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Friday, April 17, 2015

Enjoying Family Time

Location: Catskill, NY (High 75, Low 49)

We’ve only been back in NY two full days and I am already back into the swing of things, having a good time catching up with my sister and her family.

I am back at my summer “job”, helping out in my sister’s office, and Harry has been doing some more of the upkeep items on his list. He has already been in touch with the local rv place where we have our yearly maintenance type things done, and we have an appointment to bring the rig there one day in early May.

Our stay in Catskill is also our time to get all of our medical and dental checkups done, so we have those scheduled over the next few weeks, as well as taking advantage of our time here to see some friends that we have kept in touch with since we retired. We will be at our “home base” campground for the rest of April, May and July.

For the month of June we’ll be heading north to the Adirondacks. We are hoping to spend some more time doing some bike trips and maybe a few new hikes. The past two years we spent two weeks in the area, and found the time just went by too fast, so we have doubled our time there this year.

We have a new stop this year as well. Harry’s daughter will be moving to Ohio in a couple months, so we will be leaving NY early this year and spending a few weeks in a campground outside Cleveland. We are looking forward to having some quality time with our two little guys before we head back to Kentucky for the last few months of the year.

Blogging consistently during the summer has not always been easy when we are staying put much of the time and doing “normal” stuff, but this year I plan to try to do an entry at least once a week. That’s my goal anyway – we shall see!! Open-mouthed smile

Thursday, April 16, 2015

That Was Better

Location: Catskill, NY (High 65, Low 34)

11159289_10206952226150903_981423732_oYesterday morning, we were very ready to get out of our unlevel condition and get going on the last leg of our trip.

I took this pic of Lake Erie as we started out on our trip. There is still plenty of ice out there.

11068247_10206953952674065_356807867_oIt wasn’t a completely smooth hookup and departure, but it was one of those “all’s well that ends well” deals. We were happy to get back on the road with beautiful blue skies and familiar views.

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I got this shot of some kind of glider aircraft flying by. It almost looked like a homemade aircraft in the few seconds that I could really see it.

 

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Except for the small portion of our trip that went by Buffalo, we had very little traffic. Just had to keep an eye out for monster potholes.

 

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Right around 2 pm we were arriving in the capital region of NY state. After being away for eight months, it felt so weird and great at the same time to be back on roads that we know like the back of our hands.

 

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We got to our spot in Catskill and backed right in with no issues. We actually looked like we knew what we were doing! Winking smile The campground owners have put stone in the site since we left last year so it will be so great not to have to deal with making muddy ruts in the grass when it rains.

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Already looking pretty full…

 

 

Tomorrow I will go over our summer plans…

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Sometimes It Just Goes Like That

Location: Westfield, NY (High 57, Low 39)

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Today’s trip was dreary but uneventful. Until we arrived at the campground anyway.

 

We traveled through the corner of Pennsylvania…

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and into New York….

 

 

That white line on the horizon is the ice on Lake Erie…

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The leaveless trees and gray skies made me think of fall instead of spring.

 

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Even though it was a short day, we stopped for lunch at the Pennsylvania Welcome Center rest area. Which turned out to be a good thing.

We arrived at the Westfield/Lake Erie KOA about 1:15. There was a pretty informal check in as the campground isn’t officially open yet, but the owner is on the premises doing work on the grounds so he showed us to our spot.

We have stayed at this campground probably 4 times at least on our way south or coming back up, but today’s set up was definitely the hardest. We have automatic level-up, which 95% of the time works great and we definitely wouldn’t change the fact that we have it. But when it doesn’t work, like today, what a pain in the hindquarters it is.

We unhooked with our short blocks under the front level legs. The rig started leveling, but then the front legs were extended to their maximum and the rig still wasn’t level. Ugh. So we had to hook the truck back up, lift the rig and put a bigger piece of cribbing under the front jacks so they wouldn’t extend so far. Tried the level up again. Nope, no dice. It just kept adjusting the side level legs and eventually started extending the front jacks too far again. Tried the manual mode. Nope, couldn’t get the rig level enough. After talking the situation over with the campground owner, we decided to hook back up (again!) and move the rig over a couple feet to a more level part of the site.

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Finally! Still had to do the level up in manual mode, and according to the level we are still a little out of level, but it’s good enough for the night. All of our doors open and close easily. Phew. All told it took us an hour and a half to get settled in the site to the point where we could bring our slides out. We are happy to be done and now it’s time to relax for the rest of the day. Tomorrow we move on to Catskill.

Monday, April 13, 2015

We’re In Ohio

Location: Marengo, OH (High 69, Low 59)

The past couple days have been long days of traveling. Saturday was supposed to be an easy and relatively short day. But it was not to be.

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On the plus side, it was a beautiful day for traveling. We had clear roads into TN and smooth sailing past Chattanooga.

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Our first slowdown came around Nashville.

 

 

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This was our view as we passed by the city.

 

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We were happy to see that we were arriving in KY and close to our overnight stop in Bowling Green.

However we might have been close in miles but not in time.

 

We were 39 miles away from our exit when we hit this.

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We inched along at less than ten, usually less than five, mph. It took us one whole hour to go six miles.

 

The only positive in that whole mess was that I discovered the WAZE app. After downloading it, and signing in, I was able to get details from other people further down the road. I found out that there was an area of the road with only one lane open due to construction, and even at what mile marker. It did help to have the information even though we still had a LONG two hours poking our way through the backup.

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We were so happy to finally break our way free and travel the last 20 miles to our overnight stop at the Bowling Green KOA.

 

11069336_10206922567609458_432654251_oYesterday we hit the road once more to take advantage of the second weekend day for the portion of our trip that would take us past Louisville, Cincinnati and Columbia. Happily this day was long only in miles as we were able to move right along for the most part.

