"A ship in port is safe, but that's not what ships are built for."
– Grace Murray Hopper
Hello from Rhode Island.
Well, at least that's where we are at the moment, watching Olympic cycling. I love the Olympics so much. The athletes are so inspiring to watch and hearing some of their personal stories (like the one about John Orozco) make their competitions even more meaningful to watch. Only during the Olympics will I watch such things as cycling, beach volleyball, or fencing because, hey, IT'S FENCING - - but it's fun to cheer on the Americans!
Anyway, what a busy week we had. I finished my paper and am free for a few weeks before I begin another semester so Steve and I got to do some serious sightseeing. We began our week with a visit to the U.S.S. Nautilus at the Submarine Force Library and Museum in Groton, CT. What an awesome place to visit. The two rings at the front of the museum demonstrate the size difference between the Navy's first submarine and their largest, Ohio-class subs. The new subs are HUGE, but sadly they didn't have one we could tour. We did get to go inside the U.S.S. Nautilus which is moored right alongside the museum. This sub was the first nuclear powered vessel and boy was it impressive to tour. I cannot believe the close quarters of this boat and every inch of space is used in some efficient manner (like the storage under each bunk). Reminded me of our Big Red. Anyway, this sub was launched in 1954 and was the first to make a journey completely submerged under the North Pole in 1958. YIKES! Can you imagine? We chatted with a submariner while visiting this vessel and he said his record for being submerged was 113 days. I cannot imagine being under water that long - - no sunshine or fresh air and only the smell of your fellow man - - I couldn't do it. I am extremely claustrophobic so just touring the inside of the sub for the 20 minutes we were there was all I could take. Actually, I was rather squirrelly at about the 10 minute mark but I stuck it out for Steve's sake. In addition to the submarine, there was an awesome museum dedicated to the history of submarines. They also had examples of the ballistic missiles that are fired from the newer subs. The white one at the end of the set of pictures from the museum was able to travel 2,500 miles post-launch. There are some newer ones that can go as far as 4,000 miles. So, in essence, our enemies do not need to be close to be a threat. The world is most definitely getting smaller and smaller all the time!
Ok, after this visit we headed to Mystic, CT. What an adorable little town and I highly recommend a visit there if you are in the neighborhood. We didn't stay long as we planned to come back on Sunday for an antique boat parade and a visit to the Mystic Seaport museum. Steve managed to get a picture of Mystic Pizza, since that restaurant was made famous by Julia Roberts back in the early 80's. Lastly, I want to mention the hydrangea here in the northeast. They are the most beautiful shade of blue I have ever seen. I have, on numerous occasions, attempted to grow hydrangea like this and was completely unsuccessful. Therefore, I had to snap a pic of the absolutely gorgeous specimens that we saw in Mystic. While in the area, we visited an old cemetery. Steve and I like to do this to see some of the old gravestones. Back in earlier times, when people were buried, their gravemarkers would tell a bit of a story about the person interred below. We don't do that anymore and I think that's sad. Anyway, we captured some examples of the interesting ones we found in the cemetery. For example, one of the gravestones told the story of the man buried below who had died during the siege of Boston in 1776. How cool is that? One also talked about the how the man below was killed when his ship caught fire off the coast of Galveston, TX. Interesting! If you have never visited an old cemetery, we highly recommend checking one out. It seems a little morbid for an entertainment option, but trust me, you will be pleasantly surprised at what you find.
Next, we visited Essex, CT and the Connecticut River Museum. For those of you who don't know, the Connecticut River is 400 miles long and wends its way through Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and into Canada. This was a hugely important river to the colonial people and served as the delivery system for goods coming in and out of these colonies for many many years. Near Essex is a quarry that mines the brownstone that covers a good number of buildings in the area, as well as those beautiful townhouses in New York and other larger cities. The carving displayed was from a frieze which would have been at the top of one of those buildings. As we were leaving this museum, we met Nick who was crab fishing off the dock right outside the museum. He had caught a number of blue crabs that he intends to put in a spaghetti sauce that he makes. He told us that he puts the crab in WHOLE into the sauce as it is simmering and when the sauce is ready, he fishes the crab out and then takes off the meat and adds it to the sauce. Sounds kinda yummy, doesn't it?
