Monday, December 11, 2006


Would rather be out in RoadAbode with the family.... But did some reading this weekend.
Guess I'm living vicariously through others today...
My Friend George is in Mexico right now. He has posted a "Values Index" of how to live his life. Pretty good List
Here's a "sketch" of George relaxing outside Ms. Tioga. Looks good to me!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Blogging Pics Just got Easier!

Was checking out One of my favorite Fulltimers - Jim & Chris and noticed they were using Picasa Web Albums. I had played with Picasa before, even uploaded photos thru "Hello" when Blogger gets "Funky" but this is pretty easy! Check out our Web Albums! Did These in just an hour or so!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Lancaster Weekend

Beautiful Lancaster! We love this place - makes for a quick getaway!
Got out of work early - 12:30pm on Friday. Amy already had RoadAbode home and mostly loaded up. I connected the towbar and added some of my own "essentials" After the girls and Amy were done @ the After School Program, We headed to a quiet street behind RPC to hook up RoadToad. Only problem I later figured out - that the Evenbrake receiver had problems picking up the EvenBrake signal - because we were under the Radio/TV transmitter Tower! Added 20 mins. to our Start figuring out that kink.
Ride up was nice - though driving in the dark (already at 6pm!) takes a higher level of concentration.
Spot @ Country Acres is beautiful - perfect for a cold weekend - on the upper level right near the bath/laundry building. This is perfect because besides doing some Christmas shopping @ the outlets, we are also going to be winterizing RoadAbode (No using the plumbing onboard after that) . The pad is nice and level, with a nice covering of gravel - so things won't get muddy when we empty the fresh tank during winterizing. We setup electric for the fridge, and put out our welcome mat, and jumped in RoadToad for a quick ride down the road to Paradise Pizza. This place has great pizza, and nice people working there. If you go - try the Chicken Ranch pizza for something different!
After dinner, we headed back to the campsite, kicked on the heater, and watched some cartoons on cable. Bedtime came around quickly! One disappointment @ Country Acres is the WiFi is weak - slow and disconnects. I connected to work once - and then had issues after that. And I can see the antennae on the roof of the bath house from my window - 50 feet or less away!
Love the view though -Plenty of Stars are out tonight!
Saturday Morning made coffee, took showers (not all that cold out) and headed out to Bob Evans for breakfast. Once filled and raring to go, we headed out to the outlets , hunting down gifts for friends and family. As the day wore on, it looked like lots of people had the idea to start Christmas shopping early. We headed back to RoadAbode around 1pm - and started in on winterizing her. After a little confusion on which way the fresh tank valves were to be placed, we got her all drained and filled with the bio-safe antifreeze "pink stuff" in under two hours. Amy took a tour of the roof, deemed it properly sealed, and we were all done. Since there was still some daylight left, we decided to head east and tour. One of the places the girls wanted to visit, and a place that I really enjoyed, was the The National Christmas Center
At first I thought it would be ho-key but it ended up really helping me to get in the "Christmas Spirit" The most favorite parts for me were the 5&10 Store, and reading along with the girls in the storybook village - and the very end - where you walked thru their lifesize, realistic nativity. Very inspiring!
After our trip to long ago and down memory lane, it was getting dark, and we were getting hungry. We did stop at "Basketville - which is closing. Even at 30% off - they were still overpriced!
We continued on - past Country Acres - and planned on eating @ Dutch Haven. unfortunately, it now only makes Shoo-Fly pie and other desserts, and holds a large gift shop - no more diner.
So we went to an another standby - Cracker Barrel! Was a short wait - but dinner was great! (I love their grilled catfish and fried okra!)
After dinner, headed back, and relaxed with some desserts from the Pepperidge Farm Outlet and some Disney Channel (and some History Channel later for me!)
Sunday Morning Sat outside with some coffee - beautiful morning! Chilly - but not cold, there is no breeze to put the chill across your skin.
Hit the shower, and then had breakfast that Amy prepared, English muffins, sausage, egg and Cheese sandwiches - yummy!
Slowly packed up - and pulled out with RoadToad connected by 11am. Took it nice and slow, dropped off RoadAbode to storage, and made it home before 3pm.
A great, relaxing weekend - and got some work done too!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Armchair Travel Today

