September 28 - 29, 2013 Celina Ohio

Saturday, September 28

On Tuesday, October 1 at 6 AM, we have an appointment at Fleetwood RV Service in Decatur, IL (about 175 miles from Loudonville).  We were scheduled to leave Mohican Adventures Campground today and were trying to decide whether to play tourist or just find a play and hang out.  After being busy this week, we decided to find a place to hang out (reasonably cheap) until Monday when we will move to Fleetwood’s campground.

The other hard part was finding a place for Saturday night that honors discounts.  Well, we found it in Mercer County Fairgrounds in Celina, Ohio.  (Passport America - $15.00 - Full hookups).

So after packing up this morning and saying our goodbyes, that is where we headed.

Love the barns, farms and signs along the way:

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Love the sign - although the spelling should be different - Smile:

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By the time you finished reading this, the light will be green:

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For those of us who travel, sometimes we don’t know what days are school days.  Yes, they are different in different parts of the country.

We arrived at the Fairgrounds early afternoon and met the campground host - Doc - nice guy.  He has a jack Russell named Tinker.  Andy loves Jack Russell dogs and we once had a dog named Tinker - Smile

We set up and went to the local Moose for supper - great time.  Afterwards we checked out the town and area - As I finished this blog there is a Jeep/Truck Rally here at the fairground - LOTS of noise but sounds like a lot of fun.

Miles Traveled: 159 Miles

Routes Traveled:

Ohio: SR-3; SR-39; I-71; US-30; SR-696; I-75; US-33; SR-29; SR-703; West Market Street 

Sunday, September 29

We woke to rain, rain and more rain.  We did a few things around the motorhome including some paperwork items that we needed to address.  I took a quick run to Wal-Mart and we finished the day by watching football (and of course, me on the computer - Smile)

Tomorrow we head to Decatur, Illinois to Fleetwood.

Stay tuned and enjoy today.


September 24 - 27, 2013 Fleetwood Bounder Rally

What a wonderful time we have had here at the Bounder Rally.  There were over 100 Bounders in the campground  - from a 1992 to 2013.  It was really interesting to see all the different colors, sizes, types and even the 2014 Bounders to come.

So let’s see if I can get caught up on what we did.

Tuesday, September 24

We were basically free until 4 PM when they had the first-timers meeting.  There are two Bounder groups - Bounders United (which is mostly on the west coast) and Bounders of America (which is mostly on the east coast).  This was a joint rally which they have every two years.  (Still not sure why they have two groups - Sad smile).    When we got the Bounder, we were in Arizona and a gentleman in the park recommended we join Bounders United.   We did but never did anything with it.  Anyway, when we introduced ourselves at the First-Timers meeting and said we did not belong to a chapter, the Keystone Kangaroos adopted us (for the week actually).  How wonderful.  That chapter belongs to the Bounders of America group.  I think the next time we are home for a little while, we will join both the BoA and Keystone group.  What great folks.

That evening was a great dinner, entertainment, and opening ceremonies.  The Keystone Group invited us to sit with them and we met more folks from that chapter.

Wednesday, September 25

Our first stop this morning was the vendor marketplace where we felt we hit the jackpot.  One couple was coming off the road and was selling their “stuff”.  We picked up a Wineguard Carryout Automatic Dish for $50.00 (brand new - ~$600) and a container pipe for our sewer hose which was brand new for $10.00 (Normally around $40.00).  So back home we went to try out the dish and it works - YEA!!!   For those who don’t know, we have Direct TV and we have a dish on our roof and a portable dish.  When we stop, the one on the roof works great, as long as there is no trees in the way or the wind is not blowing.  We then set up the portable and try to find the right place to point (if you know Andy and I, we usually have a problem communicating when we do this).  With this automatic dish, we set it outside, make sure it is level and it automatically finds the satellite.  YAHOO!

This afternoon, we went to two seminars.  Both were given by JD Adams of Elkhart Service and Collision. The first one was on RV Renovations and Upgrades.  JD told and showed us some general ways to go in updating - either by his company or do it yourselfers.  He was very practical on what works in an RV and what doesn’t work.   We have been thinking of updating our Bounder so it was great to get some of this info.  His shop is in Elkhart so we talked with him about stopping by and getting an estimate.  Now I just need to figure out what I want to do.

The second seminar was Maintenance 101 where we both picked up some great tidbits on things to use.  (Even my Andy said it was a good seminar - Smile).

We went to supper at the Hanover House in downtown Loudonville with the Keystone chapter - great food and great company.  Afterwards there was entertainment at the Conference Center - Matt Young who sang some great songs from the 50’s and 60’s.

Thursday, September 26

We hung out this morning then I went to the Red Hat Luncheon while Andy went to the Romeo Luncheon.  What a fun time - everyone got a little gift and we had entertainment too Smile.

Afterwards, Andy and I went to the Rand McNally Seminar on the RV GPS - 7720.  We bought a 5510 a few years ago and have never been happy with it.  The seminar went well.  We did talk with the vendor afterwards and she feels we may have got a lemon.  The first year we had the unit we called customer service a number of times and they could never help us so we figured the 5510 was not really a decent unit.  Then we went out and bought a Garmin, which we love!  She felt that Rand McNally should have given us a new one.  She gave us a few things to try and then call them again.  Personally, I was not impressed with their customer service on ANY of the phone calls we made.

