Thursday, September 30, 2010

On down the Road

We overnighted at the Summersville Wally World, they held our reservation. Today we were up early, rained all night again. We started down the road, then there was that sign, Summerville Dam. Well should we check it out? Yeah, so off we go down the road. First stop, an overlook at the lake, pretty. Next stop the Dam and surprise, a campground at the base of the Dam on the Gauley River. This area is Gauley River National Recreation Area and it’s naturally ‘Gorgeous’.



This is the beginning of ‘Whitewater’ country.

As we approached the base of the Dam, viola! A camp? Rustic, price (Shh.., keep it quiet) free. What, No cost, here in the eastern US?, On National Park Service land?


There’s vault toilets at the end of the camp, but there’s brandy-new restrooms at the entrance with running water.

Oh yeah they have a developed camp down the road maybe 1/2 mile run by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Electric at most all sites, potable water at the dump station, restrooms & showers all located on the lakeshore, sweet…. Oh yeah it’s called Battle Run Campground.

We got to get movin’. So far we made it about 9 miles. Oops first we gotta’ have lunch, it’s 12:30 already. Finally got goin’ down Hwy 19, crossed to US 60 goin’ SW to I-64 over to Virginia. In VA took I-77 south, stopped for fuel, guessed right this time $2.69 / gal. Continued towards North Carolina, down the pass at Fancy Gap.


Seven miles downhill at 7% Grade


Nice views from up here

         Guess where we’re headed tonite? Hey Andy!           Mayberry Campground!

We’ll see if tomorrow we can get down to Floyd’s Barber Shop & Wally’s Fillin’ Station. This is Mount Airy, NC the home of Andy Griffith and the inspiration for the famous TV show.

The campground is laid out nice with small loops terraced around the property. They have 83 full hookup sites with cable TV and WiFi to all sites. Also Passport America $15 a night.

Mayberry Campground

The property the campground lies on is the home and farm of the famous Siamese twins Eng & Chang Bunker of PT Barnum fame. Their home is still here and tours are given on the weekends. Two guys attached for life, married two sisters and had 21 children together, quite a feat. The Bunker farm was a 2000 acre tobacco plantation.

Well off to the shower & get rested up for a big day in "’Mayberry’. hope to see ya down the road as we’re;

Dancin’ on the Wind.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Back at Seneca

Well we had our last ‘Hurray’ with Don & Jessie and we’re back at Cousin Bonnie’s. Were here for our last two days then it off to NC to visit some friends near Raleigh before makin’ our way over to Bryson City.
Monday Linda cooked a spaghetti dinner and we asked Diane & Denny to eat with us, kind of a ‘Farewell’ dinner. They came about six and we ate around seven, sat and talked till it was time for them to leave. We showered and called it a night.
During the night we had some severe storms and lots of hard rain. It woke us both up numerous times throughout the night and by morning we were up. Today we had to pack and were also invited to a fish fry at Linda’s cousin Johnny ‘J’ and we were pretty pooped from our restless night. The rain finally letup in the late morning and I got started packing. Pickles, pickles, beets, peppers, salsa, apples, potatoes, I feel like I've got a produce truckin’ business. Well I finally got everything packed with some help from Linda in the end and we’re ready to roll.
Around 5:30 Bonnie, Linda & I drove over to their cousins for the fish fry. So happens Johnny & Marlene live across from Diane & Denny, go figure. They had also invited Diane & Denny, friends Sonny & Deb and another cousin Clarence & his wife. Johnny cooked oodles of perch he caught in Lake Erie, some fresh french fries and Linda had made some cole slaw. Lake Erie perch are some o’ the best fish we’ve eaten. When we visit Wayne in Ontario, something we always look forward to is a trip to Port Dover for perch. After eatin’ a big ole pan full Johnny cooked up another pan so he gave us some for the road, yum…my. After chewin’ the fat fer’ a spell we started to say our ‘Goodbyes’. Wait, first we need a picture!
Wednesday we we’re up with the chickens cause Linda had an appointment with her eye Dr. at 8:45 in Franklin. the appointment went well and the Dr. couldn’t believe how her vision returned to 20/20 so fast. Must be cause I take real good care of her. We got a late start down the road cause the Doc kept her fer’ 3 hours doin’ all kind a tests.
We headed down I-79 & we’ve made it as far as Summersville, WV tonite. Partially cause we had to stop at place Linda would have liked to spend a lot of time at but couldn’t cause they we’re closing fer’ the night, the Trans Allegheny Insane Asylum in Weston, WV.
One of the Residents?
No really this place was in operation until 1994, did lots of lobotomy's in the 40’s & 50’s and as is typical off state hospitals for the insane they were completely self-sufficient. We we’re to late for a tour so we’ll have to try again some other day.

