January 20 to February 14, 2014 NOMADS Project, Mercedes, MS

February 15 (Approximately) to June - Gate Guarding, TX or LA.

June, 2014 - Up to Alaska!

September - NOMADS Annual Meeting, Branson, MO

Monday, October 31, 2011

Playhouse Part Two

Upper Deerfield Twp. NJ

Leonard was out to the shop before 7 am Saturday morning where he remained until well after 5 pm.   Sunday was church and later an oyster/ham dinner at a local Firehall that we attended with our friends Scott, Carol and John.

This morning again before 7 it is back to the project.

Standing another wall in place.

Installing a window:

One board short for the porch. This meant another trip to Home Deport this morning.

Tomorrow we take our Montana down to Delaware and will "camp" at the dealers as we have an appointment at 8 on Wednesday when they will repair the damage to the side of our rig from our tire blowouts.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Building a playhouse

Upper Deerfield Twp, NJ

Here we are back in Camp Driveway at my daughter Terri's house.   Since we will be in the area until after the 1st of the year, Leonard needed a project.  What better project than to build a playhouse for the granddaughters.

On Tuesday we went to Home Depot and got an estimate of the cost to build vs. buying a ready-made building and customizing it.  WHEW!  Not cheap either way but we decided to go from scratch.

On Wednesday morning he returned to Home Deport and came back with enough material to keep him busy (hopefully)  through the weekend.

Framing the floor with help from son-in-law Steve.

  The inside playhouse will be 6'x8' with a 4' porch.    The inside of the playhouse floor is down, not the porch floor yet.  Here he is working on a wall frame.

Two walls in place with the framing ready for sliding Plexiglas windows.

The walls will be 7' with an 8' center.    This thing is HUGE.  He wanted it to be 8'x12' but I convinced him to tone it down a bit to 6"x12".

We will use my brothers car carrier to transport it the 90 miles to my daughter, Amy's,  house in Maryland.

On a side note:  A few years before we went fulltime and sold our house to Terri, Len built his dream of a shop.   That  (and the horses we sold) are the only things he really misses from our stix n brix life.  Glad he can always come back here and enjoy the shop whenever he wants.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sad news on our last day in the Laurel Highlands

Rockwood,  Pa

One of the reason we came to this area of Pennsylvania for a week was to catch up with RVing/Blogging buddies Peggy and David from www.koehlerskaravan.blogspot.com.    I have been "talking" to Peggy online for a few years.  We met up with this fine couple last year when they were working at the Escapees Park in Hondo, TX and we were visiting friends near San Antonio.  

Peggy's mother died earlier this year leaving her Dad alone.  He asked Peggy to return home for a while.   Knowing he had several health issues, she and David came back to NJ and moved into his home.

On Tuesday we were treated to meeting her Dad,  enjoying a meal she cooked and getting to know Peggy and David better.      We had planned to get together again yesterday.  However, Peggy contacted me Friday that her Dad had fallen and while being treated they found his cancer had spread.  

Peggy's father died this morning at 11:30 am.   I am so glad we got to meet him.  He appeared in good health  on Tuesday.   We enjoyed talking to him about his years working in the area.  He also relayed stories of nearby sites we should visit.    You could tell he was proud of where he came from.

Peggy and David, dear friends, our hearts go out to you.    

This being our last full day in the area, we decided to check out a few more sites.   First we attended Christ United Methodist Church in Rockwood.

After lunch back at the campground, we took off for a ride.  First stop

This is quite a large state park.   We were curious about the campground but it is closed for the season.  We then wanted to check out Kooser State Park not far away.

Our GPS took us up a dirt road high in the mountain.  We loved the location of this house and the view.

Down the other side of the mountain and we found

Again, campground was closed but it appears the cabins are still open for rent.

The weather today is the best it has been since we arrived.   After our ride there was one thing I really wanted and it could be found here:

A waffle sundae with caramel sauce and pecans.  As an extra treat, this was occurring in the DQ parking lot and neighboring businesses.

