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View From the Trail to Mount Colvin

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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Full House

After we dropped Schaun off at his house, we had one day to ourselves, which we spent doing a little grocery shopping and getting our things organized. Then on Thursday we drove back over to pick up both boys for another sleepover at Papa and Grammy’s. So much fun!

We decided to just spend some time at the campground. In fact, once we arrived back from picking the boys up on Thursday, we never even got back in the truck. We just relaxed at home and had a good time doing normal stuff.


Hanging out inside…

We went to the pool each day and enjoyed splashing around and chasing pool toys. It wasn’t quite as hot as it was when we were in Hershey, so we didn’t spend quite as much time in the pool here. We all ended up getting cold too soon to do that. We still had fun though. I’d rather have it a little cooler anyway. Nice not to have the a/c on.

20524291_10214535709573249_608025284_o (2)

Papa and Kenny having fun playing ball outside…


All of us playing frisbee…


Ariel making room for herself when Kenny and I were cuddling on the chair…

Yesterday Gretchen came over to the campground, and we all had a great time relaxing outside chatting. We all went to the pool, so the boys could show their swimming skills to their mother. Harry cooked up some burgers and hot dogs for a nice picnic meal. It was a really fun afternoon. Then we all played some more frisbee. What a nice day we all had! I even forgot to take pictures!!

We would have liked the day to last longer, but eventually it was time for our guests to head home. We sure love our “papa and grammy” time, even though it always goes so fast. And now we are down to our last week here. Bittersweet because we have been enjoying our time in Ohio so much. We still have a couple more days with the boys to enjoy yet before our visit is over for another year.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Woodland, Back to Ohio and Future Plans

20292698_10214461564359665_4218431998982727291_nWe started our trip back to Ohio on Sunday. I had planned a two night stay at Woodland Campground because I wanted to have one more experience with Schaun before we arrived back in Ohio. In looking around the area, the sightseeing options there were few, but I did find one that looked like a cool option – the Elk Country Visitor Center in Benezette PA.


From the information I read, the best time to visit the center and have a good chance of seeing elk was either early in the morning or at dusk. Since we had Schaun with us, I thought the early option sounded more doable, so we got up around 6 in the morning to try for the early viewing. I had hoped to get going pretty quickly, but neither Harry nor I are very fast moving in the morning, and add the fact that we had an 8 year old to get moving also – it ended up being a little after 7 by the time we headed out.


The visitor center was about 35 miles from the campground, and the last 15 or 20 miles were in “elk country”, with signs all over to watch out for elk and informing us not to stop on the roadway, but there were no elk to be seen.

We did have a little bit better luck at the visitor center. There were several short paths, each leading to a viewing area, and at one of them we did find a small group of elk grazing.


They were only there a short time before they started moving into the woods, and we could hear the elk cows making a calling noise. It was pretty cool.


We also spent a few minutes checking out the visitor center and reading the information about the elk. Sounds like September and October is the coolest time to be there, as you can sometimes hear bugle calls and see the bulls challenge each other.


It was an enjoyable way to spend a couple hours on our last day of summer vacation travel with Schaun.

20258462_10214484720818562_5060778569138818164_nAnd then yesterday…it was back to Ohio! We left late morning and made the short trip back to Countryside Campground. After getting unpacked, we drove over to bring Schaun home. We had such a wonderful vacation and made lots of great memories. It was probably the last time with just Schaun, since next year we plan to bring both boys on our (hopefully annual) summer trip.

I just can’t believe it, but our time in the northeast is almost over for another year. We will be here in Ohio for a little over a week yet, and then we will start heading south. I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned this here yet, but we’ve had a change in our working plans for this year. We aren’t going to be doing Amazon for the first time since 2013. Also Harry’s son and daughter-in-law moved to Charlotte, NC a few months ago from CT, and we are so happy about that since that makes it a lot easier for us to visit them. So next week, we will be moving south to Charlotte where we will spend a week visiting Andrew and Amanda, and then after that we will be going down to Avon Park. For the first time in almost five years we will be putting the rv in storage, and moving into our new place. We will both be looking for work in the area, so hopefully we can get things in place and also start making some improvements in our home. I certainly should have a lot to blog about!

Monday, July 24, 2017

State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA

20228831_10214447969139793_3852338394662733307_nFor our last outing while in the Hershey area, we traveled to Harrisburg to check out the State Museum of PA. In preparing for our visit, I checked out the parking options in the area, and it looked like there was limited on street parking, with the majority of public parking being a number of parking garages in the vicinity. That is my biggest dislike of only having a dually for our mode of transportation, as it can be quite challenging to find a parking spot – especially in a city. So we decided to wait and go into the city on Saturday morning, which turned out to be a great idea. We went first thing in the morning and had our pick of parking spots, finding one right out in front of the museum.


We really enjoyed our visit. There was a whole section where we could see what a early Pennsylvania village would look like.

Here Schaun is checking out early toys.


A chairmaker’s shop…


…the environment as it would have looked many thousands of years ago…


I’m glad our dragonflies aren’t this big anymore!


An archaelogical dig…



20258391_10214447974739933_5967857312460486367_nThere was a whole section with early modes of transportion…including a Conestoga wagon, of which unfortunately, I did not get a picture.



I’m very glad I don’t live in this 1950s era pull behind!


...or sleep in this bed!

We had an enjoyable time exploring items from Pennsylvania’s past. It was a fun way to finish up our two week visit in the area.


