Sunday, September 5, 2010

Through Pennsylvania

We've headed out for phase 3 of our journey, which will take us out through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and to Chicago, Illinois. Once again we got so unpacked at home that it took days to get organized to depart again. But we got it together, fired up the diesel, flipped on the new Banks exhaust brake, and chugged on down the road. We hadn't found time at home to call ahead for reservations, but had a list of possibilities. After a few calls we had a place to head to, and one for Labor Day weekend as well.

Our first stop was in Wapwallopen, Pennsylvania, at Moyer's Grove Campground. We were assigned a narrow spot, but managed to shoe-horn our way in. But, a different lady came by as we were preparing to extend the slides and suggested a larger site. We moved, and it was far better. This was a quiet campground with friendly people. Lots of seasonals, including an area set up for over winter campers. It was hot, so we put the air conditioner to work, and enjoyed swimming in their pool. We had to leave before the holiday weekend, so Friday we moved on to a place in western Pennsylvania, which had an opening due to a cancellation.

Toby swims in the nearby Susquehanna River, with its nuclear power plant visible in the background:

Right off Interstate 80, and I mean RIGHT off, is Wolf's Campground in Knox, PA. If we were camped any closer to the highway we'd have had our own exit number! It's a huge campground, loaded with seasonals, with a large fishing lake, and a 9 hole golf course. There's a couple of sections for transient campers, and we got our spot at the end of a row, which is good., The noise from trucks is omnipresent. But, we are lucky to find a place to stay for this busy weekend. Just about every available spot is taken - there are many large groups, and golf carts zipping around everywhere. At night the air is smoky from campfires and the place is lit by string lights, hanging lanterns and tiki torches. Our Ohioan neighbors are nice, have two friendly Boxer dogs, and have shared some of their spit-roasted turkey and dutch-oven peach cobbler.

We took dogs for walks, Nancy worked, and I did chores like install a subwoofer for our sound system - Thanks to Dan for lending us the super powerful bass unit. We've got it turned all of the way down, and it sounds great. Turned up it'd sound like one of those urban "speakers on wheels" cars where all you hear is vibrating sheet metal and loose engine parts! I also found a nice network of mountain biking trails at a park called Two Mile Run County Park, north of a town called Oil City. The serpentine singletrack trails were designed for mountain biking, were well marked, and had hosted some races over the summer.

Thanks, Pennsylvania Department of Highway Saftey:

Toby found another comfy place to rest in the whale:

Lastly, I am pleased so far with the performance of the aforementioned exhaust brake which we paid dearly for. In concert with the truck's Allison transmission, we can descend many hills now without using the conventional brakes. This will definitely make the steep hills less dangerous, less hard on the trailer brakes, and less stressfull. It's not noisey like the "Jake" brakes used on tractor trailers but has a similar effect of slowing the rig by slowing the engine RPM. Ironically, we are about to drive into the dead-flat midwest states, where our new brake will have nothing to do!

1 comment:

  1. So happy to hear that you didn't spend the Labor Day Weekend in a WalMart parking lot:)