Category Archives: Pennsylvania

Gettysburg

I unloaded the scooter after posting to the blog yesterday. Donna went out for a walk while I was at it. When Donna returned, we rode the scooter from Artillery Ridge Camping Resort to Historic Gettysburg.

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On the way to town, we rode through the Gettysburg National Military Park, then we stopped at the battlefield on the east side of Baltimore Pike. The battlefield is a park with monuments, statues and restored cannons from the Civil War. Most of the area is preserved with fence lines and fields much as they were in 1863.

Major General Oliver Memorial

Major General Oliver O. Howard Memorial

Major General Winfield Scott Hancock

Major General Winfield Scott Hancock

Donna overlooking part of the battlefield

Donna overlooking part of the battlefield

We left the scooter in the free parking lot at the Gettysburg Tour Center. You can buy a ticket and take bus tours of the various battlefields and monuments there. Donna and I aren’t into organized group tours. We may miss some of the sights, but we prefer to move at our own pace and decide where to spend our time.

We walked past the Jennie Wade House. Jennie Wade was the only direct civilian casualty of the Battle of Gettysburg when a stray bullet struck her while she was in the kitchen making biscuits for soldiers. She was 20 years old.

We continued walking and went to see the Gettysburg Diorama. It’s in an old building on Steinwehr Avenue. It was hot and humid out, but we enjoyed walking through the quaint old village. Although the area is geared toward tourists, it still has the small village feel.

We had free tickets for the diorama courtesy of the campground. The owners of Artillery Ridge Camping Resort also happen to own the Gettysburg Diorama and a few other attractions in town. The Gettysburg Diorama is the largest military diorama in the country. We arrived just in time for the 11am show. I took a few pictures before the show began.

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The diorama recreates the town and surrounding 6,000 acres as it appeared during the battle in July 1863. It contains over 20,000 hand-painted soldiers, horses, cannons and buildings. For the show, we sat in a small three-row bleacher along with a few other people. The show has light and sound effects and video displays as a narrator takes you through the events of July 1st, 2nd and 3rd, 1863 which comprised the Battle of Gettysburg. The narrative was comprehensive, describing the ebb and flow of the fight. There were more than 46,000 casualties including nearly 8,000 killed in the three-day battle.

After the 20-minute show, we walked back up the street to the Dobbin House for lunch. This is the oldest standing structure in Gettysburg. It was built by Reverend Alexander Dobbin in 1776. Today it houses a tavern serving lunch in the spring cellar and a dinner restaurant upstairs. We had lunch in the tavern. Donna had a French onion soup and spinach salad with hot bacon dressing. I had a reuben sandwich washed down with IPA from Troegs Brewery in nearby Hershey, Pennsylvania. The IPA was excellent – citrusy and spicy.

Dobbin House

Dobbin House

Sign on the street

One of many historical markers on the street

We walked around a little more, then made our way back to the scooter. On the way home, I first stopped at a pizza restaurant to buy Yuengling beer. Yuengling traditional lager is a low alcohol (4.4% ABV) beer brewed in the pre-prohibition style. Yuengling is America’s oldest brewery. Here in Pennsylvania, they have weird alcohol laws. You can buy beer at a distributor, but you must buy a case at a time. Anything less than a case can only be bought at a restaurant that has a beer license. Grocery stores only have watered down 3.2% ABV beer.

We made another stop past the campground at a vegetable and fruit stand and bought fresh corn on the cob that they said was just picked two hours earlier. We also bought some really juicy plums and peaches.

When we came back to our site, Donna headed for the pool. She didn’t make it far before she heard thunder and returned to the coach as it started raining.

Roomy uphill site 422

Roomy uphill site 422

We hung out inside and read. For dinner, I dodged a couple of showers and grilled sausage and corn on the cob. Donna served it with sauteed asparagus, peppers and onions with grated parmesan cheese.

Sausage, corn and asparagus plate

Sausage, corn and asparagus plate

I need to get busy and load the scooter. Today we’ll move about 80 miles to Cherry Hill Park in College Park, Maryland – just north of Washington D.C. I’m hoping my youngest daughter, Shauna, can join us for dinner tonight. Tomorrow we’ll take the train into DC and have a look around. We’ve been to all of the big monuments before, so we may take in the Newseum this time.

