Road Trip #9, Part 5 – Headin’ Back South

Following an enjoyable 6 days in Rhode Island we decided that it was time to head back south, so on September 30 we packed up and headed out across Connecticut for the Hudson River.  Our destination campground was the NYC North KOA in Plattekill, NY, just north of Newburgh.  An intended stop while here was the US Military Academy at West Point, but with the rainy weather and “Post 9/11” visitor and tour restrictions we were physically unable to take a tour.  When we hooked up our electric in the campground, we apparently didn’t securely plug our 30 amp power cord into the receptacle and we blew a circuit breaker and suffered an electric failure.  The KOA folks were very helpful and we finally resolved the issue.  We were going to stay for two nights, but a continued rainy weather forecast and my breathing issues were slowing us down so we decided to forfeit one night’s camping fees and we moved on the next day.  Our next destination was the Allentown KOA in New Tripoli, PA.  This was another nice KOA.  We spent a night here and then on October 2, we moved to the Lancaster, PA area and the Country Acres Campground in Gordonville, PA.  After setting up we enjoyed a free supper at the US-30 Diner.  Evidently a former sailor spotted my Retired Navy hat and bought our supper.  Thank You Shipmate!!

As we were working our way south, Hurricane Matthew was working his way north up the east coast and we recognized that we would have to make some adjustments in our planned route.  The first thing we did was scratch Annapolis, Washington, DC and the Viet-Nam Memorial from our itinerary and sit out the storm in the Lancaster area.  Also, my portable oxygen concentrator had become almost a constant companion and my breathing issues made our setup and teardown more difficult.  Barb was having to do more and more of the heavy work as I was getting winded so quickly.

On October 3rd we celebrated Barb’s Big Seven-oh with breakfast at Dienner’s Country Restaurant in Ronks, driving around the area and sightseeing and then dinner that night at Miller’s.  The food in the Lancaster area is out of this world and I’m sure we put on a couple of pounds.

The Amish farms are immaculate when it comes to cleanliness and being well maintained.  It’s hard to believe that these folks live without the convenience of electricity and modern machinery.  Notice in one picture the scooters on a bicycle frame.

For Barb’s friends at the MCSO, how’s this for a jail?

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My breathing issues progressively worsened and on a 6th of October emergency room visit for my severe shortness of breath, I was admitted to Lancaster General Hospital for four days.  I was released on the 10th and we hung around the area four more days while I regained my strength and on the

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14th as we sang “On the Road Again” and headed for Spotsylvania, VA and the Fredericksburg KOA.we were “eyeballed” by a youngster in the buggy in front of us.

Road Trip #9, Part 4 – Rhode Island

Having left Copake on September 24 it only took a day to drive to North Scituate, RI for a six night stay at Holiday Acres Camp Resort.  We spent our first day touring Newport including the harbor area and the town with its sailboats and mansions from Bellevue Street to Ocean Drive. What a beautiful sailing city.  We also took a drive to Narragansett to see the Point Judith Lighthouse.  Barb was reading a book centered around this area and the visit added credibility to her story.  Dinner was at Aunt Carries where Barb had fried clam strips and I had delicious fried bay scallops.

While we were camped in “Little Rhody”, we had lunch in Sturbridge with my cousin Janet, whom I haven’t seen since the 1950’s and her daughter Lisa.  What a great reunion we had.  We also had lunch at the Red Wing Diner in Walpole with Ken & Carol’s oldest son, Ken.  Our route took us past Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, home of the Patriots.

A day trip to Cape Cod was also on our agenda during the week.  We were both a little disappointed in Cape Cod as there weren’t the large seaside mansions that we had expected, but, we didn’t have the time to tour the entire cape either..

Road Trip #9 Continues, Part 2 – Fall Colors in New England

From Kingsland, GA to Wytheville, VA was non-eventful, just driving a few hours each day and set up in the campground for the night.  We stayed in Walterboro, SC; Fort Mill, SC, on the NC line, and then to Wytheville, VA.  We stayed there for two nights to allow us a little sightseeing time.  The “smallest” thing that attracted us was this “Smallest Church in Wytheville”.

