New friends and spectacular sunsets – Lake Erie, NY

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Oh the places they go

After having too much fun in Warren, Ohio with our best buds, we headed up the road to Lake Erie for some “chill out” time.  We stayed at the Lake Erie State Park in New York, and as soon as we settled in there was the realization that we did not like this place much. The problem started with a persistent terrible smell that we initially thought came from some trash that had been left near our site (which park employees never picked up).

Lake Erie State Park

Lake Erie State Park – see the “forgotten” trash bag?

We walked to their little beach and the smell was terrible there as well. The cause became apparent – stagnant water near the shore in 90+ degree heat.  We hope this condition does not exist elsewhere around the lake, but it pretty much spoiled our stay here.  This is obviously not the fault of the park, but beware if you plan to stay here during the summer months.

Stinky Lake Erie

Stinky lake

We had only one special thing to do on this stop – meet retired educators John and Pam of Oh the Places they go.  We had been following their travels, and when we learned of their stop just down the road at Erie, PA we wanted to make sure we could meet them halfway from where we were in NY.  It’s always exciting to meet new friends, especially RV full-timers and bloggers, for the exchange of adventures and information.  Although this was our first meeting, we got to know each other very quickly.  Before we knew it three hours had gone by!  Be sure to check out their blog site for the interesting places and excellent hiking ideas they share.  These are great easy-going folks, and we enjoyed their company and hope to rendezvous again this coming fall or winter.

Oh the places they go

Blogger summit

And check it out, we even met at a very appropriate place – Plummer’s Tavern, “Where friends meet.”

Oh the places they go

Checking out their bikes mounted inside the Jeep.  Nice!

We weren’t really eager to go back home to that horrendous stench, so why not do some wine tasting while we’re out and about?  This area around Lake Erie is wine country, so we delayed our trip home by visiting two wineries – Noble Winery and Johnson’s Estate.

Noble Winery

Noble Winery

The spectacular sunsets at Lake Erie somewhat made up for the stench at this place.

Lake Erie Sunset

Just another gorgeous sunset.

Sunset at Lake Erie

And another one!

Our upcoming stops – tell us about any “must do” tours, excursions,
restaurants, etc. you’ve enjoyed at these places, so we can check them out:

Adirondack State Park, NY

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And then there were Turkeys- South Llano River State Park

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Rio Grande Turkey

After a day of wind and dust at Alamogordo, New Mexico, we packed up again and departed for the Lone Star State.  I say “again” because we were ready to leave the day before, but thanks to our neighbor’s updated warning about possible 60+ mph winds at Carlsbad we delayed our departure and hunkered down where we were.  This forced us to cancel our stop at the Carlsbad Caverns, but we will catch it on our next pass through. Continue reading

DO NOT TRAVEL to ALASKA, if…

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DO NOT TRAVEL TO ALASKA, if…

1)   You don’t like dealing with unpredictable weather.

2)   You hate it when your GPS signal sometimes gets lost because you’re so far north.

3)   You don’t like people who work at a more leisurely pace than you’re used to.

4)   You get aggravated when a Bear or Moose walk near the road you’re driving on.

5)   You don’t like being in areas away from supermarkets or an internet connection.

6)   You can’t stand to drive a dirty car.

7)   You don’t like to fish, hunt or spend a lot of time outdoors.

8)   You hate it when other drivers wave Hello at you all the time.

9)   You think up to 20 hours of sunlight per day during the summer is a bad thing.

10)  You get tired of eating the Best salmon and halibut in the world all the time.

But, if like us you think these are just some of the “minor inconveniences” that make Alaska an interesting and charming place, YOU MUST TRAVEL TO ALASKA for one of the best experiences of your life!

~Steve

Rainy Daze in Seward

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After basking in the sun in Kenai, we packed up and moved to the southeastern side of the Kenai Peninsula to  Seward. It is a  small picturesque city ringed by steep mountains on one side and the sparkling waters of Resurrection Bay on the other.  This is not only a fishing town but  it also offers a little bit of everything, hence tagged as  “Alaska starts here.”

Old Seward

Old Seward

Seward, nestled in by Mt Marathon

Seward, nestled in by Mt Marathon

We left the sun shine and drove thru rain again.  The plan was to stay here for five days but the forecast for that time was rain, rain and more rain.  The consolation however was that the RV park we stayed in had awesome views – we were entertained daily by playful sea otters, bald eagles, sea gulls, kayakers, and cruise ships passing over the bay outside our front window.

Miller Landing

Awesome view but surrounded by mud pools

Millers Landing

Kayakers ready to go

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle with prey ready for take off

Bald Eagle

Seagull flying after the fish that the Bald Eagle caught

Sea Otthers

Sea Otters frolicking right in front our window

Seward

Cruise ship passing thru

What to do on a rainy day and not get wet?  Go see some  animals at the Alaska SeaLife Center.  The center serves as a marine research center as well as an educational institution.  This sea life center is filled with amazing and wonderful displays of sea life and birds in Alaska that would otherwise be a rare sight.  There is a bird rockery display where beautiful and cute puffins were flying around.

Alaska SeaLife Center

Tufted Puffin

Tufted Puffin

Horned Puffin

Horned Puffin

It  continued to rain the following day, but we went ahead and explored Exit Glacier, one of the attractions in Seward.  Exit Glacier is one of the most accessible by foot and it emerges from the Harding Icefield .  We followed a moderately strenuous hike which lead us to the wall of the blue ice at the edge of the glacier.  The trail has markers showing where it ended on various years as it continues to recede during the past hundred years.

 Exit Glacier

Exit Glacier

Exit Glacier

Lines shows marking of moraine as glaciers extent in a year

Edge of Exit Glacier

Edge of Exit Glacier,note people at the edge

exit glacier

Result of a powerful river of ice carving the bedrock

Exit Glacier

The year where the toe used to be

There will be a part 2 of Seward to talk about the Kenai Fjords National Park tour in my next blog.

After the 4th day we realized that the rain was going to continue, and we had seen just about everything we wanted to.  So we hooked up the car and headed to Portage, which also had some nice surprises to offer.  Stay tuned!