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June 19, Waynesboro VA to June 25, Lancaster PA

Saturday- We left the Moose Lodge at about 8:30, trying to get out of their way, as they were already working on preparing for their concert. We hope it does not rain on them, as there may be thunderstorms later.

We stopped at a Walmart Neighborhood Market for diesel and groceries. The diesel was $2.99/gal. We drove thru town to Shenandoah NP/Skyline Drive. It was a free NP day, which meant that not only was it a Saturday, but it was free for everyone. We are always free, using our geezer pass.

Entrance from Waynsesboro.

The road and the parking lots were very busy. Most of the trailhead parking lots were overcrowded, with cars on the side of the road, barely allowing us to drive past.

I did not take as many pictures today, as it was mostly either trees or similar to pictures that I had already taken. We did stop at the two Visitor Centers for the NP stamps. One was Loft Mountain and the other was Big Meadows.

We spent the night at a Boondockers Welcome in Winchester VA. We had a fairly flat site, with 50 AMP. After last night, we were so happy to have air conditioning and less humidity. We had not slept that well last night, due to the heat and humidity. The hosts were very nice.

Sunday- Happy Father’s Day! We said good-bye to the BW folks and went to Tractor Supply for propane. Talk about treading a needle. I was driving the rig and Bob assisted me with backing the rig into the very narrow gate near the propane tank. Our propane gage said that we were half full, but we only needed 1 gallon. Hmm, just can’t trust the gages. We seem to always have someone teaching how to full an RV tank, as each place we have stopped, the manager was teaching an employee how to fill an RV tank. We stopped for diesel, $2.99/gal, as VA was a lot less expensive than PA is going to be!

We continued north to Harpers Ferry WV. We stopped at the Visitor Center and parked the rig.

We walked the dogs, then turned on the generator and the air conditioner for them. It was already over 80 degrees and very humid.

We walked over to the Visitor Center and caught the bus to the town of Harpers Ferry. The bus let us off just outside the lower town.

Our first stop was the books store, to stamp our NP book. I had not brought the big book with me, so I asked the gal for a piece of paper. Good thing she gave me a nice size piece, as there were 8 stamps! They were Lewis & Clark NHT, Journey through Hallowed Ground NHA, Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Potomac Heritage NST, Junior Ranger NHP, National Freedom Network, C&O Canal NHP, and Harpers Ferry NHP.

Then we walked up the hill to the upper town, stopping in the stores.

We climbed a little farther up the road, and found a café for lunch. It was in an old bar. They had some beers on tap, and Bob had the stout, from a local brewery. We both had excellent sandwiches. Below is the original bar.

The next store we stopped at was a historical candy store. They are the only Historical Candy Store (according to them), and they have been a question on Jeopardy! It was very interesting. For instance, Jordan Almonds were literally made “from an ancient process, layer of sugar engulfing seeds and nuts. Almond, the first tree to flower in the Middle East, long a symbol of good beginnings.” These were from 1774 to 1780. I guess they were from Jordan!

We returned to the bus stop and went back to the rig. We walked the dogs, and left, around 1, heading to Antietam National Battlefield. Which was not far away.

View from Visitor Center

Unfortunately, they were not showing the movie, due to the pandemic. There were Park Rangers doing some talks, but we missed those. We went up the stairs in the Visitor Center to look over the close fields, then we walked outside. We returned to the rig and took the dogs and walked them around the various areas around the Visitor Center.

Linclon/McClellan below

We drove the mapped drive around the battle fields.

Both of these NP’s are places you could spend a whole day, just trying to absorb the history. They were both very interesting. Below, all of these people were impacted from the battle. One was a family with 12 children who ran from their house. The Rebels burned the house down. The father tried to get reimbursed for the cost of the home, but the Federal Government said no, they were not responsible for the Rebel damage.

We continued north into Pennsylvania. We are staying for two nights in the Pennsylvania Dutch Country TT Park. We actually drove past the Hershey TT Park, and wished we had stayed there. Most of these sites are not level. Since we had not stayed here before, we thought we would try this park. We had wanted to stay in a BW, but the folks turned us down for Sunday night. Oh well!

