Sunday, March 19, 2006

Sunday @ Otter Lake

Woke around 1am - laid their and tried to decide whether to use RoadAbode's, or the Restroom down the road. Not that I'm the adventurous type, but I decided to go for a walk. Still and quiet, with lots of stars for me to stare at. Didn't see any widlife on the way either - which is a good thing.
Woke again 2 6:30am - put on coffee, and looked at the History Channel. Got Amy rousted by 7:30am, and together we took a bikeride around the lake, letting the girls 'sleep in'
It was nice just the two of us, with no tagalongs.
When we got back to RoadAbode, Amy put together another Great Breakfast!
Now - Time to think about packing up.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Cold Treat from the CampStore

All four of us took a bike ride to the office/campstore. The store was well stocked – for the middle of winter – with the exception of fresh baked goods and snacks. That was fine, we have plenty. The girls were looking for ‘girly’ stuff, so I got bored and walked across the road to the lake. Again, it was beautiful in the stillness. However, the wind picked up for a short time and I could actually see whitecaps on the water! I retreated back to the porch of the store for protection from the wind. As quickly as they came, the winds left, and by the time Amy came out – the winds were gone. Amy had a surprise – ice-cream! No matter how cold, ice-cream is always a treat.

An After-Lunch Explore @ OtterLake

After our Swim we had lunch. Amy warmed up a meal she created at home - a turkey ratatouli - and accompanied it with freshly cooked pasta. Very Tasty! we let lunch settle into our contented stomachs, (more Cartoon Network) and then Kimberly and Emily Suggested a bike ride.
After a few false starts (stopping at the restroom, and heading back to add air in Kimberly's back tire) Emily decided she had ridden enough and wanted to play back at RoadAbode. So it was my turn to spend time with Kimberly! Amy wanted to stay back and enjoy time with Emily.

We decided to explore the path that winds around the lake. The pedaling was pretty easy, on a macadam path, and level. We came to a blockade for cars, but had a path around it for bikes and hikers. It was a little bumpy (ok probably a lot for Kimberly since her's is an old roadbike of Amy's) but we continued on to a beautiful clearing with a bench to enjoy the scenery. we stopped and took it in, and I took a picture of Kimberly for here. We then continued on.
The lake on this side does not have any campsites on it. In fact, the lake is actually built up and dammed higher than the land on this side. Looks like they had just done some repair work on the dammed-up part here - which made the path much more bumpy! (No complaints from Kimberly though!)
Once past this area, the ride was again pretty smooth, and passed by some beautiful homes along the shore. I'm sure they have a glorious view to enjoy anytime of year!
The path concluded across from the campstore, right by the basketball courts, and we continued back to RoadAbode on nice, even macadem.
The ride was great, past beautiful scenery, and all along the way – only saw one other person, jogging along the trail.
When we got back to RoadAbode, talked to our neighbors a bit, seemed to be avid skiers. They were giving me plenty of specs and ski stats, so I politely nodded – a lot. They were busy taking apart the ‘mud room’ connected to their trailer. Apparently a lot of skiers and snow mobilers build these so they have somewhere to shed their snow-wear before entering the trailer. Saw a few on motorhomes too. Mrs. Skier seemed to be upset that their daughter had already given up on the ski season, Mrs. Skier apparently hadn’t yet.
Amy and Kimberly shared time together doing beading (as I write) and Emily played – not really deciding which is better – outside or in. Amy and I also did a small project in RoadAbode – adding shoe pockets around the base of our bed.

Swimmingly good Afternoon

Emily's hardest thing was the Anticipation. Every 5 Minutes it was "Is it noon yet?"
Not because she was hungry for lunch, but because she wanted to go swim. Amy got her into the new swimsuit they purchased earlier in the week, and at 11:50am - we bundled up and headed for the pool.
Emily was thrilled once in the building.

