10-31 October, 2016; VT, NY, PA, VA, NC…Lot’s of Fun and a Breakdown

Happy Halloween all!  We are currently enjoying the day, and likely a few more in the Cummins parking lot in Kenly, NC.  We broke down shortly after hitting the road from Raleigh, NC on Saturday headed to FL.  We will get to that story later, but first we’ll cover the past couple of weeks.

We headed out of VT as planned on the 10th, and took a longer route up and over Lake Champlain near the Canadian border and turned south in upstate NY.  What a nice drive with all the color, and little traffic.  We made it to a very busy campground and tourist area in Lake George, NY for the night.

So, here is what it looks like when travelling down the road. An awesome view.

So, here is what it looks like when travelling down the road. An awesome view.

The color was spectacular.

The color was spectacular.

Our campsite in Lake George. This place was a little too busy for our taste, so we hit the road again on the 11th.

Our campsite in Lake George. This area was a little too busy for our taste, so we hit the road again on the 11th.

We had another nice drive on the 11th, and landed at the Beldon Hill Campground near Harpersville, NY. Harpersville is not too far from Falls, PA where we wanted to spend a few days researching Terri's family history.

We had another nice drive on the 11th, and landed at the Beldon Hill Campground near Harpersville, NY. Harpersville is not too far from Falls, PA where we wanted to spend a few days researching Terri’s family history.

We spent the 11th and 12th mostly in the area around Falls, PA and Tunkannock, PA.  We were able to find the cemetery where Terri’s Great Great Great Grandfather and Grandmother are buried.  We also spent quite a bit of time at the Wyoming County Historical Society  in Tunkhannock, getting copies of old wills and newspaper accounts from the early 1800’s, all dealing with Terri’s relatives.

The cemetery in Falls where Terri's GreatX3 Grandfather, Jacob Sickler and his wife Hannah are buried.

The cemetery in Falls where Terri’s GreatX3 Grandfather, Jacob Sickler and his wife Hannah are buried.

Dear Ancestor…
Your tombstone stands among the rest;
Neglected and alone.
The name and dates are chiseled out
On polished, marbled stone.
It reaches out to all who care
It is too late to mourn.
You did not know that I exist
You died and I was born.
Yet each of us are cells of you
In flesh, in blood, in bone.
Our blood contracts and beats a pulse
Entirely not our own.
Dear Ancestor, the place you filled
One hundred years ago
Spreads out among the ones you left
Who would have loved you so.
I wonder as you lived and loved,
I wonder if you knew
That someday I would find this spot,
And come to visit you.
-Author Unknown

Hard to read in the photo, but these are their markers.

Hard to read in the photo, but these are their markers.

 

Quite a nice little place in the PA hills.

Quite a nice little place in the PA hills.

The newspaper obit for Hannah.

The newspaper obit for Hannah.

We were able to find Jacob’s will.  We are stunned at how the wording of wills have changed over the years.  It took us a while to get it typed out, and it was of course written in long hand, and kind of hard to decipher off of the microfiche.  The folks back then stayed true to their faith for sure.  It is a great read, and typed out exactly as written with their punctuation (or lack of it) as well.

