Monday, July 27, 2009

On the Way to PA!

Well our visit to DC is over and were on our way to Uncle Don & Aunt Jessie's for some rest.

We left DC headin' west thru Maryland, turned north into Pennsylvania and made it to Johnstown. Linda decided she wanted to see the Johnstown Flood Memorial. It wasn't as moving as we thought it would be. So we were off again in search of a park for the night. We decided on Mirror Lake RV Camping. Pretty park, $14.50/night, W&E, Bathhouse (very neglected), Nice pool. Sometimes the PA parks are not the best but it's just an overnighter and the price is cheaper than we paid in DC for No hookups & ONE shower per loop. Headed out next morning, after dumping the tanks, on our northward trek. Linda sprang another one on us. We're makin' a slight detour to see Phil. See Phil lives in a town near where Linda grew up but she had never visited before. Phil is a meteorological prognosticator par excellence. You all know him best for 'Groundhog Day'. That's right were on or way to Punxsutawney, PA, the 'Weather Capital of the World'. We got to see Phil as he lives at the local library, in an climate controlled enclosure, with a girlfriend, 3 squares and only works one day a year. I want a gig like that. After visiting Phil we ventured up to 'Gobblers Knob' where the annual Groundhog Day' festivities take place, such a nice quiet spot we decided to have our lunch there. I can't see how they squeeze a thousand people in here, let alone tens of thousands, there's no place to park.




This is where it all takes place February 2nd each year






Here's the sign Welcoming Everyone



Seems the local folks been observin' Groundhog Day since way back in 1886. I guess they've gone through a few 'Phils'.

Our next stop is Uncle Don's in Titusville, PA. and here we sit visitin' an' palaverin'.

Untill the next time we hope to see ya down the road as we're,

Dancin' on the Wind.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

More Washington FUN

On our second day in the city we went to the Library of Congress but I couldn't make it through the metal detector. They had me take out my cell, then my watch, then my belt with buckle, then my change & keys & pocket knife,  WHOA!!!! He's got a knife!!! You can't bring a knife in here. We got a knife here!!! Don't most American men carry a small folding pocket knife? I've carried one for about all my working life and DUH evidently I still carry it today. It was given to me by a friend and co-worker many years ago and it has a lot of sentimental value, so I'm glad there was no mention of takin' it. In fact it was the second knife that this fellow gave me, seeing I was carrying the first knife he gave me he asked, "What are you carrying that for?" Cause you gave it to me! Turns out it was a collectors item so he gave another knife to carry and that's the one I carry today.

So I didn't get to see the Library of Congress. I was a security risk to the books I guess. Sooo we changed our itinerary for the day, since I was to blame for 'Carrying the Knife' and went to the Zoo instead. After Several Metro changes and a short walk we found the Zoo. We saw the Pandas, then the elephants and lots of other animals. Then the previous days walkin' started weighin' on us so we called it a day and went back to camp early, arrived home about 5:30.

The next day we were back, with no 'Bad Knife' to tour the Capitol building. Guess what? We couldn't go in cause we had peanut butter & jelly sandwiches & water. Not my fault this time!! Guess who sat outside for 2 hours eating PB&J, pretzels, cookies & water - Yours Truly. After the girls came out they ate and we went on to tour the Supreme Court then back to the Museum of Natural History then the Air & Space Museum.

The strange thing is all the other buildings we went in have metal detectors and I never had to remove anything from my person to proceed through with no alarm. After the first incidence I felt bad and moved my knife to the backpack, which Linda, unknowingly, carried through the detectors at the DC police Station in the Old Post Office.

Well we've all had enough DC for now so we say Goodbye. Time for some R&R.

No pics to post right now. I'll post some when I get a better connection.

Our four nights here dry-camping has been a little warm at night but we've had no power concerns with the two batteries and done no recharging over the four nights. Also had a small problem with our camera as we couldn't recharge our camera's batteries with no AC power. The charger we have is a trickle charger and will charge 4 batteries over 14 hours.

That's all for today. Hope to see ya' down the road as we're,

Dancin' on the Wind.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mountains, Horses & DC

Last time I wrote we had arrived in the Smokies. Our daughter Lisa & grandson, Christopher arrived a couple o’ days later, followed by our friend Amy. Amy came in from across the mountain, in Tennessee. We had a great visit with her, visitin’ the Elk at Cataloochee Valley. Only thing was there were no elk to see. Seems they hide in the woods durin’ the day and come out in the cool of the evening. Go figure every time we’ve been to see ‘em they were walkin about everywhere, but that was spring, winter & fall. So I learned somethin’ new about viewin’ elk.



Dram-ma and her buddy Christopher







We had a tailgate picnic at Cataloochee Valley & cooked some 'Tube Steaks'




After everyone had left us we headed up the road towards our next destination, Washington, DC. Along the way we stopped for the night in Lexington, VA at Longs Campground, not the best PA park we’ve stayed at. The park was rustic & pretty, but the restrooms were even more rustic than we were prepared for. Down the street is the Virginia Horse Center and they were hostin’ the “County Fair”, so after dinner we headed on down for some dessert. “Carnie Food”, elephant ears, fried dough, candy apples, we love it all.

