It has been a year and a half since we took a trip in the Roadtrek. We have taken it for two hour drives sporadically while we were on lockdown due to Covid-19 to keep it running and I have been running the engine for thirty minutes every week. It has been to the mechanic twice for inspection and maintenance, and recently had new tires put on. We had expected to be off on a week long trip the week before July 4th. We had reservations made a year ago at the campground we spend that week at every year and attend a festival that I have been attending annually since I was a boy. This year, again, like last year, that festival was cancelled. We were going to go anyway until we saw that the weather was to be high heat and high humidity with severe storms predicted almost daily where we were going. On top of that other places that we go to in the area were running on limited hours due to Covid and some were not open at all. We decided to change the reservation and wound up changing it to next year. But as I told Meryl, we must take the Roadtrek on a long trip even if it is only for one day and back that night. It had to be driven and we had to see that all was working as it should be - as at some point, hopefully, this summer we are going somewhere for several days or longer. We agreed that it would be a good idea to go to where we would have gone at the beginning of the month for the day to check things out down there for ourselves. That daytrip took place this past week.
Over the past year and a half with the Roadtrek on the driveway we had taken many things that we normally keep in it out. We had to start searching around the house for where they were and get it all back inside. We filled the tanks with water. We went through every cabinet to see what was missing from a list we have of what to have in the Roadtrek. It took a couple of days to find almost all of it and move it back in. Almost all because we have a mystery disappearance. We have three spring extension curtain rods that we put in the aisle under the bed from side to side against the cabinet doors to keep items we put under the bed when traveling. We are pretty sure that we took those out before we took the Roadtrek to have the generator serviced - along with all of the cushions so that should the generator service tech need to work inside to get to connections none of this would be in the way. It came into the house and was stacked on a large folding table. The cushions went back into the Roadtrek at the end of June we assume - as we remember we did - took the curtain rods back into the Roadtrek and put them SOMEPLACE. The curtain rods are not in the Roadtrek - ANYWHERE. They are not in the house - ANYWHERE. We have looked multiple times - EVERYWHERE. Where are they? We do not know. This happens more than it should at our house. Things will disappear - really gone. I check, She checks. We both check, over and over again. They reappear months later just where they should be and where we have both looked many times. There is a folk tale about The Borrowers. The Borrowers come and borrow things - use them for a period of time - and then return them to where they took them from. Well, that implausible explanation is the only thing that could explain the disappearances. We are the only ones in the house - no one comes into the house but us. So The Borrowers have the curtain rods. We have bought new ones - silver color to distinguish them from the missing white ones. Some day we will find the white ones in the Roadtrek where they are not now. We were ready.
We have been keeping stay at home hours for a year and a half. Up to early morning hours and asleep to mid-day. We started preparing for getting up early a few weeks ago so that when we got up to leave at an hour that would get us the 150 miles to where we were going we would arrive at an hour where we could do things and not be time to have dinner and then head back home. We made it out of the house before 9 am and on our way after turning on the fridge. We thought we might avoid rush hour traffic heading toward New York City which we would loop around but had to cross two bridges to do so but wound up in bumper to bumper traffic - though we avoided the roadwork crews that start at 10:30 am to work on roads that they continually work on year after year - in the same places. Once on the New Jersey Turnpike heading south we were clear.
Having not driven very much in a year and a half I have found in the past several months of driving more regularly locally that I tend to not drive as fast as I used to. I find myself just below the speed limit which does not make cars around us very happy. This was also my first trip in the Roadtrek that I have to wear eyeglasses to drive - and that has been a bit strange for me. I had to focus on getting up to highway speeds with the Roadtrek as we started out and by the NJ Turnpike I was up there over 65 keeping pace with the rest of the vehicles. Once we got to Pennsylvania, the speed limit goes to 70. I have always found that with the 6L engine in the Roadtrek, it is very easy to let the speed get away from you. And with a speed limit of 70, 80 is just a small push of the gas pedal further. Our Roadtrek holds the road and the speed very well. Too well - and I backed down every time I glanced down at the speedometer. Of course at 75 we were being passed by some very small cars, but that was OK. We were passed by two Class Cs along the way. I told myself that we don't need to prove anything to them.
We were heading to Lancaster County, PA. This has been my home away from home for many, many years and it always has been my go to place to relax with rolling farm fields and Amish buggies clip clopping along the road. We like to go to a particular farmers market which is a mix of locals, Amish, Mennonites and some tourists. That was were we were heading for the day - and we can easily spend a whole day there. We arrived about three and a half hours after we left - almost exactly what the ETA was from both the dash GPS and my phone's CoPilot RV GPS app. While we have been at home this was where I was missing the most.
