Saturday, July 23, 2011


We entered Canada about 10am on Friday. The customs inspection went smoothly. No unreasonable delays, no food confiscations. By noon we were in St. Jacobs "camped" in the city park along the river. Carol & I took a walk around town being sure to stop in the Stone Crock Bakery. Free wi-fi and great apple strudel.
That night we treated ourselves to dinner out; a rare event in our travels. Bakeries, yes, but rarely restaurants. We are at Jacks Family Restaurant; an excellent choice. Jack's also had free wi-fi; a real benefit when traveling in Canada. The VZ roaming charges can kill you.

On Saturday we were at the St. Jacobs Market Place by about 8am. The place was already crowded. It's billed as Canada's largest year-round farmers market.  Carol & I always enjoy these markets, you get to see so many different, and interesting, things peculiar to the region.
We had the most amazing apple fritters ever. You start with a whole apple then core, peel it, then slice it into about 1/4" think pieces that now resemble a donut. Dip the apple "donut" into a batter. I suspect pancake batter would work well. Fry in hot oil then roll in a mixture of cinnamon & sugar. This entire process takes place while you're watching your order being made fresh.  Now that's an apple fritter!!
Because of the heat, we decided to continue on to Michigan  and the comfort of a campground with electricity(A/C). We passed through US customs at Port Huron. About a 20 minute wait. Nothing confiscated. They were looking for citrus of any kind and mangos.
We're at the Lakeport State Park just north of Lakeport,MI on Lake Huron. No water view but neither did we expect one. In fact, pulling in on a Saturday afternoon, we were glad there was an empty site. There were two. This is a real family campground. Two to three kids and a dog or two per site. :-) Our campsite is one of the main walking streets in the campground; great for people watching. Until it started to thunder, Carol & I were sitting at the picnic table, playing Rummicube and watching the people parade.

I bought the annual state park entry pass for $29. The regular out-of-state entry fee is $8. On our last trips to MI, we rarely actually camped in the SP's but would use them as a source of water & a dump station.
The weather is supposed to start cooling off some; starting Monday.

About an hour ago we had a huge rainstorm. Some of the camping areas are very low. This couple near us pitched their tent in a very low area. Everything they own is spread out to dry.
On the other hand, the kids are having a ball. Riding their bikes through the puddles, using tarps as a slip-&-slide, zipping around on skim boards, chasing after the dogs, on & on. I suspect they think the is a lot more fun then the tenters.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Niagara Falls Area continued

Another hot one but with a decent breeze off the lake.
Two people stopped by today to admire the Lazy Daze. They are rarely seen this far east. The campground host asked if he could take pictures. Every RV he had ever seen was either white with some streaks on the sides or some shade of brown or grey. His son is always asking why all RV's have to be white/brown/grey. He's sending him the picture to show that some RV's are different. Like our pretty, blue Lazy Daze.

All our neighbors are Canadian. I'm keeping my eye on them. You just never know. ;-)

Information about Lake Ontario

Gopher got to cool off in the lake.

Thursday, 10:24am. 95* already. The forecast heat index is 110*. Today we stay inside and enjoy the A/C.

Last time we were up this way, we did the tourist thing. Viewed the falls, took some tours, etc. This time the goal is to stay cool until this heat wave passes by.

In the morning, we head to St. Jacobs.  We stumbled across this town the last time we were in Ontario. Everything about it screams "cute".There is a city park downtown right on a small river with a few RV spaces lined off. That's where we will stay Friday and Saturday night. The park is an easy walk from the main street in town. Since we don't tow a car, being within walking distance to things is a real advantage to us.

On Saturday, we'll go to the huge Farmers Market. St. Jacobs Market

But today, we mostly stay inside. Do some cleaning & a load of laundry.
Ted & I are making great progress on his public campground database. 16,000 campgrounds is within reach.
That will be my project for today. Carol's reading books and playing games on her iPad.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Niagara Falls Area

On Sunday we drove to the Four Mile Creek SP near Lewiston/Niagara Falls, taking the scenic roads along Lake Ontario whenever possible.
This part of New York is a major fruit and wine producing area. Apples (As in the Rome & Cortland varieties named after NY cities), but also cherries and plums. There were roadside stands everywhere plus u-pick cherries and blueberries.
The original plan was to stay here two nights then move on to Canada. There is a heat wave heading this way, and extending well into Ontario, with record breaking high temperatures expected by tomorrow. The places we would be camping in Ontario have no utility connections. They're simply parking areas. :-) So,we decided to stay put and enjoy the electrical connection (A/C) until Friday.
This is a nice campground. We've been here twice before. It's right on Lake Ontario. On a really clear day, which unfortunately is quite rare, you can see the skyline of Toronto across the lake. The cause of the low visibility, is the same as in the Susquehanna Valley in PA; the coal fired factories and utilities.
About half of the campers here are from Ontario. The US/CA exchange rate is favorable to the Canadians and things simply cost less in the US then in CA. We see the same thing when we camp in Vermont; lots of Canadians enjoying the States.
This morning we went into Lewiston to get Carols quarterly blood tests done. We use Quest Labs. They do the tests then fax the results to Dr. Hood. Next week his nurse will call and review the results with Carol. We've done this time & again during our travels.
After the blood work, we went to the Art Park for breakfast.
The National Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Fatima is in Lewiston. We've been there before. After the Art Park we went again. Per the brochure "A spectacular glass dome basilica dominates fifteen acres of gardens and 150 life size bronze and marble statues".

Sculpture in the Art Park

Carol just checked the weather. The only cool place is in Washington State; way too far to drive tomorrow. Fort Pierce is actually cooler then Niagara Falls. Not what we had hoped but such is life. Actually it's quite pleasant here. There is a nice breeze blowing off the lake. Doesn't feel like 95* when you're sitting under the shade tree.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cayuga Lake Area, New York

Our improvised campground worked out very well yesterday. It was fun watching the fisherman & kayakers. This is a very popular park. I always enjoy seeing the families doing things together. Too often life just gets way to busy it seems to take out time for family fun.

Todays destination is the Cayuga Lake State Park. We just had to find someplace to dump the tanks after being at the beach house for a week. The back country roads took us through Ithaca, NY; the home of Cornell University. Carol saw a sign about a Sunday Farmers Market so in we went. What a nice find. There were lots of very different food vendors not your run-of-the-mill stuff(luckily, I suppose, we had just finished breakfast), organic farmers, artisan bread makers, etc. We poked around for the better part of an hour then found a nearby park where we could share a sticky bun three ways. Gopher gets all the bread on the bottom; we get the gooey stuff on top. She never complains about her share.
The drive from Ithaca to the Cayuga Lake SP is along a "scenic byway". Didn't strike us as very scenic; we could rarely even catch a glimpse of the water. This is a major wine producing area. We must have passed a dozen wineries most of which offered tastings. We don't drink wine, but if someone did, they could get drunk driving on the Scenic Byway.
Todays drive was almost entirely through agricultural lands. New York has some large dairy farms in addition to the usual corn, soy beans, etc. A pretty drive.

Tomorrow we head to the Niagara Falls area. Slowly working our way to the Upper Peninsula of MI.

A little bit about Cayuga Lake. Formed by glaciers, the most recent being about 10,000 years ago. It's over 38 miles long and 435' at its deepest. Originally it was the home of the Cayuga Indians, one of the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois). The Iroquois Nation sided with the British during the American Revolution. After the war, General John Sullivan was charged with "subduing" the Iroquois Nation to make it safe for European American settlers to move in and begin harvesting the timber and farming the land.