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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fishing on the Mohawk

We're staying at a campground on the Mohawk River in New York, and after dinner we decided to try a little fly fishing.  No luck with the fish, but we caught a beautiful twilight.  Here are two photos:

Departed Cooperstown @ 12:30 - arrived Arrowhead RV Park, Glenville NY @ 2:30 pm

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

"Kind of An In-Between One"

Today was kind of an in-between one, to quote Dave Matthews.  It started out warm and sunny, although cooler than yesterday due to the thunderstorm that drove through yesterday evening.  This morning we decided to take a hike at Glimmer Glass State Park, situated on the Northeast shore of Otsego Lake.

The park has two hikes:  a 3.5 miles hike up and down Mount Wellington, and a 1.6 mile hike around the beaver pond.  As we planned it, we would hike Mount Wellington, then have a little lunch on the beach of Hyde Bay.  After lunch we would hike around the beaver pond, and then stop for ice cream at Banana Dan's on the way home. You know what they say about best laid plans....

The hike up Mount Wellington was a beautiful, humid forest hike.  The ground was still damp - and in places very muddy - from the storm last night.  The only person we saw was a local woman walking her black cocker spaniel; we encountered her as we neared the summit of the mountain. Upon seeing the small black shape running through the woods, Kathy immediately thought - bear! All because of the practical joke our brother-in-law Tom played on Kathy on a similar hike through the woods on Memorial Day Weekend about 10 years ago. This little black bear was more interested in chasing chipmunks.

Here's a photo of David on the hike:

The hike ends at the service road entrance to Hyde Hall, at the gate called Tin Top.  We passed through the gate and the mansion on our way back to the truck.  Arriving at the parking lot, we saw not one, not two, but THREE New York State Police SUVs parked around our truck, looking surely as if they were intentionally blocking the truck.  Uh-oh.  This could mean trouble. The closer we got, we could hear the engines running and dogs barking. Now, I know we didn't pay the $7.00 entrance fee to the park because there was no one in the gatehouse to collect it (budget cuts), but I didn't think that warranted three state troopers with attack dogs. Our fears were put to rest.  They were just there for a training exercise.  In fact, it was lunchtime and they were just wrapping up.

Before leaving the trailhead parking area, we logged out at the trail register, and who should we encounter but the woman with her cocker spaniel!  Now we felt like old friends.  This time, the dog let David lay a passing hand on him as the dog walked by, but even so, the dog didn't linger.

We drove down to the beach for lunch.  Just as we arrived, it started raining.  This had not been in the forecast.  Nevertheless, the sky was darkening and there were large grey clouds looming overhead.  We decided to seek a picnic table under cover for our lunch.  Here's a view of the beach:

As we finished, a group of young people had come down to the beach and were trying to decide whether to go swimming.  They may have initially mistaken us for park rangers, because they elected one of the guys in the group to come up to ask us whether it was okay to swim.  David said, "I don't think they want you to swim, but I'm not going to stop you."  It was clear from the young man's face that he found no trouble interpreting this to be a complete and unconditional authorization for them to swim, and he ran back to the group of young women and men, who all immediately tore off across the beach and splashed into the water.

Because it was so rainy, we decided to skip the shorter beaver pond hike (our first disappointment of the day), and instead drove home, anticipating our reward of ice cream at Banana Dan's.  This was to be our second disappointment today, because when we arrived at Banana Dan's and looked carefully at a sign on the front door, it read:  "Private Residence - We Do Not Supply Ice Cream or Directions." (This will make our brother-in-law Tom somewhat happy. He was looking forward to having ice cream at Banana Dan's, but we were too full to stop last week. Good thing we didn't.) Now, you would think that if the ice cream store is no longer in business, that they would have taken down the road signs that are at least 1/2 mile from the location on both the north and south sides of the highway. You'd think they would have also taken down the Banana Dan's sign in the parking lot or at least put a "gone out of business" sign up, or something. I think it must be someone's idea of a cosmic practical joke just to see how many tourists stop for ice cream when all the locals know that Banana Dan went out of business 10 years ago!

Back at the RV, it turned out that there had been a severe thunderstorm at the campground while we were gone, and it dumped even more water on the site than last night's storm had done.  The weather was still threatening, so instead of going for a swim (our third disappointment), we decided to retire into the RV and do some indoor chores.  David worked on arrangements for inspection and maintenance for the truck when we're in the Bennington area, and Kathy did the laundry.  Later in the afternoon, we tackled restringing another one of our window shades.  While not very exciting, the afternoon was productive.

