Pittsburgh PLUS
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  This trip included four stops in Pennsylvania....Bedford, Munhall(Pittsburgh), Gettysburg and Stevens (Lancaster).   
   
   
   
   
 

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May 31, 2009  -  Sunday

Departing at 7:45 am this morning we began our trip which will last through June 12th for a total of thirteen nights on the road.  Our first destination will be Bedford at the Friendship Village Campground, then on to Munhall for boon docking in the parking lot of St. Therese Church, followed by Gettysburg Campground and then finally Starlite Campground just north of Lancaster, Pa.

We had wonderful weather today for the 220 mile drive to Bedford.  Temps in the mid 70’s but the winds of 20 to 30 mph made me pay attention to driving the motorhome.  We arrived safe and sound at Friendship Village around 2 pm after our leisurely drive.  The first leg of our route we headed north on the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike and in Allentown we jumped onto Rt 22 West, then I81 South and finally intersection with the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Carlisle.  Normally we would take the turnpike for the entire trip, but decided to try this route for a change of scenery.  The road surface on Rt 22 was much, much better than the turnpike.

Friendship Village Campground is conveniently located about 4 miles off Exit 146, Bedford, of the turnpike.  We are in what appears to be a newer section of the campground.  The site, 313, is a long pull thru with plenty of gravel, fairly level and plenty of space between sites..  The hookups are nicely located with nearly 60 cable TV channels and free Wi-Fi service.  The connectivity of the WiFi is spotty but will do for our two night stay.  The only negative about this campground is the close proximity of Route 30 and the associated road noise.  When the wind blows from the highway the noise is even louder.  Otherwise this campground is a very nice destination, especially for families.  There are 2 nice size swimming pools, one of the better campground game rooms that I have seen and 4 or 5 small fishing ponds, plus miniature golf and playgrounds.

   
 
 

June 1, 2009  -  Monday

Wow!!! The outside temperature overnight dropped to a chilly 41 degrees.  Good thing we have the small electric heater to warm the motorhome when we first got out of bed this morning.  The temperature reached the mid 70’s with a partly cloudy sky.  Just perfect weather.

We took a short 8 mile drive to explore the town of Everett, PA.  The town has 2 traffic lights and that’s about it.  Just an old time country town.

We then came back to Bedford and walked around town for about an hour.  There are lots of unusual shops.  The one that was especially fun was the old G.C. Murphy store.  About 50 years ago it was a 5 & 10 Cent Store, but now today is an antique and country furnishings store.  It was fun walking thought this store and hearing the wood plank floor creak beneath our feet, just like it did many years ago when I would walk through the 5 & 10 in my hometown as a child.....  brought back many memories.

After returning to the campground we spent the afternoon just enjoying some relaxation time and took a walk for about 50 minutes meandering through the campground. 

   
 
 

June 2, 2009  -  Tuesday

Our journey today was a short 110 mile drive from Bedford to Munhall.  We are here to visit Diana’s and my mom.  They are both in their late 80’s and live in the same apartment building. The remainder of the week will involve completing chores and errands for the two moms.

   
 

June 4, 2009  -  Thursday

There hasn’t been much spare time this week to update the trip journal.  We are boon docking in the parking lot adjacent to the moms’ apartment building…… it certainly makes it convenient when visiting here.  This week we have been doing grocery shopping, cooking dinners, apartment cleaning and doctor visits with the two moms.  At one point we thought we may need to move the motorhome from the parking lot because the church carnival will begin setup of booths for their festival starting later this month.  But so far we have not been asked to move….and at this time I suspect we should be just fine until we leave on Sunday morning.

The weather has been rainy and on the cool side with daily temps only into the mid 60’s and night time lows going down to the low 50’s.  But, for what we are doing the weather has been ideal and eliminates the need to run the generator for the air conditioning.  Tomorrow we have a few more chores and then hope to take some time for ourselves on Saturday for some site seeing.

   
 
 

June 6, 2009  -  Saturday

Since our arrival here on Tuesday we have been completely chores and errands for both our mothers.  So, today we decided we would take some time for ourselves and visit downtown Pittsburgh.  We stopped in Macy’s which was originally Kauffman’s.  Then we took an hour walking the streets of Pittsburgh and even had a chance to see the Mellon Arena where the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Redwings have been challenging each other for the past week to be the proud recipient of the NHL Stanley Cup.  Tonight is game four in Detroit with the series tied at 2 games each.

