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.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

More Massachussets

 Salem Mass. the town of mystery and history.  We drive around historic homes including the House of Seven Gables.  In 1668, merchant and ship-owner John Turner built a house on Salem Harbor that was destined to become one of America’s most beloved historic home as depicted in Hawthorne’s novel.

 Finding public parking we were able walk around the area of the witch trials.  It’s sad to think about how people can be so prejudice toward others out of fear.  Residents in colonial Massachusetts accused people of witchcraft between February 1692 and May 1693. The trials resulted in the executions of twenty people, fourteen of them women. Five others (including two infant children) died in prison.

Behaviors such as excommunication from church, confiscation of land and property and torture in which the subject is pressed beneath an increasingly heavy load of stones were used to converse guilty pleas. Eventually those who admitted guilt were hung and denied Christian burials.

This one might have been a relative.

We appreciated the current respect shown with fresh roses weekly.

Searching for happier times and more acceptance we head to Provincetown.  The Jeep transported us again and even with this small vehicle, parking is hard to find.  Finally, we find a lot for a restaurant, why not?   Lunch at Bubalas by the bay, very LGBTQ friendly and good food.  We people watch and enjoy the weather.

Then a drive to the National seashore area and view lighthouses. Somehow taking a wrong turn, we end up Jeeping on horse trail.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Boston, Mass

After days of conversation about our options and enjoying the dog days of summer in New England, we travel to Boston. Trying to see Boston in a day was a whirlwind.  We start at the USS Constitution, Old Ironsides is as impressive as reported.  The whole waterfront area is a must see.  



As we start to drive to other locations in town we learn all reports about narrow streets and lack of parking is as reported.

Many areas of the city are difficult to drive and limited parking is expensive.  We find ourselves being bad tourists and driving site to site.  I take pictures from our moving vehicle, the Jeep, and read about history on Wikipedia.  Of course we see a demonstration on the steps of the capitol just blocks from the office of Ally McBeal, our favorite character from Boston, sorry Cheer's.

Finally stopping for coffee in Quincy near Adams homes a National Park. The beautiful warm day gives us more time for continued thoughtful conversation. We decide, we don’t want to sell the RV and we are going to need to find work at our next stop so we don’t deplete our savings.  

We receive a call from our friend Ruth in Washington with an interesting offer.  She works part-time at an RV and boat storage lot.  Her boss is looking for a live-in overnight security guard in Bellingham. There is no pay for the position but free RV spot in exchange for our presence.  We agree to head to Bellingham, Washington after our commitment at Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. 

We celebrate our decision with our friend Dara from California who is visiting family in Boston.  She takes us out for a wonderful Italian dinner in town.