Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

We are now in Del Rio Texas

We are now in Del Rio Texas

Travel South to Lexington KY

October 03 – 12, 2016: 

We left NJ on our way ultimately to our winter destination in Elsa Texas 2000 miles away.  The question for us was what route are we going to take on our way south?  We have made the PA Turnpike  / I 70 route many, many times so that just wasn’t appealing.  We have also traveled the I 80 / I 76 / I 70 route many times too. The only other routes would have to be more southern.  So we picked the I 81 / I 64 route to St Louis and then south west to Branson MO.

We also decided we would head to Branson Missouri as a major destination stop.  Now that we had a major destination we added Lexington and Louisville Kentucky as other major destinations for us along that route.  However, Louisville didn’t work out because we couldn’t get a site anywhere near Louisville.  We searched within a 30 mile radius and just couldn’t find a campground.  It’s really weird that in October and in Louisville KY there are no vacancies! This Baby Boomer retirement thing just has to stop!

Our first stop after leaving NJ was where we stayed coming into NJ last week, the Dogwood Campground in Newville PA. We were going to walk around the town of Carlisle PA but we couldn’t find a parking space anywhere close to the historic district.  So we drove up and down the streets checking out the town and looking for a parking space.  It was really OK as this area seemed it wasn’t so much to see by foot anyway.  I was, however, amazed at how nice of a place and clean Carlisle is.  

We got a good day at a local golf course.

I had only driven through Carlisle on my way via the turnpike before.  I always thought of the town as something like Binghamton NY, an old depressing rust belt town.  Well no, Carlisle is a very nice place.  The town has done a great job of preserving its old character.  We may still stop and walk around more at a future time.

We had rain enough that I got to test the leak fix I did in NJ.  I had sealed the top of the slide with EternaBond tape when we were in NJ.  The area still got wet, but less so.  It seems that I am going in the right direction so I spent the afternoon on our one day here sealing the bedroom slide seam. So now I put  silicone caulk all down the entire length of the side seams on both sides of the slide.  Now I need to wait again for rain to see if this fixes the problem. 

The edge between the slide wall and the screwed in piece is where I put the silicone caulk. 

After leaving Pennsylvania we headed south-west on I 81 through Maryland and into West Virginia.  We stopped after about 200 miles near Morgantown WV at the Mylan Park RV Park.  We stayed here our usual 2 nights and moved on to our next stop.  It was cold and rainy here and Patty was not feeling well so we didn't do anything really.  I did get in a nice 5 mile interval walk (fast walk with intervals of running) around the park.  A rock show was going on while we were there so I walked over to check it out but that is about all we did.

Our parking lot type site.

This T-rex was at the rock show.

A view from my interval walk of our site.  We are in the middle.

That's us in the middle of the lot.

We are now headed directly west on I 64 through West Virginia.  This time we stop for another 2 nights at the Huntington/Fox Fire KOA in Milton WV.  This area was very hilly so no interval walk here!  We managed to get to a Walmart and do a little shopping and just explore the area. For us, just getting out and looking for fuel, a Walmart, or a golf course is fun.  This is why we full-time RV, something different all of the time.

A local place we had to got to!

Now for our destination stop in Lexington Kentucky.  We arrived at the Elkhorn Campground in Frankfort KY, the state capitol, on October 11.  Frankfort is just a few miles west of Lexington.  Again, we couldn't get a site any closer to Lexington as they were full! 

This was a cool truck.  At first I thought it was a semi truck pulling this 5th wheel.  As I passed by I noticed that the rear looked like a Ford truck.  Then we found the guy who owns the truck and found out he made this truck from scrap parts.  It is a Ford F-550 with a Freightliner cab and has a small Cat 6 cylinder diesel engine. He painted his 5th wheel to match.

Elkhorn is dressing itself for Halloween.

We were backed up to the Elkhorn River so we had the view of the river out the back.

