Friday, May 10, 2019

Shenandoah National Park

Friday: (05/10) Granola for breakfast. We visited Walmart  for a couple of things then got back on Highway I81 to Front Royal. We then got onto Skyline Drive in Shenandoah NP and got campsite #A1 in Mathews Arm campground. It started raining just after we had camp set up. Then we relaxed inside most of the rest of the day. We don’t have cell and only rare #G data here in camp. I sent a text to my niece Kyle to try to arrange a meeting. Not having heard back from here by 1930, I took a drive outh on the skyline Road to find a good cell signal and called Kyle. Hopefully we can get to see her and her family.  (GPS:38.761159, -78.297251)

Saturday: (05/11) Granola for breakfast. We took our showers and about 1030 we got the text message of where and when to meet my niece Kyle. We drove into town in heavy fog on skyline Highway. We got to town about 1130. Our meeting time was 1245. We noticed a flea market near our meeting location and took a look there while we waited. We met Kyle and her husband Reed at 1245 and we all drove over to meet her daughter Andrea at her work. We visited a while then walked downtown to a family fun day (street fair). We met Kyle’s son Josh and had lunch at the Element restaurant. Lou and I had a couple of interesting Nachos. The ingredients and chips were all separate. Very good and a really nice way to be served. After lunch we walked around a while then drove over to a friend of Reed’s curio shop. Nice visit with the Virginia side of the family. After we left them, we went to Walmart then drove home. It was foggy and raining on Skyline Highway and at camp. Ham and cheese sandwiches for dinner.

Sunday: (05/12) Medium to heavy rain all day. We spent the day at home, inside watching TV. We watched the series Murder In Suburbia, a women detective team show from England. I fixed ham and eggs with toast for breakfast. I also started our dinner of pork, sauerkraut and potatoes in the slow cooker. We have limited generator hours here only 8-10a and 4-7p so it was a test of the new batteries. Now that I have the charger working better they were charged up and handled the job. We had ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch. For some reason the park emptied out today. Could it be the weather or the end of the weekend? It was nice to relax. The limit of our outside adventures was my taking the trash to the dumpster.

Monday: (05/13) Leftover spaghetti and wieners for breakfast. With our limited generator hours, We didn’t depart camp until the batteries were fully charged about 1000. We drove up to the Visitor Center at Dickey Ridge. About noon, we headed home for lunch. I made grilled cheese sandwiches. After lunch, we headed South to stop at some lookout points and visit the Visitor Centers at Skyland and Big Meadow. It was raining or foggy most of the day clearing up just before our return home. Lou made chili beans for dinner. We were listening to audiobooks much of the day and evening. I bought a Appalachian Trail map for the RV wall and some trail guides. I’ll try doing a couple of AT sections tomorrow and after. May turn into another obsession of a long distance hike?

Tuesday: (05/14) Chili beans for breakfast. I was busy preparing my backpack for a hike. It’s been a while. Lou and Dawn dropped me off at the Compton Gap Trailhead. I hiked a 12 mile section of the Appalachian Trail (AT) back to our campground. There was a little rain as we left camp. Fortunately, my hike had no rain but it was cold and windy. Interestingly, there weren’t many paces to get a view of the valleys below the trail. Lot of trees. The trail pretty much follows the path of the Skyline Road jumping from one side to the other several times. Usually you can’t see the road but it’s never far off. I passed at least 25 AT through hikers, a couple of section hikers and about three day hikers like me. The through hikers all seemed to have started the trail in mid February. This section is about mile 1000.. Unlike my PCT hike, you can’t just camp anywhere on the AT. The have huts and campsites where you can. Now, I can say I have started my AT section hike. Currently, at this annual rate, I should complete the hike in 200 years. Lou made crawdads with rice for dinner.

