Follow this blog by Email

Saturday, March 31, 2012

We are home, but spend another night in the motor home

DSC_0115-miI knew the feeling all the way. It would be like it was the year before. We were both excited and anxious to get home.

DSC_0121-mi

Starting at the New Hampshire Welcome Center on I-95 we made it to Bangor, Maine an hour before noon. A quick turn-off to the dump station at Dysarts Truck Stop and we were off again, this time heading to the coastal highway #1A. Hwy 1A is probably the one highway which leads through the most beautiful part of Maine. Neat houses with white fences overlooking deep blue bays. And yes, the sun got out and lifted our spirits even more.

DSC_0127-mi

That was until we were just north of Ellsworth, where a horrible accident had happened just before we got there. Two vehicles had collided, whereof one was totally smashed, with fatal results for a couple of our age, who were pronounced dead at the scene. We were both shaken on our further drive.

DSC_0132-miArriving on the Island was the most pleasant experience. When we passed the American Customs on the south side two officers were standing outside. We gave them a friendly wave and they waved back.

You will recall the nice spring pics we took in Pennsylvania. DSC_0133-miWell, the view of blooming fruit trees here on Campobello will be something we have to wait for another 3-4weeks, I suppose.

What we found on the ground you don’t even want to know about, or?

DSC_0135-mi  DSC_0137-mi

In our house everything was in excellent condition and it took me 20 minutes to get the water running and switch on the power. We leave everything off as we don’t have to fear for a water leakage or a power failure.

I did have a little run-in with the phone company though. Before we left in the fall we had advised to re-connect the phone on April 01. However, with a slightly earlier arrival I had phoned the company and asked whether they could make the re-connect on Friday, march 30. That was confirmed by phone and I thought all well. That was until I checked the phone line this morning from Bangor and got the message that the phone was temporarily disconnected. *#^$!?>”%  I phoned the company and it turned out some not-so-smart employee had punched in APRIL 30 for the re-connect date. Hellooooo……

Well, the lady fixed the mistake immediately while on the phone with me and I must say that everything worked just fine when we got here.

Bea busied herself in the house, where she found a dead mouse beside Molly’s food bowl. Poisoned! There you have it. The perpetrator died at the scene.

While Bea had her first review of the house I was occupied with taking the car off the trailer. All-of-a-sudden the RCMP (Police) showed up. I kinda know the officer and all he wanted was to welcome us home and ask whether everything was OK with the house, which I could confirm. A real friendly fellow this officer.

Even though the furnace in the house runs, we chose to have another night in our rig, thereby letting the house warm up after 5 months of standing cold.

DSC_0139-mi

The afternoon turned out real sunny and I took a cup of coffee in my favorite place outside the garage in full view of the blue Passamaquoddy Bay. The past days of travel and hustling through heavy traffic fell away from me. Life as simple as it gets…is just the best.

Have a great Sunday!

And thanks for coming by!

       

Friday, March 30, 2012

 When We are Tired and Cold

Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, names like pearls on a string. We made them all in one day. Mind you Connecticut isn’t all that big.

DSC_0060-miAfter a long day of driving with lots of traffic and the mercury in the thermometer heading towards the bottom, we were both tired and cold. It didn’t help that the area around Massachusetts is almost chemically free of rest areas. And with the density of population in the Boston area there are only faint chances to find a suitable Walmart. And on a Friday afternoon the parking lots would be teeming with cars and people. So we were going on.

  DSC_0063-mi DSC_0084-miDSC_0080-mi DSC_0083-mi DSC_0086-mi 

Miles north of Boston the traffic finally became lighter, and then we were in New Hampshire. A sign popped up: New Hampshire WELCOME CENTER. Bea was her usual skepticism and anticipated a “NO OVERNIGHT CAMPING” sign, but there was none and the parking area for trucks is really huge. There is even a wide area with gravel where we parked the rig. But you know the best of it all? It is prohibited to let the engines idle. So no disturbing nightly noise. All slides out and turn on the heat!  Besides of being tired and cold we were also hungry and Bea did some of her magic and had a wonderful supper ready in no time.

671km (417miles) was what we drove today and we have 500km (310miles) left for tomorrow. Piece of Cake!

Even if the colder weather approaching will contain a few snow showers for tomorrow, we will manage and get home.

A long journey will finally be over. But the 5 months we’ve been away does not seem to be that long. In fact the winter was over before we knew it.