Oh Yeah, How could I forget?
Thanks for All the Hospitality BONNIE !!!!

Well that’s all fer’ this episode of the RV-Anytimers. Hope to see ya down the road as we’re;

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tionesta & Titusville

We are preparin’ to leave the western Pennsylvania area and move on down to North Carolina. Fall is really startin’ to take hold here, like someone flipped a switch. Thursday it was 87 degrees, Friday 88 degrees, until Saturday during the wee hours of the mornin’ low 50’s.
We stopped for a night at cousin Sandy’s in Tionesta. We were here in July & August fer’ some pickles & some salsa  makin’s. Sandy’s husband Craig and I spent the day chattin’ on the porch while the girls went off to shop fer’ groceries. When they returned they brought subs fer us all to eat. Good thing cause my backbone was startin’ to gnaw at my stomach. Later their son, his daughter & his girlfriend showed up. Their son came up to help dad rebuild the roof on their spring house. Sandy made some pizzas later and everyone enjoyed them. Soon it was time to turn in and we bid all a ‘Goodnight’.
In the morning we had breakfast with the family then it was time fer’ us to move on up the road to Titusville and the big red barn. We said our goodbyes then we were off.
Thanks Sandy & Craig for your hospitality!
Before we headed fer’ the ‘Red Barn’ we sidetracked to see the ‘Nebraska Bridge’. The bridge outside the small hamlet of Nebraska, PA  crosses Tionesta Creek. During late winter & the spring the water levels in Tionesta Lake rise to the point that the bridge becomes submerged and is closed to traffic. Last year it was discovered the bridge had settled 8” at both ends and since has been closed to all traffic until repaired. I’m not sure but I’ll bet this is not a high priority on the state’s budget. Linda & I walked across to view the water & the opposite side.
Here we are at the end of the road, Nebraska Bridge
Still has a nice superstructure
  View from the bridge lookin’ towards Tionesta Lake
Lookin’ back up Tionesta Creek
We left the bridge behind and traveled to Titusville. Were headin’ to spend a last few days with Uncle Don & Aunt Jessie. We parked at the milk house by the big “Red Barn’. We were here a few weeks ago and I installed a 30 Amp outlet for us in the milk house. Today I put the cover plate on the outlet to finish off the job. We now have all the power we need for the truck camper or the fifth wheel.
We had brought a bag of shrimp, some french fries and Linda made some cole slaw so we could have a "’Good Bye’ dinner. Course we’re eatin’ with them again tomorrow night too. They were glad to see us and we them. We’re gonna do some excitin’ things while we’re here for two days, like wash the bed linens, some other clothes and maybe squeeze in a bike ride.
Well that’s about all fer’ this ole’ dude. I got to be gettin’ me some ‘Beauty Sleep’, I sure could use all I can get.
Hope to see ya’ down the road as we’re;

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sandy Creek Tunnel Bike Ride

Monday morn’ I decided it was time to take that lumber I bought back in June and make some little pieces out of the big pieces. A bike rack was needed for the back of the truck. When the camper is off it’s difficult to haul the bikes anywhere cause they lay on top one another in the truck bed bouncin’ down the road. So today I make a bike rack. I wanted something that I could take apart and store flat in the voids of the platform the camper rides on in the truck bed. Remember we have rails bolted through the bed of the truck to mount our fifth wheel hitch on and I constructed a platform just a tad higher so the camper would have a solid base in the truck. This is what the platform looks like in the bed of the truck.

