Sunday, April 24, 2016

Home, Oswego, NY, and Wrap Up

Sunset at the City of Rocks State Park, NM
Sunday, April 24, 2016, Home, Oswego, NY, 112.7 Miles, 7,701.9 Miles for the Trip

I left Binghamton around 10:30 AM, and had an uneventful drive on I 81 & I 481 to Oswego. I spent the entire day unpacking the trailer and RAV4, finding a place for everything (it didn't quite happen - there are piles of stuff all over the house). I'll probably spend the next couple of days getting settled in.

As to the trip, it was 194 days, 7,701.9 miles pulling the trailer and 11,067 miles on the RAV4. Spent $1414.05 of gas, $158.33 on propane, and $2236.46 on campgrounds for an average of $11.59 per night, the lowest of any of my trips. I've now spent 892 nights in the trailer since April, 2011. While this trip was designed to avoid winter in Oswego, I did take some photos - there is a collection at today's LakeshoreImages page.

So, the trip is over. I will probably make a few this summer before a late July trip to New England with Don & Anne. I'll post any trips or anything else interesting that happens around Oswego when it happens.

Until then -

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Don & Anne's, Binghamton, NY, Day 2

Saturday, April 23, 2016, Don & Anne's, Binghamton, NY, Day 2, 0 Miles, 7,589.2 Miles for the Trip

I slept well, first time in a non trailer bed in the last 6 months. Dinner last night was great. We had a full works turkey dinner, including Kweichow Moutai, an interesting Chinese rice wine that was very different from any wine I've had before. For one thing it was 105 proof. You definitely don't want to light a match around the stuff!

We spent most of the day sitting around talking & doing nothing, although once the sun came out & dried things out, Don fertilized some of the plants. It looks like Spring is here, although my son tells me it still hasn't hit Oswego.

Dinner will be left over turkey.

Until next time -

Friday, April 22, 2016

Don & Anne's, Binghamton, NY

Don & Anne's, Binghamton, NY
Friday, April 22, 2016, Don & Anne's, Binghamton,  NY, 127.5 Miles, 7,589.2 Miles for the Trip

Some light rain on the drive to NY today, mostly on I 81. I could have made it home, but stopped to visit with some friends in Binghamton, NY. Don is a former student of mine & is now the Technical Director at Binghamton University. We went to Alaska together in June & July, giving their new 16' Scamp a workout. While here we talked about a trip to New England, and made reservations for Blackwoods Campground at Acadia National Park for late July. I'm glad we got around to it - there were only 3 available sites for the 3 days we booked, none at the new Schoodic Woods campground. We will plan the rest of the two week trip around those dates.

As to dinner, it will be a big change from my usual meals over the past 6 months. We will be having a  turkey dinner Anne is putting together for some visiting Chinese professors who had heard about, but never experienced Thanksgiving.

Until next time -

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Locust Lake State Park, , Barnesville, PA

Site 50, Locust Lake State Park, PA
Thursday, April 21, 2016, Locust Lake State Park, , Barnesville, PA, 121.9 Miles, 7,461.7 Miles for the Trip

Another day of mixed driving between US 11 & I 81. Other than stops for gas, I drove to the Locust Lake State Park in northeast PA. I'm in site 50, as usual, an electric only site. One thing that Pennsylvania does differently from many other state parks is setting aside a loop or section that is pet free. They charge an extra $3.00 if you bring a pet. With a somewhat involved fee schedule of $27.50 use fee plus $4.00 reservation fee (even though I didn't really make a reservation) less a $4.50 senior discount, I paid $27.00 for the night.

The bathroom with showers is not too far away, and while the stalls clean but a bit small, as is the drying areas (and no bench & only one hook) there is plenty of hot water & adjustable temperatures. Overall, at least a B.

I spent the afternoon reading, currently Jack DuBrul's Deep Fire Rising.

Dinner was a couple of chicken burritos & Bush's Bourbon & Brown Sugar beans. While doctored Grandma Brown saucepan beans (an upstate NY local brand) is still my favorite canned beans, I have to say that Bush's Bourbon & Brown Sugar is a very close second. I've only been able to find them in a few stores; hope they are available at home.

