The Great American Road Trip travel blog

Upstate New York countryside between Schenectady and Finger Lakes Region, N.Y.

Upstate New York countryside between Schenectady and Finger Lakes Region, N.Y.

Upstate New York countryside between Schenectady and Finger Lakes Region, N.Y.

Brock and Wendy pose between statues of participants in the first women's...

This is the remains of the hall where the convention was held.

The beginning of the "Declaration of Sentiments" drafted at the convention.

Our campsite on Seneca Lake.

The boys swim in Seneca Lake.

As Day 21, we are almost halfway through our Great American Road Trip. Yesterday, in Pittsfield, Mass., we made our turn west, and have been following Highway 20, which is our route for most of the way home.

Today’s drive from Schenectady, N.Y., to the Finger Lakes region was a lovely but lumpy roller coaster ride over hills and into expansive valleys. There were lots of white houses, red barns and beautiful lakes. The weather has been great. We haven’t hit too much humidity or heat in the East.

We drove all morning and stopped in early afternoon in Seneca Falls, N.Y. As a women’s studies minor and devoted feminist, I was excited about seeing the Women’s Rights National Historic Park. It is the site of the first women’s rights convention. The site includes the remains of the meeting hall and a museum. We took part in a ranger tour that was really interesting. I read the convention’s “Declaration of Statements” written on a granite wall fountain, and it gave me goose bumps!

It was good for the boys to hear from someone other than me about the plight of women. It was important for them to know that women were once considered property, unable to own property themselves – even their own children.

I felt a pang of guilt about the visit, however, because Scott had passed up a detour to Cooperstown today for the National Baseball Hall of Fame. My husband always puts others first. I tried to talk him into going, but he was worried about the time.

It was nice to be done with activities by mid-afternoon so we could find a campsite. It was more of a challenge to find a campsite than we expected. It’s a Friday, for one thing, and most of the state parks require a two-night minimum.

When we entered the Sampson State Park in Romulus, the ranger told us all of the camp sites were full. We continued to the visitors’ center, and there were actually two left! We snagged the closest one to Seneca Lake, sight unseen.

It has been great. The boys spent the afternoon at the Seneca Lake beach (which has lifeguards) while we set up camp.

We were desperate to camp tonight because all of the hotels are way overpriced. There are lots of wineries and five beautiful lakes, so it’s a huge tourist destination. We have a couple of free nights coming with our Choice Hotel points, but didn’t want to spend them all at once on one night an EconoLodge here.

We have been able to keep our hotel bills in the $60-70 range. (To our surprise, most of the rooms come with two double beds instead of queens. It has been an adjustment, especially for the boys.) With a few free nights and camping here and there, we are still averaging more than $150 a day.

Scott is dutifully recording the cost of every ice cream cone and bag of ice, even things like toothpaste or yogurts we would have to buy anyway. So I argue that it’s lower, but it’s sweet how devoted he is to the endeavor.

I am writing this next to the campfire, but we have no wifi, so we didn't upload it until we reached Saturday's destination.

-- Wendy

Miles driven today:

Miles so far on road trip: 4,461

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