Truck Bed Platform

The plywood piece in the upper right is for our second battery. I constructed a battery box mounted to the camper last winter but it made loadin’ & unloadin’ far too difficult, so the battery’s back in the bed again. Anyway I didn’t want this bike rack goin’ the way of the battery box so the smoke was really rollin’ out my ears tryin’ to come up with a design that would satisfy all my requirements. I think I hit it with this one.


The rack fits between the existing 2x4 platform and when disassembled all the pieces will fit between the cavities in that platform. No room to carry them anywhere else in truck camper land!


Here it is from the rear with the bikes

So bikes secured in the bike rack we headed out fer’ a ride. In this area there are great bike trails that follow Oil Creek and then the Allegheny river. Today we were tryin’ a spur trail off those called the Sandy Creek Trail. All  the trails are old railroad beds so the grades are very minimal. We found the parking area and started down the trial, and I do mean down. Didn’t have to pedal much as you could almost coast continuously. Linda was concerned about coming back and having to climb those long slight grades. The trail is very pretty through the mountainous Pennsylvania countryside. Sandy Creek meandered back and forth and we crossed it 2 or 3 times on bridges. Then came the Sandy Creek Tunnel.


The scenery changes constantly from wooded to small meadows to rock cliff ravines cut long ago for the rail bed. Then we were crossing the creek again and further along the trail we crossed the Allegheny River on the Belmar Bridge.


It was a beautiful day for a ride and the river was as pretty as ever.


After crossing the bridge the trail ran out and we decided to turn around and return to the parking lot. We stopped and chatted with several folks along the trail. Found out we could access the Allegheny River Trail, which crossed below us, by navigating a series of steps down from the trail we rode. After lookin’ over the steps we decided to skip that daredevil feat and kept followin’ the trail we had rode out. The slight uphill grades that Linda was fretin’ about never materialized. It was like someone ironed out all the hills after we rode down. Sure we had to keep peddalin’ but with shiftin’ gears we just rode on back and were back at the parkin’ lot sooner that I expected. 


The bikes are back in their rack waitin’ for the next adventure.

We drove on down the road to check out the next access to the trail. It was located where the Rockland station used to be and along the way we stopped to look at Freedom Falls. The falls are located along Rockland Station road on SHull Run.


This wasn’t the rushing falls we were told we’d hear from the road.

After the falls we headed down the mountain further to the Rockland Tunnel. The Rockland tunnel is 2860’ long and is built with a curve near the far end. We walked rather than ride through cause we don’t have lights on our bikes and it gets quite dark rather quickly after entering. We walked to the other end and then returned to the car satisfied we had seen two tunnels in a day. There is one tunnel left on this part of the trail system and I believe it is 3800’ long and is located outside Kennerdell.

Well we were pleased, a 5.8 mile bike ride followed by a one mile walk to cool down, all the while takin’ in the beauty of the Allegheny Mountains, what a great day.

Well I’m tired from all the fresh air and exercise today so I’ll call it quits. Hope to see ya’ down the road as we’re;

Dancin’ on the Wind.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Back in PA

The following two posts I’ve posted late cause my signal here is lousy and I’m havin’ serious connection issues. I’ll post as soon as I get somewhere that has signal. 

We made it back to Pennsylvania on Friday, parked back at cousin Bonnie’s. Took the camper off Saturday morning and got an invite fer’ dinner at cousin Ben’s house fer’ Saturday night. Then we got an invite from Diane & Denny to come over to their place Sunday afternoon fer ‘snacks, dinner & a movie.

Well we made it to Ben & Kathy’s fer’ supper Saturday and had a great time with them and their youngins’. Chicken & Ribs were the menu fer’ the night and they were excellent. Ben ya’ did a great job burnin’ that meat! After dinner we sat and talked fer’ hours. It was funny that we got this invite cause the day before we were passin’ they're house Linda commented about wanting to get together with them and bingo, Ben calls the next mornin’. Call it fate or what ever it worked fer’ us.

Sunday I cleaned the bugs of 2000 miles off the front of the camper and applied a little wax as well. I finished it just in time to go to Diane & Denny’s. We watched the Steelers game and had munchies, then we had dinner. The movie Diane had was one I wanted to see this summer but missed it in the theater, Robin Hood. It was action adventure from the start and there was a love story in there too. It was interesting cause it was the story of Robin before he became the scourge of Sherwood Forest. After the movie we all had apple pie and ice cream. The pie Linda made was from apples we had collected along the way during our latest trip.

