Thursday, August 14, 2014

Niagara Falls to New Hampshire

Fortunately, the campground we finally made it to on Monday night was just up the road from the RV dealer where we had arranged to have the oil changed, so we got that done Tuesday morning.  Trisha stayed at the RV dealer while I took the tow car to get its oil changed.  Sophie was not particularly interested in sitting still in the RV dealer waiting room, so I took her with me.  When I got back, there was a woman in the waiting room who had a little dog with the same coloring as Sophie, so she was mongo excited to have a friend to play with.  They were so cute playing together in the waiting room--we all just laughed and laughed.  This woman was named Jill, so she and I had a good laugh about the last time we had seen each other she was falling down the hill and I had a concussion--what a hoot!  Anyway, it was kind of sad to talk to her, because her husband had developed such back pain that he could not keep up with RVing any more and they were selling their rig.  They had been doing it for 6 years but their RVing days were over.  Once again, reiterated to us how lucky we are to be able to do this--we hope to keep doing it until our health prevents us from keeping on--just hope it's longer than 6 years, but, hey, you know what?  Even if it were to end tomorrow, we've had such a blast, just traveling, seeing the country, and just being together, the most important thing, we'd have no regrets.  Just doing our best to live each day in its individual beauty, and remembering not to take any moment for granted.  We are so fortunate and blessed to be doing this, and to have each other to share this journey.  Reminds me of the song from Sound of Music (I had originally said My Fair Lady, but I was shown the error of my ways-LOL):  "somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good!"

From Niagara Falls we drove to Oneida Shores County Park, just beyond Syracuse.  It was raining for most of the day, and after the day we had had on Monday, we decided to stop early.  Found this lovely county park campground, right on the banks of this lake and it was very nice to have just more time to relax and catch our breath after the trials and tribulations of the previous day.  It kept raining throughout the night, quite heavy at times, but we made it.  Gave Sophie a bath, and it seems that so often when I do this, it starts to rain and I hate to take her outside when she's all clean and brushed out, but you gotta do what you gotta do!

Wednesday we drove to Ogdensburg, NY, and had a wonderful visit to the Frederic Remington Museum.   A brief digression here:  we stopped at a rest area along the way and I took Sophie outside for a potty break.  As I was walking to the grassy area, this man and his kids were walking back to their car and he stopped me to ask about our rig, talking about how he once had a trailer and had the dream to do what we're doing once he retires.  These folks were obviously Orthodox Jews, as he and his son both had long side curls coming out from their yarmulkas; when his wife came up, she noticed my "SantaOnVacation" hat and commented on how funny she thought that was.  So I said, "Well, you folks can just call me Moses,"  and they all laughed, and her husband said, "Oh, are you Jewish, too?"  Pretty funny encounter!  Remington lived from 1861 to 1909, and was the premier painter and sculptor of the scenes and spirits of the Old West.  He got his start as an illustrator for magazines, and also wrote articles for magazines as well.  He accompanied Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders in their campaign in Cuba, documenting the battles with articles and illustrations.  This started a longtime friendship between the two and they spent much time together after that.  Remington was fascinated with detail, especially of military uniforms, and many of his early paintings look almost like photographs.  He got into bronze sculpture, collaborating with a foundry owner from Europe who decided to settle in America, and much of what Remington is known for comes from this collaboration with bronze sculptures.  Eventually, Remington began to shift from more literal paintings to more impressionistic works, doing his best to become known as a serious artist and not just an illustrator.  One of the most interesting exhibits in the museum was a series showing the process of how a bronze sculpture was made, making the model from clay, then a plaster mold around that, then a form built around that using a series of pipes to pour in molten bronze, and then the pipes were cut away and the joints polished down smooth--very interesting.  The museum building itself is also very beautiful, a mansion built in the 1800's.  Remington died suddenly at 48 from an infection resulting from a ruptured appendix, and his widow moved into this mansion as the guest of the owner for a number of years.

Drove on to Westville, NY, along Highway 2 and found a lovely campground--Babbling Brook--right alongside a fast moving river, with a small waterfall.  They have a big bluegrass music festival here, so they have a huge open area for dry camping when the festival happens.  But there were hardly any other campers here; it was like we had the campground all to ourselves, and we loved walking by the river.  We especially loved the fact that it was cool enough to keep the windows open so we could go to sleep to the sound of rushing water!  A great find!!

