Northward or bust

Time flies when on the road…  but from my last post… my navigator (Lois) did not find anything of interest just after Prince George… thinking that Provincial parks were day use only.  But I did not realize that until much later. And I learned Lois had never been west of Prince George or up the Cassiar Hwy – wish I had been driving north – would have loved to show her.  So we stopped just before Prince George as the best stop for that day. Got in there a Noon… at Bee Lazee RV park… quaint little park… lots of trees and thousands of caterpillars.

Each year in the north country, we get invaded by one species. This place had caterpillars.  They had already stripped the trees and bushes at the back of the park of all green matter, they were working thru the rest of the park.  It seems the foil wrapped around the trees helped, but not sure its helpful to trap the ones above from getting down and out of a tree either.  But they were everywhere…. you couldn’t help but kill many as you walked around the rig.

catapillars

More catapillars

And more…

They were in the electrical outlet, on it, around it and replaced often when some would fall

So onward we went.  The forecast continued to say we would encounter thunderstorms, but all we found was plenty of sun with pockets of windy areas.  Made for a great travel days.

Lois was no better of reminding me to stop and take photos then I remembered to do the same. Lots to see, beautiful country to travel thru, and we saw Mom moose and 2 wee babies, another moose – lots of birds, geese, swans as well.

Tide going out on Skeena River in the Coastal mountains

We arrived at Port Edward, about 15 minutes from Prince Rupert ferry terminal.  We stayed at Kinnickinick RV park. Hilly, tight and short camping spaces. Very few, if any, Class A’s could park there.  But did see a few 5th wheels having issue with tight steep turns.  All and all – I would come again, far superior to the RV park in Prince Rupert… just my two cents worth.

My view on 3 sides of RV in our camp spot

Arrived at ferry terminal area… only to discovered they changed their efficient mode of getting tickets, checking thru customs and loaded on board the ship – due to their heavy summer traffic. Frustration is a better description.  The gates were not even open an hour before people are required to check in… in the off season, you go in, get your tickets, go back to rig, they measure and tell you what line to get in and off you go to customs.  That’s not how they do it in the summer… oh and don’t forget at the Alaska Ferry terminal you are ON Alaskan time, not BC time….  lots of redundancy.

Watching Matanuska ferry arriving

View onboard

Only rain squalls, basically was sunny

This is the Fairweather in dock at Auke Bay

Juneau

Rainbow…toward Auke Bay

Had to go around these islands to get into & out of Juneau

We arrived in Haines at 1:30 am… light enough to see surroundings, yet dark enough to get some zzzzz’s. We parked at a pullout closer to Haines, and the following picture was taken before 7-ish looking at Haines downtown and Fort Seward.

Haines

The day was sunny, and delightfully not hot.  Connected with my friend Joan who had my keys to my mail, storage unit, etc, and discovered my other friend Cheri, has left me their van for my use while they are gone. So a very pleasant surprise!  Met Joan at my all time favorite Mountain Market. I have so missed my Caramel mochas, shopping for organic goodies… etc.  And Joan showed Lois & I her house. Its coming along fabulously – they are actually moving in now.  Still got some finishing work to do, one or two cabinets to install… but its coming together fabulously. Love some of their details they added.  Got back to the park, dumped my tanks, refreshed my water tank, met my neighbors and a wild character from Texas, who is the Camp Host.  He’s doing the job I did last year. Laughing here… with glee that I’m not doing it this year here at OceanView RV Park.  This fella, named Buffalo, is a big burly fella with beard and wears a large rounded top hat of all things.  It was such a delight to meet him. So far, he’s lucky – its been quiet for them. In fact, its been so quiet for them, he was in a town skit a week or so ago.  The locals thought he was a “plant” for the hypnosis skit, never expecting him to be a seasonal worker in town for the summer.  He was stunned that I had heard about his magnificent performance… yes folks, we all missed a superb performance with this guy.  He will add a nice flavor to this place…

Hello from Canada!

Near Clinton, Canada

My pursuit to head north is again in active mode.  My friend Lois was dropped off to me in west Spokane, got her stuff loaded into the rig and off we went.  Took a different path to Hwy 97 in Washington State by taking Rt 2 to Hwy 174 to Hwy 155 in Grand Coulee, onto Hwy 97 in Omak.  Great trip!  It took half the time I had expected to take.  In Oroville, we stopped to eat at a local restaurant and my oh my we had some outstanding pizza… homemade pizza dough, homemade sauces, even homemade chocolate candies… and a ton of signs to laugh and laugh and laugh.  Quite a fun place to eat or try to eat.  I was tempted to have a full blown dinner, but it was just too hot to eat that much, but we sure picked a good place to get a bite to eat.  

