Baseball Fever

Heading toward New York, we steamed across southern New Hampshire and Vermont across some of the most beautiful roads we have yet traveled.  Although the prime colors were probably a week past, the lush rolling scenery was a real treat.  Picture puzzle perfect.

There wasn’t anyplace to camp really close to Cooperstown, home of the Baseball Hall of Fame.  We wound up at some crappy little campsite, conveniently located 150 yards from the Interstate and 50 yards from a busy state highway.  Noisy?  You bet!20131014_151702 But, for one night, we can make do with anything.  We rolled out by 8:30 the next morning.  But, I’m tired of putting $.25 in a slot for a shower.  This one was bad….

We didn’t know what to expect at Cooperstown.  Neither of us had done any research about the area or the Hall itself, so we were unprepared for this amazingly beautiful little town.  In my mind, I was expecting a modern museum, and what we got was a museum in a New England town hall.  Charming.

If you’re a baseball fan, this is Mecca.  History, artifacts, stories of the great players and plays.j We started with a multi-media presentation, which was unimpressive.  Sitting in a fake baseball stadium auditorium with a bunch of Seniors singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame – you can picture this, right?  Lame. Let me outta here!   John and I split up to explore on our own terms.

Really liked this early beer ad.  20131015_095244

I was particulary interested in the history and evolution of the Negro Leagues and the area of women in baseball.20131015_10404920131015_10511420131015_10534020131015_095153

Every single scrap of Detroit Tiger memorabilia was closely examined.  20131015_111037There’s practically an entire wing devoted to Babe Ruth.  Pretty impressive. 20131015_113243There was a running video of some of the great plays of 2013, and I could have watched that forever.  Baseball players can be amazing athletes.

The Gallery area of the Hall contains plaques of the Hall of Fame players, each with a summary of their achievements. 20131015_113202On and on…..

20131015_114326Leaving the Hall, we collected Jezzy from the Fireball, which was parked out on the street attracting admiring glances.  Decided to wander around town for a bit – there’s more baseball-related stuff there than you can imagine.  Lots of shops selling memorabilia, baseball cards, bats, and whatnot.  Cooperstown is also the home of James Fenimore Cooper, and there’s a large park area with a statue of him.

By this time, I was running out of steam, and my camera battery was shot.  No photos to share.  We motored on to Robert Treman State Park near Ithaca for our next couple of nights.  Photos from a newly re-charged camera (and body) to follow….

Dolly and the Imp

Dolly Copp Campground in the White Mountain National Forest is amazing.  We have an enormous campsite – even if anyone were camped on either side, we wouldn’t see them.20130929_085848

Fact is, the campground is nearly empty – not 10% of the sites are occupied, and it’s perfect weather.  Lucky for us!  Perhaps the fact that there are flush toilets, but no showers or hot water in the campground deters others.  Their loss.

We decided to hike the Imp – a rocky protrusion half-way up a mountain.

view from the top

view from the top

Unfortunately, we didn’t quite understand where the trailhead was, so we had already gone about 2 miles before we started our climb. 20130929_153325 It was difficult – mostly rocky surface with many water crossings.  Jezzy was a champ, but she did balk a few times (that girl does NOT like to get her feet wet!).  We struggled to the top, 4.1 miles from the bottom.  Sandwiches appeared in our pack, and we recuperated, while worrying over the daylight left vs the distance we had to descend (2.2 miles)  Neither Jezzy nor I was too happy with this little ladder in the descent. 20130929_161235 All in all, it was a fantastic day, but we did hike 10 miles.  About four miles uphill, two miles downhill, and four flat miles.  We were so happy to get back to camp!  Totally worth all the effort though, even the spill I took on a very slippery rock.  John always says to me, “you’ve got to trust your boots.”  I did, and they let me down.  My arm is nicely banged up, but it’s a pretty small price to pay for such a vista.

