I’ve noticed that when we are traveling, hardly any day is truly uneventful. Even the fairly dull days have changes of scenery, new discoveries, or at least problems to solve. This sort of constant input to the senses is something that I think we all start to miss when we are house bound for too long.
Today is a good example. Our drive along the New York State Thruway (I-90) was designed by road engineers to be just interesting enough to keep the drivers from falling asleep. Gentle curves through the green countryside remind us that there is some small skill required to keep the rig on the road. The Thruway rest areas are all about the same, and unless you escape via a toll booth, there is nowhere else to go.
But as always, the experience you get depends on what you bring to the table. We made a minor event out of the first Thruway stop because it meant Eleanor could go to the Tim Horton’s there and get the coffee she likes. It also meant, of course, that we could all try a donut—as if we didn’t still have eight massive Amish maple creme donuts inside the Airstream.
I played other mental games along the long concrete strip of I-90, such as “find the cheap diesel fuel,” “spot the distracted driver,” and a perennial favorite, “outguess Garminita.” Eventually we exited I-90 near Rome NY (not quite where Garminita wanted us to) and began the wandering trek up Rt 8 that leads into the green paradise of the Adirondack State Park.
This park covers a considerable portion of what New Yawkers like to call “upstate.” I believe it is the largest state park in the USA, but unlike most others it encompasses numerous small villages. It is more like a patchwork than a solid green square. Inside, the roads wind and roll through lush greenery, vacation cabins are everywhere, and you can capture the spirit of northeast outdoorsmanship just by standing beneath the trees and inhaling the fresh air.
I like the little visual cues of the Adirondacks, like the yellow-on-brown road signs and the brown painted “parkitecture” of every campground. In recent years when making this drive, Eleanor and I have always made a point of parking the Airstream in one of the pull-outs beside a burbling river (and there are many such spots). We take a little walk to the water, then have lunch and maybe a nap in the Airstream—a fine way to get refreshed for a few hours more drive time.
This time we’ve opted to spend the night next to a little lake named Piseco, just a few miles south of the village of Speculator. There are lots of public campgrounds here, perhaps not well recognized by the traveling public but very much appreciated by the locals and those in the know. We’ve chosen Point Comfort campground, found about a mile down a narrow paved road off Rt 8, right on the shore of the lake.
Today, a Friday, we rolled in with no reservation but found this beautiful shady spot on the water nearly deserted. The friendly camp host said only four sites were taken out of 76, so we had our pick. Later this month, she said, the campground will fill on weekends but amazingly right now with the gorgeous weather hardly anyone is here. There are no hookups and the dump station is a mile down the road at another campground, but who cares? It’s peaceful and quiet and we’ve got a million dollar view of the water.
This park has no cellular service at all, which is great because it means we are forced to just relax in place. (I am writing the blog on Friday but will post on Saturday when we are back online.) For a writer, it’s nice to be completely isolated and free of Internet temptations once in a while. For anyone, it’s a chance to read, talk, plan (for tomorrow’s stops and next week’s motorcycle tour), walk, play, and let the pine-scented air in the windows. Those the sorts of things we’ve been doing tonight in and around the Airstream. Uneventful? Not at all!