Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Last Days & Heading North

Virginia, On the Road and                                      Most Recent Posts:
Moose River Campground                                      A Birthday Week-End
May 25-June 7, 2023                                               Time On My Hands – I Love It


I’m posting this from the Moose River Campground in St. Johnsbury Vermont in what is known as The Northeast Kingdom.

My last few days in Virginia were spent having lunch and ice cream with my friend Pam,

Going over to nearby Waynesboro to have lunch in a darling restaurant my friend Mary loves called Stella, Bella and Lucy.  It’s a tea house.


Doesn’t Mary look like she belongs in a tea house?  Maybe in England?


From there we went flower shopping at a nearby greenhouse.   Mary is ready with her cart but couldn’t find exactly what she wanted.



So we went back to north of Charlottesville and there they were.  What a great smile Mary has but the light on my phone camera is horrid.


Ruby got a wash and wax before making her next trip.


I was really hoping I’d be around long enough for my blueberries to get ripe but nope.  The birds and this chipmunk were checking them out so I’m not sure I’d have gotten any unless I was out picking before sunrise.  I’m definitely up early enough to do that.

One of those early mornings when I was still in bed finishing off  the Amanda Cross Mysteries  I heard the unmistakable loud jungle bird call of the biggest woodpecker around, the pileated.  I know I said I’d do a post on the books I’d read over my two months in Virginia but on second thought, I’m not sure that’s a post a lot of folks would like to read although it would be a good reminder to me of those books.  What do you think?


Anyway, there he was in the top of the tree.

It was early morning so I had to lighten these pictures.  But isn’t he fine.  I love having him as a neighbor.

I actually caught him in mid jungle call.

On the very last day at the farm, I actually finished this difficult round puzzle and apparently didn’t take a picture of it totally finished.  But you can see the outside edge was next to impossible.  All the pieces looked the same and some actually fit in more than one place.  NOT FAIR!


On June 1st, Winnona, Ruby and I headed out of the barnyard with our fingers and tires crossed.  The last two times we’d left from here we ended up having to buy all new tires for Winnona once and the next year spend 6 days getting brake and radiator work that we didn’t know we needed until we had to be towed from about 8 miles from home.    But no problems this time!!

20230601_213651Our first night, we stayed as usually when we are headed north, at Camp Walmart in West Virginia where there were no inconsiderate campers, in fact only one other one.  BUT it was over 90 degrees.  So in addition to buying some groceries to thank them for letting me stay, I also got this battery operated fan.  It was perfect and can also be plugged in if you have an electric source.   It worked great plugged in until after dark since I have solar on the rig.  But I have found that my solar batteries, which are nearing 10 years old, are losing their charge very quickly over night.    Down to 12.6 for those who know anything about that so I feel I can’t leave the inverter on over night which on this hot night made this little fan a fan-tastic thing to have.

Here’s my next question for you.  This is a picture of the top of my two Lithium AGM Deep Cycle solar batteries.  Do you know how to find somewhere to get them tested and possibly replaced?   Or maybe you know someone who knows something about solar.  I don’t as David helped install our system and knew everything.  What is the life span of AGM Deep Cycle?


June the 2nd found us at the Mohegan Sun Casino in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.  It’s high up on a mountain top and there isn’t a level space in the entire parking lot sections over nighters are allowed to use but…’s at about the right driving distance so here we are in time for a hazy sunset which I learned may be due to the Canadian fires spreading smoke all over the northeast and mid atlantic states.   Great!  And I’m going to New England.


We’ve stayed here before on our way to the NY Finger Lakes and to Maine and a previous summer in Vermont.  But never have I been into the casino itself.  I’ve always been on too much of a budget to be willing to lose so I don’t play.

But this time it was still HOT so I went in to enjoy their AC.  I was expecting at least some one armed bandits. I was looking forward to hearing them go ker-ching.   If they’d had the old quarter machines, I just might have played $10 worth but these were nothing like that.


Of course there were card tables as well from which people came and went.


There were all different kinds of machines but they were all electronic with PLAY buttons and the room was round and HUGE.