Before I go on to our next adventure, let me just say that Steve and I absolutely LOVE the Connecticut/Rhode Island area. It is just so picturesque and quaint. The saltbox houses are all so old and historic that most of them have placards on them indicating when it was built and by whom. There are towns in this area that were established back in the late 1600's and early 1700's. But the roads - - - AAAAGGGGGHHHHH - - the Roman grid system was definitely lost on these people. Steve believes that the saying "You can't get there from here" originates from this area because you absolutely cannot get anywhere directly. Every road winds around and around so that you become somewhat disoriented as you drive around. Thank God for GPS or we would have been lost for sure. Thankfully, the drives are so entertaining and the scenery so beautiful that you don't mind spending 30 minutes to go 5 miles.
Ok, back to our adventures. The campground we stayed at was near Hammonasset State Park which boasts some absolutely gorgeous beaches. That's another thing about this area - - there are beaches everywhere. Anyway, Steve got some lovely shots of the sunset that we wanted to share with you. We met a German fellow while walking the beach who was collecting the rose hips from the wild roses that grow along the shore. He was intending to make tea with them, but I don't know about that. I told him to stay near a hospital just in case. He didn't think that was funny.
Did you know that Connecticut is the home to one of the largest collection of dinosaur prints in the U.S.? Well, it is so we had to go and see it. Apparently, back in 1966, a construction worker unearthed some 2000 prints while bulldozing the area for a building they were planning to construct. CAN YOU IMAGINE? Well the State of Connecticut officials bee-lined over to the site and immediately declared it Dinosaur State Park so that the prints could be preserved. They covered 1,500 of these prints with some scientific-type substance that will keep them preserved and then built a dome-shaped building around 500 of these prints so that everyone could enjoy them. How cool. Most of these prints are from herbivores but there was evidence of one meatasaurus, whose name I cannot remember.
Our last stop in Connecticut was a visit to Hartford. We took in an exhibit of old tavern signs at the Connecticut Historical Society and really enjoyed that. These signs are from 17th and 18th century taverns and inns in the area and they are remarkably well-preserved. The lion is a prominent figure in most of the signs, which we learned was a salute to their British roots. There were also signs that had the phrase "Entertainment for Gentlemen and Hors" which I thought was interesting. The word Hors is not what you are thinking - - it's Horse! They had a different way of spelling things back then. For example, one sign from William M. Gordon uses "f" for "s". We loved this exhibit. The museum was also housing a juried exhibit of antiques and newly constructed furniture. The purpose of the exhibit was to demonstrate that our modern woodworkers can still make furniture like the early craftsman. There were several displays which contained an antique from the late 17th or early 18th century next to a piece that was very similar and you were to guess which was which. We were very impressed. The rest of the museum was dedicated to the history of Connecticut - - whose name comes from the Indian word "Quinnetukut". We toured around Hartford a little and took a picture of the capitol building as well as the onion dome that rests atop the Samuel Colt Firearms factory. Our last stop was to visit the cemetery where Samuel Colt was buried and discovered that Katherine Hepburn was also interred there.
Alright. On to Rhode Island. Our first stop was Newport, which is a cute little town and is also where the richey riches hang out. We drove along Ocean Drive and snapped some pictures of the beautiful houses out there. Unfortunately, the really huge mansions, which are on Bellevue Avenue, cannot really be seen unless you strategically place your camera into a hole in the shrubbery, which I could not do because it was raining and I didn't want to get wet. So we know what they look like, and you will have to travel here to see them for yourself. Sorry.
