Letchworth State Park, Perry NY
After a somewhat delayed start this morning, we managed to get our little parade (truck, Airstream, car) on the rural roads of east-central New York again. We make a rather conspicuous caravan, with bright shiny Airstream leading the way and the vivid orange Honda trailing close behind like a whale calf. Woe to those who get in between Eleanor and I on the road -- the Airstream is difficult to pass on rural roads, and the Honda Fit is so nimble that Eleanor can trap or intercept any vehicle that dares to separate us.
As we were heading north toward the New York State Thruway, we encountered a downhill grade along Rt 28 heading toward Mohawk, with ominous signs warning of the danger. A mandatory pull-out for "cars towing trailers" brought me to a stop and a large billboard that explained the workings of the runaway truck ramp. It was sort of like a pre-flight safety briefing, except without the flight attendant. I've never encountered such an elaborate program before, and yet after all that the downhill grade was only about two miles and seemed relatively mild compared to many western grades we've traversed. Still, every time I encounter a steep downgrade I shift down and give thanks for the Kodiak disc brake upgrade.
I thought traveling as a pair of vehicles would be an enormous pain, but it has actually been very nice and convenient. Eleanor has no trouble staying with me, and with walkie-talkies we are able to stay in touch easily. I have the GPS and lead the way with the Airstream, so navigation is simple and there's no risk of Eleanor turning somewhere that I can't with the big rig.
The campgrounds have so far been very accommodating about the second vehicle. Tonight's stop is Letchworth State Park in western NY. There's a vehicle day-use fee of $6 here, so it does cost us a little more but nobody blinks an eye at our request for a second vehicle pass at the campsite. And for an overnight stop it's great to leave the trailer hitched up and hop in the Fit for a look around.
This park is called "The Grand Canyon of the East" for the long deep gorge that runs through the center for about ten miles. Tomorrow it will fill up for the Labor Day weekend, but today it is half empty. We encountered hardly anyone when we hiked the trail to the Lower Falls, one of three major falls in the park.
This park has the look of a great summer destination. There's swimming in several spots, plenty of trails to hike, a great campground, scenic overlooks, a restaurant, an historic mansion, visitor center, etc. The weather has been gray and damp this evening, giving the park a muted tone. Outside our screen door insects and frogs are making a musical racket, and while there's a faint whiff of sweet wood smoke, there are few other signs of neighbors. We may have hit it just right by arriving a day before the big rush. Tomorrow, we will press on to Ohio.