After that was the Ice Cream Social - YUM!  We finished the evening with the Keystone Chapter Campfire - I really liked this chapter.

Friday, September 27

Our day started with the Bounders United meeting - still not sure why there are two groups.  Hopefully they can become one Bounder Group in the near future.

We were free until 5:30 where we had another great dinner, closing ceremonies, and entertainment by the GeezeCats who played and sang 50’s and 60’s music.


I have belonged to the Bounder Yahoo Group for quite a while and it was great to put some faces to the names.  Mike and Diane, Frank, and Jim were gracious in showing us their rigs and what they have done to them.  I had asked some questions on the boards and they were very helpful in answering them.  Thanks.  Smile


Mohican Adventures Campground was huge.  One of the mornings, I took a walk around and was near the pond at the right time for the reflections.

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Our site is on the right:

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Overall we had a great time and learned a lot.  Next year there is a Bounders United Rally in Pahrump, NV and a BOA Rally near Houston, TX.  Maybe???


Tomorrow we head further west so stay tuned and enjoy today.



September 22 - 23, 2013 Travel to Loudonville, Ohio

Sunday, September 22

We woke this morning to cloudy skies and lots of wetness.  After getting our acts together, we hooked up the car and off we went west.

Thru the Western Pennsylvania Hills:

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Lots of sail boats on this lake:

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This was the only sign when we crossed into Ohio:

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Berlin Lake where we had lunch:

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We saw quite a few oil drills in the farm fields:

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And the land has flattened:

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We ended our day in Lake Wapusun Campground near Shreve, Ohio.  This is a Passport America park and our price was $10.50 for the night for water and electric.  This is our site - we were the only ones on our row:

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There are two lakes in the campground - this one was right by our home:

09-22-13 Lake Wapusun CG Shreve

Great reflections in the late afternoon:

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Our Bella goofing off:

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This is a very nice campground.  There are seasonal sites and regular sites - all are beautiful.  They honor the Passport America rate for 7 days.  We have this on our list to stop by again.

Late afternoon, I did a few loads of laundry while Andy watched football.

Tomorrow we head south to the Fleetwood Bounder Rally.  We have never been to one so stay tuned.

Stats for today:

Miles Traveled: 222.63

Routes Traveled:

PA: Campground Road; US-22; US-219; US-422; US-224

Ohio: US-224; SR-44; SR-62; I-77; US-30; SR-3; Snoddy Road; Motler Road


Monday, September 23

We moseyed on down the road this morning to Mohican Adventures Campground where we will be until Saturday at a Bounder Rally.

Once we set up and had lunch, we went to registration and got our welcome packet, t-shirts, and I signed up for the Red Hat Luncheon on Thursday.

On our way back home, we enjoyed see all the Bounders (of every size and type) and meeting lots of folks.

Looking forward to this week of learning and seeing new things and meeting more folks.

Miles Traveled: 11 miles

Routes Traveled:

Ohio: Motler Road; Snoddy Road; SR-3

Enjoy today Smile!


September 21, 2013 A Day of Rest

After playing tourist for four days, we are pooped.  So we had a slow morning, then took a walk around the campground.

Many of the sites here are long term with a mixture of rigs.  Some spots are taken care of and others not so much.  The campground itself looks like it need some TLC.

There are a few ponds around the property and Andy was told that the fishing is good.  Every day, we went past this pond with this beautiful swan:

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There is also a rabbit pen with two rabbits, currently for sale.  We stopped by to visit and this one came to visit with us:

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The rest of the day we just putzyed.  Andy watched football, I finished my blog and got some other things caught up.  The rain came in about noon and continued most of the day!

Tomorrow we head west so stay tuned and enjoy today.

September 20, 2013 Tunnels

Today was Tunnel Day so we packed a lunch and headed to the Staple Bend Tunnel.

A little history from the NPS Site (http://www.nps.gov/alpo/historyculture/staplebend.htm):

“History of the Tunnel

Finished in June 1833, the Staple Bend tunnel was advertised as the first railroad tunnel in the United States. It was the third tunnel of any kind built in the US, the first tunnels were for other canals in Pennsylvania.

Work began on November 21, 1831 and often occurred during inclement conditions. The men were paid $13 per month plus room and board for 12 hour days 6 days per week. Workers chipped and blasted 901 feet of solid rock to make the tunnel.

Approximately 14,900 cubic yards of bedrock was removed using black powder blasting. This was done by drilling three feet long holes and packing them with powder. Drilling one typical hole took up to three hours of hard effort using a three man crew. Nine to ten holes, each one-inch in diameter and thirty-six inches in length, were made before blasting. One pound of explosive powder wrapped in paper was pushed into each hole, tamped down, punctured with a sharp needle, and a fuse added. Fuses were lit with explosions to occur at mealtime. Workers would eat while the dust settled then get to work cleaning (mucking) the tunnel. Of the 36-inch hole drilled only 18 inches, or half of the hole, was blasted.

