Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Northeast Vacation

We arrived back from our vacation North and East on Saturday. It was a good family trip that I am sure built some very good memories. I would have liked to have done more fishing but family time is just as important to me.

My wife 2 boys and I started out Friday morning driving up to Niagra Falls, NY. We had reserved a campsite for the first 2 nights at Four Mile Creek state campground. It was a short 6 1/2 hour drive after a couple of stops. We set up the campsite then went to get some food. I got to try my first New York pizza. It was very good. I also got a sub from a deli that was awesome.

Mizike and his girlfriend were at the campsite by the time we got back. We stayed up for a while sipping on rum and cokes. The next morning we got up and went to Niagra Falls. We had gotten the discovery pass so we had the opportunity to see everything. It was the 4th of July so it got very busy but the falls were awesome and the pass definately panned out. My favorite part of the falls was Cave of the Winds. The line was huge and it was a long wait to get down there but totally worth it. I was expecting a cave but was much more pleased with what it actually was. We walked up the waterfall to a spot they call the hurricane deck. I was holding my 3 year old's hand and it was a good thing. Right as we got to the top some extra water rushed over the platform and about washed us both back down the steps. Once on the hurricane deck we were able to experience the force of the falls. They crashed down on the deck with such a force that it created a hurricane like experience that was very exhilirating.

We had a ball, got soaked, and saw some awe inspiring views. One thing I would do different if I go back again is avoid the trams. They are sort of a joke and take longer than walking. My son loved them so it was ok once. I don't care for tight spaces though.

We had planned to see fireworks at the falls but there were people setting up in the good spots 5-6 hours before the fireworks so we decided to watch them at a little town near four mile creek. That was quite a treat. They put on a great show and the finally was the best I've ever seen. The booms echoed off the hills all around and the fireworks were shot off a huge hill right in front of where we were.

Mizike and his girlfriend headed back Sunday morning and we continued on with our vacation. The old fort Niagra was right near the campground and they were doing reinactments of the French Indian war so we decided to stop by before leaving the area. There were literally thousands of people camping and reinacting the war for several days. We had heard cannon fire from the campground but when we got there it was crazy how realistic it was. We watched 2 battles and toured the fort. It was crowded but not bad for what all was going on. Everybody did a really good job of representing the time frame during the battles. I felt really out of place in my Khaki's and Polo. I definately needed a sword.

After several hours at the fort we drove towards the Adirondack Mountains in New York. We got there late and found a campsite at Cranberry Lake. The next morning we got up and had breakfast at the local diner. I checked on a fishing liscence and they said I had to find the town clerk to buy one. I could not park near the town clerk so we headed out to see the area. We drove and walked around a few lakes. The lakes I saw held Walleye, bass, perch, Northern Pike, Tiger Musky, trout and I'm sure a few other species. I don't know if it was due to being Monday or the fact that there were so many lakes, but we only saw one boat fishing, the guys in the boat said that fishing there was great.

I finally found a place that was selling fishing liscences but it was raining and they wanted 15.00 for one day, week liscences were a lot better around 25.00. I decided to wait until we got to Maine to fish. We took the most direct route according to the GPS back to camp. It took us down a dirt road wide enough for one car with an old rickity one lane bridge that was protected on each side by orange road barrells and a 7 foot clearance board above the road. It was definately the way to see the area. We didn't have to worry about any other traffic.

We got back to camp a little before dark and the wife and younger son left for town to do laundry. The older and I built a fire and played outside until they returned.

The next morning we packed up the tent and camp and drove to Maine. We were in rain the whole way through Vermont, New Hampshire and into Maine. We traveled near the Canadian border and the scenery was beautiful. At a town near Lake Champlaine we saw a professional FLW bass fisherman pulling his boat. He actually turned right in front of us with his Chevy truck and Chevy stickered boat. I was super excited about it. I hadn't realized that they were having a tournament the following weekend. I wanted to drive by the lake and fish it because it was on the B.A.S.S. Elite Series earlier this year. The rain did not slow so we drove through to Maine.

