Thursday, June 30, 2011

heading to Missouri today

When I posted yesterday I didn't mean that we were actually into the State of Missouri but were into the time zone that we are accustomed to.  We are actually in Lynnville, IN which is just North of Evansville along I-64.  Every time we get back to the central time zone I think about the Don Williams song, "Living on Tulsa Time" but then we don't live in Tulsa so that is why I said we were into Missouri time.  Have I confused anyone beside myself this morning?  It looks like another very hot day but as always it will be good to get back home at least for a couple of weeks.

Stay tuned as our travels continue.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Back in Missouri time

The drive today was under totally clear blue skies but unfortunately that means higher temperatures.  We have seen the forecast for our homeland and it is going to be tough for the next several days.  It's a good thing we have a brand new air conditioner to come home to.

The puzzle for the day is what I saw on the GPS screen earlier just after lunch.  When the current time read 1:00 pm the distance to destination read 53 miles. The estimated arrival time read 12:53 pm so the question is, how can this be?  I told Jo that we would have to turn around and back up the rest of the way but she didn't like that idea.

We really like this Lynnville Park campground.  It is small but easily accessed and for the water and electric sites it is only $15.  We backed into a very good site and then found that there was no electricity working in the box.  The attendant checked it out and allowed us to plug into the next site over without having to move so all is good.  There is someone working on the electric service right now so we may be able to plug back into our own service post soon.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Blenko Glass Factory

We have known there was a glass factory here for several years as we have used this same campground on almost every trip eastward.  We went this morning and were glad that we did.  This company has been in business since the early 1800s and maintains old style hand blowing technique for each piece of glassware that they produce.  After the tour, watching the craftsmen at work, we browsed their retail outlet for a couple of pieces.  Tomorrow we will get back on our trek homeward.

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Blenko Glass Factory

Monday, June 27, 2011

Milton, WV

Today's leg of our trip homeward is the longest and winds through the mountains of western MD and WV which is beautiful scenery.  We even saw a deer along the roadway this afternoon.  We originally had planned only one night stay here and then continue westward in the morning but have decided to extend this stay to two nights and tomorrow visit the Blenko Glass Company here in Milton, WV.  We have been to this campground many times and have talked about the glass factory but just didn't set the time aside to do it.  We will see the time honored tradition of hand blowing fine art glass for which this area of West Virginia is known.  Since Jo was able to get a couple of washer loads done at Phyllis' house she won't have as much to do back at the Martin Manor before our next outing

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Ledgerwood visit

It was a very nice day for a trip to Lancaster, PA and a visit with Jo's brother and his family.  It was good to see both Geo and Dana and to meet their best friends.  Phyllis had a good visit with her cousins and has made a commitment to drive up again soon to visit and shop the area with them.

Now unfortunately it is time to head back to the Ol' Martin Manor RV park so we head westward in the morning.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Hand and Foot

It was game-day today and as usually when we visit we try to get a few card games in with Phyllis.  She likes to play the game of "hand and foot" which is a game that we play four handed/partners with Larche and Marianne but with Phyllis it is a very good three handed game.  She let me win the first game but then didn't show any mercy in the second game.

Jo also got another load of washing done taking advantage of Phyllis' laundry so then she won't have to do so much after we're home to get ready for our next trip.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Phyllis doesn't seem to do any grocery shopping until her mother comes to visit and then fills the cart and her pantry shelves.  We had a few items from the grocery store that were on our needed list also so it worked for both of us.  Yesterday while entering a post to this blog my "S" key simply broke and fell off.  There is still a small pin in the middle of that space that I could push to enter an "s" but it wasn't comfortable.  After the grocery trip and while Jo was doing a load of wash in Phyllis' laundry I went to a local Wal-Mart and purchased a wireless keyboard that now makes this entry much easier without having to hunt for the "s" key pin for the 39 that are in this (oops 2 more) note..

