Saturday, June 25, 2011

Snow Shoe, PA

We left Kutztown this morning about 8:00. We were about junked out. As I was getting ready to leave, I chatted with our camping neighbor. He sells Native American jewelery, mostly from the Southwest. Some they buy, some if from their personal collection. He said business was slow these days. People just don't have as much extra cash to spend. Tomorrow he & his wife head off to another venue.

Our destination for the day was the Snow Shoe City Campground (41.02498 -077.94395). $18/night. This place is totally unique. Something right out of the '50's & '60's. Virtually all of the park is occupied by full-time residents. The RV's in the photo are currently occupied. The newest RV is probably ten years old and there are a few that are ready for the dump. Everyone has to live somewhere. I suppose this is a few notches up from living in your van. Yesterday & today are Yard Sale days in the park. Lots of people have stacked their stuff curbside. If you're ever on I-80 in this part of PA, do yourself a favor and stop by for a night.

There is a small community ballpark nearby. Gopher & I walked over and took in a few innings of ball. It's not quite Little League level because the coaches pitch to the kids instead of having a regular pitcher. One kid hit a pop fly. Four kids surrounded the ball as it came down then stood there and watched as it hit the ground. :-) A batter hit a hard grounder to second base, The second basemen caught the ball with his face instead of his glove. (they're still learning the basics). It took all the coaches, assistant coaches and the kids mom to get the kid to stop crying so the game could get going again. The boy finally stood up and dusted himself off to a huge round of applause.

In 1976 my father & I shared the cost of a 19' Class C motorhome much like this one. It was on a Dodge based chassis.

Snow Shoe City Campground will be remembered as another fascinating stop on our tour of America. The circus is coming to town tomorrow. All twelve of the RV spaces have been booked by the carnies so we need to move on.

Friday, June 24, 2011


When we were leaving the Ephrata area we were driving slowly by a commercial campground. I saw a guy standing in front of a house by the campground and felt certain I knew him so I stopped. It was Bob Walton. I had a sister ten years younger than me. Lyn died of cancer perhaps 15 years ago. Bobby was Lyn's husband!! He is the maintenance supervisor for the campground. Talk about a small world.

We spent the night at the French Creek State Park near Elverson, PA. Each state runs their campground differently. At a PA state park, every site is reservable so if you're like us, and you travel without reservations, you take your chances. In addition, dogs are only allowed in a handful of the sites. At 4:00 when we got to the park, there was only one "dog" site left. There were lots on "no dog" sites. Going forward, we'll avoid PA state parks. $28.50/night. The going rate at the commercial campgrounds near Ephrata was $41 to $47/night.

The drive from Ephrata to Kutztown was very pretty. Windy roads, rolling hills, woods , farms and the occasional small town. We passed by Daniel Boone's original homestead and a log cabin occupied by his grandfather. This is a beautiful part of PA.

Last night, Thursday, and tonight we're "camped" on the site of the "Antique & Collectors Extravaganza" in Kutztown, PA. The overnight parking is free and if you want to plug into electricity that costs $5/night; we went with the electric. We're not collectors of anything in particular but we both enjoy looking at all the very interesting things. Stuff that was simply thrown away when we were kids; milk bottles, Pez dispensers, containers of different types, on & on. I like looking at the specialized tools and household gadgets and trying to figure out just what they're for. The ingenuity of the creators of those highly specialized items really is amazing.
The vendors are an interesting group. Most seem to travel from show to show in an assortment of older vans and RV's. Of the six RV's camped with us, we're the only one who is not a part of the show. There is a woman who has to be well into her 70's who appears to live in a very old van. There is an electric cord dangling from the back boor so I guess she opted for the $5 charge. I overheard a conversation between vendors discussing the relative merits of the different venues. We enjoy just observing all the different ways people seem to have discovered to enjoy life. Reminds us of the very old women who was the campground host at a campground on Moosehead Lake, Maine. It was her & her dog living in a VW van. She had recently through-hiked the AT and was set up to canoe the Allagash Waterway with a group. This campground had hand-pumped water and pit toilets. That's it. No electric, no showers, etc. I tip my hat too her.

Some vendors settled in for the evening.

A womens home?

There is an Amish food stand here selling all sorts of wonderful things. Tonight for dinner we had chicken pot pie and "mud" pudding for desert. Wow.

In the morning, we move on. Our destination is the Allegheny National Forest. The ten day weather forecast if for highs in the upper 70's and lows in the 50's. Just what we're looking for.

I've been working with Ted Houghten on his public campground database. A few days ago we broke the 15,000 mark. Finding new ones has become very difficult. I'm not sure we'll get to 16k.

Our public library in Fort Pierce, through an affiliation with the Alachua County Library in Gainesville, FL, offers library books in an ePub format. Carol opened an account and now has free access to hundreds of books. It works much like a regular library. You check out a book and in seven days from checkout, the book magically disappears from your eBook reader. If the book you want has already been checked out, you get on the waiting list. When it's your turn for the book, you get an e-mail from the library. Amazing what doors technology opens. A year ago, we were both very skeptical about e-books, iWhatevers, etc. Now Carol has an iPad and I have a Verizon iPhone. What used to be of no consequence has become indispensable. Much like the GPS unit and cell phones and internet access.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A visit with Alex & family

We're at Alex's house now, "camping" on the street as usual. Having a wonderful time visiting with two of our grandchildren; Finn & Teagan, aka "T". Finn is just finishing first grade. Teagan is 4 1/2. Both play soccer. On Saturday, Carol & I went to watch their soccer games.


Teagan & Gopher playing one-on-one.



Alex is recovering just fine from her back surgery so on Wednesday, we continue our trip to PA Dutch Country. We heard about a giant antique show in Kutztown, PA that starts on Thursday so that's where we're heading. We're not antique collectors or anything; we just enjoy just looking at all the interesting things. A phone call to the show people indicates we can stay overnight on the market grounds. That should be fun.
We'll meet up with Alex & family, and Jennifer & Suzanne in July at the house we've rented on a lake in White Haven, PA.