Saturday, May 18, 2024

2024 Trip to the Spring Fling, Day 5

Saturday, May 18, 2024 - Chocorua Camping Village KOA, Chocorua, NH - 0 Miles, 417.2 Miles For The Trip

Sorry for the missed posts.  I usually write the daily journal to my web page & copy it to Blogger (here) but being out of practice, forgot for the last couple of days.

Woke up to light rain that continued off & on for much of the morning. Trailer tours went on anyway, and after breakfast at the KOA, Guido & I visited with a number of owners. Saw a Cortez 18' for the first time - well made with lots of nice features, but I'll stick with me Escape 21.

After the trailer tours the Sewer Hose Toss was held. Gave me an excuse to use the multi frame capability of the Nikon Z8 - up to 120 frames per second, although I only shot 6 frames a second.

After the Sewer Hose Toss (probably should be called a Sewer Hose Fling in keeping with the rally name) I headed into the trailer for lunch & a bit of reading. I was going to head to the showers, but will wait until it warms up (if it does). 59°F and light rain.

It never did warm up so I put the shower off until tomorrow. With the rain, we decided to eat in our own trailers, the Guidos having sandwiches & I had an El Monterey Chicken Enchilada Dinner.

Until Tomorrow - 

2024 Trip to the Spring Fling, Day 4

Friday, May 17, 2024 - Chocorua Camping Village KOA, Chocorua, NH - 0 Miles, 417.2 Miles For The Trip

I forgot to mention an "interesting" thing that happened to me yesterday afternoon. I was inside the trailer heading out; pulled the handle on the door and it felt like it wasn't attached to anything - it wasn't. Seems the cast pawl that goes between the inside handle & the latch slide broke. The only way to get at the latch was by removing the inside portion of the lock; 4 Phillips head screws. Good thing I always have a Leatherman on my belt, otherwise you have to discover me in a couple of days by the smell! Actually, there is an emergency window exit, but I didn't want to pop that open. So, if I want to close the trailer door I need to have my Leatherman pliers to grab the latch lever to get out. Luckily, it is warm enough to use the screen door which works. I ordered a replacement lock set which I won't be able to get until I'm home. The outside handle opens the door as usual.

This morning there was a painting class by Sandy at the Rec room:

After that I tilted the rear solar panel so I could show one way to do that for a solar tour at 2:00 this afternoon.

I took a few photos walking around the campground. More at the 2024 Spring Fling page.

At 1:00 there was Cooking With Kim & Dennis, and at 2:00 tours of solar systems.

At 5:00 we enjoyed the pot luck dinner. Chicken cooked by Jeff, and the rest from everyone. Many more photos at the 2024 Spring Fling page.

Dinner was the pot luck.

Until Tomorrow - 

2024 Trip to the Spring Fling, Day 3

 Thursday, May 16, 2024 - Chocorua Camping Village KOA, Chocorua, NH - 0 Miles, 417.2 Miles For The Trip

While rain was predicted overnight, I as far as I can tell it never happened. After my morning walk (you can do a mile on the various loops in the campground with out ever going down the same road), I ate breakfast & started on baking pies for tomorrow's pot luck. Since there are 50 trailers registered, I made 3 pies. Pie # 1 did as expected, but pie #2 decided to blow up as I took it out of the oven. No idea why - I didn't do anything different than usual. I've often had them leak around the edges, but this time the part of the crust slid off the pie. It will still be editable, but I'll put it out as the last pie. Pie #3 is what usually happens.

Pie #1

Pie #2

Pie #3

I use Pillsbury refrigerator pie crusts when traveling, and after trimming the crust there is always left over crust. I started decorating the pies years ago, usually a tree or bush, but when doing fiberglass rallies, I usually do one with trailers. I wish I had a stamp for them - cutting the shape of the different types & sizes of trailers is a bit difficult. The remaining 2 pies have trees.