Thursday, June 23, 2011

PA to MD

It was a nice drive today from Allentown, PA to our campground near Baltimore MD.  We called Phyllis and will meet her at her house after she gets off work.  We are here for the next 4 nights and then will head west back toward the Martin Manor to refresh all supplies and be ready for the next adventure.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

seen today

We took a short drive out in the countryside this morning into the mountains and coal mining area around our campground.  On the way back we were stopped by a State Police car needing room for a couple of over sized loads.  Then we just had to sit and watch as these two huge concrete bridge girders made their way around the corner and then down the hwy.  It's a good thing that the axles in the back were also steerable.

This first picture is the second girder making the turn and the last picture is the first one already around the corner and ready to travel down the road.  Judging from the cars and semi in the lane beside the last picture I would say that it was at least 150-180 foot long.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pick'n and grinn'n

This morning we took a tour of the manufacturing process at the C. F. Martin guitar factory and it was a very nice showing of the whole process.  With current technologies of computer controlled machinery and robots it still takes skilled craftsmen/ladies to finish the final beautiful product.  They also had a museum with many, many guitars from various big name musicians.  In one display case was their 1,000,000th guitar and it was all guild-ed with inlay and fancy details.  As a memento we were each given a scrap cut-out circle from the sound hole off the assembly line.  They also had several of their models out for anyone to do a bit of pick'n, that guitar (not my pick'n) sure sounded good.

After the tour and lunch we then searched for some of the covered bridges in this Lehigh Valley.  There were seven listed in the brochure and we found six of them as reported in the following album.  The last one was quite a distance from our location and our campground so we decided that we were ready to head back to the trailer.
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Monday, June 20, 2011

Adirondack mtns to the Pokonos

A beautiful drive today with plenty of sunshine.  We did have some Interstate routes so there was more traffic than we have had on the back roads the last several days but the mountain grades were easier to climb and descend.  We did go through Chenango Bridge and Binghamton but will stop in that area in September to search for the family homestead.  We did pass along the Chenango river in the location that one of our great grandfathers attempted to build a water mill.  It will be fun to spend a little time on that trip and look around without the trailer attached.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Adirondack park

Back years ago when the kids were little our Sunday afternoon activity, with gasoline at 25 cents/gal, was to just head out on rural roads and drive around and enjoy the countryside.  From Kissee Mills one day we ended up in a barnyard in Arkansas and another time we were near Bull Shoals Lake and ran out of gas.  A farm house near by had a gas tank for their tractor and the lady of the house even warmed up some of their milk for Phyllis while we got the car restarted.

It was a very nice day today for a scenic drive through parts of the Adirondack Park with bright sunlight and nice temperatures, at least this morning.  Check the link in the sentence above for information to know that this is the largest public area in the lower 48 and it is beautiful.  The mountains are lush and green as you could guess after the record snow levels from last winter in this area.  There are many mountain lakes as seen in the pictures below and clear rocky bottom mountain streams.  This campground is right on the banks of the West Canada Creek which is where I took the last shot.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

diamond mining

Across the road from the campground is a Herkimer Diamond Mine so this morning I walked across to try my luck.  Our stay in this CG, which is owned and operated by the same folks, got me a dollar off the mining fee.  They furnished a 2 lb hammer and sent me off to break rocks.  They have three open pit quarries/mines for hunting but one was closed for professional operations.  In the gift shop they will gladly sell you the beautiful and perfect crystals and jewelry made from same.  It only took me a couple of hours to see all I wanted to see and do the "chain gang" making little rocks from big ones action.  There is definitely quartz sparkle in most of the rocks but to find a single crystal is going to be a rare find with just a hammer.  I brought Jo back a hand full of pretty rocks and one so-so piece of a crystal from their gift shop.  We have better quartz crystals at home in Kenneth's collection.

