Wednesday, November 2, 2022

2022 - 2023 Trip to the Southwest, Day 11

 November 2, 2022, Home, Oswego, NY- 274.8 Miles, 1408.7 Miles for the Trip

I left Jonestown around 9:30, and arrived in Oswego at 2:30. Not a bad drive even though it was longer than usual. The traffic was good with no stop & go even at the single lane sections. 


My AT&T phone is back in action. Not sure what was wrong with it, although I hope it was a dead battery. It was on the wireless charger, but just to be sure I plugged it into a standard phone charger and an hour later it was able to do a reboot. I had already tried restarting it 15 times, so either I have an intermittent problem or the wireless charger didn't work. Since it usually works fine, and the phone has never died overnight sitting on it, who knows. In any case, it is good to have all my apps back.

When I arrived in Oswego, my brother Dave had just dragged the leaf grinder from the garden to the driveway. Since it hasn't been run in over 20 years, we tried, but failed to get the engine on the grinder to start.  Tomorrow we need to stop at Harbor Freight for a new engine.  We loaded it in the truck & unloaded the stuff that had to come out of the trailer.

After that it was off to Price Chopper for dinner & beer. Dave will be staying for a few days since he is temporarily being kicked out of the house he is staying in. He is in the middle of moving from Nantucket Island to the Catskills, living with a friend until the house he is purchasing closes.

Overall, an unsuccessful trip, at least to the Southwest. I did have a good time for the most part at the Hungry Mother, and, of course, after canceling all my reservations for the trip, feel better, but I still think I'll be more comfortable at home, at least until I get my stomach problems under control. So, it is time to make the adjustments for a winter in Oswego. I did that in 2020, and since it was one of the milder winters in recent times, I survived it. Let's hope that this winter is another comfortable one.

I don't have anything on the books until the Spring Fling in May, although if there is a mild spring I might be able to do a trip to the south before that.

Until The Next Trip -

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

2022 - 2023 Trip to the Southwest, Day 10

 November 1, 2022, Jonestown KOA, Jonestown, PA - 176.1 Miles, 1133.9 Miles for the Trip

It may well be a good thing that I'm canceling the trip. First my keyboard is dying, and this morning my AT&T iPhone 13 Pro was dead. It was on the charger so the battery was up. If I call it with my Verizon phone, my laptop answers, my trailer radio mutes, & my voice comes over both, but nothing on the phone. A few of my apps are duplicated on the Verizon phone, but only a few. So, if you want to contact me, you need to call my other phone, the 0182 number. Depending on what time it is when I hit Syracuse, I may stop at the Apple Store. Tomorrow is a longer haul than my usual at 275 miles, and I'm meeting my brother at my house in the afternoon.

As to the drive, it was all on I81. Heavy traffic at times, but no rain. I arrived at the Jonestown KOA at 1:45 & was guided to my site, #53, a gravel & gray mud (but a concrete pad) pull through, full hookup site for $58.50. 

Site 53, Jonestown KOA

After setting up I went for a walk around the campground. I stopped at the office and no food. Evidently, the campground has new owners. No license for food, lottery tickets or alcohol. Looks like I won't be having one of their pizzas, but something out of the freezer for dinner. 

Dinner was an El Monterey Chicken Enchilada meal.

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, October 31, 2022

2022 - 2023 Trip to the Southwest, Day 9

 October 31, 2022, Creekside Campground, Edinburg, VA - 241.4 Miles, 957.8 Miles for the Trip

Happy Halloween!

Site 29, Creekside Campground

A good night's sleep - I still decided that I'd head back to Oswego, particularly since I have already canceled many reservations. I took my time packing up & left the campground around 10:00. Light to medium heavy rain the entire trip. 

I arrived at Creekside a little after 2:00 and took the same site (29) that I had on the way down to the rally. Water & electric for $36.86. The rain was light while I hooked up, but too much to make a walk around the campground pleasant. I spent most of the afternoon sitting in the trailer reading both on line & my Kindle. If you see missing n's or s's, blame it on my keyboard. It appears to be having some problems that a blast of air hasn't solved. Spell checker catches most of the errors as well as a read through before posting, but is is amazing how much can be missed editing your own writing.

Dinner was a Saffron Road Chicken Biryani meal.

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, October 30, 2022

2022 - 2023 Trip to the Southwest, Day 8

 October 30, 2022, Burson Campground, Hungry Mother State Park, Marion, VA, Day 5 - 0 Miles, 716.4 Miles for the Trip

A Stop at the Dump Station

Lots of folks heading out today. The hosts move in quickly as each RV leaves. They use a mower to blow most of the leaves off the site, then rake the gravel. They also check that the breakers are off. I took a photo of them at work as well as a few of the departing trailers:

I hate to disappoint those that were planning to follow a trip to the Southwest, but my plans have changed. I've been having worsening stomach pains over the week, and decided that I'd skip the trip to Arizona this winter. A tough decision, but after a long night without much sleep, I think it is for the best. Still, a big disappointment for me. I've made the trip for the last 7 years with the exception of a skipped 2020 Covid winter, and I really like to get away from the upstate NY cold & snow. Still, too many sleepless night isn't good for traveling, and some of the places I planned to stay are a long way from any medical help.

