Monday, August 16, 2010

Reading Old Journals

Mackenzie has been very sick with a cold the past 4 days, so we just stayed at their house today and did not do any activities or trips.  We plan to do the same for tomorrow.  We’ll be taking the girls on a weekend camping trip down to Long Beach, WA on Friday and we want Mackenzie to be well by then. 

I dug around the RV this afternoon and found some of my old travel journals I used to keep before the days of Blogging and taking a computer on the road with us.  It was fun to read some of the entries.  I kept a detailed journal in 1997 and 1999 when Bruce and I were able to get away from the family for 6 months and travel to the east coast.  And then I kept journals with sporadic entries on the trips we took my Dad on.  By then I was sending out an e-mail newsletter to people and so the journal entries began to fall off a bit. 

Here is an entry from August 11, 1997 when we were at Stone Mountain, Georgia:

We drove north past Macon to the Stone Mountain Park turnoff east of Atlanta.  We got a nice campsite and will stay for 4 nights.  Got settled in and ate lunch.  After lunch we drove around the mountain to the walk-up path entrance.  It was very warm but we decided to walk up to the top of the mountain anyway.  It was a long gradual climb, sometimes steep.  We had to stop several times along the way to catch our breath.  The last 100 yards or so was very rough, but we finally made it.  There was a nice air conditioned snack bar at the top – thank goodness.  There is also a tram that will take you from the bottom to the top, but we chose to walk.  The view from the mountain top was beautiful and we stayed up there and rested and had a snack.  Then we began the trip back down the mountain. 

My journal entry does not do justice to how miserably humid it was that day!  What was I thinking in letting Bruce talk me into climbing Stone Mountain in AUGUST????  He still thinks it’s funny.  Me?  Not so much.

In 1999 we took another trip east, going on the northern route toward Maine.  We found a listing for a Passport America park in King Ferry, New York.  The listing said it was open so we drove and drove and drove until we found it. 

My entry for April 26, 1999:

We drove south to Route 17 and then headed east to King Ferry.  Route 17 is a mess.  Very lumpy and bumpy.  Drove past Elmira and northeast through Ithaca.  King Ferry is way the heck out in the country.  We finally located the campground, Black Rock Campground, and it looked deserted.  We finally located a strange man working in a pottery shed.  He seemed to know nothing about RV spaces, most of which were still covered with brush and limbs from winter storms.  He instructed us to go a mile into town and see “Bill” at the antique store.  So we drove into King Ferry.  We found a woman at the store who said the camp didn’t usually open until May 30 (even though the Passport book said otherwise) but that she was Bill’s wife and told us to just drive out onto the grass by the pond and we could park for free with no hook-ups.  It was getting late, so we said OK.  We drove back to Black Rock Campground and did what she told us to do.  We promptly got stuck fast in the muddy grass and could not budge the motorhome.  We tried everything to free our wheels.  Bruce walked up to the pottery shed with the strange man to see what could be done.  No phone service at this campground!  Mr. Strange Man said “don’t worry, Bill will be by in a while and he can pull you out with his tractor.”  Around 9 pm Bill did drive up without his tractor.  He said his wife did not know what she was talking about and she shouldn’t have told us to park there.  No kidding.  He asked if we’d be OK to just stay there for the night and he’d come back at dawn to pull us out with his tractor.  We agreed and off he went.  We listed a bit to the port side but we managed to sleep OK.

My entry for June 9, 1999:  (Maine)

We left Acadia National Park today and continued our journey north on Route 1.  We came to Cobscook Bay State Park and paid for a 2-night stay.  They assigned us to site #4 in the RV section, no hook-ups but what a magnificent view!  Our site is very level and secluded and we have a view of the Cobscook Bay.  We pulled out our chairs and set them out facing the bay. 

It was fun to re-read all of those old journal entries.  Reliving the old RV vacations brings back good memories and sad memories.  Dad isn’t with us anymore but the entries from our trip to Alaska with him in 2006 were great.  We saw so many things and he was so glad he actually got to see that fabulous state. 

As a Blogger I no longer have to handwrite my journals.  I can just post a blog and then go back anytime to re-read it.  I like this way much better.  Did any of you keep detailed travel journals before blogging? 

It was another hot day (over 90F) so staying indoors was nice.  The heat wave should break after tomorrow.  Can’t wait.


Until next time… long for now!


Happytrails said...

Margie, I loved reading your old journal of past trips. I can totally identify with your heat/humidity exhaustion at Stone Mountain. We are about an hour and a half away from there and the "heat is on".
Sounds like you had some really great times from reading your entry today. Know you guys will continue making those great times and memories.
Take care
Mike & Gerri

Wayne and Roberta said...

