Saturday, November 26, 2011

Last RoadTrip

last roadtrip of the year. Top off the fueltank, put on the tire covers, and close RoadAbode up for the season. see you next year, olde friend.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

That time of year again, winterizing for the end of season in Lancaster.

Friday, October 14, 2011

A new era in RoadAbode camping

Today is the first time Wifey and I have camped without the girls. Just the Missus and me!
The girls have their own things going on, & we are nestled in at Spring Gulch in Lancaster. Not in my favorite spot at this campground, but still good to be out.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A little drizzle

A little drizzle has started, squelching our idea of an afternoon canoe trip. Instead, we are all just vegging out, either wagging some tv, or reading. For me, Kathy Reichs "Death Du Jour" is holding my Interest. The main character, Temperance Brennan, is whom the tv show "Bones" is based upon.

Left from Hurricane Irene

Friday, September 16, 2011

September Trip

Drove to the KOA in West Chester after work. Traffic was suprisingly light. Even though night had fallen by the time we pulled in, we are level and setup was easy on a dry, clear night. Pizza and some cable tv tonight.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Winner @ the DogPound!

Winner @ the DogPound!

View of Lake Glory from our campsite.

View of Lake Glory from our campsite.

make your own slushie :-)

make your own slushie :-)

The North Pole - made of ice

The looper aka "hampster wheel"

The looper aka "hampster wheel"

Another great concert with Rick K

Another great concert with Rick K & the All-nighters
Alligator bites are yum!

Merry Mixer in Action

Riding the merry mixer

Sunday, August 07, 2011

RoadTrip to Centralia

While the girls enjoyed Knoebels, I took a little roadtrip to the moonscape of Centralia. This small coal mining town's demise started in May 1962, when the story is the dump next to the cemetery caught fire, smoldered, and the fire contacted a coal vein and traveled underground. Every attempt to suppress the blaze failed, and the flames had consumed an underground area hundreds of acres in size - including right under the town.The fire caused fissures in a section of Highway 61 that runs right through Centralia. Smoke, fumes, toxic gases, and in some cases flames, rose up through the ground.  The fire has literally consumed Centralia. Residents moved or were force to move because of the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning, fires, and cave-ins.
Now this ghost town holds only a few residents, and hardly any buildings. The streets are mostly overgrown, but their eerie city grid still remain. I drove up from one of the streets to a dirt  road, which led to the dump where the fire started. I could see the fissures where steam or smoke escaped into the air, and the ground near them did feel warmer. Putting my hand by a fissure, I could feel the heat rising up and out. Quite a few other visitors were wandering - seeing for themselves the town that once was.
I'm glad I was able to see Centralia, but it was quite sad to think what these people needed to give up, and how quickly their lives had changed.

Visiting Centralia PA - Frequently Asked Questions about visiting Centralia

Knoebels - Crazy Awesome Drummer Dude!

Saw "Crazy awesome drummer dude" Steve Moore of Rick K and the Allnighters last night @ Knoebels. They made a rainy day brighter!

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Knoebels - Carousel Girls

The RoadAbode Girls Enjoying Knoebels Grand Carousel, a 1912/1913 carousel. It is one of the few carousels remaining with a working ring dispenser, allowing riders on the outside row of horses to reach out and grab steel rings as they pass.

Knoebels - Raining. Hard.

Raining. Hard. So the girls are playing "Clue" in the back bedroom.

Knoebels - On the paratrooper

On the paratrooper

Knoebels - First ones on the Boatride today!

First ones on the Boatride today! Plenty to ride and Discover at Knoebels!

Monday, July 04, 2011

4th of July, and the campground is much more quiet than earlier today. Most of our neighbors have left. Relaxing reading "Walden Pond".

Streamside on July 4th

Caught a baby crawdad!

