Category Archives: Rhode Island

New England RV Trip 2015

We left for our tour of New England with no travel itinerary. We chose to follow our whims as we went. I highly recommend this approach to RV travel “off season”. Up to Columbus day, we had no trouble finding open campgrounds with available campsites. In fact the campgrounds were practically empty, with some notable exceptions: Normandy Farms Foxboro discounts Columbus day and was booked the weekend we left, the Keene Pumpkin Festival moved to Laconia and campgrounds fill for the festival. On a day we relocated, we would look for campgrounds in the area we expected to stay and called ahead. We had no problem finding a number of possible campsites. All this changed after Columbus day. In New England, Columbus Day marks the end of “the season”. Though some campgrounds close Sept 15th, most close after October 15th and practically all are closed by November 1. We had some trouble finding campsites after November 1. Things close earlier in Maine where we boondocked two days in mid-October.

By having no plans, we could stay as long or as short as we liked. We enjoyed visiting family and friends where we stayed a few days. We used Foxboro Ma as base camp for exploring Boston, Concord, Lexington, Arlington, and Cambridge in a rentall car and Mountain View Campground in Morrisville Vt to explore Stowe. We were not sure how we would do on an extended RV trip. Before we left, friends would ask, “How long will you be gone?” I’d answer, “six to eight weeks” to which Ellen would retort, “we’ll see, four weeks maybe six”. We both agreed as we buzzed home driving 500+ days that we could have been on the road another month. There were so many places we skipped with “limited time”. If we had it to do over, we would have left mid-August. It is great having tourist destinations almost to yourself, as we did on Cape Cod or in Maine. The down side? Practically no shops are open. Those that are open display a huge 10 foot flag stating “OPEN” in huge letters. So much of the charm of small towns on the cape are the people and the seasonal food. Both become scarce off season.

We skipped visiting Yellow Springs and Write Patterson in Ohio, spending more time on The Cape, exploring Moosehead Lake and northern Maine, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Gloucester, and Salem. We drove past a great number of those brown signs marking points of interest. We simply did not have the time to do “everything”. There were a number of museums we drove past.

We also had three system failures on our trip: 1. hot water running cold with the water heater working fine, 2. central locking crapped out, 3. the refrigerator refused to run on 12 volts. We also had the engine start hard and run very rough with the inverter on. Restarting with the inverter off solved that “problem”. The hot water issue was caused when a campground ran high pressure air thorugh their lines to clear them ahead of a freeze. We were attached. The pressure forced the check valve into the sleeve effectively blocking hot water flow. The check valve is $9 part at camping world. Central Locking and the Fridge are yet to be fixed.

We had a phenominal trip, made more memorable by our daily log. We revisit the blog to relive our trip.

Here is our timeline. I’d say “itinerary”, but that suggests pre-planning, something we assiduously avoided. We had a want list including Stowe, the White Mountains, Cog Railway, Franconia Notch, Smuggler’s Notch, Conway, Hampton and Rye Beach, Martha’s Vineyard, Boston, Arlington and surrounds, the North Shore, Zip Lines, a moose tour, New York City, Long Island, Mystic Ri, Groton, Crowly RV, the Inner Harbor Baltimore, Washington DC; some we skipped, others we did.


