Tuesday, November 17, 2020

First Snow

 Not much for anywhere, especially Oswego, but this morning we had our first snow.  It only fell for around half an hour and melted away within an hour, but it was the first of the season for me in 5 years.

First Snow
After putting the cover on the trailer we, of course, had a string of 70°F days. As I mentioned at the last post, the Camping World cover is too large for the trailer.  Enough that water pools on the top.  Going to be a problem with freezes/thaws resulting in a 50 pound block of ice.  I tried some foam under it - we will see if it helps.

As long as we had some nice weather I did a few modifications on the trailer.  I replaced the kitchen water faucet & added a couple of USB receptacles on the sides of the front upper cabinet over the bed.  I will use them to charge I'm iPhone when using it with the trailer's radio, and to power my weather station.

My Christmas cactus has decided it is Christmas.  Lots of flowers.  By the way, I took both photos with my Olympus "Tough" camera.  The reason for buying one is so I'd have a camera that I don't mind getting soaked, etc.  I'm not all that in love with the picture quality.  Both of these were shot in the RAW mode & adjusted in Lightroom, but definitely not up to the DSLR or maybe even the iPhone quality.

In any case, if I don't have anything to say before then, have a great Thanksgiving!

Friday, October 23, 2020

A Beautiful Day in Oswego, But...

After a couple of cold, rainy days here in Oswego, today was beautiful. 81°F and sunshine. I spent the morning on the riding mower chewing up leaves. Unfortunatly, also a terrible day - I put the cover on the trailer. I've been putting off the decision on whether I'd head to Arizona for my 5th winter, but I guess I'm a whimp. At 76, I just can't be comfortable with spending the winter in an area that doesn't do much masking, and is 30 miles from a small rural hospital. I suspect that I'd be fine, but if anything went wrong, there isn't a lot of support in the Quartzsite area. 

 So, I'm going to see snow for the first time in 5 years. At least the snowblower has heated handles! I did winterize the trailer before covering. I drained and cleaned the water heater, checked the andode (good for another year) bypassed the water heater, then blew out the water lines with 40 PSI air & added RV antifreeze to the drains. The batteries are at 85%, the recommended storage level for lithiun according to Battleborn, and switched off the battery disconnect switch. The refrigerator is cleaned & doors cracked open, and all food, etc is removed from the trailer. So, it is ready. 

 By the way, a Camco 19' cover is about 4' too long and at least a foot too high for an Escape 21. It works, but a smaller cover would fit better. 

 Can't wait for Spring! Until then or the next interesting thing that comes along -

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Letchworth State Park, Day 4


Goofing Off

Pretty much goofed off all day, although I spent the morning making a blueberry pie.  We did some reading, walking, and sitting around.  While I didn't take any photos, Anne caught Guido & me.  It started to rain around 5:00.  I had already packed up the awning mat & the grill so I wouldn't have to put them away wet on while it was raining.

We have to be out of the sites by 10:00 tomorrow morning.

Dinner was chicken tacos.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Letchworth State Park, Day 3


Lower Falls

A very slow start to the morning. My excuse is it was colder, both out & in than yesterday. 47°F outside & 57°F in the trailer. I didn't get out for my walk until 9:00. After that it was reading my usual on line forums, a bit on Facebook, and reading. Current book is Mark Dawson's The Jungle, the 7th in the John Milton series. I've enjoyed all of them. John Milton is a bit of Lee Child's Jack Reacher character, however enough different to be interesting. I still have many more to go. 

We finally got our acts together around noon & headed out to see the dam. It is unusual, as it is a dry dam. The only time it fills is during flooding conditions to protect the downstream areas, including the city of Rochester. A sign near the dam notes that it cost $25 million in 1950, however has saved over a billion dollars of flooding damage since that time. 

I was always confused that you could not see the river behind the dam. It wasn't until years after my first visit that I drove to the other side of the dam, and looking back, saw the river tight against the Letchworth Park bank. The other interesting thing at the dam is a sign noting that there are eagles in the area. In smaller letters it also notes that there are turkey vultures. I constantly see parents pointing out the circling turkey vultures and telling their kids "look at the eagles!" So, I'm including a photo of a "counterfeit eagle" 

After the visit to the dam it was a late lunch at the Lower Falls restaurant , then down the 127 steps to the view point for the Lower Falls. This is both my favorite of the three waterfalls, and my favorite place for photographing it. Still, hauling myself, the camera & heavy lenses & tripod back up is getting to be a chore. Lots of folks taking pictures and wandering around, but I managed to get a few images in between people. Lots more photos at the LakeshoreImages page.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Letchworth State Park, Day 2

 Light rain after midnight until around 7:00AM, glad I put the chairs back in the truck.  Overnight temperature was around 55°F, but it didn't warm up very much during the day.  

I walked around a couple of the camping loops before breakfast.  They are all numbered the same way, making it a bit confusing unless you stick to the numbers on your side.  We had a choice of our sites or a pair in the 400 loop - 406 & 408.  I'm glad we took the 500 sites - while the map shows both pairs of sites next to each other, 406 & 408 have a small forest between them.  I saw an Escape 19 in one of the 400 loop sites.

There is a very useful website called Campsite Photos on line, I do wish they also included an image that showed pairs, or groups of sites.  The close up image of a site is useful, but if you are trying to find a pair of sites to camp with friends, the individual images don't show how close the sites are to each other.  The worst case for this was on a trip to New England.  We reserved (over the phone) two sites & asked if they were next to each other.  They said yes, and technically they were, but there was a playground between them.  Makes it difficult to share cooking dinner, etc.

After hanging out in the trailer most of the cool, damp morning, we headed out to check out some of the waterfalls.

While I'll post a few images here, many more, including some panoramas at a page I put together at Lakeshore Images.