At first I was concerned I might get lost and not be able to find the door I came in from but I realized that because it was round, all I had to do was get on the carpeted edge and keep walking until I recognized the store that was next to my door.


I tried not to appear to be looking over people’s shoulders as I watched them play.  I was not able to figure out what was going on for any of these machines or how you win (or more likely lose).


I finally sat in a chair behind these folks in front of another machine and turned around and watched them but I just couldn’t figure it out.  I was surprised at the wide range of ages of people playing here.  I don’t think even half of them had gray hair and some looked to be in their 20’s.


The next morning before I left, I went back in just to see and although there were not as many people, there were folks inside playing at 6:30 in the morning.

On the way back to Winnona I saw this great Indian bike, appropriate for the Mohegan casino.  I thought I’d post it for you Paul.


Our final overnight was thanks to the state of Connecticut at one of their rest areas on I 91.  Many states, maybe even most, do not allow overnights so this was lucky for me to be at just the right distance.   Of course there were many tractor trailers there were all night long but I was amazed at how many cars were still there in the morning.  More than 20 at 6am.   And only one other RV which sadly looked like it might be camping more than one night.  That’s how to get states to revoke the privilege.


I do not drive in snow, after dark or even in rain if I can help it.   But today I had no choice.  Thankfully I was on the last leg of my trip and I-91 is my kind of interstate.  Yes it has mountains but the slopes are long but not terribly severe as you can see.  And best of all, hardly any  much traffic.   It isn’t the rain itself that is worrisome to me, it is the way others and especially big trucks drive in it.


I was very thankful to have arrived without mishap until I looked under the hood to check the transmission oil.   I have no idea why I did not see this nest next to the hydraulic solenoids before when I checked the fluids.   It had to have been created by what is now a totally confused mama bird at the farm.  I was so sorry.  My arms are not long enough to reach down in to remove it so luckily Gary, one of the owners of Moose River Campground, removed it for me.  Check very closely after being in one place for a while is my new moto.


And so here we are on another first for us.  We have stayed, especially since David’s death, a number of places for a month and when he was alive we stayed in Maine for two months.  But this summer we will be here for the entire 3 months of summer before heading back south for Colin’s birthday celebration although we won’t make it on THE day.


It will be interesting to see at the end if I feel I would want to repeat three months at one place but this is the view out my bedroom window of the Moose River which is at one of its lowest levels.


and this is the view out my other bedroom window.


At the very least it is WAY cooler here than the 90’s I drove through until I got to Connecticut.  Now if the rains will come to Canada and put out the fires….


  1. Can't help you with batteries as we never got those kind, or solar for that matter. I'm always excited when you head north and stop at Mohegan Sun in our old backyard (so to speak). My stepdaughter lives near there and has been sending pictures of the horrible smoke!

    1. Yes, we occasionally would go eat there and play the slots. We had a good friend that worked there as well as one who owned one of the restaurants.

  2. I'd ask again on RV.Net about your batteries lifespan and if anyone might have a good recommendation of a place to get them tested. I was under the impression they do last longer than lead acid batteries, but I'm not totally sure on that.

    As to that beautiful Indian motorcycle, bet you didn't know I have an Indian. Shirt that is, I could afford a $30 Indian shirt but had to pass on a $30K motorcycle. But I can dream as I ride my 21 year old Honda that cost me a whopping $2500 8 years ago. I found that I can get the same bugs in my teeth on a new Indidan or an old Honda. :cD

    1. Thanks for the battery suggestion. It's a beautiful bike but you are right about the same bugs either way.

  3. Loved the Indian motorcycle! What a great place to be for the hot summer months! Enjoy your stay!

  4. You'd love it here Jeannie. It's in the 50's. I may have come too far north too soon.🫤

  5. Interesting that folks really do gamble at all hours. Beautiful bedroom window view. Will be neat to see how it changes over the next 3 months. That nest! What a surprise! I'd read a book blog if you were to write one.

    1. The nest really was a surprise. I felt very badly that the poor bird had lost her eggs. I didn't count how many but more than four. It made me smile about the book blog. You are so my daughter and I am so happy for that.