Blogging has become a family hobby. Even Lucky gets into the act. He insists on putting both paws on the track pad of Kathy's laptop.  If you look closely at the Mac screen, you will see that it is this very blog.

I think it is time to stop when you start blogging about blogging.

This blog entry was brought to you by Dave and Kathy and Luckie!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Day After Memorial Day Weekend

David:  Today was a fairly low-key day.

Kathy:  First Adventure - finding the post office.  Mike, the campground owner, said it was across the street from the Amish Candy store.  Apparently, across the street, has different meanings for different folks.  In this case, "across the street" was two blocks down. 

David:  Yes, and while you searched out the P.O., I chatted with a local truck mechanic about what I should do about the slow seep from the drain plug in the truck's diesel tank.  He agreed with me I should wait until I service the truck because I might have to drain the tank to repack the packing around the plug.

Kathy: Second Adventure - washing the truck. On the way home from Albany last night, we drove through a storm cloud of bugs - big ones, little ones, green ones and those special glow in the dark ones.  We call them lightning bugs, but other refer to them as fire flies (not to be confused with that excellent SciFi drama by the same name). We could barely see out of the windshield by the time we got back to camp. While the car wash did have a bay large enough for our truck, the scrubby brush was broken. So, being the resourceful RVers that we are, Dave took the broken handle and squirted out the foamy soap and I followed behind with the brush head in hand.  All in all - not a bad wash job.  At least the front of the truck is not covered with dead bug bodies.  Oh, the romance of the open road!

Dave:  And the truck looks much cleaner than it has since we originally hit the road!  After we got back, we planned the rest of our campground stays into August when we leave for China.

Kathy: Having finished the trip planning, we decided to get a little exercise.  We plotted a short little bike around around the neighborhood.  Just to go around the block was almost 8 miles. We are smack dab in the middle of farm country. We have several Amish neighbors as well as a woman who raised Arabian Horses. The bike ride as uphill both ways!

David:  When we got back from the bike ride, we jumped in the campground swimming pool, which was so refreshing!  We decided to dry off and run back to the RV, however, when an afternoon thunderstorm loomed.  We checked it out on and found a severe thunderstorm warning with risk of quarter-sized hail.  Winds were picking up and we exchanged lines including names such as "Aunty Em" and "Toto."

Kathy: We knew we were in trouble when the NOAA radio that Deb gave us started broadcasting dire warnings. We called over to the camp office and Gail told us to come over to the office and hang out with them. If the weather got too bad, we could go down into the basement game room. Before heading over to the office, we secured our TV antenna and brought Patty (out patio tomato) inside and told the cats to keep an eye out for her.

David:  We spent an enjoyable hour or two, drinking wine, playing Scrabble and gossiping with Mike and Gail.  They had lots of ideas for places we might visit in our RV meanderings.

Kathy:  The storm passed without so much as a power flicker. We returned to our RV to find sleeping cats and a crockpot full of veggies and corned beef!

David:  We finished dinner off with some leftover "Robert Redford."  Kathy has to explain further.

Kathy: Not fair. Why do I get all the hard jobs. I am not sure I can explain Robert Redford. It is the name of a special dessert that Tim and Pam introduced us to from Emile's Restaurant in Geneva, New York. The chef likes to put together all kinds of yummy dessert stuff in an Oreo cookie pie shell, there's cream cheese, chocolate mouse, whipped cream, cookie crumbles and chocolate chunks. One forkfull and you are in a diabetic coma for a month!

David:  Which brings us to where we are now:  in a wine-and-Robert-Redford coma, stretched out on our easy chairs, trying to figure out what the heck to put in the blog about today.

Kathy: FYI, next time we share blogging, it will be with my computer. I just can't type on this big clunky keyboard. :)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Just Hanging Out

Today was a wonderful day.  Laird and Risa drove out from Albany and spent most of the day with us.  We munched, drank a little beer, ended with s'mores, and generally just yakked.  Oh, and we all watched a little campground TV.  Tomorrow we'll reverse that spin and we'll drive into Albany to visit them!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Green Acres is the Place to Be....

Hi Blog,

It's Kathy. Dave and I have been doing our best to keep Eileen and Tom busy on their vacation to Cooperstown.  As part of the Cooperstown Beverage Trail, we stopped at Fly Creek Cider Mill where Eileen and Tom "pitched" in to help press some cider.