And back in the day, didn't everybody have one of these?

Welcome to William McKibbon our newest follower.  Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Floods and trains

Rockwood, PA

First - welcome to our new reader  from wheresweaver blog.   Thanks for stopping by.

Johnstown Flood Memorial

I do enjoy getting the feel of local areas we visit.   No visit to this area would be complete without checking out the "Johnstown Flood"

So we took a ride over to

In 1889 Johnsotwn was a steel company town of 30,000 of mostly German and Welsh families.  Fourteen miles up the Little Conemaugh the two-mile Lake Conemaugh was held on the side of a mountain by the old South Fork Dam.  The dam was poorly maintained and there was talk the dam might not hold.  Few paid attention to the warnings.

Two worn abutments are all that remain of what was one of the largest earthen dams in the world in 1889. The old lake bed behind the dam gives little indication of the awesome power released on the day the dam broke causing the deadliest inland flood in the nation's history.

On the afternoon of May 31, 1889 and after a night of heavy rain the South Fork Dam broke sending 20 millions tons of water crashing down the narrow valley.  It was over in 10 minutes.  More than 2,200 were dead with thousands more injured.   This was more than a natural disaster, much of it was due to greed and self-interest.

The South Fork Fishing and Hunting club was an exclusive retreat for the Pittsburgh rich such as Andrew Carnegie and Andrew Mellon.   The members enjoyed hunting, sailing and two excursion steamers that plied the lake.  However, the lack of adequate maintenance on the dam weakened it.

Property damage was $17 million.  the cleanup operation took years with bodies still being found months and years after the flood.  The city regained its population and rebuilt its manufacturing centers but it was years before Johnstown fully recovered.

Ligonier Valley Rail Road Museum

Our next little trip took us to the town of Ligonier to visit the Ligonier Valley Rail Road Museum.     The RR served the people and coal industry of Western Pennsylvania from the late 1800's until it's last trip in 1952.

The museum is housed in the old Ligonier depot.

Our guide who was gracious in answering questions and  telling  the history of the railroad.

The orginial ticket holder box:

A bit of their collection:

1905 Bobber Caboose

As we travel the back roads of southwestern Pennsylvania we are so often on roads such as this.

Narrow, winding and oh so beautiful.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Flight 93

In a field near Shanksville, PA

September 11, 2001.  Four commercial airliners are hijacked by al Qaeda terrorists in a planned attack against the United States.  Two are flown into the World Trade Center's twin towers. A third is flown into the Pentagon in Arlington, Va.  A fourth plane, United Flight 93 bound from Newark, NJ for San Francisco, CA is delayed for 25 minutes before its scheduled takeoff.

After 46 minutes flying, when over eastern Ohio, hijackers in first class attack at 9:28 am, incapacitating the captain and first officer.  Hijackers turn Flight 93 southeast headed for Washington DC.

Just before 10 am the plane is seen flying low and erratically over southwestern Pa.  At 10:03 it crashes, upside down at 563 miles per hour into this Somerset County field.  There are no survivors.  All 33 passengers, seven crew and four hijackers are killed.

Why it crashed in this field and did not reach its target  revealed itself as a story of heroic action.  When the terrorists-hijackers took over the plane, passengers and crew began phoning families and authorities to report the hijacking.  Their calls, 13 people placed 37 calls, told them of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks.  Their plane, they now realized, was part of a planned attack.  Passengers and crew then made a collective decision by vote to rush the terrorists and try to retake the plane.

The Wall of Names

Names of the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 are engraved in the white marble Wall of Names which follows the flight path at the Memorial Plaza.

Recovered from the crash site, the cockpit voice recorder captured the shouts, thumps, crashes and breaking of glass and plates.  The 9/11 Commission reported that the hijackers, although remaining in control of the plane, must have judged that the passengers and crew were mere seconds from overcoming them. To continued sounds of the counterattack, Flight 93 crashed in this field.

