Friday, October 3, 2008

Day 10, 3 Oct 2008, Salem VA to HOME

We had a great day today. We decided to take I81 home today instead of the back roads like yesterday. Street Atlas said we had a 6 hour trip via the back roads and a 3 hour trip via the interstate, so we opted for the interstate. We left the campground and drove about 20 miles and stopped at Waffle House for breakfast since we were running low on breakfast food in the motorhome.

We stopped in Bristol, VA to get some dry dog food for Blackie since it's hard to find Eagle Pack dog food in this area.

Then we went through Boones Creek, TN and saw gas for $3.509 so we filled up there since Gas Buddy said gas was $3.579 in Elizabethton.

From there we stopped at our vets in Johnson City to get Little Bear some dry food since she uses a special kind available only at vets.

When we got to Elizabethton we decided to stop at China King and had some great Chinese food. When we left there we found gas at WalMart was actually $3.539 so we still saved a little.

We got home around 6:30 PM after a great 10 day trip. We had a ball and of course it's always good to be home.

We did put up pictures for days 7, 8 and 9, so you may want to go back to those days and click on "Pictures" at the bottom of that days' blog to see them.

Check back soon as I'm sure Barbara has come pictures to put up for the day 10 blog.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Day 9, 2 Oct 2008, Centreville VA to Salem VA

Today was a nice leisurely drive. We broke camp this morning, had breakfast in the motorhome and headed home. Instead of heading out I-66 to I-81 and the boring drive home, we decided to go down Rt 29 south through Charlottesville, through Lynchburg and then west on Rt 460 which took us through downtown Roanoke and into Salem. We noticed the further south we went the more expensive gas became. We finally found a station in Thaxton that had gas for $3.579 so we filled up there.

We found a nice campground in Salem at Dixie Caverns and Pottery Shop right next to I-81. We managed to get here and get set up well before dark. Then we had dinner in the motorhome and settled in to wait for the VP debate.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Day 8, 1 Oct 08, Wilkes Barre PA to Centreville VA

We awoke this morning in the Sam's Club parking lot, had breakfast and filled up with gas for $3.459 and then headed south on I-81. In Harrisburg, PA we turned south on Rt 15 and took that route to the Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville, VA and signed up for a campsite. We refilled our potable water tanks, emptied the black water and gray water tanks and then set up camp and finished just before dark.

Centerville is where Barbara's daughters (Susan and Cindy) live. Cindy came to the campground and picked us up and took us to their place. Susan fixed an oustanding dinner consisting of grilled hamburgers (the best we've had in ages) and Texas style home fries (also outstanding). Then we had chocolate cake and ice cream for dessert to celebrate the girls' birthdays. After a great visit, Susan took us back to the campsite and we're calling it a day. This park is absolutely full of deer. We must have seen a couple of dozen on the trip to and from the girls' place. We also saw a red fox here.


Day 7, 30 Sep 08, Portsmouth NH to Wilkes Barre PA

Wow, what a day today was!

We got up this morning and left our friends Steve and Kate's house and went back to Kittery, ME to the shipyard hoping to renew the base sticker on the motorhome four months early since we were here and had originally gotten the base sticker from here.

They were busy and after waiting for almost an hour they told me they couldn't renew it at this time. Wow, we could have used that hour.

We then headed south on Rt 1 back through Portsmoth and stopped just south of town and had breakfast (near noon) and stopped at a Market Basket (a really great grocery store) and bought some items we needed including some of the biggest sea scallops we've seen.

We went on south on Rt 1 and headed toward the ocean in Rye, NH and drove down Rt 1A to Hampton, NH and saw the beautiful ocean. We headed back to Rt 1 and stopped in Seabrook where we bought $3.399 gas on the way up and filled up, but this time it was only $3.359. Then we got back on I-95 and headed south until we got to I-84 in Massachusetts and then headed west. We went through Hartford, CT and then crossed into New York.

We stopped at a rest stop near Fishkill NY just before dark. We hemmed and hawwed and finally decided we could just spend the night there as one of the guys are the rest area said it would be no problem. Barbara fixed the scallops we bought earlier. Were they ever great! After about three hours at the rest stop we began to feel uneasy about staying overnight. Barbara "found" us a campground on the map about 3 miles off the highway just inside the NJ line. By now it was 9:00 PM. We headed on west on I-84 looking for that campground. Well, the campground wasn't there or it might have been a church or scout camp and was closed. Anyway, according to the map, there was another one a few miles down this country road so we drove on. We found a sign with a camper on it and foolishly turned onto the road. It was nothing but a cow path and had "no camping" signs on the trees! Worse, we couldn't find a place to turn around! We finally managed to turn around without getting stuck or scratching up the MH and getting back on the blacktop road, said a prayer of thanks and decided to keep going down the country road since it was the right direction toward home rather than head back. We crossed the Delaware River into Milford, PA where a guy at a quick stop gave us directions to a campground that was right next to the interstate! All after we'd driven 2 hours on back roads. Well, that campground wasn't there either (or was closed). So we headed on west on I-84 and the next thing we knew we were in Wilkes Barre, PA. There we found a Sams Club and spent the night there--at 1:30 a.m.!!