We also visited the Judith Point lighthouse and watched some surfers. Who would of thought that you could surf in Rhode Island? Well, according to our new friend from Florida, surfing in RI is quite a happening thing to do, especially in the fall during hurricane season. Alrighty then. The next day, Steve and I went to a festival at Ninigret Park and walked around and viewed the local craftsmen and their work. Lots of jewelry made from sea glass, which was cool, but the really cool part was a lecture given by Dr. Giovanni Fazio, the senior physicist for the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Since Ninigret Park houses the Frosty-Drew Observatory, the good Dr. Fazio blessed us with a discussion about the universe and where we are in our quest for knowledge about it. I must say that Steve and I were absolutely spellbound. We learned all about our galaxy, the cluster of galaxies that we belong to, the supercluster that this cluster is part of and the string or wall that these superclusters are making in the universe. Honestly, my mind was completely blown. What was really cool was it was obvious this man is a believer in God. As he was indicating that there is a force that they really just don't understand in the universe (dark matter and dark energy), it was clear to Steve and I that he was going out of his way to say that they could be completely wrong about the Big Bang theory and was underscoring the fact that the design of the universe was not random. There is definite order in its existence which, to him, meant something. AAAAAAHHHHH! Yes, a divine Creator.
Anyway, today we went back to Mystic for an antique boat parade and a visit to the Mystic Seaport Museum. What a nice day. The boats were really cool, especially the old wooden Chris-Crafts. It was fun to see some of the participants in period dress that matched the year of their boats. But the best part of the day was the tour through the museum. The best way to describe it is to say that it's like a Greenfield Village dedicated to old ships and the shipping industry and what that meant to New England. We had a great time and I highly recommend a visit to Mystic CT if you are in the area. You will not be disappointed in the food, the ambiance of the entire town, and the history it has to offer.
Tomorrow we leave for Pocono and our beloved Nascar.
See ya, wouldn't want to be ya!
"No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars or sailed an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit."
– Helen Keller
Sometimes, it's just tough to hold on to a positive outlook, isn't it? Well, Steve and I had one of those weeks. It was terrible, and expensive.
First of all, Steve's computer screen went kaput. It was stuck between the chair and the couch and when we pulled in the slides, the screen got cracked. He attempted to buy one from someone on craigslist but that fell through so he ordered a new screen from Amazon but the one they sent wasn't compatible with his netbook so it got sent back. We ended up buying a new computer. Ok, mishap #1.
As I said last week, we began the week in New Jersey at 100+ degree temps (which I know most of you suffered through as well). I have been working on a final paper for this semester, so I spent most of the week working on that. But one day we were able to get out to Atlantic City and had a really fun time. We had lunch at Johnny Rocket's right on the baordwalk then hit the casino. We lost money (about $50) but we enjoyed our time there. It's really a cool place and the beach is very nice. I could see my family spending the weekend there for sure. I have to tell you, though, the Trump Plaza was such a disappointment. It looks like it was built in the 70's and that it hasn't seen a paintbrush or a facelift since that time. It sort of brings down the rest of the boardwalk, which is not what I expected at all. Donald..."You're fired!!"
We also attempted to go into Philadelphia for a day and discover some of our country's historical roots. That was a disaster. First of all, it cost $15 just to cross the stinkin bridge from Camden, NJ into Philly. Then, once we got into the city, we realized that the BAT (Big A_ _ Truck) was not meant to be in an old city like Philly because we could barely move around on the streets. We had a really hard time finding parking because all of the parking garages had clearances of 6' 6", which is definitely not enough for the BAT. After driving around for about 30 minutes, we finally found a parking lot but quickly realized that pulling into that lot was a mistake. We almost couldn't get out, I mean we had less than one inch of clearance (no joke) to make the turn to the exit. That drive through cost us $5. Traffic downtown is so bad. I mean horribly bad. We sat through several lights without moving so much as one car length. We decided to bag it and went back home. I am so disappointed because I am a big fan of history, but it just wasn't meant to be.
The next day we packed up and began our trek to Connecticut. The night before, it had rained cats and dogs (what is the origin of that anyway?) and the ground was very soft. That means the front of the trailer was lower than it had been when we arrived a few days earlier. So, when we pulled out of our campsite and went a little uphill, the truck bed hit the bottom of the front of the trailer (the part that hangs over the truck bed) and bent the frame rail that holds the cover of the truck bed down. It also dinged the trim of the trailer and scratched up the paint a little. UGH. That's #2.
