Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Apple Pie in Canada!

We crossed into Canada today, for the second time so far!  We're on Campobello Island, less than 10 minutes from the border!  Alice made an apple pie with wild apples from New Hampshire, which was awesome!  (I touched up the picture with Snapseed) It's been really windy and rainy, but it's warm and dry in here!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Pond of Safety

We haven't posted much recently, but we've gone a ways since we left the Finger Lakes:
    Chimney Bluffs and Sodus Point NY, 1 night on Lake Ontario
    Selkirk Shores SP NY, 2 nights also on Lake Ontario
    Wellesly Island SP NY 2 nights in the Thousand Islands
    near Chateaugay NY 2 nights very close to Canada
   and now near Jefferson NH for two nights.   We're close to Mt Washington, and the view is really great.  A couple of the leaves are starting to turn here and there.

Elliot and I took a good several hour bike ride this morning again.  There some good hills here off of route 2.  2 is a little busy without great shoulders to be riding on, but the dirt side roads and roads up into the national forest are great.   
Even Elliot got tired, see?
 We rode up a road called Pond Safety, not sure what might be there, maybe a pond eventually.  But mostly logging roads and trails into the national forest, some camp trails.   Lo and behold at the end was...  The Pond of Safety.   Right on, pretty safe, no waves, doesn't look like there would be alligators either.  
There is a recently constructed canoe launch area with a trail down from the road and parking area.  Very pretty and nice.  Posted nearby was a permit from the NH state environmental authorities, allowing the federal USDA Forest Service to do the project.   Actually now, reading this one posted up by the parking area, was different than the one down by the pond shore.  There were two permits just for this, I guess nothing is simple.  Bureaucracy in action.  Live free or die, or at least pay taxes!

So why is it the Pond of Safety?   Four patriots during the Revolutionary War found safety there out in the wilderness,  hiding from both sides.  Captured and released by the British with 'now don't go fighting us again', but nervous to show their faces back in town to be called deserters, they chose to stay here.  Pond of Safety History

Archery turkey season is on here, but Elliot took one with his bike on the way back down the hill, at least he got the foot.   (not really, it was laying in the road)

 Alice found it on his bike later and tried to scare Annie with it through the window.  It did look pretty scary actually, looks like the claw under the door in Signs.

So those are the shenanigans for today.   Tomorrow's plan is to make for Acadia NP.

   Last night we watched survivor, and we had a Chung noodle survivor food challenge:  Chung gave us a case of ramen noodle packets, and the flavor packets are pretty spicy. Annie had said they were too spicy, and was using the noodles for stir fry dinners.  I protested tossing the flavor packets, 'hey, we should eat those, of course it's hot if you taste the powder directly',  and the reply was 'ok, you can eat them then'.
    So last night, one noodle soup package was made per the directions, and everyone had some, as long as I ate the whole rest of it.  Well, yep, it's pretty hot.  It was good, but I didn't drink the broth....       Thanks for the noodles Chung!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

First day out

 Today was our first day out on the road, after visiting our parents for two weeks.  In the morning early we went for  anice bike ride, with Alice, over to the vineyards between Rice, Sprout Hill and Houck roads toward Himrod.  I took a lot of pictures, including Elliot going the opposite way on his own separate fast ride, down past the Chubb Hollow sawmill.  The sunrise and all the farms were pretty, but not as much mist like the day before when I forgot the camera...  More bike ride pictures here.

   We finished packing, dumped the grey water in the ditch by the barnyard, more because Dad insisted than needing to,  loaded the bikes on pretty quick with the new setup, and rolled out by 10:30am.
   We drove to Chimney Bluffs by 12 or 12:30, and made lunch in the camper with the first of many to come PB&J sandwiches.  Then we went for a couple hour hike to see the bluffs and the cobblestone & gravel beach.  The bluffs are impressive, Annie & I both grew up only an hour and half or two away from here, but we had never seen them until now.  Even more Chimney Bluffs pictures, and sunset from the campground.  The bluffs are formed by a large glacial deposited drumlin, which happens to be being eaten from the end by Lake Erie.

   On the way to Chimney Bluffs we did a U-turn at a tractor dealership, and a very talkative man came pretty much running over to us, with lots of advice on where to go in the area.  That made us decide to go back west a little to Sodus Point to find a certain White Birch campground overlooking Lake Erie, for a possible $15 a night.  Note for future me or you, private campgrounds sounding too good to be true are exactly too good to be true...   Ended up being $48 a night, but nice, and with wifi, so it's ok.  People were too tired and wanting to stop to keep going.  The view over the lake is very nice also, and the sunset was pretty.

   When we got there, I first turned into White Birch.  It which was labeled DEAD END clearly, apparently my brain does not register DEAD END signs, yet...  In and down we went along this narrow path through a seasonal campground, and a couple hundred feet down no place to turn around.  Couldn't turn around at the end, and I cut too close to a split rail fence, dinging to rear right side of the trailer pulling off the corner molding.  Just a screw will fix it, and that corner needs to be removed and resealed anyway, really all the corners need attention.
   Turns out the campground we want is a different name, next door.
   Overall, that was a big adventure day, a good start!  We can do it, yes we can!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Home, Home on the Range

    After visiting my better half's side of the family, the Yeaple clan,  we are off a couple of school districts away to visit the Klein homestead.   Yep, parked in the driveway.  It's fun actually.  'Alright, we're going back to our house now, see you tomorrow...'

    I've been doing various camper projects, here at home (last two days mostly rainy) and at Annie's parents:

Install a water accumulator so the pump cycles less often.

