Wednesday, October 31, 2012

10/30/12: At Robert Newlon AirPark at Huntinton, WV waiting for the mail to come and the rain to stop. It is a Passport America participating campground. We ended up getting some snow, which became slush with the water on the ground. At least we have electricity, so I did some baking and washing clothes.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

10/28/12, Sunday: Spending some time in Barboursville, West Virginia, waiting for mail to come to the Post Office. It’s a drizzly day, cool. I think the highs are suppose to be in the 40’s. It was beautiful all week; highs in the 70s, no wind. Now we have Hurricane Sandy going to hit the East Coast and we’re suppose to get rain and wind from that. The WV mountains are going to get snow – I’m glad we’re not in there any more. We’d be stuck until it melts. We stayed at Walmart last night, debating which campground to go to for a few days so we can use electricity instead of the generator.

We made it in to West Virginia finally on 10/22.  Pennsylvania is a large state.

We were at Blackwater Falls State Park last week for a couple of days. It took forever to get there. It is twisty/turny, up/down the mountains, narrow roads – even Curt didn’t enjoy that ride. Once we got closer to the campground, the road improved. Thank goodness. I think I’m tired of mountain roads already. The campground itself was nice. There’s two areas – one with electric and one without. We took the electric; it was 30 amp, but that was fine. There’s 6 other campers in the two areas. While Curt did some cleaning on the RV, I used his camera and took pictures, and did some reading. We tethered his phone for the internet, but it was spotty, not consistent at all. We took a walk around the park that night and saw some deer walking through the campground. They weren’t afraid of us at all.

We went to Blackwater Falls gift shop which was near the campground. You can take a walk to the Falls, 214 steps to the bottom of the boardwalk. There’s an earthcache for the falls. After that we went to the lodge area and there’s a small waterfall there, along with a cache we did.

We went to the Canyon Rim Visitor Center and saw the New River Gorge Bridge. In October they have “Bridge Day” where people are allowed to walk on the bridge. There is no traffic allowed. People also can parachute from it. There’s a boardwalk down 200 feet; I didn’t count the steps but I could feel it in my legs by the time I got back up. The bridge is 876 feet high, an arch length of 2700 feet, bridge length of 3030 feet. It is the world’s longest single arch steel span bridge and America’s 2nd highest bridge. There’s a gift shop across the road where I got a smashed penny.

From there we decided to go to Barboursville, a little way past Charleston and near the Kentucky border. On the way we’ll fill fuel at Pilot. We want to see if we can stay in that area for a few days and get our mail sent. We need the insurance papers and vehicle tags for the Jeep.  Back to the twisty/turny roads again.  As we got down to the bottom, we were right beside the New River most of the way. We passed a lot of coal mining areas.  There were a lot of places we wished we could have stopped for pictures, but no areas to stop along the way for us.  We got to Gauley Bridge, which is a town right by the river, that had a scenic view pullover. With the sun shining the way it was, we got some really nice pictures.

Lots of little towns along the water, and very few that had nice looking houses. Most of the back roads of Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia we noted a lot of old buildings. They don’t tear down their old barns/sheds or fix them. Don’t know if it’s  a property tax thing or what. Looks like more of the poorer areas of the states.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

10/19/12: After checking out of the campground we decided to go to Lowe's in Somerset. Curt needed to return some things and we thought we'd catch up on some internet stuff since we didn't have really good reception at the campground. Spent most of the night trying to work out where we are going into West Virginia and Kentucky.

10/18: Went to the Flight 93 National Memorial, which the National Park Service is still in the process of building. Only family is allowed to go to the actual area where the plane went down, the memorial is beside it. From there we went to the Quecreek Miners Memorial. This is on the farm where they were rescued. The people there still farm and milk cattle; but decided to put up a memorial since people had been coming to see the area. They talk to all the people who come, show the movie that Disney made and explain what is true and what wasn't :)  They have a map of the mine there and explained what happened. they have the rescue chamber on site and some other artifacts from then.  Some Amish from Ohio put up their building, they couldn't get local contractors  to work with.  It was really interesting talking with them. I did buy their book when we left. I have read the book that the miners wrote, but this is from another perspective.

10/16: On the way to the Hickory Hollow Campground near Rockwood, PA we went through Punxsatawney. They have fiberglass statues of groundhogs (Punxsatawney Phil) painted throughout town. Again, not a very easy drive through town or parking availability for an RV. Parking meters downtown, but still very narrow streets, so we didn't stop. We saw advertising for Johnstown Flood National Memorial so decided to stop at that. It is a National Park Service site, so it was free with our National Park Pass, not that they checked. Otherwise it would have been $4/person. There was a film that showed what happened and we could see the area affected outside. Lots of people and some towns wiped out when the dam broke. Got to the campground around 4:00, in the bottom tier by ourself - nice. Curt wanted to do some work on the RV again and I wanted to wash clothes, so we decided to stay a couple days. With Passport America we can still through Thursday at only $14.50 a night. There's seasonals in one area, but this must be a relatively newer campground because they all look nice. A few campers on a top section.

Monday, October 15, 2012

10/14/12: Saw the Kinzua Dam and drove around the hills. There is an area called "Jake's Rocks" that we stopped at and took pictures. Went on to Warren, PA Walmart. Windy area here. Did FaceTime with the grandchildren tonight. Thanks girls!

