Our community blogs

  1. blog-0867811001429057085.jpgblog-0867811001429057085.jpgblog-0867811001429057085.jpgblog-0867811001429057085.jpgblog-0867811001429057085.jpgFL 4-13-15

    As we near the end of our winter get away we decided to spend a few days unwinding. Yesterday we took a drive over the mountain to Culpepper VA. It was another beautiful blue sky day. The views from the mountain were spectacular. The balance of the day was spent at our CG enjoying the 70 degree weather.

    Today we traveled over the mountain again to have lunch with another Bradford neighbors. The Marshall's were in Virginia visiting Judy's sister Karen and her husband Mike. When we found that out we just had to have a get together. After a few stops at restaurants that were still closed for the season, we managed to find a Pub in Sperryville. All had a light lunch and 2 hours of nonstop conversation.

    Tomorrow will be spent getting Gracie ready for a 4 week rest in PA until we return for a wedding and finally bring her back to NH for the summer.

    Did anyone find the deer in the pictures with my last Blog?

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    We're planning a summer trip f/ our home in South Carolina to Canada's Maritime Provinces. We'll be traveling in our 39' diesel pusher coach. We've done a fair amount of research but would sure appreciate any helpful ideas or suggestions of places/things to see/do while there. Also, we're a little concerned about the availability of diesel fuel that far north as well as being prepared to cross the border into Canada.

    Is there anything special we should know about Canadian Customs and/or bringing a coach this size into their country? Any thoughts/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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    I've attached preliminary listings (Adobe PDF files) of Crafts and Seminars at our Western Area Rally in Indio January 7-11 2015. The Rally theme for 2015 is "Out of This World"!

    See you in Indio!

    -- Warren F352839

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    Hi Travelers,

    I am getting the word out about the upcoming 2015 WARE (Western Area Rally for Escapees) Rally in Yuba City this coming April 12-16, 2015. This rally is open to all RVers, and will be located at the beautiful Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds in Yuba City, CA. The fairgrounds have 200 electric/water RV sites, with grassy fields, large shade trees and spacious buildings.

    There are many events planned, from RV safety seminars to crafts, vendors, a classic car show, and much more.

    To see what is listed for the WARE rally, just go to to our newly updated website. You can register for the WARE rally online, or print out a registration form and mail it in. You can purchase Tee shirts for the raaly, and there are pictures of the past 3 WARE rallies, as well as information about Yuba City and the surrounding areas. There is also a contact page for questions, and a volunteer page, as well as a donation site to explore.

    Come see what the Yuba-Sutter Valley in California has to offer. The are has a rich history that goes back to the 1800s and the gold fields which drew thousands of miners to the area. Yuba City, Marysville, Sheridan and the Sutter Buttes offer visitors a new view of a California area rich in agricultural, historical and cultural traditions. Come take a peek at the website, and you may be surprised at what you will find at the 2015 WARE rally.

    Also, we invite you to join our FaceBook page at WARE (Western Area Rally for Escapees), where you will be updated with new information about the Rally in an ongoing fashion.

    Please remember that although this rally is open to everyone who enjoys the RVing experience, not just for Escapees. Call Rally Director Kathy Perry at 541-659-7208, or Publicity Director Donna Betteridge at 541-664-2130 for more information.

  2. blog-0570785001410019505.jpgOne of my favorite things to do is lie on the sofa, close my eyes, and recreate a trip....the miles, the feel of the road, the terrain, the people I see and meet along the way.

    I started in 2007, no sense pretending my memory is that, I'll begin with the most Labor Day trip to the northeast Georgia mountains to visit an old elementary school friend and her husband. For this venture I invited another school friend to join me. Can you imagine three girls who have known each other since kindergarten! This immediately changes the category to family, not just friends....I knew it would be crazy fun.

    Her husband is a peach and emailed me a new route. He starts, "I know you are a seasoned traveler, but here are some suggestions". Listen, if you can't take some good advice, then you deserve to be stuck in traffic in Atlanta, bogged down with construction or anything else that you might have encountered.

    Route 75 N to 285 W around Atlanta (avoid 675), on to 575 (branches right) and becomes 515. Takes you nicely into Blairsville, Georgia. Good road all the way. About a 10 hr drive for a normal person. Hey, what's the takes me almost that long to get bread and milk!

    Rivers Edge RV Park.....privately owned is a slice of heaven in the mountains. I was greeted with crepe myrtles,hummingbirds and a babbling brook! What more could you ask for. Check it out....better yet, take a trip up there.

