Wintering

Winter in western Pennsylvania can bring some drastic changes in a very short time. Yesterday was one of those days. I picked up my mother for lunch at Amazing Foods Catering Co. & Cafe in Franklin. In the 24 hours previous to our lunch, we saw rain and temperatures nearing 60 degrees. I loved it! But, as we were warned by the weather folks, a big ch20180113_083647ange came. It happened over lunch. When we entered the restaurant, it was 52 degrees outside. When we came out afterwards it was 42. But, it was even worse than that! We dropped 20 degrees within two hours and the downward trend continued as the rain turned to sleet, then snow. When we woke up this morning, there was about nine inches of drifting snow on the ground. I spent an hour-and-a-half shoveling.IMG_20180113_100818_303

If you’ve read our introductory blog post, you know that we are working toward retiring with a Class B or C RV to travel to warm weather during the winter months. We have been following several families on YouTube that have done just that. They bring us inspiration and help us narrow our focus of what we think we would like for the journey.

Although we have not yet entered the fray as YouTube content creators, we have started this travel blog and post my photography to our Instagram page (@thetravelingkites). Things were rolling along quite nicely during the summer camping season, but then winter hit. As I write, there are 55 miles separating us from our Keystone Hideout travel trailer. It is in the mine at Bradys Bend. I wrote about storage day here.

As winter gets long, one thing that we have done the past two years to break up the frozen season is to attend the Pittsburgh and Erie RV shows. The Pittsburgh show is always in January and the Erie show is in February. It was recommended to us by some friends that we try the Ohio RV Supershow this year. Held in Cleveland, this show is proclaimed to be the country’s largest indoor RV show. We had originally planned on going to Pittsburgh today, but the Cleveland show was also this weekend, so we decided to go to Cleveland instead. Then… the big snowstorm! We thought we would rather not show up on one of those YouTube interstate pileup videos, so we called today’s trip off. Pittsburgh is about a one-and-a-half-hour drive and Cleveland two-hours-twenty-minutes. Who knows how long it would take today? So, now we wait a month for the smaller Erie show.IMG_20171201_195642_809

So, at this almost-mid-way point through the winter, I thought it appropriate to check in to let you know we’re still here and looking forward to spring. Binx, the camping cat, is as anxious as we are to get back out there. As for now, I’ll just happily sip my coffee.20180113_110139

A couple of weeks ago, we made reservations for Memorial and Labor Day weekends. It feels good to have a couple of trips scheduled. The planning continues as we consider our vacation travels for this summer. So, stay tuned! The 2018 camping season will kick off in a few months. In the mean-time, stay warm and healthy. We’ll see you after the Erie RV show!

©2018 thetravelingkites.com

Weekend at Virginia’s Beach, PA

First off, that’s Virginia’s Beach, not Virginia Beach. Virginia’s Beach Campground is on Lake Erie, not the Atlantic Ocean. Our weekend spot was at North Springfield, PA; west of Erie and east of the Ohio state line. Now that we’ve established that…

On Friday evening, September 29, we set out for our next adventure; a Friday through Sunday getaway. The drive took about one hour, twenty minutes (due to the 7,500 pound land yacht that was tailing us) and we were able to watch the sunset during our set-up. It was quite beautiful.VB4

There was a significant amount of wind coming off the lake, so we did not extend our awning. The wind, combined with the cool temperatures, made it feel rather cold.

Sharon made us a delicious spaghetti squash dinner, then we put together a puzzle. I’m not much of a puzzler, but I really enjoyed it this time. I think it was because we were together, away from the busyness of the work week we had just left behind. We had a nice evening and went to bed around 9:30.

On Saturday morning, we had a delicious breakfast of waffles, topped with apple and cranberry pie filling, along with some of Sharon’s warm pumpkin drink. We were discussing what it should be called. I noted that we shouldn’t call it a pumpkin latte, because that would mislead someone like me into thinking it had coffee in it. I also didn’t think we should call it a pumpkin steamer, because that would suggest the inclusion of steamed milk. She said that she has a recipe at home and will look up the actual name of the drink.

