Tag: Delaware Water Gap

Indian Summer And No Air Conditioning

It always seems that as autumn comes to Eastern Pennsylvania and the surrounding areas the temperature drops and the leaves start to change color.  Then, without warning, the heat and humidity return for one last gasp of summer.

Normally, this would not be a big deal.  Except, this year as the temps and humidity head up our AC at home died.  We learned this when we returned home on Sunday night after spending a nice weekend at Home d’Pug RV.   We could have suffered through the next few days until it was fixed, but the pugs would not have survived the higher temperatures.  This was especially true of our two forever fosters – Casey Jones and Maggie – who both have a collapsing larynx.

After the 2-1/2 hour drive home we packed the pugs and Tiger, our cat, (Yes! we also have a cat), additional dog, cat food, litter, litter pan, additional clothing we made the return trip to the Poconos.  Finally got back to the RV around 12:30 in the morning.  There we stayed the entire week.  I drove the two hours each way to work every day.

The AC motor was replaced on Wednesday.  We decided since the week as just about over, why not stay until Sunday.  This meant we spent 10 days at Home d’Pug RV.  Two adults, six pugs and one cat living in a 31-foot motorhome.

Tiger’s Big RV Adventure

Tiger and Casey Jones

Tiger has been with us for over 10 years now.  She has moved from one home to the next and just rolled with the punches.  As the pugs started to come into our life she would leave them alone for the most part.  We did not take her to the RV as we were not sure how she would adapt to the small space with two humans and 6 pugs.   Of course, there was also the fear that she would get out which would not be good as she is an indoor only cat.  But the situation necessitated that she come along.

Tiger with the grumble

Much to our surprise (it really should not have surprised us), she just rolled with it.  We unloaded the cars, set up her litter pan, food and water dishes and let her out.  Tiger looked around and gave everything the once over.  By this time we were exhausted and I had to get up early to go to work.  Throughout the night, you could hear Tiger moving around, but no more than at home.

By early Monday morning, she had staked out the copilot’s seat as her own.  This is where you could find her asleep most of the day.  Her food and water were up on the covered stove top.  This way the pugs could not get to it and she could eat in peace.  Before long, she figured out the best way to get there was to hop up on the dining table and then make the short leap to the stove top.  She even found time to spend with the pugs on the sofa bed.

It got us thinking that maybe Tiger would do OK coming with us to the RV on our weekend trips.  Will need to plan out where to keep her litter pan, etc. so they are not in the way.  That will be our winter research project.

Keeping them behind the fence

The campground managers, who live on site, have two Papillons and had a fence built on their site.   In talking with Donna and J one quiet Sunday afternoon, they suggested that we do the same.  One of the grounds crew built theirs and we were welcome to approach Kevin to do the same on our site.

After talking with Kevin, we made a deal to have a fence built on our site.  It is not a normal in a fence as there are no posts dug into the ground.  Rather, it sits on top of the ground.  This means we need to find another way to support the longer runs.  This is still a work in progress.

Having the fenced in area allows us a lot more freedom in allowing the pugs to join us outside – especially as the weather becomes more comfortable for them.  The best thing about the fenced in area is at potty time we can just open the door and let the kids run out.  Ollie and Ming are a little slow in getting with the program.  They are eager to go outside.  However, both still look forward to going for a walk to do their business.

Having the fence has become a must for us if we are planning on staying in any one spot for an extended period with the pugs.  This fence has sections so it can be unassembled and moved to another site or campground.  We still use one of our x-pens to keep the dogs away from the fire ring when we have a campfire going.  The fire ring is one corner (not too close) of the fenced in area and we use the x-pen to block off that area.  It has worked great.  Of course, with any campfire, we keep a close eye on the grumble to make sure they don’t get behind the x-pen and near the fire ring.

Renovations ahead

We have planned an animal-free weekend for the first weekend of October.  It will be good to have some quality alone time.  The interior is also going to get a couple of renovations we have planned.

The kitchen area is going to get a new backsplash.  The carpets in the living room and bathroom are going to be replaced with vinyl flooring.  More on the renovations next time.