    The laughing began.....and one of us doesn't even drink! The challenge was to name every nun we had from K-8. So many stories...turns out the one lay teacher that I emulated, my friends hated! Who knew....

    Ever hear of Brasstown Bald? Booger Hollow? You gotta luv NE Georgia......

    Now for the best part.....the Appalachian Trail - all 2100 miles from Georgia to Maine. First thought, we should all put this experience on our bucket list...........but wait, first read A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. My side hurts from laughing...

    Stay tuned!

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    Good Morning Fellow Travelers:

    One quick question, I'm considering traveling out to CO and visiting the Durango area. It appears that highway 160 running "west" off of I-25 is the most direct route. Does anyone have any "experience" with this particular highway?

    Thanks for any input.


  3. blog-0382258001403466100.jpgSince picking up the new motorhome, we went to Jon Walker's lake house in Southern Michigan, to Glamarama in Goshen, IN, then to our spot in Hearthside Grove at Petoskey, MI.

    We enjoyed our time spent with Jon and Sondra Walker. We parked at their lake house on Baldwin Lake in Michigan. There were several things to be done to get things ready for the summer; like get the party barge in the water. It had to be launched from across the lake. They go to the landing and Jon brings the party barge back to the house. Jon left Charlie to bring the truck and trailer back to the house. Charlie wasn't familiar with Jon's GPS and he didn't have his wallet or cell phone so he was left with no way to call for directions when he decided he was lost. After an hour and a half driving all around Michigan and Northern Indiana Charlie found his way back to the place where they had put the party barge in. He saw a man close by and asked how he could get across the lake and pointed to a house with a Razorback flag flying. The man said he would get in his vehicle and lead Charlie back across the lake. Charlie finally made it back to Jon's and promised he would not go anywhere without his cell and wallet again.

    If you didn't go to the Glamarama Rally you missed a good rally. They were completely booked with a waiting list. The entertainment was good, the food around Goshen was the best, and Jane Roush and her volunteers were excellent hosts.

    I really enjoyed the Ladies Tea. Along with the goodies, Pat and Sarah Getto were our speakers. Pat told about raising Sarah and most of us know what a special person Sarah is. Sarah and Pat answered questions from the audience.

    After Pat and Sarah, the pillowcase dresses that were made during the year for "Dress a Girl Around the World" were presented. The pictures below show a few of the dresses. There was a clothes line about fifty feet long filled with dresses. This organization receives donations of dresses that are simply made and given to girls around the world who needs dresses.

    blogentry-38545-0-98264400-1403466759_th This would be a quick and easy project for ladies who need something to do at their rallies. You can go to the website,, to find out about this organization. blogentry-38545-0-29341700-1403466495_th

    We traveled to Petoskey after Glamarama and it has been cool and rainy most of the time. Seems like everywhere we go it rains. Maybe we should travel to where there are droughts since rain seems to follow us. We have enjoyed the cool days. The cooler nights are great for sleeping. We are now rested up and ready for our next adventure to the northeast.

    We were visited Friday by Jon and Sondra Walker. They arrived in their new Tuscany. They were really excited about getting the new coach and they were giving it the shakedown ride. We are happy for them. I know their grandkids will enjoy it when "Nana and Papa" takes them on a trip.

    We went to a classic car show yesterday in Bay Harbor. They had cars that were from the early 1900's through the 1960's. Most of the cars were restored with original equipment. There were a few muscle cars and a "something" that started out as a GMC motorhome. It was called a "Deco-liner".

    We had visitors today from the Northeast. They are on their way out west and drove through Hearthside to look around. They saw our sign in the window and stopped. We had a good visit with Bob & Judy Constant and Dianne & Jeff White. Hope to see you again down the road soon.

  4. blog-0558550001401559165.jpgDownsizing from a 1400 sf townhouse to a 34 ft 7 inch Motorhome was pretty easy. We gave away just about everything - without much hesitation. Unless you count the 10x15 storage unit....... It is full of books and Christmas decor. But no coffee makers reside there.

    Pot 1: Cuisinart Grind and Brew coffee maker

    It was too big for the counter.

    It pulled too much electricity.

    Did we really need a 10 cup coffee maker for just the two of us?

    So it found a new home with our son. We can lovingly use it when visiting our in-law room there.

    Pot 2: Keurig

    No mess usage.

    Still too big for the counter.

    Very expensive to buy K Cups.

    Made the lights flicker.

    Bought those do-it-yourself K-Cup filters and pods.

