Friday, December 31, 2010

A Poor Man's Feast

Enjoying a "Poor Man's Feast" of French Brie, Portuguese Artisan Bread, and an inexpensive Riesling Wine this birthday afternoon.

Happy New Year!

From Our Christmas Tree
Wishing all a happy New Year to You and Yours, and hope you get in some camping in 2011!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday Project - Winterizing RoadAbode

On Sunday, after a filling and yummy breakfast at Bird-in-Hand, we took the girls on a winding ride through the back-roads of Lancaster. Plenty of fields, farm and cattle as we slowly wound our way on unknown roads. I was looking for something more elusive, and we finally came upon it! For the Amish, church is not found in a building, but in a body of people.
Amish church occurs every two weeks, rotating among members of a given church district. An Amish family will prepare well ahead of time for church, cleaning the home and getting together food for the after-church meal. Visiting and viewing a member’s home for church is also an informal means of helping to uphold church standards. Amish housewives in particular will take pains to present a tidy home. A large enclosed wagon, known as a church wagon, will bring the benches and song books the Amish use to its latest destination. Looking between building we were passing - we found the Church Wagon!

After riding a bit more, we turned on Lola our GPS and headed toward RockVale Outlets, where we dropped the girls off to do some shopping, While A and I headed back to RoadAbode to begin winterizing. Winterizing is not too difficult, but it does help to have an empty "house" while you do it. We remove the mattress and get under the platform of the bed. here is where the fresh water tank and water-pump are located. We empty the tank of all water by turning the valves located there. (Actually, A does it, because it's a bit of a tight squeeze for me!) View of the water-pump below

While A was doing that, I drained the hot water heater, and then flipped the bypass valve, seen below.
We then open the water valves inside, and using a hose adapter, connect a bottle of RV water system antifreeze to the waterworks panel in the basement, and turn on the pump. We keep it on until we see the pink antifreeze run out of all the spigots, and the toilet. This protects all the water lines from freezing in the winter. We also pour a little into all the sink and shower traps.
Last thing is to flush out the black and grey tanks, and we were all set for winter. Took a total of about 2 and a half hours, which included some cleaning and repacking of the basement. Next trip out, will probably be in March!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Near sunset

Amish Farmer behind our campsite
As the shadows grew long into the afternoon, Molly, A, and I sat at the bench 0f an empty campsite near ours and watched as an Amish Farmer and his team of horses strode back and forth, methodically working the rows in the field before us. As the sun dropped in the sky, so did the the temperatures, bringing on the chill of the evening.
After our walk, we headed to the Stolzfus Farm Restaurant with the girls. A special treat since we had K's friend along, this Authentic Farmhouse has been serving the same traditional meal since 1968. The only change has been additional desserts. We enjoyed Homemade bread, apple butter, apple sauce, Chow-Chow salad, Pepper Cabbage, Homemade Sausage (made in their own butcher shop), Crispy deep-fried chicken, Homemade Hamloaf, Corn, Green beans, Candied sweet potatoes, Brown buttered noodles, Potato stuffing and chicken gravy. Every time we go, we always enjoy this unique eating experience.
After our wonderful meal, we came back to RoadAbode and enjoyed watching Toy Story 3. Well, the girls enjoyed it, I think A and I both fell asleep halfway thru. We'll have to catch it again some other time.

Pictures from the Alpaca Farm

Feeding alpacas

Feeding alpacas

Eastland Alpaca Farm

Today we had fun traveling out to Eastland Alpaca Farm, in Mt. Joy. Alpacas could be considered “South American” sheep. We were amazed at how tame and docile they were. According to the obstacle course demonstration by the 4-H club, alpacas can be trained similarly to dogs. We had a great time learning about these unique creatures!

