We left Las Vegas, Nevada for a full-time adventure in our motorhome in June 2013. That first year we discovered the northwest. 2014 saw us go from Arizona to Key West, Florida. Then up the east coast to Knoxville and back west through Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. Our 2015 excursion, which started March 16th, will take us up to Washington and across the upper U.S. to the northeast for the fall seasonal change. Follow us!
Our Travels From September 8th - December 31st, 2015
is April 17, 2016 and we are in our winter camping park in Pahrump, Nevada. Pahrump
is fifty miles west of Las Vegas and four miles from the California border. Pahrump
has approximately 38,000 residents plus a few thousand RVers, like us, that
hangout here during the winter months.
have just started to give considerations to our excursion for 2016. How can
this be? We haven’t told you about the end of travels in 2015. As they say,
“My-Bad”! Well, I’m going to catch you up before we move on to the 2016 plan. The
last time I added an entry to this blog was September 23, 2015, so, here is
what happened since then. This blog entry will be a long one but it will catch everyone
up on our travels.
drive on Tuesday, September 8th from Lancaster, Ohio to Niagara
Falls, NY took us through Canton, Akron, and Cleveland, Ohio. Along Lake Erie
and into the Buffalo-Niagara Falls area during the late afternoon. It was
really an uneventful drive, as they go, until we arrived into the Buffalo area
where we hit some afternoon commute traffic. Our destination was the Niagara
Falls Campground on Niagara Falls Boulevard about 6 miles from the main
attraction, and our reason for being here, Niagara Falls.
RV Park was very functional. While it was in the inner city and on a major
street the street noise was not noticeable, and we stayed there for three
morning after our arrival we headed out for Niagara Falls around 8 A.M. It took
us about 15 minutes for the 6 mile drive to the falls. As fate would have it
the weather was calling for morning showers and partly cloudy weather the rest
of the day. Parking was plentiful at this hour of the morning and we parked
within a couple hundred yards of the bridge to Canada. This area of the city is
obviously the main attraction and it is kept clean and presentable. Plenty of
restaurants and shops.
didn’t know where we were going and ended up walking down a path that would
take us over the bridge to Canada. We found out that most tourists don’t know
that the wonderful views and pictures of Niagara Falls are on the Canadian
side. As we started across the walking sidewalk on the bridge it started to
sprinkle. It is about a quarter to a half a mile walk across the bridge. We
started to pick up the magnificent views of the falls from the bridge. By the
time we reached the center of the bridge it was pouring down rain. The
temperature was around 75 degrees so it wasn’t uncomfortably cold but we were drenched
by the time we reached the center of the bridge. I mean, you couldn’t get
wetter if you stood under the running water in your shower. We were dripping as
we walked into the Canadian customs office and presented our passports. Simple
questions from the Canadian border agent about the purpose of our visit to
Canada and we were released to be tourists in less than 30 seconds. The rain
area, directly across the bridge, has a carnival atmosphere. It is very clean
with many attractions, restaurant, and hotels. The falls are always in the view
and they are about a mile upstream from the bridge. There is a very wide
pathway that moves along the cliffs above the river that gives the great views
of the falls. Many angels were available for the photographic minded. On this
cloudy day with the lighting constantly changing the photographic minded were
challenged. That was me!
went into the newest casino in Niagara Falls, Canada. It reminded me of the
plushness and deep color tones in the Bellagio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
We also went up about 800 feet in the Canadian space needle. Another great view
of the falls from this height.
had breakfast in one of the convenient locations. Something along the lines of
a Denny’s or International House of Pancakes. We felt a little strange as wet
as we were!
owed $20 (Canadian) and I paid for the breakfast with a visa card. I noticed
the next day that this equated to about $15 in U.S. money.
we slowly worked our way through some of the shops and back across the bridge
where we entered the customs facility on the U.S. side. We were interviewed as
a couple, and while this process only took a couple of minutes, the demeanor of
the agents showed a distinct manner of professionalism and caution.
our second day in Niagara Falls we retoured much of the same area we had
covered the prior day. The difference being the weather had changed to a
bright, clear, and sunny day that provided some different photographic moments.
