With heavy heart we left the Escapade

We left the Escapade on 7/31/15 and had to make a beeline back to CO.  Our niece, Allison, and her husband Seth, were riding in a 78 mile bike ride and we wanted to be there to support her.

We left Essex Junction, and our first night’s stop was at Cayuga Lake State Park, in Seneca Falls, NY.  Very humid so we needed hookups, and got them for $28.75.

Continuing down the road the next night was Gotta Getaway RV Park in Bellevue, Ohio.  Again very humid so had to have hookups and this was a Passport America Park for $19.00.  Very nice.

Hitting the road the next morning we continued on the 80 towards Colorado  We stayed this night at Hollywood Casino in Joliet, Illinois.  A little more expensive than some we have stayed at, but it was full hookups and they had a great breakfast for free.  Price was $36.

Staying on the 80W, we spent the next night at Winterset City Park, in Winterset, Iowa. This place had a claim to fame by being the birth place of John Wayne.  They had a museum and you could drive by his house on John Wayne Blvd.  Another famous thing about this place was it’s where the bridge from Bridges of Madison County is located; also the coffee shop visited by the leads in the movie.

The last night on the 80 was spent at I80 Lakeside Campground in North Platte, NE.  This is another PA campground and is very nice and a deal at $13.68.

From the I80 W, we took the 76 SW towards Denver.  We stopped in Idaho Springs for great pizza at Beaujos and then continued to the NFS campground called Peak One, outside Frisco.  One of the 100 Best and All the Rest Campgrounds in Colorado

We met our niece and her family, my sister and her husband, and our daughter and her family to support Allison and Seth.  The finished the 80 miles in 6 hours and we were all very proud of them

Here at the details of our 7 week trip – miles driven 5821;  we never paid over $2.00 for a gallon of gas;  and all but two campgrounds were less than $20.  We traveled through NE, SD, ND, MN, Ontario (Canada), MI, NY, VT, OH, IN, IL – quite a trip.

This will be the last post for a while.


Escapade – Essex Junction, VT

After staying 2 more nights at Elmore State Park, we headed out on the 12 to the 15 to Morrisville to do grocery shopping and laundry. Our next nightly stop was at Lake Carmi State Park. We wanted to be close enough to the Escapade to go in early the next morning. This park had beautiful scenery, nice sites, and was very quiet. The only downside was the AT&T cell service was almost non existent and our cell booster had died so we had no service for the 2 days we were there.

The next morning we headed to Essex Junction, VT, for the 56th Escapade. We had to arrive early because we volunteered to be on the Parking Staff. There were very few rigs when we showed up but as the days went on more rolled in.

We had so much fun at the Escapade. The first 4 days we were busy getting all the rigs parked– 748 in total including those for Boot Camp and latecomers. On Sunday, July 21, the Escapade began with the Opening Ceremonies. We were finished with our parking duties on that day. That night we had a great show by Jimmy Travis, a singer-comedian who is funny, creative, spontaneous and energetic.



We went to several of the seminars, but there were way too many to get to all of them. We went to Smartphones/Tablets for Travelers, Detailing the Outside of Your Rig in One Hour, Never Get on Your Roof Again, Reasons to Own an RV GPS, Wash & Wax w/o Water or Ladder, Oh, Honey – Tell Me Where to Go, Born Under a Wandering Star: the Peterson Story, What to do with all those photos, and Travel with a Purpose – HFH.   We learned a lot and had a great time.

On Monday I was thrilled and honored to meet and visit with Kay Peterson. She and her deceased husband , Joe, started the Escapees many years ago.


 That night we had another great entertainment – the Marlins. These are 4 brothers who sing all kinds of genres of music and play instruments. They were very entertaining. In one part of the show they played each song for Navy, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, and Air Force and had those servicemen stand up for their song.  In 2012 their original song, “I Believe in America, was included in the 911 Memorial in NYC.


One more night of entertainment was the Ham-O-Rama, which was a talent show and lots of fun.

On Thursday, Zoe Caires and I competed in the Chili Cook-up with my Portabello Mushroom Chili.  Zoe decorated the table, I served the chili and John Leach and Grant Keefer (from Jojoba) shook the  marimbas to draw people.  All money donated went to Care, which is the care facility at the Escapees in Livingston, Texas.  The total donated was counted and decided first, second and third.  Zoe and I won third  which paid $50.  We were thrilled.

