Thursday, August 06, 2015

Bee mods and additions

Unlike Marco we will make no changes in Bee. For us the design elements are pretty much optimal as-built. We have made some small additions however.

With much higher
tongue weight than Marco
an electric tongue jack
is a big help.

Front stabilizer jacks
are a must.
A Fantastic Fan
to avoid using A/C
in cooler weather.
When using campground shore power
an electric heater is quieter
than the propane furnace
and the cost is zero.

The OEM power cord deploys
from a trapdoor leaving
an entrance for mice and bugs.
A detachable cord with a sealed
plug stops that.

RV brake/taillights are
notoriously dim and adding
LED lights is a simple thing.

Buffy likes to relax and unwind
in the evening with TeeVee.
We added a 32” TV and DVD player
so Buffy can watch 
Buffy the Vampire Slayer

That is your standard RV “batwing”
TV antenna with a couple additions.
The vertical mast at the top is
a WiFiRanger which amplifies
and routes WiFi signals
from as far away as 2mi.
The rightward pointed paddle is a
Wilson cellphone antenna, the
highest gain antenna made. It
connects to our Verizon MiFi
to provide internet service.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015


Jan thought we needed a Grandog to keep us busy.

Buffy was born March 8, a Poodle/Cocker Spaniel mix (a so-called “Cockapoo”). These dogs are known for extreme friendliness, intelligence and NO SHEDDING, a must as we are both allergic to dogs.

PIC taken April 22

She came home with us May 5.

PIC taken at Somerset reservoir,
a mile from where we lived.
May 5

It wasn’t long before Buffy took her first road trip. She went to Vermont to meet the Johns-Warren chickens.

May 24

Then it was time for a real trip. Our friends Donna and Jim called to say they were going to Glacier NP so off we went to meet them there.

Copilot Buffy

Buffy’s BFF.
She lives in Bloominton, Il.

On the way West Buffy took a break
to cool off in the Missouri River.
July 5

We met Donna and Jim at

And then all we drove on
to Glacier NP.

From Glacier we drove on to Yellowstone by way of Virginia City, Mt.

Buffy trying out Alder Gulch at Virginia City.

Buffy cooling off in the Madison River
at Bakers Hole CG just outside
the West entrance to YNP.

Then it was back home in time to go camping with Cordelia and Violet.

Oil Creek Family CG
(near Titusville, Pa)

The ostensible purpose of the trip was to take Violet and Buffy on their first train ride.

The Oil Creek and Titusville RR
mixed train arriving at
Petroleum Center.

Aboard the Oil Creek & Titusville RR
July 23

After her first ‘Do
July 25

See how busy and out of trouble we have been?

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Glacier NP with Donna and Jim

July 2 we left PA and arrived back in PA on July 21.

In a phone conversation with Donna and Jim we learned that they were about to leave for Glacier NP where Donna had never been. We had never been either and we decided to meet them there. We thought to surprise them so said nothing of our plans. So off we went, a big adventure for Buffy&Bee. After playing Where-in-the-World-is-Carmen-Sandiego we caught up with them at Badlands NP. They were on to us though as there had been too many phone calls asking them: “Where are you guys now and where are you going next?”

July 6

Then it was on to Glacier NP.

Glacier is a magical place we hope to return to. At Logan Pass, the summit of the Going to the Sun Highway, we parked and walked the 1.5mi/1200ft elevation change trail to Hidden Lake.

There are Mountain Goats there.

Hidden Lake is a Tarn
in a Cirque,
both characteristic features of
 mountain glacier country.

The haze in the background is fire smoke.

Jim had recently had surgery on both knees and his walking was limited so we did some scouting ahead for doable walks.

Running Eagle Falls

A doable walk which Donna and Jim
did the next day.

Jim suggested that since they had driven every mile you can in the Park and walked all that he was able we should move on to Yellowstone NP. So we did.


From this spot you can watch several major geysers
and that is what we did.