 

 

 

Long Wait for a Quick Fix

We took our time getting ready to move yesterday. I went into the Cabela’s store in Hamburg, Pennsylvania after spending the night in their lot. I bought a pair of lightweight trail runner shoes. Donna went for walk in the neighborhood.

We changed up our plan and decided to spend a couple of nights at an RV park in Gettysburg before heading to D.C. We reserved two nights with our Passport America discount at the Artillery Ridge Camping Resort three miles from historic Gettysburg (map). We were preparing to leave around 10am.

After pulling the slides in, I retracted the HWH leveling jacks. The parking lot at Cabela’s sloped and I had the jacks well extended. I felt the coach shudder as the jacks came up and Donna heard a noise back in the bedroom. She said to me, “Did you hear that? Do they always make that sound or is it because I’m standing back here?” I didn’t know what she was asking about because I didn’t hear anything in the front of the coach.

I went outside to walk around the coach and look everything over. When I circled around the right rear, I saw a problem. I could see the ram from the hydraulic jack extended down within an inch of the pavement. The pad that should be on the end of the ram was dangling from one spring, the other spring was missing.

I used my push broom as a pry-bar in an effort to push the ram back up. I couldn’t budge it – I only succeeded in bending the broom handle. We were in trouble. We couldn’t roll down the road with the ram extended like that. I needed help.

We have a roadside assistance plan with Coach-Net. Apparently, Monday mornings are a busy time to call. I used Coach-Net once before and they were very good, but like all call centers, they have their issues. I was on hold for nearly 10 minutes before I talked to someone.

When you call, the first person you talk to goes through a verification process including all of the vehicle info and personal info that’s already on file. This took another 10 minutes. Then they document the problem description and turn the case over to their technical people. I advised the woman that technical assistance over the phone wasn’t going to help. I knew what needed to be done – I just didn’t have a big enough pry bar or a second set of hands. She said she had to turn the call over to a technician before they could have someone come to the coach. Then the call got disconnected.

I called back and got right through this time. I explained what just happened. She put me on hold for a moment, then came back on the line and said she checked with their technical department and everyone was on the line with a customer – she would mark my case “priority” and I would get a call back.

Donna called the campground in Gettysburg and told them we might have to cancel due to mechanical issues. They said they would hold our site until we called later in the afternoon and told them whether we could make it or not. They were very nice about it.

I sat back and read a book with the generator running and air conditioners on. It was already in the upper 80s and humid out. About a half hour later, I got the call from the technician. He said he would find a mobile service in our area and call me back with a name and ETA. I waited another 30 minutes – by now it was one and half hours since my initial call. So I called them back again. The guy told me he was working on finding someone that could come to my location – I needed to sit tight. After another 30 minutes, he called and said he had someone that could do the work. It would take 90 minutes for them to get to me. I thanked him and sat back with my book. It was 12:30pm and I didn’t expect help until 2pm.

I went outside to look for the MIA spring. I found it – it had shot straight up and jammed in the chassis. It wasn’t broken, but it had come off the tab on the jack pad. I had repaired this pad when we were in Bakersfield last year. The tab was bent and I straightened it as best I could, but it wasn’t right.

I was surprised to see a service truck with an Onsite Fleet Repair logo on the side pull up next to us at 1pm. I started putting my shoes on when I saw the driver on his cell phone. My cell phone began ringing. I answered and told him he was right outside our door. By then, there were more than a dozen RVs in the Cabela’s lot.

The driver and his sidekick got out and introduced themselves. I showed them the problem. He removed the jack pad and went into the rolling workshop in the back of his truck. He had a large vise and was able to quickly straighten the bent tab. The other guy took a long pry bar and a block of wood to the ram. I opened the manual valve on the solenoid so the fluid could pass back to reservoir as he pried the ram up. Once he had the ram up, he used the pry bar to extend the spring. The first guy grabbed the end of the spring while it was tensioned by the pry bar and guided the end into the mounting tab. I couldn’t bear to watch. If the spring slipped from the pry bar while he had his hand around the end, the heavy spring would likely take off a finger or two. They had it in place with no trouble and we were back in business.

