Thursday, September 25, 2008

Exercise and Fitness

I met Gil about three weeks ago. He was with some neighbors who were on an evening walk in the neighborhood. I was intrigued by his cross country bike trip from Los Angeles to Boston last year.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


We (Pam, Kelly, Megan and I) went for a quick sightseeing trip to the US Naval Academy. Megan flew into DC on business so we were able to join up for the hour drive to Annapolis. We met up with Kelly's former roommate Mary. We hadn't eaten lunch and went to a great pub (Middleton Tavern) on the waterfront in Annapolis. While we waited for the food I snapped a photo a photo of Kelly, Megan and Mary.

Mary and her husband Cameron live at the US Naval Academy where he is an instructor. Cam was on duty so he wasn't able to join us. Mary did a great job of showing us around a few of the sights on campus. We went to the academic building (known as Bancroft Hall) where plebes attend class.
Not far away is the 21 foot Herndon monument. Plebes try to climb to the top of it and replace the dixie cup resting there with an upperclassmen's hat. One obstacle is 200 pounds of lard that it has been coated with by the upperclassmen. It usually takes 2-3 hours to get the job done!

We also went to the tomb of John Paul Jones which is below the chapel on the academy grounds. He was the father of the American Navy.

The USNA grounds are very impressive, to say the least. It was a beautiful day and a fun afternoon.
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Friday, September 12, 2008

Conference Highlights

The primary reason we wanted to go to the Life on Wheels (LOW) Conference is to learn about the technical aspects of the motor home. We had to pick and chose from over 60 classes. Here are some of the highlights:
We feel like we need to have a basic understanding of how things work. Al Cohoe (pictured here) teaches RV classes at a technical college in Canada. Some of his classes we attended were
  • Maintenance & Repair: Propane
  • Operation & Maintenance: Furnaces/Water Heaters
  • Electrical Systems
  • Generators
  • Refrigerators
  • RV Delivery Inspection
Russ Maxwell gave an excellent presentation on: Awnings - Proper use and maintenance. Key item: NO WD-40 use CRC dry silicone instead

A real helpful class was: Driving Your RV. Dennis Hill provided some great tips on making sharp right hand turns, going up hill, backing up and a whole list of other items.

Part of our research effort over the past year has been to go and talk to people at dealers, campgrounds and now RV conferences.
Attending this was very beneficial and I highly recommend it. It filled in some of our questions on: how does this work?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Gettysburg and Life on Wheels

This is the day we have long been waiting for: The Life on Wheels Conference.

After church, we headed out for Harrisburg PA. It is about 120 miles away. Rt 15 took us right by Gettysburg which is one of our favorite National Parks so we stopped and spent a few minutes there. We have been to Gettysburg five or six times in the last 15 years. We heard they had changed some things and they have.
The biggest change is that they moved the Visitor Center a few miles out of town. It is brand new and opened earlier this year. We didn't stay long enough and will have to go back again.

Harrisburg Area Community College is the site for this year's fall LOW conference.

The Wildwood Conference Center is a new facility and seems like it will accommodate the conference well. Tonight was check in and an overview of the next four days. Tomorrow we begin the series of workshops.
Gaylord Maxwell was the opening speaker. He is the founder of the conferences which began 15 years ago. He has been RVing for over 50 years. He is the author of several books and is a writer for Motorhome Magazine. (Sadly, Gaylord Maxwell passed away two weeks after this conference at his home in Coeur d' alene, Idaho after a brief illness. The he will be sorely missed.)
We left for dinner at Crackerbarrel, then went back to the HACC where a number of folks with RV's had parked their rigs. During the opening, they mentioned a number of people hang out in the evening.

We decided to see if we could talk to a few folks and quickly got engaged in long conversation with two of the conference speakers: Dennis and Carol Hill, and Susie and Denny and Susie Orr.Pam has the gold sweatshirt in her hand. She is standing next to Steve and Karen - whom we met online talking about Tiffins.

The day was a full one and the conference is off to a great start. These RV people are really friendly!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Rocky Gap

We decided to visit a State Park and see if we could talk to some folks who worked there. Talking with folks about volunteering is one thing we are doing as part of the research and learning activities of the RV lifestyle.
We chose Rocky Gap State Park because last summer I went to a Men's Retreat at (near Cumberland MD) and wanted to see it again. It is 2 1/2 hours from Fairfax VA and it was a very nice drive.

When we first go there, we stopped at the campground office at talked a lady in the registration office. She is one of the volunteers and works from May to the end of Sept for a free full hook up (FHU) at a campsite.

Next, we asked to see the sites and drove through the campground. We stopped at the main area where they had some tents set up for some Labor Day activities. Today's event was corn shucking. After the competition they were serving hot dogs and hamburgers to the campers who participated.

We met Dennis and another couple and talked with them for some time. They all lived in nearby towns but spent most of their summers at Rocky Gap as camp hosts in one of the loops. They had been volunteering their for over ten years.
They did a lot of maintenance at the campsites during the weekends and assisted campers. During the week they did work on the buildings and grounds.

Though our visit to Rocky Gap State Park was short one, we were glad we had a chance to talk with some volunteers so we could get an idea of what they did.

It would be fun to go back and camp there. May be one day we will be able to do that.

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