Back to Baltimore

After our time in Vermont, with a quick visit to Montreal to grab some poutine, we headed back to Baltimore to get a few odds and ends finished up on the Airstream.

On the way back, we stopped in Ithaca again because ... well ... why wouldn't you stop in Ithaca if you have the chance?  It's gorgeous.

While backing into our spot, I managed to jackknife the trailer a bit and tweak our fancy ProPride hitch.  Notice the frame bracket under the tongue is a little off-center and one of the spring bars is bent.

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I took some pictures and fired off an email to Sean Woodruff at Propride at 5:47 PM on a Sunday, not expecting to hear back until Monday.  No rush, since we booked a week at the campground.  5:57 PM, he sends me an email back, confirming my suspicions, "Yes, just center the frame bracket and you'll be all set... A bent spring bar will work fine."  Fifteen minutes with some wrenches and I had the frame bracket centered and the bolts re-torqued.

I can't say enough about how good my experience with the ProPride hitch has been.  I have never experienced such incredible customer service as I have consistently gotten from Sean.  And the hitch itself tows like a dream -- I'm not even sure I know what trailer sway even feels like.

We took a short walk around Cornell's campus, which turned out to be continuous waterfalls for a good half mile.

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I've been studying my National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms (note: that's an affiliate link -- if you buy, I might make a small commission) for the last few months, and have finally gained the confidence to actually eat some wild mushrooms.

These are all edible mushrooms, though I didn't harvest and eat all of them.

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I also found some mayapples.  Too early to harvest, unfortunately.

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I did harvest and eat these chanterelles. 

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Back in Baltimore, and it's straight to work on some Airstream projects, and continuing to downsize our possessions.

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I mounted two Surecall Omnidirectional antennas on the Airstream -- one for our Pepwave Soho router that we'll be using for a wifi repeater, and one for our weBoost Drive 4GX-RV cell phone signal booster.  These should help Leanne and me work on the road with fewer interruptions.  I plan on also purchasing a Verizon jetpack at some point to complete our digital connectivity setup.

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If I had planned this better, I would have installed the antennas when I had the interior skins out, and I could have run them inside with the solar wiring.  As it stands, though, the combiner box is all sealed up, so the best spot to penetrate the roof is going to be just above my electronics cabinet in the bathroom.  I used this entry plate, stainless screws, and a ton of Sikaflex 221 to seal the roof penetration around the two wires.  It's not the seamless install that I'd like, but it's not easy to see from the ground, and I'm confident it won't leak.

I also built and installed the range hood cabinet with the Camec range hood that I picked up from eBay, shipped from Australia.

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We saw Roger Waters live...

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... And I finished up the shower tile in the bathroom.

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Gone Vermonting

Vermont is an incredibly special place.  It's hard to put your finger on what it is exactly, but everything Vermont is just -- nice.

The people are so nice.  Walking on trails, people smile and say hello as they pass.  Tour guides with crowds of kids make sure everyone is following good trail etiquette, and offer (totally unnecessary) apologies for those who didn't make way fast enough.  Everyone is polite and friendly.

There are "creemees" (soft serve ice cream) sold at regular intervals, and maple is always one of the flavor choices.

The landscape is gorgeous, and people take advantage.  As Leanne and I put all of our energy into summitting Mount Mansfield, with camelbacks full of water, we're passed by local kids strolling up the mountain wearing shorts and Vans, carrying nothing.  When we made it to the top, there's a couple having a picnic -- in the Alpine Zone, at the top of the tallest mountain in Vermont -- like it's no big deal.

We didn't quite make it to the top of Mount Mansfield on our first try.

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Here's where we stopped.  Not enough water, not enough time left in the day.

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Attempt number 2.

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Sometimes the zip line instructions just have generally good life advice.

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Walking up the ski slope, picking wild strawberries.

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Storms look a lot more menacing when the top of your head is the tallest point in Vermont.

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The weather cooperated, and we made it to the top.  We tried to continue on the Long Trail to get down the mountain, but it was more of a climb than a hike, so we hopped on the Profanity Trail and made our way down the mountain.

Launch!

We've been itching to get on the road for some time, and that day is finally here.  We're a lot further along in the renovation than we were on our honeymoon, but we're definitely not done.

We'll get the finishing touches done at some point.  I packed a few tools and supplies.  And we'll be swinging back to Maryland at some point to do some more work.  But for now, we're off.

Our first major stopover is Robert Tremon Park in Ithaca, NY.  We learned a hard lesson about staying on truck routes on the way.  In case it wasn't obvious, back roads in mountainous regions are generally a bad idea.

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To access camping in Robert Tremon, you ford the river at the entrance.

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Our campsite is in the middle of a nice sunny field.  No hookups, but a water spigot nearby, and that suits us just fine.

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Time to give the solar a workout.

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The hike up to Lucifer Falls is difficult to describe.  The gorge trail trail from the lower park takes you on a tour of progressively larger waterfalls, each more breathtaking than the last.  I'm going to post some pictures, but I almost feel like I shouldn't bother.  There's no way any of these pictures come close to showing how beautiful this park is.

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Luna enjoyed her hikes immensely.

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And if all that wasn't enough to show you how magical of a place this is, can we take a moment to appreciate this violet coral mushroom we found on the rim trail?  I promise, this photo is from New York State, not from the bottom of the ocean or the surface of Venus.

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Next up, we're headed to Vermont.