Wednesday: (05/15) Fried sauerkraut and potatoes with ham and eggs for breakfast. Later in the morning we rolled over to dump our tanks and get water. Our house water wasn’t too fresh so we purged as much as possible before filling. I still don’t know where the tank drain is located so we had to pump it out. Lou awoke with a bad spider bite so we decided to drive in to Fredericksburg to visit Kaiser, do our laundry and shopping. It’s about 70 miles away but our closest Kaiser location. When we arrived in town we got a bite to eat at an Ihop restaurant. While Lou visited the doctor, Dawn visited the library and I did the laundry. We picked up Dawn a little after 1800 and stopped for dinner at the Mason Dixon Cafe. Really good pork chops for me, lettuce wrapped bacon burger for Lou and some too hot shrimp and grits for Dawn. We  then stopped for a quick visit to Walmart for essentials before heading home. We got home about 2330. A late night. It was also a sunny day. Would have made for good hiking.

Thursday: (05/16) We slept in. Leftovers for breakfast. Grilled cheese and ham sandwiches for lunch. We all were worn out from yesterday and remained inside watching TV all day. Another sunny day wasted.

Friday: (05/17) Granola for breakfast. Lou dropped me off at the AT trailhead near Hwy 211. I hiked back to the campground from there, about 12 miles. Along the way I visited one of the AT trail huts at Pass Mountain. Just  before  getting home I stopped at the Elkwallow store for a milkshake. Today started out rainy but then cleared up. It was actually quite warm. I only met three AT through hikers today. Then two lady’s out looking for flowers that showed me an interesting yellow flower called a Lady Slipper. And also a couple of girls out for a five night backpack trip. A lot fewer people that the last hike. Lou made potato salad for dinner.

Saturday: (05/18) Granola for breakfast. We  drove in to Front Royal  to the flea market. While Lou and Dawn explored the treasures, I visited the bank for some cash. I grabbed a hotdog and some fries there. We then went by the Rural Farm store. It’s our kind of store.  A mix of Kmart, Tractor Supply and a feed store. We then had lunch at a nearby Mexican restaurant before heading downtown to the Wine and Art Faire. We met Kyle and Reed  there and walked the faire. We visited the Royal Brewing Company for a snack and brew. We then walked a block or two and visited the Beer Museum. We then said our goodbyes and stopped at Walmart to shop before heading home.

Sunday: (05/19) Granola for breakfast. We headed off a little after 1000 to the town of New Market to a Civil War reenactment at the battlefield it happened on just 155 years previous. Evidently the only reenactment on it’s actual battlefield. After that finished about 1500 we went into their museum for a hurried visit. We had lunch at the event. Lou and I had tenderloin pork sandwiches and Dawn had a hot dog. Dinner at a great restaurant on New Market before heading home.

Monday: (05/20) Granola with banana for breakfast. A slow morning. We dumped our tanks after our showers. We had leftover for lunch. After lunch, we drove down to Luray Cavern and enjoyed a tour of a very well decorated cave. Our admission also include their Auto Museum. The Auto museum had some really interesting vehicles we’ve never seen before. There were old wagons and very old cars. The cars were mostly from the period 1894 through 1915. Our admission also included the Luray Valley History Museum. The blacksmith shop was the best one I’ve ever seen. It definitely looks functional. Also a nice old cabin with the kitchen in the basement. We had dinner at an Italian restaurant before stopping at Walmart for a couple of things.

Tuesday: (05/21) Leftover chicken fettuccine for breakfast. I was off in the Jeep by myself for a hike. I hiked down to White Oaks Waterfall, about 4.6 miles and to Dark Hollow Waterfall, about 1.4 miles. Somehow this added up to 11.3 miles on my GPS tracker? As I was driving between the two hikes I noticed three ranger vehicles and one trailhead and two at the next trailhead. I  didn’t know what was going on but knew I didn’t need to be there. After the hikes I overheard the manager of the store say there had been a person with an AR15 rifle that they were looking for. There are some crazys out here, especially gun nuts. I enjoyed a nice vanilla milk shake before heading on home. Lou and Dawn relaxed at home. They made sauerbraten in the slow cooker for dinner.

