Sunday, October 31, 2010

Relaxing by the Sea

Today we decided to sit tight an extra day.   So we paid the park another $8 fee, easy come, easy go.  I should have signed up for two days yesterday, but didn't.

It was a very quiet, lovely night last night. No road noise, or anything.  We loved it.  Plus I slept like a log and it was warmer this morning than we expected.  .So more to be happy about.

We went on a couple of trail walks, nothing spectacular, but we were out and about.  We walked up the boardwalk over some sand dunes to see what the seashore was like.   Just a plain sandy shore line.    Tonight I went back up there at dusk and there were two horses about a quarter of a mile south of me.   then one of them started galloping in my direction now and then.  I decided to retreat to the RV and as I arrived at the RV, the horse went running past on the boardwalk.   Supposedly, the horses are very tame, but I don't want to press my luck.  (It would be my luck that the horse would be a stallion looking for a lost mare.)


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Assateague National Seashore Park

We made it after a detour to a Freightliner dealer near Atlantic City New Jersey.  Of course, it was nearly $900 to rescue our home from him also.   Freightliner put in a bad bearing and we were lucky enough to get it.  So it was a belt,  bearings, hub, seals and what else plus about 3 or 4 hours of labor.   How the guy did it amazed me, as he had to stand on his head using double jointed arms to reach the hub from the top side.  The good part is that we were able to leave yesterday afternoon at 3 PM.

We pulled out just as rush hour was beginning and headed south.  We were going to take highway  9, but it had a bridge closed, so we were pushed onto the freeway  and I paid a toll of  6 dollars in Quarters.  (I got into the wrong lane.)

For the evening, we stopped at the last Walmart prior to reaching Cape May heading south.  To our surprise, it was not a SuperWalmart, but we stayed anyway.  The Walmart actually was sharing a parking lot with a strip mall and the strip mall side was not very busy (so we were on that side.)  There was some concern that we might get booted, but nothing happened all night.   Never the less, it must have worked on me, as I didn't sleep well until about 4 AM.   Had I asked at the customer service desk, I would have known.    But by not asking, I could plead ignorance of the rules.

This morning, we took our time before heading on down the road to the Cape May Ferry Terminal.  We were very early for a 9:30 departure, but we also got on.  

Once across the bay, we headed for another Walmart, which I also thought was going to be a Super.  Again, I had to eat crow, it was only a crowded regular one.  So instead of fresh fruit, Sandy says I'll have to put up with Canned fruit for a few days.   I can handle that (I love canned peaches.)

From the Walmart, we headed south on the coastal highway #1 in Delaware.   Sandy was not happy since she had programmed a different route into the GPS last night  (per my instructions.).   I had talked with a fellow in the parking lot who told me that it was a very good highway and I wanted to see it.  As the fellow had told me, no problem this time of the year.  The entire 50 miles is built up with condos or summer homes (and not small cracker boxes either.)   Of course the garages was always on the ground floor, so you know that they are expecting to get a major wash or tsunami sometime.

Tonight we're parked in the campground at Assateague National Seashore just off of the edge of Ocean City, Maryland.  We're still feeling the remains of the cold snap that blew in a couple of days ago, so hopefully tomorrow will be better.

There are always little things to be thankful for.  We survived 12 days at daughter's house without filling our holding tanks or emptying the freshwater tank.    I think that is called living on the edge.  So today we finally dumped and then I measured the water left in the freshwater tank, a whole 11 gallons.  We're getting this boondocking routine down to  where it works pretty well for us.

Tonight, we sleep very well.  No traffic and no question that we won't be visited by a roving guard that doesn't like where we're parked.

Tomorrow we walk the seashore and observe the wild horses here on the island.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Grounded! We need a Belt!

We left Julie's in good time this morning and as we were settling in on the road, the engine coughed, dropped speed and the "Protect Engine" warning came on.    The engine temperature was max'd out.

We backed off  on the pedal, and looked for a place to pull off.   We did a brief tour of the outside and saw no leakage from the radiator and noted that we had plenty of coolant yet.  Back in the rig, we called Freightliner service for advice. they wanted to  know if the belt was on.   They also told me that I only had one serpentine belt.  We went looking and found the belt, somewhat shredded, coiled up on the front of the engine.

So it was time to call the Emergency road service, which really handled it well.  The first question was "Are you safe or do you feel threatened?"   If I was stranded in the middle  of a  freeway, the question would have been right on target!.   But we were parked along the highway at the end of a Garden shop nursery drive and off of the highway.

