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 > Our July road trip / vacation --long post--

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luv2skyski

Stockbridge, Georgia

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Posted: 08/05/08 06:30am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Participants: Dave, Kim (sometimes), Ashley,

Unfortunately, Kim didn’t have any more vacation time so this was mostly a daddy/daughter drive.

The trip started on July 2nd and we arrived back home on July 21st. Our first part of the journey takes us to Pennsylvania for my nephews wedding. I left the house at 3 am so I would be able to have time to park the boat and remove the camper before I went to my nephew’s rehearsal dinner at 6:30 pm in downtown York, PA (didn’t want to have to be driving the rig around the whole time we were there). We stayed at Gifford Pinchot State Park in Lewisberry (more about that later). My sister left Knoxville a little later than I left Atlanta but we were only about 10 minutes apart when I turned onto I-81 north. It wasn’t quite planned that way but it worked out perfectly. I arrived at the park around 4 pm.

Site 275 at Gifford Pinchot State Park:
[image]

I unhooked the boat, unloaded the camper and made it to the rehearsal dinner with plenty of time to spare. When I got back to the campground later that night, I found this tent pad violation:

Violation:
[image]

The next morning I reloaded the camper to move the boat 10 feet forward to get it off of their “tent pad”. Honestly, I have a tandem axle trailer for a 3500 pound boat…it wasn’t even denting the gravel. That set the precedent for this campground.

I was also able to go to Hershey Park the day before the wedding with relatives. That was a lot of fun. They had one ride called “Storm Runner”. “A hydraulic launch coaster goes from 0-72 MPH in 2 seconds!” Incredible! You know how most roller coasters have cameras set up at a scary part…these cameras were set up a hundred yards down the track.

Kim and Ashley’s flight arrived at 8:30 Thursday night.

Now, understand, I knew that Gifford Pinchot SP had a no pets provision for some of it’s campground but I’ve stayed at campgrounds before that would have a small area designated no pets and have never had a problem. Unfortunately, all the pet area campsites were full. I figured that this would be a non-issue because we were only staying there for the three days because of the wedding and we weren’t even going to be spending any time at the campground. The poor pupper would be spending most of his time in the camper. I didn’t realize how much of a pet hater a place could be. It was quite an eye opener. I would actually put him in the cab of the truck and drive him to the designated pet walking area so that he could do his business and I always pick up his “deposits”. Unfortunately, a camp host saw me letting him out of the truck and asked me about it. She said there are no pets allowed outside the pet area. Period. They didn’t even have any idea that I even had a pet. He didn’t disturb any one and never makes any noise. (Bruce, Kim, Joe, and Deanna can attest to that fact). Still got kicked out. As we were leaving the campground, just after turning onto the main road, the park ranger pulled us over and said the camp host wanted to charge us the $2 per day pet fee. I told the ranger that if they would reimburse me my campsite fee of $24 for that night (which I was told I wouldn’t be getting back) I would be more than happy to give her $4. He said he didn’t realize that we were supposed to stay another night and figured we were probably even. He then went on to say he hoped we would come back someday and I replied “You’ve got to be kidding.”. I know…I know, I should have stayed somewhere else but now I know better!

Gifford Pinchot State Park pet hater signs:
[image]

[image]

This all happened Friday morning before the wedding (wedding was at 5:30 pm). We ended up parking in the hotel parking lot where most of the wedding participants were staying.

NL in a more comfortable setting:
[image]

[image]

We had a great time at the wedding and we felt much more welcome in the parking lot of the Sheraton Four Seasons than at Gifford Pinchot State Park.

After the short Korean ceremony on Saturday morning, Ashley and I dropped momma off at the airport and drove to my sisters house in Massachusetts.

A short side note…During the drive to Massachusetts, it was getting close to dinner time and I asked Ashley what she wanted. She suggested we stop in a rest area and make sandwiches. Great idea. While we were eating she asked if I had brought the Frisbee. I said “Yeeesssss” (thinking “Oh no…we are going to waste valuable driving time playing Frisbee in this rest area”). “Could we play for 5 minutes?” she asked. I relented and we ended up playing for 20 minutes and I learned a valuable lesson from my daughter in the process. It’s just like that old saying “Life is about the journey not the destination.” Not only did playing Frisbee wake me up I had a great time with my daughter to boot!

