Wednesday October 31st 2018
Today was filled with a lot of driving and visiting before I hit the road south at the end of the week. Coming home tonight I experienced the worst kind of traffic issue. A night time backup on the Interstate caused by an accident.
Traveling east on the Interstate I passed a message sign that said my exit was 2 miles and 32 minutes away. I thought it was a mistake, but shortly after passing the sign I came to a complete stop. There was an accident at my exit that closed two and a half of the three travel lanes. The sign was overly optimistic. It took nearly forty minutes to get through the backup.
Visibility in the traffic jam was terrible. The dark night and the big trucks made seeing anything next to impossible.
Nighttime traffic jams are worse because you can’t see anything. There is no scenery to look at other than black and distance visibility is obscured by bright lights. Tonight I didn’t have much of a forward view. I had big trucks ahead and beside me. The only good thing about the trucks was they provided good interference with traffic when it was necessary to merge into other lanes.
I finally got back to my cold RV home around nine. The heat has been on since and I’m starting to warm up now.
Tuesday October 30th 2018
The day began sunny and chilly. The temperature got down into the low forties overnight and did not improve much during the day. The sun was gradually replaced by clouds and lots of wind. By the end of the day the wind died down and the sun started to return only to set as night arrived. It really wasn’t an outside kind of day.
Fall display of blossoms.
My biggest task of the day was a grocery run. I needed to stock the refrigerator and cabinets with food for the next week and lay in extra supplies of a few things I can only find in New England. As I travel around the country there a few brands and products that aren’t available. Most of the time there are alternatives available. They just don’t hit the mark as well as the ones I’ve eaten for years. I now have enough Kayem Old Tyme Hot Dogs in my freezer to last a few months. I’ve also got a couple of boxes of Hoods Ice Cream Sandwiches in the freezer.
Today wasn’t my favorite shopping experience. The Super Walmart I shopped in looked rather new, but it wasn’t well stocked. There were gaps in the shelves that needed to be filled and the overall selections seemed to be more limited. The biggest issue was the checkouts. This Walmart is following the trend toward self service checkouts. There were ten or more self service lanes open and only a couple of full service checkouts. If I have one or two things, I’ll do the self checkout thing, but with a full cart of stuff I want the service I’m paying for.
At the campground this afternoon I bundled up and took a walk around the facility. The empty sites among tall pines and colorful maple trees made a nice area for a walk. Except for the temperature it was a very nice afternoon walk.
Bright Orange Maple Trees.
Monday October 29th 2018
Once again, today began with the sound of rain on the roof. A warm front was moving north through the area causing the unsettled conditions. While I was having breakfast the TV meteorologists broke into programming with a tornado warning for the area around Falmouth MA. The projected path was not to far from where I spent the last week. My current location is about sixty miles from Falmouth. The rain was letting up in this area, but a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for an area just north of here. I was surrounded by bad weather. There were a few brief additional showers this morning. The afternoon was dry with occasional sunshine.
Puddles outside my RV home this morning.
Once the rain started to let up this morning many of the people that didn’t depart yesterday afternoon packed up and departed. It seems like an unusually high number of Monday departures and I can’t understand why. The family on the site next to me was one of today’s departures. They were a young family with three little girls under school age including a set of identical twins. It was interesting watching the parents attempt to pack up while keeping the kids from jumping in the puddles. I was surprised when they didn’t leave yesterday.
The campground is a nice pocket of fall color.
Many of the people that camp here during the fall are big sports fans. Gillette Stadium where the New England Patriots play is only a mile or two away. The campground has big screen TVs in the lodge for sports viewing parties. I think it’s reasonable to say this campground has its share of sports fans. That was proven last night when the Boston RedSox won the World Series. As the final strike was thrown, car and truck horns all over the park started to sound. I wonder what the people who weren’t watching the game thought of all the noise.
I spent most of day working on various tasks around the RV. I need to make sure everything is ready for travel. I’ve spent the last two months in short travel mode. I only moved every one to three weeks distances of less than one hundred miles. On Friday I begin a period with one and two night stays and three hundred or more miles between stops.
Blossoms of the day.
