Saturday, July 8, 2017

New Hampshire...Where the R's are in the Wrong Place!

Lincoln, NH
It's been a busy couple of months here in New Hampshire. We're really enjoying our volunteer job working for the White Mountain National Forest. We're working 3 days a week in return for a full hookup campsite at Russell Pond Campground. There are 3 other couples working with us performing the Roving Caretaker responsibilities. 2 couples work Sun - Tues; the other 2 work Thur - Sat. Two routes have been developed through the National Forest; each one approximately 120 miles long with about 2 dozen stops along each route. The stops are a combination of designated individual campsites; overlooks and hiking trailheads. About half of the overlooks and trailheads have restrooms. Our jobs are to check each stop, picking up litter, emptying trash cans and cleaning/restocking restrooms. It usually takes somewhere between 6 - 8 hours to complete each route.

The north route includes about 20 miles of the Kancamagus Hwy, one of the premiere scenic drives in New England.  As great as the views are now, we can hardly wait until the autumn color arrives. Our days off include lots of driving throughout the area to check things out. Our wildlife sightings include:

- 3 moose (no pics as they don't stick around for us to get out the cameras)

- 4 bear (pics of 2)

 - 2 fox

- 1 porcupine (he didn't stick around for pics either )
- 1 rabbit (two days ago about 20 minutes after Joan made the comment she hadn't seen any rabbits!)
- numerous deer
- several skunks

- 2 snakes

- 1 crazy guy on a zip line (yeah that's me)

Joan has been taking lots of pics of churches. Many of them are quite spectacular

We've been checking out many of the covered bridges.....

We ventured across Hurricane Hill into Maine ( you don't see this every day)

A motley crew if I've ever seen one!
7 volunteer campsites, including ours are located in a secluded area near the forest campground. The 4 Roving Caretaker couples and some volunteer trail stewards are all located here. We have started getting together weekly as a group for Happy Hour; sometimes at one of our campsites and other times we meet at a local establishment for supper and drinks.

Joan and I had our first ever lobster boil! As you can see Dinner #1 is ready while Dinner #2 is preparing in the pot.

And you just never know what you may see as you travel throughout the area. The signage includes......."Local Grown, Gluten Free" and "No articficial growth hormones"

Tractor Henge?

Think about it..........

We took an overnight trip north to Pittsburg, NH......hoping to see moose and take a little drive into Canada. Didn't see any moose here but had a great time and found a really nice place to stop over....
view from our room

The Glen at Bear Tree


We took a hike to Arethusa Falls....only 3 miles round trip, but it was straight up!
The trail
The falls

Joan and I celebrated our Wedding Anniversary  6/24
Overheard almost everywhere......."Lobstah" and "New Hampshah"  The R's are definitely missing in action! Don't hate us if we sound different next time we see you.

All in All we're having a great time.

Well That's it for Now. Stay Tuned. More to Come!

Friday, May 19, 2017

It's All His Fault (part deux)

Woodstock, NH
Mount Washington Resort

Well here we are in our summer campsite. It's been an interesting week and a half. 3 days of training; lots of sightseeing and exploring the area; and lots of adventure so far.

Tuesday, 5/9

We're staying in Volunteer Village; a few campsites for volunteers only located in a maintenance area that is a part of White Mountain National Forests' Russell Pond Campground just outside of Woodstock, NH. No, not that Woodstock. One of the most surprising things so far is just how fast the leaves are greening out. It's like they're exploding out of the trees. Check out the difference in just 9 days......

Thursday, 5/18

We had snow 2 non-consecutive nights last week (just enough to dust the ground and then it was gone in 15 minutes); and this week we tied record high temps of 86 and 89 in 2 of the small towns nearby. It's 71 as I type this with a forecast low in the mid 30's tomorrow night.

Even with the temperature changes, the entire area is blooming.

We spotted some of the local wildlife on one of our drives........just a small cub along side the road with no momma bear anywhere in site.

I mentioned earlier we had a little adventure upon our arrival. One of our volunteers got distracted as he drove the 2 mile uphill drive to the campground....with some almost disastrous results!

When we were talking about what had happened, his comment was something about "a bird with a broken wing" being chased across the road in front of him by a moose.........?????

The name has been changed to protect the guilty!

Personally I believe it to be the fault of someone who has crossed my path before....someone who spreads mischief and mayhem in his wake. If you've read this blog from the beginning you may remember .....Erni.....uhm, no, no it's Bert....yeah Bert....that's him! If you don't remember my first encounter with 'Bert' you can check out my post from March 2012, It's All His Fault.

Joan and I escaped the original encounter with only a 3 day delay and some out of pocket costs for time spent having the motorhome checked out.

This time no one was hurt, even though a few more feet forward or further off the road and I'm certain the RV would have tipped over on its side. There was some cosmetic damage, but that can be repaired. The bill to get the RV back on the road was hefty....

.....but the crew with the wreckers knew their craft and the happy camper was on the road again in a few hours!

