Thursday, May 31, 2012

It's Not What l Thought

Well, there goes another chapter in my life.  Working for Southeast is not quite what l was hoping it would be.  I am disappointed.  I miss my friends at home.  Would it be different if l was travelling and going on adventures daily?  I will remain optimistic about that and say l hope so, but since every day that l am travelling l am out working, sure my surroundings are changing every two weeks, but l’m not getting to enjoy them as much as l thought l would.

I feel that l am rushing from one area to the next, always on a deadline, always either finishing a project or getting ready for the next.

I know what you are thinking, l haven’t really given it long enough, and that is true, l haven’t.  However l have decided l would rather head back home and get a job that l can slam money into a bank account then take off and enjoy the travels the way they should be enjoyed – at my own pace – to places l want to go.

I’ve also thought that perhaps l might be a wee bit travel weary from working on the road that last 10 months with the other job.  That could be a factor too.

I will be living in my van for the summer at least, and l might even brave the winter……

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Alive & Kicking

No need to worry every one.  But Thank You for your concern.  I'm alive and kickin'....just quiet.  :-)

I'm doing some soul searching......

Monday, May 21, 2012

No 3 Day Weekend For Me

This weekend is/was Victoria Day for us Canadians.  Which means a 3 day weekend.  Since l am in New York, l have to work today, the Monday of that 3 day weekend.

Next weekend is the US 3 day weekend.  Memorial Day, and guess where l will be?  Back in Canada.  So again l miss out.  Now don't go feeling too sorry for me.  A saying we use in Canada is "oh, you're so hard done by".  I know some of the USA don't have a clue what that means.

When l lived in Virginia, people would look at me like l had 3 heads when l would say that.  They had not heard that saying before.  I think it comes from England....or at least the UK people l know, know it.

It kind of means.....Oh, you have it so ruff....with a heavy dose of sarcasm.

So, yes, l am " so hard done by".  Working and missing out of a 3 day weekend (twice) surrounded by beautiful sights and working out of a campground.  Life Sucks (heavy sarcasm).


Better then an RV Show

I seriously think that if you plan on buying an RV, you need to visit a campground on a busy weekend.  The variety of RV's you will see is better then some of the RV shows l have been to.

RV's that you have never seen before show up.  If you think about it, you only see a select few of the RV dealers out there when you are at a show....and mostly the bigger dealers with deeper pockets.

The shows that l have been to in Toronto never have any that are as small at this one

[caption id="attachment_999" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Love the name too...Wazat!!!"][/caption]


This one is a little bigger then mine,

[caption id="attachment_1000" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The Vista"][/caption]

And the best part of get to see this kind of stuff as you walk about looking at all the RV's

[caption id="attachment_1002" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Au Sauble River and Whiteface Mountain in the Background"][/caption]



Sunday, May 20, 2012

Huricanes in the Adirondacks?

Yep, not a direct hit, last year Hurricane Irene came through this area.  Drenching the area in rain.  As the rain ran down from the mountains it whipped out roads, lifted houses off foundations and flooded rivers.

Here are a couple of pictures l snapped for your viewing pleasure....


[caption id="attachment_994" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Water line of Irene"][/caption]


This picture is just outside of Jay, New York.  The guy who owns this property marked on his cinder block wall how high the river swelled that day.  Pretty impressive, isn't it!  The river was on the other side of the road and about 50 feet beyond that the day l drove through.


[caption id="attachment_995" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The peaceful river"][/caption]


[caption id="attachment_996" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Bridge on the Au Sauble River"][/caption]

This bridge with the river meandering under it actually had trees and debris lodged in its' structure from the downpour.  Mother Nature is not to be messed with.  She took out roads in the Adirondacks that day, everything is repaired now.  Although a couple of cover bridges in this area are no more. :-(

Friday, May 18, 2012

From NY to Quebec

I've managed to transport myself from New York to Quebec without even starting my engine or burning an ounce of gas.  Pretty amazing if l do say so myself.

