Saturday, July 31, 2021

Patapsco Valley State Park Trip, Day 8


Does This Look Familiar? (Binghamton, NY)

Binghamton, NY, July 31, 2021,  163.3 Miles, 674.6 Miles For the Trip

We left Jonestown around 11:30 with an uneventful drive north on I 81.  Anne & Guido unpacked what was necessary from their trailer.  Since we are heading to Selkirk State Park next Thursday, much can be left in the trailer.  I'll do the same tomorrow.  

I do have a project - a machine screw holding the inside end of my rear passenger side stabilizer jack seems to have bit the dust.  It was difficult to get the crank on the bolt end to raise it when packing up at Patapsco.  I bungie corded it to the sewer storage pipe & will climb under the trailer to fix it when I get home.

Dinner will be Bubba Burgers, Bush beans and Brussels sprouts.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Patapsco Valley State Park Trip, Day 7

Jonestown KOA, Jonestown, PA, Friday, July 30, 2021, 114 miles, 511.3 Miles For the Trip

Site 14

Site 13

Since we didn't have all that far to go, we took our time getting out of the park.  1:00 was the check out time; we left around 12:00.  We did our best to stay off interstates, at least after we got out of the Baltimore area and pulled into the Jonestown KOA around 4:00.  

We had tried to reserve a "Buddy" site, but none were available.  The person taking the reservations told us that they could put us next to each other as long as we could deal with back in sites.  No problem, at least during the reservation.  When we arrived, they put Anne & Guido in site 14, and me in site 77, sites about as far apart as possible & be in the campground.  I went to the desk & asked if we could be put together. They were very accommodating & moved me to site 14, a very tight site for my 21, but I'm in. 

Both sites are full hookup on gravel, fairly level, enough that I didn't need to unhook.  $53.10 with the KOA membership discount. 

We spent the rests of the afternoon reading & drying out Guido's Clam.  Anne put together her Shrimp Scampi for dinner, which was as delicious as usual.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Patapsco Valley State Park Trip, Day 6

Anne, Guido, Jon, Karin, Zoe, V and Brian

Patapsco Valley State Park, Thursday, July 29, 2021

An interesting day.  It started with a visit of Karin, Brian & the granddaughters.  We sat around talking, taking some photos, and general goofing off.  To avoid confusion, Valerie is now V.

Anne, Guido, Karin, Zoe, V, and Brian

V, Zoe, Jon

Karin & Brian

Guido, Karin, Brian, Zoe, V

Brian & V

Jon & Karin
They stayed until it was time to head out to deliver V to Theatre Camp.  We sat around a bit more, then Anne's cousin Bill & wife Deidre stopped by for some blueberry pie.  While finishing up the pie & ice cream the weather warning alert went off letting us know a tornado was on its way.  Bill & Deidre headed out & we sat in out vehicles watching lots of thunder & lightning, very heavy rain, but no wind.  The weather radar showed the warning area passing south of us.

Dinner will be a cheese brat & fruit.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Patapsco Valley State Park Trip, Day 5


Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge

Patapsco Valley State Park & Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge, Wednesday, July 28, 2021

We drove to the Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge to meet Karin, Valerie & Zoe, my daughter & granddaughters.  They will be visiting the park tomorrow, and today we decided to meet half way between the park and their house.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

The Butterfly Cycle

Canada Goose


Karin, Zoe & Valerie


Water Lily

Water Lily


Karin, Zoe, Jon

There is a Visitor Center that had a number of displays, and a very informative desk attendant that handed out maps, etc.  The girls enjoyed a live display of the various stages between eggs to butterfly, although no butterflies were ready today.  Sorry for the order of the photos, but for what ever reason, Google isn't letting me change them.

We took a short hike around a pond, and Karin & all headed off to summer camp drop offs.

After that we stopped at Anne's cousin's, then all headed to lunch.  I had one of the specials - A chicken fried steak sandwich, very different from most - it included a fried egg, chorizo sausage, cheese and fried onions.  While it sounds a bit overdone, it was actually pretty good!

