Summer 2011

Bellefonte, PA to Home

328 Miles/525 Km

15 July 2011

Route Map

Click on pinpoints for local information

Photographs and Commentary
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Final Thoughts

The last commentary of each trip seems to always be late. When we return from a long trip home there are a number of things that need to be done in the first few days. One of these is the mail. It is amazing how much mail piles up on the dining room table after an absence of forty days. Our neighbor brings in the mail daily and tries to sort it in a manner that he feels would be of value to us. To some degree he has been successful, but we still have to go through and sort it out. Fortunately almost all our bills are received and paid electronically so that component of the mail is absent or it would have added another 20-30 pieces of mail. Susie did an initial run through the piles of mail and sorted them into magazines, junk mail and "stuff Sam needs to go through." I would say that the junk mail was the biggest component and it is amazing what it contains... "have we got a deal for you." I finally went through my stuff this morning (Sunday) after having spent most of yesterday updating my financial records in Quicken. Even my stuff has a junk component because of all the inserts that frequently come with financial statements. We wound up with two shopping bags full of paper for to recycle.

So, here goes my last commentary for this trip. I would rate this trip as very good. We had some "OH!" moments and we had some "Awe" moments. Oh! moments included, "Oh man is it cold this morning" and "Oh, we just had a blow out." However, the awe moments outnumbered them in frequency and magnitude. Awe in the views in Yellowstone, Grand Tetons and Crater Lake are just a few of those. We got to visit with new friends that we met in RV parks and old friends and colleagues in their home grounds. These are the kind of things that keep us RVing.

We drove about 9,000 miles on this trip, a relatively short trip for us. We didn't exactly take the most direct route so our point to point mileage was about 7,100 miles,. The remainder of the mileage involved local driving. Fuel prices, a major cost component for us, were not that bad once we got out of the eastern states. When we started heading back on I-80, we watched the prices rise as we headed east, partially due to location and partially due to an overall rise in cost.

The weather this summer is one thing that is going to stay in my memory for a long time. It was certainly far from normal. For example, we used our trailer's air conditioner only on eight nights and the heat for about 20 nights. We used 90 lbs. of propane in this trip. The last lime we used this much gas was in our 2005 ALaska trip which lasted almost twice as long as this one. The heavy winter snows were still quite evident in Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Crater Lake and even on our return east as we traveled through the Sierras and Rocky Mountains. In addition, this spring and early summer had a lot of rain in the midwest. That rain coupled with the snowmelt cause many rivers to be at or above flood stage. You have to feel sorry for people whose homes were lost to those flood waters. While we didn't see too many homes under water or threatened by the water, we did see the rivers flooding over fields ruining farmers crops or delaying spring planting. Nature rules! A good friend of ours commented that I spent a lot of time writing about the weather. He is correct! However, I responded to him by paraphrasing Mark Twain, "I can't do anything about the weather, so I'm complaining about it."

We are going to stay around for a few weeks and might take another trip this summer. We will probably be staying relatively close to home. Maybe a week in New Hampshire and a few days close to the grandchildren in Massachusetts.

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