Sunday July 31st 2016
Today started out sunny and humid and ended dark and stormy. Thunderstorms were the primary weather feature of the day. It caused plans to change and outdoor activities to move inside.
I got down to the river a little after 9AM. I got a chance to get a dip in the river before the weather turn sourer. Shortly after lunch the wind came up and the rain came down. Everything that wasn’t anchored down became airborne. It was scramble to get all of the loose stuff under control. After a couple of hours of storms it calmed down for an hour or so only to resume its fury.
Whitecaps develop on the river as the storm moves in.
High winds cause the sailboat to bob around.
Heavy wind driven waves break on the docks and seawall.
Setting sun below the clouds to the west during a break in the storm.
Saturday July 30th 2016
I spent the day down at the Pamlico River. It was a day with very changeable weather. The day started very similar to the last few; hot and humid. During the afternoon storms started to invade the area.
The flat land with wide open spaces makes it possible to see the weather coming from a long distance away. Dark clouds and clouds with lightning are often visible on the horizon. Initially the storms went around our location, but eventually it came through with strong winds that had us scurrying to grab lose items and get them secured under cover. By late afternoon the first set of storms had passed. A second set of storms is passing through overnight.
Early in the afternoon the storms moved into the area.
Dark clouds visible up river
Dark clouds closing in from the northeast.
A combination of sunshine and another set of storms approaching from up river.
Friday July 29th 2016
It was another hot and humid day. The humidity and temperature were purported to be lower than yesterday, but you can’t prove it by me. It just seemed hot.
After lunch I headed about 25 miles east to the Pamlico River in the Bath NC area. Lots of my cousins and other relatives are converging on the area this weekend.
Clouds over the Pamlico River
Sunset over the Pamlico River
Pamlico River sunset take 2
Thursday July 28th 2016
Today was a good day to stay in air conditioned comfort. The National Weather Service had an extreme heat warning out for this area. The high temperature was in the upper 90s with the high humidity the heat index was around 110.
This was the first day in several weeks that I wasn’t traveling or working on the house. I used the time to catch up with some domestic chores and work on getting things ready for setting up domicile in Florida.
After breakfast the first task was to dig out the checkbook and pay a few bills. It was then time to find the post office to buy stamps and mail the payments. I found the post office in a large building in downtown Washington NC. It had a large parking lot with only a couple of cars. It looked more abandon than thriving, but once inside it had a fairly lively trade going on.
With the outgoing mail accomplished I turned my focus to grocery shopping. The Super Walmart satisfied that requirement. One of the things that I was low on was bottled water and other drinks. In this climate it is important to have plenty to drink.
Back at my RV home this afternoon, I worked on changing email and regular mail addresses. I seem to be able to do most of these online. I won’t be certain it works until I receive stuff at the new address. One necessity for setting up domicile in Florida is showing official mail from the government or financial institution at your Florida address. This whole process is going to be very interesting (by which I mean a pain in the butt).
I’ve also been working on storing some of the stuff I’ve been carrying inside the RV in the basement storage area. After 10 months of living in the RV I have a better understanding of what I don’t need on a regular bases. Those things can be kept in the harder to access basement area. If I don’t use them from the basement in the next year, they probably could be thrown out.
This evening I got the gas grill out to cook a couple of hamburgers for supper. It wasn’t possible, from a comfort perspective, to stay with the grill in the bright sun. I’d get it going then retreat into the RV or to the shade at the back of the rig. It isn’t bad standing outside if your not in the direct sun. Anything more than standing causes the sweat to start rolling. I’m not complaining so much as learning.
Wednesday July 27th 2016
Several thunderstorms went through last night. The light show and noise on the roof lasted from around 8PM until after midnight. Everything was damp this morning, but it was still very muggy. The day started in the low 70s and climbed rapidly.
After my free breakfast of a waffle and coffee at the campground, I got underway at around 10AM. I only had about 200 miles to travel. Like yesterday, I had an audio book playing during the drive. It served to keep me entertained or distracted. I’m not sure which. I am aware of traffic and not surprised by the actions of other drivers, but I’m not as aware of distance traveled or where exactly I am. I don’t seem to read every exit sign or mileage sign when the audio book is playing. I managed to find the exit for the gas station I planned to stop at, but I missed stopping at the North Carolina Welcome center. The audio book is almost finished so I’ll be back to searching the radio for something other than Spanish or Religion. I may have to download a bunch of podcasts.