The Escapade ended on Thursday, July 28, with a Closing Ceremony. Announcements were made – including announcing 57th Escapade will be in Tucson AZ in 2017.

The next day I went on the Maple Syrup, Basin Harbor and Lake Champlain HOP. We visited Dakin Farms, which is famous for meat, cheese and maple syrup.


Then we had a great buffet lunch and boat ride on Lake Champlain.

Our next stop was the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum with all kinds of information about Lake Champlain. The picture with the horse is the method used to make a bridge for the Underground Railway, which transported slaves.

Our final stop before heading back to the Escapade parking was at Goodie’s Ice Cream and was it ever good – soft serve or hard you got a huge ice cream cone or bowl.

The next day John went on the Granite Quarry, Apple Cider and Ice Cream HOP.

Sunday we started towards home having been gone 6 weeks.

New York to Vermont

Here in VT we are going through some really old towns – Randolph 1781, Northfield 1781. We drove through Montpelier (capital of VT) and Barre, on our way to our next campground, which is a Passport America entry. It is called Onion River Campground, and very unusual. Out in the middle of a grass field, but it did have hookups. The owner is also a chocolatier at her own store called Nutty Stephs. She brought us one of her bars and it was wonderful. So on our way to our next stop, we went into her store and I bought some of the bars (you see a picture) and her famous granola.

Continuing through Vermont, which is a beautiful state, we headed to our next stop – Elmore State Park. On our way we drove through Stowe, VT, and what a neat place.. Elmore State Park has a huge lake and nice size spots with good spacing.

We reserved 2 nights (and when we called for a reservation, they said they were sold out but while we were on the phone they had a cancellation). One thing we have found in NY and VT, it is almost impossible to find a place to stay on the weekend.

New York, New York

When we were staying at Golden Hill State Park, there was a really cool lighthouse. I paid the $1 fee for the tour and got to go all the way to the top.

We left the campground via Roosevelt Highway towards Rochester. Along the way we stopped at an Amish Fruit Stand and bought strawberries, tomatoes, cherries and yellow squash. Can hardly wait to try them!!!!

It’s very hard to find camping at New York cgs on weekends. So we opted to go to Rochester, NY and stay at the Elks. There were hookups and the price was right – $10 donation. It was very quiet and only one other rig came in – a fellow Jojobian on their way to the Escapade.

Heading out we inadvertently got on the toll road I90E. We were going to try and find a campground in Rome NY, but none were to be had. We stayed at the WalMart, which was very quiet, surprisingly.

Our next stop was a Limekiln State Campground, in Inlet, NY, as we started around the Adirondack Mountains. The price was right – $7.75 with Pass. It had rained the day before and this campground was very dark and dreary.

Continuing on the road through the Adirondack Mountains, we came to Lake Placid, the home of the 1932 and 1980 Olympic Games. We saw the speed skating oval, the ski jumping area, and one of the bobsled. The town was very touristy, but we did stop for a Starbucks!!!!!


That night we stayed at Medcalf Acres Riverfront Campground, which was a Passport America place. Very interesting place. It looked completely full, but none of the rigs were occupied. The owners let them leave them there during the season and then the owners come out on the weekends. It was a very quiet place, because there were only 4 campers there that night.

We continued on to Ticonderoga, NY to do our laundry. Very neat little town, with a nice laundromat. Plus next to the laundromat there was a great restaurant called Libby’s. Everything was homemade; made doing laundry a real pleasure!!! As I was sitting in Ticonderoga I recognized the name and went to the motorhome to look at a pencil and bingo, it was from here.

That day we wanted to get out of the heat and humidity so went into VT. What a beautiful state. And, their State Parks are great. We tried the first one tonight – Gifford Woods State Park in Killington, VT. Great entrance, nice and big campsites (no hookups) and it is on the Appalachian Trail. The cost wasn’t bad either – $20. We liked it so much, decided to stay another night.

Into Canada we go. And then back into the good, old USA!!

We entered Canada through Minnesota and had the quickest border crossing we have ever had. We spent the night at the Thunder Bay, Ontario, WalMart. We got there early, thank goodness, because lots more rigs came in after us. We were able to use the Staples and WalMart Guest wifi, but neither were very good.

