Although we planned one more stop in Pennsylvania before we scratched that state off our list, we left the Keystone State temporarily to finish our time in New York. Our first stop in The Empire State was back in June of 2013. We stopped in the Hudson Valley on our way to New England last summer, after driving north from Florida for four days. Like I have said before, the rules are loose on the Lower 48 in 48 Tour… so we pick up ‘Part II’ almost 14 months later.
This time we aimed for the central part of the state and landed at a small campground about three miles east of Lake Oneida, near Syracuse. We took a couple of daytrips to Syracuse and Utica, but were not impressed with either community. The best times we had from that location were relaxing at the campground or near the lake. Mike got to fish a bit, so he was happy about that.
Our site at Mayfair Campground was all grass and soft ground. We worried slightly when it rained during the week of our stay, because we did not want to sink down into the ground before it was time to pull away on travel day. The park was very nice, and all the seasonal folks were a group of friends from the VFW in Syracuse. It was a small campground, but it was bordered by water and the owners kept it very well maintained. It was quiet, and there was no road noise. All in all, it was a good place to stop for a week.
This was a branch of the historic Erie Canal, and a navigable waterway to Lake Oneida about 3 miles away. It was the southern boundary of our campground.
He dove under the water just as I snapped this picture, so you can’t see the beaver that left that water ring. The dogs and I watched him swim for a short distance for a while . As we approached the edge of the water, he felt we were a little too close for comfort and ditched us.
This was the swimming beach at one of the State Parks on Lake Oneida. We spent the afternoon hanging out on the east side of the lake during a sunny Friday afternoon.
After our day at the beach, we had dinner on an outside patio in the small town of Sylvan Beach. Lots of boats lined up along the boardwalk beside the Erie Canal. it was fun to watch all the comings and goings.
We watched this HUGE military carrier (C-5 or C147)? practice touch-and-goes at a local airport as we drove to Utica one afternoon.
Before this photo I had never seen an entire field of sunflowers (I have since). Such a happy sight! Incidentally, they all faced east.
We discovered the sunflower field on our way to a local farm that sold sweet juicy fresh corn… 3 for $1.
Seagulls on the windy beach before sunset.
On the last night we were at Mayfair Campground, we drove into Sylvan Beach to have dinner at a waterfront restaurant. It was too windy to eat outside, and it had been cloudy all day… but we got lucky. An open table was waiting for us by the window, and the sunset did not disappoint.
The sunset over Lake Oneida on the last night of our stay turned out to be very intense!