Monday, September 18, 2023

Trip to the Algonac & Niagara Wine Escape Rallies, Day 14

 Monday, September 18, 2023, Oswego, NY - 164 miles, 820.4 Miles for the Trip

An uneventful trip home other than the Guido's GPS insisted they do a tour of downtown Buffalo, something my Matilda managed to avoid. So, instead of parting at the I 390 exit near Rochester, we parted at Buffalo. Light rain off and on for most of the trip, although it stopped in Oswego.

Home For Three Weeks

I unloaded the refrigerator, a few closets, and stuff, but will make another attempt tomorrow. Lots of ripe tomatoes; the beans have turned to dried beans, and the cucumbers are the size of zucchini.

Dinner will be a trip to Rudy's for a shrimp dinner.

Until the next trip - 

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Trip to the Algonac & Niagara Wine Escape Rallies, Day 13

 Sunday, September 17, 2023, Riverside Hotel & Campground, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada - 0 miles, 656.4 Miles for the Trip

The nights are warming up; only down to the mid 50's last night and 57°F predicted for tonight.

Lots of folks headed out this morning, and throughout the day. There are a few of us that are leaving tomorrow, and a couple staying a couple more days.

We went to Betty's for breakfast this morning (although by the time we all were ready, it was closer to brunch). Around 11 of us made it.

The rest of the day was spent doing some packing, and sitting around reading. We did have a campfire designed to burn up the rest of the left over wood. Only problem is everyone else had the same idea & brought their left over wood to the fire. Even after throwing lots of wood on the fire I think there was more at the end than we started with.

dinner was cheese sausage & brats for Guido & me, and Anne settled for oatmeal. Guido & I finished off the Heavenly Chocolate Ice Cream - really too much for 2 servings, but not enough to save for another night.

Until Tomorrow - 

Trip to the Algonac & Niagara Wine Escape Rallies, Day 12

 Saturday, September 16, 2023, Riverside Hotel & Campground, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada - 0 miles, 656.4 Miles for the Trip

Another cool night; down to 47°F. At 9:00 the "Blue Tarp" opened. A place to put anything you no longer want or need, and find stuff you might want or need. Unfortunately, most of the stuff I dropped off was still there at 11:00.

The pot luck dinner started around 5:15. Great food provided by & for all. After the dinner Alf called the site numbers for door prizes. Finally, we headed around the evening campfire.

Dinner was, of course, the pot luck.

Until Tomorrow - 

Friday, September 15, 2023

Trip to the Algonac & Niagara Wine Escape Rallies, Day 11

 Friday, September 15, 2023, Riverside Hotel & Campground, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada - 0 miles, 656.4 Miles for the Trip

After my morning mile, I read some forums, ate breakfast, then started 3 blueberry pies. I usually only make 2, but I had the blueberries for one at Algonac, and they didn't have a pot luck. If the crowd doesn't go through the first two pies I'll put the last on on the give away table. The last time I made 3 pies was at a Quartzsite rally with 210 trailers. I put out the two pies, and about 3/4 of the way through the line they were gone. I dug out the 3rd pie so those at the end of the line still could get a piece. One way or another it isn't going home with me - I have another 15 pies worth of bagged blueberries in the freezer at home.

After the last pie came out of the oven (and the dishes were done), I made a round of the campground taking photos. A few here, many more at the rally page.

After dinner I made another round of photos. The campfire is in my fire ring, so I won't have too much trouble getting to it.

By the way, dinner was left overs. We polished off the rest of the pirogies, baked beans, pork loin, and a tub of mixed vegetables, with Popsicles for dessert.