Speaking of our trip we stayed in an RV park the last night of our trip in Wellington, OH. A Passport America park I’m sorry to say. Now we have belonged to Passport America for a long time and had stayed in parks with varying degrees of facilities, but this park had the worst facilities I have ever seen. The name of the park is Clare-Mar Lakes Campground and I warn people to avoid it at all costs. We stopped here for several reasons; one, the location to our route of travel, two, Passport America rates are 50% of regular rates, & third we wanted to take a shower. Well we arrived just in front of a line of severe thunderstorms and it started raining when I was pluggin’ us in. Linda & I sat playing cards for a hour or so till the rain stopped. Then we decided to "’Check out the bathrooms’. We wish we did this first cause by now the office was closed. We would have gotten a refund and found a new spot down the road. The bath house was beyond description. Let’s see how about neglected, in sad state of disrepair, appalling, revolting, detestable & atrocious. There are no doors, the showers are moldy, the general description is grossly disgusting.

100_8598This is the entrance to the Mens Room 


This is on the Ladies' side


This is the one & only sink on the Ladies’ side

Linda decided we should look at some of the other bathhouses, there were two more in different sections of the park. They were all identical !! No Shower tonight !!

The following morning we sought out the owner and expressed our dissatisfaction and requested a refund, which we got. He attempted to give us a song & dance about battling with the town to get sewer services. Sewer service wont fix those bathrooms, But a little bulldozer remodeling would go a long way. The kicker for me is their rate is $25 a day, if electricity is needed it’s an additional $3 indicating to me most folks who don’t need electric are tenters, so what facilities are those tenters going to use?

Sorry about raving on but you pay money for a service they should provide a service! This has only happened to us once before and it was a NY state park, Makes you feel like your a second class citizen cause your in an RV.

Oh well I’ll close fer’ now and get off the soapbox for I stumble an break somethin’. Hope to see ya’ down the road as we’re;

Dancin’ on the Wind.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Still Headin’ East

Linda & I had a leisurely morning, I arose at 8:30 and put on the coffee. I think the smell of coffee woke my girl around nine. After a breakfast of scrambled egg with chopped sausage on mini bagel and coffee we started to prepare to hit the road. I don’t really know what time we got on the road after dumping the tanks.

We hooked up with US 33 east to I-75 north to Findlay, OH where we would find US 224. We were gonna take US 30 east but there seemed to be too many larger towns & cities so we opted for US 224 which we took west a week ago.

As we’re comin’ up I-75 Linda says is there anything along our route we should see? Yeah, just south of Findlay the state map says there’s a ghost town out in the country. A ghost town? In Ohio? Well maybe it’s an old abandoned town. So we start wonderin’ around lookin’ fer this ghost town, LOST. We got turned around 3 or 4 times, found roads that we wanted to take closed off, so we stopped at a local restaurant and asked. The ghost town? Yeah it’s just down the road. they used to be a sign, it’s still there, no it’s gone. After 4 different opinions we walked out determined to find it. A young lady entering the restaurant said “ Straight down the road, third right turn, there’s Boy Scout Camp sign”.

Well we finally found the ‘Ghost Town”.


Seems like this was just a local attraction but is livin’ up to it’s name.


Nobody’s home


Looks Like even the Sheriff left town.

Guess it was some kind o’ ‘Tourista Trap’ that had seen better days. Leave it to me to trust the state of Ohio when it comes to landmarks & points of interest. Oh well we’re off down the road headin’ east towards Pennsylvania.

Hope to see ya’ down the road as we’re;

Dancin’ on the Wind.

Grand Lake-St. Mary's State Park

This morning we headed down US 30 towards Ft. Wayne, IN and then on to Van Wert, OH. We stopped and did some shoppin’ at Wally World for a few things we couldn’t get in Indiana & to load some money on a gift card to get the 3 cent discount on diesel, $2.88/gal. Mileage this leg 15.1 MPG. To many stoplights and jack rabbit starts. Then we headed south to Celina, OH for an overnite stop at Grand Lake-St. Mary's State Park.