9/16/2015 Truckee Ca Coachland RV 10873
9/17/2015 Austin, Nv Pony Express RV Park 11083
9/18/2015 Salina, Ut Butch Cassidy RV Park 11452 Cindy recommended Pony Espresso Deli Eureka Nv
9/19/2015 Parachute, Co Battlement Mesa RV Park 11718 Duayne @ Ace; Jenny @ campground; Green River State Park
9/20/2015 Woodland, Co Diamond Campground 11955 Vail; Breckenridge; past Cripple Creek; John and Rona
9/21/2015 Woodland, Co Woodland RV Park & Campground 11958 Visit with Rich, Alea,
9/22/2015 Woodland, Co Woodland RV Park & Campground 11958
9/23/2015 Woodland, Co Woodland RV Park & Campground 11958
9/24/2015 Oakley, Ks High Plains RV Campground 12218 Capt’n Jack’s Pub, Kobe Beef, Crab Cakes, great showers
9/25/2015 Danville, Mo Lazy Day Campground 12743 Lazy Day great campground. Skipped Chrystler Museum, Oz museum, Totoz Taco, Dinosaur Museum
9/26/2015 Mansfield, Oh Walmart Boondock 13298 Skipped Yellow Springs, Dayton Museum, Cincinnati
9/27/2015 Grand Island, Ny Cinderella Motel and Campsite 13598 Niagara Falls
9/28/2015 Syracuse, Ny Visiting Carol, Paul, Dylan, and Jameson 13688 Empire Brewing
9/29/2015 Syracuse, Ny Visiting Carol, Paul, Dylan, and Jameson
9/30/2015 Syracuse, Ny Visiting Carol, Paul, Dylan, and Jameson
10/1/2015 Syracuse, Ny Visiting Carol, Paul, Dylan, and Jameson
10/2/2015 Tivoli, Ny Visiting David,, Chris, Danny, & Erica 13966
10/3/2015 Tivoli, Ny Visiting David,, Chris, Danny, & Erica
10/4/2015 Tivoli, Ny Visiting David,, Chris, Danny, & Erica
10/5/2015 Tivoli, Ny Visiting David,, Chris, Danny, & Erica
10/6/2015 Fort Ann, Ny Moose Hillock Camping Resort 14114 Near Lake George, Adirondack outlet mall most extensive for miles
10/7/2015 Ticonderoga, Ny Brookwood RV Resort 14172 Lake George
10/8/2015 Lake Placid, Ny Cascade Acres Campground 14246 Fort Ticonderoga in the afternoon, Ellen:”There is literally no other RV @camp tonight”
10/9/2015 Winooski Vt North Beach Campground 14342 Mirror lake & Lake Placid in the morning, Ferry to Burlington VT, North Beach is right on the lake.
10/10/2015 Morrisville, Vt Mountain View Campground 14395 Near Stowe Vermont
10/11/2015 Morrisville, Vt Mountain View Campground
10/12/2015 Morrisville, Vt Mountain View Campground
10/13/2015 St Johnsbury, Vt Moose River Campground closed the campground
10/14/2015 Littleton, Nh Crazy Horse Campground 14708 closed the campground, search for Cherry Lake a bust.
10/15/2015 Lincoln, Nh Country Bumpkin Campground White mountains, cog railway, smuggler’s notch, the Flume
10/16/2015 Lincoln, Nh Country Bumpkin Campground Closed the campground
10/17/2015 Woodbury, Nh KOA Woodbury Nh Closed the campground, expensive but very nice campground, drove the Kancamangas Highway
10/18/2015 North Conway, Nh Eastern Slope Campground 14918 No hot water in the AM (they blew out their lines)
10/19/2015 Portland Me Elks Lodge, electric hookup ate at Bea’s Café recommended by gal at camping world, purchased check valve
10/20/2015 Portland Me Walmart Boondock drove Old Orchard Beach & north along the coast. Gave up install of check valve
10/21/2015 Meredith, Nh Meredith Woods Campground 15220 Beast serviced @ Prime Motors Portland Me, Indoor heated pool, Full resort style glamping
10/22/2015 Meredith, Nh Meredith Woods Campground
10/23/2015 Meredith, Nh Meredith Woods Campground 15310 James ordered an electronic switch to fix our hot water problem, Part & Jim never arrived, left late afternoon
10/24/2015 Shelburne Falls, Ma Country Aire Bridge of Flowers, pedestrian bridge Brookline, NH; West End Café; The Best Pizza in New England
10/25/2015 Shelburne Falls, Ma Country Aire
10/26/2015 Hatfield, Ma Ed & Jean Parked The Beast and stayed with Ed and Jean for five days!
10/27/2015 Hatfield, Ma Ed & Jean
10/28/2015 Hatfield, Ma Ed & Jean
10/29/2015 Hatfield, Ma Ed & Jean
10/30/2015 Hatfield, Ma Ed & Jean
10/31/2015 Hatfield, Ma Ed & Jean
11/1/2015 Bourne, Ma Scusset Beach State Park Campground Closed the Campground, Marconi Station & White Cedar Swamp
11/2/2015 Foxboro, Ma Normandy Farms Family Campground Resort
11/3/2015 Foxboro, Ma Normandy Farms Family Campground Resort Enterprise Rental and trips to Boston, Concord, Lexington, Arlington, and Cambridge
11/4/2015 Foxboro, Ma Normandy Farms Family Campground Resort
11/5/2015 Foxboro, Ma Normandy Farms Family Campground Resort Brad’s RV Service fixed our hot water problem
11/6/2015 Foxboro, Ma Normandy Farms Family Campground Resort
11/7/2015 North Stonington, Ct Mystic KOA Campground Mysic Ct, Mystic Old Town, Mystic Seaport
11/8/2015 North Stonington, Ct Mystic KOA Campground steamers on the half shell (errr)
11/9/2015 Clarksboro, Nj Timberline Campground Ferry Monmouth-NYC financial district, world trade center, central locking fail
11/10/2015 Dumfries, Va Prince William Forest RV Campground 16487 Fort Mercer & Valley Forge
11/11/2015 Hilton Head, SC Jessie & Ryan 17016 Savannah, fishing, oyster toad fish,
11/12/2015 Hilton Head, SC Jessie & Ryan
11/13/2015 Hilton Head, SC Jessie & Ryan
11/14/2015 Moton, Ms Roosevelt State Park 17609 surprisingly, we stumbled upon Roosevelt State Park, on of our favorites from our first X-country trip!
11/15/2015 Vidalia, La River View RV Park & Resort 17795 Natchez Trace, Nathez, camping on the Mississippi
11/16/2015 Abilene, Tx Buck Creek RV Park 18353 Tornado watch, high wind, rain, hail, stopped at Buck Eez bbq brisket was forgetable
11/17/2015 Alberquerque, Nm High Desert RV Park 18873 Billy the Kid’s grave, heavy X-winds, Trouble with fridge not running on 12 volts.
11/18/2015 Kingman, Az Sunrise RV Park 19357 warming as we drove through Arizona, T-shirt weather @ petrified forest & painted desert
11/19/2015 home 19999 Total of 9,126 miles driven 66 days on the road.

