Monday, July 30, 2012

A Relaxing Day at the Campground

We had a relaxing morning enjoying out tea and coffee together and then making a good egg breakfast.  Cloudy start to the day, but eventually we saw some sunshine!  Ken and I took a short walk and then we all changed and headed to the pool.  Before swimming, we decided to play the 18 hole miniature golf course in the CG.  What a challenge!  Doloris decided it was challenge she would not accept again!  The men beat the women by a large margin, but only in the back 9.  The CG offered root beer floats, so some of us chose to partake or have ice cream only! 

Then we enjoyed sometime in the pool.  The water was cooler than we expected, but it is a very large pool for a CG.  Sat along the pool and read for a short time, and then back to Willie to shower and rest.   

Then the 4 of us continued our ladder golf competition which the men won 3 to 2.  Started to rain so we played cards in Martin's trailer - which the women won!  It didn't rain for very long, but it was a heavy shower.  Men started the fire at 7 so we could make our salmon and steak.  We invited the neighboring couple to join us for s'mores and snakes.  Called it a night around 10:45.

Sunday morning Ken and I took a walk around the CG.  We really enjoyed camping here.  A very large CG, but all of the sites are large and the "loops" are far apart.  Many amenities and the property is well-maintained and controlled!
The 4 of us ate breakfast together and then Ken and I were on our way home by 11.  These day went entirely tooooo fast!!

Saturday's storm ended with a beautiful rainbow.  A fitting end to a wonderful camping trip!

Friday at Thousand Trails Hershey Preserve!

We had a very leisure morning, only getting together around 9.  Enjoyed chatting while drinking our tea and coffee.  Then a great breakfast of fresh blueberry pancakes, sausage and "tons" of fresh fruit!

We took a long walk around the CG to show Fred and Doloris different loops for camping, the rec center, pool, miniature golf course, etc.  They offer many activities here and the facilities are very nice.  We ate lunch and then we drove to Mt. Gretna to take the Governor Dick hiking trail (about 1 mile) to the lookout tower.  Ken and I had hiked the trail many years ago, Fred had never done it, and Doloris thought she might have been on it when she was young.  We had trouble finding the right trail, many different trails merged at numerous locations, but eventually we found the tower.  It was a hot day for hiking, but we enjoyed climbing to the top and looking out and seeing Lebanon, Ephrata area, and possibly Manheim.  Right near the tower was a field where we could watch 100's of beautiful large butterflies.  It really was a gorgeous site.

Governor Dick Tower

These are the ladders inside the tower
to get to the top.  There are about
9 ladders and a landing between each!

Great view from the top!

Somewhere down there Doloris is sitting at a table!

Back to the CG by 4:30 after checking out a Class C that was for sale along the road.  Fred and Doloris are hoping to buy something abit larger in the next year or so and are keeping their options open.  We got together with Fred and Doloris for cheese, crackers, and wine.  Men started the fire and we got food ready for supper, including the corn on the cob.  Ken found a way to grill it on line and it gets delicious.  You husk the corn, rub it with olive oil, and then place in foil on the grill.  Takes about 30 minutes and has to be turned frequently, but it is yummy!!!  Nancy and Neil Savage joined us for a very late dinner, and then we made snakes around the campfire.  A 1st for Nancy and Neil.  We "broke camp" around 10:30 when it started to storm. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

More Fun on Thursday!

The 4 of us played 2 more games of Sequence Dice (men won best of 5) before we left at 5 to meet Sam, Kathy, and Susie at The Hideway in Mt. Gretna.  It was hot and they were predicting storms.  We were able to eat on their lovely deck and their new menu has so many great options.  Doloris and Fred were excited to see soft shell crabs on the menu!  My question is why??????

The campers are still very happy!

Smiling after eating her soft shell crab sandwich!  Why????

Sam and Kathy had invited us to join them for dinner!  They
had tickets for the show at the Mt. Gretna Theater.

Susie, Kathy's sister, is staying with them for a few days
and was able to join us for dinner.  We like when Susie
is in town.

Just when we got our bills, the skies turned very black and the winds started to intensify.  We quickly paid our waitress and just got into the truck when it started to rain.  We had heavy rains by the time we got back to the CG.  Apparently the storm at the CG was fairly severe, but we had no damage. 

The 4 of us spent the evening in Willie playing cards and 5 Crowns.  It was so much fun!  We split the wins in cards and the women won 5 Crowns.  Called it an evening at 10.  Hoping the weather cooperated tomorrow so we can hike Governor Dick Trail and climb the tower.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Our 1st Full Day at Thousand Trails Hershey!

Ken and I arrived here around noon on Wednesday, set-up, and then had lunch.  Both of us ready to relax so Ken took a short nap and I made some earrings.  At 4 we headed to the now permanent home for Neil and Nancy Savage here in the park.  They just started full-timing in June.  Both are still working but are enjoying the freedom of having no bricks and sticks house!  We had a nice visit chatting about the full-timing lifestyle. 

