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Bears, Bikes, and Bags

We have been in awe with the natural landscapes that we have explored in New York, the past two weeks. We wrapped up our stay at Hunt’s Pond last Sunday. Our final days at Hunt’s Pond were enjoyable. It rained a bit, and we caught a frog, snails, and newt, when the rain subsided, and we ventured to the pond and out on the muddy roads.

We made one more trip to New Berlin by bike to mail bike bags to Colorado and retrieve some mail. Saturday morning as we ate breakfast, we watched a horse drawn buggy clamper by our site with a canoe strapped to the top, head down to the boat launch. We are constantly amused by the sites we see at each one of our campsites.

Sunday, we moved from Hunt’s Pond to Kenneth L. Wilson State Park, in the Catskills. We stopped to do laundry in a small town, near Sidney, NY. While we waited for our laundry, a couple stopped to chat. They were from the area and interested in hearing about our bus life. They had been berry picking before coming into town and filled a sandwich bag of blackberries up for us. We were thankful for this gift. April loves berries and consumed all of them by Monday evening.

After grocery shopping, we headed into the Catskills. We wove though narrow roads, past old cottages and lavish homes. The Catskills towered around us, the deeper we drove into the forest. The forest changed from dense with Norwegian Spruce and to a greater mix of maples, birch, and loftier conifers. There are over 90 peaks above 3000 feet in the Catskills. These mountains are lusher than those that towered around our home in Teton Valley.

We arrived at the campground in the early evening. We were assigned site 15, but as we arrived, realized it probably was not large enough for Lucky 13. Fortunately, one of the campground staff saw us, and told us we could camp in a larger site in a different loop.

Monday, we went to check in, as check in was at 10 am for those who arrive in the afternoon. I was concerned because the campground required paperwork on rabies for dogs, and I could not find any of Chico’s papers. Lizzy, who helped me check in, was understanding of the situation and told me to try to find it if I could or go into the nearby cell service area try to contact our vet. I had not paid much attention to this detail in the campground rules when I reserved our sites. If you are ever visiting New York and camping with a dog, make sure you check with your campground about rabies certificate requirements. Previously, at Chenango State Park, they had just asked us if he was vaccinated.

Monday afternoon, we biked into the cell service area to check emails. We have found that there are few places to escape from cell service in the east compared to our experiences west of the Mississippi. We were surprised not to have cell service when we arrived here. We have gone into service a couple of times, to touch base with customers.

Bryon has been staying busy with orders, as usual. We sent a bag to Idaho on Wednesday. We had planned to send it Tuesday, but Tuesday was the rainiest day, we have had since Nebraska. It poured most of the day. I took the kids for a walk, and we got soaked. April jumped in puddles. Daphney was in the backpack under my raincoat and she loved sticking her head out under the raindrops.

Wednesday, while we were making breakfast, we saw a black bear. It looked right in the windshield of the bus at us, then continued past our campsite, through the site next to us, and back into the forest. Below you will find April’s recap of the bear sighting.

We went into Woodstock, on our bikes, in the afternoon, Wednesday. We had some mail waiting for us and needed to send a bag. We biked through the town of Woodstock, and it seemed to be a popular place. It appeared to be a place of art. It reminded me of Haight Ashbury, but in the dense forest not San Franscisco, with hippies and drifters on the street and a man dressed like Jimi Hendrix walking down the road, as we left the town.

After mailing the bag, we headed back to camp. Bryon got to work on a daytripper for a customer in New York. I walked the kids to the bathhouse to give April a shower and played around camp with them.

Thursday was spent working on bags, I went and rode the trails around the state park, for biking and hiking. The first two trails I rode were overgrown and fallen trees made the trail difficult to navigate. The Nature Trail and Red Trail, near the park’s entrance were in great shape, though and I found the rocky root covered terrain to be the best trail riding on our adventures, since we left Fruita.

Bryon wrapped up the daytripper bag, and we cooked breakfast for dinner, before packing up for weekend travel. We lacked our last items and went into Woodstock to pick up fabrics at the post offic, this morning.

After, we headed into Connecticut via I-90 with woodsy views of the Berkenshires out our windows. Our stop for the day, at Cabela’s greatly entertained April. She told us the taxidermy bears were just waiting for her there! We all thought the aquarium was rad!

New York has been fascinating in ways I would never have expected. We have observed newts and bears in their natural habitat. Picking and eating blackberries has been a favorite activity for April. Daphney continues to grow and develop. She constantly is crawling across the rocky grass and pulling herself up on picnic table benches, camping chairs, and anything she can get her hands on. She loves trying new foods too. Bananas are a current favorite. Exploring with our little people creates a new perspective for all.

We are headed to Falcon BMX tomorrow. Bryon and April are both registered to race. It should be a great time!

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