Jacques Cartier, Saratoga, & Friends

With our aversion to making reservations and with the Labor Day holiday weekend upon us we had to leave the campground we were in and find another place. No easy task. We did manage to find one about 30 miles east of where we were and also along the shore of the St. Lawrence Seaway on the American side.

The internet strength was very weak while we were there so that’s why no blog posts the last few days. So here’s how our weekend went:


Jacques Cartier State Park, NY, #17

Right behind our spot was a trail leading into the woods. Of course we went to see what it led to.


Jacques Cartier State Park, NY, #17  Trail

The trail went into the woods and along a small stream eventually leading us to a beaver dam. In the pic below, the dam is that little brown space in the grass on the right side. The pond is a result of that.


Beaver Dam


Evidence of Beaver Work

Jacques Cartier State Park is on of many state parks along the St. Lawrence Seaway. This one is popular for boating and fishing.  We saw a beautiful sunset overlooking the Seaway and looking towards Canada over there.


Sunset over the St. Lawrence Seaway

We made friends with our neighbors, Michelle and Tom, and their kids, LJ and Stoli, new to the full-time RV life. Our paths may cross again in the south this winter!

We left there early this morning making our way towards New Hampshire. Tonight we will be staying in the back lot of the Saratoga Casino and Racetrack at Saratoga Springs, New York. We stayed here in the spring and were able to watch some harness racing while we were here, but there are no races today.

Saratoga Casino and Racetrack

Saratoga Casino and Racetrack

Tomorrow we will arrive at our destination of the lovely Ashuelot River Campground at West Swanzey, about four miles south of Keene, New Hampshire, where we will stay until the weather gets too cold and we need to head south for the winter. It should be about 6 weeks or so. So there may be very few blog posts while we are there. But will resume regular posting when we head south. Stay tuned!

  • Distance Driven the last 3 days: about 230 miles
  • Gasoline:  $50 @ $2.36
  • Gasoline:  $80 @ $2.39
  • Lodging:  Jacques Cartier State Park $81
  • Lodging Saratoga: free
Posted in Daily Post, New York, September | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Thousand Islands Tour

Today was a beautiful day! A good day for a boat tour.  There are several tour companies here, and I’m sure they’re all good. We chose Uncle Sam Boat Tours upon recommendation by a fellow camper at the campground we are at. It was a good choice.

This was a 2.5 hour tour of the Thousand Islands area of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Our tour began at 10:00 A.M.


Uncle Sam Boat Tours

The narrated tour was very interesting. Many Americans and Canadians (with more money that we have) have built homes on the islands, some small, but many large and expensive ones. They are all beautiful and well-maintained.


The border between the US and Canada just happens to run between these two small islands, owned by one family. The small arched footbridge here is the World’s Shortest International Footbridge.

World's Shortest Inernational Footbridge

World’s Shortest International Footbridge


The Boldt Castle

The Boldt Castle was the last stop on our tour. Here we had the option of leaving the boat to tour the castle for an additional fee or to say on the tour boat to return to the beginning.

This castle was built by George C. Boldt, the owner of the Waldorf-Astoria and Bellevue-Stratford Hotels. Work began in 1900 but halted abruptly in 1904 when Mrs. Boldt suddenly died. It was not finished after that and fell to the elements until 1978 when the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority took it over and began restoring it. All the money for the restoration comes from admission fees and some other sources, but not your tax dollars.

It is a self-guided tour at your own pace, and you can wander around all you want.  A small recorded device with earphones is available for an additional fee (available in English or French).


The Boldt Castle


The Boldt Castle Grand Staircase

It’s a long and costly project to complete the castle. Only the main floor and the 2nd floor are finished. The rest is slowly being finished as funds allow. It may take several years. So when we come back here again it could look different. The unfinished upper level floors are secure and open for viewing, some of the rooms are closed off.


The Boldt Castle, Unfinished Upper Level


Great View from Up Here

This is right on a main shipping route of the St. Lawrence Seaway which connects all the Great Lakes so it is not unusual to see a large vessel pass by. The Federal Yukon made it’s way west as we were there.


The Federal Yukon,  Flag: Marshall Is

We could stay as long as we wanted on that island. When we were finished we took the free Uncle Sam II shuttle that runs every 30 minutes and returns to the dock where we started.


Uncle Sam II Shuttle

  • Uncle Sam 2.5 hour tour:  $46
  • The Bolt Castle:   $18
  • Recorded Tour Device: $11
  • Bridge Toll:  $2.75
Posted in Daily Post, New York | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Boats and a Lighthouse

Thunder and rain in the morning. Once it began to let up we went to visit the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, NY.  They have a huge collection of boats in several buildings. It was more interesting than I expected it to be.

Then, on our way out to see a lighthouse we stopped at a park at Cape Vincent. Signs indicate how this area of the 1000 Islands was significant during the Revolutionary War as well as the War of 1812.


Cape Vincent NY

At the end of the road we finally made it to the restored Tibbetts Point Lighthouse. We were not allowed to climb up to the top of the lighthouse here, but there was some information inside the foghorn building that explained about the history of the place. There was also another building with a visitor center and gift shop.


The Tibbetts Point Lighthouse, Cape Vincent NY

It’s been pretty hot and very humid all day. More storms rolled in and it rained pretty good for a while.

  • Admission to Lighthouse:  free
  • Bridge Toll:  $2.75
Posted in August, Daily Post, New York | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

We’re Back!

Back in the United States.

Leaving Darlington Provincial Park in Canada we headed east on Queen Elizabeth Way along the north side of Lake Ontario. This big red face invited us in. It is the World’s Largest Apple, with an observation deck on the top. It is next to a pie factory, with a restaurant and a few other amusements. Of course we had apple pie!


World’s Largest Apple


World’s Largest Apple

We are headed for the Thousands Islands area, a scenic part of the St. Lawrence River that divides Canada from the United States. One of the first big bridges we cross is the big fancy Thousand Islands Bridge. Pretty. $5.75 toll for us.


1000 Islands International Bridge

Just across the bridge and before the border crossing is a 400-foot tall observation tower providing panoramic views of the St. Lawrence River and the 1000 islands.


Observation Tower

So we stopped to have a look. The pic below is of Canada and the bridge we just crossed.



The actual international border bridge crossing is this little 90 ft long bridge.


Smallest International Border Bridge

And then the US Customs Border Crossing. We were asked for our passports and asked just a few questions, where had we been and how long had we been in Canada, are we bringing any goods we purchased in Canada, they were mostly interested in fruits and vegetables.


US Border Crossing

We actually had stopped at the Duty Free store just prior to the crossing and picked up some wine and chocolates.

Finally, we made our way to Wellesley Island State Park in New York. This is on the 2nd largest island in the Thousand Islands. We have three nights here.


Wellesley State Park, NY, #14

  • Distance driven today:  158 miles
  • Gasoline:  none
  • Lodging:  $120 for 3 nights
  • Bridge Toll:  $5.75
  • Observation Tower:  $12 each
Posted in August, Canada, Daily Post, New York | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments


Moving day. Ugh, another hot muggy day. We left Fifty Point Conservation Area Campground by Winona, Ontario, and drove a little west and through Toronto and then east along the north shore of the Great Lake Ontario to Darlington Provincial Park near the town of Courtice, Ontario.


Toronto, Ontario

We stopped for lunch at a McDonalds. They had poutine (McPoutine?). So we had to see how that compared to the poutine we had yesterday at the Peach Festival in Winona. Really, Winona did it better. It was interesting, but I won’t be ordering it from McD’s again.



Darlington Provincial Park is nice and we have a spot very near the shore of Lake Ontario. No water or sewer hookup, but thank God we have electricity and air conditioning! Gotta get comfortable.


Darlington Provincial Park, #70

Towards evening we went for a walk along the beach. Here’s a couple of pictures.


Lake Ontario


Lake Ontario

  • Distance driven today:  90 miles
  • Gasoline:  none
  • Lodging for two nights:  $104 Canadian  ($81.26 US)
Posted in August, Canada, Daily Post | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment


The Ontario, Canada, Winona Peach Festival is on this weekend just across the highway from where we are camped. So how could we not go check it out?

We went early enough to be one of the first attendees there. So glad we did because it quickly filled up with thousands of people. There was a nice arts & crafts show, a commercial area, pony rides and rock climbing for the kids. And a very nice Midway and a car show.


Winona Peach Festival



A Peach of a Car Show


A Peachy Couple

The tent for the peach sundaes had the longest line of the whole event.


Peach Sundaes

What would a peach festival be without peach pies!


Peach Pies

Poutine!  French fries and cheese covered with gravy. It’s a Canadian thing. It’s good!



Can’t leave without having some of that pie.


mmmmm pie🙂


And of course buy your peaches before you leave.



Tree Ripened Peaches

  • Admission: Free
  • Parking:  $1
Posted in August, Canada, Daily Post | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

More Niagara Falls

A rainstorm rolled through last night, but nothing serious. However it is still hot and humid today. It should start cooling off soon, don’t you think?

Even though we were just at Niagara Falls recently we wanted to see it again. This time we had just the car, not the RV, so we found the parking lot down by the falls and parked there.


Niagara Falls

Good to see that it has not changed since the last time we saw it. We had lunch at the restaurant above the Visitor Center with a view of it all.


Niagara Falls

After lunch we just walked around and took more pictures and went back home. One thing that caught my eye was we walked back to the car was this Falls Incline Plaza. All the hotels, casinos, shopping, and more tourist attractions are up hill from the Falls area. If you don’t want to drive, take a bus, or walk up that way then for $2.75 Canadian you can hitch a ride up there this way.


Falls Incline Plaza

I checked the exchange rate today and it was $1.30.  You can use American dollars to buy things here, but you won’t necessarily get that exchange rate, if you get it at all. So don’t pay with American cash. There are places you can convert your US$ for a fee. But the best way to pay is with our credit card. My CC company (CapitalOne) makes the conversion with the correct exchange rate and there is no fee.

  • Parking:  $22     ($17.06 US)
  • Lunch:  $58.48  ($45.35 US)
  • Misc:     $22.48  ($17.44 US)
Posted in August, Canada, Daily Post | Tagged | Leave a comment