Thursday, April 23, 2015


Thursday, April 23, 2015, Oswego, NY, 270.1 miles, 1816 for the trip.

I didn't get started as early as I wanted to, but I eventually hit the road. A little ways north of the campground it started to snow. It continued to snow off & on all the way to Oswego. There was never more than a dusting on the road, but since the temperature was in the low 30's, I was a bit worried that I'd be pulling the trailer through snow. Now that I'm home, the snow has stopped, but it is still cold; my outside thermometer reads 37°F. I want the 70°F temperatures from Tennessee!

Other than the snow, it was a fairly quiet trip home. My gas mileage went down to 16.2 MPG for the trip. I unpacked the trailer, and as much as I didn't want to, winterized the trailer. The prediction if for freezing temperatures until Saturday, so I blew out the water lines and added some RV antifreeze to the drains.

Now I'm waiting for the solar panel to arrive from Windy City. It is expected on Monday. I did pick up a switch for the water heater, and managed to get the old one out - it snaps in place. The problem is the connections were burned off, so I'm not sure I'll be able to connect the new switch. Oh well, one needs projects to keep one busy!

Until next time-

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Jonestown KOA, Jonestown, PA

Interesting Homebuilt Trailer
Wednesday, April 22, 2015, Jonestown KOA, Jonestown, PA - 226 miles, 1545.9 for the trip.

I started out on I 81, but when I reached Pennsylvania, both the rough road & the spray from trucks (yes, it is raining) convinced me to switch to US 11. For much of the east, both roads parallel each other, although since US 11 goes through most towns & cities, it is a slower drive. I usually don't mind the extra time, and find the cities & towns break the monotony of driving. I did find that driving I 81 at 57 miles per hour does improve my mileage. I usually average 15MPG, on this trip with most of the driving on I 81, I am currently at 17.3 MPG. Even with the hills along the way, that is as good as I got on the secondary roads in the Florida flatlands.

I probably should have tried for a bit further today, however with the rain I decided to stop at the Jonestown KOA. I used some of my KOA "points", so it was only $15.00 for the night, and I'm in the same site I had on the way down. There is a single axle home built trailer a few sites away, so I took a photo. Interesting pop up top section. The only other photo today is the site photo, but if you want to see it, it is at today's LakeshoreImages page.

While the rain has stopped & it is warming up (it was 49°F when I arrived; now up to 54°F) I didn't want to cook outdoors so I walked next door to the campground for a Blimpy's sub for dinner.

Until tomorrow -

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Natural Chimneys Regional Park, Mt Solon, VA

Site 8, Natural Chimneys Regional Park, Mt Solon, VA
Tuesday, April 21, 2015, Natural Chimneys Regional Park, Mt Solon, VA - 198.2 miles, 1319.9 for the trip.

A nice, quiet night with no rain, there were even visible stars. I got a late start out of the campground, hitting the road around 9:00. I decided to stop again for the night at the Natural Chimneys Regional Park. A nice location at a good price with clean showers & bathrooms. I even selected the same site. While last time there was another trailer in the other side of the campground, this time there is only myself & the host.

The only photo for today is the campsite photo.

Since the weather was OK for hot dogs last night, I'm cooking a pot pie in the toaster oven for dinner tonight.

Until tomorrow -

Monday, April 20, 2015

Hungry Mother State Park, VA

Hungry Mother State Park, Campground B
Monday, April 20, 2015, Hungry Mother State Park, Marion, VA - 176 miles, 1121.7 for the trip.

Last night was exciting. I was listening to the radio & every 10 minutes the Emergency Broadcast System interrupted the programing to announce the counties that could expect severe thunderstorms (with 60 MPH winds, etc). Of course, the problem is I have no idea what county I'm in. They did mention some towns towards the end of the announcement, but Townsend wasn't one of them. Never the less, we did have lots of thunder & lightning, a bit of wind (and more branches falling from the trees) during two storms overnight. I watched them come & go on the Weather Radar app on my phone...

By 7:00AM, all was quiet. I finished packing up the trailer & headed out. The original plan was to head for a KOA about 200 miles up I81, but I saw a sign for Hungry Mother State Park, and had to know how it got its name. Since it has a couple of campgrounds, I decided to do a bit less that 200 miles & stay there. The Camp Burson campground it like any commercial campground - trailer in a parking lot, but the B campground is more typical of state parks. Water & electric for $41.86, a bit steep but a pretty location. There are reservable sites, most of which are along the river, and a number of first come sites. The bathrooms are a bit of a hike from my site (they are next to the host site) but include a laundry, private showers, and a kitchen sink. I'm in site 2 at the recommendation of the campground host - a level pull through. So far I'm the only person here besides the host. I took a few extra photos of the campground...