So, I spent much of the afternoon canceling reservations, and will head back to Oswego starting tomorrow.

Dinner was a Shrimp Chimichanga at Mi Puerto.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, October 29, 2022

2022 - 2023 Trip to the Southwest, Day 7

 October 29, 2022, Burson Campground, Hungry Mother State Park, Marion, VA, Day 4 - 0 Miles, 716.4 Miles for the Trip

A quiet Saturday. We spent most of it sitting around, although some of the group hit the Creeper Trail for a bike ride. A few trailers left, but most are heading out tomorrow. I did get a few photos, others can be found on today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner was Anne's Honey Garlic Chicken & Parmigiana Orzo.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, October 28, 2022

2022 - 2023 Trip to the Southwest, Day 6

 October 28, 2022, Burson Campground, Hungry Mother State Park, Marion, VA, Day 3 - 0 Miles, 716.4 Miles for the Trip

Another cool night, but the electric heater kept the trailer comfortable. Over the summer I repaired my Pelonis Disk Furnace, my favorite electric heater. The advantage is while it is a typical 1500 watt ceramic heater, it has electronics that lets it be set for wattages between 200 & 1500. It also has a mode where you set the temperature, and as the thermocouple built into the cord reaches the set temperature, both the fan & the heater elements turn down. At the set temperature the fan barely turns, making it very quiet, and the heating elements only draw an amp or two. If it can't keep the trailer at the set temperature as the outside air cools, it just runs the fan faster & increases the current to the ceramic disks, then slows down when it reaches the set temperature. Mine is a 1986 version - I don't think the same model is still made.

After my morning walk I stopped by Walt's for a cup of coffee, chatted a bit, then headed back to the trailer for breakfast. It is still fairly cool at 11:15 (47°F) so not a lot of outside activity, but I did make a loop of some of the trailers for a few photos. It looks like Fall was early this year. I looked at a couple of photos from last year's rally and the trees had quite a bit more color. This time most of the leaves are on the ground although there is some color left.

After my morning walk around the campground & a bit of on line reading, I headed to town for a haircut. I went to the Downtown Barber Shop in a railroad station. They use a vacuum equipped cutter that greatly reduces the left over hairs usually embedded in my shirt after haircuts. A nice job (although all I get is a swipe of the head using a #3 tip). $13.00 although I paid my usual $20.00. 

While I didn't need a shower to remove the remains of the haircut, I needed one anyway so it was off to the showers. Individual unisex rooms with a separate drying area. While there is a shower curtain between the shower & drying area, the water from the shower runs onto the drying area floor covering 80% of it. Other than that, not too bad. A bench in the drying area, plenty of hot water & a standard showerhead, and a hanging basket in the shower for your soap & shampoo. A small heater in the drying area that tried, but failed to knock the chill off the room. Overall, a B.

After my shower I made another pass around the campground, and drove to the Creekside campground to see how many trailers were there. Only one Escape 5th wheel. Here at Burson there are 30 trailer, 29 fiberglass & one stick built that are part of the rally. For those interested in counts of the individual brands, check the rally page.

The potluck dinner including Walt's cowboy stew and SUMI salad started around 5:00. Lots more of photos at the rally page.

Feeding the Crew

Dinner was, of course, the potluck.

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, October 27, 2022

2022 - 2023 Trip to the Southwest, Day 5

 October 26, 2022, Burson Campground, Hungry Mother State Park, Marion, VA, Day 2 - 0 Miles, 716.4 Miles for the Trip

No problems overnight or today with AFib. According to the doctor at the emergency room, once it is stopped it shouldn't come back, at least for awhile. Seven years between bouts sounds good to me.  He did recommend that I carry a blood pressure monitor which I picked up today.

I made a short campground walk this morning, then stopped by Walt's Easy Up Clam for coffee. We sat around chatting for a bit, then I headed back to my trailer for breakfast & to make a couple of blueberry pies. 

After the pies came out of the oven I headed back to Anne & Guido's to sit around (they are next to Walt's Escape 17). Lots of arrivals. I'll make a couple of loops with the camera tomorrow, but there are Casitas, Scamps, Escapes, Bigfoots, Lil Snoozys, even a few stick built trailers in the group. There are also a number of folks in the Creekside campground (another park campground) that couldn't get a reservation at Burson. 

We decided to eat out again, and at the recommendation of the head ranger at the campground, went to the Wooden Pickle. I had a plate of Carnita Street Tacos (3 very stuffed pulled pork tacos) that were excellent.

