August 1, 2016 (by Angela)
As mentioned in a couple of earlier posts, Jim and I had to hustle back to the Cleveland, Ohio, area so he could catch a flight today to his next job site in Juneau, Alaska.
We left the Escapade in Vermont about 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 28th. It was a beautiful but mountainous drive. We attempted to have a balance of decent roads for towing a 5th wheel while also avoiding the higher elevation mountains without going out of our way. Our RV specific GPS wanted us to go to Montpelier before heading east, but we over ruled that. Jim also hoped to avoid the need to go through Schenectady and Albany, so we took a route north of those cities during our first day’s travel. Jim got experience in lower mountain driving, and the truck got its first real test since we’ve had it. Some grades were as high as 10%, but these were short distances – no more than a half mile. All went well.
The advantage of being the passenger in such driving situations is that I get to enjoy the gorgeous scenery while Jim has to be totally focused on the road, the truck, and the trailer. Here are some of the lovely farm and mountain photos made that first day. Yes, that is a field of solar panels in the group of pictures. Notice the sign of where we ate lunch. Yes, we were in the lower Adirondacks.
With the water pump on strike (we think after getting bounced too hard over a railroad track) and our battery operated fan dead, we decided our stops would be at campgrounds with water and electric. Our home on the roam Thursday night was a pretty little park just north of Cooperstown, New York. Jim wants to come back to this area sometime. He’ll write a “CampSights” post about the park later, so I’ll just show you what our site looked like. If you want to see our view, look in “Outback Window.”
A couple of quick shots were snagged as we made our way through Cooperstown.
Friday, the 29th, we were on the road by 8:00 a.m., and we’d plotted a course for the freeway/Interstate highways. To get there, Jim had to deal with about another 30 miles of two-lane mountainous driving. We didn’t know it until there, but it also meant road construction and a few related delays. For me, the views were just as spectacular as the day before.
Once we made it to the four-lane highways, it was a relatively uneventful day where we made some really good time. Though still going through mountains and enjoying awesome views, the grading was much less difficult. The only real glitch was a missed turn changing roads in Binghamton that was fairly easy to rectify. It was in this same area, with tons of road construction, a semi threw a clot of tar at us. We thought it hit (and stuck) to the top of the truck on the passenger’s side, but evidently it just bounced and the angle of the camper allowed it to hit and splatter on the passenger-side door to the 5th wheel. Luckily, we had Goo-Off, and it came off easily.
Jim was a trooper, and we made such good time our second day that we got all the way to the most northeastern part of Ohio well before dark. We traveled 384 miles – only 6 short of our record for a one-day drive (though a max of 250 is usually preferred). Our second night was at Evergreen Lake Park Campground. Again, Jim will write a “CampSights” on the park when he has time. The big thing for me at this campground was our seemingly nice but actually rude neighbors.
Evidently, our next door neighbors arrived while Jim and I were relaxing after the long drive. As we were trying to eat supper, I noticed the neighbors were really loud; they sounded like they were right next to us. There was not much space between sites, but I mean they sounded really close. Looking out the window, I soon found out why. They were using OUR site’s picnic table in addition to their own. We talked to them later in the evening, and they seemed nice, but obviously not as nice as they seemed.
It rained during the early morning hours, but it was not raining when I was ready to make breakfast. I don’t know if I would have used our griddle outside on the picnic table to make our pancakes and bacon with it damp, but my choice was taken away. Not only were the next door neighbors using our picnic table, they had actually moved it over next to theirs WITHOUT ASKING if okay. The fact they didn’t ask made it NOT OKAY. It was rude and very self-centered behavior.
Getting as far as we did the day before, we did not have to be in a hurry on our third day; it was only going to be 2 hours or less to the KOA where we had reservations for my two-week stay while Jim will be in Alaska. It also gets me close enough for this coming weekend’s wedding plans. The earliest we could check in at the KOA, without paying extra, would be around 1:30 (2 p.m. is normal check in). This worked for us because we were able to dodge the rain getting there and even got set up at the KOA before more rain came. With our hustling done, it was time to rest and get Jim ready to travel by plane and rental car to his home on the work roam, a hotel.
He and I had an early morning this morning; we were up at 4:00 a.m., and he was delivered to the Cleveland airport at 5:35, a bit earlier than planned. Early was good in this case, and you’ll have to wait until Jim has time to tell his tale of his first air travel day for work in much over a year. (UPDATE: Here’s Jim’s travel to Alaska tale.