81, which will get us to Syracuse, where will we catch the 90 all the way to Cleveland and a bit beyond. It will be a good hike, easily most of the day. Today is what I call an A to B day, where we are not so much concerned about what we may see along the way, but rather how much distance we can cover. Our aversion to the big 4 lane highway is well documented here, but sometimes it is the neccesity.

2015 Vacation: Thursday...a bit of a head start

We are starting our 2 week vacation a day early this year. Something special taking place on this vacation, we are attending an Alto Rally being held at Kellys Island State Park in Ohio. Now this is a fair hike from Ottawa, and as the rally starts Friday night, we decided to head out Thursday after work to shorten the long drive tomorrow. We are headed for Grass Point S.P., just across frrom the Ivy Lea bridge. This will cut about 3 hours off our drive, and get the border crossing out of the way.

We arrived at the campsite around 8:00pm, a nice little park right on the Seaway. There are sites right along the water, offering a great view of the Seaway and the goings on.

2015 Trip 5: rain, rain, rain and more rain...

Sandbanks PP - June 2015

On the road by 8:30am, as Sandbanks is a good 3 hours from Ottawa and we like to get there early to catch a little beach time, since today is forecasted to be sunny all day. Important this weekend as the long range forecast calls for an extended rainy period.

There is a huge front moving in from the US Midwest, and it looks to pass right over us. This may be the only sun we get.