I finished the pies (at least making them; one is still in the trailer oven) around 1:30, and started making a baby back rib for dinner. Hopefully the Weber grill the campground provides will allow indirect cooking. The last time I made ribs I used my Weber Q which only has one burner control & even on the lowest setting the ribs were so overcooked they were near inedible. 

I checked the internet speed in AT&T - .69Mbps down & 0Mbps up. The web speed check that the Fiberglass RV website provides doesn't seem to be what actually happens. I ran my Speakeasy speed check using Safari & it shows 48.21Mbps down & 11.17Mbps up which seems a bit faster than actual. While a bit slow downloading, uploading my photos is as fast as usual. In any case, if it gets too slow I'll switch to Verizon, which I remember from last year is faster than AT&T.

While the ribs were cooking I made the first pass around the campground for some site photos. Lots that I didn't cover, but here are a few early arrivals:

At 6:00 we had a cheese social - a get together for all:

Dinner was baby back ribs, corn on the cob, applesauce, & salt potatoes.

Until Tomorrow - 

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

2024 Trip to the Spring Fling, Day 2

 Wednesday, May 15, 2024 - Chocorua Camping Village KOA, Chocorua, NH - 197.2 Miles, 417.2 Miles For The Trip

Light rain overnight and for most of the drive to Chocorua. It mostly stopped when we arrived & set up. I'm in site 50 & the Guidos are in 48. Premium sites that have a glass table with 4 chairs, a gas grill, fire pit, and two zero gravity chairs, normally $90.00 per night, but $70.00 for the rally.

Me in Site 50

The Guidos in Site 48

After setting up, Roy & Lia stopped by for a visit, bringing some great homemade chocolate cookies, & to top it off, they brought pizza for dinner.

Until next time.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

2024 Trip to the Spring Fling

 Tuesday, May 14, 2024 - Broken Wheel Campground, Petersburg, NY, 220 Miles, 220 Miles For The Trip

I finished all my Spring projects, including replacing the Dometic 11,000 BTU air conditioner with a Houghton 9600 BTU AC. While the Dometic wasn't broken, is was so loud that I rarely used it. You couldn't talk in the trailer when it was running, even on low fan. The Houghton is much quieter, even on high. On low it is quieter than the fan in my electric heater.

By the way, if you followed my Spring Trip 2024 journal, you may have noted that I came back a couple of weeks early so I could photograph the eclipse as it passed over my house. Well, we had heavy clouds - I did take one photo before the clouds covered it all up - note the tiny notch in the lower right:

The Eclipse

My attempt at the solar storm (Northern Lights) photo wasn't much better. We did have a clear night during the minor storm the week before last & I got a photo looking out over Lake Ontario but it just looks like city lights on the other side of the lake. Still, it was the first time in the many years I have been in Oswego that we had clear enough weather for a Northern Lights photo.

The Northern Lights

Oswego was covered by heavy clouds during the major Northern Lights show last weekend, although some folks got some photos on Sunday night. I had given up by then.

After a couple of days of packing, and the last minute rush this morning to pack the stuff that I still used at home, I headed out around 10:00. I took the Thruway (I 90) and paid the tolls. I stopped for a bathroom break & lunch at a Thruway stop - Popeye's Chicken. I asked for a regular sandwich, but got spicy. A bit too spicy for me, but I ate it anyway. Gas was as high as $3.89 per gallon along the Thruway; I found a Sallems Food Mart along NY 7 that was $3.57.

I arrived at the Broken Wheel around 2:30, haven't found anyone to give my money to, but that is usually the case here this early in the season. Eventually, I found the owner & paid for the sites.

I set up in site 25, a water & electric site on grass with a picnic table for $40.00 per night. I checked the internet speed of AT&T; a long ping at 50ms, but 46.13Mbps down & .08Mbps up. I think something is wrong with the upload rate - my images for this page uploaded in a couple of seconds.

The Guidos are on their way, expecting to get here a little before 4:00 & will be in site 26.