We arrived in Maine with some daylight left. We stopped in a state park to get out and view some water falls. As soon as I got out of the vehicle I saw that it cost to hike on their trails. It was 3.00 a person and the trail did not even seem like a tenth of a mile long. It didn't even have a sign to say.

We drove on and figured that they only charge in the State Park. I found a place outside the park and bought a 3 day fishing liscence to start the next day. We drove on into the mountains until we found a lake I wanted to fish the next day. It was late and raining so we got a motel room.

The next morning we got up and went to the lake. It was still raining. I pulled in and there was a park officer (not in a state park) standing at the entrance wanting 5.00 a person to park to look at the lake in the rain. I asked if you had to pay a 5.00 fee a person at every lake in Maine because I like to see a lake before I fish it. She said every lake has a fee. I drove off and cursed an hour about driving 1000 miles to fish a state that cost me 25.00 for liscence and that wouldn't even let you fish.

We called the Inland Parks and Recreation Department and they said there are a few non State lakes that could be fished for free. I tried one and didn't even see a fish rise.

We decided to stick it out in Maine to see what else they had to offer. I had to try the lobster anyway. So we headed to the furthest point East in the United States. East of Lubec Maine we stumbled upon a lighthouse that was right on the point of the furthest point East. It was something cool to say we did. We got pictures and headed back South. My wife thought that one of her co-workers had camped on a beach at Acadia National Park. I don't think they did but the park was beautiful, except for the 50.00 a night to tent camp. We stayed there for 2 nights anyway it was that neat.

The first day in Acadia we fished in the Sound. I bought some flashy spoons like directed by the camp host and cast during the high tide with my oldest son but did not have any luck. He had a ball catching sea weed, so I guess it was not a total loss.

We ate lobster finally that evening. We stopped at a lobster pound and they had a 1 1/2 lb. lobster, 2 pounds muscles, corn on the cob, cole slaw, and a dinner roll for 21.00. I had never had lobster so I asked a stranger how to eat one. He was really nice and explained it to us. It was so good my older son ate half of my lobster and half of his Mom's.

We got back to camp and hung out the rest of the evening. The next day we started heading back towards Columbus but we wanted to see some more area we had never and might not ever see again so we drove South to Rhode Island. We passed through New Hampshire, Massachussetes and into Rhode Island. We ate McDonald's for supper in a scary part of Providence thanks to my older son. That was number 6 McDonald's stop. I set my GPS to home from there.

It took us through Connecticut and into New York City. I didn't want to go near New York City in any of this. The GPS could not keep up with all the roads and we ended up stopping at a light in the Bronx at Midnight. A guy came up trying to wash my windshield and another trying to sell flowers. I couldn't get out of there fast enough when the light changed.

We went across the Washington Bridge and onto the New Jersey turnpike. In New Jersey I stopped to get gas. I got out of the car and went to pump the gas into the tank and a guy came running up to me all mad and grabbed the pump out of my hand. I thought it was another street guy trying to make a buck so I told him I would get it and was ready to throw down if he didn't listen. I didn't know him and wasn't going to have him close to my car. He said it is illegal to pump your own gas there and that he worked there. He got a tip from me after all.

We drove into Pennsylvania and about half way through and 20 hours of driving I couldn't go no more. I pulled off in a rest area after pulling off into a military base by accident. We slept for a few hours then my wife drove us the rest of the way to Columbus.

Once back, I showered and was off again to play at Dave and Busters. A couple extra people ended up back at the house afterwards playing Wii and P&A. The next morning 6 of us headed to Cedar Point to ride Coasters. I would recommend the Millinium Force at dark. It was crazy. There were a couple coasters that got to me and I wondered how I ended up on them. We were back home by 3 AM and I was off to work a few hours later. My vacation was over.

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