On our way to Camp McIntyre we stopped and visited with our friends Tony and Becky who live just south of Portland. Finally, we were able to meet Nick, their newest addition.

Ashley and Nick:
[image]

We played in the pool and later they served us a scrumptious lobster dinner:
[image]

Ashley being a little impatient:
[image]

The next day we headed to Grandma and Grandpa’s lake house near Augusta, Maine where we were greeted by this deer crossing the camp road:
[image]

We had great weather but our only complaint would have to be the deer flies. They were especially bad this summer. Grandma and Ashley had some fun playing on the tube:
[image]

Ashley is now old enough that Grandpa let her drive the jon boat (I won’t elaborate on how this little excursion ended but let’s just say that Grandpa achieved a few more gray hairs!):
[image]

Fishing proved quite fruitful this trip. Here’s Ashley with a 1 ½ pound largemouth which she caught with a black and white Rapala:
[image]

Here’s a 3 ¼ pounder that I caught using a white worm:
[image]

We stopped by my sister’s house in Massachusetts on our way to New York for an incredible feast of beef tips (YUM!). While we were there we enjoyed seeing my niece’s new house (very old - built in the center of town). It was awesome! I love old houses. Hers had new siding (at least looked new) on the outside and they have done quite a number of renovations to the inside. Very cool pad!

We ended up traveling to Niagara Falls on Friday where we stayed at Four Mile Creek State Park on Lake Ontario just north of Niagara Falls. Awesome campground! Very open and nice and flat for bike riding. Just a word about the New York thruway (I-90) – it sure was a nice road but it cost me $25.35 for the privilege of driving from Albany to Niagara Falls! That was far and above the most expensive toll road I’ve driven on in my life! The fireworks at the falls were spectacular! We witnessed them from Niagara Falls State Park on the American side. It’s a very nice place to view them because they are launched from the Canadian side. It’s like they’re shooting them right at you! We spent all day Saturday (very crowded) seeing the sights:

Ashley on Rainbow Bridge:
[image]

Nearer the falls:
[image]

Maid of the Mist:
[image]

Canadian falls:
[image]

The NL on site 233 at Four Mile Creek State Park:
[image]

Many colorful butterflies at the conservatory:
[image]

[image]

[image]

I’m glad we stopped by and spent the day. It’s a little touristy for my tastes but I’m still glad we were able to see it.
I was worried about going through the border patrol because of all the traffic I constantly saw on the Rainbow Bridge while we were at the falls. I thought we would be waiting in traffic forever so we left the campground around 6 am and made it to the crossing at 6:15. There was only one lane open! OH NO!!! Luckily, there was only one car waiting to get through and they left 10 seconds after we showed up. After talking to the officer for less than a minute we were through. No problems. It took a lot longer to get back into the U.S. Even that didn’t take that long.
We made it to the “Oscada TC rally” (all 7 of us!) around 4 pm on Sunday. Just wanted to say thanks to Joe and Dianna for hosting the event and for the insiders knowledge on the campground. Thanks also needed for Bruce and Kim for everything they brought/did also. We had a great time exploring the river and finding buried treasure under the water ( ROCKS – 1 : BRUCE’S PROP – 0 ).
Up the river there was a great hill apply named the “Sand Hill”. It was just like being on the beach but it was on the side of a hill. Very soft sand. It was very hard to climb and really fun to run down.

Sand Hill:
[image]

COME ON, BRUCE!!! COME ON KIM!!! YOU CAN MAKE IT!!!:
[image]

View from top of Sand Hill:
[image]

Dave, Ashley, Bruce, and Kim on top of Sand Hill:
[image]

Ashley running down Sand Hill:
[image]

Dave, Ashley, and Kim running down Sand Hill:
[image]

We did a lot of boating:

Ashley, Dave, and Joe on Bruce’s boat:
[image]

Bruce, Joe, Chuck, Dave, Ashley, and Kim on Bruce’s boat:
[image]

I had a lot of fun teaching Bruce how to skyski. I was amazed at how quickly he picked it up:

Bruce skyskiing:
[image]

[image]

That’s me skyskiing:
[image]

We did a lot of tubing:

Ashley and Kim airborne:
[image]

Ashley and Dianna:
[image]

Joe:
[image]

