Visit to Boston: heat, humidity, and GPS disasters!

Ever since we started on our Full-Time journey, I have done my due diligence with trip planning, not depending on just one resource for checking travel routes.  We have an RV Garmin, the truck has Navigation software, my IPad has Google Maps, and we also use an atlas as well as paper state maps.  Should be fool-proof, right?  Nope!  Sometimes the last 10 miles to the campground can give us grief.

We left the Finger Lakes area headed to Wompatuck State Park so we could visit Boston.  The last 10 miles, we started getting conflicting directions from the RV Garmin, trucks GPS, and my IPad.   Because the RV’s GPS has our rig’s height it made sense to listen to her (we call her Bitchin’ Betty) to avoid low overpasses.  Well, Bitchin’ Betty was wrong!  We ended up in a neighborhood with a dead end and no place to turn around.  Guess who was bitchin’???

Fortunately, a man working in his yard saw our dilemma and came to our rescue.  With the coolest Boston accent, he guided Jeff back down a hill and around the corner, while I played cop and attempted to  direct traffic.  It was NOT fun!  This kind man told us that we weren’t the first ones to end up there.  Apparently, there is another entrance to the park but its closed to motor vehicles!

I realize that parks in the East were built way before these big rigs.  And just because a park has 40 ft sites that could accommodate your rig, doesn’t necessarily mean you should.  First you have to reach the site and then be able to get into it!  Wompatuck State Park in Hingham, MA is a lovely park located about 35 minutes south of Boston.   But, the roads in the park are very narrow, curvy,  with tons of trees with low hanging branches.   After the fiasco in the neighborhood, we did manage to get to our site and Jeff was able to back-in without hitting any trees.

The Park Rangers were helpful in advising the best way to reach Boston, certainly not driving Bart (big ass red truck) our dually.  There are two choices, the MBTA Boston’s transit system called the T or taking the commuter ferry.  Due to all of the construction, we opted for the ferry.  A little more expensive but a lot faster and more fun.

We got off at Long Wharf which is in the heart of Boston, close to the Freedom Trail. The ferry trip was cool, but when we landed in Boston it was very warm and humid.  It was actually a record setting day, reaching 98 degrees with over 100 degrees heat index.

Our plan was to walk as much of the Freedom Trail as we could, hoping to see most of the 16 sites, but it was just too hot and miserable.  So we decided to take the HopOn/HopOff Trolley, first to get an overview and then hop off to see some of the historical sites.  Once we got on the trolley, we didn’t want to get off!   It was just too damn hot.  And the trolley driver was very entertaining and knowledgeable.  We did get off at the USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned warship that’s still afloat.


It was very cool to be on a ship that’s over 200 years old and still floats!

Our only other hop off was to Cheers, just so we could get a cold beer!  The downstairs is the original bar that the show was about, and upstairs is the actual set where it was filmed.

So our trip to Boston was not what we had hoped or expected.  But, hey it’s all an adventure!  It’s a cool city with tons of history….we will defiantly come back!

Letchworth State Park-The Grand Canyon of the East

Letchworth State Park comprises 14,350 acres, approximately 1 1/2 miles wide and 17 miles long, following the course of the Genesee River. The walls of the gorge are layers of shale, limestone, and sand that rise up to 600 ft. in height.

can you imagine this in the fall?


There are three waterfalls at the south end of the park.  The Upper Falls, a 50 ft. drop over a horseshoe bend, making them a little hard to see, but can be seen from the Portage Bridge.


P1000301 (3)The Middle Falls are within easy walking distance from the Upper, and they are the tallest (107 ft.) and the most picturesque.


The Lower Falls are a bit further downstream and have the shortest drop (70 ft.)


You have to climb down 127 steps to get the best view, but it’s totally worth it. There’s a stone footbridge just below the falls.



The best overlooks are Tea Table, Great Bend, Archery Field, and Inspiration Point.  And of course, the Falls.

There is also a nice visitor’s center/gift shop and a cool, interactive nature center with a butterfly garden.

732acf45-de19-46d8-a261-ef16cbccd9a6-5911-0000039bbf617240The huge campground with 8 loops is at the north end of the park, about 14 miles from the waterfalls and overlooks.  Sites are mostly shaded back-in with either 30A or 50A, no water or sewer.  Most sites are a good size with decent separation and privacy.  Feels like you are camping in a beautiful forest.  Just be aware that dogs are only allowed in Loops 100, 200, and 700.  The campground also offers camp store, rec building, several playgrounds, and on-site laundromat.