Until Tomorrow -

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

2022 - 2023 Trip to the Southwest, Day 4

 October 26, 2022, Burson Campground, Hungry Mother State Park, Marion, VA - 240.9 Miles, 716.4 Miles for the Trip

Well, an interesting day. First off we set up in light rain, but it cleared along the way. Some stop & go traffic but overall not a bad drive. We arrived around 3:00.

Now the interesting part - I usually wait until I hit Arizona for a trip to the emergency room, but not this trip. I woke up with rapid heartbeat, and the last time it happened (3 years ago) it went away in a couple of hours. This time it stayed with me all day. I did a rough setup of the trailer & headed to the Smyth County Community Hospital here in Marion. Very efficient, very fast getting to see a doctor, and very pleasant people to work with. My second bout of AFib in 7 years. I was there until around 8:30, and am back in normal rhythm and back in the campground. 

I'll have to add the trailer photo tomorrow.

Dinner was a microwaved Innovation Orange Chicken dinner.

Until Tomorrow -

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

2022 - 2023 Trip to the Southwest,Day 3

October 25, 2022, Creekside Campground, Edinburg, VA - 183.2 Miles, 475.5 Miles for the trip

The all night misting made for some interesting spider webs in the morning:

Misty Spider Web

Another drive with mist for most of the trip. As we reached Maryland, we saw patches of blue sky, and here at Creekside it is mostly clear & 72°F. 

We entered I 81 at the Jonestown KOA exit/entrance, and when I accelerated on the ramp my rear tires spun. A very squirmy start just like driving on ice. I remembered that on a trip home heading north at the same exit/entrance a few years back I had the same problem. That time it was early spring & I blamed black ice. This time it was in the 50's overnight. At a rest stop I chatted with Guido & he had the same problem. Our conclusion? There is a Love's Truck stop at the exit & lots of trucks use it. I bet they are spilling a bit of diesel in the ramps. In any case, on the next on ramp we hit, neither of us had a problem.

We arrived at Creekside around 3:00. The sites are mixed grass & dirt parallel to the creek. Water & electric for $36.86. I'm in 29 & the Guidos are in 30. Easy in & out. The campground website says not to follow your GPS, and you can see why. A 5 ton bridge with a very steep road leading to it. They have great signage along the roads all the way from Edinburg to the campground.  Photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Since is seems that all the restaurants in Edinburg are closed on Tuesdays, dinner was a cheese brat & Bush Beans.

Until Tomorrow - 

Monday, October 24, 2022

2022 - 2023 Trip To The Southwest, Day 2

October 24, 2022, Twin Grove RV Resort, Pine Grove, PA - 159.4 Miles, 292.3 Miles for the trip

While it rained overnight, during the morning & most of the trip to Twin Grove there was light to heavy mist, never enough to require full speed windshield wipers. A few stops for no apparent reason on I 81. We arrived at the campground around 4:00.

The sites are mixed gravel & grass, full hookups for $50.00 per night. Level side to side & the tongue started out 3" down. I was able to level it without unhooking. We are in sites next to each other, #8 & #10. 

Site 10

Site 8

Our plan was to eat in the restaurant, but it is only open on weekends. Anne suggested we head to the diner that was just off I 81 on the way to the campground, and that is where we had dinner. I had a shrimp basket.

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, October 23, 2022

2022 - 2023 Trip to the Southwest, Day 1

 October 23, 2022, Binghamton, NY - 132.9 Miles, 132.9 Miles for the trip

Another beautiful day; it hit 72°F on the way to Binghamton, although it is now (at 5:00) in the 60's. 

Anne & Guido's

After parking the trailer (and taking out the rock that Guido uses to protect his lawn) we headed out to do a bit of shopping. I didn't buy much - my trailer is full. As usual at the start of a trip I stopped at the Parish Truck Stop to do a CAT scale weighing - Gross weight of the truck & trailer - 11,000 pounds with 4420 pounds on the trailer axles. Truck alone 6080 pounds. Calculated weights - Trailer 4920 pounds (leaving me 80 before I hit the trailer maximum) and 500 pounds of tongue weight. 

I guess I better not buy any "T" shirts until I get rid of some food. I did start with more stuff in the freezer than usual - there isn't any space left. I checked with past CAT weighings, and I'm within 20 pounds on the trailer & 80 pounds on the truck, so I'm not all that much over packed.

Dinner will be a trip to the China Buffet.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

2022-2023 Trip To The Southwest, Getting Ready

 October 8, 2022, Oswego, NY - 0 Miles, 0 Miles for the trip

Again, as the leaves turn golden (and I start complaining about needing to rake them up), and I start wearing gloves for my morning walks, I'm getting ready for a trip to southern Arizona for the winter. I've had the latest Covid booster & a flu shot and since Oswego country is in the highest Covid infection rating, I have no problem getting out & away. Over the next two weeks I get all my doctors & dentists out of the way for the next 7-8 months. 

