Syracuse, New York area
We spent three nights at Pleasant Lake Campground, a privately-run place just north of Syracuse.
While in the area we visited Fort Ontario in the town of Oswego on the shore of Lake Ontario. Fort Ontario is a star-shaped fort with an interesting history. It was built by the English in 1755 and captured and destroyed by the French in 1756. It was rebuilt by the English in 1759, destroyed by Americans in 1778 and rebuilt by English in 1782. The English surrendered it to the United States in 1796 only to recapture and destroy it in 1814. The U.S. rebuilt it in 1842, reinforced it in 1870 and then enlarged it in 1905. It is now a New York State Park and still has an active garrison which uses the grounds for ceremonies.
The Fort had a “pre-celebrity” stationed there during World War I. Ludwig Bemelmans, who wrote and published the children’s Madeline books in 1939 was a private in the army there and now the fort has an annual Madeline-related celebration called Bemelmans Festival.
Cooperstown, New York area
We drove 128 miles to Gilbert Lake State Park south of Cooperstown, NY. We had a nice open camp area. The park has pretty tricky (steep, winding, and potholed) roads getting to it and into it.
On Sunday, we attended First Baptist Church in Cooperstown, about 30 minutes away from the park. Unfortunately, there were not very many people there. Sad, when you consider how many were wandering around just down the street doing “baseball” things. We spent the rest of Sunday just relaxing back at the campsite.
On Monday, we visited the National Baseball Hall of Fame, which is what Cooperstown is generally best known for. It was an amazing museum, chronicling the history of the game in America, the African American experience with the game, and a history of women’s involvement in the game. Of course, the main attraction is the collection of artifacts connected to famous personalities in the game and the impressive Hall of Fame gallery.
We then drove 119 miles to Lackawanna State Park near Scranton, PA. I’ll discuss the sights we saw in Pennsylvania next week. We’re headed a bit south now toward Baltimore. We’re flying next week to Orlando to complete the purchase of a house in Florida and to oversee movers delivering our stuff from Denver.