Me in Site 25

The Guidos in Site 26

Dinner was a chicken, spinach & tomato meal provided by Anne.

Until next time.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

23 - 24 Trip to the Southwest, Day 171

Wednesday, April 3, 2024 - Home, Oswego, NY - 120.7 Miles, 7,166.4 Miles for the trip

Well, I'm home. The drive up I 81 was highlighted by light to medium rain. It stopped for a bit while I was unloading the trailer, but now at 4:00 it is either heavy mist or light rain. It is suppose to turn to snow overnight. It is down to 38°F so it might get cold enough. I drained the fresh water tank on the way here, but left the electric heater on at 60°F & if necessary, will winterize tomorrow. I'm worn out - my watch tells me I made 12 flights of stairs & since I'm doing laundry, I'm not done yet.

Some statistics for the trip - 7,166.4 towing miles, 8,797.5 total miles on the truck. Using the truck mileage indicator (often called the lie-o-meter) I averaged 13.01MPG towing. According to the 662.321 gallons of gas I purchased & the total of 8,797.5 miles for the trip, the average is 13.28MPG. Average gas price - $3.16 per gallon. Cheapest gas was $2.76 per gallon at Wichata Falls, TX, most expensive was $4.00 per gallon here in Oswego the day I filled up when leaving in October. Oswego is now down to $3.35 per gallon. Total cost of gas was $2,093.16

14.8 gallons of propane for an average cost of $3.39 per gallon; $52.50 for the trip.

Campground average was $27.47, one of the highest of my trips since I didn't spend a couple of months at the BLM Long Term Visitor Area where the cost is $40.00 every 2 weeks. The cheapest other than some free sites was $14.90, the average daily cost for my 2 month stay at La Paz County Park in Parker, AZ. Most expensive was $101.00 at Cherry Hill RV Park in College Park, MD (Washington DC area). Camping total for 171 nights was $4,752.55.

If I ever sell the trailer, I'm afraid I won't be able to say "Lightly Used". A s of today, the trailer has 53,643.05 road miles & I've slept in it 1162 nights.

So, the next trip for the trailer is a one day stop at Seven O's on May 1st to have the air conditioner replaced, then on May 14th a trip with the Guido's to the Spring Fling Trailer Rally in New Hampshire.

Dinner was an Amy's Enchilada Bowl with Spanish Rice & Beans.

Until The Next Trip -

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

23 - 24 Trip to the Southwest, Day 170

Tuesday, April 2, 2024 - The Guido's, Binghamton, NY - 159.2 Miles, 7,045.7 Miles for the trip

Another wet morning and day. I'm going to have to change my name to the Rain Man. It didn't even stop for me to make the last dump of the black tank & unhook the electric. While the rain was not as heavy as yesterday, the spray from trucks was just as bad, and I 81 has lots of trucks.

Last night I finished Murder at Marble House & started Alyssa Maxwell's book #3, Murder at Beachwood.

I arrived at the Guido's around 1:00.

We spend much of the afternoon trying to decide where to eat dinner. The decision was to eat out, but there are far too many choices here in Binghamton. 

I discovered that I somehow left my eye drops (and a refill for each) behind. Not sure what happened to them but they definitely didn't make it to Binghamton. I know because the Sensor Push thermometer that I keep in the bag tells me that the last update was at 10:28AM, when I left the RV park. I'm lucky that I have refills available & they are in stock at a Binghamton Walgreens. The biggest loss is the Sensor Push thermometer that was in the bag...

We finally decided on Chinese.

Until Tomorrow - 

Monday, April 1, 2024

23 - 24 Trip to the Southwest, Day 169

Monday, April 1, 2024 - Twin Grove RV Resort, Pine Grove, PA - 149.9 Miles, 6,886.5 Miles for the trip

Rain off & on overnight, light as I unhooked the electric & headed out. A miserable drive on various interstates, medium to heavy rain until the last 40 miles. Even during the lighter rain the spray from trucks was annoying. Anyhow, I arrived at Twin Grove around 12:30. I'm in site F12, a full hookup site on gravel with two picnic tables and a fire pit. The site is level side to side, and I lifted the tongue 2 1/2" still attached to the truck to level the front. $66.15 for the night (I am 1 day into the "premium" season).