There were the usual questions of where are you at, our service people need to talk with you first; and finally, we'll get a tow truck out to you.   It took about an hour, but he showed up with the biggest wrecker on the road.  I've seen these babies before and it was well equipped.

The operator was a bit younger than us "old timers" like to see, but I have to admit, he knew exactly what he needed to do and did it in a very safe manner.   So shortly, he was trucking it down the road, with us following him in our Honda.

The Freightliner dealer was only 20 miles away.   Of course he didn't have a belt on hand and before he ordered one, he wanted to see if anything else was needed.  He slipped under the coach and shortly, you could hear his "Oh, Oh".   Besides the belt, the hub for the fan was shot, as it had lots of play.   We were lucky that it didn't take out the radiator.

So here we  sit.  All of the parts will be in at 9 AM and we'll move the coach around so that if it is more than a day's job, we can still spend the night in it.  I hate to think what the bill will be at a hundred bucks an hour.  It will set the check book back a dollar or two.   But it could have been worse.

If push comes to shove, we can pack up our stuff and go back to daughter's house for the weekend.  We'll cross that bridge later.  Otherwise, we're going to see what Atlantic City is like.   Sandy has already said that we're going to  the library so she can have free high speed  internet.

So today was a bit of a setback, but we'll manage.     In our 16 years of RVing, this is the first time we've really had a show stopper problem.  

Tomorrow is a new day!


Saying "Good-bye" again

We have been here at Julie's for a couple days shy of 2 weeks and enjoyed it very much.   When our family was at that age, I never really noticed the differences as our daughter's matured.   But since we see the grand-daughters so rarely, little changes are big changes.   The little girls are rapidly turning into polished young ladies

Our departure plans are kind  of flexible.   Sandy felt that we needed to get parked before the big blow  (wind and cooler temperatures)  arrives here on the east coast.   It has been interesting to watch the weather reports as this latest storm/cyclone/arctic blast wakes us up.   We hope that it isn't an indication of things to come this winter.

So today we're pulling stakes and rolling to the south to catch a ferry.  The non-ferry option is to go southeast into big city traffic, which I detest.   Once we cross via the Cape May Ferry, we'll head south along the coast to a National Seashore where the wild ponies roam. We'll be there a day or maybe two.  We really don't know.

From the seashore, we'll head on south to Hampton, VA for a few days.  they have a nice city park with electric, so it will be pleasant.  The primary goal is to visit the Yorktown Historic park where the revolutionary war was finally ended.   From there, it is a quick trip  to Kitty Hawk to see where the Wright Brother's opened the "Air"  generation.   Then to see a cousin of mine, and ultimately to a little town in South Carolina where our coach chassis was made. (I can't remember the name.)  Eventually, we'll get to Florida around the 20th of November.

We'll keep this one short.  Have a nice day!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Seeing the Big City

We did it  (and survived).   Today we headed into Philadelphia to see Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.   Getting there was a typical urban challenge but thanks to Ms. Garmin (our GPS voice), we were close enough so that we could use our "gut feeling" as to the directions for  the last few blocks.

Once we were near Independence Hall, we spotted the blue directional signs directing us to the underground parking lot under the Independence Hall Visitor's Center.  It was convenient  (just don't ask about the price for 5 hours of parking.)

As we were walking to the visitor's center, I realized that I had not properly prepared myself.  For starters, I didn't take my two Tylenol pain killer pills at breakfast for my hip pain.  Oh well, so be it.  The other problem was that I forgot to bring my walking cane.  I have lightly used one for years, especially if I'm going to be walking a lot, or standing around.   (When touring at national park service sites, seniors walking with a cane  get expedited service.)

At the visitor's center information desk, we picked up the tickets so we could get in line for the tour of Independence Hall.  Then we picked up a map of the area and marked the sites we intended to visit.  Finally it was time to use shoe leather to get to first site.   Okay we were 15 minutes early, but I prefer it that way.

As Sandy observed, the first tour guide did very well.  I can't say the same for the last tour guide in the morning.  His presentation was a zero in terms of enthusiasm for his subject.

In the PM, we went to the Liberty Bell site followed by the mint.  In both cases, it was "look or read".  No tour guide.  To tour the mint, the tourist is on the third floor in a very long hall, looking down  on the presses through sloping windows.  The presses are enclosed in noise reducing chambers, so there is really nothing to see, other than a belt delivering coin blanks to a hopper for pressing.   To fill in the very long hall way, they had numerous photos and samples posted behind glass panels.

