Monday, December 24, 2007

Kyla Visits

No matter how bah-humbug you may feel, for whatever reason, a small child can bring Christmas into your heart.
So glad Kev, Leann and Kyla could come

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Saturday Fun

Decided to have a treat and go to the local Bob Evans for breakfast this AM
Had the girls out and moving by 9:15 or so. The place was hopping, but we were seated pretty quickly.
After breakfast, wandered over to the Rockvale Outlets. The younger two hung out at the nice playground setup there, while Mom & Kim went searching (and found) socks for Mom (we always forget something) Stopped at a few other stores and just enjoyed people watching.
Girls picked up some early Christmas presents.
Headed back to camp, and stopped by the little farm stand and trinket shop by the campground...picked up some tomatoes, apples, and cider as additions to dinner.
At camp - girls just ran between our site and the playground - really enjoyed each other
Kim hung out at RoadAbode - with a little homework and reading.
Amy and I took a nice handholding walk around the campground - checking out other rigs and setups. Was a great time just to be together for a short time - without life's interruptions

Had Dinner around 5:30 - simple meal of pasta, sauce, cheese, bread, and tomato salad.
Girls played, we cleaned up - then had a roaring fire - haven't built a big fire in a long time. Made plenty of S'mores, and watched the stars come out.
Girls headed in to watch TV - I continued to enjoy the warmth of the fire...and the amazing sky overhead. Need to have more weekends filled with days and nights like this.
Too much going on these days between work and church. Just can't fit everything in - and don't want to feel guilty for weekends that I enjoy my family.

Lancaster Weekend

Decided to head Up to Lancaster - to one of our favorite campgrounds there - Country Acres.
Have a nice site right next to the playground - which is nice for Em & her friend that she brought along from school. We got in pretty late - leveled RoadAbode, Hooked up Electric and went out for our usual Friday nite dinner round these parts - Paradise Pizza's Awesome Chicken Ranch Pizza!
After dinner, we headed back to camp
Set up everyones beds - a little tv and bed.
Stars are So plentiful out here!

Camped @ Lancaster

Morning Fun in Lancaster

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Otter Lake Weekend

Spending the weekend @ Otter Lake
Getting here last night was not fun. Traffic was heavy leaving from work, and Amy missed her exit on the way...
It was rather stressful...and not how I like to start a roadtrip. Stated to drizzle a bit too...
Getting 29+ foot is not fun...and Amy and I - since we "switched roles" and met at the campground, had an interesting time getting RoadAbode settled in. We did it...and after dinner, was ready to hit bed...
This morning provided new insights, and new opportunities though.
Slept late, had a great "camp breakfast" as usual..and morning coffee, gave a new perspective.
Got ourselves moving, and by 10:30am were on the road to the 209 Flea market. Love to peruse the wares of the vendors (though quite a few look like the buy from the same suppliers.
After wandering around, went to Perkins for a nice lunch, (Though I was tempted to eat a sausage, pepper and onion sandwich at the flea market. - went for tamer fare)
After lunch, back to RoadAbode to take a hike round the lake, and just enjoy the weather.
A nap fit in there somewhere too, and a little rock climbing (emphasis on "little")
Called AT&T to up my plan - so I could sign on...and post here. (in my backwards, sneaky way)
Em took a ride on the old firetruck at 4pm, and after posting, will start to build a fire, and maybe settle in for some TV, snuggle up as the temp drops, and have a late dinner.
Today has definitely helped de-stressed yesterday...
A few pics from today:
FleaMarket - $1 PepperageFarm Stuff!

Otter Lake - Foliage is Changing...

Hanging Around the Playground

Goofing on our RockClimb

Kim Too cool to Climb

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Camping in Lancaster this weekend. Trying out BerryPatch Campground in Honey Brooke PA

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Slackin' -n Campin'

Today was a slacking day. stayed in bed til almost 9am. had breakfast at 10am, and just sat around camp. Felt good! Played cards with Kimberly while Em and Amy went for a swim. Only left camp today to go out for a late lunch. Programmed into Lola to find a KFC - and found one in Kenneth Square. After lunch, a stop to the local Big Lot - then back to camp. Enjoyed a trip canoeing up the Brandywine. Saw some nice size trout in the clear water.
After some snack, we enjoyed a magic show provided by the KOA, some TV then bed.

