Goodbye Essex Junction 2015

The small repair parts for our Roadmaster tow bar arrived yesterday, in the interest of truth I must admit that when disassembled I found the I had disorientated the spring 2 weeks ago when I cleaned it.  Spring fit was $24, next day (am delivery) was $46.  I had it ready to go by noontime.20150730_152120

Our group is big on Ice Cream socials, Here we see our friend Bob Brown dipping ice cream.  Bob was Club President in 1995.  He took the office after he retired as a Sears & Roebuck Service Tech, do the math!  He could fix anything.  He lived in Southern Connecticut and retired to Colorado when He and Phyllis retired. 

Phyllis went ahead to prepare a place for us several years ago, Bob continued to live and work his 45 acre spot of land.

We are now leaving to go into the area of Thousand Islands, NY, this will be a retread of a vacation the we spent their 20 years ago.

When it’s Hot, it’s HOT! 2015



90+° is hot when you’re in Northern Vermont.  The cows are all napping and harvesting maple is a 6 month old memory.  We are about 5° warmer than Benson, AZ and it’s dry there!

On our trip up here my freshly overhauled tow bar acted strange.  I the rear view camera, I could see the car wandering side to side.  This cannot be good.

Given my very sore left leg {bike wreck}, I was reluctant to dig into it.  The few RV dealers up here where ready to sell me a new bar at $996.  They do not repair them and have no parts.

Made by Roadmaster, ours is  a Sterling their top of the line unit.  I had put in a small parts kit ($50)to refurbish it while in Connecticut.  If we waited to be at a rally they were represents at, they would have done it for free?  When I DSCN0241disassembled it this morning, I found this broken hairspring which had jammed the works.  A phone call to the Roadmaster factory (Washington State), they are ‘next day’ shipping me replacement parts kit.  The tech was very nice, telling me how to check the function after reassembly.

Anne-Marie went to a ‘Tea’.  Not being invited {Thank the Lord}, I retreated to the air conditioned coach for a nap!

We also tweaked up the silliness quotient a few notches with our parade which was themed ‘The 60’s’. 



Time for dinner, cook’s surprise ??






Knee Progress is Good 2015

Two days of rest and my knee is fast on it’s way to recovery.  I removed to splint last night so I could ride a school bus that was transporting is to a Dinner/Cruise on Lake Champaign.  The Italian themed food was very nice as was ’Cory’  our host & D.J..



The water was dead flat allowing us to enjoy the sunset and mild weather caused a few folks to breat out the light jackets.


A big ‘Hi’ to Brad Ross and hip party on the third deck, I’ve been celebration life, Masonry and camping adventures with Brad for about 30 years.  Brad is on the far left of this picture.  He is distinguished by the manner he pays tribute to the way he emulates Pres. Eisenhower’s hair style!


NCT in Vermont 2015


If asked why I am in hospital with a fouled up knee, I will relate the following; I was on route to deliver charity to a 35 year old Masonic Widow when a pregnant Moose jumped into the road and caused me to do an unscheduled dismount from my bike.  I’ll leave it to you to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Diagnose at the local hospital showed that nothing was broken, I had landed on the ball of the fibula on my left leg.  A bone bruise is not a fun thing!

Root Cause?  Pilot Error.  I was issued a full leg support which in reality is an ancient devise that makes it impossible to flex the knee.  Try walking up stairs with that.






Thank-you Richard Kaminski for the cane which I seem to need several times a month.

I worked on the parking committee up until my disablement.  We had about 90 rigs in from small campers to 45’ motorhomes.  Because our bylaws require Masonic Membership we have a small marketing base to work with.  I hobbled down to the entertainment on Saturday evening.  It was a Gospel Duo which was entertaining and was timed to encourage fellowship during the evening.


We’re Back! 2015

While in Connecticut, we bought a new laptop as our old one was just too slow and had several instances of ‘The Blue Screen of Death’.  It is an upscale Toshiba Satellite with 8G of memory and an Intel i5 processor.  Blazing fast and very easy to multitask with.  This is my 1st post from it.

