Header Picture

View From the Trail to Mount Colvin

My Readers

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Warranty Results and Preparing for Company

I had mentioned in my last post that Harry and I were apprehensive about the warranty company covering our repair work. Over the past seven years, there have been a handful of t35629312_10217560254024970_940560578982707200_nimes we’ve had a warranty claim. Our first big claim happened on our very first trip down to Florida, right after Harry retired, when our slide topper mechanism suddenly just gave way when we put the slide out. It ended up being a nightmare claim that I won’t go back through now. Suffice to say that they ended up paying, but only after we fought for it, including going through the Better Business Bureau to file a complaint. That just left a sour taste in our mouth, and even though we have end35762291_10217560234144473_7070060504781160448_ned up getting back what we paid for it, we have already decided that we won’t be getting another one when we get our next rv. Just not worth the grief for us. Anyhow, so a few days ago we had to stop back over by Diederich’s to pick up our keys that we forgot there, and we found out that the company is going to cover the refrigerator repair and the replacement of the hydraulic jacks. That was a relief! Apparently windows and glass are not covered, so we have to pay for that part of the repair. But it could have been much worse, so we are looking on the bright side.

It has been two weeks today since we arrived here. It has been a bit hectic with everything going on, but our days have started to slow down this week, and today we actually aren’t going anywhere at all. We have taken advantage of this down day to start getting ready for our next adventure – a five week long visit with our grandsons! This will be our longest summer visit yet. In previous summers, we’ve had a shorter visit with Schaun and then we’ve gone back to Ohio to spend some time with Kenny as well. But Kenny is older now, and wants to come on the summer visit also.

35694790_10217560250344878_3930953570530099200_nOver the winter, we were trying to figure out the best way to work the sleeping arrangements – sleeping on the floor together on one twin bed mattress was not going to cut it. Harry was doing some research online and just by accident stumbled on a portable bunkbed system. We bought it over the winter but hadn’t tried putting it together yet. Today was the day!

35819491_10217560246584784_646337318998769664_n



One bed put together…we could actually use it just as one bed if we wanted to.


35758854_10217560245264751_8614342023559774208_n


The two beds are completely secured together.


35886275_10217560242184674_159908989709058048_n



It fits in the space just as well as I hoped it would.



35815140_10217560236384529_1730122034962235392_n

I have them covered at the moment for the four legged occupants who I’m sure will be using them over the next few days. Each bed has an attachment where the kids can put some of their things. And we also have storage space underneath the bottom bunk.


I can’t wait to see the boys’ faces when they see their sleeping area!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Maintenance on Us and the Fiver

We’ve actually been in NY for almost a week and a half, and it has been such a whirlwind!

35292347_10217512744997274_2708382505429368832_nWe are at a different campground this year, after Earlton Hill Campground (where we had stayed the past few years) cancelled our reservation on us without notifying us last summer. So we decided to try staying at Brook n Wood Campground in Elizaville.



34529058_10217440621554233_7738793200600481792_nWe have a nice large site, maybe the biggest site we’ve ever had.


Basically the only reason this wouldn’t have been our first choice in the first place is that it’s a little bit farther to my sister’s from here.


34560809_10217440632114497_8378007711475826688_n


Plus we have to go across the Rip Van Winkle Bridge which has a toll of $1.25 for EZ Pass. The only good thing about it is you only have to pay the toll going in one direction!



So, let’s see…what has been going on so far…

35479208_10217512735357033_7293501058754543616_nLast weekend was a fun family weekend since my nephew Matt was graduating from high school!

It is oh so true that they grow up so fast. It does not seem like that long ago that he was this little guy…

34780008_10217460916021582_2795913183007604736_o






In just a week, my third nephew will be graduating from his high school also. It’s sad that the kids are growing up, but exciting to see them heading off on new adventures though!

35266890_10217512741917197_8927042795491819520_nBecause we are an hour away from Albany, we tried to group our appointments as much as possible. So on Monday, we headed out bright and early to get our bloodwork done. Then after breakfast, we had our annual get together with our financial guy. And we capped our day with Harry’s annual retina checkup. Phew! By that time, we were more than ready to get home.

On Wednesday, we had our physical appointments, where we were happy to find out that we are both in good shape physically. Actually, I am probably in the best shape right now of my entire adult life. All set for another year hopefully!

35303846_10217512727396834_8388606986387718144_nThen yesterday it was our rig’s turn. I have to say that this is the day I least look forward to every summer – packing up for just one day and then going to sit at my sister’s house while the work is being done. Now that we have the house, it would be easier to just have the maintenance done in Florida while we aren’t in the rig. But we just trust the worksmanship of the people at this place so much, we can’t bring ourselves to take the fiver anywhere else.

35434247_10217512728636865_4539453567680905216_n

I’m sorry to say that our rig didn’t get quite as good a report as we did. We already knew that we had to have the fans in the fridge replaced. We also had our yearly maintenance done on the wheel bearings and u-bolts.

