Rhinebeck Road Trip! So...much...driving.....

By Megan Goodacre

Rhinebeck Road Trip! So...much...driving.....

Wow. I mean, wow. That was one crazy road trip. Flew from Vancouver Island to Ottawa on a Wednesday. Rested and repacked Thursday. (Jet lag going east is the worst). Drove to Red Hook (one town over from Rhinebeck) Friday.

Went to New York State Wool & Sheep Festival Saturday. Drove to Niagara Falls Sunday. Drove to Toronto on... actually not sure. The computer tells me it's Thursday today, so I could reverse engineer the whole thing and figure out what happened.... Then back to home-away-from-home in Ottawa yesterday, which might have been a Wednesday.

I think I'll fill in blanks over the next while as I find pictures and get through the weird brain cloud of travelling, but here are some miscellaneous highlights.

The road

Thank you Poppa Zim for lending us the car for so many days. GPS was incredible for this trip. It never steered us completely wrong. Although we did end up in the middle of a wind farm outside Albany on, and I'm not kidding, "Mud Road".

For those of you who like to know this kind of thing: Border crossing at Prescott/Ogdenburg easy-peasy, about 4 minute wait.

Driving from Ottawa to upstate New York is Scenic to the ExtremeNothing like our misty-green-and-mild Vancouver Island. All the trees in psychadelic fall foliage and blue skies. Actually got a little tedious after 6 hours.

A lot of road kill. Possums, racoons, deer, squirrels, rabbits, foxes, skunks. Is there a shortage of predators in this part of the world?

Small towns clustered along the highway so unlike the landscape of BC. Churches, graveyards, diners, and beautiful farmhouses and colonial architecture. Sometimes dreamy, sometimes spooky, sometimes like the town from Footloose.

Favourite road sign in farm country:

4 Sale
All Sizes

To which I replied, Oh good, because it's usually really hard to find my size.

Rhinebeck Festival


Holy crap that festival was huge! We had no idea. Amazing animals, vendors, scenery. The grounds are beautiful.

Lessons we took away with us:

- steel yourself for the vendor buildings. It's wall-to-wall people. A frenzy of fiber shopping. Get ahold of your spending impulses before you venture in.

- check out the Ravelry meet and greet over on the hill by Area 7. Best atmosphere, lots of knitters.

- bring your own lunch and a blanket to sit on. There were so many food vendors, but the line ups! Charles had promised the kids fries and burgers: oops, he stood in line 1 1/2 hours. Then burger was tepid and uncooked in middle. Poor Charles distracted for rest of afternoon by inner monologue of "what are symptoms of e-coli?" But all survived.

Pictures of sheep for sheep-lovers, I have many more. (Good old Canon Rebel, so competent at 1/30th of second and 800ISO. It's one of the first digital Rebels, but such a workhorse). I think one barn was for wool-sheep, and one might have been for food-sheep, but lost track. Hope I didn't say anything inappropriate to them. It did seem a little spooky to have Lamb Kebab food stalls everywhere...

Rhinebeck Wool



Rhinebeck Sheep Horns


Niagara Falls

Niagara FallsSuch a cliche, but what a blast. We had a great room at the Radisson, with a view of the falls (the image above is the view from our room, that's the Canadian side of the falls).

If you go, spend the stupidly high ticket fare and go on the Maid of the Mist. I'm so glad we did. You go right into the pool of Horseshoe Falls, and get blasted with spray and everyone screams and laughs, it's super fun. Here are the 3 C's in the driest part of the voyage:

Niagara Falls


Toronto Zoo

The Toronto Zoo is really wonderful. Lots of variety, everything is well tended and up to date. A big place, but just manageable enough for the kids to get through most of it without any meltdowns.

Here's the zoo's 1 year old polar bear. You could have sworn that he was playing for the onlookers, trying to get us to come swim with him. (On a side note, if you're comparing cell phones, as many people are these days, the Samsung Galaxy phone has a fantastic camera. That picture is in the dark, through thick plexi, of a moving subject. I hate to say it, because I'm a Mac girl, but way better than the iPhone. That's right, oh snap, I said it.)

And the best thing about Toronto for me? Americo Original yarn!!!! I bought So Much Yarn there. I'm so inspired to get back to my studio and start new designs. But more on Americo later, it deserves a whole post and special photos.