Crossing the border was a no brainer, except the conversation on my Christmas cactus.  Since before becoming a full-timer, I had done my research, talked to both Canadian and American agents at the border in relation to that one little old plant. Because it was not a “cactus” it was allowed, until today.  Now I managed to keep it, but with a stern warning. Its the dirt that concerns Canadian agents.  A potential contaminate.  So… now what?   I will figure it out… but not sure at the moment.  Otherwise, absolute no fresh fruits or veggies allowed across the border. Frozen fruits yes.  Basically the same oh same on what is or isn’t allowed.
I took a new alternate path, that I will not follow in the wintery months, I took Hwy 97 to Hwy 97C to Hwy 5 via Merritt up to just west of Kamloops and back onto Hwy 97.  Spent most of the day driving 40 mph going up and down many grades, but what a beautiful stretch of road.  Hwy 5 on the north end was familiar to me as I have done it before, just going a different direction.  Pretty country.
Onward… depending on weather (thunderstorms are forecasted) may or may not make it to Prince George. But if we do, then will head west.  Doubtful I will have access after today, unless I tie into Lois’ hotspot.  I have nothing critical – all can wait until I get up to Haines.  So another brief update for you, as I know many of you are curious on what happened to me.

A brief update

I left my mountain haven in the fog, drove in the fog to Libby, Montana. Oh so very much wish pictures could have been taken. It was just gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous drive.  The Flathead River was out of its banks – rushing, swirling all the way down to what appeared to be a cauldron of sorts, almost shaped like a giant apple, where it severely narrowed as it plummeted over or thru what?  I don’t know, as I was driving and there was no turn out to stop and see…  let your imagination take you on thru that one. Rugged country.  Waterfalls abound… heavy melt down in short order has brought an overflow over and thru everything up there. Green as all get out… but it was foggy the day I left.

As soon as I got near Libby it had warmed up enough, that I decided to push thru to Spokane the next day.  I am now parked at Fairchild AFB off of Rt. 2, until I leave to head north.

Crazy traveling days..

From my last post, I mentioned I planned to get off of I-90 and head north to Rt. 2.  I took Highway 83 up from I-90.  Beautiful, beautiful road – rolling hills of ranches, grasslands all the way.  I had a chuckle in South Dakota, as I came into a wee town with a population of 89 in Mound City.  Laughing, as they had a post office. 89 people and they have a post office!?!  At the opposite edge of town, less than a city block length of town, I understood why they got a post office.  Mound City happens to have the County Courthouse of all things.  I guess anything is possible, but this just tickled the heck out of me.  South Dakota has the best all around road system – whether interstates or back roads – others could learn alot from them.

North Dakota, on the other hand, had horrible roads in most places. With the oil boom, they should have redone all their roads in this State. Gads, what a waste that it hasn’t happened.  I understand Highway 83 is good all the way up to Rt. 2, but I did not take it north from Bismarck.  I stopped in Bismarck for the night and the next morning on awakening at 5:30 am – discovered pea soup fog. Could barely see the rig next to me.  Went about having a leisurely breakfast, shower, etc. and the fog had lifted enough to go ahead and leave… or so I thought.  Got out to 83 and realized I wasn’t going anywhere fast. So found a grocery store and went shopping.  When finished, the fog had lifted a whole lot, but not from the north (83).  At this point, I figured I would make a short day of that day, and stop at Theodore Roosevelt’s National Park… 2 hours away. Theo’s park is a great NP, altho I have never been there in a RV, years ago did tent camping, hiking there. Just a beautiful scenic park. I’m hoping the buffalo are still roaming thru the campground like they did years ago. Time will tell.

