Filled up the tank at $3,59 a gallon for Diesel, that’s the cheapest we have seen it for this years travel. We then went back south a bit to the Outerbanks and went to the Wright Brothers memorial in Kitty Hawk. This was where the fist four flights happened. It was an excellent National Monument to visit. They had a replica of the plane and also the 4 distances that the plane flew on each attempt was marked in the field. This all took place in the sand dunes of North Carolina. Since that time though, they stabilized the dunes by planting grass and trees.
From there we drove another 10 miles or so south to check out the sand dunes and what basically all of the Outerbanks looked like before all those people took over. The Jockeys Ridge State Park was established by local people who wanted to preserve the area for the future to experience what it used to be like there. it did not disappoint. The dunes went on and on and on.
After a full day of exploring we had a nice dinner at Awful Arthurs Seafood joint and then headed to the Rest Area for a good nights sleep.
Awful Arthur’s was right across the street from the Ocean so we took a quick walk over and went shell picking.
Next day we headed north to Virginia Beach and booked two nights at the First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach. Our campsite was right next door to a very active Military base so Revelry and the National Anthem were SUPER loud here. Plus they were doing some helicopter training as well. This State Park is one of the best we have been to. Lots and lots of trails and I saw 2 bald eagles when I was walking in the beach this morning. That was pretty awesome.
Next stop was another free Harvest Host location called Furnace Town. We were able to explore all the old cabins that housed the blacksmith, the broom maker, the church, the school. These are the kind of museums that I can tolerate. They also made iron here out of rocks and charcoal and Oyster Shells. I didn’t really understand the whole process but was happy to walk around the place and see what life was like a hundred years ago.
Next we headed to the Lewis/ Cape May Ferry. We had some time to walk around Lewis a bit and will definitely come back one day. The ferry was awesome and we had a beautiful day with blue skies to enjoy the 90 minute ferry ride. Way better than sitting in traffic.
Next stop was a Bass River State Forest Campground. On the way there I was actually able to get some chocolate Italian Ices at Rita’s. We must be getting close to the Metropolitan Area.
Did a little hiking in the State Forest then continued on the next day to visit my Dad and Rosemarie. I have no idea why I didn’t take one single photo. We had a nice meal and a great visit with them. As well as some amazing pastry and other desserts.
On the way from Jersey to New York, we are unable to drive in the Palisades Parkway because of low bridges, so instead we took Route 17 which can definitely add some time into the trip. Lucky for us though, Greg spotted Campmor out of the corner of his eye!! We immediately made a U turn and went to visit. This is without a doubt one of our favorite places in the world!!!!! It is everything that you could ever need or want for camping or backpacking or just enjoying the outdoors. They have the largest selection of camping equipment on display. We spent well over an hour inside that store. If you love camping and have never been to Campmor, you need to get there and check it out.
Next stop was Harriman State Park, our old stomping grounds where we have spent many a weekend backpacking the trails here with the other McGerks. we decided to get a spot for a few days at The Beaver Pond Campground. We pull in at 1 pm and are bombarded with way too many rules and signs.
Welcome to NY where there’s a hundred available campsites and they make you wait till 3 o’clock check in. You then have to drive 10 minutes away and wait there. There is no other car in the parking lot of the campground and maybe 5 campers in the camping area which is huge with over a hundred spots. We couldn’t even drive or walk around the campground to pick out a site. So off we went to park in the Lake Welch parking lot for the next 2 hours. The parking lot there was horrible but the lake itself was fantastic.
We did our best not to unleash the Long Island on the kid in the booth and it definitely worked out in the end. He gave us the best campsite in the park. Site E20. Totally private with a super long driveway.
We stayed at that campground for 4 nights. We basically had the whole place to ourselves except for the Ticks. The Ticks were out of control. Pulled 2 out of Greg and probably 30 or 40 just walking around the van or the picnic table or the bed. They were everywhere!!
Day 5, we left the woods and headed towards Hudson where we would be celebrating a couple of birthdays with some friends. We stayed at the Malden Rest Stop 0n 87. We basically had the whole place to ourselves there as well. They are redoing all the rest areas and this one was basically closed down except for bathrooms and a deli.
Next day we headed to Hudson NY. They have a great bike trail there that used to be an electric trolley line. We road bikes for a while and then each got a hair cut. We went over to ShopRite over there and Lo and Behold, they had my favorite brand of chocolate Italian Ices. I bought the last 2 boxes.
We made our way over to The Elks Lodge where the party was being thrown. It was awesome to see everyone and we had a great time. Such a great time, that I even filled out an application to become an ELK. Mostly because they are everywhere across the country and they offer overnight stays in the parking lot if you’re a member. Plus they have fun Bingo nights and Poker nights and things like that.
We stayed the night and headed to Raquette the next day, stopping at Walmart to pick up a few tomato plants for the garden and some food for the next 2 weeks. We arrived back to Raquette right when the power went out. So thankfully it was cool enough and I wasn’t too concerned about the food going bad. We, had to wait for the power to come back on before we could turn the water on and all that. It did finally come on about 4 hours later and Greg was able to get everything going in a Jiffy.
I spent about an hour going through 6 months worth of mail. Most all of it is just JUNK. The best surprise of all was the two Christmas cards I received and the bonus of winning a contest back in October that I totally forgot I even entered. My favorite cereal had a contest in which I entered and won!!
We are supposed to have a few nights in the low 20’s this week so Im holding off on doing any gardening. The hummingbirds are here so it will be warming up soon enough. This is the last episode of the Blog. Hope you all enjoyed this years travels. Thanks for coming along for the ride. The blog will start up again, probably in November this year as I have my High School Reunion at the end of October so we will be getting a late start with van travel for next year.
Feels good to be back in Raquette Lake and to have a place to just be. A place so beautiful in nature that we actually feel like we are still on vacation. It’s amazing that we actually live here now. We are so lucky and beyond blessed.