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Balanced Rock, Adirondacks, NY

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Friday, June 23, 2017

Balanced Rock

So far since we have been up in the Adirondacks,  the weather has been rainy, but yesterday we finally had a gorgeous day and we took advantage of it to enjoy our first hike of the season – up to 19399520_10214083313663634_1996700082633573595_nBalanced Rock. We parked near the trailhead on the road and could see our destination – that bald faced area right in the center of this photo.



And here we go!


Adirondack hikes are very rocky and “boulder-y”. They always involve a lot of climbing.


Although I am not a lover of heights, I don’t usually mind them here. It’s a little bit of a mental thing. I have to just think about which route to take up, or down, and just do it. 19366370_10214083447026968_6589378738774598489_nI can’t think about the fact that I am climbing up “such and such” feet. The only time it really bothers me when it is close to an edge with a wide open vista, but that doesn’t happen very often. Thankfully.

And then of course after climbing up an area, there is often the opportunity for a great shot!


There were several places on the hike where we had great views of the rock slides on Cascade. We did that one a couple years ago. That was actually Harry’s first high peak.

19390560_10155426807928948_8730966796934188145_oOf course the best part is getting to the top. We had to be careful as we walked around because there were some huge crevices. We would go to step over a “crack” and look down to see this huge drop! In this pic Harry is hanging his feet over the edge and there is about a 10 or more ft. drop there. That is why I am hanging on to him!!


Love this pic of me! Being on top of a mountain always makes me feel so alive. Like I’m just celebrating life!


Another of my favorite pictures from this hike!

19402169_10155426808508948_4438521952845352148_oAfter a nice break it was time to head down. Some of the climbing spots on the way up were a bit tricky on the way down. You have to take your time and choose your footing carefully. Our friend Bonnie got this great shot of my mother, Harry and me coming down one of the more challenging spots. Mom is going down and Harry and I are waiting our turn. (Bonnie also took the previous pic of me right before this one.)


And then we were past the climbing spots and into the woodsy walking parts. All in all the hike was a little over 3 miles. A really good distance for our first hike of our visit here. If the weather cooperates we hope to get another hike in tomorrow and then a high peak next week. Fingers crossed!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Weekend in Burlington

When we set up our schedule to be in Peru to visit my mother, we were happy to see that our arrival date coincided with our niece Hannah’s tournament in Burlington, VT. We just had to leave Earlton a day early so we could go over to VT on Saturday.

Bright and early Saturday morning, we were picked up by our ride (AKA my mother and stepfather) and made the short trip to the Cumberland Head ferry. The quickest way to get to VT is to take one of the three ferries in the area. You can go across the bridge but that adds a lot of driving time to the equation.

19369153_10214047527449001_53883779_oThe ferry is a very common way to get across Lake Champlain so they run very frequently, maybe every 15 minutes. We had only parked in the loading area when we could see the next ferry coming in. (You might have a bit more of a wait at the Port Kent ferry because the trip across from there takes almost an hour.)


Once we were across, we drove to my sister’s hotel and dropped off Andrew. Then it was off to the soccer fields.

19401129_10214047590370574_1078492075_oI took a lot of pictures, but I will just add this one to show what a gorgeous day it was. We lucked out!

Our niece played extremely well, as did her team. After three very hard fought games, they came away with a win and two ties. If they had won the last game, they would have gone to the championship game, but even so, they had a great weekend to end their season.

As much as the soccer, we enjoyed spending time with my sister and her family. It was a lot of fun to cheer Hannah on, as well as enjoy a lot of quality chatting time. A great weekend!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Moving North with Company

Yesterday was pull out day from Earlton! Usually we are sorry to leave there, but with everything that happened earlier, it kind of left a bad taste in our mouth, so we 19238666_10214022744029431_1781950168_oweren’t sorry to say goodbye to the place. In fact, I didn’t even take a pullout picture. haha Although that probably had more to do with the fact that it was raining. Again.

Last year, when we headed north to Peru, we were accompanied by our niece Hannah. This year it was her younger brother’s turn to hitch a ride. We are all heading over to Burlington VT this morning where Hannah will be playing in a soccer tournament.


