Thursday, November 09, 2017

In hibernation

Took advantage of today's nice temperatures and made the camper ready for winter.  That included clearing everything out that might freeze, draining all waterlines and fresh water tank by opening the low point drains, and emptying the water heater.  Then had to go to town to buy some RV antifreeze some times just called "the pink stuff" which is pumped through all of the plumbing and it will remain there until spring when we get ready to travel again.  The pink stuff will not expand down to a -50 degrees.  It firms up but doesn't expand and burst the piping.  Then it was just close up all slide outs and lock the door.  Here it is all ready for winter.

I had already set it on my support system when it was unloaded from the truck yesterday.  Last winter it sat all winter just on the camper jacks and that worked except that this spring when I jacked it back up for loading the jacks acted like they were bound up somehow.  I figured that  one or more of the camper jacks had crept a little due to the extended time under load putting the system in a bit of a bind.  This time I constructed a support system under both the front and back with a couple of jack stands and a 4x4 across the top.  This system is capable of carrying the full camper load and then I lowered the camper jacks to just when they begun to carry a bit of weight.  The camper jacks will make it more stable under any winds.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

beautiful sunlit day

Made the trip back to the Manor after lunch.  As posted earlier the skies were blue with much sunshine so where the trees were showing their fall colors it was great.  Most of Mother Natures planted trees are past brilliant coloration and mostly brown but when near landscaped lawns there is still some bright reds, golds, and purples.

The drive north from Alley Spring was along highway 19 which is a very scenic drive through some of the best Missouri Ozarks country vistas.  In my last years at MoDOT I tried to have this route designated as a National Scenic Byway but that required local public approval which didn't happen. It is still in my opinion one of the most scenic drives in Missouri.  Along the way we saw turkey, deer, and a red tailed hawk with very light traffic.

After a stop at a local campground to empty our waste holding tanks we parked the camper in the Martin Manor RV spot for it's winter hibernation.  Now I need to get it winterized to prevent any freezing problems until our next outing which at this time is planned for March of 2018.

See you then 😎

Blue Skies

At least partially blue skies as opposed to what we have had for several days as totally dense overcast skies.  The past two mornings have been coolish with the high today forecast to be in the mid 50s.  Looking at the forecast over the next several days has caused us to make a slight change in our trip plans.  We now plan to load up after lunch today and head toward the Martin Manor instead of waiting until tomorrow.

The forecast for Friday morning is to be in the low 20s and then below freezing again on Saturday morning.  If we wait to leave until tomorrow that doesn't give me much time to get the camper prepared for those hard freezing temperatures.  By heading toward the house today we will have all day tomorrow to get the camper prepared for it's winter hibernation.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017


I just made a correction to this mornings post.  I found a map showing the location of Not, Missouri instead of my posting of Knot, Missouri.  Same story as told but just a different spelling.  Here is a clipping of the map showing the town site's location.  In the picture you can also see the location of Thomasville, Missouri where Jo went to school.  She lived just north of Thomasville near where Rte T and Rte 99 meet.

Alley Spring

This is a very large campground of I believe around 160+ campsites and I also believe that we are the only folks here at this time.  We are in the only loop with electric hookups but can see into other loops.  As we were checking in (in the rain) there was a ranger driving around but that is the only other vehicle or person that we have seen.

This park along the Jacks Fork River is quite popular in the summer season with people splashing into the shallow waters from the gravel bars and from tubeing, canoeing, and kayaking activities.  In that season a reservation would have been necessary for a spot in the campground.  The campground is about a half mile from the spring and mill which wouldn't be a bad hike in better weather.  We have visited the mill and spring on several other occasions so probably not make the jaunt this time.  Instead of me taking pictures to post here I will give you a connection to some great views of this area.  The spring rises from a large round sink just behind the mill.

