Wednesday, August 7, 2013


TRIP DAY 3 Thursday - the Fourth of July:

The day started sunny with a few clouds remaining. The day remained sunny and hot. Humidity was also high but there was a slight breeze that made being outside all day tolerable. We left the campground and headed for the Kutztown Folklife Festival, the annual event that I have been attending for almost 50 years.

Kutztown is about 90 miles from Lancaster between Reading and Allentown. Most of you know Reading from the railroad in the game, Monopoly and Allentown from the song by Billy Joel. The trip used to take a couple of hours but now there are limited access roads that will take you from Lancaster to Kutztown in about an hour without having to drive on a local road until you are 8 miles outside of Kutztown. 

Quilt in the quilt competition. Even if you don't like quilts - THIS is the ONLY building that is air conditioned at the Festival.

When we arrived the parking lot was fuller than we have seen it in a number of years. They were directing traffic up a hill and onto a field of grass. I saw an opportunity to pull into the asphalt paved parking lot and found a space in the far corner near a Class A and a Class C. Our Roadtrek fit nicely into one of the few remaining regular spaces. 

Taken when we were leaving  - the C is still there. The A is gone.

The day was great - though hot and sweaty. We had a great time and found a gift for my niece’s christening next week at which I will be Godfather. It has been hard figuring out what to get that will have some meaning and perhaps even still be around when she is grown. We found a craftsman there with what seems to be just what we were looking for. This always has been and still is a great place to spend the Fourth of July!

Only part of the Festival is visible in this distance photo taken at the end of the day.

We left the festival late in the afternoon. When we got into the Roadtrek the thermometer that tells us what the temperature inside the refrigerator is
and also shows the interior van temperature showed that inside the Roadtrek was 102 degrees F. It is nice to have a fridge right there with cold drinks inside when you get in on day like this!

While it was early for dinner we headed toward the restaurant that we had planned for on this night. On July 4th few local restaurants are open in Lancaster County. Despite its wide attraction to tourists this happens on several holidays and always on Sundays.

Along the way I thought that we would stop off to see something that we had seen a tourist brochure for. I knew that it would be closed but we were curious. It was billed as a Bavarian Village that one would walk around - seeing this brochure we both thought glorified shopping center, but it is one of the few new things being billed as an attraction so we went to see.

I got off the limited access road and headed down to where we knew it had to be. We were correct in thinking "over the top shopping center" but it had a twist. The stores were combined with a condo complex and everything looked like a Bavarian Village. And there were not many shops or seemingly sold condos. It was not worth the time to go and see and I was only happy that we did not spend part of another day coming down to see this. To top it off getting on to the road it was on had a sharp turn up a slight incline and the Roadtrek rocked and rolled making the turn. As we completed the turn I heard a bang inside behind our seats. The kitchen draw was shaken open - which at times does happen and we had to pull over so that Meryl could go back and close the draw.  Back on our way we drove up to this so-called Bavarian Village. We drove past it, turned around in one of its parking lots and headed back on our way. The GPS was showing a route that did not involve driving back to the limited access route. We decided, together, we would try it.

This road started out wide and then got narrower and narrower until it was one lane each way along a very twisting road going up and down hills with sharp turns and on coming traffic that did not need the little wider to turn as the Roadtrek does on tight roads. We came to a sign that showed the road was becoming a one lane road but this was only for a short distance. Approaching the descent of another hill there was a sign warning trucks about the angle of decline. We slowed down and made our way down. We should have taken the limited access road that we had been on before our little excursion detour.

We got to the restaurant and wasted some time in the gift shop until it was a better time to eat dinner. I will not talk about the restaurant in detail but if you are in Lancaster County you must eat at Shady Maple Smorgasbord. Ask anyone that is local and even those who are not. I have heard people in other states talk about this restaurant. That is where we had dinner and have been to many times before. It is probably one of the largest and best buffet restaurants in the US and serves both PA Dutch fare and more. It is a place that the Amish, Mennonites, locals, and tourists come to.

After dinner we headed to a spot that has always been good to watch the fireworks held for the Fourth of July in a local park. We sat and waited until it was dark and no fireworks. We had wondered why we did not see more cars as many know of this spot to watch these fireworks. We checked on the Internet and found out that the fireworks would not be held until Sunday. Odd, but that was how it was scheduled. It does not surprise me really. In this area traditional activities are not always held on the days they are in other places.

We just went back to the campground. The campground is now crowded. I backed into the space and Meryl was going to direct me into the correct spot on the site. I see her in the side mirror walking back and forth along the van. I picked up the walkie-talkie and asked her what was wrong. She answered that the level marker reflectors were gone! Really?!? The banner was still there. Now my markers had been taken. I just don't understand why people have a problem realizing that a site may be empty at that moment but the RV is coming back later. Another do-gooder who had to stick his nose into my site? Did one of the kids that seem to be everywhere today - tonight and this morning riding bicycles on the campground roads with no regard to the RVs and trailers pulling in and out - take them? This made me very angry. What do I have to do next to make people know that we are here? That we left for the day and we will be back - so stay out of my site and don't touch my things! I am thinking about a sign that will say just that... We shall see. Meryl will visit the office again in the morning and ask about our reflectors. 

Tonight I am noticing an odor start to come from the toilet. There is tank chemical with deodorizer in there as well as Calgon water softener and laundry detergent ala the “Geo Method”.  I sprayed the toilet area with Lysol and the odor was done. By the way, we still smell burnt popcorn.



  1. Gorgeous pictures and great detail. Makes me want to make this trip!

  2. Sometimes an odor happens if the "U" part of the shower drain evaporates. Terribly bumpy roads or not using the roadtrek shower can allow that shower drain on the floor to not have water or pink antifreeze in it and then the gray water smell will come up. Pour a cup of water down that drain every so often. As hot as that day was, the gray water probably doesn't smell that great because of bacteria. When you dump, it might be good to sanitize the gray tank with a couple of cups of hydrogen peroxide to slosh around in the bottom of the tank before you fill it up with dish water again. Keep Anti bacterial soap out of the gray water tank. Yes no anti bacterial soap, just the other kinds. I heard this at a seminar once. I guess it interferes with the natural breakdown of bacteria. Chris O. 2011 190 Pop

    1. The odor was definitely coming from the toilet drain. The Lysol took the odor away when sprayed down the toilet with the flush valve open. The only thing that goes down the grey tank drain is water and hand-washing soap (not bacterial).

      I have been finding that the Geo addition of the Calgon and laundry detergent is not making any difference over using the tank chemicals alone in terms of keeping the sensors working correctly or holding down odor after several days.