Pictures of today
entrance to the mines
mining areas 1 and 2
 nice waterfall between the mining areas
 mining area 3

Friday, June 17, 2011

Finger Lakes to the Adirondack Mountains

Today we crossed another portion of New York state in a Northeast direction leaving the Finger Lakes wine area and are now in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains.  We have taken rural routes to avoid the turnpike and it was a pleasant, beautiful, experience through small towns and past many large farms.  This drive today was the hardest of all our trips so far for hill climbing.  As of this evening we have pulled a trailer through the lower 48 states for a total of 104,444 miles and our truck worked the hardest in these New York mountains today then any where else.  These local roads have climbing and descending grades much steeper than the interstate standards and with the lower speed limits through the small towns there isn't any chance of gaining momentum, I still love our truck.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Seneca Lake Wine Trail

There are many, many wineries scattered throughout this finger lakes area of New York.  Watkins Glen is located at the southern point of Seneca Lake and the Seneca Lake wine trail circles the lake.  We sampled at a couple of them, purchased a few bottles, and then had lunch at a third which had a very good German flavored menu.  Our table was on an outside patio that was covered for shade from the sun.  With the temperature right at 70° it was very pleasant.

The first winery sampled
second sampling
 and our lunch stop
the great view overlooked the vineyard and the lake

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Watkins Glen

picture of the day
We visited the Watkins Glen State Park this morning.  It is right downtown in Watkins Glen, NY and is a great gulch of many (19+) waterfalls in a stretch of about 1.5 miles of stream flow.  The gulch trail follows the stream with rock work and the 800+ steps installed by the C.C.Corps.  Those many steps were a bit of a challenge for Jo so she only went part way.  After the hike we had a nice lunch downtown and then plan tomorrow to visit a few of the local wineries for a bit of tasting.

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Watkins Glen

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

back in the US of A

It was a very nice drive today through mostly rural northwestern New York State countryside.  It was off and on sprinkles which made me try to wear out the wiper on/off/intermittent switch.  It would have been easier if it just decided to rain instead.  Anyway our GWF is still with us as when we stopped for lunch the drizzle stopped and then when we arrived at the campground it also had stopped for the set-up procedures.  Our previous trailer was, I thought, easy to set-up and hook-up but this one beats it hands down.

We are still enjoying very cool temperatures, right now at 56° and forecast to be 50° for the overnight low.

Monday, June 13, 2011

nice evening

It was a very nice dinner show this evening.  The soup course started the service at 6:30 and the desert came around at 8:30.  The servers were the performers and the entertainment continued all through the meal and on up to 9:00.  After the soup and salad, the main course included roast beef, chicken, and fish with vegetables and potatoes all served family style with offer of seconds if desired.  The music was all Canadian and the group of kids were all very good and entertaining.  We walked over as the show was right next door to the KOA office.  While we were in the show there had been some showers as the pavement was wet when we came out but it had quit for a nice easy walk back to the trailer.

Tomorrow we head back into the USA for a stop in Watkins Glen, NY.

Leisure day

Just a little leisure time after the events of yesterday. We did get out to fuel up so we will have enough to make it to tomorrow nights campground. We do have dinner-show plans for this evening.

To start this years travels I purchased a portable water softener because most of the north American continent has very hard water that keeps soap from lathering and builds up deposits on all fixtures, and Jo's tea pot. As you can imagine it is a small capacity unit but works very well for a few days. To do a regeneration it only takes a few minutes of time and regular table salt in a half gallon of water. Then I have to rinse out the salt solution and we're back in business. I took advantage of today's time and took care of that regeneration so now we are good to go for another few days.

To answer a previous day's comment, the barrel ride over the falls was all booked up so we weren't able to get tickets for that attraction, maybe next time. ;-)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Picture of the day

It was a great day for a helicopter flight so that is just what we started with.  Several years ago when we were here we did the "Maid of the Mist" boat ride but didn't feel like getting wet this time.  We thought about the "cave of the winds" tour but that was walking up and down on many steps plus wearing a yellow raincoat with assurance that you will get wet.  See one of our pictures of other folks enjoying that experience that we chose not to explore.  Instead we booked a helicopter flight and it was super nice even if it was only a 20 minute flight.  After that we drove into the Falls Park at street level and it was a mad house of people and traffic jams.  Parking lots were full but advertised $10 per day to park so I stopped into a "Best Western" motel lot (I think this is the motel under a different name that we stayed in that previous trip) and Jo didn't feel like walking down the many blocks to get the street view picture so she stayed with the truck.  There were many, many tourists milling around and walking the streets so I guess their season has started.

