6/6/14 Friday in Diamond Point, NY (Schroon River Resort-ROD)
New York is an expensive state to live in. Their food is expensive. Their gas is among the most expensive. They have income tax, sales tax (depending on the county around 8%) plus toll roads. I’m still amazed that they can take an Interstate road like I-90, that’s Federal, that even goes right through Spokane, WA and charge hefty tolls. The salesman at Syracuse Camping World uses a commuter EZ pass for his hour commute to work. That’s like having to pay for a ferry to get to work every day in the Seattle area. We are SO lucky in Spokane: no state income tax and no toll roads (of course no ferries!). At least the road is decent-not fabulous, but decent. When you first enter the “Thruway” you get a ticket, then when you exit your show your ticket and pay. There were many “service” areas with fast food, fuel, restrooms and even Starbucks. There were 7 exits and 7 service areas for the 100 plus miles ($19.35 or $.20/mile) we traveled. Lots of trucks were willing to pay for this road. We had learned earlier when we saw the National Road that the reason the East has so many toll roads and the West doesn’t is because in the early years of this country the Federal Government couldn’t afford to pay for roads, so the local area and states had to pay for them, thus tolls were collected to actually gather the needed income.
NY also has an interesting sense of humor when it names its towns: Mexico, Texas, Rome are a few we’ve seen. They call this area (at Syracuse and east) Central New York. Interesting when it’s pretty far north in the state. Why not “upstate” still?
Our gas mileage has been great on this trip, up to 10 mpg. Of course we did happen to have a tail wind and more down hills than up hills.
There were some scary moments in the town of Saratoga Springs. We needed to take High Rd east to get to I-87, but when we approached we saw the sign “5 ton limit”. Oops, so John started following the GPS. When that took us to Rt 63 which after a while had the same sign. We were through that intersection when we noticed it so I say just keep going. THAT road was a bummer, very rough. We did make it to I-87 which was fine. Then we had to take a kind of detour (exit 24 instead of exit 23) because of construction, thus traveling further and on a gravel/dirt road for 2.5 miles. So glad to arrive.
Now we’d had no adventures per se but right from the start of this trip John noticed the light that indicates InvisiBrake is braking the car didn’t come on. He tried fitting the wire in tighter but that didn’t make any difference. At least the regular brakes work. John suspects our moving the InvisiBrake box (that sits under the driver’s seat) around when we were cleaning out the CRV yesterday. When we arrived and separated from Miss Zanzibar, I tried to start the car, but it wouldn’t. Crud. We’d run the engine while at a service plaza about 2 hours into our trip. What with checking in and finding our spot it amounted to another 3 hours before I tried to start the car. Great. Once we started it with our battery charger I discovered that I couldn’t get it out of Park. Wonderful. We had our package of fuses, so after replacing it, we were good. Sheesh. Maybe Brake Buddy wasn’t so bad.
**This campground is deep in the Adirondack Park, a camper’s place. I love it, deep woods, just like at home. I love the trees and the fresh air-what a great aroma. Of course, what else comes with deep woods—mosquitoes! There are plenty of those here too, as well as ant hills (with ants of course). Deep woods (mostly evergreens) also means no satellite TV and only 2 TV stations off our local antenna (sorry John). At least we’re near a freeway (I-87), which you can’t hear but does allow for good cell phone service. They have free WiFi at the lodge. Full hook ups with good 30 amp service. Not the most level site (could pick your own out), with about 2 rows available for big rigs. Loved by bikers. There happens to be a rally going on presently. Everyone is very friendly and helpful. I’d have been all over this campground after we’d arrived except for those darn mosquitoes. Wimpy us stayed inside (our neighbors must think we’re hermits) playing cards while our neighbors enjoyed their campfires.
Our Social Security gentleman called to explain further. If you’re not interested in this topic you can skip this paragraph. Please note that what I’m sharing here is pertinent to us and your situation may differ, if you are thinking of this option to request spousal benefits while both married partners continue to delay their own benefits to a later age (70 in our case). Essentially, both spouses must be full retirement age. Then one (#1) (usually the oldest) applies/suspends their benefits while the other (#2) applies for spousal Social Security – off that of #1. NOTE: when one applies/suspends their benefits SS “sees” they have benefits coming but will let them delay for higher benefits. Thus #1 must do this for SS to “see” there is a spouse to get spousal claims off if and #2 must not do this (apply/suspend) or SS will “see” that they (#2) have their own benefits which are likely higher than 50% of #1’s benefits. Because you deserve the most you can get they will give you yours, not the 50%, and yours can’t delay for higher benefits later.