It's beautiful (but cold) outside, but sadly, not traveling today. So took a break from "PowerRoom Remodeling" to do some Virtual Travel thru 2 blogs I follow, Tioga and George, and Our Odyssey . What's really interesting is it looks like their Paths may cross - George going South and Sean & Louise coming up with a caravan from the South - on the Baja Peninsula in Mexico.
Both blogs have their own writing style, but really describe their travels beautifully. I also enjoy their photos, and to pay homage to their posts, created two quick watercolors in PaintShopPro. They look better viewed full....
Pay their blogs a visit if you get the chance!
Odyssey is here getting loaded onto a flat traincar for their tour through Copper Canyon

George is Enjoying another "Premo" Boondocking Spot, somewhere near Rosarito, Mexico - Right on the beach!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Clean Bill of Health!

RoadAbode got a clean bill of health - picked her up and did the reverse of Thursday night. Was a nice peaceful night. New Oil, Flushed Coolant - Checked the belts and hoses - All set for winter...Pics below are pulling into storage.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Not Done Yet

Made a Call to Bergey's around 6pm - Not done yet. Fortunatly not using RoadAbode this weekend. Since they close at Noon Saturday - will have to pick her up Monday Night.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Checkup for RoadAbode

It's time for RoadAbode's annual "Checkup" - Yup - PA State Inspection Time
So after work I drove up to the Storage Place, pulled RoadAbode out, hitched up RoadToad behind and Headed to Bergeys Truck Center in Franconia, PA . Techs are friendly, and seem competent. The ride was nice, even though some of those country roads are pitch black. It was great just taking my time and catching wiffs of woodfires in the fireplaces of homes we passed. Once at Bergey's parked next to two garbage trucks (in for service) and
saw some really nice A Class motorhomes too. Besides the inspection, having oil changed, coolant flushed, and checking belts and hoses. Ride home was quicker - less traffic - but not s fun as driving RoadAbode! Will pick 'er up tomorrow if she's ready.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

HayRide & Bonfire

RoadAbode At MerryMeadToday was the the annual RPC Hayride and Bonfire - and RoadAbode went along to help with the fun. First everyone went on the hayride, two wagons pulled by a tractor. Then when they returned, I had Hotdogs, and 'smores fixings' all ready to go. After everyone had their fill - Sam led us in some praise songs. Was a beautiful nite, and if I could - I'd still be there - boondocking overnight. A few pictures from tonight:

RPC HayRidersRPC HayRiders

RPC HayRidersRPC HayRiders

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Tiny RoadTrip

While Amy and Kimberly are away, Emily and I had fun of our own. We took a ride out to Valley Forge, saw the RC airplane 'runway' there, and stopped to look at the log cabins used by the revolutionary war troops of George Washington. Afterward, we headed to see the move "Open Season" - in 3-D no less. It was a great father-daughter day!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Leaving - Nice & Slow

Slept late - didn't wake until 8pm. Grabbed coffee, breakfast and a shower, and took a walk around the campground. In the upper level, saw what looked to be a group getting ready to hit the road. Some nice looking rigs! Many had a toad - using either towbar or dolly. All were really friendly.
Headed back to RoadAbode, and started - nice and slowly - to ready her for the road. Packed most stuff into RoadToad - used her as our "trailer" - less to pack out when we got back to the storage place.
We left right at checkout time - Noon - and only made a stop to top off the gas tank. We were back at the storage lot by 1:30P. Really wish this weekend was longer...
View Out RoadAbode's Dinette Window

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Ministry and Shopping in Lancaster