The signs have been here for awhile! 

Our Halloween decorations.

We are staying here for the next 3 nights to do a little exploring in this area of Kentucky.  We planned to see a horse race, tour a Distillery, and to tour a horse farm.  We accomplished 2 of our goals but didn’t get to the horse race. We were just a little too ambitious with just 2 days to spend here.

We toured the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort.  Buffalo Trace is the oldest continuously operating distillery in the country.  It was definitely worth doing!  It is pretty cool how they make bourbon but I really don’t like the taste of it.  I can say that finished bourbon tastes better than the stuff they first put in the barrels though! That stuff tastes like rocket fuel!

The oak barrel storage buildings.  Some of these buildings
are original to the distillery in the early 1800's.

Our tour guide was great!  He has been here his entire life.
His father worked here his whole life too.

Inside of one of the barrel rooms.

We are in the packaging room.

We were surprised that they still do the filling and packaging by hand.

This is where they are drawing the bourbon from.

Our guide and his father at his father's retirement party.
His father was around for every batch that has come out of this distillery!

Now for the tasting room!

The horse farm we toured was more like a museum farm. The farm is owned by the state and run as a show place for horses and their upkeep.  It was costly at $35 a person for the privilege of walking your ass off to look at loads of horses.  We are happy we did it but wouldn’t do it again.

Entrance to the Kentucky Horse Farm.

They had a very cool mechanical horse at the entrance.

They were setting up the Christmas decorations at the horse park.

A statue of the Man of War horse.

They were having a Corvette convention in the area.
We have never seen so many Corvettes in one place!

A state police Vet!

After our 2 days and 3 nights in this area, we off to Branson Missouri, 567 miles west.

Stay tuned!

Wedding NJ (Shannon Horn / Matt Riso)

September 23 – October 05, 2016: 

We are on our way from Crawfordsville IN to Keyport NJ for a wedding on October 1st.  The distance is 750 miles due east through Ohio and Pennsylvania.  Since we travel only around 200 miles a day and stay 2 nights as we go, this trip should take 7 days with the last stay of just one night.  However, we left a day late so we decided to do an extra stay of just an overnight.   So the trip took us 5 days to do the 750 miles with 3 stops.

At a rest area for a bathroom and stretch break.  Note the fall colors are just beginning.

We are attending the wedding of one of our best friend's (Cindy Weber) daughter Shannon.  We have known Shannon since she was in High School.  There just wasn’t anyway really that we would not attend her wedding.  That is why we are doing this sort of unusual side trip back to New Jersey after having been there back in June.  We plan to be in NJ only a week and then head slowly back south to Texas for the winter.

We have found, like a lot of RVers, that campgrounds have been much fuller than they have been in the past.  Here we are in late September and still needing to make sure we can get into a site, even in the middle of nowhere!  

We eat well on the road.  Making cooked red cabbage and spatzle.

Our first stop was to be at a campground we had stopped at last year near Columbus OH.  As we need to do now, we called ahead after we were on our way to ensure we could get a site and found that the campground was booked solid! So Patty got busy on her tablet looking for an alternative. She found one that really was in the middle of nowhere. This campground, called Tomorrows Stars, is in Charlestown Ohio.  It’s located between Dayton and Columbus Ohio.  It was a nice place to spend a one nighter but was 30 miles closer or only 180 miles for us to travel for the day.  The fewer miles was really OK, we will make it up at the end as we enter NJ. 

Our site in Ohio.

Our second stop on the way to NJ was at the Washington/Pittsburgh SE KOA for a 235 mile travel day. KOA campgrounds are not our first choice but they are usually in convenient locations and have Wi-Fi.   By signing up their frequent stay program, called Value Kard, we get a 10% discount making the cost just high instead of unreasonable.

This KOA was right off I 70 just before the entrance to the I 76 toll road, the PA Turnpike.  We stayed here 2 nights and really just chilled out and visited the local Walmart.

