Sturbridge, MA to Narragansett, RI
Narragansett, RI - Events of Tuesday, September 5, 2013
We kind of took our time leaving Sunsetview Farm on Tuesday morning because the drive to our next destination was only about two hours. We were headed to the southeast to Narragansett, RI. The next couple of legs of our travels will be fairly short, and we will be jumping around a little bit and doing some backtracking. The primary reason for that is getting reservations at the campgrounds we wanted while at the same time avoiding being anywhere near Cape Cod over the Labor Day weekend.
The small town of Brimfield is right next to Monson where we were staying, and we had to drive through it on the way to and from Sunsetview Farm. When we first arrived, we could see Brimfield was setting up for a huge antique market. The Brimfield Antique Show is a 5-day event held three times a year. Large tents lined the road for a mile and more were set up in parking lots all through town and in fields on the outskirts of town to accommodate the 5,000 vendors.
We were surprised the market was scheduled to open the Tuesday after Labor Day rather than being open for the holiday weekend. We suppose they already attract big enough crowds, and not being open for Labor Day is their way of weeding out lookers and making more room for serious buyers.
The market opened at dawn on Tuesday, so we had to drive through it on our way to the interstate when we left Sunsetview Farm. Traffic was a little slow, but there were no big delays. In fact, it was kind of interesting driving slowly by and seeing all the activity.
It seemed like anyone who had an empty lot or field rented the space out for additional, less-formal market areas where people were selling antiques out of the back of rental trucks or trailers...
...or they were using their lots and fields to provide parking at a cost of $3 to $8 per car. Fortunately, there was no parking along the road, which is probably the reason traffic wasn't that bad.
We pulled into Fishermen's Memorial State Park in Narragansett shortly after noon. Fishermen's Memorial State Park has 140 campsites. About a quarter of the sites are tent sites with no hookups, about half are RV sites with water and electric only, and about a quarter are RV sites with full hookups. Most of the RV sites are pull-throughs. Reservations for the full-hookup sites are very hard to get, so we ended up with a pull-through site with water and electric (20/30 amp) only. Our cost including the reservation fee was about $26 a night.
A sign as we entered said the use of air conditioners was strictly forbidden, and offenders could be ejected from the park. We eventually found out the reason. A while after we got set up, we turned on the dryer to dry some damp towels, and our surge protector/electrical management system started shutting down intermittently due to low voltage. Apparently, the wiring in the park is not up to par, and higher current demands like an air conditioner (or the dryer) cause the voltage to drop. The voltage seemed okay as long as we weren't pulling a heavy load. Oh well, we won't be using the washer anyway since we don't have sewer hookup, and if we want to dry anything, we'll have to air dry it.
Fishermen's Memorial SP has paved roads and pads and sites that are fairly widely spaced, although they're not as big as some state parks we have seen. There is grass between the sites, but it seems every site has a big, bare spot right about where the door of most trailers would be located. The campground is obviously well-used. Fortunately, we parked the motor home as far forward in the site as we could, and the bare spot was well behind where our door was so we didn't have to go to the bother of getting out our patio mat.
Unfortunately, many of the sites (ours included) aren't level. We had to get out extra leveling blocks for under the tires and under the jacks. This time, Paul got out ALL our blocks so he didn't have to skimp on the blocks under the jacks. We didn't want to have a repeat of the motor home falling off the jacks like we did back in Vermont. Lesson learned.
Wednesday was stormy and rainy with thunder and lightning. Although Paul was skeptical, Margery purchased Freeway a Thundershirt at the flea market back when we were in Berlin, Ohio. Much to Paul's surprise and Margery's relief, the Thundershirt has had a dramatic calming effect on Freeway in a thunderstorm, and we got some use out of it again on Wednesday.
Thursday morning was bright and sunny, so we headed out on our first sightseeing excursion in Rhode Island. Stay tuned.