Until Tomorrow - 

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Trip to the Algonac & Niagara Wine Escape Rallies, Day 10

 Thursday, September 14, 2023, Riverside Hotel & Campground, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada - 0 miles, 656.4 Miles for the Trip

I went for my walk along the Niagara River this morning. Lots of cormorants in the trees along the river - makes it look like a mystery novel cover. A bit cool at 51°F. I did plug in the electric heater last night, set it at 60°F, and it ran off & on after 1:00AM. I have a real thermostat on the wall next to the two standard RV ones (don't ask why there are two). I got tired of the difficult-to-set thermostat on the heater and added some electronics (An Aube Technologies RC840T-120 Electromechanical Relay with Built In Relay) plus an Emerson thermostat. I just set the electric heater on high, plug it into the receptacle attached to the Aube relay & it keeps the temperature in the trailer within 1°F of where I set it.

Around 1:00 I headed for the showers. A large shower with just hot enough water & a good shower head, but no hooks in the drying area and a chair in place of a bench. Overall, I can't do better than a C+.

Guido & I headed to Sobeys in Fort Erie for groceries, however the Garmin sent us to a Foodliner in Niagara Falls. It even asked us to rate Sobeys when we got out of the Foodliner store. In any case, I got water & Guido got pirogies & stuff for dinner.

We sat around for the rest of the afternoon, watching the new arrivals, then grilled a pork loin for dinner. Along with the pork loin we had baked beans, apple sauce, and pirogies.

Until Tomorrow - 

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Trip to the Algonac & Niagara Wine Escape Rallies, Day 9

 Wednesday, September 13, 2023, Riverside Hotel & Campground, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada - 125.8 miles, 656.4 Miles for the Trip

We had another somewhat late start (although no where near as ad as yesterday's 12:00 noon. We took rt 3 most of the way, getting off just before it dipped south. Lots of construction. My favorite was where they routed us through a 2.8 meter underpass. The Guido's Scamp made it through, at 9' 6", I didn't even try. I wandered around the city side streets until I found a ground level crossing, and made it back to rt 3 where the Guidos were waiting.

We remembered that the campground didn't take credit cards & paid cash. $272.00 US for 6 nights or $45.33 per night for full hookup sites on grass. The photos are a little dark - it was 8:10 by the time we got back to take them.

Guidos in Site 40

Me in Site 41

Got back was from Betty's Restaurant where we went for dinner. We figured it was the middle of the week and early (5:00) so we didn't need reservations. Bad idea. The place was jammed with a 45 minute wait that turned into a one hour plus wait. The food, as usual, was excellent. No photo of the table - there were 7 of us, a much smaller crowd than usual. I had baked Halibut.

Waiting for a Table

Until Tomorrow - 

Trip to the Algonac & Niagara Wine Escape Rallies, Day 8

 Tuesday, September 12, 2023, Dalewood Conservation Area, St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada - 133.7 miles, 530.6 Miles for the Trip

The rain started about as promised, but quit a bit early, at least the heavier part, around 7:00AM. We still hung out in the trailers because it was still falling off the trees over the trailers, and didn't leave the sites until around 11:00. Dumping took forever , both because there was only one station open, and the guy ahead of the Guidos was trying to set a world record for the slowest dump.

We arrived at the Dalewood Conservation Area, wandered around the park since both of us forgot how to get to where we were last year (and where we are this year). Finally settled into sites 70 (the Guidos) & 71 (me). The sites are reasonably level (I'm 1" tongue high still attached to the truck & level side to side), on grass with water & 30 amp electric (next to the trailer, a first for Ontario, CA), for $35.50 US per night. The wash rooms are just behind us and the showers in a separate building across the street next to the pool. If I was going to stay more than one night I'd move closer to the power pedestal & away from the bushes, but this was the most level part of the site & I can still get in the door.

Me in site 71

The Guidos in Site 70

While it isn't raining, it is very damp out. 69°F isn't so bad, but no sun. Don't know if we will be doing much sitting out. 

I have a good, fast connection through the Verizon cell modem to Rogers Wireless. Tried the AT&T modem, and while my AT&T phone shows data (and it is fast at 101Mbps down & 6Mbps up), the AT&T cell modem shows no data connection. My AT&T modem won't roam. I still have high speed data left on the Verizon modem and the AT&T modem picks up the US in Niagara Falls, so I will use the Verizon modem tonight.

