Sunday, November 4, 2018

Connecticut - Day 1 - getting there

Totoket Valley RV Park
Thursday, 1 November 2018


Before I left Rhode Island, I wanted to meet my cousins again - this time at the Cracker Barrel.  I’m guessing Rhode Island has only one of them, because when Trish told me they’d meet me there, she didn’t say which specific Cracker Barrel – I had to ask her.  It’s pretty much smack in the middle of the state on I-95 in Warwick so I’d bet lots of Rhode Islanders go there from time to time.

Not knowing how much traffic I’d run into going across the bridges from Newport, I left so early I was almost an hour ahead of time arriving.  But it gave me lots of time to walk the dogs.
Trish, Marian and Linda
Not only did I get to see Trish and Marian again, but also I saw Linda who was married to Marian’s brother Kenny.  Kenny was Momma’s first cousin, my first cousin once removed, so Linda would be my first-cousin-once-removed-in-law.  I met her once before when they were visiting Aunt Alice while Momma and I were there and remember her as being really nice, which she still is.  It was good to see them all again.

Connecticut Welcome Center
I chose my route from there to let me stop by the Connecticut Welcome Center on I-95, so I could pick up a state map and any other tourist information they might have.  And that’s when I got my first unpleasant surprise of the day.

Connecticut doesn’t seem to have ever heard the saying, “You only get one chance to make a good first impression.”

The Center’s bathrooms were open for use, but the welcome office was shut up tight.  I asked the custodian about it and learned that the current governor cut off almost all funding for all the welcome centers.  The custodian said the gov’d tried to shut them down altogether, but the federal government pointed out they’d supplied money for them on condition they be kept open.

The custodian guessed the feds had no idea how CT was interpreting “open”: the bathrooms are open from 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM daily.  That’s it.  If you stop after 3:30, you get to use the portable toilets.  No hot coffee.  No state maps (they haven't printed them in 2 years).  No directions for tourists with questions.

Apparently the governor thinks encouraging tourism is a frill that CT can’t afford.  If so, I think it’s a good thing that gov. isn’t running for reelection because he’s too dumb to be in charge of anything.

So I came out empty-handed and all I got out of the stop was a nice walk for the dogs.

Day Care for Dexter
My next unpleasant surprise was that I couldn’t get on the highway going back north (I was only half an exit too far south for the road I needed) without driving a ways south to turn around and head the right way.  But that wasn’t too bad because it was a pretty day.

I was aiming for the day care I’d heard about that would be a good fit for Dexter, and it turns out to be in the country in northeastern CT.  I found them, though – the Quinebaug Kennels – and they’ve got quite the operation.  They’ve got a lot of land and do their very best to wear out the high-energy dogs like Dexter.  They run them behind an ATV cross-country.  If the weather’s bad, they teach them to use treadmills indoors.  They have playtime in the yards and do other energetic activities with them.  They offer lots of different kinds of classes and training programs, plus grooming and boarding.

What they don’t do is cater to dogs like Gracie.  From my description of how she handles regular large-group day care, they don’t think she’d do well there.  For one thing, at 9 she’s probably too old for the level of activity they’re geared for.  They said they could give her time with some other old dogs they have in boarding, but I got the impression she’d end up spending much of her time in a kennel, which isn’t at all what I want for her.

It sounds perfect for Dexter, though, so I signed up to have him start next Monday and we’ll see how he does.  And I think I’ll look around for a regular place for Gracie.

I went straight from there to my new campground and was glad for the chance to clock the distance.  Turns out to be almost 1½ hour drive, even with no particular traffic problems and even with most of it on interstates.  That distance is going to make it a lot harder for me to do much on the day care days besides just delivery and pickup.

And then I got my next unpleasant surprise.  This new campground isn’t a campground but instead a residential RV park with 15 additional spaces for transients like me.  And there’s no shower.

I don’t think I ever mentioned the shower problem at the fishermen’s campground.  First off, it wasn’t heated and, given the outdoor temperature, that would have been very useful.

Next, they charge 75¢ for the first 3 minutes, and 25¢ for each minute after that.  So my usual 8 minute shower would cost $2.00.  About 4 times more than anybody has charged me before.

But I still might have gone for it except the shower stall didn’t have anything to put my clothes on to keep them out of the shower water – no bench or anything.  Just one hook on the wall.  That’s it.

But I still might have gone along with it except there wasn’t a door of any kind on the shower stall – just a curtain – and even that would have been okay except it was too narrow to cover the opening.  It just hung there being absolutely useless.  That was the last straw.

So taking it all together, I haven’t had a real shower in 2 weeks and I’ve been really looking forward to one.  And then this guy here says he doesn’t have any showers.  I was about ready to break into tears.

Instead, I walked the dogs and fixed a drink and read Jane Austen’s Persuasion till bedtime.  But I’ve got to seriously reconsider how long I’m going to be staying at this RV park – no showers and 1 ½ hours from the doggie day care – 2 big drawbacks.

No comments:

Post a Comment