I will miss having a large (well, 1100 square feet is not large, but far larger than the Escape 21 trailer) house, but won't miss mowing the lawn, raking the leaves, and the other stick & brick duties. In addition to the usual, the ash borer has finally hit my trees (I have at least 25 of them on the property, and they make up all of the afternoon shade on the house. I had 3 ash trees taken down, and some of the remaining ones will need to go in the Spring.

I did a couple of projects on the trailer. I had to leave the Adirondack Balloon Festival a bit early because we were dry camping & my furnace quit. I suspected the sail switch, and after getting home & pulling the furnace, discovered that the spare I had wouldn't have been useful. Seems that for a short time Atwood (now Dometic) used a different sail switch, placed it in the outside air side of the furnace behind a 6" X 6" Bakelite panel. So, I will not be able to add an outside door as others have done to make it possible to change / clean the sail switch without pulling the furnace. Since I had to pull the furnace to replace the sail switch, I also switched to a Dinosaur control card. Hopefully, I won't need to pull it again.

I also replaced the trailer whip. While the output of the Victron 12/12 - 18DC to DC converter is limited to 18 amps, it will draw what ever input current is necessary to provide the rated output. If the input voltage is lower than the 14.4V the output is set for, it can pull considerable current. The heavy draw of the DC to DC converter (as much as 29 amps) not only kept blowing the Ford's 25 amp charge line fuse, it also burned up the positive pin on the trailer 7 pin connector. I switched back to the 12/12 - 9 DC to DC converter which should prevent blowing the truck's charge line fuse. Since I have 320 watts of solar on the trailer roof, I don't need all that much from the truck's supply.

October 10, 2022

No Meals on Wheels today since it is either Columbus day or Indigenous Peoples' Day, depending on your viewpoint. We are back to masks in the building since Oswego county has moved into the high Covid risk category.

I voted this morning - absentee ballot at the Oswego Board of Elections since I'll be on the road on election day. I also stopped by the Oswego DMV to see if they would let me renew the registration on the trailer early. Usually you can't do it until November 1st, but surprise - first no line, and second, they processed the renewal. 

October 20, 2022

I took a few Fall photos, most today. I stopped by the stream at Fallbrook, one of the college buildings, then headed to the Oswego River for some photos of the folks fishing for salmon. The last photo was taken a couple of days ago from my front porch. The sugar maples are looking good. Unfortunately, between now & Sunday when I head to Binghamton, I will need to mow up lots of leaves.

Rice Creek at Fallbrook

Rice Creek at Fallbrook

The Oswego River

Salmon Fishing on the Oswego River

Salmon Fishing on the Oswego River

Salmon Fishing on the Oswego River

Sugar Maples along Lakeshore Road

It has been cold, 47°F right now at 2:45. I'm packing the stuff that can go in the trailer ahead of time, and will do the last minute stuff Sunday morning. 

October 21, 2022

The weather has improved. Sun & 63°F this afternoon with 70°F predicted for tomorrow. I filled the water heater & put a couple of gallons in the fresh water tank, enough to deal with a few on-the-road flushes.

October 22, 2022

Some starting statistics: Trailer mileage - 41,714.65. Nights in trailer - 968, Truck mileage - 56,740.4. 

The truck & trailer is as packed as possible, with the last minute stuff going in tomorrow morning.

Today's project is making the last homemade by Jon meal - my son's favorite for his birthday - spaghetti & meatballs. I had to use canned tomatoes for the sauce - I didn't can any this year & used the last of mine the last time I made sauce.

More Tomorrow - 

Saturday, September 24, 2022

The Adirondack Balloon Festival, 2022

 Friday, September 23, 2022:

After a 2 week trip to the Algonac rally in Michigan & the Niagara Escape Wine rally in Niagara Falls, Ontario, I spend less than a week home, then headed to Glens Falls, NY for the Adirondack Balloon Festival. I enjoy hot air balloon festivals, and even rode in one at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta in 2018.

We (myself and friends the Guidos) are in Moreau State Park about 8 miles from the festival. About a 191 mile drive on secondary roads. It would probably be quicker if I took the Thruway (I90) but I am cheap & prefer non interstates even if they are free. I'm in site 106 and the Guidos are in 104. Dry camping on dirt with too much shade for my solar panels to do much good. It is going to be a cool night - the furnace is already running off & on when set at 60°F, and the predictions are for the low 30's.

I have a blank for the Guido's site photo - by the time they got through registration & we finished dinner, it was too dark for a photo.

Dinner was turkey burgers, stuffing & Bush beans and a croissant for dessert.

Saturday, September 24, 2022:

Well, the night didn't go well - my furnace stopped working around 2:00AM. Definitely the furnace rather than the usual thermostat problem - neither thermostat would run it. Hopefully, it is something simple like the sail switch since I have a spare. The problem is I have to shut down the gas to pull the furnace. The newer Escapes use a version of the refrigerator that lets you get at the control board & sail switch from a door on the outside of the trailer. Unfortunately, my 2017 requires removing the furnace to get at the switch. If I had 120V hookups, I could keep the refrigerator running, but without it stuff would get too warm.

