Our Chalet Truck Camper

Our Chalet Truck Camper

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Salem MA and dodging witches

Back from Salem MA and weekend camping with a group of truck campers from all over New England. We decided to come back today rather than the Monday holiday. Salem is the "witch capital" of the US and they celebrate witchdom all month. Town was an absolute zoo and no place to park at all. All streets are posted for resident use only and the town tows anyone without a resident sticker. Beside, the town is a very old one and the streets are narrow and probably wouldn't hold a truck camper anyway. You could catch a trolly at Winter Harbor campground to go into town but it was always full with not even standing room on the return trip. We didn't particularly want to spend time in the witch shops but did want to go into the Peabody Museum http://www.pem.org/homepage/ We'd been years ago and enjoyed it. Oh well, another time.

Joe's niece Beth and her husband Jerry live in Salem so they picked us up and gave us a delightful tour of Salem (a drive through) and an extensive tour of Marblehead, Nahant and Gloucester and all the incredible old houses and new mansions. We shared both a superb Italian supper and seafood lunch and had a good time visiting. We'll go back when it is not so crazy and visit the Peabody Museum which can take you more than a day to go through.

As usual we did a pot luck supper with the camping group. One of the locals had brought over two large tents so we were toasty warm and dry though there wasn't rain for a change. The campground was on Winter Island which used to be a US Coast Guard base. Joe was stationed there back in the late 60's. The barracks are torn down and other buildings are in disrepair but he enjoyed just looking where he served back in his "youth". Beautiful drive back to Maine with full sun, bright fall leaves and lots and lots of campers on the interstate. Everyone is trying to get in one last weekend before the cold hits. We did get an excellent lesson on how to extra winterize the camper by a couple who camps at Quebec Winter Carnival each year in zero and below.

Fellow doing construction work in the area camps at Winter Island. He has a Ford F650 and a Lance and needs 6" blocks to get it off and on. Amazing truck and everyone was in deep truck envy. Never did find out what the mpg was.

Our home perennial gardens got hit with a hard frost while we were gone and we're glad we have already done so much clean up. This RV trip was probably the last until spring unless the urge hits in the middle of the winter to see something other than ice and snow. We've cleaned the entire camper and truck out, dumped the fresh water tanks and will give it a really good cleaning tomorrow inside and out. I hope to wash and wax the roof even. Supposed to be 70 tomorrow and we'll take advantage of one last warm day to do the outside work.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Vermont leaves and crisp nippy weather

Vermont leaves and crisp nippy weather go hand in hand this time of year. Back from a cool, rainy but fun trip up to Horseshoe Acres Campground in Andover, VT to meet up with some truck camper friends. We continue to learn more about proper use of our truck camper, winter camping and getting the unit ready for cold weather. At this point, all we can give back is details on using a GPS unit and software to navigate live and plan routes. We enjoyed two evening camp fires and a pot luck supper with amazing variety.

The roads that go east/west in New England are pretty small and scenic as the larger roads go only north and south. This leads to great rides through rural areas, pretty steep climbs and sometimes pretty scary downs on small roads. Spent time wandering around Chester, VT and enjoying a town that has not strayed from its roots. Small town center with a craft fair, delicious breakfast in an old inn, several book stores and a huge quilt fabric store. I was very surprised at the size of the quilt store but owner said it was the largest in VT and often hosted bus loads of quilters from all over.

The Lance continues to perform well, keeping us warm with propane heater, dry from all the rains and giving us the opportunity to meet up with friends from all over New England. We keep good notes on their adventures and are planning a long western trip next spring using some of their suggestions.