Productive day? No way. But great to be with the girls enjoying the time!

Camping Close to Home - West Chester

Thurday night I was a "bachelor" for the evening, the girls headed off to the West Chester KOA to get an early start to our camping weekend before the Kickoff to RPC's YouthWeek.
After work Friday, I bolted out the door at 5:05pm and headed off down the road, directed by Lola our GPS. Took almost exactly a hour from door to to - and that included a turnaround because of a detour - road closed in Brandywine. The girls jumped right into the car - because we were heading to Longwood Gardens - 15 minutes away - to see an Open Air Concert by one of our favorites - TroutFishing in America . The concert was awesome, rain held off, and as a bonus the girls got to see a little of the gardens and the water and light show that's held at closing. I hadn't realized that they never had been to the gardens - and they definitely want to go back someday during daylight to check it out.
It was odd for me - The girls had already set up camp pretty well - I didn't have much to do when we got back to RoadAbode - except relax. We had our usual Friday Night Pizza, a little TV, and off to bed.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

RPC Family Camping Trip 2007 - Ricketts Glenn

Ricketts Glen Park OfficeSince there is no cell service at the top of Red Rock Mountain (elevation 2449 ft) I'm posting after our adventures.
This year I made the RPC Family Camping Trip - Past few I've had to be home for work.
We had quite a few "newbies" - families or singles that had not camped before. What made it even more adventuresome is the lack of electrical hookups at any of the sites.
However, more than half our sites were right on the lake - with lake access (for fishing or canoeing) and beautiful views. Ad to the mix the ranger's warning posters & leaflets about the resident black bear, and we had some worried newbies.
After getting families, the food site, and ourselves setup, we had a great evening meal, and a time of devotional and singing. Was a great time - Monday started with a great breakfast provided by Jack, and Steve took the kids fishing by the dam. Everybody caught at least a sunny, with Steve having the most interesting catch - a medium-sized pike.
After fishing, we planned on hiking to Ricketts Glenn most interesting feature, its multiple waterfalls. Rickets Glenn has 2 Gorge areas/streams -Glen Leigh and Ganoga Glen - that converge into a whirlpool named "Waters Meet", aptly enough. Along each gorge are several waterfalls - from six to over 90 foot tall.
Check here for more info.
However, as we headed toward the trail, it started to drizzle, and then increased to a gentle rain - and as we turned back - a steady downpour.
I headed for the showers since they'd be empty - knowing most campers huddle down in their tents and try to figure what to do in the rain. I figured the storm would be over in an hour or two. I was wrong. Not only was it raining - hard - but the temperature was dropping. I also found out that some of our young newbies and one leader had headed out on the trail anyway, and were now somewhere in the downpour.
It became harder for people to stay dry and warm. By nightfall, 4 families had made the decision to leave. I don't fault them - wish the weather had been better...
After helping some families pack their tents - in the rain - and then a great dinner of grilled Pork loin, pasta salad, and vegetables - I was having a hard time staying warm, and by after dinner - just wanted to crawl into bed. I managed to do that after helping to cleaning up the food site and being social for a little while. The girls and Bobbo played cards in RoadAbode for a few hours before hitting the sack.
Rain ended around 3 or so Tues AM
And Tues Was ABSOLUTELY Beautiful!
Breakfast was made to order eggs, by Jack - with plenty of bacon & sausage. Tried some poached eggs on toast for the first time (a lot like softboiled!)
The sky cleared beautfully, and after breakingdown the food site and campsites with the last families, we cleaned & packed ourselves up and drove to the trail head of the Falls Trail.
We hiked to Ganoga Falls, - which while not the whole hike around both gorges, gave us some beautiful old growth forest and gorge views. Jack and Family (both children under teen years) left earlier and did the whole hike - and we actually met up at Ganoga on their return trip. Made me feel wimpy :-)
After our hike, we stopped for some lunch at the Lake Rose Consession stand (good food!) and Emily took a dip at the Swimming beach. Before heading home, last stop was to the Park office to pickup some souvenier patches and shirts. Rangers let us know we had just missed the bear too!
Have a few pictures of our adventures:Girls Riding from Park Office to Our Site
Devotion Time after dinnerBrinas First FishSteve's Nice Pike Trying to Stay DryBobbo and His Rainy Day Nap

Girls at Ganoga Falls
Relaxing and Enjoying the Falls
Em in Lake Rose

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Camp RoadAbode

Marshmallow time with Kimberly - Emily is doing a sleep-over with friends. That's the water and Janes Island in the background.

