Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Asheville and beyond! (Happiness is a repairshop!)

Sunday morning we accidentally met our friends walking their dogs when we were walking Tucker along the river.

Everyone had a good walk and we stopped by our "regular" campground and turns our there were 4 or 5 spots even river front sites. The whole place only has about 15 sites so I am sure we could have pulled and got one but we couldn't take that chance given it was Memorial Day Weekend.
Monday we did a nice hike along the blue ridge parkway. I wasn't feeling 100% so it wasn't that long a hike just about 5 miles.

It was a bit cloudly but that was OK by me.

Our appointment was first thing wednesday morning in Colfax NC. It wasn't too far away but we went there tuesday to overnight at a Walmart around the corner from the shop.

We stopped along the way to walk around some small town I forget the name of that had pig statues as it's thing.
We were prompt at 9am when the shop opened and dropped the trailer off and did the paper work.

About 10 minutes away we set ourselves up at a Starbucks with outdoor seating for us and Tucker and enjoyed fast internet.

We didn't get to enjoy it for long as they finished the repair by 10 am. Here you cansee the original strap on the left and then 2 of the 3 stainless straps I had fabricated in Durham. Everything looks great. OF COURSE the tech explained the place that botched the tank replacement used the completely wrong bolts (Who knows what happened to the originals) when they re-assembled the straps.  So basically he was amazed they hadn't fallen out much sooner.   Great.... tha repair will give me nightmares for the rest of my life.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Asheville is about beer!

Friday night we met our friends Paul and Randy for some great Tacos and beer in the Riverarts District. Usually we camp near there on the river a few miles down from a dog park.

Turns out this campground is also near the other Dog Park which on other trips I've heard is actually nicer. But instead of walking there we have to drive.
It wasn't too busy but it is bigger and nicer than the other dog park. However it is also super muddy from all the rain they have had.

After Tucker-Time we did a little shopping at REI to use up Will's member cash and a 25% off coupon.

He got new hiking boots and I got some Superfeet Green Insoles which are amazing. Since getting them we've done a bunch of hikes and they really are amazing better than the ones that came in my hiking shoes.
Shopping left us thirsty so we hit town to checkout some new beer places we haven't tried yet.

This is Beufort he was awesome and only 10 months old.
We hit three beer places in all, downtown (Really the south slope area not proper downtown) was busier than we have ever seen it. Later we found there had been a beer fest and when it was over people just wandered around drinking more.
Finally we got really hungry and landed at Wicked Weed Brewing to have some dinner.

These stilt ladies were amazing walking around and interacting with people as if they where on 6 or 8 feet high stilts.

I have no idea how they do it.
There was a short wait for seat but there was no rush.

We didn't even have beer here just dinner and some diet cokes.

Food was excellent!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Heading South (With a few more hiccups)

After visiting my brothers we setoff to Durham NC to visit my friend Karen.  We picked out a nice state park on a lake about 30 minutes from her place and set off.

Once again things didn't go too swimmingly and we heard more metalic noises on the drive. Eventually when we could we found a nice place to pull over and noticed the remaining 2 water tank straps were dangling. One was still intact the other had broken.  We pulled the trailer into an empty office park and I removed them both putting the bolts back and made sure the water tank was empty!

Anyway we met Karen out for her birthday at a pub with some more of her friends and we had a great time. We hadn't hungout in a long time.
Oh did I mention during the rest of the strapless drive I did my best to try and get an appointment for repairs or to find out if I could get the parts I needed with no success. One promising place suggested I just go to a metal shop and have them make the parts. I did call some before we got to Durham and one did return my call and ended up making the parts I needed in half an hour for 80$.
The rest of that day we walked around Duke and made plans to hangout at Karen's with takeout.  We ended up getting delicious pizza and having a fun evening.
After that we got on the road to Asheville, NC on the way there we stopped at the RV Airstream dealer who suggested we have the part made. They said they couldn't see us for weeks but I pleaded my case IN PERSON and they agreed to see us but not till the next week so we made the appointment and just continued to Asheville.
Being that it was Memorial Day we were worried we wouldn't find camping in Asheville so we called ahead and got a lot of no's. Not that we stopped heading there....eventually we got one yes from a place we haven't stayed at before.  It turned out good enough. Our friends from Greensboro also found a cancellation at another park so we get to meetup in Asheville.