Until next time -

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Caledonia State Park, Fayetteville, PA

Site 175, Caledonia State Park, PA
Wednesday, April 20, 2016, Caledonia State Park, Fayetteville, PA, 196.7 Miles, 7,339.8 Miles for the Trip

A fairly normal to long drive on both I81 & US 11. I'm trying to stop at parks I haven't visited before, and Caledonia State Park in PA is one of them. They have two campgrounds, the Chinquapin Hill doesn't open until Memorial Day, and the Hosack Run which opens the Friday before trout season & closes at the end of deer season. It is about 1/2 filled with a variety of RVs. I'm in site 175, a site level enough that I didn't need to unhook, and close to the bathrooms & showers.  By the way, the showers get a "C-".  Good shower head, somewhat rustic, but small stalls & drying room with one hook (no hook or shelf in the shower itself).  The minus is because while the push button control provides hot water for the first 3 pushes, after that it turns lukewarm, it that.  I don't know if it is a too small water heater or designed that way to chase you out, but it is annoying, even to those like me that take quick showers.

I checked out the bathrooms & they have an outside dishwashing sink. When ever I'm in a campground that has one, and I don't have full hookups, I consider making spaghetti & meatballs since the sauce requires lots of water to clean up after. Since my site is electric only, I decided to make spaghetti & meatballs & clean up at the sink. The spaghetti & meatball dinner was great. No Italian bread so I had a bagel with it. Only problem - it must be early enough in the season that they haven't hooked up the outdoor sink yet - no water. So, I used lots at the sink in the trailer.

Until next time -

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Glen Maury Park, Buena Vista, VA

Site 19, Glen Maury Park, Buena Vista, VA
Tuesday, April 19, 2016, Glen Maury Park, Buena Vista, VA, 178.5 Miles, 7,143.1 Miles for the Trip

Most of today's drive was on I 81. I tried the GPS set for no highways, and it added 80 miles & 2 hours to the trip. The problem is parts of US 11 are on I 81, and the GPS insists on finding a way around those sections. Eventually, for the last 60 miles, I managed to follow US 11.

I'm in site 19 of the Glen Maury Park, a city park that has two sections, one open lawn & the other at the top of a hill. I chose the top area even though the sites are full hookup & $3.00 more expensive. The full hookup price with a $1.00 senior discount would have been $32.09. Unfortunately, after setting up I headed for the bathroom (having it near for a shower was the reason I chose the upper campground) and it was locked.

I drove back to the campground office to pay for the site, asked about the bathroom, and it seems someone trashed the Men's side & it hasn't been fixed yet. The office staff felt bad that I set up just to use the bathroom, so they offered to charge me the tent rate - I paid $24.49 for the site. Looks a lot like yesterday's campground - gravel sites that are quite uneven, although site 19 is better than most & is paved. Unusually placed utilities, and I didn't hook up to the sewer - it was filled with leaves. Overall, an older campground, but fine for overnight, particularly the lower section which is easy in/out (although near the railroad tracks). After paying for the site I headed to Kenny's, a fast food stop for a chicken sandwich & fries for lunch.

It is hot - outside temperature at 2:00 was 87°F & 92°F on my remote thermometer under the propane cover. This is the first time since the fall that I used the air conditioner. I ran it to cool the trailer, but spent the afternoon sitting outside in the shade of the awning. I've just about finished reading my P. D. James novel.

Since I had a late lunch, dinner will be cracker & cheese.

Until next time -

Monday, April 18, 2016

Sugar Hollow City Park, Bristol, VA

Site 42, Sugar Hollow City Park, Bristol, VA
Monday, April 18, 2016, Sugar Hollow City Park, Bristol, VA, 128.7 Miles, 6,964.6 Miles for the Trip

I packed up & headed out around 8:30AM this morning. I left my GPS set to "Ignore Highways", and spent much of the day on US 11E. The drive through Pigeon Forge was uneventful, traffic wise. Evidently, there was a large car show there which was why the traffic was so bad last Saturday.

I arrived at Sugar Hollow City Park in Bristol, VA around 1:30. Many, many electric only, back in sites, most of which are quite unlevel. Since the entire campground was empty (there was a big race at the Bristol Speedway over the weekend, and everyone left). By empty, I mean no one. I'm in site 42, an electric only site near the bathrooms, and one of the most level sites in the park. I still had to use the Anderson leveler for side to side & unhook to get the trailer level front to back. Pretty wooded gravel sites, each with a picnic table & fire ring. There are water fill stations spaced around the campground & a dump station. Lots of one way roads & many sites with trees making backing in difficult, particularly for larger trailers, but no problems (other than leveling) for us little guys.

