May 10th, Day 14: We had no idea when we left our campground this morning at around 8:00 am what route we would be taking to get to our next campsite. Until recently we have depended on Ms. Garmin (our GPS) to get us to our next destination the fastest way possible. However, after her horrible decision to take us directly through Washington and into bumper to bumper traffic, we are starting to have our doubts. Well anyway, without following our route on a map, we have no idea as to how we got to Florida, New York but what we do know is that Garmin failed us again. Too close to New York City, too much traffic, and too many road changes. When we finally arrived after a 3-1/2 hour drive all three of us were exhausted. I am starting to wonder why anyone would want to live in any part of the congested northeast. Stop it. Too much complaining; start being positive. O.K., the primary reason we chose the Black Bear Campground in Florida, New York was because it was on our route to Connecticut and far enough north of New York City so as not to be too congested. It was also about 30 miles from West Point which we thought might be fun to visit and it is also in a very scenic part of southeastern New York State. What we did not know when we booked it, was that it was also close to Warwick, New York and when I saw the road sign naming Warwick, I knew immediately that I had to visit the Warwick Cemetery where I knew we would find the gravestone of my 6x great grandfather, Henry Wisner (1742-1812). Within 15 minutes of hooking up ourtrailer we set out to visit the Warwick Cemetery. It was Kathy again who takes the credit for finding his gravestone in this enormous cemetery. She has an eye for graves. I think that is a positive.
Old cemeteries are a lot of fun to visit especially those where the trees and landscaping are mature and some of the gravestones are over 200 years old like the one covering the remains of my Henry Wisner. Henry Wisner is another of my very special ancestors in that he was a lieutenant colonel during the American Revolution and following the war he was elected to the New York State Legislature. The cemetery was only around 10 miles from our campground and visiting it was a nice way to spend part of the afternoon after our tiring drive.
The little village of Warwick was also a special place to visit with the old houses and the quaint downtown shops. The photo to the left was taken in front of our favorite restaurant of the half dozen or so we found along their Main Street. We also could not help but notice while we walked Main Street a few signs mentioning the Albert Wisner Library. Knowing that many of the Wisner family members lived in Warwick, I checked out Albert Wisner (1835-1918) and determined that he was my 2nd cousin, x6 removed. If the houses were not so expensive in this area, taxes so high, and the winters awful, we might have considered moving here to my ancestral home. But then, we read that even Albert Wisner left town when he was only 18 years old.
May 11th, Day 15: Today is Saturday and we thought that considering the day and the time of year, it was probably a great time to visit the West Point Military Academy, or at least that part of the school where they allowed cars to drive and dogs to walk. We left at 8:00 am and when we arrived at the gate area of the school just before 9 am we found the area almost empty of those evil tourists. The guard at the gate quickly checked us in after first inspecting our huge pile of luggage in the rear of our car. We pretty well stayed along the perimeter of the school but what a place to visit. West Point sits right above the Hudson River where the views are incredible.
In the park near the north end of the campus there are statues of old war heroes and old cannons of various vintages everywhere. If we wanted to take photos of every old home or school building in the area it would take us years. This is really a place that everyone should visit at some time in their life.
I believe that this is one of four photos that we took of one of us looking up at an old statue. I particularly liked this photo because of the beautiful old school building in the background.
While we were visiting West Point there was a Wounded Warrior Games event taking place on the grounds of the campus which at the time included a cycling event and a group of young men dressed as old Revolutionary War soldiers getting ready for some type of reenactment. Seeing this taking place during our visit was kind of a special treat.
It seems highly doubtful that any of the reenactors slept in the small tent shown in the photograph to the right, but I was afraid to ask.
The drive both to and back from our campground to West Point was delightful and I had forgotten the beauty of the rocky and tree covered rolling hills in this area of New York State. The last time that I visited here was a hurried drive down the New York State Turnpike over 50 years ago when our only interest was seeing the St Patrick's Day Parade in New York City while enjoying many cases of cold beer. The scenery today probably has not changed much, but we have . . .
We returned to our campsite by early afternoon fully ready to relax for the rest of the day and get ready for our drive into Connecticut tomorrow morning. Hopefully the rest of our long excursion on the east coast of the United States and Canada will be as wonderful as what we have experienced today. We are sure that it will be.