AmeriCanada 2015

NOTE:  When Sharon adds comments, they will be in {curly brackets}.  Bob's comments, after Sharon's comments, will be in red.

Day 38. Monday, August 31, 2015. Change of Plans - Hudson River Valley, not NYC

Our path today is shown below in blue. It is suggested by Google Maps.

Good morning. It's 8:45, and we are geared for travel. It's the last day of August. Here's what our RV park spot looks like, just before we leave it.

First, however, we put on the stickers for Rhode Island (blue) and Massachusetts (light green)!

I get a feel of hillbilly Arkansas, though I don't know what I mean by that. There is a lake here called Oak Swamp Reservoir. We're going through woods, and a nice rock wall is on our left.

Now 1) all of these rocks were taken from China's Great Wall. Also, 2) we pass a Cufflink Farm, and 3) a stud farm where the featured stallion is a horse named Gunner. What a great name. One of those three statements is not true. Both of the others are.

We pass a bloodish-red reservoir. There is a Century 21 in business here, but it has a For-Sale sign up. Nice.

In the world I'm used to, the edges of a town or city is called the city limits. Here, in this part of New England, it's the town line.

About 10 am, we miss the photo of the Welcome to Connecticut sign, so I take a right turn, follow a road that loops back to the highway and I pull over to the side of the gravel road. Picture takers (Nancy and I) descend from the truck to get the desired sign and we pile back into the truck. I'm pointing to somebody's added sticker that says, "Let the Big Dog Eat!" and has a drawing of a bulldog. Does it mean let him eat Putnam?

The towns we are driving through or near have elegeant architecture, like that in the photo below.

There is a very sharp right turn to get on the road. It is quite uneven where this side gravel road meets the paved highway. Also, it's hard to see the traffic coming from the left, so I gingerly pull out and see that it's clear, so I gun it. The unevenness bites us in the tailpipe. SCRIIIIIIIITTTTCCCHHHH!!! That is EXACTLY the three second sound that fills our ears. Then the sound comes to a stop, as we get entirely on the freeway, and are off in the direction from which we came from. It probably means we have bent one of the rear stabilizers (one on each rear corner that you manually crank down to 'stabilize' the two corners of the trailer, so they don't move up and down as we walk around inside the rear of the trailer.

At the first opportunity, I pull over to check for damage, and guess what. There IS some, as you can see in the photo below. The trailer stabilizer jack in the back, on the driver's side has been bent back 90 degrees. Awesome. The stabilizer has been de-stabilized. You are looking directly at the BOTTOM of the 'foot'. It should be pointed directly towards the ground. It is, instead, pointing directly behind the trailer, like, at the grill of a car right behind us.

We did this before, at a tire-changing place that had a huge dip between its raised parking lot and the lower street. {It is something that you don't anticipate and it's hard to measure the "dip" in the road utill you have committed yourself. Luckily, it doesn't affect the integrity of the trailer and we just adjust and only put one stabilizer down. We will take care of it whe we get back to San Jose. We have experience now in buying a new pair (they come in pairs, you know) and putting them on.}

Nothing to do, we head out again.

We see a sculptured shrubbery thing for a local ice cream factory in Wilbraham, in Massachusetts

Nancy notices a Ticonderoga pencil factory. Sharon says that there is a pencil factory in Versailles, but I say I'm not sure it's still there. Nancy says (please sit down for your safety) "did they get the lead out?"

Later, about ten o'clock, we pass the Big Bunny Market. What could they possibly sell there, besides, you know.

Some time later we pass a hair salon named 'Hairport." Har har.

After a time, we stop for lunch, and it's fun to see a big burly truckdriver with his gigantic riding buddy. Woofie.

It is after lunch. Sharon is driving, Nancy is shotgun. I'm just waking up, behind Sharon. We have come to a toll booth to pay before we get on the Parkway. The lady says to Sharon, "Are you taking the turnoff here?" Sharon says, "I don't know," because she doesn't know the plan, from this point. The lady then says, "You ARE getting off here. No trailers allowed on the parkway." Huh? So we pull off, and Sharon drives slowly down the road, waiting for a decision on what to do next. Meantime, there's a truck following us and a guy is waving. He apparently knows the problem and has the solution. {I think he sees that we are in trouble, not knowing how to get where we want to go without going on a "Parkway" We were not aware that trucks and trailers are not allowed on the Parkways (and there are many on the projected path Bob had set out).}

Meantime, I'm trying to remember what town we're trying to get to for tonight's stop. I check the GPS but it doesn't have the name of the town because I didn't put IN the name of the town. I just programmed the GPS to go to the town of Hudson, because I knew it was in the general area. But now that we're this close, I need to get the exact address of our RV park for tonight.