We arrived and were assigned a site that the Ranger thought was the most level of all the available sites. It is really un-level, but better than some others! Bob used all the blocks we have to try to level us.

We are under trees, so no satellite, but we can get some local stations.

Monday- We did basically nothing today but rest after our previous busy days. We walked over to the Adult Lounge and I picked out some books and returned with them. Then I spent most of the day working on the blog. We were able to stream the next episode of the Handmaids Tale and Glitch, a show that we have been watching on Netflix. It’s a very weird show, but we ended up attached to the characters. I found that on Amazon Prime Day that they were giving away 4 free months of books on Kindle. So I signed up for that. So I don’t need some of the books that I picked up today.

Tuesday- Moving day. It was pouring rain today. We stopped by the Adult Lounge on our way out of the park, and I dropped off books that we have read, so that we are doing take one, leave one. We left around 9:30 AM and went to Costco. We picked up some items, then went to purchase diesel, $3.39/gal. That was the least expensive that we could find. Neither the Costco nor Sams Club had diesel. This is a big difference from what we have been paying through the south.

We stopped at a Panera for lunch, both of us having chicken noodle soup, since it was cold and rainy. It had just seemed like a soup kind of day!

We had found a laundromat with good ratings, so we went there and spent 2 hours doing laundry. The laundry at the TT was closed, and we were afraid that the one at the next TT would be also. Interestingly, an Amish man, who arrived in a horse and buggy, came in and dried 2 loads of laundry, using the change machine and the electric dryers.

Once the laundry was done, we went to a Walgreens and picked up two of Bob’s prescriptions. He had requested that his doctor’s assistant also include syringes and needles for his Vitamin B12 shot that I give him every 2 weeks. The idiot included 1 syringe. So Bob ended up calling and asking for them to get us a 90 day supply. Last time, years ago, they gave us an entire box of syringes, with the wrong size needle. That is what we have been using for years. Bob could only get 20 syringes, still with a long needle, as all the correct syringes are being used for Covid vaccinations. That will get us back to Arizona.

We drove to the Circle M TT outside of Lancaster. We arrived just after 3 pm. The park is very full. We were able to find a site which was relatively flat and where we could get satellite. This is not the greatest park, but it is included in our plan, so we did not pay anything. There is not enough internet to stream on Verizon.

The rain stopped around 7 pm, and the sky has cleared out. The next 3 days are supposed to be awesome!

Wednesday- We packed up in the morning and drove to Bird in Hand, an Amish town with an awesome market place. It is one of our favorite markets! We wandered through the building, finding a store that we had missed in the past. We bought fresh Amish doughnuts for a mid-morning snack. We walked across the very busy highway to the bakery and purchased a loaf of fresh whole wheat bread.

On the way back to the TT, we stopped and picked up crepes for lunch at a nice little crepe restaurant in downtown. We ate the crepes right in the rig. We returned to the RV park and had a quiet afternoon, sitting outside, as the weather was bright and sunny and in the high 70’s with low humidity

Thursday- We went to the 15th President ,James Buchanan’s home, Wheatland. The home is not a federal facility. When Buchanan left the White House in 1861, he returned to the house, and died there in 1868. He had no wife or children. He had numerous nieces and nephews. He had taken in a niece, Harriet Lane, and a nephew (not a Harriet’s sibling, a cousin) whose parents had died. Harriet became the first “First Lady”, in the White House. She inherited the home. She and her husband used the home as a summer house. She married late, but had 2 sons. Both who died in Baltimore, from Rheumatic Fever. She and her husband moved to New York. Then the husband died. She sold the house and land. The family who purchased the home, eventually sold it for $50,000 to the Junior League, who still own the property, and have a facility on site where they meet.

Pictures are from left to right, except for the first two.