Rhode Island

Family, 11/05/2015

Ellen’s half sister, Elizabeth, lives somewhere in Rhode Island. We had planned to relocate to a campground on Rhode Island’s sea shore yesterday to be closer to her, thinking she would live by the sea.  The rental car would go back and off we would go.  It was a good thing that Ellen messaged Liz.  Liz lives in Woonsocket R.I. which is on the northern border with Massachusetts, about a twenty minute drive from here. There was no point in pulling up stakes to head to Newport when Foxboro is closer.  Caile at Enterprise said we’d have no problem keeping the car for another two days.  OK, now to extend our campground stay.

That was sketchy at first.   The guest who reserved site 1001 had not cancelled and we would have to move.  Jess gave us site 611, but another gal, Carla, said that the guest who vacated 611 moved to 612 and they wanted 611 for friends arriving today.  Jess had been booking 611 while Carla was on the phone and saw 611 got reserved.  I waited patiently while Jess looked for another site for us. There were no other sites available for two days!  With me standing there, Carla said, “if that’s what has to be, it’s OK”.  I thought we had just been bumped. Instead Jess handed me the 611 signs for the car and RV.  ON Veteran’s day weekend the fees at the campground are half off.  Even the sticker I purchased was 50% off.  No wonder the camp was filling up.

Also Thursdays is roaming propane day.  I ordered a propane fill at the desk and was assured that a truck would drop by after noon and fill our tank.  We wouldn’t have to be at the RV. Great. I wonder if the propane is 50% off too?

Normandy farms Family Camping Resort, Foxboro Ma.

Moving from #1001 to #611 was a breeze with the rental car.  Hoses, stabilizers, leveling blocks, mats, everything but the electric cable went in the KIA trunk.  With antenna down and push-out in, we drove the 200 yards to #611.  The site was nearly flat with no need for the leveling blocks, but there’s a maple tree that precludes sat reception.  I tried jockying the beast about, but “resistance was futile”.  Still there are the local cable channels.

Ellen messaged Liz to plan our next few days.  She will call Liz at 1pm and in the meantime  we walked the campground.  The rec. lodge is remarkable for it’s size and comfort.  You walk through a small foyer with flyers and a few vending machines into the large meeting hall.   Rooms sit on either side of the hall, ping-pong tables sit in a glassed in room to the right with stairs going up to an adult only loft with a fireplace, tables, and games.  The room to the left of the hall is a game arcade, rest rooms and stairs going up to a children’s loft with tables and games.  To the left of the hall stairs go downstairs to the indoor heated swimming pool, the Jacuzzi, and weight room.  There are two pool tables in the adult loft with doors that lead into a large deck overlooking two outdoor pools.   This is indeed a resort and not simply a campground.

We relaxed on the deck for a bit.  Ellen pointed out a propane truck near The Beast that she had seen drive by.  Moments later a phone call from the desk interrupted our reverie.  All our bins were locked; the propane guy couldn’t access our tank.  I assured Carla that the propane access panel was not locked (actually it cannot be locked).  With growing confusion over where the access panel was, took the short walk over to Li’l Beast.  The propane guy was gone!  Carla assured me that he would be back in a few minutes; and he was.  The fill took a few minutes and he was off to fill another RV.  I am always amazed that a propane fill takes so little propane.

