Friday morning dawned with bright blue skies and coolish temps – perfect weather for a road trip. Our drive today on I-90 (MA Pike & New York Thruway) was relatively uneventful and we were once again impressed with the very comfortable, quiet and smooth ride of our new Aspire.
The MA pike has a pretty good “hill” in the Berkshires that rises to 1724 ft above sea level and is the highest point on I-90 east of Oacoma, SD. The new rig had no trouble steadily maintaining our typical 62mph cruising speed all the way up, with barely a need to downshift and plenty of oomph left to pass the slower 18 wheelers. Our Discovery would tend to loose 5-10mph when climbing hills. Best of all and to our surprise, our average mpg ended up at nearly 9 for this leg! Compare that to about 6.5 on the Discovery.
Note that there are well spaced service areas on the MA Pike and NY Thruway, however, those in MA have relatively few truck parking spots so can get congested at busy times. Also typically there is only one Diesel pump in each service area. Diesel and gas are the most expensive in NY state compared to MA and PA, so avoid refueling there.
Since we were traveling on a Friday and open campgrounds are relatively far and few between in NY this time of year, we had decided to make a reservation at the The Villages at Turning Stone RV Park in Verona, NY for the first night of our journey, a distance of about 300 miles. It was a good thing because we didn’t leave home until after 10 a.m. which was much later than we had planned (as usual).
When we pulled into the entrance to the RV park, it appeared to be pretty busy with several RV’s lined up to check in. But the very efficient staff quickly checked us in, assigning us a pull through site with full hookups.
Very nice campground with several ponds, a playground and several walking trails. Most sites were nicely spaced for a private park, each with a picnic table, fire pit and full hook-ups including 50A service. After settling in, to stretch our legs, we took a walk around the campground to explore – would definitely stop here again. The best pull-thru sites in our opinion were in order of preference:
- Waterfront sites 402, 404, 406, 408
- Very long pull-thru site 401
- Sites 403, 407
- There may be other good sites elsewhere in this large campground but we weren’t able to do an extensive evaluation.
We were assigned site 405 which wasn’t quite long enough and not quite straight, so we ended up unhitching the toad and later made the short ride over to the Casino. Note however that the campground offers 24 hour shuttle service should you not desire to make the 2 minute drive yourself.
At check in, we were given a $10 coupon for slot machine tokens (the electronic variety) which we quickly used up (big spenders that we are). We had planned on eating at one of the numerous restaurants in the casino, but they turned out to be a bit too expensive for our liking so we went back to the coach and had the only food that I had brought for supper – microwave pot roast with mashed potatoes.
The next day, we had breakfast at the Corner Diner in Verona which was good enough, but we’d classify it as generally mediocre on all counts. For what its worth, there appeared to be a lot of locals there.
After getting back to the RV, we prepped for departure, leaving around 10 a.m., heading towards our next stop at the Evergreen Lake Park Campground in Conneaut, OH, a distance of 297 miles. Along the way there were numerous views of Lake Erie and lots of vineyards and picturesque farms.
We arrived at Evergreen Lake Park around 4 p.m. and were told we could pick out one of five pull through sites right next to the main entrance road (sites 2, 3, 4, 5 & 33). These sites had water and 50/30A electric only. This campground definitely wasn’t as nice as Turning Stone (sorry no pictures), much older with a lot of seasonal occupants. Many had built screened porches and other accoutrements of various quality on their trailers so the place had a haphazard look with mostly cramped sites in our opinion.
The aforementioned pull thru sites had decent length but not much spacing between. Anyone with a big rig should definitely go for one of these, I don’t think any of the other sites would be very easy to get into. As it was, the maneuvering just to get to these pull-thru’s was very tight in our rig which is probably near the limit of what they can handle here. Sites 2, 3, 4 are probably easier to get out of when departing if there is parked traffic adjacent.
Also it is really close to I-90 which is a good thing for a quick overnight stop but not so good if you don’t like traffic noise – our site was far enough away so we didn’t hear the traffic but that might be an issue with other sites that are directly (and I mean directly) adjacent to the interstate. For boaters, this campground is very close to lake Erie and associated marine services.
Since we had eaten all of the food I had brought with us, we unhitched the toad and went to a local Subway to pick up a sandwich for supper that night. Along the way we drove down to the town dock area to get a look at the lake.
The next day, Sunday, we drove over to the State Street Diner in Conneaut where we had breakfast. Breakfast was okay, nothing special but we were amused (more like annoyed) by a few very loud speaking (more like yelling) guys at the counter. One guy sitting in the middle was “talking” to another guy at the end of the counter. Jeesh! Turn down the volume, puleeezzze!
Returning to the campground, we got ready for the final (299 mile) leg of our trip. The dump station is a “loop” located off the entrance road and although it was a little tight for us to make the loop turn, we had no problems using it.
Except for some construction areas where the road was down to one narrow lane causing a little bit of stress for El Capitain, it was another uneventful day, at least for me – as usual I (aka Bobblehead Linda) was nodding off part (ok most) of the time. On this leg we passed thru the Cleveland area, but since it was a Saturday we did not seek out any bypass routes and just stuck to I-90. There are two tight 35mph turns near the city center (which did not cause us any issues) and there are great views of the skyline and city attractions along the way.
One observation; the rest stops on I-90 thru Ohio are huge with plenty of room for trucks and RV’s.
After a few break stops along the way, we finally arrived in Middlebury around 5 p.m. where we drove to the Entegra/Jayco Service Center at 100 Bontrager Drive. We had been told that they had 4 “overflow” sites with electric hookups where we could stay overnight. Stay tuned for details in our next post.