See-ya tomorrow from home!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Springtime in Pennsylvania
When I heard the storm gusts earlier this morning I kinda knew we wouldn’t be traveling today. Strong winds are the RV’ers enemy. It can blow us straight off the road. Since it was predicted to be a lot better tomorrow we had to ask our friends whether we could block their driveway for another day, or we would move to a nearby Walmart location. They didn’t want to hear about the Walmart and invited us to stay.
Our beautiful location
DSC_0047-mi DSC_0049-mi
DSC_0050-mi DSC_0054-mi
DSC_0043-mi DSC_0044-mi
DSC_0048-mi DSC_0053-mi
DSC_0052-mi DSC_0063-mi  
DSC_0060-mi DSC_0059-mi
The sun was out, but the winds were blowing out of the North and making it a cold day. Yet we wanted to use the time to see more of the neighborhood and went straight into Amish Country, that is in Lancaster Co. Drove through German sounding places like Strasburg. It seemed like these little towns had held their own through ever changing times. Small locally owned businesses and no fastfood chains, no big-box-stores and such. A pleasure for the eye!
DSC_0090
What really catches our attention is the remarkable size of the Amish farm operations. We just didn’t see any tractor or combine or truck in these places. No power lines run across to their houses either. Yet everything looks like newly painted and the fields are worked on in the best possible way. Horses do work we are used to is done by machines. And i guess I just let the pictures speak. They say so much more than what I can find words for.
 DSC_0065-mi
Bridge over the Susquehanna River 
DSC_0075b-mi
DSC_0071-b-mi
After a Bad Night We Found a Hidden Rolls Royce
  MD-sign DSC_0010-mi pa-sign
Ok, I’m in Eastern Daylight Time and it it’s getting a lit late, but for you who still are out West the day is still young, so here we go. I have to go back to this morning. Actually I’m hesitant to call it “morning” as it really still was night time. We had parked in “Trucks-only” park along the I-81 in Virginia. That State doesn’t really have a wide choice of rest areas, so you take what you can get. The parking lot was wide open and very empty when we had entered about 4pm and decided to stay.
In accordance with the empty lot the first part of the night went real well and we both slept, tired as we were.
However, around 2am I woke up by a hammering machine noise interrupted every minute with a loud tsch……t. It was the unmistakable background noise of a truck engine and the safety valve of the air brakes system. What in the world….was that guy thinking. He had parked aside of us and even after 30 minutes it was still going on. Looking out I realized that the empty parking lot had filled up to the last spot. At the exit there were trucks parked in a triple wide line-up!DSC_0016-mi
I tossed and I turned, tried to bury my ears in the pillow – to no avail. Bea, who had ear plugs slept fitfully. I weighed the options. Should I blow our air horn? No,- what if the guy came out with a gun? Nonsens!
I could get up, drink coffee and surf the internet.  Naw, didn’t like that either. So at last I bowed over to my sleeping wife and whispered “I can’t sleep hon, we need to leave”.
And that was what we did. Of course, Bea was kind of sleepy, but what the heck, I would drive and that was it. We made coffee and got going. Traffic on the I-81 was still lively, but we made 90 miles until we reached another rest area. Even here trucks were parked in the car’s area and so did we. After another 2 1/2hrs sleep we made breakfast and made it out onto the highway again.
Bea had found out that a thunderstorm was building in the North-West moving into our way. We were out of West Virginia and well into Maryland when lightning started. The sky turned pretty dark and it began raining. Slowly at first but then a sky burst made everybody come to a crawl. It was all over within minutes and an hour later, we were plowing through Pennsylvania with the sky turned blue again, and a friendly sun was shining. We had made a call to friends, living in the Harrisburg area and asked if they would mind getting visitors. Of course, they didn’t, but their place of residence is, say, kinda out of people’s way. Our GPS lady led us through the most beautiful little towns. Such neatness and perfection I had never seen before.
DSC_0024-mi
But then the roads got smaller and smaller and even smaller. Luckily we met no other vehicle, but I had to stand on the brakes every time when one of these  right-angled steep curves got in our way, Finally we got to our friends address.
DSC_0036-mi
Our Hosts Lou and Linda
After supper they invited us for a walk around their 60ac. property. Lou showed me his old barn and under a cover there was an old 1956 Rolls Royce unrestored with the British license tags still in the front. Marvel, marvel…
DSC_0037-mi
DSC_0038-mi
They drove us down to the Susquehanna River which looks more like a huge lake. It is a major local recreation area in the summer.
We ended the day with ice creme, nuts and whipped creme.
Bea was yawning and I noticed a light tiredness as well, so we parted from ice creme and our friends for the night and…..Bea is already in dream land.