By morning, it was 42°F outside, and 53°F inside. I had no problems under the covers, but getting up & dressed was chilly. 

We headed to Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport for the festival around 5:30AM. The only traffic we hit was at the entrance to the festival. The festival and parking was free, and we ended up parked a short distance from the field. While we arrived a little early for the 6:30 - 7:30 launch time, the balloons were late and didn't get started until after 7:30. Quite a few, although once you have been to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, all other mass launches pale by comparison. Still, lots of balloons:

Me at Site 106

The First in the Air

More Balloons

More Balloons

And More Balloons

One of the Theme Balloons

And Two More

A couple of theme balloons, but while they filled, none of them lifted.

A huge line for breakfast, which we declined to join, and even though there were large banks or Porta potties near the food area that were mostly empty, the one unit near the parking lot had a line.

Back at the trailer around 9:00, it was down to 48°F in the trailer, so blame any typos on frozen fingers!

I thought about staying since it was already 52°F outside with 62°F predicted, but still in the 40's at night. So, while I enjoyed the balloons, I packed up the trailer around 10:00 and headed home. I decided with my lack of sleep (I've been up since 3:00AM), I'd take the interstates to get home. A bit longer at 212.2 miles compared to the secondary route of 191 miles, less time at 3 hours vs 4 hours for the back roads and a 2 MPG hit on gas mileage. 

In any case, I'm home, the trailer is partially unpacked, and I'll tackle the furnace tomorrow. 

Monday, September 19, 2022

2022 Trip To Algonac State Park & Niagara Falls, Ontario, Day 14

 Monday, September 19 - 160 Miles, 784.6 For The Trip

We planned to leave around 11:00, but a break in the rain seemed like a good time to pack up the outside stuff, and we were ready to go around 10:30. An easy crossing at the Fort Erie Peace Bridge, but rain, light to very heavy all the way home. 

I arrived in Oswego around 1:30, and, since we are heading to the Adirondacks for a balloon fiesta on Friday, I only unpacked what was absolutely necessary for the next 4 days.

No idea what tonight's dinner will be!

Until Friday and a new adventure - 

2022 Trip To Algonac State Park & Niagara Falls, Ontario, Day 13

 Sunday, September 18 - 0 Miles, 624.6 For The Trip

My usual late start this morning so I could listen to the Sunday Puzzle on NPR's Weekend Edition. After that it was a walk along the Niagara Walkway, breakfast, and waving good by to most of the folks that came to the rally. There are around 9 of us left; we will be leaving tomorrow.

We sat around slowly packing up the things that we didn't need, emptied the tanks, and as a light rain started around 4:00, put away everything still outside.

Anne assures me that dinner will be microwaved based, so even the stove & grill are back in the truck. 

Dinner was honey chicken & risotto.

Until Tomorrow - 

Saturday, September 17, 2022

2022 Trip To Algonac State Park & Niagara Falls, Ontario, Day 12

Saturday, September 17 - 0 Miles, 624.6 For The Trip

The Pot Luck Dinner

Another quiet day. We sat around most of the day reading. I did a couple of walks around the campground with the camera, but that was about it until the pot luck dinner. 

The pot luck was great - good food & company. Alf called site numbers for the gift tarp items, after which we sat around a campfire. The best surprise was Mary Anne (Alf's wife) washed my pie pans & server. Anyone that has had to clean up pie pans after blueberry pie can appreciate the gift!

Dinner was, of course, the pot luck.

Until Tomorrow - 

Friday, September 16, 2022

2022 Trip To Algonac State Park & Niagara Falls, Ontario, Day 11

 Friday, September 16 - 0 Miles, 624.6 For The Trip

Hanging Out

After my morning walk and breakfast I started making 2 blueberry pies. With an expected 60 or so trailers, I figured 2 as a minimum for tomorrow's pot luck. Since it is still fairly cool, I cooked them in the trailer oven. 

I took a walk around the campground while the last pie cooked at took a few photos, as well as another walk around just before dinner.  Photos are at my 2022 Niagara Wine Escape page.

Dinner was a Johnsonville Cheese Brat, mixed vegetables, and a Klondike Bar for dessert (by the way, they are making them thinner & with less chocolate.

Until Tomorrow - 

Thursday, September 15, 2022

2022 Trip To Algonac State Park & Niagara Falls, Ontario, Day 10

Thursday, September 15 - 0 Miles, 624.6 For The Trip

A pretty much do nothing day. Down to 51°F overnight, and it didn't do better than the mid 60's during the day. We spent most of it sitting out in the sun trying to read & keep warm. I did hit the shower after dinner. At best, a C+. No hooks, a chair the only thing in the drying area for all your stuff. Low pressure pulsing showerhead putting out very little water. The good - a wire shelf for soap & shampoo in the shower, large enough and very clean.

