A fulltimers journal July 2009
July 2009

How about some fireworks this month for a change

4th of July

4th of July in Elgin, Or isn't a real bang up event, fireworks are illegal in Oregon, but there'a still always a few who'll set them off anyway.

HAPPY TRAILS TO ALL and if you're out there on the roads BE SAFE.

7/1-7/6/09 Hu-Na-Ha RV Park, Elgin, Or
Umatilla National Forest
This month started with us in Elgin, Or. at a customers for a few days and then with the holiday looming we decided we'd just stay put until all the revelers (as in drunks) were off the road and back in there cages.

So we headed up into the forest and got in a couple bike rides. this shot is the spot we found for out picnic on the 4th. It was a quiet meadow overlooking the forest and mountains off in the distance. Here's a people eye, and an ants eye view of the spot -

Honey In The Meadow             The Meadow

07/07/09 - Clearwater Crossing RV Park, Orofino, Id
Down the mountain

OR82>OR3>WA129>US12>ID7 Orofino, Id Windy twisty fun drive.

The drive over and through the mountains was a fun one. I'd planned for it so we made it a short day - only 175 miles - but the reality was even more than I anticipated. It's a windy twisty road for most of the run, but there's one section that's really interesting (see the photo) which is on OR3, about 9 miles or so down the side of the mountain. Finally the bottom appears and you breathe a sign of relief.

It's short lived - now there's the other side of the valley, about the same kind of road only up instead of down. I really love these kinds of roads, they're challenging and the sights are worth the challenge.

 

7/8/09 - Riverfront Rv Park, Garrison, Mt
Musical Lunch

US12> Garrison, Mt this was real heavy on the scenics and runs along the river almost the whole way.

The picture on the left was taken out the door which we left open when we stopped for lunch in a turn out on the side of the road. The sound of the rushing water was a seranade for our luch and we sat up front so we could look out at the river and listen to its melody.

The River
This was taken on the roll from the road - and it was like this most of the day :))  

7/9/09 - Miles City KOA, Miles City, Mt
I94 - Montana

I90>I94 Miles City, Mt - the interstate, generally in pretty good shape up here.

You'd think being back on the big road the scenics would go down, and in some respects they do, but one of the reasons for choosing the northern route was because it is the road less traveled. There are a lot more open spaces and the interstates are more likely to be lined with trees than they are billboards and houses.

Miles city was also a break point - after 3 or 4 days driving we like to take a break, smell the roses and get shopping, laundry, etc. caught up. We've been avoiding the KOA's this year as they're just overpriced in out opinion. They offer a lot of ammenities that we just don't need or take advantage of. But this one seemed reasonable, and it turned out to be a nice park for us - nice dirt road that ran next to the river for my morning walks and reasonably priced. We'll add this one to our list for the next time we're up this way.

7/11/09 - Jamestown KOA, Jamestown, Nd
US93 North Bound

I94>Jamestown, Nd - more of the same.

Now that's a BIG cow. I saw this off in the distance and could not figure out what it was. Looked like a cow, but it couldn't possibly be a cow - well turns out it is a cow, the worlds largest fiberglass cow to be exact :)) A sign on the road as we went by announced that this was the home of Salem Sue, the worlds largest holstein. A quick Google search turned up the facts - it's an interesting story and I won't spoil it by summarizing here. But click the link or Google it yourself if you're insterested.

 

7/12/09 - Northland Camping & RV Park, Superior, Wi
Hargerman, Id

I94>MN336>US10>US59>US71>MN87>MN371>MN86>US169>MN210>I35>US2 >Superior, Wi (now follow that one on the map :))

Here's a view of Duluth, Mn as we approached from the west. We were originally planning on staying at a city park in Duluth and called a couple hours before we got there to see if they had any pull throughs for the night - come on in they say - so we do and they don't have any pull throughs. Not wanting to drop the car, etc. we opted for another park over the border in Wi and as an afterthough I'm glad we did. Getting out of Duluth on a Monday morning might not have been my idea of a good time :)).

