Sunday, September 24, 2006

Flood Warnings on a Wet Lazy Sunday

It rained all day yesterday and the forecast is for rain all morning today with the expectation of flooding in the area. Fortunately our site is on the slope of a hill and it should all run by us (crossing fingers).

Therefore to brighten the day today's Lazy Sunday pictures are of sunshine and sunny days. Thank goodness for pictures and memories, huh?

Sunshine and clouds highlight the first tee at the Sky Mountain Golf Course in Hurricane, Utah. Posted by Picasa

Sunshine filtering through the Palo Verde trees spotlighting a male roadrunner at Lake Havasu City, AZ. Posted by Picasa

Sunshine on the lake near the London Bridge at Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Posted by Picasa

A sunny day on the beach in St. Augustine, Florida. Posted by Picasa

The setting sun over the Portage River in Port Clinton, Ohio. Posted by Picasa

Is it sunset on the surf or is it the sky? Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Camping with construction workers

Each morning we're awakened at 4:30 and 5:30 respectively as the night shift returns to the campground and the morning shift leaves. The men are working on a new bridge to replace the one currently connecting Middleport, Ohio with Mason, West Virginia and a new access route from OH 7 to that same bridge.

When you drive past construction workers on the highway you're more likely to curse the delay rather than think about their lives but it can be a lonely occupation. These men aren't always locals who return home each day, but sometimes come from companies located out of state who have to live in motels or campgrounds until the job is finished. So many of them live in trailers in campgrounds (or in a semi-cab like the picture above) so they can have some of the comforts of home, like a little space to move around and a kitchen and bath. Our first introduction to construction workers living in a campground came outside of Bangor, Maine where a large group was working on a natural gas pipeline that was being laid from Maine all the way into Nova Scotia, Canada. It was summertime, so many of their wives and children were staying with them but would be leaving at the end of summer to return to their permanent homes for school. If I remember correctly, that meant a long drive back to St. Louis, MO for the wives.

Most of the men here seem to be on their own--a lonely existence for sure. This area is remote and the biggest excitement for the weekend is the Sternwheeler festival on the river. We drove by there Thursday and the festival consisted of about 6 vessels that appeared to be pontoon boats crafted to look like old fashioned steen-wheelers and a row of about as many food booths and craft tents. A sad little festival for the sad little town of Pomeroy.

Tuesday we'll move on, leaving behind our rumbling diesel engine early morning wake up calls. We don't begrudge the noise because we know we're only here for a week and they'll have to be here for months with only their co-workers for companions. It's nice to have the option of moving on.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Pine Hills Golf Club, Pomeroy, Ohio

Scenic is a good word to describe the Pine Hills Golf Club course. Nestled in the hills of southeastern Ohio this little nine-hole course is under-played and under-maintained but is still a lot of fun. The course was still very damp from the early morning dew and fog but it was obvious that the fairways hadn't been cut in a couple of days although they were in good shape otherwise. There were trees and ponds and sand traps to evade and avoid throughout and the sun was shining on a beautiful fall day so we had a good time. Let me back up a moment; I had a good time--Denny did not. I didn't expect to do well after going four months without playing golf, Denny has been out a few times with our oldest son and some friends so he expected to do better. I was pleased that my knee didn't seem to be bothered by the lateral motion of my golf swing and that walking some of the course seemed to relieve the pain in the joint. I considered the outing a success and look forward to playing in West Virginia next week. We've not yet played golf anywhere in West Virginia so we'll be able to check another one off our 'state to play' list.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A Chilly Morning

Quietly the fog rests on the ground this morning while I wait for Denny to awaken. It's peaceful here in the hills that pass for mountains in Ohio. In the distance I hear a train whistle and marvel, knowing that the tracks lie on the West Virginia side of the Ohio river miles away. Each morning I'm thankful for this brief period of quiet reflection that I now share with the cat. Although I love my husband dearly I appreciate this small break from our time spent together 24/7 brought about by our lifestyle and 36-foot long home. The mist curling around the rig isolates me even more and the purr of the furnace taking the chill off the air rivals that of the cat on my lap. A cup of coffee to awaken me and the company of others through their blogs on the Internet to pique my interest, make me giggle, snort or even become a little teary-eyed on some mornings have replaced reading the morning paper.

I like September in Ohio.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Fixin' to get better

Thanks to a sweetheart of a young lady named Amanda at the Cingular store in Gallipolis (pronounced Gallipolice) we have a new cell phone to replace my waterlogged version. The tire problem seemed to have stemmed (pun intended) from a slightly loose valve stem and the new tire pressure indicator caps we put on the tire. Denny put the old valve cap back on and remounted the tire today and we hoping we're good to go on that. The leaking fuel tank-oh, I forgot to mention that a couple of days ago, didn't I?-will hopefully be fixed by a new fuel cap ordered by the knowledgeable young man at John Sang Ford which is also in Gallipolis. Denny and I highly recommend both of these businesses if you happen to need assistance while you're in southeastern Ohio.