We got back on the 11/17 heading East. It was a very scenic drive and nice roads. We stopped for the night in White River, Ontario, at a City Park.  Next to the Tourist Information Booth and behind an Esso Gas Station and it was very quiet, we thought. Since it was Canada Day, the locals began shooting off bottle rockets and continued until very late. But it was free, so what can you do..

Continuing on the 17 to Sault Ste. Marie , where we came back into the US, and we spent the night at Kewadin Casino in Saint Ignace. It was very quiet, and we enjoyed a dessert, soup and salad buffet at the casino.

The next day we crossed the Mackinac Island Bridge, which is a suspension bridge spanning the Straits of Mackinac to connect the Upper and Lower peninsula of Michigan.   It is the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere and totals a length of 26, 372’ and was amazing. There was a really cool building after we crossed the bridge.

We traveled along the coast of Lake Huron. Plans were to stay at Alpena Boat Harbor, from Days End, but didn’t feel comfortable there. So we drove on to another DE campground called Ossineke State Forrest. It was only $13 a night, with no hookups and lots of trees. It was a horrible place on the 4th of July weekend because people in the park started setting off bottle rockets on the 3rd.. and continued until after midnight. Even though the campground was way outside of town, cars drove back and forth by our campsite all night. Next year I’m staying home over the 4th!!!!!

Our friends, John and Zoe Caires, are going to the same Escapade we are and they were getting close so we decided to meet up at the Bay City State Recreation area. It was a really nice campground, that did not allow fireworks. It cost $23 for full hookups but you had to pay a $9 recreation fee. We did laundry in Bay City, shopped at WalMart and went to Starbucks. Now we were ready to hit the road.

The next day we headed along the Saginaw Bay, towards Port Huron. We had to enter Ontario again and after we passed through Customs we went to the OLG Casino in Point Edwards to spend the night. We found it on Days End, and it was a really nice casino. Lots of parking room and very quiet.  They offered a $5 voucher for the casino, when signing up for a players card.

We got up early the next morning and headed towards Niagara Falls since we were told to enter from the Canadian side because it was much prettier. I have to say the people that told us that were right. It was so crowded with tourists, we couldn’t stop but I did get great pictures.

Thank goodness we are back in the USA. Today we were driving along the coast of Lake Ontario in Upper State New York. We found a really nice campground called Golden Hills State Park, and decided to spend the night. Right on the coast of Lake Ontario. You can even see John and Sadie checking out the lake.




Beautiful drive

From the Split Rock Lighthouse we traveled on the North Shore Drive (61) to Gooseberry Falls State Park.. The campground is really nice – big spots, nice showers, but no hookups. We hiked to Gooseberry Falls, which were amazing.

Traveling again along the 61 we stayed the next night at Cascade River State Park. Again we hiked to great falls.

On our way to our next campground, we stopped in Grand Marais at Hughie’s Taco House. They homemade flour tortillas that they fried to make like Indian Fry Bread. John had a pork taco and I had a fish taco. Here is the view where we sat and ate lunch. After lunch we treated ourselves with an ice cream cone from DQ.

Our final reservation park along the 61 was Judge CR Magney State Park. Nice park with no hookups; pretty good space between spots, but very few RVs, mostly trailers. But we heard of a great waterfall, so John, Sadie and I took off. Little did we know that it would be a mile both directions and 169 downhill stairs (which we had to go back up). But the falls were worth it. They are called Devil’s Kettle, a famous falls where half the river drops 50 feet and the other half disappears into a huge pothole.

Traveling the 61, aka The North Shore Drive, is very picturesque. Lots of wildflowers like these.

IMG_4907Our last night in MN we are staying at Grand Portage Casino. Great view site with full hookups for $32 a night. We found this on Day’s End. We wanted to stay one last night to get banking done online because when we enter Canada tomorrow, we won’t have cell service or internet unless we find a Starbucks or Library. So there will be no more posts for a couple weeks.


A new day traveling up North Shore of Lake Superior

Today we are visiting the Split Rock Lighthouse. There was also the story of the Madeira, which sank in Lake Superior. The only piece that they were able to salvage is the anchor. I don’t have any pictures but remember Gordon Lightfoot’s song, about the Edmund Fitzgerald? That ship sank here in Lake Superior, as well. They have a celebration at the Split Rock Lighthouse every November 10th where they do a Beacon Lighting.