Are you curious at all how l did this feat?  It really is quite simple.  Quebec did all the heavy lifting for me.  They all came down to New York to the KOA Campground. The campground is only a couple of hours from Montreal, and it is the Canadian Long Weekend, so they headed to this beautiful spot.

When l went to Wal-Mart in Plattsburgh, l was amazed at how many Quebec plates were there.  I think Plattsburgh is the equivalent to Buffalo for us Ontarians.

The park filled up quickly for a Friday afternoon, and fifth wheels seem to be the trailer of choice.

Losing it

In a previous life l sold books.  I used to do book fairs for a company, where l would go into corporations and set up a display of books (quite a big display - equal to a mini store) in their lobby, break rooms, meeting rooms, etc.  Why does this matter?  Well, during that time l learned the value of an elastic.  Silly as it may seem.  Since everyone has a few uses for an elastic.  I perfected it to an art.

I would use them to bind a set of books together, which was the whole reason l had the elastics.  Then l branched out and used the almighty elastic for so many things.  I would close bags of chips with them, bind wires together to keep them all orderly, l would use them to keep my rolls of coins from flying around my cash register, wrap up my extensions cords...the list is endless.

Living in a Class B Camper van, l find that previous life melds nicely into this current one where elastics are concerned.  I use them to hang hats to nobs, keep all my electronic wires for my gadgets organized, l have them around files that l am working on, so if l forget to stow everything before l take off; l don't have a mess when l put on the brakes or take a corner, hold my garbage bag to a lower kitchen knob.

I also use them to hold my towels to my hooks.  I pinch a bit of the towel and spin the elastic around the pinch a few times and my towels are secure for transit. I don't have to worry about them falling to the ground when l drive in a damp mess.

Today l lost it.  Have you ever spent time looking for something when it is right there in front of your face?  Well, in my case, l had two elastics out for my towels.  After l secured the first one, l had to search for the other elastic.  I searched for a few seconds (which is an eternity) before l realized l had it in my mouth.  I have Certifiably LOST IT....OK, l found the elastic, but l believe l have lost my mind!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Uphill Battle

I was over at a blog that l follow on a regular basis, the author Rae has just gone through an experience that l hope never to go through, she was rear ended while travelling in West Virginia with her Class C and toad.  The toad was a write off, and the RV suffered some damage too.

She is heading home to Quebec on a trip planned before the accident, and has just arrived, safe and sound.  She made a comment today about the consideration of other drivers, or shall we say lack of.  And l have to agree with her.

I was driving yesterday, in the Adirondack Region of New York, in my Class B Falcon, traveling from Wilmington to Lake Placid.  The terrain is hilly, and lets face it, my old girl is a wee bit slow on the uphill ride.  I've actually figured out that l can go faster if l am on cruise control (who ever invented cruise, l will forever love you!!!) then if l just jam my foot on the gas peddle.  I pretty much go to a crawl if l am not on cruise when l hit a hill.  I don't know if the Falcon has a guvnor on it restricting it from switching to high gear when not on cruise when climbing a hill, or if it is something else(anyone know - feel free to chime in).

So yesterday l was going 45 MPH uphill in a 50 MPH zone, when l was passed shortly after, which is fine with me.  I understand, l can lumber along and usually just stick at the speed limit.  What l don't understand, is about 150 yards after this guy passed me, he put on his brakes to make a right hand turn.  Really?  You couldn't wait an extra 30 seconds to get there, you had to pass me???

I always get out of the way of traffic behind me if l am going slower then posted speeds, l always stay in the right lane, and l am putting it out there, that if you are stuck behind me and l am going to slow for you, l apologize in advance.  :-)

Thursday Night AND.....

Four more trailers are in the park.  I expect it to grow quite a bit tomorrow being that it is Friday.

Today was a nice day, a bit on the cool side, nothing to complain about as the sun shone all day.