The plaza includes a walkway from the parking area to the Memorial the same shape and size of the wing span of the plane.

There are benches along the walkway in groups of three, to represent the seating arrangements of the plane.

Colors of the Memorial:    Black - representing the coal deposits of the area.    Gray - the color of the plane.  White - representing passengers and crew

Looking from the Wall of Names through a fence made of native Hemlock to the crash site.

The crash site is viewed along the walkway between the Visitor Shelter and the Memorial Plaza.  Visitors can only see a large boulder and some small American flags.  It is the final resting place of the 40 passengers and crew as their remains are still present.  The crash site, open only to family members, is bordered by the Memorial Plaza and Hemlock Grove beyond.

Flight 93 Memorial is off Rt 30 (Lincoln Highway) via a 3.5 mile access road.  Yet to be completed is the visitors center and walkway which will both be in the flight path.

Had the flight lasted but 3 seconds more, it would have crashed into a school filled with 100's of children from 3rd to 12th grade.

(Note:  some of the above narratives were taken from the Flight 93 National Park Service brochure)

Monday, October 17, 2011

A pleasant drive

Rockwood,  PA

Welcome to our newest readers Teri and Mark.   Glad to see you here.

Our weekend with the granddaughters saw time at the camp playground.

Abby with a playground friend

Charlotte being daring:

Leonard with his playground friend.

We took the girls back to their parents Sunday night and prepared to move on down the road.

We left Codorus State Park this morning going through Hanover ,PA to Route 116 to Gettysburg where we picked up RT 30.   This route took us over mountains:

Through mountains:

And construction sites,

We connected with the PA Turnpike in Breezewood, getting off the turnpike at Exit 110.

Our drive today was a short 145 miles.   We arrived at Hickory Hollow Campground in Rockwood, PA, not far  from Somerset.      Our site is up on a hill overlooking a lower level of RVs.

Seems to be a nice park.   At Passport America rates we have no complaints.   Full hook up with cable for only $13.00 a night weekdays, $26.00 on Friday and Saturday nights.   The park closes for the season on October 31.

Tomorrow we will decide what we want to see.   The most important site will be a visit to Flight 93 Memorial in nearby Shanksville.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Where to next?

Codorus State Park
 Hanover, PA

The last few days have been rain, rain, rain.    Therefore we have not really done much.

We watch the leaves rapidly changing from our back window.

We  have a great site.

Lots of space.    This week the campground has been almost empty.   Today, being Friday, we expect to see it swell.     The last weekend of the month is their Halloween in the Park.   They are getting prepared, starting with this fellow in the lake.

Abby stayed with us in the early part of the week.  Having shopping to do, she went along.   After buying some HEALTHY food, Pop Pop and Abby made one more stop.

That night we cooked outside and had a campfire.  She helped unload the wood from the truck.  Child labor!

We took her home on Wednesday, stayed for dinner and then took sister Charlotte to her ballet lessons.   We pick up both girls in about two hours for the weekend.

We leave on Monday but don't yet know where we are headed.  Friends Peggy and David are about 130 miles west of here in Berlin, PA.  We are thinking about heading that direction for a week.  That's if we hear from them.

We've received the insurance check for the damage from our recent tire blow outs.  Parkview RV has ordered the parts.    When received we head back to Delaware.  

Hey - the rain has stopped!!!!   Hope the better weather continues over the weekend.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Back to Codorus State Park

Hanover,   PA.

We enjoyed our week near Wytheville, VA at Ft. Chiswell RV Park.

This was a fine park but if we ever come back we would request to be parked in a different section.  Where we were the sites were extremely close together.  Others parts of the park had lots more space.  Each morning the park would empty, each night filled almost to capacity.

Some days we went for drives.  Others days Pop Pop and Abby rested after a session at the camp's playground.

