After Reach Knolls Campground we moved northwest to Newport, ME and Sebasticook Lake.  It offers water, electricity, and a dump station with sites near the banks of a huge freshwater lake.  It is not a good campground, but they offer ice cream cones in bowls surrounded by side ice cream for $1.75.  They didn’t have pistachio but those cones along with air conditioning were most welcome.  They charge you for WiFi if you can even get it but they rent canoes pretty cheap.  Kat and I had a paddle, our first in about eight years, and no one fell in.

Ithaca Commons:  “Where Is the Hamburger?”

From there we hit Wal-Marts in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Ithaca, NY.  Did you know Kat and I went to Cornell?  We did, this very week!  The pull into Ithaca almost became eventful twice, each time with lunatics attempting high-speed left turns in front of us pulling our 8,000 pound Airstream from the right hand lane.  I saw the first fool in plenty of time, but the second came with us waiting for a traffic light in the leftmost of three lanes on a one-way street.  There was a No Left Turn sign possibly hidden from the middle and right lanes by our trailer.  I was trying to read road signs 400 yards away (where I had to make a left) when the light went to green.  With a block to go I accelerated slowly still looking into the distance when Kat screamed!  Some dope was rolling at 40 mph and made a squealing left from the middle lane onto No Left Turn Street.  That scream and our brakes saved him.  Blood pressure meds saved me.


It rained nearly every day, but we saw most of the sights.  Cornell is a hodge-podge of architecture high on a hill.  Due to road repairs we never found its Botanical Gardens.  Ithaca Falls, just down the mountaintop from Cornell, was a thundering torrent.  Ithaca Commons, a pedestrians-only two block section downtown lived up to its freaky, foodie reputation.  A young fellow asked us in German accented English “Where is the hamburger?”  I understood his words but not the question, so I shrugged “I am a tourist too.”

Ithaca Falls at Flood Stage
Glenwood Pines, Oil on Canvas, 12 x 30

We camped in nearby Lansing at the lovely Meyer City Park on Lake Cayuga.  From there we visited a couple of Road Food recommendations.   The first was Glenwood Pines Tavern overlooking Cayuga.  There we enjoyed a Pines Burger and an Ithaca Cheesesteak.  The latter was cooked too well, and for my tastes parsimonious with the cheese.  The former is a very good burger on half a split Italian loaf with Thousand Island rather than mayo and mustard.  Pines was good, not great, and so noisy dialogue was challenging.

A SUI Emerging from the Oven

The second, Shortstop Deli, earned its rave reviews.  Kat ordered a very good Reuben, but she found it needlessly padded with kraut.  I had a Hot Truck Pizza Sub of the Suicide variety, loaded with sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, cheese, and truck sauce piled onto a ten inch split garlicky Italian loaf, baked to crackling crispness.  “Suicide” refers to its grease content (they butter it plenty before loading and baking); health nuts order Sui’s with lettuce and tomato.  Mine (no veggies, please) was incredibly good, but I couldn’t finish it until dinner when it was every bit as good warmed over.  This sandwich comes in three sizes – Regular, Double, and Grand Slam.  Delicious as it was, I’m glad to have ordered a Regular.

Shortstop Deli’s Reuben


You don’t need sides or a dessert, but any fountain soft drink is a bargain.  16 ounces of Pepsi will run you 9 cents, but 32 is 79 cents.  Cornell kids order two 16’s.

Kat Says “Play It By Ear”; A Previous Owner of the Pines Did Too

5 thoughts on “Ithaca

  1. Oh, how I love Ithaca! We’ve never been there in our motorhome (and wouldn’t dare — a 33′ Class A would not fit in very well at all, I fear), but we visited several times back in our old car-drivin’ daze. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and the lovely hikes in their adjoining grounds, were favorites, as well as some amazing restaurants downtown, though I couldn’t name them now. Drooling over your pizzas, butter and all (the more, the better!) What a lovely place to go in the summer, no?


    1. Site 14 is typical at our Lansing City Park campground, and we had enough room to stay hitched up had we wanted to. That’s 50′ Em. You can do it. But the city lets the locals park their rigs their for next to nothing … make your reservations many moons in advance.


  2. The featured image is the Hot Truck side of Shortstop Deli’s menu. Customers fill out this, or the Deli or Breakfast menu themselves. If you don’t know what you’re doing, the cooks will help. There are no servers.

    We may never get back here, but I will have to try to bake my own SUI.


  3. Many moons ago I had the chance to visit Cornell and Ithaca. It is beautiful.

    At the time I got in a lot of hiking and ate at good places I don’t recall now.

    Too bad about all the rain and the crazy drivers.

    Sounds like you had a fine time and ate well, too. 🙂

    Even without the added butter, I thought the “Suicide” part referred to the sausage, pepperoni, and cheese. 😉 😀


    1. Of course the sum of all those greases is the danger, but a thousand cheeseburgers has to be worse than a dozen SUI’s. And I only had one, although if a SUI truck went through our campground I’d put that damn chicken back in the freezer!


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