I spent most of the afternoon reading & catching up on some forums & journals. It is in the 80's with enough shade to be comfortable sitting outside.

Dinner was a Southwest Salad.

Until next time -

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Townsend KOA, Townsend, TN, Day 5 & Smoky Mt National Park

Mingus Mill, Smoky Mountain National Park
Sunday, April 17, 2016, Townsend KOA, Townsend, TN, Day 5 & Smoky Mt National Park, 0 Miles, 6,835.9 Miles for the Trip

Another cool morning, but warm day. I decided to check out the part of Great Smoky Mountain National Park that i didn't visit last year. According to my GPS it was around 50 miles of twisty, narrow two lane road, and it was. Beautiful drive with creeks along side the road most of the way. My objective was the Mingus Mill. I stopped a number of times for photos of streams, and, on one occasion, a black bear with 2 cubs. The photos are lousy - the bears were behind branches that made auto focus useless, and there was no point where any of them were in the clear. Still, the first black bears I've seen in the park.

On the way back I stopped to hike to Laural Falls. 2.6 miles round trip, mostly uphill on the way. Very crowded, although the volunteer said it wasn't. In any case, difficult to get photos without people. After that it was back to the campground. About 5 1/2 hours for the trip.

While the rest of today's photos are, as usual, at today's LakeshoreImages page, I also added these photos a new page at my Smoky Mountain National Park page.

Dinner was P. F. Chang's Orange Chicken.

Until next time - 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Townsend, TN, Day 3 & The 2016 Eggscursion

At The Pot Luck
Saturday, April 16, 2016, Townsend KOA, Townsend, TN, Day 3 & The 2016 Eggscursion, 0 Miles, 6,835.9 Miles for the Trip

I started my second blueberry pie around 10:00, again cooking it outside on the picnic table to keep from overheating the trailer. I read my current book - A Taste for Death by P. D. James. She is a British mystery author that I like to read, although it takes some serious shifting of gears. First are the British terms for everything that are different enough that you have to stop & figure out what the characters are talking about, and since I'm not familiar with many of the locations, both the locations & the "air" of the locations don't always work. For example, if an American author describes someone from the mid west or Vermont, etc you immediately get a picture (whether right or wrong) of what they are like. It doesn't work for British locations, at least for me since I've never been there. Still, I love the British & Scandinavian mystery genre. Everything slows down compared to most America authors, with much more descriptive bits. Anyhow, I've read a bunch of her & other European mysteries, and enjoy the shift.

I gave a couple of trailer tours, walked around the campground for a few more photos, then did more reading.

At 5:15 I grabbed the pies & headed to the pavilion for the pot luck. As usual, excellent food & enough for seconds. The entire group said a "hi" over Skype to a member that couldn't be here, after which he said grace. I believe it was the first time I've been to a pot luck (or anywhere else) where the grace was said over Skype on a cell phone!

Many additional pictures at the 2016 Eggscursion's second page.

After that it was back to the trailer with a bunch of empty (but dirty) pie plates to wash. I suspect the next gray water dump is going to be purple!

Dinner was obvious...

Until next time -

Friday, April 15, 2016

Townsend KOA, Townsend, TN, Day 3 & The 2016 Eggscursion

Enjoying the Rally
Friday, April 15, 2016, Townsend KOA, Townsend, TN, Day 3 & The 2016 Eggscursion, 0 Miles, 6,835.9 Miles for the Trip

I went for coffee at the pavilion t 9:00AM & chatted with a bunch, then walked around the campground taking photos. After getting back to the trailer I read for a bit, then decided to pick up the supplies for the blueberry pies. I checked on the amount of blueberries I needed for two pies (60 oz) and realized that although IGA had some frozen ones, not enough. So, I headed to the nearest large grocery store.

NEVER, let me say (well, type) again, NEVER drive through Pigeon Forge on a nice spring Saturday! While getting to the Kroger's wasn't too bad, getting back was slow. It took 20 minutes to go half a mile. I finally turned off the main street & drove through a bunch of narrow backroads when I realized that if I stayed where I was I would have still had a mile and one half at less than 1 MPG.

When i got back I made one of the blueberry pies - I'll make the other tomorrow. I cooked it outside in the toaster oven because it was already 80°F in the trailer.

After cooking the pie I headed back to the pavilion for a thank you affair for Tom, the man in charge of the previous 8 Eggscursion rallies. More photos were added at today's LakeshoreImages page & the Eggscursion page.

