Saturday, November 9, 2019

Black Moshannon State Park, Cowans Gap State Park,Pennsylvania; Big Meadows Campground, Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park; Claytor Lake State Park, Virginia; JomeokePark Campground, Crosswinds Campground at Jordan Lake, North Carolina; Cheraw State Park , South Carolina; and some pictures from New England summer.

From Ives Run COE Campground in Tioga, Pennsylvania,we take Route 15(instead of Route 287)south t.o Williamsport, From there we follow U.S. 220 south to Philipsburg and Black Moshannon State Park.  Above is a great gift to the park. A bench made to look like an open book. The open pages are painted with scenes from Black Moshannon. 

The lake and the trails.

And on the back of the bench, a night scene from a camping spot , Complete with lighted tent, campfire, and a full moon through the trees.

A good hiking trail around the lake. Note the bat house on the post.

One of the gifts of the Fall is being able to see things like this huge wasps nest.

Signs of active beaver around the lake.  They had a section close to the walkway that was roped off to protect a beaver lodge.

All the states do their lodging differently. Most have campgrounds. Some have shelters. And some, like above, have full service rental cabins. This one has an indoor and outdoor fireplace, grill, and more.  No water service inside though. Not quite full service.

Next stop follows US220 south to US22 southeast to US522 south to McConnellsburg. Then state Route 75 north to Cowans Gap State Park. 

Many choices for hikers from easy to very difficult. This one is part of the Great Eastern Trail and connects to Greenwood State Park. Also 2 miles of the Tuscarora Trail(110 miles) passes through the park and connects to the Appalachian Trail. It was actually built parallel to the AT( to the west) when it was feared that the AT would be closed due to over development before the 1968 National Scenic Trails Act.

You can just set out your chairs here for the afternoon and enjoy the view.

Picture from an earlier age when the Susquehanna River  was known for the Lumber production. In 1897 Cross Fork, above was the third largest producer of lumber in Pennsylvania. By 1920 it was a ghost town. 

The west branch of the Susquehanna River

Some great color along the camp roads in Cowans Gap.

On to the next campground, one of our favorites.  We take Route 75 south to Route 30 east to Interstate 81 south. That gives us a good scenic ride out of Pennsylvania, through a short section of Maryland and a short section of West Virginia into Virginia.  We like to keep heading south on Interstate 81 to Route 66 east to Front Royal . Then we prefer to head south on Route 340 to Luray. Route 211 then takes us up to the Skyline Drive. Since we are later this year, there is much less traffic on the Drive.(October 28 to November 1)

Some larger farms in Virginia

Jan and I take our chances at getting into Big Meadows Campground in the Shenandoah National Park. But it is after the main season of leaf peepers and there are plenty of sites in the Non-reservation section. Actually, at this time, there were no reservations at all.  This hawk greeted us in front of our campsite.

A number of deer roamed by our campsite. This young buck was grazing about fifteen feet away when I was filling a water bottle.

There was a large cold front that came through with lots of rain and wind. The plus of that was a very clear day afterwards to view the sights from the Drive.

Some colors were just coming in while others had already passed.
Big Meadows Campground was at 3,600 feet.

The red of the bushes and trees gives a different fall view.

Hard to avoid the haze.  Visibility up here used to be over 100 miles at one time. But now it grows shorter every year with the pollution.

From Big Meadows we head a short ways down the Drive to Elkton and Route 33 over to Route 81 south. The exit before Dublin takes us over to Claytor Lake State Park, another favorite.
Foliage is still bright here on the trails


A nature statement for the little guy?
A very healthy looking pine tree growing out of an old stump.
These colors around Claytor are looking a bit less than on the trails.

On the lower section of the park. Very few out on the water today.

Leaving Claytor, we head a short distance down Interstate 81 to Interstate 77 south into North Carolina. A little ways into North Carolina we branch off on Route 74 towards Winston Salem.  Along the way we take the exit for Jomeokee Campground in Pinnacle near Pilot Mountain.  This campground used to be a dairy farm . Now the owner has a 100 site campground and a side business of metal work. 

