Thursday, December 1, 2011

September 2011

It was now September as we sadly said goodbye to our children and headed west to Springfield, Massachusetts. Our final destination was Ft. Drum RV Park in Upstate New York.  We decided to use the park as a base while we explored the Thousand Lakes region of Upstate New York. 

Our one day layover in Springfield was with purpose.  When we made the big decision to bring Guinness into our family, we researched a lot of dog training websites so we could be ready for his arrival in December of 2008.  We found a particular website run by a man by the name of Eric Letendre who had been training dogs for over 20 years.  He calls himself the Amazing Dog Training Man.

Eric had a philosophy on dog training we liked, positive re-enforcement.  He, also, explains his methods in down-to-earth terms and, usually, backed up with videos.  You can see for yourself at his website.  Just click on this link: The Amazing Dog Training Man.  Or just click on the picture in the left column.  If there is a dog in your family and if you really care for him/her, then this is the place you need to go.

We had contacted Eric over the years and he had been very quick to respond to all of our concerns.  Before we left on this current journey, we contacted Eric again and invited him and his wife, Rachael, to do an RV lunch with us.  He accepted.  We were thrilled.

We arrived at Westover Air Reserve Base, just outside of Springfield, and set up for a short stay.  Eric and Rachael were to lunch with us the next day.  We had noticed the area had been hit pretty hard from the remnants of hurricane Irene.  Lots of flooding mainly.

Eric and Rachael arrived and after our introductions, we introduced them to Guinness and Rosco.  It was almost as if Guinness knew him already.  He loves everyone he meets and it takes a small amount of time to really warm up to someone, but in this case it was immediate.  It was an extremely pleasant lunch and visit and we certainly appreciate Eric and Rachael taking time for us.  They are very good at what they do. Thank you Eric and Rachael.

The next day we had a six hour drive to Ft. Drum. The weather was beautiful and we arrived with great expectations of seeing early fall weather and lots of scenic byways. We were not disappointed, however, the RV site where we were placed in was a bit odd. It was up against an old wooden barracks used for single soldiers. We had everything we needed, though, and it was quite, but still....odd.

We enjoyed exploring this part of the country.  So many beautiful and interesting sights.  The small cities, towns and villages were a photographer's and shopper's dream.  We did little of each.  We did drive a lot, though.  That was a way to maximize our range during the short time we were there.  Actually, shorter than we had planned.  Tropical Storm Lee had been wreaking havoc over the south and was headed up the the eastern side of the Appalachian Mountain Range dumping tens of inches of rain in its path. We decided to head back to Maryland right away.

We departed Ft. Drum hoping we could make it back to Maryland before the deluge.  We drove as far as we could before we had to stop for the night just a bit north of Scranton, Pennsylvania.  We did not unhook from the trailer so we could get going early the next morning, but that proved to be too late.  It started to rain just as we left the campground increasing in intensity very quickly.  Bt the time we made it to Scranton, it was a downpour and it did not ease up until we got to York, Pennsylvania, some 160 miles south of our starting point.  What should have taken us about  three hours took almost seven.  The rain was so hard our speed rarely got over 45 MPH on Interstate I-81.  The rain, however, did not deter many, mostly truckers, from greatly exceeding the speed limit.  I must say, this was one of the most harrowing and dangerous trips I have ever made in this country.  In retrospect, we should have found a Walmart and waited out the storm.

We, finally, arrived back at our Maryland home base, still in the rain, late that afternoon.  We were exhausted and our nerves were a wreck.  We did nothing to unpack saving that for the next day.  We ordered some subs and made it an early bedtime for all of us.

The next morning we unpacked the trailer and put it into storage, this time for a short time for we already had made plans for our next adventure. In the meantime we had a lot of work to do on this house.

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