So I got gas, and headed to I-94 and headed west about 8am.  It was foggy but doable. Just wish others would turn on their headlights… but all went pretty well.  My next best opportunity to head north was on 85, just past Dickinson.  Not the best or wisest choice on my part.  Remember my mentioning the oil boom in North Dakota.  For some ungodly reason, I thought it would be on Rt 2 at or in Williston.  If it is, I don’t know, as I did not go that way.  Highway 85 though, was disastrous.  It started out ok, even with seeing miles after miles of oil rigs spaced about a 1/4 miles from each other on both sides of the road, but the oil tanker trucks… all kinds of trucks for that matter, hogging the road to and fro with the combo of the fog… Not a fun place to be.

Then to see the damage to the fields, apparently getting more oil rigs in.. Did they buy out all the farmers? Or what?  Lousy work ethics, but guess I shouldn’t be surprised.  On one side of the road was the National Grasslands, which I could not see at all that day due to the fog, but they are awesome normally and across the road are oil rigs… none stop.    About 2 miles from the turn to the National Park, I pulled over to take a picture or two.

Hills near the National Park

View looking down where I was going

The turn into the National Park was on the left, and I was in the wrong lane to turn left. Trucks don’t particular care if you want to turn left, just get out of their way.  Immediately after that turn, its a steep climb back up. No turning back.  As it was, I am so happy I did not stay at the National Park on two very major points.  Considering I did that day on Memorial Day… I could not fathom doing the next 50 miles on a normal work day.  Major, major road constructions, truck traffic, dirt beyond dirt (or mud if it rained), everyone driving the fastest they could go over potholed roads beyond description. It swallowed cars frequently. Not good for RV’s.  I wish I could have taken a picture of even a fraction of this nightmare, but I was doing good just getting thru the mess. And the road construction at the Rt 2/ 85 exchange was unbelievable potholed mess.  Get me out of here!!!!

One highlight in that mess… near the town of Alexander was a ranch with very green pastures on hills, at the highest areas, were buffalo enjoying the grasses, just below them were cattle.  Nice!

On Rt 2, once I put a distanced between the mess… was good road.  As tired as I was from the day so far… there was no place to park, to pull over for a potty break, nothing.  So I kept going. I found a side road to pull off on to do a mini-break and to check for a place to stay the night.  Two places listed – could not find either. One was a city park, another was a casino in wee towns I drove thru. I arrived at Wolf Point, MT (280 miles from Bismarck) to Rancho RV Park. What a joke. On my Find a Friend app, it said I was parked at Moe’s Trailer Park.  Well, I’m happy to say its not that, it is a RV park with basic camping. I met Moe, man in charge, is one of the many Indians here.  He was a hoot, and had me park in the shade even tho I was dry camping.  I just wanted to crash.  I forgot to take a picture of the little corner of his park. It was green, soothing for raw edges, and quiet. Couldn’t have asked for anything better.  It looks like they took over an old motel… I have no idea if there were showers, laundry or anything else available. I took a nap initially, then went to bed at 7 pm.  Its still hot in the 80’s here, but with great relief, I am finally in dryer climes. 
The secondary reason I’m glad I did not stay at the national park, they got slammed with golf ball hail and 70 mph winds that night.  Tons of rain. Flooding from slow moving thunderstorms, which I happen to drive under as I got into Montana. Breathe of fresh air knowing I was not there then.
I had no desire to sit at Rancho RV park more then necessary, but I really would like to find a place to park for several days…  so I put another long day under my belt.  I am now at Shelby. I was going to stop in Havre… but found no place for RV’s to park, nothing I had listed in my various apps could be found. The road construction leading into town was one rough road as well. Did I miss a turn because of it? Not sure, but I found nothing else.  So kept going.
The constant road thru rolling hills and valleys, tons of grasslands, and hundreds of cattle was lulling me into a state I knew I had to change.  So the next available cell phone pull out, I would take and take a break. And it was an absolute delight.  Mountains. Honest-to-goodness mountains, snow covered mountains at that. It has been months since these eyes have seen the mountains and there they are… but they are on the horizon.  Oh I have missed the mountains… but this rejuvenated me. Onward.
So in Shelby… trying to find a gas station that my RV would fit in, that was working, was troublesome. But eventually found one right before my stop for the night – so hoped it would be a decent one.  You know, a girl can dream, but it doesn’t mean diddly-squat sometimes.
Glacier View RV Park…  is across the road from a train yard, a very busy train yard and behind a motel.  The following are my views. No glacier to be had.

White building on left is the back side of motel

Train yard… several tracks.

