Canal Bicycle Ride

Thursday June 30th 2016

They say in this lifestyle plans are made in Jello. That was the case today. I didn’t make the commute to New Hampshire to work on the house. Instead I went for a bicycle ride on the Cape Cod Canal service road.

Today was the best day weather wise in the forecast for the next several days. It was sunny with low humidity and low wind. A perfect day for riding my bicycle along the canal. I put the bike rake on the car and loaded up the bicycle for the 20 minute drive to the canal. The traffic heading for the Cape was heavy but not bad for the distance I traveled. Later I saw that traffic over the bridges was stop and go. I stayed on the mainland side of the canal.

I road about half the canal service road. I started from the railroad bridge and turned around just before the Herring Run at the middle of the land cut. I haven’t ridden in the last few weeks and didn’t want to over do it. The total ride was only about 7 miles. The other thing that was nagging me was a dragging rear brake caliper on the bicycle. I fixed that with a little oil after I got home.


Sailboat coming under the Bourne bridge. It was not making much headway against the current. One could walk faster than it was moving. Note the stop and go traffic on the bridge.


Close-up of the sailboat. Note that they proudly fly an over size  the Canadian flag. Given its direction of travel, it is probably headed home.

There was a lot of activity on the canal service road and in the canal. The service road had the usual compliment of riders, walkers, joggers, skaters and others. The canal had many recreational boaters and the Canal Cruise boat. The cruise is a narrated excursion from Onset harbor. It’s about a three hour tour, but not to Gilligan’s Island.

While I was out I stopped at the Supper Walmart over near Plymouth to stock up on food for the weekend. This is a much better Walmart than the one nearer to the campground in Taunton. I will still probably stop at a grocery store one of the days this weekend as I continue my commute to work on the house. I’ve never developed the habit of stocking up thoroughly for a long period of time. I’ve always shopped for food two or three times a week.

Back at the campground I did some of the routine chores around the rig. I got the laundry and the dishes done. The laundry was about on schedule, but the dishes had been accumulating in the sink longer than normal. It works much better when you clean the dishes after each use, but in the heat and slight exhaustion of the commute they weren’t getting done.

The campground really started to fill up tonight with the holiday weekenders. The site on my front side is now full. The people brought in a travel trailer pulled by a work van. I get the impression the trailer gets used only occasionally. There were a few little things I observed while they were setting up that generated that opinion.

It was only after they disconnected the trailer from the van that they checked for level side to side. At that point it was to late to raise the low side with boards under the wheels without reconnecting it. They are living in a tilted trailer. The other observation was that the guy needed extra lengths of sewer hose to reach the connection. He either doesn’t have the correct connectors or is paranoid (probably with justification). At each connection, he added a good two or three wraps of white duck tape. The weekend fun is only just beginning.

Another day dodging the rain

Wednesday June 29th 2016

The rain finally arrived in the early morning. It had stopped before it was time to get out of bed. Driving north I saw evidence of previous showers but save for a few seconds I never had to turn on the windshield wipers. It threatened to rain at any minute all day. The combination of sunshine, bright billowy clouds and dark storm clouds made an interesting sky.

The rain was a non-issue on the return trip. I wish I could say the same about the traffic. For some reason the traffic was heavy this evening. It is possible that people are getting a head start on the holiday weekend and heading to Cape Cod early.

There is no evidence of early holiday participants in the campground. The park is quieter and emptier tonight than it was yesterday. Some of the travelers have departed. They have not be replace by as many other travelers or early weekenders. I saw a new state for a traveler. There is a trailer here from Oklahoma. I haven’t seen many travelers from the Sooner state.


This is a close up of a blossom behind my RV, There are many of them that I hadn’t seen until today.

On my walk this evening I met the woman who tends the flower garden around the laundry. I was surprised to see the garden getting as much attention. I got the impression that she really enjoys keeping the garden weeded and the dead blossoms plucked. It seemed to be far more than a job. I don’t know if she is one of the work campers, a paid employee or a manager. I didn’t ask and you really can’t tell the difference.

I have noticed that some of the work campers that were here last month have moved on and been replaced by others. Work campers usually exchange a set number of hours of work per week for a campsite. This is a KOA campground. They seem to use lots of work campers, many for short terms like 3 months. Most private campgrounds expect work campers to stay for longer periods of time. KOAs can use people for a shorter period of time if they have been trained at other KOAs. It is one of the advantages to working for the franchise.

