On The Road Again
We finally left College Park after our 2 week stay, but only traveled about 112 miles. This was by design to get us around the beltway midday with only a short journey in case it was a rough start. Good news – not a rough trip considering it was the beltway and we arrived by 2 pm to our overnight destination. More about that later.
I thought I would use a catch-up post to fill in some things I forgot along the way in other posts. Since I’m using the blog as a travel “scrapbook” as much as a communication tool, I am backing up the truck so to speak to fill in those blanks.
Grey Water vs. Black Water
It has come to my attention from my adoring public that there was some confusion about the grey water flood I mentioned in an earlier post. Lest you think we are complete nasty slobs, I thought I’d clarify. RVs have several tanks on board. The freshwater tank is of course a good guy and we always carry some fresh water even though we get water “most” of the time at campgrounds. I say most of the time since we were surprised on this trip by one stop that did not have any water at the site. The helpful camp host offered to run a hose across the road to us. We politely declined since we did have enough with us.
But I digress. The other two holding tanks are for grey and black water. The black water tank is for the unmentionables that go down the toilet never to be seen again – oh we really hope so! The grey water tank is for the sinks and shower. Our big flood was GREY water and although a bit smelly due to food bits from dish washing, soap , etc., it is NOT the bad stuff. Now don’t you feel a little better about that rug we hosed out and continue to use?
THE One Vermont Sight I Forgot To Mention
I don’t know about you, but when I think Vermont, I think covered bridges. Probably a New England thing in general. I so wanted to not only see one, but drive across one as well. On the day we went to Lake Champlain, Pat indulged me and we Google mapped our way to the closest drivable covered bridge – Holmes Creek
I must admit that I did not take this photo – found it online. We pulled over at the first spot after driving across – I’m swooning as I drive across – but it is a NO DOGS ANYWHERE, ANYTIME place and they wouldn’t even let us out of the car since we had Jackson in tow. Harumph and no picture. Anyway, the bridge was awesome and just what I was looking for, although a mere 41 feet long. Pat says there were holes in the bottom, but I didn’t notice any of those. Good thing we were in the Bitsy car.
Tractors and Deer
We loved the road signs that we don’t see in Florida. I particularly liked the tractor sign. We saw these mostly in Vermont along with signs promising slow-moving farm equipment. Leaving Vermont, we actually saw some huge farm things on the road. I say “things” since they were huge and no clue what they actually do. Fortunately they were going the opposite direction and did not slow us down. Finally, something slower and bigger than us on those 2-lane roads.
The prancing deer signs were all over the place – Vermont, New York and Pennsylvania. We joked about the picture until we saw a deer that leaped exactly as pictured across our two lanes of the interstate, across the huge median/ravine and then after a little hesitation across the far two lanes. Right in the middle of the day, too! Our favorite signs were obviously doctored and had red noses.
Parting College Park Musings
We are so very tired from all the moving events with Ethan in College Park, but glad we had the time and flexibility to help him get settled. We managed to muster one more sight-seeing day before our departure. Ethan and his girlfriend wanted to go the National Zoo despite record-setting temperatures and heat warnings. The radio announcer said it was “beat you up and take your lunch money hot”. Yes indeed. Throwing caution to the wind, we hopped on the Metro and bravely set out to see all those animals. Keep in mind that the animals do not like those hot temps any more than we do and many of them chose not to participate. We pictured many critters deep in those holes and caves we saw. Fab enclosures and we assume something was in each one. Alas, did not see the famous sloth bears or any tigers.
The giant pandas were good sports though, and entertained us in their INDOOR enclosure. Mostly the parents (Big Daddy – Tian Tian on the the left and Mommy Mei Xiang on the right) munched on bamboo with baby (not sure if it was Bao Bao or Bei Bei – yes the actual names) playing all over the place.
We enjoyed the sculptures all over the zoo grounds made from garbage washed up on the seashores. No kidding! These were amazing and portrayed different kinds of sea life. I liked the swordfish best.
Not a great picture of the swordfish, but Pat says he was going for a good people picture. Good people shot indeed – my baby!
Of course since the real animals would not cooperate, Ethan and Stephanie “caught” about 80 Pokemon. Yes, Pokemon Go is alive and well in the twenty-something set. They weren’t the only ones since the Zoo is apparently a good place for all sorts of Pokemon. Ethan hatched an egg while there. That’s all I know about that….
Not sure what they are catching – but something really awesome with a weird name.
Last two things of note from the College Park stop. We had a grand thunderstorm two nights in a row, with the big one the night before we were planning to leave and after the scorcher at the zoo. All this to say that one of the sump pumps in Ethan’s basement apartment stopped working and the flood waters started pouring in. Pat estimates we wet-vac’d up 72 gallons of pretty nasty water before the landlord managed to get the handyman on site to help. I am happy to report that all was well on our departure day with the problem resolved a new dehumidifier in place and nothing damaged that belonged to Ethan. Some long overdue cleaning (by people other than us!) also ensued with more to come. Hopefully this is the last of the unfortunate new apartment events. Ethan now has his new UMD ID and is ready to start classes and training.
I said two things so here is #2. We were at College Park for 2 full weeks. Long enough for the sugar ants to find a way into the RV. We discovered them on Pat’s chocolate chip cookie he was saving for ice cream. He thinks they climbed up the fresh water line and into the coach from there. So, we shall take critter/insect precautions at our next long-term stay. Another learning moment.
Shenandoah Valley – Again
Now to our current spot. We are in the Shenandoah Valley again, but not the same park as twice before. We’re actually on the bank of creek and I’m calling it the babbling brook. It sounds just like and such a welcomed sound compared to two weeks of constant road noise next to the beltway – the one downside of that College Park campground.
I even fed the ducks and geese after dinner. We went across this bridge in Lucy if you can believe it. Not sure we were supposed to, but sometimes Google doesn’t send you the best RV way and I didn’t figure that out until too late. No worries. We made it and the bridge is still standing.
On the road again tomorrow for more Virginia travel. Hope you are staying cool. We’re looking forward to the mountain respite. See you down the road!