There are two more major repairs that will need to be done. The dual pane window on our largest rear window is coming apart at the seal. So the whole window needs to be replaced. Also our rear hydraulic jacks need to be replaced as they are leaking fluid. This will obviously be a more than few hour job! The only good thing…well, there are two good things about it happening now. The first is that we already planned to be here in NY into September so we will have plenty of time to get the repair done. The second is that we are still (for just a few more days!) under our extended warranty. So we are hoping that some of the repairs will be covered. We have had a horrible experience with this warranty company in the times when we’ve tried to use it, so we are nervous. But as far as we know, the window and jacks should be covered.  I will report more on this when we find out.

This weekend should be much more low-key. We don’t have any major plans. My sister and her husband will be out of town, so we are on “bring the kid to work” duty. haha  Other than that, we plan to relax for a change of pace!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Back in the Land of Mountains and Trees

We have arrived at our first major stop for the summer!

34556361_10217440671395479_8949013576140455936_nSince we left Charlotte, we spent a night in Virginia and two nights in Pine Grove, PA. In Pine Grove, we stayed at the same campground and had the same site that we spent almost three weeks in last summer on our trip to Hershey with Schaun. That brought back some good memories.

34585042_10217440684195799_4110322082099757056_n



We drove in and out of cloudy skies. But we never did get any rain while we were actually on the road. It did rain yesterday but I guess I picked the right day to stay put.

34596460_10217440695636085_2559354849724465152_n


34687486_10217440658795164_5721278698951278592_n





34602575_10217440645154823_8879973050599079936_n


This afternoon, a little over a week after we left Avon Park, we crossed over into New York for the first time since last July!


34560809_10217440632114497_8378007711475826688_n

At that point we were in familiar territory again, and it was just about an hour later that we were crossing the Hudson River.




34537619_10217440630554458_6851868886174793728_nOur home base for the next few weeks!


34583345_10217440620434205_2953978880127401984_n




This may be one of the largest sites we’ve ever had!

34508511_10217440623274276_6811642127991177216_n


Here’s the view from across the street. We are looking forward to settling in, and getting together with family.

Lots of plans for the next few weeks!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Lucky So Far

So far (I would say “knock on wood” if I were the superstitious sort, haha) we have been so lucky with the weather! When we were in Avon Park, we were in an extremely wet pattern, and while we were in the Charlotte area, storms and rain moved through every single day. 34453830_10217414618184165_6091911475830456320_nAnd yet, we have had beautiful blue skies every travel day!

I won’t complain about that one bit! And I’ve noticed we are getting into the rolling farmland views also.

34421601_10217414604903833_3191159060250492928_n


I didn’t take many pictures over the past few days, but we had a good time visiting with Andrew and Amanda. They had to work, of course, so we were basically visiting after the work day, and yesterday we hung out at their house for most of the day.

34337239_10217414602943784_4753607242719166464_n

It clouded up enough yesterday that it was pleasant to sit outside in their patio area. We brought our portable grill over as they have not bought one yet.

34441731_10217414608663927_1629371151694168064_n





Andrew cooked some shrimp on the grill.

34268762_10217414606343869_2250222680219320320_n



It was a nice relaxing few days.


This morning we had an extremely short trip, so we just took it very easy. The checkout time at the campground was noon, and I don’t think we pulled out until around 11:30. Might be a record for us!

34259021_10217414613704053_2959726628701208576_n

Today was our day going through the mountain pass by Fancy Gap, VA. This used to stress us out but we have done it enough times now that we don’t give it much thought.


34441723_10217414615464097_6261496953842958336_n (1)



And there are some beautiful views!


34462654_10217414629384445_604711870355472384_n

We have usually stayed at the Fort Chiswell RV Park when we travel this route, but the sites we have had there are pretty unlevel. So we decided this time to try the Wytheville KOA, which is about 4 miles further down I-81.

The sites seem narrow, but are level. We didn’t even unhook! We will be leaving pretty early tomorrow (for us anyway – by 8 am) since we have a 380 mile trip tomorrow to Pine Grove, PA.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Basement Sorting and Other Stuff

34071659_10217393777423159_5618598013862674432_nWhen we were getting ready to leave, we really didn’t take the time to organize things very carefully. Even though we didn’t get tons of rain, the skies were looking threatening most of the time. So we basically just put everything in wherever we could fit it, and decided to make it neat later. Yesterday, with a nice day on the horizon, one of the items on Harry’s list was straightening out his basement storage.


34089682_10217393774703091_4028857788129083392_n 



34071711_10217393775543112_8480039366876463104_n

Cleaning up the sandy floor!


All nice and neat!

34108600_10217393771263005_1292351802485768192_n




34208069_10217393774103076_7905276187511881728_n



Hard to believe that when we started fulltiming, this basement was packed from top to bottom!


