Monday, September 29, 2014

Binghamton, NY

Monday, September 29, 2014, Don & Anne's, Binghamton, NY - 150.8 miles, 825.3 For the Trip

No photos or much of a trip report today.  I packed up & headed north.  I81 most of the way, and stopped at Don & Anne's for the night.  Since I had my driveway top coated while on the trip, I can't get into it to park the trailer until tomorrow, so I'll finish the drive to Oswego in the morning.

Dinner was fried shrimp from Doug's Fish Fry.  Since I'm required to compare it to Oswego's Rudys on the Lake, Here goes.  Fries - about the same.  Shrimp - a plus to Doug's. Coleslaw - Can't compare it to Rudys since I always get the macaroni salad, but it is 100% better than the coleslaw that comes with the otherwise excellent fish dinner at our Oswego Price Chopper.  Finally, I tried a bite of Anne's fish sandwich.  Have to give the prize to Rudys.  Their fried haddock sandwich, whether or not it is, tastes like fresh, unfrozen fish, and is hard to beat. Flakey, large pieces, and great taste.  All in all, I'd have to call it a tie.

Until tomorrow

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Twin Grove Campground, Pine Grove, PA, Day 4

House For Sale?
Sunday, September 29, 2014, Twin Grove Campground, Pine Grove, PA, Day 4, 0 Miles Today, 674.5 For the Trip.

I didn't take any photos today, so I used one of an abandoned building on the way to the campground that I took a couple of days ago.  While I wish the orange plastic mesh wasn't part of the picture, I love the color and texture of the wood.

My friends Don & Anne hung around the campsite most of the day, packing up their tent after the dew dried.  They spent yesterday afternoon looking at all the different sizes of Escapes, and concluded that I should buy a truck & a new 5.0TA, then give them my 17B.  I'm not at all sure that is a viable plan!

We had breakfast at the campground restaurant, then watched most of the trailers from the rally leave; one 5.0TA is still hanging out with me until tomorrow.  Other than that we sat around talking & having a good time chasing away the stink bugs.  If you are not familiar with where they got their name, slap one (you will only do it once!)

I had a couple of leaving trailers donate firewood, so I felt obligated to build a fire.  Have to admit it is more fun with a group sitting around it than just by yourself, but still OK.

Dinner was simple - a ham sandwich on a roll along with some chips.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The 1st Annual Eastern US Escape Rally, Day 2

The Pot Luck Dinner
Saturday, September 27, 2014, The 1st Annual Eastern US Escape Rally, Day 2

Today included trailer tours, the traditional Pot Luck Dinner, and some give-aways from Escape Trailer Industries. While not part of the rally, there was lots of other things going on at the campground. A garage sale, a disk golf tournament, and between 3:30 & 5:00 it was early Halloween.

At the pot luck there was plenty of food for all with all kinds of stuff. Afterwards, a number of people gathered around a campfire. I left around 9:30 to post the photos, which are on the 1st Annual Eastern US Escape Rally page at LakeshoreImages.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, September 26, 2014

1st Annual Eastern US Escape Rally, Day 1

Friday Night Campfire

Friday, September 26, 2014, Twin Grove Campground & the 1st Annual Eastern US Escape Rally, 0 Miles Today, 674.5 for the trip.

Not as cool last night, although 47°F isn't what I'd call toasty.  As usual, the little electric cube heater kept the trailer at 68°F.  

After breakfast, I headed to the Pottsville Giant grocery store for a couple bins of blueberries.   I have some frozen ones, but not enough for two pies.  Since we don't have an exact head count, I figure I'll need to make two pies.  

A bunch of trailers arrived throughout the day, but I'm still the only 17 in the bunch.  Quite a few 21's, 5.0TA's, and a 19' so far.  We gathered at one of the trailers for a campfire.  While there are some still going, I figured it was both too cold, and time to post the page.  Photos of the rally are on a LakeshoreImages page

Dinner was a California Cheeseburger & fries from the campground's restaurant.  Highly recommended.

