If memory serves, this will be the third “Arrowhead” post on this blog; I will endeavor to keep it short since the other posts already show you around the place, and my intention here is simply to report my safe arrival once again. Why Arrowhead every year? It’s perfectly situated to provide me with exactly the length drive I want for the last leg of my trip (the one that ends at home), and I choose an actual RV park so that I can charge the battery and dump the tanks before I put the RV into storage again.
As I write, there is an ice cream truck passing by (“Mr. Ding-A-Ling Ice Cream”) playing an exceedingly annoying organ-based version of the first strain of Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer”, sacrilege if ever I’ve heard it (and I’ve heard plenty, like people re-making Beatles songs!). Incidentally, speaking as a fairly capable classical pianist, did you know that Joplin himself insisted that his music — ragtime — never be played fast? Some performers try to dazzle you with their technique by cranking up the tempos in his pieces, but that is stylistically incorrect, like wearing your bathing suit to church. In fact, Joplin went to great pains in many of his compositions to specify that exact point in the tempo markings he chose for his pieces. Also of interest is the plethora of plant and flower names he chose for the pieces in his catalog — The Pineapple Rag, The Maple Leaf Rag, The Chrysanthemum and many others — and to the best of my knowledge, nobody knows why he leaned in that direction for his titles. What I CAN tell you is that ragtime is the basis for all the musical styles of Black America which followed — blues, jazz, rock-and-roll and on into hip-hop — AND it represents a living catalog of the melodies, rhythms and dances which Africans brought with them to America and which Joplin wished so desperately to preserve in the first part of the twentieth century. So I encourage you to find some performances of his works to enjoy if you are not already familiar with them, if only for the history.
Well — I digress. This is a typical RV park and worlds away from the lovely Harvest Hosts I’ve had the privilege of staying with on this trip. The point here is to make money from RVs, and so the goal is to pack as many of them into here as possible. That said, this particular park does nevertheless make an effort to include considerable green space, and there is also the bonus of the nice river view of the Erie Canal (Mohawk River) running past the “marina” part of the establishment. So, I’ve seen lots worse RV parks; and the management is uniformly helpful and courteous, with the added bonus of offering solid wi-fi. And now you know why I always stay here on the last evening of all my Ohio trips.
I’m ready to be home. However, I am beyond happy to have made this trip, and beyond grateful at how easily and smoothly it has gone. I was blessed with delightful and meaningful connections with family (mine and Robin’s), many of whom I see only annually if at all. And, although I know that millions of people make similar — and much longer trips — all the time, I am pleased that I personally was able to pull off such a venture, with a travel style which is new to me. Would I do it again? Probably not, at least not at such length. But I am proud to have done it.
Robin and I had ruminated about snow birding “someday”, when we were both retired, buying an RV and traveling the Gulf Coast during the winter; we even went so far as to take young Jaxon one day and scope out an Airstream.
But that was not meant to be.
And having put almost 4,000 miles on the truck this trip, I have decided that the next time I want to go that far, I will fly. I miss my friends, my piano, my Suzuki Burgman, my Maine family, my home golf course; three weeks is too long to be away. The Little Guy will henceforth become a golf trip buggy, a Maine State Park visitor, a three-day-weekend machine. And that’s good to know, too. But if I ever again decide to take it for the long haul, I now know I can do it.
My thanks to all those who have followed along on this trip with me — I hope the posts were interesting enough to have been worth your time. And stay tuned! There are more (but shorter!) trips planned for this summer!