Jacob Sickler’s Will

In the name of God amen. I Jacob Sickler of Falls township Luzerne county and state of Pennsylvania being sick and weak in body but of sound mind memory and understanding (praised be God for it) and considering the uncertainty of death and the uncertainty of the time thereof and to the end I may be better prepared to leave this world whenever it shall please God to call me hence do therefore make and declare this my last will and testament in manner following that is to say, First and principally I commend my soul into the hands of Almighty God my Creator, hoping for free pardon and remission of all my sins and enjoy everlasting happiness in the heavenly Kingdom through Jesus Christ my savior, my body I commit to the earth at the discretion of my executors herein after named, and as to my property I dispose of as follows, I give and bequeath to my dear wife Hannah one half of the house where I now reside to her own proper use as long as she remains my widow, if she marries she is to have two beds two cows and other furniture necessary in proportion for keeping house.  To my son William I give one bay horse that is called his and one hundred dollars to be paid to him in one year from next spring.  It is my wish the two oldest sons William and Jacob Jr. should stay at home and take charge of the property that now is, likewise to take care of their mother and the young children, it is my wish that my son John should stay at home until he is of age, and then to fall in shares with the two oldest in taking care of the property, then my oldest sons William Jacob & John are to have all they can make with the property over and above supporting their mother and the young children comfortably until her death or leave them by marriage.  It is my wish that when Miles my youngest son is eighteen years old the property should be divided provided his mother should be dead at that time, I give to my daughter Elizabeth two beds, two cows and furniture in proportion for housekeeping when she gets married if she does not marry to receive the above mentioned property at eighteen years of age likewise at the final division of the property Elizabeth to receive one hundred dollars, and I give to my daughter Hannah in equal proportions with Elizabeth my three oldest sons as above mentioned to have the one half of the dwelling house where I now live together with all other  privileges of buildings, mills, farming utensils oxen cows and all other property to use occupy and enjoy as to therein shall seem proper until the day official division then to return their goods as they were or the value of them in proportion to the inventory when taken.  The household furniture that now is to be in possession of my wife Hannah to use occupy and enjoy as to her shall seem proper while she remains my widow that is for her and the little children, at the decease of my wife the household furniture to be equally divided between my three daughters, it is my wish that Elizabeth have three months schooling at the expense of the three oldest sons, the other children younger than Elizabeth are to be sent to school to learn to read and write and cipher? sofaras the single rule of three at the expense of the three oldest sons.  When Miles is 18 years old, should his mother be dead then the final division is to take place and the property to be equally divided between my seven sons, I now nominate constitute and appoint Luther Dailey, Isaac Smith & Jacob Sickler Jr. sole executors of this my last will and testament hereby revoking all other and former wills by me at any time heretofore made, in witness whereof I have heretofore set my hand and seal the fourth day of November AD in the year of our lord 1830.

[Luzerne County Wills  Book A Page 369 Dated 4 November 1830]

We were able to find the plat map of where their land was along the Sesquehana River.

We were able to find the plat map of where their land was along the Susquehanna River.

It was really a lot of fun researching this with Terri and actually walking the ground her ancestors walked.  After those fun two days, we were off again on the 13th, headed to the Twin Grove RV Resort in Pine Grove, PA.  It was a really nice place, and easy access to bike trails, Gettysburg, Lancaster, and Pottsville where the Yuengling brewery is located.  Here are some shots of our many days in that area.

Great view from our campsite.

Great view from our campsite.

Sporting our pumpkins from Mike and Paula. They have trick or treat at this park every Saturday during October.

Sporting our pumpkins from Mike and Paula. They have trick or treat at this park every Saturday during October.

The 14th was Terri’s birthday, so we headed over to the Dutch Apple Dinner Theater in Lancaster for a great meal and a great show.

We had a great time!  The weekend was spent touring and biking, as well as into the next week.  The colors were not very visible when we first arrived, but that changed daily.

This guys made the rounds of the campground every weekend.

This guys made the rounds of the campground every weekend.

As is typical most places we stay, this place fills up on the weekends. This is only one part of the campground. The have about 300 RV spaces and 20 or so cabins.

As is typical most places we stay, this place fills up on the weekends. This is only one part of the campground. The have about 300 RV spaces and 20 or so cabins.

I finally got the Coach fully cleaned. This is a picture of me taking a picture obviously...this is my reflection in one of the windows on the Coach.

I finally got the Coach fully cleaned. This is a picture of me taking a picture obviously…this is my reflection in one of the windows on the Coach.

It's been great to have the Packer game every week so far...but, the outcomes have not been too good...

It’s been great to have the Packer game every week so far…but, the outcomes have not been too good…

There is a really nice Rails to Trails bike path real close to the Campground.

There is a really nice Rails to Trails bike path real close to the Campground.

A really neat old bridge along the Appalachian Trail.

A really neat old bridge along the Appalachian Trail.

Nice night out playing cards.

Nice night out playing cards.

Early the next week we headed over o the oldest brewery in the US...Yuengling. It was a really great tour of their original Brew House.

Early the next week we headed over to the oldest brewery in the US…Yuengling. It was a really great tour of their original Brew House.

The caves under the brewery where they stored keg beer until they were sealed off during prohibition. They recently opened the caves up to the public.

The caves under the brewery where they stored keg beer until they were sealed off during prohibition. They recently opened the caves up to the public.

There is a ton of history here. Well worth the tour if you are near the area.

There is a ton of history here. Well worth the tour if you are near the area.

Bottling line.

Bottling line.