Upper Falls

Middle Falls

Lower Falls From Above
Back at the trailers we sat around a campfire for a bit, then had Impossible Burgers, corn on the cob & coleslaw for dinner.

Until Tomorrow - 

Monday, October 12, 2020

Letchworth State Park, Day 1

 Letchworth State Park is about (well, exactly, according to my GPS) 114.9 Miles from Oswego.   I've visited the park many times; when my daughter was a student at Geneseo State University we often took her, her friends and roommates to the park for a picnic.  I've only camped here a couple of times, usually on the way to & back from the West.

Anne & Guido called & suggested that we try to get a site for the week.  Forgetting that today is Columbus day, I checked Sunday through Friday & nothing was available.  Looking for Monday through Friday, we found a couple of sites next to each other.  So, we are in sites 514 & 516.  Strange site numbering - odd on one side & even on the other, but there are twice as many odd sites, so, for example, site 531 is across the street from 516.

The official check in time is 5:00PM (check out 10:00AM) but they will let you in once they clean the site from the previous visitors.  I arrived around 2:30 with no problems.  Even used their early check in which lets you print a copy of the paperwork & hand it in as you arrive.  The entire process took about 30 seconds.  Sites are 30 amp, no water or sewer for $25.81 per night including the "transaction" fee of $7.25.

A pretty shaded site with a bit of gravel but mostly dirt.  Level enough (if you move the trailer around enough to find the level part of the site). Not too far from the bathrooms, which, unlike Green Lake, do not have kitchen sinks.

Anne & Guido in 514:

Me in Site 516:

We didn't do much besides set up the trailers & put together dinner which was Linguini & Clam Sauce.

Until Tomorrow - 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

 Green Lakes State Park, Day 3

We sat around much of the morning.  I had a visitor that wanted to see the Escape 21.  They are either going to order one or wait to see what the new Escape 23 looks like.  We toured & talked for awhile, then had some lunch.  

After lunch we went for a walk on the trail around Green Lake with a short offshoot to see Round Lake. 

Round Lake: 

While the photos don't show it, Round Lake is just as Green as Green Lake.   A nice 2.5 mile walk.

Back at the trailer we sat around doing so more reading.  I'm reading The Off-Islander, by Peter Colt.  A book about a Boston detective working, at least in part, on Nantucket Island.  I couldn't pass up the book since I love the island, but so far the book is not all that impressive.

Dinner was a chicken & shells dish that Anne made.

Monday, September 21, 2020

 Green Lakes State Park, Day 2

I went for a morning walk down to the lake - it really is green, not from algae, but because of minerals.  It is also a Meromictic lake, which describes a lake that the surface water does not mix with the water in the lower levels.  This is what makes it a very clear lake & gives it its green color.   Some photos from an afternoon visit:

The beach is closed, but there was lots of people out walking around the lake.  I've never been here, but it looks like a popular beach during the summer.

We also made a stop at Chittenango Falls, one of my favorite waterfalls.  The least amount of water going over the falls that I've ever seen, and too much direct sunlight for good photos, but here are a couple:

Back at the campground we had Impossible Burgers & corn on the cob for lunch.  I have to say I like the Impossible Burger a bit better than the Beyond Burger, although both are an interesting alternative to beef.

We spent the afternoon sitting around reading.  My current book is a series of books about a character named John Milton by Mark Dawson, a British author that publishes on line.  The character is similar to Reacher in Lee Child's books.  Not quite as well written, but well worth reading if you like the genre.  Latest was #6 in the series - Salvation Row.

Dinner was Shrimp Scampi.

Until Tomorrow - 

Sunday, September 20, 2020

 Green Lakes State Park - 49.7 Miles

I arrived at 3:30, no problems registering early, and I'm in site 45.  Almost level side to side & needing quite a bit of lift to the front to level front to back.  

Site 45:

Don & Anne started out with a bit of a problem - the rear door on their Toyota Sienna wouldn't open.  Since they need to open it to run the 7 pin cable for the trailer, a problem.  After trying all kinds of things, Don climbed over the rear seat, removed the door panel, and used the manual latch to open it.  The door sound beeps, but the motor doesn't run.

Anyhow, they got here a little after 4:00 and set up in site 46.  I took their photo while they were setting up:


I started a blueberry pie, discovered that I no longer have an oven thermometer, so I'm going by the dial temperature on the Dometic oven - a bad idea...

They have a dish washing station at the bathrooms that are about 4 sites away from my site, so I washed out the blueberry mixing bowl there rather than turning my gray tank purple.  That also saves dealing with a stinking gray tank - for some reason, washing either the mixing bowl or the pie pan causes a real stink in the tank after a couple of days.  Since this trip is only for 3 days, I guess that won't be a problem, but I used the park's wash station anyway.

Dinner was beef Bubba Burgers, a salad, pickled beets, and peaches.  The pie is still too warm so it will have to wait until tomorrow's dessert.

Until tomorrow - 

 Well, again it has been awhile, but not much happening.  I am finally going to get the trailer out for a couple of days.  Heading to Green Lake State Park near Syracuse for a couple of days.  Weekends are still booked solid, but during the week a few sites are available.  While it is only 45 minutes from home, I've never been there.  I have driven by many times on my way to a favorite non camping state park - Chittenango Falls.

I'll be meeting Don & Anne Guido at the park, hopefully around 3:00.  The "official" availability time for sites in the New York state park system seems to now be 5:00PM.  Kind of late, since you are paying for a night without much of a day.  We are hoping that they will let us in a bit early.

The trailer is packed & hooked up so I'll be hading out in a few minutes.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Two Posts in One Day!

I know I haven't been posting since arriving home in April, but I have been picking close to a gallon of blueberries every other day for the last two weeks.  There are still plenty on the bushes, so I did some experimenting with something other than blueberry pies.

This is a Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake.  Too many pots & pans to make on the road, but not all that difficult at home where cleaning up is easy.  It passes the taste test!

