May 13 – 26, 2017
Amazing, Amazing we were in and out of the REV service center in 3 days, a new record for us!!! We were doing the happy dance with our new found freedom!! The coach has had all its issues fixed and after 3 years we finally think (don’t want to say it to loud) we have gotten all the bugs out and feel a little more confident that we won’t be going back to soon.
While, Guy and I were sitting outside our coach at Camp Service, a couple walked by with a telescoping pole and bottles of cleaner, we weren’t sure what was happening but thought they were cleaning coaches. When they walked back by us, we started chatting and found out their names were David and Diane from Dillburg, PA and they were just showing others a new product they had found for cleaning. We stuck up a conversation which lasted for the 3 days and even as we pulled out on Saturday and left them behind, wishing we had more time to spend with them. What is so wonderful about this life is the people you meet and hopefully stay in touch with.
Not knowing how long we would be at Camp Service we did not have reservations until May 15, where would be staying for 10 days in Ohiopyle, Pa. We decided Lancaster, Ohio was half way to Ohiopyle, so it was decided that Lancaster was our next stop, an easy 3 hr drive.
Lancaster, turned out to be a seasonal campground (you pay for the season and leave your RV). The campground was on a sweet little lake, with a trail around the perimeter. They had a swimming beach, paddle boats and fishing docks. We decided to stay 3 days to just relax and drive around the area, there wasn’t much to see, the kayak and water trip companies had not opened for the season, bike rentals were also not in operation. We saw lots of wide open areas with beautiful farms and barns, lots of greenery and trees.
We enjoyed the wonderful weather, Guy washed the coach down, and played his banjo, while I took apart and repaired my Grandmothers Flower Garden quilt that a mouse had chewed on in about 8 spots. I had stored the quilt in a canvas tote, all zipped up under the bed, that little critter ate thru the canvas to get to the soft cotton material for its bed. It also left behind bird food, sunflower seeds and numerous other not so nice stuff. This quilt has taken more than 4 years to hand sew, needless to say, I was not happy. I now am getting it ready to hand quilt while we are traveling the east coast, this could take another 4 years to finish. Not sure how my arthritis will do with all this sewing as each hexagon will be hand sewn thru the 3 layers.
One of the first things I do as we are getting ready to head out to our next destination is set the GPS with the new address. We have been lucky that in 3 years she has not led us to far asrtray…with that being said there is always a first time…..I knew when she started telling us we needed to make a left turn in .5 miles, we were in trouble, no time to check it out on my phone GPS and the map book I keep beside me.(I knew we had a few more miles before our turn), Yup, we turned… this rig is to darn big to make mistakes…we drove about 3-4 miles down a pretty narrow road with no berm, when she wanted us to make a right turn, the sign said, “steep grades and sharp turns for the next 8 miles” we knew we were in trouble… Luckily, a gravel parking lot was also right there and in we went. Upon checking the map it showed that the road went out of our way and over the mountain. I decided to call the campground, who said “yup, not a good road, don’t go that way…turn around” That meant we needed to unhook the truck and turn the coach around and rehook up the truck. We made it fine to the campground and a day later took the road with our truck, it was steep but we could have done it with the coach. Better safe than sorry!
We stayed at the Yough (yaw) Lake Campground, which is on the Youghiogheny (yaw-ki-gay-nee) Lake and River which flows from PA into Maryland. The campground we pretty much had to ourselves! We were there for 10 days without internet, or cell service, it was hard at first but as time went on it was kind of nice to be disconnected. Guy did get in the car one day and drove about 5 miles until he could find a connection for the computer. There are 100 campsites with a few seasonal RVs, kayak/canoe rentals and small cabins. Our site looked right at a finger of the lake. This is a COE (Core of Engineers) lake and at one time the COE managed the campground but for some reason they shut the gates about 2 years ago and let it start to deteriorate.
The Laurel Highlands River Tours and Outdoor Center took on a 99 yr lease to keep the campground up and running. There are plans for more cabins and campsites. Derek and his son Mike run the campground, do all the maintenance and try to keep people happy. They were both astonished that someone from Alabama found their little campground out in the middle of no where and kept asking us how we found them. I tried to explain how we choose where we go, like following the weather, finding either a lake or river, and we really like out of the way places. We are also the biggest rig they have ever had come into the campground.
When we were checking out the area map we found a spot that said entrance to “Fallingwater”. Not sure what that was but thinking waterfall….wrong…it was the famous “Fallingwater” house that Frank Lloyd Wright built for the Kaufmann family in 1935. The key to the setting of the house is the waterfall over which the house is built.
The falls were a focal point that the Kaufmanns wanted as a focal point for their home. To their surprise Frank Lloyd Wright designed the house to rise above the waterfall and cantilever over the waterfall. “Fallingwater” was the weekend home of the Kaufmann from 1937 until 1963 when the house was entrusted to the Western PA Conservancy, the house with its original furnishings and artwork is the only Wright work to be in the public domain.
