The the Grand Canyon of the east is located in Letchworth State Park in Western New York. I wanted to begin by telling how we found this amazing place. We were at a farm stand at the intersection of highways 39, 20 and 5 in rural New York. There were two local people picking up produce, their names were Linda and Jason. Linda told me the family who owns the farm stand has been doing this for years. They have a metal bank and you leave the money in the bank. Linda also gave me some farm fresh eggs she had picked up down the road, out of the kindness of her heart! Jason and I struck up a conversation. I told him we were living in our RV now. He said we were only a few miles away from Letchworth state park. The “Grand Canyon of the East”.
First day of Fall, we went whale watching off the coast of Bar Harbor it was the most fantastic thing I have ever gotten to do! It was a beautiful sunny day, blue skies with a few white clouds. We were so lucky to see, and the list is long; fin whales, harbor seals, gray seals, atlantic white sided dolphins, a blue shark, a mola mola, and a puffin. The trip began by taking the “free Acadia shuttle” which stopped at our campground, Hadley Point Campground, in Bar Harbor, and shuttled us to the Village Green in downtown Bar Harbor. We then walked about 4 blocks past all these cute shops, to the “Bar Harbor Whale Watching Co.” It was just the beginning of a unforgettable day, the first sighting was 45 minutes off the coast, of a fin whale.
On our trip through the Catskills our destination was the town of Sharon Springs. It is where the “The Fabulous Beekman Boys” live and own a shop called Beekman 1802. Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell are the Fabulous Beekman Boys from the reality show of the same name and winners of the Amazing Race. Watching on TV and YouTube they are very welcoming people and call everyone who meets them or watches them, their neighbor. So I felt like it would be great to go visit them in Sharon Springs at their store. George and I went to Beekman 1802 and I walked in to be welcomed by Under, Brent and Josh’s dog, so cute. I started to tell the young woman who greeted me, Jessica, about how much I enjoyed the tv show and I suddenly see Brent Ridge walking over to me with a warm smile on his face. Of course, I had to hug him and he hugged me right back, he spent time talking to us.
I can tell you that looking for an RV is a pain in the ass. The problem is that they are spread all over the country and you could spend a small fortune looking at each potential candidate. There are lots of things that come in to play, and people don’t always represent what they have accurately, sometimes, they don’t even know what they have.
Well, after lots of searching, we found an RV in Iowa. It is a 2002 Newmar Dutchstar 3852. It has a 350HP Cummins with a 6 speed Allison transmission, air brakes, jake brake, good tires, and two slide outs, or as Terri calls them, “bump outs”. It met my needs in that it is made by Newmar, which is what we wanted, is a diesel pusher, has air brakes, a jake brake and is fairly low mileage, about 85K.
We started by determining what type of RV we wanted. There are quite a few options but for full time RV life there are only two that we felt fit us. The first option, is the fifth wheel type trailer that connects to a fifth wheel hitch in the bed of pickup. The second, is the basic motorhome.
In both cases, it is best to have a vehicle that has a diesel engine. The diesels have the torque to pull heavy loads in mountainous areas and generally last longer than gasoline powered engines. The prices are significantly higher for diesel engines, but I think in the long run, they are worth the difference.
Terri, Gizzy and I are getting ready to make the leap from bricks and sticks apartment living, to nomadic life on the road in an RV. It is a little stressful trying to get everything organized and ready to go. It’s incredible how much stuff we have acquired in our 8 years here. You would think that living in an apartment would keep some of that to a minimum, but it seems we’ve managed to keep tons of stuff we shouldn’t have.
Well, that will definitely be less of an issue going forward since we simply won’t have the room in an RV to store everything we can in our apartment. All I can say at this point, is thank goodness we aren’t living in a house, I’m pretty sure it would be worse yet.
We’ll keep you posted on our travel plans and what we end up with for an RV, etc. Later.