The drive back to  the motorhome was uneventful; traffic moved fast (evening rush hour), but Ms. Garmin kept us in the proper lane and gave us advanced warning when turns were coming up.  GPS devices work!

Touring is nice, but getting back to the motorhome was great!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Time Marches on!

Here it is Monday morning and the last blog was posted on Wednesday of last week.  This one will not be a literary work of art, but will update you on our activities.  In short, not much.

Friday night we went to a pot luck dinner at Julie's church and then watched a good video after wards.  It did make one think, plus it had all of the pre-requisite scenes from laughing to tearjerkers.

On the motorhome, I've sorted a little of the basement, but nothing was disposed of.  Of course, it is all very important stuff, I might need it some day.   Our backup water pump arrived and was checked out.   The one we took out still refuses to run which indicates perhaps some bad electronics.  We'll carry it a while!

I've put together our travel list of places and have our route planned.   One change was to bypass a museum in Delaware, which is closed to walk-in tourist midweek.(It is opened only for school tours then.)

Our original plan was to visit Philadelphia, but after getting here and seeing urban traffic, it changed my mind. (But a higher power then voted and I was out voted!)   Well, today we're headed into the big city to see all of the historical sites.  It will be a big day.

We have our week planned we think.   Philly today.  Help Dave winterize their rig Tuesday; Do some shopping and pick up some prescriptions on Wednesday; Thursday is wrap up day and Friday is hit the road.   (We think.)


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Meeting some locals

We are at daughter's house for a while and last night we were invited to join a dinner party for friends of Julie and Dave.    It is a unique group of friends, tied together because the four women all had a brush with breast cancer and they then volunteered to be part of a group study.   The original purpose of the group is past, but the group clicked and they have continued to rotate potluck dinner parties every month.

So we joined in for a good old fashioned feast (well stocked  potluck dinner table).  There were 3 of the 4 couples present plus us.    I think one of the reasons we were asked to join was because two of the couples have thought about retiring and traveling.   It is a big step for them to  take.  Towards the end of the evening, I kind of got into my lecture mode and explained that yes, we have been full time for 16  years because we decided to bail out early.  Even though the company had an early out option, we knew that it would cost us some dollars in the long term.  I explained that we had discussed it and we both agreed that while we'd have less pension coming in each month, we'd have more years to enjoy it.  ((Hint, hint to them.))

For the other two couples, the husband has kind of retired and is waiting for the wife to decide to hang it up.   The wives  are breast cancer survivors, and have finished their treatments.  I didn't get personal, but hopefully I got the message across to take whatever time they have left, retire and do the traveling that they want to do.

We also shared with them some of the problems that they need to watch out for like making a residence change and losing some of their health insurance because of their cancer status.  It will be interesting to see what decisions they make in the months to come.

A couple days ago, Sandy and I drove to some local cranberry bogs and watched the harvest.  It  is very similar to what we saw in Warrens, WI.  The big difference is that these farms did not have deer proof fences around the bogs, yet we know that they have a big deer problem here in New Jersey.  The other big difference is that many of the bogs are hidden back in the forest and not viewable from the road (like outside of Warrens, WI.)

We've done a few things on the motorhome and have other irons in the fire while we're parked.  But there is no need to rush things.   We did order/buy a new water pump today that will be delivered next week we hope.  E bay comes through again.  The rework of the reworked pump seems to  be working again  fine.  So it is not critical that we get the replacement pump installed.   In  fact, the replacement pump will become a spare part, to be hauled along with the other spare stuff.

This is about long enough. I'm sure there is an error or two for the language police to ding me on.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Valley Forge Historical Park, PA

Yesterday (Friday) we arrived at Valley Forge and spent the night in the nearby Walmart parking lot. Since we had made a wrong turn, we had a brief tour of parts of Valley Forge Historical park. Today, we fired up the big diesel pusher and drove it 2 miles to the park. (We didn't want to leave the motorhome parked in a Walmart lot and give the wrong impression that we're camping here!)

Since we were early, we drove the perimeter in the Honda, then when the visitor center opened, we picked up the CD Tour Guide. (Julie had supplied us one for Gettysburg and we loved it. So we bought this one to return the favor.)

We then drove the perimeter again, listening to the CD and stopping more often. At noon, we decided we needed a break, so back to the motorhome for a hot lunch. (The temperature was 60 degrees out but with a stiff northwest wind that really chills one.)

