Thursday, September 30, 2010

Heading East

On the road again, Monday Sept. 27, 7am destination Grove City KOA.  Several observations:  Indiana and most of Ohio along I-80 is flat.  As we got into  eastern Ohio and Pennsylvania there are rolling hills and the trees are just beginning to change color.  Ellie marveled over the farms, barns and animals.  It was interesting to see in the midst of a grain field a man riding his horse.  He had his own oval for training for horse racing?

We got to our campsite at 6 pm.  We traveled 482 miles.  MPG was 23.50

Everyone has priorities!!!!  We choose this campground because it had cable tv and it was a  good distance for us to travel.  We wanted to watch the Packer - Bears game which was on  ESPN.  During the game we felt good texting family and friends while the Packers were ahead. Then sent some woeful texts when they kept making penalties.  We coIld foresee the outcome! Oh well, the season is young.i

On the road again, Tuesday Sept 28 destination, Danville, PA.  First stop:  Slippery Rock University.  It was only 11 miles from KOA.  It was a "Sister" college when we were at UW-Stevens Point.  As all universities it has expanded, lots of buildings, student housing and even a Marching Band Practice Field.  It was neat to see the old buildings.

Punxsutawney Phil's cousin
Punxsutawney Phil & Ellie

Then onto Punxsutawney, PA.  Ellie's hometown has Jimmy the Groundhog.  Since we were so close, we had to stop by and see Phil's hometown.    Since we were off the Interstate, lots of up and down hills, lots of curves.  Beautiful countryside.

Coming into Punxsutawney there are some beautiful Old Painted Ladies, gorgeous Victorian houses.  Lots of Phil statues and his cousins at the Groundhog Zoo, a part of the local library. The forestland through PA go on forever. Also saw farmlands. In Clearfield County crossed the highest elevation on I-80 east of the Mississippi River.
Phil & Jim

Deer in Jim's yard
Bar harbor and African Guinea hens
Onto Danville, PA to visit Phil's friend Jim. The two guys used to audit for Goodyear and have many stories to rehash. Arrived at Jim's about 5 pm. 267 traveled. What a great homestead he has. The home and land has been in his family for over one hundred years. He has 82 acres. The land is worked by neighbors. He has guinea chickens and a visiting cat and dog. We also met Vickie his girlfriend. We all had a great time visiting. So sorry that Vickie had to go to work the next day. We were on the way after a fantastic breakfast.

Spent the night in Walmart parking lot
On the road again, Wednesday Sept. 29 heading to New England. Before leaving Jim's he served us a huge fantastic breakfast. Thanks Jim for everything. In PA. we see our first really impressive trees that have changed colors. As we cross the Hudson River I see one lone sailboat. (It's the middle of the week.). We journey through NY, CT and stopped at a Walmart in Chelmsford, MA. 368 miles. We slept very comfortable....our first night in a Walmart parking lot....price was right.

Franciscan Monastery

Grotto at Monastery

Got some shoes for Phil
On the road again, Thursday morning Sept. 30 7 am heading thru New Hampshire to ME. We stopped at the Franciscan Monastery in Kennebunk, ME. We toured the grounds and went inside the Chapel and said a few prayers. In this town is a "Wedding Cake House." The house was built in 1825 and all the trim was done by hand. Remarkable. Onto Freeport to shop at L.L. Bean. Bought Phil two pairs of shoes. Onto Acadia National Park arriving 5:30 pm. We traveled 420 miles.
Wedding Cake House

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday September 12, 2010:

On the road again about 7:30 am, headed to Goshen IN for the 50th Escapade & Escapees RV Boot Camp at the Elkart County 4-H Fairgrounds.  No traffic problems on the way.  When we arrived at the camping area we amazed by the number of RV's (the actual count was 796 rigs and 1,593 attendees).  We were surrounded by 40 foot RV's, it was somewhat comical to see our RV dwarfed by these huge rigs.    As we visited with Roger, who parked next to us, we discovered we had all been at the Sandwich Fair last Thursday.  Small world!!  We registered and settled in.  Our name tags had a "1st" on it indicating that we were first timers and because of this designation we received hugs from many of the veteran members.

