Our first several days of June were spent parked at the curb in front of Mary's Mom's condo in Jackson, MI where we had arrived on Memorial Day. We enjoyed a great
visit and were able to help with a few jobs around the house as well as get caught up on a few RV chores and laundry accumulated while we attended the FMCA G.L.A.S.S.
Rally over the Memorial Day weekend. When we sold our house nine years ago we had stored about a dozen boxes belonging to our son in Mom's crawl space. Reid
recently bought his first house so we gathered up the "stuff" and managed to find a space for all of it in the Dutch Star storage bins, ready for a future delivery.
Next on the itinerary was a drive on down to our old hometown area of Toledo, OH. We took Mom along for the ride and were able to park in the RV parking lot of Mary's
brother's Home-owners Association. Mom stayed with Bill and his wife Beth in their new house while we "boon-docked" in the RV lot. Over the course of the weekend we
had some "mini-family reunion" times. Our daughter Ann and her family had come to Ohio for events on Matt's side of the family, but came on to Toledo to join us for a
short time. We also hadn't seen our "nephews" Rob and Ron and their families in quite a while and it was fun to see all of the "cousins" and "second-cousins" together
and having a good time. On Sunday afternoon Bill and Beth, and Tom and I went for a drive with Mom all around Toledo, checking out the changes in all the places we all
used to live, work, go to school and shop, etc. We even stopped and talked to the couple now living in one of our old homes, Karen and Ron, who have remained friends
with us since Mom and Dad sold the house to her parents in 1952. Wow!
After the weekend of family we settled in at the Big Sandy Campground near the Toledo Airport for a week's stay. We had never stayed at this place before and it isn't
luxurious, but it's very convenient to our old neighborhood and places we wanted to visit. We made a day-trip to Bryan, OH to check out new cars and while we were in
town, also took the tour at the Spangler Candy Company...makers of Dum Dum Pops among other things. Did you know that Spangler makes 10 million Dum Dums a day?
They also make those marshmallow circus peanuts and candy canes year-round (2.7 million a day) and mold them into canes after they have been wrapped in cellophane.
It was an interesting tour.
During our week we also had great visits with Tom's mom at her care facility and with good friends Kathy and Dennie Dew and Dick and Liz Lehto, who both entertained us
at their homes for dinner! Tom's sister Judy and her husband, Ron, joined us for dinner at the RV as well. One day we took a drive around the area and checked out a
few other campgrounds and golf courses since we hadn't been in that part of the county in a while. We also visited several Verizon stores gathering information on new
phones and wireless Internet. We were "out in front" of Internet on the road when we started 11 years ago, but now were "way past due" on updating our technology! It
seemed that we got different information in each store we visited, but we finally did purchase a Verizon "MiFi" device that wirelessly connects our laptops and printer to
the Internet in any area where we can also get cell phone service. When the first version of the device came out they offered unlimited usage, but we are not able to get
that now, so will see how we do on the 5GB/month plan. Although we checked out all sorts of "smart" and not-so-smart phones, we still are using our old phones for the
After our stay at Big Sandy, we moved out to our old "stand-by" parking place at the Bass Pro Shops. From there we enjoyed a day of golf with Dick and Liz at the
Chippewa Golf Club east of Toledo and a visit with good friend Jacques Everhart in Perrysburg. We had made plans to have dinner on our last evening in town with Dick
and Liz and when we called to make the final plans, discovered they were in the Emergency Room at St. Luke's Hospital. We jumped in the car and went to join them while
they waited for the doctors to confirm that, yes, Liz has a broken ankle. After everything was taken care of at the hospital and drug store, we shared a take-out pizza and
our good-by hugs!
From the Toledo area, on Thursday, June 16, we headed east and south to the Evergreen Resort near Mt. Hope, OH. Here we joined the "Tri-State Brigade of Bounders
United" for a week-end rally. We no longer drive a Bounder, but this group hosted us on our first outing as RVers back in 1998. Over the years we have kept in touch with
many of the members and have crossed paths in several places across the US. We were happy to discover that they were having a rally that was right on our travel route
between Toledo and West Virginia. We had a great weekend visiting with the whole group. It was a low-key event with a pot luck, breakfasts and campfires to share with
old friends. While in the Amish area we made a trip to some places we had visited several years ago including Heini's Cheese Store and the Kaufman's Bakery in Berlin
and then we drove to Dover, OH to check out the Warther's Knife Store and Museum....some pretty fancy and expensive knives!
