August 26 - Sept 30 - Oh, the things we saw! (Part 1)
September turned out to be even more filled with things than we'd expected. It was a very good month, all things considered. We added four National Parks/Monuments/Historical Sites to our tally, now up to 69. We added another Presidential Library/Museum (only two more to go). We saw cranberries in the wild. And we migrated from summer into autumn without moving around much.
On August 26, we said farewell to the Hershey PA area (24) and drove about 190 miles to the 1000 Trails Rondout Valley Resort at Accord NY (25). Aside from some beautiful countryside, the highlight of the drive was probably the restaurant billboard we spotted outside Nazareth PA - "Wine and Steak. Because nobody celebrates anything with tofu."
We spent a week over Labor Day weekend at Rondout Valley, and pretty much just loafed around. Al spent a fair amount of time trying to better understand the pesky water leak up on the RV roof, and finally figured out where the water was coming from and some of where it was going. But how it was getting inside the RV stayed elusive. Everything that looked suspicious got a good resealing in the process. Al did figure out how to redirect most of the water so it didn't get inside the rig, but still hadn't actually found the leak. We knew this would be an evolutionary process, but it was getting rather tiring.
We did some of our usual grocery resupplying and found a delightful roadside BBQ place. We rode our bikes around the park and spent a lot of time people-watching. Sounds boring, we know, but then that's us a lot of the time.
On September 3 we hooked up and drove about 250 miles to the 1000 Trails Gateway to Cape Cod Resort at Rochester MA (26). Our plan was to spend two weeks poking around the Boston area and then start heading south toward Florida. We wound up spending four weeks, and probably could have enjoyed another few.
In between our sightseeing outings, we found a local RV fixer guy who came by three times and was finally able to circumvent the water leak. We're not at all sure we actually found or fixed the leak, but we were able to redirect all the water away from where the leak has to be. Kind of like medicine - if you can't cure the disease, at least treat the symptoms. In any event, the rig has been through a few heavy rains since with no further water incursions.
Al made a visit to a walk-in clinic to get a diagnosis and treatment for what turned out to be a nasty case of eczema. By month's end, a course of cortisone pills and creams had pretty well knocked it down. But as there's no cure for eczema, we figure it'll show up again. Al figures that at the very least, skin flaking off results in weight loss. Judy, on the other hand, tends to think actual weight loss requires more positive action.
On to sightseeing:
Cape Cod: We'd never been, and being only about 40 miles away, we spent parts of four days roaming around the cape. There are 18 lighthouses on Cape Cod, and we figured one way to explore would be to see how many we could find. We think we found about half of them. We did get to Provincetown at the very tip of Cape Cod, we drove through some very picturesque communities, we couldn't find a parking place anywhere near the famed Woods Hole Institute (which doesn't offer tours anyway), we did discover the charming Cape Cod Maritime Museum, didn't even try to approach the Kennedy compound at Hyannis Port, met some very nice people, and wished we'd had more time and energy to see more. We also didn't even try to take the ferry to Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard. Maybe we'll have to come back.
New Bedford MA: Once the whaling capitol of the world, New Bedford is still the largest cash-producing seafood port in the country, only these days it's scallops. The New Bedford National Whaling History District encompasses most of the old town and port areas, and includes the most excellent New Bedford Whaling Museum. Among other things, we learned that the heavy concentration of Portugese people in the New Bedford area resulted from the tendency of New Bedford-based whaling ships to stop in the Azores and hire locals to work the ships. Many of those folks got off the ships in New Bedford at the end of the voyage and stayed.
Plymouth MA: Plymouth Rock, the Mayflower, John Alden, Myles Standish, Priscilla Mullens, ("Speak for yourself, John"), and our nearest Walmart. We were in or around Plymouth about once a week during our stay - it was just 15 miles. We wandered the waterfront, saw the rock, and spent a day at Plimouth Plantation, a reconstructed 1627 settlement populated by period-authentic residents - actors who adopt the identities of actual Pilgrims who came over on the Mayflower. There's also a native Wampanoag settlement populated by modern-day natives in period costumes. The Wampanoag don't try to portray 17th century folks - as one said "There are enough stereotypes about us without us going around saying 'Kemo Sabe' all the time".
Cranberries: We didn't know that about half of all cranberries grown in North America are grown in Southeastern Massachusetts. Didn't know that cranberries are one of only three indigenous North Americans fruits. And in all our years in Oregon, had never driven down to Bandon and seen a cranberry harvest. Our RV park was surrounded by cranberry bogs. As the weather turned, the harvest was beginning, and the object is to harvest the berries before first frost. Bogs are flooded so the berries float to the top. Then beaters are run through the bog to release as many berries as possible. Floating booms are used to corral the berries into one corner of the bog, and then they are pumped into waiting trucks which haul them off to the Ocean Spray plant. Over our stay, we were able to see most of that process at one bog or another. We left two weeks before the annual Cranberry Harvest Festival, but we got the idea.
Our two-week stay grew to four weeks when we found out that Judy's sister Jan and Denny would be flying in from the West Coast in early October to visit their daughter Lisa and family in Wilton CT. So we tweaked our reservations and will join that gathering before starting southward for the winter.
There are about 92 pictures in our slideshow for this report. Check them out here.
And for Part 2 of our September report, click here.