The Farmers' Museum houses the Empire State Carousel - a hand crafted carousel containing New York history and 24 whimsical riding animals representing the critters found in New York State.  Of course, I chose to ride Percy the Pig and Eileen hopped on Betty the Bunny.

Today was shopping day.  We set Tom loose on downtown Cooperstown to mine the various and sundry shop looking for prized baseball memorabilia.  Dave, Eileen and I took a land cruise around Otsego Lake, stopping at Hyde Hall. This 50 room limestone mansion was built for George Clark sometime around 1817.  The house was abandoned by the owners in the 1940's due to the high cost of upkeep. The State of New York took over the mansion and grounds and created Glimmerglass State Park. A private non-profit is working on the restoration. It was very cool to see the rooms they completed, as well as the rooms in various states of re-construction.

The day ended with one of our favorite camp activities.  Watching camp TV - a/k/a watching all the weekend warriors come in on Friday and set up their outrageous outdoor dining areas. Some bring it all - tables, chairs, TVs, refrigerators, puppy cages, night lights and camp fires.

Bye Eileen and Tom.  We hope to see you in a few months.  Happy Trails!


What really happens in the RV!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Back, Back, Back...It's a long drive to Central New Cooperstown!

Hi Blog, I am Kathy's sister Eileen (Leenie) and will be this week's guest blogger.  My husband, Tom, and I traveled to central NY and met K & D at the Cooperstown KOA.  We arrived on Monday, May 21st to a partly sunny day.  After a quick lunch in the RV, we headed out to the Farmers' Museum.  We saw antique farming equipment and buildings that were relocated and restored to give a feel for what life was like in rural America last century.  Tom especially liked the Blacksmith demo.  

On the next day we headed into the town of Cooperstown to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame.  For the folks who know my husband Tom this was a type of pilgrimage for he is a huge baseball fan.  Kathy and I visited our Dad's favorite player/announcer Richie Ashurn, complete with our Richie Ashburn jerseys.

The picture below is dedicated to the ladies who played baseball during WWII.

Cooperstown is located on the finger lake named "Otsego".  This lighthouse was located near the Lakeside Motel where we took a lunch break.

Wednesday the retirees and the vacationers went on a beverage tour of the local winery and breweries (4 in all).  The tour ended at the Ommegang Brewery where we had an education tour and tasting.  This was followed by a lunch at their cafe.  It was a very popular place and the food was delicious (especially my Belgian Waffle).

Thursday, we took the scenic route along Rt. 20 which took us into Albany, NY the home of Laird and Risa (Dave's brother and sister-in-law).  We all meet at Cafe Madison's for a tasty brunch.  We visited at Laird and Risa's house and Tom compared notes on being an avid collector.  A visit to Albany would not be complete without a stop at Kurver Kreme for a delicious ice cream treat.

As you can see our vacation is flying by.  We are planning a final visit into Cooperstown for souvenir shopping and possibly a lake boat tour.

Bye from the blog :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Seneca Falls, NY - I'll Have Another!

We spent a wonderful three days in Seneca Falls, most of it with our friends Tim and Pam.  Seneca Falls is located on Cayuga Lake, one of the Finger Lakes.  Our camground itself was in nearby Waterloo, set on the banks of the Cayuga-Seneca Canal, part of the Erie Canal system.

Wednesday evening, Tim and Pam invited us to dinner - it was Pam's birthday and the waitress jumped right in with a candle for Pam to blow out.

Thursday morning, we took a walk along the canal:

Later that day, Tim took us kayaking on the canal.  We paddled 6 miles up to Seneca Lake - and 6 miles back (sore arms), with beautiful views and lots of wildlife along the canal, and gorgeous views of the lake once we got there.  We saw turtles, blue heron, ducks, geese, possibly an otter, and a beaver.

Thursday evening, we again had dinner with Pam and Tim, and planned a hike for Friday evening.  We drove over to Tim's house, drove with him to get sandwiches, and met Pam after she got off work.  Tim drove us all down Cayuga Lake, stopping for ice cream, and then we hiked up to Taughannock Falls, taking the spectacular rim trails to view the falls from above:

As we finished the hike, we were able to catch sunset over Cayuga Lake - a fitting end to our visit!

Arrived KOA Cooperstown NY @ 1:00 pm

Sent from my iPhone

Departed Seneca Falls @ 10:15 am

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Day at Lake Erie

Hi Blog.  It's Kathy. I am helping Dave get caught up on our blog entries. We ended up taking a red-eye from San Francisco, via Houston. We arrived back at the Washington, PA KOA by 11:30 a.m. We changed and immediately started packing and hitching up. The cats were excited at first that we were home, but then did an about-face as soon as the cat carriers came out. Fortunately, it was only a three hour drive. It didn't take long to get set up at the Lake Erie KOA.

