Saturday morning we had a slow start, sleeping until 8:00 -- my kind of kick-off for a good day! First on the agenda was a stroll through the camping lots to the track and the loading site for the pace-car-around-the-track ride.
Tom packed into the front seat beside the driver, and I packed into the back seat by myself. The ride around the road-course track was fast and thrilling. I braced from one outstretched leg to the other around the curves, and wasn't able to manage the camera for pictures! At the end, Tom got a picture of our driver, and we stepped out of the car and waited for the car behind us, with Dan and Dawn, to arrive.
The ride had us primed for the wine tasting, and we made our way to the tents just at opening time. Dawn provided us with some round-the-neck-lanyard-wine-holders, and I looked a little touristy with my camera over one shoulder, purse over the other shoulder, and wine glass dangling in the middle!
There were 90 wineries in three large tents, and over the next few hours all the sweets and semi-sweets blended together and tasted the same. I gave up trying to rate my favorites! The good news was that the tents were not crowded in the beginning, and it was easy to walk up for a shot -- by afternoon the crowds were heavy and the lines were long.
Outside there were other vendors of all kinds -- everything from dog biscuits to jewelry, and lots of condiment foods to go with wine. What did we buy? Sloppy Joe sauce and maple syrup!
With a little more work this flip-flop wreath could be so cute. Hey crafters -- flip-flops will be going on sale pretty soon!
Somewhere in the middle of our tour of the wine tents and the outside vendors, we took a break.
When the sun dipped behind the hills we took a walk around the campground to gawk at the party life. A closer look made it seem that the beer mob had bashed the wine gathering! There were lots of good-ole-boy beer drinkers riding 'round in pick-up trucks, sitting in large camp circles, and blaring music, and piles and piles of beer cans! We thought it might get a little wild that night, but the place was well patrolled, and most of the crowd was in bed by 11:00. Or passed out!
Our evening ended with a good swap of stories on a variety of topics -- if you are reading this, we probably talked about you! And how we wished you were there! For us, it was the end of the road as we would be leaving for home in the morning. Dan and Dawn had one more day to spend at the festival, and then several more days planned in the area.
Next up -- the Brickyard 400. Come back in a couple weeks!
We drove to Watkins Glen Friday afternoon and enjoyed an amble through some shops before choosing a local diner for dinner. The main event was a quick drive down the street to the entrance of the Glen, and a walk up the causeway into the canyon. We started just at the tail-end of daylight -- darkness descends early and quickly in the canyon!
The Glen's stream descends 400 feet over a two-mile section, generating 19 waterfalls along the way. The gorge path winds over and under the waterfalls, and right through the spray of Cavern Cascade.
The pathway, carved out of rock, was wet and slippery and we had to watch our step carefully -- especially on the way back down. We didn't make it all the way to the top of the canyon, choosing to head back down while the light was good.
We arrived back at the campsite to discover that it had filled up while we were gone. As we parked a girl came running over asking if "our stuff is in your way?" They had run out of room on their site, and had generously moved onto our site with a shelter/awning, several long tables for cooking, and a tent. In the picture below you can see their little pup tent, just inches away from the rear end of the Silvermine. My window opened directly over their tent window, and I was to find out that night . . . that somebody snored!
Well, it was just that kind of camping -- festive and fun, and close and personal! And, the wine tasting hadn't even started yet! Tune back in (same bat-time, same bat-channel) to see how the fun progressed.
We were invited months ago to attend by Airstream and NOVA Buds Dan and Dawn Bihary. The great adventure began on Thursday, July 9th.
Five miles out from home we wondered if this would be an underwater event as It had been raining record amounts for weeks. Every ditch, creek, river and pond along the way was full -- plus lots of streets, fields, and parking lots!
Leaving the house at noon our first stop was 3 hours down the road in Lagrange, Ohio to visit with Lou and Larry and meet up with Dan and Dawn. Our final destination for the night was another 4 hours down the road for a little parking-lot boondocking at the Seneca Allegheny Casino in Salamanca, NY, just two hours short of the Finger Lakes.
At 8:00 Friday morning we all walked to the casino for a breakfast buffet. We left the Casino at 10:00 and drove for a couple hours before leaving the Interstate on NY Route 54 and 17 miles of rolling hills sandwiched in-between twp of the the Finger Lakes. We arrived at noon and rubbernecked our way around the most famous racetrack infield . . . to our campsite.
By 12:30 we were all set up in our Lot "F" at the Watkins Glen International Speedway campground. The speedway has lots A-F for camping with a total of about 500 sites. We're talking open, grassy fields, mostly uneven, with a few sparse clumps of trees. Following this rainy season, the fields were not in bad shape -- if the cars tread lightly. We dug a small rut during our final backup, but managed not to get stuck. There were tractors on duty all around assisting people that were not so lucky. Once parked, the grass was thick and a nice foundation for a camping weekend. The temperature was in the high-70's and nicely over-cast, and our awning and small shelter provided nice cover for a little lawn-chair session in the afternoon. Here are some peeks of our set-up.
All that sittin' and talkin' led to a formulation of an evening plan -- a trip into Watkins Glen for dinner and a walk of the famous grotto. There was plenty of time for a little shopping . . . a little eating . . . and a little stroll. Check back for the details.
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2018 25' Airstream Serenity with Salsa interior and front twin beds., and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown