Tuesday, December 20, 2016

2016 Sept. to 2016 Oct: Travels Iowa - Ohio - Canada - Upper NY State - Canada - Marylalnd

Iowa Sunset -- on the way to Hiawatha Kansas....................

We left Hiawatha Kansas - John and Michelle's home on Aug 29th around 10 AM. Had good weather and traffic was light. We took highway 36 most of the way, then picked up I-72  there are no "rest stops". So we found  gas stations that had a large enough parking area to get in and out without difficulty. Then is was changing drivers on an off / on ramp. There were lovely clouds throughout the day and as we neared Springfield, there were rain clouds on either side of us..

Travel miles today was 320 miles and by the time we arrived to our destination at 4 PM we were tired and hungry. We stayed at the Double J Campground Chatham Ill. (just south of Springfield). 

Aug. 30th -- we waited until 11 AM to leave as there were rain clouds and wind that started about 9 AM. Today we traveled 235 miles and only had a slow down through Indianapolis. We stayed just east of Indianapolis at Indy KOA -- this was an OK campground. We find that KOA's are more expensive (even though we have a membership) and not necessarily worth the extra money. 

Aug. 31st - 143 mile day - we arrived at the Air Stream Factory in Jackson Center at 2 PM. We checked in and reviewed our list of items that needed attention on our Air Stream (about 10 items), and hooked up on one of their lots with full hook - up. 

Sept 1 & 2nd -- all the items on our Air Stream were addressed to our satisfaction. YIPPEE !!!! We had full hook-up for free at the factory. If you are not getting service done, cost is $10 per day.

We toured the Armstrong Air Space Museum - this was very informative and fun. We did not realize the number of astronauts (24) that came out of Ohio. Northern Ohio's history in rocketry dates back to 1932, when the Cleveland Rocketry Society began work in experimental rocketry with liquid fueled rocket engines.

                                                                                  July 20, 1969

In the museum, there was a simulator that we tried and we crashed on the moon each time.

Sept 2: Friday -- our F-150 Ford decided to have problems. The engine would cut out and once the engine shut off. We found a dealer in Sidney Ohio who would take a look at it. There was a module in the transmission that needed replaced. Beings its a holiday weekend, it took several days for the part to arrive and get replaced. Fortunately, the truck is under warranty with free car rental plus we can keep the Air Stream at the factory with full hook up for free. We figured the campgrounds would be busy over the weekend, and we are in a very quite place and can still do some site seeing. 

We toured the Air Stream Factory - we were impressed with the quality and cleanliness of the factory. 

 We drove to Lake Loramie State Park (16 miles)                                                      (Ft. Loramie Swanders Road Minster, Ohio )
The park was lovely and there was a hiking trail, mostly amoungst the trees. The temps were good -- 75 - 80 with a light wind and sunny skies. We saw one crane; but was unable to get it's picture. 

After we left the park we drove into Minster and found an ice cream place -- yummy sundaes. Plus we were on route 66 -- how historical is that !!!! 
We drove back through Ft. Loramie and discovered St. Michael's Church. Michael the Archangel  is on the front of the church, above the door. We ended up coming back here for 5 PM Mass

We found a yummy pizza place in Bellefontaine 
-- it was a cute little town.    Interesting expression !!!!    Feed me I'm hungry !!!!    :)

Hi Point in Bellefontaine Ohio --- This is were we found this dedication. The Hi Point (1500 feet above sea level) was in the middle of a community college.

 We sat on a park bench and enjoyed the quiet. The college was closed, due the Labor Day holiday.

We stopped at Lunar Pier for lunch, On Lake Erie   -- on our way to see Carol & George.

Carol & George - friends from  VIR RV Resort (live near Detroit) -- we had a lovely dinner with them and stayed over night, then drove back to Jackson Center. 
 We saw this motorcycle in the parking lot
 -- the fender is a thick chain.

An interesting restaurant --  Smokies -- pennies embedded in the bar.

Bicycle Museum near Jackson Center
 in New Bremen, Ohio
More amazing then we imagined !!!

1997 Harley Davidson Limited Edition

Air Stream Bike
Bicycle for 5 
And one for 3

Basilica and National Shrine 
of Our Lady of Consolation 
Carey Ohio


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Truck fixed - next stop - north of Detroit - purchased a different hitch - Hensley -- much easier to hook up the Air Stream.

-- -- -- - -- -- - -- -- -- - - - - - -- - - - - - --- --- ---- -- - - - -- - -- --- - --

Stopped to see Deanna & Bob Young ( VIR friends) in Charring Cross, Ontario -- 50 amp hook up on the side of their home. 