Frosty Morn

Frosty morn in Lancaster! Molly was excited on our walk, lots of great smells. Later, the farmers market + an alpacha farm! Ri

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Apple Picking at Hopewell Furnace

After our RoadTrip to Sonic, we headed back to RoadAbode and Molly. K honed her driving skills by driving over with A - and I E and Molly took the trails over to the Historic Village . We both arrived at the village around the same time, with K. taking some detours and enjoying the drive, while E and I talked about our favorite camping trips. We each had fun in our own ways.
Once we were together at Hopewell Village, we got our apple bucket and picking "catcher" and set off into the orchard. There are plenty of varieties there to pick, and we were toward the end of the harvest season. Rome, Staymen, Red delicious and more. In short time we picked 7 lbs!
A few pics of the pickers:


After our Fungi Hike Adventure, we headed out to Sonic in Morgantown for Amy's Birthday lunch. Not fancy fare, but exactly what everyone wanted. Everyone had some type of Sonic Burger, but we are saving the icecream for later today.

Cool fungi

Cool fungi

Went on a 'Fungi' hike

Went on a 'Fungi' hike with Lisa Miller of the DNCR. Great fun, + informative.
Meet at Scotts Run Lake, where Lisa gave us some introductory information on the various types of Fungi. She handed out illustrated guides that gave some of the characteristics to watch out for.
Since it is hunting season, we needed to don orange vests so as not to be mistaken as deer by any nearsighted hunters. Even Molly got one.
Luckily we didn't meet any Muzzleloaders or Archers.
Plenty of Fungi though!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Late Arrival in French Creek

Even though we were packed and ready to go, and traffic was not bad, we still ended up driving in the dark. I also opted to exit at route 100 instead of my usual Route 23. This would have been good in the daylight, and more scenic, but in the dark, just made me a bit edgy. A deer darting in front of RoadAbode on the curvy road didn't help either. I got to Route 345 where it meets Route 23, and found that there were signs for a detour for Hopewell Furnace, but not listing Frech Creek SP Campground. It listed a bridge 2.5 miles up the road. I was pretty sure it was a bridge right before the Entrance Road for the State Park.
We took the detour, which led us past St. Peter's Village, and over Harmonyville. we had to do a detour of our own, as a sign listed the bridge on that road was only supporting 3 tons (RoadAbode is around 7 tons) This roundabout took us right to Route 345 again - but by the entrance of Hopewell Furnace & Village, which is above the State Park Entrance Road. We prayed that the detour was for the bridge I was thinking of. As we got closer - we could see signs that the road was closed - we just couldn't figure out if it was below the Entrance Road. Once we got there - it was thankfully below the Entrance. After our 20 minute detour, we got to our capsite. The good news it was easy to pull in, and is right near the showerhouse and water. Bad news is not even with all our leveling brick, are we level. Not terribly off, but one of the more unlevel sites we've had.
Still, glad to be out in RoadAbode.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Slow-Moving Day

Enjoyed just visiting some of our usual haunts will staying at Spring Gulch - and driving a few back roads. The good thing about GPS is being able to just pop in the address back to the campground, no matter what back road you may be on. We found a neat Amish petting zoo, candle shop and ice-cream place, and enjoyed the scenes of a simpler life on the country lanes, passing field, farms and homesteads. We also fell upon the New Holland Farmers market, where we enjoyed a hand-rolled pretzel, and the homey feel of a children's baking contest, and the auction afterward. Beautiful day for a cruise on the back roads.

Carving @ Petting Zoo

Carving @ Petting Zoo

Hand-made Pretzels

Hand-made Pretzels @ New Holland Farmers Market

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Out in RoadAbode Again

The girls (Granny, A, K, E, and Molly) are headed to Lancaster PA - Spring Gulch RV Resort - for a little R&R today. I'll follow up on Friday Night after work. They had a small issue with RoadAbode when leaving storage - she wouldn't start. Given that she still had her original battery, it was not too much of a surprise. After getting a jump from our Good Sam Road Service (only took 30 minutes from call to jump!) Am headed over to Yokum Ford - which is a few miles up the road from storage, and on the way to Lancaster. She called ahead and yhey were ready with a new battery. Found RoadAbode needed a negative terminal cable as well.
two hours behind their planned departure, with the checking account $180 lighter, they were on their way - Not too bad.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Some Pictures from Knoebels
At Cessari's Pizza
The Big Wheel
The Carousel
Our Shuttle
Drive the Olde Tyme Cars
The Tilt-a-Whirl

