Tuesday, May 31, 2016

It is a small world for RVers...

 The day finally cleared and turned warm enough for Kaylee, who was staying with us over the Memorial Day weekend, to go swimming.  She had endured the impatient wait during the cool morning by playing our X-Box games and watching kids shows on TV.  All during the morning we witnessed the mass migration of RVs leaving the Boston/Minuteman Campground here in Littleton, Massachusetts as the RV park emptied out as a rain fell leaving just a few of us mostly retired full-timers.

On the way back from the pool Kaylee and I passed a couple and we said "Hey".   It took awhile for my mind to untrack and the memory cells to get my attention and tell me, "That couple looked somewhat familiar."  I looked back at them and scratched my beard and wondered if they really were who I thought they were.  The couple was now in the distance and had their backs to me then they turned down a trail and I lost sight of them. 

I went inside to drop off a still dripping granddaughter and gather up the dogs for their afternoon constitutional.  I took the time to mention to Joanie that I thought I saw someone I knew but it was hard to tell because they were wearing sunglasses and had white hair.

The dogs and I had to wait a bit as Kaylee wanted to walk the dogs with me and had to get her wet swim suit off and put on dry clothes. Finally out the door we again encountered the couple from before.  I blurted out, "Jerry Herritage!"  The couple turned to look at me.  It was indeed old friends from Wilmington, NC. - Beth and Jerry Herritage.

We had kept in touch with the Herritages over the internet and knew that they, too, were RVers and traveled extensively but they mostly traversed the West and I never had any inkling that they would show up here in the Northeast.  It turns out that they are in this campground because they had read about it on this blog when we were here almost a year ago and wanted to be near their daughter for the birth of their first grandchild who is, as of today, overdue.
We hope to get together soon and rehash old times and tell RVing stories over a chilled adult beverage. 
But today is our oldest son's birthday and we have plans to celebrate!
I still can't get over the seemingly random meanderings of our Phaeth and the Herritage's  Airstream would ever be this close.  Who'd a thunk!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Fun in Massachusetts...

We have taken a few snapshots of us having fun with family.

Dorothy congratulates her little sister for swimming all the way across the pool in the DEEP end as documented in this photo.


Grandpa conducted an art class one afternoon.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Fixed it! ...

Friday we got the new Winegard Rayzar Automatic over-the-air TV antenna.  I fabricated a base for it and mounted it on the old Mini State antenna brackets so I would not have to put any new holes in the roof and it is just above the air conditioner to minimize signal interference.

Saturday I installed the control panel after removing all the old Mini State controllers.  The new Winegard Rayzar works a lot better and we get a lot more channels but WGBH Boston is too weak to watch and I'm extremely disappointed.  Well, next campsite it will be better... 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

If it's broke, fix it...

Gotta' have our PBS!  Gotta' have our weekly fix of Anglo telly! 

We love watching PBS for many reasons - it programming is just plain superior to our American made junk, and it does not interrupt the program with crass, repetitive commercials. (This from a guy who made a career in advertising). 

So when we cannot get our PBS fix on the road, as campgrounds don't have PBS on their cable systems and we cannot get PBS over our Direct satellite system because we are away from our pin spot beam, we have to get it from the local over-the-air station.  Sometimes we cannot do that due to our physical location.  Sometime we can't get it because our OTA antenna has not been working for some time now. 

Yeah, it's broke and it is time to fix it.  So we went up on the roof to dismantle the old thing and see if we could bring it back to life. 

Going up on Phaeth's roof...
...to remove this saucer shaped antenna.

The culprit removed from the roof brackets.
Joanie brought me up tools.


Ready to receive the new antenna whenever it gets here.

Lobo and Juniper watch the proceedings with some concern.

Juniper was concerned enough to take cover under the picnic table.  "Juni, did ya' think I was goin' to fall on ya'?" 


Well, it turned out that the prognosis was not good for the old antenna.  In fact there was no prognosis since it was already long dead and there was no hope resuscitate it because the item is no longer being manufactured nor are parts available to make repairs.

We ordered a new Winegard Rayzar Automatic Antenna which should be here on Friday, so we will have Saturday to install it and watch our favorite Sunday night telly from Great Britain.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Cape Charles, Virginia...

I'm going to interrupt our chronological flow to catch up on a few days we spent in Cape Charles, Virginia a week or so ago. 

After our trip through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel complex we stopped in the first sizeable town on the south end of the Delmarva Peninsula which is Cape Charles.  The Eastern Shore of Virginia was one of the first areas of Virginia to be colonized but it never developed past an agricultural and fishing area until the 1880's when the railroad pushed a line down the Delmarva to the tip of the peninsula and literally built the town of Cape Charles.

Cape Charles was a "railroad town" like so many towns across the continent that developed because  of the railroads.  To the right of the reconstructed railroad depot, is one of the earliest railroad signals.  Balls were sent up a pole on a rope that would indicate to the engineer how far ahead the tracks were clear.  A ball all the way at the top was a "High Ball" and the tracks were clear all the way to the next station and the engineer knew it was safe to open the throttle which became know as high ballin' .

Farmers and fishermen now had a way to get their produce up to the big cities, people in the big cities now had another area of the shore to escape to during the heat of summer and a new industry developed here that would have a huge impact on the towns across the bay, namely Norfolk, Virginia and Chesapeake, Virginia.  Steam boats flourished to carry freight from North Eastern North Carolina and  Southeastern Virginia to the bustling economy of the Northeast and passengers south.

An example of a Jetty House.  This was the first style of "beach house".

The some of the cams and valve lifters of a huge diesel engine that created the first electricity in Cape Charles. The building that housed this generator was turned into the town's museum.

The museum housed many models of the steam ships and barges that plied the Chesapeake Bay from Cape Charles to Norfolk and back.


The Pure Oil Company built unique gas stations with blue roofs. A couple of them in Cape Charles still stand like old romantic ruins.

 Freighters and tankers continually make their way from the Atlantic, up the Chesapeake, passed the town of Cape Charles to the port of Baltimore.
The town of Cape Charles from the city's pier.  With the construction of the Chesapeake Bay tunnels and bridge in 1964, the railroad and steamship business ceased to exist and the town fell into disrepair.  Recently with the baby boomers retiring, the town has seen new growth and interest as a sea side community. 
Joanie asked at the museum what was the best place for a seafood dinner.  They said it was the Shanty down by the old docks, across the railroad tracks.  We were not disappointed.
We stayed at Cherrystone RV Park in Cape Charles.  The park was named after the type of clam of the same name. 

Two years ago in June a water spout came ashore, becoming a tornado at the campground killing a boy and seriously injuring several people, overturning RVs and taking out trees.  This pine tree survived even though it was broke in half.