Site F12

There are a pair of unisex bathrooms across from my site - no showers & no heat (48°F inside so I don't think one would enjoy a shower if there was one). I checked with the office to confirm our reservations for sites 8 & 10 for our October trip to the Hungry Mother rally because right now there are RVs in the sites that look permanent - 100 pound propane tanks & lots of semi permanent stuff around them. The folks at the office found our reservations so we should be good.

Checked the internet speeds - Verizon was 4.8Mbps down & 10.6Mbps up, AT&T shows 43.3Mbps down & 11.7Mbps up; I'm currently on AT&T.

After lunch I did some reading - I'm currently reading Alyssa Maxwell's Murder at Marble House, #2 in her series. These are well written books that have the feel of some of the great English women written mysteries. I'll probably read the entire series.

Dinner was a Benihana Hibachi Chicken & Rice Bowl.

Until Tomorrow - 

Sunday, March 31, 2024

23 - 24 Trip to the Southwest, Day 168

Sunday, March 31, 2024 - Cherry Hill RV Park, College Park, MD, Day 4 - 0 Miles, 6,736.6 Miles for the trip

I listened to the Weekend Edition Sunday morning puzzle before climbing out of bed. I hope Will Shortz comes back soon. While the stand in puzzle master is OK, somehow it isn't the same without Will.

After breakfast I headed over to Brian & Karin's. The girls showed me the stuffed animals in their Easter baskets, then we hid candy filled Easter eggs for the girls (a tradition that has been going on for years).

Easter Basket Stuffed Animals

Hunting Easter Eggs

Hunting Easter Eggs

After some relaxing around the house we had a barbecue salmon lunch, hid eggs stuffed with money, another long time tradition. Even though the girls will both be teenagers starting when Nova turns 13 next week, they still enjoy the search for eggs.

We went for a walk along Sligo Creek, then back to the house.

Sligo Creek Walk

I headed out around 4:00 so I could start the process of packing up the trailer. It is suppose to be raining in the morning, so I did as much outside stuff as possible.

Me & Karin

After packing up the trailer I headed for a shower (much warmer at 64°F today) then snacked on cheese & crackers - still full from lunch.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, March 30, 2024

23 - 24 Trip to the Southwest, Day 167

Saturday, March 30, 2024 - Cherry Hill RV Park, College Park, MD, Day 3 - 0 Miles, 6,736.6 Miles for the trip

The traffic on I 495 was much quieter this (Saturday) morning; yesterday is was a roar starting at 5:00AM. Still a bit cool during my morning walk at 40°F, but it is warming up quickly with lots of sunshine. 

I checked the speed of AT&T - 65.2Mbps down & 17.1Mbps up. Since I have unlimited AT&T I am using it and didn't check Verizon. 

I also have a shower report - Bathroom #1 is not too far from my site. 5 showers, one of which is handicapped. Separate drying area with a bench & lots of hooks, a shower curtain between the shower & drying area, soap dish in the shower & medium volume standard shower head. Plenty of adjustable hot water. One suggestion - when it is cool, don't choose the shower that is under the ceiling fan. Not sure why it is running when it is 50°F out, but it sure cools you off once you get out of the shower. I'll give it an A.

I spent the morning reading - current book is Murder At The Breakers by Alyssa Maxwell. The first in the Newport Mystery series. Mysteries taking place around the Vanderbilt family in Newport around 1900. 12 books in the series. I have already read book #4 and this is another series that probably should be read in order.

We went to a Mexican restaurant for lunch. I had a huge chicken burrito that half of which came home and became dinner. Nova was the only one to order dessert - deep fried ice cream.

