Saturday, December 3, 2016

Rural New York

When someone mentions "New York" on the West Coast our first instinct is to imagine a scene like the one below. Crowded streets overflowing with taxi cabs, skyscrapers towering above bustling sidewalks, and an overwhelming sense of controlled pandemonium.  

On the other hand one very rarely think of New York as laid back, sleepy, quiet, and rural. But if you happened to find yourself heading east on Route 104 in Northern New York that's exactly the sort of landscape you'd be passing through.

Apples, soybeans, wine grapes, and corn seemed to have replaced asphalt, high rises, and people. This morning we drove on an almost empty road, passing only one truck and a tractor with warning lights, all the while passing by century farms and much more modern wine vineyards.
This is the New York most people never see; a rural setting that would be every bit at home in Iowa, Georgia, or Wisconsin. Look at the photo above. If someone showed it to you and made you guess where it was taken what would your answer be? Pretty sure New York wouldn't be the first thing that came to mind.
We passed through a couple of small communities that didn't look as if they'd changed much since the turn of the century. The thing that caught our eye was the lack of upkeep in these little villages. This church was all but falling apart and was closed for service, likewise were many of the other old buildings in town. It was as if they just gave up trying to maintain these old relics and just shrugged their shoulders and let them rot. Weird.
We continued east along the shores of Lake Ontario looking for a place to stop and have lunch and stretch our collective legs.We finally found a lovely park overlooking the lake and walked the critters around. Caused some staring and pointing. Everybody thinks it's so novel to see a cat on a leash. We've actually seen quite a few in the various RV parks. None as cute as Erley.

We continued on through the countryside and wound up in a charming campsite right next to a lake. There were hard core warning signs all over about not swimming there but Max didn't listen and plunged right in. We lounged in the water cooling our heels while Max chased sticks and pranced about on the rocks.

The next morning we moved on early and fixed breakfast in a wayside with a cool round picnic table.

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