My new life - retired and full time!

Discussion in 'Let me tell you about my trip' started by pudge, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. pudge

    pudge Active Member

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    Oct 12, 2008
    On the Road Full Time
    Let Common Sense Prevail

    Today was a busy day. Our job as host campers at Greenbrier State Park is to keep our finger on the pulse of our assigned areas and to keep the area, including the bathhouses clean. Here we do not enforce the rules; if a car is parked on the grass we can say something like “Make sure the ranger doesn’t catch you parking on the grass”. But we don’t tell them to move the car. We act as ‘the good guys’. I spent a good portion of the day handing out notes with the camp store hours on them. I also plugged the coffee and the fact that tomorrow will be near 80 and the ice cream cooler at the store has plenty left. Apparently there was a good run on coffee today so maybe the camp store will give its best salesman a cut?
    Between unclear instruction from a camp office and camp maps that are not clear, people occasionally end up in the wrong sites. That is exactly what happened today. As we are identifying our sites that are occupied we hit a site with no number on the post. We look at the site next door (50), know the numbers are decreasing, and apply some logic to figure out that the site is a border site is #49 under the responsibility of the adjoining loop. This logic holds until we travel through the adjoining loop and see a site clearly mark with the number 49. The reason the site was unmarked is because it is an auxiliary site (basically an overflow/managers site for that last minute-no-reservation-and-no-where-else-to-go arrival). Trying to decipher the site map in my Host Camper’s Notebook and a listing of the sites assigned to each loop took some time but we figured out which sites were which. A call to the camp office to explain the situation and we are told that they parked on an auxiliary site and would have to move to their assigned location. Now I’m not the most experienced camper but, to move because the site I mistakenly hooked up in is reserved is one thing. But to move me from a site that will remain empty after I’m all set up and have a fire going makes no sense. A call to the duty ranger has the camp office temporarily switching the auxiliary site for one night and now everyone is happy. Let’s face it – Rules are rules – but sometime common sense has to dictate a practical approach to a minor error. Let’s hope the rest of the night stays quiet.
     
    Orchid likes this.
  2. pudge

    pudge Active Member

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    Oct 12, 2008
    On the Road Full Time
    Camp Stores - Sometimes the Place To Be

    Well we are surviving the busy Columbus Day weekend. We had a bunch of campers, about half of our sites, checkout Sunday. Keeping up on cleaning sites at a facility where checkout time is pm makes things a little easier - when it’s on a mountain it kind of negates that, even with a golf cart. Greenbrier State Park is a very nice facility. You will always arrive to a clean fire pit and a site that has been raked and is free from trash. I find that when the park is clean – and this place is, the trash that ends up in the trees along the side of the road is even removed as it is noticed – the campers tend to keep it clean as they go. My pet peeve is leaving your fire pit hot. Here at Greenbrier we have metal buckets to put the fire pit ashes in and, when the bucket is full, we transport them to the ash dump. I laugh every time I see a cart heading to the ash dump, a thick trail of smoke falling out behind it as it goes. For my sites I try cool the ashes before I transport them but it all goes for naught at the ash dump – you can feel the heat from the pile as you dump your bucket!
    We cleaned the first set of sites and needed to dump the ash bucket. Heading back from the ash dump we stopped at the camp store for a quick cup of coffee. As I enter the store our attendant , Brie, say “Thank You” so I ask why. Apparently she sold more coffee that morning than she had sold previously. So now I have a mission – push the camp store until it is out of product. After our second trip to the ash dump - these people burn a lot of wood - we also stopped for ice cream! So stop by Greenbrier State Park this weekend– the Keurig works great and the Snickers Ice Cream bar is awesome!
     
  3. Nani2

    Nani2 Active Member

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    Jul 9, 2018
    Tennessee
    I love reading your posts. I get a smile on my face when I log in and see you have posted more of your adventures. You don't know how many of us are living vicariously through you.
     
    pudge likes this.
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

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    Jun 5, 2014
    Franklin, MA
    Good luck with the Stink Bugs, Pudge. They're the worst!
    I can't believe the gas prices. Holy COW!
     
    pudge likes this.
  5. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

    We've camped at Greenbrier a couple times when we lived in MD. It's a pretty nice place to visit.
     