We awoke this morning to a definite temp. drop! I got up and put on coffee and water for tea. Amy got herself ready for a walk to the shower house. She stepped out, and in less than a minute was back in RoadAbode - too cold! She used the shower onboard. I waited till coffee was done, grabbed a cup, collected my shower box, and headed out - was chilly - but the coffee fooled my body enough that it was not that cold outside. After everyone dressed, cleaned up and readied themselves, we went to a filling breakfast @ Bob Evans. The place was hopping, but we were seated relatively quickly. After cleaning off our plates - we continued to the reason we were in Lancaster - to help with The Gain (Global Aid Network) Ministry, specifically Operation CareLift. This ministry started by sending aid to Russia, but now sends aid in the form of clothing, medical supplies and children's ministry and school supplies to other countries in Europe, Africa, and are looking to also send to the Middle East. We met with the youth of RPC, and after a rather lengthy "rah-rah" session by the leaders of GAIN (I just wanted to get going helping) we went to various jobs. Kimberly went with some youth sewing and mending clothes - sewing buttons and such. Amy and Emily tried various jobs, from Gospel Bracelets to Packaging Seed Care packs, to Hugging Prepping and Praying over the Stuffed "Gospel Mice" that were donated by TY (The company that makes Beanie Babies). I stuck it out sorting clothing into piles - Men and women, boys and girls, toddlers sizes. Anything with stains and such - depending on what - were put for seconds, or to be laundered. The goal was to give people only what could be considered 'new' in the clothing line.
After working alongside people from Virginia, New York, Atlantic City, we left in the afternoon and headed to the Lancaster Outlets to start our Christmas Shopping. Dinner was @ KFC (Slow Service!) and then we retreated for the evening to RoadAbode for Dessert, and a movie - the Thief Lord. Great Day!
Emiy at GAIN

Friday, October 13, 2006

Late Start to Our Trip

Was suppose to leave early from work, and get on the road by 5:30pm. Ended up not LEAVING work till 5:15pm. Oh Well. got out by 6:15pm - hitched up RoadToad at the shopping center up the road from home - and had a good trip up to Lancaster. Nestled in @ Country Acres, off Route 30. Got here around 8pm. Leveled and connected electric and water - then out to dinner @ Pizza Paradise - great local pizza place a mile down the road. Came back to the campground - will need the heater tonight!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Zern's RoadTrip!

Amy & I got the idea to take some friends - Jeff, Rachel, Sam & Elizabeth - to Zerns for an evening of browsing and people watching. By incorporating RoadAbode in the mix - it was a really "Neat and Sharp" night out! Amy decided to make a turkey dinner to share - with special desserts from Zerns bakers. And I collected some quirky questions for a Zerns Scavenger Hunt. Picked up Roadabode around 2pm, brought her home and gave her a quick scrub down to get rid of blackstreaks - loaded up and met everyone at Roxborough Presbyterian Church parking lot @ 4pm. On the way we played RoadAbode Bingo, some old school video games (like Pac-Man) and had some snacks. We arrived at Zerns about 5:15pm and planned to walk around and check out the wares till 7pm - have dinner in RoadAbode - then wander around a little longer.
Got a great parking spot near the outdoor flea-markets. Amy & I wandered around, picked up some small 'prizes' for the Scavenger Hunt and then came back to RoadAbode to ready dinner - which was warming in the oven. Amy completed the stuffing, gravy and corn, I set the table and the welcome mat outside. Jeff & Rachel showed a little early, so we setup some chairs outside for them to relax in while Amy finished up inside - and I went to the closest baker to pickup some pies. Coming back to RoadAbode was great - seeing Rachel and Jeff relaxing outside - Jeff strumming a guitar - Just felt homey and so right!
Soon Sam & Elizabeth showed - We prayed together and enjoyed a great meal, and laughed about the sights and experiences that are uniquely Zerns - topped off with shoo-fly pie. We sent our guests back into Zerns, we cleaned up, relaxed, and when they returned, rewarded our Scavenger Hunt "winners" They also gifted us for our hospitality, with a special "Jesus soap on a rope" to help keep us "Spiritually Clean" (Where else but Zerns?)
We left - took backroads home, and just enjoyed some great conversation.
Definitely want to do this again!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

RV Show Sat.

