Visiting Clayton, NY

York, PA

Each year while on the east coast we head north for a visit with Pam’s mother, Fran, who  lives in Clayton, NY along the beautiful St. Lawrence River.  During our current extended stay in our former home town we left the motorhome in a park near York and drove the Jeep up to Clayton for a visit.  We always have a few chores to complete for Fran (painting, car waxing, etc.) but do manage to spend some time “down by the river.”

Looking back at the town dock

The St. Lawrence Seaway runs right in front of the village, so large freighters pass by frequently.

John and Fran enjoy lunch along the river

While in Clayton we learned that friends from the left coast were travelling through the area.  They were able to alter plans and make a stop here, giving us the chance to enjoy some time with our friend, Tessa.

Oh, and Bill and Jodee of On the Road Abode came along too!

Another photo of Tessa (that’s Bill and Jodee behind her)

While Bill and Jodee were in town, Clayton held their annual car show along Riverside Drive (the main street of the village).  For a small town, it was a pretty nice show.

Bill and John chat behind this white beauty

Muscle Car Row

Perfect colors!

The funny looking car pictured below turned out to have an interesting story.  It is a Centurion X 1/9.   The owner built the car based on plans purchased from an ad he saw in Mechanics Illustrated in 1982.  Back then, for a mere $17.95, you could buy information that outlined how to build the car.  It was not a kit.  The buyer of the plans would search out the parts needed (new or used) and then build the body from scratch using fiberglass over a foam core.

Following the blueprints, including using a small Kubota diesel engine in the aerodynamic body, the finished project was advertised to deliver as much as 128-mpg!

After enjoying the car show we took a drive southwest along the river.  The main road eventually turns south as it heads around Lake Ontario, but if you continue straight at that turn, a narrow road goes out to a point where Lake Ontario turns into the St. Lawrence River, the location of Tibbetts Point Lighthouse.

You can’t go up in the tower as it is still a working lighthouse operated by the Coast Guard. A Fresnel lens, one of only 70 still operational in the US, is still used.

A few days after Bill and Jodee headed for Vermont we walked down to the town dock to enjoy a beautiful fall afternoon along the river.  As we passed Frink’s Park, a small park next to the river, we came upon a fire truck parked along the dock with a large American Flag hanging from the extended ladder.

It turned out that a local organization was honoring troops of the 10th Mountain Division from nearby Fort Drum who had recently returned from Afghanistan.  Troops participating were outfitted with fishing gear and taken out on the river by local volunteers who own fishing boats.

The boats returned the troops to the dock in a parade lead by the local fire company’s fire boat.  On the dock they were met by an honor guard from the NY State Police and one of the police officers sang the National Anthem.

The following weekend the village hosted an annual jazz festival, with groups performing all day at various locations along the river.  We sat at Frink’s Park and enjoyed some great music.

Kimberly Hawkey, a jazz vocalist, performed with members of two groups, Brighton Beat and Fritzel’s, backing her up with instrumentals.

During the performance a freighter heading up river provided a nice, mobile background.

After a ten day stay in Clayton we returned to the motorhome in York where we’ll be staying until the middle of October.  Then, we point the motorhome to the south and head for South Carolina.

More on that later . . .

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32 Responses to Visiting Clayton, NY

  1. pmbweaver says:

    The St. Lawrence Seaway is so beautiful.
    Every city in the country must be having a car show. We left one in Bay St. Louis, and our friends in ID just showed one on their blog.

    I love lighthouses! This one is a beauty.
    We aren’t really into jazz, but we really have never given it a fair chance. The photo with the freighter is awesome.

    • placestheygo says:

      Sitting along this beautiful river here in Clayton is a favorite place for us. Surprisingly, this was our first visit walking around the lighthouse! We aren’t huge Jazz fans but it was a beautiful day and so much fun to wander around taking in the various sounds. It made everyone a Jazz fan for the day:)

  2. Gay says:

    Calyton is a beautiful town…love the lighthouse and all the parks along the river. Tessa looks very happy to have you as her personal guide (and so do Bill and Jodee !). What a nice celebration for the returning troops.

