Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Not just a dressing

We are at the Wellesley Island State Park in New York (map), on the north shore of this large island in the St. Lawrence River, one of the "Thousand Islands." And, yes, there are at least a thousand islands here; the official count is 1,793. There are several campgrounds in the park, including full hookup and electric/water areas, but we opted for a site in the primitive area instead so that we could be right on the water. We can see a dozen or so islands from here and Canada across the river.

Yesterday we drove north on US-11 to Pulaski, where we cut over a few miles to NY-3 to hug the lake shore. Just as we hit 3 we found a propane dealer; we've been out for nearly a week and have not passed a convenient dealer when they were open. We filled our two bottles -- four gallons worth -- for $14 and considered ourselves lucky. Of course, that meant we'd pass no fewer than four more propane dealers later in the afternoon. I can't complain -- it's been probably six months since we had to buy propane.

NY-3 took us around the eastern shore of the lake, but it turns inland just north of Sackets Harbor, towards Watertown. We opted to stay lakeside, and continued north on 180, then northwest on NY-12E to Cape Vincent, which lies at the headwaters of the St. Lawrence. The river, of course, drains Lake Ontario (and thus all the Great Lakes) to the sea, and so the transition from lake to river is a gradual one, made more so by hydroelectric dams and navigation locks built downstream as part of the Saint Lawrence Seaway project at the end of the 1950s.

The town of Cape Vincent has thoughtfully provided a lakeside park, and we stopped for a while to stretch our legs, walk the dog, and marvel at the grandeur of the area. The trees here are also starting to turn, adding to the beauty, yet the tourist season is essentially over -- we had the roads to ourselves.

NY-12 continues along the south shore of the seaway, and brought us all the way to I-81, which is the only bridge onto Wellesley Island. We were only on the Interstate for a single exit (and a $3.75 toll to cross the bridge). We had to come, of course, to stay true to our "outermost road" philosophy, and having a state park with camping right here is a plus. We always enjoy staying right on the water, even if $15 per night is a tad pricey for a primitive site. (Electricity would have been a mere $6 additional, which is definitely worthwhile, but we wanted the better view.) When we pulled in to the primitive area, we were the only ones here, although we saw two other rigs pass us later in the evening. I assume they stayed, but we couldn't see them, or anyone, from our site -- blissful.

Today we will cross back over the I-81 bridge and resume our trek along the south shore of the St. Lawrence on NY-12. The rest of the Thousand Islands will have to wait for our return in a trawler, whenever that may be.

1 comment:

  1. Know you like to be amoungst the action in cities and a friend alerted me to a spot in Chicago at the Merchandise Mart. Not cheap $22 but close to the loop for the scooters. Can forward the details off line if you wish.


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