Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Football & Canals

July 30, 2014
Baylor Beach Park
Navarre, Ohio

Yesterday we drove to a campground just south of Canton.  On today's agenda was the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Little did we know but Saturday is the induction of the new players for 2014.  There will be several hundred thousand people at the event and it will be held at the adjacent stadium.

Huge semis were everywhere and workers were busy setting up for the big festivities.  Each new inductee gets a huge tent for themselves and their guests.

The special show in the theater was about last year's Super Bowl.  If that game wasn't bad enough the first time,  we were thrilled to be able to watch the Broncos lose all over AGAIN.

 On Sunday the Hall of Fame game will be played at the field next to the museum.  TV networks were already setting up their mobile broadcasting equipment.

Dave wasn't keen on going to the Hoover Vacuum Museum, so we went to the small town of Canal Fulton instead.

We splurged and spent $3.50 each to take a ride on a canal boat.  It turned out to be a very pleasant afternoon.  The trip lasted about an hour with narration by a costumed guide. 

A team was driven on the tow path to pull the boat through the water in  the hand dug canal.

Banjo and harmonica music was an unexpected treat.

We made a quick stop at a local snack manufacturer where customers can get bargains on "seconds".  The treats taste the same but sometimes the shape is a little different.  Can you tell we are in Amish Country?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

When the Saints Come Marchin' In

July 28, 2014
Summer Wind RV Overnight Park
Dawson, West Virginia

Today we left Williamsburg, VA and headed toward White Sulphur Springs, WV.  Our plans were to stay overnight and tour "The Congressional Bunker" at the Greenbrier Resort.  It was a secret underground facility built in the 1960s to shelter congressional members from an atomic attack.

Unfortunately, White Sulphur Springs now has another claim to fame - the location of the New Orleans Saints training camp.  The town built a brand new facility for them and everything is now geared toward the team and the fans that are attracted by the football frenzy. 

We just kept driving west since there was no place to stay near the Greenbrier.  We were disappointed that we missed the Bunker but I probably would have had a hard time remembering when Congress was held in such high esteem that people thought they should survive an atomic attack.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Colonial Living & the Revolutionary War

July 27, 2014
American Heritage RV Park
Williamsburg, Virginia

We had plans to meet Derek, Sarah & Sofia in Williamsburg for a few days so moved to a RV park in that area.  They drove down from Centreville, VA on Thursday. and on Friday we went to Colonial Williamsburg.  

Amusement parks on the weekends in the summer are usually to be avoided but we all ventured to Busch Gardens on Saturday.  Unfortunately everyone forgot their camera so we didn't get many photos.  There are quite a few of the very large roller coaster type rides in this park.  The rules don't allow drinks or bags on those rides so I sacrificed my turn to sit on the bench and watch our stuff.  I couldn't see any reason to endanger my very nice lunch on those rides.  

Near the end of the day a thunderstorm struck and all the rides were closed down. We decided it was time to head for the parking lot.  Unfortunately so did everyone else.  It took us an hour just to get out of the parking lot.

We finished up our visit today at Jamestown.  As we were walking along the walkway over the marsh area, we saw this fawn quietly waiting for her mother to return. 

After Derek, Sarah & Sofia had headed back to Centreville, we drove over to Yorktown.  The ranger did a fantastic job on a battlefield walk and we made it to the end just before the rain started again.

The War Continues

July 22, 2014
Americamps RV Resort
Ashland, Virginia

We'll really miss all the delicious crabs we had in Delaware.  Yesterday we drove across the Chesapeake Bay to Ashland, Virginia (just north of Richmond). 

We spent so much time touring battlefields in the Fredericksburg area that we never made it to the Civil War sites in Richmond.  Both of us have ancestors who fought in this area during the Civil War.


We couldn't leave the area without visiting the Stonewall Jackson Shrine at Guinea Station. He died here at the Thomas C. Chandler's plantation ("Fairfield.") in the plantation office building.

We really enjoyed our stay at this campground.  A free breakfast was served each morning with Belgian waffles, fruit, juice and coffee.  We thought we would gain too much weight if we stayed another day.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Visiting Family

July 21, 2014
Horse Farm
Smyrna, Delaware

On Friday we left Gettysburg for Delaware to visit friends and family.  Unfortunately there are very few campgrounds in the state except at the beach. We had resigned ourselves to having to leave the camper in Maryland and drive back and forth.  We were pleasantly surprised when Dave's brother called a few days before we were due in Delaware to say we could leave the camper at the farm where he used to board his horses when we in the harness racing business.

That is our camper in the middle under the big tree.  The location worked out great and we had water, sewer and electricity (50 amp). 

Our neighbors were very friendly too.

Horses & Battlefields

July 17, 2014
Artillery Ridge Campground
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

We finally lost the rain and had gorgeous weather while we were in Gettysburg.  We haven't been here in quite a while and we were amazed at how much has changed at the National Military Park.  We also took the shuttle to the Eisenhower farm.

We spent most of the day at the battlefield and then we stopped at the Pennsylvania monument on the way back to the campground.


Every person from Pennsylvania who was at the battle in 1863 has their name engraved on this monument.  We checked out the panel for the 121st Regiment and found my ancestor's name, Sgt D D Moriarty (Co A).