Until tomorrow - 

Twin Grove Resort & Campground, Pine Grove, PA

Site A20, Twin Grove Campground, PA
Thursday, September25, 2014, Twin Grove Resort & Campground, Pine Grove, PA, 125.7 Miles Today, 674.5 For the Trip.

Well, another late post.  No excuse; the park has great AT&T and Verizon coverage, as well as WiFi.  I just got talking with some other early arrivals at the rally here in the park & forgot.

An uneventful drive along I80 & I81 to the park, going from green trees to beautiful fall colors along the way. I reached the park around 12:30 and found they have a gated entrance to the camping area, so I had to wait a bit before setting up.

After setting up I decided to see if I could find a Verizon store to get a replacement battery for my MHS291LVW Hotspot (my cellular data connection).  The battery is swelling, to the point where the back no longer fits on the device.  I drove to Lebanon, the nearest Verizon store, where they said "Wow, I've never seen that!"  And, of course, they didn't have a battery.  Tried a couple of other places, but no luck.

Back at the campground, I met a couple of early arrivals for the rally, both with a new Escape 5.0TA (the latest version of the Escape 5th wheel).

Dinner was store bought fried chicken.

Until tomorrow (actually, later today) -

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Delaware Water Gap, PA, Day 4

Resica Falls, DelawareWater Gap, PA
Wednesday, September 24, 2014, Delaware Water Gap, PA, 0 Miles Today, 548.8 For the Trip

I tried for two waterfalls today, but wasn't able to find Shohola Falls. Found the town & Camp Shohola (which is for sale), and a lake with spillway that I don't think was the waterfall. In any case I gave up & headed south to visited Resica Falls.

You can't get to the base of the falls (it is private property) but there is an overlook at the Resica Falls Boy Scout Reservation parking lot that gives pretty good views. I added the above photo & a close up of the bottom section at the Delaware Water Gap page.

After that it was back to the campground to sit & read a bit. A crew came to clean the bathrooms even though it isn't Saturday or Sunday morning.  While they now smell disinfected, the spider webs are still in place.  Maybe they are keeping the fly population down?  

I couldn't make up my mind what to cook for dinner, so I decided to give Pies On a try.  As far as my taste in pizza and wings, it was a mistake.  Way too much sauce on the pizza, and the smallest chicken winks I've had (although I have to admit they threw in a bunch of extras to the dozen I ordered.

I got back to a crowded campground.  We have a large 5th wheel, an Airstream, a Casita, and a small Class C all in the small loop I'm in.  I talked with the Casita owners & gave them a look at the Escape.

So, today brings to a close this visit to the Delaware Water Gap.  While I didn't get to all the area falls, I did find many more than I did in 2001. Again, it would be better in the late spring or early summer when there is more water (and maybe Dingmans Falls would be open) but well worth the visit.

I'll be packing up & heading to the 1st Annual Eastern US Escape Rally in the morning.

Until tomorrow -

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Delaware Water Gap, Day 3

Bushkill Falls, Delaware Water Gap, PA
Tuesday, September 23, 2014, Delaware Water Gap, PA, 0 Miles Today, 548.8 For the Trip

After a cool night in the 40's, I woke up to clear skies, which makes for poor waterfall photos, but the weather is predicted to be the same for tomorrow, so I headed out. Today was my "Commercial" waterfall visit - Bushkill Waterfalls. There is an admission charge for the waterfall trails - $12.50, although as a senior, I got a dollar off.

While the map lists 8 waterfalls, I either missed some or 2 didn't have enough water to qualify. I took the Red trail, a 2 mile hike that passes all of them. In any case, it is a well developed hiking trail. Any place that would involve scrambling has walkways & stairs, although one section is a long uphill hike through a rocky dried up stream bed (that is probably well filled in the Spring).

All in all, a comfortable couple of hours of hiking & photographing. I won't try to name each waterfall since I must have missed some, but the photos are in order along the Red trail hiking in a clockwise (for you digital folks who have never seen an analog clock face, around the bases backwards) direction. The first 2 images are of the main falls, which can be viewed without taking any stairs (although not from the bottom!)  (Photos have been added to the Delaware Water Gap page.)