Alley Spring Pictures

There are several similar to the first image taken from downstream below the mill with the red mill as the focus.  I have taken that same picture and it is on the wall of our dining room at home.  That picture is framed in a hand made frame that one of Jo's uncles made from "barn wood siding" taken from the Not, Missouri post office that used to be located near the Shannon - Oregon county line near where she grew up.  Story is that there originally was a large Oak tree with a big knot hole where mail was left for locals to pick up.

Also in the above group of pictures is a map of this campground and we are located in the 600s loop.

Monday, November 06, 2017

bad GWF

Our GWF (Good Weather Fairy) failed us this afternoon.  Today's drive was totally under heavy overcast skies and then about an hour before we arrived at our campground they opened up and rained enough that it was necessary to get out the yellow rain suit. 😞

Most of the day was good with some great fall tree colors that would have been better lit up by the sun but still quite a few oohs and aahs.

Jo tells me that last night was full of heavy thunderstorms.  I went to bed early just because I felt like it and once I get to sleep it's all over until morning.  She said there was much thunder, lightning, and wind most of the night but this morning it was mild temperatures and no rain.  I went to the campground office a little after 9:00 to pay for our stay and they weren't open.  There was a man that I spoke to that took me around to the back door so that I could take care of business.  They said that they didn't open until 10:00 am and that is hard to understand as they are also a marina office for boat rentals.

We are tonight in Jo's early years territory.  This park is at Alley Spring where there is a working mill (for demonstration) that has been fun to visit many times in the past.  This is now a National park, part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.  We are only a few miles from where she was born and raised on a farm just south of the Shannon - Oregon county line.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

heading West

Last night's show was Super Good, we both truly enjoyed it all.  Rhonda is a very good entertainer and all of her band members are great musicians.  She had a daughter as back up singer to harmonize with her.  Two of the band members are son-in-laws but they each contributed to the show.  Rhonda has a tremendous voice and obviously enjoys what she does as she is on the road for 11 months out of every year staying home in Kirksville, MO for December.

Today's drive was Beautiful with a capital "B".  occasionally the sun would break through the cloud cover and the tree colors would just brighten up for many OOHs and AAHs.  With it's mountains, rivers, and variety of trees, Kentucky is a beautiful State.

As I said earlier we didn't have reservations for any of this trip which has worked well up to tonight.  Our planned campground was a COE Recreation Area on the banks of Lake Barkley in Western KY.  When we arrived at the campground there was a gate across the road.  I knew that it was past their posted season but assumed that it would be self pay and probably no water connection.  Within a couple of miles there is a KOA on the banks of the same lake so we headed there.  Their season is listed as mid Nov. closing so all should be good, Not!  When we arrived the office which also was the marina office was closed with a couple of telephone numbers to call.  I called the one that said it was for Sunday operations and the call went to voice mail.  So we just found an empty site, parked and setup for the night, and will try to find someone in the morning before we head back toward Missouri.  Here are a couple of pictures of our site tonight.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Half Time

It's half time in the MU - FLA football game so I went out to take a couple of pictures of our campsite near the music venue.  I'm happy because the Tigers have been doing good at least for this first half and we just hope that momentum continues.  A win in this game will go a long way to boost the teams confidence in their winning abilities.

Now here are those two pictures our site is nice and level so that is good
 Looking back the other direction we see the music barn just across the parking lot.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Rockcastle County, KY

We are now located in the Renfro Valley  creekside campground.  Our camp site is just a short walk across their parking lot to the new music hall.

They have two music halls and the old one has their Friday night local talent hoedown while the new hall has traveling talent shows programed throughout the year.  We have been here for a couple of other shows and are looking forward to tomorrow nights show with Rhonda Vincent.  She grew up in north-central Missouri near the Iowa border.  She grew up in a family of musicians that had a show they called the Sally Mountain Show playing country and bluegrass music.  I don't know where that name came from as northern Missouri is like Iowa and you would have to hunt for something to call a mountain.  Rhonda plays a super fine mandolin and has a bluegrass festival every year near her home town as well as travels throughout the country with her band "The Rage."

