“I don’t see how we’re going to do this.” Not an auspicious beginning to our planned first stay with a member of Harvest Hosts. This organization links RV’ers with businesses, such as wineries, breweries, farms, museums etc, that can accommodate them for an overnight. The understanding is that we will spend about $20 at the business in exchange for the hospitality. We had hoped to use this membership much earlier, but the soaring temperatures in early June had made this untenable at that time. Most Harvest Hosts sites lack any electric hookup, which for us means no AC.
It was a very short (20 minute) drive to our home for the next 11 days at Hamlin Beach State Park. Originally established as a Monroe County Park in the 20’s, it was expanded by the CCC in the 30’s and became a state park. With the creation of the Lake Ontario State Parkway shortly after, the park became popular with the nearby residents wanting to enjoy the beach. As Dave reminds Cathy when we travel to the ocean, the lakes have wave action and sandy beaches without stinging your eyes with salt. Practically perfect, right?
When 1:30 (exactly) rolled around, we checked in before heading to the campground. We emptied our holding tanks and filled our fresh water tank (which required us to park on the one-way road entering the campground in the process), and made it easily into our site. (So much better than the night before.) Our neighbor was new to full-timing, so Dave shared some of our stories with him, while Cathy finished setting up the rig.
As we prepared to leave NY, the weather once again turned hot and humid, meaning that once again we were motivated to find a place to plug in, rather than explore some of the more interesting Harvest Host locations along the way. But first, we had to make our way out of NY, choosing the right place to cross the canal that didn’t have a low clearance bridge, and to pass around Buffalo without repeating our experience in Harrisburg. Copilot did its job, but ensuring it sync’ed with Google Maps kept Cathy busy for much of the first day. For example, passing through Lockport (famous for the historic “flight” of 5 canal locks), Copilot wanted us to take a side street to avoid crossing the canal twice on the major routes. Google had no problem with this. What we discovered was the fact that the “truck route” signs agreed with Copilot, since one of the bridges was weight-restricted. Oh. Got it.
Not so fast.
With the downpour, we had discovered we were setting up at too much angle and the truck was sitting in standing water. We needed to get the RV to higher ground by backing up. That started out well, until we stopped to pick up a leveling board we had originally placed under the tires. Having lost momentum, the truck’s rear tires began to spin. We couldn’t move back or forward. Trying to increase traction, we used boards, a mat. Some fellow campers brought over kitty litter. None of it helped. We decided to disconnect to get the weight off the truck. This would prove to be a bad decision. We managed to disconnect but the truck wouldn’t quite come out of the mud. And the truck was sliding sideways such that it would soon be struck by the king pin from the trailer.
Cathy called Good Sam to cancel the truck tow, and confirm they were still planning to come tow the 5th wheel. Over an hour later, the text said the tow was on the way. However, it didn’t look like the right equipment. A call to the tow service confirmed this. They only had a winch available. This wouldn’t work. She called Good Sam back, explained to a 3rd person what we needed, and suggested we wait until the next morning so the ground could dry out. Surprisingly, the tow operator who had originally been dispatched came to check on us and suggested a tow operator in Fort Wayne. We relayed this information to Good Sam.
We breathed a sigh of relief and made ready to explore the area over the 4th of July weekend ahead. Welcome to Indiana!
Having lived in Rochester for so many years, we enjoyed having a longer visit to catch up a little with friends and family still in the area. Carol invited us to join her and Jerry for a takeout fish fry our first Friday in town. (We brought that blueberry pie with us as well.) On Saturday, we joined sailing friends Joanne and Ralph for breakfast and a sail on Lake Ontairo on White Bird. Sunday found us enjoying homemade pizzas overlooking Lake Ontario at John and Kathy’s house. And we managed to lure a couple of visitors to the park. Former Kodaker Ron joined us for burgers the next Friday, and Dave’s friend Paul from his teens joined us on Sunday.
Thanks to Carol, we were able to catch up with some mail while in Rochester, which meant we could solve our tire pressure sensor problems. Dave received and installed a repeater that would boost the signal from the trailer tire sensors to the display in the truck. Since we had no problems over the 500 miles from NY to IN after installing it, the problem seems to be solved. Cathy just needs to remember to turn it off when setting up at each destination. We’ll see how that goes.
While waiting for Dave's glasses to be made, we took a walk along the canal by our old hose. One of the neighbors had a pretty setting by his dock, and a fitting picture for this July 4th holiday.