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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

A Friendly Hello!

~Friday, October 15, 2021~

Day 488

Wow, we were finally greeted by one of the staff of our campground! Butch, about in his early 70’s, pulled up in his golf cart asking where in California we were from where we chatted about retirement and his “fun” jobs in Vermont. He retired about 6 years ago and works 3 hours a day doing deliveries for another company and the rest of his time taking care of the grounds at Waterhouse. He said they’re in huge shut down mode getting ready for the winter chill; Flushing out pipes, chopping firewood, covering rigs and boats that are stored here all winter long. There’s a lot that goes into preparing for the season. They start shutting down after Labor Day where they let a few straggling travelers stay while they’re wrapping things up. We’re one of the five latecomers. We also found out the river was flowing extra strong these last few days as they’re lowering the lake level for the winter. In years past, they’ve found if they don’t do that, ice can move up onto the docks, causing a lot of damage. Evidently, the lake does freeze over enough to do a little ice-fishing. And people do drive across it, but he recommended not to try it. About 4 years ago, a family had gone out on 2 snowmobiles, with one collapsing into the ice where one family member drowned. So sad. 😢

Butch went on to tell us about his part-time living here at the park during the summers and his home on the mountain (on the other side of the lake). He’s got one of the nicest campsites right on the river, and his home on the mountain is completely off-grid. He has about 6 solar panels and 16 batteries that do the job, with a backup generator when needed and of course propane. Pretty cool that he’s got everything he needs, and likely way cheaper than those high utility bills. I would think here in Vermont, you’d need to run your heater pretty much 24/7. Interesting that we got the complete opposite input about Vermont as Butch told us the winters are not that bad. You just adjust. But really, how many Californians have moved to Vermont? I would think we’d be one of the very few. We shall see.

It’s hard to believe we’re just a few months shy of being on the eastern side of the U.S. for an entire year. It’s been nothing short of amazing and will say the decision to do so was the right one. We had visited a few eastern states before, but all were very short stints. Spending large chunks of time in many of them really gave us the essence of what the East Coast is all about. But even so, we are really looking forward to heading back west, especially to spend time with our family for the Holidays. It’s been way too long. This will be one of the rare occasions that all of us will be together with the exception of Devin and Hannah and the grandkids. Sadly, it’s just too expensive for all 4 to fly and it’s too far to drive, not to mention the weather consideration. We will really miss them!!

Today was a day of unexpected things. ‘Ya know….where one thing just leads to another thrusting you into doing unplanned projects? For example, we thought we had Shane’s birthday gift all dialed in as of yesterday. However, my call to UPS today made things not so dialed in. To ship our 20” cube box of gifts via UPS to Napa was going to cost a whopping $130 (yes, that’s cheaper than USPS). It’s not the weight, but the size of the box. For fear of spoiling the surprise with Shane reading my posts (which I don’t think he does), I cannot divulge what we are shipping. But in any case, it required a large box. Thank goodness I hadn’t wrapped any of his gifts yet before my call to UPS. Now for a Plan B. When you’re traveling like we are, Amazon really is your true friend, especially when you are a Prime Member. I found all the same items, though a few were slightly more expensive. But the catcher is free shipping. When you factor that into the mix, it’s a no brainer. As much as I like to support local businesses (and we do most of the time), we couldn’t wrap our heads around the Plan A option. So plan B it is, off to return everything. Even the box I purchased yesterday is returnable thank goodness. We’re having Shane’s gifts mailed to Hannah’s (which she’ll wrap for us), since Shane is driving out to Illinois at the end of October to pick up Hannah’s pup. Yes, Shane has offered to take Ella off their hands. Devin had originally purchased Ella (a Malamute/German Shepherd mix-and a beauty!!) when they moved to Illinois as a gesture of love and concern that Hannah would be more comfortable in her new surroundings with a dog she’s always wanted. Though Ella has the beauty and the brains, she hasn’t had the proper training which, as we all know, takes a lot of time and money. She’s just too much dog for them to handle right now. Enter Shane. He evidently has connections with police officers who are involved with training breeds like Ella for their canine units. So Shane will be the new parent, working with these trainers. It’s really a win-win for everyone. Hopefully someday, Devin and Hannah can revisit having a more suitable dog for their family.

Even though it’s supposed to rain over the weekend, this is the perfect place to wash your rig or vehicle. So Jeff washed the entire rig, top to bottom. Hopefully we’ll be able to wax it too before we leave (weather permitting). He discovered a few stains on the roof that he thinks will need a special solution of bleach to get out. Even though we’re good about sweeping off leaves and pine needles up there, there’s no way to keep them completely off all of the time. If they’re left on too long, they do leave a mark. So we just need to be on top of it a little more. At least you can’t see it.

While Jeff tended to the outside, I had my gift wrap station going on, on the inside. I had a few Christmas and birthday gifts for Hannah to wrap and ship. Nice to get a little Christmas shopping done early this year since we had concerns about less inventory due to the pandemic. The whole supply chain is really messed up. Hoping those small mom & pop businesses can hang in there. After I was done wrapping, I was looking for some nooks and crannies to store a few packages that aren’t yet being shipped. As I mentioned, things unfolded in strange ways throughout the day. Anyway, while I was putting a package under the couch (we have storage under there), I discovered some mold. So I put on my headlamp and really started looking around, and yes, it appears we have mold in a few places (the green kind), like a dusty mold. Jeff and I have noticed a more musty smell in the trailer lately, especially with all the shady, moist spots we’ve been staying lately. We are really good about opening windows and using fans to keep the air circulating, but apparently it’s not enough. Moist dish towels and bath towels add to the problem. Even the windows as I discovered, especially the ones with screens in front, have a slight moldy film on them. So there went my evening. I simply went to town front to back in the rig. It was good that we discovered it now. For those of you that have not been RV owners, mold is a common issue for those that do. The smaller the space, the less volume of air going through. So we’ve come up with 2 solutions. One is to replace the bathroom fan with a Dometic brand. We just replaced a failed motor there recently. When this one fails again, and I mean when, we will replace the entire fan, not just the motor. The exhaust fan we have in the front of the trailer is really high quality, so not sure why Lance decided to cheap out on the bathroom one. Second solution, and much cheaper, is to buy those moisture wick bags. We used to use these at our family cabin and they really do help. It’s pretty amazing to see just how much water ends up in those bags from simply air moisture.

Enjoying the rain, despite having a clean trailer. The temps in Vermont are in the low 70’s during the day and the upper 50’s at night. But all that is about to change drastically with the high on Monday being 48 degrees. Here we go!! 🥶Time to start heading south!

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