After the hike I headed to a nearby grocery store for some supplies, then 16 miles back to the campground.  I decided that I needed a shower after 2 days of sweaty hiking, so even though the bathroom is "interesting", I headed for it.

Now I generally don't complain about the conditions of campground bathrooms (other than poor design) but the North Bathroom here in the park is pretty bad.  There are 2 showers, one with an anemic shower head. While the shower head on the other stall is great, there is no handle on the cold water valve.  I found that it didn't matter, since the hot water was not hot enough to need any cold water added.  Since there were fewer spiders in the single faucet shower, and a better spray, that is where I headed.  While small & dirty, I have to admit it was fairly well designed.  Shower curtains, a bench, and 3 sets of hooks.  Even had a soap rack hanging from the shower head.

Dinner was the rest of the left over orange chicken.

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, September 22, 2014

Delaware Water Gap, Day 2

Childs Park, Delaware Water Gap, PA
It poured last night; the heaviest rain of the trip.  By morning, it had stopped, but lots of drips off the tree leaves over the trailer.  One interesting thing - the rain seemed to improve my XM Radio reception.  Prior to the rain it dropped out for a short time every minute of so; during the rain it never quit. I would have expected the opposite.

Anyhow, I sat around during the morning, and since it clouded up after lunch, I visited some more Delaware Water Gap water features.

First stop was the George W. Childs Park. While low water levels did make for some limitations, there was enough to get some waterfall photos as well as some riffles in the creek. There is the foundation from an old mill along the trail that is interesting. A well put together park with easy trails on both sides of the stream and a number of bridges get across.

After that I headed to nearby Hacker Falls. A bit longer walk, but a pretty falls. The last stop of the day was at Raymondskill Falls, the highest waterfall in Pennsylvania. Another pretty waterfall, and a very short walk from the parking lot.  I added today's photos at the Delaware Water Gap page.

Since I didn't defrost anything for dinner (I think it was a subconscious plan), I was going to stop at the Pie's On pizza (say it out loud) for dinner.  On the way, I found a Chinese restaurant and changed my mind.  I ordered Orange Chicken & fried cheese wontons.  Very close to the Orange Chicken made by my favorite Chinese restaurant in Oswego.

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Delaware Water Gap, PA

Buttermilk Falls, The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
Sunday, September 21, 2014, Dingmans Campground, The Delaware Water Gap, PA 155.8 Miles Today, 548.8 For the Trip

Today was a travel day.  Unfortunately, most of it was boring along I80.  It did get interesting towards the end - a large lump in my lane turned out to be a dead black bear.  I managed to drive around it, but was surprised to see one.

I am spending 4 nights in site 9 at Dingmans Campground in PA. While the $20.00 per night with the senior discount isn't too bad, at the normal $40.00 per night it isn't worth it.  While the site has water & electric, and is quite large & under some nice shade trees (enough that my XM Radio doesn't work) the bathrooms are scary!  They do have showers, although one of the them in the men's bathroom only has a hot water faucet.   The sign on the door says they are cleaned Saturday & Sunday mornings, and they look like the last time was a number of Sundays ago. Anyhow, I'm here.  Very quiet with just a few sites occupied.

The campground hands out driving directions to the area waterfalls, so I decided to try for a couple after setting up the trailer. While the campground is in PA, some of the waterfalls I visited are in New Jersey across the Delaware River.  Like most directions, they only help - for example, the directions say Brinks Road, but the sign says Main Street. The bridge across the river is a very narrow 2 lane bridge with a weight limit of 4 tons. It is a toll bridge - $1.00 each way, collected by someone standing between the lanes on the PA side of the bridge. The even have a sign that there is a charge for bikes.

An even smaller 3 ton, one lane bridge crosses a stream on the way. If they get any smaller, even the RAV4 won't be allowed! For a moment, I thought I discovered a new product (bridge building) of my home town of Croton, NY on the casting on the bridge, however a closer look read Groton, NY...