A Regular Tuesday

Tuesday June 28th 2016

Despite the weather forecasts, it hasn’t rained in the last 24 hours here a the campground. Lines of thunderstorms have been going through the area, but so far they have all passed to the north.

On my drive north this morning I passed over roads that were drying from earlier rains but I didn’t encounter any rain until I was almost to the house. Then it was only a heavy mist or wet fog. By noon it dried out and the sun threatened to come out and add to the uncomfortable humidity.

Today I was back to working in the cellar. I disconnected the old washer and dryer so I can get a junk-man to come and get them. They haven’t worked in years. In addition to the washer and dryer I have a pile of debris in one corner of the basement that needs to be taken away.

The drive back to the campground was uneventful. Weather wise it was the opposite from the AM trip. As I got further south it got cloudier. I started with sun glasses on and needed to take them off midway to realize it was still daylight.


Close up of one of the flowers in bloom.

The campground has a few more travelers in for a night or two. I’ve taken to reading the yellow window tags that indicate the day of departure. Most of the new arrivals are gone before next weekend. The arrivals for the holiday weekend will probably be Thursday and Friday. From the sounds around the campground, I’d say there are fewer kids here tonight. It took a good five minutes to upload the picture.

The internet service at the campground is really slow tonight.  I’ve been using the campground WiFi to save on my cellular data usage.  If it continues at this rate I’ll have to go back to the cellular modem.  It took over five minutes to upload the picture in this post.

Cloud Watching

Monday June 27th 2016

I got a late start this morning. The quiet in the park after the noisy weekend allowed me to sleep late. I made it up to New Hampshire shortly before noon. It was already to hot to do much outside work so I continued picking through stuff inside. I think all of the draws in the living room, bedroom and most of the dinning room are now empty. I’ll look through the kitchen and bathroom one more time on the throw it all away pass. That means I could live with it if I miss anything that remains in those rooms.


Quick snapshot of the clouds ahead during a traffic slow down on the highway. The wispy clouds overhead turn into a solid bank at the horizon.

Returning to my RV home this afternoon, I was approaching a cloud bank. The wind blowing in off the ocean had moved a layer of clouds inland. I wasn’t certain if I’d get home to dry or wet conditions. As it turned out the clouds were still south and east of my camp site. Later in the evening they have moved over the area of the campground. A line of thunderstorms from the west is also forecast.

In preparation for the bad weather I’ve put the outside chairs into the basement and rolled the awning up. Heavy winds when I’m not around or asleep could cause havoc outside. It is really a piece of mind thing. I don’t want to worry about damage.

The remaining weekend residents have left the campground. New travelers and even a couple of rigs getting ready for the holiday have arrived. The motorhome in the site behind me has been replaced by a trailer from New Hampshire. While they were here when I got back, I think they have left for the night or longer.


One of the aromatic flowers around the laundry building.

On my walk around the campground tonight it was still enough that I could smell the flowers. There are several varieties in bloom around the laundry building. I think if I’d been paying attention last week the blooms would have been more impressive. The rose bushes have a few buds waiting to bloom, so all is not over.

The Weekend is Over

Sunday June 26th 2016

It was another beautiful summer day. It got to about 90 in southern New Hampshire. I don’t think it got as warm at the campground. It was in the low 80s when I got back this evening.

The traffic wasn’t nearly as bad today. Even with a stop for breakfast at McDonalds I made it to the house in less time than Friday. My return trip this afternoon was in the opposite direction from most of the traffic. There were a couple of times the other side of the interstate was stopped.

The highlight of today’s accomplishment at the house was another run to Goodwill. I got rid of another old computer and printer. Neither were in working order, but that doesn’t matter. Goodwill has a deal with a group that salvages the computer for parts and precious metals.

I also stopped at Home Depot for a water filter cartridge. My RV has a whole house water filter in the water input line. I replaced the filter that came with the unit about a month ago, but it isn’t the best cartridge for the application. It restricts the flow to much. The one I bought today is supposed to allow greater flow. I’ll put it in sometime this week and test it out.


Empty sites beside my rig.

The campground has emptied out of the weekend crowd. There are a few campers that held out until evening to avoid the traffic. A few others are leaving tomorrow. Some of the weekenders sites have already been taken by travelers. I saw a set of RVs from California, Oregon and Washington that came in today. They are camped in neighboring sites so I assume they are together.

