Friday August 31st 2018
The outside temperature got down into the fifties overnight. Inside the RV I was close to needing additional bedding, but I turned off the ceiling fan and toughed it out. It is not forecast to be as cold tonight. During the day the temperature got into the mid seventies, before it clouded over shortly afternoon and started to cool off.
One of many Seagulls.
It clouded over very quickly. A storm front passed through the area. It didn’t rain here but it did rain in Watertown a few miles to the north. The storm front delayed my trip up onto my RV roof again. I was assembling the tools and supplies to take up on the roof to fix the satellite dish when the storm front moved in. The last place I want to be in a potential thunderstorm is on the roof of the RV in an open field.
Looking out from the marina to the lake.
Green slime filled swamp drainage channel.
This campground is full for the weekend. All of the sites that were empty when I arrived earlier this week now contain campers ready to enjoy the outdoors for the labor day weekend. The air is filled with the smell of wood smoke from all of the campfires tonight. People are here in all kinds of equipment from tents to fancy diesel pusher motorhomes. As always it is interesting to observe the skill level of the new arrivals. Watching the people on the site across the road reading the directions for their new tent was interesting. It was clearly right out of the box new, but they finally got it setup.
The feel of this place is entirely different with all the sites full. It is much harder to see the lake through all the RVs. It feels and sounds crowded. I enjoyed the quiet and open areas before all of the weekenders arrived. Even with all the people here this isn’t bad. It just isn’t as nice as it was. This campground is still well near the top of the quality and enjoyment scales.
Blossom of the Day.,
Thursday August 30th 2018
It rained off and on most of the night resulting in a very different kind of day. It was refreshingly cool today. It was in the low to mid sixties most of the day. The clouds cleared near the end of the day allowing the sun to heat the air to near seventy, but the wind out of the northeast all day required a sweatshirt to be comfortable outside.
Pair of ducks,
This bird was squawking loudly.
Which way to the ocean?
I had tentative plans to get up on the roof of my RV home and work on the satellite dish. A cloudy cool day seemed ideal for the task, but the wind was a complication I didn’t need. This area is wide open to the wind. There was a strong steady breeze with occasional gusts that really whipped things around. Tomorrow is another opportunity. They don’t have working cable channels at this RV park, so I have some incentive to get the satellite working. In the meantime I have a full set of over the air channels to watch.
Causeway onto the Island in the evening sun.
It was the second relaxing day in a row. I spent the day walking around the park, reading and watching television. On my walks I took pictures of the water fowl in the waters around the island. I think the seagulls are a little confused this isn’t the ocean or a dump. The ducks seem to be more in their element.
Blossom of the day.
This campground is really filling up for the weekend. Starting around three this afternoon a steady stream of campers have been arriving. I guess as many as fifty arrived today. One of the campground workers said that there were twice as many coming in tomorrow. There are many little groups of two or three units out for the last party of the summer on the long weekend. It’s a very different type of camper on holiday weekends. The campers show up with all of their water toys, kids bicycles and other amusements. It looks like it is going to be a real party weekend.
Sun getting ready to set.
Wednesday August 29th 2018
After two straight days of travel and five of the last six days traveling, it was nice to spend the day in one place. I didn’t leave the campground today. The only measurable accomplishment was setting up the camp for the next week. The enjoyment of just sitting around watching the lake and campground activity is not measurable.
The storm front moving in from the west across Lake Ontario.
This region was under a heat advisory today. Early this morning the area was covered by fog, but the sun and wind drove the fog away quickly. The wind off the lake never allowed the severe heat in this area. I had all of the windows open to allow the natural air conditioning to keep the temperature down in the RV. Early this afternoon a line of storms came across the lake. The wind blew a little stronger and it rained hard for five or ten minutes. When the sun broke through the clouds it was a little cooler than before the storms. The real front is expected to pass through the area overnight. The high temperatures for tomorrow are forecast to be in the low seventies.
A duck finding a place to rest out of the rough water.