Nova's Deep Fried Ice Cream

After lunch we headed to the park & played a round of miniature golf. Since we didn't keep score, no one won. A couple of close ones, but no holes in one.

Miniature Golf

Stopped at the cafe & arcade for coffee and a game or two of Skeet Ball.

After that I headed for the trailer & dinner while Karin & family headed home.

Dinner was left over Burrito.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, March 29, 2024

23 - 24 Trip to the Southwest, Day 166

Friday, March 29, 2024 - Cherry Hill RV Park, College Park, MD, Day 2 - 0 Miles, 6,736.6 Miles for the trip

While a cool morning at 37°F, there was lots of sunshine. A little windy, but overall a nice day. I took a photo of some of the cherry blossoms (it is called Cherry Hill RV Park); not the Tidal Basin, but pretty enough:

Cherry Blossoms

I had breakfast at the cafe during my morning walk. Back at the trailer i read for awhile, then Karin called and she came to the park. Ken Stone, one of the technical directors at SUNY Oswego during the early years (and my replacement when I was drafted) is living in the DC area and he also stopped by. We went to the cafe for lunch, and sat around and chatted for a couple of hours. Since the place wasn't all that busy, they staff didn't seem to mind.

After that we headed back to the trailer, Ken took off, but Karin took a photo before he left.

Jon & Ken

After that I headed to Brian & Karin's, hung around for a bit, watched them do some spring planting, then headed back to the trailer. Very heavy traffic on Piney Branch Road between Karin's & I 495, but I 495 wasn't bad at all. 

Dinner was a El Monterey Chicken Quesadilla.

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, March 28, 2024

23 - 24 Trip to the Southwest, Day 165

Thursday, March 28, 2024 - Cherry Hill RV Park, College Park, MD - 103.9 Miles, 6,736.6 Miles for the trip

The rain finally stopped around midnight. While there were heavy clouds this morning, no rain while I hooked up. Still cool at 47°F. 

Most of the drive was stop & go on I 95 once you got near DC. I'm in site 317, a "deluxe" full hookup site with a fire pit, picnic table & patio table with 4 chairs on gravel that needed 1" side to side, nothing on the tongue. It should be deluxe - $101.00 per night for 4 nights. Lots of traffic noise from 495 two rows of sites away. Since I expect to drive to Karin's house, I unhooked the truck. 

Site 317

After setting up I headed to Brian & Karin's. Not a bad drive - about 9 miles, 3 on I 495. Their neighbor is away for the week (they share a driveway) so I could even park in the driveway without trying to make room for 2 cars. I backed in which made it far easier to get out. We hung out until Ash's haircut appointment, then back to the RV park. Still no sun, and only 50°F. I was hoping for better weather for sitting around outside, but it is what it is. 

Dinner was an El Monterey Chicken Enchilada bowl.

Until Tomorrow -

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

23 - 24 Trip to the Southwest, Day 164

Wednesday, March 27, 2024 - Lake Anne State Park, Spotsylvania, VA - 273.2 Miles, 6,632.7 Miles for the trip

A long drive in light to heavy rain for most of the trip. I made a quick stop at a Food Lion about 10 miles from the park, found my card still worked even though I haven't used it in years, then finished the drive. Lots of 2 lane roads on the last 40 miles into the park. I arrived at the park around 2:15, stopped at the office & found that normal arrival time is 4:00. They checked that the site was ready & let me in. I'm in site 39, a large and long water & electric site on gravel that is very wet with shallow ruts caused by the truck & trailer tires. Level enough that I didn't unhook or use the side to side levelers (although I am off side to side by a 3/4".) $53.44 for the night. The site has a picnic table & fire pit. The Virginia ban on fires has been partially lifted - you can have a fire between 4:00 & 10:00. 