I extended and retracted the jack a couple of times to make sure the spring would hold. All was good. Coach-Net covered the dispatch and travel time for the mobile repair. I had to pay their minimum labor cost of $90.

We were on our way by 2pm and expected to be in Gettysburg by 4pm. I stopped at the Flying J truck stop at exit 10 on I-81. All of the pumps had trucks at them. I lined up behind a truck and waited. It took him about 15 minutes to fill up and pull forward. I took on 50 gallons of fuel with two high speed nozzles in about 5 minutes. The fuel cost $2.75/gallon with my Pilot/Flying J discount card. The truck that was fueling ahead of me only pulled forward far enough for me to get to the pump. I couldn’t move until he moved. After five minutes, I walked up to the cab of the truck. It was empty – the guy had gone into the store! There wasn’t anyone behind me so I was considering backing out of the lane. Just as I made the decision to do so, Donna saw the guy return to his truck. He pulled out and we followed. This turned out to be a 30-minute fuel stop.

We turned onto I-83 at Harrisburg and the traffic slowed to a crawl. Donna saw a lighted sign that said be prepared to stop – traffic incident at mile post 7 on PA581. Our route was taking us across PA581. It was stop and go for more than five miles.

Traffic Jam

Traffic jam

When we finally made it to mile post 7, we saw the incident. We were heading westbound. The blockage was a wreck on the eastbound side of the highway. The five-mile backup on the westbound side was entirely due to drivers stopping and gawking at an overturned tractor-trailer rig and a wrecked Cadillac Escalade on the other side of the divided highway!

We found the Artillery Ridge Camping Resort around 5pm and checked in quickly. Our site is spacious but it isn’t level. I used pads under the rear jacks after dumping the air from our suspension and it’s still an uphill walk from the bedroom to the front of the coach. We’ll live with it.

I was ready for a cocktail. It hadn’t been the best day, but like Sean Welsh (Our Odyssey) says, “These are first-world problems.” There are people all over the world coping with much worse situations. Donna made her famous crab cakes for dinner. They were delicious.

Crab cakes

Crab cakes

We want to go sightseeing in Gettysburg this morning. Thunderstorms are forecast for this afternoon.

 

Winging It to DC

Sunday was a travel day. After three straight nights of poor sleep, I was tired and a little grumpy as we made our preparations to leave. I was hoping for an early start – we were shooting for 9am. It took longer than usual to put away the hoses and power cord because everything was a mess from the rain the night before. I cleaned the pine needles and dirt from everything as I was packing it.

It was 9:45am by the time I had the tanks dumped and flushed, slides in and jacks up. We said our goodbyes to Tommy and Linda and squeezed our way out of our narrow site. Maneuvering a 40′ motorhome through Lake George Escape Campground is challenging, but we made our way slowly out of the park without incident.

Our route took us down the Northway (I-87) toward Albany, New York. We followed Route 20 west for 15 miles and then continued west on the lightly traveled I-88. This road has stretches of smooth pavement broken up by some of the worst, bone-jarring interstate anywhere. We stopped at a rest area and Donna made wraps for lunch with leftover pork kabob meat and veggies.

The route led us to I-81 south where we crossed into Pennsylvania. We stopped at the visitor center after crossing the border and picked up a free state map. We like having up-to-date paper maps as well as all of the electronic conveniences.

This route was hilly as we crossed the Pocono Mountains. Traffic was heavy through the cities of Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. Drivers entering the interstate around here tend to brake and look for an opening rather than accelerate and blend in. It makes for some hairy situations at times. I followed a tractor-trailer rig most of the time through the congested areas.

We left the interstate and drove down PA309 – a poor road surface pocked with potholes – through the town of Tamaqua. We continued down PA895, which is a much better road. We rattled over so many bumps, the butcher block knife holder (minus the knives) and Keurig coffeemaker slid several feet across the kitchen counter and to the floor. In 12,000 miles of driving this rig, this has never happened before. In the future, we’ll have to secure these things better.

