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!"

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Jiggled to IL

June 21-July 31, 2019

By the time we were ready to leave VT, we had lined up a volunteer position at Lake Shelbyville USACE. So reservations in Canada were canceled and we headed west a good pace. Our first overnight was a place we’d been to a few times when we used to head back to VT after playing for the winter.

The Village at Turning Stone Casino in Verona NY is just off of I90 and made for a good overnight once again. While we traveled 290 miles but it took almost 7 hours. Getting out of VT the way went entails driving back roads and 2 lane highways till we got to Lake George NY where we finally hit a 4 lane road.

In the morning we were up and on the road by 9am, we had 230 miles to go before we arrived at Lake Erie State Park in Brocton NY, a new park for us, where we spent 2 nights there. Our one day there we took a walk and checked out the paths in Brocton.

Monday morning we were up and on the road about 8:30am, we had 344 miles, about 6.5 hours before we arrived at Lake Loramie State Park in Minster OH, another new park for us. The park just recently reopened as it had been flooded due to all the rains in the area. We spent 2 nights and enjoyed walking around the park a few times.

Wednesday we drove 345 miles, about 7 hours, and reached our destination at Lake Shelbyville IL. We are not in a campground but are in a volunteer area in the day-use area near the dam.

Monicals Pizza-a must as soon as we can
The next morning we met with Ashley, the volunteer lead and received our assignment. There are 3 couples working at the visitor center, each one has a spouse with a medical issue. Our job this summer is to be back up to the visitor center when we’re not doing that we will be taking care of the gardens around the Visitor Center and some of the campgrounds.
Highs of the last month:

We’ve been busy helping my folks out at their house; painting, changing out lights and various other projects for them. By the time we leave in September, we should have their current worklist taken care of. So thankful we can help them out. 

While working the VC on one of the occasional days we’ve covered, Dave was talking with a gentleman while I was on the phone. When I got off I started listening to the conversation, the voice sure sounded familiar, the face looked familiar but I couldn’t place it. As the gentleman was about to walk out the door I told Dave “I think that’s one of my cousins”. So I asked him if he was an Overmyer, he turned around and said yes, it was one of my cousins I hadn’t seen since 1985. I’ve seen some of his brothers and his parents often over the years. What are the odds of meeting like that again so many years later? We talked, exchanged contact info and talked about meeting up again soon. The next week, while we were at home, Mark comes knocking on our door. He had his mom and brother Don with him. We spent an hour visiting and catching up. 

1985, our grandfathers 100th birthday party, some of the 1st cousins. Mark is 3rd from left in the back row, Don is 2nd from left middle row.
Don, Aunt Ruth (95) Faye & Mark
We went to a local Walleye Fest, but they didn’t serve Walleye, it was Alaskan Pollock. There was a great car show going on there so we spent a few hours looking at classic cars. But the funniest thing was my cousin Mark had a car in the show. I haven’t seen him since 1985 and now three times in just a few weeks.
Mark's Dodge Super Bee

 The thinks you see driving IL backroads
Our good friends Curt and Glenda stopped in for a visit, they had been up in the Chicago area visiting family and before the headed west they stopped in to see us. As is always the case when we’re with them, there was lots of laughter and fun, some beer drinking for the boys and lots of card games since the weather was so hot. They had never been to Casey IL-small town big things. Of course, there's always a geocache to find especially when it's named "Say Hi to Dave".

There's a geocache in there somewhere
We did manage to get a brewery visit in and some trip planning done for our winter/spring travels with them next year. 

Thanks so much for stopping by Curt & Glenda!! See you at the end of the year. 
On July 4th we had a front-row seat to the fireworks that are sent up from the day-use area here where we are camped. Some of our volunteer friends came for a visit and enjoyed the show. 

Lows of the last month:
One day we came home to an awful smell, we finally traced it to our batteries. Our 2 6volt AGM batteries were bulging so we quickly took them out. If we hadn’t come home when we did we might have come home to a fire.

By far the worst thing this last month was learning of the passing of our dear friend Rena. In late January just before leaving TX she was diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer. Words cannot express how sad we are at the loss of this dear friend. RIP sweet friend, we'll see you on the other side.
Until next time...

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.  
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...