This trip so far has been full of fall tree coloration.  It would just be so much better if the sun would only shine.  Both days have been overcast and this afternoon we drove through several light showers.  With a full sun there would have been many  more oohs and aahs.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Lynnville, Indiana

Tonight we are in the Lynnville Park, a city owned campground and fishing lake park.  We found this park in Sept. 2007 and it has been a regular stop on our eastbound trips.  This is the 18th time we have stopped here since then.  The site we are in tonight is in the water/electric section and that is where we have been most of our stops @ $18 now and was $15 when we first came here. The other full hookup section we have used a few times is $22.  It is an easy off and on from I-64 but is over a slight hill so absolutely no highway noise.  Tonight the full hookup section has several units but we are alone in the W/E section.

This whole trip is without any reservations.  Most of our trips are fully reserved before we leave home.  We just like to know there will be a spot when we arrive.  This trip is late in the year so I didn't expect any problems especially since school is now in session and except for weekends there shouldn't be any problem.  This weekend, Friday and Saturday, we will be in the campground for the Renfro Valley music venue and it is very large.  We stayed there once before for another show and the campground wasn't near full.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Back at the Martin Manor RV park

Lunch was a little bit late at around 1:00 but it was nice to dine in the cafe at the Manor.  No tree color sighting on the way so the shortest route was the best.

Now our next travel plans are for leaving Nov 2, heading for Renfro Valley, KY as another week long outing.  Jackets are already on the don't forget list and also on that list is to make sure the LP tanks are full.  The electric heater worked well this trip but if temps drop below freezing the furnace will be required to keep the pipes in the basement from freezing.  There are a lot of TC campers that use their rigs for winter ski trips in all kinds of winter weather.

Sunrise on Truman Lake

It was a very nice sunrise view out our back window this morning.  It's been a very enjoyable few days and now we pack up and head for the  house.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday the 13th

Another beautiful day in west-central Missouri.  Afternoon temps reached mid 80s but still very pleasant to just sit outside in the shade watching birds fly around.

We had hoped that this trip would be during a nice fall tree color event but that just didn't happen, I guess still too early.  It has been a nice relaxing time even without the color.  We have been mostly alone in this campground until today when the weekenders started moving in.  Now it is mostly full with families and fisher-persons.  One tent unit across the road from us is just now in the process of cleaning a very nice large stringer of fish.  They have a boat so don't know just where they were successful however all foot traffic passing our site on the way to fish the banks have all come back empty handed.

Tomorrow we pack up and head back to the ol' Martin Manor.  A couple of doctors appointments next week and then early November we head to Kentucky.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

left behind, found, confiscated, and used

That is what happened to the pile of firewood that was left by our near neighbors.  It was nice to just sit outside in the mild temperatures and enjoy this campfire.  We don't have any marshmallows or hot dogs but still nice to just watch and be hypnotized by the flame.

The weather forecast was spot on for today.  It was cool and overcast this morning but said it would clear up by noon time and at 11:45 there wasn't a cloud in the sky.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Dumb thinking or lack thereof

In less than two weeks I will have lived in Missouri for 80 years and still not smart enough to leave the house prepared with a jacket in mid October.  That is exactly what we did because last Sunday when we left home it was so nice and sunny it never crossed our minds that it would change this quick.  As reported, yesterday was a gloomy day with dropping temperatures so we stayed inside all day.  Today will probably be more of the same.  The forecast is for mid 60s this afternoon, mid 70s tomorrow and mid 80s for Friday and Saturday so I guess our GWF is taking care of us this trip.

Our next trip with the camper is scheduled for the first week of November so guess what will be the first things loaded for that trip.  As we drive away from the house every trip we always say to each other, "wonder what we forget" and then we say, "oh well there is always WalMart."  There is a nice big WalMart only  about 6 miles away from here in Clinton but we don't need to add to our jacket closet when we can get by with just waiting out the temperature climb.

