WalMart was our lodging location for Saturday night too. We drove into Newburgh, NY, Saturday evening and started driving to the Catholic churches in the area to make sure we could find a place to park. Every Catholic church that we drove to had no place to park a van and camper. Two of them were in the downtown area where the roads were very narrow and certainly weren’t going to allow for parking for a large camper. We decided then to go ahead to a WalMart and we would find a Catholic church that was in a smaller town. Charlie found one with a school, hoping that because it had a school, it would have parking.
We had another hot night in the camper, but when we woke up the next morning it was blissfully cool outside. I guess we need to start opening the windows before we go to bed. Hopefully from here on out, we will be in areas that will be cool enough at night not to even need to start out with the air condition. We woke the kids up around 6:45am to get up and out to a 7:30 Mass in a nearby town. We drove to Walden, NY to Precious Blood Catholic Church and managed to find a nice wide open parking area on the main street just a couple blocks away from the church. We hurriedly changed into our church clothes and walked the couple blocks to Mass. Our children are used to more of a High Mass, so they were little surprised that there was no singing. However, the Mass had a wonderful homily and a beautiful simplicity. After Mass, we started our next full day of driving. We drove up I-87 to Albany, where Isaac commented that all of a sudden there were tall buildings in the middle of nowhere. After that, we headed east.
When I think of New York, I tend to envision New York City, which is a place I have no desire to go to again. So, it was really nice to drive through the countryside of New York and see so many small farms and rural locations. I now have a desire to come back and just spend time exploring the more rural areas of this beautiful state. One thing that Charlie and I commented on during our drive through Pennsylvania and New York was how the scenery doesn’t seem to change as much as when you head west. In the Northeast, you have lots of hardwood forests, just as you do in the Southeast. However, in the Southeast, you tend to pass more planted pine forests than hardwood forests. We have plenty of hardwoods, but I do think many hardwoods in the Southeast have been displaced in favor of planting pines. At least in Pennsylvania and New York, I saw many more hardwood forests than pine forests. I know that I will see many more pines in Maine, but for now I am enjoying seeing the hardwood trees and imagining how much color one could see during the fall.
When we passed into Vermont, I fell in love. Rural Vermont is so beautiful. I loved seeing the small towns, the mountains, the old farmhouses and barns. I did see more pines in Vermont, but they were more mixed in with the hardwoods instead of planted. We passed a couple signs for U-pick blueberries, which I really want to do. The blueberry crop in our area was severely damaged by a late freeze. We managed to pick 2 gallons on one day at our local blueberry farm and then the picking was done, so I have really wanted to pick while we are up north. While we were seeing the U-pick signs, we noticed that the outdoor thermometer on the van said that it was 71 degrees outside. I remarked that 71 degrees would make the best blueberry picking experience that we have ever had. 71 degrees is very different from the low 90s with 90% humidity. Although we didn’t stop to pick any blueberries, I do hope to pick some to bring home. However, first we will have to eat some of the delicious meat in our freezer so that we have room for blueberries.
After Vermont, we entered into New Hampshire. We stopped at the Welcome Center for some much-needed lunch of more sandwiches and cherries.
After lunch, we drove toward our campground. New Hampshire and Vermont are my kind of places. Everything we saw was very rural, lots of older New England-style architecture and lots of trees. I couldn’t stop looking out the window. I had heard descriptions before of houses with attached barns, but I had not seen any yet. Here, I finally see them. I also love to take pictures of old barns. Maybe that comes from my grandfather as I remember a picture he had hanging in his den of an old barn with a thatched roof. My kids are always pointing barns out to me to take pictures of them, but I tell them that I only take pictures of barns that “speak to me.” Here are some of the old barns I loved. I also loved the many, many rock walls that we saw everywhere. Charlie particularly liked this view.What a wonderful drive we had.
The campsite that I had reserved was an adventure for Charlie to get into. He actually had to pull into the campsite across from us in order to back into our campsite. If another camper comes and takes the site across from us, we may be stuck in that campsite until they leave. However, Charlie always impresses me with his camper-parking abilities. He is like my mom – he always talks about how difficult it will be to get the camper out of this site, but he manages to make it look so easy. My mom always used to say she would have a difficult time with some sewing she needed to repair, but she always did it and made it look perfect!
The kids really appreciated being out of the car and running around the campsite. After dinner, Ryon and I were able to head to the Dunkin Donuts down the road for Wifi service, Ryon to write a paper for school and myself to get some blogs published!