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Log Of The H. M. S. Rainmaker

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#1 OldBuzzard OFFLINE  



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Posted July 03, 2013 - 09:25 AM

I'm a bit late on this as I started out on 6/29 but here's what I've been up to  :D :D :D

SAT. June 29


Got everything ready to go for the voyage.  Loaded up the 1000 that I picked up here in Ohio for Sam (1967bolens collector) in NJ so that I could drop it off while on my way to Akron to pick up a Brinly CAT 0 plow that I had just bought on eBay, and then NC to pick up a Hard Cab for the Bolens Large Frames.  This time the rain didn't wait for me to even get on the road.  It started raining while I was loading up the 1000.  :rolling:


Set sail for Akron, to pick up the plow, but had to make a stop to replace the wiper blades.  BOTH of them started to disintegrate, and I didn't want to scratch the windshield.


Finally arrived in Akron and loaded up the plow. 

Brinly 3 plow.jpg 100_4615.JPG 100_4625.JPG
After that we plotted a course for Carney's Point, NJ and set sail again.  Stopping for the wipers and getting them installed put us behind schedule, so we stopped in a Wally World parking lot for the night.
Our next stop was going to be at a Flying J truck stop in Carlisle, PA for fuel, but after looking at gasbuddy.com we diverted to another station in Carlisle where I pumped in 55 gal. at $2.99/gal :dancingbanana:  
Since it was getting late, we decided to stop at a KOA campground in West Chester, PA.  Now, it was a really nice campground, but well off the beaten track.  I gotta say, PA has some great scenery, but some of their secondary roads sure are narrow!  It was definitely an adventure getting from the freeway to the campground.
Left the KOA and headed to Sam's place which was just a short hop..  Once I arrived, (while it was raining) we off loaded the 1000.
Since the battery was dead, Sam just pulled the freewheeling pin, and pushed it off the trailer.  Then he fired up his HT20D and we pulled it to the garage.
After that I got the guided tour.  I gotta say, Sam has a lot of neat stuff, some of which I would like to talk him out of...not that I think that would happen.  One thing that did interest me was his dad's Iseki/Bolens.  That was the first one that I've actually seen.  It wasn't as big as I expected.  Really not all that much bigger than a Large Frame with the exception of the tires/wheels which makes it 'stand' higher.
After the tour, it was time to head South to Edenton, NC.  The rest of the day was spent traveling through a bit of NJ, through DE, and into VA.
Along the way we took the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.  THAT was an experience!  We took a vid, and I'll have to get it posted.  The tunnels are a bit narrow, and I spent a lot of the time with the left wheel of the trailer running on the center line, which has a rumble strip...made a heck of a clatter :D   We  got through the first tunnel with only cars coming in the opposite direction, but in the 2nd we met an 18 wheeler about 1/2 way through.  That was a bit of 'white knuckle time' as I'm sure that there was no more that 6-8" clearance on each side.  Still we got through OK, and decided to stop in yet another campground in Chesapeake, VA.  Note...so far, unlike my typical road trip, we have yet to stay in a Wally World   :D
Headed off the Edenton, NC which was just another short hop from the campground.  Got Alex's place which was a bit of an adventure in itself.  Alex had told me that it wasn't going to be easy to find his place with the GPS, and truer words were never spoken.  Just as we were about to turn off the paved road onto the gravel road where Alex lives, there was a car was coming out.  He stopped next to us and asked if we were going to Alex's and I said yes.  He was a good friend of Alex and eventually ended up guiding us to where we needed to go.  If not for that, I may have still been wandering around in there!  The lane into Alex's has trees planted VERY close to the drive, and there were branches (fortunately just small ones) scraping along both sides of the motorhome on the way in.  It was a bit tight, but I did manage to get to where he had the 'goodies' stored. Once there, we decided to unhook the trailer and move it around with his Kubota.  That made life a lot easier.
After a bit of talking, Alex, his buddy, and I proceeded to load up not 1, not 2, but 5, yes count 'em, 5 Large Frame Snowcasters.  He got them in a big package deal along with a number of tractors and other goodies. Since he's where snow is very rare, and trying to sell them would be a problem, he gave me an asking price for the lot that I just couldn't refuse.
Then it was time to take the hard cab off of the 1250 that it was on.  THAT was a job, and it was a danged good thing that there were three of us!  I'm definitely going to need help getting that rascal mounted on the HDT1000.
With all of the loading, talking, and stops for a couple of (what else) rain showers, and a beer break, it was late afternoon and time to head North with a loaded trailer.
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Oh, did I mention that the lane had trees on each side?  I noticed this stuck in the awning this morning!
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I had asked Alex for a recommendation for a place for seafood that would do carryout, and he suggested one.  However, we missed it and after traveling a bit farther, I spotted a Wally World and decided to stop in and ask local person for a recommendation.  I'm sure glad I did that.
He sent me to a little Mom & Pop place about 5 miles away.  He said that they had their own boats and that all of their food was very fresh.  Once I stopped in it was obvious that it was going to be good.  Very little decor, just a number of tables which were almost all filled, and good smells coming from the kitchen. The wife and I both decided to get the sampler dinner which had flounder, shrimp, scallops, fried oysters, frys and hushpuppys.  There was so much, that we still have enough for another meal!
Since it was getting late, and we were most of the way back, we decided to stop back in the same campground we stayed in the night before.
Today is going to be a travel day.  Our next stop is going the be the Shenandoah National Park in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where we plan on traveling the Skyline Drive.  That's 105 miles of road with a speed limit of 35 MPH.  The wife traveled it many years ago, and wants to do it again.  It should be an interesting experience.  I don't know when we will get there, but we will probably stop for tonight and then drive it tomorrow. 
  OK, we are sitting in a campground just a couple of miles from the entrance to the Skyline Drive.  This is a fairly early stop for us.
We had planned for a fuel stop at a particular Flying J truck stop that had gas prices a lot lower than all of the other stations around ($3.19 vs. $3.32 or so) and had done a 'splash and go' earlier to give us just enough gas the get there.  Calculations proved correct, and the 'fuel light' came on just as we drove into the driveway!  We pumped in 64.8 gallons, so that meant that we have a 'reserve' of 10 gal. when the light comes on.  That's the first time we've seen the light, and it's nice to know just how much gas there is when we get the warning.  With 10 gallons, and figuring just 5 mpg, that gives us 50 miles to find a gas station. 
Getting here was something of an adventure, as the GPS took us off the beaten path and along some twisty turny, narrow roads.  scenery was nice though.
We also 'did' another bridge-tunnel.  This one was going back North into Newport News.  Good thing about this one was that it had two lanes going in each direction, so there weren't any clearance issues to give me white knuckles.  I'll post tomorrows drive here after we stop tomorrow night.