 Bob's corn field -- they sell seed corn to Pioneer Seed, plus grow soybeans.

Farmer -- combining corn.

 Steve and Bob North side of Lake Erie

Tobacco is grown in this area.
Tobacco cut and lying in the field

Tobacco is hung on large holders

 Then the Tobacco is stored in a smoke house --
 wood chips are started on fire and the tobacco is "smoked"

A good time was had by all  :)  
-- We had 2 lovely days here -- Deanna is a fabulous cook. We were blessed with gracious friendship.

 On the road - Onroute 401 Highway

 Traveled 250 miles and stayed at KOA Brighton, Ontario. A very clean campground managed by a friendly young couple.

After 286 miles to Mary and Dick's in Ste. Adele, Quebec 
Arrived on Sept. 16th.
We parked our Air Stream next to their garage,
with full - hook up (50 amp, water and sewer).

Ste. Adele - a very lovely town

 Lake near their home
Near by stream 
 Late Sept and the fall colors are just starting to show up

 Ste. Adele is a ski resort town - 
lovely countryside, lots of trees, and ski slopes

Chapel where we attended church

Nun's retirement home with their chapel

After 9 days and some delicious meals with Mary and Dick -- Mary being a fabulous cook ---  we headed south; and would be back in Ste. Adele for their Canadian Thanksgiving. We left our Air Stream in Canada, and only took the F150. 


We stayed one night with Maryse and Jim in Montreal before heading to Upper State NY.  Our F150 was doing the same thing it did in Ohio - cutting out / not shifting into gear -- ran nicely after the engine was warm. Maryse and Jim's sons own a Ford dealership; so we knew that if we needed to, we could take it to them; but we really wanted to get to Sylvia and Fred's in Upper State NY. 

Jim is behind the camera --- 
 St. Lawrence River 

Maryse and Jim drove us around Montreal - Lovely architecture, esp. in Old Montreal.

Went to the top of The Mountain -- 

Drove past St. Joseph's Oratory -- more about this later, as we went inside several weeks later with Mary & Dick.

Traveled via Ford F150 to Sylvia & Fred's - St. Johnsville, NY
280 miles. We left our Air Stream at Mary & Dick's. 

Our Ford F150 made it to NY without any difficulties -- the Ford Dealer there replaced (for the second time) the transmission module that was the problem.. 

Here we are at one of the many restaurants that Fred & Sylvia took us to - Ostega Hotel / Restaurant. 

On the Patio of the Hotel

Baseball Museum in Cooperstown.

The first year the St. Louis Cardinals (my Dad's favorite team) won the World Series  - 1926

Cruise on the Erie Canal Lock # E-18

We moved into the Lock -- Here is the Lock Closing

And Closing

Now the water is moving out of the Lock that we are in

Now we are leaving the lock

We also went to look at 2 other Locks on the Erie Canal.
Some of the old locks are visible also.

Construction of the Erie Canal began in 1817. The canal has 36 locks and an elevation differential of about 565 feet (172 m). It opened on October 26, 1825.
More info at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erie_Canal
There are UTube videos on the internet to show how the locks were built. 

This Lock is constructed to allow boats to go around the damn. 

Lock # 17 

Lock 17 - almost empty

 Boat entering the Lock

Water leaving the Lock, and the boat will come out here

The majority of Travel on the Erie Canal is recreational. One could do the American Loop -- 5,600 miles via boat.

Me -- I'd rather walk.
Nice Hiking trail ---- I could walk from St. Johnsville to Buffalo -- UM -- sounds like a good idea to me !!!!!!!!! Only 226 miles.

Stone Art on the River

Remington Museum

Russian Monastery 

Pumpkins being sold at an auction

Sept. 30th Bette traveled to her Niece's wedding: Allison Bissen to Zach Clemons. This was an easy flight from Albany NY to Omaha (1 stop in Detroit). Steve Stayed with Fred & Sylvia.

Jerry -- Bette's brother and father of the bride
along with his newly wedded wife Pat.

 Nieces: Emily, Faith, Jessica

Brother Ron, wife Melissa + Blake & Faith with my Dad

Sister Chris, husband Dave + Andrew, Emily, Ryan

Bette Dancing with Dad
 Chris and Dave
Mary and Bob

Peg, Allison, Jon, Allie, George, Ron, Blake, Melissa, Faith, 
Irylynn, Luxley, 

Jess Jeff, Bette, Rob, Dave

Clint - Jessica

Jessica & Emily

 Dale - Peg - Dad - Chris 
Ron - Bette

A few more days with Sylvia and Fred, 
then we headed back to Ste. Adele.

