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Friday, September 29, 2006

Through WV, PA, and into NY

Friday was a full day of West Virginia Mountains (wheew!) and through Pensylvania. With it raining off and on during the morning, we pulled up and coasted down the mountains through WV. Our route took us up I-77, US-19, and I-79. US-19 had some pretty steep hills with plenty of 6% and 7% grades. Just don't get in a hurry when you are driving a gas powered motorhome in those conditions. We frequently slowed down to around 45 on the steepest areas.

We pretty much took our time going through PA. Around Pittsburgh on I-79 was pretty uneventful. We didn't really have any side trips or interesting things we wanted to see in the area, and we were trying to get all the way to Niagara Falls if we could. But after lunch breaks and a fuel stop, we made it to Erie PA at about 5:00 PM.

We pulled off the interstate and took Route 5 into NY right along the Lake Erie shore. Comming over a large hill we saw Lake Erie in the distance merging with the cloudy horizon in the northern distance. Well, it is decision time. Push on past dark to Buffalo and make a border crossing at night without knowing how long that will take, or find a place soon and go the next couple of hours to Buffalo/Niagara Falls tomorrow morning. After a little discussion and consulting the campground guide, we make our decision.

We decided to stay near Erie PA that night instead of pushing all the way to Niagara Falls as I had planned. Lake Erie State Park in near Brocton NY looked like a nice stop and it was. A beautiful park right on Lake Erie.

Lake Erie at Sunset

The drive into Lake Erie state park was a beautiful drive. Large vineyards in the large fields bordering the lake, large cattle farms, and fruit orchards. The homes and villages in the area are very scenic. As we approached within a few miles of the state park we saw a detour sign ahead. So here we go back down a little side road with our little Chevy in tow, hoping that the road is wide enough to accomodate us. Finally we get to Hwy 20, a four lane road that takes up closer to our destination.

Low Bridge.. Everybody Down - remember that song from Captain Kangaroo when you were a kid? Well maybe you do if you are as old as me! I kept humming that song as we rode along Lake Erie. Lake Eric State Park is actually close to Brocton NY. We enter Brocton and at the light on Main Street we see a sign pointing left directing us to the state park. But I also notice that the sign says "No Trucks". Ummm.. wonder why? Before committing to the left turn I look down the road and see a sign saying "Clearance 11Feet Ahead". Whoops!... our Bounder is 11 feet 6 inches. I wouldn't want to leave our roof AC units stuck to the bottom of that bridge... so we keep headed north looking for the next truck route to take us back over to Route 5. Finally a few miles up the road we reach Dunkirk NY with a sign pointing north to Route 5. Half mile later we were turning back south on route 5 headed back to the Lake Erie State Park about 6 miles down the road.

It's nice and chilly tonite and it has really rained a lot today before we got to the State Park. Water is standing everywhere, and the wind is blowing right off the lake, making it seem even colder. We check into the campground and get an electric hookup. We didn't realize that the there were no water hookups at this campground, only electricity. There are a few water spigots located randomly around the campground so if you have a long hose or happen to be near one, then you can hookup. But otherwise, you better have a tankfull of water or be prepared to shower in the very cold showers at the bathhouse. Fortunately, we had plenty of water in our tanks. After a short walk around the campground and dinner,we hit the sack after a long day of driving.

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