Our electric space heater is working like a charm except with only a 30 amp shore power connection we do have to watch our use of other electric items when it is running, such as the microwave or electric teapot.  The water heater is switched to LP gas instead of electric because of the space heater use.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Gloomy day

Just the opposite of yesterday.  It rained during the night and early this morning.  We had about 15 seconds of sunshine this morning before the cloud cover sealed it off.  The high temperature for today occurred at 12:01 am and gradually falling all day heading toward a predicted low of 44° tomorrow morning.

This camper has a smaller interior volume than our previous 5th wheel trailers so it is easier to heat.  I had purchased a small electric heater so that will save on LP use by the built in furnace.  It has three settings 600 Watt, 900 Watt, and 1500 Watt and so far we have managed very well on the 900 Watt setting.

Looks like a good day to stay in.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Beautiful relaxing day

After that sunrise, today has been simply beautiful, not a single cloud in the sky and mild temperatures.  The forecast is for rain tonight and in the morning so I moved our borrowed firewood to under the camper to keep it as dry as possible.  Jo and I sat outside most of the day in the fresh air and watched all the birds flying around.  Here are a few pictures from today.

after a brief hike to the main channel
 and the view back to our campsite
 this afternoon there have been a flock of white pelicans around
these last photos were taken from our campsite with a lot of zoom
This is a zoomed in picture as I thought there were two birds here one white and the other gray 😁
 I have to keep telling Jo to move around a little as these folks keep circling above us.

Sunrise out our back window

Sunday, October 08, 2017

left and found

When we checked in we had neighbors in the next site.  This was a family with a tent and pop-up trailer,  Apparently they were just here for the weekend and the kiddies needed to get back home for the school week.  When they left they left a large stack of firewood at their campsite so I picked it up and now it is at our fire ring.  Some time this next week we will try to have a nice campfire or two.

Truman Lake

We decided that between doctors appointments this month we would get a quickie get-away.  It was a little more than a 2 hour drive to Sparrowfoot campground on an arm of the lake near Clinton, MO.  We don't have any tourist plans in the area except for just a relaxing time.  We are here until next Saturday afternoon when we will again head for the Martin Manor.

This is our back yard
 our campsite

When I select our campsites from the internet it is difficult to determine the quality of the site I choose.  This time the site I had chosen was totally in the trees with no view of the lake.  Fortunately at this time of year the campground isn't full so we were able to go back to the check-in station and change our reservation to this site.  We have shade from the big locust tree and a nice view of the water.

There isn't any good television signals over-the-air except for Warrensburg which is our local PBS station.  Fortunately we do have a very good AT&T signal so our internet connection is good.  We will be able to watch any special programs (Jo's soaps) on our computers.  I have my laptop that I am using for this posting and Jo has my Surface-Pro tablet which she can use for TV as well as her games.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Meanwhile back at the ranch

Pulled into the driveway of Martin Manor around 2:00 this afternoon.  Notice I said pulled into instead of backed into.  With this rig I can drive in and turn around in the back to put the camper on it's pad, much nicer than trying to back down the drive.

This has been another great trip but it's always good to get back home for awhile.  After finding the GFI outlet problem our camper has worked like intended and a much nicer experience as we learn how to manage the difference from the bigger 5th wheel trailers.  I continue to be impressed with our new truck, The Beast, and how it handles this load seemingly with ease.  3571.6 miles total for this trip with a 9.94 mpg trip average fuel economy.  So far the truck has a 10.3 mpg average since we bought it last May.  That is almost the exact same avg mpg we were experiencing with all our 5th wheel towing.

This truck has a 38 gal fuel tank and with that mileage I have been forced to buy fuel in Illinois.  Since back in my working days when I knew that in Illinois the State fuel tax went direct to the general State monies and then divided up by politicians I have avoided buying fuel in the state.  In Missouri all fuel tax, most of license fees, and some of the auto sales tax go directly to MoDOT for their use on our roadway system.  Unfortunately since Missouri has such a low fuel tax and voters will not pass any tax increase MoDOT is greatly in need of some form of new revenue.