Dinner was left over fried chicken & the rest of the potato salad. The potato salad was great, the chicken OK - a bit too salty for me (of course I'm one that never puts salt on anything except eggs so it was probably just right for most).

Until next time -

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Townsend KOA, Townsend, TN, Day 2 & The 2016 Eggscursion

Interesting Painted Casita

Thursday, April 14, 2016, Townsend KOA, Townsend, TN, Day 2 & The 2016 Eggscursion, 0 Miles, 6,835.9 Miles for the Trip

A slow day of doing little. I did drive to the local IGA to see if they had the ingredients to make my blueberry pies. Since the nearest "large" food store is 15 miles away, I was hoping they would have the stuff. They do, and it is a pretty large, complete grocery store; much larger than most of the IGA's I've seen. They even have fried chicken that looks awfully good for dinner. When I got back to the campground I took the camera for a walk around the trailers & owners. I posted a few at today's LakeshoreImages page, and a complete collection at a page dedicated to the rally.

After that it was back to the trailer & sitting out to finish Patrick Lee's Signal. An interesting concept. While more Jack Reacher type of adventure novel rather than science fiction, the story revolves around what happens when a machine is invented that tunes in to local FM radio stations exactly 10 hours & 23 minutes in the future.

I'm now reading One Mile Under by Andrew Gross. I took a break to drive back to IGA for chicken & potato salad. This keeps up & I'm going to forget how to cook! I did make pancakes & bacon for brunch.

Until next time -

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Townsend KOA, Townsend, TN

Site 2, Townsend KOA
Wednesday, April 13, 2016, Townsend KOA, Townsend, TN, 155.9 Miles, 6,835.9 Miles for the Trip

I left Rock Island State Park around 9:00 heading to the Townsend KOA and the 2016 9th Annual Southeast Spring Eggscursion. Much of the drive was on US 70, although I was on I40 just long enough to remember why I don't like the interstates (at least one reason) - an eighteen wheeler decided the on ramp has the right-of-way. Actually, since he is at least 2 times the length on my combination, and probably 25 times heavier, I guess he does, legally or not. In any case I had to hop across unlevel lanes (they were repaving the road) to get out of his way.

I thought I'd be one of the first here, but the Townsend KOA is filled with eggs. Escape Trailer Industries is well represented - for some reason there are a bunch of Escape 19's. There are already 7 of them, and my 17. There are also a couple of Scamps, 2 Eggcampers, a U-Haul, and 8 Casitas. I'm in site 2, a full hookup site, including cable TV for $33.16 per night.

There is also a Bronco rally going on at the same time. Most of them are staying in the Kabins, most on trailers although some were driven in. Some beautiful restorations...

I didn't do much other than appreciate the extended daylight ( I'm back in Eastern Daylight Time). I sat out & read - Started Signal by Patrick Lee. Around 5:30 I headed next door to the Riverstone Restaurant for a country fried steak & turnip greens. I had the same meal last year when I was at the rally, & it was just as good this time.

Until next time -

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Cumberland Caverns, McMinnville, TN

Cumberland Caverns, TN
Tuesday, April 12, 2016, Cumberland Caverns, McMinnville, TN, 0 Miles, 6,680 Miles for the Trip

Another day away from the campground. Today it was a 15 mile drive to Cumberland Caverns. I'm a sucker for caves - I try to see as many as possible, and passed the signs for it on my way to the campground.

Cumberland Caverns is a fairly commercialized cave. In fact, they do bluegrass concerts in one of the large rooms complete with a chandelier, drive automobiles inside the cave, and have bathrooms & a snack bar. Still, there are some nice formations with decent lighting and an informative tour. I took the 1 1/2 hour walking tour - they have others that spend more time & do some crawling. It is one of the largest caves in Tennessee - over 22 miles long. The tour was not too crowded - I was the only one on my tour, and there was just one couple on the next one. The guide said that they were doing tours with 15 people every hour last week so it was a quiet period.

They use the Nissan Leaf to drive the performers for the concerts to the stage, and Jeeps to haul the equipment. More photos at a page dedicated to the cavern.

After the cavern tour I stopped at a Krogers for some ice cream & other critical supplies, then headed back to the campground. It is nice enough to sit outside, so that's what I did for most of the afternoon. Current book - John Sandford's Gathering Prey. I decided to try the Foglight Foodhouse, a local restaurant for dinner. I had the Pecan Catfish, excellent although a bit more expensive than my usual dinner. Their Cajun butter is something else!

