Our trip south from Binghamton to central Pennsylvania was all along Interstates, so it was an easy pull and thankfully the truck did not give us any problems with engine lights or anything else. The trip was unusual only for the fact that we were traveling on Thursday to make a short trip to William’s house. We pulled into the campground, Camp-A-While, where they had us assigned to one of their seasonal sites since they would be full over Labor Day Weekend. The owners were great and we got into a long discussion of craft breweries and they were very interested in Hi-Wire Brewing, so we gave them a couple of bottles of the brown ale to try. The campground is set within a forest and is set up kind of strangely. They have a large number of seasonal campers, which means they leave their RVs all year on the site and rent the site for the entire summer or year. The campground is split into two parts, one for the seasonal campers to the south and the other for the transient campers to the north with the offices and swimming pool in the center. Since we pulled the RV for enough into the entrance that we were parallel to the office we had to pull all the way around the transient campsites in order to head the RV back to the south. We easily found the seasonal site they had us assigned to and like all of these sites it was a back-in. I am proud to say I am getting pretty good with backing the RV into a site, but this one proved to be trickier then I could manage. Not only were we running over the flags and lights the campers across the road had placed all the way to the road, but I was afraid the ladder on the back of the RV was going to hit the ground since the site was uphill from the road. After trying for over half an hour to get the RV into the site I gave up and pulled the RV back to the front of the campgrounds. They had two other seasonal sites we could try, but they were surprised we could not get the RV into the first one. So, I had to once again pull the RV all the way around the transient sites in order to turn it around and headed back down the hill. The first of these two sites was so narrow with a large tree on one side that we would not be able to use the slide-out so it was out. The second of the two sites was very tight, again with all kinds of stuff placed along the road that was going to be in the way. We even tried to come at the site from both directions, but could not get it turned into the site. This time I walked back up to the office instead of driving thinking if we could just get a pull-through site for one night, we would just continue on to William’s the next day. The owner offered to park the RV for us and I decided to give him the chance. He agreed that there was no way to get the RV into the last site and after backing it into the other alternate site only to realize that we could not put out the sides, he went back to the original site. He was able to put the RV into this site with no problem and thankfully the ladder did not hit the ground. In my defense, he ran over the flags and lights across the road that I was reluctant to do, but he did get it in. The site is actually very nice and it was quiet for the next couple of days until all the seasonal campers showed up for the Labor Day Weekend. The only disadvantage was, we were a quarter of a mile from the bathroom up a steep hill that was a challenge every morning.
Since the truck had not given us any problems since the “check engine light” had gone out on Monday, we decided, on Friday, that we would venture out and look for a hiking trail in the old coal country of Pennsylvania. The owners of Camp-A-While had a number of suggestions and gave us a nice brochure of hiking trails in the area. We picked a trail that was supposed to be on an “ecological park” close to Stanhope, but we were unable to find it according to the map we had. So it was on to our second choice which was a section of the Schuylkill River Trail just outside, of all places, Auburn, Pennsylvania. The trail is along the Schuylkill River using an old railroad bed which meant it was fairly level and about 1.5 miles long. The two stream crossings on the trail used the old iron railroad bridges which were more massive then required for foot and bike traffic. It was a pleasant walk in the woods that was a favorite of local residents to walk their dogs or take a short bike ride. It was a nice way to spend a couple of hours on a beautiful late summer day. After the hike we drove back to the campground passing through a number of small towns and were struck by the history exhibited in them. They were obviously old mining towns that were still the homes for descendants of these coal miners from the 19th century when coal was “king”. The homes were mostly two story brownstones right up against the street with electric, cable, and telephone wires crisscrossing everywhere. It was also obvious that these towns were still recovering from that time period and it was not certain yet whether they would survive. It made an interesting comparison with the textile towns you find in the south.
Saturday was spent watching football, working on this blog, and generally taking it easy in the campground, which was now filled with local seasonal campers enjoying the last holiday weekend of the summer. They did have activities for the guests including bingo and a magician, but we decided to just relax in the campsite. We did go out to dinner at a nice local restaurant, but otherwise just took it easy. Sunday and Monday were also spent in the campsite. We were both ready for a break from the hectic pace we had set for ourselves since January and looking forward to a couple of weeks at my son’s house without anything else to do except cleaning and fixing the RV.