Dinner was Butterball Turkey Burgers & beans with a couple of other leftovewrs.

Until Tomorrow - 

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

2022 Trip To Algonac State Park & Niagara Falls, Ontario, Day 9

 Wednesday, September 14 - 123.5 Miles, 624.6 For The Trip

Another cool night, cool enough that the electric heater came on more than once. The new standard household thermostat works great with the Walmart heater. 

I did a 1/2 mile walk around the campground. Could have done much more; the place is huge. Back at the trailer I ate breakfast, read web pages while drinking my morning coffee, then packed up the trailer. 

We hit the road around 11:00, taking CA 3 much of the way, with a few smaller roads at each end of the drive. We caravaned with the Guidos, myself & Walt in that order. All three of our Garmins wanted us to take different roads, but since the Guidos were in front & they were the only couple (allowing for a navigator) we followed their route. One advantage of the 80Km (50MPH) secondary roads in Canada - I got 15.9MPG towing. Haven't seen that in a long time. 

We arrived at Riverside around 2:30. I forgot that they only take cash, so both the Guidos & I were digging into the reserves to come up with the $263.50 US for the 5 night stay. That works out to $52.70 per night US for full hookup sites 42 & 41 on grass. Fairly level - no adjustment side to side & I needed to lower the tongue 1". Typical of Canadian sites - the hookups were in the wrong place, at least for my site. As you can see from the photo, I had to run the full length of both my water hose & 30 amp cord to reach the utilities with the trailer deep enough in the site so the truck could be parked in front. If I didn't want to park the truck at the site I could have parked the trailer closer to the road & utilities , or if I wasn't lazy, dug out the extensions for both electric & water. I still can't get to the sewer connection, but I'll use that the day we leave.

Me at Site 42

The Guidos at Site 41

We spent the rest of the afternoon sitting around. The plan is for a bunch of us to go to Betty's for dinner.

I had the famous Betty'd Fish &v Chips. Excellent The photo shows all of us. Alf complained that all I got was the back of his head:

All of Us at Betty's

Until Tomorrow - 

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

2022 Trip To Algonac State Park & Niagara Falls, Ontario, Day 8

Tuesday, September 13 - 103.1 Miles, 501.1 For The Trip

A cool night, but not quite cold enough to fire up the electric heater; 62°F at the head of my bed, but only 64°F at the thermostat set for 64°F. A slow start, but we were out of the campground by a little after 11:00. We took MI 29 along the river to the Sarnia bridge. No problem crossing, and while I got rid of my eggs (except for the hard boiled ones) and fruit, they never asked. Oh well, I'll stop & get a couple of lemons to make the blueberry pies.

Walt met us just after the crossing on the 402, and followed us to the Dalewood Conservation area. Without a campground map we pretty much toured the entire campground before we found our sites. I'm in 71, the Guidos in 70 & Walt in 72. Somewhat damp (although no lake like Byng) sites with close water & electric hookups. The sites are on grass and while level side to side, I had to unhook to lower the tongue 2 1/2". $55.78 US for the night.

Me in Site 71

The Guidos in Site 70

Walt in Site 7

The washrooms are behind us across a somewhat soggy field, and the showers next to the pool across the street. While I have a usable signal on both the Verizon & AT&T phones, and can do data on either, I cannot connect with either cell modem and can't use WiFi on the phones. So, no posting tonight - it will have to wait until tomorrow when we hit Riverside.

Well, I lied - Now my Verizon phone will allow a WiFi connection & is connected to the Telus network. I'll post this while I can even though we really haven't had dinner yet.

We sat around reading, deciding the route to take to get to Riverside, and what will be for dinner. The decision on dinner was spaghetti & meatballs.

Until Tomorrow - 

Monday, September 12, 2022

2022 Trip To Algonac State Park & Niagara Falls, Ontario, Day 7

 Monday, September 12 - 0 Miles, 398 For The Trip

A quiet but cool day. When the sun was out it was OK, but as soon as it went behind the heavy clouds (which was most of the time) we wished we had brought heavier coats. At least it wasn't raining.

I made a trip to Tractor Supply to fill my 5 pound propane tank. A first time for the guy at Tractor Supply. I always feel a bit guilty since it only takes a gallon or so for the same amount of work as the 20 pound tanks, but it is much easier to use with the stove & grill. 

That was about it for the day. I did hit the showers around 4:00. Not too bad for a state park. The major complaint is the shower head is fairly low, requiring me to duck to spray my face & head. A bench in the drying area, 2 hooks, dry floor, and tiled shower stall. All in all, an A-.

I finished Ken Follett's Never, a bit of a downer that shows how easy it would be to reach WW III.

Dinner was pulled pork sandwiches & more of the endless Tortellini Salad.

