Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Outrunning the Rain on Moving Day; Oneonta, New York to Brattleboro, Vermont

Location: KOA at North Brattleboro; Brattleboro, Vermont
Click Pics to enlarge

Today was a travel day and only the second time that I've had to travel during rain. The first time was when I moved from Delhi, LA to Natchez, MS at the beginning of my journey. Today was similar but more risky. I knew there would be rain and storms in the area because I had been following Accuweather since yesterday. I planned to hit the road about 9:00 in order to get ahead of the rain but the rain came early which slowed down my hitching time. After draining tanks and hitching up in the rain I was soaked. I started out using my rain pancho but it just got in my way so I took it off and "enjoyed" the rain. I'll be on the look-out for something better to use. After getting hitched up and changing into a dry shirt, I was on the road at 10:15. Before pulling out, I checked Accuweather again and saw a large band of bad storms headed my way. The rain was moving in the same direction I planned to travel; northeast. I thought about waiting until it passed but nixed that idea because if I was behind the storm and we are moving in the same direction then my speed is controlled by the speed of the storm. I hit the road and put the pedal down figuring to put some distance between the bad stuff and me. I could see the black cloud in my side mirrors but I could also tell, by looking at Accuweather on my phone, that I was getting
farther away from it. I stopped just west of Albany to fuel up at a convenient service area on the New York toll road. I planned to park and get something to eat but while I was fueling up, the rain started coming down harder and harder as the storm was catching up. I blew off getting something to eat and hit the road again. This leg of the trip was on a two lane road through the mountains to Bennington, Vermont where I hoped to get my prescriptions refilled at the Walmart. As before, the rain changed from hard to slow as I traveled faster than the rain. I checked Accuweather every time I could safely check it and each time, the red storms were still following me. I made it to Walmart and found a place to park in a very crowded and small parking lot. The lady in the pharmacy said it may take a while to fill the prescription and asked if I could come back. I told her I was from Louisiana and was traveling around the country in an RV that was currently parked in their parking lot. She said she would rush it up and to check back in 30 minutes. I wandered around the store and picked up a few things that I really didn't need. I got a new shirt for $8.00 and a $25.00 torque wrench. I finally went back to the pharmacy and sat down to wait so I would quit getting more stuff. True to her word, my prescription was filled within the 30 minutes. I paid and went outside to find the storm had caught up to me again. It was raining harder but not storming so I pulled out and pointed Freedom and Liberty back to the northeast and continued trying to outrace the storm. The next 50 miles was like the previous miles, two lane road through the mountains. Freedom had to dropped back and catch 2nd gear in order to pull Liberty over a few of the higher mountains. I passed a very nice looking scenic overlook called Hogsback Mountain but I couldn't pull off; plus the view was obscured by clouds and rain. I finally pulled into the KOA about 2:30 in a steady but slow drizzle. A final check of Accuweather showed the bad stuff had changed over to showers, finally. I unhitched and set up Liberty in the drizzle. Several people came by to talk while I was setting up so there are a lot of friendly people at this KOA, which is my first. It was a long, stressful haul but while I drove in constant rain, it was never raining hard enough to cause a problem. I think I'll be seeing that black cloud from my side mirrors in my sleep tonight.

I'll be here thru Sunday at least. I have asked several people around here what is good to see in this area but so far I haven't gotten anything concrete. I may just have to drive around and see what I can find. I will be going back to Hogsback Mountain when it is a clear day.

Ya'll take care of each other, and I'll Cya down the road.


  1. Darrell I've enjoyed your post; great to see someone traveling around and enjoying their 5th wheel. I'm planning to retire in the next year or so and start my traveling. I'd like to ask how you choose your campgrounds?

    1. Hello Dennis. I look for campgrounds about 150 to 180 miles away. This distance is how far I can tow and still have 1/4 tank of fuel left. Since I'm traveling solo, I don't need a campground with playgrounds, mini golf and child oriented activities. I look for ones close to a major highway, if possible. This provides easy access for exploring and for leaving. Cell coverage is strongest near the major roadways as well. Once I have the area narrowed down, I then look at Passport America parks, Good Sams parks and State parks. The Northeast states have some good websites of campgrounds but usually they are only campgrounds that have joined some organization. New York has great state parks but usually only offer electric sites, which is fine with me. I don't need sewer connections because I'm moving about every 3 or 4 days. I also use Google Earth a lot. I can search for campground through Google Earth but it gets confused and will bring up city parks also. Once I have a couple prospective campgrounds in mind, I'll use Google Earth again to zoom in on the campground to see what it looks like and hopefully it will have a street view as well. I also use the Campground Review to see what others think of the campground.
      All in all it is a crap shoot to find a good one. The one I'm in now is a KOA and I chose it for it's location and Wifi. It was also in the direction of Bangor, Maine.
      I'm answering quickly. After thinking about it some more, I'll probably make a post with a more detailed answer.
      Thanks for your question.