By 6 we returned to Willie and had supper.  Fred and Doloris pulled in around 7:15.  We took a short walk while they set-up.  The four of us enjoyed sitting outside and chatting till 11.  It really started to cool off.

This morning was cloudy and then we had showers.  We cooked our breakfast under their awning and ate together just sitting on chairs since it was still raining.  Cleaned up and then played 2 games of Sequence Dice with the men winning the 1st one and the women the 2nd.  By then the sun appeared so we got ready to go to the Lebanon Valley Rails Trail to bike ride.  It had really gotten warm.  We rode about 10 miles on the trail.  Fred got to ride his new bike and Doloris tested her new handlebars.  We celebrated by having ice cream or a root beer float at the local Twin Kiss.  So good!

It is now 3:15 and looking like we could have more rain.  We are supposed to meet Sam, Kathy and Suzie, Kathy's sister, at the Hideaway in Gretna for dinner.  They have a nice outside deck and a new menu.  We will see if the weather cooperates!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Another Camping Adventure

It has been a busy time since we arrived home last Thursday!  You know how it is - have to catch up with the laundry, visits with family, mowing, weeding, cleaning, etc.  Reality sets in quickly!!!!

Friday morning our daughter, Lanie, brought her two little ones to our house for us to babysit while they went to a wedding on Saturday.  Bob was in the wedding, so they were there for the weekend.  We had Samantha and Katelyn with us from Friday morning until Sunday at noon.  Jamie came on Friday morning with Bria and Cali so the cousins could play together.  So much fun to watch them interact -  a 15 month old, 2 three year olds, and Bria who is 5.  They are busy and active but entertaining.  Ken and I enjoyed our time with all of them, and Sam and Katelyn were very good while they were here.  We took them to visit my parents - a nice visit for everyone!  Samantha loved riding on Pawpaw's electric cart and seeing the fish and birds at Masonic Homes.  Ken and I were both exhausted when they left.  We understand why we have children when we are young!

Today we leave for a 4 night stay at the Thousand Trails Park near Hershey.  It is part of the Northeast Zone Pass.  The Martins will join us tonight and the four of us will be there until Sunday.  Unfortunately it did not work for the Kreiders or the Frankhousers.  We are looking forward to a relaxing trip with a bike ride in Mt. Gretna on the Rails Trail and maybe a hike up to Governor Dick!  Otherwise, not a whole lot on the agenda.  The four of us like to play games and cards, so it will be a lot of fun!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Back Home in Akron!

Ken and I left our campsite at 6:30 on Thursday morning and headed to the exciting "dump station".  We actually were on our way and out of the park by 7.  Got our last view of the 1000 Islands when crossing the bridge on Route 81.  Only made a few stops on the way home and arrived in our driveway at 3.  Then the work begins - unloading, unpacking, putting everything away, and doing the laundry.  Now there is very little food in the frig, so I was off to the grocery store.  The work continued until we headed to bed around 9:30.  We were exhausted!

Ken and I did do some talking on the way home about a Class A compared to our 5th wheel.  At this stage of our lives, we have decided that Willie, our 5th wheel is the best option for us.  Ken has become comfortable driving, backing and parking Willie and we really love the inside room with all the comforts of home.  We have an island in the kitchen area, and it just works well for us.  A Class A may be in our future, but the timing just isn't right!  Willie was so happy to hear about our decision!

We leave again next Wed - Sunday for a trip to the Hershey area, only about 35 minutes from home.  We will be camping with our 2 camping couples that we travel with many times from April to Oct.  It will be fun!

Our Final Day in NY

I know it is Friday, but this is the 1st chance I have had to blog about our last day in the 1000 Island area.  What a great place!

I must admit that I was not overly excited about this area when we 1st drove to our campsite at Wellesley State Park.  I expected a nicely wooded site, but we were basically on a "football field".  I soon realized that was not a problem - we spent so little time at the park.  So much to see around the area that we were gone from mid morning to early evening almost everyday.

On Wednesday, the 4 of us cooked outdoors and ate our breakfast outside.  By 10:30 we were on our way to the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, about 10 miles from the park.  What a surprise!  This is really a great place with so many old wooden boats, speed boats, motors, a history of speed boating, and the opportunity to be on the huge houseboat/yacht of George Boldt.  It is a treat to tour that boat.  After touring the museum, you can row a skiff (somewhat like a canoe) in the waters behind the museum.  What fun!

This houseboat was built around 1900!  It was huge and
had so much beautiful woodwork!

The large Dining Room!

Hallway leading to all the Bedrooms

A typical guestroom

The sitting area in the master bedroom suite!

The outside upper back deck!

The refurbished piano in the sitting room

Gorgeous wooden boats throughout the museum

Bella's waterfront restaurant and bakery!

Viewed this westie from the deck at Bella's!

