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yestravel Jul 8th, 2020 05:48 PM

Travel in the Time of COVID
A Road Trip- DC to Upstate NY

This trip fell into our lap. My nephew was leaving his house he had SiP for ~4 months and we could stay there before his summer rentals began. As much as I missed travel itself, I had found that I also missed the researching and planning so was very happy to have a trip to plan. Research in the time of a pandemic took a bit of a different turn—-I obsessively tracked infection and rt rates of the area we would be visiting. It got nerve wracking as Cuomo started denying entry without a 14 day quarantine to many states. Fortunately DC was not one of them.
I assembled our now vast supply of COVID protective gear and elixirs. That along with food for ~a week and our usual road trip paraphernalia filled our car to gun whales.
We made a decision to drive the 6 hour trip with no bathroom stops. Gottravel skipped his usual repeat morning coffees and fortified himself with 2 1.7 oz bags of dark chocolate covered expresso coffee beans and off we went accompanied by a soundtrack of The Marvelettes, X, The Clash, David Bowie and Patti Smith among other.

The trip was uneventful, devoid of any bathroom stops. The roadside signs were constant reminders to wear a mask and stay 6’ apart. This was difficult in our small car. Traffic was surprisingly heavy, but moving. We flew up I95 and only slowed around NYC. Stopped once for cheap Jersey gas with a bonus of full service avoiding us having to touch anything. Lunch was homemade turkey wraps in a parking lot along the NJTurnpike. NY greeted us with a reminder to call 511 to ascertain our quarantine status shortly followed by black sheets of rain. As we approached the lower Hudson Valley, the sun came back.

We arrived around 4 to our temporary home in the Catskills. I immediately managed to break something! I pulled the chain on the attic fan to cool off the house. Suddenly as the fan roared I had the chain in my hand. Oh my, what to do? Being experienced travel renters, I searched for the circuit breaker and turned the fan off. Then found a ladder which we positioned precariously on the top of the steps and tried to figure out how to fix the chain. We were not successful. After settling in and managing not to break anything else we had a delicious summer meal of seared tuna, red peppers and tomatoes with red wine. We topped the evening off with the first visit In 8 months with my daughter, SiL and 2 grandkids. Never have i been so happy to see them. Masks on we shared a hug and then spent a SD evening chatting and watching the sunset on the deck.
COVID Supplies
Every State had signs to wear a mask. Everyone we saw obeyed.
Sunset on the first night of our trip.

sartoric Jul 8th, 2020 06:34 PM

Woohoo !

On board and looking forward to the adventure....

progol Jul 9th, 2020 02:06 AM

So exciting! A trip report! And, how wonderful that you are also getting to see your family - what a pleasure after so much time.

Looking forward to more!

YankyGal Jul 9th, 2020 02:44 AM

Great start, yestravel! Looking forward to more.

MarnieWDC Jul 9th, 2020 05:00 AM

You and Gottravel have been so careful IRL in WDC - you really deserve this travel, this vacation, this family reunion. Happy it's going so well - fanchain notwithstanding. Did you get it fixed ? And what is SiP ? I will follow along with your TR in the Catskills with pleasure.....and please keep those great photos coming.

sugarmaple Jul 9th, 2020 05:45 AM

I’m so glad to finally got to hug your family, that’s the best part of the trip!

i always love your travels, and the beautiful photos you take!

taconictraveler Jul 9th, 2020 05:56 AM

Now reading your report on BIG site. Hope you have a good day. It is warm and muggy, but there is so much to do, as you know from previous trips. The Hudson Valley is full of things to do, even during this virus shutdown.
Hope you get to Millbrook. You can get take-out lunch in village for picnic at Innisfree - (hope Innisfree is allowing picnics now. there is a place for it. (not the best place, but OK) Or come have your lunch on my patio!!

Photos from Walkway would be super!

monicapileggi Jul 9th, 2020 06:20 AM

I hope you both have a wonderful and safe time on your trip. Looking forward to reading more.


yestravel Jul 9th, 2020 07:09 AM

Thank you all! So nice to be away and sort of pretend all is well in the world. Well, thats a stretch.
Bakery-excellent bread and baked goods. We stocked up!

yestravel Jul 9th, 2020 12:47 PM

Thanks for following along on day 2.
I awoke bright and early as the sun was coming up gottravel was still sawing logs. Went out to the deck to catch the sunrise, but the trees and light drizzle obscured it. So back to my comfy bed for a few more hours of sleep.
The next time I awoke to that wonderful smell of coffee and of course I was relieved I could smell - another day COVID free. Coffee on the deck and then we took off for the bakery and veggie/gourmet shop. Success! Only 2 customers allowed in at a time. The bakery, Bread Alone, had a short line, SD and everyone waited patiently with their masks on and noses covered and in their devices. While I waited in line, gottravel drove a few minutes down the road to a local sculptures outside exhibit.

After breakfast we met up with my daughter. I was reckless, we had the grandkids sit in the backseat of the convertible. We all were masked. We did a short hike on Ashokan Rail trail. No need to wear a mask as there were few people and the trail was wide. This is an 11.5 mile trail along the Ashokan Reservoir. It is built upon the former Ulster & Delaware RR. A perfect trail for biking and strolling.

It was getting hot so we decided it was time for a swim & off we went to a swimming hole. First time in more years than we can remember being at one. Water was cold but welcome relief from the heat.

