Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Traveling to Mosquitoville

The trip down our driveway (see last post) without swaybars as uneventful and the Airstream’s back bumper did not dig into the road and the bottom dip as it usually does (thanks for the tip, brother Barry).  We navigated through busy downtown Montpelier at noontime and soon were laboring up the long hill on I-89.  Always forget how tough that is to climb with a trailer in tow.

The trip down was rather easy, with a little construction here and there and moderate traffic.  We stopped for a Subway sandwich at a mini-mart in Warner, NH where we often pause enroute.  Of course, with the trailer behind, it’s a challenge to find parking.  I pulled up in front on the highway, right next to a “no parking” sign, and jogged in to order a sandwich, leaving Mary and the dog in the truck.  Just as I entered, I noticed a police car sitting there.  The officer was in side chatting and I said, “I just did a quick illegal park out there - but my wife’s in the truck and I’m just grabbing a sandwich.”  He deadpanned, “Well, I guess I’ll have to write you a quick ticket!”  Then with a grin said, “You’re all right there.”  He had me for just a minute.

We found a shaded spot to eat, sneaking into the Airstream so the dog didn’t hound us for food.  She ended up with some tasty leftovers and we were on the way.

Penny's not completely convinced that this will be a good stay.
The driveway into Jennifer’s is a challenge -- just a back-in off a rather busy road and the driveway is winding.  I had been game-planning it for the last part of the trip and with Mary’s help, we did fine.  However, like Vermont, this area is experiencing a major outbreak of mosquitoes spawned by all the excess water from Hurricane Irene.  They were all over Mary in a flash, and we put on bug dope a little late.  We did get leveled off in our rustic parking space and look forward to a good stay here.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Getting Ready

The grass is growing up between the wheels of the Airstream and there are cobwebs under the back bumper.  The trailer has sat in the yard for a couple of months, surviving Hurricane Irene, and now we're ready to take it down to Massachusetts for a week of family visiting.  We'll boondock in the woods outside our daughter's house so the battery, which is been slowly draining from phantom loads, is plugged into house current.  I've got the extra battery charging as well.

We want to get the refrigerator ready -- it's been sitting with the doors open -- and it's always a hassle to purge the lines enough to get it to light on the gas system.  I run the gas stove, then light off the water heater, and after many tries, get the refrigerator going.

One of our problems has been getting out of our steep driveway without pulling off the back bumper.  I'm going to try something my brother mentioned and not hitch up the sway bars, thus leaving the trailer rear a little higher, until we have negotiated the bottom of the driveway.  We'll see.

The foliage in Vermont is turning color around here and the area is full of tour buses and tourists.  We'll get out of their way and be back in a week and it will probably be at peak then.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Naturally Curious -- Book Review

There's only a limited number of books you can keep in an Airstream library but here's one to carry, especially if you spend time in New England.

Naturally Curious is a wonderful book given to me for Father's Day upon the recommendation of the owner of a local birding supply store.  It is set up by month so I started in June but then realized that the warblers were in May so I backtracked.  I then read July and August and loved the detail and all the factoids on a variety of natural items.  Naturally (pardon the pun), I gravitated to the birding sections but learned a lot from the insect and plant sections as well.

This is not a book you can't put down -- I took a break for a few months and started again in late August, re-reading August and then doing September.  I kind of savor the content -- not wanting to get too far ahead but rather following the months as they occur.

Let me give you example of the type of information I just find fascinating, this from a writeup on yellow-bellied sapsuckers:
"By far the most frequent visitor to sapsucker wells, other than sapsuckers, is the ruby-throated hummingbird. Like the sapsucker, it is in search of sap as well as insects that are attracted to the sap, and has been seen following sapsuckers as they visit their wells. Tree sap is similar to flower nectar in the amount of sugar and nutrients it contains.  When hummingbirds first return to New England in early May, flowers are few and far between, so tree sap, available to hummingbirds thanks to yellow-bellied sapsuckers, is a lifesaving substitute. It seems more than coincidental that the spring arrival of the ruby-throated hummingbird and the height of yellow-bellied sapsucker drilling occur at the same time."
This is one of those "read a little, absorb, read some more" type of book.  It's focused on New England but has a lot of information that is applicable in other sections of the U.S.  It's one of those books I'll go back to, time and time again once I finish it.  I'll likely read it monthly next year as well.  I highly recommend it as a book to have on your Airstream bookshelf.  What a perfect gift from a wonderful daughter.