Sunday, September 2, 2018

2018 TRIP to the East Coast - Part 1

Leon and I and Benni our 110 pound Weimadore took off on Sunday, August 26th from New Mexico in our small 5th wheel RV (no slide-outs) and headed East. Leon has been working practically non-stop for months and accumulated almost 5 weeks of Comp-Time. So we decided to go for it. It can be a grueling drive but we think it's worth the see friends and relatives and to camp near the beach in Provincetown, MA.

Since moving to New Mexico we've been to California beaches but something about Cape Cod and the beaches in P-town is just comforting and familiar and carefree.

The first leg of the trip included only two overnights. Because it was brutally hot and humid we needed electricity to run the AC, so decided against "dry" camping. The first night was at an Indian Casino in Oklahoma (free) and one night in Ohio at a city park ($25). Both had hookups.

At the Casino in Oklahoma

Somewhere Near Where We Fueled Up
In Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio we saw green once again. Vast acres of green grass that people spend all weekend mowing. Nice. But we weren't in Ohio to take pictures so pressed on for many more hours of driving to New York State and Vermont.
Dinner at Greek Diner in New York
Complete with a 12-page Menu and
Lots of Stainless Steel and Mirrors
Not Quite Sunset at the Greek Diner
We Were Thrilled to See the Green, the Trees and Lakes
Lots of Grass to Mow
The Home of Some Friends in Vermont
Bob and Laura 
Bob and Laura

We Parked the RV at Their Place -
Free and Full Hook-ups (Water, Electric, Sewer)
I Made Pasta Sauce with Meatballs and Sausage - Our Contribution
Along the Road in Vermont 
We spent a day at Lake Harriman,  Otherwise known as The Ledges. Enjoyed lake swimming "au naturale" in clear fresh water. As is always the case, it requires a decent hike to get to the swimming area.

Hiking Back to the Parking Lot
A Vermont Barn
The Connecticut River between Vermont and New Hampshire is considerably wider and deeper than the Rio Grande.
The Connecticut River
Between Vermont and New Hampshire
A "Babbling Brook"
Along the Road in Jacksonville, VT
View Along Route 9
Some photos of a Vermont farm and some typical New England stone walls, barns and cows.

We then checked in at Mountainside Campground - an all male gay camp - for the Labor Day weekend and took a day hike to the Rock River where Leon and I met 30 years ago! Hard to believe, 30 years. We met young guys there who weren't even born 30 years ago.
Leon and Me
At Mountainside
(Oops, how'd he get in there)
Abandoned House
Informative Sign Along the Rock River

It's a 45 Minute Hike Along a
Sometimes Challenging Trail

This Marks the Spot
Where Leon and I Met 30 Years Ago This August

Today we went to the Flea Market.

That's all for now.

On Tuesday morning we head to Cape Cod and Provincetown. I'll be updating with photos and commentary in the coming days and weeks. Thanks for checking in.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Around the House: Stone and Ravioli

Finally got motivated to do a stone walkway project that has been churning around in my head for a year or so. I purchased the stone for a decent price last summer from a neighbor who didn't want it. It's been sitting while I tried to figure out what I could do with it.

A plan finally came together after we built a new deck and salvaging some wooden 4x4s from the tear-down of the old deck. I'm not one to waste anything that I might have to purchase. Re-use, recycle, re-purpose is a good thing. Once the new deck was a reality, I was able to start imagining a walk-way from the side of the house down to the gate leading to the arroyo.

But I kept putting off the project because it has been brutally hot here this summer...but not as hot as Arizona, California and parts of Texas - but too hot to work comfortably. With the temps plummeting down into the high nineties the last two weeks, I got my tools and went to work.

There is something about stone. I like stone. My grand father was a stone mason. My other grandfather could whip up concrete and make a sidewalk that never cracked. The only drawback to working with stone is that they tend to be heavy.

The back yard slopes downward toward the arroyo and so it seemed like the way to go was to terrace a walkway down the side and from the steps of the deck. Those 4x4s came in handy for the terracing. I drilled holes and secured them to the ground with 2-foot lengths of re-bar. Using a sledge hammer I was able to pound in the re-bar without hitting solid rock. That was a miracle because when I planted some Italian cyprus in the front yard it took 4 hours to dig two 12-inch deep holes and required the use of the sledge hammer and a chisel.

Here are some photos of the almost finished and the finished walkway. I just have to cover the rest of the landscape fabric with crushed stone, which I will have to acquire or borrow from another part of the backyard. The backyard still needs lots of work to make it the garden I want it to be. One thing at a time.

Finished the walkway today
to the gate that leads to the arroyo
The veggie/flower/herb garden -
many of the plants are "volunteers"
The new deck

I took a bit of a break from landscaping to make a little hand-made ravioli. More about the recipe and prep at "Dinner's Ready" blog.

The tomato sauce
The Swiss Chard to mix into the ricotta


The mess
The reward
The detail


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