The cats are settling in, enjoying the outdoors and all the cool spots to go sniffing.  Charlie hasn't brought home any creatures yet, l trust eventually she will find someones hiding spot and enjoy a snack.  Ah nature.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lake Placid/Whiteface Mountain KOA

[caption id="attachment_965" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Our home for the next two weeks"][/caption]

This is the troupes' home for the next couple of weeks.  Not too shabby if l do say so myself.  I finally have arrived at a campground that IS a campground.  There are no seasonal sites here or any long termers, it's rustic and very naturally beautiful.

To get here l had a really tough time putting up with the scenery.

[caption id="attachment_966" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="New York State ....of mind"][/caption]

The roads were quiet, and every once in a while l would get a good view of the moutains up ahead.


[caption id="attachment_967" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Peace and Quiet"][/caption]

This is the view that l have from my van....l wonder what it will look like on the weekend?  There might be a trailer or two blocking my view :-(

I had been up since 5am, and was starting to fade really quick around 6pm tonight, so l threw on my running shoes and went out exploring the park.  It's pretty empty right now.  It is the Canadian long weekend this weekend so they expect it to be very busy.  They are only 2 1/2 hours from Montreal and Ottawa.  And us Canadians LOVE our May 24 (pronounced Two-Four - like a case of beer) weekend.   It is the official kick off of our summer....and we LOVE summer!!


[caption id="attachment_968" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Len-to"][/caption]

On the site map l had seen an area that said Lento, and this my friends is a lento.  The sign you can see inside says that it is against the NY law to pitch your tent inside the are you just supposed to be in your sleeping bag in this thing?  With the side open to bugs, and BEARS?????  I will have to do some fact finding this weekend.


[caption id="attachment_969" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Au Sable River"][/caption]

Past the Lento's l could hear these rapids calling to me.  We has just had a short thunderstorm, but l am sure these bad boys run this fast all the time.  Very pretty!!!


[caption id="attachment_970" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Very Cool Staircase"][/caption]

This cool staircase is part of  the lodge at the campground.  Very unique.  It is made out of trees harvested right here from the campground.  Too bad pictures never do anything justice!




Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Don't let that pretty little face fool you.  She is an escape artist and a speed demon.  She choose to do it at a rest stop last night.  I have come to the conclusion, Charlie really doesn't like travelling at night.  I don't know why. During the day she will snooze as we drive around whether on short or long hauls.

At night, it's a different story, she gets restless, wandering around at the front of the cab, looking out the front and side windows, hopping on my lap, just like she had a shot of caffeine.

So it was a bit of a game of chase last night at 10pm in a busy rest stop.  I'm happy to say that l ultimately won the game and we are now sitting cozy in the camper van.  Charlie is trying to look all innocent, but l know better!!!!!


Nothing Like.....


A nice hot shower with endless running water after 6 days of Sponge Baths.

I always remember when l would go camping a of the best things was coming home and having the first hot shower in days.  It seems like such luxury, and so many of us are so use to it, we take it for granted.

I guess l am just like our ancestors having sponge baths, when it was only a Sunday event to have baths.  Actually l remember my Dad would have a sponge bath every other day when l was a kid, at least in the beginning.  He grew up in Holland, and when l visited there when l was 15 (Yoowzers - 30 years ago), l remember how much of a chore it was to have a shower.  It was in the back porch, which was very cool in the winter time, and they would have to fire up the water heater, then wait.

Kind of like what l have to do


Yesterday I enjoyed my afternoon watching a high-school rugby match.  It was a beautiful sunny day, and it was at the field where l have spent some time this past weekend.  Didn't understand the rules of the game, but it was interesting.

They were loud enough to scare the bejesus out of my cats, so they never got out in the fresh air that was the original plan, at least not until all the kids left.

I'm sure the cats are counting down the days until they can get out and play at the campground. :-)

Monday, May 14, 2012

I love Libraries!

I love Libraries.  I love books. I love bookstores.  I hope the three never go away.

Kindle, Nook, and  other e-readers out there are fantastic with their capiblities to hold thousands of books in the size of a small paperback. They are fantastic for when you travel.  That being said, there is nothing better then browsing through a library or bookstore, flipping pages, smelling the paper and ink, stopping on pages that catch your eyes.