Until next time...

It Has Been Awhile!

Still not traveling, but spending time working on improving the trailer & hoping the Canadian border opens in time for the Niagara Wine Escape rally in September.  Actually, I'm hoping for a week earlier so I can cut across Canada to go to the Algonac rally in MI.

In any case, we finally had a somewhat clear night last night & I took a couple of photos of the Neowise comet.  A bit too long exposure when shooting with the 80 - 400 mm lens, even at 80mm but here they are:

That's about it for now.  Hope to have some travel photos in the future.

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 -

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Day 157, Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - Rock Island State Park, Rock Island, TN

Site 29
A relatively short drive to Rock Island, TN. Most of the drive was on 4 lane roads, either interstates or US 70S. Just outside Lawrenceburg is a large Amish community. I saw over 6 carriages on the side of the road. I got a photo of one of them - lousy, but driving & photographing doesn't make for great photos. Photo of the carriage & truck are at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I made a short stop at a Krogers and managed to get most of what I wanted. No gallon bottles of water, no sanitizing wipes or bottles, but I have a few more meals. Everyone stayed as far apart as possible, many with masks & gloves. I did head into the trailer & washed my hands on the way out.

I arrived at Rock Island State Park around 1:30. The office, like most, was closed, but there was a card on my site with my reservation information. The site is paved, mostly level (1/2" side to side & flat front to back) with water & electric for $27.59 per night. I booked 4 nights. My neighbor has a interesting tow vehicle. He felt the Ford E series chassis was more comfortable than F series, so he took an old RV, removed most of it, added his own rear seating & pick up bed. The first time I've seen something like this, but he said many individuals are buying old ambulances & doing the same.

For the first time in weeks, there are patches of blue sky, and an unusual yellow orb in the sky. I sat outside and read most of the afternoon. Current book is Long Range by C. J. Box. I took a walk around a couple of the campground loops, and almost every site is booked for the weekend.

Unfortunately, at 4:45 a couple of rangers stopped by letting me know that Tennessee is shutting down camping as of Friday at 12:00. So, both the end of my stay here and all of my one week stay planned for Cumberland Mountain have gone up in smoke. I was even thinking of extending the Cumberland Mountain stay to two weeks since New York is having major problems. So far, my small community in upstate NY looks far better than downstate, but I have to get there.

So, time to find some open campgrounds.

Dinner was a homemade pizza.

Until Tomorrow -

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Day 156, Tuesday, March 24, 2020 - David Crockett State Park, Lawrenceburg, TN, Day 3

A fair amount of rain overnight and throughout the morning. While the rain stopped around 3:00, we are on a tornado watch until 10:00PM. At 4:00AM last night my smoke alarm went off. No smoke or fire, but it did go off one time when I left the fan off in the bathroom while taking a shower, so it may be the humidity. In and case, I tore it off the wall, wandered around the trailer looking & sniffing, stuffed it in my computer bag and went back to sleep. I wish it was a little later - I got an email from Walmart that they were starting Senior Shopping today with the store only open to seniors between 6:00 - 7:00 AM. Unfortunately, I slept through it. Not really a problem - I don't need anything, although I'm starting to build a list.

A couple more trailers left the campground this afternoon. One came back - I assume that he just went to dump. There are three of us in this loop, including an Oliver behind me, with about the same numbers in the other three loops.

Around 2:30 I decided to head to the showers. They have new bathrooms with individual showers. During my 2016 -17 trip I talked with the architects about the problems with shower designs in campgrounds, and made some suggestions. They mentioned that Tennessee had a stock design, and they would probably stick with it. I remember how much I complained about the stock design at a couple of the other new bathrooms in the state's campgrounds. In any case, the good is they are individual rooms with temperature control. While I didn't notice it because it was 65°F outside, there was a split AC in the room that might have also been a heat pump. The outside section was running when I left. The bad - high pressure spray aimed at a narrow wall "protecting - (it doesn't) the small seat in the drying area. The entire drying area is large enough, but the shower spray covers most of it. In fact, the only floor drain is in the middle if the drying area. Two hooks for your stuff, no shelve in the shower area. Overall, better than some, but at best a C.

The rest of the day was spent reading. One of my neighbors was worried that they didn't see signs of activity in my trailer. I have tinted windows that block everything is daylight, and only show a little glow from the LED lights at night. Plus, I only turn on lights as I need them - dry camping habits. Plus I didn't sit outside since most of the time it was raining or misting. I did go for a number of walks around the campground, but they must have missed them. They called the rangers to do a check on me. Evidently, when they saw me outside this afternoon, they called back since no ranger stopped by.

Dinner was a Kahiki Chicken Fried Rice Bowl with Egg Roll.

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, March 23, 2020

Day 155, Monday, March 23, 2020 - David Crockett State Park, Lawrenceburg, TN, Day 2

Lots of rain overnight, heavy at times & ever a couple rumbles of thunder.

I did very little today other than sit in the trailer & read. Current book is #2 in a series by A. G. Riddle - The Atlantis Plague. A little too close to current times. I did take a break a couple of times during the day to walk around the campground. No new arrivals, and the trailer behind me left.

I'm recovering from chigger bites that I got in Louisiana. I don't know how people living here stand them since they itch like crazy. Maybe living with them develops an immunity, but the couple of times I've "discovered" them while traveling in the south has not been fun.

Dinner was a Marie Callender's Sesame Chicken Bowl. Very good for a microwaved meal.

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Day 154, Sunday, March 22, 2020 - David Crockett State Park, Lawrenceburg, TN

Site 94
Not quite as cold as predicted - overnight low was 50°F. I got a late start since I didn't have to go too far. A nice part of the drive was along the Natchez Trace parkway. Even nicer - gas along the way was $1.69 per gallon. I arrived at the David Crockett State Park around 2:00. No one at the office & a sign telling me to go directly to the site. I'm in site 94 in Campground 2, a level side to side & sloped enough front to back to require unhitching & lowering the tongue. Paved site with a picnic table. Electric & water for $29.21 with a senior discount.

