Thursday, August 28, 2014

Back in Oswego

Not too much to post today.  I said good by to all, and headed back to Oswego this morning.  An interesting drive - 1 1/2 hours to go 3 miles on the Cross Bronx Expressway.  I gave up, and rather than take the usual route across the George Washington Bridge & I84 to I81, I headed up I 87 & crossed the Tappan Zee Bridge & NY 17 to Binghamton.  A much nicer drive, and far less traffic.

I'm not sure when the next post will happen, but I will be attending the Niagara Wine Escape on September 11.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty

On Wednesday, the project was to take Papa Jon (me) and the kids to the Statue of Liberty. The last time I went Karin was close to Valerie's age. We didn't have tickets to go to the crown, but did get up to the top of the pedestal. Valerie developed a headache and burned out part way through the event, ending up getting sick to her stomach on the train ride home. Still, something to talk about when she gets back to Botswana. Brian got a photo of her in front of some tall buildings to make up for the stroller shot at the statue.  Lots more photos at the update of the trip.

So, we now have a bunch of tired kids (and adults, at least one of us) but are back in Oceanside.

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Trip to the New Bay House

Valerie in the Marsh

Tuesday morning was pool time, after which we went out to the new bay house. Hurricane Sandy did in the original bay house and the replacement is underway. The outsides are pretty near finished, while there is still work to go on the insides. This one is quite a bit higher off the water; hopefully it will survive the next hurricane!

While at the bay house, Zoe got to try her new boots for a walk through the marsh. While Valerie loves the idea & led the hike, Zoe wasn't quite as enthused, particularly after a misstep that landed her in a hole over the tops of her boots.   Photos at Oceanside 2014.

After that it was back to Oceanside an some relaxing.

More tomorrow.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Off to Oceanside

Dinner at Olive Oils
Well, I'm back on the road, unfortunately, without the trailer.  It is sitting in the driveway in pieces (not the trailer, but much of the insides) - I'm doing some wiring projects that I discovered needed doing while on the last trip.  As I mentioned in previous posts, Karin, Brian, Valerie & Zoe are back in the US on a "HomeStay" from Botswana for the month of August.  So, I drove down to Oceanside, Long Island to Brian's parents house for a couple of days.  316 miles, but without the trailer it was much faster than normal.

By the way, don't attempt to make a route without tolls to Long Island from Oswego.  I wondered why the GPS took forever to do a route to their house, found it was 650 miles & 13 hours!  I had set the GPS for no toll roads to avoid the NY Thruway for the trip home from Letchworth State Park & forget to reset it.

The drive down was OK, although far too much traffic for me.  Of course I took some photos:
Valerie & Zoe
Valerie & Zoe
After settling in, Bert & Pam took us to Olive Oils for dinner.  Right now the kids are asleep & everyone else is settling in watching a Yankee game on TV.

More tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

2014 Trip Wrap Up

Fallen Roof Ruin, Road Canyon, UT

OK, time for a wrap up of the trip. First some statistics - 304 days, 15,905.6 miles pulling the trailer, 22,888 miles on the RAV4. I stayed in 119 different campgrounds, averaged $22.41 per night (the least expensive was $0.00 at Quartzite, AZ & O'Neill City Park, NB, the most expensive was $65.46 at St Mary KOA at St Mary, MT (outside Glacier National Park's east entrance)).

I took over 11,000 photographs, posted hundreds, and put some of my favorites on the LakeshoreImages Trip Wrap Up  Page.

While it is good to be back in Oswego, I do miss traveling. I keep wanting to go somewhere or do something! I will be driving downstate to visit with my daughter & her family next week, and have two fiberglass trailer rallies in September, so I haven't put the trailer away, but it sure looks lonely sitting in the driveway!

Thanks to all that followed along with my travels, the wonderful people I met on the trip & at rallies, and hope to see all of you again in the future.

Until the next trip!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Home, Oswego, NY

Home, Oswego, NY
Saturday, August 9, 2014, Home, Oswego, NY - 12.4 miles, 15,905.6 For the Trip

While the drive was short, today was one of the busiest of the trip. While it is great to be home, the job of unpacking the trailer & RAV4 took most of the day. Hard to believe there was that much stuff in both! I also went through a 3' high stack of mail. While most of it was junk, every once in a while something important came up such as the release of the lien on the RAV4, etc.