A trip to Niagara Falls should be on everyone’s bucket list!
Friday, September 11th we got underway about 9 A.M. Our destination
was a couple hundred mile drive down Interstate-90 on the New York Turnpike
(toll road) to Verona, NY, and a three night stay at the Turning Stone Resort
& RV Park. This drive took us about three and a half hours as we passed
just south of Rochester, NY, and right through Syracuse, NY. A simple drive
that put us into our RV Park in the early afternoon. The setting in the RV Park
was like living in a well-kept park. It was a newer park that provided large RV
sites that were not right up against your neighbor. Plenty of moving around
took the drive over to the Turning Stone Resort & Casino around 4 P.M. This
is a large casino much like you find in Las Vegas. We headed for the buffet and
found it very worth the venture. The magnetic appeal to the casino didn’t get
to us and we escaped this afternoon adventure feeling just stuffed.
weather got a little dicey with electrical storms in the area and we stayed
close to the RV Park for the weekend. The TV satellite is coming in handy with
the end of the baseball season heating up and football season in full bloom.
Janet continues to read every paperback book in site. She has her favorite
authors. As I write this blog entry on this day I’m sure she has read over 500
paperbacks since our adventure started back in June 2013.
departed Verona, NY about 7:30 A.M. on Monday, September 14th
heading down the New York Turnpike past Albany, NY before turning east on
Interstate-90 towards the Boston, Massachusetts area. Actually our day’s
destination is on Cape Cod at the Bay View Campground in Bourne, Massachusetts,
60 miles south of Boston, and 345 miles from Verona.
drive was uneventful and took just over 7 hours. We arrived in Bourne,
Massachusetts in the middle of the afternoon. The Bay View Campground is a
large park with varying degrees of elevation. The spaces are large and have
fire pits. It has been run for many years by the same family. We picked this
park because of its central location to the tourist areas we wanted to visit in
the Boston area, Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, and Newport Rhode Island.
week was made even more enjoyable by the arrival of our daughters from Las
Vegas. They will be staying for the week we spend in the Boston area.
you have been reading this blog for a year or so you might remember that our
daughters joined us in Miami, Florida in May 2014 and visited Miami, Key West
and St. Augustine, Florida followed by Savanah and Charleston, South Carolina
before flying home.
maximize their time in the Boston area the girls took a red-eye flight from Las
Vegas and arrived at 6:45 A.M. With the traffic rumors of the Boston area we
had heard, we left Bourne for the Boston airport at 5 A.M. The traffic started
backing up 50 miles south of Boston and we were immediately afraid we hadn’t
started early enough. We finally drove onto the airport premises at exactly
6:45 A.M. and received a text message that they had arrived a few minutes
early. We met them at the curb without parking, and headed back to Bourne. I
felt this was a lucky result!
the next 7 days we had fun visiting around the Boston area. We departed out of
Woods Hole on Cape Cod for the short 30 minute Ferry boat ride to Martha’s
Vineyard where we had lunch and discovered the island. It reminded me of the
west coast around Newport Beach in California. But not as crowded! We were
thankful to visit Cape Code just after “the season” had ended.
visited the Newport, Rhode Island and spent the day walking around discovering
the mansions of the upper class from 100 years ago. Many have been restored.
The opulence of that time was incredible! We ended the day with a spectacular and
unforgettable dinner at the Castle Hill Inn in Newport. What a setting at dusk!