I checked my email and discovered that my reservation at Cades Cove campground in The Great Smoky Mountain National Park has been canceled since the campground is shutting down until April 30th. I talked with Don & Anne, and they are not sure they will be able to go to the Townsend gathering here in Tennessee, so I decided that I'd finish my Tennessee State Park reservations, then head home on April 5th. I canceled a week's stay at Lotterdale Cove Campground (the week before Cades Cove), and they were nice enough to waive the cancellation fee. Seems like they are getting lots of them.

If things appear to have calmed down, I'll drive back to Townsend with the Guidos on April 14th. As things stand right now, it doesn't look like a good time for a gathering.

I talked with my brother David in Nantucket & all construction on the island has been shut down for at least two weeks, with fines for anyone found building. They are getting the usual passenger traffic on the ferries of individuals working at the construction sites, and since the don't have any Covid 19 cases on the island, they would rather not have packed ferries.

They are also having a problem with the hundreds (probably thousands) of New York owners of summer homes coming to the island to escape NY. Their 14 bed hospital is going to be overwhelmed it they have the usual summer population & an outbreak. The island web page is pleading with people to stay in NY!

So, things are still up in the air just about everywhere. The bathrooms here at the campground are open, and being cleaned twice per day, and sprayed with sanitizer every two hours. Here is hoping Tennessee keeps their campgrounds open, and I can find the stops in VA & PA I need for the trip home.

Dinner was a barely edible Barber Chicken with Broccoli, and the last spinach cake. Yes, I again accidentally bought the pre cooked version of the chicken. Even baked, it isn't very good, and microwaving turns it to mush.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Day 153, Saturday, March 21, 2020 - George P. Cossar State Park, MS, Day 4

While I haven't seen anything restricting driving through NY, the state is described as "locked down". I still have over a month until I have to be back, and that is for a dental checkup which might not be happening. My biggest concern is that I'll get chased out of where ever I am & find no where to go.

The plan, as much as planning is possible, is to stay in the Tennessee parks I've already reserved, see what the conditions are at the end of the three weeks, then decide if the rally at the KOA is viable. I would rather stay here in the south as long as possible - it is in the 20's at home. The good thing is my at home county as of today has no one with Covid 19, at least on the state wide county check list.

My son, a janitor at the SUNY college is now on temporary duty, ie called in when needed. A tough job for someone wanting to avoid the virus. In campgrounds it is fairly easy to maintain "social distance". I haven't been within 20' of anyone for the last 4 days. I even did a load of laundry since this campground is about as uncrowded as you can get. I will have to do some shopping within the next week or so - should be interesting.

So, other than doing laundry, I spent the day reading. I did walk around two loops of the campground just to get out of the trailer. It is too cool to comfortably sit outside at 55°F, although temperature is relative. During the middle of December, I probably would have been outside sitting in a chair in a "T" shirt. I'm running the electric heater in the trailer keeping it at around 65°F, although I cranked it up to 70°F for a shower this afternoon. It will probably run on low overnight - predicted temperature for the park is 47°F.

Dinner was the last of the frozen chicken thighs from the Coyote Market in Quartzsite. A real butcher makes a big difference in taste. I've had the best NY Strip Steaks & Chicken from them, at least compared to the big chain grocery stores. Sorry to polish off the last one. Along with the chicken thigh I had some grilled new potatoes & beets.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, March 20, 2020

Day 152, Friday, March 20, 2020 - George P. Cossar State Park, MS, Day 3

It's Raining!
A very wet Friday. The rain started around 6:00AM, and is still going at 3:00. Here is a weather radar image showing the narrow band of rain. Unfortunately, the narrow band is moving lengthwise over the park, and the bottom is still in Texas.

So, I haven't done much other than sit at the table and read. I got a Skype call from Karin. We decided that it probably would be a good idea for me to skip stopping to see them in Maryland on the way home. With the combination of concerns for my age & keeping 6' away from each other, it wouldn't make for much of a visit. I still plan to hit Tennessee on Sunday, but while I planned (and, of course, reserved sites) to spend 2 weeks traveling across the state prior to my arrival date at Cades Cove in the Great Smokey Mountain National Park, I'll have to keep an eye on things. They keep shutting down campgrounds, at least the state parks (so far Tennessee parks are open), closing stores, etc, and I'd hate to get stuck in the area for a long time, although sitting in a campsite is probably a good way for keeping social distance. In any case, unless they start closing down state borders, I'll wait a bit before deciding to head home early, although I did cancel all my reservations after the Townsend KOA, including 2 nights at $82.00 per night at the Cherry Hill campground in Maryland near Karin's. At least next year Greenbelt at $14.00 per night should be open.

There was a guy in a silver Dodge truck that must have been bored - he drove around the campground all morning, making more than 20 loops, stopping every 50' or so for a break.

So far today 2 5th wheels and a couple of travel trailers have arrived, but the campground is still pretty empty. I took a short walk around 2 of the campground loops during a lull in the rain, and didn't see the silver Dodge. I do wonder who he was & why he spent the morning cruising.

Dinner was a FitKitchen Teriyaki Chicken Bowl. Like the last FitKitchen bowl I had, this one was very good for a microwaved meal. I defrosted & marinated a chicken thigh to grill, but with the rain it is going to have to wait until tomorrow.

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Day 151, Thursday, March 19, 2020 - George P. Cossar State Park, MS, Day 2

A warm (80°F) humid day. My weather app kept telling me it was going to rain, but other than a few drops, nothing by 5:00. I had a brief chat with the owners of a 2011 Escape 5.0 parked down by reservoir. The family across from me packed up their 5th wheel, boat & SUV and headed out during the afternoon.