This campground takes up the entire island. There is one area that hasn’t been developed, but the rest is either campsites, cabins, support areas for the marina or recreation areas. I walked around the entire island this afternoon. The views of the lake are good from all sides. The campground is less than half full. It will be interesting to see how full it gets this weekend. There are around 300 sites.
The cloud cover made the sunset less brilliant than last night, but perhaps more picturesque.
Tuesday August 28th 2018
When I got up this morning I was surrounded by fog. By the time I was ready to hit the road at 9:30 the fog was gone and heat was rapidly being added to the haze and humidity by the rising sun. This was a real late summer triple ‘H’ day.
The road to this island is on the strip of rock in the middle of the photo. It crosses from this island to a smaller island (right center) before reaching the mainland.
It was a long travel day of nearly three hundred miles. Other than playing hop scotch with the trucks in the mountains of Pennsylvania, the first part of the trip was uneventful. Once I got into New York, I was treated to several areas of construction that backed up the traffic quite a bit. To go along with the man made aggravation, mother nature was adding her own annoyance to the mix. It got very windy this afternoon. I had my hands full keeping the motorhome in my lane.
Site E-02 at the 1000 Island Association Island KOA.
The campground I’m staying at for the next nine nights is on an island in the east end of Lake Ontario. I needed to travel ten to fifteen miles from the interstate over narrow roads to get to the island. The last part of the journey was on winding roads through lake cottages followed by a trip across a man made causeway to the island. I was worried about the wind crossing the causeway, but the direction was in my favor. There was a great sunset tonight in the haze over the lake. I’ve included a few pictures here.
Monday August 27th 2018
The heat and humidity were back just in time for a travel day. A haze associated with the humidity was in the air most of the way from Virginia to Pennsylvania. It was right at ninety degrees when I ended my travels around 3PM in Jonestown PA east of Harrisburg.
Site 87 at the Jonestown/Hershey KOA in Jonestown PA.
My travel day started shortly before 10AM when I left the Americamps RV park in Ashland VA. I stopped for gas very early in the travel day and didn’t stop again until I arrived at my destination. It was trip along all types of roads in three states. I started and ended my travels on Interstate highways but chose to avoid Washington DC by taking US 17 and US 15 north to the West of the capital. These roads varied from divided highway to winding country road. Much of the travel passed through developed areas with lots of traffic lights.
Today’s driving took a lot more attention and work than simple interstate driving. Many drivers of cars do not appreciate how much extra stopping distance a big RV requires. They also don’t get that acceleration is not instantaneous in something as big as an RV. I had to make one hard, near panic, level stop to avoid turning traffic and I went through at least two yellow lights so I didn’t have to stop hard.
The other consequence of stop and go type traffic is not being able to use the cruise control. Working the gas pedal in the motorhome can be tricky. If I have my foot at an angle as I typically do in the car, I run the risk of pushing down on the brake at the same time as I’m pushing the accelerator. The brake and gas pedal are too close together and the brake stands up higher than the accelerator. When the RV was new I experienced a brake overheating warning light caused by dragging the brake with a diagonal foot on the gas peddle. Now I make sure I don’t wear wide clunky shoes when driving and I look down at the position of my feet from time to time. I only caught my self with an almost bad foot position once today.
After five hours on the road I arrived at the Jonestown/Hershey KOA. I still have close to three hundred miles to travel tomorrow before I get to Lake Ontario for a night stay. Almost all of tomorrows travels are on Interstate 81.
Sunday August 26th 2018
It was nice to be able to sleep in this morning. Since I this wasn’t a driving day I didn’t get up until 9AM. I sleep very well. The windows were open instead of running the air conditioner all night and the extra campground and road noise didn’t wake me at all. Hopefully it will be cool enough tonight for a similar approach.
Between travelers and weekenders the campground was close to full overnight. Some of the weekenders were part of an organized camping group. They were a very close-knit group helping each other get hooked up to travel and double checking each other preparations. I got the impression that many of them didn’t get out camping very often. By the 11AM checkout time the transient part of the park was mostly empty. Tonight’s travelers have filled many of the empty sites.
