Tuesday May 31st 2016
When I woke this morning the fog was so thick I couldn’t see the other side of the field. I delayed my departure until the fog lifted. There was no need to navigate route 2 with low visibility. By 8:30 the field was bathed in bright sun light so I was free to get underway. Other than heavy post holiday traffic, the trip was uneventful.
I took advantage of the good weather to get more outside tasks accomplished at the house. In some ways it was to warm to be working outside. The temperature got to the high 80s in the shade. I don’t want to think about how hot it was in the direct sun light. Tomorrow is supposed to be a seasonal normal 70.
On the way back to the RV, I stopped for groceries. Given the amount and type of storage I have in the camper, I need to shop for groceries more often. My refrigerator is huge. It has more storage space than I had in the house, but my cabinet space for food storage is small and awkward. I have to be careful of what I keep on hand. In particular, I can only keep multiple supplies of things I use frequently.
The other big constraint is the size of the packages I buy. Cereal boxes need to rest on their sides and big cereal boxes won’t fit at all. For some things like pancake mix or instant potatoes it is easier to buy the single serving packages. I’ve thought about transferring items to other containers like canisters, but ones big enough to hold a whole box of cereal won’t fit in the cabinets.
Example of how I need to pack in the groceries. This is one of 4 similar cabinets dedicated to food.
What all of this results in is compromises. I shop differently and store things in different ways. These are small concessions to make this lifestyle work. Over time, I’ll try different locations and different storage options. Someday I may find a better solution.
Back at the RV this evening it is beautiful weather. There is just enough of a breeze to cool things down. The stream beside the RV has returned to its pre-storm flow level and the geese family continues to patrol up and down the stream.
Monday May 30th 2016 Memorial Day
This morning was a wet rainy mess. I drove east in intermittent heavy rain which produces some interesting traffic. Drivers react in so many different ways to inclement weather. Some brave fools totally ignore the weather and maintain excessive speeds others go overboard the opposite way by slowing down to a crawl. Hopefully I’m in the safe middle ground.
The trip to the house was a little longer having been caught behind several of the crawling kind of drivers. The rain was stopping about the time I reached the state line. As it got brighter it just got hotter, the humidity never left. It was not a day to work outdoors, so I worked on clearing out other areas of the house. By clearing out I mean adding stuff to the different piles of junk. Some will get recycled, some donated and most trashed. It isn’t much fun.
This afternoon’s return drive was less eventful. The weather was OK, but there were many more drivers on the road. The campground had emptied of the weekend residents. It was back to the lazy quiet mid week state that I enjoyed when I arrived last Tuesday. I’ve extended my stay here until next Tuesday.
My neighbors the Geese returned for a visit this evening. The goslings seem to be bigger than when I first saw them. With any luck they will be flying soon. They didn’t come around yesterday so I was a bit concerned.
The geese are getting bigger.
As I’m typing this blog, a thunderstorm has arrived from the west. A line of storms was forecast for this evening. I think this storm is later and weaker than the forecast. Hopefully, it breaks the humidity to allow for a better nights sleep.
Sunday May 29th 2016
The weather was more comfortable today. Yesterday’s 90s were a thing of the past. Today it was cloudy and humid with the temperature in the mid to upper 70s. Toward the end of the day the sun broke through the clouds to tease us. Rain measured in inches is predicted for tomorrow.
My day was the definition of boring, but a good boring. Watching the Indianapolis 500 on the TV and grilling a pork chop for lunch compete for the highlight of my day. I stayed home today so I could watch the 100th running of the Indy 500 on television. It has been a few years since I’ve watched the 500. I’m only mildly interested in the race. The pageantry before and after the race is a bigger draw. Listening to someone sing “Back Home Again in Indiana” just makes my day (not?). Seriously is that song ever sung anywhere else? An American rookie, Alexander Rossi, won the race.
During a break in the action on the TV, I took this picture of my RV home as setup for TV viewing and pork chop grilling.