We arrived at Cabela’s retail store in Hamburg, Pennsylvania around 4:30pm (map). The parking lot has a large area reserved for RVs. There were several rigs here when we arrived. It also has a corral and horse walking area as well as temporary dog kennels for people who want to let their dog out while they shop.

Donna and I shopped around in the store, then walked over to Pizza Hut. We don’t usually get our pizza from Pizza Hut, but it wasn’t bad. After dinner, I downloaded the Moto GP race from the Czech Republic. It was a good race, but the download used up 2.5GB of data. Donna walked back to the store and caught the tail end of weekend-long canine agility competition in which the trainer tosses a ball into a pool and the dog jumps off the dock after it. After the store closed at 7pm, many of the RVs pulled out. Only five of us stayed overnight.

RV lot at Cabela's

RV lot at Cabela’s

Today will be hot – expected temperatures will be in the 90s. We’ll come up with a plan this morning and continue on our way. Up until now, we’ve just been winging our way toward Washington, D.C.

 

No Overnight Parking

Monday was our last full day at Addison Oaks County Park in Oakland Township, Michigan (map). We still had Bill Frahm’s Nissan SUV and took advantage of that by running out to Costco. We wanted to buy bottled water and coffee and also replenish our supply of Traeger hardwood pellets for the wood pellet smoker/grill.

At the Costco on Brown Road, we found Traeger smoker/grills for sale but no pellets. When I asked an employee, I was told they don’t have them – they only had them when the Traeger Road Show Team was demo’ing the product. Huh? You have the grill for sale but don’t carry the pellets necessary to use the grill?

After we left Costco, Donna used her phone to look for other possibilities to pick up pellets. It showed Home Depot carrying them. We made a roundabout trip following directions on Donna’s phone which circled us around to within a quarter mile of Costco – after four miles of driving.

We went to the grill section of the store and the guy told us wood pellets were seasonal and they didn’t have them now. What? It’s grilling season, right? He was talking about heating pellets, not cooking pellets. Next, Donna found hardwood pellets on her phone at Target. She phoned the nearest Target and asked if they had them – they said yes. Target was right across the street. Once there, we couldn’t find them. Donna asked a woman – who happened to be the one she talked to on the phone and the woman showed us hickory chunks for smoking. No pellets. It appears to be a regional thing. Wood pellet cooking isn’t big in the upper midwest. It’s common in the south and also in the northwest and northeast from what I can gather on the forums.

After we came back, Donna went to Rochester to wash Bill’s SUV and fill the tank with gas. I spent the rest of the afternoon packing the trailer and making us ready for travel. When Donna returned, her friend Jo from our old neighborhood in Rochester Hills came over. Jo had her arm in a sling due to a fall. Donna and Jo went out for an hour-long walk.

Donna and Jo

Donna and Jo

Tuesday morning, Ozark the cat had me up at 6am. She was playing with her toys and running the length of the coach. I wanted to be up early anyway, but Donna was sleeping soundly. I read until Donna woke up at 7am.  It was 9am before we were ready to roll though – I was hoping for an earlier start.

I skipped the dump station on the way out – Donna was following in Bill’s Nissan SUV. I wanted to get down to Troy and return Bill’s car as early as possible. By the time we returned his car and said our thanks and until next time, it was 10am. My plan was to use the dump station at Cabela’s in Dundee.

The route to Cabela’s took us west to US23 before heading south toward Ohio. This was a loop since we wanted to head east through Ohio. But I wanted to buy a couple of things at Cabela’s and they have a free dump station. Also, the last time I went down I-75 from Detroit to Toledo, the rough road surface nearly shook my fillings out. US23 is a much nicer road. When we used the dump station, I saw a sign stating it won’t be free much longer. New card readers are being installed to charge a $5 dump fee.

We had lunch at the restaurant in Cabela’s, then I found a pair of Teva flip-flops I wanted and we also found – wait for it – hardwood pellets. They’re packaged as Cabela’s brand but I’ll wager that Traeger is the source. They had several different hardwood blends. I bought 20 pounds of hickory and 20 pounds of their competition blend.