I had all kinds of plans for today. Most of them involved maintenance tasks around the rig. I didn’t get any of them accomplished. It was very much a do nothing kind of day. The temperature was a little warmer than yesterday. It peaked in the upper eighties with increasing humidity. Outside in the shade it was very comfortable.
For lunch I got the grill out and cooked a pork chop. I accompanied it with a package of Teriyaki Rice and a can of corn to make a complete meal. The rice was an errant purchase from a few months ago, but it turned out to be OK. Preparing the meal was a good use of my down time today. It was a nice change of pace.
Tomorrow I’m back in travel mode. I need to decide how close to Washington DC I want to travel on my way to Pennsylvania. My options range from going northwest to Interstate 81 then northeast for a very large loop to taking the west side Washington beltway around the city. I’m leaning toward an option in between the two that uses more US routes than Interstates. I’ll do some more research this evening after I publish this blog entry.
The blossom of the day.
Saturday August 25th 2018
Today was another travel day. Maybe because it was a Saturday, a day I rarely travel, I really wasn’t in the mood to hit the road this morning. I puttered along and left the Fayetteville RV Park around 10AM. For the first time ever I left stuff out on the kitchen counter by mistake. Most of it survived without disaster. The exception was the travel mug with the remaining third of my breakfast coffee. The cup never hit the floor, but the coffee was all over the counter and on the floor.
The only event of interest on today’s drive was at the gas station. I always max out the credit card authorization at the pump when I fill the tank. It’s usually $75 or $100 before I have to let the pump reset and swipe my credit card again. Today for the first time it was $125. That allowed me to put enough gas in to skip the second swipe with an almost full tank. Good thing I didn’t try. The card probably wouldn’t have worked. I got a text from the credit card company a few minutes later asking if the purchase was authorized. That’s happened before, but thankfully not often and it’s easy to clear.
Site E-11 at the Americamps RV Park in Ashland VA.
Today’s journey was a little over two hundred and twenty five miles to the Americamps RV Park in Ashland VA. This is the same park I was in at the beginning of the month when I made my first change of plans. I decided to head for Williamsburg for a week instead of the Shenandoah valley. I’ll be here for two nights to re-energize my desire to drive before heading for Lake Ontario in New York State.
The weather has also cooled down for a few days. I haven’t run the air conditioner at all today. The windows in the RV are open for the first time in few weeks. It is nice to air things out for a change. The heat and humidity is forecast to return by Monday.
Friday August 24th 2018
Today began far too early. One of my neighbors decided that 6AM was the time to leave. They started making enough noise to wake me up some time before that. Once they had departed the neighbor on the other side started to get ready to leave. They left around 7AM. By that time I was up and working on breakfast at least an hour before I’d planned.
With all the extra prep time I was on the road shortly after 9AM about an hour earlier than planned. I ended up taking about an hour break for lunch in a rest area along the way. Traffic was a little thinner than yesterday making the driving easier. The road crossing South Carolina can be quite boring. To break up the monotony I started watching for and reading the advertising signs for South of the Boarder. This is a shop and amusement area just south of the North Carolina South Carolina boarder. It has been there for many years. I think the only time I’ve stopped there was during my first trip to Florida with my parents in the sixties. It was much smaller then, but it still had signs along the road through all of North Carolina heading south and all of South Carolina heading north. The signs used to be very uniform in color with puns and witty sayings. Today many of the signs are more informative and harder to spot. They aren’t all black, red and yellow. Some of the signs I saw today had a standard white background.
Old style South of the Boarder sign as seen through my dirty windshield.
The style South of the Border Sign.
I arrived at the Fayetteville RV Resort north of the city in Wade North Carolina a little after 2PM. This is my third stay here this summer. The campground is full tonight. I was lucky to get a reservation during this special weekend. They are having a “Back to School” weekend featuring amusements and games for the kids. This afternoon the kids were playing on a giant inflatable water slide.