As far as the pork chop goes, it was a thick cut boneless chop that was very good. I combined it with a boiled potato and a can of corn with an ice cream sandwich for desert. Now that I’ve provided the details of my dinner, you (the reader) can judge how boring my day was and how boring this blog entry is to read.
I’ve rolled up the patio awning and put the chairs away in preparation for the wind and rain in the forecast. The tail end of a tropical depression is on its way. Hopefully, it won’t drop so much rain that the stream by my camp site overflows its banks. I’m not worried yet, it has 6 to 8 feet of vertical height and 30 feet or more of horizontal volume before there’s an issue. Time to pay attention.
Saturday May 28th 2016
I got a slow start this morning. It was just warm enough in the RV to make me lazier than usual. By the time I’d made the coffee and had some breakfast it was after 9am. I wanted to get started earlier so that I could get some things done at the house before it got to hot, but it was not to be.
The next thing that conspired against me was having a conversation with my neighbors. They are one of the member/owners of this campground. Before I knew it, it was approaching 11am. There was no way I’d be able to get anything significant accomplished at the house today. Between the travel time constraint and the 90plus degree temperatures I gave up any plan that included physical labor.
The day turned into a repeat of yesterday. I did some reading, watched television and surfed the Internet while sitting outside in the shade. The geese families in the stream provided a diversion from time to time.
Geese family on the near bank getting ready for another swim.
Geese family having lunch on the far bank. Daddy goose is up high watching for danger.
Also like yesterday, I did some planning for this winter. The rough plan starts with attending an October RV rally in Bradenton Florida. Then touring around FL until the end of January. I’ll then start west toward Arizona with the intent of spending March in the Phoenix area to see some of the Cactus League spring training games. Next year I will be touring in the western part of the country.
Today I made two more reservations in Florida. From November 15th through December 30th I have a site reserved at various places. I still need to figure out the weeks after the rally leading up to the middle of November and the month of January. During the early weeks I don’t have a lot of competition for sites, but January is the heart of snowbird season. I’ve got some ideas and need to get it locked in soon.
Arizona in March is even more of a crap shoot. I don’t know much about the area and the many options all seem to be in heavily populated areas. Some of my internet surfing has been to RV park review sites. Trying to decode the real message a reviewer is trying to make can be challenging. What does it mean if the text says they enjoyed their stay but they rate the place 2 out of 5?
Friday May 27th 2016
As predicted in yesterday’s blog, I didn’t leave the campground today. I enjoyed the warm temperatures and the light breeze. It was mostly a read, watch television and eat kind of day. All of the activity was outside under the awning for a change.
The campground has filled up for the weekend. Most of the sites around the perimeter of the field are occupied. The center of the field is being used by a couple of camping groups. They have not taken up all of the available space yet. Maybe more will arrive tomorrow.
One of the things I did accomplish today was some planning. I made reservations for the Independence Day Holiday back at the Middleborough KOA. I’m not sure where I’ll be before or after that weekend yet. I need to call the campgrounds to make reservations at many of the possible locations and a busy holiday weekend is not the best time for that. I’ll make the calls Tuesday.
While I had the calendar out, I did some planning for the end of the year. I made reservations at two places in Florida for the first part of December. The first reservation is at Jetty Park in Port Canaveral Florida. This park is right on the Atlantic Ocean at the entrance to the Port. It’s a great place to watch the cruise ships and other commercial traffic using the port. If there are any rocket launches from the Space Center while I’m there, they can also be seen from Jetty Park.
The other reservation I managed to obtain was a Sunday through Friday reservation at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort Campground. This will allow me to tour all of the Disney properties with the Christmas decorations in full display. Residents of the campground also heavily decorate. I’m going to consider this my Christmas present to myself. It’s the easiest way to justify paying 4 times the going rate for a resort campground.
All of the weekends in December were already booked at Fort Wilderness. So I did the best I could. I still need to book the second half of December and January in Florida. I have ideas that need to be investigated. I’ll also be there in November so I need to figure that one out too. The need to plan rather than just go remains a problem for me.