Even though we were chilled when out in the wind, we were amazed by the number of walkers and runners out on the trails. Plus, their clothing was brief to put it mildly.

We were back at it after lunch and finished the formal touring at 3 pm. We then went back to the visitor's center to see more of the artifacts etc. Life was not easy for the early soldiers Not only were they ill fed, but some had little clothing.

Back at the motorhome, we drove it back to the same Walmart parking lot we had used last night. Our old parking space was occupied by cars, so we temporally parked elsewhere until the employees finished their shift. (We liked this area because we can put the slide out over the curb and have a more liveable interior for the evening.) The general rule in a Walmart lot is no jacks down and no slides out.

My chief critic (and auditor) just reminded me that I made some grievous errors in yesterdays posting. We'll try to do better this time.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Back to Boondocking Again

We're left the park in Gettysburg and its poor electric service (but it worked) this morning.  Tonight we are boondocking in a Walmart Super store in Valley Forge, PA.   It is a bit close to the freeway, but I think we can tolerate it.

The drive here was un-eventfull, just a bit  long.  Our first order of business when we got onto the highway was to get fuel.   We went about 30 miles before we finally found a station with diesel.   We drank it up.  I didn't like the price of $3.099 but paid it.   We felt better on down the road when we found one station at $3.079 and from then on, they were $3.25 plus.  Okay, so I shouldn't complain.

We were on good old U.S. Highway 30 and it really wasn't too bad.  Much of it has been resurfaced, probably thanks to stimulus funding.    The highway went through York, PA and it had many stoplights, but we survived it.   At Lancaster, PA we enjoyed a good freeway around the north edge, with a few stoplights every half mile.  But we  had time, so we relaxed.

The rest stop we were planning to use on the turnpike was closed so we proceeded to the next rest area, which was the last one before we were to exit.  Our intention was to stay here all night, but it was small, had lots of traffic and we were parked close to the turnpike.   So after a couple of hours, we headed to Valley Forge.

Our intention was to head for this Walmart, but we were in the wrong lane, so we ended up at Valley Forge Historical Park at 3 pm.   So while we were there, we did a quick visit to the visitor's center and picked up some info for tomorrow.  We then returned on the same road and found our Walmart.  We had been warned that it was a hard one to see and they were right.  We gave the brakes a good test, but we made the turn and now we safely off of the highway.

Sandy just read me the weather forecast for tomorrow, sunny with some wind.  We'll survive it.  If we finish early, we'll head for Julie's in NJ; if not, we'll return to this location for another night.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Touring Gettysburg, PA

We arrived here last Monday after a very tiring day on the road.   Driving the Pennsylvania turnpike is a dream.  Driving the old highway 30 in PA is a nightmare.    As we headed east and left the turnpike at Breezewood and got on  US30, it was hilly, narrow, lots of curves and busy.  Not the type of highway I like, but we made it.

Touring in Gettysburg has been very sobering as we think of the thousands of casualties inflicted upon both sides.    I had seen it briefly before and will say it again, "My respect for General Lee dropped after looking at how he fought the battle.  Pickett's charge was a disgrace."

Thanks to our daughter Julie, we used the touring CD to drive the battle field areas.   The CD really does a great job of giving you all of the background at each stop.  The documentation talked about a 2.5 hour tour, but with the driving and stops, we spent all day and only did half of it.  Today, we finish it in the rain.  (No walking at the stops today.)

We learned yesterday that friends of ours were in town, coming from Vermont, so we met up with them for dinner last night.  One of the rare times we eat out.  Today they also go touring and on Friday, they head west while we head east.

My posting last time was much too  long.   I was tired, tried to say too much and my chief critic pointed out all of my grammatical errors that seem to magically appear.   (I do read, re-read and read it again before it gets posted, but you see what happens.    Some of it can be blamed on the spell checker which always selects the wrong version of a word, like "hear" verses "here".  But I think you get the message.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Our Week-end in Latrobe, PA

On Saturday of this past weekend, we went to the neighboring town of Ligonier, PA, which is the home town of Sandy's niece  (pastor ) Jane.  She had suggested that we come on Saturday for their big event, which included a parade plus live firings of the cannons in the museum fort.

It was indeed a big event.  We intended to be early and when we were in Latrobe, waiting at the stop light to get onto highway 30, we wondered what or why the heavy traffic.   Sandy even suggested that perhaps they were also going to Ligonier for the festival.   Sure enough, the highway was jammed to Ligonier with cars.

