Friday, November 1, 2013

Lake George and Binghamton, NY & Allentown, PA

From Hanover we kept heading west to revisit Lake George, yet principally to avoid New York City and its environs as we head south. The first challenge, as our visit coincided with Columbus Day weekend was in finding a spot at an RV Park; the park we stayed at was barely acceptable – certainly the worst RV Park we’ve encountered in three years. On the positive side is that this was a perfect weekend to be in Lake George; the sun shone, the annual Oktoberfest was being held which meant that we gladly spent our time away from the park. A large section of Main Street was closed where a big beer tent and food stalls lined the street. Of course there were the usual vendors selling knick knacks and small petting farm also offering pony rides.

When we arrived on Thursday the town was not too busy. We had been here before so we knew our way around and on Friday morning we took a two and a half hour cruise on the lake to see the autumn colors from the lake; it was very pretty, made all the more enjoyable as the weather was beautiful. One of the cruise boats still plying its trade is an old paddle boat called Minnehaha which takes people out on the lake on a trimmed back schedule.
On Saturday the RV Park filled up very quickly; the town was humming with people everywhere and parking (free) but difficult so we drove to the Top of the World Golf Club for lunch. Spectacular is the best word to describe the view from up there; one can look down on Lake George and the town through a beautiful vista of trees and undulating hills. Once again the weather was beautiful and the fall colors gorgeous. To end a perfect day we watched a fireworks display on the Lake.

Golf for Adele was the order of the day on Sunday; by her own admission the backdrop views was the best part of the golf. Tom's shoulder (torn rotator cuff – to be seen to when we get back to St Augustine) prevented him from playing so he was an amazingly silent caddy for Adele and, to add insult to his injury he had to pay $10 to ride in the cart with her.
From Lake George we headed south to Binghamton an old industrial town which still has plenty of jobs yet the middle of the city is dead; as is Johnston which had a large shoe factory. Local lore is that many Greeks came to work in Johnson and the only English words they knew getting off the boat was JS. Eliot is another town in this string of towns where IBM was founded; Irish and German immigrants predominantly populated this town. This area of New York State is about 150 miles from New York City which could be the reason why it is so difficult to revive these three towns.

The highlight for us as we travel between our destinations is that as we travel south we are literally following the fall foliage which remains vibrant even along the freeways. We then entered in to Pennsylvania heading for Allentown; our RV Park was very rural surrounded by towns with great names like Egypt, Bethlehem and Nazareth. While there we went for a hike in a state park on Hawk Mountain an area through which “birds of prey” migrate. The hike to the viewing areas was over a rough one and a half mile trail; the birds were scarce as the weather was not cold enough as yet however we did see two hawks in the distance. We saw more birds in lesser places but the hike was good!

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