Above, pic 1 was the front of the house, pic 2 was the back of the house, pic 3 was one of the parlors, pic 4 & 5 are the other parlor, pic 6 is his office with the desk he used in the White House. It was commissioned by friends and is made of Idia wood. It was gorgeous! Pic 7 is one of the many marble fireplaces. Pic 8 I the niece’s grand piano. Pic 9 is the entrance hallway, the parlors are on the right and left of the hallway. Pic 10 and 11 are the dining room. The plates all belonged to either Buchanan or his niece. He took the set with him to the White House, then brought it back home. He never purchased an official set, he used his own to save the country money. Pic 12 is the family photo album. Pic 13 is his half bath. I had not seen an actual half bath before. I had heard of them. I assume the person stands in the bath and had the water poured over him. He had a regular bathtub, but it was heavy and of course the staff had to carry up the hot water to the second floor.

As for President Buchanan, the facility had a 20 minute movie about Buchanan. They said it like it was! He was one of our worst Presidents. He had run for the office a couple of times, and never got anywhere. He was sent by President Pierce to Russia, as Ambassador, to get him as far away as possible. He did a great job as Ambassador. While he was gone, The Compromise of 1854 occurred as well as the Dread Scott Decision. Since he was out of the country, he was neutral in both these decisions. The Republicans and Democrats had a problem finding anyone neutral to run, after Pierce, so the Democrats asked him to run. Due to his health, he said he would run, but only for one term.

Buchanan was a strict Constitutionalist, and believed that there was not much that he could do, as President. By basically ignoring the Slavery problem, he pretty much allowed the Civil War to occur. Once Lincoln was elected, he returned to Wheatland. His health deteriorated. He had been a very rich man (and a miser), so he had a large estate. The nieces and nephews divided up the furniture and Harriet had sold Wheatland. Once the Lancaster Junior League took the home over, the family started returning the items to the home. A lady( not a family member), who had Harriet’s grand piano, called the facility and said if they would come and take the piano, she could give it to them for free. Needless to say, they said yes.

There are a lot of newspaper pictures of the home, so the home is almost exactly as it had been when Buchanan lived there. Harriet was an interesting person. Not only did she take care of Buchanan from the time she arrived at Wheatland, but she acted as his First Lady. She was very popular, although Buchanan was not. She traveled to Great Britain to represent him. She and Queen Victoria became very close friends( note the Queen’s picture in Pic 6 above.) Also in this time period, the Presidents could accept gifts from anyone, so Buchanan and Harriet had a lot of gifts from various people/groups, which are in the home.

After visiting the home, we went to lunch at Katy’s Diner. It was an Amish restaurant, and one of the best meals we had ever had! Bob had the meatloaf meal, and I had the shredded beef with gravy and stewed tomatoes. (I know, sounds funny, but it was awesome!). We also had their home made buttered noodles and rolls with their peanut butter. We will definitely go back there, next time we are in the area!

We returned to the RV Park. We were having a nice afternoon, until the air conditioner went out. Right as the temperatures started going higher! It was still bearable at night. Bob immediately called an RV Tech. He will come out tomorrow.

Friday- So much for doing much today! We waited for the RV Tech to arrive. He arrived, checked out the air conditioner, and said the compressor( he confirmed Bob’s diagnosis), had died. He checked and found out that the air conditioners are back ordered for 6 to 8 months! EEEK! The temp and humidity went up dramatically, that day and over the next few days.

He said that he had some used ones, would we take a used one. We said yes, he said that he would be back tomorrow to put it in. Bob noticed that his hearing aid was not working, so after the Tech left, we went to Costco to have it fixed. It was so hot, that I sat in the rig in the parking lot with the engine running, with the motor air conditioner running to keep the dogs cool enough.

Fortunately, with our fan, the inside of the rig, at night, did not get too hot. We sat outside with the dog until it cooled off enough . The Waggle dog temperature monitor, kept letting us know that it was too hot inside the RV! We stopped at Good and Plenty Restaurant and picked up an Amish dinner.

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