After seeing the concert in NYC, we headed up to Pennsylvania. We wanted to see the Amish country, and visit a few of our good friends. East Coast Camping was pretty different then what we had experienced so far. The properties were huge, and expansive. They had pools, and were like mini resorts. We stayed at a place in Amish country called Hershey Thousand Trails RV Resort. We were visiting our friends Mike and Stephanie in Harrisburg, a city that surprised us. It was quite amazing. It had a thriving bar and restaurant life. It was a small city, but felt like a big city in character. They had left San Francisco a few years back, and bought a beautiful affordable building right downtown in Harrisburg.
We visited with them two days, and went down a gorgeous creek the second day with them on our boats and with tubes. It was a blast! It was about a three hour journey. We all were getting hungry, and Mike jumped out to go and see if we were getting close. His inner tube got away, and we were trying to rescue it and we capsized. We rescued most of our stuff, just lost some flip flops. These things are always funnier in hindsight.
We stayed one more day in Amish country, and got to see some of the town of Hershey. We were really impressed by Mr. Hershey. He and his wife couldn’t have kids, and they started all sorts of foundations and schools to help kids who were orphans to provide them with resources to thrive and succeed in life. The schools were like college campuses. We ate breakfast at the fancy hotel one day. Turns out when times were tough in the business, he would just redirect the workers, and build hotels. This was one of them. Impressive. He was truly a model human being! Not like the crap we have to worry about today, the possibility of our jobs being replaced by robots, really humanity, WTF!
Next up we went to visit our friends in Philly. Again we choose to stay outside of the city at a place about an hour away. Much less stress to not enter the cities. This place was called Warwick Woods Family Campground. Another surprising east coast property, with a pool, a game room, and acres of woods. This place had a lots of people who parked their rigs full time in the summer, like their place away from the city. We went in to see Tara, Tommy and the kids in Norristown, outside of Philly. We picked up my favorite Philly treat, tomato pie! Simply delicious! They took us to a gorgeous river park, just inside Philadelphia, and we all walked around while the kids rode bikes. The next day they came up to see us and we bbq’d at the campground, went swimming and enjoyed the game room. Love seeing them, and their kids were so fun!
We headed from here up to Cooperstown, to go to the baseball hall of fame! We were super excited. We both love baseball!! We found a great camp spot on a small farm like property on a pond, the Cooperstown Family Campground. It was a beautiful spot, and close to everything. We loved Cooperstown, I mean a small town all about baseball, so charming and so much fandom. It was awesome!!
We were having battery trouble, and we had to go back into Syracuse to deal with it, so we ended up redirecting our route. Instead of going North to Vermont we went west into Niagra Falls. Niagra Falls was incredible. We went into the park and walked to check out the falls. Were blown away! Canada and the US share Niagra falls, it is on the border. Our side is a park, and their side was like Vegas. We were intrigued, so we decided to go and camp on there side!!! On the Canada side, they had a light show on the falls at night, and fireworks. Their side had casinos, big hotels and people were everywhere walking and looking at the sights. It was getting late, so we went to find a camp spot, and decided we’d come back.
We wanted to camp on the Lake Erie, our goal to see all the great lakes, and touch them with our feet or swim in them. We found a rather nice Provincial Park right on Lake Erie. While on Instagram we realized a good friend happened to be nearby for work, and was about an hour from us! We met her in Niagra Falls and walked around and had dinner with her. It was great to see Amy. We had seen her in Arcata in the beginning of the trip. What a treat to run into her in Canada! Walking more around Niagra Falls, we realized it was a mix of Universal Studios meets Vegas. This is the most Southern town of Canada, and likely the warmest region for the Canadians, so it was very popular!
As we moved on, our route through Canada was to hit all the Great Lakes and drop into Michigan, so we could go to the long awaited Stubbs Bar, Brian’s great grandpas famous bar. We went north around the bend, through an amazing lake region called Muskoka. We will have to go back there for more exploring. We had booked a spot at a Provincial Park called Killbear a couple hours north of that region. We got there and it was incredible! We had a lakeside campsite, and we took out the kayak. On the way there we found a town we really liked called Parry Sound. The Canadians are so friendly, we were in this town for only and hour and talked to so many people. We moved on to a campground north on a waterfall, where it had rained recently and was super muddy, we were kind of bummed about it, but then we met the most awesome camper neighbors. They were a retired trucker couple. She had purple hair. Turns our they used to go out to California all the time transporting flowers, which sounded like they were from the flower farm our friend was working at near Niagra Falls, small world.
After this we dropped back drove to the border at Sault. Ste Marie, to drop into the Upper Penninsula of Michigan. On the way to the border we saw some true amish culture, people riding horse drawn wagons on the side of the road, beautiful farms, and lots of farm stands. We would have stopped to get produce, but we were crossing the border that day. We wanted to camp on the sand dunes of Lake Superior, and the site there were full when we arrived, so we camped at a lake called Monocle Lake. This turned out to be perfect. We took a canoe, and our first lake swim of the summer!!
