Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, totally worn out, shouting "Wow...What a Ride!"

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Vermont-Back Home



May 23-June 20, 2019
An early departure from MA, 208 miles and we arrived safely at Maplewoods Campground in Johnson VT. A quick hi as we came in, drop the 5th wheel in our site and then off to the DMV, all by noon. By the time we got back to camp our good friends Mike & Carol had arrived and were setting up just a few sites away. 


The Memorial Day weekend was all about reconnecting with these best friends,  Lawson Brewery, lunch on the lake, campfires and lots of cards.




Over the course of the next month, we caught up with lots of friends, though we didn’t get pictures of some of them. To those we saw, it was great to see you, to those we didn’t, sorry we missed you…maybe again in 4 years. 


For 20 years we called Huntington home, we have many fond memories there. 
No stop in Huntington is complete till we stop at Purinton Maple and Christmas Tree Farm, our friends Peter and Carla have been producing maple syrup and selling Christmas since the mid 70's and late 90's respectively. They'll ship syrup anywhere so if you're in need check them out. 

Original sugar (syrup) shack













Farmer ingenuity-how to trim your trees

Of course, no stop in Huntington isn't complete without a look at our former home,


our my folks former home.

Boston had Cheers, Huntington has Beaudry's. Even after being gone for 4 we are still known when we walk in the door. The weekend morning coffee spot, the hub of the town, Linda-the unofficial mayor of the town and if they didn't have it you didn't really need it.  
Beaudry's
Of course, the reason we head into Huntington is to see our best friends from our days there. 



Before we knew it our time was up in VT. We never did get out canoeing or hiking, the weather didn't cooperate on the few days we weren't busy. I got some route planning done, visited some of our favorite eateries, Dave stocked up on VT beer. 
One last meal with our dear friends
While in VT we learned of the passing of our dear friend Les, we are fortunate we got to see him just this past April. The evening we learned of his passing we gathered with our friends Mike & Carol and celebrated Lesman's life and our years of friendship with him. 
RIP dear friend, thanks for some wonderful memories...we'll see you on the other side. 
Our other main concern was getting some welding done on the RV, unfortunately, that didn’t solve the problem and we continued to have some issues. So much so that I have lost some confidence in how the RV will hold up. For all, I know this may be our new normal or we still have issues. I realized I wasn’t comfortable traveling into Canada with potentially major issues. Looks like we’ll be jiggling with the Jello again this summer. 
Until next time...

Saturday, June 15, 2019

CT/RI/MA-Family & Friends



May 13-22, 2019

May 13-16, 2019

Catskills of Connecticut
Up and early for our trip to CT, we had lunch plans with family that day. The 108-mile ride on I84 had some exciting times, like when we had to stop short and ended up with the truck off the road and in the grass, thankfully the trailer stayed on the road. We arrived at Grandview CampResort and Cottages in Moodus CT with a bunch more gray hairs than when we started the morning. After getting the RV off the truck we headed to Rocky Hill CT to meet Dave’s Uncle Ken & Aunt Joan, it’s been at least 7 years since we’ve seen them. They leave tomorrow on a trip overseas so this was the only time to catch up with them. Great lunch, thanks Ken & Joan, great to see you. Hope you have a great trip.
Since our friends who also live in the area were unfortunately not home so we spent the next few days exploring the area which is locally known as the Catskills of Connecticut. Very reminiscent of the 50’s Catskills. The campground property used to be home to the Grandview Manor with lodging and the property had lots of bungalows and cabins scattered around it. The Manor house is long gone but there are a few cabins and bungalows that have been preserved and rented out, the old LODGE is still an activity room. The campground sites are scattered around the property, many of the sites are side by side so on your off door side you are very close and you share a yard with neighbors on the door side. Since we were there during the week in early May it wasn’t a big deal. The park caters more to adults as they don’t do planned kids activities, kids are welcome just don’t expect them to be entertained by the park. Grandview is one of the nicer private campgrounds we’ve been too and would stay again if we ever find ourselves in the area. Not a lot of services in the local town, but there is good ice cream, but in 30 minutes you can get to all the services you might need.