    Too much trouble.

    So we moved the Keurig to the office. (I - Delly - had stocked up on the K-Cup sale at Target - couldn't miss the chance to buy all of that Caribou Reindeer Blend!) Just can't waste all of that coffee.

    Pot 3: French Press coffee pot

    No one really knows how to grind coffee for that pot. And you have to boil water first. And it is too much mess to clean...

    Pot 4: Hamilton Beach Single Serve Scoop Coffee Maker

    It fit on the counter.

    We could use our favorite coffees.

    Never had a decent cup of coffee from it.

    It clogged most of the time - thus flooding the small counter it resided on.

    Spent more time cleaning up a mess than actually drinking coffee.

    SO, no more holiday commercials for Pop!

    Six months and four coffee pots later we left home for a month with one purchase on our list: buy a coffee maker that was small, easy to use, and produced good coffee - we gave up on great coffee.


    We wandered into Ace Hardware in Greenville, TN. Asked the salesman (he was older than us and thought we had dropped out of crazy somewhere) if he had a percolator coffee maker. "You mean one of those camp types?" "Well, we might have one somewhere over here....."

    Sure enough - there were actually 2 on the shelf ...... along with years of dust.........

    "That's it!" we exclaimed as the salesman walked away, pretty sure we had lost our minds. We couldn't wait to get back to the RV and make some coffee.


    Does not need counter space - fits in a cabinet when not in use.

    Does not require electricity.

    The coffee is actually hot.

    The coffee is good - we will work on the grinding and perking to maybe one day have a GREAT cup of coffee!

    So why did I give away 6 antique percolators only to go looking for a new one?

    Now we have a new "grind and brew" system.

    Next quest: Find the perfect coffee beans, roasted just to my taste ....

  5. Picked up the coach today. Brand new, warranted, Cummins 6BT 5.9 diesel. Not a long block as we expected. Rocky Mountain Cummins Coach Care really took good care of me in this deal!! I came out smelling like a rose!

    Spending the night at Mountain View RV Park in that Infamous RV city of Van Horn, TX. Appears to be a very nice park.

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    blog-0242474001428185480.jpgblog-0242474001428185480.jpgblog-0242474001428185480.jpgblog-0242474001428185480.jpgblog-0242474001428185480.jpgWebsite promotion is time-consuming and costly, but extremely important in the process of development and promotion of the business. Owners of web resources the help of professional SEO specialist in Milwaukee WI to make the website appear in the TOP search engines, and it was visited by interested users. Even those who promote your own site, sooner or later turn to the services of specialists. Is it better than to waste their time and money on getting the result, far from ideal.

    Useful recommendations on the choice of the optimizer

    How to choose a SEO specialist who organizes private website promotion at a decent level? In the market of services for the promotion and search engine optimization there are many SEO. If you look for a specialist by trial and error, it is possible to waste time, and funds will have to invest a lot. You can promise a quick exit in the TOP for a low price. But should you believe such advertising? Generous offers are often free cheese in a mousetrap.


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    I'm installing the panels in the ceiling that I made in my shop. Hand made from Curly Redwood with 3 coats of Spar varnish.

    This remodel has been quite the experience. I'm looking at 2 more months until its 99% done. Then a shake down run and final stuff.

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    Do you want to start collect Russian stamps? You have to know some facts about rare Russian stamps. Because of an error in clichés released in 1908 comicopera brand of the Russian Empire became a philatelic rarity. The name she was given three circles-"pearls" between frame with an indication of the value and ornaments framing the Central oval emblem. On a standard four brand "pearls". There are other differences, even less noticeable: the font of the words "Postage stamp" rarity above 0.2 mm, the colon after the word "COP" (standard point) and the difference in the ornament.

    During printing brands in St. Petersburg printing house of the Expedition of storing state papers in the car along with the usual clichés loaded three trial made on the interim figures. Defective series went on sale in December 1908 and before the error was discovered, 15-20 instances of incorrect brands were sold out.

    Hydrated specimens is unknown, the value of "pearl" without stamp is 2.5 thousand dollars.

    The pineapple

    So philatelists call mark 1925 from the series "Gold standard". On the stamps of the first standard release Country Councils were represented sculpture Ivan Shadr "worker", "Farmer", "Soldier", and their prices were tied to the gold ruble, hard currency 20-ies.

    In the manufacture of yellow 15-kopek stamps peasant Goznak has deteriorated the machine, making the perforation, while other denominations were printed in full. In order not to disrupt the supply of stamps mail, Goznak sent a party without waiting for additional printing.