I sat outside & read, Gregg Olsen's The Last Thing She Ever Did. He writes novels that put people in impossible & complex situations. Interesting to read, but you do tend to squirm for the characters.

Dinner was a couple of grilled hotdogs and finally, the rest of the mac & cheese.

Until Tomorrow -

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Day 150, Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - George P. Cossar State Park, MS

Site 35
A little bit of rain overnight, but not enough to wash the pollen off the truck or trailer. It was enough that a small waterfall came off the front of the roof when I lowered the tongue jack onto the truck.

Almost all of today's drive was on interstates - I 20 & I 55. A bit longer drive than usual, but I wanted to hit parks where I don't always stop, and George P. Cossar is a new one for me. I'm in a full hook up site (# 35) for a posted price of #16.00 per night, but with fees & taxes, it works out to $17.12 per night. I do hate to make on line reservations when I have no idea what the site actually looks like. Reserve America often includes a photo of the site in the reservation form, and there are websites such as Campsite Photos that show images of most of the sites in many campgrounds, but you are still often surprised with access, slopes, etc. Site 35 required about 1/2" of side to side leveling, and none front to back. I leveled anyway since I'm here for 4 nights and might need to make a run to a store. There is a Krogers about 20 minutes away. Of course who knows if they will have anything on the shelves.

It is good that it is full hookup - with the Covid 19 problem, Mississippi's solution is to padlock the bathrooms until the end of the month. For some reason, they left the laundry open. The park is less than half filled, compared to a full house at Jimmie Davis in Louisiana.

After setting up I took a short walk around the campground. There is a lake with some sites sitting on the edge. I'm about 100' from it.

I did a quick check of internet speeds - AT&T shows 8.9MB down & 10.5MB up, while Verizon, even with an amplifier is only showing 2.3MB down, but 18.1MB up. No campground WiFi. There was a strong WiFi service at Jimmie Dean, but very slow internet.

Dinner was a microwaved P.F. Chang's Sichuan style Orange Chicken. A bit different from any orange chicken I've had before, and a bit too spicy for me, but editable.

Until Tomorrow -

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Day 149, Tuesday, March 17, 2020 - Jimmie Davis State Park, Chatham, LA, Day 2

One big difference between the desert & here in Louisiana is pollen. For most of my life I had no allergies, but when I hit my 60's, Spring became a difficult time with itchy eyes, etc. There is enough pollen (probably pine) here that any flat surface is covered with a dusting in minutes.

I took a short walk around the campground - my Plantier Facisias, which developed in the summer last year went away with ice packs & exercises, stayed away all winter, but has returned on the trip home. Mornings are the most painful, so I have to move my walks to late in the day.

I finished the Dean Koontz "Nameless" series - found a 6th after finishing #5, which I thought was the last. Glad for the 6th since it tied the series together. I'm not sure why he didn't release it as a full length novel, although it would have been a long one. In any case, I enjoyed it. Currently reading a library book on the Kindle - The Sundown Motel by Simone St. James.

I spent much of the day sitting outside even with the pollen, slapping sneaky tiny mosquitoes. They are small enough that you don't feel or hear them until they are half full. Messy!

Dinner was the other half of a short rack of baby back ribs & left over Kraft Mac & Cheese.

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, March 16, 2020

Day 148, Monday, March 16, 2020 - Jimmie Davis State Park, Chatham, LA

Burrowing Crayfish Home
Boy is a diesel bus loud! I know the older diesels require a bit of run time before pulling out, but this one, with the exhaust 5' from the back of my trailer, ran at a fast idle for 14 minutes before they left. At least it was around 8:00, so I decided to start my day.

I ate breakfast, read some forums, then packed up the trailer, and hit the road around 9:30. Most of the drive on US 165 & US 167 to Jonesboro where I stopped at the Walmart. No luck finding the thick cut turkey deli I like, but I did pick up a package of baby back ribs.

I pulled into Jimmie Davis State Park around 2:00, and was assigned site #12. Again, 1/2 off the normal fee for being over 62, $13.85 per night with fees & taxes. Since I didn't make a reservation, the same fee was called a transaction fee. I still can't complain - $13.85 is even less than New Mexico's $14.00 for a water & electric site, which I had often pointed out as the least expensive state park system in the country. Site photo is at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I sat outside reading, a series of novelettes on the Kindle written for Amazon by Dean Koontz - current is The Praying Mantis Bride in the Nameless series,. Each only takes an hour or so to read, and while I usually pass on short stories, by the time I realized that they were not full length novels, I had already downloaded all 5, and got hooked. I finished 2 & have 3 to go.

I finally found both a classical NPR radio station & an NPR news station on FM radio. Only problem is the news station was in the middle of a fund raiser.

It looks like it rained recently & there is a strange mud tower in the grass in front of my site. I did a Google search for "small mud tower in lawn" and am pretty sure it is home to a burrowing crayfish.

Dinner was a short rack of baby back ribs & Kraft Mac & Cheese.

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Day 147, Sunday, March 15, 2020 - Sam Houston Jones State Park, LA, Day 3

A Long Trailer & A Long Dump
Yesterday, I mentioned to a neighbor that I was hoping the Louisiana laundromats would be open on a Sunday since I had a pretty good load to wash. He said check the building a couple of sites over from ours - it is a free laundromat. It was too late to do laundry then, but I took a full basket over this morning. 2 washing machines & 3 dryers, as as described, free. I did my two loads, and was glad I started early - they were in use all day long. While sitting in front of the laundry, I watched the longest trailer make the longest stop at a dump station ever. He was there for almost 35 minutes. No one else was waiting, so he might have been faster is someone was, but he sure moved in slow motion. Of course with the size of the 5th wheel, he probably had 100 gallon tanks!