In Memorium

As we have talked about before, we forever foster two pugs for the rescue we founded.  Both have collapsing larynx.  Maggie came to the rescue in early June 2017 and underwent major surgery to fix her stomach that slipped past her diaphragm.  It was after the surgery that we learned about the collapsing larynx and she became a Philly Pug & Short Nose Rescue Angel pug.

Monday (10/2/17) morning Maggie was having a very difficult time breathing and was in distress.  From the beginning, we knew our time with her was limited. With great sadness, we helped her across the bridge.  We did all we could for her.   Our hearts are shattered.

We hope you are having fun at the bridge our sweet Maggie Moo Moo.  We love you so very much.

Til we meet again.    ❤️💔😪😪

 


 

Fall Comes Early To Home d’Pug RV

Here we are the weekend after Labor Day and the mornings have been a bit on the cooler side.  Woke up Saturday morning with the temps around 48° F and 50° F Sunday morning.  While these are not the coldest temperatures we have gone RVing in, after the hot, humid summer it was a little bit of a surprise.  We do expect the heat and humidity to make a return as is usual in this part of the county.

Along with the cooler nights comes shorter days.  That means that fall colors cannot be far behind.  A couple of trees are already starting to change.  We are looking forward to a spectacular fall with tons of colors before the trees shed their leaves.

The crowds leave along with the (unofficial) end of summer

Now that Labor Day has come and gone, so have the crowds at Delaware Water Gap / Pocono Mountain KOA.  It very quiet back in our little corner of the campground.  After the summer weekends with just about every campsite and cabins filled it is almost spooky at night.

With the cooler weather and lack of neighbors, the grumble was able to enjoy some outside time.  We set up the x-pen between our canape and the RV.  So long as the sun was not shining directly on them they were fine.  Our two Philly Pug & Short Nose Rescue Angle fosters would sit in the sun and start to over heat, so in they went into the cool RV.

Pugs are also enjoying the cooler weather

After spending part of the afternoon outside enjoying the fresh air and the sunshine they were eagerly looking forward to dinner.  After dinner, they all decided that they would take over the sofa bed and fall into the ‘post dinner food coma.’  Here are some pictures of the grumble.

The Whole Grumble

Rosie

Maggie

Sugaree

Casey Jones

Ming, Ollie, and Rosie

 

July is a Hot Time in the Summertime

To say it’s hot is an understatement.  The average temperature in Philadelphia is in the mid to upper 80’s with high levels of humidity.  It seems that most of the middle of the month, average temperatures ran more in the low to mid 90’s.  Between the above average temperatures and the humidity, air conditioners just could not keep up.

We do our best to keep the grumble cool.  This means limiting their time outside in the middle of the day.  We keep them off the cement and asphalt as much as possible.  Lots of cool water available.  And special treats, such as watermelon, cucumbers, cantaloupe, a frozen Kong with peanut butter or home made doggie ice cream.

Shore Run

The third weekend in July we decided to take a little break from the Poconos.  Rachel and I took Saturday for just the two of us.  We headed down the shore to Cape May for the day.  As we were in South Jersey with no real schedule we decided to stop in at Camping World in Swedesboro, NJ.

We have never been in a Camping World store and wanted to see what it was all about.  The store is just off of I-295 and was an easy drive.  Outside, they had a huge lot with many different types of RV’s available for sale.  They had about eight service bays filled and many rigs either waiting to be worked on or for their owners to return.  Rachel and I had the same reaction to the retail store, it was small but had a nice selection of camping and RV related items.  We figured we would do any shopping from Camping World on their website.  Greater selection of items to choose from.

After our visit to Camping World,  We headed to Cape May.  On the way, we passed a couple of campgrounds.  Naturally, we had to stop in and take a look around.  Really liked Avalon Campground.  Seemed quiet, clean and well cared for.  The roads within the campground are a little narrow, but nothing we can’t handle.  They have seasonal rentals from mid-April to early October. We like to start the camping season as early as we can and extend it as late into the fall as possible.  Just not sure if a shore campsite would work for us for the season.  More thought will be given to this idea.

Decided we “worked” enough on this Saturday and deserved some time to unwind.  So we headed to the Willow Creek Winery located at 160-168 Stevens Street, West Cape May, NJ 08204.  We found this little gem a couple of years ago after leaving the Cape May Lighthouse.  They have a great selection of wines and menu of lite foods that accompany the wines perfectly.  This is a must stop if your in the Cape May area.