Cape Cod we visited Provincetown, Hyannis, Dennis, Plymouth, and Sandwich. We
saw the surprisingly small “Rock” in Plymouth, and had nice leisurely lunches
in Provincetown, Plymouth, and Dennis.
were unsuccessful in our witch hunt in Salem, MA, but did have some decent
pizza. We enjoyed the atmosphere of the town and the ease of driving through
Boston on a Sunday.
visited downtown Boston on the girls last day, Tuesday, September 22nd,
and then dropped them at the airport around 5 P.M. for their 7 P.M. departure
for Las Vegas.
stayed in Bourne for two more nights before packing it up and leaving on Thursday,
September 24th for the 175 mile drive north to Wells, Maine. This
drive went off without a hitch. A beautiful countryside drive that eventually
came to the Atlantic Ocean as we moved into Maine. We stayed in Wells at the Sea-Vu
West RV Resort for four nights. This was a delightful park that was well
maintained. It was just a couple miles from the Interstate and a couple miles
from the highway along the coast.
we took the coast highway to Kennebunkport, Maine to view the Bush Family
estate. We did this on a weekday and the crowds were minimal. Downtown
Kennebunkport reminded me of Carmel, California. The Bush Estate, guarded by
Secret Service, appeared to be six or seven separate residences built on raised
rocks that protrude into the Atlantic Ocean. Security looked adequate!
were in Wells over a weekend and it was extremely crowded on the coast highway.
By extremely I mean it was backed up and moving slowly for five miles in the
north bound lanes. We eventually aborted our southerly drive and Janet found
our location on the maps section of her I-Pad and guided us back to our RV Park
on back streets.
Monday, September 28th, we moved 140 miles north to St. Johnsbury,
Vermont. This was our basic three hour drive up a very picturesque Interstate Highway
– 93. St. Johnsbury is a small town about 50 miles from the Canadian border
below Quebec. We had a two day reservation to stay at the Moose River
Campground in St. Johnsbury but quickly changed the reservation at check-in to
a total of seven days.
purpose of going into northern Vermont was to be sure we would see the seasonal
change of colors in the surrounding areas. Unfortunately the weather remained
unseasonably warm and we didn’t get to see the changes we had anticipated.
our stay in St. Johnsbury we were treated to a very heavy two day rain storm.
There was a small running river right next to the RV Park that came within a
foot of coming over the its bank and into the park. We were on a piece of
higher ground so it probably wouldn’t have been a problem for us. Later, Mary,
the owner of the park said the river had come over its banks a couple years
early and done about $50,000 worth of damage. Somewhat un-nerving!
did get out of the park most every day. We took driving trips to Montpelier, the
capitol of Vermont, and Stowe was about 60 miles to our west. Stowe is a major
skiing area during the winter months and usually beautiful during this autumn
seasonal change. But this year the color had not arrived yet.
also visited the Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream factory in Stowe, and the Cabot,
Vermont Dairy Co-Op gave us a nice tour before we stocked up on their products.
Cheese and crackers is a main meal of RVers when the cook goes on vacation!
This cheese was exceptional. Janet says the Cabo, brand of yogurt is the best
she has ever had, but they don’t sell it in the west.
Headquarters - Stowe, Vermont
also took a one hour drive from St. Johnsbury back south down Interstate-93 to Lincoln,
New Hampshire, and then went on the Lincoln to Conway, New Hampshire drive in
search of foliage color changes in the area. This is a popular drive known as
“The Kanc” to locals. But, it was not to be. The colors had barely started to
change in some areas of the drive. This was a very scenic drive.
drive on Monday, October 5th from St. Johnsbury, Vermont to York,
Pennsylvania was 500 miles and took us about 9 hours. We started in Vermont and
went through parts of Massachusetts and New York before driving halfway across
Pennsylvania before reaching the Harrisburg/York area, which was very busy due
to the hour we arrived. Actually we just missed the commuting hour and it was
had a week’s reservation in the Ben Franklin RV Park in York which was right in
the middle of a few of the local tourist attractions. The weather was about
80-85 degrees and the humidity reminded us of the southeast. Naturally it
rained a little to keep it steamy. We kept the motorhome closed up and ran the
air conditioning most of the time.