How fun to go back and read the old journals and relive the memories. I'm sure now you can look back and laugh about being stuck in the mud,although at the time I'm sure it wasn't so funny.

Hope MacKenzie feels better real soon.

Sue and Doug said...

what great memories to treasure..and yes I have an old journal that we used when we had our 1969 Vanguard travel trailer..19 feet long..held together with silicone...we had so much fun with that old gal!!!
Now I am going to dig that book out and take a trip down memory lane..

Gypsy said...

I love to read my old journals once in a while. I wrote on small sheets of notepaper with a pencil while I was backpacking on the Appalachian Trail, and mailed them about once a week when I came to a town, to a guy who typed them up and posted them on an online website.

In Ireland I wrote in pen on huge sheets of notepaper and mailed them to my mom about once every week or two, and I typed them out as best I could to post them online on a blog. I couldn't figure out why some big blocks of time were missing, and then realized my mom must not have kept anything where I referenced having a date or a boyfriend! Imagine, at my age and my mother still disapproved.

Rick and Paulette said...

I just read Al's treatment for being sick - a cream filled doughnut? I'll bet MacKenzie would go for that!

Great memories from your journal and smart of you to keep them. Just imagine what you'll be able to look back on in 10 years with your blogs!

It will be a tremendous memory for the 'Grands' as well.

Judy and Emma said...

I, also, have always kept journals of my travels, and of my bird banding activities. Sorry to say, just about all of that was lost to me in the divorce. :(

I do have the "book" I wrote of my travels to Alaska in 2004 with my 87 year old mother. I'm so glad I have at least that. I also wrote a journal for my first 2.5 years on the road fulltiming before I started my blog. I really like the blog better since I can include pictures. :)

I lived in the area where you went in New York for 18 years, so that entry of yours brought back many memories. :) Cool beans, Margie!

Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

To answer your question, yes we have kept some kind of journals of many of our travels.

We kept the old fashioned fill in the blank camping journals when the kids were small and always maintained a ships log during the many years we were into sailing.

I have scanned many of them into PDF files and carry them with us, so we can look at them whenever we wish via the computer.

Carol K said...

We have always kept track of the RV parks we've stayed in, and sometimes I noted places we went or people that we saw, and weather information, but I never kept a detailed journal. Even without the details, it's fun to look back and see every RV park or campground that we've stayed in since July, 1990.


Old journals can be like old friends as one reads & reminisces about days gone by. Even the rough days sometimes have their rough edges rounded off.

Phyllis said...

Oh Margie - that is the thing I regret the most that I did getting ready to fulltime. I started keeping a journal in 1992. Not extensive entries like you did, but just a short overview of the day. Births, parties, weddings, weather, everyday things.

When cleaning out the house, I packed them in boxes. Then a few days later I asked myself why was I keeping them. Len was going to local recycing center where we had to take our trash, etc.

I had him take them and destroy them. It took only a few hours to deeply regret that decision. I often think about it and sincerely wish I had thought more about it.

Please, don't ever throw your treasures away.

Karen and Al said...

We started out handwriting some travel journals but then I started typing them on my laptop and adding some photos in from my digital camera. That was the way to go and the beginnings of blogging, I guess.

I like reading them again too and have saved mine as well.

An English Shepherd said...

Sorry to read Mackenzie is not well :-(


Dennis and Donna said...

I have several hand written journals I made into mini books for our kids...When you were journaling about Maine it brought back some great old memories BH..(before the Hiker)...Hope Mackenzie is better soon!

Jerry and Suzy said...

We started with emails for family and a few friends when we went full-time. Many of the family and most of those friends soon dropped off. We picked up a few other readers when we started using MyTripJournal, but the real fun started with Blogger.

We are going back to the MyTripJournal entries, printing them out and storing them in a binder. Yes, we have all the entries and pix on a DVD, but we know technology will soon make that obsolete. Paper in a binder will keep, inless, of course, we have a fire or horrendous flood.

Ali said...

So good to have a few minutes to get caught up with you both. Sorry to hear that MacKenzie is not feeling well...sure hope she is better and able to do the weekend campout with you.

I have journaled off/on since we moved to Holland in Dec. 1977. I have them in a big box with the intention of putting them all on the computer and saving to disc...I have even thought of writing a book. Who knows if that will happen.

Take care and God Bless.

KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

Sooooo did you ever get UN-stuck by Bill and his tractor?

Karen and Steve
(Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard