Harvey-the-RV  - Roadtrip 2009

Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, USA

13th - 22nd September 2009

After spending a night at the Kettle Creek State Park in Pennsylvania, where Phil tried a spot of fishing, in competition with the resident heron, we pressed on to a location he'd spotted on our map.     With a name like "Fisherman's Paradise", how could we possibly pass it by?        

Fisherman's Paradise turned out to be a beautiful park, mostly upstream of the local trout hatchery.   Alongside the river there was a trail, popular with local walkers, bikers and wives whose husbands were spending quality time with the local trout population!    

We over-nighted at the nearby town of State College, at "Camp Walmart".    This particular parking lot was all the more attractive due to the proximity of a Barnes and Noble Bookstore, which beamed out free wi-fi internet 24 hours a day.   

Trying to lure a whopper out from under the rock.


Phil was keen to visit the Fisherman's Paradise again the next day, so Christine set off to explore the quaint nearby town of Bellefonte.    A historic railroad town, Bellefonte had plenty of attractions to amuse the fishing widow for several hours.    

Unable to walk by an eclectic looking junk shop without going inside to check out the goods, Christine found herself in an Aladdin's cave of goodies, overwhelmed by the range and quantity of treasures offered for sale.     But wait, there was more.....The friendly lady shopkeeper asked if she'd been in the back too, leading Christine towards a large warehouse door.    The door was opened, Christine stepped inside and the heavy door slammed shut behind her.    Would she ever be seen again?    It turned out that there were even more treasures stacked high in this back room and sure enough, she made it out again, unscathed, a couple of  treasures in hand.

We spent another night chez Walmart.  This time we chose a location farther from the route taken in the wee small hours of the morning by the man with the leaf-blowing machine (what was the point of blowing leaves around, we'd pondered during our sleepless hours the previous night).   

Our next spot was the Marsh Creek Lake Recreation Area, a huge public park area based around the dammed lake.    Phil set off to fish his selected river, just below the dam.   The park had plenty to keep Christine interested too.    Setting off along some of the miles of cycling trails within the park, she was stunned to pass by many beautiful historic buildings, including an old mill, the former home of the lock-keeper of the now defunct canal and old canal workings.    The covered bridge was home to a thriving colony of bats.    

Marsh Creek Lake Recreation Area

The return trip brought a close encounter with a family of deer.    Christine and the deer spent several minutes eyeing one another nervously.  On the next stretch of the return trip, an emergency swerve was necessary to avoid a snake making its way across the trail.    This critter Christine did not hang around to observe!

We spent a rainy night at French Creek State Park before taking the scenic route through the winding back-roads of Amish and Mennonite Lancaster County.    We passed many horse buggies on our route, which turned into a search for a genuine Amish apple pie to bring to our friends in Maryland.     

Finally we tracked down a farm stall with a sign offering pies, however when a bare-footed teenage boy in traditional Amish dress came running to serve us, we learned that the pies were only baked on Fridays for the weekend market.    We had to make do with some delicious cinnamon bread and strawberry jam.

By the afternoon we had reached the house of our friends Woody and Janine in Severn, north of Annapolis.    They were keen to show us the progress on the house they were building in the neighbourhood.

The lot was a tricky site, cut into a hillside but the foundations were poured and building was well underway.    As we drove away after our tour, Phil asked about the yellow "Stop Work" notice posted at the site's noticeboard.    A quick U-turn by Woody and we rushed back to the site.   Apparently the county inspector had been by and was unhappy with some part of the works.    Fortunately the next morning the matter was all resolved and building could continue.

The timing of our visit was perfect, coinciding with Woody's birthday.     The family came over and we all enjoyed a fun birthday party dinner together.    Janine surprised her buddy with belated birthday gifts, much to Christine's amazement and delight!

We made the most of the closeness of the Best Buy store to replace Harvey's defunct radio/cassette player.   It was much easier when you could park right outside the store and carry out the installation right there, with all your tools on hand.   If there were any parts we were missing, we could just pop back into the store.     The most difficult of the installation was the disassembly and reassembly of the entire dashboard, required as we didn't have the necessary tools for removing the old radio the easy way!

Heidi working on the icing of the birthday cake

Birthday Boy Woody and spoilt Christine enjoy their gifts.

We hurried southwards from Maryland, through scenic Virginia's farmland, rich with civil war history.    We missed plenty but were keen to make our way to North Carolina to meet up with some friends.    Exploring Virginia would have to wait for our next visit.     We spent the night at a beautiful new Walmart in the suburbs of Roanoke and were astounded to run into a friendly couple, camping in a Toyota motor home even smaller than ours!     Steve and Lori had fitted out their pick up truck themselves to make a teeny-weeny RV.    Our new friends were keen to come and visit Anju when we all arrived in Florida later in the year.

Steve and Lori and their teeny RV.

Scenic rest-stop in Virginia.

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