Even though we started out in rain, by the time we got into the Adirondack Park, it was just cloudy. The roads were even drying.


Didn’t get too many nice mountain views yesterday though.


Although our departure was in rain, setup was dry. So that worked out ok.


Andrew and I played a few games that I keep here for the infrequent times when we have young company.


Later we took a short walk around the campground.


The gloomy lighting actually made for a pretty picture.

In about an hour we’ll be on the road to Burlington VT!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Views From Here and Adelaide

19179578_10213995565709990_1047179899_oTime is ticking down to the end of our stay here in Earlton. Yesterday we went over to my sister’s and picked up some of our containers out of the basement. I am so excited! We are bringing some of our knick-knacks, and our Christmas decorations! I haven’t decorated for Christmas since we started working at Amazon, so I am really happy that we are going to be able to get into the spirit of the holiday season this year. I can almost feel it already!

19181846_10213995557869794_863974181_oToday we had to drive over to Hudson to go to Staples and Walmart. No matter which direction you go in this area, you end up going over the Hudson River. The view was so pretty going over the Rip Van Winkle bridge that I couldn’t resist taking some pictures.




And lastly, we got an email today with a few pictures of our place down in Avon Park, showing the status of the work. You can see that the yard has been dug out and is ready for the sod. Also the dug out line on the right side is where they put in the sprinkler system. We can’t wait to see what it looks like with the new sod put in!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Last Appointment Out of the Way!

This morning Harry and I headed to Albany for our last appointment of our month-long stay here – our physicals. We were happy to hear once again that all systems are functioning within normal parameters. I am within one pound of my weight of last year, so I was happy with that. I am still working to lose a few more pounds, but the slow and steady approach has worked for me so far. Also, my blood pressure was completely normal! I am always excited about that, since it was just a few years ago that I was on high blood pressure medicine.

19149319_10213969702463425_5272394911750030971_nWhen we were crossing the Hudson River on the Castleton-on-Hudson bridge, we ended up going slower than usual due to construction on the bridge. So I took advantage of the slow speed to take a few pictures of the horizon. You can see the city of Albany off in the distance.


Another picture of the Hudson River with Albany on the horizon…

Tomorrow we will go over to my sister’s house and pick up the containers that we picked out to bring to Florida with us this year. It has been so rainy that Harry hasn’t had a chance to reorganize the basement to make room for it yet. That is still on his agenda for the next few days.

We only have three days left here before we head north!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Making Another Change

When we went fulltime, we decided that we would keep some of the professionals we were set up with, like doctor, financial advisor etc. Because of that, and also to visit my sister and her family, we always spend at least a month in the Albany area. There really aren’t a lot of campground options here, although we are grateful that there are at least some options. The campground where we have been staying for the last three years has been a pretty good option. It is about 15 minutes from my sister’s house and not too bad a drive from Albany. The biggest downside for us has been that it’s only water and electric, but we have learned to deal with it. In fact, every year has been better for us in that area as we have learned some tricks to help stretch our tanks farther. So we haven’t had any complaints, and expected to stay here again for the foreseeable future.

But then when we arrived here this year, there was a pretty big problem. Last year before we left, we reserved the site again for a month. They took a deposit of $190 for our reservation. When we arrived this year, the “manager” told us that “we” had called in December and cancelled our reservation. (No we didn’t.) And on top of cancelling our reservation, they hadn’t refunded our deposit. If I had seen a refund on our credit card, I would have known something was up and would have called to see what was going on. Then luckily our usual site ended up being “empty” so we did thankfully end up with a site. It was right before Memorial Day so I suspect we would have had some challenge finding another place in the area. We have heard varying stories since then from the seasonal residents around us so we are not sure what the truth is, but basically the bottom line for us is that now we don’t really have any confidence in the management of this campground. A few days ago we decided to go check out basically the only other option that is anywhere near where we need to be.

19024831_10213936549234615_1236929274_oIt was a positive experience. The owner took us in her golf cart and showed us some of the available sites.



