Home Away From Home

On the Way Home

We left this morning around 8:30 in a heavy fog. By the time it lifted we were in Pennsylvania and things were a lot greener. The leaves were just beginning to change in New York and although they were not at their peak with vivid reds and oranges we did see a few peaks of red amidst the oranges and golds. Temps were in the low 50’s when we pulled out. Where are we going? Not sure. We’ll drive until Jerry wants to stop. I’ve done a lot of research on possible campgrounds along the route and hopefully we won’t have any trouble locating an overnight place. Guess we could be really RVers and stay in a Walmart! Not sure I’m that brave yet but time will tell. We’re following the Garmin GPS today so hopefully we won’t go through any state parks in Maryland.

What an easy ride and drive today. No state parks in Maryland. In fact, it was four lanes all the way although we did have to go through a couple of small towns in Pennsylvania. Still, all in all, it was an easy trip. We kept riding along and stopped only for gas and then for lunch. We decided then that we could drive on to Natural Bridge and I had the information for a Yogi Bear Jellystone there. It is a Passport campground so it’s half price. I called and we were able to get a drive-through site FHU.

As we got closer to Natural Bridge Jerry asked me if I wanted to go to the museum and get a magnet. Well, of course and luckily we went right by there so he dropped me off and I ran in to get the magnet. They must be slowing down for the winter and possibly getting ready to close (I didn’t ask) because the store looked a bit forlorn and believe it or not they were out of magnets.  On earlier trips we always tried to buy some treasure that would remind us of our trip but we decided that we truly had enough trinkets, plates, bowls, etc. so I started buying magnets at each significant place.  We put them on the refrigerator and they quickly remind us of our travels.  We picked up several in the Finger Lakes!

We continued on to the campground and it was a winding narrow road, not the worst one we’ve been on though. As luck would have it we passed the campground and ended up near a trailer park. Jerry saw someone turning around so he asked for directions to the campground. Yep, we had passed it so we were able to make a loop in their drive-way and head back towards Yogi Bear. It is not an easy campground to find for sure. When we finally got there I went in and there was no one in the office. To make a long story short someone finally came out, looked at the site we were assigned and changed it since we were just over-nighting. Someone led us to the site fortunately as I don’t think we would have easily found it. There are a lot of turns and hills but surprisingly enough our site is quite level. I have almost decided that having a level site is the second most important thing to have. Wi-Fi is first and they have that. Cable is nice but not necessary as I’ve found I watch very little TV when we’re traveling. Jerry is enjoying the football games though.

We easily and quickly got settled and then sat outside for a while until it was time for dinner. Had leftovers and have nearly cleaned out the fridge. I checked the mileage to see how far we had gone today – 448 miles. We have really thrown out our usual rules of stopping at either 3:00 or 300 miles. I don’t think we want to make a habit of this but Jerry has gotten along well with the two days of long driving.

Jerry called Tom Johnson about the leak in the bin and we are supposed to take the coach to them on Friday after we leave Clemmons. There we’ll empty everything into the car (oh joy) and then leave the coach and then pick it up when we head to Florida.

The next morning we took our time leaving as we only had 187 miles to go to get to Clemmons – that is according to the GPS.  Instead of taking us back to the Interstate though we got the scenic tour through the curvy mountainous roads for nearly an hour.  I WILL have a paper map on our next trip.

We arrived at Tanglewood Park a little after 2:00 and quickly got set up.  Emma came over for the afternoon and then David, Jane and Eli came and we had hot dogs on the grill.

On Friday after Emma’s Grandparents day that began at 7:00 a.m. we came back to the coach, cleaned up and got everything except the food in the fridge and freezer packed in the car so we could quickly leave after dropping the rig off at Tom Johnson’s.

We got to Concord around 11:30 and were hopping to be gone by 1:00.  Apparently their was a mix-up about getting the coach looked at and instead of us leaving it they were going to address the issues right then – or in a while.  We sat around for a while and finally got comfortable on the sofa reading before they eventually started dealing with the leak which had mysteriously healed itself.  Oh well – we pulled out of Concord a little after 2:00 and through the pouring rain and stop and go traffic in Raleigh we finally pulled the motor home in the warehouse about 8:00.  Of course it was pitch dark in there and pretty hot but we were able to get the car off of the dolly and the fridge and freezer emptied into the car.  The motor home is parked in its usual place although I’ve never seen it quite so crooked but it is there!