The Drive back to Canada was fabulous - the fall colors are out in all their glory.

Celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving  - Oct. 9th. 
We had turkey, mash potatoes, gravy, green beans, cranberries, yummy fruit dessert

 - Laura (their daughter) with Mary -

We visited Julie and Serg - in Laval (suburb of Montreal)  twice -- once for lunch out / coffee then later on for spaghetti dinner -- YUM YUM 

French Hair cut ----

Out to eat in Montreal with Mary & Dick at Lester's Deli

St. Joseph Oratory
The basilica is dedicated to Saint Joseph, to whom Brother André Bessett, C.S.C., credited all his reported miracles. These were mostly related to some kind of healing power, and many pilgrims (handicapped, blind, ill, etc.) poured into his Basilica, including numerous non-Catholics. On display in the basilica is a wall covered with thousands of crutches from those who came to the basilica and were purportedly healed.
P XVI ope John Paul ll 
 deemed the miracles to be authentic andbeatified Brother André in 1982. In October 2010 Pope Benedict XCI canonized 
Brother André.

Main Alter in the Basilica 

The Organ in the Basillica 

 Small chapel behind the main Basilica alter   

There were many statues of saints on the walls

 Chapel dedicated to St. Joseph
 Thank you notes from many who had been healed

One of many places to lite candles

Small chapel inside the Basilica 

Lovely display of candles

We Met Marc & Mireille at the Starbucks in the Mall near their home in Laval

Lucie & Bernie - also live in Laval -- they found a fabulous restaurant to go to and visit. 

We left Canada on Oct 19th -- The fall colors were still awesome. We stayed at KOA Brighton, Ontario.- a very lovely campground - they were celebrating Halloween. 

Driving towards the USA border --  

Image result for twin grove rv resort pa- the first night we stayed in Twin Grove RV Park - Pine Grove PA.  Very nice -- good water pressure and electric. Many activities for the family, including a Ferris Wheel.  
A Lovely valley! 

The next night we were in Falling Waters Campground in West Virginia (just across the Maryland border). This was a very small campground and we were lucky to get one of there more level sites. The sites are close together; managers friendly, electric and water was good. 

 Due to the fact that it was a weekend before Halloween most of the campgrounds were full, so we stayed in Falling Waters for 2 nights until we could get a reservation at Drummer Boy RV in Gettysburg PA.  The Drummer Boy is a large resort and they too had Halloween celebrations in the park - we were fortunate to obtain a site for 9 days while we visited the Civil War monuments and my brother Ron and his family.
Drumming Boy was a nice campground - level back-in site, electric & water were good. The bath houses were not very clean. The trees were lovely.

Our Neighbors at Drumming Boy Resort

Gettysburg Museum -  This museum was amazing. The video was very informative, the museum pieces were well explained and the Cyclorama - a 360 degree painting initially created in 1883 is worth seeing. 

Here are a few pictures of the Civil War Battlefield and monuments - we did the self driving tour; but there is a guided tour available also.  We were both amazed at the magnitude of the battlefields. 


Fun with Melissa, Ron, Faith and Blake at the Pumpkin Patch

We wanted this one;
but it was too heavy to
consider buying...

                Pumpkins we Carved  ------------------

Nice enough to eat outside  --  October 29th.

 Faith playing soccer - with the pink socks of course !
 Blake - goalie

 Celebrating Ron's Birthday 

Beautiful Maryland Countryside --- 

We found a hiking trail...  

And Covered Bridges.... in Maryland

We moved a little south on Nov 1st and stayed one night at Bull Run Regional Park, Centreville, VA 
 We then drove to Potomac Maryland ........
to visit
Susan & Maury (Dawn's parents) Pictures are taken by Great Falls - a very peaceful place.

Nov 4th and now we are truly heading to Florida -- next stop
RVacation RV Park in Selma N.C. where we met Mary & Dick
This was a lovely Park 

Next stop Stage Coach RV  -- St. Augustine Fl. 
Here's a Pic of Mary and her RV

Stage Coach RV park was lovely - good water and electric. 

Almost Home ----  another 4 hour drive, we'll be back at VIR

During our 2016 Summer travels, we were blessed with good weather,   safe driving,   and great connections with family and friends... Next Blog will be in 2017 ...  :)

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