Diner was shrimp Alfredo.

Until Tomorrow - 

Trip to the Algonac & Niagara Wine Escape Rallies, Day 7

 Monday, September 11, 2023, Algonac State Park, Algonac, MI - 0 miles, 396.9 Miles for the Trip

Well I did it again - here are the last couple of days.

Another cool but good sleeping night. Most of the remaining fiberglass folks left while the next gathering moved in. There are 4 GM Motorhomes with more on the way. 

Other than a trip to the store to renew supplies, we spent most of the day sitting around, mostly inside the Clam since the bugs were pretty bad. Both Guido & I packed up the stuff that could be put away early; it is suppose to be raining in the morning. I hope we can out wait the rain since we only have to go 101 miles. Depending on whose weather app you look at it will be stopping at either 8:00 or 9:00. Both have it starting around 2:00AM.

I did take another boat photo; one of the largest so far:

A Big Boat

Dinner was Anne's Chicken Marcela on a bed of egg noodles & a salad. Popsicles for dessert.

Until Tomorrow - 

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Trip to the Algonac & Niagara Wine Escape Rallies, Day 6

 Sunday, September 10, 2023, Algonac State Park, Algonac, MI - 0 miles, 396.9 Miles for the Trip

Another cool night, perfect for sleeping. I watched many trailers pulling out during my morning walk. We will be here for a couple more days since our next stop is half way to the Niagara Wine Escape rally; we are again overnighting at the Dalewood Conservation area.

Packing Up

Around 2:00 we decided to make a visit to the Algonac Maritime Museum. It is about 90% Chris Craft boats since they were made for years here in Algonac. 

Dinner was grilled burgers, sweet potatoes & Ice cream & cupcakes for dessert.

Trip to the Algonac & Niagara Wine Escape Rallies, Day 5

 Saturday, September 9, 2023, Algonac State Park, Algonac, MI - 0 miles, 396.9 Miles for the Trip

Happy birthday to me! A cool night getting down to 58°F outside & 62°F in the trailer. I didn't run any heat; I like cool sleeping temperatures.

I skipped my walk this morning because I needed to leave by 9:30 to get to the Sell & Trade session at the picnic pavilion. I broke even - bought a $20.00 rocking chair & sold two $10.00 items. Gave away some stuff at the free table, and, after I got back to the trailer someone stopped over to buy a solar controller that I had for sale.

It never warmed up over the day - we even had an electric heater going in the Clam, and all of us (except Guido) put on extra layers. I tried out my new chair - very comfortable, but no cup holder. I guess you can't have everything.

There were trailer tours during the afternoon & I took a few photos - missed photos of the Sell & Trade. At 5:30 we had dinner - garlic chicken & mixed vegetables, Gewurtztraminer wine and mixed cupcakes with candles (I didn't have to blow out 79 of them.) Many thanks to Anne & Guido for the birthday dinner.

Trailer Tours

The Get Together

And More

At 6:30 a gathering & give away happened, as well as discussions for next year's rally.

Until Tomorrow - 

Trip to the Algonac & Niagara Wine Escape Rallies, Day 4

 Friday, September 8, 2023, Algonac State Park, Algonac, MI - 0 miles, 396.9 Miles for the Trip

Again, sorry for the late posting...

A suggestion to all that use the NY E-ZPass. Check the charges, particularly for the Peace Bridge in Buffalo. For the 2nd time I was charged as a class 5 even though my trailer (and transponder) is a class 4. They charged me $22.00 to cross the bridge when it should have been around $8.00. I filed a dispute back in July when it happened for the first time & promptly had $14.00 put back in my account, but on this trip they did it again. The same up charge happened to the Guidos in July. I'm beginning to wonder if it is a standard was to make a bit more $. Anyhow, I filed another dispute.