Where the entrance to the old manor house was-now you can get married here. 







Our first excursion took us to Gillette Castle State Park, William Hooker Gillette, a noted actor, built Gillette Castle in 1914-1919. It was purchased by the state in 1943 from Gillette’s estate. The castle wasn’t open yet, but the grounds provided some nice walking trails, some over the old narrow gauge railroad that once ran here. Unfortunately, the castle was closed still while we were there, would have been cool to tour it. 








Narrow gauge train station

Score!!-geocache



Bridge for narrow gauge railroad





Another day we visited Devil’s Hopyard State Park, another beautiful local CT state park. There’s even a small campground with no services, not suitable for big RVs. The 800+ acre state park, a river with falls, great trails with geocaches and nobody else on the trails. It's advertised as a fisherman and birders favorite area. 











geocache!!





Our 4-day visit to CT gave us a new appreciation for the state, previous visits were in the crazy parts of the state or in our younger years for concerts. What a beautiful rolling hill area this area is. 

May 17-21, 2019
Our drive to Fisherman’s Memorial State Park in Narraganset RI was only 77 miles, down to the coast and head east along US 1. Before too long we were pulling into our site, which just happened to be next to friends we had yet to meet in person. This meetup has been over a year in the making. After a wonderful welcome from MaryLou, Sophia and Radar, love them little girl hugs,  we got set up quickly so we could start getting to know our no longer virtual only friends. Soon Lee was home and off for the next 5 days. Let the fun begin!!
Site 71

Overlooking Bluff Cove which leads you into Block Island Sound

Our welcome sign that was waiting on the picnic table when we arrived 

The North family site directly behind us

Fishermen's Memorial State Park Campground




 Remnants of 1940's war years bunkers and encampments at Fishermen's Memorial SP.





Talks around the campfire, shared meals, an adult lunch and so much laughter. What a great 5 days getting to know one another, solving the world’s problems, talks about full timing and so much more. Now not only friends but like family, thanks Lee, MaryLou, Sophia and Radar for a wonderful time, see you down the road. 
All about the food. 




Really!! Nope we went to the other guy








A bit of beach time!! Brrrr...




Forging friendships...








Some adult time at a brewery/vineyard...




There's always a geocache to find...


Some amazing sunsets...









May 22, 2019
130 miles found us parking in our friend Brad’s drive in Granby MA. We know Brad from his days of working at IBM in Essex Jct VT, they moved to MA a few years ago. A while back Brad heard we were going to be coming through the area and asked us to overnight in his driveway instead of at a campground 40 miles north. After doing our due diligence in checking out his proposed spot we canceled our reservation and arrived in his drive about 1:30. We a break in the traffic on Rt 16 and we got the RV backed in the first shot, a little repositioning, an extension cord ran for just a bit of electric and we were tucked in for the night. Brad and his wife Meg are expecting their first child in a month, they had a 3:30 appointment with their midwives so we knew we wouldn’t see them till after 5. A quick ride for fuel and to find a quick geocache, I got my MA souvenir.


MA geocache
We had a great visit with Brad, Meg and Brad’s folks, thanks all for a great vegan dinner. Afterward a tour of our home, a tour of Brad & Meg’s Bigfoot Class C and a visit to the home of Squirrel Stash Nuts, their nut roasting business. They’ve been in business for many years but just recently moved into their home and they are able to have their roasting take place on site above their separate garage-no pictures allowed. Thanks, Brad, Meg, Kerri & Tom for a great evening, we'll be looking for all you on the road somewhere. 



The next morning we were up and on the road early, 199 miles and we arrived safely in VT for our month-long visit. But more on that next time.
Until next time…