We had a little trouble finding the park cause I was usin’ a Street Atlas file downloaded from the Discovery motorhome owners website. The person who created the file had the location off by about a mile. I’ve since made the correction.

Grand Lake St. Marys was constructed in the early 1800s as a reservoir for the Miami and Erie Canal, which connected the Ohio River with Lake Erie. At one time the lake was the world's largest man-made lake. The canal system thrived for about thirty years in the mid to late 19th century before it was replaced by the railroads.

As always we asked if we could choose a site and were told we could. Glad Linda drove today cause we always play the ‘Wheel of Fortune’ campground game, round & round through the campground to pick a site. After finally choosin’ a site, I let her get us set up while I walked back to the office to let them know which we had taken & pay.


When leavin’ the office I spotted this guy hangin’ out waitin’ fer’ me. Looked like he had been to the ‘Wally Word’ sporting goods department and was ready fer’ huntin’ season.


This thing looked like "’Real Tree’ camo, it was awesome.

The weather here seems to be deterioratin’ as the sky is gettin’ a high overcast. No sun, just bright. I guess we must have some rain movin’ this way. I tried to catch a couple o’ pics’ o’ the lake but the day didn’t cooperate well.


Oh yeah. Guess who spotted an apple tree when we first pulled into the park. Now she’s makin’ apple sauce.


Well that’s all I got fer’ now, got to get to chillaxin’ a bit. Hope to see ya down the road as we’re;

Dancin’ on the Wind.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wagon Ho! Headin’ back East

Our trip to the land of cheese has been fun, entertainin’, enlightening & heartwarmin’. We really enjoyed our visit with our friends and meetin’ all their family.

Now we’re headed back home, or Pennsylvania, our home for the past four months. We stopped in Madison to view the State Capitol then headed east for Milwaukee. 100_8541

Wisconsin State Capitol

After negotiatin’ through Milwaukee we headed south continuin’ to foller’ I-94 headed fer’ Chicago. Oh Boy "’The Big City’. Stop fer’ fuel at a Kwik Trip, nice convenience store, Cheap fuel, bought eggs fer’ 79 cents and a pound o’ butter fer’ $1.69.

By the way mileage this last leg was 15.9 MPG. Much better than the 13’s we were gettin’ buckin’ the wind comin’ out. Maybe that Bully Dog Triple Dog programmer will prove itself after all.

Asked a young lady fuelin’ in front of us how far to Chicago. She said about an hour, then 1&1/2 hours to get through the city at this time of day. I asked if it’d be better to eat supper & go an hour later. She said definitely yes, “I drive this route everyday from this very exit so I know”. Well I relayed the findings to ‘you know who’ and she said “It couldn’t be that bad at this time of day”. Guess what we did? You got it we plodded ahead into the quagmire of ‘metropolitan gridlock’. We sat through about two hours of ‘stop & go traffic once we got to the city, while someone complained all the way. Now I know why I drove 100 miles further to avoid the ‘Mega Grid Lock’ of the big city.


   How’s This? Haven’t even made it to the city yet.


Yeah this is why I travel the USA, NOT!


Linda was fascinated by all the High Rise Skyscrapers. 

After finally gettin’ out of the ‘Metro’ traffic we hooked up with I-80 fer a short spell then I-65 south to US 30, west on  to Valparaiso, Indiana. Wally-Dockin’ tonite in Valparaiso after some shoppin’ fer’ provisions.

Special Note: If yer’ readin’ this Ashley, Grandma says she loves & misses Ya’.

That’s all fer’ now. As always, hope to see ya’ down the road as we’re;

Dancin’ on the Wind.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Happy 50th Anniversary Barb & Noel

The party was to start at 3PM and there was lots of preppin’ to do.


This is the cake granddaughter Alexy made

There were tables & chairs to pickup & setup.


There was ground to fluff fer’ the horseshoe pits



There were campers everywhere

Son Eric was in charge of the main dish, Mostacholi, pasta with red sauce, meatballs & sausage. Everyone brought a side dish or dessert and there was food galore. It was all delicious and yours truly ate far to many vittles.