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Niagara Falls pictures

We don't have anything planned for tomorrow except for a dinner show tomorrow night.  We have reservations for the "Oh Canada Eh? Dinner Theater" and it is within walking distance from our camp site.

Having a great time, wish you were here.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


It was a relative short drive today, only 200 miles and the Canadian roads were very good.  Most of the scenery was nice and green.  The only wild life that we spotted were one black squirrel and a few red winged blackbirds.  It was an easy border crossing this morning with minimal questions and then he wanted to talk about the Joplin tornado.  The speed limit posted most of the way was 100 km/h which is very close to the 62 mph that we usually drive so it felt just the same and except for some large metropolitan areas there was very little traffic.  Ms Navi knows metric so after I set the units switch she was right in step with the signage.

We will check into our touring options (beside the obvious) over the next couple of days.

We were here several years ago on an auto trip and checked into a downtown motel.  Their billboard advertised "children eat free" so at supper time we ask at the desk where their restaurant was and they said that they didn't have one.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Yea - no cicadas

It is so nice and quiet here as compared to back at the Martin Manor.  When we left home the 13-17 year variety were at their peak and our trees and bushes around the house were just swarming with the red eyed noisy bugs.  A Columbia ice cream store made one batch of cicada ice cream with cooked and chopped up bugs that sold out the same day they put it on the market.  The local health agency put a stop to the second batch.

We drove through rain showers most of the morning but that didn't cause any problems.  With all the rains of this spring the scenery is very nice and green and Jo even saw a couple of deer along the way.  The current temperature here in Port Huron, MI is 66° so no air conditioning required and we will probably need the heat pump overnight, very nice. Tomorrow morning we cross into Ontario Canada on our way to Niagara Falls.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

day one for this outing

We did get away this morning and it felt good to be on the road again with all systems functioning.  We hadn't traveled I-70 in some time so it was almost like new territory except that there are still a ton of big trucks that use this route.  After a couple of road construction hang ups we have arrived at our campground a few miles east of Indy, tomorrow morning we turn north.

I looked at the extended forecast for this first part of our route and it looks nice as far as temperatures are concerned.  It's 89° here right now which was the predicted high for this area.  Tomorrow in Port Huron, MI it is supposed to be a high in the 70s and for the time we have planned to be in Niagara Falls the daily highs are proposed to be in the lower 60s.  I think we can enjoy those temps after the oppressive heat we have left behind.  There are some showers in the forecast but we neither one are made out of sugar or salt so I think we can manage that.

a funny dream

Last night I had a very funny dream that I have to share.  In my dream ...

We were busy loading the trailer getting ready for our trip east.  There were piles of clothes on the floor of 900 Kimbrough and we were carrying them out to the trailer parked in the street out front and just piling them onto the trailer floor.  Mom and Dad were there watching us and there were some kids running around but I don't know who they were.  We were supposed to get away by 7 o'clock in the morning but then it was noon and I was eating a hamburger.  I was telling everyone that instead of getting to Indianapolis by around 2:00 in the afternoon it was now going to be 7:00 at night.

I woke up then and looked at the alarm to see it was 5:00 am so I just got up and began to take care of last minute items and we did get away by 7:30.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

It Worked, Yea!

Had a call from our RV service center yesterday afternoon that our trailer's boo-boo was repaired and all was ready to go.  I also had a call the day before from our insurance company to let us know that they had accepted the claim estimate and would be sending us a check, "the checks in the mail" story.

So this morning I went to town and brought it home.  The previous blog-post picture shows my new guide spots in our driveway and YES, YES, YES, they worked like a charm.  With my drivers side mirror I was able to watch the trailer wheels and going slowly it was easy to do small adjustments and keep it all on the right path.  I've had this idea for some time but just had to have the unfortunate jolt to my ego to cause me to finally make it happen.

Now it's get the trailer back in travel ready mode for our planned departure on Thursday of next week.