Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Home a week now. Weather has been wonderful, for the most part. Daytime highs in the 70's or low 89's and nighttime low's in the 50's. It is scary, how nice it has been. Somehow, I suspect we will pay.

No luck finding any temp work, but haven't been looking as hard as I might.

The light pole in the camp dooryard has snapped off at its base from years of little buggies boring their little teeth off. This poses a problem as the transformer on the powerline is also off. Can't very well ask the faceless bureaicrats at Bangor Hydro-Electric Company to replace the busted transformer when it'll just short out again from the lines coming in contact with the trees the yard pole is leaning against. Need over a grand to replace the pole. THAT isn't going to happen any time soon. That's like a weeks wages around here, assuming one can find a job that pays anything close to $25 an hour. And So It Goes.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Juris Impudence

A long slog got us to The Uncle's in Maryland on Monday. Tuesday spent working on projects which had accumulated since November. Had a really nice crab feed on Tuesday night at Ford's Restaurant in Rock Hall. The service left a lot to be desired, but the food was tasty and the quantity was good. Four adults, no booze, two crab meals, one 3 pound lobster and a liver and onions plate came to a total of $80. Not bad, everything considered. Wednesday I collapsed - accumulated fatigue from the hard driving and anticipation of the final legs home. Thursday we awoke to a loud thunderclap about 5AM followed by a spectacular lightning storm. I rolled over and went back to sleep. Friday morning finished up the last of the projects and loaded up the truck and made ready for departure. Waited out the weekend get-away traffic and set out towards Maine at 2AM Saturday. Made good time, having taken my wife straight through the middle of New York City -- a first for her. Cross-Bronx Expressway hasn't improved one bit during my 25 year absence from the city. Skyline is so sad without the Twin Towers. Drove as far as Southern Connecticut on the old standby, I-95, by late morning.

We ate lunch and then napped for a couple of hours in the heat of the day as the Saturday beach traffic had been bugging me no end -- it was supposed to be easy driving on a Saturday, not bumper-to-bumper white knuckling nonsense. The nap delay did the trick. Easy sailing Northward. Had to detour on I-297 due to a bridge out in Pawtucket, RI so didn't have the fun of driving through Providence or Boston. We pulled into Bangor, Maine at dusk, about 8:00PM, making for a very LONG DAY. Parked in the dooryard at the house and went straight to bed after a meal of our favorite Chinese take-out. Sunday dawned clear and crisp at 67° at 8:00 AM, so we pulled out and headed straight to camp. Discovered some miscreants had broken in the front door during our sojourn in the Southland. Not a lot of things missing, but the place was pretty trashed. Bah Humbug. To add insult to injury, the power doesn't seem to be working, but I can't find my voltmeter to check the wires coming in to the camp to see if power is being delivered to the building. Note to self: Tomorrow - must find my meter.

Went through the 3 month accumulation of mail and discovered to my horror that I'd be summonsed to serve on the Traverse Jury for Superior Court. For August. Starting with a mandatory appearance on Monday, 2 August 2010. Tried calling first thing this morning, but all I got was voicemail. Went in this afternoon and ascertained that a bench warrant had NOT been issued for my failure to appear. However, they promptly signed me up for the October session, which begins in September and runs into November?

Phooey - I was hoping to make enough money to make it back down South for the winter. Hard to do when you have to be in court for 6 weeks...

And So It Goes.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Neuse To Me...

We're tucked in amongst the Loblolly Pines and Gum Trees of the Croatan National Forest campground at the Neuse Rive (AKA Flanners Beach). That's about 12 miles southeast of the town of New Bern, North Carolina. It has about 35 wooded RV sites with electricity (water available to carry and there is a sewage dump site). The bathroom is clean and the price is right - $17US. We arrived late this afternoon (early evening, really). So, I will try for a photo of the waterfront for you in the morning as it is too dark to be banging around an unlit riverbank (no moon at all). Met a fellow from New Hampshire who was admiring our whisper-quiet air conditioner. He's in a tent in this 95° heat. He and his wife are on the way to Charleston, S.C. They had the misfortune of having a sparkplug blow out of the engine Friday night in Virginia while waiting to cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge & Tunnel. About $500 and two days later, they are on the way again. He was sort of glad that they'd opted to only bring a tent for this quick trip to South Carolina. He figures the towing cost of both the truck and trailer, plus the repairs, would have left them stranded. Times are tough, folks. No doubt about it.