For anyone interested in visiting the area, late September is about the worst time possible. Too early for good color (although there was some) and far too little water going over the falls. I did see my second black bear of the day, this one crossing the road in front of me but I didn't get the chance to take a photo.

The first visit was to Buttermilk Falls (I believe it is required that every state has at least one Buttermilk Falls (NY has at least two)). It probably looks great when there is more water. The next stop was Tillmans Ravine. Not really a waterfall, but again a stream that would look better with more water. Still, a very pretty wooded area. For the pictures, check my Delaware Water Gap page.

After driving back across the Delaware River I cooked a Bubba Burger & green beans for dinner.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sheshequin Campground, Day 2

Saturday, September 20,2014, Sheshequin Campground, Trout Run, PA, Day 2, 0 Miles Today, 393 For the Trip

The big event for today was a trip to  Williamsport to do laundry.  I didn't pack quite enough for a short trip without needing a laundromat, so this was a good day for it.  A Wegmans was only two blocks form the laundromat, so I also picked up milk & a Wegmans salad.  They make very good salad bowls, and they are large enough that they make up a meal.

Other than that, it was a day of sitting outside (weather in the high 60's) and reading.  I did drive over to the showers.  A bit crude, but lots of hot water, good shower head, and shower curtains!

Dinner was a salad.

Until tomorrow -

Friday, September 19, 2014

Sheshequin Campground, Trout Run, PA

Site 35, Sheshequin Campground, Trout Run, PA
Friday, September19, 2014, Sheshequin Campground, Trout Run, PA, 53.5 Miles Today, 393 For the Trip

A short drive to Trout Run today.  I'm not sure why I picked the campground; it is certainly my style with large, open sites & a laid back attitude, however at $35.00 per night, I'm not sure it is worth it. No AT&T coverage, and weak Verizon 3G (with the amplifier).  The campground does have free WiFi that works well.  I'm in site 35, along a small stream, with water & electric.  One problem - the showers (and flush bathrooms) are across the road in another section of the campground; there is an outhouse on this side of the road.  A long walk or short drive to the showers.  Sure am glad my gut has settled down!

Other than driving to the campground, I didn't do much of anything today.  It was a nice warm day (in the mid 60's) so I did get some outside sitting & reading.  No photos other than the campsite one pictured above.

Dinner was a Johnsonville Griller, which I thought was beef, but was a pork hamburger.  While it had built in bacon & cheese, I didn't think much of them.  Unfortunately, I still have 5 more...

Until Tomorrow -

Leonard Harrison State Park, Day 2

"Brick" Church
Thursday, September 18, 2014, Leonard Harrison State Park, Day 2, 0 Miles, 339.5 For the Trip

Sorry for the late posting - it was a combination of a very slow internet connection and being a bit under the weather with a stomach flu.  Not that there was too much to post about.  I didn't do much other than drive to Wellsboro to fill up the gas tank.  I sat around moving the chair with the sun for most of the day.  No photos, so I used one of the church with fake bricks from yesterday.

Dinner was spaghetti & sausage.  I usually have some frozen meatballs in the freezer, but didn't throw some in this trip because it was filled with blueberries.  The sausage was breakfast links - I much prefer real sausage!

Until later -

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania

The grand Canyon of PA
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - Leonard Harrison State Park, PA, 24.5 Miles Today, 339.5 For the Trip

I left the Ives Run COE campground around 11:30 and made the short drive to the Leonard Harrison State Park.  I stopped at the Wellsboro Tops grocery store for some supplies on the way. The small campground has 28 sites, 6 with electric only hookups. $23.00 per night with a 20% senior discount (PA is one of the few states that gives a senior discount to non residents). 

Another Escape trailer owner told me to watch for the "brick" church on the way to the campground along PA 660. It is interesting - what looks like a red brick church is actually a painted finish - not real bricks. A pretty church.