If the weather holds (more thundershowers are predicted) I'll have a couple of hot dogs, but if it rains, it will be a pot pie cooked in the toaster oven.

Oh, and for those wondered as much as I did, the name of the park comes from a legend that when Indians destroyed several settlements along the New River, Molly Marley and her small child were among the survivors taken to the raiders' base. Molly & her child escaped, and wandered through the wilderness eating berries. Molly finally collapsed and her child wandered down to a creek where she found help. The only words the child could utter were "Hungry Mother". The search party found Molly dead at the base of a mountain that is today named Molly's Knob, and the stream became Hungry Mother Creek.

Until tomorrow -

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Townsend KOA, Day 5

Little River Cascade
Sunday, April 19, 2015, Townsend KOA, Townsend, TN - 0 miles, 945.7 for the trip.

Guess what? More rain! Many of the trailers left today, but since I want to avoid Sunday traffic, and don't need to be at work on Monday (or any day) I'm staying until tomorrow. About the only excitement for the day was a branch falling out of the tree behind my trailer. A very big branch (about 6" in diameter). Lot's of noise, but it missed all the trailers in the area.

I spent most of the day inside the trailer reading either my current book or web pages on the computer. I also packed away most of the outside stuff such as my rug, hooked up the RAV4, and stowed the sewer hose, all during the dryer part of the afternoon. That will make it easier to get underway tomorrow, particularly if it is raining in the morning (as predicted). No photos for the day.

I decided not to cook dinner, and, instead, during a break in the rain, walked to the restaurant next to the campground. An excellent chicken fried steak, along with enough french fries to feed an army. The turnip greens were also very good.

After that it was a shower in the brand new showers here at the campground, and more relaxing.

Until next time -

Saturday, Day Two of the Eggscursion at the Townsend KOA

The Group Photo
Saturday, April 18, 2015, Townsend KOA, Townsend, TN - 0 miles, 945.7 for the trip.

Well, for those of you keeping track of my dinners (and I have no idea why you would) last night was my last Bubba Burger, along with a salad & chips.

This morning I started out making my second blueberry pie. Since I did adjust the time & temperature for the toaster oven, it came out better than last nights, but both are going to the pot luck.

While cooking the pie I gave tours of the Escape 17. Since it it the only 17 here, I got lots of visitors. After the pie was done I took a short trip to see a ParkLiner & a Lil Snoozy. While I've seen both ar rallies before, I haven't seen many so it was nice to have them here. Actually, there is at least one of just about every fiberglass trailer made here in the park (with the exception of an Oliver).

I made another round of the campground with my camera, so I've added another page to the Eggscursion section. For those interested, here is a You Tube video of some of the singing at the rally - Song performed & written by Tom Pritchard (Posted by Troy Hawkins, and not recorded by me).

Dinner was the pot luck. Heavy rain for the start made it interesting to bring over the food, but since the KOA had a shelter large enough for all of us, we got out of the rain to eat. As usual, all kinds of great food! Photos at the Eggscursion page 3.

Until next time -

Friday, Day One of the Eggscursion at the Townsend KOA

Friday, April 17, 2015, Townsend KOA, Townsend, TN - 0 miles, 945.7 for the trip.

I am reposting the last 3 days because I managed to leave out Friday's post.  It will be a bit confusing because they will all show being posted today (Sunday), but there doesn't appear to be a way to put a new post between old ones, so this is the only way I can keep them in order.

A busy day. I made my hash browns for the pot luck breakfast, and, as usual, enjoyed the variety of dishes available. After the pot luck, I made a round of the campground, taking photos of the people & trailers. I started a separate page for the rally.

I decided to make my first blueberry pie today rather than trying to cook two of them tomorrow. That way I hope to be able to tour some of the trailers during the "Open House". Unfortunately, I forgot to modify my recipe for the toaster oven & the crust is a bit darker than I wanted, but at least there will be another one tomorrow that I'll remember to cook a little slower!

While I'm still full from the huge breakfast, I'll probably do something light for dinner tonight.

Until next time -

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park

The Cable Mill, Great Smoky Mountain National Park
Thursday, April 16, 2015, Townsend KOA, Townsend, TN - 0 miles, 945.7 for the trip.

Another damp day. It started out with a bit of sunshine poking through the overcast, but for most of the afternoon a gentle rain fell off & on. I decided it would be a good day to visit the Great Smoky Mountain National Park since it is next to the campground. I drove the Cades Cove Loop, taking photographs of some of the buildings, waterfalls, and cascades along the way. Here is a link to a page with more images.

