Saturday 19 April 2008

First Day 'At Home'

Today was another beautiful sunny day. I went for my walk this morning and since there wasn't much traffic on the main road (Prince of Wales Drive AKA Highway 16), I crossed the road and walked down by the river. I found out it's still pretty muddy down there but on the way I did meet the female part of the owner of the other Titanium in the RV park. They arrived yesterday just after we did and she was out walking her two dogs. They're beautiful dogs but I'm not sure what kind they are. They look like some kind of large spaniel.

This is the street I usually walk along in the morning.

This is the road I have to cross to get to the river. On a weekday morning at this time it would be bumper to bumper.

There's an RV sales place just down the road from us. They don't sell Titaniums though.

And here's the Rideau River.

After breakfast I set out to get some groceries as I hadn't gotten much the last few days since we were crossing the border and you never know what they're going to tell you that you can't take across. Traffic was horrendous which made me sorry I didn't stop yesterday when I was already out at the bank but I made short work of it and got back in about 1 1/2 hours only to find out that my watch battery died. Some fulltimers can go without a watch but I'm not one of them so that's something else that will have to be looked after. Gordon broke his watch band a few days ago so we'll have to get that replaced as well.

Yesterday when I was talking to the travel medical claims department I asked them to email me the forms as they hadn't yet arrived at my sister's although they had the correct address and I found out what I needed to send them with the claim. They wanted proof of travel, ie. airline tickets or gas receipts. When I was going through receipts for the border I hadn't been able to find my October receipts so after much searching I finally located them and got all the gas receipts to get us to Tucson and back. So I worked all day with very little to show for it!

I've also worked up a list of things that need to get done over the next few days as well as over the summer. It's becoming daunting. One item is to apply for my Canada Pension Plan which should start in October. Gordon also has to apply for his Social Security so we'll be that much richer anyway! It's nice when it's time for the government to pay you for a change!

A while ago when we were in Tucson I was talking to Ellie of Just Travelin and mentioned Toronto being nicknamed Hogtown but I wasn't sure why. Thanks to Wikipedia I found out that in the 1920s Toronto was known for its vast pork processing plants and even though these are no longer in existence, Toronto's nickname is still Hogtown. There's your little bit of trivia for today!

This afternoon Gordon and I went for a walk around the area. If you go through the parking lot of the plant behind us, you get to the industrial park on the other side of the plant. So I'm thinking that might be an easy place to walk (until they put up a fence, but right now there's no No Trespassing signs). Better than risking life and limb trying to cross Prince of Wales on a weekday morning!

While on our walk, we came across this snow dump. This is one of the places where the dumptrucks bring the excess snow from the streets and sidewalks in the winter. It seems really strange to be out in a t-shirt with that much snow still around!

Just before I left, our neighbours, Pierre and Francine were out raking their site. I had thought about doing that yesterday so I talked to Pierre and he said that the rake belonged to the park so he'd leave it for me when he was done. The Manager will come with some kind of machine that eats up leaves and pick them up later so when we got back from our walk, I did some raking. It's not perfect but better than it was.

Friday 18 April 2008

Leg 11 - April 18th - Weedsport, NY to Ottawa, ON or We're Home!

We were on the road at 9:00 a.m. - 11C (52F) although it quickly changed to 17C (63F). It was a nice, sunny day. We had another uneventful trip for which we're very thankful and arrived in Ottawa at Rideau Heights Campsite around 12:45 p.m. It was 23C (74F) on arrival and got up to 25C (77F). Someone was on the site that was reserved for us so we're in the site beside it and it works fine. It's a back in site and Gordon did a great job backing in. The sites are level and fairly spacious and we have a picnic table which we haven't had very much this winter.

We've sure seen a lot of police on the road since about Oklahoma.

The border crossing was a breeze. I had the total receipts ready and he just waved us on. One of the best crossings we've had.

The lineup at the border wasn't bad.

Crossing the last bridge into Ontario.

Here's our merge onto Hwy 401 in Ontario to head east.

Still some snow in the shady areas along the highway

We have a Rockport in Ontario too.

Along Hwy 416 going north toward Ottawa. Still a lot of water around.

Ottawa sign (bilingual).

There is still some snow here and there as you can see from the photos. Mostly in shady spots and also where they dump the snow and create huge piles. There's even some snow in the campground and up until yesterday a lot of the sites still had snow in them so we're lucky we just arrived today!

Here are some campground photos. We're backing on the new plant that went up two years ago. Before that it was all bush and brush behind us but at least now it's clear enough that we can see the satellites from this site.
We're here!

Looking toward the entrance. Our 5er is the third one on the right.

This is our site. Not a very pretty back yard but it will do!