One strange thing about this campground is that the office and store close at 6PM Sunday through Thursday. Anyone coming in after 6 has to follow the self reservation procedure. I can understand the early closure in the off season, but this is summer. Good thing they stay open on Friday and Saturday. It would be a mess if all the late arrivals had to fend for themselves; not to mention how much money they would loose on fire wood sales.

Surrounded by Weekenders

Saturday June 25th 2016

I didn’t make the run to the house today. The weather tomorrow is forecast to be about the same as today, so it was a toss up on the best day to work at the house. Staying home won out.

The campground is close to full this weekend. There are tent sites available and hookup sites in the back area on a hill. A couple of travelers arrived this evening and were escorted to the sites up on the hill. One of these was from Tennessee and one was from Illinois. My guess is they use the sites on the hill for travelers since most of them are pull thru sites.

This campground has added cabins and cottages to the available rentals. I think this has resulted in a lot of expanded groups with families staying in the cabins to camp with their friends in RVs. My neighbors are part of one such group. They are beating a steady path over to one of the cottages.

One of the down sides of the cabins is the knowledge of the occupants. Most campers get the idea pretty quickly that walking through peoples sites is not proper etiquette. On more than one occasion today people have walked through my site to get to the cabins out back. The worst case was the adult woman that walked between my camper and car, a distance of 4 feet, then under the corner of my awning just to get back to a cabin. I was inside the RV at the time, but some how I think she would have taken the same route if I was sitting outside.


Empty playground. An empty field is more entertaining.

There are lots and lots of kids in the park. The campground has some organized activities for them, but the are also doing a pretty good job of finding their own activities. I’ve seen several clusters of kids around balls playing games that only they understand the objective. The actual playgrounds are not getting a lot of action.

I spent much of the day digitizing some old cassette tapes. My objective was to get them converted to computer files so I can get rid of the last device I have that would play the cassettes. Most of what I want to keep is audio of my parents and other relatives. It’s just a sentimental thing. They don’t really sound like my memories and what they are saying is of no consequence. I completed the task, but it took a long time. It takes just as long to copy the audio as it took to record plus a little setup and file saving time.

Tomorrow will be the weekend day to get back to the work at the house.

Bad Traffic

Friday June 24th 2016

The weather was great today. It was in the mid 80s with low humidiy. I resumed my work around the house.

If I didn’t know it was a Friday at the start of summer, the traffic would have reminded me quickly. The drive north this morning wasn’t much different than the norm. I experienced a few more slow downs than normal, but it was still an easy commute. The afternoon was different.

In anticipation of heavy traffic I left New Hampshire before 3PM. This is quite a bit earlier than my normal departure time. It wasn’t early enough. I experienced two long periods of stop and go traffic. One strip of about 15 miles leading up to the interchange with the Massachusetts turnpike was a solid crawl. The speed never got over 20mph. The second slowdown was approaching the route 24 interchange. This stretch was only about 10 miles. Overall, it took 45 minutes to an hour longer to get home.

I will have to remember to factor the traffic into my plans for next Friday. The start of the holiday weekend will probably be worst.


RVs fill the campground

The campground has filled up nicely. I had neighbors on both sides when I got back to camp. Both sides are families with kids. The midweek quiet is over. Walking through the campground most of the sites are taken by families from the local area. There are only a few travelers in the mix. The campground has many activities planned for the weekend to keep the kids entertained.

I’ll only be commuting one of the two days this weekend. An earlier forecast implied that Saturday would be a better day to work around the house. Now it sounds like both days will be hot. I’ll decide in the morning which day.

Research Day

Thursday June 23rd 2016

After a long day yesterday I couldn’t get motivated to commute to the house for a day of physical labor. Instead I used the time at my RV home to research on the internet a lot of things I need to get accomplished in the next few weeks. I can’t believe it’s the 23rd of June already. As long as it was still cool weather, I could fool myself into believing I had lots of time.

I don’t have great internet here, but it’s good enough to allow me to do my research. Some of the things I was looking up were just refreshers while others were whole new topics. Chief among the topics was real estate agents doing business in the Merrimack NH area. There don’t seem to be many small agencies in the area. Most of the agents, or teams of agents have aligned with big agencies. The agencies in turn are aligned with the national marketing “names”. The only way to figure out what agents are doing business in town seems to be to drill down from the agency web sites to the individual agent biographies. Some of those are impressive and others are weak to non-existent. My research combined with input from friends has resulted in a short list.