The Ross Clan

It was a great evening and everyone had a great time. Sunday was a slow recuperative day for most. Many had to return to their homes to prepare for work on Monday.

George & Della are leaving Monday and we are leaving Tuesday to return Pennsylvania. Linda & I want to thank Barb & Noel for the invitation and their hospitality.

Hope to see ya’ down the road as we’re;

Dancin’ on the Wind.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Eureka, Wisconsin!!

We pulled out of Hickory Hollow Campground and headed up I 39 north towards the Wisconsin state line. We didn’t plan on an early start cause the check-out time was 12PM. So when we got to Rockford, IL we got off the interstate and headed for our destination for lunch, Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits. Linda has been cravin’ some Popeyes chicken and I had to agree that it sounded mighty good since we haven’t had any in months. We had a coupon on the laptop for a 10 piece deal, but with no printer I said I’d just carry in the laptop and see if they’d honor it. Well that didn’t work out cause the clerk said they kinda have to keep the coupon, Not on my laptop! So we ordered 9 pieces of spicy chicken fer’ $7.99, plenty fer’ us anyhow.

After lunch we headed up the road again and soon crossed into Wisconsin. In another hour or so we were gettin’ off the ‘Big Blue Road’ in Wisconsin Dells. The ‘Dells’ as they are referred to locally must be a jumpin’ spot for ‘touristas’ during the warm Summer months. There’s Water Parks galore and lots of Adventure parks and Amusements. Kinda’ reminds me of Kissimmee or Pigeon Forge with their endless string of bumper boats, mini golf motels, go karts and other amusements. They do boast havin’ the worlds longest underground roller coaster at one of the parks.

We arrived at Barb & Noel’s house after a call to confirm the directions my Street Atlas program gave us. They were ready for us…..

100_8532 Good ole’ SNOB CORNER

After handshakes, hugs & greetings we got parked and setup. Then we sat outside and talked until it was time for us to go get somethin’ to eat. We headed to a restaurant they recommended but I had to ask after riding for a while, if we were going to Minnesota to eat this evening. Well it wasn’t that far but it sure seemed like it. Things are a fer’ piece here in the country I guess. We had a wonderful supper, most of us had steak. Then it was home to rest up fer’ Thursday.

Thursday we loaded up in Barbs car and did some grocery shopping in ‘The Dells’. Then we came home and waited for the arrival, George & Della were comin’. This will be the first time all six of us are together in two years.


Were hard at it just awaitin’!

They arrived in the late afternoon and it was hugs & handshakes all around again. We sat down to a fine meal Barb had prepared and ate a mite too much, it was so good. then it was visitin’ till we called it a night.

Friday us guys went to Home Depot to get George some materials for a shelf. He has wanted a shelf in one of the large cabinets in his Lance and this was the time to do it. After much thinkin’ & re-thinkin’ we decided on a design and grabbed up some materials. Two hours later he had a shelf to divide the cabinet so now they can carry more stuff. Don’t know why the manufacturers can’t put some shelving in these tremendous cabinets. Are ya’ just supposed to pile yer’ duds & vittles in there and hope ya’ don’t get killed when ya’ open a cabinet door after shakin’ it down the highway? Right and I got some Prime Waterfront Florida Property I can let ya’ have cheap! So Della is happy, George is happier, but say’s my next job is to electrify their gas water heater.

Around seven barb & Noel’s youngins’ and grand youngins’ started to arrive. The anniversary party they were puttin’ on was the followin’ day. It was decided we would all go out fer’ pizza to a local(?, I thought we was headed to Minnesota again), place. There were only 14 of us and we ordered a giant family pizza as well as a large. The large came out fine but the family pizza was not what was ordered so we waited for them to make another. There was oddles of leftover pizza which was taken home.

Well that’s all fer’ this fella’. I We hope to see ya’ down the road as we’re;

Dancin’ on the Wind.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Pulled out for Wisconsin

Well we left Titusville around 9:20 Monday with Linda sayin’ lets get movin’. I already figured this was not going to be a trip at our normal leisurely pace. We stopped at Flyin’ J as soon as we crossed into Ohio. Dumped the tanks, filled up on diesel and we were off again. We headed west & south makin’ our way deeper into Ohio. We had decided that Ohio didn’t deserve our money for riding’ their toll road. Not only do they class vehicles by the number of axles, but height as well. So according to their website we would have paid $23.70 to drive across the state. With a truck camper, I don’t think so!!!