Got up early, enjoyed breakfast and we were off. Hershey HighMeadow is not a bad campground - (Do need to understand you are next to a freight train route though!)The staff friendly, playground equip. Pretty new, not broken, and the shower houses are fine - could stand an update perhaps, but setup well. Campstore is well stocked. The shuttle to the RV show is downright luxurious - a charter - type bus. Got to the Registration area before the show opened. Stood in line and chatted with others there. The girls got kudos for how well-behaved they were, by a school teacher. The woman also said how well we spoke and included the girls - and instructed them on their behavior. As a parent - that's great to hear.
I decided that the first thing in should be what Kimberly wanted to see (Emily didn't care) So once in the show - we hopped on the tram to stop #4 for the Anderson Mobile Estates. These are highly specialized trailers used by actors - like Wil Smith or Robert De Niro. We had to wait in line - they were not quite ready for guests. From the outside the trailer is amazing - two stories tall - with
Ron Anderson
Ron Anderson
multiple slideouts on the first floor.
Once inside we were met by the owner of the company Ron Anderson - that was a surprise! I was thoroughly impressed with his presentation. A down to earth guy, Ron explained how everyone talks about the $$$ this thing costs, no one explains about the engineering involved. His background, alongwith his father was in aircraft design for the coaches. His original start working with "Hollywood types" was as a tour bus driver - and his wife (also down to earth - extremely nice) was the makeup artist. From those experiences and connections he built his business.
The trailer itself was amazing, specialty woods and leathers, all created to be ingeniously packed up - from two stories to one. I think it had more square footage than our house! Go to his site to check them out!
After our 45 minute tour with Ron (He's Thorough!) the show was a bit of a blur - but here are some highlights:
We Saw quite a few Class A's that are built for families - with both Queen bed for mom & dad, and bunks for kids! Really nice were the AllStar and BayStar by Newmar, and the 35J by WinabagoFor some reason, Emily liked to do a dance in each Shower stall...

The RV Shower Dancer

Emily Driving

Friday, September 15, 2006

RV Show

RV Show
Took off from Work Friday to pickup RoadAbode. Still had to go work in the morning - the person who usualy switched the AM backup for me was off.
That was OK - Going to RoadAbode is on the way.
After picking up RoadAbode, got calls about one of the remote offices having connectivity issues to one of our databases. That too was ok - I fixed when I got home. Once we packed in our clothes, and the girls were picked up from school - packed up and fed - we were off. Rained pretty much all the way up - sometimes hard.
Noticed Gas is a bit cheaper in the Hershey area - which is good. Once in Hershey, Stopped at the place requested by the girls for dinner - Pizza Hut. After dinner, filled up on gas 2 $2.45. Got to the Campground a little before 5pm. Was still drizzly, so we rethought going to the show for the "Twillight Special". Kimberly did homework, and Amy, Emily and I took a walk down to the playground and Campstore. Got some inexpensive Hershy IceCream for dessert! Plan on turning in Early So we can get to the show early am tommorrow.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Fishing and More Knoebels

The weather was overcast, but after breakfast, we all went over to the lake and practiced casting. I’d call it fishing, but that would actually involve seeing some fish! We still had fun. After a while, the girls headed to the playground as I cleaned the black streaks off RoadAbode and did some other maintenance items.
We caught the 4:30p shuttle over to do the last few things we wanted to do @ Knoebels The Skylift, Perogies, and Funnel Cake. Also finally found the 'elusive' blue birch beer!
We headed back at 6:30 - having enjoyed the last of the Park.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Fun Friday @ Knoebels

Overnight it rained, and it continued off and on as we got ready for the 10:30am shuttle. I also started out with sneezing, itchy throat, and running nose – not a good start to the day. But Amy fed me some Tylenol and Sudafed. It helped me out, the weather cleared, and we had a great day taking the girls around to their favorite rides. Granny decided to do hang back and do some organizing of some pictures and paperwork. We planned to meet for dinner @ the park diner – called the Alamo. Granny would take a later shuttle over.