Finger Lakes, NY

We stayed at Sampson State Park, a lovely, huge park on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes Region, north central New York.  The location was perfect for day trips to the other state parks in the area, including Watkins Glen and Taughannok Falls.   As in the other NY parks, the sites are electric only but camping in one, allows free access to the others.  The Finger Lakes area is beautiful and there is no end of wineries and breweries.

Watkins Glen: a magical place with steps, steps, and more steps, but a big payoff-19 waterfalls


This State Park is the most famous of all of the Finger Lakes Parks.  The most popular trail, the Gorge Trail, runs over, under, and along the park’s 19 waterfalls by way of bridges and more than 800 stone steps.  We were disappointed that part of the trail was closed due to recent flooding and only were able to hike about half way.  However, it was still such a magical place, where you imagine seeing fairies or elves!





Playing around with aperture settings!



Taughannok Falls

Another day trip to Taughannok Falls, the tallest free-falling waterfall east of the Mississippi.  With a drop of 215 ft. drop, it’s 33 ft. taller than Niagara, but a much smaller volume of water.   It’s an easy hike to the base of the falls, so Rick was able to join us!



We treated ourselves to delicious homemade ice-cream at Cayuga Lake Creamery.  They also make their own waffle cones.  Yum!

About a year before we headed out on our FT journey, I started following blogs of RVer’s travels.  That’s where I discovered so many beautiful places I had never heard of….like the Finger Lakes Area.

I’m learning photography so my photos are not as good as some and my writing style does not have the wit and humor of others, but hope my post will be helpful and inspire you to visit this wonderful place!

Until next time……

The Power of Nature: Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is the collective name for three waterfalls that straddle the border between United States and Canada.   Horseshoe Falls, the largest lies on the border of U.S. and Ontario.  The American and Bridal Veil Falls lie entirely on the American side.

So what is the attraction of this place, that millions of people come each year, including tourists, honeymooners, and daredevils?

Perhaps it’s not only the beauty, but the power.  There are 500 falls in the world that are taller than Niagara, but what makes Niagara so impressive is the amount of water flowing over.  It has more than 6 million cubic ft. of water flowing over the crest line  every minute.

It is one of those tourist attractions that have tons of people that can be hard to deal with.  But, I still recommend it.  The roar of the falls,  the expanse of the flow, and the beautiful blue/green water is something to experience firsthand.



We spent 5 days at Four Mile Creek State Park, located only 15 miles north of Niagara Falls State Park.  By camping in a NY State Park, it allows free parking in any other parks which saves you $10 per day.  Sites are large, nicely spaced with shade trees, picnic table, and fire pit.  There are 10 50 amp sites, 129 30 amp sites & 136 nonelectric.  10 waterfront sites are located on the shores of Lake Ontario.

In order to experience the Falls close up and personal, we purchased the Discovery Pass.  For $46 it includes 5 attractions: Maid of the Mist Boat Tour, Cave of the Winds, Aquarium of Niagara, Adventure Theater, Discovery Center, and unlimited trolley rides  for one day.







It’s worth walking across the Rainbow Bridge to the Canadian side, a different view and perspective.

Moochdocking in Canada: Nice, EH?


After leaving Niagara Falls, we went to Canada to visit our friends Judy and Doug .  We met them in Arizona, when we hosted together at Cave Creek Regional Park.

They live in a valley below the Niagara Escarpment on 20 acres with hiking trails outside their back door!

Despite being in their 70’s, Judy and Doug are avid hikers.  They even maintain part of the Bruce Trail that’s on their property.  At the top, we could see their house!  We had such a good time;  hiking, visiting local attractions, just hanging out on the deck enjoying happy hours and good conservation.

We checked out Blue Mountain Ski resort and rode the gondola.  Rick enjoyed the wildlife exhibit with a bald eagle.


DSCN0725 (2)

Hike to a waterfall

Their Monarch nursery!  It was soooo cool!  We left before the birth, but Doug shared his photos.  Amazing, EH?


Thanks Doug and Judy for a wonderful time!

Next up, Finger Lakes, NY

A Step Back in Time: Visiting Gettysburg & Amish Country

I have to admit I wasn’t as excited about visiting Gettysburg as Jeff was.   Why be reminded of such an awful time in our history, the bloodiest battle of the Civil War where more than 50,000 soldiers lost their lives?  Then I remembered the saying at the Holocaust Museum in D.C., “Think about what you saw”.