899673_10206923441871314_1341016246_oWe did hit a slowdown of traffic on I-71/I-75 for a couple miles when we were getting close to Cincinnati. But we left it behind to take the 275 bypass around Cincinnati, and from there it was smooth sailing.

I continued to use the WAZE app and it came in handy a few times – we got advance warning of some big potholes and once a huge road gator. It will only get better as more drivers start participating, so I think this will be a tool we will continue to use on our driving days.

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We are settled at the Cardinal Center Campground in Marengo, OH and staying put for a day to catch our breath.

 

Tomorrow we are on the road to NY!!

Friday, April 10, 2015

A Couple Days in GA

Location: Adairsville, GA (High 77, Low 64)

11136323_10206868305012927_1779855145_oWe are on the road! We had a fun, if low-key, winter in Florida, enjoying all of the nice warm weather. But now we are happy to be heading north to our upstate NY summer stomping grounds.

Last week I started watching the weather in preparation for our trip home. I always try to time our travel days so that we are on the road on nice sunny weather days, and in addition, I try to avoid 11069338_10206883210705560_600433233_oplanning to be in a place when there is going to be the possibility of severe weather. While we aren’t finished with our trip yet, it does look like I’m going to be successful in both of those areas this spring. We had a little rain today, but nothing severe, and it has already passed. So tomorrow’s trip will be on dry roads. Two and a half years into this fulltiming lifestyle, severe weather continues to be the one and only thing that I really don’t like about living in a 40 ft. box on wheels.

11131009_10206883956164196_1705236350_oWe’ll be moving north to Bowling Green, KY in the morning. We are using the same route that we took in the fall. For this upcoming year, we’ll be sticking to the east coast so we now have tried and true routes that we enjoy and campgrounds along the way that we know and like. It sure makes my job a little easier.

I’m starting to get pretty excited as we are getting closer to arrival day. I’m ready to see familiar roads again and catch up with family and friends in person. It won’t be long now!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Jacksonville for Easter

Location: Jacksonville, FL (High 82, Low 62)

Last Wednesday, after two months in Avon Park, it was finally time to hitch up and head on down the road. We had a pretty uneventful trip up to Jacksonville, other than the fact that it was longer than we expected. We went up through Orlando on I-4 and ended up hitting stop and go traffic through much of the city. It wasn’t a horrible trip, but we would probably go another route and avoid Orlando next time.

We decided to try a new campground in Jacksonville, Big Tree RV Park. Despite the name, on the Google map view, there was an open section, and when I called the office, I was informed that those were some of the sites used for people traveling through the area. 11132137_10206829478802296_1766197175_oHowever, when we arrived the turns into and out of that area looked a bit tight for a rig our size, so we are in a more wooded spot. We aren’t really fans of being under trees. Our satellite isn’t working, but luckily being close to Jacksonville, we can at least get the major channels. Harry plans to go up on the roof to make sure there isn’t leaves or pine needles on top of the slide toppers before we head out.

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Other than being more wooded than we prefer, it’s really not too bad of a place. The wifi is decent and the water pressure is good. Also, the cost is pretty reasonable, and cheaper than the other rv parks in the area.  From looking at the other rigs in here, it seems to have quite a few permanent residents.

 

11136403_10206841819870815_15830232_oWe were happy to find a great trail about ten minutes away where we could go for a run – the Baldwinsville Jackson Rail Trail.

 

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Our days have been pretty busy so we have only made it over there once so far. We hope to get over again one more time tomorrow morning.

 

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We were happy to be invited to Harry’s nephew’s house for Easter dinner yesterday. We had a great time chatting with everyone and of course ate way too much of the great food choices!

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Harry’s sister Linda and her companion Wayne…

 

Harry’s two nephews…

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It’s hard to believe that we’ve already almost gone through our whole week here. Tomorrow will be our last day in Florida for this year, as we move on to Georgia on Wednesday.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Won’t Be Long Until the Wheels Are Rolling

Location: Avon Park, FL (High 83, Low 68)

It’s been a fast couple of weeks since my last blog post. Since then we’ve been just livin’ the life and enjoying ourselves. We have also had the opportunity to have a couple fun visits with family.

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My mother and stepfather came down to Florida for a few days to visit friends. So Harry and I took a drive over for a quick visit. It was a nice easy drive down to the Punta Gorda area. We really liked the area. Harry and I are talking about planning a longer visit there in a year or two so we can look around at prospective “home base” spots for the future.

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We also had the opportunity to set up a get together with my aunt, uncle and cousin. They moved down to Florida from the small upstate NY town where I grew up several years ago, but it has been even more years than that since I last saw them.

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My cousin Howard and I are only six months apart in age and practically grew up together, being in the same class in a small town school. So it was great to have a chance to catch up and we are looking forward to getting together again next winter.

 

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We’ve also spent some time hanging out with our neighbors Dee and Jim. We’ve had perfect weather for relaxing outside and watching our newly installed basement tv.

 

And our running is going great also! We have run 91 miles so far this month and still have a few more runs to go in the next few days so we will easily make it to a hundred mile month.

11033110_10206748991070153_430874185_oSo it’s been a really fun two months here in Avon Park. We are almost finished with our time here, but we are happy with our decision to return here next winter after Amazon for a longer stay. Our plan is to do Florida again next winter before we head west for the winter after that. (We originally planned to do Florida every other year but a planned family cruise for next April caused us to modify our schedule a bit.)

We’ll be starting to get things packed up around here over the next few days. Next Wednesday is moving day. We will be going up to Jacksonville for a week’s stay before we start heading north again.