The top picture of this post may be my most iconic 2020 picture and also describes how I felt about my time in New York state in the fall. We actually didn’t get a chance to get an “I Love NY” picture till we got to the Adirondacks, because it was the first welcome center that was open. Before I talk more about adventures in New York, let me stress that we were there in early fall, when the numbers of Covid cases in the state had fallen and appeared to stabilize. Even so, we tried to do socially distanced activities and I was still wearing a mask and disinfecting like crazy.
Because we were traveling at a time when Covid cases were low and things had started opening back up, a lot of New Yorkers were camping as well and getting state park reservations on weekends was a challenge. We left Niagara Falls on a Friday and had reservations in the Adirondacks starting Sunday night. So the days in between were just a leisurely drive across the state on the New York Thruway. I found a great little campground in Bouckville, the Ciderhouse Campground, that had dry camping spots. I called and made a reservation as we were passing through and picked dry camping because the price is was good and they had showers, but when we arrived it was a great surprise. Their dry camping area is a field used for camping for an antiques fair and we had it all to ourselves.
I would highly recommend this campground. The staff was great and we were right by the bathrooms. They were super pet friendly as well, so Bella got to run and roll in the field without a leash. She was very fond of the grass in that area. The regular, full hook up spots were taken by a Rally and we were invited to their socially distanced, outdoor concert, by the campfire. We had a great time with a great group of people! If I get a chance to go back to this area I would like to try to go on a weekend when the antiques market is going on.
I really enjoyed this area of New York and the people there as well. Close to the campground we also found the Good Nature Farm Brewery and Tap Room. It’s a great brewery with food and outdoor seating. They offered beer flights on weekends and a full kitchen menu. The weather was perfect for eating outside and of course Bella was very popular.
Because of Covid and being past tourist season, there really were a limited number of activities and places to visit so we just went out on Saturday and drove and did some site seeing in the area. One of the most beautiful places I found was Cazenovia. It is a college town on a Lake, with cute historic homes and a beautiful lake front park.
In the Adirondacks we stayed in Lake George at the Lake George Battlefield Park. It was a very different and interesting place. First of all, if you have anything very big, you will not fit in the park. It is a very small campground with tight sites, mainly for tent sites, which is ok for a teardrop, but it was still tight in some places. The advantage to being a small campground is that I was able to get a site right by the bathhouse, which had perhaps the best shower I’ve ever used in a campground. Seriously, it had such amazing pressure, it was a like a massage.
This was the first time on the trip it got really cold and also the first time I got to use my propane fire pit. I highly recommend one if you camp alone. It provided warmth without the hassle of getting a fire started. Bella preferred to make a nest out of my 12 volt electric blanket. It was also my first time using it and it did present some problems. I could only use it on high the first night. Since I was using solar and it was overcast, my battery did not get charged enough to run on high after that. It still did a good job of warming up the camper though.
Another interesting thing about the campground is that while the pictures look like you are in the woods, it’s actually in the middle of the village of Lake George. You can walk out of the campground entrance and down the street to a Ben and Jerry’s. While this may not be the kind of camping most people look for, I really enjoyed it. Since it was a State Park it was affordable for multiple nights but still had the experience of staying in the city with lots of things to do within walking distance. The only regret is that we were there after Labor Day so most of the shops and even restaurants were closed for the season. We did find a couple outdoor restaurants on the lake and also a boat tour company that allowed dogs.
Since there aren’t many places I can take Bella out on a boat, we had to take advantage of the opportunity. Due to Covid, groups had to stay seated at their own table the whole time. Which meant that for her to see out, she had to be in my lap, which gets hard on both of us after a while. But she really seemed to enjoy the ride and the new smells. The fact that the crew fawned over her and made sure she had water and plenty of pets didn’t hurt either.
The tour was of Lake George, which I had little to no knowledge of before finding the state park on the New York State website. It was just a lucky accident that the main attraction of the tour was all the spectacular houses along the lake. It was also a good place to see the starting of the fall leaves changing colors.
It was too late in the year and cold for many water activities, but the sunny days were beautiful along the water. There were a few people out on boats and parasailing, but I can imagine that at the peak of summer, it would be full of activity.
As with every place on this road trip, these stops seemed to go by too fast. There are a lot of places I had originally planned to visit in the Adirondacks like Fort Ticonderoga, that were closed due to Covid. That’s Ok, we have a reason to go back, hopefully soon. Our thoughts are with all the people in the state right now and hope things get better soon.