Friday, July 28, 2017

2017-19 Caravaning across 4 states MAINE, NEW HAMPSHIRE, VERMONT, NEW YORK

lots of pine cones, will it be a hard winter/

Exiting Maine
New Hampshire
Upstate New York

Walmart Parking Lot
Campground: Walmart parking lot. Free. Gorham NH. Large parking lot. 4 campers parked overnight at the far end of the lot. Well lit and security monitors the area.

Campground: Macom Reservation State Park. $24 per night, $9 reservation fee. No electric. Kathy was able to get an electric site for $5 more. They told her it was 15 amp only, but when we checked out her campsite, it has 30amp and 15 amp outlets. Absolutely no Verizon or AT&T signals in the area, not even enough to get a GPS signal/directions.

Macom Reservation State Park
best part of the park was the dump station, wow

Campground: Rollins Pond Campground. $25 per night, $9 reservation fee. No electric or water. Most sites are on the water. Heavy congested camping area with narrow road to campsites. Lots of trees.

deep in the woods of the Adirondack forest

Distance Traveled: 602 Miles (way too many miles)

I'm on the road again and will travel with Kathy from Maine through to New Hampshire, Vermont and New York state before we go our separate ways. Our first stop in New Hampshire is in Gorham at a Walmart parking lot. I called ahead to ensure they permit over
night parking. This area is surrounded by heavily forested mountains and is very popular with hikers and ATV riders. Numerous shops rent the 4 wheeler's for touring the many snow mobile and ATV routes in the area.

With Kathy needing to travel back to Iowa in about a week, our next day involved quite the road trip. Passing through the rest of New Hampshire, Vermont and into New York on the edge of Adirondack park, the largest regional park in the world. We caravan-ed across all those states rather nicely, stopping at as many viewing areas and rest stops as possible along the way. Using text messaging to inform the follower which was the next stop. Thanks Vermont for all the rest stops, restroom breaks, one fuel stop and the scenery or course... wish we could have toured more of your beautiful state. It all worked out really well, until near the end of the trip when my GPS routed me across Lake Champlain on a ferry and Kathy took the planned longer route around the lake.

Ferry ride: $24.50 for my camper/truck which is exactly 45 feet in length. What a fun experience riding a ferry across an impressively the large lake Champlain. 3 ferries cross various routes along the lake.

a surprise that I ended up on a ferry crossing Lake Champlain
but what fun.

Lake Champlain with the Adirondack mountains in the distance 

I plan on traveling back into Vermont as I begin my trek back south for the fall. For now, I'll explore the Adirondack mountains over the next week. (later in the week I researched campgrounds in the section of Vermont I had wanted to stay and was unable to come up with anything. COE parks were all booked up)

From our campsite on the edge of the Great Adirondack mountains Kathy and I spent our last day together with a tour into the Lake Placid area. All started off well as we traveled back roads. Stopping to see a garden tended by a family along a tributary that would eventually reach Lake Champlain. With good hearts this family has not only created a stunning garden with rock boarders and paths over looking a peaceful section of the river, but they have also created a take or share storage unit. Providing a way for locals to aid others when the moment feels right. With no formal group sponsoring the site, it's just here along side this country road. Good people sharing and helping others along with enjoying a stunning garden.

all volunteer work to create a place of peace and beauty

Kathy talking to one of the family members
that cares for the garden

Now further on down the road, the closer we get to Lake Placid, we begin to run into bikers and runners along the narrow two lane road. After finally arriving in lake Placid, we discover that they are preparing for a major Iron-Man Triathlon which will take place tomorrow. The town is packed with exercise fanatics filling every inch of space in this mountain village. Surrounded by stunning lakes, forested mountains, Olympic ski areas. We obviously didn't arrive on the best of days and quickly left the area. Kathy and I drove around magic lake before heading back to the High Falls Gorge area (family owned: $11 entry) we had toured earlier and headed to the White Face Mountain Ski hill where the Winter Olympics took place a number of years back. After a simple lunch of pulled pork, coleslaw and home made chips that we ate outdoors at the base of the ski slopes, we took a gondola ride up to the top of the second highest mountain peak where skiers would normally disembark. Mountain bikers can rent a bike for some great down hill runs during the summer and the rest of us just enjoy the scenery and take a ton of pictures. (well I took tons of pictures and now can't find one of them)... darn it all.  A refreshing day, with lots of mist and overcast skies which didn't detract from our enjoyment one bit.


High Falls Gorge

High Falls Gorge

our Gondola ride to the top of the mountain

Lake Placid what an enchanting view

the winter Olympics took place here in Lake Placid

Reflection:  when you've arrived.....

Hope to see you down the road again dear friend Kathy, thanks for sharing part of the journey with me this summer. Miss you already.... what fun.

Distance Traveled: 58 miles

Saranac Lake. A relatively short drive through the heart of the Adirondack preserve. Lots of moose signage, but no moose sightings so far. At my destination of Rollins Pond, I had to drive through another state park first before entering Rollins Pond. It felt like a 20 minute drive through the two campgrounds just to get to the campsite. Each park having campsites strung out along a chain of lakes that dot the area. The inner roads are extremely narrow, causing passing vehicles and campers to pull off where ever possible, scraping against trees and bushes as they hit the sides and top of the camper. Something I am not a fan of.

