Friday, September 30, 2011

Goodbye Celina


Well, the Gypsy Journal Rally has come to a closeIMG_4559and now our travels will take us farther west before heading south. We had a wonderful time here at the Mercer County Fairgrounds in Celina, OH. Two nights we had won door prizes, one for a restaurant in the area and the other was a CD of 7 different publications from Nick Russell. It is amazing the power of Facebook. We finally met in person a few friends we had made because of different contacts on Facebook. There were very many interesting people we met. The man parked next to us is an 82 year old retired pharmacist. He and his wife are so sweet. Another couple we had finally met are from TX. He used to work for NASA and his wife’s name is Jan. I follow Greg’s blog too. He gave a couple seminars on computer security and what not to do with your computer. You can never learn too much. It was also nice to see people we knew. Santa was there with his wife. We had met them this summer at Timothy Lake. And it was great to finally sit in on some seminars given by Geeks on Tour. Jim and Chris have been teaching computers for over 28 years, now they teach in campgrounds and rallies. There were so many different seminars available. Lenny sat in on one seminar about RV History. The weather this week pretty much sucked, but we were told we would not be charged extra for the now, lake front views. LOL. This morning as people were preparing to leave, some had to be pulled out by tractors and heavy duty tow trucks. We decided to stay an extra night and go sightseeing today. Thanks to Nick, we found out that Annie Oakley is buried not far from here.IMG_4537 The more I researched it, the more in common I found with her. Our birthdays are the same, separated by only 100 years, give or take a few years. OK, so that was the only thing we had in common. I’m not a sharp shooter, or world traveler. We drove down Rt. 127 to Greenville, OH to see her grave. On our way there, Lenny saw a sign pointing to the Eldora Race track. A dirt track owned by Tony Stewart (some NASCAR driver), so of course we had to go find it.IMG_4552 I sat in the car while he walked around and took pictures. Tonight, we went out with two other couples from the rally to a local VFW hall that was having a fish and shrimp fry. The food was good and the company was great. Tomorrow morning we will drive to Elkhart, IN for a couple of days and finally get to see the RV Hall of Fame. Thanks for traveling along with us on The Thomas’ Trails…until next time.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


It was another long day. I woke up at 5:30am and decided it was way too early to put my feet on the floor! So, I did the next best thing...I rolled over and an hour and a half later my other half is waking me up! Me, who is usually up by 6am was actually sleeping in and he had the nerve to wake me up! Well, we did have a 323 mile drive ahead of us. We left the laurel highlands of PA by 10am and started driving west. An hour later we were entering West Virginia, ten minutes after that we were in OH. We probably picked up speed going down a 6% grade on the highway. LOL. For some reason, I though Ohio was mostly flat. Today I found out differently. We drove up hills and down hills. I-70 was a nice drive then we took 470 around Columbus. Both of us decided, we really don't like that highway. Before long, we were on Rt 33 headed straight towards Celina, OH and the Gypsy Journal rally. We met Nick Russell years ago at a Life on Wheels four day conference in PA. He and his wife, Terry, are full-time RVers who publish a bi-monthly newspaper on their travels. He holds two rallies a year. One in the east in the fall and one in Arizona in the winter. This is the first time we are able to attend one of his rallies. We subscribe to his publication, have read many of his books and religiously read his blog and that of his alter-ego Bad Nick. We have been looking forward to this rally for months. As the afternoon dragged on, I contact a friend here at the rally to see how late we could arrive today and still be able to get a site. The rally itself doesn't start until Mon., but we wanted to arrive early so we could see old friends, make new friends and just chill out before it begins. I found out that as long as we were here by 5-5:30 we'd be good. It was getting close. The GPS kept telling us we would arrive at 4:59pm and for once she was right. It was a long day on the road, but we had finally arrived and I'm glad we're here. We said hello to Jim and Chris Guld of Geeks on Tour, found a site and got settled in. Tomorrow, I'm sure we'll see more friends and explore the area a bit.  I'll be sure to post some of the funny things that go on here this week. Thanks for traveling along with us on The Thomas' Trails...until next time.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Flight #93 Memorial

Today started out overcast and cool. We went to a local restaurant for their Sunday brunch. Then we hopped on the PA Turnpike towards Somerset, on a quest to find the Flight # 93 Memorial Chapel and National Monument. Well, we followed our GPS so far, then started following the signs. You know how that goes, YUP! We ended up on a gravel road going over a ONE LANE covered bridge. You guessed it…on the other side was more gravel road! Less than a half mile later we were back on black top and headed toward the chapel. It was very somber. We were supposed to be here last week when they had the dedication service for the 10 yr. anniversary but thanks to Tropical Depression Lee flooding the state of Pennsylvania we missed it. That’s ok though, because I really don’t like crowds. Today we were able to take our time, looking at the memorials and remembering the sights 10 years ago. The memorial chapel was a beautiful memorial to those who gave their lives that day to save others. From the chapel we headed towards Shanksville to the National Memorial. Words cannot express the sanctity you felt stepping out of your car and gazing at the vast expanse of land then laying your eyes on a boulder in a field where flowers and flags had been placed. This is the crash site we were told and only immediate family members are allowed to walk there. The rest of the general public walked along a path along a black stone fence to a wall of white granite engraved with the names of the passengers and crew of UAL #93. If you are ever in the area this is a MUST SEE. Click on the link below to see the rest of our pictures. I tried to embed a slide show but it wasn't working. Thanks for traveling along with us on…The Thomas’ Trails. Till next time.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Westward HO!!!

Where has the summer gone? It seems like yesterday we were arriving in the Pocono mountains of PA to spend our summer close to family and friends. Now, we are packing up to journey west and then south. It's been great spending time with our daughter, our friends and family members, but we live in an RV for a reason. Our wheels are round and we are getting hitch itch. Eager to see more of this country, we will be spending a couple of weeks in western PA where we plan to attend the 10th anniversary of Flight #93 memorial services in Shanksville, PA as well as seeing some other interesting sights. From there we are scheduled to attend a Gypsy Journal Rally in western Ohio. I enjoy reading Nick's blog every morning with my cup of coffee. Our plans include seeing the RV Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN before traveling south to TN for a couple of weeks and then some cave exploring in KY. We'll be coming north in November to spend Thanksgiving with family and friends in NJ before we travel further south to FL for the winter.  I know it's a short post today, but I still want to thank you for traveling along with us on The Thomas' Trails...till next time.