A great view of Pilot mountain from our site.
Not at all crowded.  If you decide to stop here, keep in mind that they do not take credit cards. Cash or check only.
One of the older buildings. A familiar look with the metal roofs and natural wood sides. From here we catch Route 66 to avoid Winston Salem, Then we catch up with Interstate 40 and Route 421. Then its  Route 64 to  Crosswinds Campground at Jordan Lake State Recreation Area.

We really enjoyed catching up with friends Bob and Elaine. Bob and I shared the smallest office space ever for about 33 years.  They treated us to a great tour of Raleigh and Cary.  So many things so close by. 
Adding a few pictures here from the summer visit to New England.
Friends Nancy and Dave with their granddaughter Cora Mae.

From earlier in New Hampshire, Alison and Jan on a rainy day.
Lady Blue is right at home at North of Highland Campground. Mostly a tenting campground with a short dirt path right to Head of the Meadow Beach in North Truro, Cape Cod. Dry camping.

This picture was taken at the Bookstore Restaurant in Wellfleet, Massachusetts . Hard to get everyone together at one time, but quite a few made it here.
Barbara has just taken the ferry from Boston to Provincetown to join in the festivities. The three sisters--Marsha, Barbara, and Janet.

A different meal. This time at Mac's Fish House in Provincetown at the end of Cape Cod. Sean. Bailey, and Lucas above. 
Recreating a move from the screen on the table. Ruby, John, Lucas, and Madison

Yes, Jan has her eyes closed. But she still loves this picture with Emilie.
Lilly and Grandpa Bruce at the Bookstore.
Above, Jan and Madison. How did she get so tall????
Scott with Lucas and Lilly in the screenhouse at the campsite.
Above are cousins Lilly, Emilie, Lucas, and Madison.
Thanks again to family for some of these pictures.
Madison, Lucas, Scott, and Lilly. On the wharf at Wellfleet harbor after some Mac's ice cream.
Lucas, Madison, Sean, Gary, Lilly, and Scott. All three brothers together.  Missed you Alison!!

Out in front of Mac's Fish House.
Linda, Marsha, Barbara, Jan, Gary, and Emilie

From Cary, we head down Route 1 to Cheraw in South Carolina and Cheraw State Park. It is the oldest state park in South Carolina

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Leaving New England--New York Finger Lakes, Ives Run Corps of Engineer , Tioga, Pa

Our last posting was a little over two weeks ago. That posting was the first in two and a half months.  Looking at the recent posting, we realized we may have been in overkill mode. I counted 16 videos on that last posting.  I don't see how any of you had time to look at all of them.  Good news---only 3 videos this time and the blog is a little shorter.  Always happy to have feedback.
We have had pictures of Sean(on the right)in the past at the Maine Marathon. This time Sean encouraged his brother, Scott(on the left)to participate. This was Sean's 12th marathon and Scott had a great showing on his first half marathon. More important-we think-they both had a great time. So did we-following the race and then  heading into Old Port, Portland for a seafood lunch. Special time with Bailey and Ruby at the marathon and also at lunch with Joe and Meredith. The brothers actually ran the first 6 miles together.
Also, kudos out to Bailey(Sean's wife)for running in the Mount Desert Island Marathon on Sunday.  A great run! Bailey had run in marathons before, including the Boston Marathon and is now getting back into running.

A number of campers at Walnut Grove were disappointed with the foliage colors going into October. Then the colors just seemed to bloom all at once.
This is an addition for the family history.  Jan's folks stayed here at the Maine Idyll Motor Court in Freeport, Maine on their wedding night , January 1, 1941. They continued to come here for many years. The same family still runs the business and has updated the facilities.