Back on the road, I programmed Nally (our Rand McNally RVND7720 GPS) to avoid toll roads and take us to Canandaigua, NY. There was no way we would reach Canandaigua in one day, but that was our next destination. Our route kept us off the Ohio turnpike and on fairly nice highways through farmland and woods once we were past Toledo.

US20 took us to a non-toll section of I-90 through Cleveland. I motored on and we decided to hit a Walmart parking lot in Erie, Pennsylvania. Before we left Ohio, I stopped at a Pilot/Flying J travel center and filled our tank. I knew fuel is much more expensive in Pennsylvania and New York. I paid $2.72/gallon in Ohio. In Pennsylvania, we saw diesel fuel priced at $3.39/gallon. We covered 340 miles by the time we parked at Walmart. It was a longer day than I usually drive. Ozark was quite the traveling kitty. She took to her crate without too much fuss and didn’t protest much on the drive.

Tuesday morning we pulled out of Walmart around 8:30am after I ate a breakfast sandwich from the Subway shop in the Walmart. Our plan was to head to Canandaigua on the north end of Canandaigua Lake in the Finger Lakes Region of New York (map). Donna had planned to meet up with her old college roommate, Kathy. Kathy thought we could fit our rig alongside her house in the village of Canandaigua. Along the way on I-86, the traffic was very light. A murder of crows were on the road ahead. One of them made a rare miscalculation – crows are usually very sharp. He flew up in front of us but didn’t account for our height correctly and I’m afraid our front cap meant his demise as he bounced forcefully off of it. Birds are fragile with hollow bones – I don’t think the collision was survivable.

Once we got to Kathy’s street, I could see it wouldn’t work. She may have enough room by her house, but the street was too narrow for me to maneuver and back the trailer in. I programmed the Walmart in town in the GPS and we continued on. The GPS took us northwest then told me to make a U-turn.

I saw a turn lane ahead marked for U-turns and the road on the other side was two lanes wide. I over-estimated the width of the median – the turn lane angled and once I initiated the turn, I realized I made an error. It wasn’t a wide enough highway for me to complete the U-turn. I stopped short of the grassy shoulder on the opposite side of the road and backed-up a few feet. The trailer would jackknife if I went back any further. I worked it back and forth a couple of times, blocking both lanes of the road.

There was a steel reflector post on the edge of the grass on my left and a tree to the right. I shot the gap and pulled our rig onto the grassy shoulder without hitting anything and cleared the roadway. I was praying the earth beneath the grass was stable enough to support the weight of our coach. After taking a few seconds to compose myself, I waited for a break in the traffic and merged back onto the highway.

Fifteen minutes later, we found the Walmart. As I pulled in, I saw signs prohibiting overnight parking. Walmart’s corporate policy is to allow RVers to park overnight. Local ordinances trump this policy. In touristy areas, local councils often enact these ordinances presumably at the urging of local RV parks and resorts. The fallacy in this is most RVs in a Walmart lot are only passing through. They aren’t going to spend big bucks at a resort. They will spend some money in the Walmart store though.

After a frustrating search for an overnight spot, we resigned ourselves to the fact we had no choice for dry camping if we were to stay in the area. I found a site at the Bristol Woodlands Campground. It really irks me to pay for a full hook-up 50 amp site when I’m only wishing for a place to spend one night and don’t need to hook up.

Having said that, I should add that this is a nice park with roomy sites. Getting here was an adventure though. We left Canandaigua and drove about 20 minutes through rural countryside. It was very hilly and steep in places. The road to the campground is unpaved for the last mile and signed for no vehicles over 10 tons.

This had me worried. It was a narrow dirt road with no easy way to turn around. We are 17 tons. I was hoping we would find the park before we had to cross a bridge or culvert that wasn’t rated for our weight. We found the campground and at check-in, the manager told me not to worry. He doesn’t understand the sign. There’s no bridge and he said no one pays attention to the sign.

