Saturday, July 30, 2016

Travelling Pig

Tucker loves chilling around camp! Specially when the cooking is going on.

As you can see below someone brought their pet pig to camp!  He was a pretty happy pig and didn't seem to mind the many many visitors who stopped in to say hello.

I think he desperately need some mud to roll around in but the weather never helped him out.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Beltzville State Park, Lehighton PA

Tucker always needs his walks so we checked out Beltzville State Park which is right around the corner from Camp.

The walk we took was fairly long I think about 5 miles some of which went around a corn field.
There was a lot of morning dew and my feet soon became soaking wet, not problem in the warm weather.

This hike also sported a lot of raspberries and blackberries which were very tasty.

We only ate them along the way as they aren't as good to bake with as blueberries and we didn't have any containers to fill anyway.
The hike also had waterfalls and a lake to offer and eventually wound it's way up onto a little ridge covered with wildflowers and butterflies!

There must have been 4 or 5 kinds of a butterflies although I don't know any of their names except for the Monarch.
 A groovy black and blue one was fluttering about but all my pictures of it came out blurry. I never have my big camera around when I need it.

No trip to PA would be complete without a walk through Country Junction the self-proclaimed "largest" general store in America.

There is nothing you can't find here. From food to Bigfoot!
 Um and theses!
This is not the famous Cecil, just a regular non-famous stuffed lion.  Although I think it was the most expensive item at the store it was looking a little sad and dusty.

Pretty good week touring around eastern PA. Some of our friends arrive at camp today so that will be fun.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Steelstacks, Bethlehem, PA

PA was the land of Coal and Steel wayback in the day. We have previously visited a coal mine here so this time we explored Steel.

This area of Bethlehem was a big set of steel stacks where steel was produced. It is right on the river (Next to a newer Casino which we didn't visit) and has be re-vitalized as a park and an outdoor concert venue.
The Stacks themselves are huge and almost an unimaginable scale. A railway serviced the stacks bringing materials in and out of the furnaces. Like NYC's Highline park they build a walkway on the elevated train tracks.

It was really really hot that day and the sun was brutal. But we persevered and learned all about what a horribly uncomfortable place it was to work, yet for some reason people still want to bring these jobs back to the US.

Opps not going to get into that here.
Steel was produced here until about 1995 and was used to build everything from cars and warships to skyscrapers.

Read more about Bethlehem Steel on Wikipedia
The next day week took a nice hike out to a Boulder Field.  It is a really odd place where you hike through the woods for a few miles and come to a large field of boulders completely out of the blue.  Surrounded by nothing but forest.

It was created by glaciers repeated freezing and thawing leaving the boulders behind.
Even Tucker found it hard to walk on the boulders and again it was crazy hot. We found a shady spot to eat some lunch and relax.

It is part of Hickory Run State Park which is pretty big and has a bunch of different hikes to be explored.

Amazingly on this hike I some how dropped a wad of cash on the way in. And although we saw 5 or 6 other groups of people hiking I somehow stumbled on the wad on the way out excited I found money... then realized I found my own money!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Martin Guitar Factory, Nazareth, PA

While we are in PA camping for 10 days we have two different groups of friends coming camping on the weekends but the weekdays are pretty quiet so we did some touring around.

The Martin Guitar Factory tour was great, although we don't play guitar we do love factory tours! Sadly there seem to be less and less of them.
Martin Guitars are famous and the factory has a nice museum full of famous peoples guitars and stuff. If you pay money an actual person from the Martin family will give you a tour.

They do make inexpensive instruments I think they have one model under $500 but those are made in Mexico. Everything here is much more expensive.

There is a lot of hard hand work and artistry that goes into one of their guitars and you get to see it all in progress on the tour.
There is also some pretty high-tech equipment in use like numerous laser cutter and engravers.
Clamps, Clamps and more clamps! The workers seem pretty happy, this part of PA isn't exactly a hot-bed of good jobs. I imagine this factory is the best place to work for a hundred miles.

 Guitars are custom made in many different sizes, styles and materials.(Everything in this factory is made of wood, the Mexican factory does produce one partially composite model)
At the end of the tour they have a room with some guitars that one can play.

Totally one of the best factory tours (Although Boeing will always be the top.) we've gone on.

The factory is in a cool old building and we ate lunch right outside at some picnic tables.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Repair Failure

Perhaps the saddest most depressing more anger inducing photo I've ever put on the internet!

After months of being in the shop I picked up the trailer (200 mile round trip) and filled the tank only to have water immediately start leaking!  
In Addition the fresh water tank sensor always reads empty!

After a furious call to the shop they want me to bring it back in right away but we are leaving for a 10 day trip in 2 days and they can't say they will have it done in 2 days so we schedule a day after the trip is over.

This leads to me wanting the $1500+ charge reversed until the tank is fixed. The manager is adamant that without the trailer on their lot for the repair they will not reverse the charge. Fighting about this isn't exactly how I want to spend my 10 day camping trip.

Luckily we are heading to a full hookup site for the trip and not having a water tank won't be an issue.