Here’s a picture of our boats moored:
[image]

Here’s Joe’s truck camper( WHAT?? ):
[image]

We did some bike riding. Here we are at the handicap accessible fishing dock. It was a lot harder to ride up and down than you would think!
[image]

Here’s Joe cooking us some delicious steaks:
[image]

Here are the TC rally participants hanging around the campsite:
[image]

Dave, Chuck, and Joe:
[image]

Chuck getting frisky with the ladies:
[image]

As you might have noticed, one of the campers looks a little pale and flat. That’s Chuck. He really needs to get off the Atkins Diet!. He wasn’t able to make the rally but he was there in spirit!

Here we are playing Yatzee during an afternoon thunderstorm:
[image]

Here is the rainbow after the storm:
[image]

Here is a very happy dog who is lucky enough to be able to go kayaking with it’s owner! Doesn’t he look like he’s having a blast?
[image]

On our way to Knoxville, TN to visit with my sister who has her boat moored there for the summer we stopped in on the real Chuck and dropped off a few things of his that were misplaced during the Ohio Valley TC Rally back in May. Ashley and I arrived Friday afternoon and Kim was able to fly up on Saturday morning. Here’s our rig in the marina’s parking lot:
[image]

Here is my sisters boat (Failte – If I remember correctly it means “100,000 welcomes”):
[image]

Here’s our boat tied up to Failte:
[image]

Just south of Lake Loudon is Tellico Lake where we jumped off an awesome cliff into the water. The water is very deep just off the shore. Here’s Kim jumping off the highest part:
[image]

And here I am jumping off the same one:
[image]

Here’s Ashley and I jumping off from about 10 feet:
[image]

Spooky picture of the moon over the marina:
[image]

During the journey, I drove 3,794 miles, burned 321 gallons of diesel, spent $1531 on the aforementioned diesel, and averaged 11.9 miles per gallon. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat! Thanks for reading…sorry it was so long winded. Dave.


2004 Northern Lite 10-2000RR, 1999 F250

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kevinbti

st louis

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Posted: 08/05/08 07:13am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for sharing Dave I am a single dad of young teenage daughter I get her for 6 weeks in the summer and we always go camping

jjohnson1179

Girdletree, Maryland

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Posted: 08/05/08 09:08am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very nice looks like you all had a great time


JIMMY JOHNSON
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silversand

Montreal

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Posted: 08/05/08 08:09am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow! What a well-documented and detailed Trip Report. Thanks [emoticon]

It's now in Trip Reports!

Cheers,
Silver-


Silver
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DonCurley

La Sal, Utah

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Posted: 08/05/08 08:17am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great write-up and lots-o-pics. The boat trailer and pet thing notwithstanding, it looks like everyone had a really great time. Thanks for sharing.


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PJ Colahan

Port of Everett, WA

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Posted: 08/05/08 01:05pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dave,
Thanks for making us a part of your trip. Looks like you had a great time.
From the looks of your family I would say you are a lucky man.
What type of boat is your sisters'?
We are hoping to make a long trip like that eventually. Difficult to get just a week or so off at any given time because of my business, but will take what I can get for now. Maybe the future will hold longer trips.
We are leaving tomorrow night after I get off for our trip to the Oregon Coast.
Thanks again for sharing.
PJ

LanceCamper845

Pocono Mountains, PA

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Posted: 08/05/08 01:40pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dave,

I would suggest you stay in a commercial campground so you don't have problems with your pet. There are plenty in that part of Pennsylvania. Looks like you had a great trip.

Jim


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Nemo667

Louisiana

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Posted: 08/05/08 02:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the pics and post Dave...looks like a good time was had by all. [emoticon]


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Raften

Northern Calfornia

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Posted: 08/05/08 03:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the look into your vacation Dave, you sure crammed a lot into the time. As for the State Park thing, what a bunch of******on their part, one of the reasons I avoid them and boondock.

TwoMaineiacs

Near Freeport, Maine

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Posted: 08/05/08 04:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lake fishing in Maine is just superb isn't it! Next time through, let us know and you can do an overnight in our yard (dog welcome). Great photos.

Joe


2011 Chalet Double Slide on a 2013 F-450 Diesel DRW
On the Road Again from Rural Maine
Our travel blog with photos


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