Our next scheduled trip is for November 1 when we head to Renfro Valley, KY for a Rhonda Vincent bluegrass concert.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Kankakee, Illinois

One step closer to home, tonight we are in Kankakee, IL.  We have stayed in this campground one other time in 2003 on our way north into Michigan basically on the same route only in reverse.  We scooted around the Chi town suburbs a little past noon today.  Tons of traffic and construction zones so very happy to be passed that and now it's more country boy type roads that are familiar.  Tomorrow we will slip around Springfield, IL and then cross the US version of the Mississippi River at Louisiana, MO.  That bridge is quite old but MoDOT has it under contract for replacement soon.

Boy did it get hot today, the weather forecast that I saw called for perhaps a record breaking high.  Temperatures in the 90s not what we've been used to for the past couple of weeks.  Last night in Michigan the AC ran on/off all night, even early this morning before I took that sunrise picture, again not what we've been used to.

Our mirror lake at sunrise

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Our back yard

Here are a couple of pictures of tonight's back yard view with no breeze to disturb the mirror image.

This little lake is totally within the KOA campground

Back in the US of A

Headed south/homeward bound.  Started our trek back to the ol' Martin Manor today.  Tomorrow we make it to northern Illinois and then home on Saturday.  It started out dreary this morning with patchy fog and heavy overcast skies. At least it wasn't raining as predicted.  It has warmed up as we drove southerly into the low 80s.

We crossed the International Bridge over the Saint Mary's River early this morning and forgot that Jo had bought some cuties (small tangerines) a couple of days ago.  Citrus is not allowed to be brought into the US.  The agent gave us a scolding and a paper with crossing regulations before telling us to not do it again, have a nice day.  The Good news is that now with our new camping rig we are only charged the auto rate for tolls.  With the trailers we avoided tolls where possible because they always count axles and charge accordingly.  Then we crossed the Mackinaw Straits bridge again with only the auto rate for the toll.

Tonight we are near Muskegon, MI in another KOA.  Back in 2003 we stopped at this KOA on a trip to the Upper Peninsula without advanced reservations and it was totally full so had to find an alternate campground.  This time the campground is almost totally vacant with only a half dozen campers here.  The office was closed with our reservation marked on a campground map and taped to the front door.

At least I am back to my own AT&T Wi-Fi hot spot for my computer connection and don't have to rely on a campground's iffy offering.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

fall tree color

I've been talking about all the beautiful fall colors in the trees along the way.  There just wasn't a good opportunity to stop and take a bunch of pictures of what we have seen.  Some roads were without shoulders or there was no good place to pull out of traffic and then be in a location of good views.  This morning I went out in our current campground for a few pictures.  It would have been much better if the sun had been out in full lighting but with the overcast skies it is still nice to look at.

This view is just behind our site

 our site

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

French lesson

Just finished a little bit of research and found;  Sault is a French word for river falls and the French pronunciation is "so" but has been modified through time in this area to be pronounced "soo".  That means the name of this area/town is actually Saint Marie's Falls.  Those falls are on the Saint Mary's River that drains Lake Superior, starting at the end of Whitefish Bay and flowing 74.5 miles (119.9 km) southeast into Lake Huron, with a fall of 23 feet (7.0 m).  For its entire length it is an international border, separating Michigan in the United States from Ontario, Canada.

Sault Ste. Marie

Another beautiful day and pleasant drive.  Trans-Canada Highway 17 has been a very good road most of the way from Montreal.  One bad stretch today but that area was under reconstruction which is a good thing.  Still a lot of fall tree colors showing even tho most of the timber is pine and fir.  Today there were a lot of lemon yellows showing up and not quite sure just what type of tree that was.  One good thing about this Route 17 is there are several rest area/picnic spots scattered along which give us good places for necessary breaks and lunches.  The all have picnic tables, pit toilets, and bear proof trash cans.

I have noticed a lot of side roads that intersect the main highway are labeled as (ch-name-road) or (chemin-name-road). I just now googled chemin and found it to be French for "pathway".

