KEY LARGO FLORIDA

We are now in Key Largo, at John Pennacamp State park. Will be here until Jan 5th 2022. We got here Friday afternoon, and got into our site pretty good. When we came over the last bridge into town, we both looked at each other and smiled then laughed. Everything looks the same as it was when we last left. We have already met all the other volunteers, and already we have set up a Halloween party for October 30th at our site. A lot of new rangers here this time (young) only a few left that we already know. Start work next week Tuesday, three days on, four days off. Below is a picture of our spot.

Below is a wrap up of our trip down here.

~ We took thirteen days to get to Key Largo

~The first six days were damp, and rainy, the last seven were sun and 80

~ We traveled seven of those days

~ Put on 1,924 miles towing the 5er

~ We had some issues this time traveling, which I am listing below.

THE TRUCK;

The truck ran great, except for one time, which was my fault. In North Carolina, through the mountains, the engine light came on. I had a feeling that it was a fuel sensor, as I had filled up with regular gas that morning. The light stayed on a long while ,and I had to look it up on the internet to figure out how to get it off, which I did.

All of the trip I used premium gas, (except one time) a little more expensive, but actually I got about three more miles to the gallon, which was a surprise.

THE 5er

As I mentioned the first six days were damp and rainy. The Rv electric brakes went out all that time. Lucky I was on the thruways a lot. Somewhere I have a short in the wiring under the Rv. All of it is exposed so I am going to retape all the connections.

The hot water tank worked fine one day then it didn’t. When we turn on the switch for electric or propane, we trip the 10 amp breaker for the dc power. I checked on the Heartland forum, and everyone said I have a loose or broken connection. Well so far I cannot find it, I have had the big panel, the breaker panel off and the big bay is opened up now and I still could not find anything. I guess I will have to have someone come in and test everything. I think this will be a bigger job and more expensive job than I thought.

Look at all that wiring

The toilet took a dump, hay that’s funny. The closer valve broke on the toilet, and as it is five years old, I am just going to replace it. The water valve still works, but for now we have a softball in the drain to keep the gases out.

Batter up

THE ROOF

The roof held up very well. It still has all the bubbles on the front, but it stayed on and I believe it is not a problem for now.

That’s about it for now, we are here safe and sound, and looking forward to helping out at the park, and unwinding for a few months.

HARTWELL LAKE S.C.

We are now at Hartwell lake, a Corp of engineer park in the western part of South Carolina, for our first time. It is now warm and sunny, after a number of days with fog, mist, rain and dampness. Friday our four hour trip lasted six, with a lot of construction and delays in South Carolina thruway. Plus every day we drove ,I think every trucker in the United States was next to me. I thought there was a shortage of drivers, not so.

The park here is super nice, every site sits on the water and they are large and secluded. For $15.00 a night, how can you go wrong. We leave here Sunday morning. Some pictures of the park and our site below.

Springfield Campground consists of 60 acres of Virginia pine and some mixed hardwoods.  It has 79 campsites all are right next to the lake, except 2 . It has a beach and a boat launch and all the streets are paved which makes it nice for riding a bike.   

Our Site # 54

We took a few walks around the Lake

“Of all the paths you take in life make some lead to the lake.”

Our site at night

“Even a pebble cast in the middle of a lake creates ripples that eventually reach the shore.” – Jeffrey G. Duarte

We had a great two night stay at Hartwell Lake in S.C. We would definitely come back again if we’re in this area.

What we did this past

We had our

Ups and Downs this Summer, Here are some of the Ups

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Four generations of Coy’s

It was really yummy

When we were back in Newfane Dave with help from his brother Steve, replaced Steve’s much needed kitchen cabinets.

Before picture / Not really, but I didn’t get a chance to take a before picture

After picture

The house was built in 1865 it still needs work but it has come along way

That’s about it for the pictures I took of this summer 2021. Right now we’re at Mount Airy N.C. I wanted to get this done before my second summer of the year starts soon in Florida.

just outside of Gettysburg is Hanover

another one of Dave’s favorite places which is now 100 years old!

Just a short drive from Gettysburg is Hanover where Utz has it’s factory and also an outlet store.

This is our 3rd trip here to bad we didn’t find out about it sooner. Dave was in his glory because of his love for potato chips and such as you can see by his cart.

It was such a beautiful day Monday in Gettysburg we sat outside on the porch of

And had a tasty dinner. A great day was had by all !

