We’ve just hit our one week anniversary of being on the road and we’ve already learned SO much of what NOT to do and what our limits are. The biggest thing is we’ve realized it takes us a lot longer to get from one destination to another than we anticipated. Evelyn can do about 3 hours max a day in the car. Which is why we ended up making Letchworth it’s own destination versus the original plan of it being a day trip. Also, we’ve learned how much work it is to pack up and move from one site to the next. So staying some place for just one night, or even two, doesn’t make sense for us. Therefore, Letchworth has turned into a three night stay.
The State Park was voted the #1 State Park in the US in 2017. It’s HUGE, it takes about 15 minutes to get from one end of the park to the other by car. But I probably should have known that since they boast of 66 miles of hiking trails in the park. It’s known as “The Grand Canyon of the East” and it did not disappoint. The views are STUNNING.
So the other thing we learned about traveling with a baby is how little time you have to see an attraction. There’s the morning nap (ideally 10-11:30). Then there’s lunch (12-12:30) then there’s 2ndnap (2:30 – 3:30), then there’s witching hour – 4pm until bedtime (sometime between 6-7pm depending on her daily gremlin status). So that leaves you before 10am (LOL) or 12:30-2:30 (more realistic) to see what you want to see. So when possible, it is nice to actually stay in the park where you’re planning to visit so you don’t lose your good hours in that day just driving to it. The down side is State Parks usually don’t have full hookups (we have electric but not water or sewer) and they don’t have internet. For taking some time to disconnect from devices and just enjoy the outdoors for a week(end) getaway it’s great. When you are trying to freelance in digital media, it’s not necessarily ideal. So, pros & cons and learning lessons.
(Tim & I will talk more about things we wish we knew in an upcoming youtube video – you can check out our channel here – I’m going to keep this post to our travel itinerary and photos. But if you are interested I will have LOTS to say on things I wish we’d known…)
I’ve been super impressed by this park. It’s very family friendly, looks like a lot of family reunions are happening here at the moment. There’s a playground, a swimming pool (although currently not filled with water), a large cabin with daily activities for kids- you can rent sports gear, and basketball courts. There’s 24 hour laundry (!!!!), but it was also pretty pricey per load. There’s restaurants and stores with equipment and grilling items you may have forgotten, and each camping loop has it’s own bathrooms with showers. I took my first ever State Park shower last night. I was so apprehensive about going but it was actually nice. Great water pressure, hot water and unlike when I’m in the RV, I could take a little longer shower than normal. In the RV you turn the water on to get wet, turn it off, shampoo & soap, quick rinse then turn the water off, conditioner and shave, turn the water on for a quick last rinse, then hop out. Because either (1) you don’t have water hookups and have to conserve what’s stored in your freshwater tank or (2) the tank can only heat 6 gallons of hot water at a time.
Moving on from my shower rant and back to the Park… another nice thing about this Park is there’s something for all ages. You can drive up to most lookout points to see the views. Or hike to get a little closer. So for family reunions, with babies to grandparents, there’s something for everyone. There are also hot air balloon rides through the canyon and kayaking or rafting. Tim & I would have loved to have done these things if it was just the two of us.
The downside is you really are in the booneys. I’m going a little looney three days in with no connection to the outside world. On one hand, it was nice to just leave my cell phone in the RV and enjoy a day out not worrying about anything or getting distracted from my 20+ chain of daily family texts. About 20 minutes outside the park, in Perry, is Charcoal Corral which has free wifi, several (fast) food options inside, mini golf and a drive in movie theater. We actually just stayed in the car in the parking lot to use the wifi to figure out where the heck we are staying tomorrow night while Evelyn slept. Were we hissing at each other under our breath the entire time? You betcha! It’s 8:36PM and we still don’t have a place to stay. Tim’s still holding on to Canada. Sigh.
Final thoughts – Loved it here, going a little crazy with no cell service (Tim does have a few bars with AT&T, I have none with Verizon), ready to move on to a location that’s still beautiful but also has a Target 20 minutes outside the park, oh and a good coffee shop – with a latte and wifi… Is that too much to ask??
P.S. Wanted to share this gem. We happened to be staying there during a huge yoga festival. I didn’t participate in the yoga, but I did enjoy the toast truck at the event.