After that we went back to Bill & Deidre's to relax, then headed back to the campground.  No dinner, all of us were still full from lunch.  I did bake a blueberry pie to share with Karin & family tomorrow.  Glad to have the air conditioning.  While the oven does add lots of heat to the trailer, the AC can handle it.

Fresh Out of the Oven

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Patapsco Valley State Park Trip, Day 4

 Patapsco Valley State Park, Tuesday, July 27, Day 2, 0 miles, 397.3 Miles For the Trip

A quiet, but hot day.  At least the humidity broke.  Rather than 95% it is down to 90%  in my outside thermometer sensor (which is in my ladder storage 5" fencepost under the trailer).  That position usually lags behind with humidity changes, so I suspect it was actually lower.

Anne & Guido went to the store to buy "stuff" including a 20" fan to put inside the Clam.  Clams are great for keeping down the bugs, but the "no see em" mesh doesn't let any breeze through.  The fan went in the middle, aimed up and the curve of the top forced the wind down the sides, making it a bit more comfortable. 

Anne's cousin and wife stoped by & we spent the day chatting with them.  Not much else happened.  We did get to see the disadvantage of a large RV.  A 40' or so class A pulled into the site across from the Guido's.  There was no way he could make the turn to back in, and got hung up on my site marker.  We got that around his steps, and Guido moved his van so he could pull the class A into Guido's site to back into  his site.  That was the excitement for the day!

Dinner was a grilled pork loin & Bush beans.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Patapsco Valley State Park Trip, Day 3

 Patapsco Valley State Park, MD, Monday, July 26, 2021, 111.6 Miles, 397.3 Miles For the Trip

Site 416

Site 414

Since we had a fairly short drive, we hung around the KOA most of the morning.  

I only thought the traffic was heavy yesterday.  Almost rear ended a VW in Harrisburg when he pulled in to the stopping space I was leaving between my truck & the Guidos. Just as he pulled in everything stopped.  I managed to stop 1' from his bumper.  Lots more stop & go traffic on I 83. The entrance to the campground that we took has a 11'1" tunnel/bridge on the way in.  A problem for many RVs, but not either of ours.  

Getting around the turns between the entry station & the gate to the campground was another story.  Nothing longer than my 21 would have made the turn, but almost everything longer than me is also more than 11' high. In any case, we are here.  Anne & Guido in 414 & me in 416.  Both sites are reasonably level although I had to unhook to get the tongue low enough to level the front, and raise one side an inch or so. Electric only sites for $27.06 per night, including the $6.25 reservation fee.  They have water fill stations and a dump site, as well as bathrooms with showers.

After setting up we sat around and read.  Since we are here for 4 days, I put out my welcome sign with the glowing hummingbird lights, and a hummingbird feeder on another stand.  Anne & Guido added lights to the Clam shelter and on their trailer's belly band.

A Luna Moth "hatched" on a post at the Guido's site.  We took photos - 

Just Out of the Cocoon


Other than that, it was hanging around until dinner.  Of course just as we started dinner it started to sprinkle.  We missed most of the storm - my daughter Karin is a bit south of us and got the blunt of it while picking up one of the grandkids.  Her Skype report:  "There were a bunch of branches / small trees down in the roads. Power outages in Silver Spring, so a bunch of traffic lights were out. Interesting drive".

A fellow camper leaving tomorrow gave us a home grown summer squash & zucchini, which we had with Bubba Burgers.

Until Tomorrow - 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Patapsco Valley State Park Trip, Day 2

 Jonestown KOA, Jonestown, PA, Sunday, July 25, 2021, 163.6 Miles, 285.7 Miles For the Trip

Buddy Sites 42 & 43

Some light rain in Binghamton as we packed up to leave, but most of it stopped by the time the hit the road.  A uneventful trip south on I 81, although the traffic was much heavier than i expected.  No stop & go, but lots of cars & trucks.  We arrived at the Jonestown KOA around 1:30, and were guided to our sites.  We have "Buddy" sites - 2 next to each other that you pull into from opposite directions so the doors face each other across from a shared concrete pad.  Full hookup sites for $55.80.  Almost level - I had to raise one side 1" using the Anderson levelers.  The campground id full - they even have at least one RV parked in one of the roads.

