• sparkfireswan

A&A Arrive To Upstate New York; Exploring & Workamping

End of Week #101


Sampson State Park, Romulus NY > Moose Hillock Camping Resort, Fort Ann, NY

Miles traveled since last week's post = 228


Total miles traveled to date = 14,491 with trailer



My whole life, when I have thought of "New York", I have always thought of New York City - even though I have still never been there. In general I've always assumed the entire state to be one big city, and never really realized how large the state really is. There is SO much more to the state of New York than just the Statue of Liberty and Times Square, and the state is really one of the bigger ones out east too!


It has already been both amazing and quite surprising to see what Upstate New York has to offer, and to learn about the many gorges, waterfalls, lakes, and mountains that make up this region. We have barely even scratched the surface out here, but I already can tell this is a part of the country that I would come back to!



A&A Arrive To Upstate New York


Exploring the Finger Lakes


With an extra week to kill before we were set to arrive to our workamping position in eastern Upstate, we decided to spend some time in western Upstate - in an area called the "Finger Lakes". The Finger Lakes are a series of long skinny lakes that literally look like fingers, nestled between deep canyons, gorges and waterfalls. Large towns in this general area include Ithaca, home to Cornell University, and to the northeast is the town of Syracuse.



There are many state parks in this area to choose from, and we ended up going with Sampson State Park on Lake Seneca - one of the largest of the 11 Finger Lakes. This state park had 5 loops, and literally hundreds of campsites, as well as a handful of modern luxury cabins overlooking the lake. Everything here felt very elevated on a plateau, above the lakes, and it was a mixture of a lot of farm country and wine country. In the general region we traveled to get to our state park in between Cayuga Lake and Seneca Lake, we had to have passed more than 20 signs for wineries and cideries, along what was called the Finger Lakes Wine Trail.


Both Cayuga Lake and Seneca Lake were absolutely beautiful, crystal clear and shimmering in the one or two moments of sunlight we had during our stay. The only thing we found a little bit odd was that during our walk down to the lake from our campsite, we noticed large concentrations of dead fish in the waters, like the most amount of dead fish I've ever seen before! And we have no idea what could have been killing them.



While we did not have an opportunity to follow the entire Wine Trail and check out all of the hundreds of wineries to choose from, we did take a day to enjoy some cider samples at the Finger Lakes Cider House. They had an amazing farm set up, with lots of products to sell, and other souvenirs. I really enjoyed all of their flavors of cider, as they had a good mix of dry, and sweet options. I love supporting small, local businesses and all of the hand crafted food, specialty items and merchandise they make.


Another key highlight of our time spent exploring the Finger Lakes, was the day we went to Taughannock Falls, off of Cayuga Lake. Taughannock Falls is the largest single plunge waterfall in the state of New York, coming in at about 215 feet tall, surrounded by canyon walls towering up to 400 feet. The really cool part was that we were able to view the falls from both a top of the canyon overlook and a short easy hike in the canyon that took us right to the falls. The state park was free to enter in the offseason too!



Workamping in the Adirondacks


We have primarily came to Upstate, New York, for our third workamping position, and second summer campground position. Through Labor Day, we will be working at Moose Hillock Camping Resort, on the south end of Lake George in the Adirondack Mountains. We actually began work Monday of this week, and are in the process of training for our positions already! The campground is set to open on Friday, May 14th for the season. No time has been wasted here, as just 2 days after arrival we have gotten right into things.


There are 2 other workamping couples here with us, which quite honestly does not feel like enough, however they do hire a lot of local help as well. We have only met a few other employees and still do not completely know all of the ins and outs of what our positions entail, but we have survived our first week here already!


The camping resort we are at is quite humongous, and very luxurious when it comes to camping. All of the sites are super big, private, and spacious, and spread out along a ridge at the base of the mountains. There is a very large heated swimming pool and water slide here, golf cart rentals, cabana rentals for the pool, and a lot of playing and gathering spaces for families. It is unlike anywhere else we have ever stayed, and definitely a lot different than the campground we worked at last summer in northern California.



Our positions differ a lot from our 2020 campground job as well, even though we are each in the same overall type of positions. Both of our jobs seem a lot more complex due to the resort aspect of where we are working, as there are over 300 campsites here to deal with. We also do not have the same type of amenities and luxuries given to us as workampers and that is taking a bit to get used to. It is hard for us to not compare everything to our last position, as that is what we know. So it is a new experience through and through!


I believe we will have Sundays and Mondays off for the season, however that could still change as things are finalized. It has been a bit of a rough week for us, so I know we are greatly looking forward to the weekend ahead. It is still a lot cooler here in New York, but my hope is that we will get to do some more exploring and site seeing this weekend to help take our minds off the stressors of starting a new job in a new place. And to give us a chance to clear our heads!


Summer explorations for 2021


I have a lot of hopes and dreams for 2021, in exploring all of the corners of the northeast, New England, and all that the Adirondacks have to offer. But I am doing my best to take things day by day right now, to see where exactly we end up this summer. I can already tell this is one of those years where things just change, and it is our job to just go with the flow of it all, and I don't see that stopping now that we are in one place...




NEXT WEEK:


Coming in just a few days (my day off) will be another blog post update! I am currently working on a content calendar for the month of May, so stay tuned to find out what next week will bring.

Amazon Storefront


I have recently become affiliated with Amazon, through the set up of my own storefront page. Here I am able to list and link all of the items I have purchased through Amazon and would recommend for various needs. I have lists set up for fulltime RVing, camping in general, traveling with cats, health and wellness, and even curly hair! Plus, as an added bonus, I will make a small commission on any items purchased through my link.

If you want to check out more of my storefront page, here is the link: Spark Fire Swan's Amazon

I will continue to add items as time goes on, as we are always finding something new on there that becomes quite useful to our lifestyle or for our feline friends. As a rule of thumb, I only ever link things we have actually purchased, kept, and use on a frequent basis!


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For more reviews, content, and other adventures, be sure to follow me on Instagram at Spark Fire Swan.

xoxo