These pictures are from a hike up to Looking Glass Rock a big out of place giant stone outcropping in the Pisgah National Forest. It was a nice hike and Tucker was really looking photogenic.

After the hike we stopped in super cute Brevard where they have white squirrels. We didn't see any even with Tucker the Squirrel expert on duty. You can see a cute metal cutout of one on the traffic lights.

We got iced coffee and brownies before heading home (to the trailer) to relax.

Monday, May 22, 2017

A few days in Lancaster

We are spending a few days in Lancaster to visit my brothers, one lives here and the other lives nearby in Maryland.

We did a long 10 mile walk along a rail trail to this dam with my brother Al.
It was very flat but 10 miles is a long walk specially when we were all getting hungry and we were only 1/2 way done.

The river is very wide and we are pretty high above it for most of the walk. The rail trail we are on is above another rail line that is still in use.

Rock climbing is a popular way to enjoy the cliffs that flank the river.

There were many groups of climbers preparing to climb but it seems like a slow and difficult process.

We did see a couple people actually climbing up the cliffs eventually.
After the walk we went and gorged ourselves on some philly cheese steaks they tasted really good considering we didn't get lunch till near 3pm!

Lancaster is full of Amish and Menonites so horse and buggies are a common sight as are cows and horses. Our campground has cows!

BTW you don't get used to smell in a 3 days.

We took a drive down to my brother Mikes house and hungout and BBQ'd.

His kids were surprising calm from an exciting weekend of sports competitions and a school dance.

It was great to get and see everyone on the way out on our trip.

Out hookups in the campground was blessed with 3 beautiful robin's eggs. At first we thought it was fake but we did see the momma bird sitting the nest.  We tried not to disturb it when un-hooking.

Friday, May 19, 2017

A rough (and frustrating) start!

With a busy beginning of May it was kind of a rush job getting ready to head out for a summer trip.

It has also been a while since we packed for a long trip so it is hard to remember everything you need to bring.

Eventually the minor repairs and packing got finished and we set off.

Our first stop was Newburgh, NY we took a nice but very warm walk on the nice part of the waterfront.

It is the first really hot day we've had this summer of course.

It isn't that long a drive to Newburgh but it is never a good idea to bite off a big first day.

After the walk we found a shady spot to park the trailer and opened the windows and turned on the fans to start cooling it off for the night and we hit Newburgh Crewing Company for some beers and dinner.
The brewery was pretty cool on the second story of an old mill building. It needed outdoor space so we could bring Tucker but instead had a nice view of the Hudson.

After a relaxing few beers we motored over to the Walmart to spend the far so good...

After that things went a little worse. On the drive from Newburgh towards Lancaster PA we heard a strange metalic dragging/dangling noise. At the next convient place we pulled over at a park for lunch I noticed one of the steel straps on the water tank had come un-done and was dangling and one end had worn off. A little crawling underneath and I managed to take off the other bolt and the broken bracked... Well 2 out of 3 brackes isn't bad.  We let out some of the 40 gallons of freshwater just to be safe.  I am sure the crappy Camping World people are to blame.

After that we made it to Lancaster PA just fine. We couldn't stay where we wanted to next to Dutch Wonderland because it was booked up the girl scouts and ended up at a nice RV park with the Water Wheel you see here. It also had a covered bridge.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Chargers installed

 In the over dinette storage I installed a switch and a voltage readout.

As you will see below I ended up buying another charger that included 2 charging ports AND a Voltage meter.

4.2A Dual Port USB Charger with Voltmeter

So I will likely replace this voltage meter with the original 2 port charger.

Here you can see the new Charger and Switch installed.  I didn't end up using the 4 port mount as there wasn't really enough room.

What I did end up doing was re-using the two holes that were already in the wall of the trailer. The TV power cord went into the top hole and came out the lower hole. They are only 4 inches away from each other so there was little point to running the cord in the wall.

In an amazing coincidence the holes for the cord were exactly the size needed to install the switch and chargers.  I tapped right into the power for that 12V port.

We are in the process of getting the trailer together to head out for the summer!  It has been too long since we were on the road.