5/1 Update

18 Apr 04, Sunday: Lynnville Park, Lynnville, IN

Our last day in Missouri on I-75 began early. Getting through the big city of St Louis between 6 and 7 Sunday morning reduced the hassle factor considerably.

Then we rolled across southern Illinois on I-64, ending our travels today in Lynnville, Indiana, at this quiet park on the lake. The lake isn't large enough to make our road map, but we came N on 41, E on 68 and, sure enough, there is a lake here. There's fishing, no swimming, and great hiking trails.

19-20 Apr 04, Mon-Tue: Kentucky Horse Park CG, Lexington, KY

The terrain has changed from rolling in Illinois to hilly in Indiana as we continue on I-64. After crossing the Ohio River, we were instantly in Louisville, KY, and the Eastern Time Zone.

This Kentucky Horse Park is another winner - over 200 sites with 20-50 feet between them, lots of green grass and trees-immaculate and beautiful - and only $10 for us as it's a Rec USA park. We wanted to walk around so much that we went in the rain, but later the sun came out.

Tuesday morning we decided to spend another day in the 'Horse Capital of the World' so parted with the $10 camping fee and were off to the working horse farm of which this campground is a part.

At the 'Parade of Breeds Presentation' six breeds were shown. The most interesting horse to us being 'I Two Step Too" who played the racing scenes in the movie, 'Seabiscuit'. We strolled through the Farrier Shop on our way to the Hall of Champions Presentation. The elite championship race and show horses who reside at the Park and were presented today were Thoroughbreds Cigar, John Henry and Da Hoss; American Saddlebred Gypsy Supreme; and Standardbred Pacers, Staying Together and Western Dreamer.

'The International Museum of the Horse' is the largest equine museum of its kind in the world so we wandered there until it was time to join a horse-drawn tour with a pair of beautiful Clydesdales.

It's been a special treat to be in this magnificent Park on a perfect day-temperature rose to 70 degrees this afternoon when the sun came out.

21 Apr 04, Wed: Broken Wheel CG, South Weston, West Virginia

The 277 miles traveled today were devoted to ascending and descending while winding over I-64. We finished Kentucky and then in Charleston, WV, left I-64 where I-79 gave a more northerly direction to our eastward trek.

We continue to be impressed by the diversity in this great country of ours. Case in point: the mountains of West Virginia. As Interstates 64 and 79 wound back and forth and up and down, on both sides of the highway the hills were always very close and rose steeply or dropped dramatically to a ravine. Some ravines were wide enough for only a house or two; others accommodated a little settlement large enough to have a town name. Narrow ribbons of road wound up to homes tucked into the hillside.

We've often heard that folks who live out west feel claustrophobic when they visit some eastern states. We can relate: There's no laundry at this little campground in So. Weston so we drove north on the interstate for one exit to Weston. We found the laundry in a little mall; also, several fast-food chains, a couple of gas stations, and a motel. We felt as though we were in a slot. Mountains seemed to close in as they hugged this little town on both sides of the main street.

22-23 Apr 04, Thu-Fri: Rocky Gap State Park CG, Cumberland, MD

We continued our northeasterly journey on I-79 this morning but then headed directly east on I-68 where we were in for another dramatic change. Within just a few miles, the smaller, close hills were replaced by open vistas, high mountains and long grades, some of them 6%. That's what we did the rest of the day - more climbing and descending.

RV parks along this route are very scarce, but we located this State Park which has a off-season scheme for self-registration and a system for the users to open the gate. It's typical of many state parks with plenty of space and greenery between sites.

Friday: We signed in for two nights at this state park so we could spend a day at the C&O Canal Museum in Cumberland.

The project of connecting the Chesapeake Bay and the Ohio River fell short of its goal of a 460-mile-long canal along the Potomac River. By the time the Canal was completed in 1850, it had taken 22 years and $13 million to build and fell far short of its intended destination of Pittsburgh, PA, terminating instead at Cumberland, MD. It was 184.5 miles long and had 74 locks that raised up from near sea level at the mouth of Rock Creek in Georgetown to 605 feet in Cumberland.