Since today is the "Official" start of the rally, I'm starting a page for it. After my morning walk I made breakfast, then went for a short walk around taking photos. I'll put a few here, and more at the rally page.

The New Sign

Hanging Out

A Tesla Towing a Trillium

A cool day. I know, first I'm complaining about the heat, now the cold. Actually it isn't too bad, but cool enough for long pants and a long sleeved shirt.

I waited until it warmed up for my shower. Well, it never warmed up; still 64°F outside. The showers are typical for an older building at a state park. Separate shower rooms and a separate drying area with 2 hooks & a bench. The floor stays dry. The wall between the drying area and the shower is low enough that you can put your soap dish & shampoo on it - only a small soap dish in the shower. Biggest complaint is the shower head needs to be about 1' higher; tough to hit your face & head, at least if you are 5' 11" tall. Overall a B+ to A-.

Dinner was left over chicken parm & mac & cheese. 

Until Tomorrow - 

Trip to the Algonac & Niagara Wine Escape Rallies, Day 3

 Thursday, September 7, 2023, Algonac State Park, Algonac, MI - 0 miles, 396.9 Miles for the Trip

Sorry for the late postings.  I did my website posts, but forgot to add them here for the last 2 days.

We had a small burst of rain overnight, but it didn't cool down all that much, 69°F by morning. After my morning walk around the campground & breakfast I read web forums & journals for a bit. I'm currently using my AT&T cell modem (a Nighthawk that is showing poor signal strength even with a set of 2 (MIMO) antennas on the roof). Speakeasy Speed Test shows 9Mbps down & 1.1Mbps up. It feels slower that the speed test indicates. I'll try switching to Verizon later today to see if it is any better.

While it started out cloudy, the sun is breaking through, and I watched two ships on the St Clair River heading to Lake St Clair. They run 24 hours a day; you can hear them slowly going by in the middle of the night. A site on the east most row would be nice for an unobstructed view of the river & boats, although the highway noise would be more annoying.

While the rally doesn't officially start until the weekend, lots of folks have already arrived. I took a few photos and will add more (and start a separate page for the rally) later.

While Verizon shows better ping, and speed (29.4Mbps down & 12.7Mbps up, it doesn't appear to be any faster, at least connecting to my ISP using Dreamweaver. After an hour or so, the Verizon connection does show some improvement.

Early Arrivals

I'll add more as the day goes on...

I spent most of the afternoon updating my credit card info for the many automatic or on file payments I have on an expiring card. Interesting that when you make an update at one organization it sometimes updates others as well. I discovered lots of other "quirks"; hopefully I won't need to make new changes for a couple of years.

We were sitting around thinking about what to have for dinner when it started to rain. Just might be another restaurant day! 

Well, it was a restaurant evening. Light rain off & on so we headed into Algonac for dinner at the Algonac Flaming Grill. I ordered veal parm, but they discovered that they didn't have any veal, so it was changed to chicken parm. The usual spaghetti with the meal, but with meat sauce. Two huge grilled chicken breasts, far more than I could eat. We even got a 10% senior discount. Cheap but editable although nothing to write home about.

Until Tomorrow - 

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Trip to the Algonac & Niagara Wine Escape Rallies, Day 2

 Wednesday, September 6, 2023, Algonac State Park, Algonac, MI 201.5 miles, 396.9 Miles for the Trip

Last night I was standing around in my skivvies (in the trailer) after after I used Dawn dishwashing detergent to try to get the grease stains the trailer ball left on my shorts. They were hanging on one of the coat hooks drying. Looked out the window & a woman was sitting at my picnic table. No, not a Cryptoscopophilia ( a neat term for a Peeping Tom) but Anne trying to get enough WiFi from my cell router to finish downloading one of her audio books. That was the "event" for the night!

