We ate breakfast with Grandpa Toby in the morning and he read a few final stories to the girls, then loaded back into “Minnie” and headed north on the road. It was another spectacularly beautiful day, about 75 degrees with brilliant skies and little wind.
We drove north out of New Jersey and out of the New York City suburbs, up 9W on the west side of the Hudson River. It is marked as a scenic route, but we saw little that merited that designation, possibly excepting a few overlooks and brief stretches through parkland. We went through part of the West Point military reservation but couldn’t really see the academy area from the highway.
We crossed the Hudson at Poughkeepsie and immediately saw that the scenery on the east side of the Hudson was a big improvement. We went past a few sites that looked like they would have been nice to visit, but didn’t stop – FDR’s Hyde Park home, the Vanderbilt mansion on the Hudson, and the charming little town of Rheinbeck. Everything looked lovely this time of spring with the lilacs and apple trees in bloom. Perhaps we’ll go back there some day when the girls are older.
Then we headed east into rural Duchess and Columbia counties and searched for our first choice of campgrounds – but unfortunately, we found that it was closed until next weekend. Fortunately just a few miles more was another campground over the Massachusetts border outside the little town of Egremont, a nice little family-owned campground on a lake up in the Berkshires.
We parked, took the girls for a nice little walk outside (it seems that black fly season is just starting) and had a nice dinner out of Minnie’s ample refrigerator and turned in early. As hair-raising as it can be driving a huge rig like this over winding mountain roads and through colonial towns with narrow streets, it still is unbelievably luxurious to have nearly all the conveniences of home at hand at every stop!