Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Let's Do the Time Warp Again - Part 3

For Part 1 and Part 2 see the week before this and the week before that.

Part 3

We continue our saga of our most recent trip picking up with our return that night to the campground. I pulled into the pitch black area where our site was moved to and looked for a road that would take us past the least amount of trees and boulders that were put here to make you think you are in a forest to make maneuvering in the dark easier without doing damage to my Roadtrek. With hesitation I slowly went forward and got to the site. Meryl at this point got out with the lantern and guided me into the small pull through site avoiding hazards. Before we had left I had put down our recovered level markers at the tires so that we would find the almost level spot on this site. She found the markers and guided me to them. At least we were in the site without incident.

Now, we were about to actually connect to the power and cable for the first time. We had tested the power box before we left for dinner with the polarity tester and the voltage meter and it tested OK but the box itself was hanging loosely from the post and the power boxes in this section do not use circuit breakers but glass fuses making it necessary to plug into these outlets live rather than the usual way of shutting off the breaker so that you plug into a dead and safe outlet.  We plugged in the Roadtrek wire to the Surge Guard (adding in a Plug Dog) and then cautiously plugged the Surge Guard plug into the broken box. The Surge Guard pulled the box to a forward angle on the post and the plug to the Roadtrek sat on the ground. Not the best but the night was dry. We waited and watched for the Surge Guard to cycle on and it did. We next connected the cable television connection and then we went inside expecting for the television that had a channel scan the night before to be set up when it was turned on. I turned the TV on to find a blank screen. We went back outside to make sure the connection from the Roadtrek to the campground box was good. It was securely connected with our coax cable.

Back inside to check channels. Some were there and some were not. I rescanned and the number of channels found compared to the night before was about half. Apparently, one side of the campground has a different cable connection than this area. Channels came in here but were not clear and the number of channels were half - and much more basic than those we had the night before. My outrage with this campground and what went on with us (see Part 2) went up a notch! We were leaving the next morning so we settled in for the night.

We were up the next morning - Saturday and dressed again in our colonial clothes to go off to Fort Frederick for a second day.  The first day there was to go through the whole fair and see all that was on sale. The second day was to seek out old friends and acquaintances, tour the fort itself, take time to watch the entrainment and just have a good time. We unhooked the Roadtrek and were off - and out of the Yogi Bear Jellystone Campground in Hagerstown, Maryland - not to return again.

At Fort Fred we were had an opportunity to see the French and Indian War era reenactors who were manning the fort march on the forts parade grounds. The fort is only manned this way for special events.

The barracks buildings in the fort are open for tours and you can look into various rooms of officer's quarters, enlisted quarters, and service chambers. There is also a museum that tells the history of the fort to the present on the second floor of one of the barracks buildings.This is there for the public whenever the fort is open, special event or not.

We stayed at Fort Frederick until about 3 pm. We wound up purchasing a piece of ironwork that we say that would be put to good use by our reenacting unit and it was small enough to tuck into the back storage of the Roadtrek. We were heading for our favorite campground in Lancaster, PA but on the way we planned to stop at a restaurant that was a bit out of the way in Thurmont, Maryland.

I had planned the routes for most of this entire trip before we left - as I usually do - since the in-dash Tom Tom GPS can take you through some routes that you really don't want to take with an RV - even with one as small as the Roadtrek. One problem, however, is that once the Tom Tom starts the route there is not always a guarantee that it will follow the route as it looked on the computer screen when planning. As we started out and were approaching Hagerstown heading north we saw that the Tom Tom was not taking us as we expected to go. I will explain in a moment why this is a problem. We pulled off the road to check the route on the GPS. As suspected, it was taking us the shortest and fastest route but it was taking us into Thurmont, Maryland through Cocatin Mountain Park, a national park in Maryland.

Cocatin Mountain Park is the location of Camp David, the President of the United States' retreat. Surrounding Camp David the park is open to the public and a major east/west route goes through the park. We once followed the GPS in a passenger van on this route to the same town of Thurmont and wound up in the middle of Cocatin Mountain Park on a narrow road that twisted and turned around sheer drop offs and went through forests and back to twisting turns around more sheer drop offs. After that harrowing experience I decided that I would avoid that route even if it meant driving more longer.

We looked at the routing in the GPS and then looked on a map and found a much longer in distance routing, but in actual time because it was on limited access roads all the way, the time was within five minutes of the route through and around the mountain. We headed off again with this new route.

The route was uphill a great deal and mileage in the Roadtrek was not great because of it. We made it to Thurmont in plenty of time and had a pleasant ride getting there.

After dinner we headed back out toward Lancaster. The plan for the second part of this trip was to make up for the two missed trips to Lancaster that we had planned but had to cancel due to the storm in October (Sandy) and my illness in December.

Old Mill Stream Campground in Lancaster, PA is where we stay for our frequent trips to Lancaster. We have two spaces that we like at that campground (my secret - sorry) and neither was available for our arrival on this Saturday night when I made reservations for this trip. One of them would be from Sunday on, but the site they told me we would be assigned when I called for reservations seemed fine.

Arriving at this campground after hours is no problem. Often we know our site number and if we don't they always leave a note for us at a box at the office door with the site number on it. We pulled in at almost 10:30 pm.  For the last weekend in April, the campground was pretty crowded. We found our site, which was on the campground's entrance road to the rear of the office and I backed in - as I usually do at this campground. We got out to hook up and discovered that the electric connections were at the wrong side of the Roadtrek. Rather than try to put the wires under the van to the other side, I pulled out and drove forward into the space. The arrangement here of the hookups for this space was unusual but because the campground has rows with spaces that fit two RVs in a T formation, some sites at the end of rows - like this one - wind up with the connections on the opposite side than expected. Our box was next to the box for the trailer parked next to us - who was facing as expected. It was really not a problem but finding a level spot on this site facing in this direction was not easy. We finally came close enough and at least the front was lower than the rear which made the foot of the bed lower than the head of the bed. We hooked up and settled in for the night.

The next morning when we went into the office to pay for our stay - we would be staying here until Tuesday I asked if we could change to one of our "regular" spaces. They were happy to accommodate that and said that we could not move into that other site until after 2 pm when the RV that was in the site was leaving. This was not a problem and we went off to spend a Sunday in Lancaster.

End of Part 3.

I will continue my articles about this trip next week, but rather than Part 4, as we have now left our personal time traveling, I will continue with "Sundays in Lancaster" in the present.

Before I leave you for now I can't resist...

"It's just a jump... to the left... and a step to the righ-igh-ighty- right. Then put your hands on your hips... and bring your knees in tie- i -ight! But it's the pelvic thra- ah- usts, that will nearly drive you


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