September ushered in a month of exploring from OH, a quick trip into SE MI, PA, NY, back to PA and then back to NY and all topped off with VA. Whew, ya, it was a busy month of being a tourist again! We hit some great locations and saw some incredible things along the way.
We stayed for the first week of September at Maumee Bay State Park outside of Toledo, OH. This was a really great state park that also had a resort lakeside with dining and a golf course. The sites were paved, with water and electric and had decent spacing between them. The only downfall was the dump station. For the size of the campground, they really need to double the size of the dump station. Most morning there were lines backing up well onto the roads. We explored their visitor center and extensive boardwalk trail through the marshes. Our e-bikes got a workout here on their several trails and through all of the campground loops.
We took a day trip to The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI. I have to say, if you are EVER in the area, this is a must do. This could easily be a two day visit. There are three major components to the experience. The museum itself which has amazing exhibits, including one of the first steam engines, JFK's presidential car that he rode in on that fateful day and the Rosa Parks bus. To sit in that seat where she made history was awe inspiring! Then there is the adjacent, 80 acre Greenfield Village, made up of 7 historic districts, that include a collection of historic buildings, including Henry Ford's boyhood home, Thomas Edison's shop where the lightbulb was invented and the Wright Brothers bicycle workshop where they began their vision of flying. The third piece of this amazing experience is the Ford Rogue Factory tour where the F150 truck is built. Even though the factory was not in active production the day we visited, it was very amazing to walk the plant and see just how the parts and pieces come together to create the finished product. Even the intro video, which, spoiler alert, is just not a movie on a screen, was the coolest thing ever! Very impressed with the entire experience and will certainly be back when we can explore it more in depth. We ended the day with a meet up with another of Rick's Army buddies he was stationed with in Germany. Good to see you John!
It was then time to pull up the jacks and explore PA. We took the northerly route along Lake Erie and stayed at Indian Creek RV & Camping Resort in Geneva On The Lake, PA. During the summer months, this area is a hopping vacation destination, but in September it was a sleepy little town. This Sun RV resort was a surprisingly nice Passport America location. I probably would not stay here during the summer, since about three quarters of the park is seasonal sites, but we stayed in a nice transient area with a pull thru site and views of the ponds where ducks and geese were plentiful. They had a couple laundry areas throughout the park and we got caught up on laundry while we were there. While in the area, we explored the Lake Erie parks and shoreline, the covered bridges and even a wine tasting at one of their many wineries.
From PA we were off to NY, a new state for us. Our first stop was the Niagara Falls area. We stayed at Branches of Niagara in Grand Island, just south of Niagara Falls. It was a nice park and quiet this time of year with mostly retired couples during the week...like us! Of course we spent 2 days at the falls and took the Maiden of the Mist boat tour! It was a great time! Unfortunately, we did not get to go over to the Canadian side of the falls due to all the crazy Covid restrictions and hoops but we hope to some day travel through Canada and see the falls from that side. What a great place to visit and the volume of water going over those falls is amazing. Another day we went up to Fort Niagara, which was really interesting to learn about the history there..
After our quick week at Niagara Falls, we moved on further into NY to explore more falls and lakes. We stayed at a great Boondockers Welcome in the Finger Lakes region of NY. We had heard alot about this area and it did not disappoint! We spent a day at Watkins Glenn State Park enjoying a great hike through the gorge. We also drove around a couple of the lakes in the area, explored a neat farm & craft market and visited the town of "Bedford Falls", aka Seneca Falls, featured in the movie Its A Wonderful Life.
Again, another lake was in our future. We moved up to Lake George area in upstate NY and stayed at Whippoorwill Campground. This stop included a boat tour of Lake George, a great bike trail, Saratoga Springs State Park, Saratoga Springs National Park and an afternoon with another of Rick's Army buddies, Kevin, who took us on a great walking tour of Saratoga Springs, showed us the bar where American Pie was written and a beautiful park. He loves to take pictures and gave us an impromptu photo shoot!
After our quick couple days in upstate NY, we moved on back into PA, on our trek south. We stayed at another great Boondockers Welcome just west of Philadelphia for the weekend so we could go explore Philly. We were fortunate to get into the last tour of the day for Independence Hall and felt very humbled to be standing were our founding fathers did. We took a stroll around the historic area and was able to see the Liberty Bell and Ben Franklins resting place. Of course we had to have some cheesesteaks while in Philly! After dinner we took a stroll on the riverfront, which had a really cool vibe.
After that whirlwind weekend, we headed to our final September destination in VA for some peace and quiet. Endless Caverns campground, in New Market, VA, was just what we needed to relax and unwind. It also where we picked up alot of hitchhikers...stink bugs!!! Ugghhh, even now, in January, we are still getting rid of them! While there we explored New Market, the Virginia Museum of the Civil War and the Shenandoah National Park. The Skyline Drive was a beautiful drive and we stopped at several areas to hike (even on the Appalachian Trail) and explore. We also made a road trip one day to the new National Museum of the US Army in Fort Belvoir, outside of Washington, DC. What a beautiful, well done tribute to the American soldier!
Whew...that was quite a month! We certainly enjoyed all of our stops, the things we learned and the folks we met along the way! Up next, quick visits with old friends before our next workamping gig.
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