When they expanded the brewery, they got as close to the church as they possibly could...

When they expanded the brewery, they got as close to the church as they possibly could…

Outside of shipping dock.

Outside of shipping dock.

Later in the week we made it to Gettysburg.  What a great tour back in time to one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.

360 painting of the battle. It was originally done in the 1800's, and recently restored and displayed in a huge building. They have done a fantastic job. What a job the artist did. He painted this from sketches done during the three day battle.

360 painting of the battle. It was originally done in the 1800’s, and recently restored and displayed in a huge building. They have done a fantastic job. What a job the artist did. He painted this from sketches done during the three day battle.

We took one of the bus tours, and learned so much more than we have in the past. The tour guide was fantastic. This is a shot of where Pickets Charge took place. They are doing a lot to this landmark. So much has changed since I was here in 2000. They are restoring the lands throughout the park back to what they were like during the battle...correct orchards, crops, fences, etc.

We took one of the bus tours, and learned so much more than we have in the past. The tour guide was fantastic. This is a shot of where Pickets Charge took place. They are doing a lot to this landmark. So much has changed since I was here in 2000. They are restoring the lands throughout the park back to what they were like during the battle…correct orchards, crops, fences, etc.

From the top of Little Round Top.

From the top of Little Round Top.

Gettysburg is another must see if you get the chance.  We spent most of the rest of our time in PA hiking and biking.

Back on the bike paths.

Back on the bike paths.

And just like that, our time was up and we headed on down the road.  We landed at the Endless Caverns RV Park in VA for one night.  This campground is very steep and very dusty.  We could not get level in the fist site they gave us, so we found one that we were finally able to get level in.

Only two sites up from our site...looks like you could walk right up on the roof.

Only two sites up from our site…looks like you could walk right up on the roof.

We were up early on the 25th headed south.  Terri found out that the State Fair Grounds in Raleigh, NC had full hookup sites for a fair price (HA HA).  We always wanted to see this area, so we spent four days.  I guess we never realized how close NCSU, UNC and Duke all were to each other.  We traveled to each town (Raleigh, Chapel Hill and Durham) to see each campus.  Really nice!

NCSU football stadium.

NCSU football stadium.

The stadium adjoins the state fair grounds. When we were pulling out on Saturday, there were shuttles picking people up in the campground to take them to the game. Nice touch.

The stadium adjoins the state fair grounds. When we were pulling out on Saturday, there were shuttles picking people up in the campground to take them to the game. Nice touch.

The above happens to be the only pictures I took for some reason.  Our timing getting to Raleigh was just right, as the state fair had just ended.  While the fair is going on, (most of October) you can’t stay at the campground.  We also made a couple of trips to the state farmers market.  Great produce and other wares to be had there.  They are open 7 days a week.  We got some great apples, butter beans, cabbage and other trinkets.

We were on the road at 0900 this past Saturday, and we were off of the road and broken down by 1000.  We usually try to stop at a rest area after we have some miles under our belts just to be able to do a walk around of the Coach, check the connections to the truck and check the bike straps.  Good thing we did that this time!  When I got to the rear of the Coach, I noted the front of the truck was all wet, and when I looked under the rear of the Coach, I could see radiator fluid spraying out from who knows where.  I ran back inside and shut down.  After we let the engine cool for a bit, we got underneath and determined where the leak was.  It looked like some kind of pump, so we dug into our tech manuals and determined the leak was coming from our Heater Booster Pump.  Our Coach had three pumps that circulate the radiator fluid throughout the Coach for both cab heat (like the heater in your car) and the hydronic heating system.  This pump is the one for the cab heat.  One thing you gotta love about Terri is her desire and ability  to jump into anything (most anything anyway.)  The pump is located in a position on the Coach that I could not get into to see exactly where the leak was on the pump.  Terri was able to slide underneath, and actually sit upright and get some good photos and determine exactly where the leak was.

Here's my little

Here’s my little “mobile mechanic” doing her thing!

Here is the pump. The leak was coming from the nut on the top of the pump on the right side in this photo. Terri tried to tighten the nut, but it must be stripped...would not tighten or loosen.

Here is the pump. The leak was coming from or near the nut on the top of the pump on the right side in this photo. Terri tried to tighten the nut, but it must be stripped…would not tighten or loosen.

Here is the page from our tech manual that shows the two types of pumps and where they are located.