We pull over and stop, and the guy does the same with his pickup. He comes over and very generously explains the problem. The problem is that in New England, trailers cannot drive on any road that has the name 'Parkway' in it. I think it's because they don't want to have ugly trailers cluttering up the scenery. Well, I'm wrong about that. The reason is that RV trailers and truck trailers have some height measurement. Ours is 12' 6" or so. And there are many underpasses that have much less clearance than that. We'd rip the top of the trailer off, and do some potential damage to the overpass. Incredibly, THEY ARE DOING THIS FOR OUR OWN GOOD!!! {I think it is also so that passengers cars that pay the tolls don't want the slower moving trucks and trailers to slow their progress.}

I didn't learn this fact, however, for a few hours. Meantime I'm grousing about the New England town councils and their stupid rules.

So it is in this spirit, that the fellow describes the series of roads and turnoffs to the next road etc. but my mind is so blown that it won't take in any more data. I say to him, in all truthfulness and so we can choose a different approach to teach me, "Do you know what I just heard you say? Blabbedy blabbedy Bloo Blah Blabbedy." One or both of the ladies, like my mom would, say, "Bob!" in a kind of a hushed voice. I apologize and ask him to go very slowly. In the meantime I have found the exact address of our stop tonight and I have put in an intermediate point to pass through that is NOT on a parkway. And it is saying to do the same thing he is saying to do. Generally. He says "follow me" {It is a common problem. You ask someone for directions and they go off into telling you the next 5-6 things you should do, usually explaining all of them very quickly, "we are going to go down this road, turn right, go three miles, then you will turn right onto the ... highway, go 5 miles, etc..". Too much to process all at once.. Althouhg he was very nice and tried to be helpful.}

I try to explain that I've got it now, but he's already gone, so I follow him. He has said that he will take us to his house, as the method to duck the parkway. I don't WANT TO go to his house, and I tell Sharon and Nancy that I've got it now. The GPS shows us going straight ahead on this paved road to a crossroad, also paved. But the guy is turning left, onto a gravel road. I DO NOT LIKE THIS and one of the women asks if there is something wrong. I say quietly, "Every warning bell in my brain is shouting at the top of their ringer, 'Don't go to this guy's house.' " Wow, maybe I'm just paranoid (yes?), but I follow him on the gravel road. He pulls into a drive in front of a house, and I pull up and say, "Thanks, I've got it now." As I drive off, he just waves and says ok.

I drive on, and let out a huge figurative breath of air. I'm ok now. But Sharon and Nancy are looking at me, like, "Who ARE you?" Yes, I agree, Who AM I? {It was too much; too much new information, too much uncertainty, too much unfamiliar surroundings, etc. Puts you in fear, but it all turned out OK.}

We motor on. 33314 on the odometer.

We come to a sign that says something about an Appalachian Bridge to the Berkshires, and Sharon or Nancy or both yell, "We're in the BERKSHIRES!!!" It's fun to see them so happy.

We come past a sign that says, "Rip Van Winkle Bridge," to the right. This bridge obviously crosses from the east to the west side of the Hudson River but who knows how far it is and the path to get back. Sharon wants us to drive across it now. I 'gently' decline, saying we can go over it during our two-night stay here.

"Bob never lets us do anything," she says. "Football, football, football. That's all you wanna do." But she's grinning and trying not to laugh.

 Sharon notices a seashell theme in this store in town.

About ten till three we pass a big school, then a place for boarding dogs called, "Groomingdales."

And finally we make it to Interlake RV Park & Sales, near Rhinebeck, NY, in the Hudson River Valley. This valley is what Sharon has chosen because yesterday I said I do NOT want to do what was my big dream months ago, namely, to go into New York City, into Central Park with our binoculars, and do some Central Park birding. It's not that I don't want to do that. I don't want to unhitch, drive our truck to a bus stop, take a bus to a subway, take the subway, with two or three changes to get there. Now the reason I don't want to is that we're going to spend two hours getting there, maybe three hours there, then two hours back. But, I say, BUT! That's if we don't make any mistakes, and there are guaranteed mistakes we will make.xxxxx

I realized then that my mind is tied up iin knots, and I DO NOT WANT TO DO IT!!

That was yesterday, and when I told Sharon about it, she chose two nights in the Hudson River Valley because she's heard about it all her life, and wants to see it.

So that's how we got here. I'm fairly neutral excitement-wise about two nights in the Hudson River Valley, but it's an easy choice over all the crap my mind would go through to do the birding thing in NYC.

I'm very happy with that decision.

And so we come to tonight and tomorrow night's RV park. It's beautiful, all green and pretty, and is on multiple elevations, each RV spot having been given its own smoothing and even-ing out for level. It's gorgeous here and I love it.

I register us, and collect a ton of brochures of things to do. I bring them back, and Sharon has been doing her investigation with Nancy. They want to go see the Vanderbilt Mansion here.

Here are some shots of the RV park and our spot.


Sharon has bought this 'Caution. Don't Bump Your Head' ornament that she attaches to the front of the trailer hitch to remind people not to - you know. We put on Connecticut. I can't tell. Can you?

And that's it for today. I'm happy, how's by you?

Began: Holiday Acres Family Campground, North Scituate, Rhode Island
Pass Through: Putnam, Conn; Stockbridge Mass; Chatham, NY
End: Interlake RV Park & Sales, Rhinebeck, NY
Miles Today:: 188
Miles for Trip: 7998

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