At the end of June, the Governor of Pennsylvania ended all Covid mask requirements. We are both fully vaccinated, but we are both also in two high risk categories so we have maintained caution and we still wear masks when in public. With the Covid variants now on the rise and numbers going up instead of going down, we were surrounded by people of all ages not wearing masks. We were not the only ones wearing masks but where we live many are still wearing masks both inside and outside - perhaps because we live in one of the hardest hit counties in the country from Covid. It was strange to be out there with masks wearing in the minority. That was OK, though, as I was where I wanted to be. Meryl was a little more hesitant.
The day had to be a Friday for this market to be open and this was a Friday with low humidity and a temperature that was not to go over 82. Finally, a day that was comfortable to be outside. There is little that is air conditioned at this market - some smaller buildings have A/C, most do not. There were some things we were looking for that we knew would most likely be there. Some were and some were not. It was comfortable enough to have lunch outside at a picnic table and the hero sandwich (hoagie,sub, grinder - depending on where you are from) that I bought from one of the stands was one of the things that I thought about all the time I was home and wanting to be here. When it is hot out, we would have gone back to the Roadtrek to eat the sandwiches with the generator powering the A/C. We walked more than we have walked in a long time. It was a good tired. We were there until about 5:00 pm and we headed back to the Roadtrek to go toward the restaurant I had planned to go to for dinner - with a couple of stop offs along the way.
Dinner was another treat and something I have been looking forward to for what seems like a very long time. It did not disappoint. It is a restaurant that we have gone to many times in the past and one that I did miss not being in this area for so long do to Covid and lockdown. It serves a combination of local Pennsylvania Dutch foods and American together with plenty to eat. It is one that attracts the tourists more than most of the other restaurants that we dine in when in this area, but it reopened following being closed due to Covid - as were the other restaurants in the area closed - with dinner being served later than the other restaurants that we would have gone to that are much more local.
After dinner we did not head right home. I stopped for gas - which was 20 cents a gallon more than it is at home and a half a tank that I filled cost $50. I like to put gas in the Roadtrek when it needs just half a tank as the total cost on the pump for a full tank is too shocking to see. Even the $50 was a bit of a shock. We then headed to a Walmart that we knew would have things we were not finding at the Walmart at home - and they did. No special reason why other than the Walmarts at home have had empty shelves now for two years. And it delays leaving where I don't want to leave - but I have that feeling even if we have been in this area over a week. We started driving home after 10:30 pm.
There was very little traffic heading home. When we come home from a trip I go to a local 24 hour gas station to fill the tank of the Roadtrek back up. It is difficult getting the Roadtrek out of our driveway into the four lane, busy street in front of our house, so filling the Roadtrek at the end of a trip at home gives me a full tank of gas to have for our next trip. Miles per gallon for this trip came out to over 17 mpg - that has been better, but it was not bad. We put almost 500 miles on the Roadtrek in just the day, down, around, and back. After the gas station it was almost 3:00 am that we got to the house and then shut the Roadtrek down.
One of the best things about traveling in an RV like the Roadtrek, even for just a day's outing, is that you have a bathroom with you, no matter where you are. I never really understand those who won't use the bathroom in their Roadtrek. There is not always a convenient place to stop when one is needed and too often if there is, it is not in a condition that one wants to even walk into. Having the Roadtrek during this day trip, it came in very handy.
Many of our readers have figured out that we don't take the types of trips that many others do. We don't much travel to be in nature - though most of the places we go to are outside. We use the Roadtrek as our traveling hotel room. We rarely cook in it When we travel we eat out. It has always been this way when we travel. If you are on vacation, you eat out. If you are in an area where foods are different from what is common to you when you are home, you go out to try them. So to many, our trips are not that exciting, but they are to us. We are out to relax. We would rather things not be too exciting, as given some of our "adventures" in the Roadtrek that I have written about over the past ten years now, exciting meant problems. We don't want any problems when we travel. It was good to take this trip even for a day. It has been too long since the last trip we took in the Roadtrek and it was an excellent re-introduction to packing the Roadtrek for a trip, getting in and heading off and putting some much needed miles on it after it has been sitting on the driveway with just a few two hour drives for so long.
The title of this article starts with "A Rambling" and that is what this article has been. Just a rambling on about a great day in the Roadtrek to a place we love to go to. There was no how to do this or that. No how to solve this problem or that. It was just a bit of pleasant rambling. There will be more articles about how to do, and there will be more ramblings.
Thanks for rambling with us!
What's next? I wish I knew!