The rain actually stopped as I started setting up the trailer, although it is predicted to continue off & on all night & tomorrow, so I only hooked up the electric and will use the fresh water tank & pump. The 30 amp connector was questionable (the plug wouldn't stay in the connector) so I used my 50 amp to 30 amp adapter to make the connection to the 50 amp connector.

Site 39

I checked out the showers, and passed. I remember them from the last time I was here - barely lukewarm water & a soaked drying room floor. Four individual showers although 2 have out of order signs (they were also out of order 4 years ago). No comment on the lack of room heat from last time so it must have been warm weather; there doesn't appear to be any heat in the bathroom or showers. Today it is 47°F so a lukewarm shower in a cold room doesn't sound like much fun.

I finished listening to The Hill House by Blair Howard as I pulled into the park so I'll need to find a new audio  book. By the way, this book is, at least for me, an example of the wrong narrator. The "kindly" voice just doesn't fit the style of the book. I also finished reading Donald Westlake's The Spy In The Ointment, and started Murder at Rough Point by Alyssa Maxwell.

I did an internet speed check - AT&T shows 13.1Mbps down & 0Mbps up, while Verizon shows 7.8Mbps down & .7Mbps up. Right now I'm on AT&T and this page had no problem uploading even at 0Mbps. It did take over a minute to upload the site pictures.  I had to switch to Verizon to post the Blogger page (this page).

Even though the rain has stopped, I didn't sit outside - at 47°F I'll stay in the trailer.

Dinner was a Saffron Road Chicken Tikka Masala bowl.

Until Tomorrow -

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

23 - 24 Trip to the Southwest, Day 163

Tuesday, March 26, 2024 - Hungry Mother State Park, Marion, VA - 169.8 Miles, 6,359.5 Miles for the trip

We had a high wind warning, 30 - 40 MPH with up to 80MPH gusts for the area. Even got a text from the campground suggesting putting outside stuff away. There were some blasts of wind throughout the night, although not steady. A few small branches down including a few that landed on the trailer, but nothing broken. Rain started around 6:00 AM, and hasn't stopped all the way to Hungry Mother. A cold day, while it was 55°F when I left Townsend, it is now 42°F here at Hungry Mother at 2:30. 

When leaving Townsend, if I'm heading south, I always go through Maryville to get to I 40. Going north it is a bit out of the way, but the alternative is going through Pigeon Forge. TN 321 is a twisty, hilly, narrow road between Townsend & Pigeon Forge, and Pigeon Forge is a traffic nightmare any time of day. I took it anyway, and can't believe how busy TN 321 going towards Townsend was; not ban in my direction. Pigeon Forge was a zoo as usual. Still, I made it through and arrived at Hungry Mother around 2:00. 

I was originally scheduled for site 1 at the Creekside campground, but with the cold & lousy weather I called the park and got it changed to site 13 at Burson campground, a little easier to get to. It is a level site (I didn't need to unhook) on gravel with a picnic table & fire pit (although even with the rain there is a fire ban for the park). Water & electric for $40.00. Even though it was only 2 hours since I made the change, there was the usual information packet in the outdoor rack at the closed office. For a one night stop they sure give you lots of information. A business sized envelope packed 3/4" thick with all kinds of stuff about the area & park (as well as a mirror tag).

Site 13

With the cold & rain (yes, it is still raining, even a bit of thunder) I spent the afternoon in the trailer reading. I finished The Exchange of Princesses by Chantal Thomas, and started Donald Westlake's The Spy In The Ointment. On the drive I finished listening to Don Winslow's Satori & started The Hill House by Blair Howard.

Dinner was A Boston Market Chicken Pot Pie.

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, March 25, 2024

23 - 24 Trip to the Southwest, Day 162

Monday, March 25, 2024 - Townsend KOA, Townsend, TN, Day 3 - 0 Miles, 6,189.7 Miles for the trip

Warmer last night at 45°F. Not as much coming & going in the campground this morning as yesterday. I met a fellow camper that has spent time in upstate NY salmon fishing on Lake Ontario & the Salmon River. 