  6. Hurray for uneventful drives!! I'm so happy you're all set up for the summer already :-) Your woodpecker is very handsome. I'm excited to see how you like your stationary summer. You sure picked the best place (hopefully the smoke moves out soon) to call home for awhile. Such a beautiful spot on the water and all that green.

    1. You can definitely understand how great uneventful drives can be. Hope your slide fix is easy. I kept mine in all the way up but I lose access to part of the closet and 3 of the drawers, so a long time would be really tough. This long stretch in one place is definitely an experiment.

  7. I hear at least one pileated woodpecker every day on our road but I never get to see one. Love the chipmunk - I haven't seen one for years. That motorcycle is cool! Vermont and the Moose River look very inviting. Everything looks so green. I hope you have a great time!

    1. That's why they call it the Green Mountain State. It's definitely cool up here now. And rainy.

  8. Ah well, I do hope you are tucked away somewhere out of the smoke. It looks like Vermont might not be getting it when I look at the airnow map. Funny, I always warn you about coming west in July and August and look at this mess now. We know the climate is shifting, and not for the better for anyone I know. Nice here right now, but who knows for how long. I will take what I can get.

    1. No amazingly the air quality here is quite good and I'm only 45 minutes away from quebec. But it's very bad in Maryland where my daughter is and pretty bad at the farm where I just came from. How long are we going to wait to understand that we are endangering our health by ignoring climate change?

  9. Hi Sherry, I have read your blog often through the Bayfield Bunch. My husband Jeff and I bought a lot in the escapees park in Wauchula, Florida last year and we have been (2018) seasonal campers at Moose River while building our house in Peacham, Vermont. It’s a small world after all…glad you’re here in the northeast kingdom for the summer.

    1. Wendy, I am so glad you commented. Would love to get together with you while I am here. Please email me.

  10. I'm so glad you're settled in such a lovely spot for the summer. Your site is gorgeous and so peaceful! I'll be very interested to hear how you like staying put for three months. You're fortunate to not be getting smoke from the fires in Canada. We've had a bit of smoke here in NC (nothing like we've experienced in the West!) but it's certainly sobering to know that there is no place safe from climate change. I'd like to know what books you read! I'm always looking for my next good read.

  11. That was me (Laurel). It wouldn't let me post my name.

  12. Wow... beautiful spot to spend the summer! Hope the air polution dissipates soon.... I loved those piliated woodpeckers. They used to make enormous cavities in dead or dying cherry trees on our Stoney Ridge home.. I have a picture somewhere which I will send you. Amy knows a lot about solar - her place in Big Bend is completely solar... I will see if she can give you any advice. Love the picture of the Indian motorcycle. If I was 15 years or more younger, I'd have to get one of those. About all I can handle now is my Honda Shadow 750....

  13. The previous comment was mine... missed the Anonymous label...

  14. That VIEW of the Moose River! That looks like heaven. And i LOVE those pileated woodpeckers! I see them in Bentonville sometimes and they are just so cool. So about your batteries - I think they are not Lithiums but just sealed AGM batteries. If you have gotten 10 years out of them I'd say that's very good/lucky! They are likely in need of replacement. I think any auto store will check them for free - Auto Zone, O'Reilly, etc... Someone on here suggested to post in an RV forum, and I think that an excellent idea. We have solar out here at Javelina Hideout (where I'm typing this from), but I think RV solar might be a wee different. We did just make the transition from lead acid batteries to 48V lithiums - but they are huge! We don't have space constraints like you might have in an RV/vehicle. Shoot me an email if you like, and I'm happy to assist with whatever I can (finding a forum, tracking answers, etc...). So glad to see you out and about and still hoping you'll make it down south to see Big Bend sometime.

  15. Looks like a gorgeous place to stay and glad you arrived without any more mishap than a bird nest. Sorry I'm so far behind but being on the road often makes connection difficult. --Gaelyn

  16. Sorry for the delay, Ruby looks like she's brighter after the wash and wax!
    Really loved the hazy sunset pic with Wynonna, pretty, despite it being smoky...
    The bird nest, yeah its quite a big flat spot for them to set up shop with good visibility and protection to fell safe.
    Regarding the batteries, I'll text you in a minute...


Your comments help me in more ways than you can know. Thanks in advance.