Fish, Water, Wine and Museums


How many fish hatch at a Fish Hatchery in a year? Well, the one at Bath, N.Y. produced about a million and a half last year. That’s one interesting fact we learned when we stopped in yesterday on our way to The Curtiss Museum. We were camped at The Hickory Hill Campground near Bath, a lovely big park with a mixture of cabins, mobiles and many large RV sites and lots of shade trees.

Hickory Hill Campsite

Hickory Hill Campsite

We arrived there at 10:30 yesterday morning (it’s only 22 miles from Corning) and immediately got on the bike. The warm, sunny day was perfect for riding. At the hatchery we also learned that all the water used for the fish tanks comes from a natural underground spring – no electric pumps required.  Near the entrance a family was filling up several plastic jugs with water that was pouring from the spring through a pipe.  Although a disclaimer is posted it seems to be permitted “at your own risk”, and the matriarch of this family told us that she’d been getting this water for her cottage for 35 years. She offered us paper cups to try the pure liquid. Awe, it carried me back to the farm where city friends often came out to fill their jugs from our well.

That same lovely lady told us about the many vineyards in the area, and suggested a great place for lunch overlooking Keuka Lake. We took off, following her directions.  We passed many vineyards, but didn’t stop until we’d found Bully Hill Vineyard, way up at the top of a high hill, overlooking the lake and the Village of Hammondsport. The hills and twists reminded us of driving in the Kootenay area of BC. The view and the food were both worth the climb. After lunch we went into the store for a little wine-tasting (not much mind you – we were on the bike after all) and decided to purchase a bottle of their Sweet Walter’s White Chardonnay, before finally making our way to the Curtiss Museum.

Bully Hill Winery

Beautiful gardens surround the place

Yummy Salmon Salad

Yummy Salmon Salad

lunch

Scallops and Crab Cake on Mushroom Cap with salads and fries

As a teenager in Hammondsport, Glenn Curtiss was the ultimate entrepreneur and inventor. His main interest was bicycles and he invented several new models. By the time he was twenty he had three bicycle shops throughout the area, and eventually progressed from motorized bicycles to the Curtiss Motorcycle Company and later branched out into airplanes and boats. The museum is an interesting stop for anyone with any of these interests.

Curtiss Museum

Curtiss Museum

Any early plane

Any early plane

Curtiss motorcycle

Curtiss motorcycle

Travel Trailer

He also invented the first Travel Trailer!

It was another great day. We left Bath this morning and set up camp at Caledonia, before heading into Rochester, about 30 miles away. We wanted to see the George Eastman House. That’s a beautiful mansion and photography art gallery. It took us over two hours to tour it.

Eastman House

Eastman House, Summer Room

Stair Case

Stair Case

Living Room

Living Room

We made a wrong turn on the way to the Museum and found ourselves in the heart of downtown where they were setting up for something. We asked at the museum and learned that the Annual Rochester Jazz Festival was starting tonight, so that’s where we headed for some dinner and a little music before returning to camp. Who knew that there was so much to see and do in Central New York!

Watkins Glen, NY


Yesterday we rode the eleven miles back to Watkins Glen to the State Park Gorge and spent two hours climbing up the 832 steps to the top.  It’s definitely not a place you’d want to be without a camera. Between the two of us we took over 200 pictures. For now I can post only a sample.

Steps up the Gorge

Just some of the steps

One Water Fall

One Water Fall.The hole was made for a Mill sluice-way

Many Water Falls

Many Water Falls

Water Falls

Water Falls

Water Falls

More Stairs

More Stairs

Tunnel

One of many tunnels

Although my knees began to protest on the way back down, it took only half an hour because we were able to avoid most of the steps and we didn’t stop as often. We met two couples from Kitchener who we discovered were also at the RV Rally. Small world!

That was our third and final night at the Ferenbaugh Campsite. It was a good spot. I’d recommend it to any campers or RVers who want to spend some time in the area. Later I’ll do a review of all the campsites we’ve visited on this trip.

Moving On


We spent a few hours Sunday afternoon negotiating and crunching numbers to see if we could make that purchase on our Wish List happen (we couldn’t thanks to the sales tax we’d have to pay taking it across the border), and we completely forgot about the Vogues concert at 4:00 pm! Oh well, it was raining anyway.

The clouds rolled away in the evening so we took a walk around our camping area to see how many RVs were still there and how many would need to be pulled out of the mud. There were even some that had For Sale signs on them.  They must have made successful negotiations on new ones. The Rally ended that night with another fireworks display.

