Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fort Drum and Watertown

Hi everyone. We are now in week three of Fort Drum after PCSing from Fort Sill (aka we moved on the army's dime to a new assignment). And we are LOVING it.

First off, Tamara had a tough year in Oklahoma this last year. I won't get into details but she had been living there for 15 years and the shine was off. She was really unsure about this move as I had never been to Fort Drum and there were plenty of horror stories about this place usually involving weather and the area being serious banjo music land.

The weather stories are probably true. It has been nice much of the time, but it has been cold (really cold) several times and it snowed yesterday. It has all melted, but still getting snow in late April was a bit off-putting. But when its nice, its NICE. No harsh wind, no nasty sticky heat (yet), just pleasant cool weather, perfect for a sweatshirt.

As for the area around here. This place beats Lawton hands down. The nearest major town is Watertown, population about 25 to 30K. It gets bigger if you include the rather large number of small towns surrounding Fort Drum and on the lake (Lake Ontario) and the St Lawrence Seaway just an hour north. Lawton was 100000 and had maybe a quarter of the things that this place offers. Much more outdoors stuff that is family friendly (Fort Sill had some stuff but it was OUTDOORS outdoors, no kids or wives stuff). River cruises, Lake Cruises, lots of nice shops and places to eat. Hunting up the ying yang. Easy gun laws (unless its a pistol then brace yourself), all sorts of guns shops and outdoor places (they even have a firearms section in the PX, how cool is that?). The Mall is easily as good as any in OKC, and there is a much bigger one in Syracuse an hour south. Lots of GOOD chain resturants (unlike Lawton). TWO Drive In Theaters (we went to one last weekend, first time for Tamara and she loved it). And the people go out of their way to show that they are NOT like people in NYC. I have had two people apologize to me about NYC and how it must have "ruined" my expectations of what "real" NY is like.

Reminds me about how everyone in Nebraska keeps saying don't judge us by Omaha.

The only issues I have here is that housing is a pain. We are on the wait list for a house on Fort Drum and there isn't a whole lot of rentals. What is here is too small, too old or not easily leasable for less than a year.

On the whole, this is looking like a great move. I highly encourage my friends and relatives to visit us while we are here, this is a great place. But wait until after July so we can get a house first.


  1. Awesome; glad you're enjoying it so much. Never much thought of you as a New York'er :P

  2. Also glad you're enjoying it so much. Funny how one part of the state can color imagery for the rest of it. Take N. Va. near DC - it's really a separate country compared to the rest of the state.

  3. Well, I am not a New Yorker and have no intention of ever being one. But I can definately stand being stationed here. Its nice to be on a base where there is actually nice trees instead of pine wastes, nice people who don't look at you as a mark in a green suit (Lawton was nothing but that), and just lots of neat things that the whole family can do that doesn't require an hour plus drive to civilization.