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  6. pudge

    pudge Active Member

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    Oct 12, 2008
    On the Road Full Time
    Thank you. I'd like to warn people of any pitfalls but so far this has worked out amazingly well...though I miss my Coleman Niagara!
     
  7. pudge

    pudge Active Member

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    Oct 12, 2008
    On the Road Full Time
    Enforcing the Rules

    Now that all of the holiday campers are gone we are back to silence here at Greenbrier. You can tell the parks that equally enforce rules and those that don’t. There were zero problems; between host campers gently prompting campers, and rangers (and occasionally Natural Resources Police) making frequent patrols everyone has a good time. I compare this to a park where you only see the ranger once things have crossed the line. At those parks a large number of people gravitate right to the line. Here at Greenbrier we had a very successful weekend. A completely full park (at least Saturday night) and we did not encounter one problem. I know, sometimes, we all get frustrated with the ranger who comes over to let us know what we are not doing correctly (“You have to move your car it’s on the grass” – “But it’s only one tire!” – “and you need to have that tire on the pavement.”). But it is this consistent enforcement that makes them enjoyable –and safe – when we are out.
    Today we finally got all our prescriptions straightened out. When we started our adventure Lori had enough medicine left to hold her over. Now that we’ve been on the road for six weeks she is starting to run low. Express Scripts once again comes through, making getting Lori signed up on the web site easy and we got to order all her prescriptions. Now to make sure we pay attention to how many pills we have for each and to get them to where we will be. This will ensuring the campground we are at either accepts mail for guests or the local post office accepts general delivery.
     
    DJS12354 likes this.
  8. pudge

    pudge Active Member

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    Oct 12, 2008
    On the Road Full Time
    The Hagerstown Run

    The plan for today was to tour Hagerstown. Before we could do that I needed to stop at the Boonsboro Post Officer to pick up a general delivery package. The Good Sams Mail Forwarding Service is working as well as advertised. The next adventure will be seeing if the post office at our next location also accepts general delivery.
    Once we had mail in hand it was off to the local Dunkin Donuts to use their WiFi so we could back up phones. Lori’s laptop also has a virus that causes it to beep repeatedly and her key board is locked out so I was hoping I could get the Microsoft Security Essentials to update its definitions and then scan. This is something I’ll have to try again because I kept getting booted off the connection.
    Our next stop was Hagerstown. As always the first place we look for is the visitor’s center. Hagerstown’s visitor center is in the heart of the downtown area and unlike Frederick this one has metered parking ($1 gets 2 hrs). We grabbed postcards and some walking tour pamphlets and headed to the hood of the Ram to strategize or plan. Hagerstown has five mapped walking routes that all start from the Public Square. Lori and I decided on the City Park Walk which is a 2.28 mile loop through the South Prospect St. and City Park historic districts. As usual it didn’t take us long to deviate from the mapped route once we found the Hagerstown Cultural Trail. There are so many ways to look at all of these tourist things. My last hometown could never seem to get off of top dead center and improve itself. So when I take these walks I look at things other cities have done and say, “Why didn’t we do that?” while Lori takes these walks and enjoys the art work and how it is placed in the city. Along the Hagerstown Cultural Trail is several sculptures
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    and buildings with full murals. This building was a former grain mill
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    and is now a giant billboard for the cultural trail that is visible for blocks. My favorite piece of art was the pinwheels that actually moved with the breeze.
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    You also see how a city can incorporate existing structures, such as these utility poles into the canvas.
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    While I’m not a fan of corrugated pipe over the utility poles it certainly serves the purpose and provides additional placement.
    What makes a walking trail successful? In my mind it has to have varied and interesting sights. It must also pass by area business especially restaurants and coffee shops so people can stop for lunch and refreshments. It most also be clearly marked.
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    It should be family oriented and have an educational perspective. This picture entitled “The Fishing Lesson” shows a bear teaching its cub how to fend for itself.
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    What makes this sculpture interesting is that those brown things in the water are live trout!
    While not every town can incorporate its own phone app Hagerstown does have a free mobile app titled “Visit Hagerstown”. You keep the app running in the background and allow push notifications so you are informed when you are near a part of the city’s culture or heritage.
     
    jnc, DJS12354, Orchid and 1 other person like this.
  9. BillyMc

    BillyMc Active Member

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    Mar 25, 2018
    South Carolina
    Libraries usually have rather stable WiFi.
     
    pudge likes this.
  10. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

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    Raynham, MA
    I've been out of the desktop management side of IT for a few years, but MalwareBytes was (and apparently is) the best software to deal with that crap

    https://www.malwarebytes.com/pricing/
    Download the "free" version (Your a home user, it's allowed). It will remove anything that is there if it can be removed. The paid versions are the protection products (antivirus, anti-malware, etc.)
     
