Friday, June 24, 2011

Camping at Buttonwood Campground in Mexico PA

View from Willie!
Back on the Road Again!  Hallelujah!!!  Ken and I left Thursday, June 15 for Buttonwood Campground in the tiny village of Mexico PA.  This is the 4th time we have camped here and still love it.  The owners and all of the workcampers are so friendly and the CG is well maintained and offers many amenities.  Highly recommend it if you are in the area.  The CG is divided by a relatively quiet country road.  On 1 side of the road you are camping in an open field with grass, stoned level sites and many of them are pull throughs.  On the other side of the road (and our favorite sites) you back up to the Juniata River.  Just last fall they redid all the campsites along the river making them at an angle so you have a great view out the back of your rig.  The sites are stoned and again very level.  Amenities include a beautiful miniature golf course, horseshoes, swimming pool, playgrounds, game room, great store, bikes for rent, and kayaks and canoes for trips up and down the Juniata.  They put you in the water and then you call them to pick you up down river.  It is a wonderful relaxing trip down the river. 
We camped here with the 3 other couples we travel with many times through out the camping season.  It was also a celebrating time for both Marcia and Kathy retired from 30+ years of teaching.  Wow!  We  cooked over an open fire every night and finally enjoyed s'mores and biscuit snakes almost every night.  Wine really does go well with chocolate!!!  Bocce ball and Kubb was also part of our fun activities.  I don't remember very clearly who won, but I think it may have been the men!  The weather could have been better, but we really didn't have to change our plans even though it was overcast some of the time.  We did play games indoors on Thursday night when the rain started after we completed our dinner. 

Really not ready to leave when Sunday came!  We had way too much fun to head home.  Life and work just seems to get in the way!!!!  On Tuesday, July 5th, Ken, Sam, Kathy and I will be leaving for Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.  Hope to take a day trip into Canada!  Time will tell, but we are looking forward to this 17 day trip!!!
Several Baltimore Orioles in the CG.  You can
see the nest too!
Spied this immature Eagle across
the river from our Campsite!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

On to Jim Thorpe PA

Nice private camping site!
I'm doing a lot of posting today since I seem to have fallen behind.  Last Friday, June 3rd, we packed up Willie and were on our way to Jim Thorpe PA.  Ken and I love that quaint little village with the scenic train ride and the wonderful Lehigh Gorge Rails to Trail for bike riding and hiking.  We camped at the Jim Thorpe Camping Resort right outside of the small village.  It is a quiet, small campground that is convenient to the rails to trail and to several nearby State and County Parks.  From the campground you can walk or ride into Jim Thorpe, but the hill is a Killer!  You definitely have to walk that part of the ride.  You can also get on a beautiful trail behind the CG that goes to Munch Chuck County Park complete with a lake for fishing, boating, or renting of canoes and kajaks.  It really is a lovely area. 

The train did its job flattening
Ken's quarter.  Another
event off the "bucket list".

On Saturday Ken and I rode our bikes on the Rails to Trail for about 14 miles, stopping to eat our picnic lunch.  I heard the scenic train coming around the bend and immediately Ken ran up to the track to place a quarter on the rails.  He had recently mentioned to our friends how he always wanted to do that as a kid, and never had the opportunity, so he had it on his small "bucket list".  The amazing part was that most of the bike trail was way below the tracks and not able to be reached from the trail.  Also, there were 2 rail tracks so we didn't know which one the train would be on.  Fortunately he picked the right track and the quarter managed to stay on the rail.  After the train left the area we found the flattened quarter and Ken was able to remove that event from his bucket list!!!  Who says we don't get lots of enjoyment out of the little things in life!!!!!

Dane and Michele
 before the Triathlon!
 Our son-in-law and niece were participating in a triathlon on Sunday at Beltzville State Park, about 8 miles from our CG.  That was our main reason for going camping this weekend - to be able to be spectators and supporters at the race.  (Our niece had gastric by-pass surgery the Christmas of 2010 and has lost 140 and we wanted to see her achieve this milestone!)  So, they were all staying at a hotel near our CG.  We picked up our 4 year old grandaughter Bria and her sister, Cali so that our  daughter and her husband could enjoy an evening out and we would have the opportunity to have Bria and Cali have supper with us and then sleep in Willlie. My sister and her husband were in the area too, so they joined us for hot dogs and s'mores around an open fire.  Our campsite was right across from the playground so our grandaughters had so much fun. It was a special time for us too! 