Here is the page from our tech manual that shows the two types of pumps and where they are located.

Another shot of the pump. We were able to get the part number and manufacturer off of one of the photo's. This helped in further identifying the issue, and for ordering new parts. Country Coach used two brands of pumps, and luckily the company that made this one is still in business.

Another shot of the pump. We were able to get the part number and manufacturer off of one of the photos. This helped in further identifying the issue, and for ordering new parts. Country Coach used two brands of pumps, and luckily the company that made this one is still in business.

Our

Our “breakdown” spot.

Now that we were armed with as much info as possible, and knowing we could not fix it on our own, it was time to start figuring out what we were going to do.  We did a search for Cummins Service Centers, and found out there was a Cummins facility that is also a Coach Care facility only 30 miles away from us in Kenly, NC.  They are closed on weekends, but Cummins always has an emergency number.  In short order I was on the phone with a nice guy named Jay.  I explained the issue, and he stated he could send a mobile repair man out, but it would be a waste of money, since Cummins does not carry the pumps in stock.  Not knowing how much coolant I’d lost, we decided to call Good Sam Roadside Assist and get towed to the Cummins facility.

Now the long wait really started.  Good Sam was not able to find a company that was willing to tow us on the weekend.  We figured we’d get some antifreeze and put some in to see if we could possibly determine how much we lost, and if not too much, try to drive to the Cummins facility.  After adding two gallons, we still could not see any coolant in the reservoir…not good.  We were getting ready to determine how we were going to spend the weekend at the rest stop, when Good Sam called back and said they had found a tow company in Durham, and Good Sam also approved the tow to Cummins for no extra charge.  This roadside plan paid off again, as the tow would have been $1,500.00.

The tow truck was dispatched at 3:00.  We were hoping to get on the hook and in the Cummins parking lot before dark.  He showed up at 4:30.

On the hook, and ready to roll...almost. When towing these things, the drive shaft has to be disconnected, and the tow truck has to pump air into the Coach air system to keep air in the suspension and brakes or the suspension won't work and the brakes will apply themselves...not good. When the two truck driver hooked up the air, I told him I didn't think his truck was not pushing enough air, my air indicator was not moving. He said this is typical, and would air up as he started moving...hmmm.

On the hook, and ready to roll…almost. When towing these things, the drive shaft has to be disconnected, and the tow truck has to pump air into the Coach air system to keep air in the suspension and brakes or the suspension won’t work and the brakes will apply themselves…not good. When the tow truck driver hooked up the air, I told him I didn’t think his truck was pushing enough air, as my air indicator was not moving. He said this is typical, and would air up as he started moving…hmmm.

Pulling out.

Pulling out.

Here we are, following our

Here we are, following our “home” down the road. We were about 18 miles into the 30 mile trip, when I noted smoke coming from under the Coach. I called the driver and told him to pull over. I guess his air system didn’t work after all because the rear brakes were starting to lock up. He switched to a higher output hose, and this aired up the front tank, but not the rear. I figured there was enough fluid in the engine to start the Coach and get the rear aired up, so that’s what I did. We got everything pressured up, and pushed down the road. The ABS indicator light is still on, but that should clear once I’m back on the road…I hope!

Getting backed into our spot at

Getting backed into our spot at “Camp Cummins.”

After finally finding a power pedestal that actually worked, we got set up, grabbed a bite at a truck stop,and called it a night. This is our view from the parking lot...that is I-95.

After finally finding a power pedestal that actually worked, we got set up, grabbed a bite at a truck stop,and called it a night. This is our view from the parking lot…that is I-95.

Yesterday we went back to the state farmers market and checked out the thriving metropolis of Kenly.  We found a really neat antique shop in Selma that had tons of things to look at.  When did stuff that we had as kids become antiques??

Sometimes you just have to giggle.

Sometimes you just have to giggle.

Well, the technician just came back…they got the old pump off, and now they can order the new one.  The Coach is back parked in its spot, and now we wait for how long it will take to get the part in.  I called the campground where we will be staying in Orlando to see if I can get a rebate for a few nights since we will not be there tomorrow, and of course the answer is no.  Oh well, that’s the way it goes sometimes.

That’s all for now…hoping for a quick ship and a quick fix and looking forward to getting back on down the road.  As always, we hope this finds you Happy, Healthy and Living Your Dreams!!!

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