We scoped out the nine-hole golf course in nearby Pomeroy while we were out and there wasn't a soul on it today. It's hilly but fairly open and appears to be very well maintained so I think we're going to test out the old knee tomorrow. A beautiful fall day is predicted (okay, so it's a couple of days before the true autumn equinox) and it's time to knock the rust off my game.

Things are looking up!

Monday, September 18, 2006

When I was 54, it was a very bad year....

I mentioned to Denny yesterday morning that the right front tire of the fifth wheel looked low, so after a nice breakfast buffet at the American Legion post shared with my mother, aunt and uncle, we returned to the campground and Denny fired up the air compressor. It turned out that the tire only had 30 pounds of pressure so it's a good thing I noticed it and nagged him told him suggested he might check the tire pressure.

This morning Denny rechecked the pressure on that tire and it again had lost half its pressure so he got the spare out and started to try to change the tire. Sounds of *(%#@)+%* wafted through the window shortly thereafter-it seems when we purchased the tires the installers used a lot of torque to tighten the lug nuts and Denny couldn't get them off the tire with our small pancake air compressor and impact wrench. Thank goodness for CoachNet, our emergency road service, as they sent someone out to change the tire for us. The gentleman who assisted us had 700+psi of air pressure to assist him compared to our 140psi, so we lost that psiing contest.

All in all, we lost an hour of time and now need to find a tire service business when we're out in the hills of southern Ohio. We couldn't see any obvious signs of a nail or screw in the tire so it may be a loose valve stem. Whatever it is, we're hoping it is something relatively inexpensive because Linda pulled a Denny after we arrived here.

Just what did Linda manage to do, you ask? Linda was in a hurry to use the facilities upon arrival, forgetting she had her cell phone in her rear pocket after grabbing it off the front seat of the truck. Thus I discovered that cell phones are not waterproof.

Fortunately, in spite of a large number of trees surrounding our site we were able to get both the DISH TV and DW Internet satellite dishes up and running so we can communicate by e-mail and watch the premiers of some of our favorite TV shows this week. Some good news is nice, because I know I'm going to have a hassle about replacing that cell phone while we're out of our home area. Sigh.

I'm really ready for some good things to happen this year. Any time now.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

It must be Lazy Sunday

I couldn't pull a cohesive thought together for today's Lazy Sunday set of photographs. My mind has been skittering here and there with the events of the week and thoughts of moving on. Now that I see what I pulled up I guess the theme is 'my favorite things'; sunsets, water, lighthouses, my husband and other oddities. Heh.

An Ohio sunset. Posted by Picasa

Overlooking Lake Michigan near Arcadia, MI Posted by Picasa

The Sturgeon, Michigan lighthouse, built around 1857. Posted by Picasa

This is an actual restaurant in Elberta, Alabama. No, we didn't try it. Posted by Picasa

I've often written about Denny making pies. Here he is in action. Posted by Picasa

The Hershey Kissmobile, parked in Savannah, GA Posted by Picasa

The covered bridge at Franconia Notch State Park in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 16, 2006

A Short Saturday

This has been a Reader's Digest condensed version of a week; everyone is getting short shrift since we've packed so much into seven short days. That's not how we like to spend time with family and friends but perhaps we'll make it up to them at Christmas.

The good news-Denny's colonoscopy results were good so that's taken care of for the next ten years. Also, my orthopedic surgeon released me from his care after telling me that he would normally have expected to see me for another few months but I successfully rehabbed the knee into an early release. I am cleared to play golf, too. Yay!

The bad news-hmm, there is no bad news! That's encouraging (and about time).

We'll be leaving here Monday and heading towards the southeastern edge of Ohio-an area new to both Denny and me. Perhaps we'll find some good, old-fashioned unpasteurized apple cider on the way (yes Darb, we accidentally left the apple cider at your house) or even a U-pick apple orchard for some crunchy sweet apples. Apple pie, apple crisp, warm applesauce fresh from the stove-yum.

I've just made myself incredibly hungry. Sigh.

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Friday, September 15, 2006

A Bit About Waynesville

As a child, my only interest in Waynesville was the Old Mill Stream Swimming Pool. While there was a public pool in Kettering, it was small and always crowded. So my grandparents or my mom would load up the station wagon and haul my sister, brother and I along with my three cousins who lived down the street and off we'd go to make a day of it. If it happened to be my grandfather driving we'd sometime stop beside the Little Sugarcreek creek (or crick as he called it) to wade in the spring-fed waters and look for 'minnies' (minnows).

The Old Mill Stream was sold and filled in and the lot now houses the Der Dutchman Amish-style restaurant. Waynesville has recreated itself as the 'Antiques Capitol of the Midwest' and brings in tourists by the thousands every year with their annual Sauerkraut Festival held on the second full weekend of October.

