Upstate New York
Having one last breakfast burrito with the Southworth's, we hit the road and headed in the direction of Niagara Falls. A pit stop on the way turned into a 4-day event getting to The Falls.
Our 1st stop, after re-entering New York State, was Glimmerglass State park. Hayley's favorite campsite so far, with no one around - lush, green meadows surrounding us, deer for neighbors, it was a little piece of primitive camping paradise for the night. Surprisingly the long drop was probably the cleanest campsite toilet to date!! We lit the braai, ate, drank, threw on the wood and settled in for the night. We awoke with the soft sound of rain on our tent, said a few harsh words, and thought it best we pack up and get the hell out of there before the storms arrive. Ironically it turned into the most beautiful day and our first regret of the trip so far was leaving this paradise so hastily after only 1 night.
The Finger Lakes beckoned but didn't check all the boxes for our demanding campsite needs, so we chose to continue driving west and 5 hours later and near divorce, ended up at the Grand Canyon of the East: Letchworth State Park. A dramatic setting with a deep gorge and three waterfalls. Sadly however there was no room at the inn for the weary travellers and we were sent packing. We wound up at another utopia called 4 winds campground. A private setting along a bubbling brook, perfect space to sling up the hammock and listen to nature while sipping on ice-cold bud light's. No need for alarm clocks as the woodpeckers (and Tucker's 5am phone calls) ensured we were up at the crack of… A tip form the campground host set us on our way to visit a set of waterfalls off the beaten tack. After spending the afternoon at these little beauties we had no reason to go back to the State Park and pay their $8 entry fee. Yay, more money to spend on beer! After a relaxing two nights here we were sad to leave but excited about getting to Niagara Falls.
The mind boggles at the size of New York State! We travelled the length and breadth of it: from NYC and Long Island on the east Atlantic coast, to Lake Ontario and the Canadian border in the northwest. It's hard to believe the hustle and bustle of New York City is part of this beautiful state. Up-state NY, miles away from everything else, presents lush, green, undulating hills, old collapsed red barns, horses grazing in fields and the odd Amish person. All this allows you to be transported back in time with this magnificent, simple way of life. However, seeing all the snow mobile signs, this place must be hell on earth in winter! A perfect state for us when we win the lottery: Manhattan apartment, Long Island beach house and a country retreat up state. The draw this weekend is $61 million: fingers crossed!