Friday, April 7, 2017

Ohio, snow, rain, brrrrrr........

Our Location: Punderson State Park, Newbury, Ohio

(Thursday April 6, 2017 post)

I slept very well last night, Riley apparently woke and fell back to sleep often. The rain, the wind and the occasional flapping or banging of something seemed to be the culprit for her. I woke to steady rain, and the sound of a diesel big rig pulling out of the lot. It cooled off during the night enough that I got up around 3 am and closed the living room window but had no trouble falling back to sleep.

With the rain and the wind looking as if they might continue all day we decided to pull out and at least give it a try, if it wasn’t good traveling we could always back off. At 9 am we pulled in the slides, locked up, chugged our way over to the gas bar to fill up with diesel. About 15 minutes later we were on the road.

Still in Kentucky, in Covington actually, heading down the long grade to the bridge over the river into Cincinnati, Ohio

The day passed rather the same as yesterday except rain was pretty much an annoying mist and slop from the passing vehicles. Not enough to turn the wipers on fully and to much to turn them off completely. The temps however were much lower coming in at a high today of 43F/6C  and at times it dropped lower to about 37F/3C. A steady side/head wind buffeted us pretty much the whole day. The wind was from the north and we traveled north east all day long. We were also in the foot hills which made the roadway almost like a wind tunnel at times. However it was not dangerous and at no time did I feel unsafe. We travel with the Dogsled in tow mode, I set the cruise at 55 mph/85 km and with the engine brake we stayed pretty much right there.

We stopped a few times but with the cold temps they weren’t long stops. ~laugh~ I even pulled out our mittens, we wore heavy sweaters and I think Riley has also pulled her footed tights. With the heat cranked inside the cab we were pretty toasty.

Heading into Cincinnati, Ohio but still in Covington, KY

Riley managed a nap for a bit this afternoon. I’m sure it must be difficult to sit there for such long periods but she brings things to occupy herself as well. She’s turning into quite the GPS expert and can usually find whatever we’re looking for if she’s not rushed. She’s the go to person while we travel, she’s the water boy, the snack giver, the navigator, the sign watcher and the communications expert. She wears a number of hats each time we start out in the Dogsled. She is becoming very good at road signs and helping me to determine which lane we should be for upcoming changes, she also have figured out the ‘exit only’ signs and will point out I should get over one lane. ~laugh~ I tell her in advance which is our next city (for directional purposes, even if we aren’t going to go that far or thru that city) and she’s pretty good at determining from the signs what we need. It’s something I’ve been encouraging every day that we were out and about in the Dogsled. I’m not sure how much she will retain when we arrive back on the island where road signs are few and interchanges are non existent. However it’s something she’s picked up over the past few months and I’m very proud of her for doing so.

Today while Miss Riley was napping I saw a car in the medium against the wire banged up on both ends, no ambulance but a couple of state troopers with flashing lights were on scene. Traffic was backed up a bit on the other side but not our side. Ohio is the one state in which speeders are ticketed on a pretty consistent basis. I don’t think we travelled for more than 50 miles at one stretch without seeing someone pulled over. At one of the rest stops it was a tight squeeze between the back of a state trooper’s vehicle and the big rig parked along the edge of the parking surface. The trooper obviously followed a trucker into the lot and was giving him some grief, in fact he still had his roof rack lights on while sitting in the rest stop parking area. I counted 7 different sets of blues whirling in the air in less than 10 minutes. Smokey never sleeps. ~laugh~

Crossing the river into Cincinnati,Ohio

Our arrival at Punderson State Park was at about 3:30 pm EST as we crossed back into our own time zone yesterday. The park is very nice and I’m sure lovely in the summer time when the leaves are out, the air is hot and the sun is shining. However right now it’s cold, windy and damp. The forecast is calling for snow and I’m certain it’s falling outside now. Full hook ups in the RV world means water, electric and sewer, here at Punderson it means water and electric and according to a fella I spoke with camping here the new water spigots don’t work properly, the springs aren't heavy enough to keep the handles up and the back pressure causes the water to blow out the valve and releases the handle back to the closed position. Needless to say that’s not a good thing. The ranger told this fella that it’s to encourage people to fill their fresh water tanks and not just rely on the water hook up. I thought that was rather foolish. Some of the sites have the new water connection that stands about 3 feet out of the ground, with a feature that allows them to drain back out in the cold weather so there is no need to winterize them. They’ve had either a huge snow melt or lots of rain here as the ground is very soft everywhere. One has to be very careful about not getting on the grass or one might need some assistance in getting out. ~laugh~

Riley set up the inside of the Igloo including turn on the heater (brrrrrr) while I was outside setting up the electric and water. I wrapped the water line in insulation foam to hopefully keep it from freezing. I then gathered our garbage of which we had a lot walked off to find the dumpster.  I also found the Iron Ranger (pay station) with the little cards to fill out and drop in the box. Like the fella I chatted with earlier, I thought the price was half the regular price right now but he said no, it’s a full $34/35 per night, plus $10 for a dump fee. I disagree with the dump fee since I’m parking here and paying to stay and so I didn’t include that fee in my payment. We’re only staying two nights and we won’t have to dump here. I’m looking for a spot closer to the border in which to camp with full hook ups and I’ll dump there.

Some green here in the rolling hills of Ohio.

I called my dad tonight to tell him of our arrival here. He worries and it’s a small thing to call him and let him know we’re safe and sound. It sounds as if they are getting the same kind of weather there as here but with a bit warmer temps there. They are just finishing up the maple sap run for the spring. Everything is boiled and needing to be strained/cleaned but their season is now complete. The buckets and spiles are being removed, cleaned and put away for another season. I’m looking forward to having some McMurray Maple Syrup in the near future.

The long range forecast is cold for Friday with some tricky weather for driving, and we’re staying put. Saturday the temps are going to reach mid 50F/10C, and Sunday, Monday they are pointing to 70F/20C, so we just have two nights and one day to get thru before the weather is decent again. Tomorrow I’ll hook up the propane heater to help keep us toasty.

Some cloudy skies overhead

Due to the weather I’m not sure if we will venture into the Rock ’n Roll Hall of Fame, it’s 30 miles away. We shall however see what the day brings.

As I write this it’s snow/rain mix but with the drop in temps I’m sure it will be snow before much longer. To think we left 80F/25C just a few days ago makes me shiver all the more. I’m sure the Big Dog is wondering what the hell is going on, it’s been a southern truck all it’s short life. ~laugh~

Further north from Cinnci there is little signs of spring.

Once again the Dogsled did great on fuel consumption with having traveled todays 320 miles on about 2/3’s of a tank of fuel. Considering the conditions I think it did great and I’m very pleased with it.

So on that note, I’m going to sign off. Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoyed your visit. Stay warm, stay out of trouble and stay in touch. Until next time…be safe, take care…

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