I stopped for gas at the last exit on Interstate 95 in Virginia. I’ve stopped at this exit before so I knew I could get the RV in and out of the pumps easily. I paid 1.94 per gallon of gas. This is cheapest gas I’ve seen since last winter. The per gallon cost in New England is still 20 cents higher and I paid 2.29 per gallon in Pennsylvania. I put in over 50 gallons so the pennies make a difference.
The big story down here is the heat. The local resident at the campground that checked me in apologized for the weather. She indicated that it was much hotter than normal. The national weather service has a severe heat warning out. The TV weather forecasters said the heat index (temperature adjusted for humidity) today got up to 116. It sounds like it will continue through at least Saturday.
Site 220 at Tranter’s Creek Resort & Campground
My site is in an open field with no shade so the AC will get a good exercise. I got setup gradually with a couple of breaks inside the rig in air conditioned comfort. I had the AC running off the generator on the last hour or so of the trip down so the rig was cool before I arrived. While working outside the sweat was pouring off. About 5PM a cell of thunderstorms went through that dropped the temperature to around 80. I doubt it will go down any further over night.
Tuesday July 26th 2016
The start of my second travel day began with fog. The valley I was camped in was completely socked in when I woke this morning. It burned off before I got underway at 9AM. As I moved south on the highway the temperature climbed. It was 96 degrees when I stopped in Ashland VA at about 2:30.
Today’s travel was much easier than yesterday. Once I cleared the Harrisburg PA area the traffic was not difficult. This is according to plan. I travel this route to avoid the congestion of the northeast corridor. I take interstate 81 through Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia into Virginia before I cut back east to re-join interstate 95 below Washington DC.
Between the easy traffic and an audio book playing on the dashboard entertainment center, I was in Virginia looking for my turn east on Interstate 66 before I knew it. I passed by both the West Virginia and the Virginia welcome centers. There were no other convenient places to stop until I got to I95. My lunch and bathroom break were overdue. I made a quick stop at the rest area on I95 but put off lunch until I made camp about 30 miles down the road.
Site E17 at Americamps RV Resort in Ashland Virginia
My stop for the night is in the Americamps RV Resort in Ashland VA. This has been a regular stop for me when traveling I95 up and down the east coast. I’ve stayed here about 10 times for a night or two. It is an easy on and easy off from the interstate. They currently serve a waffle breakfast every weekday morning which is a nice perk for a traveler. I don’t have to get all the stuff out to make coffee and breakfast.
It was still in the 90s at 7PM tonight. Thunderstorms have been all around the area, but haven’t hit here yet. Right now the AC units on my RV home are getting a workout.
Monday July 25th 2016
It was hot and muggy this morning when I started the packing and hook up process tp get on the road. It was about 9:30 when I left the campground. That was about a half an hour later than I’d planned. I had a reservation in Jonestown PA about 325 miles and five and half hours away.
The trip was primarily on Interstate 84 and Interstate 81. I avoid 81 going through Hartford CT by going south on Interstate 91 then cutting over to I81 on Interstate 691. Anything I can do to avoid sections of I84 west of Hartford is helpful. The road is heavily traveled, in a poor state of repair and is very hilly. Once in New York, the road is smother, but the traffic and hills continue.
I had to crawl slowly through several areas in New York and Pennsylvania because of construction. The New York sections were temporary construction sites, but the Pennsylvanian construction sites were long term. The PA approach is to shut down a whole direction for several miles and route traffic as a single lane separated by tall jersey barriers. The lanes are only a little over 9 feet wide and my RV is 8.5 feet wide so it takes concentration to get through.
Just to the east of Scranton PA I encountered the first line of thunderstorms. It wasn’t to bad. The bulk of the storm was to the north of my location. From Scranton south, I encountered three more thunderstorms. The first was during one of the slow crawls leading up to a narrow lane section of road. This was fortuitous since the impact of the rain and wind at the very slow speed was negligible. Further along I encountered another thunderstorm with high winds in an area I needed to maintain a reasonable speed for safety. I brought my speed down from around 62 to around 50 along with the big trucks.
Site 86 at the Jonestown/Hershey KOA
My neighbors across the driveway.
I made it safely to my destination a little after 4pm. It took an hour or so more than it would have without the construction and rain. I was assigned pull through site number 86. The sun was shining and it was warming back up. I got setup and turned on the air conditioner to get the rig to a comfortable level.
Not long after I got setup another line of thunderstorms came through the area. These were accompanied by sever thunderstorm warnings. The wind blew hard enough to rock the motorhome and the rain came down hard. By 7:30 all was calm and it was already starting to warm up again. Sounds like tomorrow will be more of the same as I move south.