Not a lot going on today. It is still cool at 54°F at 11:30 so I'm reading in the trailer. I did do my usual morning walk.

It warmed up enough to sit outside for a bit, but then the cloud cover got heavier & the wind was enough to chase me back inside. I spent the afternoon moving back & forth between the outside & the inside. 

Around 3:00 I picked up 2 pounds of Sumatra coffee at the Artistic Bean. While I'm not a coffee snob, I do like Sumatra & grind it fresh each morning. My favorite supplier is Syracuse Restaurant Supply in Syracuse, NY, but the roasting at the Artistic Bean is pretty good & I'm long out of the Syracuse beans. After running out of the Syracuse Restaurant Supply beans I've been using Albertson's Signature Select Whole Bean Dark Roast Sumatra. It is OK, but not as good as either Syracuse or the Artistic Bean, and the last of the last bag made this morning's coffee.

I hooked up the trailer.  The tongue is about 1/2" high, but since it is suppose to be raining when I leave tomorrow, I'd rather do as much as possible today.  I even unhooked the water line - much easier to roll up the hose when it is warm.

I don't know what they did to fix TengoNet, but tonight the ping & jitter are excellent at 23ms & 6ms respectively, and the speed is 24Mbps down & 5Mbps up.

Dinner was a salad with grilled chicken.

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, March 24, 2024

23 - 24 Trip to the Southwest, Day 161

Sunday, March 24, 2024 - Townsend KOA, Townsend, TN, Day 2 - 0 Miles, 6,189.7 Miles for the trip

While it didn't freeze overnight, at 7:00AM it was colder outside than it was in my refrigerator at 34°F. I was late getting out of bed since I like to listen to the puzzle on Weekend Edition on NPR, and now that I'm back in the eastern time zone it doesn't happen until after 8:30AM. 

Lots of sun, but still cool during my morning walk. I saw another Oliver in a row over from my trailer; they left this morning. 

I put the new battery in the AT&T Netgear cell modem, not that it did much good. While the back now fits & it is charging, AT&T is pretty near useless here in Townsend, and Verizon isn't all that much better. I did stop at the office for the password for TengoNet - it is free to campers, and is the most usable internet connection here - 17.3Mbps down & 3.3Mbps up. It still has a terrible ping & jitter, but not as bad as AT&T or Verizon.

I spent most of the day in the trailer. A bit cool to sit outside at 55°F at 2:00, although there are folks doing it. 

Around 3:00 I headed for the showers. Six unisex showers + a handicapped one. The standard showers are large, have a drying room with a bench & 3 hooks. A shower curtain between the shower & drying area. Plenty of adjustable hot water with a large standard shower head & a 3 shelf unit hanging from the shower head. Overall one of the best of the trip. An A.

I did move outside after my shower; back to reading The Exchange of Princesses by Chantal Thomas. On the edge of comfortable at 61°F. In the sun it was fine, but if a cloud moved in and the wind picked up not so much.

Dinner was a Butterball turkey burger & a salad.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, March 23, 2024

23 - 24 Trip to the Southwest, Day 160

Saturday, March 23, 2024 - Townsend KOA, Townsend, TN - 156.7 Miles, 6,189.7 Miles for the trip

Not as warm as last night, and it rained off & on throughout the remainder of the day & all night. It did stop in time for me to pack up the trailer, and although it was cloudy the entire trip to Townsend, no rain so far. Cold at 51°F at 4:30. I also went through a time zone change, now on eastern time.

I'm in site 75, a gravel water & electric site with a picnic table & fire ring. Needed 2" left to right & a drop of 1" to level the trailer. After hooking up & settling the bill, I headed to the IGA for some supplies. $63.00 with the KOA discount per night for 3 nights. I used up a bunch of KOA points to drop the actual bill to a total of $94.58.