Just because we like to live dangerously, the other thing we planned for yesterday was visiting the local Cabela’s, which is a very short 3 miles away from the campground. We are planning on doing quite a bit of hiking this summer when we get up into the Adirondacks, so Harry wanted to get some hiking poles. He has borrowed some to use on previous hikes, and found them useful. Over the past months he did some research to figure out what he wanted. The other item on his list was some waterproof hiking boots.

34038806_10217393778263180_4590422137856065536_n


Mission accomplished!


34133830_10217393780183228_5402486228874428416_n



Ariel thought the hiking poles were a new fancy chin rest for her. haha



Later in the afternoon, we drove the short distance over to Andrew and Amanda’s new house. It is only 2.5 miles from the campground! We thanked them for moving so close to our local address. haha

Andrew made some yummy fresh guacamole and chicken tacos. I was too busy enjoying it to get any pictures. Yes, that is how good it was!

We enjoyed a nice evening chatting and catching up, before we headed home to sleep in our comfy bed. (Yes, we are getting reacquainted with the benefits of rv’ing.)

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Getting Our RV Mojo Back

20180530_144502Although we weren’t really trying to rush, we got ourselves going, hooked up and on the road basically right on the dot at 9 am.

I am finding it SO easy to get the inside area travel-ready now. What a nice change!


34065892_10217380504851353_7270376396487131136_n


We traveled until almost noon, and found a Pilot truck stop where we could fuel up. I used a great new app that I downloaded recently called Trucker Path. You can put in your destination, and it plots a good route, and then shows you all the truck stops, rest areas etc. along your travel route. 33923535_10217380512091534_3471229221878104064_nAnd sometimes you can even find out how busy it is at the truck stop, although that depends on people reporting in, so it’s not always an up to date report. But we used it to find our fuel up stop, as well as a rest area where we had lunch. It worked really well.

There was almost no one in the camper/truck part of the rest area.

34075982_10217380500051233_2052459790088536064_n

We arrived at the Fort Mill/Charlotte KOA right around 3 pm, and after checking in, we settled into our site for the next three days. We stayed here last year, but now it is even more convenient because Harry’s son and daughter-in-law bought a house only a few miles away.


33786472_10217380443809827_370848302633058304_nNormally I might not unpack so much just for a few days, but being our first real stop, I wanted to get everything out and figure out how I was going to set up for the summer. I have to say, I love love LOVE the set up now that we have taken the table out.

We used to have both chairs over in the slide to the left, but I moved mine out and now we really have a living room space.

33923863_10217380418489194_5548961849371787264_n

I put the basket and tote under the window to make a little spot for the cats to rest in the sun and look out the window on this side.

I will have to move this stuff when the boys are with us, but the rest of the time this is how it will be set up.

33921086_10217380419529220_1096270087108689920_n


Here is the kitchen from the other direction.


33902512_10217380421289264_4965888307721404416_n


And the bedroom….

(The blanket over the pillows is to keep cat hair off, because that is one of their favorite spots to sleep.)

34122985_10217380768497944_1698879167245844480_n

Now that we are actually on the road, we are getting back in the RV frame of mind. The travel days went smoothly, as did hitching and unhitching. The cats have settled in without any complaining at all. Our summer season is off to a great start!


33750024_10217380969182961_176420209794482176_n


PS Ariel discovered the spot under the window about an hour after I first published this blog post….

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

First Day Back Under Our Belt

33814906_10217371768232943_6719740840152924160_n

The weekend went so quickly, with packing and moving things over to the rig in between waves of rain. We were really pretty lucky though, because we by no means had constant rain. Just off and on showers. A few hard rains but even they didn’t last very long.

33849151_10217371765912885_8617180163718774784_n

This morning we were awake pretty early, so we got up and got the last minute items moved over. Harry checked the pressure on the tires (all good!) and then we hooked back up for departure. It all seemed quite familiar, and beyond a few, “oh yeah forgot that”s, everything proceeded as if we had just been traveling a few weeks ago.


33868375_10217371764432848_5308517433974194176_n

The bug guy arrived right on time, and got the spraying done to cover our place for the summer.



And then we were off!

33401109_10217371891236018_6051525258396041216_n

Despite the cloudy skies as we were hooking up, by the time we got on the road we had blue skies and even sunshine!

33942309_10217371749632478_7417650292491026432_n



33960768_10217371744352346_8485475309414514688_n




It was a beautiful, rain and traffic free day to travel!

33923477_10217371739272219_4219123585211432960_n


We arrived here at Pecan Park in Jacksonville, and unhooked for the night.


33965563_10217371736792157_4328662504143060992_n


It was clouding up with a storm system moving through after we got settled, and as I write this it has been raining. But we are thankful that it stayed dry while we were on the road!


Tomorrow we move on to the Charlotte, NC area for a few days. We’ll be visiting with Harry’s son Andrew and his wife Amanda. We are looking forward to seeing them!