I am sitting in a library in Burlington, Colorado, doing paperwork for my job.  It's nice to see that people still use the library.  I don't know if the library would get as much attention if they didn't have internet and computers.  There is a fair amount of traffic checking out books though, and that is good to see.

Water Conservation

I have to say, l am quite impressed with myself and how little water l use now.  Of course, it is by necessity, but not really a hardship.

I have filled up my on-board water tank  (not sure how big it is, maybe 20 gallons).  At first l couldn't get the pump working, it was running, just wasn't pushing any water through it.  A friend of mine looked at it.  The same friend who has helped me in the past with issues in the van.  I am pretty handy, what l have learned, l have learned from imagine how much knowledge he has!!!!  :-)  I haven't even learned the tip of the iceberg compared to him.

He unhooked it from the tank to see if it was pumping, it was, and water started to come out, he hooked it back up and Wal-la, l had water.  It must have had a hard time sucking a prime, and that little undoo-ing helped it out.  I flushed out the tank, since l had put some bleach in it a month ago, filled it up, and haven't looked back.

My city water hook up worked fine, it was just my on-board tank pump that didn't.  Now that is all fixed, life is good.  Well, it always was good, it just got liquidity good.

I left the last campground on Wednesday last week, and won't be at the other one until Wednesday of this week, so a whole week without services, and l survived.  Quite nicely too.

I've been staying in various spots, sleeping like a rock.  Although last night after l had batten down the hatches, closed my eyes and was just about to nod off, one of my blinds decided to whip up and retract.  You would think that my heart would have jumped through my chest.  It didn't.  I opened my eyes to see what happened, wasn't too concerned.  I guess l feel really safe in my little home.  As Martha Stewart says, "it's a good thing".

Friday, May 11, 2012

McDonalds is my Friend


Yep, proud to say l spend a fair amount of time at McDonald's.  Not eating their food mind you, just using their Internet.  Okay, when l am not outside in the parking lot, but inside the restaurant, l do purchase  a hot tea and a muffin.  In Canada, it's only $1.46, a pretty damn good deal.  AND they make the tea properly.  By properly l mean, open the tea bag package, put that lovely tea bag in the cup in Canada l can actually get my Earl Grey too), then ad the steaming hot water.  Perfection.

Funny thing, everywhere l have been in the USA (we are talking McDonald's here - not Starbucks- Starbucks does it right), they put the hot water in the cup and place the tea bag on the side.  It doesn't hit the hot water until l place it in.  Not the end of the world, l agree.  If l am just grabbing the tea and high tailing it out of there, l then have to put the bag in myself and play with it, until it is steeped enough, then pull the bag out and throw it in the trash.  Not the end of the world, sometimes it's the little things that make a day!

I would like to officially Thank McDonald's for the brilliant idea of Free Internet, and any other companies out there doing the same thing!  :-)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Rest Stops

The last two days l have been making my way slowly to the Lake Placid, New York area.  It's enjoyable not having to drive bad out of hell to get somewhere.

I spent last night at a rest stop in Michigan, and tonight will be the same.

Last night my neighbours, two different ones where sleeping in their cars - goodness knows in my past l have been just like them, cuddled up in their seats against the cold, running the car intermittently to stay warm.  It was nice being in my van, stretched out comfortably, with blankets, a toilet within crawling distance.  I definitely have the most preferred way of staying in a rest stop.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Blues

Hunh, who would have thought that l would have gone through a little blue mood this weekend.  It actually started on Friday, and that's why l hunkered down on the weekend.  I needed to sort out my thoughts.

I was actually homesick.  ME.  Miss love to travel.  Miss independent.  I was feeling lonely and was wondering if l could do this.  I guess it just hit me that l won't be home for a good number of weeks.  At least before when l travelled l was home every other weekend and l could see friends then.  I was analyzing my feelings, and l wonder if some of it had to do with me already being on the road for 10 months with my other job.

Maybe that's why some of the blues hit.  This job would be easier if l did have a significant other with me.  Then l wouldn't feel so alone.  But since l don't have a significant other, l guess it's just me.