We had to opt for Win 8.1 which in turn made it impossible to simply ‘Easy Transfer’ our data through a cable.  I did not like the new screen format, I installed Star 8 which magically returns the screen to a clone of the Win 7 that I am used to.  We had no phone or i-net for two days, thought I’d go nuts!

We left the Knowles compound and drove 150 miles to Ball Mt. Vermont where we camped at Winhall Brook Campground.  Maintained by C.O.E., deep in The Green Mountains, this campground is the best of the best, the lone exception being the narrow and difficult bridge used to gain access.  It to me about 15 minutes to line up our 38 foot coach to cross the bridge.

Windhall Bridge

I doubt that a 40 footer would do it, it is not possible to line up a fifth wheel either.  Once over the bridge we had a nice site with water & electric.FB_IMG_1415991258996

On Thursday we traveled 140 miles on Vermont secondary road to Essex Junction where I will assist the parking crew as the rally comes in.

Hot On The Right, Cold On The Left 2015

One of my least favorite things is plumbing work.  I never seem to have the right fittings.  Several years ago I replaced to boiler in our Windsor house.  Took all day as I had to make about 4 trips to Home Depot to get various pipes and fittings!

This weeks task was a bit simpler.  S.W.M.B.O. desired a new Kitchen faucet with a high rise, sometimes called a ‘Pot Filler’.  Her hidden agenda was not cooking pasta, she wanted to be able to shampoo her hair under it.  The fact that it had to be a single lever took in right out of the $39 budget!


You might notice the bottle of my special muscle liniment in the background.   This puffy guy has lost a bit of the flexibility that makes this job easy.


ADSCN0203 good thing is the serendipity that we experience when we meet friends in a campground.  On Tuesday morning our   friend Jack Mulhall knocked on the door.  Jack is the president of The National Camping Travelers this year.  He and his wife Pat are taking their fur baby Cinder to Essex Junction, VT where our annual rally will be held.  He accepted my offer to help with parking so we will have to arrive a day early.

On Friday, we will relocate to the Knowles home where we will freeload while we do some more family & friends visiting.  I also hope to install the Sea Level system that proved to be very accurate in monitoring our tank levels in the Cardinal.

























America’s Birthday 2015


My camera (and my abilities) fall very short of being up to the task of capturing fireworks.  This year we were at the Rettburg’s home for a wonderful picnic (Wayne’s fabled pulled pork) after which we sat on the front lawn where the fireworks & concert are presented on the campus of Manchester Community College.  I was warmly greeted when I introduced them to Summer Shandy


Note the huge stumps here, trees came down this year.  Next project will be to chip the stumps and re-grade the area.  Add a 30a service and we will have another place to park.

On Saturday we traveled down to the Connecticut shoreline where The Mattesens were camping at Hammonset State Park.  The major attraction of the day was the celebration of Amelia Mattesens’s 19th birthday.  Amelia has complted her freshman year at Worcester Poly Tech and has been awarded an internship at G.E. Aero-Space in Lynn, MA.  She is also an athlete competing in several track sports.  In this photo, she is shown riding ‘ The Birthday Chair’, a tradition that she observed at the summer camp where she served as a guidance councilor for several years.


We ended the day at a great local seafood restaurant, Lenny & Joe’s Fish Tale.  An long standing institution in Madison, CT, the weather was so good that the crowd was not too big and we were seated very quickly.  ‘Seated’ is relative, in New England fried seafood tradition, you will probably eat outside at picnic tables off of paper plates and plastic forks.  You won’t complain, the food id that good!


I’m a little stopped over hear as I have driven our Toyota about 600 miles in the last 3 days.  My beer belly may also have something to do with it ;-(

Next week I have some maintenance work to do and we will relocate to our HS friends The Knowles.