Monday, May 30, 2011

We've survived Memorial Day Weekend's Trial by Fire. :)

For those of you still checking in here, glad you've stuck it out.  It's been a rough couple weeks.  The weather here in Pa. has been just terrible.  The area we're in had three tornado touchdowns the Thursday before Memorial Day Weekend began, and we had no power in the campground for almost the entire time.  It just came back on, late last night.  OY VEY!!! 

Most of the campers were gracious and understood that it's an act of nature, and nothing can be done about it, seeing that it was a HUGE area that lost power.  But SOME... some just don't get it.  All in all though, most of the campers pulled together with the staff and made the most of it, and managed to have a great time anyway.

With the power back on today, and most of the campers leaving, the work load was a bit tougher.  The bathrooms were in rough shape, and there was a LOT of trash to take care of.  We got it all done though, and tomorrow and Wednesday, we'll  be off.  Not sure what we're doing yet, but there's tons of things to do in the area, so we'll decide tonight. 

I've got a lot of pics to post, and will soon.  Carol's put some up of our hike down Turkey Trail, of the Pa. Grand Canyon last week, on the Jones's Journies FaceBook page.  You can check them out HERE

All you have to do, is LIKE the page, and you'll be able to see the photos.  You have to be a facebook member though.  We'll get all the shots up here soon.  Promise.  :) 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

We're HERE!!! :)

That's our campground.  :)  We arrived on Friday and have been very busy with set-up, and our duties.  It's also been rainy, so we haven't had much time to explore the area yet. 

We had a wifi problem, but that was solved quickly.  I need to get some kind of wifi booster, so I can pick up the hotspot at the camper, which is about two hundred yards away.  I'm not sure if there even is such a device, but I'll look into it.

Here's a rundown of things that we've done since waking on Friday.  Carol wrote this, and posted it on the FaceBook page earlier.

Hey, it's CJ here.  :)  

I thought I would pop on and let everyone know what's been going on since Friday.
Friday... We headed out for a 2 1/2 hour ride to a beautiful campground. Turns out to be a 3 1/2 hour ride thank to 2 30 minute complete stops. There was some construction going on on the way here which kept us at a standstill TWICE for 30 minutes. YUK!!! But we did arrive with no problems. GREAT!!! Once we arrived, we met the owners, who greeted us and made us feel very welcome. They showed us to our site and helped get us pulled in properly. You don't see that at many places. But here, they make sure everyone is set up. They told us to stop down once we were all settled. After about an hour, I decided, it could take DAYS to get settled so we should go down and finish things when we came back. So we took the stroll down to the office and chatted for a bit. Got to hear what our duties will be while we are here and see a little of the grounds. At this point, I am very excited. It is falling into place. We found out that our hours are from 10-2 and we have Tues and Wed off. That gives us the mornings and the evenings to enjoy hiking, photogrpahy, and whatever else we may want (sleeping in <3 ). After the meeting, we set up a bit more and then called it a day. We were suppose to head to the store, but that was put off until tomorrow. The neighbors invited us over to sit by the fire. that was nice and we chatted for about 2 hours before we called it a night.

Saturday... Woke up, had some breakfast and reported for duty. The hours went by relatively quickly. The jobs we have are pretty basic and let us wander around the campground making sure the sites are clean. So we get to take in fresh air all day and see the wildlife running around. We also get to meet a bunch of campers from all over. SWEET!!! As we were finishing our duties, we were invited to a gathering in the pavillion at 6pm. So that gives us time to run to the store, come back, get cleaned up, and get to the pavillion. As we were getting ready, I was going to bring a bottle of wine with us for the BBQ, but realized the rules of the campground and quickly changed my mind. When we arrive at the pavillion, I see 2 bottles of wine and Ken decides to head back to our site to grab the third. It was a nice BBQ. A few campers, the owners and another worker just hanging out. A nice end to our first official day. No set up getting done now... All 3 bottle of wine were emptied and no one wanted to do anything but relax. In the middle of the night, it rained and rained. Making it beautiful to sleep. :D

Sunday... Raining!!! YUK! We took care of our duties then got some more of the set up done. By the time we realized the time, it was time to get some dinner together. I still can't believe how much work we still have to get set up. But it's all coming together. The rain is making it hard to get things done in a timely manner. Oh well, nothing to stress over, we have lots of time. We made some dinner, got some work done, and called it a night.

