Thursday, October 20, 2011

Home at last

We wanted to be back in the Northeast for the foliage. We made it.

The next stop was Corning, New York. The Corning Glass Museum is a dazzling place. Parking was easy in the tour bus parking lot. The numerous exhibits detailing major advances in glass production and its uses was mind boggling. Most impressive was the over riding sense of how much money, talent and time was spent on research and development. The Corning company engaged in research that would not have any practical application for more than 30 years. But, that investment paid huge dividends once other technologies were developed that could make use of that research. Everything from a better way to make plate glass to being able to amplify light that carries data within fiber optic cables was explained in ways that make the technology understandable to most visitors.

Beyond the technical side was the massive collection of antique glass. The volume of antique glass arranged in chronological displays gives one an understanding of how techniques and technology advanced in time.
Beautiful modern art

An interesting bit of history was that the invention of fiberglass insulation was a direct result of prohibition. With glass no longer needed in the quantities prior to prohibition, the technique to produce fine glass fiber to be used for insulation was invented.

Our guide book told us that Glimmerglass State Park is just about 10 miles north of Cooperstown, NY. It also said the park is open until mid October. The date was October 13th so we felt only minor qualms about whether it would be open or not.
Lots of deer

When we were just a half mile from the entrance to the park we encountered a road block restricting passage to local trafic only due to road closure three miles ahead. Since our destination was less than a half mile, we went around the barriers into the campgyround.

It seems that mid-October is a relative term because the campground was closed for the season. But with no gate to prevent our entry we drove to a secluded area near the lake and boondocked for the night. it was a beautiful place with only lots of deer and Canada geese to keep us company.

Boondocking at its best

To reach the park we passed through Cooperstown and traveled north along the west side of the lake. we were not using the GPS so this made for a slightly longer trip since the park was on the northeast side of the lake . We did, however use the GPS the next morning when it confirmed that it would be quicker to go south along the east side of the lake to Cooperstown. As we turned out of the park, we didn't look back down the road from where we had come the previous evening. Had we done so we would have remembered that the road we were on was closed just two and a half miles ahead. The narrow and winding two lane road was indeed blocked at the distance stated. I was forced to back down the road for nefarly two miles before reaching a driveway in which to turn Mary Joan around. Sarah's expert guidance, using the signal techniques we learned at Alumapalooza, was a great help.

In charming Cooperstown we spent the morning at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. There is much more in the museum than can be seen in the few hours we had given ourselves for the visit. We had to limit ourselves to the major displays related to the history of the game. But, there was so much more that we missed, mostly relating to memorablia and baseball zrtifacts.

We expected to be in our home driveway by nightfall, but we made one big mistake when we left Glimmerglass. We forgot to empty our holding tanks. No problem, we thought. We used our handy guide and found that we should be able to dump the tanks at Wells State Park, which the book also said was open until mid-October. We drove into the park late in the afternoon. Unfortunately, when a campground is closed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, it closes massive gates at the entrance. Knowing we couldn't go home without emptying the holding tanks, we called local campgrounds and inquired what they charged for transients to use their facility to empty holding tanks. We expected to pay five to ten dollars since this was the average charge through out most of the areas we have traveled in (we never paid to empty our tanks - many service stations provide courtesy service for those who purchase fuel there).

Since it was getting late and we were both tired we decided to stay at the closest RV park for $27 for the night and have the right to empty our tanks before leaving in the morning. It also allowed us to call our friends, Sandy and Paul who live in the town, to join us for dinner at a very nice restaurant.

We made the short drive from Sturbridge, MA to our home in under one hour. Prior to this trip I drove across the lawn to avoid backing down our narrow and curved driveway. But, with months, and literally miles of experience backing up, I decided I could back into Mary Joan's parking spot with Sarah's help without hitting either the tree,car or the stone wall. We are happy to be home.
Backed down

But, the adventure is not over. So, stay tuned.

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