It is hot!  While the trailer outside thermometer only says 90°F, the humidity says 94% and even in the shade it is toasty.  I got nervous when I started the AC and it didn't.  I did a factory reset on the thermostat and everything was fine.  72°F in the trailer.  I suspect it could go lower, but that is enough of a difference to make it comfortable doing transitions between inside and out.

We spent most of the afternoon sitting under Anne & Guido's awning reading & drinking lots of water.  Around 6:00 we cooked up cheese brats & a Caesar salad.  Around 7:15 we headed to the ice cream stand for dessert.  I had a hot fudge sundae.

Until Tomorrow - 

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Patapsco Valley State Park Trip, Day1

Binghamton, NY, Saturday, July 24, 2021, 122.1 Miles, 122.1 Miles For the Trip

A Familiar Stop

We did the "Thanksgiving in July" dinner on Wednesday, a 22 pound turkey & the fixings for 7 of us, including Mike and Kitty's contribution of Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish. Every real Thanksgiving I hear multiple discussions on NPR of Mama Stamberg's relish, including the recipe, but never tried it. I'm a firm believer in plain jellied cranberry sauce, and never tried to make it. Mike offered to bring some, and I have to admit it is very good (although adding horseradish to cranberry sauce sounds strange, as well as the pink color).  I still use jelled for sandwiches, but it was great with the meal. 

 After that it was trailer packing time.  I don't know if starting from scratch is better than already having half the trailer still packed from the last trip; I guess I'll find out!  In any case, I spent the morning packing the "must wait for the last minute" stuff, watered the plants, & headed out around 11:30.  The usual unexciting trip down I 81 to Binghamton & Anne & Guido's. 

Dinner will be a Spiedie Endwell sandwich.  Spiedies are a Binghamton speciality.  Originally marinated lamp on Italian bread, but now lots of combinations based on pork or chicken, including salads.  The Endwell is a chicken, cheese & mushroom sandwich. 

Tomorrow we are heading to the Jonestown KOA, another often used overnight stop.  Patapsco Valley State Park is close enough to Binghamton that we don't really need to use Jonestown as an in between stop, but since we already made reservations coming & going, we will have shorter than normal drives.

Until Tomorrow -

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Goings On

 I finished work on the gray tank, putting a layer of epoxy over the plastic weld to add some strength, and after that a layer of EternaBond tape.  I filled it with water & let it sit for a couple of days.  No leaks, so I hope it will hold.

EternaBond Tape

Not a lot going on - have been making my "Meals on Wheels" deliveries, and picking blueberries.  Lots on the bushes, but most are not yet ripe.  I did freeze one 6 cup (the size for a pie) bag.  I freeze them on a tray, then after they turn into frozen berries, put 6 cups in a vacuum freezer bag.  They keep well for a couple of years.  I may not do too many since I still have 4-5 bags from last year.

Picked the date for Thanksgiving in July - the 21st.  For the last couple of years I've been putting together a turkey dinner in July.  Since I'm usually in the south in the trailer for Thanksgiving, and like to cook a turkey, that is what I've been doing.  While I would prefer a Fresh Plainville Turkey, one of the best available, they are difficult to get unless it is late November.

Glad I have the Mini Split air conditioner since this has been a hot summer.  Much more powerful & much quieter than the old window AC, and cooking a turkey heats up the kitchen!

Until Next Time - 

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Pohick Bay Trip, Day 9

 Oswego, NY, Sunday, July 4, 2021, 120 miles, 929.5 Miles For the Trip

Sorry to be late posting the last day of the trip.  I was surprised by the light traffic on I 81 on the 4th.  It was a pleasant drive home.

I parked the trailer with the driver's side as high as I could get it to make it easier to get underneath to work on the broken gray tank.  The soldering iron type plastic welder arrived while I was gone, so after a bit of practice I headed under the trailer & using 6 12" sticks of plastic welding rod, the hole & crack are filled.