I'll have to get used to sleeping in a huge full size bed, a 20' walk to the bathroom, 8' of counter space, etc. While I love living in the trailer, it will be nice not to have to get out & put away everything I use.

Dinner was a trip to Rudys for a shrimp dinner, a fish stand on Lake Ontario a couple of miles from my house.

After things settle down I'll post a wrap up of the trip.

Until then

Friday, August 8, 2014

Fair Haven Beach State Park, NY

Site 51, Fair Haven Beach State Park, NY
Friday, August 8, 2014, Fair Haven Beach State Park, NY - 94.5 miles, 15,893.2 For the Trip

Very little happening today. I drove to Fair Haven Beach State Park. It is about 12 miles from home, but I've never camped here. For many years in my 20's & 30's, it was our favorite place to water ski, but close enough that it was always a day trip. I'm in site 51, a huge site with electric only for $27.75 (there is an extra $4.00 charge because it is a weekend). It does have the pedestal on the wrong side, which forces you to park a bit closer to the next site than necessary, and puts the picnic table on the wrong side of the trailer.   The site photo is the only one for today.

I spent most of the day either walking around the park, or reading. I had a grilled chicken breast, corn on the cob, and a peach cup for dinner.

Until tomorrow.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Letchworth State Park, Perry, NY

Lower Falls, Letchworth State Park, NY
Thursday, August 7, 2014, Letchworth State Park, Perry, NY - 97.8 miles, 15,798.7 For the Trip

While I could have made it a long day and driven home to Oswego, I decided to take a couple of days getting back. I stopped at Letchworth State Park for the day & am in site 328, a 30 amp electric only site for $23.75. It looks like it rained recently; lots of puddles around the campsites, with standing water in some of them. At Letchworth, when you check in they give you a list of available sites, then have you pick one out, then drive back to the check in to register, so I didn't end up in an underwater site!

After setting up the trailer I drove to the waterfalls. They are not as photographic as some of my past visits (I've been visiting the park since my daughter attended SUNY Geneseo in the early 90's). After a heavy rain the water is too high and too muddy for good pictures. Still, you work with what you get! I also took a couple of photographs of the CCC stature, as well as the Mary Jemison statue (she was the "White Woman of the Genesee.")

There was a crew taking down a large maple tree at the head of the Middle Falls, so I took a couple of photos of it going down.

More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner will be my last Amy's frozen dinner, my favorite, Cheese Enchiladas.

Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Hidden Valley Camping Area, Jamestown, NY

Site 552, Hidden Valley Camping Area, Jamestown, NY
Wednesday, August 6, 2014, Hidden Valley Camping Area, Jamestown, NY - 219 miles, 15,700.9 For the Trip

After 301 days, I'm finally back in New York. After a long drive across Ohio, and a short one through the northwestern tip of Pennsylvania, I took I86 to Jamestown NY. I stopped at a couple of places to get a NY State Inspection but they either couldn't do one at all, or couldn't do the trailer. Finally, I stopped at KIA of Jamestown and found they could do both the RAV4 & the trailer. I had to wait an hour & one half, but since I did it in & outside the trailer in their parking lot, the wait was OK.

When I talked with our local DMV before leaving in October, I asked how I should deal with my inspections running out while I was out West. Their answer, as usual, was not at all practical. They told me to mail them a letter when I got to the NY border asking for a temporary inspection sticker for each vehicle. They would mail them to me (I explained that I wouldn't be able to get mail at most campgrounds, and wouldn't be at one for more than one day). Their answer was that was the only solution. So, I took a chance & drove 30 miles in NY without a current sticker, hoping that if I got stopped, the cop would be understanding. No problems with the inspections, and I had a good time talking with the guy that cashed me out about traveling.

After that I headed a bit south to the Hidden Valley Camping Area for the night. $30.60 with the Good Sam discount for water & electric. Like the recent sites, on grass, but with a row of pine trees providing shade.

As usual lately, the only photo is that of the campsite.