In the meantime, Liz had contacted Ellen.  The best time to visit would be Saturday.  We had thought perhaps they could come to the lodge and enjoy the Jacuzzi and pool, etc, but that’s not going to be since Liz’s daughter, Vanessa,  had to worked late Friday night. Liz will be baby sitting the her grandchild. We have two more days to explore New England.

Newport R.I.


By now it was late, closing in on 3 pm, but Newport is only an hour away.  we figured we could cruise down to Newport and visit the seashore.  Newport was my favorite place to surf while I was learning in my teens.  I remember some gorgeous houses right on a beach in the area.


Not the houses I remember, but what a location

we were loading the KIA when our neighbors arrived.  I walked over and met Dennis, Kathy, and their two papillons, one a few week old puppy.  Who doesn’t have a soft spot for puppies and kittens?  Ellen joined the conversation moments later.  Dennis said, “If you do go to Newport you have to stop at”, then he asked his wife if she remembered the restaurant’s name. “Anyway, you have to stop there for a bite to eat.  The memorabilia hanging on the walls and from the ceiling is fascinating and the food is good.  It’s in a red brick building at the start of the main drag.”  Kathy remembered the name: the Brick Alley Pub and Restaurant.


The drive to Newport goes quickly.  Beware of the drivers around Providence, Surprisingly it was here in Rhode Island that we saw some of the worst driving on this trip.  Cutting across lanes to make an exit, high speed passing and swerving through traffic to “get ahead”.   We enjoyed the bridges to the islands, though you pay a toll going and coming: $2.00 per axle.  I attempted to find the beach I surfed eons ago, and failed.  We drove Ocean Avenue around Brenton Point State Park.  The Ocean Avenue drive is past palatial homes fronting on the ocean.  We drove past a dramatic Inn, U-turned, and stopped at the Ocean Cliff Inn.  The inn’s architecture is very dramatic.  The house was build in 1864 as a summer home for Arthur Bronson of New York.  The original house burned down.  The current house (Brownstone) was rebuilt in 1894-1896 by Gaun Hutton of Baltimore, It was converted into an inn in 1954.


Ocean Cliff Inn, Newport RI


Ellen and I walked to the expansive side deck overlooking the bay and ocean. I walked back to the front of the inn and through the entry along with a wedding party returning for dinner.  At the desk I asked if the rooms were varied and about the restaurant’s menu.  Each room is different, some are small, some have detached private bathrooms, some are large.  The daily rate for a room was surprisingly reasonable. “Would you like to see some of our rooms?” “Let me find my wife, she would love to see a room or two”, said I.  Meanwhile Ellen had been looking for me.  The two wooden doors that are the front entrance look nothing like the entrance to an inn and more like a double door to a private suite.   Chris very graciously showed us six of the rooms in the inn.  His favorite is also the least expensive.  What makes it unique are the third floor double windows overlooking the bay facing the queen bed.  It is a small but intimate room.




Parking in downtown Newport is free from November first through the winter.  That is far preferable to the $27 we were charged in Harvard Square for a two hours.  Brick Alley Pub has an eclectic menu including Steamed Portuguese Little Neck Clams and a surprisingly complete wine list including St. Clemens Oroppas.  We ordered too much food: an order of Steamed clams each, and an entree each. The Steamers were prepared in a broth of green peppers, onion, and a Portuguese sausage and served in the broth.  The clams were great.  The sauce was made for dipping and Sue, or waitress, waited to bring bread until the clams arrived at table.  She didn’t want us eating he bread without the sauce!  The appetizers were a full meal.


The Pub


Keep On Truckin’ in the Pub


What’s with his hair?


In the Pub


Margherita Pizza


They Have Steamers!!


And Here They Are!


We Each Had a Bowl


The drive back to “camp”  (It is more like a resort) was fast and uneventful.  At the entry gate, our code would not work.  I tried a number of times then gave up and called the night entry number.  A few minutes later camp security arrived to let us in.  My code should have worked, perhaps it was not renewed.


The Ocean Cliff Inn

Newport and Points South, 11.06.2015

We’re headed to Newport again.  I’m sure the beach I surfed and the houses I drooled over are on the shore south of Newport.  We’ll visit Jamestown on our way south.

I just called Rhode Island’s EZ Pass office to see if and how we can get an EZ Pass.  Their office is in Jamestown.  We’re headed that way anyway, why not get an EZ Pass for The Beast?  We’ll see how this goes.  Talking to Jamie at the office, there is seldom a wait.  We’ll get the pass today.  It will be activated in Rhode Island tomorrow and out of state a day later.  Sounds good to me.

More to come when we return.