We parked and caught a shuttle bus to the center of town and near the fort.   We were an hour early, but already the parade route was  4 or 5 deep.   It was people everywhere!  We found a place where we could be in the shade and felt we had a good view of the parade elements that would be passing bye.

We were not disappointed.   The parade was about 2 hours long with several local bands, all dressed in uniforms that reflected the fountier days theme.  There were a few neighboring fire companies and one fire company even included a 50 member marching corps.   They also were nicely attired in great looking uniforms.

We bugged out of the parade viewing stand finally and went to the museum and fort so that we could see some of the relics  of days going by.   Ligonier claim to fame is that it was the post where George Washington rose to be recognized as a talented leader of men.  As I recall from my early American History class, George Washington served in the British army on the frontier (the far west.)   Ligonier was where he served.

On Sunday, we attended the church where Sandy's niece was being installed as one of the pastors.   So were there in the morning, went out for a light sandwich at noon, visited most of the afternoon with Jane and her mother, attended the installation service in the late afternoon and then attended a dinner hosted by the church in Jane's honor.   In short, it was a long day for us..

Today were were slow rising, and we took our time getting ready to leave the campground.   we decided that we've had enough of driving the turning twisting Pennsylvania roads, so we headed west some to pick up an interstate toll road and the infamous Pennsylvania Turnpike.    What a joy to drive the turnpike with its open space and long sweeping curves.  

At the half way mark to Gettysburg, we left the turnpike and took Highway 30, which I expected to be an improved road.   I missed.  The highway was narrow, turning and twisting and very hilly.  We were in 2nd gear going up and often 2nd gear going down the other side.  It was slow going.  Finally we got into more open country where the hills were more gentle, such that we  could cruise in  5th or 6th gear.

We arrived at Gettysburg at 3 pm and found our desired campground with no problem.   They had room for us, so we paid the fees, parked our rig and kind of collapsed, it was a tiring long day driving.

Tomorrow begins 3 days of intense touring here.   We were hear about 30 years ago for one day.  So while the basic battleground is unchanged,  I'm sure the visitor center and supporting area has been altered  to suit the wishes of the current tourist.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Mail Call was a Bummer

Today was our trip back to Latrobe, PA for our mail and then to do our laundry.   It didn't go well.  We were about half way there when Sandy said, "we didn't bring the GPS!".   We have really become depended upon it so much that we don't even have a map of the local area.   But we knew where the post office was.

Stopping at the post office was a real bummer. NO MAIL.  They said that I hadn't filled out an address change notice, so they didn't know that I'm expecting mail at the window.  They claimed that it didn't come in (I think they lie).   The whole attitude of the clerk and first line manager turned me off.  So I guess it goes back to Sioux Falls some day.   Maybe we'll see it someday! (We've never heard or had this problem in over 10 years.)

Now we need the GPS to find the street for the barber shop.   We didn't waste time looking for it and went to option two, find a laundromat.   We found the address and they directed us to the right place.   After finishing the laundry, it was finding Walmart.  We fell into that one so we could get our groceries.

Finally, it was back to  the barber shop address.  We retraced our route and eventually found the street, but it ran the wrong way.  Eventually we found the barber shop, an old time, aged, one chair place.  We had to listen to his stories and comments about the town, the number of employees that the steel mills used to have and what they have now.   It took a while, but the good news for me was that the price was about what he charged 15 years ago.

We finally got back to the motorhome for a very late  lunch and a nap!  Later it was a walk, an email to  our re mail service about my mail problems.   As we were doing dishes,  it became apparent that the RV water pump was about to be history.   So we hooked up the water hose to the site hydrant.  While outside, the neighbors invited us to join them around the fire.   So we got acquainted with the neighborhood.  I think everyone in this campground is either related or old time camping buddies.

And life goes on.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Our Jello Plans adjusted again

Yesterday we journeyed to Latrobe to the post office to get our expected general delivery mail-- it wasn't there.  So we returned back to the motorhome and busied ourselves the rest of the day.  Fully expecting our mail today  (it was ordered a week ago today), we made plans to move out this morning.