Dinner will be a couple of cheese brats.

Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Gotta Getaway RV Park, Bellevue, OH

Site 8, Gotta Getaway RV Park, Bellevue, OH
Tuesday, August 5, 2014, Gotta Getaway RV Park, Bellevue, OH - 176.5 miles, 15,481.9 For the Trip

Another pretty much boring day. Sorry for the lack of interesting places & pictures lately, but since I'm in a hurry to get home to see my daughter, I'm pretty much skipping what might well be great stops. Like yesterday, the only photo is of the campsite.

I spent almost all of today driving US 6, a much more enjoyable section of it than yesterday. I stopped for the day at the Gotta Getaway RV Park, Site 8, $31.50 with a Good Sam discount. A bit expensive for electric & water, but, like yesterday, a huge site on grass, although a bit closer to neighbors. They do have interesting names for the last two campgrounds, although I probably should have found out the history of the name for Starved Rock State Park!

After setting up the trailer I drove to Kasper Toyota in Sandusky for an oil change & tire rotation. Hard to believe I've put another 5000 miles on the RAV4! While the trailer has been pulled 15,481.9 miles so far on this trip, the RAV4 has done 22,385 miles since leaving Oswego in October.

I stopped at a roadside stand for fresh corn on the cob, and the owner wouldn't let me pay for one ear. Back at the campground I took a walk around the place. One interesting thing - the pool & showers are heated with an outdoor wood burning boiler. Probably makes a lot of sense, and with all the campfires, the extra smoke wouldn't be noticed. I spent the rest of the afternoon reading.

Dinner will be a pork chop, and, of course, a grilled ear of corn.

Until tomorrow.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Pla-Mor Campground, Bremen, IN

Site 432, Pla-Mor Campground, Bremen, IN
Monday, August 4, 2014, Pla-Mor Campground, Bremen, IN- 162 miles, 15,305.4 For the Trip

After a very pleasant night, I was back on I 80, US 6 & US 30 heading East. I really dislike the Chicago area; far too busy for me. I thought I would be more comfortable avoiding interstate 80 & take US 30 to get around the city area, but US 30 goes through Joliet, IL, which, while not Chicago, is a big city with terrible roads. Eventually, I was back in corn fields, although still mostly suburbs. I crossed into the Eastern Time Zone, so I no longer have to be sure I'm not calling friends & my son in the middle of the night!

I stopped for the day at the Pla-Mor Campground in Breman, Indiana. The campground is just off US 6 although my site is far enough away that the traffic noise isn't too bad. I'm in site 432, a Water & Electric site for $26.75. Huge open grass site with one other trailer near by.

No photos for the day other than that of the campsite.

Dinner will be a salad.

Until tomorrow.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Starved Rock State Park, IL

Crossing the Mississippi
Sunday, August 3, 2014, Starved Rock State Park, IL - 176 miles, 15,143.4 For the Trip

I got up a bit late this morning after a lousy night's sleep - part brought on by worry about getting the tire repaired/replaced & also the campground. Among the other "interesting" happenings; missed football throws bouncing off the side of the trailer (they did apologise after the third thump). While campgrounds do have different ambiances, both of the worst have been county parks. Of course, some county parks have been great, so I'm not sure what causes the problems. Oh, and one more thing - the only other campground bad enough to mention in my post was where the next door neighbor brought out a chain saw. Well, guess what? Same here. This one was a standard 18" bar saw, but just as loud & out-of-place as the tree trimmer at the Laverne County Campground in OR. Best part about it was after one cut they ran out of gas! By the way, no bad smell from the spilled milk yet. Here's hoping!

I did notice that the other loop of the campground seemed more normal, and planned to move there for the day if I couldn't find a solution for the tire on a Sunday. Fortunately, the Theisen's Home, Farm, and Auto Center in Dubuque opened at 9:00AM, was only 10 miles away, and was willing to check the tire. As I expected, the nail was too close to the edge of the tread, so I needed a replacement tire. While I prefer Maxxis "D" rated tires, all they had available was a "C" rated no name brand. The "C" rated tires are what came on the trailer, and are OK for the weight, but I like the stiffer sidewalls provided by the heavier tire. I had them put the spare on the trailer & the new tire on the back as the spare. Since the Maxxis tires are pretty near the end of their life (well one of them is now past it) I will replace both with "D" rated Maxxis tires when I get home. I'll keep the new tire as a spare since the previous spare now on the trailer is 4 years old. I guess I can't complain about tire life - I've managed to get 53,000 miles out of two sets of trailer tires!