Fireworks

Fireworks

The departure on Monday morning went smoothly. Unlike we had expected, the RVs started drifting out in stages so there wasn’t any congestion when we got away at about ten o’clock. The sun was hot by then. By noon we were once again established, this time at  Ferenbaugh Campsites, five miles north of Corning, NY. Hungry and in need of groceries, we struck out on the bike, heading towards Corning we thought, but we’d turned in the wrong direction so had lunch, did banking and bought groceries in Watkins Glen instead. We’d planned to visit the State Park there another day and had not gone prepared with cameras, so we returned to camp to enjoy nice leisurely showers before carrying the dirty laundry down the hill to the Laundromat. Not an exciting day, but after a week of dry-camping (i.e. without electric, water or sewer hook-up) it was pure luxury! We even had unlimited internet. (Well, I thought we did until I tried to post this blog with more pictures. Had to switch to Verizon and limit pictures.)

Today (Tuesday) we turned in the right direction and got ourselves to Corning and the Corning Glass Museum, which has replaced the Steuben Factory. We were there from 11:00 am until 3:30 pm, learning all kinds of interesting facts about glass components, fibre optics, the development of fibre glass insulation, and watched a Glass Blowing Demonstration, a Flame Working Demo and a Glass Breaking Demo, and took lots of pictures. We resisted buying anything in the Gift Shop although the glass flowers were very appealing – too tall and fragile for an RVing life though.

Glass Flowers

Glass Flowers

We took the free shuttle bus downtown to explore this heritage town (some interesting architecture here) before grabbing dinner for two at Holmes Plate 54. Once again we returned home with enough food for another day.

The RV Rally is Coming to an End


The highlight of today (Saturday) was the Reba McIntyre Performance at the band shell. She’s as animated as ever and her voice is still strong, and beautiful. Wow!

Reba

Reba

Reba

Reba

Her opening act was a fifteen year girl named Caroline Cole who is definitely on her way to stardom.

The weather all day was perfect. We are now waiting for the fireworks to begin. They said that they will be visible from every camping area, which is hard to believe since there are acres of RVs, not only in the Fair Grounds, but along both sides of two adjoining highways! We discovered that when we took a trip a few miles down the road to the local Home Depot for a few maintenance supplies. Before claiming seats to see Reba, we spent two hours at the Cattle Barn, waiting for my name to be drawn for one of the fabulous prizes, which included TVs, GPSs, Bicycles, grills and even a couple of trips. None were meant to be mine, not even a Good Sam doll or cap. Oh well, we don’t have room for much more in here anyway. A new back up camera would have been nice though.

Tomorrow it all will end with the last chance to pick up any items we might have missed in the vendor hall, and to tour and drool over the new RVs. A concert by the Vogues is scheduled for the afternoon, weather permitting. The forecast is uncertain and really, we’ve already had two nice days in a row! What more can we expect? It will be interesting to see how all these hundreds and hundreds of RVs will get out onto the roads by noon on Monday. We will be among them, off to places as yet unknown.

Sea of RVs

Sea of RVs

Taking the long way to the Bikers Reunion


We’re finally on the road again!

When our biking friends were planning the annual trip to New Liskeard, Ontario, for the Bikers Reunion on the Canada Day weekend at the end of the month, they were quite confused when we told them that we were leaving on June 10th. But it was true. We left home on Monday in the motor home with the Boulevard on the trailer behind. It was pouring rain. Since we hadn’t been able to get away earlier, and we’d already booked ourselves into the Biker’s Reunion, when we read about the Good Sam RV Rally in Syracuse New York, we figured we could combine the two into a three week adventure. We’ve been to a number of Bike Rallies, but never an RV Rally.

Since we weren’t booked into the RV camping site until the next night, we stopped near Watertown NY for dinner at the Cracker Barrel (our favourite family restaurant when visiting the US) and spent the night parked in the parking lot, which is OK with them. It continued to rain most of the night and all the next day. The Rally was being held at the New York State Fair Grounds and much of it was pretty muddy. We were given a spot along the inside race track, which wasn’t very attractive, but the ground was solidly packed gravel which meant that, unlike some of the people who’d paid extra for hydro hook up, we didn’t need to worry about getting stuck in the mud.

