I left New Haven today to head back through Chicago. Right now I am staying in the middle of the woods at the Bellefonte KOA campground minutes from Penn State. I am pretty much set with free Wi-Fi and basic hookups. This place is perfect; the owners are incredibly friendly, the site is well marked, and it is centrally located near I-80. I will definitely be back! By the way, other campgrounds take note. While parked at a rest area in New York, I used my iPhone to search ReserveAmerica, reserved the exact pull-through location at the Bellefonte KOA in Pennsylvania, paid in advance via credit card, and had a map with parking directions sitting for me when I showed up very late that night. It was a perfect use of technology!
I would have found a free spot to stay, but I needed some electricity to recharge my batteries. The little test at Hammonasset Beach State Park drained the Airstream batteries down and for some reason the Touareg isn’t charging them back up. Time to put the Airstream in the shop!
Let me tell you just how much fun it was to attempt the hitching process with an electric hitch and find the batteries completely dead. After a quick call to Dan at US Adventure RV, I found the hidden spot to manually crank the hitch. Just as I thought things were working out, the wrench completely broke in two. [Yes, I am just that strong.] After half a dozen or so expletives, I realized there was just enough clearance after all, hitched it all up, and towed the Airstream on out of there. So, I am going to have to go get a new wrench; preferably one not made from the Fisher Price factory.
Well, I successfully made it from Chicago to New Haven, CT! After one denial to stay at a Wal-Mart parking lot (the toothless workers freaked me out anyway), one night in a rest stop off I-84 (right next to the State Police), and one night in a park surrounded by mobile homes (again, toothless neighbors), I am so glad to finally have a quiet and scenic spot at Hammonasset Beach State Park. This is my first self-sufficient multi-night stay (i.e. no electric hookup, no city water, and no sewer). It will be a great test to see how long the tanks and batteries will last! Another little test was the drive right through the middle of the Appalachians of Pennsylvania and New York. I am relieved that the Touareg handled it all just fine. I think I may have even passed a few people heading up some of the steep grades. Next test – the Rockies!
I will have to make it back this area when I don’t have such a tight schedule. Downtown New Haven (and Yale University) has a really cool vibe. And I may have just found my next place to live; the idyllic town of Madison, CT (where I finally had a chance to find a barber).
The only good photos I took were right outside my front window at Hammonasset Beach State Park. Apparently an annual Kite Fest was held the weekend I stayed.
Spending last night in a Wal-Mart parking lot was actually great. It was quiet, paved, level, and free! And in the morning I stocked up the Airstream with some groceries. [Mental note: I am spending way too much time at Wal-Mart.] I will definitely do it again; however, tonight is something completely different. I found a sweet place in western Pennsylvania that has one rule – Airstreams only. I love it! I counted around 25 different Airstreams on the 60 acres here at Penn Wood Airstream Park. The scenery is absolutely beautiful! Goodbye flatland of Illinois/Indiana/Ohio, and hello rolling hills of Pennsylvania. I will spend the work week here at Penn Wood. They have Wi-Fi, laundry, cable TV, full hookups – the works.Read More