Wednesday, July 24, 2013


TRIP DAY 1 Tuesday:

Before we left this morning we turned on the coach batteries and started the refrigerator. All of the last minute items were brought out and packed away. Meryl went through the inside of the Roadtrek making sure everything was closed and secured for travel. Using the walkie-talkies Meryl guided me down the driveway and into the 4 lane avenue in front of our house. She got in and we were on our way. We were leaving around 10 am to avoid the rush hour traffic earlier that would have detained us until now anyway.

Getting off Long Island takes longer and longer with construction on all of the main exit roads off the Island. In Queens NY on a limited access road we heard a noise behind us and Meryl looked back into the rear of the Roadtrek and saw that the refrigerator door had swung open. She had been sure that everything was closed and secured inside before we left. Evidently the fridge door latch had not been set. There was no where and no way to pull over on this road and ahead traffic was stopped. We saw an exit and knew that up ahead on the streets there was a shopping center that we have seen along this road in the past. We got off and tried to make our way through New York City borough traffic to get to the parking lot of the shopping center that we could see up ahead. This was not a place one wants to drive anything large that one cares about.  We got to the entrance of the shopping center and pulled in. I have rarely seen a Home Depot parking lot so busy on a Tuesday morning. The lanes were tight and there were cars moving everywhere. We made our way through to an empty corner of the parking lot and pulled over. Meryl got out of her sent, went back into the Roadtrek, and closed and latched the fridge. We were back on our way.

 The weather when we left the house was unexpectedly dry but heavily overcast.  As we moved from traveling west to south the rain started - but not heavy. We were making fairly good time despite pulling right into the traffic that had been stopped when we got back on route. The rain came and went and came back again.  We actually saw sun break  through the clouds as we got into Pennsylvania. We arrived at the campground in 4 and a half hours as expected with a half hour stop for lunch at a rest area on the PA Turnpike.

When we checked in at the desk in the campground office the lady (who seems to know us now) told me that the people who had reserved our original space for this day had left early and we could have the space that we reserved for the rest of the week today rather than tomorrow. Wonderful! This is our preferred site in this campground. It is easy to get into. It is right across from the restrooms and showers. It is even easier to get out of and quickly be on our way each morning. While we were at the desk we reserved the site for next year's Fourth of July week to be sure we would have it.

We pulled into the site and checked the electric box. Even though we have been in this site before we always check the electric box - first for polarity and then for voltage. Both were perfect. I then put out our banner and stand on the site (the one from my tale about our not so nice visit with Yogi Bear). I staked the stand in the grass on the corner of the site. With that, we were off for to enjoy the remainder of the day.

The refrigerator started to cool down quickly. It usually takes only about two hours to get cold but today it was inconsistent. It was not going down below 40 F and below 40 F and above 32 F is where my insulin has to be kept. Several times Meryl made adjustments to the thermostat up and down during the day.

One of the reasons why I wanted to add Tuesday to this trip was to go back to Root'sMarket. That was where we were headed. At Roots we found that they were having a garden plant auction. There were hundreds of garden plants being auctioned way below retail prices and you were bidding on as many as you wanted - even just one. This was so tempting as the plants looked so much fuller and nicer than anything we had at home. The problem is that there was no way that we could fit three large flower pots over-bursting with flowers in the Roadtrek. Finding large things to take home is often a problem with a Class B RV - there is just so much storage space to carry things - and these plants were not going to fit under the bed (nor did we want to be sleeping over them). 

We had a nice time at Roots and then it was then off to dinner. Dinner was on the other side of Lancaster County and we had a pleasant drive to a very nice meal at which I over-indulged. The first PA Dutch meal of a trip tends to make me make up for what I have missed since the last trip. I very likely over did the carbs and I hesitate to test my blood glucose later and see what I did to myself with my very nice meal.

After dinner we got gas for the second time today. Gas prices in New Jersey and here in Pennsylvania are 30 to 40 cents a gallon less than they are in New York. I don't wait for the tank to go below half as I don't like to see the price that results on the pump  - and even though spread out it is the same thing, it is easier to take (psychologically, at least) a little at a time. Today I filled up when the tank went below three-quarters. I would rather stop for gas when I have nothing else to do, than stop on my way to someplace I want to get to.  Because of the length of the Roadtrek and the location of the gas pipe in the rear corner it is necessary to pull all the way through at the gas pump and this usually means sticking out into the lane that vehicles use to exit from the pumps. At some small gas stations this can cause a problem.

When we returned to the campground, Meryl guided me - again with the walkie-talkies - into the site and close to the electric box. I stopped and the spot was perfectly level in all directions. That is another reason I love this site. (This is not the case in all of the sites at this campground- though they are not far off from level.)  As I was getting out of the Roadtrek so that together we could hook up the electric and cable, Meryl asked if I had moved the banner and stand before we left. No, I had not. I had placed it and left it. Well, it was gone! Again! There is something about this banner that it disappears when we leave and come back. This happened in Maryland! We decided one of three things had happened. Someone from the office, knowing the last people on the site had left early had forgotten their banner and took it into the office. A friend of the people still here thought that those people had forgotten a banner and took it to hold for them. OR Someone stole it. I hope not. In the morning we will go to the office and find out. Before we went inside the Roadtrek for the night, we put our level markers down on the gravel next to the front and rear driver's side tires.

After hooking up, we went into the Roadtrek to settle in for the night and we have a routine each night. The curtains are closed around the windows, the front seats are turned to face the back, and a fabric popup waste basket that holds a plastic shopping bag is set between the seats in front of the van’s glove compartment where it fits perfectly. All of the straps that we use to indicate what must be secured in the morning go onto the steering wheel. Each small leather strap has a name stamped on it – electric, water pump, cable, cabinets, etc.   Then the TV gets unsecured and scanned for channels. Since the last time we were here we had trouble getting antenna channels, I tried out a new device that we have that I will write about in its own article in the near future. With the antenna pointed in the direction of the strongest signal, I scanned the antenna channels on the TV and got two channels. This could not be. I then set the TV to turn off scanning for "additional" channels which would clear any channels previously stored from past scans and scanned again. Now 14 digital channels came in nice and clear. There were some channels on the antenna that we enjoy at home and are not on the cable feed here. We left the antenna up and with a switch of the A/B switch and the TV channel input setting on the TV menu we could watch back and forth between the antenna and the cable. I know many do not care about TV while they are traveling. We do.

I also turned on the A/C to find the noise that we had repaired at dealer/service in March is back again -  right from the  start of running.  Another trip to service at some point will be necessary and hopefully since the problem was reported and "repaired” while under the A/C's warranty just a few months ago, this will still be covered now that the A/C warranty has passed its two years. We shall see...

Another thing that I found was that when I flushed the toilet, sediment came shooting out with the water - as it had a year ago. The water ran, but in the water it looked like dark gravel coming out with it. This had not happened a month ago during our last trip. It seemed to stop about three flushes later.

I did not turn on the propane. There is no need for it. The water in the tanks has been in the outside heat now for a few days and is plenty warm on its own. There is no need for hotter water. In fact, it would be nice to have colder water – but that is in the fridge.

The routine will be the same every night and does not take very long. The inside of the Roadtrek has been transformed from a vehicle into a comfortable room with all of the amenities of a fine hotel room.

With that all set we settled in and I started writing this. Meryl took some time to get out the last minute bag and move what was inside to the cabinets. She then settled down with her laptop using the campgrounds fairly good wifi signal. The local weather report on the TV news says that it will may rain tomorrow - there is a chance, but there is less of a chance of rain on Thursday, the Fourth of July.


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