    Hope SC is ok after this hurricane…

    • placestheygo says:

      The Thousand Island area is a spectacular area. I don’t know many towns that sit right on such a beautiful river as Clayton. It was great fun sharing it with Bill. Jodee, and Tessa:)

  3. Jeff says:

    For a small town Clayton sure has a lot to offer, your mother looks to enjoy it too.

  4. Sherry says:

    I know your mom really appreciates your help. Looks like a very nice town to visit in with a lot going on. How cool that you got a visit from cute Tessa and her drivers. Gorgeous lighthouse. Really love that the lens is still in use. They are so beautiful.

    • placestheygo says:

      It was great fun sharing this quaint area with Bill, Jodee, and Tessa:) We all enjoyed the lighthouse and were surprised to discover that the lens was the original and still operating today!

  5. montanaclarks says:

    Looks like a beautiful area–glad you are not in South Carolina right now!

  6. Laurel says:

    How fun that you met up with Bill and Jodee (from the “left coast,” haha!). Nice that you allowed them to visit along with Tessa. :-). I hope your mom is doing well, Pam. Glad you guys have had a good visit back “home.” I’ll bet you’re excited to get back on the road—wishing you safe travels and no hurricanes!

    • placestheygo says:

      Thanks, Laurel! My mother is doing very well and keeping busy with all her volunteer jobs:) We are anxious to get back on the road for sure. Let’s hope that that’s it for hurricanes for the next few months!

  7. Jim and Barb says:

    Cannot wait to get to that area in a couple years. Love the car show!

  8. Another Clayton stay in the books! Though I know you’d love to be hiking in the West, at least you have a pretty town/area to return to!

    • placestheygo says:

      Yes, while we do miss our trails, we do enjoy visiting this beautiful town and spend hours each day and evening just sitting by the river enjoying all the activities. These are the most beautiful sunsets we’ve ever seen:)

  9. Fran certainly appreciates a visit from her favorite daughter 🙂 and son in law and added to that is a visit from Tessa and her parents. How cool!
    And your annual visit is always filled of events and activities by the river sans hiking.

    • placestheygo says:

      Yes, my mother looks forward to us coming and getting some jobs done around the house:) It was very cool to be able to share this beautiful town with Bill, Jodee, and Tessa:) We spend many hours sitting by the river watching the people, boats, and sunsets and our weather was perfect for this visit. It is a one of a kind little village to be sitting right along the edge of the river.

  10. Jodee Gravel says:

    We’re so glad we listened to Tessa when she insisted we bring her up for a visit – we had fun too!! For the season “being over” your little town really has a lot going on this time of year. Such a beautiful area, we’re so lucky to have had the perfect guides. Thanks again!!

  11. Kim says:

    Looks like a great trip! Thanks for the share, love reading your blog!

  12. geogypsy2u says:

    How wonderful that Tessa brought Jodee and Bill your way. Looks like a good time sitting by the river.

  13. LuAnn says:

    Looks like you’re having good weather while visiting family. One day we will have to get back there to explore. Enjoy the remainder of your stay.

    • placestheygo says:

      It has been a perfect fall here in PA with very cool nights and sunny days in the high 60’s. We also had very nice comfortable weather while we were in NY. But we’ve had no time to hike with these great temps:( Wedding planning and getting Jessica ready to move has been keeping us very busy. We also had to rent a storage unit and move our items since we are losing our storage basement with the marriage. We leave Sunday to head south.

  14. rommel says:

    Crazy how the price of the car back then goes up as it aged. But now, I don’t think it’s the case anymore. It seems like values of cars now depreciate, unless I guess it’s a Ferrari or any other fancy cars.

  15. petakaplan says:

    Love the combo of the old cars and the lighthouses. Nice!

  16. Debbie L says:

    Beautiful lighthouse! My hubby would love the car show and jazz. Looks like something for everyone!

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