Sunset over Janes Island

Beautiful end to a perfect day.

Before Dinner

Chinese Checkers

More fun today in Maryland

Canoe trip - just Emily & Me, grab a quick shower - then to our friends home for a potluck dinner.

Crabbing in MD

Went crabbing with our friends this morn. Now time 4 some icecream @ the city marina!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Touring the Area

Have had a great day touring the area. Enjoyed a excelent lunch @ the Cove rest. Had a short bikeride around the campgrou
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Downtown Crisfeild
Beautiful & quiet here - but buggy. Our friends Joe & Pat put together an amazing dinner last night! Their place is beautiful. It was a joy
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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Hanging Back @ Bethpage

Friday, just "hung back" at the campground. Woke around 7am, cleaned up my sleeping area and got coffee going.
Day consisted of mostly relaxing and watching as the campground fills up with weekenders. Where before we had open space and could see the lake beach from our site now we are "surrounded" on 3 sides by campers. Still lots of sites open in the rear of the campground, and the capacity could double for events like the Urbanna Oyster Festival - Each site here is spacious enough to fit two rigs, - and that's what they do - because each site has dual water, sewer and electric hookups.
As I promised Emily we went swimming in the lake and then the pool (which I showered after)

Lunch came soon after, with usual camping fare - Hamburgers - and the addition of nachos from the Beach House Cafe across the way.

Hit the playground, Took a bike ride with Amy to check out the neighborhood. This would be a perfect campground if the had some open area along the waterfront. Instead it's all closed in by seasonal trailers. All the signs here say "Finest in Waterfront Camping" - but only a few truly have that experience. But I'm not here for sour grapes - This trip has been excellent so far, and the rest of Bethpage is beautiful!

After Emily's bike crash a few months ago at Lake-in-Wood, she's been shy about getting back on, and riding near traffic. Now with the weekenders here, there's plenty of traffic. But she did ride to the playground with me.

The girls and I (sans Granny) also took in a game of mini-golf - all the way at the end of the campground - past the storage area. Some pretty nice boats just waiting to get in the water here. The mini-golf was great - I think it also is owned by Bethpage - but the 25 cent ice-cream really topped my list!

Dinner was the usual Friday Pizza night - We brought our own and I ran into Urbanna for a seafood pizza (smaller than expected - but de-lish!)

Weather - Absolutely beautiful! Had a small fire - the pyros of the family had fun. Then called it an early evening, girls had showers in RoadAbode, and I cleaned up the site. We settled into RoadAbode, and watched some Discovery Channel.

Another Beautiful Day!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Visit to Jamestown

Woke about 6pm, converted my bed back into the sofa, and started coffee. Got my shower stuff together, and headed to the shower house - with a cup of joe.

Once back, got the girls their breakfast while Amy headed to the shower. Once everyone was fed and cleaned up, we loaded ourselves into RoadToad and headed to Jamestown. Jamestown is where the first English Settlement was located, years before Plymouth.
The ride was about an hour, and included a drive on the Colonial Parkway, a beautiful roadway through forest and along the James River. There was also a Model "A" antique car rally in the area, and we counted over 100 of these autos! ( talking later with a Park Ranger, he stated over 600 Model "A" owners were expected!)
We were originally headed to Jamestown Settlement, a recreation, but because of the tie up caused by the Model "A's", went to where the actual Archaeological dig site - of the actual fort. This was probably better and more informative than the re-creation. The guide was excellent, and really knew and helped us understand the history and importance of the history of Jamestown. It was also much less expensive than the re-creation at Jamestown Settlement - thanks to Granny's Senior Park pass. We spent about 3 hours there, stopped at the Settlement for a snack, then continued on back to Bethpage.

Emily and I took a dip in the lake - had loads of fun letting her dive off my shoulders. Amy and Kimberly came down a little later to get us and we all headed to the pool for more water fun.

