Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Oops, the Mistake’s on Us

Friday May 30, 2014
Somerset Service Plaza
Pennsylvania Turnpike



Final thoughts on the Solar Saga.

Greg Young came by this morning to bring us a receipt we could use for taxes and we were happy to be able to report that after boondocking for two nights in a row, everything is working fine.  We are all very relieved.  So this will be my last solar post.  I am pretty confident.  And as I close it out, I want to say that in spite of two weeks of difficulty getting all this set right, through the entire affair, Greg Young displayed an up beat attitude, accepted responsibility for making things right and demonstrated an honesty and integrity rare in the business world.  He is tireless and unflappable.  We wish him the best in his future endeavors.



Then we get a knock on the door.

It’s about 1:00 in the afternoon.  We think we have plenty of time to get everything packed up after lunch and be completely ready for a big get away early in the morning.  We plan a longer than usual drive to do some catch up on our route.  there is a rap rap on the door.  

David answers and the campground manager says “Check out time is Noon”.   Huh?   She tells us she has the site rented for tonight and that Greg only took it for us for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. 

Opps.  Looks like we misheard when he said “you’ve got the site to Friday”, we heard “through Friday”.  So we assure her we will be out of the site ASAP.   We are so totally not anywhere near packed up but we scramble and amazingly pull out 45 minutes later.  That is definitely a record for us.



Where are we going?



No idea.  Those of you on the road know that a Friday night is not the night to come rolling in anywhere and expect to find a site.

I’ve been caught off guard.  I have not even a sketchy plan.  A rare situation for me.

We go down the narrow windy road in the direction of the PA Turnpike.  We stop at an empty lot on a corner where we will turn right.   We put the car on the RV.  We pull across the road and fill up the tank at $3.799.  David picks up a freshly made chocolate peanut butter brownie for good luck.  We are on our way.




I look at what I had planned for tomorrow. 



It’s now nearly 3:00.  No way we can possibly make that destination in what is left of the day.  I decide we’ll drive until around sunset I start researching where that will get us and what might be there.  Thank goodness for internet on the road.



What is all this bouncing?

Speaking of the road,  it doesn’t seem nearly as nice as it did two weeks ago Friday when I commented on this blog that our drive on this same stretch was amazingly nice. I was surprised at the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  It seemed much better than I remembered. 

But not today!   In fact we are now bouncing quite seriously with these irregularities in the road.  I’m wondering if something has happened to our shocks or our suspension in the past two weeks.  This is the very same road we were on then.  I don’t see anyone else bouncing like this.  At some points, We slow down to 35 mph to stop the porpoise effect.  We certainly aren’t going to make good time this way.  Have any of you ever had this bouncing happen?   And if so, what was it?



In our rush to get out of the site, we totally forget about lunch.

We’ve had no lunch since we were working up to it when the knock came on the door.  So David snacks on sourdough pounder pretzels and an apple.  I have a few peanuts and a few peanut M&Ms.  I think he wins the nutrition contest.

About 5:30 we stop at a service plaza and have a Double R Bar Burger in honor of it being David’s favorite hamburger in his youth and Roy looking like my dad.  Or is it my dad who looked like Roy.   Anyway it is a carb overload.


The sun is sinking in the west.

On we drive.  UP over mountains, through tunnels.  The sun is in our eyes.   I’ve determined that if we want to stop before dark, Service Plaza 112 or exit 110 is the place.  After 200 miles, there it is.  We could drive further, we’re not really tired but we don’t want to drive in the dark and do want to get a VERY early start in the morning.  Hardly a PDD day but amazing for us given a start at 3:00 in the afternoon.


Should we ask permission?


We decide to just pull in among the 18 wheelers and spend the night at the service plaza which will save us the trouble of getting off and back on the turnpike and of looking for a Walmart/Cracker Barrel/whatever for a blacktop boondock.

So here we are.  We haven’t asked permission.  David is more concerned about this than I am.  My theory is “It is easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission”.  Hope nobody comes pounding on our door a second time today.

We do get a pretty nice sunset here in our asphalt boondocking site amid the tractor trailers idling and releasing those whooshing air sounds.  Boy they are a noisy bunch.

Wish us luck.  Hope we can sleep. 
Hope they don’t wake us up and ask us to move.

Who knows where we will be tomorrow.
But we’re on our way!


  1. This solar saga has worn me out and that's just from reading about it. It is so much more challenging to do modifications when you live in the motorhome and have travel plans. I look forward to reading about how much you love having solar energy to boost your batteries.

    1. Whoops, I thought I posted this comment on your previous post. Typing comments on my phone.

      Glad to hear the saga is behind you and you are back on the road. Looking forward to learning about your travel plans. We have never stayed in a truck stop, but there is a first time for everything.

