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 -