Saturday, August 9, 2014

Vermont and home

This will be a slightly different blog posting. In July, we took our annual Vermont trip. Unlike previous trips I did not post every night as we went. For a couple of reasons (probably none of them good) we forwent that procedure. I expect that in the future I will return to as-we-go posting. After returning, I decided to do an ex post facto description of the trip. Then I lost the written log book. I have now found it again, so here we go. This trip consists of three posts, so to read it in chronological order, start at two posts below (An Iffy Fourth).

9 July
A few days of relaxing in Burlington. Today, Jean went downtown to shop and I went with Alan to work on his boats (stored elsewhere). These boats consist of a Yamaha jet-ski and a boat called Shuttle Craft. This is the front half of a boat with a bay in the back in which to dock the jet-ski (which then powers the combination). Alan was having a problem due to the jet-ski not being tight enough.

First we cleaned the winter dirt off both boats. Then we pulled four bolts and went to a drive-through lumber yard to buy some wood. After a couple more stops we were back at the boats, where Alan decided to change plans. At first we were going to put a shim behind the liner to the docking place. Alan decided that adding a piece to the rub rail of the Yamaha would be easier and would work better. So we made some more measurements and went out and bought a bunch of nuts and bolts.

About 3:00 Jean came back and we went to the house for lunch, which consisted of a couple of Trader Joe's small, individual pizzas. That was something new for us and we enjoyed them. Too bad there isn't a Trader Joe's in Forest. We relaxed until Valerie came home, then went out to a nice Italian restaurant. We always eat well at Alan's.

10 July
The water tank ran out last night, so we had to flush using distilled water for the CPAP. First job in the morning was to refill the water tank. Another clear, cool day in Burlington.

I spent much of the day with Alan, working on extending the rub rails on the jet-ski. I soon learned that the best way to help him is to stay out of his way. He is a very fast worker and knows exactly what he wants to do and how to do it. Meanwhile, Jean walked downtown. Alan got the new wood cut and shaped and we were about to bolt them on when he decided to prime them first.

We got back to the house about the same time as Jean, and she and I hung out while Alan went for picnic stuff. After Valerie got home we joined their friends John and Lynne and went to a local park for a picnic and concert. I sat at the edge of the group so didn't hear much of the conversation because of the music, but it was a wonderful spot for people-watching. Afterwards we walked back to the house and spent the rest of the evening in quiet conversation.

11 July
It was a cool night, we needed a blanket about 5:00. But it turned into another sunny, warm day.

We left for home about 10:00. We stopped at the Wildflower Farm and Jean was able to buy the seeds she wanted, along with a nice mat printed with flowers and butterflies.

We stopped in Fairhaven for lunch at an old-time cafe called the Wooden Soldier. It was a touch of old Vermont. The burgers were also big and delicious.

Going back to the Roadtrek, we spotted a three-wheel car modeled after the classic Three-Wheel Morgan. It was hand-built, of which only a few were made. I had a brief opportunity to talk with the owner. Drool, drool.

On the way out of town we stopped to fill up on diesel. The place we chose had a unique system for fueling. After going in to pay, I was informed that in order to use the pump on the left side of the van (where the fuel fill is) I first had to take the nozzle from the pump on the right side and lay it on the ground. Then I would be able to get fuel from the nozzle to the left. It sounded weird, but it worked.

Alan and Valerie had both recommended that we visit a place called Bolton's Landing, on the west shore of Lake George. So we made a side trip when we got to New York. The drive in had lots of beautiful scenery, but you can't see the lake from the road. We found a parking place and walked around a little, during which time we spotted this tree stump.

Then we got back in the van and drove out to see the Sagamore, a classic, high-end resort in the grand style. Impressive.

We stopped for the night at the Walmart in Cobblestkill, NY. We had stayed here once before, on the return trip from taking Amanda to Vermont. Then it was nice weather when we went to bed, but in the morning we were the only vehicle in the lot, with strong wind and blowing snow (this was February). This time the weather was much better, though the stop was not without incident. I decided to move to what looked like a more level spot, but as I pulled forward, a low branch from the tree I was parked under ripped off the new vent cover. We never found the cover, which is shaped like a wind vane. The cover has since been replaced, but it leans back a little.

12 July
It was a chilly night, but nowhere like the last time we were here. Today we had a goal. We wanted to get to Winchester (VA) in order to visit with Jean's cousin, Beth. We stopped for lunch again in another Pennsylvania rest area (but no nap this time). Other than that it was just interstate driving.

As we were approaching the Virginia line, we got into a two-mile backup from and accident. At that time I got a long phone call from my granddaughter, Elizabeth. Meanwhile, Jean called Beth and arranged for us to meet tomorrow at breakfast (place to be determined when we know where we will be camping).

We checked in to a nice campground on the outskirts of Winchester. They had cable, so we hooked in and watched TV. We don't do that very often because we don't ever know the local listings. In this case we didn't have a very good picture either. We watch a lot of TV at home but almost none on the road.

13 July
In the morning we dumped our tanks to come home clean. We were successful, but it appears that we have a problem with the macerator/pump. Another problem to deal with when we get home.

We met Beth for breakfast in a nearby IHOP and had a long, pleasant visit. When we left we decided to try driving back on US11 instead of the interstate. It was a very pleasant drive, much better than the nearby interstate, though we did slip back onto I-81 briefly to go around Harrisonburg and to make the connection with I-64 for crossing Afton Mountain. We got home a little after 5:00.

Trip statistics: We determined that it is about 800 miles to Alan's from SW or SE Virginia. The total trip length was 1,808 miles.

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