Until next time -

Monday, April 11, 2016

Falls Creek Falls State Park, TN

Cane Creek Cascade, Falls Creek Falls State Park, TN
Monday, April 11, 2016, Falls Creek Falls State Park, TN, 0 Miles, 6,680 Miles for the Trip

I didn't move; I'm still in Rock Island State Park, but since I spent most of the day at Falls Creek Falls State Park, I used that for the title of today's post. It was a 35 mile drive to the park, all on windy & hilly 2 lane roads with 45MPH speed limits that you could rarely reach.

The park is huge with 3 waterfalls, a cascade, and many overlooks along scenic roads. I started out at the Nature Center. Cane Creek Falls and the Cane Creek Cascade (which is pretty much a falls) are located at the Nature Center. There is also a suspension bridge that is closed. I picked up a map of the park & headed out to find the other two waterfalls. Since I had a good AT&T cell signal, I tried connecting with my granddaughter to wish her a happy birthday. I talked with my daughter, but Zoe was on a field trip at school.

The park is named for Falls Creek Falls, one of the highest waterfalls east of the Mississippi. Since there was very little water going over it, it isn't all that impressive, but I took a photo anyway. After that it was off to Piney Creek Falls. There is a suspension bridge crossing the gorge above Piney Creek Falls where I took a couple of photos.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Even though I shut off the "avoid highways" on my GPS, evidently there aren't any between Falls Creek Falls State Park & Rock Island State Park - Matilda took me back the same way I came.

A light rain started on the way home & is continuing here at the campground. Looks like dinner will be something I can make in the trailer.

Until next time -

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Rock Island State Park, Rock Island, TN

Upper Waterfalls, Caney Fork River, Rock Island State Park, TN
Sunday, April 10, 2016, Rock Island State Park, Rock Island, TN, 68 Miles, 6,680 Miles for the Trip

A short drive to Rock Island State Park. Light rain during much of the morning, but warmer than yesterday. I'm in site 3, a water & electric site for $20.19 per night. The site is level, paved, and close to the bathrooms. After setting up the trailer I went looking for the waterfalls in the park. The park is on both sides of the lake & Caney Fork River with a power plant in the middle of things. There are waterfalls along the river with a couple of observation overlooks near the falls. Since the road over the dam is closed (like most roads over dams in the US since 9/11) you have a 5 mile drive to cross the river to get to the overlook for the falls below the power plant. I took a bunch of photos from a couple of different locations.  Many more photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

While I have 2 bars of AT&T on the iPhone & a 4G LTE Verizon signal, the Verizon connection is slow enough to be barely usable. Luckily, the campground has WiFi & it is fast enough that I used it. It did drop the connection every once in a while, but I can live with it.

After getting back to the campsite I read for a bit (Stephen King's Finders Keepers) then headed for the showers. Excellent showers with heat, shower curtains, good adjustable shower heads, and a small, but dry drying area with a big bench & plenty of hooks. In addition to well designed bathrooms, there is a small (one washer, one dryer) laundry that is only $1.00 per load.

Dinner was a grilled chicken patty & the left over rice & broccoli from yesterday.

Until next time -

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Fairview Devils State State Park, Day 3

Fairview Devils Step State Park

Saturday, April 9, 2016, Fairview Devils Step State Park, Day 3, 0 Miles, 6,612 Miles for the Trip

I discovered another sign that the campground layout was not designed by campers. While the sites are well laid out, the dump station is on a one way street with the station on the passenger side. The only way you can dump is by going down the street the wrong way. If no one is parked in front of the bathrooms, there is room for a small trailer to turn around & exit going the correct direction, but that is the only place wide enough. Again, I'm not knocking the campground, it is one of the nicest state parks I've visited; definitely the nicest in Tennessee. More photos of the park at today's LakeshoreImages page.

No frost last night - it did get down to 41°F and is still in the low 50's at 1:00. I drove into Winchester to do laundry. I could have put it off for a couple of days, but have no idea what the laundry facilities will be like at Rock Island State Park, where I'm heading tomorrow.

Dinner was a Bubba Burger & a rice & broccoli side dish.

Until next time -

Friday, April 8, 2016

Fairview Devils Step State Park, Day 2

Friday, April 8, 2016, Fairview Devils Step State Park, Day 2, 0 Miles, 6,612 Miles for the Trip

Day 2 at Fairview Devils Step State Park campground was cool and cloudy. Bits of sun, but not enough to be comfortable sitting outside. Frost is predicted for tonight.