As with most National Parks, this one is done very well.  We started with the Visitor’s Center and Civil War Museum.   I regret not seeing the Cyclorama, a massive, oil on canvas painting depicting the “Battle of Gettysburg” on July 3, 1863, providing the viewer of what occurred at the battle.   But, the line was too long and we wanted to tour the 25 miles of battlefield.


The monuments are presented with incredible detail and some even had volunteers that gave talks and answered questions.  You can’t help but be moved by the historical significance of the battles and Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address.



We really could have easily spent several days here, but Mother Nature did not agree and our visit was shortened by rain.


We spent a day in Lancaster County, visiting an Amish farm.  Rick enjoyed the buggy ride and seeing the animals.


Jeff was very impressed with this farm that does not use electricity, only a diesel fueled generator and mules.  He worked on a dairy farm when he was in high school and said it was a lot of work, even with electricity and tractors.  We found the Amish very friendly and engaging.

School transportation!

I wanted to spend more time touring the countryside, especially finding the iconic covered bridges of the area.  But, again the weather did not cooperate.  Now, if I was more of a spontaneous RVer and did not have the month already booked, we could have adjusted our plans and perhaps stayed longer.   But, I have not found the balance between booking our sites ahead of time and just winging it.  Admittedly, I am too anal.  The other reason is since we prefer National and State Parks, you must have advance reservations, sometimes several months prior.  At this point in our travels, I’m not ready to take a chance of where we will end up!

Another disappointing issue with this post is my pictures.  I recently purchased a new camera, Panasonic Lumix FZ300.  It’s a great camera, I’m just learning all the functions & settings, trying to jump out of the Auto mode!!  I often drool over my blogger friends pics and have been motivated to improve.  And I think it’s always good to learn and develop new skills!  I’ve been frantically watching YouTube videos and reading photography guides because our next stop is Niagara Falls!

Until next time…….


Workin’ and Playin’ in Delaware

Part 11 The Playin’

Did you know that Delaware was the first state?  I must have missed that day in history class because I thought it was Virginia, but that was the first colony.  Tons of history here, the locals are very proud of their state and love to talk about it.

We were greeted by a very spry 80 yr. old at one museum and she went on and on for 45 min. (I’m not exaggerating!) I finally had to politely excuse myself to use the restroom (knowing there wasn’t one in the building) we were able to make a hasty retreat!

We spent several days visiting Lewes, noted for being the First Town in the First State.


img_1731-e1532895283177.jpgWalking tour of downtown historic Lewes

The Cannonball House is so named due to the battle scars it bears from the War of 1812.  During the Bombardment of Lewes, the British attacked the town and kept the canal front under siege, but eventually were defeated.

img_1734-1The Ryves Holt House, oldest house in Delaware built in 1665.  Now is the home of the Lewes Historical Society Visitor’s Center.


The Zwaanendael Museum was built by the State of Delaware in 1931 during the 300 year anniversary of the first Dutch Settlement in order to honor the memory of the original settlers who were massacred by a local tribe of the Lenni Lenape Indians.


St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and Graveyard which surrounds the church, has many interesting stones dating back to 1774.

There are many shops and restaurants along Second Street, the sidewalks are all paved in brick, with old fashioned street lights and baskets of flowers.

There was even a Puzzle Shop.  Rick was in Heaven!

We went on a Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise at Fisherman’s Wharf, no whales, but did see many dolphins.  Hint:  we saw just as many on the Ferry from Lewes to Cape May at 1/3 the cost!


Lewes/Cape May Ferry


img_1374-1Looking for dolphins!

Ocean Boardwalks

We went to the boardwalk at Rehoboth Beach and Ocean City, MD.  Ocean City is longer, but we preferred Rehoboth which was named one of the top ten boardwalks.   It has nicer shops and restaurants.

Lightship Overfalls


The Lightship Overfalls is one of 17 remaining lightships out of a total of 179 built from 1820-1952.  A lightship is basically a lighthouse that floats and serves the same functions.

Assateague Island


I’m sure many of you are familiar with the feral Chincoteague Ponies and Assateague Horses that live on Assateague Island in Maryland and Virginia.  The breed was made famous by the children’s book series, Misty of Chincoteague.  There are several legends regarding the origins of the ponies, the most popular holds that they descended from survivors of a wrecked Spanish ship that swam to the shore.