Kimberly just was not in the mood for a swim, so I decided to "Take the Plunge" with Emily.
The water felt a bit chilly at first, but we both warmed up to it really quick. The only others in the pool were two pre-teens and their mom, who was lounging in the hot tub next to the pool.
As Emily and I floated, paddled, and swam around, we found the 'hot spots' in the pool.
At first I thought they were from the pre-teens (eee-wwww) but quickly figured out it was the inlets where the pumps recurculated the water back into the pool. Nice and toasty!
Emily and I swam for about an hour - til we both had fingers that looked like wrinkled prunes. Just then a large group came into the poolhouse - so it was a good time to dry off and head back for lunch!

A Laidback Morning @ Otter Lake

Slept soooo well – woke up @ 6:30am – temp inside RoadAbode stayed around 57f overnight – but we are all comfy in our sleeping bags. I made a pot of coffee, took a visit to the ‘loo’, and Amy made a great breakfast for all – sausage, pancakes, and French toast! Emily is eager to go swimming – they have an indoor pool here, a few campsites away from us – but the pool does not open until noon.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Our Winter Trip to Otter Lake

It’s always fun dreaming about and planning for a trip in RoadAbode, but nothing beats the excitement of being packed up, starting her up, and pulling out. Started Friday off by only working the AM, and Amy picked up RoadAbode after dropping the girls @ school. Amy proceeded to pack in the clothes and ‘stuff’ we had all picked out Thursday nite. After getting done my reports and stuff, @ work in the AM – I headed home, helped pack what I could, and set up the bike rack for the first time. Worked pretty easy, but good thing Amy picked up a “rack bar” for Emily’s bike. Her ‘girl bar’ was too small to fit on the rack without it.
We drove up with no incidents, just had to get use to being behind the wheel of something bigger than RoadToad, and how you get ‘sucked in’ as big rigs pass you by on the highway.
Headed up the Northeast Extension, the weather was beautiful – blue skies and little wind. Got off @ exit 95 – the Pocono exit – which connects to RT 940 and US 80. We stopped at the WAWA there to get gas, and some coffee and muffins. They also have a nice manned visitor center there, and got some great free maps of the area. We continued on to Route 80 east, connected with 209 North 2 exit 309, and followed the rest of the directions pretty easily to Otter Lake.

Amy & the girls had never been to the campground, but I had been there when I was 11 or 12 when my brother Frank had taken me with his then wife and her brothers & sisters. Otter Lake is located on a windy road about 9 miles in from Route 209.

We checked in easily (but - how come all these campground offices are run by 17 year old girls?) Only one small issue - getting the propane tank filled. Had not had to do that since we bought RoadAbode. We had to pull back out to the main road and back into a driveway that was down the road a bit. I couldn’t see well in the mirrors – cause I was backing into the sun, but we managed.
After that – got to our spot at J-15 – pretty level, and sized nicely. Only hooked up cable and electric, I don’t want to mess with frozen sewer hoses.

Walking around the campground, what hits you is the quietness and serenity. There’s hardly anyone around, though there are plenty of seasonal trailers on the premises. It’s great to be able to hear birds, wind, and not much more around.

We worked on getting the bikes off – carrier did great – and took a ride out to the camp store after adding air to everyone’s tires.
Emily did a great job keeping up, even with training wheels and sans any shifting gears. She’s working on true ‘kid power’.After getting back, I got the propane thru the lines, kicked on the heater (getting down to mid 20s) and Amy warmed up the oven for our traditional Friday Nite Pizza.

We enjoyed watching some Disney and Cartoon Network, took a walk to visit the restrooms, and enjoyed the stars in the sky – without the light pollution we are so use to in Philly. Time for bed!

Saturday, March 11, 2006


Combining Computer-ese and RV-ese today....
Anyway, today is the Day to install the Baseplate on RoadToad. The BasePlate connects and Lets RoadAbode tow RoadToad safely. There are other Components - but let's start with this...
RTFM in GeekSpeak means Read The Fine Manual - although some people change it and get rude with it.
Created a special area to record the goings on and modifications needed to be made to RoadToad.