It gets worse. We left Jersey with about $100 cash and joked about how we hoped it would enough for the tolls. Little did we know. We're on 95 headed to Connecticut and get to New York, the turnpike cost us $35.80 . Then, just to cross the George Washington Bridge was $52. Can you imagine? We did have a nice view of the New York skyline and saw the Empire State Building and the 1776 building under construction, so that was cool. But holy cow!
Now comes the bad part. What should have taken us 4 hours to do, ended up taking 7 hours and 30 minutes. The traffic through the Bronx was literally a parking lot and stayed that way all the way through Connecticut. I have no idea what was going on but there was never any accident or road construction to account for that kind of tie up on the highway. It was extremely brutal. We left our New Jersey campground at 9:30 and 220 miles later (at 5:00 p.m.) we arrived in Clinton, CT. I cannot even begin to tell you how exhausting that trip was for me, let alone Steve who had to do all the driving. Did I mention that it was raining for most of the 7 1/2 hours? We were sick of being in the Bat and of each other by the time we arrived and just wanted to get ourselves set up and relax. After drying off of course.
As we were traveling through the campground to get to our site, we got a little too close to a tree branch we didn't notice and the top of the trailer along the driver's side got all scratched up and the vinyl on the roof has a rip about 4-foot long. Holy Crap! There's incident #3. Here we thought people were looking at us pull into our site because our trailer is so unusual, but in reality, they were watching the two goofballs from Ohio hit the tree. Oh well. Thankfully, Steve can fix anything. He's already fixed the truck rail and the trim on the front of the trailer is no big deal. He also has what he needs to repair the roof and the scratches on the trailer can be buffed out.
See, even people like us who are on perpetual vacation, have troubles in life. I guess all we can do is just acknowledge the tough times, learn as much as we can from them, and move on. Stay positive! Life is still really really good.
Anyway, Clinton, Connecticut is quite beautiful and very charming. It's very old and combines new architecture with buildings that are two hundred years old. And, apparently, it seems to be the Volvo capital of the world. We sat outside this little cafe to eat lunch and in the span of about 15 minutes, we saw 23 Volvos. Considering that this is not a large metropolitan city, that was really quite remarkable. Along with Volvos, this town is also the Blue fish capital of the world and had a festival this last weekend that celebrated that fact. Neither Steve nor I know what a Blue fish is. Oh well.
We plan to visit the town of Mystic for some pizza (have you seen that movie - - Mystic Pizza?). We will also be visiting some state parks and plan to travel to the coast where the richy riches live to see all the beautiful mansions. The campground we are staying in is absolutely cool. It's called Riverdale Campground (wasn't Riverdale the name of Archie and Jughead's high school?). It reminds me of my youth when my family would go to Camp Dearborn. There are literally hundreds of campers here and most of them look like people who spend the summers at the camp. There is stuff going on every day like Bingo on Friday and they had a dance for the kids last night. It is really nice to see all the young families together and having a great time. That really warms my heard and makes me miss my grandkids something fierce.
Alright, we close what has been the worst week of our journey so far. Good riddance! This coming week is going to be great. The weather is going to be in the lower 80's which after nearly a month of 100 degree temps will seem almost chilly. I finish my semester on Friday and then it's FREEDOM for a while!
BTW... Don't forget to keep up with Terry, Jill and Rooney on their Appalachian Trail adventure at: http://www.atraillife.com/blog.html
Talk to ya next week peeps. Take care . . .
P.S. I did have a bit of good news this week. My sister Julie gave me a wall decal for our last trailer that was a Bible quote, Philippians 4:4 - "Rejoice in the Lord Always". Well, that decal went with the old trailer when we traded it in on Big Red. I have been looking to replace that for our new trailer for months and, this week at Walmart, I found another one. YAHOO!!! I am so excited. This is how Steve and I feel about God and it is very fitting that it grace our fine new home.
"Sometimes when we are generous in small, barely detectable ways it can change someone else's life forever."
