The trip to Buffalo was a two-day drive along I-90 through the Mohawk valley and along the Erie Canal.
There is a lot of history associated with this region of New York, which includes several Revolutionary War battles between British, Indians and Americans. Driving along the Mohawk river, it is easy to see why the area was important. The river valley was the best way to access a region that included abundant natural resources and the promise of rich farmlands. It was certainly an area worth fighting over. Although much of the countryside has been cleared for farming, there is enough vegetation to see that it had been a dense forest that was perfect for hiding troop movements. Fighting here must have had its unique challenges.
We spent the night at a KOA near the small town of Herkimer, New York, close to a “Diamond Mine” that is really a deposit of high clarity quartz. The campground was situated next to a slow-flowing creek that was perfect for kids floating on inner tubes. The countryside here is a mix between farms and woodlands and the town looks like it has seen better days. Not wanting to cook, we headed for Herkimer and randomly picked a small Italian restaurant. It turned out the owner was from the same Buffalo neighborhood where my grandparents lived. We visited through the entire meal. Small world. So-so meal.
On the second day of the drive, we woke early and got our workout out of the way before hitting the road. The day turned into an uneventful drive along good roads through pretty countryside. Slowly, the hills of central New York turned into rolling farmland in the western part of the state. In the late afternoon, we pulled into a campground near the small town of Akron, New York. The campground is big and includes a small lake. The amenities are few (30 amp service, no cable, dump station only), but this is do-able for the few days we’ll be here.
The RV park was a little odd, there were no formal campsites. Instead there was a big open grassy area with power-poles and water hookups. I was a little suspicious since there were water puddles scattered about. With a motorhome that weighed 31,000 pounds, any soft surface is a disaster waiting to happen.
We carefully picked the driest area we could find and prepared the rig for a multi-day stay.