Sunday October 28th 2018
After yesterday’s full day of Nor’easter rain, this morning began cloudy and damp. A short walk around the campground showed more small branches on the ground and light damage than I thought occurred. One branch was closer to my RV home than I liked, but I didn’t take any damage.
I got packed up and ready to travel by the eleven AM checkout time. Since the campground was closing today, I don’t think anyone would care if I didn’t leave by the checkout time. What I was concerned with was getting blocked in by the seasonal residents across the road. They were going to have a complicated job getting the trailer off the site. My ability to get out of my site would have been seriously complicated once they hooked up their truck and trailer. I envisioned an hour or more wait if they ran into any issues. Consequently, I was out of my site by 11:30 before they were ready for the heavy maneuvering.
The next challenge was how to two and a half or more hours to travel fifty miles. The check out time at my destination is 1PM and the official check in time is 4PM. My thought was 2PM was a safe time to arrive. I stopped at a rest area on Interstate 495 for an hour and a half. A little lunch and some TV passed the time. Even so when I arrived at Normandy Farms Campground in Foxboro shortly after 2PM, my site was only just declared vacant. With very few people checking in the campground wasn’t enforcing its checkout time. RVs were still leaving late this afternoon.
Site 915 at the Normandy Farms Campground in Foxboro MA.
This is a true resort campground. The sites are reasonable size. They have many recreational facilities including a Bocce ball court across from my site. The problem is they can and do command a high price for the use of their resort. For someone that doesn’t use the facilities beyond the basic campsite, the price is not appreciated. It is also one of the only campgrounds still open in this part of the area. I’ll be here until Friday. I’d like the flexibility to adjust my departure for the south around the predicted bad weather, but I think this campground will be full for the nearby Patriots football game next weekend.
Saturday October 27th 2018
The trend of wet weekends continued. It seems like sometime during every weekend in October it has rained. Today a Nor’easter hit the area. It began overnight and continued all day. As I’m writing this blog entry the rain has let up but the wind continues.
View out my front window. Rain and leaves covered the window and the road.
The storm was in full swing when I woke up this morning. The early part of the storm was heavy rain. It let up to a moderate level the rest of the day. I lucked out on the orientation of my RV home to the wind direction. I didn’t get the full force of the gusts where I’m located, but it still howled outside.
I stayed in all day. It was a little too wet to walk outside and I decided to heed the “suggestions” by law enforcement and stay off the roads. The concern about flooding and downed power lines in this area was probably overstated, but why take a chance. One of the seasonal RVs remaining in the park took some wind damage to its awning this afternoon. Other seasonal residents on site to pack up their units did what they could to stabilize the situation. I don’t think the packers were having any fun in this weather. They will probably have more work to do tomorrow than they planned.
My day was spent watching TV and more research on the internet. The reruns of NCIS on the USA Network were a good diversion. Tomorrow I move about fifty miles inland to Foxboro MA. I’ll be there until Friday when I head south.
Friday October 26th 2018
The temperature got down below freezing last night, but I was comfortable under the covers in my bed. When I got up this morning the inside temperature was in the mid forties. The heaters brought the inside temperature up to the comfortable range quickly. The outside temperature didn’t get above forty five all day.
Pleasure Fishing boat passing under the Bourne Bridge in the Cape Cod Canal.
This is the coldest daytime high temperature I’ve experienced in my RV home since the fall of 2015. That was my last fall in New England. I stayed in the area through the end of November before spending the winter in Florida. Daytime temperature during November were in the thirties on some days. The coldest daytime temperatures I’ve experienced since then were never below the mid fifties and those days haven’t happened that often. To some degree I’ve been lucky, but it’s also planning. In general, I’m fine in areas that go below freezing at night as long as it gets back into the fifties during the day. If it is going to be below freezing for a long period of time, I have to be conscious of my water system freezing.
Today the wind wasn’t blowing very hard. The power generating windmills in the area weren’t in use, possibly because there wasn’t enough wind. The birds also seem to be taking note of the changed weather. The areas that have been full of sea birds didn’t have any avian inhabitants today. I still found a few birds near an area of the canal that receives runoff from the land. Maybe the water was warmer in the area. The bright sunlight still allowed an enjoyable walk along he canal as long as you were bundled up against the cold.