There are 6 parking places for RV’s, only one big enough for me. Yes, they have electrical, water and sewer – but I would not touch anything but the electrical.  No trash cans, no bathrooms, no nothing else. On two sides are alleys.  And I’m the only one here.  Not too comforting, but the next destination is 79 miles away… that’s the mountains… can’t wait!

Heading west

Empty, except for me

Forecast had storms moving in this coming week, no matter where I was and that included temperatures heating up as well… so summer has finally arrived.  No thank you.

I left Illinois at first light of the day…  driving thru the farmlands just as the sun pops up over the horizon was gorgeous.  Can’t help but inhale the sweet country smells.  Made the drive especially nice.  Once I crossed over the Wisconsin state line, I hopped on I-90 and hightailed it down the road. Since I left so early in the morning, I arrived at my planned stop for the day at 10:30 am.  Well, I broke my rule of thumb and kept going.  As the day progressed, the winds were playing havoc with driving… so stopped in Welcome, Minnesota for the night. Lots of turkey farms around here. Crops are just now being planted. Spring has sprung up here.  It was a long day, but it was wonderful to get on the road and just go… no planned destination..

The next day, I again picked an arbitrary spot on the map to aim for and I left at day break. Again I arrived far earlier in the day, but this time I stopped…  my body needs a break.  When I discovered I am the only one in camp, I decided to stay an extra day.  So got winter bedding washed and put away, clothes washed, dumped tanks, refilled fresh water tank… and the kitties had lots of Cat TV to entertain themselves.

I’m in the wonderful hills of western South Dakota.  Tomorrow, I am getting off of the interstate and am heading north to Rt 2 in North Dakota.  I had originally dissed this when I learned the oil boom was along this route, but I have figured out how to just keep moving on thru without stopping.  Besides, I welcome the slower pace of the back roads.  Am so looking forward to it.

Creative juices

The following three pictures represent the work of a person dear to my heart – click to enlarge.  My friend, Dorothy, has these hanging in her house.  Love her work!

Watercolor painting

Oil painting

Chalk drawing

I knew she had tried her hand using chalk and ink, but this is the first piece I had seen. Its an interesting departure from her norm but I like it.

Dorothy’s beautiful backyard

The day before I left Hebron, Dorothy took me over to Shipshewana, Indiana.  Its a Amish community gone commercial.  Lots of little stores full of all kinds of goodies, including antiques.  Fun, fun, fun places to explore.   Tons of buggies, but no I did not get any pictures… was too busy shopping.  We ate lunch at Blue Gate Restaurant – excellent home cooked food!

As we were leaving town, a Lazy Daze went the other way and I asked Dorothy to turn around, so I could go and say hello!  A gal, traveling from California, with her dogs pulling into… I think it was the Shipshewana South RV Park, but not sure.  Caught her as she was jumping out of her rig.  Introduced myself, chatted a bit.  Then we left her to go check in. In trying to get out of the one-ways within the park, we ended up going the wrong way when I saw about 8-10 Lazy Daze’s in another area of the same park.  Amazing find.  It turned out to be the Great Lakes Lazy Daze Caravan group having their May GTG (get-together).  Wow!!!  Jumped out and went and introduced myself to those near the picnic tables. They were getting ready to have a group photo – most were not in sight, but was delighted to meet all that I did.  We were invited to stay for dinner – thank you for the offer – but we had to get back to Hebron to let the dog out.  But what a great day!!!
Dorothy was a gracious hostess, as was Bailey, Emma & Louise at the house and Sam at the stables. Time was too short, but so wonderful to see and enjoy.  Thank you my friend.
My next spot on the road required help from Dorothy and my friend here in Woodstock.  You see, I did not want to go thru Chicago, nor hit any toll roads and not knowing the roads, they were both a huge help.  Between the two of them, I had a wonderful back road drive up to Woodstock. The weather was perfect!  A good 4 hour drive thru towns I would say are literally just a spot along the road, thru farm lands, over rivers,  thru a few suburbs and their traffic lights, even had to wait for a long train…  great day for a little road trek.
I’m now near Woodstock… out in what I would have called a suburb, but they say rural.  Its been 10 years since I have seen S. and I got to meet her hubby A.  Wonderful people.   I’m permitted to park up their driveway at the edge away from the garage. No shade, but hopefully it won’t get hot, but I’m not complaining.  Beautiful landscaping, lots of bunnies, birds, squirrels and 2 female felines for entertainment for the boys. The latter has already introduced themselves to the boys.  Lots of sniffing thru the screen door, but all is peaceful.
On entry off of their patio, where we visited for quite some time, the following picture was hanging over a fireplace.  Its about 5-6 feet tall, about 3 feet wide.  An understated beauty.  I really thought it was an awesome painting. But they said it was not a painting. Is that a photo? I asked. No… its a quilt. A quilt???  No, that can’t be a quilt. Seriously, its a quilt?  Couldn’t believe it… but guess what, it is. A magnificent specimen of a art quilt I have ever seen.   So click on the images… you will see some amazing creative uses of different medias to produce the redwood forest.  Enjoy!!!