Some of the rides the girls were able to ride were old favorites, like the Phantom cars, and Antique Cars – kind of large slot cards the girls could drive. The power boats and “The Whip” were also favorites.
When Granny arrived, we headed over for an early dinner – which everyone enjoyed. Toward the end, my meds started wearing off - and I was 'sneezing and wheezing' every few feet. I was feeling pretty worn out.
We headed back to Lake Glory around 6:30pm – and settled in for an old video the girls had not watched for a while – “Beethoven”

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Lake Glory & Knoebel's for the weekend

This weekend we are traveling to Central PA - Elysburg PA to go to Knoebels Amusement Park. Knoebel's is a great family place - Great mix of rides, great food, reasonable prices, and best of all, you can just walk around without having to pay an enterance fee - which is great for grandparents. So granny has joined us for this escapade.
The ride up for the first part was easy - started late. Got a few cell calls from work - walked people thru some troubleshooting steps - worked out ok.
We had lunch at Arby's where the Northeast Extention (Rt 476) meets Route 80 in the Poconos - had a good lunch and continued on 80 and ran into some traffic. Took a little longer than planned to get to Lake Glory.
Once we arrived, the park is nice - not great - but has some great areas within. The Lake is nice, the playground needs some repair, and the campstore is pretty small. Also the promised shuttle is a 15 passenger van, adequate, but not a "shuttle". Tommorrow and rest of the weekend we get a "cheese" bus - schoolbus. Seems their regular shuttle is in the shop. Customer service lessons would maybe be in order for the drivers too.
We went to the park for a few hours, and had some dinner - then headed back to the campground. Emily and I took a nice walk around the lake, and along the stream. Perhaps we can try fishing tomorrow.
No cable - so we played some card games and called it an early night. Getting pretty cool right now - under 75

Monday, August 07, 2006

Crystal Cave!

Crystal Cave had been a place I had gone with Oma, Opa, & Frank when I was little - and because of the stories I told the girls, they wanted to visit too. Since we were close (30 minutes!) and Kevin & Leann had no interest in going, we saved this for our trip home.
We did the Last bit of Packing, Then drove down to a flat area by the lake to hitch up RoadToad. After a few false reading, got EvenBrake to respond - and we were off. The roads to Crystal Cave were smaller, and we made one wrong turn on the way - but were fortunate there was a turn-around for tractor-trailers a 1/4 mile down (go figure). The roads wound thru the countryside, following various creeks and rivers. and very wooded - serene and pretty.
When we finally got to the entrace of Crystal Cave, there was plenty of parking for our 40+ feet of RoadAbode/RoadToad combo.
The outside of the Inn, store and cave entrance were about how I remember it, but the facilities themselves I was pleasantly surprised by - everything was pretty well kept.
The cave tour was starting right away (the next would have been 20-30 min later) so we bought tix and headed up the path to the cave entrance.

We first saw a movie/slideshow about the history of the cave and how the geology of the area affected it's creation. Then we were given a tour by a young lady - She did a great job - with just the right mix of information, both in human history and geology - and a bit of humor.
After our tour, we enjoyed a homestyle lunch of Perogies and our choice of chicken or hamburger. All very well made and tasty.
We did a little shopping, stopped in the "museum" and then headed out. All-in-all a pretty cool place to visit!
On the way out, I missed a turn, and ended up going the wrong way for a few miles. But Amy got us back on course, and we were able to see some great countryside in the process!
Rest of the trip was pretty uneventful - which is a good thing.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Checking out a Flea Market

We all headed out after breakfast without an idea where to go. We stopped into the office and after checking a few options - we all decided to head out to a Flea Market that occurs every 2nd & 4th Sunday. Again, it was only about 30 minute ride from the campground. It was a huge area, some under cover, others in the large parking lot. Kevin & Leann picked up a few movies for their Disney collection they are starting for Kyla. The girls picked up some cool "stretchy" shirts for beachwear. We also picked up Tomatoes and fruit for our late lunch.
After walking around, we headed back, and everyone went for a swim. The pool was a little less crowded today.
Before the headed back, Kevin, Leann, & Kyle had a late lunch with us of Chicken, Fresh baked biscuits, rice and Tomatoes. Kyla even tried a little rice.
Goodbyes were said, and our guests headed home.
Time for some ice cream cones!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Hawk Mountain & Cabela's

