Ohio — Day 2: Sleepy Hollow Lake

I was awakened in the middle of the night by torrential rain, dashing out of bed to close the windows which I had left open upon retiring.  But no need!  I was delighted to discover that even in a bruising rainstorm the open windows shed the water, and the Little Guy remained watertight.  The rain continued in buckets as I ate breakfast and cleaned up the trailer for today’s travel, moderating only slightly to facilitate hitching up the truck and heading for Buffalo, NY and the Sleepy Hollow Lake RV campground in Akron, NY.

I wanted to stay in an RV park tonight because I knew that my wastewater tanks were getting full, and I also knew I would need them empty so that I could moochdock with family several days in Ohio — and the only option for emptying tanks was an RV campground.  I have already mentioned the Harvest Hosts app, which assembles agritourism businesses willing to host RV campers; to find Sleepy Hollow I used another excellent RV touring app, Campendium.  This cleverly-named application is a compendium of RV parks, BLM campgrounds, Corps of Engineers camping sites and state parks all across America, featuring detailed specs and reviews on each.  Sleepy Hollow was close to I-90 and filled the bill.

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You would think from the above photo that Sleepy Hollow is the rugged sort of wilderness location that I have always prized for camping, akin to someplace in the Allagash or along the St. Croix river, perhaps.  But no…..

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Rather, it is (from my admittedly limited experience) a pretty typical RV campground, in which trailers and motor homes are sardined onto the real estate side by side.  I was fortunate, I suppose, to get a space at the end of the pond; thus, I have neighbors only to my immediate left.  But there is no escaping the barking dogs, the blaring radios, the screaming kids (and, I suspect I will discover once night falls) the strings of party lights that festoon the RVs nearby.

However, I suspect that there are worse RV parks to be found.  At least Sleepy Hollow has a pond view and is grassy and forested, as opposed to being just a paved parking lot with hookups.  The park is laid out in several sections, with some being quite secluded.

I am beginning to realize that, for those unfortunate souls who are forced to live without the outdoor recreation opportunities that we in Maine take for granted,  an RV campground may be their only practical means of getting away and getting outside (as sad a thought as that is to contemplate).  There are many colossal RVs parked here, likely year-round, with attached decks and sheds and all manner of accoutrements, much as the typical cottage owner in Maine would have.  People pay a seasonal rate to “vacation” here all summer.

And the park does attempt to cater to those needs, with a fitness center, swimming pool, and a “beach” (more like a strip of mud along the pond, visible in the large photo below) with kayak rentals and a swim area.  Of course, all of those amenities (along with the miniature golf course) are currently closed due to the coronavirus, but clearly a seasonal resident would have some recreational options.

Incidentally, as abysmal as was the gas mileage I got yesterday (13MPG), today’s was truly appalling — 9.5MPG.  I was concerned that maybe something was wrong with the trailer brake controller, such that the trailer brakes were dragging on the truck, so when I got set up at Sleepy Hollow I phoned the Little Guy dealer and asked about it.  Because the wheels and tires were no warmer than those of the truck (I checked several times en route), he was confident that the issue (if any) was in the truck, not the trailer.  He suggested enabling the “tow/haul” mode on the truck, something I had not been doing, to see if that would make a difference.  I subsequently researched the issue online in the RAM truck forums and discovered that 9.5MPG is pretty typical when towing with the RAM 1500.  It is also true that the truck bed is pretty heavily loaded with things for the family, and I had a 40MPH headwind the whole way here.  We will see how things go tomorrow.

It is my hope to be ensconced at the Culinary Vegetable Institute in Huron, Ohio tomorrow afternoon, where I will stay until next Wednesday visiting with family before heading south toward Cincinnati.  Look for another post tomorrow!

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