By the way, I may have been a bit harsh on the campground - the bathrooms are poorly designed, but they are clean. As I mentioned, the rest of the campground looks like it has recently been rebuilt. Much of the grass is new enough that it still has straw covering parts, the pavement in many areas looks brand new, and all the sites look like the fine gravel has just been put down. The RV Park Reviews website gives the park poor reviews, but the latest review was 2011, and the complaints in the older reviews don't hold true. The sites are well laid out, although the pricing for the sites is a bit confusing. I can understand paying more for a sewer hookup, but two water & electric sites next to each other have different prices. Anyhow, it is a pretty campground that looks new and I have no problem recommending it to anyone (unless they want to take a shower when it is 40°F outside!)

I spent most of the day in the trailer. I did take a walk around the campground a couple of times just to have something to do. Listened to Science Friday on NPR, read the Syracuse paper, and, of course, some forums & my current book.

Dinner is in the oven - a chicken pot pie.

Until next time -

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Fairview Devils Step State Park

Site 65, Fairview Devils Step State Park
Thursday, April 7, 2016, Fairview Devils Step State Park, 83.3 Miles, 6,612 Miles for the Trip

Another short drive, mostly on US 64. I think I'm in Fairview Devils State Park, but it might also be Tims Ford State Park. I didn't get a campground map since no one was at the entrance station & I drove directly to my site. The signs are confusing since they alternate both names on the road into the park. In any case, I'm in site 65, a very nice site (it should be for $33.64 per night - a full hookup "Premium" site with no Senior discount). I didn't really need full hookups, but there wasn't much else available when I reserved the site. I probably should have waited until I got here - there appears to be a few empty sites without reservation tags on them. In any case, at least I got my black tank dumped & rinsed. There is a flock of Canada Geese in the campground. Not my favorite bird, although I am a bit partial to them - I sold a photo of one to National Geographic; the only image I've ever sold to the organization. The Canada Goose photo (today's, not the one I sold) is at today's LakeshoreImages page.

This section of the campground looks brand new, including the bathrooms. Since I consider myself an expert on campground bathrooms (I've been in over 800 of them in the last 5 years towing the trailer and thousands back when I tent camped) I feel I have to review the brand new buildings. The showers are individual rooms with no heat, and high pressure/low volume shower heads. They are not adjustable, so you have to hug the wall in front of them to get sprayed. The lights are on an automatic movement detector. As long as you are in the shower the lights stay on, however if you are in the drying area, they may go out. When they do, it is very dark - no windows. While there is a wall between the shower area & the very small drying area, the entire floor gets wet because the only drain is in the middle of the room. So much for the showers - the restroom also has movement detecting lights. They seem to stay on in the "throne" area, but at the urinal you better get lined up fast since they go out in 10 seconds, and you have to move back to the middle of the room waving your hands for them to come back on.

I know I'm being a bit harsh, but is is a brand new facility. I really wonder if the architects of most of the new campground facilities have ever used the results of their designs. Enough said.

I drove into town & the local Walmart for some rubber bands, and see if they stocked the freeze dried refried beans I found at one a couple of hundred miles to the west. No dice. Of course I bought a bunch of other stuff, including 4 new books by some of my favorite authors.

Dinner was a couple of Chicken & Cheese Chimichangas.

Until next time -

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

David Crockett State Park, Lawrenceburg, TN, Day 3

Red Tailed Hawk
Wednesday, April 6, 2016, David Crockett State Park, Lawrenceburg, TN, Day 3, 0 Miles, 6,528.7 Miles for the Trip

So, I left out the electric cube heater, turned it on just before going to bed, and the outside temperature only got down to the mid 50's. Even running at it's lowest wattage (it adjusts the wattage & fan speed depending on room temperature) it got the inside of the trailer up to 70°F.

A quiet day. I spent the morning reading forums, web pages & a book (currently Greg Bear's Legacy) then decided to head to the David Crockett Restaurant here in the park for lunch. The original plan was to go for dinner, but luckily, I checked the menu posted at the bathrooms, and they are only open for dinner on the weekends. I had the buffet, which included a good salad bar, a couple of main dishes, including ribs, and many sides along with a couple of desserts. A good feed for $8.99.