The area has two more Wright homes, “Kentuck Knob” and “Duncan House” which is the only Wright house you can spend the night in.
The Fort Necessity Battlefield and The Mount Washington Tavern were not to far from Ohiopyle and on the National Pike road so we decided a stop was necessary. Fort Necessity was the opening battle of the war between England and France for control of the North American continent in the summer of 1754. It was also the start of the struggle known in the North Americas as the French and Indian War, as well as the “Seven year War.” The war was also the first major event of 21 year old George Washington, and it marked the only time he ever surrendered to an enemy.
There is an interpertative center where they show a movie about the battle, and have scenes that explain more in-depth about the wars. The walk to the fort site was a short walk thru the woods, and was lined with spring flowers and opened up to a large green grassy meadow with the Fort in the middle. The reconstructed fort and palisades are in the same locations as the originals. The stockade, circular in shape measured 53 ft in diameter and enclosed a small storehouse. The overall perimeter was 168 feet.
The Mount Washington Tavern was one of numerous taverns along the National Road that served as stopping places for stagecoaches. It was written that there were taverns every mile along the National Road. The tavern was a welcome site to travelers, offering lodging, meals, news and refreshments. You can take a self guided tour of the tavern, they have two floors open for viewing, the rooms are decorated for the times with plexiglass on the doors.
George Washington was eager to unite the Eastern seaboard with the land beyond the mountains. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison helped make this a reality with The National Pike Road.
The National Pike Road was America’s first federally funded highway and the first step in the development of a national road system. It began in 1811 and ran from Cumberland, Md., to Vandalia, Ill where construction stopped in 1839, this was the main road from the east to the western frontier. Today, U.S. 40 follows the same route as the National Road.
You can imagine how surprised we were when we happened to see wagons going down the National Pike Parkway. We found out that since 1989 many counties in Maryland, West Virginia, PA and Ohio celebrate the 300 mile route with wagon trains rolling along the Allegheny Mountain and the Blue Ridge Mountain parkways to celebrate and bring awareness to the National Parkway.
Ohiopyle State Park is approximately 20,500 acres of rugged beauty, with 14 miles of the rushing waters of the Youghiogheny (yaw-ki-gay-nee) River Gorge going thru the park. There are 7 miles of water rafting which provides some of the best whitewater rafting, with a range of difficulty, Class I to IV. There are 4 waterfalls, Cucumber Falls which can be driven to, Cascades, Jonathan Run and Meadow Run which you can hike to. With it raining everyday for the 10 days we were there we did not get to hike to any of the falls.
The Ohiopyle area offers many summer and winter activities, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, rocking climbing, horseback riding, 27 miles of biking thru the Great Allegheny Passage, which connects Pittsburg, PA and Cumberland, Maryland, numerous hiking trails (from the extreme to the easy). The Youghiogheny river has trout fishing that is stocked with fingerlings throughout the parks many rivers. For those that aren’t that adventurous there is an awesome park along the river where you can sit and watch the water flow.
The Youghiogheny river meanders around the 100 acre peninsula called Ferncliff Peninsula, where Guy and I and of course our side kick, LaciLou hiked the 2.5 miles around the island, we were talking about how lucky we were that it had not rained… just as we were saying how lucky we were that it hadn’t rained and we were almost done a rain storm came thru, with thunder and lightening drenching all of us.
When making our reservations to Yough Lake Campground, we received an announcement that the town would be holding its 3rd Wine, Craft and Music Festival on Saturday, May 20. The flyer stated that we could prepay for our tickets, $50.00 for the wine tasting and free tasting glass. There would be 8 wineries attending and 1 distillery, Ridge Runner. The bands that would play for the event were, The Plate Scrappers, ( their new cd out is called “Dishes”), The Free Doughnuts and the Black Horse Band.
Guy and I would do a little wine tasting, then check out the crafts while listening to the music. There were a couple of wines that we really liked, of course, we bought a few. A few days later we opened the one I really liked, a dry cab, both of us wished we had purchased a case, it was that good. The drive to the winery was 2 hours and neither of us wanted to get in the car for the drive. We really liked the band, Plate Scrappers as they play wild bluegrass, with folk, jazz and heavy metal thrown in.
It was a wonderful time touring the area of Ohiopyle and Confluence, but it was time to move on, New Jersey was waiting for us. Kelly and Bill are spending the summer at Country Oaks Campground in Dorothy, New Jersey, we were looking forward to meeting up with them. It was also time to meet up with “Carolyn and Gary” from St. Augustine who we will be going up the east coast with for the next month and a half. We then meet up with our group from “Adventure Caravans” for our 60 day trip into the Canadian Maritimes and Quebec.
LaciLou says “y’all have a a blessed time until we meet again”, come on back and find out how things are going on “Our Rovin Journey”.