  2. Heading to bed myself and saw this as I was shutting down... Yay that the solar is working, and not so yay for the hurry up and go, but maybe it will all turn out great with some unexpected wonderfulness when you leave in the morning! Thinking of you...

  3. Keep an eye on the weather and happy travels.

  4. Can I say to you that I'm glad that you have someone to work through this latest bump in the road with? Traveling solo, I would have been a nervous wreck. Even I would have welcomed that truck stop. I'm in the middle of very stormy conditions right now, and thankful that I'm not having to travel.

  5. Hooray! You're on your way, again!

  6. I'm thinking you need to go directly to a Native Casino and see if you can buy some sage and do a smugging to ward of bad spirits. Clearly you have picked up some bad vibes or Murphy has joined your ranks. A little persuasion should clear the air for smooth sailing ahead!! Hang in there it WILL get better!

  7. In our mind, there is absolutely nothing worse than trying to sleep amongst the tractor trailers. We've learned that there's always a better option. Shame you're stuck there because you're right in the middle of a lot of pretty Pennsylvania state forest lands, and there's a lot of free RV boondocking in that area.


  8. Now you are really boondocking, just not in a real pretty location. Nice sunset though. Good luck with the solar, hope it is all sorted out.


  9. I've slept some mighty good sleeps in rest areas, both in the big rig and in Spud. Glad they're there for those in-between times. And now, your options open up wide with solar!

  10. I find that at a rest area, if we are in an "end" spot, at least we won't be sandwiched between trucks, which helps. Good luck, doubt anyone will come knocking, and if they do, why answer unless you can see it is a policeman. --Dave (GoingRvWay.com)

  11. Ear Plugs! I love them! So glad the solar is all figured out. I'm sure you're going to love it! We plan to get solar put in sometime this year also.

  12. So glad to hear the Solar is fixed. Now you can move on and enjoy your summer travels!! Just think, you are already 200 miles ahead of schedule;o))

    Safe Travels and Happy Trails.........

  13. I'm glad the solar is fixed and that Greg didn't just give up on you two. I hope you were able to sleep. I would have been very glad to have found a place to stop and would not much have cared where as long as we didn't have to drive at night. I hope there is nothing wrong with your shocks, that might make for another long day.

  14. Yeah your on your way, let the summer fun begin. Safe travels.

  15. I hope you are as happy with your solar aw we are with ours. I just love the freedom solar gives us. Can't wait to read your summer adventures!

  16. Great to read that all is well with your solar:) Safe travels!

  17. Finally! Hope that the solar gives you the freedom you're seeking and the tax break you deserve. ;c)

    Truck stops are tough, trucks are noisy, so I turn on the generator and put on the a/c or just run it on fan mode. It blocks out most of the sound and gives a nice white sound.

    Fingers crossed that all your travel plans get back on track!

  18. I like that approach, "Easier to ask forgiveness than to get permission." SO happy that the solar problems are fixed and that you're on your way -- I'm looking forward to your summer adventures!

  19. We had a similar bouncing effect last year but on the jeep, not the motorhome. It would come and go. Turned out to be the steering stabilizers and tie rod ends. Huge difference in the ride once they were replaced!
    Here's hoping your issues all go away once you cross the PA state line.

  20. I think this is one of the best reasons to have solar - you can stop at a rest area or truck stop in the event you are too tired to drive on or for whatever reason. Although I never overnighted with them, I always liked the truckers being nearby as they made me feel safe.

  21. Very, very happy your solar installation is finally working! What a long ordeal!

  22. yay! solar done... and your not knowing where and what is an adventure .... that was how I traveled every day ... and yes, as Judy said ... I'd been a nervous wreck ... everyone needs a David now and then ;)

  23. I think it is the Turnpike bouncing you around... I was totally surprised when I read last week that you thought the turnpike was pretty good.. I've been driving it for 25 years... and it has never been any good...

  24. George uses that saying all the time :) Hope that you slept well enough to get off this morning and are now safely in your campground in PA somewhere :)

  25. Yahoo that the solar saga is finally over and you're up and running.

    Kudos to you on your 45-minute departure. 45 minutes is our record too when we were evacuated from Cedar Point in NC due to Hurricane Sandy. It's good to know we can move that fast when necessary, but we prefer a more leisurely pace.

  26. Opps...out you go! 45 minutes - that may be a record! Hope the rest stop worked out and that it's the PA roads that are worse than your shocks! Yay to Greg for getting the job done right!

  27. So glad to hear your solar woes are behind you. Safe travels to the two of you.

  28. Now you can exhale! Perhaps for us who are still on the fence about solar energy can learn from your experience.
    Looking forward to your stay in Michigan. We are so far behind you.


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