Crossing the Border
Day three and I am alive and well! It took a few tries to get my brake controller set right. For my Tekonsha Prodigy it seems around 9 or 10 on boost 1 is the best setting for my rig. Taylor Coach fixed my stabilizer in no time at all – just bent it back and I was on my way. I filled up my one propane tank that was empty just south of TC, then went straight to the border. I had inventoried all my food in the morning before I left which seemed to satisfy the border official. He asked for Sadie’s vaccination records and specifically asked what fruit I was carrying and if I had eggs, citrus, meat and firewood. He asked where I was going twice – I said Greenbelt National Park Maryland which is near Washington DC. He asked why and I said I wanted to see the museums. He didn’t ask how long or when I was planning to return which is fine and I was on my way. I followed all the rules for border crossing: be prepared, tell the truth, answer questions asked directly without providing any additional embellishments. Success!
I found a town park on the way to the winery which had views of Lake Ontario and a deserted gravel parking lot where I practiced reversing. After a few tries I was feeling more comfortable and went to the winery.
Harvest Host: Schulze Winery
What a lovely experience at Schulze – I had a scenic spot on the grass all to myself. They offered electricity but it was too far to plug in and frankly not needed – my solar/inverter set up is plenty for one night – I was back up to 100% before I left in the morning. Wine was yummy and I bought 2 bottles plus jam and walnuts – why not? Sadie and I walked the grounds on leash in the evening and I let her explore off-leash in the morning when no one was around. :o)
Free Dispersed Forest Camping in Pennsylvania
With my coffers near bare, I routed directly to Trader Joes, bought groceries and had lunch in the trailer in the parking lot. Somehow this took until 1:30pm and I realized I better get going to find my next spot. I routed to the Bradford Ranger Station in Allegheny National Forest. I asked about rustic campgrounds and they suggested the two I had found in my research as well: Hearts Content and Tracy Ridge. To my delight, when I asked about dispersed camping for RVers they gave me a list of Forest Roads that have sites! No kidding!
Well, my tanks were mostly good but my fresh tank needed a top-up. I had asked where the waterfalls are because I like waterfalls but when I realized there was one right off the main road (Big Bend) with a safe parking area to stop in, it was a no-brainer to grab my water jug and top up my tank with fresh waterfall water (my drinking water is separate)! Good chance for me and Sadie to get out and stretch and a beautiful spot too!
The dispersed sites are off a gravel road high in the mountain, though happily the road up was paved. I took it slow and Eddie seemed to be able to handle it just fine – revs good and high but that`s okay it was designed to do that. I found the right road following the directions I got at the ranger station and decided the first spot I came upon would work just fine. I am trying to be a sufficer not a maximizer – so many decisions to make all the time you can drive yourself crazy if you try to find the absolute best.
I thought I set up at a good angle for the sun but realized in the morning that I was off by 45 degrees. Lesson learned: use a compass to determine north if getting sun on the solar panel is critical. So I repositioned this morning though it`s a bit cloudy I am still getting some draw.
So I have everything I need for a couple days – James arrives on Saturday and Sunday we head for Washington DC!