We finished the day at one of our favorite restaurants down the shore, the Tuckahoe Inn at 1 Harbor Road, Beesley’s Point, NJ 08223 (just outside of Ocean City, NJ).  The Tuckahoe Inn holds a special place in Rachel’s heart.  Often her parents would drive down on a Friday night just for dinner.  When Rachel was younger, she would often join them.

The food is superb.  The wait staff is very friendly, knowledgeable and accommodating.  Word of advice, if you’re planning on dining here during the summer season, call ahead to make reservations.  Tuckahoe Inn has plenty of dining space, but they do book up quickly.

Sadly, the day went by too quickly.  We went home and spent the rest of the weekend with the pugs trying to stay cool.

Another Hot and Humid Week

The next week was even warmer and it seemed like the humidity was higher.  

Rachel was planning on going up to the Poconos Thursday night with the grumble.  However, after running some errands and taking all of the dogs out for a potty break before dinner she was exhausted from the heat.  When I got home, she asked if I wanted to drive up to Home d’Pug RV and go to work Friday morning from there.  I agreed.

The pugs got so excited as we started to pack the car.  They know when an adventure is about to start.

Arrived around 9:00 pm.  Unpacked the car, walked the pugs, they all got treats and then we settled down for the night.  Having two A/C units cools down the RV in quick order.  Was up by 5:30 the next morning and on my way to work by a little after 6, as it is a little over two-hour drive to my job from Home d’Pug Rv in the Poconos.  But so well worth it to have a few more hours in our little slice of heaven.  After work, I headed back to spend the rest of the weekend.

Rest of July – Misqueto City

The rest of July we continued to try and beat the heat on the weekends at Home d’Pug RV.  However, the mosquitoes have taken over.  We are trying everything to deter them as-well-as deal with the itching from the many bites.

With so much in the news of diseases that are carried by mosquitoes, we conferred with our doctor.  As we have no other symptoms other than itching, we have nothing to worry about.

We have tried all types of creams, ointments, and lotions.  So far nothing is working.  Any suggestions are welcome.

4th of July – Sit Down & Patch My Bones

Ollie misses his dad

After almost two weeks on the road, it was time to get away for some serious rest and relaxation.  As the pugs were not with us on “tour”, we felt they deserved some quality time with us.  So we went to Home d’Pug RV from June 30th to July 9th.  Actually, Rachel and the grumble stay up there all that time.  I had to come home for work July 5th through the 7th.  After work on the 7th, I made my way back to the Poconos.

I had to come home for work July 5th through the 7th.  After work on the 7th, I made my way back to the Poconos.  Ollie really missed his dad while I was away.  He decided to sleep in one of the captain’s chairs.

Being an extra long holiday weekend, the campground was packed from Friday until check out on July 4th.  Generally, the weekenders who camp around us are not a problem.  Fortunately, we were able to get the much-needed rest and spend quality time with the pugs.  They were not complaining.

Fireworks

The DELAWARE WATER GAP / POCONO MOUNTAIN KOA is about a mile down the road from Shawnee Mountain Ski Area.  As part of the holiday festivities, on July 3rd Shawnee had a fireworks display.  Fireworks may be beautiful, however, many dogs are scared by the loud noises the make.  Knowing this we had a plan.

grumble 7/4/2017Before it got dark out, all the pugs went for their final walk of the night and got their treats.  Everyone snuggled in on the sofa (laid flat in its bed configuration) and we put on a movie.  The volume was turned up much louder than normal in an effort drown out some of the noise from the fireworks.  It worked mostly.

Ming, Rosie, Ollie, and Sugaree (who is deaf) all snuggled down and slept through most of the noise.  Casey Jones was another case.  She was terrified by all the noise outside.  Finally, I was able to get her to snuggle into my shoulder and she settled down but was still on edge.  After about 45 minutes the fireworks ended.

We will have to rethink staying in the RV when Shawnee has fireworks planned.