appeared to be a blue collar town just south of the state capitol of
Harrisburg. We were just a couple of miles from a spaghetti bowl of freeways
that took us in every direction. On different days our sightseeing took us 20
miles east to Hershey, Pennsylvania to visit the chocolate kiss maker. This was
a very crowded amusement park.
day we drove south 15 miles south to Hanover, Pennsylvania and toured the UTZ potato
chip and crack makers production plant. This was very interesting to see how
the different products were mass produced. While potato chips are rather
fragile they ship an amazing amount of them every single day. We tasted the
various flavors. This was a worthwhile and uncrowded attraction.
the number one attraction was 30 miles to the west of our RV Park in York. It
is the Gettysburg National Military Park. This park is part of the National
Park Service and is very well done. The visitors center and park museum are
like no other I have seen. The story leading up to and after the three days in
July, 1863 is well told. We took a park service air-conditioned bus with an
onboard Park Ranger that told the story of the battle in about three hours. We
were on and off the bus about five times as the ranger told the story. The loss
of life was staggering! It was hair raising as we took the tour, just as it is
for me right now writing about it. Just reflecting on the experience!
I was astounded at the size of the main battlefield for the amount of action
going on, and the amount of soldiers involved. While there was more than one
battle line drawn in the Gettysburg battlefield area the actual main
battlefield appears to be just a couple miles square. In my mind that was just
hope everyone gets a chance to visit Gettysburg at some point.
left York in our rearview mirror on a rainy and drizzly Monday morning, October
12th. We determined our destination, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
was too far to go in one day.I made a
one night reservation to stay 350 miles south in Sims, North Carolina.
were pleasantly surprised to find the Rock Ridge Campground about four miles
off Interstate-95. It was in among farms in rolling hills. There was a small
lake on the premises that was loaded with fish. The trees were high and the
winds were light. It was very quiet and comfortable for the night. It was
got started the next morning around 8 A.M. Our destination, Myrtle Beach, was
still a couple hundred miles southeast.
arrived in Myrtle Beach around noon and were surprised to find how far it was
off the mainstream interstate highway. Near 85 miles! It was a nice drive down
two lane highways and through smaller towns. Really enjoyable.
were in Myrtle Beach to see Jim and Sharon B. Jim was a business associate of
mine from the 1970s to the 90s in California. Of course I was interested in
seeing some of the golf courses in the Myrtle Beach area. Our reservation was
for a week in North Myrtle Beach right on the ocean at the Apache Campground
starters it turned out that there had been a severe rain storm in the area the
previous week and the golf courses were closed with puddles in the fairways.
were not really specific about what day we would turn up in Myrtle Beach and
Jim’s wife turned out to be in Charlotte visiting her grandchildren. We got
together with Jim for dinner in Murrell’s Inlet, and when Sharon came back a
couple days later we did it all again. It was good to see Jim and Sharon and discuss
the old days. Both dinners remain memorable.
Wednesday, October 21st we headed 320 miles further south down
Interstate-95 to St. Augustine, Florida to visit the area and specifically the
World Golf Hall of Fame.
arrived in St. Augustine in the mid-afternoon and realized right away that rain
was in the forecast. The Stagecoach RV Park was still showing signs (puddles)
of the last storm to pass. It did rain through the night but for the remaining three
days were dry.
the stay we toured the coast south of Jacksonville and stopped in Ponte Vedra .
. . to go to the bank. The drive from St. Augustine north to Ponte Vedra was
approximately 25 miles of driving next to the beach. We past many beautiful
visited the World Golf Hall of Fame. This is where the “Golf Gods” are
memorialized, so, scratch that off the bucket list. Very classy and worth the
stop. Since this was my 59th year playing golf I was more than
satisfied with the presentations in the hall. Be sure and stop here if you are
in the neighborhood.
toured downtown St. Augustine and had lunch upstairs at A1A Ale Works
overlooking the main street along the water and the bridge. Go there!