Used the air last night – was a bit humid. Got up around 8am, and Amy and I hit the showers. I went first – and discovered that the showers were not as nice as even some State Parks. Moldy shower curtains, antiquated, worn fixtures, and no where (except 2 small hooks) to put clothing, towel or supplies, no bench or shelf. Amy’s ‘shower report’ was not much better. We will use RoadAbode’s from here on in.
After showers, got the girls and ourselves breakfast – choice of omelet, pancakes, or French toast. Right before 10am, our guests arrived. After a few hellos and talk about the trip up – and the girls cooing over Kyla, (she’s a cutie!) Kevin suggested going up to Hawk Mountain. The day was perfect for it – clear skies and the humidity had definitely dropped. Amy checked at the office for ‘shortcut directions’ and we were off. It took less than 30 minutes to get there, and that was with a short stop to pick up sandwiches along the way.
I’m so glad Kevin recommended the Hike! The hike was mostly shaded, which was good, and most of the hike was not hard at all, but gave us beautiful glimpses of the valley.
We had lunch at North Lookout, which gave us a 180 degree view from an elevation of 1521 feet. After our hike we stopped back at the visitor’s center and enjoyed the artwork there that is inspired by various raptors. Our Next Stop was Cabela’s, Camping and Outdoor Outfitters. This place was also really neat, with displays of mounted animals in pseudo natural settings. We saw everything from squirrel to moose to elephant. We also saw fresh water fish tanks, which had bass, catfish trout and even salmon swimming around.
After our trek out, everyone was in the mood for a swim. Uncle Kevin, Aunt Leann, Kyla and the girls headed to the pool first, while Amy & I jumped back in RoadToad in search of fresh corn. We found a produce stand a few miles up route 143. While there, we also picked up a small basket of peaches (yellow not white)
Once back we followed up with everyone else in the pool. Well, it seemed like everyone else in the entire campground anyway. The girls still enjoyed the dip though.
Dinner was Jack’s Pulled Pork, corn, potato bread, and a mix of refreshing watermelon, cantaloupe, and peaches. After cleaning up from dinner, we took a walk down to the office and stood in line for some ice-cream (not as easy to pickup as last night) for about 20 minutes – and the servings were smaller to boot.
We walked back to RoadAbode enjoying our cold treats. Next on our relaxing evening was a campfire, sharing pistachios, and talking about the days events.
Bedtime came around pretty quickly, and our guests got the rear bedroom, Amy bunked with the girls, and I took the jackknife sofa. Nice sleeping weather!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Trip to Robin Hill

By 10am, packed up and was on the road to RoadAbode. We connected RoadToad and were on our way to Robin Hill, in the Reading area. The girls enjoyed watching Piglets Big Movie. The ride was short, even with a stop to enjoy some Stuffed Crust Pizza @ Pizza Hut. We pulled in early to the campground, but had to wait a good bit because a church group was checking in before us. While the girls checked in at the office, I unhooked RoadToad so she was ready when they came back.
We followed the direction from the office, circled around and went up the hill to our site. The site is at the end of a loop, nice and wide, but not exactly level. Even with all our Leveling blocks, we are still a little “off” – not bad though.
The girls wanted to take a dip in the pool, and I hung back to put up the screen room. Was first time I did it myself, and it went together pretty quickly. When the girls got back from their swim, we finished setting up camp and decided to go exploring.
We took a walk around, visited the camp store, the pond, and playground. Some of the buildings and equipment look a bit worn, and the camp store has perhaps 3 or 4 of each thing on the shelves – not bare, but close. One thing we all enjoyed was the soft serve ice-cream cones that you could have a flavor swirled thru – really huge for a small, and tasty!
We walked past the pond - lots of geese – and the water looks like it has a film on top – do see some fish though. As we walk the lower loops we saw some newer cabins by the pond – looked really nice, and even had central air units. But the gravel roads could use regrading, and the landscaping could use some work. So they are trying some capital improvements, but they need to care for other smaller issues as well.
Back to RoadAbode we headed, enjoyed some TV, and went to bed. Tomorrow, Uncle Kevin, Aunt Leann, and Kyla come to visit!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