Wildlife

bear walking along 209

Bear walking along Route 209

It’s Sunday, July 2nd around 10 am and we decide to go to one of our local favorite diners, Mullers, for a late breakfast.  As we are making our way South on Route 209 traffic starts to slow.  I look to my right to say something to Rachel and the only thing that comes out of my mouth is – Bear!  Rachel looks at me “like, yeah, right!”  She realizes that I am looking past her and she turns to her right and guess what she saw.  YUP!  A bear walking in an open field right next to Route 209.  Rachel quickly grabs her cell phone and gets a couple of pictures of the bear.

One of the things that we like most about our camp site is that it faces a wooded area.  Often, we get to see or at least hear some of the wild life that wonders close to if not into the campgrounds.  We have seen deer, wild turkeys, chipmunks, squirrels and a great number of different types of birds.

Doe through screen window

Wild turkey on hill behind rig

 

On the Road Again – RV Style

It is ready

Talked to the mechanic on Wednesday afternoon.  Great news!!!  The RV is done and ready to be picked up.  This meant that it was time for the Home d’Pug grumble to be on the road again.

We picked up our 1989 Tiffen Allegro from the mechanic this past Thursday morning.  The RV went back to her winter home at the storage lot not too far from our home.  Later Thursday evening we started to load all of the stuff we had taken out as part of winterization.  The early (not too early) part of Friday morning finishing packing and by late morning we were on our way to setup our summer home.

On our way

The ride went well.  It was apparent that work that was done to the suspension and new tires improved the ride.  We also were not trailing much in the way of noxious fumes from the exhaust.  These are all good things.

Mid-afternoon, we pull into the Delaware Water Gap / Pocono Mountain KOA, check in and go to our site for the season.  It did not take long to back the rig into the site and get it level.  Happily, the site was fairly level to start.  Plugged into the power pedestal and wouldn’t you know it, we were operational.  By this point, we were both starving as it had been several hours since breakfast.

The start of the adventure

The pugs settled in the RV, blankets on the floor, dog toys out, and a bowl of fresh water.  As we did not bring much in the way of food stuff with ourselves so we went to a local restaurant for a late lunch/early dinner.  Afterward, we returned to the rig and finished setting up and unpacking.  This is where the first issue showed itself.

At the end of last season, we decided to upgrade our water filter system.  After some research, we settled on the Watts 520022 RV/Boat Duo Exterior Water Filter system (more on this later).  Connected a short 4-foot hose from the water bib to the one end of the filter, no problem.  Connected our longer, fifty-foot hose to the filter only to find out that the hose has a leak right at the connection point.

This was the only long hose we had we had to improvise a short-term solution.  Out came the duct tape.  While it slowed down the leak, it did not stop it completely.  It is too early in the year to start playing around and trying to fix the hose.  So we elected to replaced it with a shorter, ten-foot hose that covered the required distance and did not leave a large coil of excess hose on the ground.

New water filter system

Back to the water filter.  Like may (most?) first-time RV’ers we did a little research on water filters and purchased the common Camco single stage filter.   The smell and taste of the water was still not “right”, so we used bottled water last summer for drinking, cooking, water bowls, etc.  The Watts 520022 is a dual stage filtration system.  The smell of the water is greatly improved.   The water system is in the process of being sanitized so we cannot talk about the taste, yet.  Early opinion is that it was a worthwhile upgrade.

Time to relax

deer in woodsThe balance of Friday night relaxing and spending time with the pugs.  Saturday morning made breakfast and decided that it was time to tackle the next big step in our RV life.  That was to get the hot water heater fired up.  Last summer we did not have hot water within the RV as the relief valve had to be replaced.  We have been staying in campgrounds with showers so this was not a major inconvenience.  It was on my list of things to get repaired/replaced before this season started.  However, our mechanic lets us down.  While he took care of all the other issues we identified, this one was missed.  So we will have to have it replaced here at the campground.  Not a major problem, but what a letdown.

Being in the Pocono mountains the campsite was visited by some of the local wildlife.  Our neighbor is kind enough to leave out corn for the deer and wild turkeys.  As city folk is a site to wake up in the morning and see deer in and around your campsite.  Ollie, the only male in our grumble, was not too happy about this situation.  He ran from window to window to try and get a look at them.

grumble outsideThe rest of the weekend spending time around the fire and enjoying a little R&R.  Rosie, Ming, Casey Jones, Ollie, and Sugaree all seemed to be very happy outside soaking up the sunshine and fresh air.