I've been tracking my fuel usage since we first purchased our motorhome. We bought the rig with 22,006 miles on the odometer; and over the last 5 1/2 years we had driven 26,890 miles towing our 12' trailer containing our 2 motorcycles. We'd burned 3,839 gallons of fuel for an average of 7.0 mpg. All this time, Joan had been driving our car everywhere we traveled. This year we sold her bike and replaced the 12' trailer with a 24' trailer in which we haul my bike and the jeep. We've gone from towing approximately 4,000 lbs to towing just over 10,000 lbs on our trip from Florida to New Hampshire. During this trip we drove 2,977 miles using 450.6 gallons for an average of 6.6 mpg. Not too bad considering that it only cost us .4 mpg in the RV, but saves us an average of 19.9 mpg that we no longer use driving the jeep between destinations. Plus it's fun having Joan in the RV with me as we travel.

Shout out to my grandson Greyson who just celebrated his 1st birthday on Tuesday.

Well that's it for now. Stay Tuned. More to Come!

Sunday, May 7, 2017


Brattleboro, VT

Turn and face the strange
Don't want to be a richer man
Turn and face the strange
There's gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can't trace time
That's right friends and readers....the times they are a changing. We've been preparing for our summer job volunteering in New Hampshire's White Mountain National Forest. After 5 months in Florida we're on the road again. We've arrived in Vermont at our last stop before we report to work in Lincoln, NH next week.
Out With the Old.....

We've made some changes to how we roll! Joan decided it was time to Let it Go and sold her 2005 Harley deluxe. She had the bike for 10 years and put 35K miles on it. Lots of memories on that bike that she'll hold on to.

....In With the New

And we decided to try something else a little different....Joan is actually going to ride 'in' the motorhome for a change. For the last 5 years she's had the pleasure of following or leading me while driving our car. I've always towed a 7'x12' trailer containing our motorcycles with the motorhome. But we sold that trailer and purchased a new Pace 8.5'x24' trailer that will carry our car and '08 Streetglide motorcycle. We're both a little bit anxious about the length and size of our rig, but we think it will be OK. And Joan gets to relax and enjoy the view while we travel (at least she will once she gets used to the tractor trailers being so close to her window)

We've spent quite a bit of time getting the trailer ready......

.....The trailer was ordered with a 48" front ramp for the bike and full-size dove-tail rear ramp for the jeep.  We also had to add 6" of height for the jeep to clear the rear entrance......

We added shelves for storage.......and made sure everything we are carrying is secured.....

...and I installed a 'wired' camera on the rear of the trailer so I could see what was behind me...

We hit the road the beginning of April, allowing 5 weeks to travel to New Hampshire. Lots of stops along the way to visit with family and friends. Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Ohio to see family. Golf with friends in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. My mom traveled with us to Alabama and Georgia and we were able to take her to Talladega to tour the track and museum.

We've seen the Brewers beat the Reds in Cincinnati.......

....the Indians beat the Tigers in Cleveland.....

.....and watched the Pirates win over the Yankees in Pittsburgh .

Frontier Feild, Rochester, NY
We also stopped in Rochester, NY and watched the Twins Redwings AAA team play the Reds Lousiville Bats AAA team.

We camped at the Kentucky Horse Park and visited with Joyce and Jack, fellow workampers we met in Colorado 4 years ago who volunteered at Horse park this summer. We bet on some horse races during the opening day of nearby Keeneland Race Track... longshot winners, but we had a great time!

While in Cleveland we visited the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.

L-R Susan, Sherry & Joan

We stopped in New York and Joan caught up with her childhood friends and neighbors Susan and her sister Sherry. Susan and her husband Don were great hosts and we spent lots of time with them; shopping, sightseeing, golfing and teaching each other new card and board games. They'll be visiting us in NH in June and we'll be looking forward to it.....

Lots of driving around and sight seeing on the back roads. Joan and Deb ran across several covered bridges on one such drive.......

There were lots of Amish along the back roads as well.......

Joan really enjoyed the farm houses with the laundry on the line...

While we were in NY we stopped over near Cooperstown and visited the Baseball Hall of Fame. While checking out recent inductees I noticed a few of my Braves....Smoltz, Glavine, Maddux and Bobby Cox...altogether in the 2014-2016 alcove along with Joe Torre who coached the Braves in 82-84.

A little further in I noticed all of them but Torre have their numbers retired.

We stopped at the GM Corvette factory in Bowling Green, KY and took the factory tour. Very interesting! We also stopped in Hershey, PA and checked out the Hershey Chocolate tour and trolley ride through town. The trolley ride was excellent and well worth the cost. The conductors did a great job of entertaining and informing the trolley riders about the history of the town and Hershey family during the hour long ride..

In Atlanta we drove past a KFC that was remodeling.....wonder who came up with the new mascot?????? I mean really? Is a 3 story chicken really necessary?

We drove to Niagra Falls and visited on the Canadian was raining really hard and we resisted getting out of the car. But Deb decided she just had to get a closer look.....

A little adventure at one of our stops....the only time I had to disconnect the trailer during our entire owners of the campground had added some improved and longer sites over the winter. We were the first to use the sites. Due to the heavy rains and tight curving driveway into the site the RV and trailer tires slipped off the edge of the gravel into the mud. It looked worse than it was....I disconnected the trailer and the RV pulled out of the soft ground easily and we moved to another site (the new power service was not working at the remodeled site). Then used the jeep to pull the trailer out. All's well that ends well..

We'll be moving to Lincoln, NH tomorrow to park for the summer. The weather forecast is for rain and snow over the next couple of days, so we'll see what we'll see.

That's it for now. Stay Tuned. More to Come!