Clayton, NY – The Thousand Islands

Clayton, NY

When we last blogged a few weeks ago, we had just ended a great month on Dave and Sue’s lot next to beautiful Conesus Lake just south of Rochester.  From there we drove about a hundred and fifty miles north to the village of Clayton, along the Thousand Islands region of the St. Lawrence River.  We go there every summer to visit Pam’s mother, Fran, and to do a few odd jobs around the house for her.  While there, we park the motorhome in an unused drive of a friend of Fran’s, John Eppolito.  It is just around the corner from Fran’s, so we spend most of our time at her house but are able to sleep in our own bed each night!

The Eppolito RV Park (no frills)

This year we wanted to be there to attend a high school graduation party for our niece Daniela, Pam’s sister’s daughter.

The party begins (Pam’s mom is seated in the center)

The proud graduate

It takes a confident man to sit in a pink chair

In between polishing a car, cleaning windows, and completing some general repairs, we managed to get in a couple of side trips.  The first was a hike around the west end of nearby Wellesley Island.   Access to the island is done by crossing the Thousand Island Bridge on I-81.

A little out of focus, but you get the idea (picture borrowed from the web)


The trail is in the Thousand Islands State Park and begins at the nature center.  While not exactly hiking the Rockies, it does have some pretty good ups and downs . . .

. . . and plenty of great views of the river.

The Clayton Tour Boat in “the Narrows”

On another beautiful day we did our annual international bike trip to Kingston, Ontario.  To get to Kingston we drove the Jeep about ten miles to the west along the river to the tiny village of Cape Vincent.  There we hopped a small private ferry for the short (15 minutes) ride to Wolfe Island ($2/person), owned by Canada.

Once we cleared Canadian customs it is an eight mile ride across the island through beautiful farm fields.

At the little village of Marysville we boarded a free ferry to the mainland.

The empty ferry

Five minutes later, the full ferry

After two weeks we feel the need to get back on the road again.  Since returning from our trip west last August we have spent the past year basically returning to places where we had previously stayed (Clayton, York, Atlanta, Myrtle Beach, etc.).  We’re now anxious to head west again to explore new territory.  So on Monday we were up early and headed out.  While we do want to head “west” the first leg of our journey was to the “east” as we headed to the Thousand Islands Bridge to cross into Canada.  The bridge helps get the old heart rate up for the trip as it is a bit narrow and steep!

Our “long term” goal is to go up into the Canadian Rockies and visit Jasper and Banff National Parks.  To get there we’ve decided to meander along US-2 through Michigan, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Montana.  US-2 begins just over the Mackinac Bridge on the Upper Peninsula.  So the shortest route from Clayton to Michigan is to take Highway 401 through Ontario.  On Monday we crossed into Ontario and drove about 370 miles to Wyoming, ON, where we stopped at a nice RV park just off the highway.  Early the next morning we drove about twenty miles more  before crossing back into the US at the Sarnia/Port Huron bridge.  Then it was north on I-75 to the Mackinac Bridge where we planned to stay at a casino in St. Ignace.

But wait!  Why should a couple living in a house on wheels follow a set plan?  As we drove north on I-75, Pam mentioned a great resort we visited during our first year of full-timing twenty miles west of Traverse City along Lake Michigan.  As we talked about what a nice park it was, the idea arose to see if they had a spot available.  Sure enough, a quick phone call and we had a reservation.  So a few miles more on the interstate, then we turned to the west and headed for Indigo Bluffs, near Empire, MI.


We booked the above site for three nights, then we’ll continue our journey to the Mackinac Bridge and the Upper Peninsula.  Or maybe not, depending on how we feel.  It’s a tough life, but somebody has to lead it!

Let’s close this post with a couple of shots of the sun setting over the Thousand Islands.

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40 Responses to Clayton, NY – The Thousand Islands

  1. Wheelingit says:

    Some pretty country out there…and we’ve not explored any of that side. I’m looking forward to your inching west coz I know you’re going to go crazy once you see your first big rocks 🙂


  2. It looks like the jeep and MH are sparkling clean and just ready for a westward journey. In two weeks we will be heading to the UP as well so we will be closely following your trail.
    I like the first sunset with the pink and blue undertones, just gorgeous!

    • placestheygo says:

      Thank you MonaLiza for noticing John’s hard work. You made his day:) He was just commenting on how nice they looked in the photo.

      We did have many gorgeous sunsets. Our routine is to get ice cream and walk across the street to sit along river and watch the sunset.

  3. Allison says:

    Those are really spectacular sunset pictures, nice photography. I’m looking forward to pictures of western Canada. We haven’t been there. Happy travels!

  4. Indigo Bluff huh? Now that is livin the “good life” in a nice high end RV park… Good choice! Hope you have a good journey across the middle and I still haven’t given up on seeing you guys somewhere out there in Montana or Idaho….Maynard

  5. Gay says:

    I’m so excited….I can’t wait to see Banff thru your lens. I have read it is even more spectacular than Glacier! Glad you are on the road. Isn’t it just grand that plans can be changed with a simple phone call? What a life!

    Safe travels …..

    • placestheygo says:

      I think the best part of living in your home is being able to change plans at the last minute. I am sure we will have lots of photos of Jasper, Lake Louise, and Banff. I am getting very excited!! Our reservations start Sept. 8th!!

  6. Sherry says:

    Gorgeous sunsets. Really love that area you are in now and your whole attitude about flexible travel. Two thumbs up!!

