Saturday, July 6, 2019

#LeapFrogs: From Bar Harbor to the Erie Canal

After a beautiful time in Maine, and vows to return, we began a new trek west.

My irrational mountain fears kicked into gear, so we planned a route that would keep us as much out of the mountains as possible. One day, I'll return to the area and explore it all, but for now, this has to suffice.

The drive through Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont was beautiful and surprising, because I found some delightful small lake towns. My imagination went wild thinking of summer homes there. Ha! Unfortunately, I was driving so I didn't capture any pictures until we got to the Vermont welcome center. (I think I could move in there and be perfectly content!)

Before we left Vermont, we were determined to get some maple syrup. Tim's grandfather and uncle made maple syrup in Virginia, so that will always be his favorite, but we did find some Vermont syrup in the quaint town of Bennington. Tim's the syrup person but I delighted in the meat market where we found it - Henry's.

Henry's is a small corner store with all sorts of local delicacies. They roast their own meats for the deli counter, too, and we snagged a delectable chunk of their roast beef for sandwiches. They package the end pieces and sell them in chunks, in addition to slicing, and those chunks make the best "leftover" roast beef sandwiches. (I need one now.)

We'd found a campsite where we could stay awhile, so we headed to Macedon, NY after we left Henry's. We drove along the top edges of several of the Finger Lakes, and vowed to return there, too. The area was a bit crowded as we passed through, but the towns were unique and interesting, and the water incredible. The town of Skaneateles really captured my writer's imagination, so I hope to set a script there at some point. (I'll just need to learn how to pronounce the town name first!)

We weren't sure what to expect when we got to Macedon. The campsite information gave us the basics - free, portajohn, small town. The information was correct, but it was so much more.

The city park sits along the edge of the Erie Canal, and Macedon hosts one of 35 locks on the Erie Canal. The city provides the camping spots for hikers and bicyclists who trek the Erie Canal Trails.

When we arrived, there were a couple of tents set up on one side of the street, away from the canal, but there was one site closer so we chose it for ours. 

The Chief Lock Operator was on hand and while we were there, he educated us on how the system works, and let us watch him work. He gave Tim a close up tour one day while I was at the library working and then some of the other employees, Wink and Wes, taught him even more on other days. 

After I'd worked a few days, I took a day off to explore the area and discovered this park also offers a little library and a butterfly garden. 

One morning, Tim whipped us up some pancakes one morning so we could sample that Vermont maple syrup, too.

I took clothes to the laundromat one day, too, and the Lord had a special blessing and surprise for me. A kind lady was sitting in the lobby and after I got our clothes in the washers, she introduced herself and we began chatting. Her husband came over and they told me they had a local ministry based on the FROG principle - Fully Rely on God! I told them about our journey, the #LEAPFROGS, and he went out to his car to return with this little friend, which he gave me. 

When it was time to leave, they both took my hands and led us in prayer. They said they'd continue praying for us on our journey.

I love divine appointments such as these. They refresh and revive me, and minister in ways in ways I never knew I needed. 

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