Monday, October 16, 2017

The Ravages of War (Gettysburg Part 2)

Lest we forget- Rudyard Kipling

What man has done to his own kind is the most horrific thing imaginable!
“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.”― Voltaire
“Our hearts, the war.  Her body, the battlefield.” ― Rick Yancey, The Last Star
“All war is a symptom of man's failure as a thinking animal.” ― John Steinbeck
“How is it possible to have a civil war?” ― George Carlin
United we stand; divided we fall.  - Aesop (c.620-560 BC)

Violence begets violence.    Martin Luther King Jr.
“who wishes to fight must first count the cost” ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

War ends nothing. - Central African proverb

War is sweet to those who haven't experienced it.      Latin (on war and peace)

“War is what happens when language fails.” ― Margaret Atwood

“No soldier ever really survives a war.” ― Audie Murphy

“Only the dead have seen the end of war.” ― Plato

“If we don't end war, war will end us.” ― H.G. Wells
“and when all the wars are over, a butterfly will still be beautiful.” ― Ruskin Bond, Scenes from a Writer's Life

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Gettysburg Part 1

            The Battle of Gettysburg, fought in July 1863, was a Union victory that stopped Confederate General Robert E. Lee's second invasion of the North. More than 50,000 men fell, making it the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War.

This most famous and most important Civil War Battle occurred over three hot summer days, July 1 to July 3, 1863, around the small market town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

It began as a skirmish but by its end involved 160,000 Americans.

Walking on the grounds of this expansive site is emotional, inspiring, spiritual, and solemn.

Monday, September 11, 2017

The Sweetest Place on Earth®

Getting around in traffic or in small areas is often easier while separated so sometimes I drive the toad, aka Jeep behind Kathy in the RV.  This was the case while touring about Hersey, PA.  Amidst the beautiful rolling farm lands, Hersey is a mid-sized town built on the chocolate industry developed there.

The quaint historic downtown is beautiful.  It is clean, well maintained and decorated to enhance the tourist atmosphere.  Here you find the Hersey Story, the museum on Chocolate Avenue.  I highly recommend visiting it.  You might even earn your stripes as a chocolate worker by learning about the Hersey processes through interactive demonstrations.  

Just in case the kids drag you to the amusement park first make sure you take the free ride through the factory.  You’ll see the packaging on the assembly line as you learn while riding on a mousey ride through the tunnel of chocolate.

Lastly, plan on how much chocolate you can take home with you as they have many delights for purchase in the store.  Tastings are available as well so try some of the more unique flavors not offered in all locations.  My new favorite macadamia nut and dark chocolate!

Friends and fun

Make new friends
But keep the old ones
One is silver and
The other gold

Life on the road is exciting, inviting, and sometimes lonely.

Relationships are an important part of making full time RVing a fulfilling lifestyle.
Our dear friends ruth and jim have helped keep us on the road with RV advice and emotional support and can always be counted on for anytime of support.  We have introduced our family and friends to you our readers as they are definitely parts of our journey.  Not having a sticks and bricks home to invite friends to visit means meet them on the road whenever and wherever possible.  

After a long day of driving and an even longer set up do to unleveled campsites, we are finally in place for a couple of nights. We look forward to spending some time with some good friends.  Janet, senior systems engineer and Sandra a retired special education teacher from the Baltimore area were our hosts and guides to a fabulous Baltimore trip previously.  This time they joined us, camping.  

We met at Cordorus State park near Hanover PA.  This is a large great rustic campground with beautiful trees.  Our friends brought their kayaks.  They enjoy this form of transportation and wanted to share it with us on nearby Lake Marburg.  The flat calm warm waters made Kayaking a very non threatening form of exercise. Who knew it was so much fun...and not too hard.  The toughest part was getting in and out without getting wet.  

Gliding across the water is wonderful way to bird watch along the shores as one can approach quietly to water bird perches and watch eagles fishing.  I'm still not sure how accessible kayak fishing is but I've watched many kayakers enjoy both these sports together.

Topping off a great day with friends that included BBQ chicken and duckpin bowling and finally Uncle Wigglys ice cream in Baltimore.  Duck pins are about half the size and the ball doesn't have holes and is the size of a softball.  The Baltimore lanes are the same lanes used by baseball great Babe Ruth.  We always look for them in our travels after being introduced to the sport by Janet and Sandra. That's what friendship is all about.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Rhode Island and Connecticut

We are ready to be off the road. How do I know?  We are arguing about the crappy east coast drivers.  I’m trying to defend their lack of turn signals and aggressive lane changes while Kathy is beginning to be aggressive back.

Our plans to visit friends on Long Island via Manhattan have been determined not only impractical but totally ridiculous.  Why did we ever imagine driving an RV and towing a Jeep through the area even possible?!  I am worried about money, as we have dropped below the number I set as our bottom line spending limit. We also have to make plans to drive to Washington State - 4,000 miles back to the west and we haven’t even gotten to our next refuge commitment yet.

Back to now and the rest of our daily bliss of full timing.  Our RV steps are tired.  We have the type that automatically retract when the engine is on and the door is closed.  Great idea and so far, no issues with the motor. The area where the steps are is also the house battery area and is open underneath for access and dissipation of heat. The problem is that there is not enough real metal to connect the frame of the steps. With daily use, the weld along one side of the stairs has broken nearly half way through. We are worried they may fall off, or worse, get stuck in the out position.  We call our friend and master RV tech, Jim, and confirm we need to find a welder.  After a few calls, we find a company that works on semi-trucks and can get us in when we get to Providence.

We exit the freeway, drive through the poorer side of town into the industrial area and find our rescuers.  Kathy, Frances and I take a Jeep ride and find a cafĂ© alfresco lunch near Brown University. Meantime, they weld and install a bracket to hold the stairs.  All this in 4 hours and a cost of $142. Yeah, happiness in Providence.  We stay disconnected and get back on the freeway to drive to the other side of town. We park at Cracker Barrel for a free night of dry camping.  The stay was loud and sleepless because we were too close to the freeway and shopping centers. Sometimes, it's the price you pay for cashless urban boondocking.

After a short drive to East Hartford, Connecticut, we meet new friends and a potential employer for dinner.

In Kathy’s previous life, she became an inspector of higher education law enforcement facilities. One of her contacts, Jack, lives in Hartford. Kathy has stayed in touch and has considered working with Jack, who manages a university law enforcement accreditation organization. We are thinking that this would be a good employment opportunity while moving around the country.

It’s always awesome going out with locals who know where to go.  We enjoyed a fabulous Italian dinner and intelligent conversation with Jack and his wife.  We hope they find the time to enjoy more travels soon.

We boondocked again at the local Cabella’s and get our fishing reels restrung.  Even though were were close to the airport, it was quiet, clean, and had a dump station available (reduced price with purchase).  Out of our regular choices of urban boondocking spots, which include Wal-Mart, Cracker Barrell and Cabella's, Cabella's is our favorite. Here's Kathy being a Cabella model.