Earlier we took a horseback ride through the battlefield while a guide narrated the events of the three day battle.

I think Dave's horse pulled a beer wagon in another life.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Electricity & Indoor Plumbing

July 14, 2014
Brunswick Family Campground
Brunswick, Maryland

Last night we were enjoying a campfire with some of our neighbors when a very bad storm blew in.  Everyone quickly retreated to their campers and didn't come out until this morning. Our camper was fine but we did find a tree limb in the bed of the pickup.

As we were driving up to Antietam this morning we came across many tree limbs in the road. The haze in this photo isn't pollution - it's humidity.

When we arrived at the visitor center we were notified that all the electricity to the park was out due to the storm the previous night.

I can make do without seeing the film and some of the exhibits, but the rest rooms were CLOSED.  Toilets flush fine without power but no one was allowed in because there were no lights (liability I suppose).  

We now know what it was like to be here in 1862 with no electricity or indoor plumbing.

The rangers did a wonderful job improvising and did several spontaneous programs.

When we arrived at Harper's Ferry we were pleased to find out that the visitor center had electricity and the restrooms were open.

It must be laundry day.


We were walking back across this old railroad bridge when a train came out of the tunnel.  I almost jumped off the bridge.

Lots of people were enjoying the river today.  These people were tubing down the Potomac River.

It was a shame that we needed to get back to the camper before the rain started again.  Otherwise we could have hiked to Maine or Georgia.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Thomas Jefferson

July 12, 2014
Misty Mountain Camp Resort
Greenwood, Virginia

Yesterday we enjoyed dinner with Dave's nephew, Dwayne, shortly after we arrived in town.  Dwayne and Elaine have lived in Charlottesville quite a while and know all the best places to go.

Saturday is a busy tourist day at Monticello so we were glad we got an early start today. Heat and humidity also are more prevalent later in the day.

A group of 25 people start a tour about every 5 - 10 minutes.  It is unbelievable how many people can be in different areas of the house at the same time.

The original property included about 5,000 acres.  Beautiful ornamental flowers grew along walking paths.  The extensive vegetable gardens have been recreated with heritage seeds.

Orchards and vineyards dotted the hillside.  A wine cellar in the lower level of the house stored the wine made from the fermented Monticello grapes.

We enjoyed the day at Monticello but we went home with sore feet after touring the house, gardens, slave quarters and taking a hike on the grounds.

On the Civil War Trail

July 10, 2014  
Holliday Lake State Park
Appomattox, Virginia

We left the rain in North Carolina and drove to the blue sky of Virginia.  We didn't want to leave this area without seeing the small community of Appomattox Court House.

This is the Clover Hill Tavern where the paroles for the Confederate soldiers were printed.

Confederate General Robert E Lee signed documents surrendering his forces to General Ulysses S Grant in the front parlor of Wilmer McLean's home.  Ironically, the First Battle of Bull Run was fought on McLean's farm in northern Virginia in 1861.  McLean later moved his family to Appomattox Court House in southern Virginia.


July 9, 2014  
Mayberry Campground
Mt. Airy, North Carolina

Just after we pulled in today we heard a knock at our door.  It was my sister, Jan.  Jan and Bill had been here for a while, but we didn't see their truck when we arrived so we thought they had moved on.  It was nice to be able to catch up on news.

We had planned to stay for several days, but the rain came and continued for the next day so our
plans changed.  Between heavy downpours we drove into the town of Mt. Airy.  Main Street in Mt. Airy is very similar to "Mayberry" on the Andy Griffith Show.  Since this is Andy Griffith's hometown many people believe his TV show was based on people and places in Mt. Airy.

 Notice the water spots on the photos.

Remember watching the Andy Griffith Show on a black and white TV with rabbit ears on top?

While in Mt. Airy we decided to do the laundry since sightseeing wasn't too appealing in the rain.  The "Red Barn" housed a laundromat in one side of the building and a store in the other side.  I made quite an impression on the locals when I accidentally put a plastic tube of quarters into the washing machine with the clothes.  Once the machine started, the door wouldn't open so I couldn't retrieve the quarters.  Do you have any idea how loud $10 worth of quarters are when they are rolling around in a front loading washing machine?  Guess money laundering isn't real common in the town of "Mayberry".

Monday, July 7, 2014

Zoom, Zoom

July 7, 2014  
Yates Family Camping
Harrisburg, North Carolina

Yesterday we drove to Charlotte, NC and it was probably a bad sign that Dave could see Charlotte Speedway from our campsite. 

Today we drove out in the boondocks to see some of the race shops.

 These are the trucks that transport the race cars and all the equipment to the races.

I wish my house was as clean as this shop.

Monday is the slowest day of the week for the shop crew.

We headed back to Charlotte to see the NASCAR Hall of Fame.  This is a gorgeous building with many interactive exhibits.

We both tried the racing simulator.  I had a difficult time reaching the pedals and crashed into the wall on the pace lap.  Dave pushed the wrong button and never got out of his pit.  Since I at least made it to the track, I thought that meant that I won.  Dave disagreed and said I didn't finish so it didn't count.  Some people are sore losers.

Next we went to more race shops.

Some cars looked better than others.

We had a fun day but I thought if Dave just wanted to look at a bunch of cars it would have been easier to drive around the beltway at rush hour or drive through the parking lot at the shopping center.