The church was built by the Outreach Ministry of one of the Baptist churches in Wytheville and in memory of one of the members who was extremely active in the ministry.  It is one of the smallest churches in the United States.

dscn3494-edit-1While in Wytheville we also had a super lunch at this 1776 Log House.

We left Wytheville, but not Virginia and drove north 187 miles to the Harrisonburg KOA, another scenic mountain campground.  This KOA is close to the Skyline Drive and we dedicated our second day here to take a ride on the drive and get some pictures.

gc2_0024-edit-1gc2_0025-edit-2These two pictures were taken looking west from Skyline Drive vantage points.

Road Trip #9, Part 1 – Fall Colors in New England

Working our way north

My best friend growing up (a brother from a different mother) and I get together every September alternating years at each other’s home.  This year is our turn to visit Ken and Carol in Copake, NY.  This year’s trip has been on and off ever since we got back from Road Trip #8 in May.  Unfortunately I’ve experienced a lot of breathing issues.  Ultimately I apparently had developed “walking pneumonia”.  My breathing has continued to improve since that was cured, but I still need the help of O2 from time to time but that’s not going to slow us down.

During the past few weeks we have been planning this trip.

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We got rolling the day after Labor Day and covered 270 miles that first day, ending up in Kingsland, GA at Country Oaks Campground & RV Park.  This is a really nice park as these picture testify..

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Since then we have worked our way north to an intermediate destination for the first leg of this road trip.

The Dream Becomes Reality – Road Trip #1, Key West

Barb retired from the Sheriff’s Office on April 30th of 2015 and we were on the road to Key West on May 9th.  The first night out we stayed in Homestead, FL.  (We try to limit driving to 3-4 hours daily).

Before continuing to Key West, we toured the Coral Castle in Leisure City, outside of Miami.  Back in the ‘20s, Edward Leedskalnin emigrated to the United States from Latvia. Ed’s fiance broke off the engagement and cancelled their wedding the day before the blessed day.  As a result Ed left Latvia and came to America. He settled in the Miami-Dade area and spent 28 years building his home.  A man’s home is his castle and that’s what he called his work.

Mr. Leedskalnin single-handedly harvested blocks of coral on site and built and sculpted this amazing structure.  As you can see from these images, Ed had an awesome imagination to come up with the ideas for his homestead.  (www.coralcastle.com).

Week 30, Theme 38 – Powerful

These three Union Pacific diesel-electric locomotives were captured in intermodal service in the Mojave Desert of California.  Each locomotive weighs 426,000 pounds and carries 5000 gallons of diesel fuel.  The electric generator is powered by a 16 cylinder diesel engine.  Each of the 6 axles is driven by individual traction motors creating a total of 4400 horsepower.  These three locomotives “lashed” together generate 13,200 horsepower.  Now that’s “Powerful”!

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Week 29, Theme 12 – Diamonds

Although “Diamonds” are a girls’ best friend, I’m not going to talk about that kind of diamond today.  Instead I’m putting on my railfan hat and will talk briefly on railroad “Diamonds”.  These diamonds are properly known as crossings, where one track crosses another at the same grade.  Crossings are generally 90o but can be constructed at varying safe angles to accomplish the needed result.  It gets its nickname from the shape of the space in the center of the crossing.

One of these crossings can be found in Plant City.  The Union Station Depot was built in 1908-1909 by both the Atlantic Coast Line (east-west line) and the Seaboard Airline Railroads (north-south line).1  Across from the Robert W Willaford Railroad Museum at the old Plant City Union Station Depot is a train watching platform and tower built in 2013.  The tower is a super vantage point to watch railroad activity with rail traffic northbound toward Wildwood, Jacksonville and Atlanta; westbound to Tampa and Bradenton; and eastbound to Lakeland, Miami and Orlando.GC2_0003 edit 1Some information was obtained from the Plant City Government website.