We’re heading out on Tuesday the 20th, so our adventures are about to begin! A lot of people have been asking where we’re headed next, so here’s the plan.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time looking for campgrounds and making reservations at various places. I think I’ve mentioned before that we’ve found that it’s less expensive to stay at a campground for a week or a month, rather than for just a few nights. So that’s generally what I’m trying to do to keep costs down. Surprisingly, camping fees are pretty high and will take a big chunk of the budget if I’m not careful.
I’ve already written about plans for the first couple of stops – Gettysburg and then Washington County, PA.
After that, Eric will head west to Ohio, and my plan is to go to a campground in Franklinville, NY, which is in Cattaraugus County. Some of my ancestors were farmers in the area in the early 1800’s. I’ll spend a week there, visit them in a cemetery in the little town of Delevan, and do research at the County Courthouse in Little Valley.
My next stop will be a campground in Marathon, NY, which is in Cortland County. I have some ancestors who farmed in Homer, just north of the town of Cortland, in the late 1700’s. One of them was born in Wales, served as a Captain in the Revolutionary War in a New Jersey regiment, and after the war migrated up to Homer. He’s buried in the Atwater Cemetery there.
By then it will be mid-October, and I’m going to have to start worrying about avoiding freezing temperatures. Most of the campgrounds in the upstate NY area close around Columbus Day, or by October 15 at the latest. So, it will be time to head south.
I’ll make a stop in Bucks County for about a week, staying at a campground in Ottsville. It will be an opportunity to see friends, go to a doctor, and visit my storage unit if necessary.
Next, I’m going to spend a week with my BFF, aka my sister, Carol, on eastern Long Island. It’s probably been decades since I’ve spent a whole week with her, so that will be wonderful! While I’m on Long Island, I’m going to leave my RV with Rick of Central Jersey RV in Jackson, so he can re-seal the roof, replace the awning, and make some other repairs. It’s perfect timing, since he needs the rig for a few days, and I’d rather not drive it in the NYC area, anyway.
After that, I’ll start my trek south, stopping in Richmond, Virginia for a couple of nights to see my cousin Betsy, who is another sister! Our mothers were sisters, so Betsy and I have a strong blood bond, and I LOVE being with her and her wonderful husband. They raise sheep, so it’s delightful to be on their farm with the smell of the earth and the animals.
Then it’s off to Georgia, about November 1st – ish. Amazingly, 100% of Eric’s ancestors are from Georgia, back 200 years to when the State was first formed. I have never researched on site in Georgia, and there is SO much to do! Eric and I are meeting at an old family cemetery on someone’s private land near Monroe, Walton County, where we will “boondock” for three or four nights (boondocking is camping on land for free, with no hookups) while we work on cleaning up the cemetery.
For the next couple of weeks, I’ll stay at a campground near Athens, Georgia, which is centrally located to several counties where I’ll be doing research. I’m not sure yet whether Eric will be with me, or not. Then in mid-November, for the week before Thanksgiving, Eric and I will stay at a campground near Jacksonville, Florida. We’re going there because that’s where our mail forwarding service is. We want to become Florida residents, so we’ll be getting Florida driver’s licenses, titling our vehicles there, etc.
We’re going to spend Thanksgiving with Eric’s sister and mother, who live in Cape Canaveral. Frustratingly, the campground where we want to stay is completely booked, and another option close by doesn’t take reservations until a few weeks prior. So, we don’t have that week locked in, and hoping for the best.
Then I’m headed to Sarasota, Florida. I’ve decided to store the RV for three months (December, January and February), and rent my cousin’s house there. There aren’t too many places for me to camp and avoid risk of frost during those months, and I want to stay on the east coast for now. Staying at my cousin’s house and storing the RV is less expensive than camping, so that’s what I’m going to do, at least for this year.
I’m going to fly to Seattle to see my descendants for two weeks at the end of December! I’m getting a little studio for a week near my daughter’s house – both kids live in the city. For the second week, Eric is flying in and the four of us will be staying in a beautiful vacation rental near Index, Washington, in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. I’m sure it will be a magical end to quite an amazing year in my life!