During & after I read my latest book on the Kindle - Robert R. McCammon's Mystery Walk. He is one of my favorite horror authors & this one is another winner. He writes at the Stephen King level. Of course, for those that don't enjoy reading horror novels, that isn't saying much, but for those that do, I feel it is a good recommendation. Almost finished by dinner.

Even though the next campground I plan to visit has showers listed, I decided that I'd try the last one here (#4). An 8 second run, with all the same other problems mentioned yesterday with shower #1.

Back at the trailer I read until dinner & watched the new arrivals. There is a large bus behind me, and a 5th wheel 2 sites down that spent half an hour getting into position. Since he only moved about 4" by the end of all that maneuvering, I'm not sure it was worth it, but they argued back & forth until he got it right.

Dinner was a Beyond Burger and the rest of the applesauce. I hope I have enough in the refrigerator for at least a weeks worth of meals - the stores are zoos, with many empty shelves.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Day 146, Saturday, March 14, 2020 - Sam Houston Jones State Park, LA, Day 2

Along the Orange Trail
I was awakened around 8:00AM (I know, late, but I'm retired) by the sound of hard wheeled scooters on gravely asphalt. Now I know that is to be expected in state parks with paved roads on a weekend, but usually the kids make a couple of runs, then get tired & quit. Nope. The new fangled scooters (I'm old, I can use that term) have motors & batteries, and can run for 2-3 hours before needing a recharge. I was thinking they were almost as bad as a construction generator, but just to prove me wrong, an Allegro Class A pulled in that had a construction generator on a platform in the trailer hitch that was running, probably to keep the ACs going while driving. Very loud!

I went for a walk on the Orange Trail at the recommendation of a neighbor. About a mile, very flat, and along the river & swamps surrounding the park. Some nice houses on stilts across the river. I didn't see any alligators.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Back at the campground I decided to head to the showers. There are 5 of them in the men's side with a large benched area in front of all of them. Each shower has a small changing area with 1 hook & a small bench. The shower head aims at the drying area, but there is a shower curtain. Unfortunately, is is hung in the drying area, not the shower, so any water that hits it runs on to the drying area floor.

My shower (the first in the row) is the first push button shower I've used that has 0 seconds on time. Yes, you have to hold in the button to get water. The next shower in the row has a hose bib with valve in place of the shower head. The third stall is locked & the shower head is capped. I didn't check the 4th & the 5th was the handicapped shower. While the water was hot enough (non adjustable), holding the button was a PIA, as was the 1/2" of water on the drying room floor. Overall, a D -, not the worst shower I've used, but close.

Back at the trailer I sat outside and finished Steve Berry's The Warsaw Protocol. As usual, he seems to believe that every chapter must end with a cliff hanger, no matter how poorly related to the flow of the story. It would also displease any president Trump fans. I did finish it.

Dinner was a grilled chicken leg quarter & applesauce.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, March 13, 2020

Day 145, Friday, March 13, 2020 - Sam Houston Jones State Park, LA

Site 32
Another drive on combined US90/I10. Lots of construction in both TX & LA, with concrete barricades making for tight lanes. At least it was a short drive. I'm in site 32 at the Sam Houston Jones State Park in Lake Charles, LA. A water & electric site with somewhat confusing pricing. The on line registration billed me $89.75 for three days, including reservation fee, and taxes. At the entrance station the volunteer told me to come back after setting up. They have an over 62 special that cuts the price in half. So, the actual cost is now $15.96 per night. My site was still occupied when I arrived. Had a short chat with the individual, who had just spent his first night in his brand new Class A RV, and his first time camping.

The bathrooms are a short hike near the entrance to the camping area. Showers, but no laundry.

After setting up & adjusting my bill, I got back to the trailer and met a couple that are looking for an Escape 21. They currently have a Class C that they are unhappy with & wanted to see an Escape. I gave the usual tour and answered the usual questions.

After that I headed to a grocery store. A very bad move. Everyone in Lake Charles is at the grocery stores buying water and toilet paper. Very long lines, and harried clerks. I was lucky - I checked out in the under 10 items line.

The virus is causing very different reactions in different states. New Mexico shut down camping in all their state parks today, while AZ, PA & MI sent me emails saying they concluded that camping in the open air with lots of space between neighbors was far safer than staying in your apartment or house. In any case, I don't have much of a choice - home is still 1500 miles away.

Dinner was a Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo dinner.

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Day 144, Thursday, March 12, 2020 - Trinity Bay RV & Lodging, Anahuac, TX

Site 22
A couple of things from yesterday. First, the FitKitchen Chicken with Cashews bowl was excellent. First time I've had one; I will try some of their other microwave meals. Second, I used the showers. 2 showers with a common drying room. 2 hooks & a folding chair for a bench. The shower head in shower #1 was a low volume version, and the shower head in #2 was a standard flow, but clogged. It was loose enough that I temporary replaced it with my own shower head. A small shelf in the shower for your stuff, but pretty small stalls. They did have a mat outside the shower and the floor of the drying area stayed mostly dry, so overall, I'd rate it at least a B.

Now to today. Most of the drive was on I10. I tried using US 90, which parallels I10 for much of the drive, however it kept combining with I10. Eventually, I just stayed on I10. Driving through Houston was a PIA. 6 lanes each way, with a big stop & go section to get around a wreck that blocked all but 2 lanes. I hoped that by 11:00 I'd miss the rush hour traffic, but, at least before the wreck, all 5 lanes (not the HO lane) were packed.

I was hoping to stay in the Fort Anahuac Park, which listed 2 RV sites on both of my most used RV site apps, but if they are there, I didn't find them. Next door to the fort is the Trinity Bay RV & Lodging, a somewhat fancy (concrete pads) RV park. I'm in site 22, a full hookup site for $35.00. Dead level side to side & front to back. I had to call the park phone # since no one was in the office. A young lady (at my age, they are all young ladies!) came over & logged me in. A bit cooler than yesterday, with an afternoon high of 84°F vs 92°F at Pollard RV Park. It still feels very warm since there is quite a bit of sun.