Girls on a streamside rock

This was probably the favorite part of this RoadTrip for all of us. Ever since my hike "back in time" to Six Penny  Lake area, in July of 2009, I've been wanting to get the girls back to this mini Shangri la. I knew they wouldn't enjoy the Hike in, and definitely not the Hike out - so I checked maps and found the old access road to what use to be the day use area. It has just enough parking for two or three cars where it meets the main road. Boulders lined up block entry any further. The girls didn't seem too enthused by the idea, but E was sold on the idea of catching some salamanders, which is what Frank use to do with me in this area when I was a boy. Once Amy had joined us, I talked up the idea as well, and we headed out for our unusual 4th of July Picnic with a few snack crackers, bottles of water and a neat sheet. Molly was along as well.
I guess, I'm not the best map reader - but how did I miss that the access road I wanted was off one main road - not the other? It's not like there are a lot of roads out here to choose from ! =p After a few turn-arounds, Amy got me to the right place. We walked in - with all the girls wary of the poison Ivy along the old macadam road - now just a walkway. We walked the gentle slope downward and came to the small concrete bridge - and suddenly you could feel the difference - the coolness - in the air. You could smell it too - as if there were somehow more oxygen in this place. We continued - now following the gentle babble of the water upstream.
We explored the dam just a bit - what use to be the lake was a mix of mucky and dry this visit -  and then settled upon a rounded rock along the stream that we could all sit upon. E was right away walking in the water, with K right behind. I followed along, giving tips where and how to find some creatures to capture for a bit. Don't think Amy ever made it into the water. K eventually relaxed with Amy on our comfy rock, while E took point and I followed along downstream. Here's a list of what creatures we ere fortunate enough to be acquainted with:
A Salamander. Never "officially" caught the little guy, but found him in a feeder stream, but he wiggled out of my muck-covered fingers. E said she did see him before he vanished into the mud of the bank. Glad she did get that at least.
Three Crayfish - or Crawdads. E caught them all, in shallow still-water pools alongside the stream. We watched them for some time - and I was able to show how they swim backwards - something the girls didn't know before.
A Leopard Frog. E caught him as we clamored up by the dam, with some herding assistance from me. Muddy Mess I was! the Frog, however, was quite quick and lively and E got to give him some close up looks through her Clear "DQ" cup she used as trap, habitat, and observation area.
Minnows. Well, they look like minnows, but we have a tendency to call any fish smaller than our pinkie "a minnow". Never successfully caught one in our cup. They were Quick!
Was nice to share the experience of "hunting our prey" with E. Hope she enjoyed just as much.
We enjoyed a small snack and water, and just relaxed and chatted stream-side. I was surprised no other hiker ever ventured past.
What was Molly doing during this adventure? She's not really a wading dog, so she mostly sat near Amy, with perhaps a foray stream-side to see what the girls were up to. She did find a stick or two to pass the time. I think she enjoyed this relaxing spot as well.
We finally decided to head back after a few relaxing hours enjoying the stream together. This was not one of our most active 4th of July's  - But one of the most memorable ones.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Pictures from our beaver walk

A Book to Read

For our past few roadtrips, I've been reading through "Walking Across America" by Peter Jenkins. A definite good read for someone who wants a flavor of this great country. Quite a few surprises along the journey too!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Hotdog time!

Yep, Just a Simple Meal over the fire. 
Sometimes simple is just better.
No pool, but a nice glide on Hopewell lake in a rowboat
(Edit 07-16-11) Between Being Busy @ Work, and Falling asleep WAY too early when I get home, have had no time to update the memories from this trip. While on the lake, there were many other boaters enjoying the great weather. Not overcrowded, but more than I  had see - but it was a holiday weekend. While paddling along, we heard an "Ahoy Matey" coming from a paddle-boat in the middle of the lake, with someone waving crazily at us. I think it was K who said - I think that's Uncle Frank! Looking Closer - it was! We paddled over to him and met his girlfriend and her two boys. What a Surprise! We invited them over to RoadAbode for hot-dogs or s'mores, but they declined. Made the day that much  more joyful and relaxing for me. Wish I would have taken a picture, but I'm lucky I got what shots I did with my new phone.
Keeping the noseeums at bay with punks smoke while we relax and read at the picnic table @ French Creek. Girls are thinking of going for a swim.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Settled in @ French Creek State Park

Settled in @ French Creek State Park for the Holiday
(Edit 07-16-11) Got to say, this was one of the Best 4th of July weekends we've every experienced. Not that we didn't miss the parade, activities, and fun at RPC, but it was relaxing and different. The girls and I headed up in RoadAbode and Setup Camp Friday, A headed up after work two days later. Both girls helped out great, and we pretty quickly got into a relax mode - just reading and snacking, and making plans for what to do when "mom gets here". We each were doing our own things at points, but doing them together.
K is starting College in the fall, E is prepping herself to go to High School next year, so the dynamics of our RoadTrips in RoadAbode are going to be changing.
As usual, we'll see what God places before us on this journey.
Profound thought of the day;
"The best journeys are those that answer questions you didn't even have when you started"
From "180 Degrees South"