RV Parking

RV Parking around the track

Not all of the buildings and services were open yet, so we had no internet access. When the rain finally stopped late in the afternoon, we took our iPad with us on the bike and found free Wifi at the Mall so we could quickly check emails. When we returned we found the gate that we’d entered through in the afternoon was locked! Fortunately there were many volunteers around and one kind soul led us in his car to where we had to cross over the outside track to the inside. From there we turned in the direction we’d driven in the morning only to find that a large section of the inside track had turned into a slippery patch of mud! Not good on a bike! I think we both held our breath expecting to land in the slop ourselves at any moment, but Jim’s careful and experienced maneuvering got us through.

Wednesday was a warm sunny day again and there were a few activities for the early crowd so we familiarized ourselves with the lay of the land, bought our souvenir t-shirts and attended a couple of seminars. One seminar was all about travelling by RV caravan to Alaska, put on by Fantasy RV Tours. That could be one for our Bucket List! We toured some of the new RVs on display and found a new one to put on our Wish List. That night we rode into Syracuse for dinner at the Dinosaur BBQ. The restaurant was crammed with other like-minded souls who thought it a good night to enjoy the nice weather. We were told we’d have an hour wait before getting a seat. There was lots to see among the many posters and artifacts on the walls and ceiling, and interesting people-watching to do. Before we knew it, we had a high top table for two right in front of the bar. We ordered the rib dinner for two and it was well worth the wait. The price was right too – about what we’d pay for one dinner back home.

Dinner at Dinosaur BBQ

Dinner at Dinosaur BBQ

Thursday the indoor exhibits (i.e. vendors) were open, and since it rained all day again, the building was packed with shoppers. That’s where we spent most of our day and a chunk of money.

Today the sun shone on us once more. And more RVs had arrived. It was a day of seminars and searching for our “matches”. In our registration package we were each given a numbered sticker that we were to wear everywhere, along with our ID badges. The purpose of the numbers was to search out the three people in the crowds who would have the same numbers. Although some people got creative and wrote the numbers out on large posters, or lists that they attached to their hats, most simply stuck them to the ID badges that hung from a lanyard around their neck. We heard one man comment, “I haven’t looked at anybody’s face in three days!” There are prizes to be had if you can find your match. With Jim’s help, I found one of mine this evening, so I’m now the proud owner of a T-shirt that reads, “I Found My Match” and my name will go into a draw for one of the $5,000 worth of prizes. We still haven’t found Jim’s “match”. Better luck tomorrow.

We watched a parade of couples line up to be “Re-hitched” in the park, some in wedding gowns and suits, others in comical attire.

The evening ended with a concert in the band shell by none other than Mr. Vegas himself, Wayne Newton. He still puts on an impressive performance, backed by a large band of musicians and two backup singers.  Unfortunately, his voice betrays his age.

Tonight we finally have internet connection in the RV through a Verizon card, but data is limited so photos are too.

Bikes, Bikes… and Cars and Lunch!


Last Saturday we rode out to Classy Chassis & Cycle for the 7th Anniversary Bash. It was a sunny and hot day and that brought out loads of people and a parking lot full of bikes to admire and discuss.

Bikes at Classy Chassis

Bikes at Classy Chassis

Motorcycle 1

Nice paint job

Backside

Backside

Motorcycle 2

Another interesting paint job

Orange bike

This one will be seen on the road!

A few daring young stunt riders put on quite a show before lunch.

Motor Bike stunt rider

Motor Bike stunt rider

Look out for that roof!

Look out for that roof!

Motorcycle Stunt Rider

Nose dive

We stood in line at the food trailer for an hour before we were able to enjoy our meal and listen to the band playing on the stage. We strolled through the shop and drooled over some of the used bikes for sale. A couple of smaller ones that were parked near the exit door had me momentarily imagining owning my own again! But the moment passed.

Yesterday there was a British Car Show downtown in the morning and an Antique Car Show in the afternoon.  We had to be other places in the afternoon, but we took in the British cars in the morning. Unfortunately the weather started out rather cloudy and wet so the cars were still slowly arriving when we had to leave, but we saw some beauties and enjoyed the British style band that entertained us with old tunes from the British Invasion. A jolly good time!

MG

MG

Unique bonnet on this MG

TR6

Nice TR6

Triumph

An orange Triumph too

Austin

Note the “car hop tray” mounted on the side window

Before leaving the downtown, we picked up two Shawarma sandwiches from Altona Kebab to take home for lunch. They were delicious and so big that we had one left over for today’s lunch.

Shawarma

Shawarma sandwich from Altona Kebab