Returned to our home, showered and napped and prepared for our evening at an outdoor patio of a restaurant-a first for us. Wish us luck!
Outdoor Sculpture-a return is needed to id it.
Ashokan Rail Trail
Esopus Creek

Kathie Jul 9th, 2020 05:10 PM

I appreciate your report even more than usual.... dreaming of being able to travel again!

yestravel Jul 9th, 2020 05:17 PM

Originally Posted by Kathie (Post 17126796)
I appreciate your report even more than usual.... dreaming of being able to travel again!

thanks! I had so many questions as we planned I though perhaps a rather mundane trip could provide useful info. And nice to read since we cant travel much.

yestravel Jul 9th, 2020 05:24 PM
Sunset on night 2
MarnieWDC-Fan has not been fixed. We just turn it on and off from the circuit breakers. Really didnt want anyone to come while we’re here.

progol & sugarmaple. Hugging my kids was the best ever. I didnt want to let them go.

And another lovely day draws to a close.

willowjane Jul 9th, 2020 05:50 PM

This makes me happy! Please keep sharing!

CaliNurse Jul 9th, 2020 10:11 PM

Yestravel, undertaking this trip, you sure got your post s.i.p.feet wet...literally and figuratively! Congratulations! I so feel your excitement at seeing the grandkids again!!!! Not counting on--or for now, wanting to-- travel outside the country, it's good to read about the joy and fun of domestic road trips. (Just read a "concerning" Reuters report on the delay of Moderna's Phase 3 vaccine trial, so out-of USA travel will be even less "soon" I suspect.)

Enjoy and treasure your time there!!!!

MarnieWDC Jul 10th, 2020 07:51 AM

'Lovely' is right, Yestravel; Gottravel's photos are such a treat - even for those of us still stuck down here in WDC :) So glad you're getting in those hugs and visits....I visited with my DD and GSs and GD yesterday on the terrace restaurant of a Pizza place in Alexandria. It was carefully managed with Covid considerations.
I L O V ED the visit. And I hope your patio dinner is a real treat, too. Keep on keepin' on.

yestravel Jul 10th, 2020 01:18 PM

Originally Posted by willowjane (Post 17126808)
This makes me happy! Please keep sharing!

glad you are enjoying it!

Maarniewdc-“, Yestravel; Gottravel's photos are such a treat -”
Yes, gottravel is an excellent photographer, but thank you, those are my photos😎.

Calinurse- not the news i wanted to hear about vaccine development. Normally inwouldnt bother with such a mundane TR, but extraordinary times make the mundane nice.

yestravel Jul 10th, 2020 02:46 PM

Its Friday and day 3
Sloan Girge Nature Preserve
One Huge Mushroom
Signs to wear masks were everywhere
We tried to have an early start because Tropical Storm Fay was forecast to be headed this way. We departed at the early hour -for us- of 9:30 in search of the “nearby”Sloane Gorge Nature Preserve. Unfortunately in trying to find the parking lot we were looking in the wrong direction and ended up missing it. This sent us back and we spent a little time trying to sort thru what we had done wrong. As much as we travel, we have both a knack for getting lost - and a perseverance for eventually finding our destination while still talking to each other.😎

We took 1 of the 3 spaces in the small parking lot, crossed the historic bridge trusses into a spectacular landscape of layered rocks. We spent the next ~1.5 hours checking out the rock formations and a few immense cliffs. There was no doubt we were hiking on the east coast. The trail was rocky and rooty and muggy and buggy. Eventually we crossed the seasonal stream that in this season was mud and began the loop back around under a series of cliffs. Near the end we spotted the largest mushroom we have ever seen, a good 15” across. It was a nice, moderately difficult hike through an 88 acre nature preserve that was donated by Allan Sloane, a regional artist in 1999 & opened to the public in 2007. We pretty much had the trail to ourselves as we only passed 3 separate groups of people. Since the trail was narrow, we stepped way off to the side to allow for SD.

After returning to our car we basked in the bliss of a/c for awhile before putting the top down and making the short drive to Woodstock. As it turned out often we go on the road less travelled and a 20 minutes drive turned into the better part of an hour. We travelled through some lovely backwoods areas and observed a lot of free lance, inventive, amateur architecture as well as soon gorgeous houses.

Woodstock is an interesting town trying to preserve the legacy of the 1969 festival. For a mid summer Friday it was uncrowded. I spoke to several locals in their shops and they said business was very slow but picking up a little. Many shops and restaurants were still closed including some of the art spaces we visited last August. We made a stop at a branch of the wonderful Bread Alone, the bakery we visited yesterday morning in Boiceville. We sat on a bench in a park and enjoyed the homemade tuna salad sandwiches. Signage for Sd and wearing masks were everywhere. Each businessallowed 2 people in and you were asked to use hand sanitizer upon entering. No on else was in any if the businesses we entered.

As the skies where darkening from the oncoming TS Fay we headed home planning to spend the rest of the afternoon and evening in and hopInf the power stayed on and we would have an uneventful evening at home. Dinner was to be crab cakes, sautéed spinach and quinoa.

yestravel Jul 10th, 2020 03:22 PM
Along the drive to Woodstock (photo credit gottravel)

YankyGal Jul 10th, 2020 04:20 PM

Right! The storm heading right through there. Looks like it should pass quickly, though. So enjoying your report!

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