I spent the afternoon starting a library book on the Kindle, The Warsaw Protocol by Steve Barry. Barry is one of the authors with which I have a like/dislike relationship. I keep reading his novels, and always, about half way through, decide it will be the last. By the end, I am always willing to try for the next one. At least I'm not paying for the library book (well, since my school taxes lists the library as a separate item, I guess I am paying for it).

While I could do laundry, the laundromat is to far down the row of sites to walk carrying my laundry basket, so I'll save it for one of the next parks. Although the bathrooms are rated as clean & nice on Campground Reviews, I never found them, even after walking a complete loop around the campground. Lots of permanent buildings & campsites along the outer edges of the campground, while the concrete pads in the center seem to be set up for short time stays.

Dinner was an Amy's Cheese Burrito & a salad.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Day 143, Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - Pollard RV Park, Gonzales, TX

Probably Site 5
A warm night - I ended up tossing all the blankets & quilt since the low was 69°F. This morning I decided it was a good time to change the sheets & dump the blankets. That means it will be freezing tonight, although I doubt that - right now at 4:30 it is 87°F. I reluctantly fired up the AC for the first time since the Fall. Much too noisy for me, but I do admit the cool feels nice.

The plan was to stay at Palmetto State Park, but they are booked solid until Monday. I'm in the nearby Pollard RV Park, an Elks Club park that unlike most, is open to the public. $25.00 for a full hookup, back in site with a concrete pad that is almost level. The sewer is at the rear of the site, requiring more hose than I carry, so I won't be using it, not that I need to. The numbers have worn off the electrical boxes, but I guess I'm in site 5. A nasty looking wasp lives in the electrical hookup. Eventually, he or she went away long enough for me to plug in. Good AT&T speed at 33.9MB down & 5.1MB up. Like yesterday, I didn't bother checking Verizon, but the signal was good enough to stream KJZZ in Phoenix, one of the NPR stations for which I'm a sustaining member.

I'm about 3/4 through Jeff Wheeler's The Killing Fog that I started yesterday. I'm not sure why his books are free for Kindle Unlimited since they are better written than many of the books you need to pay for, but I'm not complaining. I read more of the book, and will probably finish it tonight.

Dinner was a FitKitchen Chicken with Cashews bowl.

Until Tomorrow -

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Day 142, Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - Governors Landing, Amistad National Rec Area, Del Rio, TX

Site 7
While it didn't actually rain, there was heavy mist that needed the wipers the entire trip. In some areas I had to slow down because of fog. I arrived at Governors Landing in the Amistad National Recreation Area around 11:30AM. I'm in site 7;  $5.00 with the Senior Pass for a dry site. With a bit of careful placement, I only needed to lift one side about 1/2" and a couple of inches on the tongue jack, staying tied to the tow. Most of the sites are fairly heavily sloped, including a couple of nice pull throughs that were too steep for me. A nice view of the reservoir.

Still lots of heavy clouds, although the solar panels are producing enough to break even while operating the laptop. There is an NPR station in Del Rio that the truck radio has no problem picking up, but the trailer radio can't get it. I really need to improve the trailer's radio or reception!

I spent the afternoon reading - still on White's The Heat Islands. In my opinion, it is a better book than some of his later novels. The second in the Doc Ford series. Maybe the fact that the last one I read was the 24th in the series, it was getting a bit stale. After finishing, I started a new series on the Kindle, The Killing Fog, the first in The Grave Kingdom series by Jeff Wheeler. Only problem with that is it is a new series, with #2 & #3 not arriving until later in the summer.

Good AT&T connection - 30.5MB down & 14.6MB up. I didn't check Verizon, although they showed a far weaker signal.

Dinner was a Bubba Burger & applesauce.

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, March 9, 2020

Day 141, Monday, March 9, 2020 - Canyons RV Park, Sanderson, TX

An Interesting Shower
One of the problems with all the RV parks in Van Horn is they are right off I10, and next to the railroad tracks. I don't remember the Oasis being as loud for both as the Wild West RV Park, but maybe it was. In any case, lots of trains all night, each blowing the horn.

While both I10 & US 90 split at Van Horn & come back together near San Antonio, I prefer US 90. A few small towns, but a not-very-busy two lane road with a 75MPH speed limit, so I end up doing my usual 63MPH on either road, with lots less traffic on US 90.

I stopped for the day at the Canyons RV Park in Sanderson, TX. It was a tough decision not to scoot down to Big Bend as I went through both Alpine & Marathon, but there are no reservable sites, and since it is in the middle of spring break, likely no first come sites available. It is a 60 mile drive just to check at the visitor center, then another 20 miles to the Rio Grande Village campground if there is any sites available, many that would not fit my trailer. If it is full, another 80 - 100 miles to find a place for the night.

I'm in site 6, a full hookup site for $30.00 per night. No one runs the campground - there is a slot for your money. The bathrooms are interesting - a very small building with a tiny lobby, and a men's & woman's side. One toilet & one shower. The mixing valve for the men's shower appears to have broken, so the solution was to plumb a shut off valve in each of the hot & cold water lines that goes to the showerhead. Tough to use as a kid since the valves are above the shower enclosure. It does work, and the drying area does stay dry. The hooks are useless - anything you put on them falls off. All in all, no better than a C.

As to the traffic noise - US 90 is not quite as busy as I10, but lots of trucks that all hit a bump next to the campground, and the train tracks are right on the back side of the campground with a crossing next door (lots of toots!)

The site is level - I didn't need to unhook or even use the tongue jack to level front to back. After a shower, I sat outside and read -current book is Randy Wayne White's The Heat Islands, a Doc Ford novel. While the Tampa Tribune-Times calls White "The rightful heir to John D. MacDonald" and others, I wouldn't rate him much more than a 1st cousin, but I do enjoy his books.