    Rare "grenade" due to the fact that in those years of philatelists of Russia was very little. Series "Gold standard" was intended to send to remote areas of the country and almost all of the stamps were used on purpose. Quick "grenade" estimated 750 thousand rubles.

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    Les raisons de cette décision peuvent être complètement différents, depuis l'urgence des besoins en liquidités et en terminant par la vente d'une voiture en vue de l'achat modèle plus moderne, répondant aux nouveaux besoins de l'automobiliste. À l'heure actuelle, il existe de nombreuses façons d'attirer l'attention des acheteurs potentiels à подержанному la voiture. Les méthodes traditionnelles ont été et restent des annonces dans les journaux, la randonnée sur le marché de l'automobile, ainsi qu'un autocollant sur la lunette arrière de l'auto avec le numéro de téléphone du propriétaire et de l'inscription «a Vendre». Cependant, le plus confortable et moderne, le moyen de la vente de la machine réside dans le fait de vendre une voiture en ligne.

    Pensez à cette technique pour plus de détails. La principale tâche de la propriétaire de la voiture au moment de l'annonce de réseau est la couverture de la plus grande audience utilisateurs intéressés par vendre Toyota a Montreal Généralement, ces personnes vivent dans des forums spécialisés pour les automobilistes, les sites des«marchés aux puces» et d'autres ressources de l'automobile sur les thèmes. En outre, contrairement aux annonces dans les médias, le placement de l'information sur la vente en ligne dans la plupart des cas, est totalement gratuit (avec sans doute une plus grande efficacité de cette méthode).

    Pourquoi internet est plus efficace? La réponse est simple: les visiteurs de ressources de l'automobile thèmes sont souvent les personnes intéressées par l'achat d'une voiture, et c'est le modèle proposé par vous, peut-être pas la plus appropriée. Aussi, ne pas négliger la grande vitesse d'apparition et de diffusion de l'information en ligne. Le journal populaire avec les annonces ne s'imprimera pas plus d'une fois par jour, alors que les annonces en ligne peuvent être mis à jour chaque minute.

    Outre le fait de communiquer en ligne est beaucoup plus pratique - il suffit simplement de laisser un couple de ses adresses électroniques et attendre une réponse. Les différentes méthodes de placement des annonces en ligne ont leurs propres caractéristiques. Par exemple, les annonces продержит vos informations sur la position supérieure de seulement pendant quelques heures, plus tard, qu'elle perdra de sa fraîcheur et de sa pertinence. Il ne faut pas se limiter à une annonce sur un site: il convient de le distribuer le plus souvent possible et sur le plus grand nombre possible de sites. Les fonctionnalités de réseau en tant que moteur du commerce sont pratiquement illimitées, donc vendre la voiture en ligne facilement.

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    Shipping to popular destinations and is able to deliver relatively high and stable income, even small towns need regular supplies of food and non-food items from the district center or other logistics centers. Also popular cargo transportation around the city, especially if you are building, developing business, there is no stagnation in the property market. How to organize a transport company, read our transport business support forums

    In the business plan of the transport company must enter the cost of creating a fleet that would meet the needs of potential customers. From scale-dependent and potential income.

    It's one thing to offer freight forwarding services (business plan of the company freight) in the city, and another to create a transport company for shipping goods over long distances, including abroad.

    The optimal solution will be the presence in the fleet of cars with different characteristics and capacity, for example:

    small vehicles (up to 8 tons);

    large trucks (capacity 8-25 tons);

    specialized equipment (excavator, tower truck);


    the tow truck;

    the container ship.

    Additionally, the warehouse must be equipped with special equipment for loading and unloading vehicles - RoHS, truck scales, with a total cost of 120-360 thousand.

    Read also: How to open a dispatching service of passenger transportation

    The cost of transport "pipeline" varies from half a million to 2-4 million rubles depending on the brand and model of the vehicle. To buy 5-8 machines will have to invest at least 6-10 million.

    How to open transport company six variants of receipt of equipment at its disposal:

    To buy with an initial payment of own funds in the amount of 20-30% of the cost of vehicles.

    To lease with a down payment of 10-20% of the cost of transport.

    Rent with drivers.

    Find the borrowed funds from other sources (see "Where to get money to start a business").

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    My wife & I were looking forward to retirement in our new RV. We aren't experienced in the RV atmosphere, but wanted to do it right. So, we bought a brand new 2014 big rig. My wife retired in December and we were planning to leave right after the holidays. But our trip was delayed with RV tweaks and troubles.