Add a gas spring lift on Elliot's bunk platform, so any of us can lift it and get to some more storage, it was too heavy and awkward to lift.

Raise the hitch a couple inches so the trailer will ride closer to level while towing, with a little more clearance under the hitch.   Check the alignment again a couple times, just the simple straightedge across the sidewalls;  yes!  still straight,  and no feathering or any noticable wear yet, only about 400 miles though.

A couple days ago I resealed the roof.  Scraped off the old caulk and put fresh on.  There were a handful of potential water leaks, but only one spot in the front corner where some moisture was getting in.  I have all the penetrations redone, the front edge and the corners, and still could do the sides and rear edges where the molding clamps the rubber roof.

Another problem solved was the cat, Burrito, aka Pudge, going behind and under the jackknife couch.  Potentially getting stuck in there, or emitting anything into or on the heater and the food stored under there, or we think he's lost outside somewhere.  We made cat shelf #1 to cover the gap behind the couch, and provide a storage area for small items.  'Hey Elliot, please get me the tape measure, it's on Cat Shelf #1.'    Shortly after that is done, we find that he can still fit behind the other side that already has a shelf over it.  He's a 13.5 pound cat, but he still fits through about a 3 inch slot.     So yesterday and this morning, Cat Shelf #2,  it can't hurt to have a little more storage, and no cat wedged in the furnace intake.

And today, the current project, mounting the bikes on the back of the truck.  Here we are with a bike explosion, in the process of deciding how to mount them, using the front skewer mounts that brother Glenn donated.  Alice got a new bike from Grandpop's collection, hers was too small.  Elliot is happily scavenging parts from Alice's old one, switching the seat and rack over.  And that's me there in the middle, after about 30 more years.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

New York (Part 1)

So far we have gone through Canada, (we passed through to get to New York) And are currently in New York in the Finger lakes area. For our first night of traveling, (no longer in the driveway) We stayed in my Uncle Glenn and Aunt Kristine's driveway. We arrived at round seven thirty at night and had dinner, played lots of hide and seek with their neighbors in the dark, and finished with a bonfire and lighting a sky lantern. That night squirrels dropped several pine cones on the camper, thankfully there was no damage. I missed the whole thing as I was sleeping on the floor of my cousin Madeline's room. 
We then moved on in the morning to my grandparents, who live on Canandaigua lake. We had a bit of an adventure parking next to their shed, but in the end it was fine. Elliot, my dad and my mom all went around the lake, at least 42 miles, biking. I stayed home with the grandparents, and it ended up being a rather hot ride, so I was glad I stayed home. Any way, I should turn off now.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Canandaigua Lake ride

One of the things we wanted to do when visiting Annie's parents was to ride around Canandaigua Lake again.  So, we got up early and got on with it as the sun was coming up over South Hill.

 North on 21 through South Bristol and back down to the lake on Bopple Hill.  It is pretty steep, Annie always insists on walking down, which is not a bad idea actually.    Greisa Road on the return end up from the south end of the lake is also a good walking hill in either direction.

From Vine Valley on the east side of the lake, we went up over the hill and down to Middlesex.  Then along West Ave, across the bottom of the lake and back up Greisa.

Annie grew up near Vine Valley / Middlesex, and there are lots of memories along the roads.
       Marb's Corners is my favorite;  the corner where the family stopped to service the cat Marbles' little box after the fumes got too bad.

More pictures from the Canandaigua ride

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Trailer wheel alignment

      Well,  quite a few things to get all done before rolling out.  Packing up the last of our junk in the shed, storing the car, finishing the eaves & overhang on the shed, and getting some wheels back under the trailer.
       In the spirit of going now, work gets classified into wants and needs, or by level of urgency.  In the case of the boat last summer, it was holes near the water line first.  For the camper, it's what might put us on the side of the road.  Not as bad as sinking a boat, but burning through tires is pretty high up there on the trailer avoid list.
       On the last trip, one of the tires lost about half the tread.  After measuring the alignment, the front axle was steering right, rear axle steering left and a fair toe out.  Three wheels were turning right, and the one poor tire was turning left.  Talking with Doug and Jim, I proposed various tug-o-war arrangements between truck and tractor with the trailer in the middle, or a tree on one end, or using the loader bucket with chains.  In the interest of mechanical carnage, they kept encouraging me.  But eventually, thinking it over, and talking to neighbor Don who produced a chain hoist, we settled on the following method of trailer torture:
       First, correct the steer of the axles, measuring from the hitch to each wheel hub.  Elliot and I chased the threads on the U-bolts with a die and removed the axles as shown, and I used the electric die grinder (router) to oval the locating holes another 1/8 to 1/4 inch to allow fore-aft adjustment of the axles on the spring bolt.   Measure and set the steer, then torque down the U-bolts.  I put a paint mark on the spring/axle perch for the correct location, in case they move in the near future I can notice.
         Second, 'straighten' the axles to get close to zero toe.   The A frame pushes on the axle at one side and near the center of the axle, and the chain hoist pulls at the 1/4 point of the axle.   Measure the toe while tweaking the axle, over-straighten the axle to get some toe in, and after releasing the chain hoist, the axle is close to zero toe.  Use a straight edge across the outside of the wheels to judge which corner is the worst offender for toe,  after setting both axles steering straight with the hitch.
        So that was the main trailer project keeping us from pulling out.   All ready to roll tomorrow.  Oh, I also fixed the trailer brakes, shorted out in the front axle.  I've heard brakes are nice to have.   More pictures of the trailer wheel alignment