We were assigned a long back-in site, long enough to accommodate our 56′ length without dropping the trailer. There were two issues though. The water and power are located at the rear of the site. I had to back way in, putting the trailer on the grass below the grade of the site. The second issue is the slope. The site slopes downhill from front to back. I had to jack the rear to full extension and we’re still not level. It’s close enough and it’ll do for one night. I had my 50′ power cord fully extended and it just barely reached the pedestal.

Roomy site with a long run to the pedestal

Roomy site with a long run to the pedestal

Beautiful park with lots of room, but not level

Beautiful park with lots of room, but not level

Donna’s friend Kathy and her daughter Kierra came over and picked Donna up around 4:30pm. I hung back in the coach to write most of this post and tend to all of the insect bites I have from Sunday night at Addison Oaks. The mosquitos really skewered me and I’m suffering from it.

Wednesday was the first day since I-don’t know-when that we drove without the roof air conditioners running. We’re now at an altitude if 1,500 feet and can sleep with windows open.

Today we’ll head toward Albany and maybe find a dry camping spot around Skaneateles (map).

Westward Ho!

It’s 7am Tuesday morning as I write this. I’m sitting in a campground near Akron, Ohio. Here’s how we got here.

Sunday morning dawned clear and beautiful. We had a goal of leaving by 11am. Donna went for a hike on a trail in the Thompson’s Lake State Park where we were camped. I got started on packing the exterior and getting the coach ready for travel. When Donna returned from her hike she wanted to shower before packing the interior items that she usually handles. We were a little out of sync on the packing duties and I was impatient, wanting to hit the road.

We left the campground shortly after 11am and drove through Schoharie to I-88. The drive was very scenic but also on hilly, narrow roads. I made a wrong turn at one point but we managed to get our rig turned around by remaining calm and waiting for the right opportunity. In this case a school parking lot provided the room needed to get turned around.

I-88 is a nice section of Interstate – very scenic with a smooth road surface and very little traffic. Thunderstorms cropped up, we drove through squalls, sometimes with heavy rainfall and wind. The rain was variable but the wind was relentless.

We stopped a little past noon in Oneonta. Our plan was to go to Brooks BBQ, a local favorite. Donna’s dad had advised us to park in the Price Chopper parking lot down the street from Brooks. When we arrived it started raining again. From the Price Chopper it was a bit of a hike to Brooks so I passed by not wanting to walk that far in the rain. I pulled into the Brooks BBQ parking lot; it was jam packed with cars. I threaded the needle to get turned around and out of there.

Donna spotted a medical clinic next door which appeared to have a parking lot that wrapped around the building. I took a chance and pulled in there. If it didn’t actually wrap around I would be in a real tight spot trying to get out. It turned out to be fine although the lane wrapping around the back of the building was tight.

My choice of smoked pork short ribs was a little disappointing. I tried a taste of Donna’s chicken and realized I’d ordered the wrong dish. The chicken was very good and I recommend it if you ever get to Brooks BBQ in Oneonta, New York.

We were back on the road a little after 1pm. As we drove past the Price Chopper to get back on I-88 Donna spotted a wine and spirit shop. She said, “Why don’t you stop? There’s a big parking lot and you need to stock up.” I didn’t take her advice thinking we’d have opportunities later.

When we left that morning, we didn’t have a real destination – just more of a general direction. We knew we wanted to head down towards Williamsport, Pennsylavania. Then we could hit I-80 west. Donna studied the map (yes, a real paper map). I had her program way points in the GPS so we would have guidance with speed information. Our GPS is RV specific and also considers things like low clearance, weight limits and other restrictions when calculating a route.

Donna used the POI function on the GPS to locate RV friendly overnight parking. We decided to stop at a Walmart Supercenter in Mansfield, Pennsylvania. Donna could see the route on her map; we simply had to continue south on Rt 220 then west on Rt 6. The GPS had us deviate on PA 4014. We had a short debate over which way to go. I decided to follow the GPS. One thing bothered me though. The GPS was no longer talking to me. It was only displaying the directions without any sound.