I called Seminole State Park to see if they had any first come sites since the Texas on-line reservation system showed them full. Glad I called since they let me know the campground was closed. I guess that, at least to a reservation system, that means it is full!

I has a turkey sandwich on sourdough bread & chips for a late lunch around 3:30, so dinner was just some cheese & crackers.

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Day 140, Sunday, March 8, 2020 - Wild West RV Park, Van Horn, TX

Site 4
It rained all night and into the morning. Wore my rain jacket for the first time on the trip while packing up the trailer. While Pancho Villa is a nice park in the sun, in the rain things get muddy. I had to wash off the water hose, power cords & the Anderson chocks since all were caked with red dirt/mud. No problem pulling out of the place in 2 wheel drive, but the front of the trailer was caked. Most of it washed off driving in the rain along NM 9.

I saw my first in-person view of the border wall while driving on NM 9. I'm not sure why they built it the way they did, but it is in short sections with open sections between them. For miles, there were as many openings as there was wall. They did have construction sites along the road, so maybe they are planning to fill in the gaps.

I crossed into Texas heading north just before El Paso, then drove I 10 to Van Horn. I felt a bit guilty not stopping at my usual; the Oasis RV Park, but decided to try something different - Site 4 at the Wild West RV Park just down the street. About the same price at $26.24 for full hookups as the Oasis, but a bit nicer looking. Level enough that I didn't have to unhook, although I did need to use the tongue jack to level front to back.

I did a load of laundry, made the usual Sunday calls, and relaxed for the afternoon, although with the change to daylight savings time & crossing into the central time zone, it was after 3:00 by the time I got settled.

Unfortunately, I was too far away from my usual Mexican restaurant, Chuy's and didn't want to unhook the truck, and the ones nearby are not open, so it was a InnovAsian's General Tso's Chicken Rice Bowl for dinner.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Day 139, Saturday, March 7, 2020 - Pancho Villa State Park, Columbus, NM, Day 4

Not much happening today. Today's high was 76°F, with an overnight low of 50°F.

I did check the signal quality of both Verizon & AT&T here at the campground. Verizon shows 6.2MB down & 3.5MB up, while AT&T is 8.3MB down & 2.9MB up. I took a couple of walks around the campground, then settled in outside to do some reading. I finished Anne Hillerman's The Tale Teller, and started a real paper book - Jeffrey Deaver's The Coffin Dancer, an early Lincoln Rhyme book that I somehow haven't read. It is interesting to read a book in a series that is 10 - 12 releases old.

I'm glad I have a cover on the picnic table. I set up the Instant Pot on the picnic table, started dinner & it started raining. According to my weather app the rain isn't suppose to arrive until tomorrow, but while light, it has pretty much been raining for the last 3 hours.

During a brief null, I cranked up the stabilizers & hooked up the trailer to the truck, just in case it is pouring in the morning.

Dinner was a chicken thigh, new potatoes & pinto beans cooked in the Instant Pot. 18 minutes for a frozen thigh, overnight soaked beans, and the potatoes worked well with the chicken thigh at 190°F, and the potatoes & beans done. I might try 16 minutes next time.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, March 6, 2020

Day 138, Friday, March 6, 2020 - Pancho Villa State Park, Columbus, NM, Day 3

The Restored GMC Motorhome & VW Bug

I'm not sure how low the temperature got last night - my outdoor thermometer has a habit of showing 35°F for the overnight low and I know it wasn't that cold. In any case, I ran the electric cube heater & the trailer stayed at 65°F inside. A little too warm for me, but I didn't use any propane.

Speaking of propane, I drove to the Columbus LP Gas building to get my empty 20 pound tank & mostly empty 5 pound tank filled. They are one of the few locations that fill by weight, then convert to gallons. 5 gallons of propane for $13.49 with tax. The small tank only took .4 gallons. I need to get better at estimating how close to empty by weight or shaking with the little tank. In any case, all are filled.

Back at the trailer, while there is plenty of sunshine & it is 66°F outside, it is very windy (shaking the trailer windy) so I'm sitting inside. I spent some time on the computer, then read my Kindle. I noticed that there are a number of car campers in the park. No tent, just sleeping in the car. Those in a van might be comfortable, but there is a young lady next to me that is in an older Honda CR-V, which must be pretty tight for sleeping. She sure packs a lot of stuff in the Honda - she completely filled the picnic table and surrounding area with stuff out of the car.

I went for a walk around the campground with the camera.  The rest of the photos are at today's LakeshoreImages page.

The rest of the afternoon was spent sitting outside, moving into the shade or out of the wind and reading.  Current book is Anne Hillerman's The Tale Teller. While it hit 70°F during the afternoon, unfortunately it was too windy for the shade, and too hot in the sun.

Dinner was a couple of turkey hot dogs & applesauce.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Day 137, Thursday, March 5, 2020 - Pancho Villa State Park, Columbus, NM, Day 2

A relaxing day. High, thin clouds & a high of 68°F, combined with a breeze made it vary from OK to uncomfortable sitting outside, so I kept moving back & forth. While outside I heard Sandhill Cranes, but they were either out of sight somewhere to the east, or flying in a "V" formation way overhead. They were gone by noon, so I suspect they were feeding, particularly since I didn't see any ponds.

Around 3:00 I got a text message from Walgreen's letting me klnow that my prescription refill was in. I looked up propane suppliers, found one in Deming, and put the address in the Garmin. When I got there it was an archery store. So, back to the center of town & Walgreens. No wait, but the co pay for non generic drops has gone up from $50.00 to $60.00. I really can't complain - the retail $ for the 90 day supply is $764.00.

By the time I got back to Pancho Villa, it was dinner time, which was the rest of yesterday's homemade pizza.