Binghamton to Albuquerque

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Binghamton to Albuquerque

Postby Tom&Shelly » Sun Oct 17, 2021 1:19 pm

We returned to our New Mexico home yesterday, after a 5 day trip. We decided to take a more southerly route, than on the way out, mainly to avoid some severe weather in the mid-west. Except for about 10 minutes in Arkansas, it worked.

First day we drove from Binghamton to Barkcamp State Park, in Southeastern Ohio. Primative facilities (no running water in the building), but perfectly fine for a night while traveling through

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Weather was dreary, but dry. Looks like the colors were just beginning to change there. The park does have a shower building, but it was far away, and we were eager to make time.

We were originally going to stop near Pittsburgh to see friends, but they came down with something, so we decided to gain the extra distance that first day. Our route took us through central Pennsylvania which is a lot more mountainous than the route would have been had we gone to Erie, and then south to Columbus. Resulted in more taxing driving, although with more interesting scenery. It also allows me to grey in West Virginia, as a place Cabin Fever rolled its wheels, even if it was just that little extension in the North.

We were looking for a place to camp the second night, and by coincidence, the ideal spot, time and location-wise, was Mammoth Cave National Park, in Kentucky. Someday, we'll go back and see the cave! In fact, we didn't make reservations ahead of time (not wanting to count on keeping to a schedule), so we rolled in a little after the rangers went home for the evening, leaving a sign out to make reservations through their .gov site. Well, we followed the instructions on the web site, which indicated certain sites couldn't be reserved in advance, or, as we found, on the web site at all. Our solution was to pick an unoccupied site and set up camp. (At this point, I should show a few pictures, but, for the first time since building the teardrop, I forgot to take any! :oops: ) We did pay the next morning, but if we had left early, we would have missed the rangers and would have had the site (illegally) for free. Evidently, they have a Catch 22, where the web site won't allow one to make reservations the day they arrive.

Anyway, we had some rain around Louisville, but it had cleared up by the time we reached Mammoth Cave. Seems to be lots to do in that area, including some commercial caves, so we'll have to spend some time in that area someday. Also, because of the time we arrived and the late season, this is the first time we actually had to make dinner using the galley light. Nothing too appetizing--we had boil in the bag dinners we hadn't eaten all summer--but an easy to prepare, easy cleanup dinner.

We also had the worst accident of our trip here--we brought our cat back, and Shelly wanted to set up her litter in the teardrop. I put my foot down and made her put it and the cat in the truck. She sometimes treats the cat like a child--afraid to go without Mommy there to comfort her--when, in fact, we have a fully grown cat quite capable of doing what she has to do on her own. She aptly demonstrated this in the truck (not the teardrop, thank goodness!) when Shelly, confident the cat wouldn't use the litter, didn't take care to make sure it was set stably on the ground. The smell in the truck kept us awake for the rest of the drive!

Oh, then after all that, we were pelted all night by coconuts, or hickory nuts, or something loud and hard falling from the trees. I improvised some protection by taking a blanket (soaked in cat urine for good measure) and putting it on the roof of the tear. In the morning, I looked for the hickory trees (or coconut trees), but found only oak, with tiny acorns. :lol:

Third night we spent at Lake Dardanelle State Park in Arkansas. This was my favorite camp-site of the trip. The weather, which had been too warm, was just right that night (low 60's). The cat was used to the routine, and obviously not too stressed--which made Shelly much less stressed, the camp was full of older folks--so was quiet, and there were very clean nice showers!

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Actually, the showers were a little too close, but after three days, I wasn't complaining!

The next morning, I made us a full breakfast, but wondered at one point whether I was making a mistake as rain looked imminent. Didn't happen, and the clouds cleared for a time while we were eating. An hour later, however, right after we got back on the Interstate, the sky opened up! Shelly was driving, and, if I'd been a few seconds quicker, I would have suggested we pull over on a scenic overlook that just happened to be there. I missed it however, and she drove on for the next few minutes, with hazard lights on, behind the car in front of us who was wisely driving at about 30 mph. Sure am glad we put bright lights on the tear!

That was the last rain we saw this trip.

Thought about spending the fourth night at Red Rock Canyon State Park in Oklahoma, as we liked it so much on the way out, but instead chose Foss State park, a little closer to home.

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Wonder if this leaf bug turns colors when the trees finally do around there?

It was in the low 60's when we got to Foss, and got down to the high 30's that night. About 4 am we woke up and decided the wool blanket wasn't cutting it. We thought about moving on, but it was dark, and we figured we'd make a lot of noise that might not be fully appreciated by the other campers. (Sunrise wasn't until after 7:30 in this campsite at the western side of the time zone!)

So it was time to test the heater on our climaterite! For the air conditioning, we found the return hose caused the unit to freeze up, so I'd taken that off, and only had the hose blowing air into the cabin. At first I ran the heater with the front utility door open, but found it didn't sufficiently heat air in the 30's to anything comfortable. So I got out and closed that door, and we found the air eventually was tolerable. The return air went from our vent into the utility compartment, to the unit.

I was muddling around trying to adjust the controls, and didn't pay much attention to the maximum heat, not thinking we'd make it to anything like that anyway. So we finally drifted off back to sleep, and I eventually began to dream that I'd died and gone to my just reward. Upon waking up, however, I'd found that it was 76 degrees in the cabin, and we were still under the wool blanket. I will have more respect for that heater in the future.

So, we have now tested just about everything on the tear, in three season conditions. There are a few fixes and improvements we have in mind, which we'll detail on our build folder this Winter. Overall, however, we are very happy with the way Cabin fever performed, and the way our Summer turned out.

Tom
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Re: Binghamton to Albuquerque

Postby featherliteCT1 » Sun Oct 17, 2021 2:38 pm

Thanks for the interesting travelogue!
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Re: Binghamton to Albuquerque

Postby pchast » Sun Oct 17, 2021 7:40 pm

Sounds like a great trip.
Glad everything worked well.
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Re: Binghamton to Albuquerque

Postby tony.latham » Mon Oct 18, 2021 9:32 am

Geeeeze. Do you need to keep the cat in a box at camp or does it just wander about and chase squirrels? :?

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Re: Binghamton to Albuquerque

Postby twisted lines » Mon Oct 18, 2021 9:53 am

One more trip east, and you can color that side done :o
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Re: Binghamton to Albuquerque

Postby Tom&Shelly » Mon Oct 18, 2021 4:23 pm

tony.latham wrote:Geeeeze. Do you need to keep the cat in a box at camp or does it just wander about and chase squirrels? :?

Tony


She was in her box (voluntarily), sound asleep when I went out this morning to cut firewood. Six hours later, and she's still in there, if that suggests an answer... ;)

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