Waynesville was settled in 1797 by a group of Englishmen who laid out the town in the manner of an English village. Designed as a rectangle, formal parks and squares were built around a central public square. The original settlers had hoped that Waynesville would be the capitol of the Northwest territories, but that was not meant to be.

Antiques dealers started filling the old homes lining the main street of Waynesville with their collections of primitive tools and household items and Shaker-style furniture and people started to notice Waynesville for its attractive old buildings and wide variety of antiques shops. Soon the side streets were lined with specialty shops and bed and breakfast places and Waynesville became the place to go to look for antiques. One year the merchants decided to serve a sauerkraut dinner while having their annual sidewalk sale and a new tradition was born. The Sauerkraut Festival now draws attendees in the thousands with a wide variety of foods, including the infamous sauerkraut ice cream, and over 500 craft booths. If you enjoy ghostly activities, then October is the time to come to Waynesville as that is when the ghost tours begin.
Plus, the fall color should be just about at its peak for the area then.

And us? We hate crowds-we'll be out of here!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Too Busy to Write

There is a lot on our agenda this week; we've planned doctors' appointments, meetings with friends and family, a trip to the dinner theater.

Whenever we meet with friends, it seems to be over dinner, much to my dismay over my currently increasing waistline. Tuesday evening we met friends who manage the Chinese restaurant located near my mother's house. While talking to Michelle, the young lady they consider family, we realized that we have known Lin and her husband for 18 years. While we don't talk on the phone or chat on the Internet, Lin is always one of the first people we stop to see when we are in town. Tuesday night Lin took me in hand and walked me through a variety of Chinese morsels I had never experienced; dim sum, dumplings similar to potstickers (I forgot their name), sushi for goodness sake! She even talked me into trying to use chopsticks in front of a room full of strangers and grabbed extras so I could practice at home.

It's been a while since I've moved outside of my comfort zone; it felt good. I have to remember to do that more often to remain vibrant, mentally stimulated and connected with others. It is all too easy to maintain the status quo through ennui, fear of change or discomfort. Life is too short and there are still many roads to travel.

Life Is A Highway
Tom Cochrane

Life's like a road that you travel on
When there's one day here and the next day gone
Sometimes you bend, sometimes you stand
Sometimes you turn your back to the wind
There's a world outside every darkened door
Where blues won't haunt you anymore
Where the brave are free and lovers soar
Come ride with me to the distant shore
We won't hesitate, break down the garden gate
There's not much time left today

Life is a highway
I want to ride it all night long
If you're going my way
I want to drive it all night long

Monday, September 11, 2006


On this eleventh day of September we were traveling the highways freely.

On this eleventh day of September we were traveling the highways without fear.

On this eleventh day of September we were traveling the highways remembering those who travel no more.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Heading Out on a Lazy Sunday

Normally we don't break camp on a Sunday but our trip back to Ohio is over 400 miles so we're breaking it up into a two-day trip. We prefer not to spend more than four hours on the road if we can help it and would prefer 150 mile segments when we can arrange it that way. After all, there's no rush to get there with our lifestyle.

Thus, today's Lazy Sunday pictures are based on our stay here in southwest New York. It's a pretty area, remote and peaceful and not at all how I envisioned New York before we started traveling. I had pictures of an entire state of New York City crowds, buildings and attitude. Taint so. I've had to change a lot of my preconceived notions about this country since we started this journey. Totally a good thing....

A Patches picture. It's pretty obvious I disturbed her nap.  Posted by Picasa

Griffis Sculpture park wanders through 400 acres of fields and forest with a variety of sculptures dotted throughout. While most of the pieces were in metal, the one nearest the entrance was created from wood pallets. Posted by Picasa

This sculpture at Griffis Sculpture park was entitled the flower. Posted by Picasa

Preying Mouse? Griffis Sculpture Park, Ashford Hollow, NY Posted by Picasa

Fungus in the forest.  Posted by Picasa

While wandering around lost on the back roads of Ashford Hollow we came across this sign. They lied.  Posted by Picasa

Our campground south of East Otto, NY. In two weeks the fall color will be gorgeous. In two weeks, we'll be enjoying the fall color in southeastern Ohio. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Out with the old

Tomorrow we'll be heading towards Ohio. Thanks to the new tailgate the hitching up process will be much easier. In the top picture you can't really see the deep outward bend in the tailgate, although you can tell the latch has been pulled out of position and of course, the sides would no longer latch securely. Which is how we lost our rig's power cord, water hose, etc. Now we just back straight up, hitch up and go. What made us wait so long to make the change (beside damaging the tailgate)? Pure aesthetics. We liked the look of the pickup tailgate, plus it hid all the stuff we carry in the bed of the truck. Ch-ch-changes.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Mindless entertainment

We've had a lot of rain here, so what do we decide to do on the first partially sunny day? Go to the Seneca Allegany Casino in Salamanca, NY to sit inside and play slots! The amazing part of the story? We actually returned home with more money than we arrived with. Wow. Better still was arriving home not smelling like a heavily used ashtray. Although there was a separate section in the casino for non-smokers there were actually very few smokers in the main section of the casino, which made the experience even more pleasant.

