Moving to New York, Part 4 | First Day in New York! | August 20, 2016
When we awoke on Saturday morning, we were filled with both excitement and nervousness about what lay ahead. We were only a few short hours away from our new hometown, and once we arrived we would immediately commence our house search. Things weren’t as easy and straightforward as they were in SC — where we were able to just move right in on base — but we were determined to find something fast. With a little more experience in renting and living in different places, plus a touch of desperation to just have a home, we were pretty sure we could make something work. We knew that we’d only be here a short time anyway, so our priorities were pretty simple: a place that would keep us warm in the winter, be somewhat close to Curtis’ work, and be inexpensive. We also were kind of considering apartments as a last resort, but they were just as expensive as renting a house so a house felt like a better value. Anyway, all that being said, we were hoping to find a place that very weekend, if not that day.
For the last leg of the drive, we gave in and took the New York throughway and paid the tolls. As any loyal reader would know, we really like avoiding interstates when we drive, and now we have extra incentive to take backroads because we can literally save money! But for today, we were ready to be “home”. After passing Utica on I-90, we started getting really excited as we began to get a taste of the Adirondacks! We drove straight to the Capitol Region without stopping and then began heading North. I couldn’t stop smiling as we drove through the Saratoga Springs area. I can’t believe we get to call beautiful Upstate NY home.
We grabbed lunch at a small deli shop (and it was amazing!) and then went to a house viewing. The place was smaller than our last home — which was fine, because really, what do we need with 4 bedrooms and 1900+ square feet?? It was also an older home with its quirks and smells, but it wasn’t unclean. It didn’t have all the new, modern appliances like base housing, but it had everything we needed. It met all 3 of our priorities, plus the landlords were very nice and said we could move in in the next day or so. I had also contacted the Navy housing support office and they told me that they’ve had people rent this house before and no one has had any problems with the house or the landlords.
We left with an application, then went to find free wifi so we could fill it out and plan our next move. We talked about it, and briefly discussed looking at other options, but…we’re only supposed to be here for 6-8 months, Lord willing. We had looked at house listings all over the place on multiple sites, and we knew nothing would be perfect. Curtis’ work is in the middle of nowhere, and a long drive from most places — a long drive down windy highway roads, which we imagine would be more difficult to drive everyday in a NY winter. Here, it was much closer and easier, which will put my mind at ease for his safety when those days come. We also didn’t want to have to stay in a hotel here — it’s tourist season, and everything is either booked or between $200-$400 a night! And so we said “good enough”, sent in our application, and then…we went for a hike.
Spruce Mountain trail, fire tower, and views from the top.
Ok, so maybe we should have looked at other houses just to give ourselves options or a back up in case the first place fell through…but we didn’t want to. We wanted to hike. We drove out to the trailhead for an easy hike, Spruce Mountain, and we hiked it. It was only 2.8 miles roundtrip, gained about 1000 feet, and was just over 2000 feet above sea level, but it was a mountain. It was everything we were missing. It was peace and quiet in the woods. It was new scenery. It was an expansive view of other peaks in the Adirondacks at the top of a fire tower. It brought the 3 of us closer together and lifted our spirits and made us excited for all the other hikes to come. We hiked up, we found letterboxes, we took pictures, we smiled and laughed and stopped to catch our breath. We took turns climbing the fire tower at the top, and called down to Charlotte when we were up there, and laughed when she finally figured out where we were and she tried to climb it herself. We admired the short wall made from stones on the way back, and wondered about the history that lay hidden or untold in these mountains. We talked loudly because we started to wonder if there were bears here. It was the perfect first adventure for our time in New York. (Also, it was our first hike for one of the many hiking challenges in NY! This is our first for the Fire Tower challenge — 1 down, 22 to go. 😉 )
It also reminded us of what’s most important to us: being together, doing new things together, and enjoying life wherever we are. A home is just a home, just a place to keep our things, a place to sleep, cook and eat; a place where I’ll work and play with Charlotte when Curtis is at work and a place where he’ll come home to be with us after a long day (or night) at work. It’s a home base for us to come home to at the end of the day, after a long hike or road trip exploring the Northeast. And because of that, we felt at peace with our decision. We knew God had everything worked out for us, and we trusted that just as He made the way for us in AZ and SC, so also would He guide and direct us here in NY.
And that’s the story of how we hiked our first Adirondack peak within 5 hours of arriving in Saratoga.
Charlotte wishes she could climb the fire tower…too bad her parents are too darn protective of her!
However, all that being said, we weren’t able to move into the house that night. Instead of forking over the big bucks for a hotel, we decided to go camping (thanks to Curtis’ family for supplying us with the gear we needed before leaving MI, since we hadn’t really thought of this while packing the Pod!). We found a state forest far away from the tourist centers, (Daketown State Forest) picked up some calzones from a local pizza joint, and drove out of town. And what do you know, not only did we find a completely isolated clearing in the middle of a vacant forest, we also found that camping was free! If it weren’t for the fact that we have to be here through a winter, we may have just considered living there. 😉
Our new home! For the night.
I seriously can’t think of a better night for camping — we really found the perfect, quiet spot on the most mild of nights. It was cool, but not cold. Cloudy, but not raining. It’s in these moments that we can already see God’s hand at work, in every little detail. We were still “homeless” and a tad bit anxious about how things would work out, but we knew that they would. And so even though our first night in our new area didn’t feel like the “end of the story” for our move, we love how it turned out.