10/13: Yup, got cold last night, 27 degrees. Glad we had our 2 little heaters able to be plugged in. Got a later start due to the cold, didn’t really want to go sight-seeing/hiking until it warmed up a little bit. Went to Kinzua Bridge State Park to see the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk. The Kinzua Viaduct was built in 1882, the highest railroad bridge in the world. It was 301 feet high, 2053 feet long and weighed 3,105,000 pounds and built of iron. In 1900 they had to rebuild it with steel to accommodate heavier trains, and then weighed 6,706,000 pounds. Freight traffic discontinued in 1959.  In 1963 the area became a state park. In 2002 it was discontinued to all traffic, including pedestrians, by engineers doing inspections. In February 2003 they started restoring the Kinzua Viaduct. On July 21, 2003, a tornado struck and 11 of the towers were knocked down. They’ve restored 6 of the original towers and added an observation deck with a partial glass floor. This was opened in September 2011 for visitors. It is truly a sight to see. The towers and trees are supposedly still laying like they were after the tornado. We also did 4 regular caches and an earthcache.

10/12: Left Mansfield and took Rt 6 and then 59 to go to Warren, PA Walmart. We figured we could park there (I called last night) and go with the Jeep in the Allegheny National Forest. The campgrounds in this area are really expensive, some are already closed. Most of the trees are way past peak now, lots without leaves at all.  We stopped at a ranger station/info center. We found out about a campground 8 miles from there with electricity, Red Bridge Campground, $23 for electricity, $18 basic. We decided to do electricity since it’s supposed to get cold tonight.

10/11: We went to the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. It has a small visitor center and gift shop there. It’s free, basically scenic overlook areas into the canyon and some hiking trails. One of the trails was supposed to be rated as more difficult, so I chickened out; a mile-and-a-half down to the bottom of the canyon and then back up. There was a shorter one, not quite a mile, which took us to another scenic lookout which was really pretty. That went down and up just a little bit, but enough that I was glad that I had my hiking shoes on and my pole with. The canyon would have been prettier with the trees still having leaves on, but we’re too late for most of them.  Curt still got some pretty pictures though. When we got back to the Jeep, the battery was dead again. Terrific. We waited for a little while until a guy was coming back to his vehicle in the parking lot and Curt asked him if he could jump it. We had battery cables with.  Got it going.

10/09/: Endless Mountain Campground, Laceyville. We should have known something was wrong when neither the GPS nor Google maps couldn’t find it. It’s a Passport America campground. I called and asked them if they had room; he said yes, we “should” fit, and kind of gave directions. (I shouldn’t taken the hint from the “should fit” part.) Well, we couldn’t find it. Trying to drive around in a tiny mountain  town with narrow streets with a motorhome pulling a Jeep isn’t really fun. We stopped and called them. They said they would come and get us. By that time Curt was ready to say forget it and just go back to a gas station lot we past along the way. But, since they said they were coming, we waited. When they got to us, in about 5 minutes, we were facing the wrong direction on the highway and had to go about a half-mile to turn around and come back. We followed them through town and about a half mile out of town to a narrow dirt road turn-off with trees on both sides with low branches. Ok, next hint not to go. Curt went out and talked to the owner; he told him where the campground was from there and then they left ahead of us. We had to unhook the Jeep to be able to take the corner. Dead battery…what next?!  Jumpstarted the Jeep and I followed the motorhome down the narrow road, over a narrow railroad crossing and a sharp corner after that down a “path” beside the railroad and then into the campground. Very small, basically a half acre in their front yard, grass. A couple of campers there (no motorhomes), but they do have hookups. Ok, we don’t need water or sewer, but we can use the 30 amp electricity for heat. Curt went to plug in and their 30-amp hookup isn’t the regular 30-amp RV hookup.  It looked like the regular house plug-ins, and we didn’t have an adaptor to connect to this kind; so, no electricity either. Yup, $25 to spend the night on roads we shouldn’t have taken and no electricity.  

10/05/12: Friday: Drove through the White Mountain Forest. We were going to go to Castle in the Clouds, but they charge for the drive up there, and then again to see the castle. Nope. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wednesday, October 3, 2012:  We just checked into Beaver Hollow Campground at Ossipee, NH, another Passport America campground. Yup, we're back in New Hampshire already. As we've been searching campgrounds,  we're finding that a lot of them in the northern/eastern part of the country close October 15th. So, instead of going all the way up and back from Acadia National Park, which would be another 400 miles or so, we just decided to start heading back. The trees are really pretty; some red, yellow and still greens. Interesting some trees already dropping their leaves. Near Beaver Hollow is the White Mountain National Forest and Castle in the Clouds which we plan on going to; hopefully not raining.

Monday we went south of Wells, along the coastline, and found a beach area to walk on. There were some kids running in the water (don't know why they weren't in school), but the water was too cold for me to walk in in my opinion. We saw Nubble Lighthouse. It was free, but we couldn't go on the island itself where the lighthouse is. Got lots of pictures. It's a really pretty area. The huge rocks are amazing around here. Tour buses all over. Fort McClary, an old fort, was open, and it was free also. Kind of nice not being around tourist season for some things. We went to Kittery Trading Post, which is much like Cabela's but I think it is more into guns and hiking. Even though there is a lot of everything. It's two levels also like Cabela's, but doesn't have near as many animals.

Tuesday we went north up to South Portland and then back along the coastline. We saw Portland Head Light lighthouse at Fort Williams Park at Cape Elizabeth. Again, huge rocks. It was a fort, so there's still some blocks leftover from buildings. Everything was free again (nice!) Lots of tour buses again. We stopped at Scarborough at Len Libby Chocolatier. They have a life-sized moose made of chocolate.  That's probably the only moose we'll see! We stopped at Kennebunkport and walked around. We had been there back in 2007 with Dean and Valerie, and  remembered a lot of the area, and found the ship, Eleanor, that they had a ride in. Lots of road construction.