For those who read my last post, thank you so much for your sweet words and optimism. You have no idea how much I appreciated your positivity in this tumultuous PCS season. As we wrap up our time here, I want to reflect a little on the great things about Fort Drum because, I promise you, there are some great things. In 13 days (yes, you read that right), we’ll be on the roadtrip of a lifetime out West. Before we do that though, we’re enjoying all the things we love most about life here in Black River – and things that future Fort Drum residents might just love, too!
1 // The summer months.
This sounds so vague, and maybe it is a little vague, but there is nothing better than summer here at Fort Drum. There’s something so amazing about a hard-fought spring and summer since winter lasts so long, and these days of clear blue skies and green grass will be missed by the Moores. While Ryan was deployed, the boys and I ventured far and wide to really soak up the season. We visited the beaches of Lake Ontario, we picked berries, we played at Boldt Castle, and more. Summer is fantastic here, and the options are endless.
2 // Moore’s Blizzard Barn.
No, we don’t own it, but yes, Moore’s Blizzard Barn is right in our little Village of Black River! This local ice cream joint is right on the border of Le Ray Street and 342 – right by the Belvedere Gate of Fort Drum Main. My boys have grown up going there, and there’s something about a local mom’n’pop ice cream shot that just screams down-home-charm. We’re destined for at least two more indulgent evenings there before we leave.
3 // Southwick Beach State Park.
Despite what you may think, northern NY does actually have beaches. However, they border the larger lakes up here, which makes them a special treat. They’re not saltwater! The boys loved the soft, sandy shores, playing at the local playground by the beach, and taking a dip in the surprisingly choppy – and warm – water. We spent many a day there playing ourselves silly and then hitting the hay early. Pro-tip – it costs $1 to get into the park. Too easy.
4 // Tug Hill Vineyards.
This beautiful family-owned joint is nestled in Lowville, and it’s home to incredible berry-picking in the summer months (strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries), and the most incredible brunch you’ll ever eat. I included Tug Hill Vineyards in my roundup of places to eat around Fort Drum, but let it be known that there’s more than brunch here! The boys eat their weight in berries each summer, and they have wine tastings fairly regularly. Their local wines are delicious, and if you’re in the mood for a strawberry rhubarb wine, you’re in luck! Here’s hoping we get out there one last time before we leave!
5 // Kingston, ON.
I know what you’re thinking. How can I miss Canada about New York? So, here’s the thing. Canada is literally a hop, skip, and a jump from Fort Drum. Rather than going to Syracuse for excitement, we love to head up to Kingston, Ontario. The people are friendly, the weather is (usually) great, and the food options are divine. Plus, if you’ve got your passport, why not explore the area around you? We’ll be close to Vancouver on the opposite side of the country, but Kingston holds a special place in our hearts.
As the clock keeps ticking and as our time here nears to a close, I find myself becoming more and more sentimental about it all. It’s the end of an era. I mean, it always is, but this is really the close of a chapter. We’re soaking up the good here before we go though, and we’re making the best of it.