Also saw this yacht!
From there we walked to downtown Clayton to see the local shops and have lunch on the water at Bella's Restaurant and Bakery.  What delicious foods and wonderful setting.  This restaurant is a must if you are in the area.

As soon as we got to the car, Ken got a call from the folks who were selling the Class A Journey that we had toured over the weekend.  They offered to have us test drive it and since we were only about 10 miles away, we said yes!  The four of us and the owners went for a ride, with Ken driving it for quite awhile.  The seller had given Ken quite an education of diesel Class A driving!  A bit overwhelming!

This 2005 Journey (diesel by Winnebago) only has 10,000 miles
and 1 owner.  Immaculate.  Lots of extras!  If you are looking
to make a purchase, you should check this out.  Asking $97,500!

Got back to Willie around 7:15 and Ken started a campfire.  We cooked dinner over the fire and had a 1st chance to make "snakes" on this trip.  Walked down to the water to get our last peek at a sunset from the park.  Of course Ken was excited to take more photos!

Ken is getting so good at these sunset pictures!  It really
was a beautiful evening!

Then we went inside to do a slide show of the photos Ken had taken on this adventure and there were lots of them.  Called it a night around 11:15.  Earlier in the evening, Ken and I had done a lot of preparation for our departure on Thurs. morning.  Can't believe our 2 week trip has come to an end.  We have certainly had a wonderful time exploring these areas and enjoyed sharing it with Sam and Kathy.  We travel so well together!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What a Fun Day with New Adventures!

Woke during the night to lots of howling wind.  Still going strong when we got up (up to 25 mph).  The four of us had an easy breakfast of cereal and then decided to bike ride about a mile to the Nature Center in the Park. 

The Nature Center had many nice displays, (Fred, you would have loved the info about beavers), and numerous hiking trails that left from the center.  Kathy, Ken and I decided to hike the Eel Bay Trail, which was about 1.3 miles and was through the woods and along the Bay.  1st thing we did see was a snake, not something Ken and I enjoy seeing!  It was a positively beautiful trail looking out at many of the 1000 islands.  Then we followed the Narrows Trail overlooking the narrow passageway from Eel Bay to South Baby.  Again such beautiful views of the water and high lookout points.  Stopped at the Butterfly House and then back to the Nature Center.  It was about a 4 mile hike that took us about 2 1/2 hours - we stopped numerous times to take photos!

Saw this Osprey nest on the way to the Nature Center!

Ken and I are not fond of these critters!!!

Such a beautiful trail overlooking the Eel Bay!

We stopped at several lookouts for a closer look at Eel
Bay and some of the islands!

We are happy campers celebrating life daily!

Another privately owned island with a modern home!

Saw him or her along the path!

This is taken from the Narrows Trail between Eel Bay
and South Bay

A beautiful photo of the Narrows!

This home was right on the point where the Narrows ended
and South Bay began!

Taken inside the Butterfly House

We were starved when we returned and thirsty.  Did have water with us but no food.  We will do better next time! 

After lunch we decided to head about 6 miles from Wellesley and go to 1000 Islands Park.  A lady we met during our hike today told us she is renting a house there for a month, which she has done for the last 22 years.  She was a "wealth" of information concerning the area.  She said we should take a drive and check out the area.  What a surprise when we arrived.  The little quaint village was at the end of a dead end road.  We don't believe many folks even realize it is there.  What a "throw back".  For those of you in Lanc. Co., it reminded us of an upscale Mt. Gretna.  Don't know much of the history but I think it was started in the early 1900's as a Methodist Tabernacle type area.  There is a beautiful inn, dock area, 2 old time gazebos, and all of the houses are a "gingerbread style".  Many of them are colorfully painted, have intricate woodwork, and inviting large wrap around porches.  Most people drive around in golf carts and they swim and dive from the docks or the large rocks since the "town" is on the St. Lawrence River.  We spent most of the afternoon there.  It is a great place to see the freights go up and down the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Taken from the pier at 1000 Island Park

What a Ride!  This was the St. Lawrence River, but because
of the strong winds, it had waves like the ocean!

These families were having fun swimming from the rocks!

A row of boathouses from the early 1900's!

Here are several of the homes in 1000 Island Park.
They were all built in the early 1900's and all were
beautifully maintained!  So colorful!

This is the town library, again built over 100 years ago!

The old gazebo that is right on the dock and swimming area!

Enjoying the view of the St. Lawrence River and Seaway!

Lots of people were jumping into the
water from this area.  Kathy decided to
go down the ladder to feel the water.
It was so choppy, but warm!

A severe storm with hail was predicted for this area and although it got very dark and extremely windy, the storm passed by us and headed North - Hallelujah.  Ken had pulled in all of our slides just as a precaution!

The evening was calm and beautiful so we played Kubb and the women won!  We were not as fortunate with Sam's rubber horseshoes.  They won both games.  Called it a day when the mosquitoes decided to come out around 9:15.  This was a special day.  Amazing how you learn about unique things to do just by talking to people!

.....and the women win!