In the afternoon we went to orientation and the opening ceremony. Rather than participating in the Ice Cream Social, we went back to our RV and watched the Packers.  We get the local channels.  At 7:30 the entertainment was Johnny Counterfit. He did a lot of character impressions, songs and quite a few political jokes. It was good clean fun.

Monday September 13, 2010

On Monday the work began.  Phil attended the seminar "RV Concepts for Beginners," this seminar covered many things, from tanks, water, electricity, generators and everything in between.  A lot of information to absorb.  Ellie went to learn about PICASA, an editing program for digital photos.  The sessions were 1 1/2 hours long.  Then Phil went to "Weight Safety" and learned that overweight can be a problem.  Ellie attended the seminar "Honey! Lets clean the RV"

Then we had a 1 1/2 hour lunch break (which seemed like 15 minutes) then back to seminars.  Phil's seminar was "Driving that RV."  He picked up some good points, but it was geared more to Big Rigs.  Ellie attended the "RVing in Atlantic Canada".  We both attended the next seminar about "AC Electrical System Safety", but they were having some sound problems so we "ducked" out early and went to the vendor area to look at various items on sale.  There were about 45 vendors.

The next thing on the agenda from 4:30-5:30 was "Happy Hour & Door Prizes", well we were happy, but did not get any door prizes.  After this we went back to our RV and ate supper.

From 7:30 to 9:00 pm we attended the seminar "Alaska:  The Ultimate RV destination."  After that presentation we were ready to take off for Alaska.  (We were there 5 years ago, but want to go again.)

Got back to the RV, tired, had a beer, then to bed.

Tuesday September 14:

2 More Seminars in the morning and again in the afternoon.  Phil's:  Basic RV Systems I and II, Fire Safety I and II.  Ellie's :  For Women Only, Surviving Your Life in an RV, 3 RV Electrical Systems and Why Use Water Filters?  A Social with other SKP's from "Lincolnland."  It was neat to meet other IL RV'ers.  After supper Phil attended Best SW Destinations and Ellie:  Get the Most From Your Digital Camera.

Another day when our heads were swimming with all this info.

Wednesday September 15 was named Community Day:

Ellie attended a session where a speaker talked about the Amish, their beliefs and lifestyle.  We also visited many of the the vendors, trying to figure out what are the best purchases.  After lunch we drove through the countryside, visited some of the "Quilt Gardens."  The farmland seems so flat, not rolling hills.  Also a lot of farms with horses.  We went to the Shipshewana Flea Market.  Wow, it was huge.  We found some things to buy including Ginger Cream Cookies.  (like Mom Chauvin used to make...delicious).

After supper at our RV,  Ellie went to a seminar on Best Destinations of the Pacific NW and Phil went to a Genealogy Panel Discussion.  Another FULL day.

Thursday September 16:

Phil's sessions:  Boondocking (camping without plugging in the electricity) and RV Preventative Maintenance.  Ellie's:  Finding Space to Store things in the RV and Using Digital Photos to Make Movies.  The afternoon for both of us was Boot Camp Wrap-up, then the closing ceremony followed by a Fare-Thee-Well Picnic.  Can you imagine serving a hot dogs picnic to over 1500 people.  It was a little rainy so they couldn't do it outside but their plan "B" made serving that many people effortless and all were served so smoothly.  We met a lot of really neat people.  It amazed us how many were "Full Timers."  We didn't stick around for the Dance Party.  We were ready to mellow and actually spent the time getting better organized in our RV.
Our little Roadtrek dwarfed by the big rigs.

Friday September 17:

On the road again,  we got home at noon.  We traveled  407 miles.  21.456 MPG.  We learned so much, met so many great people and are eager for our next trip.  We are anxious to see this great U.S.A.!!!!!