  11. jumpoff

    jumpoff I'm in a camping state of mind

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    Nov 3, 2015
    North East Florida
    This is an amazing blog. Your attention to detail is fascinating.
     
  12. jumpoff

    jumpoff I'm in a camping state of mind

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    Nov 3, 2015
    North East Florida
    Where will you be staying down here in Fl. ?
     
    Orchid likes this.
  13. pudge

    pudge Active Member

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    Oct 12, 2008
    On the Road Full Time
    With the keyboard locked out everything seems impossible.
     
  14. pudge

    pudge Active Member

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    Oct 12, 2008
    On the Road Full Time
    Not sure yet. We need to go to Crestview - so probably Elgin AFB there and then we need to go to Gainesville - so thinking something commercial there.
     
  15. pudge

    pudge Active Member

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    Oct 12, 2008
    On the Road Full Time
    Thanks.
     
  16. pudge

    pudge Active Member

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    Oct 12, 2008
    On the Road Full Time
    Off to the Zoo

    My retirement seemed to happen at an awkward time. Two of my doctors decided to relocate their practices to different parts of the country at the same time I was shifting insurance provides and making a complete change in lifestyle.
    While I love my new primary care providers thoroughness, it’s that same thoroughness that drives me crazy. My blood work was a little different though not trending so she wanted me to get a test. Luckily Quest diagnostics is pretty well spread out and there was one here in Frederick. I did not make an appointment and was in and out in about 15 minutes – I love efficient places!
    Next it was a trip to Dunkin Donuts to try to get Lori’s laptop up-and-running and once again I had no success. It looks like we may have to scrap her machine.
    The major destination today was Catoctin Wildlife Preserve in Thurmont.
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    From alligators to zebras, there are over 600 exotic animals in this 50-acre park.

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    The zoo contains natural ponds, lush landscaping, wandering “Ambass-zoo-dors”, eager to indulge inquisitive guests and interactive touch and feed opportunities. Catoctin Wildlife Preserve is supported by the Global Wildlife Trust whose mission is dedicated to broadening human understanding of the animal world. This is achieved through immersion in naturalistic habitat recreations and educational programs using live animals and instructional tools both on-site at Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and through presentations in the greater community. The zoo is well laid out but note that in the fall the Safari Tour is only on weekends and the Cafe is closed for the season.
    The last time we were in Thurmont we went on the covered bridge tour. Since we only hit two of the three bridges we went in search of the third, the Roddy Road Bridge. Following the covered bridges signs got us there, though at times the signs are so far apart you wonder if you missed one. The Roddy road bridge, unlike the Utica and Loys Station, is height restricted but clearly marked with turn-arounds on both ends.
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    Like Loys station there is a park at one end of the bridge which makes an excellent picnic site.
    [​IMG]
     
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  17. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

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    Jun 17, 2014
    Raynham, MA

    Missed that bit of info. Sounds like a stuck Keyboard. Try checking each and every key and see if any are stuck.
     
  18. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Oct 10, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    I didn't realize that it was so big. I drive by this place all the time on my way to Gettysburg and from the front it looks like a very tiny zoo. Assumed they only had a few animals. Guess you can't judge a book by it's cover. Same applies to Hagerstown. I've been there before but more on the outskirts and never realized how much I was missing. Then again when you live in the city the last thing you want to do is see more buildings.
     
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  19. GalsofEscape

    GalsofEscape Active Member

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    Nov 26, 2013
    Maryland
    we really enjoyed the catoctin mountain zoo when we went several years ago. I felt that there was so much more interaction and the zoo personnel were so willing to talk to everyone.
     
    pudge likes this.
  20. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

    Sorry, panhandle is closed. [{}=]
     
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