Monday... Raining on and off AGAIN!!! Seems like rain is big this year, unlike last year when we were all having problems from the droughts. Kenny had the alarm set for some uncalled for hour and decided he wasn't ready to get up. So when we did wake, it was like 8:30... Holy crap!!! Have to hurry, have coffee and breakfast, and get ready to get the daily duties done. I have to remember to set the alarm myself on these days. I hate hurrying around in the morning, I like to have time to relax first. After the daily stuff we came back to have some lunch and get more stuff done. Then it dawned on us TGIM (Thank goodness it's Monday) REALLY??? The next 2 days we are off. We should have no problems gettting the rest of our site done IF the rain ever stops. We finished a bunch of organizing and had some dinner. We also played some cards. Beautiful night, but will the rain ever end...

Tuesday... Slept until 11:15 WOW!!! I don't remember the last time I've done that. Maybe the sound of the rain on the camper did it, or maybe the fresh air, or maybe the fact that it didn't matter if we slept the entire day made it so comfortable that we just didn't move. I do believe that a chunk of it was the fact that we just love our bed and it is so comfy. So Kenny made some breakfast and I headed down to get some laundry done and type this while he works at the camper for a bit.

That's my take of the last few days folks. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

T-minus ONE DAY!!!

Things are winding down, and we're about to set sail.  :)

We'll be hitting the road tomorrow.  Not sure when yet, but at some point tomorrow, we're gone.  Today, we still have a few things that need to be done on the camper, but not a lot.  I got up there early this morning and finished the second coat of white, so I've only got to the second coat of black on the stripe, and we're finished with that.

Right now, the van is in the shop, getting new brakes and shocks.  When I get her back, we're going to hook her up to the trailer, and take a few practice rides around the storage area.  I've only driven her once before, and that was taking her from my Mother-in-Law's yard, to where it's at now.  I've driven larger trucks before, so I'm not too worried about the ride tomorrow, but I still want to get a better feel for it, before departure.  We're considering taking to the road after the afternoon rush hour is over, and arriving at the closest Wal-Mart from our destination.  That's only a half hour out from where we're staying.  We're not sure yet, if we want to stay the night at the Wal-Mart, or head directly to the campground and set up Thursday night.  We'll be calling the owner's tonight and seeing what they'd prefer.

This has been an incredible journey so far.  Working on the Prowler with my wife has been a great experience.  I was never much of a carpenter, so I was kinda "winging it" through most of our projects.  I'm quite pleased with the end result though, and I believe we'll be quite comfortable in our new home.  We're seriously looking forward to this.  It's a dream come true.

Since the most recent pictures I've taken, aren't all that different from what I've been posting already, I think I'll just wait until we hook her up and get her ready to roll, before posting any more pics.  I'm very much looking forward to getting this blog a LOT more exciting, with stories and photos from our stay at The Pennsylvania Grand Canyon region.  Hope you stick around and enjoy it with us.

I must take a minute to thank all of you here, and so many other wonderful people who have these incredible blogs.  While they are packed with enjoyment, they are also packed with motivation, support and lots of knowledge.  We wouldn't have gotten this far without this great online "community" of wonderful people, living such a wonderful lifestyle.  I toast you all.  :cheers:

Friday, May 6, 2011

Weahter CHANGE. YAY!!!

So yesterday, we finally got a nice, sunny, DRY day.  YIPPEE!!!  

Did the re-caulking and got the first layer of white paint on the beast.  :)  By the time I was done, the sun was casting some serious shadows, so no pics for this blog.  We're going up now to do more, so i'll take some high noon shots.  

We're ONE WEEK OUT now, from reporting to our work-camping gig.  All is going well.  We're waiting on the one window to be fixed, and I've got to finish the second coats of paint, and lay the carpet.  We've got our van scheduled to be worked on for Wednesday, and we'll be set.  

Can NOT wait.  :)  

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

ARRRRGHHH!!!! This weather is making me NUTS!!!

Okay, i'm already nuts, but still... this weather is becoming a pain.  

So I've got everything I need to finish the exterior renovations, but the weather just won't cooperate.  Or better yet... the weather MEN won't cooperate.  :(  The forecast for today was to be partially cloudy, with thunderstorms and scattered showers most of the day.  We got NONE!!!  

So much I could have accomplished today.  I'd have gotten to the camper early, and painted the first coat by noon.  Instead, we went up and dilly-dallied most of the day away.  Yeah, we accomplished some things, but nothing that put a dent in things.  Still, needed tasks were taken on, and beaten.  

