ASC log 7/1/12: The Sixth Day

Driving into New York.


Today was a great day. We started out in Ohio, traversing Ohio and Pennsylvania, and a good deal of New York. I like the New York landscape a lot, it is very green and pretty. No more desert, no more dust in the air, no more stifling humidity, no more waves and waves of corn or wheat or other monotony – the only consistency here were the vibrant trees, meandering rivers, and puffy white clouds, which were perfectly fine with me. I also listened to good music and had a nice conversation in the car.

This was the shortest leg of our whole trip, so we got to our destination early. Unfortunately, the campsites which we had originally wanted ended up being inaccessible to our trailer. We hung around for a couple hours in an abandoned parking lot, looking up other options on our phones and calling hotels. Eventually we had a couple leads to pursue, an RV camping resort in Rondout Valley and a Super 8 in Monticello, our original destination. Both would be more expensive than a campsite, but we didn’t have many options, so a teammate and I took off to scout out the RV park while everyone else went to eat and check out the Super 8.

The trip to Rondout Valley RV park was the funniest shit I’ve experienced in a long time. We drove through a very strange park of New York, which was riddled with abandoned barns / houses / businesses, mansions, hoodlums, orthodox rabbis, oddly-shaped prisons, beautiful scenery, and hicks. We often passed rabbis walking down the street in full rabbi garb, doing things like buying groceries, filling up gas, and getting pulled over by police. For some reason, a normal person doing normal person things is fucking hilarious when they are dressed like a rabbi. I heard later that one of my teammates asked the guy at the front desk of the Super 8 why so many people were wearing funny hats.

Anyways the two of us in scout car arrived at the Rondout Valley RV park, and were met with a very interesting sight. Imagine for a minute all of the stereotypes and prejudices that a European person might have against Americans. IE, they’re all white, fat, drink beer, eat barbeque, speak in southern accents, wear clothes from Walmart, adorn their RV’s with American Flags, and all drive massive pick-up trucks. This is exactly what every single person at this RV park was like. It was absolutely ridiculous. Almost all of the RV sites themselves were taken up by what appeared to be permanent residences, which we weren’t expecting because all of the RV parks we’ve seen before have just been drifters who go there to stay for a night or two and then leave, or go there for vacation. Not these people, they were in it for the long haul. I walked around a bit, and explored the tenting areas. One of them was next to a river and got flooded a while ago, so the ground was covered in mud, weeds, gravel, fallen branches, and sawdust where large fallen branches were cut into. However the areas were still marked as available for camping and had numbers stapled to trees to designate them.

Husband and wife that ran the place were pretty nice, and the husband gave us a tour on his golf cart, but overall it was so unimpressive that it was definitely not an option. Not only were most of the sites terrible and too small for our team, the whole place was so crowded and so filled with sketchy people that I don’t think it would be a comfortable place to stay. The manager mentioned, “there isn’t too much trouble caused around here, although last night we did catch two girls skinny dipping in the pool around 3 AM.” I’m not sure he was trying to warn me, or convince me to stay. As if skinny dipping girls would be my greatest fear. Little does he know, I’m already president of ASDGC, the anti skinny dipping girls committee.

I have to say, I almost wanted to stay at the RV park just because of how ridiculous the whole thing was. I’m sure we would all have great stories to tell afterwards. Alas, the setup was just too janky for us. We settled in at the Super 8, excited to have consistent wifi, showers, and beds, although the price was a bit more than we’re used to (we once paid as little as $6 at a campsite for all of us combined!)

When my scout partner and I got back to the Super 8 from the RV park, it was late and everyone had eaten so we went out to find some food. We passed a Pizza Hut, a Wendy’s, a McDonald’s, and a Burger King in search of something less shitty for you and more substantial. We found an actual pizza place, but waited there for a while with no service. We got tired of it and left, settling for a Subway that was just a few doors down. Unfortunately, the Subway closed at 8 on Sundays. We cursed our poor luck outside of the Subway at 9:30 PM. As we turned around to go search for other options, a man opened the Subway door from behind us. In a thick Indian accent, he asked if we wanted him to make us a sandwich. He was just cleaning up the place and closing, but he still invited us in, turned some lights on, uncovered all the trays, and made us sandwiches. That was the most delicious Subway sandwich I’ve eaten in my life – the sandwich made by this nice man who saw that we were hungry and opened his doors for us long after closing. Such a small and insignificant tribute by him made my night.

We got back to the hotel room, played a couple more games of Bang, and headed off to bed. This time, they were actually beds, too. Huzzah!


Here’s to good old New York.

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