GETTYSBURG DAY TWO

Today was our last day here at Gettysburg. It was a little dreary ,foggy for the morning but brighten up in the afternoon, with it being about 77 today. Tomorrow we leave here for a few one night hops. Our next stay longer than one night will be in Anderson South Carolina. Today I have two short stories about the battle.

Smith’s Artillery battery at Devil’s Den.

In the picture below, taken from little round top, shows the devil den area. Around noon on July 2nd, Smith had four of his six cannon atop the devils den. Also there were several hundred union infantry men. The other two cannon of his were in the low field off to the right of the picture. When the confederates attacked they over ran the devil’s den and were able to capture three of Smith’s guns, with the fourth being able to be with drawn to where the other two were. Soon the confederates were coming over the little hill to the soon to be called valley of death. With out any horses to move his remaining three cannon, he and his men decided to “retreat in prolong”. What does that men. Well when a cannon is fired it recoils about six to eight feet backwards, then moved back to position . In retreat in Prolong, it stays where it is and loaded and fired time and time again, all the while moving backward. Smith did this for over an hour, retreating over two hundred yards or so, back to the safety of a tree line. In doing this he denied the confederates, the lower part of the hill. All the while his men were being shot at , killed or wounded.

Smiths cannon are the little green spot as the road enters the picture on the right side. He fired right to left into devils den and his cannon retreated to the right out of view.

Smith’s artillery position as he started his retreat, is in the picture above. He fired at the top of the hill in front of him, while infantry men we in the lower part where the road is. In the late afternoon, the union took the hill and his three captured cannon were saved.

Sergeant Stouch Returns To Gettysburg.

In the picture above a little ways in front of Smith’s cannon, is a small boulder, it looks like many of the other ones around, but what a story it can tell. On July 2nd the 11th United States infantry was atop ,the devil’s den area. When the confederates attached in force, and unwilling to race away from danger, most of the men stood there ground or retreated slowly down into the valley. The confederates raced into the valley after them. One man who refused to leave a wounded man behind was Sergeant Stouch. Stouch and the wounded man were ordered by the confederates to go behind a rock boulder, so as to not be shot by there own men atop little round top. In a minute or two , rebel sharpshooters shot at them from there position atop devils den. What to do being shot at from both sides, so they moved around the boulder a few times. Two other union soldiers joined Stouch at his little rock area. Soon bullets were hitting the rock. Finally with the rebel soldiers leaving, they stayed behind the rock that faced toward the union. That was not enough, one man was shot in the face, one shot in the thigh and Slouch shot in the hand. Finally around 6pm the union charged down the slope of little round top and recaptured Slouch, his men and devils den. He was taken to the hospital, where they wanted to amputate his hand, he refused. A week later he had his hand operated on ,and it took 14 months to heal.

The Slouch boulder is located very close to smiths cannon, on the green spot next to the road as it enters the picture on the right.

On July 2nd 1886 Slouch returned to Gettysburg and had his picture taken at the rock that saved his life. On the back of the photo is written “This photo was taken about 4pm ,the 2nd of July 1886, the 23rd anniversary of the battle”. The photo is of Stouch ,leaning on the right side, his wife, son and daughter .

the boulder as it appears today.

As I mentioned this cold gray boulder sits quietly and mostly unnoticed in the “Valley of Death

GETTYSBURG DAY ONE

Today was a beautiful day here, sunny and almost 80 degrees, unlike what they predicted which was rain. So, we went for a few walks and I decided to make a post on one of the places we went.

Our walk was to Oak ridge, on the first days fighting field. The pic below shows the confederate view as they approached the ridge on the early afternoon of July 1st. It is undulating land up and down, which is hard to see in the photo. Behind the ridge it slopes down a hundred feet or so to an open field and into the town of Gettysburg, which the confederates did not know. Along the ridge line from left to right is a two foot high stone wall that goes to the tree line. The tree line at the time of the battle was very sparse and you could see through it. Behind that stone wall was about 2000 or so union infantrymen, lying in wait. If I was a confederate soldier I would be thinking not an issue let’s go. The issue is that in about five minutes I would most likely be dead.