I think this is the same family of Geese I’ve seen the previous couple of days, but it has one less gosling.
Here at the campground I’ve seen another family or two of geese. One has goslings that are much younger than the others. I think the group from the previous photos now have only four goslings, but it could be a different family. With the campground full, more people are using the stream for recreation. This may keep the geese away; time will tell.
Thursday May 26th 2016
Today’s weather was a repeat of yesterday’s excellent accomplishment. If anything, today was a little warmer. My activities for the day were also a repeat of yesterday. I worked outside the house cutting grass and doing a little bit of curb appeal improvement.
Lady Slipper on the edge of my lawn.
While cutting the grass, I came across a wayward wild flower along the edge of the grass. It was a Lady Slipper one of my all time favorite wild flowers. As a kid, while camping at Nickerson State Park on Cape Cod, I saw many of the endangered species in the woods. It became a yearly ritual to search for Lady Slippers every spring. I even recall seeing a rare yellow one once or twice. The majority in this area are pink in color. I have spotted Lady Slippers in the woods surrounding my house before, but this is the first one that has dared to invade my yard. It’s safe from my mower since I like the little flowers so much. I don’t know about the next guy.
The Canadian Geese family swimming up stream.
Back at the RV this evening I put out the patio awning and got a chair out of the basement storage. I sat outside for a little while after diner and enjoyed the warm summer like temperatures. While I was watching the stream, my neighbors the Canadian Geese family swam by. The five goslings really get a work out swimming against the current. They seem to have the swimming thing down, I wonder when the flying starts?
With all the traffic on the roads tomorrow, I’ll be staying at the RV most of the day. The campground has started to fill up for the long weekend. It should be full by tomorrow night.
Wednesday May 25th 2016
Today started out foggy. It cleared out quickly and warmed out to the upper 80s. Summer temperatures have arrived.
My commute from here to the house in New Hampshire is shorter than it was from Middlebrough, but it is more of an “Over the River and Through the Woods” type of route. The trip from Middleborough and the Cape Cod Canal was more of a straight Highway travel route. I made it to New Hampshire by 9:30 but stopped to pickup some things at Walmart so didn’t get to the house until after 10.
I took advantage of the good weather and worked outside today. The lawn needed mowing so I dragged the lawn mower out of the basement and got started on the cut. It sure was easier getting the lawn mower into the basement last fall than getting it up the stairs. I ran out of time to finish the job, so that’s on tomorrows agenda.
One surprise at my house is my neglected white azalea bush. The last couple of years it has not bloomed in any significant way. It might have had a blossom or two but nothing full. The heavy snow and cold weather of the winters probably caused the lack of blossoms. The relatively mild winter seems to have allowed it to blossom significantly. It still isn’t perfect, but for the level of care I’ve given it the outcome is pretty good.
Neglected overgrown Azalea bush in bloom
I took a different route back to the RV this afternoon. It was slightly longer miles wise but about the same duration. This route took advantage of more highway travel. As I got closer to the RV the sky darkened and it began to rain lightly. The center of the storm was probably further north. The sun was out back at the RV and it didn’t look like it had rained at all.
I have a very interesting family as one of my neighbors. It is a family of Canadian Geese. The two adult geese are shepherding a group of 5 goslings up and down the stream. They rest on the rock bar in the stream below my RV periodically. The little ones, which are already football size, get tired quickly in the swift current of the stream. Mom and Dad are ever alert for trouble.
My neighbors the Canadian Geese family resting after a hard swim.
Closeup of Mom and her kids.
As I’m writing this blog entry, I’m listening to the sounds of summer. The chirping and other night sounds blend with the rushing water to provide nature’s serenade. It’s nice to be able to have the windows open to hear the sounds.
Tuesday May 24th 2016
When I got up this morning it was raining. The TV weather talkers showed the radar with bands of rain moving through the area. My challenge was to find one of the gaps in the rain to pickup and move the RV to my next location.