After breakfast and showers, we took a nice walk around and outside the campground. There is a neighboring camp called Camp Judson that had a really cool-looking silo with a cross on top. We talked to a man from the camp that just happened to be walking by. He said they call it the tower. If you walk up the bank on either side, there is a doorway around back, half-way up that enters into a prayer room with an altar and Bible.VB3

We took a ride over to Fairview to visit a little cafe that I’ve been noticing when I work in the area: Main Street Cakery Cafe. It was getting on toward lunchtime, so we indulged in some treats. I had a caramel latte and blueberry scone. Sharon had a green tea and blackberry scone. By then, it had warmed up enough that we sat at their outdoor tables.

We noticed that there was an antique store a couple of doors down, so we went to check it out. Main Street Antiques is in an old house and has two floors of treasures from the past. We didn’t see anything we just had to buy (practicing our future minimalism skills), but really enjoyed the reminiscing.

Back at Virginia’s Beach, Binx, the camping cat, was enjoying the sun coming in the window of our slide-out dinette. We had stacked some pillows on the seat to allow him a comfortable place to lay and gaze out.VB6

We took another walk in the late afternoon, which included a trek down a long, straight ever-narrowing road in the woods. Then we walked along the lakefront where we found some nice, flat rocks and I found some more photos just waiting to be captured.

A motorhome from Michigan pulled in beside us on Saturday afternoon. It was towing an old Citroen car on a dolly behind. The car had the shape of a VW Beetle and Sharon mistook it for a “bug.” It was in very good shape. The owners had a cat and dog with them. Binx and the neighbor cat sat in opposing windows, watching each other.

Sharon got out another puzzle Saturday evening, but I just wasn’t into it for a second night in a row. I half-heartedly helped, while processing photos and uploading them to Instagram (@thetravelingkites, should you wish to follow us there). Each photo upload was an event because there was not much of a cell signal. I had to push the button, then set my phone against the window for a minute while the bits flew off through the air.

We enjoy going to church on Sunday morning when we are camping. It’s always interesting, visiting a new church. This time, we did not get out and there were no services offered at the campground. But we did enjoy a morning walk around camp and down the woods trail. We really felt God’s presence in the beauty of His creation.

The Michigan motorhome pulled out in the morning. They must have just used this as a stop for the night while passing through either to or from a car event.

While breaking down our camp, we spent some time talking to our neighbors on the other side who also had a Class A motorhome. They were from the Pittsburgh area and seemed nice. They were going to go to the Erie KOA on their next outing.

Our drive home was good. The sun was shining and Binx was happy. We arrived home around 1:30 after having another great weekend.DSC_0187

We have an appointment for October 21 to take the Hideout to Bradys Bend for winter storage, so this may have been our last camping trip of the 2017 season. We shall see.

©2017 thetravelingkites.com

Labor Day Weekend in Waterford, PA

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Our decision to camp this weekend was on relatively short notice; certainly not within the advanced reservation timeline that I am accustomed to. However, we were able to land a full-hook site at Sparrow Pond Family Campground near Waterford, PA for the long weekend. Because of our late decision, we were not able to get a site under trees with some nice shade. The weather this weekend was cool with a good amount of light rain, so baking in the hot sun was definitely not a concern. We didn’t turn on the air conditioner at all, but we did run some heat a few times.

 

Binx, the camping cat, went along for his second trip with us. The hour-long ride to the campground was quite an adventure with him. About 20 minutes up the road, he got sick and threw up on the truck’s front seat between us. Thankfully, I had the forethought of placing a towel on the seat for him to sit on.

After rolling up the towel, we continued on, stopping for ice cream about half-way there. Shortly after leaving Dave’s Place, Binx got down on the floor under my feet. I thought he was just wanting a change of scenery, but he had other things on his mind. He did both #1 and #2 on the floor. The #1 got on my left foot and flip flop. We had quite a stink in the truck for a while until we found a place to pull over. Sharon got some bags from the camper and bagged it up. That took care of the smell, but not my wet foot! Thankfully again, the mess was all on the floor mat, which we were able to remove from the truck.

We adapted to the cooler weather conditions and had an enjoyable weekend of shopping, walking, cooking over the fire and inside the camper, playing cards and enjoying church at Sparrow Fellowship, which meets at the campground. It all makes me wonder if there could ever be such a thing as a bad weekend of camping. Binx seemed to enjoy himself too, as he followed us around the camper (he stays inside).

The ride home was great! Binx was relaxed and had no… ahem… incidents.

So, that’s it for this trip. Next time out, we head to Bear Run Campground near Portersville, PA.

See more photos on Instagram.

©2017 thetravelingkites.com

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