We’re realizing on our travels (and with life in general) that Plan A doesn’t always make sense and that it’s okay to go with Plan B or C. Sometimes, changes in plans lead to equally good (if not better) experiences and this is something we’re trying to embrace more and pass on to the kiddos as well.
So Vermont didn’t work out (see http://moretimeforus.com/were-backing-out/) and the quarantine requirements in the New England states were a bit too restrictive for us with our home on wheels. We decided to head back to New York to our favorite little sleepy town, Bainbridge. Just after crossing the border into New York (from Vermont), we saw the sign again for Saratoga National Historic Park and thought it would be worth a visit since Ella learned about the Revolutionary War this year while roadschooling. There unfortunately wasn’t many camping options nearby, so we stopped at a rest area for lunch and pondered our options. Jason decided to create us a profile on Boondockers Welcome (a service that connects RVers with free or inexpensive camping options on private property), as there were a few in the area that would allow us the opportunity to explore the Saratoga area. After joining, Jason sent an email to a gentleman in the area who was offering up his property to boondockers. In the midst of eating our lunch, Gary emailed us back, letting us know that while he was out of state, his property was at our disposal. Bonus…we could fill our tanks with water while there AND dump grey water into his sewer hookup! Being only minutes away from his property, we were able to finish our lunch and arrive quickly thereafter.
The property was peaceful and lovely, and we weren’t the only boondockers there. Upon pulling in, we found ourselves looking at an equally large toy hauler (there was room for quite a few large RVs on the property, so space wasn’t an issue). We chatted with the owners and found out they were from the Grand Rapids area themselves! We made tentative plans to join them for a socially distant campfire that evening and went to get ourselves set up in the back field. I have to give props to Jason for setting us up with solar panels before we left a year ago. On sunny days, we are able to charge phones, run the microwave, keep our refrigerators running, and make some solar-powered ice cubes with our new icemaker! This ability to be off the grid has afforded us opportunities to dry camp and boondock at some memorable places. Yes…we could also do this with a generator which we still have contemplated), but it’s nice to not have to deal with the noise that generators produce (and the weight factor of the machine as well as the fuel to run it!).
The next morning found us loading our bikes, helmets, and a lunch + snacks into the truck (which is no small task as we have to work around the hitch). After doing our homework, we already were aware that the Saratoga National Historic Park Visitor Center was closed (COVID). We realized that the loop road was also closed to VEHICLES which meant that we would be able to bike the 10 mile loop without traffic. Perfect for us! The weather was sunny and beautiful which made for a beautiful ride. Jason had downloaded an audio tour, which helped us understand what we were viewing (at the various pull off spots on the loop road). This turned out to be a good resource, as with the Visitor Center closed, there was no informational video (kind of a joke amongst the four of us because I LOVE the videos!). The bikeride itself was beautiful and slightly challenging with all of the rolling hills. By mile 9, the kids and I were struggling a bit, so we walked the bikes in spots. Upon completion, we were tired, but felt somewhat victorious with our outing. COVID is undoubtedly making our journey more challenging, but with a little flexibility, a positive mindset, and time to find opportunities, we’re finding we can make lemonade from lemons and keep on truckin’!