RPC Camping Trip

Well I missed another big one - but at least I got to help setup. By error I selected the wrong days off, and by the time I realized it, someone else on my team had already planned a trip to California.
The RPC Camping Trip was to Lake in Wood again, and is a time for families from Roxborough Presbyterian to get together and enjoy the outdoors, and reflect on the wonders our Lord has laid out for us. Amy thought it was a good idea for me to enjoy at least the afternoon. So we readied RoadAbode Saturday nite - and Amy drove her to church Sunday morning, with me following in RoadToad. Granny decided to go for the ride too. After services, we hooked up RoadToad and waited for a few people that wanted to follow us up. And waited. And waited. Was a good thing, because Mr. Jack still needed a little help, he showed up to collect the church trailer (sans keys), tables, and coffee urn. Helped him a little, then got on the road - after calling the people who still were not there to follow us up. Ride was pretty uneventful, except when we got to the campground, Found out the electric umbilical had popped out of RoadAbode, and was dragging underneath RoadToad. It's pretty shredded. (Already have a new one on order).
Once at the campground, as people started to arrive, we helped set them up (those we could) and found out we had a pavillion to use! Was not the big one from last year, but with the addition of Mr. Jack's party tent, worked out pretty well. After dinner, (Huge HotDogs & Excellent Burgers!!!) and devotions around the campfire in Brotherhood Circle, Granny and I headed home.
I'm bummed about missing out, but at least had some fun with them.
Still gonna miss Shady Maple though!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

2 Wheeling Emily...

Emily Learned to ride a 2-wheeler today! She felt she was ready, so we walked up to the rear parkinglot of Saul High School - and Amy and I both gave her tips, and after a few times running along side - she took off on her own! Only had a few minor crashes, no major bumps or bruises.
Great Job!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Last Day - DE-Touring Thru NY & PA

It had been rainy off and on thru the night - but now we had bright skies above! We decided to leave around Noon, so we could do a little hiking and have a leisurely breakfast. As we met up with different campers, we started to hear how severe the rain had been - and that south of here was flooding - into PA. We did not understand the severity of the flooding. We had to stop back at the Corning Museum to pick up the girls artwork - it cooled there overnight - We then headed out 414 to I-86 to State 17 - and wanted to take it to I-81, but it was closed at the junction to 220. We decided to take 220 - Which took us into Pensylvania, and we thought to Route 6. We were detoured off 6 because of flooding - and we started to understand how high the water was. On part of our detour, we needed to drive thru the waters that were rushing across the roadbed. I could see the center line thru the murky water - but it was still unsettling.

We tried to do south on State route 87 - only to be turned back. We stopped at a closed gas station, and Amy found out from some other travelers and trucker that they had not been able to get out of the area since the night before.
The truck driver was able to tell us where the State trooper barracks were, an a hospital - in case we wanted to 'boondock' for the night.

We stopped @ the barracks, and the young lady by the counter told us we would probably need to head further north and then perhaps east. She was taking many calls on the radio, so yelled in the backroom for help from a trooper. fortunatly the trooper had just came from the south, and was able to tell us that Route 29 was passable "even if it didn't look that way". We headed out and took 29 to 81, to 80,to 476 - and Home. Saw lots of evidence of the power of water - from Moved Homes, to downed trees, and mudslides.
9 hours for a trip that should have taken 4 to 5

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Rainy Drive & Artistic Glass