Obviously tonight's Wifi is good as was yesterdays so at least I will be able to stay connected unlike a couple of nights ago.  Thursday when we leave this campground we will cross back into the US of A and I will be back on my own hotspot wherever we will have an AT&T signal.  We will also be back to some decent fuel pricing.  I have had to fill up twice with liters at over a Canadian dollar each.  Even with a favorable CA to US conversion that is still near $4.00 American per US gallon.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Sturgeon Falls

Today we moved a bit further quest (or should I say west for you non French speaking folks)  to Sturgeon Falls, ON.  This morning was bright and the scenic views were superb and then just as we were bragging on how beautiful Canada is there was a cloud moved in and it started to rain on our parade.  Our GWF came to our rescue as we arrived at the campground and I was able to get all setup without the rain suit.

As I was checking in the man at the desk told me he was giving us the VIP WiFi connection pass-code.  Early on in our camping travels we paid for an annual KOA value card for discount on fees.  We used them a lot so soon became a VIP member which for the past several years has given us the annual dues free plus we still get the 10% discount.  We also accumulate points for each nights stay and points for online reservations and when those points accumulate up to a certain value we get a $50 value deducted from a campground fee.  We have cashed in several of those $50 values.  This is the first campground that recognized that VIP status and the WiFi connection is good and fast so thank you Sturgeon Falls KOA.

Tomorrow we move on to Sault Sainte Marie

Saturday and Sunday 9/16 & 17

Saturday we moved from Quebec to Ontario.  Finally all signage is in English plus they have additional signs in French.  This morning we had to make it through Montreal but there was major road construction that caused a major backup when our route of three lanes had to merge into one. That took about 30 minutes of creeping along stop and go.  Then our planned route past that point was totally closed for reconstruction.  With all informational signage in French it was a bit upsetting. Fortunately the French word for detour is spelled DETOUR and a route through some city downtown streets was clearly marked but it took much longer to get past Montreal than originally planned. Then we headed on West (Quest).

Later after lunch we passed through Ottawa with no problems at all.  On down the highway a little further along we crossed the Mississippi River, eh?  Seems that the USA doesn't have the only one and probably need to do some research on just what that name stands for.

These two days we are in Renfrew, ON, CA in another KOA.  All campgrounds for this trip are reserved in KOAs for the convenience and for perhaps a WiFi connection.  That has worked out well for all so far up until this one.  This campground is crowded for the weekend and their WiFi is so weak that it is was totally impossible to get a connection let alone make use of it.

Sunday was as the good book expects a day of rest.  In the afternoon we got our chairs out in the shade and enjoyed a nice refreshing breeze and watching a couple of very small squirrels playing around.  These are only about half the size of those that pester JoAnn at home.  They are reddish in color on their backs with a white belly.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Into Canada eh

We crossed into Quebec a little past lunch time today.  The drive back through Maine was simply beautiful as after our four day stay in Bar Harbor the fall tree color has really advanced.  It will be a couple of more weeks until peak color but today's drive was simply gorgeous.  The yellows, reds, and oranges really contrast with the dark green pines behind them.  The routes back through Maine were mostly minor, rural roads with small towns and farms along the way, very scenic.  The first part of Canada was the same until we connected with the major highway leading toward Montreal.

The biggest problem with driving through Quebec is that this Province's official language is French and all signage is in that language.  Normal highway signage is universal so no problem except for the metric conversion, Ms Navi took care of that for me.  The problems come in when in a construction zone instructional signage is only in french and I/We just have to guess at what they are saying.

Tomorrow we cross into Ontario and there the signage will be in both languages.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

fun watching the tides

It has been fun sitting here by the waterline and watching the tides come in and go out.  These pictures were taken from our dinette window.

this is high tide
 and low tide
The high tide seems to be in the evening so that is why that picture is a bit darker.  The low tide picture was taken earlier today.  This morning we also watched a seagull collect something from the shallow waters and then walk up to a rocky part of the low tide beach and drop it.  It then picked it up and jumped up 2 or 3 feet and dropped it again.  It did that several times and I guess whatever it was working on opened up so it could then eat the morsel inside.  We watched that happen 2-3 times this morning.