Wednesday: (05/22) We extended our stay here for 6 more nights so we’ll be here through the Memorial Day weekend. We were off early toward Fredericksburg again. We stopped for breakfast in Culpeper at the Frost Cafe downtown. Really good breakfasts.  We continued on Highways 211, 511 and 3 into Fredericksburg. We stopped at the visitor center for information and bought day passes to the museus in town. We toured George Washington's boyhood home at Ferry Farm, then had lunch at the Noodle House. Then toured the apothecary of Dr Mercer. And finally toured the Rising Sun Tavern. Dawn visited the Riverby bookstore and Lou visited Wegmans Market. Then we headed home a little before 2000.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Hershey "Tour"

Thursday: (05/09) We had a slow morning. We left Cabela’s and went over to the Cracker Barrel restaurant for breakfast. After breakfast , while Lou and Dawn were looking around the CB store, I walked across the street to an RV and Boat dealer to see what they had in RV accessories. We are looking into moving our toothbrushes to the kitchen sink from the bathroom and need a holder. Nothing found. It was an interesting boat store because they had three boats floating in a pool in the showroom. We then went to Walmart for a couple of things before then going back to Cabela’s for another look around. I finished early so i took the RV over to a nearby landscape supplier  to fill our LPG tank. We finally hit the road near noon. We visited the Hershey Chocolate “factory” for a tour since we were nearby. Unfortunately they no longer have a real tour. It’s more like a Disneyland ride with animatronics and fake displays.  We had leftovers for lunch before going inside. Our tour of the Oakdale, California Hershey factory was ever so much better. Luckily we did that several years ago before they move it to Mexico. We then took I81 South stopping for the night at a Cracker Barrel in Martinburg, WV about 1915. Just a few sprinklers earlier in the day.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019


Wednesday: (05/08) We prepared to roll and rolled over to dump our tanks one last time. Then we returned to our spot for breakfast. I wanted to beat any crowd at the dump station. We checked out of the park at 1030 and went over to Costco to get a few things. Before departing we had lunch. We were finally on the road a little after noon. We took Highway 440 to Highway 22 / I73. Even though I had Google Maps set to avoid tolls, we ended up having to pay a $16 dollar toll just to leave New Jersey. We tried to avoid the toll bridge  by going through the city but were stopped by a bridge guard that pointed out we exceeded the bridge weight limit of 3 tons. Mind you there were no signs approaching the bridge, just on the bridge and then no escape path. We were able to wind through a parking lot and back to the toll bridge. The only other alternate was a bridge 20 miles East. Seems like New Jersey really wants the maximum money from highway users. We entered Pennsylvania ending up on Highway I78 and stopped for the night in Hamburg at a Cabela's store. We had dinner at a nearby Chinese Buffet. Not too many miles but nice to be away from the city even though we are freeloaders in a parking lot. In trying to avoid tolls we ended up further North that I had planned.

Monday, April 29, 2019

New York Exploration

Monday: (04/29) We prepared to roll. After breakfast, we checked out and got onto Highway I95. We had to divert onto surface roads through Baltimore to avoid a tunnel where LPG tanks are prohibited. Eventually we got back to I95 past the tunnel. We stopped for lunch at a Cracker Barrel restaurant near the delaware state line. We took the New Jersey Turnpike most of the rest of the way. Our bill at  the exit was $42, Wow! We arrived at our new home, the Liberty Harbor RV Park in Jersey City about 1500. We relaxed the rest of the day. Lou made gnocchi for dinner.

Tuesday: (04/30) Granola and diced apple for breakfast. Lou decided to rest today so Dawn and I were off by ourselves. We walked over to the PATH train station and rode the train to the World Trade Center station. We looked around the memorial site and shared some pizza bread for lunch. It turns out I bought the wrong transit passes. The Translink cards I bought for Dawn and I are not good for New York’s MTA. We needed Metro cards that would have worked for PATH. I tried using several vending machines to get the correct cards and all went through many screens and ended up telling me they couldn't issue the cards. I tried both my usual credit card and my ATM card, all the same. Finally, I tried a different credit card and it finally worked. With our new Metro Cards we were able to finally catch the subway train uptown. We visited the Jewish Braille Institute where Dawn has an account to audio books and she had problems with the account. The librarian was able to get everything working. We walked the streets nearby including walking past the Empire State Building. We then caught a train back to the WTC for dinner before catching the train back to jersey City where our RV park is located.
 WTC One on the left. Empire State Building on the right.