I stopped next door to see if the museum followed the same schedule as the restaurant, but it wasn't open today either. I did take a couple of more hawk photos. I know the first one is a Red Tailed since the cage is labeled, not as sure about the second (which is the same one as yesterday's hawk photo). No label on the cage as there is for the Red Tailed, and it doesn't have a red tail, but I've seen Red Tailed Hawks that didn't have red tails. Still, the chest feathers are different as well. If it is something else, I'm sure someone will let me know. The other hawk photo is at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After that it was back to the trailer and more reading. A passing thunderstorm and brisk winds kept me inside. So far, the bathroom vent repair seems to be holding - no drips.

Dinner will be snacks - I filled up at lunch.

Until next time -

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

David Crockett State Park, Lawrenceburg, TN, Day 2

Crockett Falls
Tuesday, April 5, 2016, David Crockett State Park, Lawrenceburg, TN, Day 2, 0 Miles, 6,528.7 Miles for the Trip

It started out warm (still in the 70's at 10:00PM) so I didn't get out the electric cube heater. Woke up at 6:00AM & it was 50°F in the trailer & 45°F outside. I crawled out of bed, fired up the heater, then back under the covers. Nice and toasty by 7:00.

After breakfast and reading some blogs & forums (there is good 4G LTE Verizon & 2 bars of AT&T LTE coverage at my site) I decided to check out the David Crockett Museum a bit further into the park. Drove by the restaurant, which is closed until Wednesday. The museum was closed, but there was a couple of birds of prey in cages outside & a waterwheel at the end of the museum. Sorry for the cage wires in the bird photos, but they wouldn't be there without them!

There is a covered bridge over the road a bit past the museum. Not quite traditional since it has a metal roof, but I took a photo anyway. I stopped at Crockett Falls & took a photo as well. Not the biggest waterfall I've seen, but it is the first in quite awhile. There aren't too many of them in the desert - well maybe the exception is Palouse Falls in Eastern Washington State.  The rest of today's photos are at toady's LakeshoreImages page.

After a short hike to the Observation Shelter hoping to find a bigger waterfall, (mostly climbing stairs) it was back to the trailer. Still cool at 53°F at 12:30, but the sun is warm enough to sit outside.

I got an offer for some packages of the dried refried beans I mentioned I liked from John, another fiberglass trailer owner. I'll take him up on it if he is coming to Townsend next week. Along with the basic refried beans, they also make a refried black bean & one with chiles; I'd like to try both.

Dinner was the last of the frozen chicken thighs, broccoli, and the left over refried beans. By the way, if there was a good reason to carry a microwave, it would be to reheat refried beans. I haven't felt the need for one very often, but both heating the beans in a sauce pan & cleaning it afterwards are two good reasons!

Until next time -

Monday, April 4, 2016

David Crockett State Park, Lawrenceburg, TN

Site 105, David Crockett State Park, TN
Monday, April 4, 2016, David Crockett State Park, Lawrenceburg, TN, 105 Miles, 6,528.7 Miles for the Trip

I took my time getting up & out this morning since I only had around 100 miles to drive. Most of the drive was on US64, a pleasant 2 & mostly 4 lane 55 - 65MPH road. Lots of small towns to give a break from mindless driving.

I had a reservation for site 105 in Campground 2 at David Crockett State Park. For the last couple of Tennessee state parks I stopped in the office entering the park, and since I already paid & had a reservation, they didn't do anything (unless I asked for directions to the campsite). So, this time I drove to the site without stopping. There was no reservation form on the campsite post, but I set up anyway.

After setting up I got a bit nervous that there was no reservation form posted (there was one at all the other TN parks) so I decided to check the on line map to be sure I was in the correct campground. The PDF park map on their website shows 2 campground 2's. I called the office & they were very surprised that the map IDed both campgrounds with Campground 2 (I was in the correct one, the other is actually Campground 1). So, I'm in the right place. A nice site not too far from a bathroom with showers. Electric & Water for $18.88 per night with the $5.00 discount for seniors. Tennessee has serious taxes - 5% occupation tax, 7% state tax, 2.75% local tax, and a $5.00 reservation fee. Still, less expensive that area commercial campgrounds, and much more to my liking. I've got some trees for shade (at least they would be if leafed out - it is still a bit early.) No river running through my site like Chickasaw.