Although the entire island is owned by the federal government, Assateague is split by a fence at the Maryland/Virginia state line, with a herd of about 150 ponies living on each side of the fence.  The herds are managed by two different federal agencies with different management styles.  Horses from the Maryland herd live within the Assateague National Seashore and are generally treated as wild animals, given no more or less assistance than other species on the island, other than contraceptive treatment to prevent overpopulation.  Conversely, the Chincoteague herd are owned by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department.  The Virginia ponies are treated to twice yearly veterinarian inspections, which prepare them for general equine population if they are auctioned at the Pony Penning Day. As many as 50,000 visitors gather on the last Wednesday in July to watch mounted riders bring the Virginia herd across the channel to the island.  The swim takes about 5-10 minutes, some foals are auctioned off to keep a healthy herd number, the rest are returned to the Island the next day.


We checked out Assateague National Park first. The visitors center is really nice, but unfortunately we did not see any horses.  After doing more research, we decided that a tour would give us a better chance.  Salt Water Pony Tours had the best reviews, I just didn’t realize how far it was.  After booking the tour, I found out it was 74 miles.  Figured if we gave ourselves a 2 hr window it would be fine.  Nope.  It took almost 2 1/2 hrs, going through the little beach towns with all the lights and traffic.  We arrived late, but fortunately Captain Henry waited for us!  He was an awesome tour guide, knew the area well, where the ponies would be, and had fun, interesting stories.  Not only did we see many ponies, but also a large bald eagle.


Symbiotic Relationship!

Even on our work days, we had plenty of time to enjoy the beach, fish in the bay, bike ride.  I even attempted bogie boarding and kite flying.  Notice the word, ATTEMPT!!

Meeting Friends

A perk of traveling cross country is meeting up with friends, either people we have met through RVing, blogging friends,  or old high school friends, like Kathi and David who live in Anapolis, MD.  We haven’t seen Kathi since high school, over 45 years ago!  They came to the park and we enjoyed catching up with our lives and news from our home town Pecatonica, IL.

Weather and Bugs

Growing up in the Midwest we were familiar with humidity, flies, and mosquitoes.  But, after living in Arizona we became spoiled.  We came to Delaware prepared with a Clam-shell screened enclosure (guaranteed to keep out the smallest noseeums) armed with several brands of bug spray, Permethin to treat clothes, Thermacell lanterns, candles, and even a fogger.  Well, the bugs were not that bad.  There were a few days in June with bothersome black flies, but the noseeums and mosquitoes were not an issue.  Must be due to the ever present ocean breeze.


May was cool, a lot of rain in June, July was hot and humid.  But, the beach was always 10 degrees cooler with a refreshing breeze.  By the end of June, the water was warm enough to not need a wet suit.  The worst time was a week of rain in June, thought I’d go crazy in the RV!  Thank God for Netflix, FB, and my Kindle!

Our 3 months in Delaware were great with the exception of the last 2 weeks when I developed shingles.  The irony of the story is 2 weeks prior we were in Walgreens picking up Rick’s prescriptions and I saw a sign about the shingles vaccine.  I thought to myself, “hmmm, I should probably get that, I’ve heard shingles can be pretty painful.”  I asked the pharmacist what the cost was without insurance (I only have catastrophic since I’m preMedicare).  $136 he told me.  Decided to pass, didn’t want to spend that much.  Now, it wasn’t that I didn’t have the extra money, we had saved over $3000 not paying for a sight all summer.  I just didn’t want to spend that much on something not fun!!

2 weeks later I woke up with a painful, burning rash on my back.  I tried to ignore it hoping it was prickly heat!  By the 5th day, I sought medical advice…not from a doctor, but FB!!  Well, I do have nurse friends since I’m a retired one!  I received over 70 responses, telling me to go to a doctor or ER ASAP, one said they ended up in the hospital, one had a friend who committed suicide due to the unbearable pain.  Jeez!  I made a consultation appointment with my free Teledoc service, uploaded a pic of my rash, had a diagnosis of shingles in 10 minutes and a prescription for an antiviral.  The prescription cost $101,  Are you fricking kidding me??  I think I have a mild case, yes it’s painful, but not excruciating compared to some people’s descriptions.  But, if I could have avoided all this aggravation for a mere 35 dollars more….Lesson learned!

Moral of the story:  If you get a feeling about something, follow your intuition.  Listen to your gut.  God, the universe, or whatever higher power you believe in, may just be trying to help you out!

Next up….Gettysburg, PA

Workin’ & Playin’ in Delaware!


Part 1 The Workin’

We volunteered at Delaware Seashore State Park, Rehoboth Beach from May 1 thru July 31.  It’s a beautiful park situated on an inlet between the Atlantic Ocean, Indian River Bay and Rehoboth Bay.