Until Tomorrow - 

Sunday, September 11, 2022

2022 Trip To Algonac State Park & Niagara Falls, Ontario, Day 6

 Sunday, September 11 - 0 Miles, 398 For The Trip

Last night I sat by the river hoping to get a better moo rise photo. Well, the moon rose at the time my Photographer's Ephemeris app said it wood, but unfortunately, behind clouds. I practiced panning some moving ship & boat photos with limited results, then settled for a couple of cloudy images of the moon a half hour after rise.

Got a slow start to the day - as usual, I hang around in bed until after the Sunday Morning Edition puzzle. As usual, I didn't get the week's puzzle, but got about 1/2 the morning ones.

A number of fiberglass folks left this morning, but many are staying until at least tomorrow. We are leaving on Tuesday with a one night stop on the way to the Niagara Wine Escape rally in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Heavy clouds, and my weather app keeps threatening rain, but so far just clouds. I took down the Clam since it is back to just me & the Guidos, which fit in my trailer if it rains. While setting up the Clam solo is pretty easy, it is a bit more difficult to take it down. Guido stopped over for the final disassembly.

Brats, corn on the cob & Tortellini Salad for dinner.

Until Tomorrow - 

Saturday, September 10, 2022

2022 Trip To Algonac State Park & Niagara Falls, Ontario, Day 5

 Saturday, September 10 - 0 Miles, 398 For The Trip

Another warm night. Not enough fog to cause the boats to toot their fog horns, but we did have one "Get out of the way" horn session. After my walk around the campground this morning we sat around until lunch time, then all headed to the Catch 22 Bistro for lunch. Evidently, there is no lunch menu for Saturdays - the dinner menus were offered. I had a Greek salad with chicken, large enough for a couple of people. Any of the items that were also on yesterday's lunch menu had new, more sophisticated names and higher prices. Still, inexpensive & good food.

One thing I noticed - while I suspect the crab apple trees are beautiful when in bloom in the Spring, this time of year the thousands of apples underfoot are a bit of a pain. I'm also parked under an oak tree which provides lots of nice shade, but many loud "clunks" as the acorns land on the truck & trailer.

A Crab Apple Carpet

While none of us were up to dinner since we had a large lunch, we did break open the blueberry pie, and had some carrot cake which, while delivered by Mike, I believe came from Phil & Sue. In any case it was delicious.

Until Tomorrow - 

Friday, September 9, 2022

2022 Trip To Algonac State Park & Niagara Falls, Ontario, Day 4

Friday, September 9 - 0 Miles, 398 For The Trip 

 Happy birthday to me! A quiet night, although very loud fog horns on the ships going by early in the morning. Lots of fog on the river, although it was a bit warmer than last night. The fog eventually burned off and it turned into another beautiful day. 

Around 1:00 Anne & Guido took me to the Catch 22 Bistro for a birthday lunch. I had chicken Parmesan. Very good; a great salad & although far more spaghetti that I could eat. After that it was back to the trailer to make a blueberry pie. I cooked it in the toaster over to keep from overheating the trailer. The crust was a bit overdone, and the filling leaked, but it turned out OK. 

 Anne & Guido's granddaughter & family are spending the night in a tent on Guido's site. No smiles for me! We had birthday cupcakes and I made an evening round of some of the nearer fiberglass trailers. New photos at the rally page

 Dinner was just a bit of snacking since we had a huge late lunch. 

 Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, September 8, 2022

2022 Trip To Algonac State Park & Niagara Falls, Ontario, Day 3

 Thursday, September 8 - 0 Miles, 398 For The Trip

A comfortable night for sleeping at 51°F outside & 59°F in the trailer. I almost fired up the electric heater to test the new thermostat, but just stayed under the covers at 5:00AM. I put on long pants for my 8:30 walk around the campground, and changed back to shorts after I got back to the trailer. 

A sunny day - I made a round of the campground with the camera & started a separate page for the rally. Los more photos of trailers & people at the rally page.

Not Fiberglass, but Unusual

Making the Rounds

Dinner was a rack of ribs cooked on the Weber grill. I have to admit is is the worst meal I've made that I can remember. Very dried out even though I kept the grill on the lowest setting possible. The thermometer in the lid said 350°F - 375°F, but since there was direct heat under the ribs, even though they were in foil, they dried to a crisp. Next time I have hookups, I'll drag out the toaster oven. The process works well in my larger at home Weber grill, but I have controls for each 3rd of the surface & can do indirect heating. Oh well, we ate them anyway.

Until Tomorrow - 

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

2022 Trip To Algonac State Park & Niagara Falls, Ontario, Day 2

 Wednesday, September 7 - 197.4 Miles, 398 For The Trip

A slow start waiting for the rain to stop. No problem for me since all I needed to do is pull out; I didn't even put the stabilizers down since they would have sunk in the mud. Guido, on the other hand needed to reel in and clean 60' of electric cord and 60' of water hose.

Most of the trip was on Canada 3, although both our GPSs wanted up to take other roads (different roads for each GPS although both are Garmins). Anyhow, we finished the trip on the 402, crossed into the US at Sarnia with a 5-6 car wait, but a very fast interview.