After setting up the trailer I headed for the view of the Grand Canyon of PA. It is interesting that there are a bunch of "Grand Canyons" in many eastern states - PA, NY, ME, NC, & GA for example. While they are all worth a visit, they don't compare to the real thing in AZ! In any case, there is a hike to the bottom of the canyon called the Turkey Path Trail, and since there are a couple of waterfalls along the trail, I had to take the hike. 

Like all waterfall trails it included quite a drop, and was easier going down than coming back up! The photos are not all that great - while the sun was covered with clouds when I started down the trail, it broke through when I arrived at the falls. Harsh sunlight & waterfalls don't mix, at least for photographs.  In any case, more photos at my LakeshoreImages site.

Like many of the parks built by the CCC, they have a statue of a worker and signs explaining what the CCC was.  The number of parks built by the CCC during the depression is amazing. 

After returning to the trailer, I sat outside, slapping tiny flies while trying to read. Finally gave up & made dinner - grilled chicken, saffron rice & green beans.

Until Tomorrow -

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ives Run COE Campground, Day 3

The View From My Back Window
Tuesday, September 16, 2014, Ives Run COE Campground, PA, Day 3, 0 Miles today, 315 For the Trip.

A very quiet day.  It rained over night, but pretty much stopped by late morning, although for most of the day it was cool and cloudy.  Other than taking a walk around the campground & to the campground store (which, although sporting an "Open" sign, was closed) I did very little.  I did spend some of the day cleaning up dead links on my web site.  Some mine, but most outside links to other sites that disappeared.

By the way, if you get to this area of Pennsylvania, Ives Run is a great campground.  Some of the sites are full hookups, but I think the Hickory loop is the prettiest & only has water & electric.  The view (pictured above) is great.  There are four individual bathrooms with handicapped showers for the loop.  While they have heaters on a timer, they don't seem to work, although by late afternoon they are warm enough to be comfortable. 

Dinner was Buffalo chicken tenders & broccoli.

Until tomorrow - 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Corning Museum of Glass

City Skyline Bowl, Corning Museum of Glass
Monday, September 15, Ives Run COE Campground, PA, Day 2 & The Corning Museum of Glass - 0 Miles Today, 315 For the Trip

Today I stopped at the Corning Museum of Glass. Even though it is only a couple of hours from home, the last time I visited was around 50 years ago. It sure has changed. About the only things I remember from the first trip was the periscope & the rejected 200" mirror blank for the Hale telescope. What was a small exhibit area tied to the Corning Glassworks has turned into a world class museum with many collections of glass. There are thousands of pieces of beautiful glass from around the world & throughout the ages.

While they no longer have a viewing area around the manufacturing of Stuben Glass, they do have a Hot Glass Show where you can watch a piece being made. I took a few photos, although many of the pieces are behind glass, limiting the quality of the images.  More photos at my Corning Museum of Glass page.

On the way back to the campground I passed a Wegmans.  Actually, I didn't pass it - they are a very good somewhat local grocery chain.  Excellent prepared food as well as a great stock of standard & organic groceries.  I picked up some chicken fillets, a southwest salad, and other good stuff.

It did warm up today, getting close to 70°F, although it has cooled down now that the sun is behind the clouds.  Dinner was an excellent salad & a few Buffalo chicken tenders.

Until tomorrow -

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Brunch at Betty's

Brunch at Betty's
Sunday, September 14, 2014 - 154.3 Miles, 315 Miles For the Trip

While the Saturday Pot Luck Dinner & door prizes are the official end of the rally, Sunday brunch at Betty's has become very popular. About 25 of us formed an "auto train" and headed an 11:00 brunch. As usual, the food was great. If you ever get to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls (or even the US side), it is well worth a trip to Betty's. I don't know if they do brunch any other days than Sunday, but I've had dinner there & it was great.