On days we move, I like to have left overs for dinner, so all we need to do is re-heat something good. Cooking big fancy meals after moving is a recipe for disaster. After dinner, we walked across the street to Ottoway Park on Lake Erie. The campground hosts assured us a fabulous sunset view.

The park has a little stream that runs through it and empties in the lake.  The stream has cut a gorge about 15 feet down. Dave climbed down to the beach to snap some photos.

I stayed up on the cliff for a better view. I was struck by how clean and clear the water was. Lake Erie was also surprising empty.  Now it was a Tuesday night, but I expected to see some boat traffic. However, we didn't spot a single ship.  We could hear some kids playing around the bend at the next beach (about a mile a way). Otherwise, we had the place to ourselves.

We found a comfortable spot and waited for the light show to start.

It was over before we knew it. Sigh. There are more photos on Flickr if you are interested.

By for now.


We Left Our Heart in San Francisco

Katie's commencement ceremony for her Ph.D graduation was on May 14, so we planned our itinerary to be in a campground near Pittsburgh in order to fly out to San Francisco. On Thursday, May 10, we arrived at a KOA in Washington, PA, a little town Southwest of Pittsburgh, conveniently located about 45 miles from the airport. This was a very hilly site, and Kathy had the privilege of hauling that heavy rig up the side of the hill and around to the site. The site itself was level, and positioned so that we got a spectacular view of the Pennsylvania hillsides.  AND, as an added bonus, we discovered that the WWE wrestling stars were due to be in Pittsburgh for a big show, and three of their tour buses were also at our campground.  Never saw the wrestlers, though.

On Friday, we took the opportunity to take a long walk into the town of Washington – about 10 miles round trip. It's the county seat, and the location of Washington and Jefferson College, so it had some interesting sights. We stopped for lunch at the Tuscan Tavern, which had some good beers and very good salads. After a stroll around the center of town, we walked through the college campus and back up the hill to our campground. Here's a photo of Kathy engaged in deep conversation with George Washington and Thomas Jefferson:

Our flight left very early Saturday, so we met our driver at 4:45 am at the campground entrance. Lucky we left extra time because work on the nearby highway interchange had the on-ramp closed and we had to detour. Our flight was without misadventure, though, and we arrived in SFO Saturday morning, getting to Katie's apartment before noon. Katie's mom Joan and her husband Joe also came out for the commencement ceremony, and we all joined for a walk to lunch through the Pacific Heights District. After lunch, Katie went shopping with Joan and Joe, while we took a spectacular hike along Cliff Walk, on the ocean side of the Golden Gate Bridge, above the beach, down to Cliff House:

Getting around SF by bus is pretty easy, so we got to and from the hike by bus. That evening, Katie and we had sushi at one of our favorite restaurants just around the block from Katie's apartment.

On Sunday, Katie drove the four parental units, along with Katie's dog Maggie, up to Napa Valley for a very enjoyable wine tour. As designated driver, Katie gave up the tastings, but in compensation, we all agreed to buy her lots of bottles of wine to take home! Here's a photo of Katie, Maggie and Joan at one of the wineries:

That night, after being dropped off, we two found a very good Pakistani restaurant in the Financial District, and shared na'an and spicy curry dishes.

Monday we joined Katie and Maggie for breakfast at a favorite little shop around the corner from Katie's place. Afterward, Katie joined Joan and Joe for some shopping while we hopped a bus up to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. It was just as much fun as we hoped. Here's a photo of David on the bridge with San Francisco in the background:

We met Katie, Joan and Joe for lunch at Chez Panisse, an upscale restaurant in Berkeley, and then toured the campus and Katie's office before walking up to the commencement ceremony in the Greek Amphitheater on the Berkeley campus. We are all very proud of Katie for setting her course and working as hard as she has to complete her doctorate and dissertation. Here's a shot of the three of us with Katie in full regalia:

Because of schedule issues, we had to take a red eye flight home from SFO, so we needed to leave right after Katie symbolically received her cowl. We hightailed it down the hill through campus to the BART station and rode straight down to the airport for a 12:25 am flight.