    • placestheygo says:

      I just went back through your blogs, Sherry, to see what we should visit. Guess what? The Heritage Bike Trail is now open from Empire, a ten mile trail now. The Cherry Republic is on our list:) Thanks for setting our plan:)

  7. Ingrid says:

    It’s always nice to visit with family and then great to hit the road again. I love that part of MI and have yet to check out Pictured Rock. It’s on my ‘east’ list along with a revisit to Mackinac Island (one of my faves). I’m looking forward to following you’re westward journey and will be taking notes on Banff and Jasper – on the ‘west’ list 🙂

    • placestheygo says:

      I was most definitely ready to hit the trail for brand new adventures, Ingrid. Our last year was a big repeat which was great but we are both ready for new adventures. There is so much out there waiting for us:) We did Mackinac Island four years ago. We took our bikes over with us so we got a great tour of the island.

  8. LOVE that pink sunset picture!

    Oh you must be so happy to be in exploring mode again! Westward ho!

  9. Jodee Gravel says:

    Beautiful pics! Love the dad sharing the sunset with his son :-). Banff and Cherry Republic – I think you have your priorities correct on this adventure!! Glad you’re returning West although I have enjoyed your travels in an area “foreign” to me. Safe travels.

  10. Beautiful sunset! Your impromptu trip to Indigo Bluffs is why we don’t like to travel with advance reservations. Of course that can be stressful sometimes during the summer or on holidays.
    Look forward to your posts about Banff and Jasper. Haven’t been yet.

    • placestheygo says:

      Yes, Gayle, we may be facing one of those summer time problems with no reservation this weekend at peak vacation time as we move north. Oh, well, it was worth it to have these few days in this quiet place to just chill alone.

  11. pmbweaver says:

    Awesome header photo.

    Looks like a great party. Daniela is a beauty!

    The Wellesley Island hike is lovely. I love the photo of John in the woods. I remember that bike ride from last year. What a treat to ride in another country.

    Great choice for your current spot. Paul went for about 30 years to fish on the Upper Peninsula. His buddy has a cottage way up there. He has always wanted to take me to that area. Hopefully, we will get there one day. Can’t wait to see your photos of that lovely area. Enjoy.

    • placestheygo says:

      Thanks, Marsha! Daniela is a beautiful girl.

      I am afraid we won’t have a lot from the UP. We are going to move right through with a few short stops. I think my mind has already moved west. I am anxious to get there.

  12. Laurel says:

    Oh yay — on the road again! I know exactly what you mean about enjoying revisiting familiar places (and with aging parents, it’s often a necessity), but it’s so exciting to be heading into new territory! We’ve never traveled where you’re going, and I’m looking forward to following along with your adventures. That hike in Thousand Lakes State Park looks beautiful — and so are your sunset photos. Happy trails! 🙂

  13. LuAnn says:

    I love your sunset shots. We have not been anywhere recently where I can capture a sunset with the camera. I know there are many waiting for us all out west. As for the route you are taking, we are anxious to hear more about it, particularly the Canadian part as we have yet to explore it. And John, I think you are looking mighty manly in that pink chair. 🙂

  14. rommel says:

    I was already wowing with the river views. The you just have to take my breathe away with the incredible, incredible sunset shots! Is this John writing? Cool! All those future talks making me excited, and also make plans of my own. Looks like a long way to go to Banff NP, but I’m sure it’s worth the anticipation

    • placestheygo says:

      Thanks so much, Rommel! Yes, John writes the blog and I take the photos. Banff is a long way but after viewing others pictures of the place, I have to see it for myself. Can’t wait to see what you have planned for yourself:)

  15. I can feel the thrill of your being back on the road again. We will have to live vicariously through you for awhile. Banff and Jasper were two places high on our travel list, but we did not get there. I am betting your blog posts from there will be quite inspiring. Enjoy every minute!

  16. Gorgeous sunset shots. Enjoy your travels!

  17. Marsha says:

    Looking forward to your reports on US-2 since we’ll be headed that way in a week or so.

  18. ThoseYoungGuys says:

    Yes, your planned (or not so planned) route along US-2 sounds very interesting. We can’t wait to hear all about it. AND we can’t wait for you guys to make your way west so maybe we can meet up!! Safe travels! PS – We love the Thousand Islands area as Norm lived in Kingston for years and we have visited many times. Your pictures are great!

    • placestheygo says:

      Clayton is a unique little village with the town docks right on the Main Street with all the shops. The park with lots of benches makes it the place to spend many hours watching the river, boats, and people. We’ll be west before you know it!

  19. Pam and John,
    The Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper is our favorite place in all the places we’ve traveled in the world. Be sure to buy a Mileposts magazine for the Icefields parkway. It lists sights to see at mileposts along the way. You will see Marble Canyon, Athabasca Glacier, hike to many spectacular waterfalls, and see lovely, unique lakes. Don’t miss Yoho, Kootenay and British Coluimbia’s Glacier National Parks. I envy you. I’ve been in the area three times and would go every year if I could!

    • placestheygo says:

      Thanks so much Susan! I ordered three books from Amazon that have been very helpful but didn’t know about the Milepost magazine. We booked parks based on a few other blog suggestions. From what I’ve read and seen, I can hardly wait to get there. I’ll have to see where I can get the magazine. I imagine we can pick one up in Calgary. We’ll be there prior. Again, we appreciate the suggestion:) We don’t want to miss anything, for sure.

  20. Holly Ritger says:

    Beautiful photos! I especially like the sunset shots…

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