We often have readers who have attempted blogging write us in thanks for keeping up with this blog for so long. It’s not until you try to do it yourself that you realize just how much time & effort it takes to write, process photos and keep a story going.
If you’re not motivated to do it for your own reasons – it’s easy to put it on the back burner and fall behind. I know how much I enjoy looking back on our past posts and reliving parts of the adventure, or looking up information about a place we’ve been before.
It is so worth it, and we enjoy sharing slices of our lives with you (so thank you for reading along!).
Even so, honestly, sometimes it is very difficult to keep the pace of traveling, exploring, enjoying and taking the time to stop and record it.
We’re in all new territory to us now, and life is proceeding at a rapid pace as we soak it all up. So thus, the tales are falling further and further behind.
Today, I’m going to attempt to at least catch it up a week or so.
Last I left you, we were sleeping on the side of a bridge in the Chesapeake Bay.
Pocomoke State Park – Snow City, Maryland
We don’t put a lot of effort into planning ahead, and often don’t have firm plans or reservations made much more than a week in advance. We prefer trusting in serendipity to lead us to where we are meant to be.
We had some recommendations to check out the Assateague Island national or state parks, the central outer barrier island of the Delmarva Peninsula. Images of beaches and wild horses were enchanting.
A quick check at online reservations showed all booked up for the time period we might be passing through. Oh well. No biggie, we’re sure we can find our own adventures.
I love using Reserve America – it allows me to check out availability for an entire region for state parks (the ones that participate anyway), some federal campgrounds and some private campgrounds.
All at once, with filters for our preferred date range, RV size and amenity preferences. On a handy map too.
It fits my lazy approach to planning and our preference for non-commercial campgrounds.
And that’s how we found our next stop – the Shad Landing area of Pocomoke River State Park (our review) in Maryland. It came up as a nearby park to Assateague, and had availability for a few non-weekend nights in the pet/electric loop.
Side Note: Up north, we’re finding many state parks have pet and non pet loops (Maryland and Pennsylvania in particular). Something we don’t see too much in other areas of the country. It definitely makes finding available space a bit more challenging.
We made our best guess as to which of the available sites might meet our desires best, and booked it.
After leaving the Welcome Center in Cape Charles, we made the under 2 hour drive and discovered we totally scored on our site selection.
All of the sites in the Acorn loop are on the outer perimeter of a circle, and each offering decent privacy and spacing. But our site in particular, Site 24, was especially deep and tucked back into the woods. Offering loads of privacy, and access to the trails.
We enjoyed a very delightful stay at the park, hitting the trails (Kiki even joining us on a nearly mile long hike), checking out the nature center and just exploring around on our electric folding bikes.
Zephyr’s First Ferry Ride
From Pokomoke we hosted our live video cast on Driveway Surfing, and one of our viewers suggested we take the Cape May-Lewes Ferry to our next stop in New Jersey.
Having not yet taken our bus on a ferry, we thought it an appropriate adventure. It would save us about 40 miles in driving, not to mention the time & traffic. And of course.. be fun!
The fare for the 90 minute crossing for a 35′ motorhome with a toad was $78 (if hitched, they just charge by total length – not individually for the vehicles), plus $10 for each of us.
At $98, it wasn’t going to offset the saved fuels and tolls, but so so so worth it! We very much enjoyed the ride and being out on the water.
We saw endless pods of dolphins, lighthouses and there’s local craft beer on tap.
Harvest Host Winery Stay
It had been way too long since we had used our HarvestHosts membership, which allows us to stay at partnered wineries, farms and museums.
Earlier this year, owners Kim & Don totally revamped their website, including their host location directory & map. Making it tons easier to research possible stops along your route.
We quickly spotted a few options between the ferry and our destination of Vineland, NJ.
When we called Southwind Vineyard – they answered the phone with excitement for our visit. That night was open-mic night, and they’d have a gourmet food truck onsite. Woo!
We had a delightful stay getting to know the staff and other customers until late in the evening while we sipped their delicious wines.
This was such a perfect visit, and exactly the experience the embodies the HarvestHosts program. Stays in unique gorgeous locations and meeting amazing people. We left glowing.
Bus Service at US Coach
Our reason for routing to Vineland, NJ was a visit to the legendary US Coach. Run by Luke & Bill, two long time friends and bus experts – this is the place we call when we’re looking for parts.
When we first got our bus five years ago, we were told to have Luke’s number – 888-262-2434 / 856-794-3104 – on speed dial. Not quite sure I remember what speed dial is, but we definitely added them to our contact book.
Not only do they stock a lot of hard to find parts, Bill is an expert bus mechanic. We called ahead and booked as much time as they could give us (about 3.5 days).
Upon arrival we had Bill conduct a thorough inspection (we don’t have to pass DOT standards, but we try to maintain them). We came up with a list of things that needed to be addressed based on what he found, and had him prioritize them by what was most likely to leave us in a pinch.
The list included:
- Passenger side front kingpin bushing needed replacement (a huge job requiring disassembling the entire front side, and one we knew needed to be addressed before arriving)
- New shocks (ours were getting rather old, but still operational. And easy enough to change out with everything disassembled)
- Power steering lines under the bus needed replacement
- Various joints needed tightening up
- A transmission and differential leak
- Basic lube & service
There’s always a list of preventative maintenance to handle, and had we been able to book more of their time this visit – we could have kept going. But for now, all critical items are handled.
Thoroughly impressed with their operation and reasonable rates at $95/hour.
Plus, they allowed us to stay in our coach while the service was being done. This way Bill could educate us on what he was doing (something we love), and get a ton of work done while sitting over the pit.
And hey, being surrounded by dozens of vintage beauties ain’t so bad!
What’s Up Next
We just left our 4th of July hide away spot in Herkimer, NY where we driveway surfed with a kind blog reader who invited us in.
We’re heading now to the Albany area for a few days where we’ll be converging with our dear RVing friends Forrest & Mary.
We anticipate exploring Adirondacks with them over the coming weeks as we make our way to the Escapade in Vermont later this month (yes, we signed back up).
After Escapade, our best guess is that we’ll be exploring Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine in the month of August and perhaps beyond.