Dream something nice, you too!

And thanks for popping over!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Nashville, Knoxville and Beyond

Greetings from Virginia!

VA-sign

For some people this journey might seem to go too fast. I would agree to that at most times, but we are on a mission to get home. Yet, we do not exceed a normal daily mileage. We stop every couple of hours for a coffee cup, a snack and let Molly out to “explore” the area, which she is duly interested in. So, today we made it across the Tennessee border and into beautiful Virginia. We are running up the Appalachian Mts. and I catch myself in saying “aahh” and “oh look at that” all the time. What really is a feast for the eyes are the beautiful colors. And mostly it is the purple-colored Judas-Tree, which makes for most of the color along the road.

DSC_0020-mi DSC_0049-mi
DSC_0018-mi

Our last overnight spot was a mere 50 miles west of Nashville, the Capital of the State of Tennessee. When we got through the city at around 8:45am, all possible traffic had broken loose. The city is much worse than Memphis. We were just glad that we didn’t have to join all the commuters who were so desperate to get into town. We could branch off to the East and let all the poor buggers sit there and get hot under their skin.

DSC_0003-mi

Nashville is called the Music City and everyone who has listened to Country Music knows that Nashville is sort of the capital of that kind of music. The city lies on the Cumberland River and has a humid subtropical climate. We sure noticed that!

weired

One of the main attractions in the city is “The Grand Ole Opry offering a weekly country music stage concert, that has presented the biggest stars of that genre since 1925.

 

If you look at the above picture you might wonder what sect this guy belongs to. Or is it a woman..?

But hey, we had to move on! And the next city was already lined up: Knoxville!

What else was DSC_0005-micoming? Another time zone, the EDT made us loose another hour. Hey, if I cut all these lost hours back I could travel another 250 miles during that time. But this is not any competition. So what about Knoxville? Well, there is so much to know about the city, that I put the link to Wikipedia her. If you like to read up on it, pls. go ahead.

Shortly east of Knoxville we had to finally leave I-40, which runs farther to the East. Instead, we had to join I-81, which follows a more northerly course.

TN-rulecattle

Tennessee rule: No Overnight                   Virginia cattle having a good time
stay in rest area

And that was all of travel day #5!  High Five! We’ve made it so far without a droplet of rain and no Tornadoes! 

Knock on wood and thanks for visiting!

       

tennessee

What the everlasting hills are for Oklahoma the Tennessee Waltz might be for Tennessee.

"Tennessee Waltz" is a popular country music song with lyrics by Redd Stewart and music by Pee Wee King written in 1946 and first released in December 1947 as a single by Cowboy Copas that same year. The song became a multimillion seller via a 1950 recording - as "The Tennessee Waltz" - by Patti Page.

And just like Arkansas, the visit to Tennessee is a first-timer for us. Of course, we would like to have weeks to explore it, but urgent business calls us home. And “HOME” means go go go.

DSC_0030-mi

It’s springtime in the South

DSC_0002-miWe crossed the Arkansas River at Little Rock, AR and the mighty Mississippi at Memphis. Memphis has an impressive skyline along the Ole Man River and we would have loved to stay but …..

DSC_0016-mi DSC_0013-mi
DSC_0021-mi DSC_0014-mi

The State must have received huge amounts of rain, cause lots of land is standing flooded.

DSC_0008-mi

So we ended travel day 4 about 80 miles west of Nashville.  Just like Arkansas overnighting is not permitted on public rest areas, difference being in Tennessee it’s actually posted on the rest areas, while in Arkansas it’s not. In search of a place to stay we even permitted ourselves to look for an RV-Park, but when we looked closer the driveway was of a 10% mountain grade, which I had no desire to check out with the rig. But we had seen a big open place opposite an abandoned gas station right off the I-40. And that’s where we stay tonight.

We did a walk along the narrow country road and were friendly greeted when cars were passing by us.

Day 4 was another hot day for driving and sitting behind this huge windshield is like being in a greenhouse. Air Condition from the dash has no chance against the sunshine and I get tired a lot earlier than in cooler weather. But tomorrow we will be getting into Virginia and higher altitude, which will also lead to lower temps.

DSC_0031-mi

I-40 in Tennessee

 

Until then stay cool my friend!