Freedom and Liberty

Freedom and Liberty
I travel in Freedom but sleep in the security of Liberty (not only on the road, but in this amazing country of ours)

Monday, June 2, 2014

Camping on the Banks of Lake Ontario

Location: Four Mile Creek State Park; Youngstown; New York

remember: click the pictures to enlarge

The campground is located about 15 miles north of Niagara Falls, New York on the banks of Lake Ontario near its
Lake Ontario from the campground
junction with the Niagara River. It is a large campground with electric only sites. I knew there wasn't sewer but thought there was water at the site. I found out after I backed in and started setting up. Luckily, I had not unhitched, so I drove up to the water place and filled my tanks. It would
Lake Ontario from the campground
have been nice to have done that first. After setting up, I walked down to the lake and it is very pretty and peaceful. I sat down and watched a couple geese families and some kayakers. The weather was nice and I stayed there for a while. There will be two bench pictures in this post and I know someone
Lake Ontario from the campground
who really likes those, :). I am paid up through Tuesday, so I'll be looking for a new campground for Wednesday night.
Lake Ontario from the campground bench

This post is from Sunday's explorations and there will be a lot of pictures in this post, so get ready.

Mom, Dad and the kids

Geese family and human family enjoying Lake Ontario

The day started with a trip to Walmart to get my prescriptions refilled. I was confronted with a strange New York state law. The pharmacy salesperson told me that if I got my prescription refilled, they would have to cancel out all the remaining 10 refills. I asked why, she said state law. I asked what was the purpose of such a law, she said nobody knew that answer. I took my empty bottles and continued on my way. Fortunately, I have about 60 days of pills stockpiled where I have been getting them filled 3 days early each time. I can easily make it until I get to another state. And while I'm downing New York, their roads are one of the worse roads I've been on since leaving Louisiana. It bothers me to pay nearly $15.00 in tolls for about a 60 mile trip and take such a beating on the roads. I was actually worried that something was going to break on Liberty. When I asked why they were in such terrible shape, the answer is it was a rough winter and a lot of plow damage. Whatever, you know how stateworkers are, excuses, excuses. (How is that guys? do I sound like a non-stateworker yet? LOL.)

After NOT getting my scripts filled, I cruised over to the falls area to get some visitor's information from an "official" visitor's information center that I saw on my way. This was disappointment number 2 for the day. Instead of getting unbiased information, I was given a hard sale to buy tour tickets to the area attractions. It was a privately owned and operated Gray Bus line office disguised as something else. I thought it was very deceiving. I left there and went to the falls area. I started to pull into the Niagara Falls State Park parking lot where I knew I would get free parking since I'm camping in a state park, but instead I was waved off from entering. Disappointment number 3 coming up. An official looking guy with an orange vest and bright red flag gave me the warning sign and flagged me into another place. I thought maybe the parking lot was full or construction work was ahead or something, but NOPE, I was deceived again by that "official" thing and this yahoo was flagging people into private parking lots. I turned around and with a few impolite words under my breath, I headed back towards the campground with a few planned stops on the way. On the way out of the area, I passed a few more "flagmen".

The first stop was at the Whirlpool park. It is a place where the Niagara River makes about a 45 degree turn which
The Niagara River leading into the Whirlpool
The Whirlpool (1000 feet across)

creates a giant whirlpool effect. I just measured it on Google Earth and it is about 1,000 feet across. Impressive.

Next stop was the Hydro-electric plant along the Niagara River. They have a great museum and overlook. As usual, I
Right is U.S., left is Canada. The turbines are at the bottom.
was the only one there at the time. It was good to wander around and look at the displays. There is an agreement between Canada and the U.S. about the amount of water that can be diverted from the Falls to be used by each country to produce electricity. The plant has been producing cheap electricity for many decades and will continue to do so for a long time to come.

Last stop before the campground was Old Fort Niagara. It is on the point of land right where the Niagara River and Lake
Parking lot at the Fort with its own lighthouse (zero points for parking)
Ontario join. It was originally built by the French but changed hands between the French, British and U.S. so many times I lost track of who had it and when. We have it
Leading to entrance. Moat on right, drawbridge ahead
now so that is what counts. They have a pretty nice visitors center with a museum that you can tour before going into the fort. I wasn't alone this time but there were only about a dozen people scattered out over a very large area, so I didn't feel crowded. Canada was just across the river so Verizon
Drawbridge entrance
sent me a text message warning me that since I was so close to the border that roaming charges may occur and recommended that I turn off data transmission. I guess
What you see after you enter. Yep, a cannon pointed at you
Verizon is just one more group keeping up with us. I'll see at the next billing whether I roamed or not. With the fort, I'll let the pictures do most of the talking. Read the captions for a bit of description.

View from the walls

View from wall into the compound.
Furnace to make cannonball white hot for shooting
at wooden ships.

Bunkhouse in the castle

Mess hall in the castle
Birch bark canoe in the storeroom.

Overall view from one of the elevated Redoubts

View from the visitors center

Modern Coast Guard Unit next to the Fort

Second bench pic overlooking the Niagara River

I had some good neighbors in the campground. The couple, Nick and Carol Kim were from this area and plans to travel after retirement. They have a few years to go since their
Good neighbors rig
youngest daughter celebrated her 9th birthday at the campground. They had their in-laws camping in the RV next to them. I traded some Community Club coffee K-cups for some Tim Horton's K-cups with the in-laws (I didn't get their names). Tim Horton is the popular local coffee around here and in Canada. I have read about it from some other bloggers who go through withdrawal as they travel the U.S. It was very good coffee and the trade was definitely worth it.

Although there were three disappointments, the day turned out good.

Ya'll take care of each other and I'll Cya down the road.


  1. Oh Darrell the whirlpool and lake are your prettiest pictures yet! Just so inviting. I never realized New York was that pretty. Keep blogging I sure enjoy it and stay out of the ditches

    1. Those were pretty places. It seems the country changes every few miles around here.