Edited by OldBuzzard, July 04, 2013 - 05:13 AM.

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#2 HDWildBill OFFLINE  


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Posted July 03, 2013 - 09:51 AM

Man OB, grass sure doesn't grow under your feet. :thumbs:   Driving the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is an interesting drive in a car much less in a motor home.  I used to drive it at least once a month, when my grandparents were alive, to go visit up in NJ.  I was stationed in Va. Beach at the time.


Looks like you have quite a haul this time around.  That was quite a deal on the snow casters, but I can understand why he wanted to get rid of them.  Be safe and be mindful of the fog that will roll in unexpectedly on the parkway. I hope you all enjoy the Parkway, it is very beautiful

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Posted July 03, 2013 - 10:18 AM

Drive safely, looks like you are going into the snow thrower business.  Enjoy the whole trip.




#4 [email protected] OFFLINE  

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Posted July 03, 2013 - 10:26 AM

Sounds like a great trip, and a nice haul of goodies too!


P.S. You need to name the MH, >>>>  the "Ark" :D

#5 JDBrian OFFLINE  


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Posted July 03, 2013 - 11:24 AM

It's great that you are able to combine your hobby and love of travel into these road trips. Sounds like you enjoy them very much. Thanks for posting. 

#6 EricFromPa OFFLINE  


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Posted July 03, 2013 - 02:37 PM

 I gotta say, PA has some great scenery, but some of their secondary roads sure are narrow!  It was definitely an adventure getting from the freeway to the campground.




Lol I think most of them are old Logging roads and Goat paths with a bit of tarmac on them.



Here's a short video of Skyline drive.


Edited by EricFromPa, July 03, 2013 - 02:45 PM.

#7 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  



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Posted July 03, 2013 - 02:39 PM

Sounds like quite the enjoyable trip you have going on there.  Lots of fun stuff to do, good eating, and pretty scenery!