Still some snow in the campground but it's a lot better than it could have been if the temperature hadn't turned warm over the past few days.

I didn't have enough cash to pay for our site so as soon as we were unhooked I went to the bank and brought back the cash that they like here. We've decided to stay here for two months as we have medical and dental appointments well into the end of May and we still don't know what sort of appointments Gordon will have coming up.

After all that was done, I had a nice shower and as is typical in Ottawa they went directly from winter into summer so I was hot and sweaty from all that rushing around. Traffic in Ottawa hasn't gotten any better since we've been gone and I sure miss being out in the desert where there was very little.

There are lots of nice nature trails around here but unfortunately none that I can walk to from the campground. We just have to get there in between now when it's muddy and when the mosquitoes come out.

I also put a phone call in to the travel medical insurance company to let them know we got home okay. They have sent a package so I'll have to get to my sister's to pick that up and get it in before the hospital starts calling us wanting their money!

For Gordon's web page for today, click here.

However, here we are, home again and I'm feeling good about it!

Thursday 17 April 2008

Leg 10-April 17th - Erie, PA to Weedsport, NY

When I got up this morning, Gordon had been on the internet trying to find an RV park closer to Syracuse so our drive today wouldn't be so short and tomorrow's drive to Ottawa wouldn't be so long. He found a place called Riverforest Park so away we went.

I took these photos of the pretty spring flowers at Hill's Family Campground in Erie, PA before we left this morning.

We left Erie, PA at 9:15 a.m. It was already 55F (13C) and along the way gradually went up to 74F (23C) which is what it was when we arrived at Riverforest Park. I had called first to be sure they were open and had a pull thru site. I also asked if they had wifi and was told 'no' but they did have a clear view of the southern sky.

Lots of grape vines on today's trip. It's a big wine-making area.

This is for Kelly of The Bayfield Bunch. Rochester is her home town.

We arrived at the park just before 1:00 p.m. The sign on the door said the office was closed from 12-1 - no problem, it was just about 1 but no one showed up at 1 so I called and soon there was a white car coming toward me. The man opened the office, gave me a card to fill out, took my money (it's a Passport America Park - $16) and said he would turn on the power to the site. Then he left. We drove into the spot, plugged in - no power and waited. Gordon finally went looking for him and found his son who is the owner of the park who finally got power to our site. Since there is no wifi, Gordon set up the internet satellite. This park is not one I'd recommend very highly although it is close to I-90 - only about 1 mile off. It seems to be set up for mostly seasonal people. Their pull thrus are in a grassy field and I was a bit worried that we'd sink into the ground and be here until Doomsday but it looks like we're okay.

Our site.

This is the pond in the campground.

Looking toward our site from the pond area. The RV's in the front look like they're stored there.

These are some of the seasonal sites overlooking the pond up on the hill.

So tomorrow is the final leg of our journey on our return trip. I'm ready to sit in one spot for a while and relax although we will have all kinds of appointments at least it won't be packing up and breaking down and making lunches every day!

After we got settled, I started preparing for our border crossing - got out the passports, Canadian money and finalized my receipts. I think we're ready except we don't have enough cash to pay for our campground for the month. Oh well, he'll have to wait till I go out to the bank. He doesn't take credit cards or cheques so I'll just go out after we get set up tomorrow.

We decided to get diesel this afternoon rather than wait until morning because we didn't know how far we'd have to go to get it. So we went into Weedsport and filled up at 4.50/gallon! YIKES! The station we use in Ottawa is 128.9/litre according to which is the equivalent of 4.86 (assuming our money is at par) here so we might be doing more sitting than driving this summer!

The temperature here today actually topped out at 77F (25C). What a beautiful day!

For Gordon's synopsis, click here.

Wednesday 16 April 2008

Leg 9 - April 16th - Delaware, OH to Erie, PA

We left Delaware, Ohio this morning at 8:55 a.m. under clear, sunny skies and 45F (7C). Along our route the temperature gradually rose to a pleasant 65F (18C). Again, not much to take photos of along the way but here's what I have.

Alum Creek - Alum Creek State Park is right across from Cross Creek where we stayed. We'll have to check this out one day.

I took a photo of this van as it says - A blind man is driving this van. Not sure of the significance of that but sure hope it wasn't true as he had just passed us.

An Amish horse & buggy crossing over I-71. It's pretty blurry so I made it a vignette.

Some Ohio green along the way.

Another Titanium passes us and then there was one at the rest area when we stopped.

Daffodils at the rest area on I-271.

A couple of construction areas.

Finally, Pennsylvania!