The tunnel grew about 18 inches each day, with both sides moving toward the center. On December 21, 1832 the workmen broke through the final barrier and connected the two ends of the tunnel. There was much celebration with speeches and toasts. The full tunnel excavation was completed in April 1833.

The ends of the Staple Bend Tunnel were lined with cut stone for safety. Rock and dirt might fall due to rain or other weather, or from the effects of the portage railroad going through the tunnel. The fancy entranceways to the tunnel were to impress the travelers and the general public. The style was described as a " Roman Revival style with low relief lintel supported by Doric pilasters on each side." Of the money spent (the total cost was $37,498.85) nearly half was to build the fancy entrance ways.

After the Portage
In 1907 Henry Storey wrote that the east entrance facade of the tunnel had been removed for building purposes. He gave no indication of a date or the building on which the stones were used. The west entrance facade remains and has been restored to its former grandeur.

After the demise of the old Portage Railroad the tunnel had other uses. Neither the "new Portage" nor the Pennsylvania Railroad used the tunnel. It was instead a popular carriage route until the Flood of 1889. Afterward, Flood damage and other concerns made the tunnel a less desirable driving spot although local residents continued to visit, and even go courting at the tunnel up until the 1940s.

In the 1940s a concrete liner was added to the east portal of the tunnel and large water lines as well as a water vault structure were built. The Manufacturer's Water Company closed the tunnel to the public, the water lines were used by Bethlehem Steel. In 2001 the tunnel became part of Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site. Rock bolts, shoring posts, and other reinforcements' were added as well as a thin mortar between the historic blocks.”

The tunnel was located 2.1 miles from the trailhead.  The trail was on one of those levels called the Long Level between the inclines.

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So away we went.....:

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This was one of those culverts - some were very ornate and beautiful.

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Sleepers still in place:

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And we arrived:

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The tunnel is 901’ long and here we are at the start.  Check out that stonework - Oh my.

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At this point, Andy and I realized we left the flashlight in the car - 2.1 miles back.  Let me tell you it was REALLY DARK in there.  But we did see a light at the end of the tunnel Smile:

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The west entrance - WOW again with that stonework:

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Before we went back in, I download a flashlight app for my tablet so at least we had a little light.  We found that the stone work did not go all the way through the tunnel.

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Back out on the other side.

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We enjoyed our walk to the trailhead where we had lunch and went on to our next tunnel - The Gallitzin Tunnels.

“The Gallitzin Tunnels

In 1848-49, the Pennsylvania Railroad laid out and adopted the Sugar Gap Route which was the beginning of industrial development at the top of the Alleghenies.

The mountains' extremely high grade made it necessary to build tunnels through the mountain. In 1850, at a cost of half a million dollars, the E. Rutter & Sons firm was hired to do the job. Using picks and shovels, it took over three hundred immigrants to complete it.

The first tunnel, a bit shorter than the "Twin Tunnels", is situated under Tunnelhill. It is known as the Portage Tunnel. The second tunnel, first of the "Twin Tunnels", is known as the Allegheny Tunnel and was completed in 1854. The third tunnel was begun in 1902 and completed in 1904. This is known as the Gallitzin Tunnel. There is a magnificent view of this amazing architectural accomplishment from the Jackson Street Bridge.

These tunnels are the highest and longest tunnels on what was once the Pennsylvania Railroad. They are 3, 605 feet long and at an elevation of 2,167 feet. The first of the "Twin Tunnels" completed the railroad west, after passing around the Horseshoe Curve. This factor made the tunnels so important that they were guarded by Pennsylvania Railroad Police during the war years.

In July of 1902, a blast set off near the tunnels showered the central part of town with large stones, killing one person and injuring another. The building of the second twin tunnel caused the school directly above the tunnels to weaken and a new school had to be built. The new school was completed in 1906. The tunnels remained unchanged until June, 1994.

The Conrail Pennsylvania Clearance Improvement Project began on June 20, 1994. This project consisted of modifying the Allegheny Tunnel in an effort to lower the track and give clearance for the higher, double-stack trains now being used by the railroads. This is a major economic strategy to accommodate rail traffic that until the completion of this project was being rerouted around Pennsylvania. Using much more sophisticated equipment than the pick and shovel, with a crew of approximately 90, the project was completed in August of 1995.

Railroad buffs have identified the Gallitzin Tunnels as a "must" stopover. It offers to the visitor a glimpse of the fascinating railroad "past and present."

Trains run through the tunnels 24 hours a day and are part of Norfolk Southern's Pittsburgh Line.”

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From left to right, the tunnels are Portage, Allegheny and Gallitzin.  The opening for the Allegheny and Gallitzin is the same.  The Portage is now closed.

This is the closest we could get to them.  From here we walked to the museum that was unfortunately closed.  Sad smile.  They rely on volunteers and today they did not have one.  Bummer.

So we headed home with a short stop to Wal-Mart.  It has been a busy four days for us and tomorrow we are just taking it easy.

I will leave you with the my wildflower pictures from the trail today.

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Sayings (1)

Enjoy today.