The Skinny of it all…

The day before the estate sale, the 3 of us gals headed up to Skaneateles, New York to do some shopping. The way the locals make it sound, it is like “skini aetles” vs “skaneni aetles”.  That’s the skinny of it and I’m sticking to it. Laughing here.  Its a beautiful historic town in upstate New York…
Skaneateles Lake

So a little brief history on Skaneateles and its namesake lake.  It is one of the Finger Lakes in central New York in the USA. The name Skaneateles means long lake in one of the local Iroquoian languages. The lake is sometimes referred to as “The Roof Garden of the Lakes” because its altitude 863.27 ft is higher than the other Finger Lakes.  It is 16 miles long, about 315 ft deep.  Its the cleanest of the Finger Lakes, its water is so pure that the city of Syracuse and other municipalities use it unfiltered.  The shores of Skaneateles Lake are in three counties – Onondaga, Cayuga and Cortland

Crystal clear waters off of pier

This image and the one next is showing how clear the water is, but also old anchors with nickels, dimes, quarters and even a few pennies thrown in for good measures. I’m told the water is too cold to retrieve the coins… its also quite deep here.

Tried to get a fish in said picture – it remains elusive

Sunken schooner of old. Now a great home for fish

View looking down street in Skaneateles, click to enlarge to read sign

Lots of neat shops down both sides of the street. Plus great food

The estate sale was a huge success… amazing what sold and what did not.  It was busy all day Friday. They held it again on Saturday and I believe the last day was today. Equally busy.  Haven’t gotten the latest report, but I bet today was just as profitable.  After working the day on Friday, back at Tom & Anita’s home… more tulips had popped open and we were delighted with the birds that showed themselves as well.  Two orioles, several red-wing black birds and yellow finches kept us glued to our deck chairs while enjoying an ice cold tea…

Bleeding hearts near tree, I thought it was rose hips…

This past week, with the field drying out, greening up, fences mended – they let the adult cows out to feed first.  Once they strengthened the fence a bit more, they will let the calves out.

Old tractor, still quite workable I’m told

One of the calves…

Saturday morning as I left town, all the blooming trees were in full bloom, leaves popped out on all the trees – none of which had happened the day before.  It was gorgeous!!!  So it continues to hold true, I arrive in winter and leave in the spring… but then I jumped into summer…. knew it would happened.

My first night – I found a RV park – dumped my black tank and refilled my water and got a good night sleep despite the many parties around me celebrating Mother’s Day a day early.  I got up at 5 am – totally unheard of in the last 3 weeks… lingered while sipping a cup of Market Spice tea, enjoying the cool, cool morning as the park slept. Heavy dew on everything… my kind of morning. Started hearing others stirring, so went to task and left at 7:10 am.  
I did not want to drive thru Cleveland… although I planned – yes, I actually planned to hit this on Mother’s Day – thinking it would be quieter, no rush hour kind of traffic.  Early this morning as I studied my maps one more time, I realized I was basically parked in a spot between I-90 and I-79.  I knew from studying maps that I could catch I-80 on either I-79 or I-90.  I had a choice of doing either as I pulled out of the RV park this morning.  My rig took me the best way…  beautiful early morning Pennsylvania landscapes and farms as I headed south.  After driving for quite a distance, I began to wonder if I had made an error, but stuck with it and sure enough, I got on I-80.  I-80 is a turnpike in Ohio, and apparently in Indiana as well. Totally missed Cleveland. Yea!  Tonight, I’m parked at a truck stop on the turnpike – even have electricity (free) in the RV parking area separate from the trucks. Nice.
Tomorrow, if weather permitting, I will veer off of the turnpike before, in or after Toledo – not sure which at the moment to get to the back roads.  My next destination is to see one of my childhood friends, get my cats vaccinations updated and take a wee bit of down time.  
NOTE: Hello my friend in Kellogg, ID – can you please send me an email once again… Thought I saved our previous correspondence, but can’t put my finger on it now.
And lastly… I have always used a rubber bucket – about a 2 gallon size, to collect shower water, which I then dump into black tank to flush the system.  I had not dumped my black tank in 3 weeks, so had overflowing water in the bucket.. I had dumped my gray tank into a sistern. (not sure how to spell that) When I checked into the RV park and dumped my black tank and went into my rig to use the shower water bucket to rinse.. I found a lake in my shower.  Not only did the bucket empty its contents, it soaked my dirty clothes and dirty clothes basket and that plugged up the drain so it could only seep down the drain…  In all this time, this has never happened… of course, I normally dump the black before hitting the road, but really now… a lake in my shower pan!?!  I am very fortunate it did not spill out onto my floor.   Another lesson learned…

