Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Coolest Small Town In America

Owego, NY was voted "The coolest small town in America" in 2009. This was where we would hold our autumn rally for Northeast Coaches for Christ. Never having been to the Finger Lakes region of NY, Lenny and I decided to go up there early and check things out. It's not that far from us, but we still decided to leave Wednesday afternoon. Lenny's sister lives right off of I-81, so we stopped there for a great dinner. Thanks Lisa for the invitation and great food. We drove a little further and spent the night at a Flying J rest stop. One of the "perks" of travelling in our home on wheels is we can stop anywhere and still have all the comforts of home. We've stayed at truck stops before, but this night we would not get any sleep. They were fixing the parking lot and decided they needed to rip up the macadam right by our coach. The next morning we continued on our way, stopping at the NY Welcome Center. What a view. It was spectacular, to see the fog dividing the top of the mountains from the base. Looking out we could see the Susquehanna River. The fall colors were not as vibrant as we would have liked, but still it was as if we were standing on top of the world. We wanted to beat the rain, so we continued on to the campground. Hickories Park Campground is a city run campground in Owego, NY. It is a beautiful park and at $21 per night for water and electric hook-ups, we will definitely return there.

Thursday was a dreary rainy day and Friday wasn't looking much better, but we decided to do a little sightseeing anyway. Our first stop was Evergreen Cemetery. I had done a little research before our trip and discovered some interesting facts about this place. Established inn 1851, it was placed on a hill overlooking the town of Owego and the Susquehanna River Valley. At the top of the hill, an Indian maiden Sa-sa-na Loft is buried. You can read more about her here. There is also a section dedicated to 80 men who fought in the Civil War, as well as politicians from the area who are buried here.

With the rally not beginning until Friday evening, we decided to drive north to Ithaca, NY to view some of the waterfalls of the area as well as Cayuga Lake, the longest of the Finger Lakes. As we drove north we noticed some eclectic art work in a yard. I just had to take a few pictures. We followed the GPS directions to Robert H. Treman State Park. There are a number of waterfalls in the park and while we saw three of them, we did not hike two miles to view Lucifer Falls because of the weather. OK, we're a bit out of shape as well, but the weather was the main reason. We continued our drive around Ithaca and went to the Allan H. Treman State Marine Park. At this point in the day, the weather was really bad and the rain was pouring down, so I could not get as many pictures as I would have liked. Still, it was a nice drive with beautiful scenery.


Friday afternoon we headed back to the campground to find that the wind had been brutal and our awning had a three inch tear at one end, so up the awning went. We live and learn. Next on our agenda would be the rally...but more on that in my next post.

Thanks for travelling along with us on The Thomas' Trails...till next time.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Gettysburg, PA 2010

Our 4am alarm clock!

Seminary Ridge

Gen. Robert E Lee

Flooded River behind campground

David Wills House
With the remnants of Nicole heading up the Eastern Seaboard, we decided to leave a day early for Gettysburg, get settled in and begin our touristy stuff once the weather cleared. We stayed at Outdoor World's Gettysburg Farm in Dover, PA. The is a beautiful campground.. Last year we stayed here with my cousin Lori and her family. The sites are all a nice size and we had full hook-ups. Across from us was the corral where they had a bull, three horses and a donkey. From a distance, and without the aid of my glasses I might add, I thought the bull was a cow and kept calling it Bessie. I hope I didn't give it a complex. They also have a petting zoo there for the children and children at heart. The petting zoo has goats, sheep, cows, horses, donkeys. There are also fowl roaming the farm and campground and let me tell you, if we were there one more day and that rooster started up again, I think Lenny would have shot him and that would have been our dinner. I'm only kidding, we all know Lenny wouldn't hurt a fly (even though there were several that got in the camper that he tried to swat). Thursday, our friends Bev and Lou arrived from New Jersey. We were thankful they made it there without any major issues. Driving in all that rain and wind is no fun especially in a motor home. Because it is off season, they were able to get the site next to us which made things alot easier. Friday morning the sun came out and it warmed up nicely so we all drove in to Gettysburg, PA. If you are a history buff or civil war fanatic, YOU WILL LOVE GETTYSBURG! We went to the new Visitor's Center where Bev was able to get some helpful information on finding out where her ancestors who fought in the war might be buried. We drove around to see some of the monuments and had a nice lunch. When we headed back to our campground, we took some pictures of the farmland and the high waters in the area. We had heard on the news that York county was hit pretty hard. A weather radio is going to be our next investment because we learned that we had been under a tornado watch Thursday night, but only when it was about to expire. As much as I love extreme weather, I like to be prepared for these events. Friday night got very cold and out came the quilt and the electric heater to keep me toasty warm. Saturday we awoke to another beautiful day and back we drove to Gettysburg. They had a farmer's market set up in Lincoln Square with all sorts of fresh veggies and home made items. I bought some fresh baked cinnamon raisin bread and a spinach garlic bread which were both delicious. Then we went into the David Wills house where President Lincoln stayed the night before he gave the Gettysburg Address. We enjoyed a picnic lunch at the Visitor's Center amidst all the wild flowers. This time we purchased an auto tour that narrated what we were seeing. This is a must purchase when you are down here. We bought the one with all the battle sounds. The tour is about 1 1/2 to 2 hours long depending on how often and how long you stop for. I would say it took us about 2 1/2 hours because I wanted lots of pictures and at one point, there were some re-enactors that had set up camp. That was cool. Little Round Top was the bloodiest battle of Gettysburg. They say that because so many men died and were wounded that the river turned red from all the blood that flowed into it. It is a very moving experience to stand on that hallowed ground where so many men fought. Words cannot say enough for all the emotions and thoughts that your mind goes through. We had done so much walking and climbing that day that it was time for a treat so on the way back to our motor homes, we stopped at Dairy Queen for some blizzards. Later on, back at the campground, Bev made a delicious dinner of Chicken Florentine. All of us were tired from the days events so it was early to bed that night. Len and were going to stay until Monday, however, after looking at the weather we decided to leave on Sunday because more rain was coming in. I'm glad we came home a day early because I hate driving in rain and so does Len. To view all our pictures click here. Thanks for travelling along with us on...The Thomas' Trails.
Valley of Death

Lincoln Square Farmer's Market