Tomorrow, if all goes well, we will head to Uncle's in Maryland. It is a solid 400 miles of secondary roads, more than I usually choose to drive in a day, but we'll give it the old college try.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Holed Up

We made it all the way to the Buck Horn Recreation Area in the Francis Marion National Forest at Mcclenndon, South Carolina. This 14 lot campground is basically a convenience for fishermen. Lots have electric (30&50 amp) and water. There is a bath house and sewer dump for self-contained units.

Did I mention it is right on the Inter-coastal Waterway, less than 30 miles north of Charleston, South Carolina? Yep. Every other facility near the water might be full, but this one has a few openings so long as it isn't the middle of shrimping or sea bass (striper) season...

So, we will stay here through the weekend to avoid the crowds.


Yes, indeedy. Valdosta, Georgia is where we landed tonight, after a quiet day and a half at the Mystic Springs Cove, Inc., an Airstream Park about 25 miles north of Pensacola on the Escambia River and site of our close call last November when flood waters covered the road one early morning.

We got a middling late start after breakfast and then poked along on Interstate 10 for a bit before turning the nose of the Ford northward for Georgia. It will come as no surprise to anyone between Key West and Boston that it was a hot day, in the upper 90's for the most part, so there was no sense of urgency. Just walking from the truck to a rest room was enough to soak my clothing. Actually working in these temperatures and humidity levels can be excruciating. I was so heat sick on Monday before I quit that I contemplated hospitalization!

We did manage to score some fresh tomatoes, Vidalia onions, peaches and the best boiled peanuts I've ever had, hands down, from a little stand at the junction of a couple of secondary roads in Georgia. Drove through Havana, Florida, named after Havana, Cuba as the town took up cigar production for a thirty year period (1940's through the late 1960's). Also Cairo, Georgia, the birthplace of Jackie Robinson, and got to admire the range of architecture in that fair burg after a wrong turn (darn GPS) forced me to travel over several residential and downtown streets to get where I wanted to go. Almost had a cute blonde officer as an escort vehicle, but she circled the block and made sure we left town without causing too much mischief. Damn Yankees! Hrumph!

No pictures today - too busy driving, I guess.

Arrived in Valdosta just before sundown. I hate setting up in the dark as I always seem to injure or break something, so I was unwarrantedly PO'd when my dear wife's navigational skills had us retracing our path multiple times trying to locate the campground entrance. After doubling back yet another time we hit upon the magic combination of chicken bones and tea leaves and found the place, right where they said they'd be. Funny, that.

That's about all for tonight. No excitement. Cooked a mean mess of sauteed onions and Chicken-Spinach and roasted garlic sausages (the last of our stash of Sam's Club tube steaks) along with a [late of fresh tomato wedges and pickled beets for supper. Finished up with a still warm, juicy Georgia Peach. Yum!

Well, off to sleep. Who knows what tomorrow may bring?

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

We're Off

After a teary-eyed departure, we have hit the road. Here is a view of the Kiln, Mississippi picnic area. A "BAYFIELD BUNCH LUNCH" (PB&J) has just been consumed. Much pleasure derived by all. Ignatz has annointed all tree trunks and other vertical objects in sight so he's happy, too. Off to Pensacola...

Monday, August 02, 2010

WX Delay

The heat has defeated me. It is 95* in the shade. In the direct sun it is much worse. Typical Louisiana humidity, i.e. wringing wet. In fact, someone ran me through the wringer and left me for dead. No more truck loading until sun down. Sucks to get old. Maybe we'll leave in the morning.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

Sunday, August 01, 2010


Getting ready to pull out of Baton Rouge for Maine in the morning. First stop will be in the Pensacola, Florida area.

We expect to be turning North at Jacksonville. Then next stop somewhere around Charlotte, S.C.

More as we actually hit the road.

Update: Corrected a misspelling & deleted the gratuitous line about my cell phone service. It hit 103°F. this afternoon - not much packing done. Can't imagine why...