For the most part, I succeeded in avoiding the worst of the rain. Around 9AM it had stopped enough for me to do the outside pickup chores. I took extra time emptying the holding tanks since I’ll be back on the tanks for next week or so. It’s always better to travel and start with empty tanks. Shortly after 11AM I had the car hooked up and was on my way.
With a stop for gas, it took about 2 hours to get to my new camp at Travelers Woods of New England in Bernardston MA. The weather cooperated only raining for a short distance. The first part of the trip was on good highways and the last part on narrower single lane roads that were just OK.
Camp road side view of site 44 at Travelers Woods of New England
View of the site from the stream
This is an older campground. The sites are around a field alongside a stream. I’ve been here several times before, but not since the late 1990s. I have a site on the side of the stream that was a seasonal site last year. I pulled into the site so that my front window looks out on the stream.
I am lucky to have a site for the Memorial day holiday. I didn’t plan far enough ahead. I may have a similar problem for Independence day if I don’t get to work on a reservation. Making reservations for sites ahead of time is not something I’m used to doing. In my weekend camping days, it wasn’t as necessary. You had a good sense ahead of time where you could find vacancies. Now there is more competition for the limited number of campsites in New England.
Monday May 23rd 2016
It was a good commuting day. The traffic moved right along in both directions. Usually it will backup at the major intersections; not today.
It was also a good weather day. It started and ended cool, but got up to around 80 during the afternoon. A good summertime high, but with the cool overnights it is clearly still spring. Tonight and tomorrow morning are supposed to be rainy. I hope it doesn’t rain all day because tomorrow it’s time to move my RV home to the next camp. I’m heading for western Massachusetts for the holiday weekend.
Even the campground’s bounce pillow is taking a rest today. It hasn’t been aired up today.
This campground is rather sleepy today. There seem to be more yellow shirted park workers than campers. The park staff has been cleaning out fire pits from the weekend and mowing the grass. Most of the park staff seem to be work campers exchanging a number of hours of work for a site. It is a good way to support this nomadic lifestyle. During your off time you get to visit the area while keeping your expenses down. Some work camping jobs even pay a salary, but those usually involve more skilled positions or more hours.
Another form of work camping is volunteering at National Forests, National Wildlife Resource areas or other public lands. Typical jobs involve manning visitor centers, providing tours, and light maintenance in exchange for a campsite with hookups. These are particularly popular with people who are amateur nature and wildlife experts. There is a web site that lists these jobs; Volunteer.gov.
I might look into this type of work camping if I get bored with travel (not likely).
Sunday May 22nd 2016
When I went to bed last night I had every intention of heading to New Hampshire today for more prep work on the house. This morning I had no ambition. I spent the day at the campground.
I managed to catch up on the laundry. One of the reasons I didn’t stay longer at the canal was the lack of an on-site laundry facility. I was starting to run out of clean cloths. The fact that it has taken this long may indicate that I have to many with me, but that’s not really a bad thing.
The laundry facility here has 6 washers (2 broken) and 6 dryers. It cost $2 for each. This is right in the middle of the price spectrum I’ve experienced so far. The worst was $3 per load of laundry in a very small tub size machine. It was about half the size of the machines I used today. The only problem I came across today was that not everything was dry at the end of the 45 minute cycle. I currently have a few things hanging in the RV.
The campground emptied out by noon.
The campground has emptied out after the weekend crowd. Many rigs have been closed up but left on the site. I think the campground may have had a spring special that allows campers to leave the rig between weekend visits for free or a small fee. Similar special are common at other campgrounds.
It’s interesting to watch the campers pick up to leave. One of the chores is to deposit the trash in one of 4 or 5 dumpsters scattered around the park. I would use the opportunity to get some exercise by walking to the dumpster, but I must be in the minority. The dumpster across the street from me had more cars stopping so that people could put the trash bag, usually carried on the hood or roof of the car, into the dumpster than walk-up users. A particularly extreme example was my next door neighbor. They backed the car over to the dumpster 50 feet away before leaving.
Tonight will be a quiet night. All the party animals and their kids are gone. Those that remain are inside watching television.