Changing opportunities

Bird lodge and feeder

Well the little job to help a RV park to open was canceled after a couple of days – really not surprising. When they called and said “we really don’t need any help but you are welcome to come and park” to which I said thank you, but no I will move on along. The job they originally had me do was just picking up branches, winter debris. It wasn’t much in the first place. But appreciate their honesty.

The same day that came in is the same day I heard we got a bid on my house in Alaska, and we accepted the bid.  And its the same day, I found a place to stay in upstate NY that was open. And it was the same day I got an invite to park in Tom & Anita’s driveway.  What a rip roaring day of excitement, almost beside myself in joy.  Around this time, but not the same day… was a discovery of another weaver out on the road full timing.  I feel like I’m riding high…

So riding that wave of positive changing opportunities… I pulled up stakes on Easter morning and headed north… the roads in Pennsylvania are not as bad as I-10 or I-264, but damn close. The bridges tho were the worst condition I have found anywhere. Huge potholes in the cement surface – no way to escape. A jarring experience at best. But I continued onward… I arrived 4 1/2 hours later in Moravia, a small town in the Fingerlakes Region of upstate New York.  Drove slowly thru town, marveling at the few changes since I was last in town.  Turned some corners and pulled up and backed into Tom and Anita’s driveway, got hooked up to electric and went about getting settled. Not long before the family showed up.. Tom & Anita’s sons (3), their wives, and their kids.  What a blast seeing everyone, great food and so very good seeing everyone.

Add caption

They are laying down

Cob web in window of barn

Suzy

Old tractor

Suzy watching me

My RV

Small cow barn
How many bird feeders are there?

Mini hummingbird feeder chair

Bird lodge, feeder

More bird feeders

Moving north…again

Northern Virginia was warming up the last few days I was hanging my hat there. Got into the 80’s one day, but generally stayed in the 70’s.  The trees that were bare, no buds, nothing when I arrived, were budding out when I left. Grass that was scrimpy at best on arrival, needed to be mowed. And so it goes… I’m bringing Spring northward…

Bradford Pear

The tree above was one of several in a shopping mall near Winchester, Virginia. I couldn’t get a good shot of all the trees, so just posted this one.  Winchester is a medium size city with a small town flavor.  I loved the history, the small, narrow streets.. lots going on and I can see why my cousins chose this as there home.  Its too busy for me… the traffic never goes to bed, if you know what I mean, but northern Virginia is on rolling hills of beauty.