So happy to back in the RV!!!

Spring 2017

As Spring 2017 is here our focus turns to RV season.  OK, our mind never really left RV season.  We struggled with the anticipation of getting the RV out of winter storage and setting up camp.

As you will recall in our post “Home Away From Home” we talked about the Delaware Water Gap / Pocono Mountain KOA.  For the 2017 summer season, we have a site starting April 1st and going to the end of November.  This will be our weekend getaway for most of the summer.

But first, we need to get the rig ready for the summer.  This means it is time for the annual state inspection along with the deferred maintenance items that need to be addressed before we head off for our summer adventures.  This includes new tires, work on the suspension and exhaust systems and repairs to a leak in the plumbing around the shower/bedroom area.  It is our hope to have everything done in time to head up to our Pocono site for Easter weekend.  That is the goal (fingers and toes crossed).

This year for the holidays we decided not to get traditional presents for each other.  As lifelong Deadheads, we decided to get tickets to see Dead and Company.  Having the RV means that we are able to travel and see them a number of times during this summers’ tour.  As we both work full time we had to chose which cities we could travel to once the tour schedule was announced.  Of course, we had to keep in mind the limited vacation time our jobs allow us each year.  We have tickets and campsite reservations to see Dead and Company six times over a ten-day span.

Our pugs are looking forward to going camping too.  We say, “You want to go camping?” and they get all excited and happy.  This past February we drove down meet up with friends who run a pug rescue in Memphis, TN.  The purpose of the trip was to catch with them and to a adopt a special needs pug.  She was found as a stray and was in rough shape.  Under feed and over breed.  We feel in love with her instantly and made her a member of the grumble.  Please welcome Sugaree to the Home d’Pug family.

Now that we have our summer plans in place is it time to start thinking about a fall adventure???

Home Away From Home

As we are still working full-time we are”weekend warriors.”  Meaning our travel times and distance are limited so we are not spending all of our time driving.  By design, we have limited our travels to no more than 150 to 200 miles from home during our first summer RVing.

We found several campgrounds that were nice and fit our needs.  However, in talking about where to go next weekend or the next upcoming holiday weekend the same place kept coming to Rachel and me – the Delaware Water Gap / Pocono Mountain KOA.  It is about an hour and a half drive from home.  An easy drive (except for the highway construction).  Close to a nice size town with access to the things we either elected to get once we set up camp or just plain forgot to pack.  Most importantly to our grumble, the campground is dog-friendly.

The campground is run by Donna and J.  A great couple who go out of their way to make sure your stay is enjoyable.  They are supported by a great staff.  Many are workcampers – campers who come for the season, or part thereof.  Everyone on staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and willing to help in any way they can.

Depending on what you are looking for, there are lots of activities at the site.  It seems that every weekend there is a theme or special activities scheduled.  There are also plenty of wonderful things to do in the general area.  If your interests are of a more physical nature there are numerous places to hike, bike trails, canoe, etc.  Maybe you would prefer a less strenuous form relaxation.  You could go tubing or visit many of the little shops in the area.

This past summer, we were more inclined to hang around our camp site and spend time with the pugs.  They have an x-pen so they can spend time outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.  Of course, they go inside the RV to keep cool if it is too hot and humid.  A couple of hours in and around the pool is always a great way to keep cool, get a little exercise and meet fellow campers.

By far our favorite activity is sitting around the campfire in the evening and watch the stars come out.  We will put something on the grill for dinner.  Turn on some tunes – hopefully, not too loudly. And just relax and unwind from the stresses of the workweek.

The entire family has enjoyed this KOA so very much that we have a arranged for a seasonal site for the 2017 season.  This means that we will not have to move the rig from home to the Poconos and back home every weekend.  Just pack up a few things, the pugs and off we go for the weekend.  Additionally, we will not be in a rush to leave on Sunday morning by the scheduled check out time.  Everyone is looking forward to the start of our rental this coming summer.

This does not mean that we will not be on the road at all during the summer of 2017.  Stay tuned for details of our Summer 2017 road trips.

 

 

**This is not a paid endorsement of  Delaware Water Gap /Pocono Mountain KOA or KOA in general.  We are only expressing our opinions and first-hand experiences.

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