Sunday, April 28, 2013

Last Day in DC and on to Pennsylvania

Odometer 31142- in Pennsylvania
Trip Meter 231 miles

Friday the 26th of April

Part of being on the road is being able to handle all the minutia of life's little necessities while constantly moving from place to place.  One of those necessities you've heard me expound on before is getting prescriptions filled.  We thought it would be easier than it apparently is- sign up with a pharmacy that has outlets nation-wide, a computerized data file that can be accessed at any branch store- like WalMart say.
In-network provider for our insurer- what could be more simple?  Joan and I figured on using today (Friday) to catch up on chores that had been postponed as long as possible.  We checked the internet for the closest WalMart and found one about 10 miles away in Laurel, MD.  We got there at noon and finally got the last of our prescriptions in hand, some time around 3:30.  Proving it is possible- but not easily done.  What was explained to us is that the pharmacist had to call 3 other stores where the prescriptions had been filled previously before she could get enough information to fill our order.  Different stores had different lunch closings and add in the time difference- and well- it took all afternoon.  What happend to having a central datafile that was accessible from any location?  Who knows.

Saturday the 27th of April

Rested and ready, Joan and I headed off to downtown DC one last time.  Caught the bus to College Park, then the train (MetroRail) to Arlington Cemetery.
 The weather was perfect and we had hoped that we would not have to compete with the tour buses and the large gaggles of people that tend to flood these venues.  We also decided not to take the trolley tours, and devised our own walking tour.  The changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier happens every 1/2 hour so we hustled up the hill to see that first.

 The ceremony  was very impressive with the absolute  rigidity and accuracy  with which it is performed.

We walked over to President Kennedy's grave next, and on our way we were reminded of two things.  One was that we were on a fairly high hill, and two, we were just across the Potomac River from the National Mall and downtown DC.
 They don't make it easy to get around on foot.  The roads loop an turn and meander a lot, and it makes for a very pretty setting, but we were so frustrated about being able to see Kennedy's grave and not being able to find a road or path to it.  After the third try- we walked on the grass.
Here is a photo of the Eternal Flame at President Kennedy's grave.  I took some closer up- but was frankly a little dissappointed in the over-all look of the site, with granite blocks laid with turf around them.  Looked rough and unfinished to me.

From Arlington we took the Metro to Gallery Place and hoofed it over to the Museum of American History.  The museum was very crowded with tours in large groups but we were patient and saw most of what we wanted to see.
We were surprised and pleased to see this vignette that shows downtown Portland, Oregon in 1949.  We were commenting on a sign in the background that says Fred Meyer and a woman next to us said "you must be from Oregon- I used to live in Ashland!"  Small world, she now lives with her husband in Pennsylvania.

From the Museum of American History we next wanted to see the Museum of  the American Indian.

We may have been a little too tired- the building looked too incongruous.  The exterior was very beautiful and reminded us of  the southwestern native Americans.  We had to search for the door, once found it- the interior was mostly a gianormous domed ceiling 5 stories tall.  The rest of the building was 25% stairs, and the first two floors were 50% restaurant, and gift shop.  Once we got to the art and artifacts it was very nice- and we did enjoy it.
We met a very nice couple from Seal Beach, California on the Metro going back to the RV Park, and ended up sharing a taxi home from the last stop on the Metro line.

Sunday the 28th of April.

Hitch up and move on- that's the life we've chosen.  Today we are heading for Shelocta, Pennsylvania, a tiny town north and east of Pittsburg.  The weather was overcast and 67 when we left Cherry Hill Park, and by noon we were heading over the state line into Pennsylvania and the clouds were hanging low and grey.  We pulled into a fabulous welcome center  just over the boarder and got a Penn state map and took a few minutes to make some hot dogs for lunch in the coach.  While we were eating the rain started to fall in earnest and we drove most of the afternoon in a steady drizzle. Why are we heading for Shelocta?  Well, we are tired of the hustle and bustle and noise of the big city, and Pittsburg will have to wait for another trip.  We want some country solitude and the Wheel In Campground is as rural as it gets. It's also a Passport America affiliate, meaning our rent is 1/2 price.
Passport America is like flying stand-by.  If they have space available, that would be otherwise going to waste- we can have it for 1/2 off.  $16 for tonight's stay, with water and 50 Amp electric.

We thought this was a tiny campground when we first drove up.  You pull into what looks like a farm yard, and pay at a small office in the house.

Once we turned the corner and proceeded into the park, it opened up into a beautiful, lush green bowl that incorporated 94 RV and 12 Tent sites along the banks of Plum Creek.

This site would not normally be a pull-through, but the owners encouraged us to use it as such, and we don't even have to un-hook the car.

Plum Creek is very beautiful. and there are probably 50 camp trailers here that are full season campers who will be in residence as soon as it warms up just a tiny bit more.  The water here is reflecting the grey sky, on a sunny day your would see that it is clear enough to see the bottom 6 feet or more deep.

Tomorrow we will head for Michigan and start our trip up the penninsula's west side.  We have appointments in Medford in June, so we have to keep the wheels turning or we won't make it.  We just know this is only the beginning of our trips to this part of the USA and we don't have to see it all the first time out.  Sure if fun seeing what we can- we'll definitely be back.

Your Travelling Friends

Jeff and Joan

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