We arrived around 4:00 and had to phone in our registration - no one at the entrance station. Someone is going to come around and collect the money for a Out of State Michigan Park Pass for $34.00 which we need for the stay. With the park pass & the $196.00 for the actual reservation for 6 nights, the site comes to $38.33 per night - Electric only on mixed gravel & dirt. A tight site - I cheated a bit and parked a little deeper than the instructions for the site suggested, but still not in my rearward neighbor's site. The truck just fits in front of the trailer. My site has lots of shade, while the Guido site is in the sun (which neither of them are suppose to sit in).

Site 138, Anne & Guido

Site 140 Me

Set up the site sign, a hummingbird feeder, and by then it was time for dinner.

I made Butterball Turkey Cheeseburgers & Bush Beans.

Until Tomorrow - 

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

2022 Trip To Algonac State Park & Niagara Falls, Ontario, Day 1

 Tuesday, September 6th:

We finished packing and hit the road around 11:45. A couple of stops on the way, crossed the border at the Peace Bridge with a short 3 car wait. No questions about food, just alcohol, tobacco & firearms. Arrived at Byng Island Conservation Area around 4:15. 

The sites were quite flooded, Anne & Guido's a bit less than mine; I have my own lake:

Anne & Guido at Site 408

Me at Site 410

My Tires

In addition to the wet & mud, the hookups are over 80' from my trailer. Both sites have their hookups at the back of Guido's site. He can reach the power post, but while combining my standard 30' 30 amp cord, a 30' 30 amp extension cord & a 25' #12 standard extension cord would get me to the post, it isn't worth dragging all that through the mud. 

While neither of the cell modems will make a connection to the Canadian Bell, both phones seem to have functional hotspots. Since I don't have the hotspot function on my AT&T service I'm not sure why it is working, but I did manage to post today's photos using the AT&T phone. When I tried to select the AT&T hotspot using the WiFi menu on my laptop it told me it could not connect. Both phones are showing 1-2 bars of signal.

In any case, we are set up. Anne is starting dinner - Tuscan Chicken with cherry tomatoes & spinach. I eat much healthier when traveling with the Guidos!

Until Tomorrow - 

Monday, September 5, 2022

2022 Trip To Algonac State Park & Niagara Falls, Ontario - Getting Ready

 Saturday, September 3rd:

It is just about time to head out across Canada (at least part of it) to the Algonac Glassic Egg Scramble #11 at Algonac State Park in Michigan. Since the Niagara Wine Escape rally in Niagara Falls is the following week, we will be attending that. "We" is myself in the Escape 21C and my traveling friends Anne & Guido in their Scamp 16. 

I spent yesterday & today with my packing list filling the trailer with the stuff that can be packed early. We are heading to Byng Island Conservation area for an overnight stop that is about half way between here & Algonac State Park. 

Did a trailer showing to a couple from Pennsylvania interested in purchasing an Escape 21C.

Before the trip we will spent Labor Day Sunday at Guido's brother Pete's house for their annual family get together. While not family, I've been going for many years. I just took a blueberry pie out of the oven that will be going to the picnic.

My Blueberry Pie

Now it is time to start tonight's dinner, spaghetti & meatballs with homemade sauce.

Sunday, September 4th:

A great picnic as usual at Pete's. Did a bit of last minute shopping on the way back home, and packed the rests of the stuff that I won't need overnight or in the morning.

Monday, September 5th:

Light rain during the morning & off & on all day. Anne & Guido are going to park their scamp in the front yard, and we will fill out the ArriveCAN app together so it has us arriving at the Peace Bridge crossing at the same time. I started mine - while not hugely complicated, there are many pages. At least you can save your work rather than having to start over from scratch if you make a mistake. There are two of me - I started it out using my Enhanced NY Driver's License the last time I used it, but forgot & filled it out today using my passport. I hope they can figure out that there is really only one of me.

I got a call from the staff at the Byng Island Campground letting me know that they will not be staffing the entrance station & to go right to my site. Nice of them to make the call; I've stayed at many US campgrounds that had closed entrance stations & they never let you know.

The Guido's arrived around 2:30 and we danced around the cars & trailers so that we are all parked & I can still make the drive to Rudy's to pick up dinner.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Lake Ontario

 I took a walk across the street to the neighborhood beach.  Just a short video to point out that Lake Ontario can get a bit rough even on a hot summer day:

I’m doing everything on my phone or iPad - My Mac Book Pro screen bit the dust.  Replacement is the same price as a full rebuild of the laptop so I’m going to be without it for a week or so.  Sure shows how much you depend on technology.

Until next time -

Saturday, July 30, 2022

At The Bird Feeder

 I'm somewhat tied down with a pulled muscle, otherwise I'd be heading to the Harborfest Fireworks Display tonight.  So, I sat out on the back deck and shot a few bird photos:

Until next time -