After being waterlogged for quite some time, we dried off and headed to Urbanna to "Shuckers" for dinner, Granny and Emily had Chicken, Amy BBQ, and Kimberly & I went with seafood - shrimp and Scallop stir fry for her - Crab cake sandwich for me. Afterward we toured Urbanna (took about 10 minutes!) and headed back for dessert - ice cream!
Relaxed by the fire, girls played cards, a wonderful day!

Took care of a few minor issues at work, and signed on here. Life should be like this all the time!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

VA/MD Adventure - Bethpage Camp Resort

Had a downpour as we connected RoadToad to the towbar. Was "fun" getting everything together in Kohl's parkinglot, not far from home. adding air, connecting the chains and cables (also have the bikes in tow) and getting the brake system ready is just not as easy in a pouring rain. Also seems to take longer. Once connected - got moving by about 9:45am. ride down was easy, didn't stop until Virginia for gas, then stopped at a subway for lunch.

Got to Bethpage about 5:30pm, filled up on propane, and was escorted to our site. Amy made quite an impression on our guide. we saw him later after dinner - and he told us of all the places he's workcamped, he's never seen someone so excited, and happy to be at a campground!

We can seee why this campground has been named one of the best in the country, and the best in
Virginia. Everything is manicured, clean and very well kept/maintained.
Set up camp and the girls went for a swim, with Granny and Amy in tow. I had to move a few things when we got new "neighbors" (just so they could 'pull thru') and then moved them right back. Turns out they are from Allentown - also their first time here. Emily is looking forward to a swim in the Lake - to try the big trampoline. This looks like a fun place!

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Rainy start for our trip 2 VA/MD

Monday, May 21, 2007

Sunday Fishing/Hiking at Hopewell Lake

Woke around 7am, had some coffee, went outside. Looks like it rained a bit and there's still a little drizzle coming down. Had breakfast with the girls - and decided to go fishing anyway!
Broke out the ponchos & rain gear - and drove to the lake rather than hike. We walked from the boat launch area around to the "fishing pier" they have built on the lake. Along the way we looked at the beaver dam and the evidence of the chewed logs that they leave behind. Didn't see any beavers though. As we fished, blue skies came out - and by the time the girls had enough, it was clear! Since the weather turned for the better, we decided to go to the far side of the lake and explore the dam/waterfall there. We drove over to the closest parking lot I could find that was near the dam (the roads at French creek have really changed) and hiked down to the dam. Saw evidence of a goose that was caught as someones dinner along the way.
They have really been making improvements here - saw a water filtration plant (I think) where we parked the car, and they have built an overflow area next to the original dam/waterfall. So many things are the same - yet so many have changed since I was a boy. They definitely have let some areas go to be more wild again - which is a good thing. We sat and enjoyed the waterfalls for a while - then headed back to packup RoadAbode.
Here's some pics of our Sunday Adventures: RoadAbode CampsiteWaterfall at Hopewell Lake'Brina and Kimberly at top of Waterfall at Hopewell LakeBrina Kimberly and Emily at Top of Waterfall at Hopewell LakeWaterfall and New Overflow waterway at Hopewell LakeFishing on Hopewell Lake

Saturday, May 19, 2007

French Creek Saturday - Part Deux

After wandering around and soaking up the history of Hopewell Village, We started to head back around Noon. The hike was a little tougher - we had some steep inclines on the way back. Once back at camp and we caught our breath, we cleaned up and got in RoadToad to ride out for "linner" (late lunch, early dinner) to Shady Maple - which is only about 30 minutes away from the campground. We enjoyed a great dinner of all types of things - I was truly stuffed. Amy picked up a loaf of her favorite - Peach Bread, and we perused the huge gift store. We thought we heard thunder -and it looked like the trees outside were whipping about. Started to wonder about our new canopy - and how it was doing in the wind - so we headed out. Once outside - it was not that bad - no rain at all - so the girls stopped at Goods General store to look around, while I went into the grocery to grab paper towels (you ALWAYS forget something when you camp!) and hand soap.
After that - we headed back - all was well at RoadAboad.
Had a quiet night, it did finally start to drizzle/rain - so no fire. The older girls watched a movie in their bunk, Emily and I read, did a little snacking, played on the laptop - Then off to bed for us old folks. Sounds boring - But very relaxing!

