Heading South-here we go!
Hard to say goodbye to our spot on the lake, good friends, good times, great spots for cats to run around and frolic, but that cold is coming. After our first bout with 4″ of wet snow we waited for a sunny day to slip away after our goodbyes, au revoirs, hasta leugos, we’ll be back;) I’ll miss the people, the wildlife (which was sometimes the people;), the quiet times and fabulous views of the wind still lake but after 10 days of rain and clouds and howling winds my inner tropical self was very much alarmed;) ha! Such wusses we are!
We debated a few different routes South, mainly getting South as quickly as we could perhaps on a new route, we choose to cross the border going into Vermont, we skirted South of Montreal, great roads and South past Saint Jean sur Richelieu. Beautiful countryside, horrible border for trailers or RV’s. Tight turn at the last-minute showed the scraped paint of many trailers. Mike managed to swing right into the other lane with the help of some lovely motorists that gave him room to do so and then they “selected us for a random search”, yes, yes, humorless CBP, really humorless, you know when they don’t react to an orange tabby poking his head out the window you are in for a rough ride;) Sometimes you have to shake your head and wonder just how much time is wasted confiscating rice…seems we had illegal “basmati” rice, yes, you heard it folks, rice, basmati, that we had bought “in the USA” and took to Canada was confiscated on its way back in, why it could have picked up a serious disease while sitting in our pantry in Canada…I have never felt like such a criminal;) That’s it, we are marked for life as basmati rice smugglers;) I had to so bite my tongue…our tax dollars at work, confisgating rice. Didn’t know the US had such a burgeoning basmati rice production I was threatening. What do these people do when they go home at night????
Aren’t borders fun! NOT! Well, with that under our belt, we need more rice;) Our first stop was a Farm stand, Sam Mazza’s part of the amazing Harvest Hosts network www.harvesthosts.com. For $49.00 a year you join and have access to hundreds of farms, ranches, wineries and even antique stores and museums that let you spend a night for free, some even have electricity for a small fee. They are usually quiet and in the country and often offer stores for their products, or tasting rooms for their spirits and a flat place to park!
This lovely stop had stunning trees in glorious colour, goats and ponies and a wonderful store with their produce and even doughnuts! And we had sun, for a short time anyway! The cats were good their first time out, seems the feliway cat pheromone plug in worked miracles. Gamora hardly put out a peep, Groot fell asleep and Beezil snuggled in under many blankets by my feet, it’s the warmest he’s been in a week. I would certainly suggest this product to anyone traveling with a pet who fusses. We kept looking at each other going” wow, wow, wow” happy cats make for happy passengers and drivers;)
I was not expecting so many leaves, perhaps being close to Lake Champlain moderates the temperatures, it was truly beautiful! Groot and Gamora were not so sure on their first foreign outing, very open they said, hiding under the apple trees was better than getting near those scary goats!;)
Our good news was tempered with bad news as we found out our current housesitters, who are amazing, have to leave at the end of the month for health reasons:( So sad as they have been the best, we wish them well and hope everything turns out as they are wonderful people. So it’s back to adds and vetting people, working past the wackadoodles and people who don’t actually read the add, “Do you have a 4×4?”…”No?”…”Can you read?” and hoping we sell sooner than later…ranch for sale in Baja! Anyone? must let that sarcasm go;) Let’s all be nice now!
We left in the morning under cloudy skies headed to our next Harvest Host’s destination, an Apple and Cherry Farm in Gardiner, NY. It was a dreary drive but splotches of Fall colour came and went as we made our way South on winding roads until we hit the freeway. All the campgrounds I’d called in the area was already closed for the season so these Harvest Host locations were our only option, other than driving for a lengthy period of time, something the old cat doesn’t let us do;)
We arrived at Wright’s Apple and Cherry Farm and after a short wait the delightful owner motioned for us to follow her back up behind the store and out towards the fields behind on a small gravel road. She explained they had music festivals and other events up here. We were a bit worried about pulling off the road but she said the ground was hard so we moved the trailer to the side. After she left and we started to set up, a large hissing noise was coming from the back left tire, oh dear, a very large piece of screw was wedged in the tire…what to do, what to do…call a mobile tire repair service! Luckily there was one right down the road and as it started to rain two very pleasant guys came by, took the tire off after jacking Myrtle up, and decided to take it back to the shop after battling to get the gigantic screw out. End to the day, well, not really, the generator stopped running after a few hours so we decided to call it a night and climb under the covers. We’d filled the propane tank in town and dieseled up so just had to wait for the tire in the morning to go!
The morning wasn’t clear, but it wasn’t pouring rain, yet, the radar showed it was coming. Gamora spotted several deer behind the trailer passing by, that was exciting. We took them for a short walk around, they are still getting used to this not being at Otty Lake when they come out the door, the look of surprise on their faces is most amusing! The Wright Farm Stonehenge was a fun cat jungle gym.
Our repaired tire arrived at 9:30 and it was quickly installed by the younger of the two guys, he was in charge of the truck today, and we were ready to go just as the skies opened up again. Mike backed the trailer down the road before we could back it into y where another gravel road branched off. We didn’t want to risk turning around on the grass with all that weight and pouring rain all night, the idea of being stuck and finding a very large tow truck was not appealing so we erred on the side of caution. Bad things come in threes right?;) After backing down the lake road over 400 feet this was a piece of cake with no trees;) and we were on our way, South again…and did it rain…from fog to hard rain to bits of clearing it was a dreary day to drive.
These are the days you’d rather be bundled under a blanket reading a good book than traveling on the interstates. A large accident involving three semis slowed us down just before our destination in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Almost there but not quite. You need to find the beauty in the small things on days like this. Gamora spent the slowdown gazing out the window, I took pictures of raindrops…there is beauty everywhere, we just need to look. Our first world problems sometimes feel huge, but in all reality, we are so lucky. Period.
Saludos amigos, stay tuned as we continue to drive towards the heat;)