Site 13 at the Fayetteville RV Park. The inside of the RV got very warm this afternoon. The air conditioners were fighting the direct sun without any shade.
I’m moving on in the morning. Tomorrow night and Sunday night I’ll be back at another familiar campground just north of Richmond.
Flag and flower bed behind my RV.
Thursday August 23rd 2018
It was very humid this morning. Even with the temperature in the seventies, the perspiration was running as I got ready to start my journey back north. The day turned out to be a routine travel day without any drama, so this blog entry is not particularly exciting.
Site 26 at the Point South KOA.
I was on the road shortly after ten. This mornings I drove around Jacksonville to the east. The traffic was heavy but not bad. There were a couple of slow downs into the forties at major intersections, but the traffic never stopped. The east side beltway crosses the St. Johns river in the harbor area. From high up on the bridge I could see cargo ships at the piers and this morning a cruise ship was also in port. Of the three ways to get by Jacksonville this is the most interesting.
Traffic continued to be heavy out of Florida, through Georgia and into South Carolina. I expect it to be bad around the cities, but between the cities it was just as heavy. When the Interstate got down to two lanes in each direction in South Carolina there were two solid lanes of traffic going north. Passing slower traffic took a long time to find an opening. Lucky for me, but not the people behind me, I was usually among the slower traffic. I had the cruise control set at sixty five on these flat roads. Only a few cars and trucks were traveling slower than my speed. The speed limit was seventy.
After one stop for gas, I arrived at the Point South KOA in Yemassee SC around two. I was one of the first of tonight’s crop of residents to arrive. By the dinner hour most of the sites were full. I’ve stayed at this KOA many times. They have made some improvements since my last visit. The cable TV has been expanded and I think the WiFi is better. Unfortunately they have also increased their prices. I don’t think I will stop here on my return south in November. There are other options to the south of here in the Savannah area, but the options to the north aren’t as good.
Tomorrow I have another drive of just over two hundred miles. I’m heading back to the Fayetteville RV Park for the third time this summer.
Flowering bush of the day.
Wednesday August 22nd 2018
The weather pattern of the last few days continued with only a minor variation. The day started humid in the low seventies and got up to the low nineties, but the afternoon thunderstorms came earlier than the previous days. The sky started to darken around one in the afternoon. Shortly after two it was pouring and by the dinner hour the storms were over.
St. Johns river before the afternoon storms.
Today I finished up the things I needed to do in Northeast Florida. I picked up my mail from the mail service and stocked up on groceries for my trip north. The grocery shopping was at a Walmart I hadn’t been in before. It was a nice store, but I felt the prices were a few cents higher than other Walmarts. Moving around all the time makes it hard to know the why and when prices of price changes. I also stopped at Publix for meat and produce shopping. The good thing about Publix is they don’t use a reward card system. The bad thing is that you need to be very careful buying non sale grocery items. There favorite sale technique is a two for one sale, but the single unit price is usually much higher than at other stores. For example, Klondike ice cream bars are $2.88 at Walmart. The same item is $4.68 at Publix. When it’s on sale two for one it’s a good price. The rest of the time nobody should buy it.
The other accomplishment for the day was making reservations for my trip north. I’ll be staying at a couple of the same places I’ve already stayed at this summer. I’ve set the travel up with three days of travel with a little over 200 miles each followed by at two night stay. The last two travel days will be longer and more complicated. Either I’m not thinking out of the box built of many years travel through the area, or there are fewer good options. It is probably a little of both. Getting around Washington and finding a place to stay north of Harrisburg Pennsylvania on Interstate 81 continue to be problematic. I’ll drive straight through from the Harrisburg PA area to northern New York.
After the rain this evening I got some of the outside moving preparation tasks completed. A four night stay is right in the sweet spot of difficult lengths of stay. It is just long enough that extra things come out of their storage places to be used, but not so long that they have time to get put away. I end up having more to do getting ready than a single night stay or a stay of a week or more. Luckily, I don’t need to be on the road early.
Blossom of the Day.