DEVIL'S HOPYARD STATE PARK (CT)

With just 22 sites, no running water or electric, and only pit toilets on site, this isn't much of an RVer's destination campground. It is better suited for tent campers and weekend getaways. We only spent three nights here and we spent most of the daytime away from the campsite working in nearby libraries so there isn't much else I can tell you about the park.



MONDAY

TRAVEL DAY
YEAR #2 - STOP #29

"The Constitution State"
is our 16th visited state

For the first time we crossed into a new state not by driving, but by floating! We took the Cross Sound Ferry from Long Island, NY over to New London, CT today, at a cost of around $150 it was worth every penny not to have to drive through New York City to get here.

This ferry loaded cars and trucks at little differently than the other ferries we have experienced on this journey. The entire front of the ship opens upward from the bottom to bring the vehicles aboard. I think the reason for this is the high waves they sometimes experience crossing the open waters of Long Island Sound. Our other ferry rides have been in shallow and calmer inland protected waters like the mainland side of the Outer Banks in North Carolina. With a low flat loading deck like most ferry boats the waves today would have washed right over the lower deck.

Cross Sound Ferry
The Cross Sound Ferry

Upon nearing the Connecticut shoreline we saw the Historic New London Ledge Light House. Sorry, it was a fair distance from the ferry so we had to zoom in quite a bit to get this photo.

New London Ledge Light House
New London Ledge Light House

There was one more bit of excitement related to our journey today, just before we made the last turn to enter our new campground we encounter a detour sign blocking the road. This detour added 12 miles to our trip and took us down some very narrow and twisting roads. It seems there has been some recent flooding in the area and the low bridge going over Eight Mile River was damaged. There was a road crew there every morning with heavy equipment working on replacing the bridge. Just below the bridge is Chapman Falls, which is less than 100 yards from where THE POD is now parked. Also the water supply in the campground has been deemed unsatisfactory for drinking, so no water to wash dishes or flush the toilet! Thankfully we always have drinking water on board.

Chapman Falls
Chapman Falls



TUESDAY

WORK DAY @ THE LIBRARY
31 MILES DRIVEN TODAY

Yes, technically today is a work day, but while on our way to work we squeezed in a little sightseeing trip. We wanted to visit an honest to goodness American castle and Gillette Castle is just that. Built between 1914-1919 it was designed, owned and inhabited by William Gillette, an American actor most widely known for portraying Sherlock Holmes on stage. We owe the sleuth's famous signature hat and pipe to Gillette, as it was his vision of the character, not the playwrights.

As usual with us we were two weeks too early in the season to get to actually tour the inside of the castle or the museum, but we did get to walk around the grounds on a self guided tour.



GILLETTE CASTLE



The pond at the beginning of the long driveway leading up to the estate.
Our first glimpse of the castle.
An archway over the end of the driveway
Gillette's narrow gauge train depot at the end of the line.
View from the narrow gauge train station
Walkway leading up to the front door of the castle
A second floor patio on the side of the castle
The view of the Connecticut River from the rear patio
A view of the rear of the castle
A sneak peak inside of the sunroom
The other side of the castle
A wall of windows

After visiting the castle we drove the short distance over to the library and finally started on the work portion of our work day. Several hours later it was time for lunch and we decided to try out the little boutique restaurant next door to the library.

Higher Grounds is a great little gem of a restaurant. The owner/operator, food and decor were all top notch. Here's a photo of my Meatloaf Sandwich with Purple Potato Salad.

Higher Grounds
My Meatloaf Sandwich at Higher Grounds

After lunch it was back inside the library and back to work. We finished our day and then headed back home.



WEDNESDAY

WORK DAY @ THE LIBRARY
63 MILES DRIVEN TODAY

Another work day today and this time we drove straight to work, no sightseeing first! Well almost no sightseeing, our route did have us drive down West Main Street in Mystic, CT today, right past the famous Mystic Pizza Restaurant. It was the inspiration and setting behind the 1988 movie featuring a very young and relatively unknown actress named Julia Roberts. This was before Steel Magnolias, Pretty Woman and all her award winning performances that came thereafter.

Here is a view of the ornate ceiling inside of the 1893 Mystic & Noank Library, where we are working from today. Isn't it just beautiful? I just love these old library buildings!

Library ceiling
Our office space ceiling today.

When it came time for lunch today it was pretty easy to decide where to eat. We are only 800 feet down the street from Mystic Pizza. Funny how we chose this library to work from today isn't it?

Well I'm happy to report that the pizza was delicious, we split a large 14" pizza with Tricia ordering meatball and onion on her half and I tried the Seafood Delight on my half. Sadly we forgot to take pictures until we were finished and outside the restaurant.

Mystic Pizza
Mystic Pizza on the left side on West Main Street, Mystic, CT

Mystic Pizza
Just in case you couldn't read the sign in the first photo

Just across the side street from Mystic Pizza is this tribute to the Olympian John J. Kelley, the long lost uncle I never knew I had. He ran the marathon in the 1956 Olympics, the same year I was born. Just kidding, the tribute is real, the comment that he is a relative of mine is not! At least not that I know of.

John J Kelley
John J. Kelley tribute

Our tummies are full and now it's time to get back to work and finish things up because tomorrow we are on the move again into another new state.



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4 comments:

  1. Hey guys,
    Tricia what I want to know is,did Phill leave you any of that cherry pie?I all most went out and bought one. The pics of the castle were great.I feel as I were there with you guys.
    This is from a post that somehow never got to you....
    Congratulations or Nomadiversary!!!!! E Pluribus Unum.
    Jorge

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Jorge!
      Yes, when it comes to food, Tricia got her normal 1/3 share of the pie! ;-)

      Delete
  2. Beautiful pics of the castle. Don't forget the food pics, please!!!.
    That library is awesome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We just wish we were there when we could get inside the castle to check it out! And yes, we do love the old buildings that house most of the small town libraries we visit.

      Delete

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