Our site was on the north side, 5 min walk to the beach, 2 min walk to the bay, and 10 min. walk to the Marina/Restaurant & Bar.  Not a bad place to be for the summer!

The commitment for a FHU site was for 24 hr, but we barely worked 15-18.  It simply didn’t take that much time to complete the required duties.  Jeff mowed & used the weed-eater, Rick and I distributed the reservation cards, made sure campers left on time, answered questions, picked up trash at the campsites and along the bay walkway where people fished.  We shared the duties with another couple and covered each other on days off.  Our loop only had 43 sites for us to maintain.  We also checked the bathhouse and kept it stocked (contracted crew did the daily cleaning.)

The South side is the older part, sites are closer together and it can flood with a lot of rain.  IMO the North side is nicer!



Sites are paved, as you can see not much grass to mow and no fire pits to clean!  Basically we got a little exercise and talked to people. We felt guilty about not working the “required” hours, but the Rangers assured us as long as the park was maintained and clean, they were happy!  They constantly thanked us for a job well done.   So we stopped with the guilt and enjoyed ourselves!



We also helped with the weekly beach bonfire and ghost crab hunt!


Indian River Marina and Hammerhead Dockside Restaurant/Bar.




We enjoyed a few Friday Happy Hours at Hammerhead, listening to the live entertainment and watching the boats come in.



The beautiful Indian River Inlet Bridge lit up at night.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay here and would highly recommend it, for both visiting or camphosting.  The out of state summer rate is $49 per night, that would have been $1470 for one month, so we saved a lot.  It’s a very popular park that is fully booked a year out.

Next up….the Playin’ Part 11


Two of our favorite fun purchases, E bikes and kayaks

img_1566I know what your thinking….what’s the point of an electric bike if you want exercise?  We love bike riding but, found that the older we got, the harder it was to go uphill and go for long rides.  I read a post about E bikes,  they were gaining in popularity for commuters biking to work and people who wanted/needed the assistance.

After researching several brands, we decided on  Rad Power Bikes.  The company is based in Seattle and offers direct to consumer pricing, reducing the large retail markup.  We compared them to the higher priced Pedago Electric Bikes

The Pedago is top of the line but more than twice the price of the Rad Power and I just couldn’t justify the cost.  Plus, I liked the philosophy behind Rad Power, eliminating the third party seller, keeping costs down, but still offering great customer service.  I never found one negative review about the company or the bikes.

Jeff got the RadRover and I got the smaller, folding RadMini.  At the time they didn’t have a Step-Thru and I was afraid I was too short for the Rover.  I see now they have a Step-Thru for the same price.  They both have 750W geared hub motors and 48V Lithium-ion battery that will last 25-45 miles on one charge.  There are two modes; pedal assist with 5 levels of assist and a twist grip throttle when you really need power.  It has an on/off button to prevent accidental activation and allows you to only use the throttle when you want to,  I tend to use pedal assist 1-2 , maybe 3-4 if going up a steep hill and feel like we are actually getting more exercise with these than our old bikes.  We’ve gone 10-15 miles, never would have lasted that long before.  There are so many locations that have beautiful, paved bike paths that go on for miles.

We’ve enjoyed many scenic rides, along 30 A Florida’s Emerald Coast, around the entire Mackinac Island,  the foothills in Tucson, AZ, and the Lake Between the Lakes in KY to name a few.

Prior to going full-time, we had hard shell kayaks that we transported on top of the truck pulling a travel trailer without any issues.

But, they had to be positioned closer to the front of the truck with the fifth wheel.  On our first trip through New Mexico, we lost them to a huge gust of wind.  It ripped the kayaks and Thule racks right off, we just looked at each other and said WTH!!  There was no shoulder to pull off to try to recover them.  Fortunately, no one was behind us, no injuries or damage.  I was really bummed, not just about losing 3k, but not having a kayak for our first trip to Florida.

I started researching inflatable kayaks, thinking that would be the obvious solution.  But, I was really worried if they could track as well as the hard shell.   I discovered Sea Eagle kayaks and inflatable boats.  They have many price points, whether you are a beginner or experienced.  The company has awesome customer service and are very helpful.  I talked with them a few times before deciding on which one I wanted.  I ended up choosing the FastTrack due to their shape and NeedleKnife keel for improved performance and tracking.  They are extremely durable and have a 3 year warranty.  We got the tandem size to have enough room for gear and the pups. I absolutely love it!  Even considering getting the QuikSail attachment since we are currently in Delaware and there is great kayaking in the windy bay.

If you love to kayak and have limited options of transporting them, I recommend inflatable!