There are a lot of bridges being worked on in Ohio but only one caused a real slowdown and then not much of one. Other than that, we had another uneventful trip. We arrived at Hill's Family Campground at Erie, PA right on the dot of 1:00 p.m. and were set up within 15 minutes. We're getting really good at this but I have to say I'm tried of breaking down and setting up every day.

Hill's Family Campground is right off I-90 and the best description of it is 'functional'. It has 50 amp, full hook up, cable TV and wifi (they say it's only in the office and rec room) but from our site #7 we can both reach it. Gordon had planned to set up the satellite dish but decided against it when we were able to reach the wifi.

Here are a few photos of the RV park.

Our site - it's handy, just drive straight in. We had the same site last year.

Here you can see the office and the entrance. This motorhome came in right behind us. So this is our rear window view.

Here's the restroom/showers and some other sites.

I had planned to defrost the refrigerator today but I think I'll wait until tomorrow as we have a short drive to Rochester NY KOA tomorrow. Today I put some chicken legs in the crockpot and threw together some things to put in with it. I wound up with potatoes, 1 cup of chicken broth, a little white wine and some soy bouillon along with some seasoned salt. Let's see what turns out! It's my Chicken Surprise!

After we got set up, I called the only park in Ottawa that's open, Rideau Heights Campground. It is just off Highway 16 and he does have a site for us so we booked it for a month. It's $540/month inclusive. The campground isn't much but it is in the heart of the city so will be handy for medical appointments. Unfortunately there's a lot of traffic around there as they've built up the area south on Highway 16 but the road remains only 2 lane. Also, there are no sidewalks so not much place for me to walk. Oh well, you've gotta do what you've gotta do!

It was a relief to get that looked after although the sites available were not the ones we wanted, the manager assures us that we can reach the satellite from the site he's keeping for us. I told him we'd be there on Friday so Friday will be a long travel day!

Gordon got through to our doctor and has made an appointment for Monday morning so things are falling into place.

I went to the 'modern' showers to have a shower this afternoon. They are the pushbutton style. You push the button and the water runs for maybe 30 seconds, you push it again...another 30 seconds. I didn't really get any hot water out of it at all and neither did the other lady who was there at the same time so we're not impressed with the showers.

For Gordon's synopsis of today, click here.

Tuesday 15 April 2008

Leg 8 - April 15th - Terre Haute, IN to Delaware, OH

After I posted last night, when we were having dinner, Gordon saw this little robin in her nest in the crevice of the tree right outside our window.

We left Terre Haute this morning at 9:20 a.m., 41F (5C) and sunny. There wasn't much to photograph on this leg of the journey, just lots of traffic. There was also some construction still going on around I-75 at Dayton but we made pretty good time anyway.

A scene along the way.

We arrived at Cross Creek Camping Resort at Delaware, OH at around 2:00 p.m. and got set up. We get a very strong wifi signal from our campsite (which by the way was $36 for full hookup). It's a nice place, we stayed here once before our first year on the road and even better it's 60F (16C)!

Here are some photos of the campground. They are paving all the roads within the campground so there is heavy equipment around and it's a bit on the noisy side.

Our site.

View from our rear window.

Pool area.


Gordon has decided he wants one of the warming throws so I called the Walgreens here in Delaware and had them put one aside for us. After we rested for an hour or so we went in to pick it up and also get some bananas. Then back to the rig for wind down time!

Monday 14 April 2008

Laying Low in Terre Haute, IN

This morning when I got up late (closer to 8:30 than 8:00) it was sunny but cold at 35F (2C). I walked toward the road that we came into the park on on the paved area and ran part way. Then I walked around the park ending up at the office where they have free coffee, muffins, danish and some breakfast items like grits. I came home with a coffee for Gordon and a blueberry muffin and danish for me.

Here are some photos I took around the park during my morning walk.

Another area of the park. It looks like these people have been here for a while.

Daffodils are starting to bloom.

The donkeys are having their breakfast.

These are fake storefronts which hide the RV storage area.

The KOA Kamping Kabins.
After breakfast, I changed the bed, vacuumed, cleaned the bathroom and washed the floors, and got the laundry ready. Gordon and I walked over to check out the laundry room and the showers. Someone was doing laundry so I came back and got the receipts ready for our border crossing. By the time I got that done the washers were free so I loaded them up, picked up some books from the book exchange and came back to read a bit while the clothes were washing. I took some of my books back for the book exchange and loaded the dryers then back home again.

It's nice to see the sun again but I sure wish it was warmer. My electric throw has been a really good buy in these temperatures!

The rest of the afternoon I spent on the internet and finished my latest book called "Vanish" by Tess Gerritsen which I left in the library here at the park.

I took this photo from my living room window this afternoon.

That's about it for my day!