So just for good measure last night, we called the campground that we would like to go to at Gettysburg.   Ups, they don't have room over the weekend for our planned 7 day stay in Gettysburg.  (We knew that the week-ends are busy plus it is the fall color season.)   So not to get excited about it, we slept on it.  This morning, Sandy and I discussed what our options were.   After serious consideration, we decided that our best option was to just stick tight to where we're at.   We were tentatively planning to return to Latrobe by car for Jane's pastoral installation next Sunday.   It would have been a full day plus some driving at night, something I strongly dislike, especially on these curvy hilly roads.  So now we can relax and enjoy the rest  of the week.

Our jello plans are to remain here until Monday, Oct 11.  We will then head for Gettysburg and plan on a 4 night stay.   We'll then spend two nights in the Valley Forge area (Turnpike rest area and a Walmart) and head for daughter's family on the 15th or so.   That is almost too far out to make any plans.

We are really enjoying the full power provided here at the COE park.   We have 3 electric heaters and in the morning, we have used them.   Sandy was even heard to mumble this morning that it will be a bit cooler when we head south to Florida in 2 or 3 weeks.  (No electrical outlets at our Walmart stops!)  But I think we can handle that!


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Waiting for the Mail

Here we are in a COE park, waiting for our General delivery mail from our remail service.  Life could be worse, as we have low rates ($11 a night) and good electric  (30A +15A).    Perhaps the big down size is that we're under a big oak tree that seems to shed an acorn now and then.

This morning we traveled to the nearby town where the mail was to come in and it was a no show. So on the return we visited a nice state park, just to see what it was like.    We decided that at twice the camping  price, it was not worth it to move..

Since it was a light rain all morning, we decided that it was time to work on the frame around our replacement TV.   We're nearly done, but of course we have to leave something for tomorrow (in case the mail is delayed again.)

This afternoon while surfing, I came across a very interesting article on the future economic status of our dear country.   The article  (  ) agrees with what I believe the future of the country is for another 12 years.  If you don't check out the article, it claims that two of our esteemed financial leaders have agreed that the country is not going to see an improving mortgage picture for 3 or 4 years.  And that the only solution is to cut taxes.

I had opened several web pages with my tabs and the very next one pointed out that the stock market was at a four month high today, almost inferring that Happy Days are hear again for the market.   So you can look at it also    and make up your own mind.

One of the drawbacks of communicating with friends via a blog is that they hear from and about us, but we rarely (if ever) hear from them.  So how about giving us a shout?   We love to keep track of our friends.

Our travel plans are set in jello for the next two weeks more or less.  From here, it is off to Gettysburg where we have another mail package arriving from daughter.   We plan to stay in the Gettysburg area for a week, so it ought to be ample time to pick it up.   Then it is on east, stopping to see a little bit of Valley Forge on the way.   Our game plan is to over night in a turnpike rest stop just before reaching Valley Forge.  that gives us a whole day to tour Valley Forge before leaving.   To extend the day, there is a SuperWalmart nearby on our route as we leave.   From there, it is to New Jersey to see the Grand Daughters again.    I suspect that we'll find them to be mature young ladies, not little girls any more.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Departure Day Again

Here it is 8:30 AM Sunday morning and we're planning to hit the road.  That is if we can muster enough energy to pack our boat and move out.   A weather front came in yesterday and it turned cold, thus Sandy's sinus's kicked up a notch or two.   Even old Gene is moving slowly.

Yesterday was the last day of the Swiss Festival here at Sugarcreek and their parade.  It was a bit different from parades that we have in Iowa.   Here it was led by three police cars and the wrap up was a single fire engine.  In between, it seemed like mostly queens or attendants of various towns or organizations in this area.   And some of them came quite a distance.   It lasted nearly 90 minutes.

The predicted rain held off until about an hour after the parade was over, which everyone was happy about.  We then went to a side hill where they had a "boulder throwing" contest.   For the men, it was to lift a 138 pound boulder over your head, run about 15 feet and toss it.   One fellow pitched it 11 feet, 11 inches, which is no small feat.   For the woman's side, it was a 75 pound pebble, again hold it over your head, run 15 feet and pitch it.    I think the women's distances were 3 to 5 feet.

Before it was over, the rains came and we bailed out for the motorhome. It is hard to enjoy yourself when one is cold with a stiff wind blowing you around.

Today we're headed to a little town east of Pittsburgh so that we can see a niece of Sandy's. We were planning to rough it in the Walmart parking lot, but I noticed that there is a Corp. of Engineers campground nearby.   We may just get lazy and settle in there.   Right now it appears to be a dreary overcast day.  It is hard to get enthused to do anything outside, even hookup.