We had to get the little ones up at 6:15 Sunday morning to get to the race.  Michele did the sprint triathlon and Dane did the Olympic one.  It is basically the same race but the Olympic one has longer distances.  Both of them did extremely well.  Michele beat the time she had hoped to complete it in by about 25 minutes.  Way to go Michele!  Bria showing her daddy's triathlon medal!  
We did more hiking and riding on Sunday afternoon and Monday before leaving around noon.  It was a fun time in the Jim Thorpe area!

The trail from the CG
to Manch Chuck
County Park

View from the riding and
hiking trail into Jim Thorpe!

Memorial Day Picnic!

Proud Grandma and PaPa with
our 4 grandaughters.  Hard
to get a photo of everyone
looking at the same place
and smiling at the same time!
In between camping trips, Ken and I hosted a picnic for my side of the family - about 20 including all our little ones and my parents who live a Masonic Homes.  They are 80 and 86 and we count our blessings everytime they are able to join us!  It was a nice weather day and all of us had a fun time.  My family likes outdoor games like ladder golf, croquet, yard darts, and our family favorite Kubb.  If you are not familiar with Kubb, take time to look it up on the internet.  It is a great game for anyone over about 10 years of age and 12 people can play or as few as 2.  It provides so much fun!  When we camp it offers great competition for the men vs. the women. 

The 3 little ones had fun splashing in the small pool and playing with the stomp rockets we had gotten them for Easter.  That is another good thing for smaller children.  We ordered it off the Internet and it is well worth the money.

The girls loved the pool
 with their cousin, Alexandra
Our daughter, Lanie, and
 her new daughter, Katelyn
The picnic was a success and now we are ready to get back on the road for some more adventures with Willie.  We are looking forward to a busy camping summer with our friends.

Samantha and Cali in Grandma's
ferns!! Happiness for
them, but not the ferns!!!

Playing with the stomp rocket!

Camping on the Susquehanna River near Harrisburg!

Again, my post is overdue, for this camping trip was the 20th of May. Unfortunately on the morning of the day we left, Ken dropped our camera and its work was over!!!!  So, we were unable to take photos while on the camping adventure.  Our friends have some photos for us, but we have not received them.  I decided to post info about our trip and add the photos later.  So, here goes!

Ken and I left on Thursday morning after a "graduation program" for our 4 year old daughter who completed her 2nd year of nursery school.  A milestone that Grandma and PaPa just couldn't miss.  It was fun to see how the children have "matured" since the program last year.  A lot less crying and shyness.

We were on our way to the Ferryboat Campground around 11:30.  Just as we left our driveway, it started to drizzle.  It had stopped by the time we arrived at our destination, about 1 1/4 hours from home.  We got out of the truck to register and Ken asked if we should take an umbrella. (It was starting to look threatening).  Of course, I said, "It won't rain till we come back".  WRONG!  Not only did it rain, it poured!!!!  We waited for 20 minutes in the office till we could run to the truck and only get damp!  When we pulled into our designated site, we were unable to get out of the truck - deep puddles on both sides.  Also, we couldn't see the sewer hook-up.  After calling the office from our truck, we discovered we were ON the sewer hook-up that was buried under the water.  Wow!!!  So, they guided us to a different site where we would still be beside our friends.  This time we were able to get out of the truck on Ken's side without losing our shoes in the puddles.  We worked together getting set-up in a light rain.  Great way to start our 4 day camping adventure, but at least we were still laughing!

Our friends, Fred and Doloris arrived in time for supper and we were able to cook over the open fire.  But, right after we finished eating at the picnic table the rain started again.  We had a fun evening playing cards and games in Willie!  Our other friends, Sam and Kathy arrived around lunch time on Friday.  The rest of the weekend was fairly rain free, but overcast.  We did go to a local winery for wine tasting and an Amish market that was nearby for homemade sticky buns and a few other goodies.  This campground would be a great place to camp later in the summer when the ferry is in operation and you can kajak, tube or canoe on the Susquehanna.  None of that was happening while we were there due to the high rough water.  They have porch type swings on the shores of the Susquehanna which are relaxing and picturesque when drinking your morning coffee.  We ended our 4 day weekend with hot dogs and s'mores over the open fire for our Sunday lunch send-off.  It was a fun weekend not far from home.
Beautiful rainbow over the
 Susquehanna River