Monday, March 30, 2020

Day 162, Monday, March 30, 2020 - Oswego, NY (Home)

A damp, off & on rain, sometimes heavy on I 81 to home. I 81 was almost empty, other than trucks. The traffic warning signs all read "Stay Home" "Don't Travel", etc. Makes you feel a bit guilty to be on the road, although with the parks closing down, heading home is about all I can do.

I arrived at the door around 2:00, without making any stops. While having a full 36 gallon tanks let you do that, I really should have taken a break or two. In any case I'm home. Overall, one of the shorter winter trips due to the Covid-19 shutdowns of the TN & VA state & national parks as well as deciding to pass on the Townsend Gathering. It is good to be home - I went through 2' of mail & only found a few bills, as well as a couple of checks which I'll need to photo deposit since my bank lobby is closed.

I unloaded the refrigerator, all the dry & canned food, a few pieces of clothes, etc, but will put off the rest of the unpacking until tomorrow. It is still raining, and a cool 44°F.

So, until the next trip, my journal will go on hold (like me, since they just announced extending the April 6 end of "No Social Gathering" to April 30th). Much easier for a retired person like me than those that want (and need) to be back at work.

Some statistics on the trip:

Total campground Cost - $2,277.90
Average campground cost - $14.06, Most expensive $57.81 at Shenandoah Valley in PA, Least expensive $0.00 at a couple of places, including Dome Rock in Quartzsite.

Total Fuel Cost - $1,687.57
Average cost of gas - $2.25, Most Expensive $3.00 in Anthem, AZ, Least Expensive - $1.50 in Rock Island, TN
Average towing MPG 12.49
Average overall MPG 12.66

Towing mileage - 7290.6
Total Overall Mileage - 9062.7

Total Propane Cost $110.16 for 41.44 Gallons

Until The Next Trip -

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Day 161, Sunday, March 29, 2020 -Jonestown KOA, PA

Site 54
A couple of additions to yesterday. First, the Shenandoah Valley Campground is not a great believer is keeping social distance. Bathrooms & showers open, lines at the take out food window, etc. The folks working for the campground were observing good practices. While my solution to keeping up social distance was to not shower, since I had full hookups, I showered in the trailer. I'm getting better at squeezing down the walls, although I did have a wet toilet seat the next time I sat on it (I know, too much information!) Lastly, I got a notice from Verizon that they are giving me 15GB of data for use between now & April 30th for free. I appreciate the gift, although as of tomorrow night I hope to be back on a Spectrum cable modem & won't need Verizon until another trip.

As to today, a fairly uneventful trip on I 81 to the Jonestown KOA. This is a frequent stop since it is about 275 miles from home & there are few other campgrounds in the area, at least with as easy access off the interstate or US 11. I'm in site 54, a level, gravel full hookup site with picnic table & concrete pad for $49.05. I won't be able to use the picnic table - light rain, and 50°F.

I did some reading inside during the afternoon, then made my usual Sunday phone calls. Nantucket is up to 5 cases of Covid-19. There has been a number of TV clips about the throngs of New Yorkers heading to their summer homes on the island. With their 19 bed hospital, lots of nervous islanders about the influx.

Thought about ordering dinner from the KOA, but decided to bake a chicken pot pie instead.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Day 160, Saturday, March 28, 2020 -Shenandoah Valley Campground, Verona, VA

Another 250 miles towards Oswego, NY. All of today was on I 81. I'm in site 15, a level gravelly grass site with full hookups, but no picnic table for $57.81. And I complained about KOA prices! A fairly crowded destination campground with a large fishing pond, pool, hot tubs, etc. The pool & hot tubs are closed, but the bathrooms are open.

After setting up, I sat out in the warm, but not overly hot sunshine and read. Current book is James Rollin's The Last Odyssey.

Dinner was a FitKitchen Chicken With Cashews Bowl.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, March 27, 2020

Day 159, Thursday, March 26, 2020 - Bristol KOA, Blountville, TN

Site 28

On to the first day of the rush home. I eventually reached I 40, then my hometown interstate, I 81. The Bristol KOA is a short, 2 mile hop off the interstate, but well sheltered so there is no road noise. I did hear a distant train whistle. I'm in site 28, a 100' long grass pull through unless someone is parked in site 30 which is behind the trailer. Not quite level, but a 1 1/2" side to side fix with the Anderson levelers, and a slight lift on the tongue jack let me settle in without unhooking.

The site is a full hookup, although I didn't bother with the sewer. $48.29 for the night (the usual KOA inflation). One point not made when I reserved - the bathrooms are closed, so unless I decide to hook up the sewer, no shower even in the trailer. The last time I showered in the trailer without a sewer connection, the gray tank oder quickly filled the entire trailer. One of the early projects when I get home is to find the break in the gray tank vent in the closet under the microwave. I also plan to add a tank washer. I'll just stink until tomorrow!

I lost another hour, at least until heading west next year, by passing into the eastern time zone. Both phones switched, but my GPS didn't so it must be close. In any case, I spent the remainder of the afternoon sitting outside in my chair reading.

It was hot enough that I thought I'd run the AC for a bit. Went to the thermostat, and no display. Looked at the converter fuse panel & a red LED indicated a blown fuse. I tried replacing it & the replacement blew. I though about it and remembered that the electronics closet was on the same fuse. I unplugged everything, and the replacement fuse worked. Another thing to fix when I get home. I think I'll move the furnace to its own circuit since it powers the thermostat for both the furnace & the AC.

While I have enough frozen meals in the refrigerator to make it home, the menu for take out meals looked like a better idea. I had their Beer Battered Fish Platter. 2 good size pieces of fish, potato salad, French fries, hush puppies, They didn't have any tartar sauce, so I mixed a bit of pickle relish with mayo & made my own. Overall, a good & filling meal for $8.99.

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Day 158, Thursday, March 26, 2020 - Rock Island State Park, Rock Island, TN, Day 2

Caney Fork River Gorge
After breakfast & a short walk around the campground, I started making calls for reservations for the trip home. One of my usual stops, and, although a bit long from here, is Hungry Mother State Park in VA. Usually empty this time of year, but it will be a lot emptier starting tomorrow - Virginia is also closing their campgrounds on Friday. I have given up on any chance of the Townsend gathering, and canceled my reservation at their KOA.

I found a couple of KOAs that will still be open, as well as a campground near Bristol, VA so if things go as planned, I'll have places to stop around 250 miles apart all the way home. Should hit Oswego on Monday. Of course, that depends on the campgrounds staying open, but with private campgrounds, the likelihood is better than with the state parks I usually stay in.

I drove to a view of the river and took a few photos. I also took some photos at the same locations on a stay at Rock Island in 2016. There is a lot more water this time - More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Back at the trailer I sat outside and read. Current book is American Dirt by Jeanine Cummings. Lots of controversy over the book because it was written by a white woman about Mexicans.

While sitting outside the trailer with the solid part of the door open & the screen door closed, I noticed a hornet crawling into the hollow door gasket. I didn't think all that much about it until just after the first came out a second one went in. A few minutes later a 3rd (or the first; they didn't have name tags) went in. I found a new use for a Kindle - I used it to squeeze the gasket from top to bottom. The problem is I didn't see any come out. I finally stuck a stick in the end of the gasket to seal it, and will remove it before shutting the door tonight.

Dinner was a General Tso's Tofu by Sweet Earth. Very good!

Until Tomorrow -