Today’s blog stars the one and only Marvelous Marvel!! Our son, Alex, and his girlfriend Erin have adopted a new mixed breed, 8-month-old, puppy, and they named it after the one and only Captain Marvel. Our stay in New Jersey had weekends filled with playdates with the kids and this high energy pup.
We chose the Cedar Creek Campground in Bayville, NJ to be within a reasonable driving distance from Brooklyn so that the kids would be able to come out and spend their weekends with us. Originally the kids planned on just one overnight stay but the remnants of Hurricane Delta forced them to cut short the first weekend as they were staying in a tent and didn’t want to deal with 45 mile an hour winds. They were able to make it out for a day the second weekend and then came back for a two night stay the third. Erin’s parents, Rebecca and Jeff, who live just outside of Philly even made it out for an enjoyable, socially distant, afternoon visit.
The campground is bordered by Cedar Creek and the Barnegat Branch Trail. Once again we were camped right on a bike trail with no bikes (sigh) but it did make an excellent place to walk Marvel and there was also a trail that led into the William J. Dudley Park next door to the campground so we had lots of places to hike.
Most of the time we spent at the campground, but we did make it out to the Island Beach State Park so that Marvel could have her first visit to a beach and the ocean.
We were truly enjoying the fall weather and watching the fall colors change and being so close to Halloween Alex and Erin just had to carve a pumpkin or two!
After 22 days in Jersey the weather started to get colder and the COVID-19 rates started to soar again, so we were feeling the need to get out of such a congested area. Originally when we planned this portion of the trip, we were planning on going to the Freightliner Chassis Owners Club (FCOC) Rally in Branson, MO at the beginning of November. Jonathan has taken on the role of the club’s webmaster and this would have been his first board meeting. Unfortunately, like so many other large events, it was canceled due to the pandemic. We wanted to head south before heading to Seattle as we wanted to make a stop at the Mother Ship (Tiffin Motorhomes Service Center in Red Bay, AL) but we decided to keep the first part of the route we had planned which was to head straight west from Jersey through Pennsylvania, Ohio, and into Indiana and then head south. We hit several nice campgrounds on the way with the first stop back in our old stomping grounds at the Fox Den Acres Campground in New Stanton, PA just south of Pittsburgh. We had stayed here for a month when we were selling the house back in 2017.
This route turned out to be fortuitous as Hurricane Zeta decided to come straight up through the Mississippi and Ohio Valleys. We made it to Indiana and then decide to extend our stay at the Deer Ridge Camping Resort in Richmond, IN for three nights to let the storm pass. Fortunately, Zeta had downgraded to a tropical depression and we only got one day of steady rain. This campground is a bit older with smaller roads, but it was a perfect place to wait out the storm. We even found the Hayes Arboretum where we were able to get in a quick hike before the rains started.
Since we had the extra days with no driving, I decided to make a couple of doggie coats for Marvel. She has very short fur and no built in insulation so living in Brooklyn this winter she will get quite cold. And the good luck on this trip west continued as I went to a JoAnn’s Fabrics in Richmond and found the motherlode of fleece fabric, even one that had Marvel on it!!
Once the weather cleared, we headed south with a stop at the Horse Cave KOA. This is a beautiful campground. You can tell they recently have done quite a few improvements to the roads and all the amenities. The greatest thing about this park is that it is right on I65 – the worst thing about this park is that it is right on I65. It was so easy to get into the park, but the road noise from the highway was a bit excessive.
After an extended trip we finally made it to Red Bay. We have gotten
checked in at the Service Center and found a site at one of the several RV parking lots in town at the Red Bay RV Park. As our coach is 5 years old we can only get into a 3 hours service bay at Tiffin where we will get the sides and hydraulics check out. We have also contacted several of the Red Bay After Hours guys and we have scheduled all the work we need to have done from permanently installing our weBoost cellular signal booster to annual maintenance on our AquaHot system.
Tiffin usually under promises and over delivers on the time frame to get into a service bay so we are hoping to be done here in a couple of weeks. Once we have a clearer idea of when we can leave, we will plan out the rest of the trip west. We know we want to cut across the southern states to miss the winter weather that is already hitting the upper Midwest but we also will keep in mind where the western fires are and how we can get across the mountain passes as we head toward Seattle.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time with Alex and getting to know Erin and her family. Marvel added such delight to the visit, and we cannot wait to see how she matures and settles into being a perfect city dog.