#8 OldBuzzard OFFLINE  



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Posted July 03, 2013 - 05:16 PM

See the OP for an update  :D :D :D

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#9 OldBuzzard OFFLINE  



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Posted July 10, 2013 - 02:57 PM

Sorry about not updating, but I was getting a bit pooped at the end of the day, and kept putting it off :(


Anyway, we'd been back for a couple of days so here's the last portion of the trip.


Thu. July 4


Got to the Northern end of the park last night, and stayed in a campground that was only about 2-3 miles from the entrance.


Started the drive at @ 9:30 or so, and had all our cameras ready to go :D :D


There really isn't a way to adequately describe just how beautiful all the scenery was.  It's something that you really have to see for yourself to really appreciate it.  Yeah, pics and vids were taken, but those are a poor substitute for being there.


The road was wide enough that I didn't have any white knuckle moments, and it is in very good repair. I spent a lot of time with the cruise control set less than the 35 mph speed limit, and in 2nd gear.  Gas mileage wasn't really all that bad, all things considered.  We got @ 4.5 mpg for that portion of the trip.  That was with the generator running which uses .8 gal/hr. when the air conditioner is being used, and a lot of time sitting at various pull offs with the engine idling as well.


One good thing about doing it on the 4th was that there wasn't as much traffic as I had expected.  It seemed that most folks were driving it faster that I was, so we did pull off as often as possible to allow them to continue unhindered.  Personally, I think that doing the 35 mph speed limit was too fast as you see much more at 25 mph.


The weather ranged from bright sunshine to a pretty good downpour with everything in between.  It was mostly sunny, and the downpour only lasted 5 minutes or so.  There was also some periods of light mist.


As for wildlife, I was a bit disappointed.  We saw 1, count'em 1 deer, and 0 bears :(


However, we did see a bobcat, and when I mentioned that at a souvenir shop near the end of the drive, the lady there said that seeing a bobcat was really rare, so I guess that evened it all out  :D


We finally exited the park at @ 7:30.  That made for a long day, but it was well worth it, and I wouldn't mind doing it again sometime, but starting at the South entrance just for a different perspective.


If any of you folks are in that part of the country, I really recommend that you take the time to drive the Skyline Drive. It's well worth it.


After exiting, we set course for a local Wally World and spent the night.


Fri, Jul 5


Today was a travel day.  Nothing really remarkable other than an 10 wheeler on the other side of the interstate that had a 'bad day':

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SAT. Jul 6
Another travel day but with an extra stop.  I was 'grazing' on Craigslist last night and saw an HT20 with a front blade and Vac attachment advertised in the Youngstown area and called about it.  Turns out that he had sold the "HT20" but still had the Vac and front blade for it.
I made arrangements to stop in and take a look at it, and altered course.  When I got there it was apparent that the "HT20" that he had advertised was actually a GT20.  The 'motor' for the Vac attaches to the mower deck and is driven with a belt from the deck.
I don't have any of those style tractors, but the Vac and blade are in good enough shape that I decided to get them anyway.  I didn't have the cash to buy them outright, but did give him a deposit, and I'll be picking them up in a few days.
We pushed on for home, but since it was getting late we stopped in a Wally World just north of us, and stayed the night.
Sun. Jul 7
Got home this morning, and 'scouted' the South yard.  Even with the rain it was still firm enough that I could use the Dakota to move the loaded trailer into the yard and then Park "The Rainmaker".
Thus endeth this voyage of the HMS Rainmaker.  :D :D :D








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#10 HDWildBill OFFLINE  


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Posted July 10, 2013 - 04:27 PM

Glad to hear you made it back safe and sound.  Sounds like you have a great time!  I've ridden the Blueridge parkway on the southern end and it is beautiful up there.  You are right the weather will change on you in heartbeat riding the parkway.

#11 1967bolens collector OFFLINE  

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Posted July 11, 2013 - 01:19 PM

<p>wow dave that cab looks new paint on, it shines, you scored on that for sure mine will be like that soon when I build my paint booth so I can finally start painting&nbsp;things nicely and not have bugs and dust flying in my paint. I can do body work an paint pretty well but when I have the tine to do the project its 40 to 50 outside and I use a woodstove to heat and that makes plenty of dirt and ruins my&nbsp; and nothing makes me madder then doing all that prepping then lay your first coat of paint, looking it all over to make sure its perfect then that one fly lands right in the middle of your fresh paint</p>

Edited by 1967bolens collector, July 11, 2013 - 05:40 PM.