Monday was our last day in New Hampshire.  We decided to do a 15 mile gravel road bike ride to a trailhead where we could hike to three waterfalls.  A good choice – great ride, and wonderful two-mile hike.20130930_143726

Now we’re in Maine – camping reservations in Acadia, but it’s closed.  20131001_142600We can stay in our campsite for two days while we make other plans, but the Park is not accessible to us at all. 20131001_142629 We’re pretty bummed out.  Think we’re going to hang around Bar Harbor for a day, then move north toward Canada for the next several days.  Hopefully, Congress will remove their collective heads from their butts and resolve their budget impasse, but we’re not hopeful that Acadia will be open while we’re still here.

So, all in all.  Not too much to say.  Everything is beautiful here.  Enjoy the photos.20130930_155838_HDR

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We passed this grand old hotel on the way to Dolly Copp.  It was enormous.

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Vermont

Finally, we are in Vermont.  Feel like we are inching our way to Maine.  For the first time in days, we have cell phone service (and thus, a bit of internet access).  Reading the NY  Times is such a pleasure with our morning coffee.

Hiked a small piece of the Appalachian Trail today – it runs right through Gifford Woods SP, where we’re camped.20130927_111802  Had lunch on an outcropping of rock which looked out at Piso (ski resort) and Killington ski resort.  20130927_123750Some of the peaks were shrouded in the mist of the morning, adding an ethereal look to the scene.  Now we can say that we’ve hiked the AT in two states – makes us feel that we’re real hikers. ;-). Curious to think of the thousands of footfalls that have hit this famous trail. Wonder what it really would be like to carry a 50 pound pack for days on end and trek along the Trail.  Our campground is full of lean-tos which are probably jammed with thru-hikers in the prime months.The speck in the middle of the next photo is actually a small airplane.20130927_115644

another curious little ungus from the Trail

another curious little ungus from the Trail

Decided to reward ourselves with a beer, so we jumped on our bikes and pedaled out in search of beer and hay bale sculptures.

finding a spot for a beer with rocking chairs wasn't easy

finding a spot for a beer with rocking chairs wasn’t easy

Sculptures are created by local businesses and displayed out along a stretch of the highway running through town. We saw a few, which seemed pretty dorky.

We think this is supposed to be a bear with a glass of wine

We think this is supposed to be a bear with a glass of wine

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It certainly isn’t ArtPrize.

We’re packing up this morning to head for NH – the Dolly Copp Campground in the White Mountain National Forest.  We don’t expect to have phone service there (or probably even any radio stations), so the blog will probably go dark for a few days. We sure do love the quiet of the very rustic campgrounds. Amazing how much time we waste fidding around on computers/phones when we have access.  I’m not proud of that.

Cheer on the Tigers for us, because we’ll be deep into RedSox territory.  Scary thought for a couple of diehard Detroit Tiger fans.

Rolling and a Change in Plans

The Fireball is loaded and ready to roll.  Many of the details of our trip to Maine are already laid out.  Campsites reserved?  Check!  Food supplies?  Check (oh yeah, we eat well on the road…)!  Maps?  Check!  Phones, tablets, laptops?  Check!

Our plan was to cut across Canada to Buffalo, spending one night somewhere along the way (International Fireball!), then explore New York’s Finger Lakes area, the Adirondacks, New Hampshire, and on into Maine.  That should take us through the first ten days or so of October.  Then back through Vermont, meeting up with some other folks with T@Bs and T@DAs for a few days before heading home.  We’ve read about the lobster glut in Maine right now, and are determined not to let low prices deter us from stuffing ourselves.  Can’t wait!

The plan change?  Last night John was reviewing the rules for entry into Canada.  We’re a bit over our alcohol allotment, but not worried about that.  Not taking firewood along this trip.  We’ve got Jezzy’s vaccination certificates.  The hangup?  You can’t take DOG FOOD into Canada!  What???  Seriously??

Our best friend

That’s a deal breaker for us.  Jezzy eats regular dog food, but a type that can’t be bought in grocery stores.  We’re not switching.  So…..Ohio, here we come!  Got our eye on a township campground in North Kingsville, OH or a COE campground in Pennsylvania for our first overnight.  Prefer the PA campground, but we can’t seem to confirm that it’s actually open.

Back to last-minute packing….we roll in less than two hours.