We packed up & the Guido's actually beat me (for the first time) getting out of their site. They headed for the dump station & I waited for them at the office. We did most of the trip on Highway 3, hopping onto the 402 just before London. An interesting entrance interview process at the border. We hit the shortest line, but seems that each vehicle spent 5-10 minutes being interviewed. Of course we didn't realize the processing time until after we couldn't change lines. As the Guidos hit the station they went into a shift change and they waited 5 minutes for the processing to start. At that point the new border inspector only spent a minute or so with them. I was next and it was the shortest interview I've ever had. "Did you purchase anything in Canada?" No. He gave me back my passport and waved me on.

Last year the park rangers never stopped by our sites to have us pay for a Michigan Parks Pass, so we were never charged. Unfortunately, this year they billed us at the entrance station - An additional $39.00 for a year pass. We are in sites 130 (me) and 128 (the Guidos),  a mix of grass & gravel just big enough for the Guido's 16' Scamp. I'm kind of sticking over the back side enough to get the truck parked in front of the trailer. Since they are very specific as to how you park your trailer, I hope they don't make me move it. 30 amp electric only, although there is a water fill station & dump station in the park. The charge for the site varies depending on the day of the week - $30.00 & $33.00 on weekends. Add the $8.00 reservation fee & the $39.00 required Michigan Park Pass, and it comes out to $38.33 per night.

Me in Site 130

The Guidos in Site 128

We hit a bit of rain on the way, and it looks a bit cloudy when we arrived, so we used that as an excuse to head to a restaurant for dinner. We ate at the Catch 22 in Shelby Township, which, as far as I can tell is in Algonac. I had the English Fish & Chips, as did Anne. Don had Shrimp Scampi.

Until Tomorrow - 

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Trip to the Algonac & Niagara Wine Escape Rallies, Day 1

 Tuesday, September 5, 2023, Rock Point Provincial Park, Ontario, 195.4 miles, 195.4 Miles for the Trip

It is September and time for the Algonac and Niagara Wine Escape rallies. As usual, Anne & Guido invited me to Guido's brother Pete's Labor Day picnic at Pete's house in Scriba. Lots of food & sitting around with folks I usually only see once a year. A bit more this year since I also went to Pete's retirement party.

In any case, the Guido's arrived yesterday afternoon and set up their trailer in the driveway. We headed off to Rudy's for dinner (In keeping with tradition, I have to tell you what I had for dinner - I had a baked fish sandwich with cheese on a hard roll & extra cooked French fries). 

This morning we headed out for Rock Point Provincial Park in Ontario Canada around 10:00. I forgot to turn off the battery disconnect (at home I was running on the converter for 12V stuff) and by the time I realized it the main body of the refrigerator was up to 45°F and the freezer at 15°F. Both are cooling off now.

We arrived at Rock Point around 3:00, and as usual, the electric hook ups require an extension cord as well as the standard 30' one. While the sites are dry, it looks like any rain will turn them into swamps, particularly at the electric hook ups. 

The Guidos in 151

Me in 149

It is hot - 95°F in the trailer when I arrived, around 82°F outside. There is shade on the Guido's site so we set up our chairs under the trees. 

We are in sites 149 (me) and 151 (the Guido's), 30 amp electric only reasonably level sites on a mix of grass, dirt & gravel. Both sites were pretty dirty when we arrived. Mine looks like someone got a haircut next to the trailer location, and left their beer packaging in the firepit. Anne picked up a large bag of garbage around their site.

Dinner will be a Bosco's jalapeno & cheese sausage (an Oswego butcher shop that has great meat) for Guido, and cheese brats for Anne & me.

Until Tomorrow - 

Monday, September 4, 2023

Getting Ready for the Algonac Rally in MI and the Niagara Wine Escape Rally in Niagara Falls, Ontario

 The Guido's arrived this afternoon & we did dinner at Rudy's (the fish stand on the shore of Lake Ontario).  I finished packing almost everything except the stuff I still will use this night & in the morning.  We plan to leave for Canada & the Kinsey Campground at Rock Point Provincial Park around 10:00 tomorrow.  Only stopping for one night on the way to the Algonac rally in MI.

Until Tomorrow -