NY, NJ, & PA are really short on campgrounds. We've run into this problem before, but can't seem to find a solution short of staying in a motel.

What a long day!


Monday, September 29, 2008

Day 6, 29 Sep 08, Portsmouth NH to York ME

What a great day! In more ways than one. First we woke up this morning to sunshine! It was so nice. Even though we are at our friends Kate and Steve's in Portsmouth, NH, we opted to sleep in the motorhome in front of their house. That way we were not in their way getting ready for work, plus we have everything we need right here without toting stuff into the house.

After we got up and around, we went to Kittery, ME (about 3 miles from their house) and had breakfast at Dunkin Donuts. Then we went to a couple of the outlets in Kittery to get some stuff we needed. Then we went to York, ME where we lived in 1981 for a year. We went by our old house and then went to the ocean about a mile from that house. Then on up to Nubble Light in York. We spent some time there before going on up to York Beach to Short Sands beach.

This was the other great part of the day. Barbara took Blackie and headed out into the ocean and got into water up to her knees. The waves today were about as big as we've seen up here. Anyhow, Barbara had more fun than she's had in ages. She commented several times that all the pain she went through with the two knee replacements was worth it. Last year she could not have taken that at all. I think Blackie had as much fun as Barbara did today.

After a couple of hours up there we headed back toward Portsmouth to Steve and Kate's via Rt 103 which took us home along the ocean.

After we arrived at their place, Kate fixed an oustanding dinner for us which included sauteed scallops and baked haddock with stuffing on top along with a baked potato and salad. What a great meal she fixed.

After a great evening we retired to the motorhome and called it a day.

Oh, before I forget, Barbara uploaded pictures for Days 1, 2 and 3. To see them, go to the respective days and at the end of that days' blog you will see the word Pictures. Click on that and it will take you to the pictures for that day.

The temps today were in the low 70's and sunny this morning but cloudy this afternoon. It's supposed to be about the same here tomorrow.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Day 5, 28 Sep 08, Groton CT to Portsmouth NH

Rain, rain, go away! We are getting soooo tired of rain. We left last Wednesday, woke up to rain Thursday morning and have had rain constantly ever since. This morning we woke up after sleeping in, and had to fill our water tanks. Of course I had to do this in the rain. Also today was check-out day and they had both dump stations closed. I told the trash man as he came by that I had a problem as we were leaving but I had full gray and black water tanks. He said the dumps were closed because of all the rain and the sewer system wasn't working, but they were using their "Honey Wagon" for people departing, so he went and told the wagon operator to put us on the list. He finally showed up and we got out of there around 12:30 PM.

From there we made a leisurely trip up I-95 through Providence, RI and around Boston, MA.

A couple of times while we were in Massachusets we got off the interstate to see if there was any decent prices for gas away from the interstate. We saw some beautiful scenery and New England style homes, which Barbara in particular really enjoyed.

We got off the interstate at Exit 1 (Seabrook) in New Hampshire and found the cheapest gas we've seen so far on this trip. So we stopped and filled up with $3.399 gas. We stayed on Route 1 the rest of the 15 miles to Portsmouth, NH and made it to our dear friends, Kate and Steve's, in Portsmouth.

We had a great visit for a while and then went to Kittery, ME to the Weathervane and had some outstanding clam chowder and fish and chips. The best we've had since we were in Alaska last year.

We ran out of time to get pictures up, although Barbara worked on them on the way here, so hopefully tomorrow.

By the way, the temperatures have been mostly in the 60's: mid to high 60's during the day and mid to low 60's at night. Humidity has been 150% (just kidding), but unfortunately the very high humidity makes the bedding and towels feel so damp. But it's not warm enough to run the AC to dry out the interior air.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Day 4, 27 Sep 08, Groton CT

Well today did not go as planned. It was raining like crazy when I got up at 8:30. Barbara woke up a little later and had a migraine, so I let her sleep. Turned out we did not make the wive's or business meeting, but apparently we did not miss out on a whole lot. The Executive Committee will decide where the next NAUTILUS reunion will be hald. There was a mention of Pigeon Forge, TN. That would be great for us since we live only about 1 1/2 hours from there.

This afternoon we drove around Mystic and Old Mystic Seaport in the rain. It is a beautiful area. Tonight was the main event and banquet with several speakers. It was a great event and the organizers did a fantastic job and had good speakers. I got to meet the co-author of "The Ice Diaries" (a book written by Capt William Anderson about the trip under the North Pole and co-authored by Don Keith) who Barbara saw yesterday and got him to sign our copy of the book. Turns out he is also a ham radio operator, so hopefully I'll get to talk to him on the air in the future.

There we over 300 in attendance tonight. Of the 65 PANOPOS (acronym for Pacific to Atlantic via the North Pole) still alive, 36 were present at tonight's reunion!

Hopefully tomorrow we'll get some pictures up.

P.S. I've read "The Ice Diaries" and I highly recommend eveyone to read it. It's oustanding. Click on the name "The Ice Diaries" above and it will take you to Don Keith's webpage and tell you a little about the book and how to buy it.