Our last night there we took some of our Virginia family to dinner at Ruby Tuesdays.  Nephew Jason had to work and his wife Kelly was down with some type of stomach bug.   But we picked up their kids Emilie and Jason.  Meeting us there were nephew Jimmy, wife Wanda and their younger son Hunter.  Older son Tyler had to be at football practice.

Abby, behind Abby is Hunter; next to Abby is Emilie and Jason on the right.

We left Virginia Saturday morning and drove a total of  373 miles.  Our route was north on  I81 to Rt 340 through Harpers Ferry, WV over to I70 near Frederick, MD.  Then east to I675 around Baltimore to I83 north.   We got off I83 near where daughter Amy lives.  We met her at a local restaurant where Abby was reunited after more than a week with her mom and sister Charlotte, and a little later her Daddy.

Charlotte needed some Grandparent time.  Amy took Abby home, we took Charlotte with us to Codorus for the night.    As she is now in school, we took her the 30 miles back to her house yesterday where Amy had a delicious dinner prepared.

All the paperwork (doctors certificate) has not been received at Abby's new daycare.   We brought Abby back to the campground with us and will take her home probably tomorrow where she is expected to start at her new "school" on Wednesday.

Instead of a treed site as we had a few months ago at this campground, we are near the woods but in a sunny area.   We like this one more.   No one other campers real near us and an open field behind us.   So much better than the cramped site we had in VA.

We have a need to head out for some groceries now.   Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Crossing over bridges with Abby.

Max Meadows,  VA

On Friday morning we met daughter Amy to get granddaughter Abby who we will be traveling with us for a week or so.   Amy has a temporary archaeological assignment set to last for a few weeks.  Charlotte is in school during the day.   Amy will be looking for a daycare for Abby but in the meantime we are glad to take her along as we had planned to anyhow!

Our first stop on the way back to see the progress on the rig was in Glasgow, DE.   We have always noticed a large city park on Rt 40 at the 896 intersection.  There are jogging paths and now they have added a playground.

Abby especially liked this slide.

And some more fun with this little boy on the See Saw.

There are a lot of construction projects going on throughout the park.   Wonder what is next.

On the way back to the RV repair shop we took Rt 1 in Delaware.  I have always loved the look of this bridge that crosses the canal.

What a delight to find when we arrived at Parkside RV they had our rig ready having completed all repairs until replacement parts arrive.    What service!  

We were on the road headed to Virginia by 1:30.    Another bridge -  this one the Bay Bridge near Annapolis MD.  One span had all traffic headed north.  The other span had two lanes going south and one north.  I  don't remember encountering this pattern before.

A bridge we really don't like is the one going from Maryland into Virginia.  Very narrow with one lane in each direction.

Once in Virginia we decided to find a place to rest for the night.    We were not far into Virginia in the town of  Owens on Route 301 when we found what looks to be a new WalMart.   Leonard went inside and got permission to stay the night.  We have NO problem spending a night to catch some sleep at WalMart, Flying J, etc. or Rest Areas with Security on site.

Up early on Saturday to hit the road.   Abby ready to travel.

Lucky ready to travel.

We arrived in Max Meadows, VA at Ft. Chiswell RV Park around 2.   This is a nice park with nice people in attendance.   Weekly rate $187.00.   We are staying a week.   The only negative is some areas (the one we are in) have sites really close together.   The other side of the park seem to have much larger sites.  Had we known we would have asked for one of them.  The park was 1/2 full  when we got here.  By 6 it was packed.   This park is only 1/2 mile off I81.   By mid morning today, less than 1/2 full.  Now at 6:30 in Sunday night it is full again.

I have two nephews and their wives and children who live in this area.  That is the reason we decided to spend a little time here.   Our one great-niece Emilie has been wanting us to visit.  

This is Abby with her 2nd (?) cousins Jason and Emilie.

After a few hour visit we left and had a late lunch at Cracker Barrel.   We hope the weather improves so we can do some sight seeing over the next several days.   It's been in the 40s and drizzling.