    It all started with a bad window, stained furniture, a faulty side awning and remote generator hour meter that wasn't working. Our dealership worked well with us to get most of these things taken care of. But, the generator hour meter wasn't so easy.

    We were told by Thor through our dealership service department that the problem was Freightliner's responsibility to fix. So, we picked up our new rig at the dealership and drove it to the nearest Freightliner service center. After a couple days, Freightliner determined that it wasn't there responsibility, but the manufacturer's (Thor). So, we picked it up (paying Freightliner $87 for their time) and drove it back to our dealer.

    We believe that Thor and Freightliner are be partners in the endeavor of putting these rigs together. We saw these two companies pointing fingers at each other with us stuck in the middle!

    Our service department was also stuck in the middle! Our service manager 'Jim' was on the phone between Thor & Freightliner trying hard to get our new rig fixed. Thor wanted the rig to go back to Freightliner. Well, we weren't going to take it... so our service department had to transport it. Freightliner had it for 3 weeks before finally fixing it. But, they determined that it was a Thor issue after all! Our dealer got it back and we were able to pick it up. But, our fuel gauge was down 1/4 tank (150 gallon tank).

    All we know is that we want to travel in our new rig. We haven't hit the road yet, but are getting close. We are very disappointed with our experience with Thor's customer service and quality control of the new rigs coming out of their factory. And, they still owe us $287... $87 for the warranty work done and $200 for the diesel fuel used to get it fixed. Quality control at Thor is poor. In our opinion, they really have trouble taking responsibility for their short comings!

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    Step #1: Check the Material

    A. Check to make certain that all materials have been received. Materials should be checked

    against the packing lists and Bill of Lading.

    B. Notify the shipper immediately of any shortages or product damage.

    Step #2: Check the Area:

    A. Clear the area where the used Ridg-u-rak pallet racking system ( is to be located.

    B. Check the area for all obstructions, such as lights, heating ducts, pipes, building columns,

    etc., to insure a clear area for the installation of the storage rack.

    Step #3: Lay Out floor:

    Recommended tools:

    Tape Measure

    Chalk Line

    A. Establish the rack lay out by determining the aisle dimensions and the rack position.

    B. Snap a chalk line establishing the front edge of the upright bases. The chalk line should run

    the entire length of the row of rack.

  6. Sorry it has taken so long to put another entry on this blog. I must confess that I (Gloria) have been writing Charlie's blog and will continue to write it. As you know, I am traveling with the "Prez."

    We left home on December 26 and went to Kennedale, Texas, to visit with Sheri Brewer and Gene Miller. We spent New Year's with them along with Rod and Ethel Sartwell who were also at Sheri's house. On January 2 we left Kennedale in Sheri's coach along with Sheri headed for Indio, Calif., and the Western Area Rally. Sheri needed worked done on her awnings and it could only be done at the factory in California.

    The weather out to California was good and we were ahead of schedule. We stopped in Arizona to visit Sherry and George Tomaszewski. They took us to a car show and it was fun seeing all the cars that brought back memories of days gone by. We also visited with Lloyd and Wendy Holloway and Steve and Beverly Martin in Havasu City. We did not plan on stopping by and they were surprised when we called and told them to look out the window.

    We arrived in Indio, Calif., and the Western Area Rally with lots of hellos and hugs. We have met so many people we feel we have family all over the country. We were invited to a BBQ with the Overland Trailblazers and had a good time. They are experts at BBQing and trimmings. We even signed up to go to their post rally on the Columbia River after the Redmond Homecoming.

    The Apollo Amigos also had us for breakfast on Saturday morning. We enjoyed the breakfast and especially meeting and visiting members of the chapter. They have a real "rally in a rally." They set up their own kitchen and have meals together throughout the Rally. What great fellowship we had with them.

    There were lots of vendors and seminars, and the ladies tea was really entertaining. They had Sarah Getto perform several songs; a fashion show; and Debbie Reynolds' daughter-in- law demonstrated her makeup by doing two make-overs.

    After the Western Area Rally Charlie went to Pomona, Calif., for a sight visit for the 2015 Winter FMCA Homecoming. I went to Las Vegas with Sheri, Wendy and Beverly. We relaxed, shopped, walked through the hotels, shopped, had good food, shopped, and just had fun laughing and being silly. After eight days in Vegas, Sheri and I met Charlie in Kingman, Ariz., and headed by to Texas. It was quite a sightseeing all the shopping bags and luggage going into the coach.