Before I put the carpet down, I needed to fill some gaps in the shelf under the desk.  It's a potential spider entrance.  So I overdid my defensive plan, by first filling the gaps with foam, then caulking over that, and then DUCT TAPING over the whole she-bang.  That should hold a few of those eight legged bastards at bay for a little while, eh?  :)  

The biggest drawback to  embracing this lifestyle, is that my biggest issue, suffering from severe Arachnophobia, is something I'll have to confront on a MUCH grander scale.  It's not something that's going to be easy.  Already, we've had one decent size spider in the bedroom area, AS I was stretching out to take a break.  Exhaling a nice trail of vanilla flavored cigar smoke, my eyes following the smoke, I suddenly felt my spine contract into a little ball, as my sphincter puckered to the size of a pinhead.  Sweat started to bead on my forehead, and a young, pre-pubescent girl's voice escaped my lips as I shrieked... "HELP ME"!!!  

Carol, my hero, hearing my shriek ( and somehow managing not to laugh her ass off ), sprung to action and quickly removed my nemesis from our abode.  I would have personally been quite happy, had she eradicated the small, nickel sized, tarantula type, creep-ass bastard, but she just knocked him into a rag, and placed him outside.  Now, I have to keep a vigilant post that he doesn't make his way back in.  I'm never going to sleep.  LOL  

After that incident, plugging all holes and cracks in the camper is of the HIGHEST ORDER!!!  I spackle, weatherstrip, duct-tape, and spray with liquid insulation foam ALL questionable areas.  I'm making myself feel better, but I know the scourge of spiderdom can NOT be vanquished.  Someday, you'll be reading another tale of my horror.  Enjoy.  :)  

So with that all done, and MORE rain expected tomorrow, I will definitely be doing the rug tomorrow.  Everything is prepped and ready to go.  Measurements are made and hopefully, while I'm on the floor, I won't run into an eight-legged freak that got in before I spider-proofed the place.  :)  

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Finally, a SUNNY day.

We've been at a standstill with the camper, due to the horrible weather we've been getting lately.  Can't paint or work on the frame with all this rain.  Everything else is done, for the most part.  Luckily, yesterday was beautiful. We had our kids with us, and we spent the whole day at the storage facility, working on the camper.  Got a lot done too, so we're kinda happy with the productivity.  The more we get done, the more excited we get to be on our way.  

We report to our work-camping gig on Friday, May 13th.  We've been checking out pictures of the place and it's just beautiful.  We can't wait to get back to the camping life.  From the first time I set foot in my Aunt Helen's Winnebago, at ten years old, I KNEW I wanted to live in an RV.  I didn't see it happening until I was much older, but "thanks" to the bottom falling out on my career, we got that push to "JUST DO IT"!!!  I'm expecting a full success at this, but even if it doesn't work out... at least we tried.  We had a complete ball on our last excursion, which was only in the van, and with limited funds because we had to pay for our campsites.  Also, we stayed many a night in Wal-Mart parking lots.  So now, with a work-camp gig, we should have no problems, and life will be grand.  :)  

Here's a couple shots of the work we accomplished yesterday.  Special thanks go out to our kids, Damian and Raven, for all their help yesterday.  My back wouldn't have survived without them.  :)  

 Putting the first coat on, after having spot-painted the scraped off areas the day before. 

 Our son, Damian, helping out my back and knees by painting the trailer hitch area.  Big THANKS!!!  :)  
 The closet area, after the wall paper was added.  
 Carol installed a bar in the former shower area, and immediately started adding her clothes.  :)  
 Here's an idea of the molding around the ceiling material.  We used the leftover wallpaper from the bathroom to cover the molding, which covered my cutting imperfections.  :)  
 The cabinets that we'll be using in the closet, fit PERFECTLY where the toilet used to be.  I'm going to stack them two high here, and fasten them to the wall.  
 The bathroom ceiling was the absolute worse.  After gutting it, I was actually scared that the job was going to be beyond me.  Somehow, I figured out how to put a new framework up, and install a whole new ceiling, which Carol covered with a black material, just like the rest of the camper's purple covering.  
 I had thought I was going to put a beautiful set of Mags on the camper, but they didn't fit.  I had to get new/used tires for the wheels that were currently on the camper, but man... were they ugly.  This camper had just sat in someone's yard for nearly six years, without any care at all.  
 Threw two coats of Rustoleum on them, and they're looking pretty fresh again.  I'll spray some tire wet on them when we get going, and hopefully they'll look as good as new.  :)  
 This awning was in bad shape.  We didn't even know that it was yellow, that's how dirty it was.  With some serious elbow grease, Carol managed to get it looking brand new.  I'll be painting the green part black.  
After the bedroom construction, new screens, ceiling and curtains additions, the place is looking very cozy.  We haven't spent one night in it yet, but we're at the point where we could now.  

Hopefully the weather will stay cooperative.  I still need to paint the white, and put a second coat of black on the stripe.  The tires are going to be mounted today, and some other touch ups will be made, but with the threat of rain, we can't do any more painting today.  :(