Canal Patrol boat passing a sailboat struggling against the current.
Tomorrow this area is in the cross hairs of a Nor’easter. If I hadn’t spent a lifetime in New England, I’d be hunkered down afraid tonight. The amount of hype on TV about the storm is amazing. There is going to be a lot of rain and wind. If it gets bad I may have to bring in my slide out rooms to keep the slide toppers from flapping around, but that’s probably the worst case. When I hear the weather forecasters getting excited about potential severe weather in other parts of the country I pay too much attention. With little to no local knowledge you have to be conservative and react quickly. In this area, I’m in danger of being to laid back.
Fuel barge being pushed by a tug.
Security tug following the fuel barge.
Thursday October 25th 2018
Yesterday’s rain gave way to a bright sunny day today. The temperature peaked around fifty degrees with a constant northwest wind. In the sun out of the wind it was a nice day.
Sailboat coming under the Bourne Bridge over the Cape Cod Canal.
Sailboat after clearing the bridge. With the wind in its sails, its motor running and the current it was really moving fast.
I got a slow start to the day. After I turned on the electric heaters I went back to bed to stay warm. It was after ten by the time I was working on breakfast. My energy level all day was also lagging. I took three walks along the canal and in the campground. The longest was only about a mile and a half. The rest of the time I was staying warm in my RV home watching TV and researching travel plans. The one significant accomplishment (of sorts) was booking Sunday through Friday at Normandy Farms Campground in Foxboro MA. It keeps me from having to travel long distances in bad weather this weekend and gives me more time in the area. A week from tomorrow I’ll start my travels south.
In the campground the number of RVs is steadily decreasing. The seasonal residents are working on getting their sites cleared for the winter. They show up with trucks and box trailers to load all of their yard furniture and outdoor paraphernalia. Many of the sites have elaborate wood platform decks that have to be disassembled and taken away. Some of the residents have hired a crew to do the work and in other cases it’s neighbor helping neighbor. The final step is moving the RV out. In some cases a commercial moving service shows up to hook up the rig for transport to storage. In other cases once again the help of neighbors comes into plan. Some of the seasonal residents don’t have the equipment or skill to move their RVs off their sites. The campground officially closes on Sunday the twenty eight. I don’t know if they have additional time to get their sites cleared. In past years it has been a lot more empty by this time.
Every time I approached this blue heron it would fly a hundred yards up the canal.
I finally managed to get a little closer.
The traffic in the canal today was more pleasure craft than commercial traffic. The pictures in this blog entry are all from today’s walks along the canal.
Coast Guard Cutter Sanibel in the Cape Cod Canal.
Wednesday October 24th 2018
I must not have paid very close attention to he weather forecast. I expected today to be a cloudy mostly dry day. What we had was a cloudy mostly wet day. The majority of the day was spent in the transition between rain and dry. It never rained hard for long and it wasn’t dry for long either.
Tug pushing a fuel barge.
It was difficult to get in any outside activity. The return of the rain was difficult to predict, so I couldn’t walk far from my RV home. Most of my outside activity was a quick walk to the side of the canal to watch a ship pass through the canal. I saw two ships today and missed one because it passed during one of the rain showers. Late in the day I got a slightly longer walk in as the sun broke through, but I had to rush back to my RV home to avoid yet another shower.
Coastal tanker passing west through the Cape Cod canal.
About to go under the Bourne Bridge.
During the rain showers I worked on my 2019 travel plans. My primary destination for next summer is the Pacific Northwest states of Oregon and Washington. The open questions are what travel route and what significant sights do I want to see. I’ve pretty much decided on the general route. I’ll leave Florida in April on the southern route west along Interstate 10. From Arizona I’ll head north toward Idaho either through Utah or Nevada before turning west again along Interstate 84. This will bring me along the Columbia River into the Portland Oregon area. Once I reach the Pacific Ocean I’ll turn north along the coast toward Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. That will probably be the northern extent of my travels in 2019. I’ll head inland to the Mount Rainier area of Washington then work my was south in Oregon, California and Nevada. The winter of 2019-2020 will be in Las Vegas or somewhere in Arizona.