Amazing, Beautiful Saturday! - French Creek

Woke a little late - around 7:30am, and just snuggled under the warm covers. Looks like the temp outside is right around 50F. Peering out the windows though - Beautiful blue Skies! Weatherman was calling for all day rain - We have definitely been blessed!
Got coffee going, and Amy got the girls rustled up for breakfast. Some had, pancakes, or french toast, I went for a sausage sandwich on mini-bagels. I sat outside and enjoyed watching the chipmunks play, girls opted to stay inside - warm.
Finally got everyone dressed and moving by 9:30am, so we started on our hike to Hopewell Furnace. There are quite a few hiking trails that pass by the campground. The trail we used (Collier's Trail - white circle) goes right past the entrance to the campground. It's one of the more direct routes to Hopewell Village & Furnace. If you ever get a chance, check this little gem of history out! On the way I pointed out the few flora & fauna thing that I remembered from when Opa, Opa and Frank use to take me here. French creek was a big part of my growing up as a kid. We would come here many times a year. Oma and Opa would pick a variety of edible mushrooms, berries, nuts, and other things in these woods. Opa was probably happiest when wandering around here. I think he could have been happy camping here too, if he would have started...
I was glad to see that upkeep of Hopewell is back where it should be. The waterwheel is working again, and they are doing a few demonstrations of life back in the 17 and 1800's. Also - the Rangers in the visitor's center were great with the girls - and just plain fun! All three girls enjoy history, so they really enjoyed learning about how life was at the village back then.

They also earned their "Junior Ranger Badges" by hunting down the clues to various questions in the pamphlet the ranger had given them. Only part that was a little trying is when Emily dropped the questionnaire (almost all finished) in the creek - and Amy had to retrieve it.
We even got to see a birds nests with hatchlings of Barn swallows and blackbirds!

Here's a few pics of our Morning Adventures...RoadAbode in Her CampsiteOn the Trail - Almost to Hopewell Village
WaterWheel Working Again!Girls in from of the Wagon I have picture of ME at 8 yrs old in front of!Bird's nest in the eaves of the restored Boarding House

Friday, May 18, 2007

French Creek for a Weekend!

After work I, picked up pizza, hurried home, and meet with the girls for a quick bite. We then all piled into RoadToad - including Sabrina - one of their girlfriends - and headed up to where we store RoadAbode. Amy had been there earlier in the day to load her up with a few essentials.
We piled in the few things the girls brought along, hooked up the Towbar and RoadToad, and were on our way. We arrived about an hour later, right around dusk, at French Creek State Park Campground. We quickly leveled RoadAbode, and got settled in. Had a small fire that the "little pyros" played with, and then went in - getting a bit chilly outside. Cranked on the heater, and started to plan our Saturday. They're calling for rain, hope it holds off until the afternoon...

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Lake-in-Wood Full Day of Fun

Woke around 6:30am, got coffee brewing, and enjoyed the sounds of birds - and just the quietness of the surrounding woods. After some breakfast, Amy & I went for a short bike ride and then got to work replacing 2 cracked roof vents. Each vent was under a Maxxi-Air cover, so Amy took those off on RoadAbode's roof, while I worked inside to remove the internal moulding, screen, and vent mechanism. We did both vents in less than an hour. While we were finishing up , Emily took a spill on her bike - that scared us all (right into a boulder!) She was okay, but shaken up.
A family bike ride was next, and we went to check out the 'Gnome Cafe" - and stayed for lunch. Not too expensive, and good food. Emily enjoyed time on the playground, and we all had ice-cream for dessert.
After lunch, we tried our luck fishing. Emily and Amy also took a paddle boat ride. Good thing, because they helped me out when I got my line tangled up in a partially submerged tree branch.
After fishing, I had a surprise for the girls, an inexpensive remote control plane I had picked up at Radio Shack. Kimberly turned out to be the Best "pilot" - keeping the plane aloft for the longest time, and making some great turns!
While Emily, Kimberly and I played, Amy got together sloppy joes for dinner.
A Campfire with marshmallows and cooked pears made for a great family-time dessert.
A little Cable TV - then off to bed - Great Day - Full of Fun!