Knoebels Long Weekend

RoadAbode traveled to Elysburg, PA this weekend, the hope of Knoebels Amusement Park. I took a half-day on Friday, and met the girls up at RoadAbode's home in Montgomeryville. Only the younger set went with me, and we left RoadToad there. The elder set were coming up the next day - one friend had a prior obligation and could not leave til Sat AM. That worked out well in the end, as they got to travel around on their own.
The Drive up on Friday afternoon went smoothly - until we were about 30 minutes from the park. Travel on Route 80 came to a standstill, so after traveling bumper to bumper we got off the exit for route 11. Thatwent smoothly for 10 minutes, until the heavens opened up and we had to slow because of visibility. Was a good time to stop for a fill-up. Was kind of uncomfortable pumping gas while a full fledged downpour with cracks of lightning and thunder were all around. Thank goodness for Sheetz having all the pumps under shelter.
The storm let up a bit, and we soon were traveling on 11 to 487 again - until we got to Catawissa - where the bridge is partially out. so the two lane highway needs to take turns over the bridge.
Finally we made it to the campground, and the rain was stopping. We setup camp, and then took the next shuttle over to the park The rain had thinned out the crowds, so after buying our tickets, and having pizza at Cessari's the girls got to do a few rides and check out "the lay of the land"
Saturday the elder 2 driven by Am made it up with a lot less traffic and other issues that we experienced. In fact they made it for the first shuttle out to the park (actually second, the shuttle was so full, they made two trips)Am, Molly and I headed over after getting a few things done around the "house". Saturday was a blur of food, rides and people as the park was pretty crowded. Sunday was less so, and I headed home to be at work on Monday. From what I hear, the girls had a great time on Monday at Crystal Lake, and riding some of the water rides.
The park was pretty crowded all day, with some longer lines for the rides. I think all of them are pretty tuckered out!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Slideshow of Our New England Coastal Trip

Emily wrote down her Thoughts on our visit to Salem:
We went to Salem and checked out the museums. The first one we went to was the Witch Dungeon Museum. Apparently, Salem is very big on huge creepy mannequins, because they were EVERYWHERE! I mean in every museum and shop (basically). But other that that, the museum was great. exept for the first part where I got scared out of my wits when they started a play on the witch trials. But then i think i over reacted because the acting was very very good. Then we went to the Witch History Museum. The tour guide was kind of robotic, but all was good there too. It was kind of all the same info, but from a different perspective. then we went to the Pirate Museum it was so much fun, and a good change of pace. I liked our tour guide because he used humor to teach instead of going all blah about it. The last one we went to was the wax museum. It showed the founder and how the trials all got started, like the other tours ( and with, like, the same big scary mannequins) I also got my hand waxed there. but what I learned was amazing. it all got started by a maid telling stories of voodoo to young impressionable girls that are very, very, bored. then they started to go into trances and histerical fits. then they called the doctor and the Dr. didn't know that much so he blamed it on witches. then the girls were used to hunt witches all over! No one was safe from being called a witch. and they all were innocennt. some of them pleded guilty. but if you could not recite the Lord's Prayer clearly, loudly, and crisply, they went to gallows hill to be hanged.(hanged bothers me because i know it should be hung but hanged is the propper term!! grrrr!)only 14 women and 5 men were killed. Burning at the stake was outlawed in the states, but not in England and outward. Yes, it was spread all over the world.but then the girls made a big mistake. they called the governor's wife a witch. then, the Governor got called a witch (not wizard) for trying to protect his wife. since the Governor still had his power, he outlawed the spectral evidence. that was a yellow canary, black cat, ect. that was invisible to the rest of the people. then since spectal evidence was the only "evidence" they had, they had to let everyone go. The funny part about it was that you had to pay for the prison food, a bed and everything else. probably the rope for your hanging. The people who could not afford a room got a coffin sized one where you could barely move. The witch hysteria lasted only about 13 months. Eighteen people were hanged and one was crushed to death by heavy stones. Yea, English torture. This was a bad time for Salem, but they recovered in time.