We drove over the Liberty Bridge and up to Mount Washington where the view was spectacular.  We decided to go back down to Station Square where we were able to look though some of the shops and had a quick bite to eat.  Then we were within walking distance of the Monongahela Incline so we took advantage of the opportunity to enjoy the ride to the top of Mount Washington again, but this time aboard a vintage car.  The view from the top is one of the best views in the country…..indescribably breathtaking beautiful!!!!

This was an enjoyable fun day for the both of us and we are already planning to take the Duck Ride when we return here later this year.

   
 
 

June 7, 2009  -  Sunday

By 7:00 am we were leaving the church parking lot on our way to Gettysburg Campground.  The total drive was 210 miles so we took our time with a leisurely drive along the Pennsylvania Turnpike and existed at Shippensburg and eventually found Rt 30 east directly to the campground.  We arrived at 1 pm which was 2 hours before check in but we were allowed to proceed to the campsite since it was not occupied.  The site number 28 was a back in just deep enough for the motorhome and had a fair amount of spacing between sites.  This site has a cement patio and the installation of cable TV had just been completed, however, the channel lineup was limited to 15 channels.  Overall I would rate this campground an “8” and would return again.

By 3:30 pm our friends, 3 other couples from our housing community, had arrived and began setting up their RV’s.  We enjoyed a pot luck dinner together and made plans for the next 2 days.

   
 
 

June 8, 2009  -  Monday

The start time for today’s activities was 9:30 am.  We headed to the new Gettysburg Visitors Center which was an easy 15 minute drive through Gettysburg.  This worked out to be a great way to begin the exploration of Gettysburg.  The 30 minute movie at the Visitors Center was well done, interesting and informative.  Following the movie we went to the second level of the Visitors Center to see the cyclorama.  Again, very well done and educational.

Then it was back to the campground for another pot luck featuring meatball sandwiches prepared by Diana & me.  Following dinner everyone took a short rest in preparation for the 9 pm Ghost Tour.

The Ghost Tour was fun since the sun had set and it was dark by the time the tour began.  The tour wondered through downtown Gettysburg and onto the Gettysburg College with lots of stops for ghost stories along the way.  After walking over 1 hour and 45 minutes we covered close to 2 miles of travel.  Very enjoyable and fun.

   
 
 

June 9, 2009  -  Tuesday

The main event for today was the tour of the Dwight Eisenhower Farm.  This was a step back in time since 98% of the furnishing in the home were original belongings of Dwight & Mamie from the 1950’s. For lunch we dined at the Farnsworth House and then headed back to the campground for some much needed rest.  It's good that we did since the beautiful sunny skies turned a pitch black and thunder storms came rumbling through the area till 6 pm.  We all gathered for another potluck dinner and said our farewells to each other since tomorrow everyone would be hooking up their RV’s and heading in different directions.

   
 
 

June 10, 2009  -  Wednesday

This was a travel day for us as we headed east toward Starlite Campgound which is located about 18 miles north of Lancaster.  It was only an 80 mile drove so once again we drove slow with occasional breaks.  By 1:30 pm I was busy setting up the motorhome in site 152.  The site is in the Plateau area and has a magnificent view out over the valley but the humid, hazy weather limited some of the view.  The drive along the back roads from Rut 322 was a real challenge and the final hill just before the campground was steep.  And I mean STEEP.  

Many of the campsites here are seasonal and very nicely kept.  All sites are very level with large amounts of spacing between sites.  Most of the sites are heavily shaded.  No Wi-Fi and no cable TV but with the new over the air digital TV I was able to get 20 crystal clear stations using the roof antenna.  This campground is back in the woods and isolated from any nearby stores or restaurants.  The swimming pool appears to be relatively new and nicely kept.  Overall, this is a very nice campground and I would rate it a “9” with the only negative aspect the STEEP road just before the campground.  But that is not the fault of the campground.

   
 
 

June 11, 2009  -  Thursday

Overnight it rained and continued “off & on”  today.  Fog, with the rain prevented us from enjoying the view of the valley from the motorhome.  But the rain did not stop Diana from wanting to shop at the outlet stores along Rt 30.

       
 

June 12, 2009  - Friday

On our way home this morning we stopped for breakfast at Shady Maple in East Earl, PA . On your birthday you receive your meal for FREE.  After breakfast we head home and arrived safely.

 

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