Sunday, September 7, 2014

NY (Diamond Mining) and Vermont (Ice Cream)

Thursday

Adirondack Gateway CG was very quiet last night and nice and cool (60) for sleeping.  I was the first one up, as usual and watched as the CG woke up.  Bonnie left a window open and so it was 60 inside the coach also.  The owners came around and stopped and cleaned the bathroom.  Then one of the neighbors turned their truck around.  Are other neighbors took their Brittany Spaniel for a walk and then left in their car.  That’s about it, nice and quiet.  I moved the antenna around some on the Wilson booster but no luck on getting 3G just 1X and no data.  We are on the edge of Verizon coverage and the Adirondack State Park borders us.  We will go up to the lounge later to check email etc.  Texts seem to come in but take a while to go out.  Not sure what is on the agenda for today as Bonnie just got up.  We will test the new AquaHot for showers this morning.

Plenty of hot water and all worked as designed.  After our showers we decided to head out.  We stopped up by the office and checked our email and blogs.  We also had a nice visit with Ann.  Her and her husband Glen own the campground.  Then we decided to head to Utica.  Glen had told us about a good Greek restaurant and we were going to try it for lunch.

 
Greek Food
Feta Fries


Souvlaki

 Our lunches were good but not exactly what we were expecting.  After lunch we went over to the Utica Club Brewery, which also makes the Saranac soft drinks, expecting to take a tour.  Nope only on Fridays and Saturdays since labor day.  So we looked around the store and picked out some soft drinks to try.

 
Utica Brewing Co
A couple of the flavors

Since there was no tour we decided to head to Herkimer and the Famous Diamond Mine.  

You can see the mine in the distance
Once we got there Bonnie decided to go in and do a little mining.  She had about 2 hours before they closed.  I found a swing in the shade and was able to connect to the KOA wifi and even though it was slow I was able to occupy myself reading forums.  Bonnie found a few crystals and a nice quartz crystal.  We had a couple cold drinks and headed back to the rig.  If was after 5 and Bonnie started to work on supper.  Buffalo Chicken Wing dip.

Working on supper
The dip was excellent and hit the spot.  I am off to the rec room to upload the blog for today and watch Glen return from his evening flight in his ultra light.

Friday


The forecast  was for a cooler night but I think it stayed warmer.  We slept with the windows open in the back.  It was quiet again all night and still quiet in the morning when I got up.  Today we move up to Colchester, VT near Burlington.  I started reading Nick Russell’s new book “Big Lake Scandal” yesterday and since we have no internet, after my Cheerios, I will read some more until Bonnie gets up.

Well Bonnie got up and before you know it we were ready to pull out.  So just before 11 we pulled out and headed for Colchester, VT close to Burlington.  Bonnie took the first shift and drove a lot of the nasty twisty, hilly two lane roads.  Route 8 through the Adirondack Park is in horrible condition.  Most of these picture were taken through the windshield of side windows.

We finally got past the log truck
We did see some nice scenery and all in all we enjoyed the ride.

Lots of beautiful streams

Mountain views in the distance
 Most of our travel was in the valleys but we did climb and defend a couple small mountains.

Getting close to leaving NY
We went past Fort Ticonderoga, next time we will plan time to stop.  

The bridge to leave NY

A light house off to the side

Just crossing the state line

We made it to Vermont
We had to drive past Shelburne in heavy after school traffic, then the bypass around Burlington and finally into Colchester.  Lone Pine Campsites is a nice campground and while there are a lot of seasonal units here there are also a lot of short timers like us.  The sites are a good size and lots of room to back in and pull out.  We unhooked in front of our site and backed right in.  We hooked up and opened the windows as there was a nice breeze.  The breeze went away and the AC units came on.  Bonnie fixed supper and then we went over and played campground BINGO.  Bonnie won a game.  It only lasted about an hour but with the humidity that was long enough.

We are using our phone hotspot here as it is working well.  The CG has a vendor that supplies WIFI but it is $20 for 3 days so we will try to use our limited hotspot and monitor how much we use.  We had a good day and hope to see a lot of the sites in the area.  Thats about it for today.

Saturday

Well it stayed hot and humid last night so we ran the AC units to keep comfy.  The weather is to change and become much cooler.  This was the first we had to run AC or heat on the trip.  Its overcast today and is to rain so we decided to take the Trolley tour of South Burlington at 2pm this afternoon.

We left the campground after 11 and headed for downtown Burlington.  Burlington is a college town, there are several here.  Lots of young kids on the streets and wow lots of traffic.

Not sure what this character was up to
I could not put up with this every day anymore.  We found the Trolley Stop and bought our tickets.  Then we found a place to park for $10.  Then we walked over to to Splash, a restaurant on the water, but it was closed. The sky was really getting dark and it was looking like rain.  I checked the radar and knew we were in the path of a storm.