I also was checking into the consignment shops in the area. They are very much a discriminating group. The premise is show us a picture and we’ll tell you if we are interested in selling it for you and for the privilege we’ll take a high percentage of the selling price. A dining room set and a bed room set are about the only thing I have to get rid of that might fall into this category.

Checking into places that will take donations is equally frustrating. The list of excluded items is huge. If its upholstered or to heavy to pickup don’t even think about finding a group to take it. It is a sad commentary on the society we live in today. Old picture tube based TVs and computer monitors have no place to go. You need to pay to get rid of them. I’m impressed that the NH Goodwill will take computers and electronic stuff, the ones in Massachusetts don’t.

Another thing I worked on today was changing my email address with various vendors and services. For years my main email address was associated with my DSL internet service from the phone company. I need to get all of the email address changed to my service neutral gmail account so I can terminate my home phone service. The challenge is remembering or looking up from paper records the passwords to get into the various sites to change the email address online. For some of them I’m changing the mailing address now, for others I’ll have to go back in a few weeks to change it. So much fun.


The campground is starting to fill up for the weekend.

Here at the campground the place is starting to fill up for the weekend. It has been only sparsely populated during the week. I expect it will be full or pretty close over the weekend. I know it is full the next weekend for the holiday. The two sites on each side of me are still empty, but I’m sure that won’t last.

Tomorrow, I’m back to the commute and the physical labor.

A Long Day

Wednesday June 22nd 2016

It was a long day. I left my RV home at 9AM and returned at 11:30PM. In between I got a few things accomplished at the house and saw a baseball game in Nashua. So I’d say it was also a busy day.

During my drive up and back I had a chance to observe a few things about traffic and road construction. First, there is a lot of it and many drivers just don’t seem to pay attention to the orange signs.

On my way north this morning there were three areas with lane closures on the Interstate. Based on this limited observation and thinking back to other similar episodes, drivers seem to be able to handle right lane closures better than left lane closures. This may be because the left lane people don’t want to abandon their fast speeds until they can’t go any further with out leaving the lane.

The other construction observation is that night construction is blinding. Several bridge overpasses were being painted on my return trip tonight. This involves closing two lanes of traffic, putting up huge blinking arrows to move the traffic, strategically placing at least two police cars with blinking blue lights and then setting up millions of candle watts of work lights. As you move along your eyes start to blink with the arrows, look away from the blinking blue strobes of the police lights, then switch to day light mode in the actual work zone. In less than a minute you go from night driving to daylight driving to night driving. I wonder how many people can see as they go back into darkness?

I’m now stepping off my soapbox.   Tomorrow is a normal day. I don’t have any extracurricular activities planned. I’ll just work on getting the house ready.

Another Relocation Day

Tuesday June 21st 2016

Today was moving day. I relocated from Littelton MA to Middleborough MA. The weather was very similar to my last relocation day. A line of thunderstorms went through in the early morning followed by hot and sticky. Today was in the mid 80s.

Preparing to travel after a rain storm has a few nasty side effects. The outside stuff is wet. It either needs to be dried or packed carefully wet. Anything put away wet has to be dried out at the earliest possible opportunity. When the RV slide out rooms are retracted they shed lots of water onto the ground and sometimes a little into the RV. This time I was lucky, nothing came in.

The other weather related impact is that the hot and humid conditions zap me pretty quickly. By the time I’ve got the rig ready to roll, I need a nap. As I get to the hook up process for the car, I need to be very careful to make sure I do everything right. This is both for the mechanical integrity of the car and the overall safety. Today I was not as careful as I should have been backing up the car. The bike rack on back made contact with a bolder or two. No real damage to anything but my ego. It was a reminder to slow down and double check everything.


Site 255 at the Boston/Cape Cod KOA in Middleboro MA.

I arrived at the Middleborough KOA after a trip of about 70 miles. I have a site here until after the July 4th holiday. I’m paying a premium rate for the holiday weekend. They are throwing in a few extra activities that weekend, but I doubt they’ll be anything I’m interested in. I have a good site near the laundry in the middle of the campground. After my two weeks here, I’m going back to Littleton for 2 more weeks.

Given that it was still very warm and humid, I took my time setting up. It was a do a little bit, eat a late lunch, do a little bit more, watch some TV, etc… Late in the afternoon just in time for the after work traffic, I made a grocery run. There is a Super Walmart a few miles away. So far, I haven’t found a traditional grocery store in the nearby area.

Back to the commuting to the house routine tomorrow.