As to the brunch, the strawberry crepes, sausage, scrambled eggs, and many dishes I didn't recognize, but enjoyed, were excellent. A whole table of desserts, including my favorite cake, many pies, brownies, and blueberry cheesecake. The only complaint I have is each time I went up to the buffet, the fried fish (which is wonderful) was gone. The people sitting on either side of me managed to get some, so it was just my timing, and I just couldn't make a third trip (well, other than dessert). Sorry the pictures are not up to the usual standards, but I used my iPhone since I didn't want to haul one of the big cameras. At least this year I didn't have my thumb over the lens!  More photos have been added to the Niagara Wine Escape, 2014 page.

After that I headed back to the Riverside Park Campground & Motel to pick up my trailer & headed for Pennsylvania. A few trailers are staying at the campground for the day.

A pleasant 154.3 mile drive along NY 20A, and US 15 (which is I 390 in NY) to the Ives Run Recreation Area COE campground in PA.  I'm in site 125 in the Hickory Loop (electric & water) for the next 3 days @ $16.00 per night with the senior pass.  Sure beats Riverside Park in Niagara Falls at $50.79 (Canadian), although that was with full hookups in a campground about 15 Km from Niagara Falls.

My site has a great view over the lower sections of the campground & Hammond Lake with lots of afternoon sun to warm up the trailer.  It is still rather cool, but at least the sun came out Last night went down to 41°F; I hope for a bit warmer tonight!

Site 125, Ives Run US Army Corps of Engineers (COE) Campground

Until tomorrow -

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Day 2, The Niagara Wine Escape Rally

The Pot Luck Dinner

Saturday, September 13, 2014 -

The weather followed the predictions; rain off & on during the morning & early afternoon, but clearing & a bit of welcome sunshine around 3:00. It was cool enough that I cooked my pies in the trailer, welcoming the extra heat.

After that I took a few more photos of people & trailers, then headed to the Pot Luck Dinner. As usual, lots of great food. After the dinner and the awarding of door prizes, some stayed around for a little campfire gathering. I left fairly early since I needed to post these photos. Actually, that was an excuse. It's COLD! Actually, only down to 52°F, but it feels colder than that even with the warmth of the fire.

More photos added at the 2014 Niagara Wine Escape page.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Niagara Wine Escape Rally

Some of the Participants

Friday, September 12, 2014 -

A cool night - down to 51°F overnight, and it only warmed up to 57°F during the day. At least it didn't rain (although that is the prediction for tomorrow). More trailers arrived throughout the day. I didn't do a count, but we have quite a collection of makes & sizes, all the way from a 21' Escape to a Prius with a camping rig attached to the back. Surfsides, Trilliums, Casitas, Compact Jrs, Bolers, and Big Foots (even a couple of "Stickies" or non fiberglass eggs) are among the trailer brands represented.

I walked around and took a few photos (added to the Niagara Wine Escape Rally page).  Other than that, I didn't do all that much today, other than trying to keep warm.  My little cube heater has been running all day, so it is tempting to hole up in the trailer.

Dinner was a chicken breast & rice & broccoli.

Until tomorrow -

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Back on the Road

Site 51, Riverside Park Campground, Niagara Falls, Ontario
Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 160.7 miles, 160.7 for the trip

I finished a bunch of modifications & additions to the trailer during the month I was in Oswego, and headed out for a 2 1/2 week trip.  Two rallies, the first at Niagara Falls, and the second at Pine Grove, PA.  I'll spend the time between rallies visiting a couple of PA campgrounds.

While the Niagara Wine Escape Rally doesn't start until tomorrow, I got a head start & arrived on Thursday. So far there are around 5 trailers already here, with more coming. The drive was uneventful - 160.7 miles on NY 104, 21 & US 20. I crossed the border at the Peace Bridge. A little longer than following Route 104 all the way from Oswego to the border, but an interesting drive, and it skips going through Rochester.

I did manage to leave home without one item, my travel kit that has my toothbrush, soap, shampoo, etc.  I replaced it all at the local Walmart.  Boy, the purchase of this kind of stuff is expensive in Canada (as are the taxes!)

After that it was back to the trailer & settling into being on the road again.

Until tomorrow.