 WTC Memorial
 The survivor tree that fell with the WTC tower and stayed alive. Our lunch from Eataly restaurant.

Old wooden escalator on the 7th floor of Macy's. And on the right one of the many street flower planters.

Wednesday: (05/01) Leftovers for breakfast. We weren’t in a hurry today. About 1000 we walked off to the PATH train station and headed over to the World Trade Center. Lou hadn’t seen it so we showed her the memorial pools, the view of the Statue Of Liberty and such. About 1130, we had lunch at the Eataly market again. After lunch we caught the train up to the New York City Library near Grand Central Station. Interesting place, beautiful building. We got to see all the original stuffed animals that the Winnie The Pooh stories are based on. About 1700 we left the library and went to a nearby Panera Bread restaurant for dinner. We then caught a train toward home. We manage to go past our station and had to return to the WTC station, We caught a PATH train, but it was the wrong one and didn’t stop at our station so we got off a station earlier and planned to take the Light Rail train to our neighborhood. We caught a train and we missed our stop. Either it passed by our station, we didn’t hear the announcement or the name announced was the proper name? We caught a return train and the doors closed before we could get to the door to get off. So, we got off a taion past ours the other direction. We walked back home from there. Enough fun. We were home about 2100. The day was colder with occasional mist.
 Eataly market and Library reading room.

 Liberty Harbor Marina and lobby of NYC Library.

 NYC Main Library.

The Winnie The Pooh inspirational stuffed toys.

Thursday: (05/02) Lou made bacon and eggs with fried potatoes for breakfast.  We headed to to lunch in uptown Manhattan about 1100. We caught the light rail train about two blocks from our RV park. It took us across Jersey City where we caught a PATH train into New York to the 23rd Street station. It was only a couple of blocks from there to the Eataly where we met our friends Egino, Annette and their daughter Joana. Lou used to be the daughters teachers aide. The restaurant is across from the Flatiron building, the odd triangular building at 5th and 23rd street. After lunch we caught the train home for a short day. Lou takes care of me when I’m sick. Back home we took the jeep back to the post office and picked up our mail package. We had peaches and cottage cheese for dinner and Lou and Dawn kept my hot toddy glass full.
 Flatiron Building on left, Lou, Joana, Egino, and Anette at our lunch at Eataly.

 Madison Square Park.

Interesting to look over a Home Depot in the city.

Friday: (05/03) Lou and I headed off to our closest Walmart in Bayonne, NJ, about 5.5 miles away. We did our grocery shopping and got drinking water. In our RV, we used filtered water for cooking and drinking. We carry 10 gallons. We usually refill the bottles in Walmart or other vending machines. This Walmart had no refill machine and we haven’t seen any so we got new bottles. Seems like they would have lots of machines available because the water here is lousy. We returned with our supplies and had breakfast of leftovers. We then drove to the other side of the water inlet here at the marina to Liberty State Park. We caught the ferry over to Ellis Island and then to the Statue Of Liberty. We caught the 1240 ferry out and returned on the next to the last ferry at 1640, nowhere near enough time to see things. Since my cold is worst, I’ll be staying hoe tomorrow while Lou and Dawn return to the islands again for more looking. We had lunch on Ellis Island in the cafe. On the way home Lou stopped to pick up my dinner, some hot and sour soup which I use medicinally when I have a cold. A misty foggy cool day.

 The old railroad station near Ellis Island. A back view of the statue.
 The Statue Of Liberty and view of the cities.

 Ellis Island entrance station.
Nice to see my family fort.
Saturday: (05/04) Soft boiled eggs for breakfast. Lou and Dawn were off to the islands again. Lou wanted be to take the day off at home. So I relaxed and uploaded photos to the blog, a long delayed task. I had leftover casserole and hot and sour soup for lunch.