A new kind of tour van

This afternoon we had an hour tour of this Mount Desert Island area.  It was a beautiful trip with clear views of all below us and a nice narrator giving us the history of the area.  The picture below is that van, Air-Van that is.

 We had a choice of vehicles and could have had this bi-plane in yellow.  The difference would have been that it is an open air cockpit and it would have been a bit windy aloft.
 Or we could have ridden in this helo but felt like the comfort of the enclosed Air-Van was the best option.

Now for the bad news part of this story.  Just before we took off and after I took the above pictures I switched to a fresh battery in my camera.  The memory card is in the same area as the battery so apparently when I inserted the battery the card popped up from it's slot and of the dozens of pictures that I thought I took from this beautiful flight, they just didn't happen.  😦

The good news is that we both really enjoyed this excursion and will have our own memories of the views we were given the opportunity to see from this birds eye view perspective.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Mount Desert Oceanarium

Today's outing was a visit to this one of a kind lobster hatchery.  Our tour included much information on everything there is to know about lobster and then a good bit of info on other sea life.  Our first guided lecture was in the hatchery building and our guide gave us a 30 minute lecture with pictures of the lobster reproduction process.

Once the female is fertilized it is two years before her eggs are ready to hatch.  In the first year she carries the eggs still inside her.  She then takes out each of the 10,000 or more and with some sticky substance attaches them to the underside of her tail where they continue to grow for another year.  Lobster fishermen are not allowed to keep any females which must be returned to the ocean.  This laboratory is allowed to keep what they need for their research.

These two bins are where the females are held until the eggs hatch.
 When they hatch they are about 1/4 inch long, almost transparent, and they float to the surface of the birthing tanks.  They are then skimmed off and placed into one of these vertical tanks with oxygen bubbling up to keep them healthy.  As they grow they must shed their shells about every 3 days which is cleaned out of the tanks.  The tiny dark specks in among the bubbles are baby lobsters.
At stage 4 of their growth they are about 1 inch long and now can swim so they move down to the ocean floor.  If kept in the same vats they would tend to cannibalize their own kind so they are then put individually into one of these compartments until they are ready to be released back into the ocean.  Once released they are subject to many enemies  It is guessed that only about 0.1 of one percent of the original 10,000+ actually survive.
For the delicious lobster meal that we enjoy, it's a good thing there are so many to start with.

 Then we learned a lot of information about other marine creatures such as the sea-cucumber, starfish, sea urchin, sea snails, sand dollar, and hermit crab.
 Then it was a quick visit to their museum where we found this Indian crafted birch bark canoe.
 and this very large lobster.
Not this one but they said that the record lobster found was around 44 pounds.

Our campground has an evening lobster cafe and we went last evening.  It was OK but the lobster rolls were kind of small.  This afternoon for a late lunch we went to a local favorite lobster pound along the highway with only the cooking going on inside the shack and no inside seating for patrons.  It was delicious.  The lobster roll was super good and huge, the clam chowder was great and Jo said the blueberry pie was superb.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Acadia National Park

This morning we did a drive through of this beautiful park.  Still lots of traffic and people have the parking areas quite full and difficult to find parking spaces for "The Beast" where a smaller auto would be easier.

Our first stop for pictures was at Sand Beach.  This is a pocket beach in a cove and the only area with sand in this area.  Otherwise the shore line is mostly huge rock.