My time with my cousin Rich and his wife has been short, or it seems so.  Busy, busy people. They told me this was an exceptionally busy time, but I would be gone by the time they got back to “normal” whatever that is in their lives. Rich asked me all kinds of questions about going RVing… he was given several links, plus a note from Tessa, another Lazy Daze person, who traveled extensively with her kids. They were most appreciative of all the info. The kids were great to spend time with as well. All and all, I won’t wait 24 years to see them again… Thanks for a great time Rich, Bonnie, Dean, Becca & Sammi. Loved my time with you.
The day before I left Winchester, another Lazy Daze couple knocked on my door. This time it was Barry & Mary Ellen from MA. They also know Ted & Liz that I met in NM. What a delightful start for my day, thank you!  Love my Lazy Daze family. Sure have missed them this winter.
In my quest to move north – for the longest time, weather was the culprit of restraining my advancement. Now a new restraint as reared itself. When I left northern VA, I knew that a KOA was open off of I-81 and only a State Park would open on April 15th. Nothing else.  Did you read that – I said, NOTHING else.  Oh sure, I could stay at truck stops (one night only), might even be able to do a night in a rest area (don’t want to). . So I decided to do the slow poke method. Stop at Falling Waters in West Virginia to get that state logo, then stop at Yogi Bear in Maryland for another night or two (these two places are less then 50 miles from Winchester)… do a truck stop or two until I reached Locust Lake State park on the 15th of April. Well…  I stopped at Falling Waters and left (not a place I will stay overnight). Totally missed Maryland, due to heavy volume of traffic, and now I’m in Pennsylvania at one expensive KOA, as the State park is not open yet – no place else to park it. I have scoured Ultimate Campgrounds app, etc – nothing opens until May 1st. I’m stuck. Not a happy camper either.  When I get to Wilkes Barre, there’s a casino with overnight parking, yet that is only for one night. Nothing in NY is open until May 1st either.  No driveway has been offered to park, nothing…  Today, I discovered the Locust Lake SP does not have laundry facilities…. so may not hang there very long, but where else to go?  The roads are heavy with RV traffic right now… but its Canadians heading home, New Englanders heading to their homes… I will just have to bide my time.

So the following pictures are at the KOA in Jonestown, Pennsylvania. Just the name Jonestown invokes a memory I prefer not to remember… but I am here, so will make the best of it.

My Lazy Daze

Directly behind my rig and to the left in the picture is the highway. Could they get me a little closer? It was a hot weekend (88ºF) and all the motorcycles were out in force on this highway. Got the impression this was there first warm day since last summer.

Looking into the RV park

No option given for me to park back in here.

KOA Office, Diner, etc

Bridge over little river or a big creek

Was surprised to see that I was real close to right edge of this bridge. Lots of folks walking behind my rig with fishing poles, etc.  Had a option to park next to the creek/river, but it would have cost me more, so they stuck me next to the road instead at $44/night and no weekly rate.

My home

OK grumpy’s are gone now, it is what it is and I will just deal with it.  As I do with everything else. All is well.

I got to get the rig ready for the drop in temperatures tonight. Snow is coming in! Sigh… It has been too warm to close up until now. Been raining since the wee hours… no thunder tho. Winds just picked up and is really rocking the RV. Ok, got the vents closed. Got the Reflectix up on the door, got the Reflectix out to put in kitchen window after I finish this blog.  Need to put the blanket up to block the cab, finish my dishes, insulated my one and only plant. And just remembered I had tossed the reflectix for the bathroom window… darn.  Will jerry-rig something for that. Doubt I will need the rest of my winter prep… its not going to be cold for long.

I know, I know…but after all these 80+ temps, I’m looking forward to having some cooler weather coming in.  Laughing here.

Catching up – updated

Eclectic arrangement

My last days in Virginia Beach included dinners out, a second massage, seeing my friends home and meeting there dog Gracie and spending time with my cousin and his family.  Simply wonderful to see everyone – so enjoyed my time there.

The following three photos were from Sea Mist RV Park.  Still playing with images. Besides trying to remember to click thru, not just get a red light.

What is this? A starling? Love the green on it
I managed to stay in 4 different RV parks – 2 public and 2 military.  The Sea Mist RV Park was my all time favorite – the last post was about that place. I moved to a different place, the Ocean Pines RV park that is neither on the ocean nor on a military base, but was listed as a military base.  It was a former trailer park converted to a RV park and its right smack next to the Oceana Naval Air Station runway. Now, I think I lucked out the first few days I was there, as you could see the jets practice but it was pretty quiet.  The weekend was completely quiet, but come Monday all hell broke loose.  The jets were so low, so very low, you could see a body in the cockpit, then in greeting the after-burner ripped thru the skies and my rig just shuttered in all the racket. Freaked my boys out and completely stopped all conversation with anyone, even with myself. It was horrendous.  It continued from 8 am until well after 11 pm… But by 3 pm, I knew without a shadow of a doubt, I was leaving. Way earlier than I had planned, so had to do a hasty notification to all concerned, get the rig ready to roll, plotted my path out of this area, hit the sack and I was gone at first light the next morning.
Getting out of Virginia Beach to go northward is a challenge, but with the help of my friends, Steve & Becky, and Steve’s detailed directions – I was awarded a great trip north.  Steve got me out of Virginia Beach and over to Highway 17 (via I-264/I-64/I-664) to take James River Bridge vs any of the other routes (which all included tunnels).  He thought I was going to jump on I-64 – then up I-81 to Winchester, but in my last minute prep before I left, discovered that Highway 17 ends in Winchester, VA – my next destination.  So I stayed on Highway 17 until I got to I-66 at Warrenton, VA. It is there that I learned tractor trailers were not allowed on Highway 17 between Warrenton and Winchester – and that told me enough to not go that route as well. The only snafu on this entire trip north was road construction at Fredericksburg – big mess!!!  But the trip up was absolutely gorgeous.  Up to Fredericksburg, the Bradford Pear Trees, Cherry Blossoms trees were changing to fresh spring green leaves. On the north side of Fredericksburg – they were still in winter mode with brown. Folks did not quite believe me that the trees were doing this not too far down the road from here..