We finished packing up and were on the road before 10am. With some easy directions from the staff @ KOA Niagara we were to Rainbow Bridge in no time. Destination - Corning & Watkins Glen, NY. There was some rain, but as we headed south the skies really opened up. RoadAbode did well, and we only slowed slightly in the heaviest parts. 4 hours later we were at the City of Corning. The river was high, but we didn't see any danger. We caught a quick lunch @ Wendy's (the girl's choice) and then headed to the Corning Museum of Glass. In hindsight we should of planned more time at this interesting place. From the History of Glass, glassmaking techniques, Glass in Art and Sculpture, and the future of glass in technology - all where covered in the museum. There were also demonstrations of glassblowing, and a chance to try using glass in various artforms for yourself. The Girls took advantage of the last option, creating fused glass mirror frames.
After Having fun at the museum, and doing some shopping, we headed back to RoadAbode and to our next Camping spot, Watkins Glen KOA We selected this KOA for it's proximity to Corning, location in Watkins Glen, and Free Wifi - to check into work. The Facilities were awesome - all new indoor pool, and playground, climbing wall, fishing pond, and trout stream - and a nice hiking trail. We should have spent another day or so in this
area - and plan to in the future!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Last Day-Trip in Niagara

Today was our last full day in Niagara, so we went in the AM to Clifton Hill to use the Tickets for Louis Tussaud's Wax Museum we had purchased as part of a package with Ripley's
It was good fun, and we took some pics posing with some of our favorite actors or other famous people. If I get time - will post a few here.

Afterward, we hit a few souvenir shops along Victoria Street, and then just window shopped and made our way back to the Red Line to take a swim, have lunch, and start to pack up. We got a call from our Friends from RPC Mr. Mike and Ms. Christie - who came up for their vacation. We planned a meeting at the falls.
Mr. Mike & Ms. ChristieWe took the Red Line Falls Shuttle back down, Met with them and shared some of our "Best of the Falls" info with them. Even without our tips, I'm sure they will have a great time! We had some dessert together, and watched the lighting of the falls start. After a brief visit, we headed off - back to finish packing, get the girls to bed, and plan the route back to the U.S. for tomorrow.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

A Flower Clock, & Power From Water

Floral ClockWe decided to visit the Floral Clock, above the Botanical Gardens and Butterfly Conservatory today. We were one of the few on either the Falls Shuttle, or on our Transfer to the PeopleMover.
(The Shuttle Drivers & PeopleMover Drivers were more talkative today - found out the were long-timers - 25 years for one, 13 for another)
The Clock was beautiful, but really is nothing more than a really nice rest area on the Niagara Parkway.
Next to the Floral Clock is the Sir Adam Beck Hydroelectric Plants 1&2. We went in planning a tour - but saw the cost -over 10 for adults(Kimberly is considered an adult) and just didn't think it was worth the expense. Just as our driver was pulling up to our stop, I remembered that we had coupons for the tour - 1/2 price. We waved off our driver - and went for the tour. It was interesting!
The station diverts water from Niagara River above the falls and flows back into the lower portion of the river. For the first station, a long canal diverted water to the plant. For the second, two underground tubes were built to carry the water to a resivoir. The whole process of how the electromagnets create electricity is explained realy well here. Our tourguide, Richard had a great sense of humor, and called our group the 'candy' group, because we were dicussing the differences between candies in Canada and the USA. On the elevator ride down to the plant.(their 'Smarties" are not 'sweet-tart' but more like M&Ms). The Plant #2 that we toured has 16 turbines generators, & each turbine assembly weighs in at 4 tons, and they are services each year, and totally overhauled at 7. We saw some of the machine shop - where they have a huge steel lathe to cut their own turbine shafts, and for other power stations as well. The floor of the plant is so large, that bikes are used by employees to get from one point to another.
After our tour, we decided to try a few bars of "Aero" which is different types of chocolate (milk, dark or Mint) and the center contains air bubbles. They were good, but seemed more crumbly that our hershey bars.
After our tour and snack of chocolate, we caught our PeopleMover to the Botanical Gardens, and walked about for a short time, enjoying the flower beds. We could of spent much more time there, but decided to move along so the girls could get in a swim, and then a shower.
We hopped back on the PeopleMover, Transfered to the Falls Shuttle, and headed back to RoadAbode. Swim for the girls, Nap time for the driver!

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Girls @ White Water Walk. Just does not do the power of the swells and rapids justice.

A gathering of butterflies enjoying orange and grapefruit sections