Donna and Jim then headed for Southern Utah and we headed homeward. We stopped at Fort Robinson, Nebraska.

Soldier Creek CG
The creek is behind Bee
and Buffy took a dip.

Monday, June 15, 2015


Lew thought that we needed a bigger travel trailer, what with adding a Grandog to our family. Camping World in Bath, NY had a good price on a 2015 Coleman CTS16FB so we bought it. Built by Keystone/Dutchmen she is 21ft long hitch-to-bumper and weighs 3100# empty. With 28gal fresh, gray and black water tanks we can now dry-camp comfortably.

Beatrix is Dutch for “traveler” so that is what we named her. “Bee” for short.


Three feet longer and 12 inches wider than Marco

Looking forward

Looking rearward

The end of one chapter and the beginning of a new one. We towed Marco 70,000mi and slept in him at least a thousand nights in 7 yrs.

Bye Marco.
Sitting on the Camping World lot.

Lots of room for Buffy.

Time for a shakedown so it was off to Glacier NP and back. About 5000mi in three weeks.

At Badlands.

At St Mary, Mt just outside Glacier NP.
That is fire smoke haze from the huge
fires in Alberta.

At Bakers Hole outside west Yellowstone, Mt

Unlike Marco we will make no changes in Bee. For us the design elements are all optimal as-built. We have made some small additions however.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Princess Half Marathon Race Day

Its Race Day!

Amy wanted to do this race as a reward to herself for a major job promotion.  Trista thought it a wonderful idea so she also signed up to race. Since then all of us have been dreaming of this day.  I joined the Cheer Squad so that I could take pictures of our racers in front of the castle.  So here is our tale of the Princess Half Marathon Race.

I wake up at 3:15 AM in a fever of excitement.  The alarm is set for 3:30 so I shut if off to keep it from waking Lew.  I quickly dress in my race clothes including a winter coat since I plan on sitting in front of the Disney castle for some time.

At 3:30 I don't hear a thing from Amy's tent so I quietly call for Amy.  I get nothing.  At 3:35 I try again and what I get is Nate crying, "Mommy something is outside our tent!"  Amy bolts upright and quiets Nate while I explain that it is just Grandma.  I go sit in a chair and wait for Amy.  She tries to quiet Nate, but nearing 4:00 she brings him to the trailer where she leaves him in my bed to rest with Grandpa.  Off we go!

After race event road-closure adventures, we manage to arrive at the Epcot parking lot where we quickly split up.  She heads to Gate G to meet Trista and I go to the monorail to catch a ride to Magic Kingdom.  I meet a man who is spending his time working on the doors of the monorail to keep them running during the race.  The front of Magic Kingdom is full of people waiting for the gates to open.  Finally at 5:30 they open and I go quickly to Gold Cheer Squad Section.  It is at the corner of the castle and the turn to tomorrowland.   Here is the picture of the castle from where I sit on my stool waiting for my girls.
 We watch the starting gate on a fellow Cheer Squad person's smartphone.  It is all quite exciting.  It is 5.7 miles from the start to the castle.  The first gate was released at 5 a I get to see the Gate G runners start on the phone.  Then I simply cheer the runners until Amy tells me they are at the 5 mile point.  I start watching and they come!
They spot my chair right away and slow down for me to take a quick pic of them and the castle.  I can't see the screen so it isn't quite right!
Trista takes a shot of Amy with the Cheer Squad.
You can see our mouse clappers.  I lose mine at the very end of the race!  Nuts.  I try for the leaving the castle shot, but it was too far away for me to tell when they exit.
Then I'm off to get to the finish line.  Two monorail rides and a long walk takes me to the race's end.  I am there 20 minutes before they cross the finish line.  I see Amy, and get a pic of Trista as she crosses.
Next is finding them in the crowd.  We manage to meet up and here are the ladies with their medals.
And a done cheering Mom.
It was great fun and I would do it again.  I'm so proud of "my ladies!"