We headed west through Youngstown on I-76 till it ran out at US 224. We then ran down US 224  all the way to Tiffin where we turned NW for Fostoria. We decided since we were in the area of Fostoria we’d call and see if the folks we bought the Lance from were home and up fer’ a drop-in visit. I called an got Maynard, told him we were in the area and wondered if they had a few minutes to see us. Of course he said to come on. We arrived and the first thing he asked when he greeted us was “Do you want to plug in?” I immediately told him no, no we can just stay a little while and we just came to visit. Well we visited with him and his wife Sue, I had a cup ‘O’ joe and a cookie, looked around at some of his ‘Solar gear’ and a fishin’ boat he’s riggin’ up with solar panels to recharge the batteries for the trolling motor. Then said our goodbyes and headed down the road. Thanks for the hospitality, especially on such short notice & we enjoyed visiting with the both of you.

Our next stop was what Brain at ‘Goin’ RV Boondockin’ calls Wally dockin’. We stayed the night in Definance, Ohio’s WalMart.

Tuesday was a super early day for us as we went to bed real early Monday. We made coffee after risin’ at 5:30 AM and a stop at Micky D’s fer some grub. At this point we made a miscalculation in our route. We were going to head up to get on the Indiana Toll Road, but decided we didn’t want to get into the Chicago ‘burbs’. So we swung southwest and headed for Ft. Wayne, IN and US 24 all the way across IN and into IL. Stopped for lunch at a City Park in Watseka, IN. We then picked up I 39 north to the La Salle area. Were spendin’ the night tonight at Hickory Hollow Campground, a Passport America park. We arrived here around 3 this afternoon and been chillin’ a little. We’ve only got about 200 miles to go so we’ve been haulin’ _ss for us.

Well that’s about all so I’ll talk at ya’ later. Hope to see ya’ down the road as we’re:

Dancin’ on the Wind.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Back in the Oil Valley

We’re back at Uncle Don’s old dairy farm staying by the Milk house. I’m going to put a 30 amp RV outlet in as soon as I can round up some tools. Can’t carry much in the way of drills and such when your travelin’ in a truck camper.

Since we’re in the ‘Oil Valley’ again I would like to relate a story I’ve learned recently. I’m intrigued by the insight & ingenuity the early oil pioneers showed here. This particular tale reminds me of Jed Clampett of the ‘Beverly Hillbillies’. Seems this fella’ by the name of A. C. Kepler and three companions obtained an oil lease of an acre of ground on the Hyde & Egbert farm that was already producing. Kepler dreamed he and a coquette, a loose woman, were out on that farm when an Indian appeared with bow & arrow. According to Kepler, the Indian was gonna’ kill him with bow & arrow when the coquette crawled up handing him a rifle. He shot the Indian who vanished and oil bubbled up from the ground. Visiting his brother who superintended the farm, he recognized the scene of his dreams, secured a lease, and bored the Coquette Well in the spring of 1864. The well flowed oil at a rate of 1200 barrels a day, settling to a modest 800 barrels a day for the first year. At this time oil was ‘On the jump’ and the first cargo of ten thousand barrels brought $90,000 during the wells first ten days of prodution.

Kepler also charged spectators 10 cents each, to view the flowing oil. Like he really needed the monies generated from this venue. He later sold his interest in the well for $145,000.

So much fer’ the story tellin’. We are here fer’ just 2 days then we’re gonna’ light a shuck fer’ The Land o’ Cheese Heads. That’s right Monday morn’ we’re headin’ fer’ Wisconsin to our good friends Barb & Noel. It’s there 50th Anniversary and they called to invite us and sure wanted us there so, Why Not?
So fer’ the next few days, it may not be excitin’ cause we’re gonna’ try an make a B-line fer’ Barb & Noel’s. There’ll be some backroads and some o’ them big blue roads and  I hope to get there in three days, or so.
That’s all fer’ now. Hope to see ya down the road as we’re;