Our campsite here at Liberty Harbor RV Park and the moving boat crane.

Lou and Dawn spent the day at Ellis Island. Lots of displays to read and rooms to see. Their lunch was at the cafe, immigrants lunch. Leftover casserole and asparagus for dinner.

Sunday: (05/05) We had heavy rain all day. We also decided to spend the day at home. My cold is mostly gone now. Lou made a nice sausage hash and eggs for breakfast. We relaxed and watched TV much of the day. We started the recent season of Bosch on Amazon. Leftover casserole with asparagus for lunch. After we finally took showers during a lull in the storm, I dumped the RV tanks while Lou did the wash. About 1900 we dashed off to the Zeppelin Hall Beer Garden about 4 blocks away. We drove over due to the rain. I had a great roast beef nacho and Lou and Dawn shared some BBQ meats. We had plenty of leftovers. I admit I’ve never had a German nacho before. It was only today on Cinco De Mayo. We have extended our stay here another two days.

Monday: (05/06) Leftovers for breakfast. We caught the light rail train to Newport Station to catch the PATH train into New York to the 33rd Street Station then the #1 NY Subway trail to 66th Street. A short walk to Our Destination the American Folk Art Museum. However we decide to have lunch first. Lou and Dane got coffee, Lou bought a gyro from a street truck, I got Pizza at a shop, and Dawn got an eggplant roll. Then we returned to the museum to discover they are closed don Monday’s. We then took a walk in Central Park and the nearby area. About 1630 we started our return trip home. We still don’t get back until about 1830. Nicely crowded trains during the rush hour. Lou made Chili baked potatoes for dinner.

Tuesday: (05/07) Granola and banana for breakfast. We were off for our last day in New York. We caught the PATH train to the WTC and visited the Farmers Market in the Oculus at the WTC. We then caught the “C” train to Brooklyn. We walked around the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. We had lunch at the Peas and Pickles Market/Deli. We then walked downtown to the Fulton Mall. We then caught the “F” train out to Coney Island. We walked the boardwalk and looked around the area. Most everything was closed but a movie crew seemed to be setting up to film at several locations. We had dinner at Applebees before catching the “F” and “R” trains back to the WTC and home on PATH arrived around 2130. When we arrived in Jersey City and came out of the subway we found it raining. The rest of the day was perfect.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Exploring The Washington Mall

Thursday: (04/18) Breakfast at the RV Park’s Star Cafe. We drove over to take the train downtown agan. We caught the Washington Mall circulator bus for a tour of the mall. We then had lunch at the Department Of Agriculture employee cafeteria. We also looked at a little of the Smithsonian at their visitor center and walked some gardens and say some sculptures here and there. A lot of walking and he day was gone. We were back home on a rush hour train full of people at about 1745. It was a wonderful day today. We noticed the pool at the RV park was full when we got home.
The glam cabins at Cherry Hill Park.

A piece of art by the Indian Museum and the Smithsonian Visitor Center.

Friday: (04/19) Leftover PBJ English muffins for breakfast. Because of the severe storm warnings for today we decided to stay home. Mostly relaxed at home. Lou and I did do a shopping run. We got gas at Costco, visited the Post Office, and shopped at Walmart. We all went out to the China Buffet for a very late lunch/dinner. In the evening we took a walk down to the cafe and watch some TV as the rains increased. I ended up walking back to get the car in the rain. I still doubt the lesson to bring an umbrella was learned.

Saturday: (04/20) Leftover rice for breakfast. We caught the train down to the Washington Mall again. We looked at the extremely long lines at the Natural History Museum and decided to go to the American History Museum instead. A much shorter line. We stayed until we were thrown out at 1730 and only did 1.5 of the 3 floors. Lunch at the museum was exciting by being one of our most expensive meals ever and old a slight cut above 7 Eleven food. We then caught the Circulator bus over to the Jefferson Monument and enjoyed the day dwindling toward sunset. About 2000 we caught the train back home. Seafood and lettuce salads for dinner. 



