Hickory Run State Park, PA

For our first real outing, I decided to stick with what worked in the past.  When we first introduced Kitt to camping, we went to Jenny Jump, not too far from home.  The thinking was that if things didn’t work out in the middle of the night, everything could be wadded into the back of the car, and voile’ everyone could be sleeping in their bed before morning.  We had a great time that time, and almost every time since, but better to err of the side of caution.

Enjoying the good life - waiting for the leaves to arrive.

Enjoying the good life – waiting for the leaves to arrive.

Hickory Run State Park is about an hour and a half from home. The have both electric and non-electric sites, flushable toilets, strategically situated water spigots, and showers in season,  The RV dump site is free for campers and they have a small camp store where we purchased some wood and the three or four things that were on the list that I forgot to pack.

We arrived at the site at about 7:30 PM and found our non-electric site.  Most of the sites out west don’t have electricity, so I figured that better figure out how right away than save it for later.  Backed in without hitting anything or anyone.  It was a little cool, so we turned on the heater, warmed up the place and started dinner.



The dinner was chicken and broccoli Alfredo over linguine with a side salad, bread and beverage.  A little cheese and crackers with a nice beverage started off the meal.  It was too late to grill on the charcoal grill, so I cooked the chicken on the stove.  The three burners work well, and I was surprised how much hotter a propane flame is than a natural gas flame. We had a great meal, washed the dishes, found that you could get several TV channels on the TV, set up the bunk over the cab and went to bed.

There are a number of lights that are on all the time if you leave the coach powered.  I was concerned that getting down the ladder in the dark would be a challenge, but it was no problem and the bunk is very comfortable.  The covers dropped off to the floor in the middle of the night, and it was really cool.  I set the thermostat for 67 degree – to high, and lowered it in the middle of the evening.  Unfortunately, the house batteries were dead the following morning.  I read on a blog that the house batteries don’t have the capacity to run the fan all night.  The heater is OK, apparently it’s the fan that sucks the power, and typically for the RV world, nothing has how many amps the device draws available anywhere. I’m more accustomed to boats where every battery has an amp-hour rating and there is a power consumption rating for almost everything marine.

It was after 8 AM and we were allowed to run the generator.  There was no-one anywhere around, so I suppose that we could have run it earlier, but  . . The generator wouldn’t start because the batteries were dead, so we started the engine (separate battery systems) and then started the generator.  with electricity, we turned up the heat,

Louise and Bob

Louise and Bob

made hot water, recharged the batteries, plugged in an electric grill made coffee and had a great breakfast of pancakes and sausages, coffee and Orange Juice and determined that the smoke detector works.  Surprise! always turn on the stove fan and open the vent in the bathroom when cooking.  Dishes were done in no time, retracted the slide, and we were off.

We started off by hiking the ‘Shades of Death’ trail, a beautiful hemlock and rhododendron covered trail with a waterfall filled stream running next to it. I took lots of pictures, and we had a good hike.  walked back to the RV and took off the the boulder field which was down a dirt road.  So much for vowing never to go off the paved road with the RV.

RK3_5849We went slow and let anyone behind us pass whenever there was a place wide enough.  Had lunch at the parking lot for the boulder field.  I was really glad that we have something as tidy as the one we selected.  Anything bigger, and the excursion would be a no go.  I expect that we will have to come to a solution for getting around when we can’t drive the RV places, but that’s for the future.

Spent a short time at the boulder field (seen one rock, seen them all) and took off for the vista trail for the Lehigh Gorge.  It was a short relatively flat walk and my feet were sore from mew shoes, but it was worth the hike. On the way back I found a hydrant and topped off the water tank.

Back at the site we figured out how to put up the awning without the help of a salesman, sat in our chairs and relaxed. Life is good. Dinner was grilled steak, sauteed onions, baked potato, broccoli, a nice beverage and we were done.  It was cool during the night and I eventually turned off the heater to save the batteries.  We have good sleeping bags and were warm, but even I can figure that when it’s really hot or really cold, you need a site with electricity.

Next morning was a breakfast of sausage, omelettes,  toast and coffee (the cheap toaster we found works great, and the smoke detector still worked) and then a quick shower.

Before we left I figured that it would be good to dump the black and grey water tanks.  The guys in the RV store did an excellent job of explaining how, and it went even smoother that I thought.  The hoses and fitting are made of what seems like water repellent plastic, there was water to flush everything after we were done.  Louise and I looked at each other after it was all done and the feeling was “Is that it?  What’s the big deal?”

Everything completed, we took off to church and see friends in Wyoming PA.