July 5 Travel Across New York

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Darrien Lake State Park, NY

I had fallen asleep well before 10:00 PM. It was no surprise when I awoke at 4:30 AM. I managed to get back to sleep and awoke again at 6:15. I wanted to sleep a little more but that was not to be. I listened to WOWO radio and decided to get up. I prepared the interior for departure, cranked in the expansions and drew up the stabilizers, all with the pushing of buttons.

When I went outside to disconnect the electric and water lines I found the sand was wet with dew. I wiped the hose and cable off before putting them away. They were both very gritty. Before reentering the RV I scraped the packed sand from the bottom of my flip flops. The sand was even stuck to my bare feet. Despite my efforts sand littered the interior. I swept the RV for a second time that morning.

Next on the list was to drain the black and gray tanks (sewage). This meant repositioning the RV closer to the sewer port. I drove over the tree roots to my left and heard a loud metallic clanking. I stomped on the brake hoping that nothing had broken. When I looked at the undercarriage I saw that one of the two stabilizers was hanging down slightly. It was enough to have caught the tree root. I glanced under the RV from the passenger side but had not looked from the drivers side. I hit the retract switch multiple times until I could see that the stabilizer was fully withdrawn. I followed the same procedure that I had used on Saturday to drain the tanks. This required raising the dips in the hose repeatedly to drain both tanks.

I utilized the park showers to remove the stink I had built from the anxiety of banging the stabilizer and then wrestling the sewer hose. Before leaving I also had to turn in the key for the showers. I guess they want to keep away non residents.

I headed south on SR 50 and stopped for breakfast at Dunkn’ Donuts. I parked in a small area that left my RV hanging out partially blocking the incoming traffic. The lot was barely accommodating to cars let alone a 25’ RV. A croissant egg and sausage sandwich, large coffee , and plain donut cost $7.81. I thought that was pretty steep.

Walmart was adjacent to Dunkn’ Donuts. I could not get there directly from the donut shop. The exit onto SR 50 only allowed a right turn away from Walmart. The exit onto the side road only allowed a right turn away from Walmart. Evidently all traffic leads away from Walmart. I turned right onto the side road and then left onto SR 50. As I drove past the store there was no place to turn into Walmart. I came to a traffic light that looked promising and turned left. Unfortunately it only led to Best Buy and a small shopping center. I was able to drive along the front of Best Buy past the store and further down to a stop sign that allowed me to turn towards Walmart.

I bought my groceries, and a propane bottle (for my Coleman’s stove). I did not get on the road until 10:00 AM. When I drove away from the store I discovered that there was only one entrance and exit for the Walmart. If there were ever an emergency this place would be a disaster.

The Google Maps app was already showing to be 50’ off in navigation. “ In 50’ turn left’ I was already turning.

I had to deal with the usual people who refuse to be behind an RV. They pull out, accelerate and then force me to slow down because they aren’t as fast as they think they are. One guy had risked pulling out in front of me only to turn left a mile further down the road. A little courtesy could go a long way. As I cleared the urban areas, the radio started playing Bob Marley, “Jammin” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFRbZJXjWIA. It was what I needed.

On I-90 some people treat the highway like their own personal raceway. Usually they are driving cars that overcompensate for their inadequacies. I also witnessed a biker with a female passenger thread between a truck and another RV that the truck was passing. Now that was a special kind of stupid.

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A Converted 37 Chevy Truck

I did not take a break until I reached the Canastota service plaza at mile marker 266. I had been leap frogging in traffic with other vehicles one in particular caught my eye. It was a customized truck the likes of which I had never seen. I was getting ready to walk up to the service plaza when that truck pulled in two spaces away from me. I had to ask the driver about it. It was a 37 chevy equipped with a Camaro LS engine. It had a great paint job and low profile tires. I complimented the owner on the vehicle and later took a photo.

The fuel pumps were crowded and cramped. There were only two pumps that offered diesel and they also had gas. I had to pull in front of another vehicle and then wait for them to move before I could get close enough to pump diesel. Some one else pulled up behind me and lost their patience. They swung around to the other side to back in and use another pump. The next guy didn’t have long to wait.

Shortly after getting back into traffic, all lanes came to a halt. Slowly we all crept forward for a few miles. The apparent problem was a disabled motorcycle pulled off to the right berm with an officer present to assist. As soon as the traffic cleared the scene it was pedal to the metal.

About 12 miles from my exit the Google Map App lost its mind. It started spouting directions that made no sense. When I glanced down I saw that my position indicated that I was north of I-90 then driving south across fields . I was driving all over the countryside per the map. I decided to believe my eyes and stayed on I-90. I knew that my exit was SR 77 south. I steered for that. As I was exiting, the app demanded that I should get on I-90 west. I pulled into a Denny’s/ Flying J travel plaza to regain my bearings. I shutoff the phone and turned it back on. I put in my destination and all was right with the app again. I don’t know why it has been having so much trouble but I did see an update was available.

I was directed to head south on SR 77, turn right onto west Main St., Then left at Fargo Rd.. Fargo Rd. eventually becomes Harlow Rd.. Darrien Lake State Park was just ahead on the left. I drove past the main office and beach to the main entrance. I was instructed to park in the lot to the left and register at the gate building. Two very polite women were in the building. registration was quick and I was assigned lot 123 (easy to remember if you can count).

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Darrien Lake State Park Camping Site

I followed the map to the second right turn. A small sign designated the space numbers along the loop. I followed the long way around the one way circle to arrive back near the loop entrance. The RV sites were nearly devoid of large trees. This made it easy to park but there is little shade. The one large maple tree behind me was too far away and angled wrong to offer any sun protection. It was 85 degrees with 50% humidity. With no water hookup the only thing to do was the electric connection and the TV antenna. Once everything was connected and the TV channels programmed, I went for a walk. I asked a neighbor about drinking water. They used bottled water but their son pointed out a water spigot nearby. It was not marked potable so I was reluctant.

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Sunset Over the Lake

I circled the lake and campgrounds. The lake was a good sized pond. People were fishing, kayaking, canoeing and swimming. The beach has a designated swimming area. It appears that a lot of locals come here to beat the heat. The walk took thirty five minutes.

I stopped at the registration building to ask about the drinking water. Any of the spigots located around the park had safe drinking water. When I returned to my site I filled my three gallon jug and enjoyed guzzling down some cold water.

For supper I used my Coleman’s outdoor propane grill to pan fry two cheeseburgers. They were a little crispy but tasted fine. I supplemented the meal with raw broccoli and cauliflower, and an apple. I watched Wheel of Fortune while eating and then Jeopardy. After Jeopardy I went for a walk around the park again. I stayed out to walk around the lake twice and watch the sunset. The beach was vacant and a sign read “Closed No Lifeguard on Duty”

I returned to the RV and took a seat outside. I nodded waved and exchanged greetings with others as they strolled by. One man I spoke with has been living in an RV for years. He winters at Key Largo. He pays $1,200/ month for three months for his site. He also told me about cheap sites that can be found through a $10.00 app called Allstays. I may be using that app.

I retired to the RV after dark, worked on the blog, took some phone calls, and watched TV. The only thing on TV that I considered watching was “To Tell the Truth”. It is a poor rehashing of an old show. I went to bed by 11:00 but then ended up watching some of the Tonight Show before falling asleep.

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