Sunday, October 25th, we headed west 320 miles on Interstate-10 to
the Destin, Florida area to visit Bob and Sandye C. for a little golf and fun
but the weather did not cooperate with us. We got caught up in the following storms
from a hurricane that came out of the Pacific and across Mexico and into the
got cancelled and we sat out travels for a couple days. On Wednesday, October
28th we took off on Interstate-10 and beat the hurricane’s trailing
storms by driving cautiously 1,075 miles from DeFunicak Springs, Florida to
Fort Stockton, Texas - in 20 hours.
was 3 A.M. when we pulled into the Walmart parking lot in Fort Stockton. This
was a first for us, but there were 12 other motorhomes in the highly lighted
parking area. Thank you Walmart for welcoming RVers into your parking lots
overnight! We were asleep in 10 minutes after the curtains were closed.
were up and out of the Walmart parking lot at 9 A.M. on Thursday, October 29th
and heading 285 miles up Interstate-10 through El Paso, Texas and into Las
Cruces, New Mexico. We checked into the Sunny Acres RV Park in Las Cruces in
the early afternoon for a three day stay, and the rain caught up with us that
need more time in Las Cruces and plan on getting back there in the next year.
Monday, November 2nd we moved the final 350 miles to Casa Grande,
Arizona where we will spend the next month detoxing from the quick journey
across the southern U.S. When we were planning our excursion for 2015 it ended
at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and we had no further “planned” stops. We knew we
wanted to go to Myrtle Beach, St. Augustine, and Destin, Florida, but we didn’t
know if we would have time. It turned out we could make it to those places but
the bad weather found us and longer stops in those places were curtailed. Janet
and I came up kind of home sick as November came around so we pressed getting
to the west because we had no real plan. We saw no further rain during the
month we spent at Rover’s Roost, the Escapee RV Club’s initial RV Park which is
50 miles south of Phoenix.
met Janet’s brother and his wife Ann, and Janet’s brother Greg and his daughter
Janina at the Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino south of Phoenix for a Sunday
lunch. They all have lived in the Phoenix area for years, and we enjoyed
catching up with them.
son, and Janet’s step-son, Jim, drove down from Las Vegas and spent a couple
weekend days with us. It was exciting to explore the Casa Grande Ruins and
Monument about 15 miles northeast from Casa Grande in Coolidge, Arizona. These Indians had a method of irrigation used to get water to their crops
out in the southwestern desert.
Roost is located out in the country about seven miles from the Casa Grande
downtown area. It is only 2 miles from the Francisco Grande Hotel & Golf
Resort which is also out in the country on its own. The hotel and golf course
were initially developed by the San Francisco Giants baseball club for use as a
spring training facility. The facility had four baseball diamonds from 1961
through 1984. Today those baseball fields are soccer fields. The grill in the
hotel serves an excellent half pound cheeseburger. We ate there weekly, but I
used the driving range at the golf resort almost daily.
Monday, November 30th, we left Rover’s Roost in Casa Grande, Arizona
for the 400 mile move to our winter hangout in Pahrump, Nevada. That is where
we remain today. We have made friends of many people here at “Pair-A-Dice”, the
Escapee Co-Op RV Park in Pahrump. Besides, there is a really nice golf course here,
and many new friends have been made there.
that catches everyone one up.
now, April 17, 2016, we are talking about our excursion in 2016 and it looks
like we will have our medical exams out of the way and we should be on the road
about May 11th. Our first stop looks like it will be Yosemite
National Park near Fresno, California. Janet and I, being native west coasters,
surprisingly have never been to Yosemite. My camera is ready and we are looking
forward to the vistas. Follow us along in 2016 and I promise to post this blog
much more often that 2015.
from Dave & Janet, a.k.a., The BooniePeople.