Two exhausted travelers finally got home around 8:30 after a wonderful trip.  We saw lots of interesting and beautiful things.  Jerry did a terrific job of driving sometimes under very difficult conditions and went well despite my original misgivings.  Thank you Lord for safe travel and safe arrival in Kinston.

Home Away From Home

Headed to Gettysburg, PA

What a day or two in one!  Our plan was to leave the horse show grounds by 8:00 this morning and we pulled out of the site at 7:58 – wish I could say it was good planning but we were just lucky! We had put up all of the outside things last night and as much inside as was possible. I even got my clothes out.

I woke up about 6:00 although I couldn’t get to sleep last night. In fact it was after 12 before I finally went to sleep. Don’t know why but I do know that we’ve haven’t gone on another RV trip when I have had such mixed emotions about going. With the world situation like it is and Mom’s declining health I just can’t get too excited about going. Surely do hope everything turns out ok!

When we saw Rick this morning he asked what route we were planning to take and we said just following the GPS which would put us on 95 around Washington, DC. We have heard so much about the stop and go traffic there even on a Sunday morning so we asked Rick what he suggested. He suggested going to Wytheville, VA and taking 81N out of there so that’s what the plan is. We’ve been to Wytheville before but beyond that … it will be mountains instead of traffic. I don’t know what the mileage difference is but will find out. Our route home takes us right straight down 95 so if this is better we will surely use it coming home.

Rest Area – Welcome Center Virginia – 10:33 – 64 degrees and breezy – fills like fall
10:48 back on the road

The way that Good Sam routed us had us going 338 miles from Raleigh. Of course that was on I95. We have been in Virginia a little over 10 minutes and according to my Garmin GPS we have 338 miles to go. Before we stopped at the Welcome Center I started looking at MapQuest, Garmin, etc. Finally with trepidation I told Jerry how far we had to go to get to Gettysburg. Since we didn’t have to put down a deposit I could cancel that reservation and we could stop sooner. The GPS has us arriving at 4:24 but that’s with no stops. Jerry said he feels good right now so we’d just play it by ear. It’s a bit overcast and a little breezy and even though it’s four lanes the traffic is pretty heavy – all this say, he may get tired more quickly. I had offered to drive – thank goodness I didn’t. We’re already in mountains and traffic! Wow!

12:34 We stopped for gas and lunch at a Pilot in Troutville, VA near Roanoke. Gas was $1.93 and must be the cheapest around because it is very crowded. Although we planned to eat lunch when we stopped for gas we cannot eat here. It’s a small station with no parking lot. There are many diesels in and out plus lots of cars. Busiest small station I’ve ever seen! There were books on the cement pillar next to the gas pump apparently for an exchange. Women Who Taste, Make and Enjoy Wine and Old Dog Pictures were just two of them! That’s a wide range!

Brief stop at rest stop in Mt. Sidney, Va. About 2:40 – still 164 miles to go.

Mount Jackson, VA –saw a water tower with apples painted all around the top
We have seen leaves intermittently falling but everything is still pretty green. It has been a lovely drive, cloudy and overcast at times and then partly cloudy. Never a bright sun shine in our faces.

Jerry is following his Clarion GPS and I am following the Garmin. When I mentioned to him that he had to take exit 315 in two miles he said nope, he had about 15 more miles to go before the exit. As we discussed which GPS to follow we passed by Exit 315 so we continued with the Clarion. We briefly passed through West Virginia and then into Maryland and then … into a state park (never did find out the name of the park). It was a two lane curvy road and a U-turn with speed limits from 15 to 35. Jerry did such a terrific job even though it was at the end of a very long day. What started out to be a 338 mile drive turned into 496. Except for the state park fiasco in Maryland (which we laughed all the way through) the roads were all four lanes and traffic wasn’t too bad although there were many big trucks on the highway. We passed two! The rest passed us.

We finally got to Artillery Range Campground just before 6:00, 10 hours on the road. We have no cable, no TV reception and very limited Internet but that’s ok. I think it’ll be a quiet restful night. We had dinner and then walked around the campground for just a bit. It’s a beautiful fall night and several people have their campfires going.