– Margaret Cho
What happened to that movement of "random acts of kindness"? We should bring that back, don't you think? Especially during times like these when political messaging is so negative and the news is covered with nothing but bad, bad, bad . . .
My darling Steve performed a random act of kindness the other day. He gave a jump start to some people who had a very scary looking run-down car. They were very grateful because we were in a remote area of Elk Neck State Park and the chances of someone else happening along to help them was probably marginal, given that the park was going to close soon as it was later in the afternoon. Anyway, try doing something for someone today without the thought of receiving any benefit or reward for it. I promise you, it will make your day!!!
Ok, this week's adventures were few but interesting. The first part of the week we were in Elk Neck State Park. It's a little peninsula that juts out into the Chesapeake Bay where the Elk River and the North East River meet. It was quite lovely. We hiked up to see the Turkey Point lighthouse which stands on a 100 foot cliff above the Bay. This lighthouse was built in 1833 and was used until 2008. It's only 35 feet high, but standing up on the cliff like that, it seems much higher. While in the area, we also enjoyed some good Maryland crab at the Nauti-Goose, a little restaurant right on the Bay. MMMM MMMM. There's nothing like Maryland crab - - it's so sweet and juicy. Love it. We stayed here only 3 days and then moved on to Delaware.
First off, if it weren't for our desire to camp in all 49 of the continental states, I would not have ever visited Delaware, but honestly that would have been a mistake. Delaware is quite lovely and the whole eastern shore is beach. We ventured out to Rehoboth Beach one afternoon and I must say, I haven't seen such a sea of humanity since I was in Hyderabad, India. The place was literally packed, but the beach has a really nice boardwalk that runs about a mile, so we had a nice stroll and some yummy gelato. While in Dover Delaware, we of course visited the Nascar track and got a picture of the Monster Mile. There was no race there this past weekend so we couldn't get into the track or anything, but the "complex" in which it resides was rather interesting. The track itself is right next to the highway. For you Nascar fans reading this, you know that's a rarity. Due to the noise level, most racks are usually tucked away in the middle of cornfields or something, but this one was right smack in the center of town. Interesting. Attached to the track is a very nice hotel and casino and a horse racing facility. Based on the advertisements we saw on the billboards, this place pulls in some A-level talent for entertainment too. One could spend a really nice weekend here if one were so inclined.
Speaking of casinos, Steve and I visited the Harrington Casino, which is on the grounds of the Delaware State Fair. The casino was generous to us one our first visit (we won $131) and not so much on our second (lost $80). What surprised us, though, was that this state fair was pulling in huge named talent over the next two weeks. People like Miranda Lambert, Larry the Cable Guy, Casting Crowns (a Christian band), and Styx. The fair starts the 19th and I am so sorry that we will miss it. I will definitely be checking out state fairs going forward because they are always so much fun with the demolition derby and monster truck pulls (well, okay, maybe the demolition derby). Wow...this trip is really bringing the redneck out in me.
Our last tourist stop while in Delaware was to the Air Command Museum in Dover. What a surprise this place was. First of all, it was free which is rare indeed. Secondly, the displays were well done and the planes they had out on the tarmac were pretty cool. They had some of the big C-5 cargo planes out there. Sweet. And, while we were there, we got to see one of the big planes take off from the runway that was next to the Air Command Museum, which was also cool.
Ok, that's it for this week. We are headed to Jersey (yes, voluntarily) for a few days and then moving on to Connecticut. While in Jersey we are planning to hit Philadelphia (right across the Delaware River from where we are staying) and Atlantic City and maybe the shore if we get some time. I am working on a HUGE paper for school so that will take a lot of my time. The subject of my paper is "Jesus and the Internet: How the Church Uses Technology to Evangelize" so if any of you have any good websites or books/articles on the subject matter, send me a note!
Alrighty then, off to Jersey. Maybe we will run into Snooki or take the Sopranos tour. Who knows! I guess you will find out next week.
Take care and love "yous guys"!
"It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are."