This is the story of Iverson’s North Carolina brigade, who at the time had about 1400 men, they were all lined up in battle order ready to march forward at any time. The thing was that there were no confederates to there left and only a handful to his far right that were making an advance. In any event the order was given to march . As the union watched this lone brigade march forward they could hardly believe there eyes, when they got within about 100 yards, over 1000 union infantry stood up and poured a deadly fire into the ranks of the north Carolinians. Most went to there maker all at once.

Close to 750 were either killed outright or severely wounded. They lay as they fell, one man reported to still be clutching his musket, with five bullets driven in his head. One man shot in both eyes never to see again. Eventually the confederates took the ridge and most of the town

this view shows Oak ridge on the left, you can see the monuments, the confederate advance came from right to left.

The confederates did not bury there dead at Gettysburg they had no time, it was up to the union or the citizens of town. Long low trenches were dug and the dead just rolled in with only a few inchs of soil on top. In the late 1870’s they were exhumed and sent home, what was left of them. Taking the bodies created a shallow depression, soon to be named “Iverson’s Pits” . For decades the farmer named Forney who owned the land, and all his workers refused to work near the pit’s, as a fog always seemed to be above it and when the sunset, strange noises came from the area, no one dared go near it. Today the exact location of the pits is not known, but for sure they were known at one time and created a myth that lasts to this day of “IVERSON’S PITS”

GETTYSBURG PA

We are now in Gettysburg, my favorite place. We left our home base about 10 or so this morning, drove 376 miles and got here about 6 pm. I’m tired long drive, the roads were busy and I swear getting bumpier. We will be here till Wednesday, all we have planned so far is a visit to the Utz factory store(potato chips)to buy snacks ,and a day on the battlefield walking around. Our journey to Key Largo has begun.

ALMOST TIME TO HEAD SOUTH

We will be leaving here from our home base, this Sunday October 3rd. We have seven stops planned. Our first stop will be Gettysburg for three nights, then a few one day hopes, and a couple more two nighters. Arrival at John Pennacamp state park in Key Largo October 15th. Most likely will not make a lot of posts as all the places we will be stopping we have stayed before. The weather looks like rain for early next week, but it is what it is.

Key Largo will be our home for three months, maybe a little more, not sure yet. For now that is about it. The weather here is getting much cooler, so we are ready to get to warm sunny Florida, speedo time.

AN APOLOGY IS IN ORDER

A while back I made a post, that upset family and friends. It was never my intension to do such a thing. The post was fueled by a number of frustrations that I had been going through, and it spilled over into the post. Without going into detail, some of the things I said were hurtful and were not meant to be ,at all towards anyone.

Melissa and I are very grateful and thankful for all the help and generosity that came our way during the issues we had with the RV. Unfortunately, that was not what my post conveyed.

Family and friends are the most important things to Melissa and I. After all how much longer do we all have left as we are all getting older.

I AM TRULEY SORRY IF I HURT ANYONES FEELINGS AND MADE THEM FEEL IN ANY WAY THEY WERE NOT AN IMPORTANT PART OF OUR LIFE.

THE RV SAGA CONTINUES

So far since my last post I have not heard from the dealer, wonder why. I did however E- mail the rep at Dicor on Tuesday, who informed me that the new roof had been shipped to the dealer, and that their roof specialist had talked to the dealer regarding installation procedures. This confused me as we had told them we may not go back and we were heading for Florida soon. Oh, well not my issue, as we still have not heard back from anyone. Doesn’t matter any way, we are going to wait and have the new roof put on when we are in Florida sometime. I have talked to the insurance company and they agree the roof needs replacing and no payment will be made to the dealer for the botch jobs so far. When the dealer finds that out, I bet they will call me right away, too bad.

One thing not so good did happen early last week, we had a good rain storm one night. We awoke to a huge puddle of water in the living room under the air conditioner. Great, it was actually still dripping, so we got some buckets. All toll we had a few gallons of water come in. I did some research and found out that most likely the bolts to tighten it down were loose. sure enough when i got the cover off only one was tight, the other three easily turned with the ratchet, so I tightened them down and replaced the cover. Last night we had rain, and no leak, knock on wood hope that was it. Also when I was on the roof. I looked at the side gutter moulding, which holds down the rubber roof. No chaulk on the top of it at all, which means water can come into the back of the moulding. WHAT THE HELL, what else.

This week I have to call the insurance company about a few things, and that will be it. Gonna try not to worry about the roof any more, it should be OK, till we get to Florida for a while.

We have three weeks left before we head out.