It seems enquiring minds want to know why the Canadian Maritimes look so green in January… well, it’s because I’m way behind in my postings. But I have a good excuse.
I had a few nips and tucks, nothing serious, so no worries. I’m already back on the road and wintering near lovely Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. But before we get to my latest adventures in Mexico I must finish up the final chapter of our summer/fall 2012 East Coast expedition. Every red pin was a stop along the way.
Have you ever tried chasing the fall foliage in search of the perfect display? That was our quest as we headed back south from Canada.
First stop was Squam Lake in Holderness, NH where they filmed the movie “On Golden Pond” with Katherine Hepburn and Henry Fonda. And Golden it was!
Our good buddies, Wanda and Rick, have the cutest summer cottage right on Little Squam Lake.
And what fabulous hosts they were! We were treated to a boat trip where we hung out with the loons.
(Now this is the perfect way to commute to your lake house!)
We took country drives, stopping to shop for cheese and the perfect ginger ice cream (named after me of course) at the tiny Sandwich Creamery.
We drove the Sandwich Notch Road through the White Mountain National Forest which is essentially unchanged since the 18th century when it was the main trade route from the sea to the north.
But alas, no peak display yet. Checking online it looked like Vermont’s leaves were ripening faster than New Hampshire’s so we sadly moved on in search of the so far elusive fall fireworks. Unfortunately the weatherman was doing us no favors.
Vermont’s Route 100 is one of National Geographic’s “World’s Most Scenic Drives” so our goal was to drive the entire length from north to south. We started in Eden Mills, VT where we stayed at the Lakeview Camping Area.
A little soft focus on the right patch of leaves works wonders.
As you travel south on Route 100 you pass the famous Stowe ski area. The narrow two-lane road weaves in and out of beautiful canyons as the Green Mountain State Forest rises up on your right. Ski resorts abound as you pass through Warren and Hancock. We pushed south past Ludlow and lovely Weston, through the Wardsboros and all the way to Wilmington. We covered a lot of ground in one day as the sun was out for the first time in days and it wasn’t going to stay that way.
But the further south we got, the greener the leaves so we headed north again, this time to Lake Placid, NY where the higher elevations would surely yield the most spectacular colors. But it was cold and raining cats and dogs. Trying to dodge the weather yet find the best fall foliage was proving very difficult. Camping in the cold rain is just no fun. So after almost 3 weeks of waiting and searching we sadly gave up and headed back south to Gettyburg, PA.
The battle at Gettyburg had the largest number of casualties in the Civil War and is often described as the war’s turning point ending Lee’s invasion of the North.
It was haunting in the rain and mist.
But the sun was out in Washington DC! I went to the White House looking for Bo, but he didn’t seem to be home at the time.
A beautiful day at the United States Capitol.
And a visit to the Museum of Natural History.
Elephants sure are big! Of course he’s the biggest one on display anywhere in the world.
We meandered through Virginia, to West Virginia (all in the rain). The nice thing about off season camping is you can have an entire campground to yourself.
We arrived at the Airstream factory in Jackson Center, OH for 2 days of necessary repairs and then made our way to Lexington and Mount Sterling, KY where my human’s peeps hail from.
We stayed at the Kentucky Horse Park Campground outside of Lexington, a working horse farm and an educational theme park.
And we enjoyed a lovely dinner with beloved family; Uncle Bob and Susan, Joe and Jeff.
And a wonderful brunch at Aunt Mary Lynn’s before we drove to the small but famous town (in our family) of Mount Sterling, KY. Though the population is a mere 6,000 we arrived on Court Day when around 150,000 visitors descend to buy, sell and trade at the giant town-wide flea market. The tradition began in the 18th century when Mount Sterling was the trade center of eastern KY and continues to this day on the 3rd Monday of October.
We had a fabulous lunch with Betty and Jack and visited various family historic sights including the Mount Sterling/Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce where my Super-Awesome Papa Stew is in the Hall of Fame.
And of course we had to visit the famous Ruth Hunt Candy factory. Ruth used to serve her homemade candies to her bridge club and in 1921 decided to open her own store. Her cream candies have been a tradition in my family for generations!
Next up… Nashville, TN to spend some quality time with my brilliant singer, songwriter and recording artist cousin Joe Turley and his lovely wife Marie and their son James (check out Joe’s music at http://www.joeturley.com). They took us to see the “Doyle and Debbie Show”, described as “…a gloriously tacky send-up of a washed-up country duo.” according to The New York Times. And boy were they right, my face actually hurt from laughing so hard! I wasn’t even offended when they sang “Fat Women in Trailers” cause I knew they most certainly were not referring to me.
We had to pry ourselves away from our Kentucky family to finally head west on US 40, the old route 66. But before we crossed the Mississippi River we made a quick pit stop in Memphis, TN to visit with my brotha from anotha motha, the amazing and talented Corey Parker. And I got to meet his beautiful wife Angela and their wonderful son Baker over some amazing BBQ!
And before you knew it we were back out west, in Santa Fe, NM (well, a 1000 miles later).
While staying at the lovely Trailer Ranch right in town I was actually recognized by a fan of my blog. “Is that Ginger? From Ginger Goes Glamping?” I humbly replied I was indeed the famous Ginger. And I didn’t even have my glasses on at the time!
I had a wonderful homemade dinner at my Uncle Lenny’s house and another marvelous evening at my buddy Inca’s beautiful Tesuque compound.
After filling our bellies we headed north to Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort and Spa where they have a basic campground with hookups. We watched the cottonwoods shimmer as we soaked in the hot arsenic pool. Don’t worry, it’s good for you. Ojo is the only hot springs in the world with four different types of mineral water including lithia, iron, soda and arsenic.
We continued north to Heron Lake State Park at an elevation of 7,186 ft but it was cold cold cold…
so we headed west again on US 40, where we stopped at the world’s best preserved meteor impact site near Winslow, AZ – before standing on the corner…
Soon we were surrounded by the Red Rocks of Sedona, AZ where you must do the Pink Jeep Tour. We stayed at the lovely Dead Horse Ranch State Park in nearby Cottonwood, AZ.
We stopped for a yet another superb dinner at Aunt Kathy’s in Phoenix before crossing the border into California. I was in such a hurry to see my BOY and we arrived just in time to celebrate Thanksgiving with him.
We certainly had so much to be thankful for. The last 18 months and 50,000 miles on the road has been the most amazing journey! We couldn’t wait to spend the holidays with our wonderful friends and with our special, loving and supportive family without whom this incredible experience would not be possible!
Coming up next: South of the Border!