– E. E. Cummings
I put the above quote in today's blog because I was thinking that Steve and I were doing the exact opposite of what it said. I thought at first that we were taking a break from being grown ups and living a life that is free from grown up responsibilities, but in reality, at least for me, this journey so far has been about finding out who I really am. It's really funny how the responsibilities of life can take us down the path of "must do's" - - school, career, taking care of the family, etc., but not leave much time for finding out what you are really all about. I remember when Terry first went away to school and how devastated I was to find out that I had no life - - no friends, no hobbies, nothing. I was used to the grind of being the mom of a very talented soccer player that traveled every weekend. My friends were his teammate's parents because those are the only people I ever saw (outside of work).
So here I am in my 50's and just now discovering what really makes me happy. It's too bad that it takes this long to get to that point because it's almost too late to do anything about it, know what I mean? I guess, in a way, that's why I am so happy for Terry and Jill and their adventure at this point in their lives. They are figuring out now what will make them happy for the rest of their lives before they get all caught up in the day-to-day grind of being an adult. I'm not saying that they have been irresponsible or lazy. What I am saying is that they are taking this time together (and separately) to just get inside their heads, unencumbered by pressures of everyday life, and learning a lot in the process. To most of us, that would be a very scary prospect. It's much safer to just do what everyone expects of you. Just some food for thought - - - -
Anyway, we had a lovely week here in Winchester Va. We spent several days with the kids, our granddog Rooney, Jill's parents, Kevin and Mary Ann and her brother Mitch. They are a total hoot and we had many many laughs during the week. Winchester is a very quaint town that has a ton of history to it. It was sad to see how much damage it had suffered from the storm but most of the historic district was unhurt by it, so that's good. We really spent most of our time close to home this week because the heat was just so oppressive. One day it got up to 104 here and man, I don't care how much you like hot weather - - THAT'S HOT! We did get to a nearby casino and I won $20.
Alrighty. That's it for this week. We take the kids back to the trail tomorrow and head for Maryland. We are staying at Elk Neck State Park which is right on the Chesapeake Bay. Should be a pretty site and hopefully, not 100 stinkin degrees!
Take care everyone. Talk to ya . . . .
"Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns. I am thankful that thorns have roses."
– Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr
Good morning everyone! I trust you had an excellent weekend and are looking forward to some family time and fireworks for this 4th of July. I know we are. Jill's parents will arrive today and then we pick up Terry and Jill on Wednesday. Since this marks the half-way point for their journey on the AT, we are excited to see them and get a read on their experience so far. Terry, of course, is doing great. He's experienced at this "long hike through the woods" stuff. Jill is new to the game so her take on the situation will be interesting. I enjoy her female perspective on this kind of life.
Well the week was interesting. We left Pennsylvania and headed to Coopers Rock State Forest, just east of Morgantown, WV. What a lovely park and campground. Apparently this is a big stop for rock climbers and for people who do something called "bouldering". When I heard that, a picture of Fred Flintstone came into my head - - is it just me? The park has some spectacular hiking trails and is home to the Henry Clay Iron Furnace. Two hundred years ago, this furnace stood at the junction of two much-traveled roads. It is one of the few remnants of what was a flourishing iron center of the 1800's. There were five furnaces like this in the area and these furnaces were the main supplier of iron for the entire Ohio Valley - - from St. Louis to New Orleans. The Cheat River at the base of Coopers Rock was the means of transportation it the area and would move this iron down river. Now, the area is completely covered by forest but you can still see remnants of the coke on the ground all around the furnace. Interesting.
As I said, Coopers Rock is at the top of a mountain and this is important and was nice for three reasons: 1) we had a spectacular view of the Cheat River from the lookout; 2) the heat was definitely not as oppressive as it was in the valley. We were a minimum 10 degrees cooler up there than everyone else; and the most important reason is 3) we were somewhat sheltered from the terrible storm that came through the entire Ohio Valley on Friday night. Morgantown was hit badly with winds up to 80 mph. Most of the area was without power as was Maryland and Virginia. As of this writing, there are still millions without power in this area. So, let me get to the storm and our adventure . . .