Sunday: (04/21) Breakfast  at the Star Cafe in the park, again. We decided to take a day off today. It is a beautiful sunny day. I wanted to check out the nearby Greenbelt National Park. It’s only a few miles from our current site. It turns to be quite nice. If we return after our New York visit, we may have a much cheaper home. We also visited a nearby mall. We got home about 1400 and I washed the RV and Jeep at our site. Some chicken salad with chips and hummus for lunch. We then played a game of miniature golf on the park course. Chili size for dinner. 

Monday: (04/22) Granola and banana for breakfast. We were off to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum this morning. We rode the train again. We packed sandwiches for lunch. These museums have rather expensive food. Again, we only saw about half the museum. This makes the third half tour, zoo, American History and now Natural History. These things all take time. We visited the Union Station for dinner then caught the train home.

Tuesday: (04/23) Granola and apple for breakfast. We caught the train to town again this time to the National Archives. After looking at the declaration of independence and etc we went over to the National Botanical Conservatory.. We then walked past the congressional buildings and past the Library of Congress. We caught the train back from the Capitol South Station. We packed our ham sandwiches for lunch and enjoyed them at the Archives. Dinner at th China Buffet near home in College Park, MD. 


Wednesday: (04/24) Granola and apple for breakfast. Again took the train down to Washington DC to the L’Enfant station to visit the Air And pac Museum. Always interesting but not as good as our previous visit. Seems like most of the plans that were there are gone to their other museum. There was a good display of both US and USSR missiles and space technology. This is the first museum we were able to see all of before closing. We actually left 30 minutes before closing. When we got back to College Park we stopped at a Walmart on the way home. Ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch. Lou made macaroni and cheese with asparagus for dinner. 
Thursday: (04/25) We decided to take the day off. Dawn found an interesting restaurant nearby for breakfast. Definitely Southern home cooking. Mine was chicken with eggs and sauce on biscuits. Dawn had shrimp and grits. Lou had grits and a shrimp salad. We took a walk at the Prince Charles Place Mall. Lou’s leg has been bothering her so we spent the rest of the day visiting Kaiser for a checkup. We had dinner at the Golden Corral Buffet. At home we did the laundry and Lou and Dawn soaked in the hot tub.

Friday: (04/26) Lou made hamburger with eggs and potatoes for  breakfast. We caught the train into ton to the Library Of Congress. Nice tour by Kate. There was a lot  more to be seen here than I expected. We had our lunch after the tour in the basement ending room (employee lunch room. No cafe in this building. We finished up about 1630. We caught the train to the Clarendon station. There was a Cheesecake Factory there and today being my birthday, I wanted a Shepherds Pie and cheesecake for dinner. Even though today was stormy, we managed without rain coats. Just another possible tornado warning. We got home a little after 2000. 




Saturday: (04/27) Leftover Shepherd’s pie for breakfast. Lou and Dawn were worn out and took the day off. I headed off for a walk-about in Washington DC. We had clear skies but it was windy. In fact, on my walk I was almost blown away several times. I got off at the U Street station and walked out Florida street past the capitol. I then caught a bus further out and then back into Downtown Ii walked H Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. I was really disappointed at the fact it is so different from our last visit here. The streets within one block of the White House are now off limits. I ended up at Foggy Bottom and caught the Metro trains back to College Park. I had lunch near the capitol at a Whole Foods. I got home about 1700. Leftovers for dinner at home. At home I took a nap which lasted until about 2200. Nice day.


Sunday: (04/28) Granola and diced apple and bacon for breakfast, We  packed our lunch and drove over to the Metro Station. We walked past the Ford Theater but the line was too long so we just continued over the the Natural History Museum again to finish the second floor exhibits. We almost finished the second floor before they closed. We walked back and caught the train home. On the drive from the station we stopped at Whole Foods for some filtered water refills and for dinner at the Chinese Buffet. This was our last day here, we’re off to New York tomorrow morning.