    We left Sheri's and went to Bella Terra in Foley, Ala. Tom and Lorna Eller hosted a Wine and Cheese reception for us and Charlie promoted FMCA. Attendance was good.

    On January 26 we arrived in Brooksville, Fla., for the SEA Rally. It started raining and did not stop until Saturday evening in time for the parade. The rain and chilly temperature did not deter anyone from seeing the vendors, attending the seminars, playing games, and going to entertainment.

    I enjoyed the vendors, too. They had different types of vendors that I don't usually see at rallies and money was spent. The ladies tea was well attended. The entertainment was a lady who collects vintage clothing. She had several models who wore the clothing well. Clothing from the Victorian era through the 1960s was shown.

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    blog-0647009001388619782.jpgIt's New Year's Day and the coach is loaded and ready to head out with Scottsdale, Az being our first stop. From there we will go to Las Vegas to attend a trade show. At the conclusion of the show we will make our way to Florida for the balance of the winter. We will not be using the most direct route from northwestern Ohio to Florida but it should be an interesting trip. I will attempt to post regular updates to inform family and friends of our progress.
  7. blog-0374596001387290665.jpgAfter several years of nagging, I finally managed to drag my wife, kicking and screaming, into retirement. I don’t know if it was because she’s a workaholic, or if she just didn’t want to be around me 24/7. Probably the latter. Regardless, we quickly bought a used 28-foot travel trailer and spent the next few months fitting it out. Our plan is to spend the winters in Arizona and points similar, spring and fall at home in Delaware, and summer up in Ontario. We discovered the Boondockers Welcome website about a month after we bought the trailer, and joined immediately. We planned a short trip up to Ontario as a ‘shake-down’ cruise.

    Unfortunately, health issues intervened, and we both ended up having back surgery, among other things. In spite of this, and after a lot of soul-searching, (and painkillers), we set Aug 16 as the day we were pulling out, come **** or high water. We looked like two cripples shuffling around with our canes, and my wife also had an arm cast due to a broken elbow. No matter; we were not to be deterred! Of course, as is usual with me, enthusiasm trumped common sense, and I over-estimated my rate of recovery, or, more likely, my abilities.

    We spent our first night near Allentown, PA. with our first hosts, ‘joeandkathy’. They're only 100 miles from our place in Delaware, but I was completely drained by the time we got there. I’d rather attribute that shameful performance to the surgery than to old age, but we’ll see next year. They have a beautiful place in the hills not far off the Blue Route. It’s like a park - nice, level, grass lawn, back in the woods, quiet. Joe was very friendly and helpful, plus he was really interesting to talk to. Take your GPS! Save your nerves for better things. It was a great introduction to Boondockers Welcome, and set the tone for the entire trip.

    From there we headed north towards Niagara Falls, stopping in to see ‘Faz’ near Dansville, NY. These two are a great couple, tons of fun. We sat and drank wine with them watching the sunset across the valley. Really, really nice. The yard and barns are full of equipment, old motorbikes, cars, tractors, steel, old machinery and an old travel trailer he’s restoring. I had a ball just hobbling around. They live in a converted barn which is done up beautifully. They let us stay an extra night so I could rest up a little, which we REALLY appreciated.

    We were soon headed across the border at Niagara Falls toward Elora, Ont. to meet Marianne and Randy, the founders of Boondockers Welcome. Their place is right in town within a short walking distance of the Elora Gorge and an old mill. Since we could barely walk, they drove us all around and couldn’t have been nicer. We wanted to spend an extra day there, but we had reserved a site in Killbear Provincial Park for a week and we had to get going. In retrospect, having fixed plans kind of defeats the purpose of the RV lifestyle, especially boondocking, and in future I’ll try and avoid doing that altogether, or at least give myself a few days cushion before and after. Still, we were here to learn.

    Speaking of learning, we spent six days in the park with no hookups. Never again! We need our creature comforts. We were constantly bombarded with acorns which ended up ruining our awning. We should have had hard hats. Hauling the sewage is no fun, either. Also too many rules and too many people.

    Leaving there, we headed over to stay with ‘Lesara’ near Magnetawan, ON. Les travels around in a Roadtrek and is a real gentleman. He has a beautiful piece of ground on a private lake way down a succession of back roads. It was too tight for us to get in, but he drove us down the trail and showed us the lake. We would have loved to stay there and hear his stories. He showed us a place where we could park that is used as a parking area by the DOT in winter and it worked out fine.