Rollins Pond

Rollins Pond, most days were overcast, rainy and cold

roads were narrow and overhung with trees/branches
requiring driver to pull off road for oncoming traffic

Arriving at my campsite (170), I had to continue driving to the end of the campsites around site 250 before navigating a tight loop at the end of the road. I was then able to return to my site and back in, one of the few sites that is not directly on the water. It's a heavily used campground and I personally would not recommend it. Of course not having a water site, no plans to go swimming or boating may be clouding my perception somewhat.

I have high hopes for an enjoyable stay in the Adirondacks, but my first couple of days have been a washout. Besides having no electric at the site, I'm having to conserve drastically my use of electric power with the solar system. No sun, no power, no heat for much of the evening. Heat you say? Yup, besides the rain, and overcast skies, it is cold. Well, to this Florida transplant it's cold. Current temp in 58 at 1pm in the afternoon. This evening, it's expected to get down to 46 degrees. Ekk. I hope the sun comes out for a bit to charge the batteries. Even though the furnace runs on propane, I need d/c power to run the furnace fan to blow all that wonderful warm air throughout the camper.

Last night, I had two comforters on the bed and my Pendelton wool blanket. I was definitely warm enough with all that on top of me. During the day, I've been wearing my thermal sweater and even my warm hoodie jacket inside.

I did drive into the town of Saranac Lake the other day, the sister city to Lake Placid and the poorer of the two for sure. The town built on a hill with crossroads leading in every direction is not the bustling town that Lake Placid is. Many of the buildings are empty, parking, though free is congested and streets are narrow. The entire area is dotted with lots and lots of lakes and ponds. Still no moose sightings.

The next day I drove into the town of Tupper Lake. A somewhat smaller town, with again, many shops on the main street closed up. I've gone to libraries in both towns as the cell phone service and internet access is almost non- existent in the Adirondack region. Definitely no signals in the campgrounds.

a great little restaurant
for breakfast

The area is noted for great hiking trails which of course because of my aversion to ticks will not be on my schedule once the weather clears up. I am hoping to rent a kayak and paddle around one of the many lakes most likely the one right in the park I'm staying at.

As a traveler, I can't always expect the days to be filled with sunshine and it is a lesson to work a bit harder in finding a campsite with electric hookups especially with possible inclement weather. Another factor is the price of campgrounds in the northeast. I've noticed that many are much higher priced than other areas of the country. I called one place which online listed their campsites at $22 a night, a really good price for the area. They had gone up to $40 and this was a city park. Although I expected higher prices, it is still a stretch for me to accept these higher prices.

I made it to one of the park attractions, “The Wild Center”. A huge building with large oversized displays of Adirondack wildlife, flora and fauna. But little in the way of actual information from my standpoint. Definitely catering to the children. A Panorama Theater showing 20-25 minute films on the local region. I viewed the latest photo contest winners which were awesome and gave new insight into what good photography is all about. I think I have a ways to go, but I learn something new every day.

Outdoors at the Wild Center, they have a Wild Walk that takes one along ramps that lead the viewer above the tree line again many interactive areas for the kids. Loved the metal swing walkways from one section to another including a semi-treehouse, a large eagles nest and into a large man-made hollowed out tree stump.

the Wild Walk

raised platforms above the tree line

moose sighting

fun walkways

the treehouse

love the birch trees

the surrounding Adirondack Mountains

Do you have loons in your area. I'm once again in a lake region where loons like to hang out and I just heard the beautiful sounds of their call along a lake. What an enchanting sound.

Just outside of the town of Tupper Lake, stopped at the Northwood Cabins. It's run by Brian and Renee Burns who purchased the place about a year ago. These charming cabins and motels can be found along the main arteries throughout the Adirondacks. The Northwood Cabins are in particular the best example of this type of mom and pop establishment one could find. And since I have such fond memories of our little vacations growing up in Northern Michigan, staying at such cabins, well I just had to stop and find out more about this one.

Brian told me the cabins are from around the 1930's and were moved to this site sometime later. Having changed hands a number of times, Brian said they had seen it and always thought it would be nice to own. It came up for sale and was on the market for a couple of years and finally decided the time was right purchase it.

In the past year they've made all the necessary improvements including new roofs, electrical and adding a few modern touches like flat screen tv's and a mini fridge as well. The neon sign out front was not salvageable so they had it completely rebuilt. So glad they did.

Each cabin is unique with little cubby holes for a writing desk and hanging your clothes, each with it's own small bathroom and the tiny little windows. One unit on the end has a small kitchen and separate living room with fireplace including charming vintage furniture from the 50's. Prices are very reasonable to experience a cozy cabin in the Adirondack Mountains. We Rv-ers should consider leaving our campers for a couple of nights just to experience the area in a cabin.

original signs found in the attic

good memories of staying in cabins like this

each cabin is unique and differant

a little writing area and closet

one of the larger cabins with a living room and fireplace

charming little windows

1950's wood paneling, what memories it brings back

Brian and Renee Burns, 
the young owners, thanks for a great tour of the place

an abandoned ambulance in the back of the cottages

crisp, clean, enchanting... where memories of a lifetime are made

Northwoods Cabins
2775 NY-30, Tupper Lake, NY

1 comment:

Northwood Cabins said...


It was a pleasure to meet you and thanks for the nice write up. We hope you enjoyed the "tour". If your readers would like more information about the Northwood Cabins they can go to our website or follow us on Facebook. Enjoy the rest of your travels, we will be checking in from time to time to see where you have been.

Brian and Renee