We wanted to see the Pictured Rocks National Seashore, so we moved along the lake that way to camp and explore. We were now on Lake Superior, and understand why it is called that. The water is a color blue so clear and turquoise, and the beaches were all white sands. Felt like we were suddenly in the Caribbean. As well, we were getting those tropical like warm breezes. This is where we would be for the Solar Eclipse. It wasn’t right on the path, but this was a spot to remember! We camped at a place called Hurricane River right on the lake white sands and all. The campsites in the National Seashore are all first come first serve, so you gotta be on it, don’t roll at dinner time and think you will find a spot! We had some great beach days here. On the day of the solar eclipse a guy was walking by on the beach with some black glass for viewing. We got to see it through the black glass, and it was impressive! It felt like it was really late in the day while the eclipse was happening, but it didn’t drop to dark like on the path.
Next up – Ontanogan Michigan!! We’ve been talking about going to Stubb’s Bar (Brian’s great grandpa’s bar) for so many years! We pulled into town and found a place called the River Pines RV Park. A nice and spacious spot. I told the guy what we were doing there, and right away, he told us one of his good friends was the owner’s daughter and his girlfriend worked there. This is a very small town, everyone knows each other! When we pulled up, Brian wanted to be discreet, but the first guy we saw asked us what we were doing coming all the way from California, so I told him! Right away he said well you have to meet Connie, and he took us in and said “Hey Connie, this is Stubb’s great grandson!” From then on we were like family, and we made friends with everyone in the bar. To say the least we definitely tied one on! Connie’s family has owned the bar for over 30 year and bought it after Stubb died. We found out that he used to live upstairs, and she took us up to show us the apartment, which was kept up really well, and was all original woodwork, brickwork, and tiles. It was something else! There were some real characters here, like something our of a novel. Everyone had a nickname, and everyone had stories to tell us. A few old timers even remembered Stubb, who by the way got that nickname because he shot off his hand accidentally while hunting. They all liked to tell us how he wiped down the bar with that hand, and with one grand swoop would grab the tips off the bar. We found out Labor Day is the time to come to Ontonagan, but since we were heading to a concert for labor day in Colorado, we weren’t going to be there for it this year, but we are hoping to make it out next year to check it out. Can’t wait to go back!
After Stubb’s we went through Wisconsin on our way to Iowa see some good friends, and pick up one to come on a week stint of travel with us. We visited our friend Jody’s awesome mom and dad. They had just inherited a house on a golf coarse and lake. They live in Colorado, and are working on the house in Wisconsin. They were so fun, we drank wine and had dinner with them. We learned they were both from Wisconsin originally, but met in Telluride in their 20’s. We really enjoyed listening to their story of how they met. They are a blast, and we talked and talked for hours!
We moved on to Iowa, and showed up at Shane’s Farm. We’ve been looking forward to seeing him the whole trip. He is getting married on the farm to the amazing Allise. The farm is beautiful as always, and we are looking forward to the wedding. We showed up a month early, which is nice to get a visit in before the wedding. We had dinner under the most beautiful tree where we smoked salmon, we slow roasted tomatoes, and we made apple pie with apples from his trees. We ate really well. We stayed here a few days, restocked, and got ready for our next leg of the journey.
From here we picked up Nikki to take her with us on the road to Colorado, where we will see three more concerts of one of our favorite bands, same one we saw in NYC! Gone Phishing! First we started out with a night at a friend of Nikki’s at her farmhouse, where they jammed live in the barn all night long! Lots of amazing musicians came to the party, and it was something special. Everyone camped out there who came to the party, and the next morning we all made breakfast together, everyone contributing something. Nikki’s girlfriend Kelly was able to get time off from work, so she was able to come on our adventures to Colorado. We all joked that we were kidnapping her, and joked that we should take a picture of her duct taped to one of the boats on the truck.
We drove through South Dakota, we really wanted to see the Badlands. It was an amazing drive to get there, and once we got there it was like being on the moon and in a Star Wars film all in one. This place is something else. We found a campground that was off a long dirt road. When we arrived, a buffalo herd was moving through the campground. Just right there, a ton of buffalo. The campground was corralled in a circle likely because this happens all the time! So now we were on the moon with buffalo. We also made it to Mt. Rushmore to see the presidents, and enjoyed a night of luxury camping at a place with a swimming pool. Super nice, it was hot out there!
We arrived in Colorado through the town of Fort Collins, and camped out at a reservoir at the base of the Rockies. We went up to the Rockies for a day and it was incredible. We drove up a one way dirt road to the top of the mountain, up to the highest pass in the Rockies, over 12,000 feet high. It was cold up there, brrrr, and beautiful, and jaw dropping, and the Rockies were rocky. We moved down the road to Golden, a town where a mutual friend of all of ours resides, and from here we went to see three concerts, had good times, hung out with good friends and made some new ones too! Golden is pretty cute, it’s on a river that everyone tubes down, and there was a farmers market right out the door of our camp spot practically. Super friendly dog town, and lots of dogs everywhere. Guess lots of people in Colorado just bring there dogs into restaurants and where ever they go! We always appreciate a dog friendly town! Colorado has it going on!