We are on our way back to Ohio now – back in Woodland PA for a couple nights. Tomorrow we arrive back at Countryside Campground, and our trip with Schaun will be over – until next year.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Busy Week Having Fun

It was two weeks ago today that we went and picked up Schaun at his house for our first RV summer trip. It has been such a fun couple of weeks, but we are starting to get toward the end of our time here now. The day after tomorrow it will be time to head out, back to Ohio.

This week has been a little more laid back than our first week. It has been super hot, so we have been going to the pool every day and enjoying the natural cooling of the water. We were going to go to the Wolf Sanctuary nearby, but when I went online to make reservations for the tour, they were sold out – for the rest of the month! So if anyone ever wants to check that out, make your reservations early.

For the most part, we’ve just been eating meals at home while we’ve been here in Hershey, but we did want to treat Schaun to one special restaurant meal. We were tossing around ideas of where we should go, but then we remembered Schaun’s love of shrimp and decided that we would take him to Red Lobster. 20139941_10214403285702735_9002021231985252291_nHe had never been so he was pretty excited to check it out.

Here he is trying their cheddar biscuits for the first time!


Schaun with his very own “shrimp your way” platter…

He enjoyed half of it at dinner that night, and the other half for dinner the next night at home. Good to the last bite!

Yesterday it was finally time for our trip to HersheyPark. I didn’t get many pictures, actually hardly any, because Schaun’s favorite part of the park was in the water area, and there was just too much water spraying around to have my phone out.


Harry got this one solitary shot of me on the Scrambler – alone because I am the only one who likes the fast twirly rides!



This area, and the Wave Pool, is where we spent the majority of our day. Lots of fun, and again, it was another really hot, humid day so a great day to spend in the water.

We had a really fun day at Hershey, and I think it turned out to be a good day to go. It wasn’t really crazy busy and there weren’t super long lines, at least at the things that we wanted to do.

Today we will spend a little more time at the pool, and start getting packed up a bit. We have one more outing planned for tomorrow – to the State Museum of PA in Harrisburg.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Hidden Gem - Safari Time!

20023949_10214376004580724_7269673476662354437_oWhen I started researching the area in preparation for our trip, I did a pretty extensive (I thought) internet search for any kind of tourist place in the area. I had a pretty good list of places to go and things to do, enough to cover our two week visit. But our favorite experience so far was at a place that we only found out about by chance!

Last week at Zooamerica, on our way out, Harry struck up a conversation with one of the guides, who asked us if we’d had a good day. Upon hearing that we had, he recommended we check out Lake Tobias Wildlife Park, and we were so glad we did!

19990370_10214376961524647_706463726681717997_nThe place opened at 10 am, and we left in order to arrive right as they opened. That was a good move. We ended up with a really close parking spot and we were SO surprised when we left to drive out past fields of cars that had arrived after we had.


We started out with the hour long safari tour. Wow, what a great tour. We rode around in an open air bus, where the animals were traveling 19990191_10214377013165938_6322274896748363762_naround in free ranging groups. As we passed the different animals, the bus would stop and the tour guide would talk about the animals, their habits, where they lived, etc. 20032047_10214377011045885_193115711400677952_nIf I have any complaint about the tour, it would be that the guide simply talked without any kind of a microphone, and with all the excited kids on the tour it was really hard to hear what he was saying. But the overall experience was so great even without being able to hear him all the time.







We all really enjoyed the safari tour.

After the tour, we walked over to the other side of the park, where there were more traditional zoo type enclosures.




We got to see birds, primates, bears, as well as walk through a house of reptiles



19990498_10214377173649950_5941467809694068128_nWe finished up at the petting zoo.


We all had a great time, and the Lake Tobias Wildlife Park has definitely gone to the top of our list for best experience of the trip!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

To the Depths of the Earth

19959153_10214363250381877_1819736261945254421_nWell, maybe not that far. Yesterday’s adventure took us to Indian Echo Caverns, which is an underground cave system that goes about 110 feet below the surface.

The tour is about 45 minutes long, and they have a pretty good system. When we arrived, we paid for the tour and received a ticket with our tour group number written on it. The tour before us had just left, so we had about a 20 minute wait. We used the time to browse the gift shop. Schaun has a rock collection so we found the perfect item for him to pick up after the tour – a selection of small polished rocks where you could fill a small bag with the rocks of your choice.


After a short wait, our tour number was called and our group assembled. There were maybe 15 people in our group. Our tour guide led us down the stairs (71 stairs) and into the opening of the cave.

Pictures won’t do it justice. The formations in the cave were pretty awesome.


Our tour guide was great. Explained a lot about how the cave was formed and its history.




One of my favorite parts of the tour was where the guide talked about what total darkness was, and how a cave is one of the few places where that is attainable. She asked us to cover anything that might give off light, had us close our eyes and then she turned the lights off. When we opened our eyes – nothing! Wow. That was an experience.



Another of my favorite parts was hearing the story of a man who lived for the last 19 years of his life back in the 1800s in this cave. That area above our heads was where he had his bed and possessions. (Although I googled him this morning and found that he had a pretty sad life – he was known as the Pennsylvania Hermit.)



They call this spot the crystal lake.

There were a lot of random tidbits about the various rooms in the cave system as the tour guide led us around. It was really interesting and we all enjoyed it.

After the tour we went back to the gift shop so Schaun could pick out some rocks for his collection. We were home by lunchtime, and then enjoyed an afternoon at the pool.

Another fun day, and we have more planned for today!