The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal was already obsolete when completed for the railroad had made great strides in those same 22 years and arrived in Cumberland eight years earlier.

Nevertheless, the Canal remained in operation for 74 years and was forced out of operation by a devastating flood in 1924.

Boats pulled by mules floated tons of cargo-coal, hay, fertilizer, anything that could be put on a boat, between Cumberland and Georgetown. The whole family lived on the boat. A canaller had two pairs of mules, and each pair worked six hours on and six hours off; they lived on the front of the boat when not hauling. Cargo went in the middle of the boat; the family lived in the back.

The C & O Museum which we visited is part of an historic park, 'Canal Place', which includes the Western Maryland Railway Station, and the Cumberland, a full-scale boat replica. Nearby in Riverside Park is George Washington's Headquarters-he was 22 years old when he served here as a Lt. Colonel..

24 Apr 04, Sat: Falling Waters CG, Falling Waters, WV

Gorgeous, expansive vistas including distant mountains were a treat as we made 40-mph-ascents and gas-saving descents on I-68 this morning.

When we turned east on I-70, we were running along beside the C&O Canal and Potomac River so no more hills.

Our stop in Hancock, MD, was most interesting as, within a short walk of the Visitor Center, we viewed the remnants of C&O Locks 51 and 52, an aqueduct, a dam, and a gatehouse.

Our destination, Falling Waters CG, WV, is a short distance from the C&O Canal in Williamsport. It's a good place to stall while our friends, Bob and Helen, catch up with us. They're returning home from their winter in Florida via I-81 and timing is perfect for a long-overdue visit.

This afternoon we visited the reconstruction of a lock gate that has been completed since we visited this C&O canal area a few years ago. Also, there's a large aqueduct which had to be built over a creek feeding into the Potomac River. In other words, an aqueduct is a waterway over a waterway.

Bob and Helen pulled in beside us promptly at 5 p.m. as indicated earlier on the cell phone. Visiting in the warm sun and dinner downtown completed this day.

25 Apr 04, Sunday: 81-89 RV Park, Drums, PA

Bob and Cal did the outside preflight activities in pouring rain this morning, and then we were northbound on I-81. Today's 170 miles were driven in heavy rain this morning, lighter by afternoon, but traveling with our friends made it more tolerable. Mary's Restaurant served us a fine dinner this evening.

26 Apr 04, Mon: Danbury Rest Area, Danbury, CT

We began another day in pouring rain on I-80W and then I-81N with our friends, and then when we reached I-84, we branched off on that route while Bob and Helen continued on I-81 for their return to Albany, NY.

Soon after we arrived at the rest area, Pete and Ellie pulled in, also on their way back to New Hampshire. They had spent several days with Ellie's sister in New Jersey. We last saw them in Arizona in January.

27 Apr 04, Tue: Gregg and Georgett's home, E. Hampstead, NH

We had listened to enough trucks for one night so were up and out of the rest area early this morning.

Routes: I-84, I-691E, I-91N, I-84E, I-90, I-495, Rt 125 to Plaistow for a food and laundry stop while we waited for Gregg and Georgett to return home from work.

It's great to be back in New Hampshire and especially to be with family. Gregg and Georgett had a special dinner waiting for us, and we had a fun evening catching up.

28 Apr 04, Wed: 1283 Parker Mountain Rd, Strafford, NH

Having only an hour to travel this morning was a real treat -- our capable tenant has taken good care of our home on Strafford Ridge.

We've clocked 8154 miles on the motorhome and an additional 3037 miles on the Honda. We feel truly blessed to have had another terrific six month's excursion.

Happy summer to everyone of you who have shared our 2003-2004 travels, Cal and Connie