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Sunday, October 08, 2006

On the Way Home

Friday morning came around before we knew it. After getting everything unhooked and cleaned up, we leave our home away from home for the past 4 days. Our planned route will take us down through the eastern side of Vermont along Lake Champlain, then across the river along the shoreline of Lake George NY to Albany. There we will pick up I-88 to Binghampton NY. There we will get on I-81 through Pennsylvania, and Virginia through the Shannondoah Valley, and from there back to Charlotte and home. Hopefully we will have time to stop at the Hershey Chocolate World in Hershey PA.

Lake George was beautiful. It is easy to see why so many families have their summer places here. There were even a few sailboats and motor boats out this Friday. Although traffic was very light, it picked up a little later in the day.

After we got to Albany and found I-88 southbound, it was just miles and miles of interstate. I will have to say that it was pretty through there for a lot of the way. Mountains and valleys with the fall colors were still at their peak.

By night, we were in Hazelton PA. Time to think about stopping for the evening, and there happens to be a Wal-Mart nearby. We found the Wal-Mart (finally!). It is not visible from the interstate, and there were no signs pointing the way. In contrast to the place we parked overnight in Massena NY, this place was one of the noiseist places we have ever stayed. There were 3 or 4 other RVs parked there, but at about 5:30 the next morning, we were awakened by the sound of diesels and chains ratteling. Then a tractor roared to life. Looking out the window I see a front end loader pulling up the pavement nearby. It was a pavment repair crew out on this early Saturday morning to get some work done before too many customers showed up. That is enough of a wake up call for us, so we are on the road to Hershey.

The PA welcome center provided all of the maps and borchures we needed to get to the Hershey plant, which is several miles from I-81 on some secondary roads. But when we got there we couldn't believe our eyes. There were cars as far as you could see. They are having a major antique show here this weekend and there must be 50,000 people here. We could get no where near the entrance to Hershey World so we kept on truckin'. But thats OK, that means we will get to a campground in the mountains of Virgina earlier than planned so we may have some time to explore there a little.

Harrisonburg VA is in the mountains west of Washington DC. There is a smaller town - New Market VA - located a few miles south of there with a KOA that we decided to try. It is way off the road, about 3 1/2 miles from the interstate down a very narrow little side road through a farm area. This little campground was immacualte, very well maintained, and beautifully decorated for the fall season. We had time to walk around the campground a little, then we asked the manager for a recommended restaurant in the area. She recommended the Blue Stone Inn, just a few miles up the road.

This place was really a blast from the past. The place was built in the 1920s as a motel with a cafe. The motel or "guest court" (little cottages scattered around behind the restaurant) are history now, although a few are still standing. But the restaruant is still going strong with the same family operating it since the 1940s. They served up some of the best seafood ever. This stopover provided an outstanding last night out for our trip.
So, Sunday morning brings us back through the Shannondoah Valley, to I-77 and the home strech back to Charlotte then home.
All in all, this was a great trip, with good friends. But it left us with enough of a curosity about so much of New England we didn't get to see, that we'll just have to go back again sometime.

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