We had 10-15 minutes tops
So Bonnie suggested we get on the free shuttle and ask about a place to eat.  The shuttle took us up the hill and someone suggested the Vermont Pub and Brewery.  We got off the bus at the large farmers market in the town square.

Lots of vendors

Lots of friends
Just as we were seated for lunch the rain started.  Soon all the folks sitting outside were coming inside.

I had Vermont meat loaf
Bonnie had the fish and chips.  My Vermont meat loaf had green beans and some other things in it.  It was really good.  It rained hard most of the time we were eating but seemed to let up a little by the time we finished.  We headed down the hill hoping the shuttle would come along and pick us up.  We stayed close to the buildings where we could but still got very wet by the time we got down to the Trolley Stop.

Our Trolley
We waited a few minutes and when the rain let up a little we boarded the Trolley for the South city tour.  Six other people joined us for the trip.

Ready to go we just need a conductor
Louise was our conductor
The Trolley tour was a bust.  Louise tried to be funny but was not.  The tour was narrated by Wilbur a prerecorded narration on the iPad.  It was GPS activated but it was seldom timed properly.  Plus with the rain the views on the lake were obscured and the windows wet so you could not take pictures.

You can barely see an island out in the lake
 I did get one good picture out the front window of this giant gear.  It was at a lumber company but Wilbur did not comment about it.

Maybe a bicycle crank
The tour lasted about 90 minutes and to tell the truth we were glad it was over, Wilbur really did not do that good a job.  Louise did tell us the narrations were being redone and should be ready in a week or two.

It was still raining and we decided to head down to Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream for a tour and tasting.  But first a quick stop at at the Barge Canal Market for Bonnie.

To add to her collection
We made it
One tour was just leaving and we got tickets for the next one in 15 minutes.  Our tour leader was pretty good.  We watched a movie and then looked at the production area from a glassed in gallery.  She also told us that each employee still gets 3 pints of ice cream each day they work, full time employees get a Gym Membership (no kidding).  They run production 24 hours a day 5 days a week. They produce 40,000 pints a day.  There is another factory that can do 1,000,000 pints a day.  The third part of the tour was our favorite.

Free samples in this room
We had the Milk and Cookies ice cream today, boy it was good.  On the way out we picked up a couple pints for later.

Tonights dessert
My knee and hips were bothering me and so Bonnie drove us back to the campground.  We had a good day.  Now its time for NASCAR from Richmond.

Sunday

Today was a totally sunny beautiful day.  We slept in a little latter than usual but Bonnie got up soon after I did which is not the usual.  We watched a church sermon on TV and then talked about going to Shelburne Farm for the day which is what we decided to do.

Beautiful views even on the highway
What a beautiful place it turned out to be.  A Dr. Webb who married a Vanderbilt owned it and some of the family are still involved in the foundation that runs it.

We signed up for the tour but we had time to go out to the Farm Barn and get a quick lunch.  So we boarded the shuttle.

Shuttle to the Farm Barn
It was a short ride to the Farm Barn which houses the Admin Offices the Cheese factory, they milk around 125 cows, and all the milk goes to cheese.  This is a working farm and uses sustainable practices.  There is also a private school thru 8th grade and many other educational activities.

This is the Farm Barn
 All the horses and men that worked the farm in the 1800's were kept here.

This is were we got lunch
Ready for Lunch

Returning from the bakery
After I ate I got a quick look at the Cheese operation.

Ready to be pressed
They make cheese 7 days a week here.  We headed back to the Welcome Center to start the tour.  There we met Sharon and boarded the wagon towed by a truck for the tour, there were 8 of us on the tour.

Sharon our Tour Guide

Huge Poplar trees lined the road

We passed the barn again (one of 3 Wings)
We continued on the tour and it took us past the shores of the Lake

Thats NY and the Adirondacks across the lake

Beautiful clear water

These were the stables for the horses of guests that were visiting the family

One of the hay fields and a little bit of art from one of the summer interns
Then we stopped at the mansion that is now an Inn and has around 24 rooms that you can stay in for between $155 and $400 per night, depending on size and view.

Front view

This is out back
Then we visited the gardens that are being restored to what they were.  They are right on the lake shore.

The gardens
 The gardener is 80 years old.


Beautiful Flowers
 It was late afternoon and we decided to head back to the coach.  One stop at Shaw's a local grocery market and we were back at our site for the night.  Bonnie fixed supper and threw in a load of wash.  I drained the grey tank to make sure we had room for the wash and showers in the morning.  There must be a Winnebago Rally as a whole lot of theme pulled in this afternoon.  I also booked reservations for over near Freeport and Poland so we can move there to visit the Shakers at Sabath Day Lake.

Our current site.
Thats about it for this week.

Thanks For Checking In!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” 
― Albert Einstein