They had sites that were roomy and open, just the way we like them. This third picture shows the site we picked. The site extends all the way from where the golf cart is parked to where the campfire setup is. And it has full hookups! So a lot of positives. Basically the only downside is that it is about 20 minutes farther from Albany and 15, 20 minutes farther from my sister’s, but we would rather have confidence that our reserved site will be available when we arrive. This has sure turned out to be a year for changes. Makes life exciting!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Maintenance Day and Made It Back Again

Today was our day for traveling the short distance to the family owned RV place where we go for all of our annual service. We made an appointment for 9 am, which is when they opened, and were up bright and early to get ready to pull out. We were a little bit ahead of schedule, (surprisingly!), when we discovered that our rear stabilizer motor wasn18986470_10213920715678786_986520289_o’t working. So Harry had to get the crank thingy out and put the stabilizers up manually. Another item for the list!

It was a gorgeous day, finally, but we were both concerned about getting back into the site because we have had SO much rain over the past weeks. It was wet when we got here, and it sure had not dried up any since then. We even hit some of the mud along the side of the campground road as we were pulling out, and we weren’t expecting getting back in to be any easier. However, since there wasn’t anything we could do about it, we tried to put it out of our mind.


We made the short 7 mile trip to the rv place and dropped the rig off just a few minutes before 9. Perfect timing!


They are always busy here, but we have never found them to be the kind of place that overbooks their appointments. In our experience, they take someone in and get the work done – well and in a timely manner.


We left there just a few minutes after 9 and, after stopping for a treat at Dunkin Donuts, we made the short trip over to my sister’s house to hang out while we were waiting. I kept myself busy by scanning some records for their law office.


18987485_10213920722358953_605468930_oWe got the call at 12:30 that all of our items were accomplished. The stabilizer issue just turned out to be a loose wire and an easy fix. Yay!

If anyone ever needs work done while you’re in the Catskill, NY area, we just can’t say enough good things about Deiderich’s RV Mart.

So now it was time for the part we were dreading – getting back in to our site! Long story short – we made it! But not without making some more mess!




We kept getting into the mud on the other side of the road.  It was a little bit hairy but we took our time and made it back in. We are just glad to be settled again, and it sounds like we have a stretch of warm and dry weather coming up so getting out next week should be a little bit easier.

Monday, June 5, 2017

So Much Accomplished!

After our short road trip last week, we enjoyed a pretty relaxing weekend. Since it was even a mostly dry weekend, Harry and I even managed to get out for a walk each day. Over the past couple of months, our exercise has been pretty hit and miss. Harry and I have realized that we are fair weather exercisers. We do great as long as the sun is shining. But since we got up to Ohio, and now NY, it’s been so rainy, and cool, that we have spent way too much time inside. As I type this, it is once again raining and 58 degrees. The weather guy talked about some warmer weather coming the weekend – it will be summer-like, he said! I won’t hold my breath, but it would be great. Definitely getting back to our exercise routine is a priority for us.

We knew before we even got up here to NY that it was going to be a really quick four weeks. We’ve had family visits, friend visits, dentist and drs. appts and medical tests. Tomorrow we have to get the place picked up, because Wednesday we will be making the short 10 mile trip to the RV place where we always get our maintenance stuff done in the summer. We always have the bearings repacked, the wet bolts greased and the brakes checked. We also usually have a list of other stuff that has come up throughout the year, but this year our list is blessedly short. In fact, the only other repair item on our list is the junction box that got smashed when we arrived.

This is apparently maintenance week, as Harry also has an appointment to take the truck in for an oil change on Thursday. I am really glad that we got busy scheduling everything right when we arrived, and didn’t leave all of our appointments to the last minute. We have 11 days left before we head north to Peru.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Celebrating Special Relationships

18767495_10213854643347019_5642951636489378593_nSo far, it has been one rainy season since we arrived for our time in NY state. We had a small road trip planned for a couple months and were so happy to get up on Thursday and see the sun!


Turned out to be a beautiful day for a drive through the countryside.

18882115_10213859541429468_9203672849962170271_nThe reason for our trip was to visit an old friend of mine. Other than family, Rose is the person who has been in my life the longest, as we have been friends for about 25 or 30 years. So long ago I can’t even remember when exactly we became friends! haha

Many times, the fulltime lifestyle allows people who don’t see each other very often to catch up a little bit more. But in our case, our li18838939_10213859541229463_3544074944550202450_nfestyle had the opposite effect, since we used to see Rose more frequently when Harry and I were living in NY year round. But over the past five years since we hit the road, we’ve only been able to meet up with Rose for a lunch o18835872_10213859541589472_3078220024804567142_nr dinner a couple times. This year I was determined to plan a longer get together, and Rose and I compared calendars a couple months ago to find a couple free days in common.