It was quite cool overnight, enough to break out the blankets, and we awoke to 52 degree weather on Thursday morning!  Here we've been wearing shorts and Tshirts, but it was time for the jackets early this morning!  We headed out along Highway 2 once again, to Lake Champlain, took the bridge across the lake to Vermont, and continued along Highway 2 across the islands in the lake.  We decided to take this route, rather than go immediately to the interstate, since it was such a scenic drive, and we were not disappointed!  It's a really lovely route, and at places the little spit of land that connects several of the islands is barely wide enough for the roadbed!  But we loved the drive and, though it was overcast when we started out, the sun came out and it was a gorgeous day, with temps in the 60's and low 70's.  Made it through Vermont and most of New Hampshire, the 22d state we've been in since we started, and are in a lovely wooded campground in Raymond, NH for the night.  Tomorrow we're hoping to make it across Maine and into Canada, to begin our tour of the maritime provinces!

Here are a few shots along the way from Niagara Falls

 Passed an Amish couple with this horse drawn wagon
 Houses in Ogdensburg, as we walked to the Remington Museum

The Remington Museum

Look at the size of the door!
Beautiful staircase leading up to the second floor from the foyer
Love this ornate fireplace
Portrait of Frederic Remington
Bronco Buster, one of his most famous bronze sculptures
Some reproductions of his paintings they had for sale
Trisha especially loved these next two

An issue of Pearson's Magazine, featuring Remington's work, with a tribute from Teddy Roosevelt
Remington's childhood outfit
An Indian beaded and leather saddle
A decanter with three chambers "for rum, whiskey and gin"

He accompanied Roosevelt and his Rough Riders and this was a painting of a charge.  He said that, while before this experience he had been enamored with all things military and especially battles, after having seen the bloodshed, the helplessness and hopelessness of it all, he was finished with this fascination
A painting of an Indian Sun Dance, in which braves would be suspended from a pole above the ground, on ropes that had bone hooks on the end, and the hooks would be pulled through the flesh of the braves; they danced until they passed out, hoping for a vision and a blessing from the deity--Remington had witnessed this scene, and said he "had this painting inside him and he just had to get it out" as he was both fascinated and horrified by the spectacle.  He said it would never sell, and he was right--when it was first exhibited in a show, it did not sell.
Here Remington begins to do more impressionistic paintings, as he began his quest to be considered a more serious artist
This bronze is entitled "The Rattlesnake," and you can just make out the snake by the horse's hoof; you can see it better in the following close up

We really loved this one, as it has the Tetons in the background
The Stampede
Driving along the St. Lawrence Seaway

Babbling Brook Campground, in Westville, NY--as you can see, we basically had the campground to ourselves!

Beautiful rushing river--I'd say it was much more a river than a babbling brook, but we loved the sound, especially when we went to bed

Trisha had gone back to the RV for a minute and Sophie was so excited when she saw her coming back toward us she jumped out of my arms and ran to Trisha!  Which one of them do you think is more excited??!!

Just a lovely setting!
Beautiful fall colors are already showing in some of these leaves--can't wait!
Sophie's hair is getting just about as white as Santa's!
Sunset at the campground

Love these old churches we see driving through this part of the country

 Really close to these windmills as we drove along route 2--seeing them from a distance it's hard to appreciate how huge they are

 Coming up to Lake Champlain

 In the village of Champlain, NY
 The bridge to Vermont
 Driving along the causeway over the islands in Lake Champlain
 Gorgeous field of sunflowers!

 Coming into New Hampshire

 Lots of lovely black-eyed susans in the median--a little blurry, but it was a beautiful sight!


  1. You two ARE blessed...that's for sure! Enjoying your blog so much and glad you're starting to see some beautiful fall color. By the way, the song you mentioned is one of my favorite lyrics...Julie Andrews in Sound of Music...right singer, wrong show! Sorry Jack, just had to correct you! LOL!

  2. Oh, Mary Lou you are so right! My faithful editor, Trisha, had actually caught my mistake when she was going through my draft, but we both forgot to go back and correct it--you're just as sharp as ever, my friend!

  3. I am up to date on your blog now ( after our trip)and continue to enjoying it.

    Yes you both are so blessed and so are the ones who benefit from reading your blog.