There was also a big plus for this park - there's a hiking/biking trail right next to it and it was one of the best places to walk/jog that we've been to :)) This is a definite go back the next time we pass by this way.

 

7/13/09 - Marquette Tourist Park, Marquette, Mi
Marquette Tourist Park

US2>MI28>Marquette, Mi
Marquette Tourist Park is a city park and extremely nice. But we did get in a couple bike rides and it was a great area to explore. On our first outing we watched a coal ship come into the coal dock, it's worth seeing if you're the mechanical type - a big dock with coal cars on top feeding coal into a hopper that then feeds it into the ships hold. Here's a shot of it just starting into the dock along with a shot of the city of Marquette from the other side of town.

Coal Dock     Marquette, Mi

7/16/09 - Oskoda KOA, Oskoda, Mi

US41>MI117>US2>I75>US23>Oskoca, Mi (DNR)

This park is not on our return list - very spendy and just not worth the price for us. We'll stop short or continue on next time around. This is why there are so few KOA's this year. You'd think with the economy in the drink that they'd be lowering their prices to draw people in, but it certainly doesn't seem that way to us. If you're wondering - $43 for the night for a pull through - we're used to paying about $10 a night less than that.

The drive and the picture are another story. This is Lake Michigan. We have seen a lot of the lakes as we've driven across Wisconsin and Michigan, but this one brings to mind the ocean more clearly than any of my other shots of them. The waves are small, but they're still waves on a fairly calm day and the lake fades into the horizon giving you the illusuion it goes on forever :)

 

7/17/09 - Brady's Leap Service Plaza, Ohio Turnpike
Hu-Na-Ha Rv Park

US23>I80(Ohio Turnpike) -

Count them yourself - 11 axles and at 20,000/axle that's a truck that can carry over 200,000 pounds (that's 100 tons). When we trucked 80,000# was our max weight. I can't imagine that much more weight, must be a real bear to get rolling and to stop. I got this shot, after trying to get a couple of them of the trucks rolling by, in a rest area when we stopped for a break.

We decided to dry camp for the night on the Ohio Turnpike and it was a quiet night. Doesn't really save us any money as compared to most RV parks by the time you figure in the fuel to run the generator all night, but it's a lot more convenient. Some of the service plazas even had an RV area with electric a dump station - but they had a 40 foot limit for them and I'm fairly sure (judging from the size of the power box) that they just have 30 amp power. The rest area worked out well for us and we had a quiet and peaceful night.

7/18/09 - Buttonwood Campground, Mexico, Pa
layered rock

I80>US220>US322>PA75>Mexico, Pa

Buttonwood is a HUGE park and with us being there on Saturday it was jammed. When we called to see if there was a space available we got the last pull through they had. There were so many fires going that we couldn't venture outside - looks like a great place to visit mid-week, but it's a smoky kids zone on summer weekends.

Raging Campfile

The shot to the left was a pretty rock formation along the road.

7/19/09 Sills Family Campground, Adamstown, Pa
Bike Ride & Picnic

US22>I283>I76>PA272>Adamstown, Pa  We're here 7/19-7/30

We're here on business for 2 weeks and Sill's is right up the road from the office here. We've merged with Layover.com, and I'm here working on getting that transition work done and on a couple other projects that we're going to be working on together. Sill's is a real nice campground and the hosts are very freindly. Bring your Air Card, there's a lot of trees and the satellite doesn't work here.

The picture is from Saturday, we took a ride out to Mt Gretna and found this spot for our picnic. It's a community lake/swimming hole, so there were lots of kids taking advatange of the nice weather and entertaining us with their various styles of jumping into the water :))

We also picked up a new (to us) car while we were here. I'll try to get a new shot of "my train" for the next post. Till then tis a mystery :~)

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