In mid-September, we attended a week-long Escapade sponsored by the Escapees RV Club. Over 1,400 diverse people descended on the Van Wert Fairgrounds in Ohio. It was interesting to see all manner of recreational vehicles from vans to motorhomes with many fifth wheels in between...they were as diverse as the people. We got a lot of good information at the seminars we attended. From Foto Fixin' to Veterinary Care; Honey, Let's Clean the RV to Don't Go Without Velcro. Handling Medical Emergencies, Geocaching, and How to Live in a Sardine Can were some of the other classes we took. With over 700 RVs parked in every nook and cranny, we were fortunate to be parked along one of the main thoroughfares close to everything. It was really helpful to have the scooter to tool around in....Paul's already trying to figure out how to hook up a seat to tow behind it so he can ride too! :)
Following the Escapade, Ohio's Grand Lake St. Marys State Park (a Passport America campground) was our home base for a week before meeting Lora and J. Michael for a fall weekend in the Amish country in Holmes County, OH. This 13,500-acre lake was the largest man-made lake in the world when it was completed in 1845 and has 60 miles of shoreline. It took 8 years for 1,700 workers using hand tools to make the reservoir for the Miami-Erie Canal. In the late 1890s oil was discovered and for a time the lake was dotted with oil derricks. Today, a pile of rocks near the center of the lake marks the spot of the last producing well. A side note: For those who have requested it, we were able to get a picture of the motorhome with the satellite deployed. It is in the Photo Album 007: Ohio to Pennsylvania.
We enjoyed biking, watching the sunsets,
It was heartwarming to read about the building of the Memorial Covered Bridge dedicated in 1992. It seems that the citizens of St. Marys had traveled to a town in North Carolina following a hurricane to deliver much-needed donated hay. A continuing relationship was built between the two cities and the NC city donated the shingles for the Memorial Covered Bridge.
This 8-inch Rodman gun was made at Ft. Pitt, PA in 1864! There are additional pictures in this edition's photo album.
A week later we were on our way to Berlin, OH. We had a great fall weekend with Lora and J. Michael enjoying the beauty of God's creation and some of the fun people have with it. :)
Paul got some more great fall pictures in the photo album.
The first week of October found us in Pittsburgh being poked, squished, probed, adjusted, shot, etc. Molly even got her teeth cleaned! It feels really good to be all caught up on our medical appointments for the year. We also had nice visits with Paul's step-mom and my dad. Both are doing well. We are so blessed to have parents and a daughter who encourage us in our lifestyle. It could be best summed up in Dad's parting greeting, "Happy landings!"
We spent a few days in Gettysburg riding our bikes, visiting the Boyd's Bear Country, re-exploring the battle through a very well-done Gettysburg Battlefield Diorama, touring the Confederate side of the battlefield, cruising around the fruit-laden apple orchards in the area AND getting Paul's Golden Age Passport which gives us 50% discount at all national parks, Corps of Engineers campgrounds, and Bureau of Land Management. Molly even made nice with some barnyard animals. :)
A bonus of our Gettysburg campsite at Artillery Ridge (a Passport America campground) was that it was in the horse camp. The camp was full with people who trailered in their horses for a weekend of riding the battlefields. It sounded like the 35 Boy Scouts tent camping in the field behind us had a good time, too. :)
While biking on the Union side of the battlefield, we stopped to read some of the memorials. The men of the 1st Minnesota are most remembered for their actions on July 2 resulting in in the prevention of a serious breach in the Union line. The regiment was ordered to assault a much larger enemy force in an effort to buy time while other forces were brought up. Of the 262 soldiers, only 49 survived and to this day the 82% casualty rate stands as the largest loss by any surviving military unit in American history.
We've been blessed to be able to enjoy some beautiful fall weather before the wind and rains brought down the colorful leaves.
We're off to Lancaster before heading south to Williamsburg. Highs in the 40's means its time to move on. :)