Steve's mom called us to tell us that a storm was coming. We had no idea and we are so grateful for her heads up. We let the park ranger know as well and he warned not only the entire campground, but the picnic areas as well. That, potentially, could have saved lives because literally, no one knew that the storm was coming. In our campground, there were a good number of young families camping in tents and without the warning, it could have gotten ugly. Steve and I offered up our trailer as shelter for anyone who needed it, but that wasn't necessary as you will see . . .
Steve and I pray about everything, which is nice. This particular time, we were especially prayerful because we began to see these ominous clouds coming overhead and they were moving at a pace that was rather scary. The campground was eerily silent, and the air was dead - - you know that's not a good sign. Then at one point, the tops of the trees began to sway ever so slightly and then we heard the wind coming and it was LOUD. We could see the trees moving where the wind was originating and then, as it approached the campground, the wind seemed to separate and go to the left and right of us, but completely pass us by. I'm not kidding you. We could see the tree tops swaying heavily on either side of us, but not in the campground. Totally cool!!! Isn't God just the greatest. We lost power and it rained like crazy, but we were spared the devastation that the valley area surrounding the campground had experienced.
We left the campground the next morning and headed to Maryland, which was our intended next stop. Here, the adventure continues. If you will recall, Steve and I drive a big black dually (a/k/a the B.A.T. - - Big A_ _ Truck) and pull a 40-foot 5th wheel trailer that is 13 feet high. So we are 55 ft. long x 8 ft. wide x 13 ft. high when in transit and, therefore, take up a bit of space. Sometimes, campgrounds are in out-of-the-way locations, which makes for nice quiet settings but also for roads that are less-traveled, if you know what I mean. So here we are, headed down a road that is not much more than a one-lane affair hoping we don't meet up with oncoming traffic, and we arrive at a dead end with a very low tunnel to the right as the only means of escape. HOLY CRAP! Now what do we do? Well, I gotta tell you, Steve is one heck of a truck driver because he pulled this mass of machinery across a little bridge over the stream to the left (the width of this bridge was just big enough to accommodate the dually back-end and no more). He backs up this 55 feet in the tightest of spaces and at one point, the truck was at 90 degrees or less from the trailer (meaning it was almost jack-knifed), but he made it. What an adventure that was. We got a standing ovation from the campers that were at a small camping area on the other side of the stream. I am so proud of Steve. That was truly amazing, but again, we believe in the power of prayer so God was definitely on our side on this one! We never made it to the campground, which was on the other side of that low tunnel I told you about and it's just as well because they had lost all power. So we headed to Virginia, where the story continues . . .
We pull into the campground where we were scheduled to stay a few days from now and were grateful that they had a spot for us. What we didn't realize was that everyone around them was without power. As we pulled up to the office, we see trees and tree limbs everywhere and a bunch of people actively engaged in a cleanup process. The camp was hit pretty hard - - one motorcoach lost its entire front end from a tree that collapsed on it. We pulled into our spot and went into town only to see a ton of devastation there. Huge trees down everywhere. We had no idea that the storm was that huge because, as I said, we were sheltered from it on the top of that mountain. Anyway, that night, Steve and I are watching the Nascar race (of course) and hear this popping sound. We look out and the police are cordoning off the area around the campground's bath house & laundry building which is also the area where the propane tanks are stored. Apparently the three power lines that attached to the pole next to this building had come loose so the popping sound was the electrical wires. YIKES! Right above the propane storage!!!! Well, needless to say, they got that situation under control and everyone was safe but it also caused a part of the campground to lose power. Once again, we were spared. God is so good.
Ok, that's it for this past week. Hopefully this week will be adventuresome in a good way. We will have pictures of Terry, Jill and Rooney as well as Jill's parents. We will also be visiting Harpers Ferry, which is a big Civil War location so I am excited about that too.
Take care and until next time - - - - believe in the power of prayer. Life is full of thorns, is it not? Take refuge in the only rose that matters - - God. I know that Steve and I do!!!!!