    Naturally, of course, health issues intervened once again and we spent the next week visiting various emergency rooms as we made our way south to Toronto. We were incredibly lucky to meet ‘Joseph Bonneville’, (not Joe!) and his partner, Monty, in Mt. Albert, Ont. They let us stay as long as we needed, seven days in all, while we got ourselves straightened out. We would have been in a bit of a pickle if not for their generosity, and we are sincerely grateful.

    We finally made it down to my brother’s house in Toronto. He figured that we could park our trailer in his driveway for a couple of days. I had my doubts but he managed to squeeze us in. While we were there I had the truck’s rear springs beefed up and new shocks installed. This made a tremendous difference in handling, but I could still only go 150 miles or so before I was worn out. When we left Toronto, we headed east for Gananoque, Ont. We found a real nice spot to boondock right by Lake Ontario. The next day we headed down I-81 towards Delaware. We had to stop in Syracuse to visit an ER there, so we lost a lot of time and ended up at a truck stop in Scranton for the night, shoe-horned between the big rigs. I can normally do Delaware to Toronto in ten hours flat (no trailer) but this time it took three days. It was humbling, to say the least.

    All in all, the whole experience was amazing. Everyone was so helpful and considerate, as well as interesting, and, in truth, we could have kept on going, in spite of our infirmities. We had a great time can’t wait to head south this winter.

    A few final thoughts on our experience:

    1) If you have to ask yourself if you can live without electricity, then you probably can’t.

    2) Taking a trip a month after having back surgery is sheer lunacy, but it was worth it just to be in Ontario in August.

    3) If you don’t think you can back your trailer in, don’t try.

    4) Don’t pull in to someplace you don’t know how to get out of.

    5) Fresh water is liquid gold; cherish it.

    6) Join Boondockers Welcome, then come and visit us in Delaware!

  8. Sometime in the early 1970s, my parents returned from Colorado to the East Coast to visit with family and to take care of unfinished business after our nine-month trip. Once we got there, my Aunt Cindy asked us to transport two horses to a show. So, my dad picked up a two-horse trailer.

    At the last minute, Aunt Cindy also asked us if we could pick up a pony they had just purchased in Chintogue at “Pony Penning Day.”

    My dad looked at the trailer and looked at the space in the front where tack and supplies usually go. Dad figured ponies were small and one would probably fit in this small space up front. He carefully cut an access door on the side and added additional hooks for tie-downs.

    Once we got to where we were to pick up the pony, Dad was unpleasantly surprised to find that the pony was much larger than he expected and it would not fit in the new space in the trailer!

    So we improvised.

    We built a ramp out of spare plywood and 2x4s to go up the steps to our motorhome. We threw down rain slickers, old blankets and hay on the floor in the back of the motorhome. With much pushing, shoving and cajoling from my dad and several other strong helpers, we got the pony into the back of the bus.

    From there, we drove to our next destination, which was an FMCA rally. We arrived late and found a spot to park for the night. My parents and I slept up front, but my sister slept in back with the pony. What other 9-year-old girl could brag that she slept with a pony!

    The next morning, we were all wakened with a loud whinny from the pony announcing that it was time to relieve himself. The rally attendees knew the Guenthers were truly crazy, seeing my dad shoveling manure out our back window!

  9. blog-0421031001385040874.jpg Almost since the day we left Maine, Michelle and I have been thinking about getting a dog......We had a beautiful guy that we fostered a little over three years ago. His name was Sparky and he was 8 or 9 when we got him. We had gone down to the local SPCA to get a puppy, and while we were touring the kennels, we happened to see him. He was very forlorn, just lying quietly in his cage in the midst of all the chaos. We kept coming back to him and finally our guide told us his story. They were not sure of his age but estimated him to be about 8-9 years old. 105 lbs worth of Mixed Labrador and they were treating him for heartworm and an ear infection. We immediately agreed to "foster" him for 90 days so that he could get better in a quiet comfortable environment. You might guess the rest....90 days came and went and we kept Sparky......for 3 more years. One of the best dogs I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Sadly, he left us a few months ago.

    So we have been keeping our eyes out and trying to decide what was the best pup for us. Lots of research here and other places about just what makes a good rv dog. Not too big but not too small. just right for us.

    They say everything happens for a reason. About 5 days ago, I woke up to see that some new campers had showed up, right next to us.