Friday, June 24, 2011

At the Glass Market
Glassblowing @ Corning
Corning Museum of Glass

Now in Watkins Glen State Park

Now in Watkins Glen State Park in New York
Drove down Route 14 past many wineries along the Shore of Seneca Lake. Nice easy two lane highway, with little traffic. Got to the Campground an hour before check-in, but that seemed OK to the Reservation station - who was happy that I had done my pre-confirmation steps on-line. Guess it made her job easier.
Our campsite is one of the most spacious we've had, and we are nestled in between the playground and a service road to a water tower. Shower-house is an easy short walk, and if we need more water for the fresh water tank, a hose bib is right next to us. under some beautiful white pine, we'll enjoy a nice campfire tonight.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Niagara-on-the-Lake and a Winery Tour & Tastling

Today We Took a ride - with Molly in tow -  to Niagara-on-the-Lake, a quaint Village of Shops and History located where the Niagara River and Lake Ontario meet.The town has many national historic sites including Fort George Used in the War of 1812. The girls enjoyed window shopping while Amy and I took turns with Molly. The town was a little more pricey than expected, so our stay was only a few hours.

On the way back to the RoadAbode, we made a stop to a famous winery. Inniskillin Winery is the Winery back in the early 1990's that brought attention to the wines of the Niagara Region. They are most famous for Icewine, which originated in the German/Austrian regions of Europe. I had heard that their Icewine Reisling was especially excellent as a dessert wine, so wanted to find out for ourselves. We signed up for a tour, and joined a group of about twenty people. We were given an introducton to Wine making, and especially IceWine production - by Don, a very kind and knowledgeable winemaker from the Staff of Inniskillin. He explained how Karl Kaiser, an Austrian-born chemist, and Donald Ziraldo, a young Italian Canadian agriculture graduate, met and partnered. While tasting Ontario Wines in the early 70’s, they realized that they could improve upon winemaking in the Niagara Region. They seized the opportunity and set out to break new ground to produce premium wines from premium grapes grown in the Niagara Peninsula. Both Karl Kaiser and Donald Ziraldo believed their future in the wine business was dependent on using the Vitis vinifera grapes, the preferred family of grapes used to produce the fine wines in the great wine regions of the world. When sourcing these limited grapes became a challenge in the early 70’s, Ziraldo took the lead and planted a vinifera vineyard which included Riesling, Chardonnay and Gamay and formed the quality base for Kaiser to work with.  In 1984, Kaiser made the most of the extreme Canadian winter to produce his first Icewine — a pivotal point for Inniskillin.
 The ice wine harvest, usually occurs Between Christmas and New Year - and in extreme cases can occur after the New Year. This gives ice wine its characteristic refreshing sweetness balanced by high acidity. Due to the labor-intense and risky production process (manual picking of the frozen fruit - usually starting at 1am in the morning)  resulting in relatively small amounts of wine, ice wines are generally quite expensive.The grapes used for ice-wine usually only yield about five percent of normal for the fruit.
Canada and Germany are the world's largest producers of ice wines. About 75 percent of the ice wine in Canada comes from Ontario. Inniskillin and it's owners were the pioneers of the industry.

We toured through the press area, the wine storage cellars, and the vineyards themselves during the education given by Don on the process. Then came the fun part - Tasting! Don taught us how to look, smell and taste a wine to get a sense of it's quality. He gave us instructions on three wines to try - a Pinot Gris - White, a Pinot
Noir - Red, and what I was waiting for - Riesling Icewine. Even though we are not wine drinkers, Amy and I both appreciated the three wines and their distinctive traits. We both agreed the Icewine was our favorite - It truly could replace dessert after dinner, with it's honey color and almost syrupy-smooth texture. very tasty!

June 2006 vs June 2011

Took a picture and pasted in one from our June 2006 Trip to Niagara. How things Change!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dinner atop the Skylon Tower

Dinner @ Skylon Tower
We enjoyed a wonderful dinner atop the Skylon tower, overlooking Niagara Falls. What makes this a splendid place to dine in Niagara Falls is not just the meal, but also the changing view as you dine. The dining room rotates once an hour. The Tower, which is 520 feet tall cost $7 million dollars to build in 1964. After dinner we went to the observation level above to take in more of the splendid views.  
In front of Frankie's Burger King

Ripley's Believe it or Not

Ripley's Believe it or Not
Above is K rubbing Buddha's head (suppose to be his belly) at the Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum at Clifton Hills. Saw plenty of unique artifacts there!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Tuesday, Travel Day

If it's Tuesday, We must be in Canada - or at least heading there =p. Just pulled into Lundy's Lane KOA in Niagara, Ontario, CA. Quiet, indoor and outdoor pools, nice patio campsite - and the wifi is good too. Time for a shower, then maybe head down to Clifton Hill to take in the sights and get a bite to eat.