Zoe experienced two firsts in one day–90 degrees and 100 degrees. Tough temperatures for our Alaskan girl. As we left Pennsylvania for upstate New York, the thermometer and the humidity kept climbing. Sweaty for us, panting-inducing for Zoe. A fan and wet paper towels on Zoe’s head helped keep her heat level down. It’s time for Zoe to shed some of her beautiful coat to adapt to this sauna weather.
We stayed for two nights at Keuka Lake State Park on one of the Finger Lakes. The campsites were huge and very pretty, but there weren’t any good sticks for Zoe’s ritual exploratory strut, so she had to make do with a chunk of firewood. We did a little exploring of the region, which has beautiful old houses, some nice farmland, and huge lakes. But it was really crowded.
We also were looking forward to trying some Finger Lake wines. The ones we sampled were . . . how do I put this? Notes of turpentine? Aroma of dirt? One was described as a “bold, brooding” red. I don’t know what a brooding wine is, but I would have described it as “feels like it will take the enamel off of your teeth.” We must have missed the good ones.
We now are in the no-eye-contact zone of New York and New England. In contrast with most of the country, where people greet you, smile, and chat when you walk around a campground, most people here pretend that they don’t see you, doing anything to avoid possible eye contact or acknowledgement of your existence. We grew up in New England and understand that it’s just the regional culture, but it still feels weird and unfriendly. Zoe expects everyone to respond to her, so doesn’t understand these Easterners at all.
After two nights in Keuka, we moved down the road a bit to an RV park at a casino complex. It was a meticulously groomed, spacious park that was eerily empty of people, because they were all in the casino. We aren’t big gamblers, so we enjoyed our privacy at the park while everyone else was losing their money.
Many in the casino crowd were noticeably unhealthy-looking. Maybe that’s why they were gambling. It didn’t look like much fun, though, based on their grim expressions hunched over the slots. On the other hand, they were cool in the air conditioning, while we were sweltering outside. A thunderstorm cooled things off, but not for long.
Zoe was not too impressed with the casino campground. It was far too carefully landscaped to have good sticks lying around for play and it was too hot for more than short walks. Most egregious was the lake. An inviting expanse of water in which she could not swim—no dogs allowed. Stupid rules. To cool Zoe off in 96 degree heat, I gave her a solar shower. Better than nothing.
Connecticut Ho! Happy Independence Day.