July 23, 2016 (by Angela)
Jim, Chewie and I headed out pretty early Friday morning, the 22nd of July. We had no idea what to expect about the route we’d be taking to northern Vermont, but it was mostly two-lane highways with good shoulders. Jim and I came across one detour, but it was not bad. We did go through several small towns, but there was only one place where we had real issues. Those issues were with bad drivers. One lady just would not allow us to move right. After she finally sped ahead of us, we moved right only to have her hit the brakes immediately in front of us for no good reason. It turns out she was letting a pizza delivery truck out that could have waited until traffic had passed. Anyway, the trip was fine, and we made it safely to our destination for the night.
We found our third Harvest Hosts location, a dairy farm in Vermont, without any problem, but determining where we were to park was a bit more difficult since no one was there. When the owner (husband) arrived home, we had set up where we understood to set up per his wife’s email instructions. Nope, it was not where he wanted us, so we had to move to another location, which was not too bad for a free night parking. Their store was locked up, and while we were there, some other folks stopped by during posted store hours to make purchases, but could not. He did open the store for us, and we got a pint of maple syrup and a maple syrup and peanut butter dog biscuit for Chewie.
The biggest problem with this stop was the heat. Many around here are talking about it. We knew the temps were about 10 or more degrees higher than we expected, and we were told today that the temps currently are higher than they have been since 1934! The heat and humidity was miserable, and our one battery operated fan quit working; even putting in new batteries did not start it again. Thankfully, during the night it came a thunderstorm, which made the temps bearable for most of the evening.
In addition to the heat, there was another issue. Sometime since our stay in Ohio, our water pump quit working. There was a very rough railroad crossing inside the city of Rochester. NY, that was unexpected and made the camper bounce. If not bungeed, our back cabinets would have been opened with contents spilled. We wonder if this is the cause of our water pump not working since it is located at the rear of the 5th Wheel. We’ll find out eventually, but for the short term, we may be making brief campground stops on our quick return to Ohio.
Up and going early, leaving the farm just after the milking team arrived, Jim and I were surprised to find that as we got on I-89 to head south, we could see clearly the border patrol office between the U. S. and Canada. The drive from Swanton down to our our exit for Essex Junction was pleasant. We pulled off once to get diesel and a bit to eat for breakfast, and we still arrived just a few minutes after 8:00 a.m. Jim was directed to the very farthest spot in the east infield parking area. The guys doing the parking were pretty careful about how they got us lined up; it makes sense as that set the tone for parking the whole line.
Once set up, we took a quick shower, much needed after the previous hot day and night, and then we went to register. Without realizing it, we ended up being the second people in our letter group (E – J) to register on Saturday. After checking things out, we headed back to the truck, so we could go into town to find some lunch and a grocery store. This done, we returned to Champlain Exposition Center just a rain drops were beginning to fall. Dog taken out and groceries put away, we took our two tired bodies to the bedroom for a nice nap. A while later, I was awaken by the wind rocking the camper; there was one angry storm going on outside. He and I really did not get out again until darkness was falling and the rain seemed to have passed. It was a relaxing night in.
Thus ended our 8th travel day, and we are all set up and ready to enjoy our first Escapade, which officially begins tomorrow, July 24th.