For more photos of this trip, see

Thursday, May 17, 2012

George and Eddie Wake Up In Waterloo

We had a great dinner with our friends Tim and Pam last night. It was Pam's birthday and we helped them celebrate. After dinner, they dropped by briefly to tour the RV. Tim suggested the Blog would be much more entertaining if we took a photo out the window to show the view each time it changes. We thought that was a good idea - in fact, when our stuffed bears, Eddie and George, heard about it, they volunteered to organize it. So here it is folks: The Tim Geraghty Memorial Photo-Out-the-RV-Window, otherwise known as "George and Eddie Wake Up In..."

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

My Old Kentucky Home

Dear Blog.  It's Kathy. Sorry I didn't get a chance to post about our visit to the farm. It was a very busy visit. We arrived on Thursday, May 3rd. It was a beautiful drive from Tennessee. The day before we left, we visited with Dave's Uncle Howard and his wife, Ralphie just outside Nashville, Tennessee.  They took us to a great little Mexican restaurant. It was fun catching up.

We left Newport, TN and arrived in Rineyville, KY around 4:00 p.m. with plenty of time to join Aunt Dot and Cousin Bill for dinner. Bill's wife Rosie and their friend, Sue, came over with Sue's dog, DJ.  Here we are in the office (a/k/a sun room) at the back of the house.

On Friday, everyone had to work, so Dave and I took ourselves on a hike around the farm. The cows were out in the pasture with their little babies. Normally, you can walk right by the cows and they don't pay you no never mind. Not this time, they stood and stared at us - very creepy. Then they started bawling and creating a ruckus. We made it through the pasture alive and had a nice hike in the woods hunting for Indian arrowheads and geodes.  On the way back through the pasture, we walked as far away from the mad cows as we could get.

Saturday was Kentucky Derby Day. Apparently, Derby Day is second only to Mardi Gras when it comes to eating and drinking and partying.  There are weeks of celebrations leading up to race day.  We had no clue when we scheduled our trip that we would be coming to Kentucky during the partiest time of the year. Hey-it's better to be lucky than smart. Like true Kentuckians - Bill and Rosie had plans to host their own Derby Day Party.  So, Saturday morning, Dave and I made deviled eggs and a huge spinach salad to contribute to the pot luck.

As the guests arrived, Rosie saddled up their horses and took some folks riding around the homestead.

Dave and I opted out of the riding. It was too hot and we both were wearing shorts. We spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out eating and drinking and getting ready for post time. Bill organized a raffle for the names of the horses running in the Derby.  There was a $5.00 pot ($100) and a $3.00 pot ($60.00). All the horses I drew had odds of at least 50 to 1, so I knew I wouldn't be wining anything that night.

On Sunday, it was off to church and then grocery shopping. We had a picnic in the car on the way back from the store - munching on chicken strips and potato wedges - awesome! Bill took us to the construction site of their new pig barn. When it is complete, they'll be able to house over 2,000 hogs.

You just never know what critters you'll run into down on the farm. Here is Bill putting an alligator snapping turtle back into the pond. The old man was sunning himself on the road in front of Dot's house.  Be careful where you walk!

We took a few more pictures. If you want to see them, you can follow the link to Flickr.

Monday morning came too soon.  We packed up, hitched up and headed to Ohio.

Bye Blog.  It's been fun chatting with you.


Spring Valley, Ohio

After leaving the Cochran Stock Farm in Rineyville, KY, we stopped for three days at Frontier Campground in Spring Valley, Ohio.  It's a beautiful little out-of-the-way campground Northeast of Cincinnati, and is located at the edge of the Spring Valley Wildlife Area.

One day we bicycled 20 miles, up to the town of Xenia and back.  Here's a photo from the bike ride:

The next day, we hiked through the Wildlife Area and around the lake.  There was abundant wildlife to spot, including turtles, frogs, ducks, geese, orioles, cardinals, bluegill and sunnies, as well as many beautiful butterflies.  Here's one of a butterfly -

- and another view from the observation deck -

Back at camp we had a campfire each evening, and even Young Baxter enjoyed himself out on our little patio (that's "Patty" our patio tomato plant sunning herself behind Baxter):

For all the photos go to our Flickr site at

Friday, May 4, 2012

Kentucky Bluegrass!

After playing tourist in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, TN, and paying a visit to David's Uncle Howard near Nashville, we departed from our campground in Newport, TN on Thursday, May 3, and arrived here at the Cochran Stock Farm in Rineyville, KY, where Kathy's Aunt Dot and Cousins Billy and Rosie live with their extended family.  Here's a photo of Kathy and the rig, all settled in in Dot's driveway:

That's Dot's house on the right.  Kathy is warning us to watch out for the cows.