Map of Our Adventures - With Points of Interest

Map of Our Adventures - with points of interest

View June 2010 Easterly Trip in a larger map

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Travel Day

Packed Up and moved on to Salem MA. Was a short stay at Peter's Pond - didn't even really get to enjoy the campground itself. Trip over Route 6 and onto I-95 went pretty well, until I took a turn too early in Salem and ended up in a residential area, rather than by Salem Bay. Once we turned ourselves around, we got to Winter Island without an issue.
Winter Island is unlike any campground we've been in. We are camped alongside Salem Harbor, and are actually only about 100 feet from the boat launch ramp. Right near us are a set of steps to a beach below, and another larger beach to swim at is just a short walk away. There are two distinct type campsites here - a grassy field up a hill, and sites carved out of the parking area. We are at the latter. E is quite excited - finding shells, crabs and other life in the tidal pools. We have a great view of the Lighthouse here, and of the boats bobbing in the water. Every so often we see someone launch a dingy on racks on the beach below us) out to the boats moored in the harbor.
Once setup here, we took a ride to "The Willows" a small row of arcade style games, rides and food, bordering a lovely landscaped park right on the water. We entertained ourselves for a bit watch some of the local boys jumping off a two story pier and swimming to shore, to go a repeat the trip again. The sky started to darken, and we could see the rain fall in the distance, along with bolts of lightning. We headed back to camp, and got in before the storm broke around us. The wind really whipped about us, and we watched the fury of the storm out our back window - a great view of the harbor. As quickly as it came, it was gone, and blue skies and fluffy white clouds were above again. Better yet the wind died down, any humidity was gone, and the temperature dropped. Am made a great dinner of penne with grilled chicken in a red sauce, which we enjoyed outside in the cooling air.
Looking around tonight, It's amazing to me the diversity of Camping units I can see. Across from us is a $1 Mil Newell Motor-home, Next to it is an older unit Probably worth $350-400k (I think they are travelling together - they both have Ontario plates) Next to them is a $15k pop-up. There are plenty of others, from probably $5k on up in price here, but as I look around, none fits our style better than RoadAbode.
Time to watch a little tv, check in @ work, and have a snack.
We'll be exploring Salem's museums tomorrow.

Hermit Crab

Hermit Crab

Waikiki Beach @ Salem

E by the Tidal Pools at Waikiki Beach on Winter Island. Found Hermit Crabs, and lots of various shells.

Winter Island Salem,MA

Winter Island Salem,MA
As I was packing up at Peter's Pond to head North to Salem, a 5th wheel pulled in next to me to set up. We did our courteous "Head Nods and Howdys" to each other, and I continued doing my stuff, and the two gents started their setting up and leveling. Am came over to me and told me "Hey - I think they are trying to level with a wine glass of water, want to let 'em borrow you're level? I looked over, and they were already past that stage, and never wantin' to nose in on telling another man how to do his job (unless it looks dangerous) I decided against it - they seemed ok.

A few moments later a women pulled up in another car (someone's "wifey") and hopped inside the 5th wheel, then hopped right out - talked to the gents - and came directly over to me.
"'cuse me, you wouldn't happen to have a level, would you?" :)
"Why yes ma'm, I do"

They leveled off a few minutes later to her liking. ;)
Guess Women are smarter - If You don't ask, you don't get.