So, I got on the road a bit later than normal, and stopped for the day at Starved Rock State Park in IL. I'm in site 55, sloped enough that I had to unhook to level the trailer, but a very nice site. Large, quiet, and shaded. $25.00 for electric only, but there are showers nearby.

I stopped to take a photo of the Mississippi after crossing into IL, but that & the campground photo is all I took today. I did stop for some supplies, including another half gallon of milk (with a long check for leaks!) Dinner will be a grilled chicken breast & corn on the cob.

Until tomorrow.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Swiss Valley County Park, Dubuque , IA

Site 24, Swiss Valley County Park, Dubuque, IA
Saturday, August 2, 2014, Swiss Valley County Park, Dubuque , IA - 235.8 miles, 14,967.4 For the Trip

It started out as a fairly boring drive along US 20, which, for most of the drive resembled a 4 lane interstate. 235 miles of corn & soybeans. I pulled into the Swiss Valley County Park, and only found one site open. I took it, and soon discovered that I had a new record for the least desirable neighbors. First, 3 cars worth, one of which arrived & parked so they blocked my car (of course, on my site). They evidently had been using both sites until I got here, and seemed really put out that I took it, wandering through the site, etc. To top it off, they burned their garbage in their fire pit, stinking up the trailer. On the other hand, the price is only $16.00 for water & electric, but I'd pay more if I could move...

The next discovery is a nail in one of my trailer tires. I checked the tire pressure & it was down to 28 lbs - lucky I didn't have a blowout. I refilled it, but am either going to have to wait until Monday to get it repaired, or try to jack up the trailer to change it with the spare, neither of which seems like a good option. Maybe another site will open up tomorrow & I can move, and wait until Monday. Probably not my favorite day of the trip!

The only photo is the site photo.

Oh, I forgot to mention, the day started off as a bad one - Getting out of bed I stepped into a puddle of milk on the floor. Seems I had a slow leak in my bottle of milk that ran down the face of the cabinet below the refrigerator, under the refrigerator, etc. I spent about a half an hour & most of a roll of paper towels cleaning up the mess, but there is no way to get at what ever ran under the fridge. I guess I'll discover tomorrow or the next day how well I did cleaning up!

Dinner will be a grilled chicken sandwich.

Until tomorrow.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Sunrise Campground, Storm Lake, IA

Site 706, Sunrise Campground, Storm Lake, IA
Friday, August 1, 2014, Sunrise Campground, Storm Lake, IA 190.9 miles, 14,731.6 For the Trip

Another 190 miles towards home, cruising on US 20. Stopping for fuel in Iowa is confusing. They have all kinds of different ethanol blended gas. Since E10 is the highest blend I can put in the RAV4, I ended up at the wrong pump. They have E10, E15, E20, and E85. My last Town & Country was a flex fuel vehicle, but not the RAV.

That was about all the excitement I had for the drive. I stopped for the afternoon at Sunrise Campground at Storm Lake, IA. I did have to look up the state initials for Iowa - somehow IW didn't look right.

Since i was down to 2 pairs of socks, I needed to do laundry, and the laundromat is not too far from my site (706), and only $1.00 for wash or dry. While a fairly crowded campground, the facilities are nice, clean, and centrally located. Individual bathrooms with showers (push button). $21.00 for full hookups. My site only had 50 amp receptacles available at the pedestal - I have an adapter, so it was no problem.

The only photo for the day was the campsite.

When I checked my mail at the campground I discovered that I had an invitation from another Escape owner for a place to camp for the night.  Unfortunately, I was already here, and will want to go further tomorrow, but they will be attending the Niagara Escape Rally in September, so I'll meet them there.

I stopped at a roadside truck for one ear of corn, and will have it with a steak for dinner.

Until tomorrow.