 We did collect a sample of sand for our (claimed) daughter #2
Then it was a stop at the Thunder Hole, when waves come in and hit a pocket in the rock to make a roaring noise.  My pictures don't show a big event but as I was walking away back to the truck a big one came in for a loud roar.
 looking back from above
 Then it was a drive up to the top of Cadillac Mountain the highest point in the park.
This first view is looking North toward the town of Bar Harbor with three cruise ships visiting today.
 Looking East from the top of Cadillac Mountain
 Looking Westward.  Our campground would be at the waters level at the extreme right of this image
 Just an interesting bush with red berries
 This is our own flower garden back at our campsite
with lovely asters
 and goldenrod

After we left the park it was a few minutes past noon so we thought we would drive into downtown Bar Harbor for a unique cafe for lunch.  No way were we going to find a place to park our BIG truck in this totally touristy town with narrow streets and most of the traffic was pedestrian.  We just squeezed through and headed back to the campground for a bite of late, lite, lunch.  The campground has an open air cafe where we plan to take advantage of a lobster themed dinner this evening.

Monday, September 11, 2017

another beautiful drive

This afternoon we reached our destination in Bar Harbor Maine where we plan to explore the Acadia National Park.  I originally had planned to camp in one of the National Park campgrounds but the information kept telling me that there was a height restriction that we couldn't meet.  We are now in a KOA with the Atlantic Ocean at our front yard and will tour the park without the camper and just see what that height restriction is all about.  Here are a couple of pictures taken at our campsite.
Our back yard
 Our front yard
 This is a picture that I took out our dining room window yesterday in New Hampshire.
Our WiFi connection was weak and uploading pictures was a maybe/maybe not situation.

I don't like ground fault interrupt electric outlet fixtures.  I know they are supposed to save my life by not letting some long shot situation execute me but when they pop off they are hard to know what has happened.

I believe I have told everyone about our trip to Iowa last month and the CO alarm going off in the middle of the night.  The problem was a low battery indication and no gas identified.  Well before this trip I thought the problem was some cheep batteries that our dealer had installed so I had a pair of top quality deep cycle batteries installed hoping that the problem was fixed.  On this trip we have had the same alarm go off so now what to do?  Rather than call a mobile RV technician to come to the campground and search for the problem I went to Wall Mart and bought a battery charger to put on our batteries to keep them charged.  That charger had to be plugged into a 110 outlet and there was one conveniently located in a storage compartment.  I plugged the new charger into that outlet and nothing worked.  I thought I needed to return the new charger for one that worked.  Before making that 7 mile one way trip I plugged a voltage tester into the socket and no signal.  In the center of that outlet was a small button that had popped out so with that pushed in, guess what, everything works so no need for the new battery charger.  I have the receipt so back to Wall Mart before we leave this area and return that purchase.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

very scenic drive

Today we headed further north through the Green mountain ski area of Vermont to the White mountains of New Hampshire.  As we move northward we see more and more splashes of tree color, beautiful.

Mid morning today we came upon a railroad underpass with a sign that said 12' vertical clearance.  Our unit now, by my calculations, is 12'-2" and being a retired engineer I knew that we couldn't hold our breath and squeeze through.  This was along a small state route and fortunately there was a turn-around spot right at the bridge.  If we had been pulling out trailer it would have been a half mile back-up exercise.  Jo has always brought highway maps for every state that we drive through on our trips except for this trip guess which state she didn't.  You guessed right, New York state.  I found a paved road that seemed to be heading in the direction we wanted to go and didn't listen to Ms Navi (her last name is Gator) when she kept trying to tell me to make a u-turn.  Finally she found a path forward that brought us back on our intended route and past the low bridge problem.

Tomorrow we make it to our destination for this trip, Bar Harbor, Maine.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Miles and miles of PA

It shor am a fer piece cross this state from West to East.  The good news is that I-80 is in very good condition and also quite scenic.  There were even a few spots of early tree color along the way.

Tonight we are about 35 miles into New York near Newburgh.  After three days on the road we will stay put here for two nights before hitting the road again.

Here are a couple pictures of this campground.  It is totally in the trees.  We have been here twice before.  The first time Phyllis was with us and we took the campground sponsored day bus tour of New York City.  Also on that trip Jo was visiting with a neighboring camper and reached to pet their little puppy dog and it bit her, ouch.

The campsites across from ours
 Our site
The sign says "do not enter" but I assume that doesn't apply to us.