Coincidentally, our visit fell on Harry and my 8th wedding anniversary. But there wasn’t anything lacking in our celebration, as Rose is Italian through and through, and prepared a veritable Italian feast for dinner! Yum!

We had a wonderful time, just chatting and catching up. The great thing about old friends is that the connection doesn’t change with distance. We enjoyed spending a couple days reconnecting and promised ourselves that we will make time to connect again next year!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

More Big Changes on our Horizon

This has definitely been a year of change so far. The biggest of course was our purchasing a winter home down in Florida at the park where we’ve spent part of the last three winters. Now another new time in our life appears to be upon us.

As anyone who’s been reading this blog for any length of time will know, every fall we spend several months working at Amazon. It’s a job which has served its purpose, and even though there are some unpleasant parts, like getting up in the middle of the night for several months, we had intended to keep going back for more for at least 5 more seasons. But looks like the times they are a’changin’.

It all started a few days back when we started to see communication on the Amazon camperforce page about an email, and then phone calls, that are going out about this year’s season at the Kentucky facility. Campers usually start anywhere from early August to early September. We had hoped to start early August this year to make up some of the money we didn’t make last year. But they have stated in the communications going out that the projections are in for this year’s season, and are notifying campers that the first group this year will be starting in mid-October. That is just too late for us. At the most we would be working 9 or 10 weeks – less time than we had last year. So we decided it was time for Plan B. We started talking about our options, and as of today, it is settled enough that I can make it “blog official”.

Really, it worked out so great that this was the year that we bought our Florida place. That figured heavily into our planning. We already have the next couple of months settled – visits with family, doctor’s appointments, and a trip to the Hershey area in July with our grandson. That brought us to early August when we were hoping to go to Kentucky and start work. Instead…we will head down to Florida and (hopefully) start work. (After a visit with Harry’s son and daughter-in-law who are moving to Charlotte this summer. That worked out well!)

There is a little more uncertainty in this plan because we don’t already have jobs lined up. But we are both feeling pretty confident that we can find something. We are looking at the bright side – more quality time with our new place, the ability to work all through the winter, I am excited about being settled for the Christmas season – and no 4 am wakeups and 10 hour shifts! We are entering another new season, and it’s pretty exciting!

Monday, May 29, 2017

A Weekend on Duty

I wasn’t sure what else to call this past weekend. The only other term that I can think of is “babysitting” but that one doesn’t quite fit as you will see.

18766937_10213823942539518_1576185922_oMy niece is big into soccer and plays for several different teams. She was traveling down to the Lancaster PA area for a soccer tournament this past weekend, so Harry and I spent the weekend with my nephews.

We had a really good time. We had an ongoing Mexican Train game that we played throughout the weekend. We had several different people in the lead at various points in the game but Matt ended up squeaking out a win at the end.

18817577_10213823944579569_354933991_oWhile we were at their house, we took the opportunity to visit our stuff which has been stored away in a corner of the basement for the past five years. Harry was happy to see his leather jacket again! We sorted out a bunch of stuff that we are going to bring with us back to our new place. It was so weird to go through those containers though – I had literally forgotten some of the things we packed away!!

18838422_10213823978620420_558081953_oOn Saturday we traveled to Hyde Park to the Franklin Roosevelt Historical Site where there was a World War II era military encampment set up as part of their Memorial Day weekend events.


Andrew liked the vehicles, especially the tanks.



I’m not sure what powdered eggs would taste like, and I’m sure glad I don’t have to find out!



Yesterday we went to check out the movie, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”. It was one of those “so stupid it’s funny” type of movies. Not something I would want to see again, but we all got some laughs out of it.

We finished up our weekend with a trip to Cold Stone Creamery. I love this picture of Matt – definitely one of my favorite pictures of the weekend.

We had a great time with the boys, although we were very glad to get home to our own bed last night! And the cats were happy to see us too.