I think this is the same bird I’ve seen on this post the last three days.
I haven’t figured out travel times, lengths of stay in different areas or the holiday weekends. As I get a handle on these things, I may add travel areas or streamline some of the routes. There are plenty of areas that I’m leaving for another year’s travel. Right now I’m leaning on going north through Utah. Last year I visited many of the southern Utah National Parks, but I haven’t been in the area north of Salt Lake City. There are still a lot of decisions to make. I want to be more prepared for next year. This year I’ve had a few target locations, but no plans between the locations. This caused a great deal of on the go planning. I’m going to try and make more reservations at better places by committing to a plan early.
Are they watching the water stream by or are they about to start a race?
This bird is taking advantage of the brief sun to have a snack on a seaweed covered rock.
Tuesday October 23rd 2018
The day began dry and cloudy and ended a similar way. In between a series of storms passed through the area that challenged natures balance. This area had severe thunderstorm warnings and not to far north of here there was a tornado warning. A picture of a “tornado-ish” cloud from this area was shown on the TV news tonight.
This big seagull was practicing his balancing act on one leg.
I wasn’t at my RV home during most of the severe weather. When I returned I saw evidence of lots of rain. There were runoff gullies in several new places and big puddles to cross getting from the road to my RV home. I didn’t see much evidence of strong winds.
On my way back to my RV home from southern New Hampshire I passed through a couple of very heavy storms. Visibility got very poor and I had to turn the windshield wipers on full speed. Traffic speed didn’t slow down very much. Normal traffic seems to be around seventy. During the rain storms it came down to sixty. That’s probably still too fast for the conditions, but trying to go slower than the flow would have been as dangerous. I just made sure my separation from the cars in front was a greater distance than normal. It was a couple of tense five minute periods with dry sunshine conditions in between.
While I was out I made sure I bought a Mega Millions lottery ticket. It’s hard to believe that the jackpot is 1.6 billion dollars. I don’t have any expectation of winning, but you can’t win if you done play. Hopefully several people will have the winning numbers. No one person needs that much money. If no one wins, the rollover to 2 billion plus will be even more ridiculous.
Go Red Sox!
Monday October 22nd 2018
The temperature got down around freezing in this area last night. We are experiencing a stretch of below normal temperature. The inside of my RV home was in the forties when I got up this morning. The high temperature for the day was only around fifty and for the first two thirds of the day a strong west wind was blowing.
Fishing boat passing under the Bourne Bridge over the Cape Cod Canal.
Canal Patrol Boat
Thinking it was a nice sunny day I got on my bicycle for a long awaited ride along the Cape Cod canal service road. When I got down onto the canal road the fifteen to twenty mile an hour wind hit me square in the face. The wind chill brought the already cool temperature down even more. Today was not going to be a bicycle riding day. I locked the bicycle up back at the RV and took a walk instead.
I walked about a mile into the wind and then let it add a little push on my return walk. Later in the day I went for another walk and found the wind just about gone. There was only an occasional breeze. The down side is that the clear sky had given way to cloud cover, so any chance of it warming up was also gone. The second walk was shorter than the first, but it was exercise. It burnt a few of the calories from my big mid afternoon meal. I cooked a big pork chop and potatoes and onions on the grill.
After dark this evening I took my third walk on the canal. This outing was to watch the small cruise ship Viking Sea go through the canal. The ship is 745 feet long and holds 930 passengers. It really looks big as it moves through the canal will all of its bright lights on providing a little artificial daylight to the night. Today’s big cruise ships that hold several thousand passengers wouldn’t fit in the canal.
Small Cruise Ship Viking Sea emerging out of the dark.
It used to be necessary to listen to the marine radio channels on a scanner for ships to check into the Cape Cod canal controller to know when a ship was coming through the canal. Now you can just query a web page for the marine traffic in the area. You get to see all of the ships in the area that are approaching the canal and you can get information about the ship. It gives you much better warning on the arrival of ships, but you don’t get some of the personality of the ships captains that you got listening in on the radio. Maybe I should do both.
Viking Sea passing by.