Today l am better.  So hopefully those monsters will stay at bay.  I want to make this work. :-)  I will have an adjustment phase, so l will have to be patience with it.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


I'm not doing much this weekend, just recharging my batteries.  And by my batteries l me, mine, not the vans.  :-)

I hunkered down yesterday watched movies and read my book and surfed the Internet, had a nap and before l knew it it was midnight.  It went just the way l planned it.

I can't get over the weather we have been having in the north this year.  How wonderful it has been, warmer days then usual, if this is global warming, l'm not so adverse to it.  I know, not what l should be saying, but l am liking that l've haven't had heat on in a week.  If l was in a tent l know it would be a bit more uncomfortable, with the dampness in the morning, in the van, snug as a bug.  I only have one blanket on at night too.

Funny, if l was home, in a house, l would have more blankets on.  Doesn't make sense.  Especially with no heat on in the van.  But l will take it with open arms.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Evening Swim

The Geese were across the pond, minding their own business, foraging for dinner when two kids on bikes started harasses them.  Of course it's the weekend so the kids are coming to the park.  The geese were having nothing of it.  So they guided their young into the pond and got away from the peace disturbers.


So they swam across to my side.  Then a pair of them with their 3 babies were harassed by a red wing black bird.  In the picture above he is sweeping down on them, fire bombing them.  My guess is red wing blackbird has a nest nearby, so he/she is just protecting his young.

There are 8 pairs of geese in this pond.  Most have 3 or 4 babies, one pair has 12 and one pair has none.  The pair with the twelve, pictured above, are like a machine.  All foraging at the same time, either the mother or the father utter commands and they all turn on a dime and head a different direction.

All day long when l see them they are either swimming or foraging, or dodging kids.  :-)

A Game of Cat and Mouse

Okay, it really was a game of Cat and BIRD.


The bird got so close he started hissing at the Tommy and Charlie.


My cats were outside chillin in the warmth, minding their own business while keeping an eye on the pair of Canadian Geese that were at the pond.  Of course, they realize these birds are a wee bit too big to go after, so they just watched.


Then one of the birds started to creep closer.  Everytime the cats would look away, the bird would step closer.  It was  cheap entertainment for about 20 minutes.




A Game of Cat and Mouse

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Meeting the Neighbours

I went out for a walk tonight, checking out the park, and was approached by a couple of different neighbours.  It's amazing how friendly people are in a RV Park setting.  I've lived places in a sticks and bricks home where my neighbours don't come out and introduce themselves, or even say Hi, even when l have lived there for years.

It's such a relaxed atmosphere l love it.  I think being in nature and having a common interest (camping) bonds people and helps them open up and be more 'human'.  And this world could use some more 'human-ness'.


So last week l needed a heater to sleep comfortably at night.  Today l’m sweating.  It’s hot and muggy.  They were expecting thunderstorms….well they came.  I could hear them rumbling in the distance for a while.

It started casually enough a few drops here and there, then harder.  Then  the pinging …..the pinging of hail.  Pea size hail.  More rain…then quarter size hail.  I tired taking pictures, but they didn’t turn out.  I guess l need a new camera. :-)

Within the span of 15 minutes, it’s over and the sun is out again.  I’m surrounded by puddles, the hail is melting and l can open the van windows again.

One good thing, l found out my air-conditioner (roof one) works.  It cooled it off pretty good in here.  I’m not a fan of air-conditioning.  I’ve always wanted to enjoy summer in bare feet and shorts.  Summer never seems to last long enough as it is….why chill the indoors back to fall or winter l say!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Suprised and Pleased

I really fretted about going to this mode of travel for my cats.  I wasn't sure how they would take it.  They would not even go close to a car before l set out on this adventure.  They were even smart enough to know that if l grabbed them in my arms in the house and headed out the front door that they would be going in the car and would start squirming the minute my feet led me towards the door.