Other than that, I didn't get a lot done. I stopped at the local IGA for a bottle of milk & some fixings to make hash browns for tomorrow's breakfast pot luck. I also picked up an ear of corn & a steak for dinner.

Until next time -

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Day 1, Townsend KOA

Site 3, Townsend KOA
Wednesday, April 15, 2015, Townsend KOA, Townsend, TN - 234.9 miles, 945.7 for the trip.

Another damp drive, although the rain was light enough that I did most of it on I81. I made it to the rally location at the Townsend KOA, and since I'm a day early, expected to be one of the first ones here, however the campground is filled with fiberglass trailers. So far I've met some new people, and old friends from other rallies including all the way from Quartzite, AZ.

I set up in site 3, including the Easy Up to keep rain off the picnic table. Other than that & talking with some of the others at he gathering, I didn't do much. Dinner was a couple of sandwiches & a fruit cup.

Until next time -

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Along the Blue Ridge Parkway

Along the Blue Ridge Parkway
Tuesday, April 14, 2015, Interstate Overnight Park, Christianburg, VA - 215.7 miles, 710.8 for the trip.

A wet pack up this morning. It started to rain around 1:00AM, and went from light to moderate throughout the night, morning, and all day today. I started out continuing my "Just Get There" approach rather than my usual "Red Roads" & exploring for the trip, but after a few miles being passed by trucks & riding in their spray on I 81, I decided to head for the slower, but more comfortable US 11. Of course my GPS took me on a ride through much of rural Virginia, including a 50 mile section of the Blue Ridge Parkway. While the views are impressive (at least what I remember from the last time I was on it) today was mostly fog. In fact, so foggy that much of the drive was at 30 MPH, or less. I did stop to take a photo of the trailer in the fog.  Today's campsite photo  and one of the "view" along the parkway at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I planned to stay at the New River Junction campground, however it wasn't open. I know, I know, I should have called to check first, but I usually just show up. It works most of the time.

Tried the next campground down the road the Matilda (my GPS) found, and that was a abandoned summer only location. I got turned around (very thankful for a small trailer) and headed back to civilization. While I could have kept going, I decided to stop for the night at the Interstate Overnight Park, Site 11. This place is exactly what the name implies - just off I81, noisy, no bathrooms, and slid your $30.00 through the slot in the door. At least it has full hookups, although I only connected power & water. Basically a dump that I don't recommend to anyone unless you are really tired of driving.

Dinner was chili.

Until next time -

Monday, April 13, 2015

Natural Chimneys Regional Park, VA

Natural Chimneys, Mt Solon, VA
Monday, April 13, 2015, Natural Chimneys Regional Park, Mt Solon, VA - 224.8 miles, 495.1 for the trip.

I spent a quite evening sitting next to a babbling brook. It was nice to be able to sit outside - if I did that in Oswego (or for that matter, Binghamton) my drink would have frozen.

I stopped at the office to get a propane tank refilled; ran out last night. Since I was using the electric heater, no problem with heat, and I noticed before the refrigerator got too warm Speaking of the refrigerator, the problem with the 120V electric mode is in the switch. No power at the heating element, and there is power at the cord going into the refrigerator. On top of that, the water heater switch seems to have completely failed; I can't "wiggle" it back to life. While I haven't checked the manual, it sure looks like the entire water heater must be pulled to replace the switch. Oh well, it still works on propane.

I stopped for the day at Natural Chimneys Regional Park. No one at the park office, and the host is not home. A fellow camper (about the only one in the park besides the host) said she was told to pick a spot & settle up when the host returned. I'm in either A9 or A12; hard to tell which. They were replacing some water lines when I got here and had the water main off, but everything is back up now.

I walked to the Natural Chimneys part of the park and took a couple of photos that are posted on today's LakeshoreImages page.

It was nice to see the Narcissus blooming. When I left Oswego mine were about 3" out of the ground. There was a crew of volunteers picking up trasn in the Natural Chimneys part of the park.

I've been playing with a couple of my different camera GPS units. I have 6 of them, 2 that are completely dead, 1 that takes so long to achieve a lock that it is useless (about 1/2 hour), one that locks pretty fast, but has a lousy cord connector, so it only works when you hold the connector in, and the last that uses the camera battery for power, so it drains it fairly quickly. It also is the only one that doesn't record the direction the camera is pointed, but since it is the fastest to lock on to the satellites, it is the one I'll start using. I like to include the GPS info with the large version of the image both so I can keep track of where I took the image, and so those viewing the site can find the locations. Unfortunately, I didn't get a working GPS for today's photos, other than the campsite image...

