On Wednesday we drove back up to Albany, NY. ATEC Computers had fixed the laptop and it was ready to be picked up. We started out early because we wanted to spend some time in the capital city. We had past through it on the way down from Massachusetts and were looking forward to returning. The architecture of the buildings looked fascinating. On this trip we decided to take Jake with us because he would have been left alone in the RV way too long.
On the way to Albany, we saw a sign for the Martin Van Buren estate. So we quickly detoured over there to take a look and give the boys a short history lesson on the 8th President of the United States.
When we arrived in Albany, we needed to find parking near the capital because that is a required stop in all the states we visit. We soon discovered that underneath the capital area is a parking garage. What better place to park. However, once we left Jake in the Blazer and walked away he began to bark and howl. This was unusual. Normally he just lays down and waits for us to come back. I guess this time he didn't like the darkness and the noises in the garage. So we had to find a parking spot on the street.
After parking we began walking the city looking at the different buildings. I'll let the photos below do most of the talking. Some interesting things we learned about the city was that Albany was actually the 5th name for it. One of the previous names was Fort Orange. Also, Albany was the destination for the first steam powered riverboat trip. It had started down in New York City, went up the Hudson River, and finished in Albany.
The New York State Capital Building
The last place we visited in Albany was the U.S.S. Slater. It is a Navy ship docked down on the Hudson River. We took a tour of the ship and was given a history lesson on it. The U.S.S. Slater was built during WWII and was in service until the 1950's when it was sold to Greece. They used and had upgraded it over the years until the Navy received it back during the 1980's. Now it sits in the Hudson river for tours and other event. It is often visited by some of its remaining crew members and families. There is also a group of sailors who come annually to restore the parts of the ship that had been upgraded by the Greeks, returning it to its original WWII condition. As you can see in the photo, the boys enjoyed the cannons most of all.
Then we headed to the northern side of Albany to ATEC Computers to pick up the laptop. After that, we made one last trip over to Cricket's brother's house for dinner. By the time we left there it was close to 11:00 pm and we still had close to a 1 1/2 hour drive back to the RV. On the way home we decided to take the Taconic State Parkway. It's marked as a scenic drive on the map, although being this late it wasn't likely to have any spectacular views. We did encounter a lot of deer along side the road. Probably as many as a hundred total!
Yesterday, I awoke to having 2 flat tires on the Blazer. One of the tires had been giving me problems with a slow leak for about a week now, but I couldn't find where the leak was coming from. The new leak was from a nail I had picked up on the drive home last night. The tires were marginal anyway, so I decided to go ahead and get all four new tires. I wouldn't want a blowout to occur while towing it. The problem now was getting air into the tires so that I could drive it. The only thing I had was a bicycle hand pump. There wasn't many other RV'ers here to ask either. So I started pumping. After about 10 minutes and barely making a dent in filling the tire, the campground owners drove by and saw my predicament. The pulled over and asked if they could assist. He had a compressor that would speed things up. Wonderful! He came back a few minutes later with the air compressor. As the air went into the tire, you could hear it leaking from the puncture. It wasn't going to last long. I headed into town to find a tire store which was about 40 minutes away.
After getting the tires on, I drove back to the RV to get ready to leave for Pennsylvania. We continued down State Road 9 again like we did the other day. Time had run out after the Vanderbilt Mansion and we did not get time to stop at the FDR home and library. So on the way down we stopped by the Franklin D. Roosevelt Estate and Presidential Library complex in Hyde Park, NY. FDR was the 32nd President of the United States. He was born in this same home where he is now buried.
Taking the scenic back roads south, we made our way over to the town of Florida, NY. Yes, they have one here also so we had to stop by and get our photo with the welcome sign!
Because of getting the late start due to the tire problems, we were not going to make it all the way to our next campground site in PA. Around dinner time we started looking for a WalMart to spend the night at. We found a small town where they had a mall, a bunch of other nearby stores including a WalMart, and even a $2 movie theatre where we saw "Sky High". After the movie, we went back to WalMart and stayed there for the night.
Today we finish our trip down to the Thousand Trails Campgrounds near Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Until then, I leave you with some more photos...