As soon as I turned on PA 4014, I knew it was a mistake. The road was narrow and just 100 feet down the road was a sign that said “Rough Road – Construction Next 6 Miles.” There wasn’t any way to turn around so I pressed on. Again it was a very scenic route but also very demanding to drive. I didn’t take in much of the scenery. The road was a series of sharp curves punctuated by short, steep climbs and descents. Many of the little bridges on the route had 10-ton limits. We were over the limit and I couldn’t understand why the GPS routed us this way.

By the time we made it to Mansfield, I was worn out. We found an open area to park and went inside to seek permission for overnight parking. It wasn’t a problem. The next item on my list was finding cold beer. I searched the Walmart aisles and didn’t find any. I finally asked a store clerk and was told they can’t sell beer in Pennsylvania. She suggested that I try the little store across the street.

We walked across the street and again didn’t find any beer. I asked at the counter and a young man standing behind me told I had to go back into the town center to the beer distributor. I had a vague memory of strange alcohol laws in Pennsylvania when we came through a couple of years ago touring on our BMW motorcycles.

I was told it was a long walk – maybe 30 to 45 minutes each way. I was thinking about getting the scooter out of the trailer when the guy offered me a ride into town. I accepted and Donna went back to the motorhome.

It turned out to be a fairly long way. If I had opted to walk it would be over 3 miles each way. It was Sunday and the beer distributor was closed. Like me, the guy that offered me the ride was now on a mission. He was determined to find me a six-pack. He took me to a small Mexican restaurant/bar and said I should ask for take-out beer there. Sure enough, they sold me a six-pack of Yuengling to go. This might be the norm in Pennsylvania, but it’s just plain weird anywhere else.

Back at Walmart, Donna fixed us a salad for dinner. Another RV from Quebec parked right behind us. I checked our GPS settings and found the problem. Somehow the settings I had programmed were lost and the default factory settings were on. It listed a rig smaller than ours weighing 20,000 lbs. No wonder the GPS sent us down that road! I re-programmed our actual information and turned the sound back on.

After dinner we discussed our plans for the next day and decided we should stop somewhere with hook-ups. We needed to replenish our fresh water and also do some laundry. I searched on the internet and found a couple of options off of I-76 in Ohio. That would mean a nearly 300-mile day but it looked like a fairly easy route.

RVs overnight at Walmart

RVs overnight at Walmart

We planned to leave by 8am and actually hit the road at 8:05am. The route took us through the Allegheny Mountains. It was an easy drive although the road was almost never flat. It was constant climbs and descents. This is beautiful country and we enjoyed the ride. We stopped for gas and found a station with easy entry and exit. We crossed the highest point on I-80 east of the Mississippi in western Pennsylvania. It was only 2250′ above sea level. We’ll cross much higher summits out west.

We stopped to stretch and walk in a couple of rest areas. One of the RV parks I found on the internet was a Passport America affiliate (we have a membership). The other was a Good Sam affiliate (we have a membership with them also). To get the Passport America 50% discount, this park required a two-night minimum. We decided two nights would be okay. This would allow Donna to get some work done that she needed to do while I could take care of domestic chores.

Donna called ahead and booked a pullthrough site with 50 amp hook-up. When we arrived we found there was electricity and water on the site but no sewer. That means I’ll use the laundromat today and we’ll hit the dump station on the way out.

Our pullthrough site is long but close to the neighbor

Our pullthrough site is long but close to the neighbor

After we were settled in, Donna and I walked down to the swimming pond. Donna swam and I headed back to the coach to shower. On the way I talked to a neighbor. He lives nearby and camps here to get some quiet time. I asked if there was a liquor store nearby. I wanted to re-stock the liquor cabinet with bourbon.

He told me of a couple of possibilities. I showered and then unloaded the scooter. I went to the first place he mentioned and found beer and wine only. I asked a guy in the parking lot and he said “You mean hard stuff like Johnny Walker?” He was skeptical but said I might find it a few miles down the road. I went into the store he told me about and found beer and wine again. I asked the clerk and he said, “Liquor? Around here?” Apparently it was an unusual request. He told me of a possibility that involved riding another 20 to 30 minutes. I gave up and came back to the park.

Next time Donna tells me there’s a wine and spirit shop with ample parking, I’m not passing it up.