A beautiful day, although a bit windy. Rain is predicted for tomorrow, so I enjoyed the sunshine today!

Since I changed my mind and had a Hofmann's hot dog & Grandma Brown's beans for dinner last night, tonight will be a sandwich.

Until next time -

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Jonestown KOA

Jonestown KOA, Site 35, Jonestown, PA
Sunday, April 12, 2015, Jonestown KOA, Jonestown, PA, 161.5 miles, 270.3 for the trip.

An interesting night. The weather predictions for Oswego were mid 30's, however Binghamton had other ideas. Woke up to 28°F. Both my trailer & Don's had been dewinterized, and neither of us left any heat on in the trailer. Don & Anne seemed to make out OK other than ice on the water in the toilet, but I had frozen everything. Pump wouldn't, faucets frozen solid as well as the toilet flush valve. Expecting the worst, hoping for the best, I fired up the furnace, and by 10:00, it was 55°F in the trailer, 40°F outside, and everything was back to normal. I couldn't find any leaks.

I do have a couple of "First Time This Year" problems. The 120 volt switch on the water heater is failing. If you wiggle it, it eventually makes contact, however driving down the road or even shaking the trailer will open the connection (without moving the switch itself). Looks like an interesting thing to replace. It still works fine on gas. The other problem is the usual - the refrigerator. It stopped running on 120V a few times last fall, but every time I went to troubleshoot, it started working again. Well, at today's stop here in Jonestown it isn't working so I'm going to have to see if I can catch it while it is in a bad mood...

I spent most of the morning going over things on Don & Anne's new Scamp. We changed the incandescent lamps over to LEDs, and talked about adding a 12V receptacle, maybe another light over the bed, etc. Of course, Don is still working, and has the usual Spring schedule for the educational theatre industry - no weekends free until June.

An uneventful drive down I 81 to the Jonestown KOA for an overnight. I arrived around 2:30, and paid $40.50 for a full hookup site (with a KOA card discount). A nice, level pull through on the river.

Since I have always done my best to bore you with what is/was for dinner on my previous trips, I guess I'll continue on this one. I forgot to do it last night, but we stopped at Sammy's Pizza in Ithaca for individual slices of pizza. Excellent thin crust pizza. Tonight it will probably be a ham & cheese sandwich since I had a fairly late lunch.

Until next time -

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Saturday, April 11

Tonight's "Campsite"

Saturday, April 11, 2015, Binghamton, NY 118.8 miles, 118.8 for the trip.

Well Spring has finally arrived in Oswego. We had one of the worst February's in history; in fact, actually, the worst - average temperature 8°F & almost all of our snowfall for the winter fell in February.

So, to warm up, I'm heading to the Townsend, Tennessee KOA for the 8th Annual Eggscursion. While the rally doesn't start until next weekend, I'm starting out early to keep to my rule of trying to drive under 200 miles per day. The RAV4 total mileage when I left Oswego was 104,526.2, and the total trailer mileage was 54,965.

I have something new for the trailer - I added a Stowaway II storage box to the rear of the trailer. While adding the box wasn't all that difficult, I did have to punch another hole in the trailer for the wiring for the lights on the box. That, and I had to redistribute a bunch of stuff to keep the tongue weight in the neighborhood of 10% of the trailer weight. Today's trip to the dump weighed out at 3140 lbs for the trailer & 335 lbs for the tongue. It towed fine for the trip to Binghamton at my usual 57 MPH.

The first stop is in Binghamton, NY to a friend's house. Last week we drove to Canada to pick up their new-to-them trailer, a 2010 Scamp. The paperwork went well and we were able to drop it off at my house in Oswego for a couple of days while they got their van wired for a 7 pin connector. Yesterday Anne drove it from the trailer shop to Binghamton - She did OK, at least for the tow to their house, but they want me to back it into the new parking spot.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I'll probably add more later - we are going to Ithaca for a dance show tonight.

We got to Ithaca a bit early, so we stopped at a waterfall. While I believe there are 7 of them, we only went to one, and don't ask which one it was because I never found a sign identifying it. Lots of water running in the river - we are still experiencing snow melt, and have had quite a bit of rain over the last week.

The dance show was interesting. A Korean dance club at Cornell University. While a few of the numbers were a bit long, the work was excellent. I wish I had brought my camera since many in the audience were taking photos, but I didn't.

Until then -