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.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Day 3, 26 Sep 08, Little York NJ to Groton CT

Well we made it to our destination of Groton, CT today, but it was quite stressful driving to get here. We woke up this morning to a light rain and had it most of the day. Just before we got to Groton we had hard rain for about 15 minutes, but it was back to light rain when we got to Groton and to the campground.We left Little York, NJ (lower central part of the state) and went north on I-287, across the Tappan Zee Bridge in New York and down to I-95 just before entering Connecticut. Then for the next 50 miles or so it was stop and go due to road construction. What a mess! We finally stopped for gas at Exit 40 on I-95 in CT and got gas for $3.569, the cheapest we've seen since New Jersey. Here in the Mystic Seaport area near the campground it is $3.799 and around the SubBase in Groton it's mostly $3.659.We finally got to the campground around 3:30 PM and seemed to take forever to check in even though we had reservations. It is a pretty nice campground though. Unfortunately we only had time to find the campsite and take a few minutes to freshen up and then had to head to the Submarine Museum at the SubBase. We immediately ran into three of my old shipmates and their wives. Then we got to go aboard the NAUTILUS. Ex-crew members were able to go back into the engineering spaces, but spouses could only see the forward part which is what is open to the public. But the forward part is where all the action and the fun stuff is anyway.From there we went to the Groton Inn and had a great buffet and a couple of programs which were quite good. I also ran into another one of my shipmates.  We finally got back to the campground around 10 PM and then had to dump the black and gray water tanks as they were full. That's never fun in the dark, but the job went well without any spills or problems.We have to be back at the Groton Inn tomorrow morning at 10 AM for the wive's meetings and the NAUTILUS Reunion business meeting. From there we'll find out what is going on the rest of the weekend.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Day 2, 25 Sep 08, Broadway VA to Little York NJ

We slept in this morning and took our time breaking camp after breakfast. We travelled the four miles or so the the interstate entrance and stopped to fill up with their $3.599 gas and then headed on up I-81 to West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and finally into New Jersey. All we did today was drive and drive some more. We don't really hurry, running about 62 MPH as a rule. We did stop in Carlisle, PA and filled up with $3.419 gas.

Barbara found on the web this neat sounding campground just inside New Jersey. Unfortunately I missed the exit, so we took the next exit and Barbara navigated us to the campground, but there was a stretch of wash-board, gravel road to get here, but we made it. She's a great navigator. We did get here in time to set up before dark this time, but not by much.

The campground is nice, in a farming community. We actually drove through a field to get here, but the sites themselves are in the woods. Thank goodness we had an escort. Very quaint. Tomorrow we should make our main destination, Groton, CT.


Day 1, 24 Sep 08, Hampton, TN to Broadway, VA

We got a late start, finally leaving Hampton just before 1:00 PM. Nothing exciting. We drove up I-81 and finally stopped at a KOA in Broadway, VA just north of Harrisonburg. Unfortunately it was just getting dark and by the time we got checked in we had to set up in the dark. Something we don't like to do. We hooked up the electric and then the water. Next thing I knew our water tanks (we have two on board) were running over. For some reason the city water connection isn't working and the water goes straight to filling the tanks. Something else to work on when we get home!

We stopped at a gas station in Troutville, VA (just north of Roanoke) and filled up with $3.559 gas. We filled up in Elizabethton before we left home for $3.789.


Monday, September 22, 2008


We have just set up a new blog to cover our short trip to Groton, CT for the USS NAUTILUS (SSN 571) reunion celebrating the 50th anniversary of the NAUTILUS making the first-ever trans-oceanic transit from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean via the North Pole by any type of ship. NAUTILUS passed under the North Pole at 11:15 PM EDT on August 3, 1958. Two great books about these adventures are "Nautilus 90 North" by Capt William Anderson (no longer in print but probably available on and a new book just released last month "The Ice Diaries" by Capt William Anderson. Definitely worth reading in our opinions.