Do not panic!!!
Lady Blue is safe!!
We came across this collection of Volkswagon Westfalias on Route one in Belfast, Maine. 
As many of you know, Bailey is focused on old Westfalias. But we know others are interested or have friends who are interested as well.
A number of the relics should be probaby left where they stand. But some look in decent shape. And in the first picture above there is a neat green and white, old model(behind the telephone pole) with the split front window and a different looking roof popup.

These were some of the bright foliage colors in Maine. A cloudy day and still early in the foliage season.

The sign says Lebanon, Maine. Fun to see such a variety of colors in succession.

We are quite lucky to have family and friends who have introduced us to some great New England maple syrup.  The syrup above is another great addition to the family of maple syrups.  Alison introduced us to Thurston and Peters of Newfield , Maine last year.  We were happy to have a chance to visit again this year. Also, quite surprised that Debi , one of the owners, was out raking and actually recognized us. "You are the RVers who travel all around the country!" This visit we also had a chance to chat with her husband Harry. They are both retired school teachers. Harry is a wealth of knowledge on the property that has been in the family since the 1700's. He can tell you about all of the family that are buried in the cemetery, dating back to the Civil War and more. He can also show you pictures and tell you about the lead mining and the family farm way back. Not to mention how the property was spared from a disastrous fire in 1947 that consumed much of the surrounding area in Maine.
The following video is about 9 minutes long, but it is a great video of the property and also of the process of sugar farming from the early days to their modern production facility.  You can tell from the video that they are sticklers to making as perfect a product as possible. Talking to Harry, you know he is up to date on the best processes for modern maple syrup farming. But you also know that he is clear on preserving the history as well. On that note, please pay attention at the end of the video to their plan for the future preservation of the Thurston and Peters property.

On the video below. Once you cue up the video , click on the cross arrows to the left of the word "vimeo" to enlarge. Then hit the play arrow on the left.  Enjoy!
One of our definite necessary stops was at Carlson Orchards in Harvard, Massachusetts.  Harvard is an apple lovers paradise in the fall with a large number of orchards offering all kinds of apple products. This is Johnny Appleseed country! This year we noticed they not only had our Cortland apples and more, cider donuts, and cider; but they also had some apple hard ciders.

We left New England on the Mass. Turnpike. The colors were just as bright as the picture above. Good color into New York as well.
Leaving New England after Columbus Day is always challenging. Most campgrounds are closed and some that say they are open on their webpages are also closed.  We had luck with Deer Haven Campground in Oneonta, New York. They were officially closed, but allowed us to come in for one evening. A great little campground on top of a hill overlooking the town.

Many seasonal spots, but also some nice, woodsy, temporary spots.
 One campground that was still open, was Sampson State Park in Romulus, New York.  We had not been to the Finger Lakes region of New York in a number of years. They also had some great foliage color---and rain.

Even in the rain , the vineyards have great views of their grapes---still on the vines here--and Lake Seneca.  This picture is at Lamoreaux Vineyards. Our first visit was to Wagner Vineyards on a heavier rain day.  Really enjoyed their Meritage--a nice blend of three kinds of Bordeaux grapes bottled in 2012.  The vineyards in this area also have wonderful Riesling wines. 

The Lamoreaux Landing Vineyards is very close to  Wagner Vineyards on Route 414. The number of wineries in the Finger Lakes Region has multiplied since the 1970's.  Wine tasting requires some planning even if you have more than a few days.  We had a chance to visit a very nice winery with Gary and Linda, located in Foster, Rhode Island. Nickle Creek was a great visit as well.
  We enjoyed their Pinot Noir wine . We also enjoyed the Pinot Noir wines here in New York.  Again their boasts are about their Riesling wines and other whites.
Some of the fun here is to explore the websites.

From the Finger Lakes it was an easy trip down Route 414 to Route 88. A few miles brought us to Route 99 south to Tioga and Ives Run Corps of Engineer Campground.  One of our favorites!!
We reserved a different site this year. Still out in Pine Camp which is the dry camping section. Very quiet, but with a wonderful view.

Enjoying Fall!