The Repair

While I suspect the plastic weld will hold, I'm going to add some strength to it by coating the entire repair with some JB Weld Plastic epoxy, and then a final layer of EternaBond tape.

So the end of an interesting trip to the DC area.  We will be doing it again in two weeks, this time to visit with my daughter's family in the Takoma Park area.

Until then - 

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Pohick Bay Trip, Day 8

 Binghamton, NY, Saturday, July 3, 2021, 127.8 Miles, 809.5 For the trip

My Escape

Anne & Guido's Scamp

Another day of driving north in the rain, almost all of the trip on I 81.  The traffic was no where near as bad as yesterday.  Some slow downs because of the rain, but no stop & go.  

We arrived at Anne & Guido's early afternoon, and I quickly unloaded what I'd need for the night - its is still raining off & on.  Guido left the Scamp in the street since he is heading out again in two days. I'm staying in the house this time. Of course, I made at least 3 trips - I kept forgetting something.  At least is is a short walk, but for some reason, it starts to rain as soon as I get outside.

Dinner was Shrimp Scampi.

Friday, July 2, 2021

Pohick Bay Trip, Day 7

 Locust Lake State Park, Barnesville, PA - Friday, July 2, 230.8 miles, 681.7 Miles For the Trip

Anne & Guido in Site 85
Me in Site 84

Lots of rain overnight, some heavy.  It did cool off, reaching 72°F by morning.   Around 4:00AM I shut off the AC for the first time while at Pohick Bay.

We packed up the trailers in a drizzle, dumped the tanks, and headed out around 10:30.  We decided to avoid the interstates, hoping for less traffic (didn't happen) and for better scenery.  Heavy rain at times.  I really felt bad for the guy on the motorcycle in front of us during the heavy outbursts.  He finally gave up & headed for an exit. Saw one head on accident that was causing one of the back ups, but the rest were for no apparent reason.  With the rain & heavy traffic if felt like much more than 230 miles. Lots of stop & go & 25MPH driving even on the 4 lane roads.

We arrived at Locust Lake State Park around 5:00.  It took a bit to wedge myself into my site (#84).  Both of our sites were reasonably level side to side, and a bit sloped front to back.  By backing within 1' of the tree behind my trailer I was able to leave the truck hooked.  The site is electric only, with the garbage dumpsters miles away, and the bathrooms almost as far.  $45.50 including a $6.50 transaction fee.

We were all a bit tired from the drive in the rain and heavy traffic so after setting up the trailers we immediately started dinner.  It is actually cool here - we all put on long sleeved shirts.  At 68°F it probably shouldn't feel cold but after a week of 95°F plus, it did.  

Dinner was grilled planked salmon & creamed spinach with Tillamook ice cream sandwiches for dessert.

Until Tomorrow - 

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Pohick Bay Trip, Day 6

 Pohick Bay Regional Park, Lorton, VA - Thursday, July 1, 2021, 0 Miles, 450.9 Miles For the Trip

Lots of thunderstorms predicted, but little rain.  We even got flood alerts on the phones (and my Apple watch).  They sure let you know - the phone goes to full volume and is connected to my hearing aids.  Ouch!

A small 1" diameter branch blew down behind Guido's trailer, but just a few drops of rain.  I did put my large ground rug away so I wouldn't need to put it away wet tomorrow - we still have rain predicted for tonight.  At least the heat broke.  It was 75°F at 5:00, and is still 75°F now at 9:00PM.

Around 5:00 Ken & Lorna stopped by to take us out to dinner.  We ate at a fish place overlooking a river, neither of which I was smart enough to remember the name.  A nice meal, and even though the door had a sign asking for forgiveness for slow service because of limited staff, everything came as fast as any restaurant.  We even got a group photo taken for Anne, and she sent me a copy:  

Lorna, Ken, Anne, Me, and Guido

We will be packing up in the morning, heading out by 11:00.  Here is hoping the 4th of July traffic isn't too bad, although the radio said it already started.

Until Tomorrow -