Now they just chill the whole day in the van as l run around on appointments.  It really is amazing the turn around they have made.  They are so casual about riding in the van now.  To think how many hours my mind would wonder; hoping they would be okay.  It took them maybe half a day to adjust.

Sure there was a time when Charlie made a dash for the door, once she got out, realized she didn't know where the hell she was and boogied back in the van like her ass was on fire.

They hop back in that van whenever they feel threatened when they are out at the campground, whether it is someone walking by, a loud noise, another cat (happened once- Charlie was out and  got surprised by another cat, they hissed at each other, l opened the door, she ran in.  Let's just say "scared the shit out of  ya" has truth to it.

Tommy has learned to knock on the van door.  I kid you not.  When they are out and it's nice weather, but not nice enough to have the side door open all the way (or it's nighttime), l shut the side door just so it closes, but doesn't grasp the latch.  So if you were to hit it, it would move.  Well, when Tommy is out and wants back in and the door is like that, he will paw it to make a noise so l know to open the door for him.

They have always been trained to come when l call, or whistle.  And for the most part, they do.  Best Cats ever!

They pretty much sleep the whole day away, but l guess they did that at home too, especially when no one was home to let them in and out.

Toilet Paper

It's the mystery of the unravelling toilet paper.  I don't know how it happens.  I could understand if l had my toilet paper on a normal toilet dispenser like most people have in homes, you know the one, where the toilet paper is suspended on the wall on that little spring loaded role holder.

I have mine sitting on the wood that is over my tub, sitting straight up and down, there is no rolling action.  If l don't move it when l drive, l will come back to find it still sitting up proper, but unravelled like l had a crazy little kitten that had played with it for hours.  And as you saw yesterday, my cats are so far past playing with toilet paper rolls, and pretty much don't move from their assigned seating when travelling.

If the roll moved around so much you would think l would see it shooting up the isle when l drive, but that's not it.  It's a mystery l tell ya!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

So Nice

Last night it was the first nice night out since l have begun this adventure.  There wasn't any  cold bitter  wind, no snow, no rain.  I still needed a sweater, but it wasn't too bad, especially for the 1st of May.

I sat outside in the dark, listening to the bull frogs trying to attract a Misses for the season.  The bugs were minimal, not that they usually bother me anyways.  I guess my blood isn't sweet enough for the mosquitoes, which is fine with me.  I had the cats sitting out beside me on the picnic table.  My only neighbour, over a hundred feet away.  Bliss.

Across the pond all the RV's had their lights on, that's were it seems to be city center.  On my side, it's just me and my neighbours.   l haven't spied a fire yet, and couldn't smell one, it is only Tuesday.

Room With a View


Fiona at the Pond

Theirs Fiona perched on a little pond.  I'm on the quiet side of the park with only electric and water, so l will have to go dump occasionally, since l move my van everyday, it's not an inconvenience at all.

[caption id="attachment_891" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Front view that we have"][/caption]

I could move to the other side of the pond and have full hook up, but then l wouldn't get wi-fi, so on the quiet, picturesque, no sewer side l will stay.  It's a rough life, but somebody's got to do it!  :-)

l have to content with the damn poop from those Canadian Geese, my fellow country creatures sure can make a mess.  A saving grace is that in the morning l get to watch them walk their little babies back and forth from the pond to the grassy bank.  I'm surprised that Charlie hasn't given chase yet.....time will tell.


[caption id="attachment_894" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Charlie hiding up in the attic"][/caption]


[caption id="attachment_893" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Tommy in the passenger seat"][/caption]


Luxury is having Internet access from my bed, without having to start up the engine and move to a McDonald's, that is.  Since as you know, my bed moves with me now.

It's great because l have to confess, l don't always remember to do or search everything on it before l close my computer up. So with Internet access from my campsite, l can just fire it up again as the mood hits me.

Another luxury l just acquired yesterday is l linked my US cell phone to my email.  Now that is cool.  I guess l was just a dinosaur before.  And when l get back to Canada, l will change my phone and plan to match my needs while on the road.  Never thought l needed it before, but l guess l do.