The RV was prepped and ready to leave. Trailer attached, engine idling.
Already 1 night longer at the campground than originally planned, serendipitously we had discovered some kindred spirits that we all really liked. And the campground was a little gem too. While I kept thinking we should be in Michigan by now in my head, in my heart I really wasn’t ready to go. All it took was Amanda saying, “Hey, if you guys stay we can go ax throwing.”
Whaaaaat?! Who doesn’t want to throw an ax with new friends?! Come on.
FYI, if you ever want to get me to do something, dangle a novel, one-off, weird activity in front of me. Works every time.
Ever have one of those times when you unexpectedly find a family that your whole family enjoys? The energy just works effortlessly. Moms enjoy talking to moms, dads enjoy talking to dads, moms talk to other dads and vice versa and the kids are all one giant gang of merry little people?
It’s a family unicorn… and we found one.
Pulling into what we thought was the shortest of overnight stays in the middle of part of the country that isn’t super exciting to us, the plan was to shower, dump, recycle and get moving again. That turned into a second night and then a THIRD night because when the magic happens you don’t get up and leave when you have no particular place to be.
Panama Rocks in NY
That’s how we came to find ourselves in the middle of a farmers market / art and music festival next to some awesome rock scrambling through caves and cracks in Panama Rocks, NY.
Put it on your quirky list. Totally worth a day’s worth of fun.
The rock ledges had everything from beginner to really hard and everything in between (including some sketchy holes that were unmarked and Goonies-level scary). There were even some cracks (Fat Man’s Riddle comes to mind) that only the kids could get through. “Can you see them? Where are they? I don’t know about this?!” was repeated often and loudly.
The kids LOVED it. Grandmom would have thrown a fit. Probably a good thing she’s not with us at the moment.
The festival included an exotic wild animal demo. The guy doing the show was well-above-average hilarious and obviously loved and respected the animals. He called them animal ambassadors and explained how he tried to make their lives as full-filled and close to a natural environment as possible. I’m generally suspicious of people who use animals to make money (side eye to you, Sea World, those poor creatures are unhealthy) but I got a great vibe from him and the kids really learned some good info.
The big climax of the day was the ax throwing. Being a former shotputter and hammer thrower myself, I tend to enjoy the ‘Big Man Throws Big Things’ events. Darts? A kid can throw darts. An ax? A man throws an ax. Pull a tree out of the ground and use it as a toothpick? I’m done.
I was thoroughly entertained watching Scott and the Dad of our new friends, Blake. Scott took a few tries and then dialed it in to ring the Bullseye Bell several times. Blake was a natural – he could throw it with either hand. I love watching ambidextrous people – you never know where the pen (or ax) is going.
We stayed 3 nights. It was sad to leave this morning, but there were assurances that our paths will cross again. If they don’t, we’ll make them cross. You can’t let good people go… there are precious few of them that really get us. As for the campground, Top-of-the-Rise campground in Falconer, NY, if you stop by based on our recommendation please tell them Scott and Traci said hi. I can’t promise magic will happen there, but it did for us and I have to assume that you have a decent shot at it.