On Father's Day we were once again on the road...heading south to West Virginia. We arrived in Fayetteville around dinner time and parked at Walmart. Reid was willing
to have us park in his driveway, but didn't want to be the one to certify it, and the route to get there, as being RV friendly. We drove over to his new house to check it
out. It is not "big rig friendly". But his new house is quite impressive. It was built many years ago and the previous owner had at one time been a contractor who gutted
and renovated the whole place for himself. He did an excellent job and Reid has had to deal with very few problems as a homeowner. It is a small house, but perfect for
one person...basically a great two-bedroom condo, but he has to take care of the yard too.
So, on our second day in Fayetteville we went in search of a good place to park the RV for a week or more. We had stayed in two different campgrounds on previous
visits, but most of the campgrounds in the area cater to young people coming to town for adventure outings and staying in tents or small campers. We spied some RVs as
we were driving around and noticed they were hooked up to our three favorite ammenities...power, water and sewer. Tom went into the nearby building and discovered
that the property had been there on our previous visits but is under new management and operations and more openly recruiting visitors. They had a great weekly rate
and space for our 40-footer, so we stayed 9 nights at the Gorge Gateway Center. It was very convenient to Reid's house and to all the shopping, restaurants and tourist
things in Fayetteville.
Reid was working during the week of our stay, but we managed to keep ourselves busy. One day we took a day-trip on a circular route to the towns of Gauley Bridge,
Smithers and Oak Hill checking out waterfalls and dams and pretty river views. Reid joined us one day on a late afternoon trip to the town of Thurmond where the National
Park Service maintains the restored train depot and remaining buildings of a once prosperous town originally built right along the train tracks in the late 1800's. A road to
the town was not built until 1921. You can still catch an Amtrack train there three days a week going to Chicago or Washington DC and New York. Reid showed us the
entrance gate of the new Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve. His company, WELD, is responsible for much of the marketing and social networking for the
amazing new Boy Scouts of America project. While the inside of Reid's new house needed little work, a large yard always needs a little "TLC". We put ourselves to work
doing some mowing, trimming, weeding and planting. Reid has a nice vegetable garden as well as some traditional flower beds that are looking pretty good. Mary and
Reid also tackled the project of getting curtains hemmed, pressed, and hung at each of the windows. The three of us took a trip to Beckley one evening where Reid
chose a new sofa for the living room, which was delivered the day of our departure. And, of course, Reid and Tom had to get in a round of golf at one of the local
courses. We enjoyed some great meals in Fayetteville...a few cooked by Reid in his new kitchen, and a few in some of the fun restaurants in the area. We had a great
Our departure from Fayetteville came on June 29 as we headed north and east into Maryland and on to Pennsylvania. The rolling hills in this part of the country are so
green this time of the year, making the drive a truly scenic one. We are very much looking forward to our month-long July visit with our grandchildren and their parents
in Elysburg, PA.
|It was pretty tight in the crawl space, but we found all the
boxes we were looking for
|Then we had to fit them all in the storage bind of the Dutch
|We had a family gathering at the motel pool while the
grandkids worked off their energy.
|Bill and Beth's new house has great space for the family
|...some good food and great visits.
|Its not often that Mary's mom is together with both of her
kids at the same time.
|We were stopped in traffic on a 4-lane highway near
Toledo for this family of ducks.
|Like our hats? We were ready to ride the trolley
through the Dum-Dum factory in Bryan, Ohio.
|At Heini's Cheese Factory they use only milk from
hand-milked cows...poured fresh into big vats and
stirred to separate the whey, then after salt is added, to
|When the curds are the right texture, they are poured into
molds to make 40-lb. blocks of cheese.
|We were the "SOB" for the weekend...a Dutch Star
(some-other-brand) parked in a long line of Bounders.
|We celebrated a birthday and an anniversary and great
visits with old friends at the Tri-State-Brigade weekend
|Reid's new house in Fayetteville, WV.
|Our parking spot at the Gorge Gateway Center
|Reid and Tom working on the vegetable garden.
|....trimming up along the driveway...
|The flower bed along the porch..."before.."
|The grass is looking pretty good...
|...even from the driveway view...
|We made a trip to the farmers' market for some fresh
|...and a stop at the SBR gate.
|The Thurmond rail depot was built in 1888 and is now a
visitor center for the National Park as well as an Amtrack
|A one-lane bridge now parallels one of the tracks
coming into town.
|Thurmond's commercial buildings were built right up to
the railroad tracks. It was a thriving town for years
because of its location near the coal mines.
|Cathedral Falls in Gauley Bridge, WV
|A view of the New River Gorge Bridge in Fayetteville, WV
|Father and son.