I made a run to Walmart to pick up some Neosporin. I seems that at Chickasaw State Park I ran into one of my arch enemies - chiggers. I assume that is what has been chewing on me since the bites remind me of the chigger bites I got in Florida. I also found a solution for storing my griddle for the camp stove. I found some large handbags in the woman's accessories section that were large enough, padded, and cheap at $6.99.

Dinner was a couple of Chicken & Cheese burritos & Mexicali Rose Instant Homestyle Refried Beans. The refried beans were very good, and great for camping.  Rather than canned, they are freeze dried & reconstituted by adding water & heat. Of course since I bought them much further west than here, I doubt I'll find them again.

Until next time -

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Chickasaw State Park, Henderson, TN, Day 3

Sunday, April 3, 2016, Chickasaw State Park, Henderson, TN, Day 3, 0 Miles, 6,423.7 Miles for the Trip

Well, Syracuse lost, but making it to the final four isn't too shabby.

Today was a do nothing day. I sat outside once it warmed up enough and read. A new owner (well as of August) of an Escape 17 stopped by to see the trailer. I had a shower in the bathrooms - small stalls & drying areas, but a standard shower head that could be aimed so that it didn't soak the drying area. On the other hand, no place to put your stuff other than one hook & a small bench - nothing in the shower. Still, warm enough, both the room & the water.

More reading, including the Sunday Syracuse Post Standard on my iPad, then time for dinner. Spaghetti & meatballs, but with a Roasted Garlic Parmesan sauce rather than the normal red sauce. Not too bad!

Until next time -

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Chickasaw State Park, Henderson, TN, Day 2

Saturday, April 2, 2016, Chickasaw State Park, Henderson, TN, Day 2, 0 Miles, 6,423.7 Miles for the Trip

Today was "pay attention to the trailer" day. First, I got out the Geocel ProFlex & re caulked the bathroom vent. I had a small leak that dripped into the toilet during the heavy rain the other day. I think I found the problem, but won't really know until the next storm. I made a run to a local hardware store for some contact cement (and a grocery store for some supplies). The laminate came loose on the folding section of the kitchen counter so I re glued it. The contact cement I used was not a brand I've used before & it seemed a bit thick - hope it works.

The next project was to defrost the refrigerator.

Dinner was a grilled chicken sausage & a salad.

Until next time -

Friday, April 1, 2016

Chickasaw State Park, Henderson, TN

Site 33, Chickasaw State Park, TN
Friday, April 1, 2016, Chickasaw State Park, Henderson, TN, 139 Miles, 6,423.7 Miles for the Trip

Last night a rare occurrence - there were more fiberglass trailers in the park than stick built. A Bigfoot 24 pulled in after my post, making 3 of us compared to only 2 stick built trailers.

Around 9:00AM I packed up, said goodbye to the tent ladies next door (as well as the owner of the Silver Bullet) then headed out. Getting through Memphis wasn't too bad, although much of it was in I40, a busy road at 9:30AM. My GPS led me astray; there was a new overpass that was a left off to continue on I40, and the GPS had me in the right lane where the old exit was located. By the time I realized the problem there wasn't enough time to cross three lanes in the heavy traffic. it only added a couple of minutes while I got turned around.

Crossed the Mississippi into Tennessee. The radio stations now have the proper first letter (at least for an easterner) a "W" instead of a "K". Other than I 40 through the city, most of today's drive was on US 64, a mix of 2 & 4 lanes running through a number of small towns along the way - my favorite type of driving.

I'm in site 33 at the Chickasaw State Park, a water & electric site for $18.73 per night with a $5.00 per night senior discount. Far more rustic than Village Creek. I picked my site using the on line campground map. It doesn't show relief, and most of the campground is built into the side of a hill. I'm about half way up in a site that I doubt any larger trailer could back into. It is long enough, but there is a car eating tree (as well as others in the site) just across the road that makes backing in a bit difficult. While the description said a slight slope, it didn't say it would be in 2 directions. I'm barely level at the full height of the Anderson leveler, and had to add a couple of leggo blocks under the tongue jack to level it front to back. I also have a small stream running under the RAV4 (and a larger one next door). Lots of shade (on a day that I'd love to have more sun). I definitely found some better sites walking around the campground, but you couldn't tell without seeing them in person. In any case, I'm settled in for the next 3 nights.

I do have good 4G LTE Verizon coverage as well s a usable AT&T signal and 2 NPR stations - one News & one Music, so things are good in the communications area.

Dinner was a grilled chicken sandwich, beans & a peach fruit cup.

Until next time -