Our site near the entrance to the PA turnpike at the KOA.

Our 3rd and last stop was at the Dogwood campground in Newville PA.  This place was sort of off the beaten path but was a Passport America participant.  We belong to Passport America so the cost per night was only $24 a night.  Since we only have 188 miles left to our friend’s house in NJ this was a one nighter too.  This campground is about 10 miles from the turnpike but it is in the right direction for us to leave from to get on PA 88 and onto I 78 in to NJ.  We liked this place and decided that we would stay here on our way back west next week.  The campground is close to Carlisle PA which we want to explore a little bit on our next visit.

The old small town of Newville PA

We made it back to Keyport NJ on Tuesday the 27th of September.  We arrived around 2:30 and were set up by 3:30.  It took us a little longer to set up here because we spread out more here.  We also need to add blocks on the left side in their driveway because we always lift the RV wheels off the ground here.  Their driveway is also narrow so getting the exact spot and then adding the leveling block takes a little more time.

It feels like we never left! After we left NJ at the beginning of July we have been to all of the New England states, Quebec and Ontario Canada, Buffalo NY, and then Indiana before being back here.  We just made a huge circle of about 2,500 miles!

The wedding was on Saturday the 1st of October in Morrisville PA just outside of Trenton NJ.  Cindy’s brother Matt, his wife Pam, and their daughter Katie flew in from Florida for the wedding.  Katie was the last to fly in on Saturday so we were the chauffeurs to the airport and then to the wedding because we knew the area.

The wedding and reception was the same venue, Michael's in Morrisville. It was a very nice event and we were very happy that we could attend.  We wish Shannon and Matt a very happy and long life together!

Cindy and her daughter Shannon.

Shannon and her husband Matt Riso

Flower girl

Patty and Cindy with Jordan (Shannon and Matt's daughter)

Patty and I clowning around at the wedding.

The weather in NJ was very wet while we were there.  It rained almost every day for the entire week.  This wet weather showed us that we have a roof leak in the bedroom slide somewhere!  The leak, I believe, is on my side of the bed near the wall in the outside corner.  I put my slightly used clothing on my side of the bed near this area and one morning they were soaking wet, OH CRAP!  It was a lot of water.  I soaked up most of it with a towel and then dried it completely with a hair drier.  

I got the ladder out and examined the roof of the slide and really didn’t find anything that looked bad.  The only thing I could see was that the seam between the rubber roof and the metal trim on the outside edge of the slide seemed open.  It is that way on all of the slides though.  Also, this open area runs down the front metal edge and the slide fiberglass side. Again, this is the same on all of the slides.  What I saw that made me think this area may be the leak area was that the seam was wet at the bottom. When I pushed on the metal trim water would come out of the seam.

To fix this leak potential I decided to seal the roof first.  I could use 2 things to seal it and I just had one of them, EternaBond Tape.  The alternate and cheaper method, but just as good, would be the use of Dicor EPDM rubber roof lap sealant which I don’t have.  I cut the EternaBond tape in thin long lengths to cover the joint between the metal trim edge and the rubber roof the entire length of the slide roof.  OK, now just need to wait until it rains.  Of course it didn’t rain anymore before we left NJ so I will test my fix later on.

Our last night in NJ we went out to eat with Cindy, Rob, and Chas
at a new restaurant in Keyport named Old Glory

Inside the Old Glory. The Old Glory is an old church. 

Flag painted on the ceiling.

We were going to leave on Tuesday the 4th but the guys from my work put together a golf outing for us on Tuesday. I just had to golf with the work guys so we left NJ on Wednesday the 5th.  Nice that we can leave mostly when we want to.

Golfing with the guys, Tom Vinson at the tee, Dan Melando and
John Squitieri on his first day of retirement.
John Squitieri and I

Dan Melando

Now we are finally headed the 2000 miles southwest for the Winter!

Stay Tuned!