Thursday, July 22, through Tuesday, July 27, 2010: At Accord, New York:
Today was a 200-mile, easy trip to Accord (pronounced "Ack cord" with the accent on "Ack"), New York. We took advantage of our E-Z Pass that was so hard to get the other day, and zipped through all the toll booths. The pass works in about twelve states. What fun! We are in the Rondout Valley RV Resort, at the south edge of the Catskills. We are not far from where Chelsea Clinton is to get married this weekend. Yawn!!! The park is very large and very nice. It's filled with families and childrens' activities.
Somewhere along the way, they painted pickle ball court lines on a basketball court, but never got around to putting up a net so anyone could actually play. The nearest "big" town is Kingston---about 18 miles away. Like most of the places we've stayed lately, there is farming in the area, but not nearly as much as we're used to. Virginia and Pennsylvania were hugely agricultural. Beautiful, rolling hills of green. Mostly corn.
On Friday, we teamed up with two visitors to the park (Jim and his wife, Norma---Jim grew up in this area) who led us on a fascinating five-hour automobile tour of the area. Two other park visitors, Sadie and Ronnie, went along. We spent some time at a huge reservoir that feeds New York City, and went through pretty forests and a number of old, small towns that had a lot of charm but no apparent reason to exist any longer. The factories, mills, and passenger trains have left, and there is not much in the way of visible industry---other than tourism. We ended up having an early dinner at a Chinese all-you-can-eat buffet in Kingston that was terrific---and very inexpensive.
Saturday was expected to be agonizingly hot. And it was. High 90s in both temperature and humidity. Early in the morning, we headed to nearby Rosendale for their annual street fair.
The A/C in our trailer kept going out---overdriving its circuit breaker. There are no extra electrical receptacles at this park to connect up our backup A/C, so we struggled with the problem until, in mid-afternoon, we gave up, grabbed Daisy, and took off for a drive in the air conditioned truck. We headed into the hills to get some elevation and ended up at the Minnewaska State Park Preserve, a lovely park (with two lakes) about 1,500 feet higher than the Rondout Valley. It was high enough to drop 5 degrees of temperature, pick up a slight breeze, and give us the relief we sought.
On Sunday, Bill and I were having a major pickle ball craving, so we decided to play---with or without a net. We strung a 20-foot long yellow strap (designed for towing) across the court and treated it as a net. (I've had the strap in my "inventory" since we had some difficulty with the snow at the Grand Canyon in 2007. I've never used it for anything previously. I'm a little surprised I remembered where it was stored.) It worked just fine, even though it was sometimes difficult to tell whether the ball went under the "net" or over it.
Since there were only three players (Becky joined us), we traded off playing two vs. one. The weather cooperated for quite a while, and, while it was humid, it was not unbearably hot. Finally, after just the right number of games, it started raining. Thank you, Mother Nature.
We played more pickle ball on Monday and Tuesday. When we took down the net on Sunday after playing (thereby giving the court back to the kids who played dodge ball whenever we weren't hogging the court), We left on the posts the two pieces of rope that were anchoring the net. On Monday morning one of them was gone. We had to go out and buy another piece of rope. Another park guest, LuAnn (sp?), joined us for pickle ball on Monday and Tuesday. She claimed to be a newcomer at the game, but ahe made it competitive and fun. Bill and I hopped in the pool to cool off after we quit playing. On Tuesday night, LuAnn and her husband, Harry, Jim and Norma, Sadie and Ronnie, the Wheelers, and we all went to the Hurley Mountain Inn (in Hurley) for a last-night dinner.