Site 75

The internet here is very slow - Verizon is 6Mbps down & .1Mbps up. I'm using it now. I couldn't do a speed test on AT&T. If things get desperate, I can go on TengoNet. Since the site photos posted, I guess it may work.

Dinner was a grilled chicken thigh & corn on the cob.

After dinner I did a couple of loads of laundry. $2.00 wash & $1.75 to dry. They require pods rather than liquid or powdered detergent.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, March 22, 2024

23 - 24 Trip to the Southwest, Day 159

Friday, March 22, 2024 - Falls Creek Falls State Park, TN, Day 3 - 0 Miles, 6,033 Miles for the trip

A warm night at 53°F. While there was a bit of sun for my morning walk, by noon the clouds settled in and the wind picked up. I spent the day reading, some outside, the rest in the trailer. I finished John Verdon's On Harrow Hill, the Dave Gurney #7 book, and started #8, The Viper. He is another author like Dave Berry - too many implausible solutions to plot problems, but since the series takes place in the Catskills of NY in areas I'm familiar with, I still enjoy reading them.

I did discover another fiberglass trailer on my walk this morning - an Oliver. Appropriate since they are made here in Tennessee. A four season trailer that is well made, but with limitations that keep me from being interested - a small refrigerator, and a white fiberglass interior that makes me feel like I'm sitting inside a refrigerator. Still, if you want fiberglass and winter camping, the choices are pretty much limited to the Oliver or a Bigfoot.

An Oliver

Still many empty sites even though it is the start of a weekend. There are a couple of new arrivals, but there were more leaving. The folks across from me in a large 5th wheel also arrived in a SUV which they left running for the 2 hours. Just a couple with a baby, but they got 3 kids bikes from a rack on the SUV, and finally headed out. I suspect his wife went to pick up the kids after school.

That was about it for the day. While it made it up to 65°F, it is looking more & more like the predicted rain is on the way, so I hooked up the trailer. I will still have a bunch of stuff to do to get out of here in the morning, but when it is raining, every bit of advanced packing helps.

Light rain started around 4:30.

Dinner was a Guy Fieri Chicken Enchilada Bowl.

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, March 21, 2024

23 - 24 Trip to the Southwest, Day 158

Thursday, March 21, 2024 - Falls Creek Falls State Park, TN, Day 2 - 0 Miles, 6,033 Miles for the trip

I was up a little early to make reservations for Bolerama in July at the Long Beach Conservation Area in Ontario, Canada. I managed to get 2 15 amp electric sites next to each other (the Guidos are traveling with me). They did have 2 30 amp sites, but if it is wet they are likely to be under water so I stuck with the lower powered sites. The last time we were at the park we managed to run the air conditioners on 15 amp sites, so we should be OK.

Around 11:00 I made a round of some of the waterfalls in the park. I started at the Nature Center where Cane Creel Falls and the Cascades are located. As far as I'm concerned, the Cascade is a waterfall, but that is what they call it.

Cade Creek Falls

The Cascade

I prefer shooting waterfalls in cloudy or overcast weather since bright sun tends to create highlights that burn out. Even with the wide dynamic range of the Nikon Z8, anything in direct sun is a bit burned out. Unfortunately, clear skies today. One very nice thing with the Z8 - the electronic viewfinder has enough gain the even shooting through a 6 stop ND filter a usable image is in the viewfinder or rear monitor. Much nicer than having to remove the filter to compose when shooting with the D850. On the other hand, I find the end result is a bit harsher with the Z8 compared to the D850. In any case a couple more - Falls Creek Falls, which is described as the highest single drop east of the Mississippi, And Piney Creek Falls:

Falls Creek Falls

Piney Creek Falls

You can compare the images from a 2020-22 trip. (2 journal entries)

It went down to 38°F last night but the morning is sunny & by 10:00 it was already up to 48°F. By 1:00 it was up to 63°F. The high for the day was 65°F.

Dinner was at the park restaurant - Fish & Chips.

Until Tomorrow -