The next morning we made our way to DC to find our camp for the next few days. Greenbelt National Park, located in Maryland, is 8 miles from city center and the closest campground to DC. It’s a breath of fresh air in the city, felling like we’re out in the country. Like most National Park campgrounds there are no hookups so were dry-campin’. Gives us a chance to see how that second battery works out. They do have water fill, dump station and showers thank goodness.

Our first official day we rode the ‘Metro’ to Arlington National Cemetery, walked all around there, walked across the Potomac river back to Washington. We then visited the Lincoln Memorial and walked all the way back up the Mall to the Smithsonian ‘Castle’. Then across the Mall to the American History Museum, then back to the Metro to ride back out to camp. Oh and at the Metro station here where we parked the truck we had a perfect spot way, way, away out across the parking lot. I don’t understand why they call it ‘Park & Ride’ when you have to park in the next state and walk on in to the station. Well anyway I’ve just walked my legs to the point of the “Quiverin’ Willys”. Must o’ been 8 miles on city pavement. Now if we were walkin’ in some deep woods or up in the ‘High Lonesome’ I don’t think it would hurt anywhere near as much. Just somethin’ about them settin’s that soothes my soul, not so on ‘City’ streets.

Well tomorrow's another day to see the sites, Oh Boy an I havin’ fun!!!!



A visit to the Prez's digs.







The 'Changing of the Guard' at the Tomb of the Unknown Solders






Of all the people to see on the streets of Washington, the Governor of Florida, Charlie Crist






Until then we hope to see ya down the road as we’re,

Dancin’ on the Wind.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Smoky Mountain Bound

We made it to our mountain home, where we'll stay till the 18th, then it's off to Washington, DC and points north. We're plannin' on stayin' in DC for 5-6 days to see the sites, or some of them anyway. After that we'll make our way to Pennsylvania for several reunions and lots 'o' visitin'.

During the drive up here we stopped at Black Mountain State Park to show Ashley what curvy, twistin' mountain roads are like as she's a 'Flat-lander'. On the way up as she movin' to the center seat belt, she asks, "Popa, are you afraid of heights?" Then said you haf'ta be a real good driver on these roads. On the way back down we stopped at the 'Cowee Overlook' and we could see lightin' and hear the thunder in the distance.




View from Cowee Overlook




We're all glad to be here and will be joined by our daughter Lisa and grandson Christopher soon. Well that's all for now. Hope to see ya down the road as we're,

Dancin' on the Wind

Follerin' the Red & Black lines

Yep we made it to the open road for another trip. Linda & I, along with our granddaughter, Ashley, are headed for the Smoky Mountains fer a spell.

We got a jump on leavin' but no one is complainin' about hittin' the road. As much as I hate it, we headed up that big , ugly blue road I 95 to get outa' Dodge as fast as possible. Folks drivin' on those roads are always drivin' like there's no tomorrow and it's a little scary to be puttin' along at 60 when everyone else is tearin' by at 80.

Well as soon as we cleared Jacksonville, we stopped for fuel & some lunch. Linda noticed that the fridge I put on LP, before we left home, was not lit. Strange cause it never has gone out before and I knew there was plenty of gas. Turns out we lost our access panel that covers the back of the fridge on the outside skin going down the road and the wind blew out the pilot on the fridge. NOW WHAT?? I switched it to 12V, knowing relightin' it won't keep things cold, and away we go. Next stop I check and the fridge is still not doing it's thing so I made a door from cardboard and Duct taped (the campers friend) it to the coach. A short time after that we hit some 'Frog Strangler's' and my new 'door' starts to gettin' soggy, not much I can do in this rain. we made it to Milledgeville, Scenic Mountain RV and Campground, for the night. Nice park, friendly folks, good deal for Passport America at $15 full hookup, with cable and wi-fi. After gettin' hooked up so the girls can fix supper, I go to duct tapin' the whole cardboard 'door' to waterproof it and turn the fridge on AC so we can run it on house current and get it cooled down. That should hold it, till I can find a replacement.

Well come mornin' I see the fridge is still not as cold as it should be after runnin' all night and I know it's cause I have no ventilation in my 'door' & can't put any in there or the wind will suck the 'door' off. So first order of the day is to locate a replacement. I called several RV places around the area we were in but got no answer, so I figure they have gone out of business. Next call is to a Camping World which is north of us and only a 30 mile detour off our route. They have two, and at a price of $36 I was floored. I thought it would be in the three figure area $$$. I recently tried to purchase a replacement skylight for our fifth wheel, it was $245 and junk so I made them send it back, so I figured this door would be PRICEY! Then the phone rings and it Camping World. The doors are not the right size. GREAT. To make a long story short, we had to go 60 miles back south to get one, the door would fit but not latch so I had to change the door and frame along the road. I'll remove it and install it proper when we get to the mountains.

That's all for today. I'll try to post some pictures next time. Until then hope to see Ya as we're,

Dancin' on the Wind