    960 Sites here at Ocean lakes and they pull in with 8 fresh little Labrador mixed pups. Just 4 weeks old and had been taken from their mother when they were only a week old. The wonderful lady that was caring for them already had 4 dogs of her own but couldn't bear to walk away so she had fostered them in hopes of finding good homes for them. Bottle feeding all of them 4 times a day, God Bless her.

    She had brought them to Ocean Lakes in hopes that there would be good homes waiting. She found three.

    What a great dog. Sleeps through the night (so far) and has yet to make a mistake in the coach. We had her checked out by the local vet and of course she had worms but we treated her for it. She is healthy. We are looking forward to many years with

    Miss South Carolina Sadie.

    You can follow Sadie and Michelle and I too as we motor around the Country Full TIme in our Coach. Like us at

  10. I'd noticed that the plumbing manifold had some rusty hardware, and was dripping.

    Actually, the first impression was that the Aqua Hot on the opposite side of the coach was dripping; but, good detective work and a drop light led me back to the true source: the Manabloc manifold.

    I'll spare you all the trials of rebuilding the manifold, replacing connectors, etc. and skip to the end: someone had not properly winterized the rig, and there are tiny cracks from freezing in the top of the stack.

    To the rescue came Louise Stout at Viega, who now owns the Manabloc name. She can be reached at 800-976-9819 Ext 220 and is one of those rare treasures we in the RV community love to have working on our side.

    Foremost, she told me that creativity on my part to undo the damage done by RV technicians' cross-threading the cold water supply line would parallel their own level of poor methods: it turns out that the threads atop Manabloc manifolds are NOT the standard plumbing variety, that they are a proprietary pitch. She referred me to Pex Supply equpping me with a part number (46414) for the correct 1" female connector that joins up to 3/4" Pex.

    Then, she looked up my manifold model number in their computer, pronounced it a rarity no longer in production -- heck, my RV is only a 2007 model -- and put in a work order for their shop to custom-build me its replacement. For $140, I get a new manifold and all outlet connections.

    Maintenance Recommendation

    Checking the plumbing manifold should be part of your monthly inspection routine.

    1. Open up the plumbing bay and inspect the floor for water. If power has been off the rig, rusty hardware might be the sole indication of leakage.
    2. Check under the rig for signs of long term leakage. Painted garage floors will have a telltale halo that indicates a leak/evaporation cycle.
    3. Touch the top of the manifold to ensure the recessed aren't harboring water.
    4. Check outlet fittings for security and leakage.
    5. Inspect manifold hardware for signs of moisture, eg rust.

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  11. We are currently in Elkhart, IN on our annual fall weekend trip with Sandy's cousin and her husband. The trip down on Friday was a beautiful fall travel day with puffy white clouds scattered around bright blue skies. But the weather forecast called for conditions that reinforce October's standing as a risky time for outdoor activities--rain, on and off followed by more rain and the chance of thunderstorms. Oh well, our last outing of the season was planned two months ago and we didn't plan for outdoor activities anyway. And the weathermen did increase their forecast average (if they keep such a statistic).

    Scout was boarded for the weekend to improve the experience for him and us. He will get to play with lots of other dogs and we are able to come and go without leaving him alone in the coach for extended periods. And, I don't have to be out walking in the rain multiple times a day which is most probably his favorite activity and one of my least favorite.

    The reason for choosing Elkhart as our destination was to visit the RV/MH Hall of Fame. Since museums, halls of fame, battlefields, etc. are not Sandy's ideas of a great time I have had to repeatedly try to convince her over the past two months that she was going to enjoy this one. I think she got more out of it than she expected (whew!) which means I may get to pick next year's fall destination. I am not going to go into detail on the Hall of Fame but I will say if you are in the area you really should make it a point to visit. I found it interesting to trace the progression of amenities in RVs since the first versions hit America's roads almost 100 years ago.

    On the way home today we are going to stop at Bontrager's Surplus in White Pigeon, Michigan to try to find a few items for minor repairs that are no longer made. If they don't have what we are looking for I guess we will have to start swapping original for replacement parts.

    This was our third season with our coach and it was our most ambitious with out of state trips to Nashville and Myrtle Beach and several weekend excursions, one of which included attending our first rally with an FMCA chapter in September.

    Once home we will empty the coach and get it winterized and start planning for next season's expeditions. Over the next six months or so I am going to be wishing we lived in a more temperate climate with the ability to be on the go throughout the year. But we are in the upper midwest and I still have a few years to work so it requires parking the rig for a large part of the year. But at least we get out earlier and stay out longer than our boating friends back home.