If you would like to balance mindless entertainment with a little history and education, then travel east about one-half mile up Rt. 417 to the Seneca-Iroquois Museum. It is a relatively small museum operated by the people of the Seneca Nation but the museum contains many interesting artifacts, artwork and information about the Native Americans who once laid claim to the entire area of the Allegany Mountains.

For this trip we passed on the Salamanca Rail Museum in the center of Salamanca but it sounds like another pleasant way to spend a couple of hours if you are in the area. Plus we drove by a very attractive golf course named Holiday Valley in Elliottsville that we may have to check out the next time we're here. There's always a reason to return to the places we visit.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I Wonder as I Wander

Whoo boy are we tired today! We went out geocaching yesterday with the intent of hitting three caches but after our first one we quit. Whew. The cache was at a city park of 400 acres filled with sculptures randomly placed among walking trails. Well, we ended up parking as far away as we could get, as it turned out there were two separate segments to the park. We walked probably 2 to 2 1/2 miles to get to the cache and then since we had slogged through damp, muddy trails in the woods and through fields we thought we'd try to find a different way to get back to the truck. Well, that ended up being a 2 mile walk after we found a logger who told us how to get out of back roads we were wandering to be able to get back to our truck. You see I couldn't figure out how to turn on the backtracking feature of the GPS and had forgotten to mark our parking location in it. Plus the rechargeable batteries are no longer holding their charges. Gah!

Needless to say, we were tired, muddy and quite ready to sit for a while after that experience. We decided to indulge ourselves in lunch at Carson's Ashford House restaurant, which tasted wonderful after all that exercise. Amazingly, Denny never complained once. What's up with that?

Last night I hauled out the owner's manual for the GPS and found out how to turn the backtrack feature back on and recharged a couple of sets of batteries. I learn the hard way sometimes, but I do learn.

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Labor Day is not the same

Since I was a child, Kettering's Holiday at Home parade was a staple in my life. The city of Kettering started hosting the parade in 1959 when it envisioned the event as a way to keep people off the roadways during a major holiday and building more interest in the young city itself.

Every Labor Day morning we were there on Far Hills Avenue watching myriad floats, bands, dance groups and of course the ubiquitous group of Shriners driving their miniature cars in moving formations. I spent hours the summer of my senior year stuffing tissue paper into chicken wire to help build the float for Fairmont East High School that would become an award-winning entry.

As an adult Denny and I were involved in the parade in another manner; Denny was involved in security and traffic control as a police officer and I answered a zillion and one questions about the parade over the telephone or handled street traffic and parade problems over the radio from the police dispatch center. I was still able to catch glimpses of the parade on a small black and white tv kept in the room.

It's been years since we've seen the parade, which has evolved into a weekend-long event. We certainly don't miss the stress of dealing with the details of parade traffic, lost children and people calling to ask questions about the parade. But the city has created an enjoyable tradition that is attended by thousands annually and every Labor Day morning some small part of me expects the phone to ring in the morning and to hear the question "What time does the parade start?"

Not a comfortable thought

I was reading this morning's news story about a local escaped prisoner and was a bit discomfited to find that authorities are searching for him in an area only 38 miles from our current location. Since the man has eluded police by stealing cars and staying on the move for four months a distance of 38 miles doesn't seem far enough to me.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Feeling powerless on a Lazy Sunday

The campground lost power several times yesterday and at least once overnight. We had about an inch and 3/4 of rain yesterday but no thunderstorms so there was no obvious reason for the loss of electricity. It is the holiday weekend so perhaps the park's electrical system is overloaded.

Therefore, today's Lazy Sunday pictures are of man's attempt to harness nature to provide electricity, i.e. pictures of dams. I realized after uploading these photos that I have no pictures of the most famous dam-the Hoover Dam. I think those were some that the computer ate, plus we used the camcorder to record most of our visit. I guess that means we'll have to stop back there someday.

Now to hope the power stays on long enough to post this....

The Grand Coulee Dam in Coulee, WA. There is a small museum/visitor center in Coulee explaining the history and the efforts that went into building the dam and the city provides a laser light show on the dam at night. Posted by Picasa

The Wanapum Dam displaced many Wanapum tribe members when it was built a few miles south of the town of Vantage, WA. The excellent Wanapum Heritage Center Museum next to the dam is a tribute to the Native Americans of the area. Posted by Picasa
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