Monday, September 12, 2011

Back in Tennessee

Well we made it home last Thursday after taking Shannon's car to the body shop and dealing with the insurance folks.  Looks like we are going to let them total it, repairs will cost more than it is worth.
Saturday we met Shannon and Adam at Walter Hill Dam near Murfreesboro for a picnic. I think she was more anxious to see Copper than us. We had a very nice visit.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wed Sept 7th MD to TN

We drove about 500 miles today from Hagerstown, MD to Maryville, TN.  We were in and out of rain all day but at least the traffic was lighter than yesterday. We were anxious to visit Shannon and see what we need to do about repairing her car after her accident yesterday.  The front bumper and grill are heavily damaged and the left fender is rubbing on the front tire.  Considering the age and mileage on the car the insurance company may total it. Tonight we are staying in one of our favorite campgrounds, Misty River in Walland, TN.

Rain, Rain, go away.... Tuesday Sept 6th

The beautiful cool weather we experienced all weekend came to and end Monday night and the rain set in.  We had to fold up the camper in the rain Tuesday morning. After breakfast we said our goodbyes to Bruce and Sue and their family and headed home. We decided to stay on the interstate most of the way because of the bad weather.  The traffic was heavy and we saw several caravans of utility trucks heading home after assisting with hurricane Irene cleanup. About mid afternoon we received a phone call from Shannon telling us she had been in a traffic accident on the way back to school.  No one was injured and both cars were able to drive away but she was very upset and of coarse we were very concerned. After a few calls we determined that she could drive her car on to school and were very relieved when she got there.  We drove to Hagerstown, MD and headed to a KOA but changed our mind when we came to a low lying bridge across a swollen river and a sign stating "Caution: Flood Area" and it was still pouring rain.  We went back to the interstate and found a campground at the next exit.  It was one of the Jellystone campgrounds and was very nice.  Since it was raining so hard we did not put out the beds on the camper and slept on the fold out couch and dinnette bed.  Unfortunately, we also discovered a couple of leaks in the camper, one in the shower and one in the A/C.

Plymouth, MA Monday Sept 5th

Yoda is always the last one to leave a party.

On Monday Rich and Terry headed back home, so Bruce, Sue, Nancy and I took a short drive to Plymouth, Mass.  First we visited Plimouth Plantation (Yes, I spelled it correctly), a reproduction of Plymouth Village and  a Native American village, a museum and a craft center. Costumed reenactors explained life in the 1600's.

That's some woodpile!

Reproduction of Plymouth village in 1600's

The Meeting House and Fort

Sue and Nancy try to decide if the flowers and palm tree are real or fake

Yoda hamming it up as usual

Typical New England architecture

Mayflower II

"I must be seasick, I'm wait....."

Not allowed to stand on the rock, but at least I got my shadow on it.
We then went into Plymouth for lunch then visited Plymouth Rock and a working reproduction of the Mayflower. After a little shopping and sightseeing we headed back to Bruce and Sue's house to relax.  Everyone was still tired from the clambake preparations and clean up.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sept 4th The Clambake

Got up early Sunday morning to finish getting everything ready for the clambake. About 75 people were expected so there were lots of preparations to be made.  First, a large kettle of clam chowder was prepared.  This was eaten about 11:30am. In the meantime, each person's meal was placed into a mesh bag containing a sweet potato slice, white potatoes, sausage, onion, stuffing and fish and clams. All the bags were placed into a wooden box with a screen bottom then covered with plastic and canvas.  A charcoal fire was started in the bottom of the cooker, then a metal lid was placed on the cooker and covered with seaweed, the box of food was then placed on top of the seaweed.  The steam from the seaweed is what cooks the food. Everything was very good and everyone was stuffed, then we had dessert!
The cooker

The food box and serving table

The food box

Lining the cooker with newspaper to light the charcoal

Preparing the food

The dining area

Cooker with charcoal

Fresh seafood for lunch!

Chowder line

Let's eat!

Taking a break

Lighting the fire

Cooker with lid and seaweed

Placing the box of food on the cooker

Getting to know everyone


It's done!!

Later we had to take down the tents, store the tables and chairs, put all the food and utensils away and clean up. By the end of the day everyone was exhausted.

Saturday Sept 3rd Preparing for the Clambake

Saturday was spent helping Bruce and Sue and several of their relatives get everything ready for the clambake on Sunday. We set up tables and chairs, went after ice and sea water and seaweed, got the cookers and pots and pans ready, and prepared the vegetables.

Afterwards we sat around the campfire and roasted marshmellows and made S'mores.

On to New England Fri Sept 2nd

On Saturday we drove on up through the Delaware river valley then took I-84 into New York state and Connecticut.  Hard to believe we were only about 40 miles from New York city as we drove through the mountains and farmland.
Hudson River Valley
At the higher elevations some of the trees were just beginning to get their fall colors.
We drove along the coast of CT and Rhode Island and saw some pretty towns and villages but lots of traffic. We decided to have a picnic on the beach at a state park but changed our minds when we found that it was going to cost us over $20 for day use fee.
Rich, Terry, Sue, Bruce, Robert, Nancy

Bruce and Sue with daughter Carolyn and grandkids Doug and Morgan

We arrived at Bruce and Sue's house in Wareham, MA about 4:30pm. We met them on our Alaska caravan last summer and they graciously invited us to come to their annual family reunion and clambake Labor Day weekend.  Another couple from the caravan,  Rich and Terry were also there.  We had a delicious chicken dinner then sat around the fire and caught up with all the news.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Shenandoah Valley

I am writing this Friday morning because just as I was getting ready to post last night the campground lost power.  We are in another very nice KOA near Stroudsburg, PA in the Poconos. They said the power  had been going off and on all day, probably related to hurricane Irene repairs,  news says 1.7 million still are without power.  Don't know how long it was off, we went to bed. The family camping next to us is from DC, they have been traveling for a week to avoid the hurricane and flooded roads. The campground is very secluded, no traffic noise, with lots of trees.  Although we did hear a few generators fire up when the power was off last night.

Yesterday, we traveled up the beautiful Shenandoah valley. We stopped in New Market, VA and went to the Civil War battlefield and museum.  
Rare repeating cannon used by CSA

Musket bent by cannon ball

"Did someone say, FIRE???!!"
We then drove the old highway for awhile and saw lots of beautiful old houses and some quaint little towns.
As we approached Stroudsburg on a two lane road the traffic was backed up for at least a mile or two.  At first we thought it was due to construction but later found that it was just heavy traffic getting through the town's two traffic lights.

Today we are heading east to Mass.