So I arrive in Winchester to the shock of my other cousin, Rich & Bonnie – as they weren’t expecting me for several more days…  My cousins have taken on, as in adoption, a family of 3 kids ages 11, 9 and 6 last August.  To say they are busy is an understatement of the century. Their life is a chaotic, organized, non-stop, life now, yet how they are doing it, still eludes me.  But one must commend them for taking on these kids. An older boy did not want to be adopted, but they make sure he still sees his siblings.  The former parents gave up all parental rights to these kids a few years ago and the kids bounced from one foster home to another – until Rich & Bonnie got them.  I enjoyed my time with them. My first day over – I got to see the movie “Frozen” with the 2 youngest. What a great movie!!! They piled on top of me, as well as the family dog Jack (a boxer) to watch the movie. Fun, fun time. The 9 year old, kept trying to sing the tunes, slightly off key from the movie and if you nudged her about it she would do an elaborate “zip it and throw away the key” demo – which of course, caused one to miss a section of the movie.  Couldn’t help but laugh tho. Kids will be kids.  And I got to partake in the 6 year old birthday party too.  What a cutie!   Got in a hairy game of Spades with the oldest and the 11 year old – of course, everyone has a different set of rules… but we made it thru.

A great train!

Point of registration

What is this tree? Bark is different

My Lazy Daze
In Winchester – there is only one RV park. Its called Candy Hill RV park.  Pretty little park. Early I wrote that I could not get the computer to recognize my camera, therefore I could not upload photos. Well… I discovered I had to reboot my Pantech from Millenicom, to acknowledge the new hard drive on my computer. Didn’t connect that a reverse on fixing thing was needed too. All is well now and the camera… for some odd reason now worked after I rebooted the Pantech.  I don’t begin to understand how all this works, but am glad it finally got its act together.
So had a wonderful surprise yesterday evening in the pouring down rain… a grey 30′ Lazy Daze  towing a white car, appeared before my eyes… Its the first one I’ve seen since I left New Mexico in October.  Just a little too excited for my own good, I bet, but grabbed my rain jacket and slogged over to their rig… and I met Marv and his wife (dang, I did not catch her name). Delightful couple heading home to Pennsylvania. They had been wintering in the Everglades this winter.  Now they tell me they have seen 4 Lazy Daze’s. Guess my nose has been going the wrong way!  Anyway, they are part of the Northeast Lazy Daze group and they know Ted & Liz, whom I met at the Balloon Fiesta in October.    They gave me some great tips on my next leg of this trip and talked me out of a few I was planning on doing.  I thanked them profusely for the inside scoop on this next adventure. They left early this morning, about an hour before the winds hit.

And lastly, I’m sure most have noted the new look of my blog.  I wanted frames around my pictures so they weren’t flat on the page. Try as I might, the old template would not allow it to work. So had to change templates.  Lot of the good templates are already taken by friends of mine on their blogs. So went to patterns.  My desire is to have had a burnt orange or a rich maroon as a background, alas that is not an option. So tried other colors.  I now have it as a green teal like color, for lack of a better description. What I would appreciate knowing is how does it appear to you, my readers?  Does the title and subtitle work? Or should I keep playing with colors… It almost seems boring to me, the new color design… but not sure how to improve it.    Heck, I even tried to soften the white behind the text… they don’t allow that it… so expect further changes down the road…