UP and Down in Pennsylvania

We’re heading north to spend time with Steve’s family in Chambersburg. His brother Fred and new wife, Chris, are coming in from Michigan. They were married last month so we’ll celebrate with a dinner at EJs restaurant in a few days. Another reason to celebrate is Chris’ being awarded her Phd in Education. We were staying at Western Village RV Park in Carlisle. This is one of the few private parks we used all summer. It was also one of the nicest ones we’ve ever used. There is a state park near Steve’s sister but they don’t allow dogs. Hey, I’m not a dog. I’m a people. Someone just stuck me in this funny looking dog suit.

This was the first time any of Steve’s family would see the new fifth wheel. We’d planned to have everyone out for a picnic dinner. The temperature did not cooperate. With forecasts for 100 plus the plans were changed to eating at Cathy’s and then dessert at the trailer. We’d had dinner with Cathy and Scott on Friday. We’d planned on hamburgers and franks for Sunday (the family picnic) and Cathy had also planned on the same thing for Saturday. So without checking Steve and I bought chicken for Sunday. You guessed it, Cathy also changed her mind and bought chicken for Saturday! We managed to squeeze 9 people into the trailer for dessert. I never would have guessed that many people would fit.

Before I forget to mention, on this visit I discovered there is a link between Charlotte, NC and Chambersburg, PA. John Jacks who is credited with riding from Charlotte to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia with the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, aka Meck Dec, (said to have been a year before our Declaration of Independence) stopped overnight at a tavern in Chambersburg. The tavern was owned by Jacks family members and considered a safe house. In Charlotte we have a statue to John Jacks and in Chambersburg at the roundabout in town is a plaque near the site of the tavern.

Up, up and away! Fred, Chris, Steve and Chari got up at 3:45AM and ready to leave Carlisle by 5AM for a hot air balloon ride over the Amish countryside with The United States Hot Air balloon Team  www.ushotairballoon.com/pa_flights/lancaster-county.asp/www.ushotairballoon.com/pa_flights/lancaster-county.asp. We would take off from Bird-In-Hand, PA at 6AM.  Chari was the only one who had gone ballooning before. It promised to be another very hot day. Our pilot  told us we were lucky to have chosen the AM flight as the late day heat mixed with the heat from the burner made things very uncomfortable. We were also told to bring a hat. Steve forgot and found out that the top of his head got very hot from the burner! Getting up and in the basket proved a challenge for those of us with short legs. We watched the balloon fill and took off with 10 people in the basket slowly climbing to an altitude of 4,000 feet. The farms are so beautifully kept. It looked like a patchwork quilt. Then down we went into a quarry before landing in a field. The flight lasted about an hour. After the team had man-handled the balloon to the road stuffed it into the bag, and loaded it onto the truck we toasted with champagne. Here are some of our favorite pics.  

hot air balloon

Chari, Fred and Chris with “our chariot”

travel

Early to bed, early to rise….

hot air balloon
Turning on the Burner

Filling with Air

travel, photography

And Away We Go

Steve’s Flying High

Amish, Pennsylvania

Above the Amish Farms

photography, Amish

Me and my Shadow

hot air balloon

Perfect Landing

travel

Over Too Soon

As the saying goes, what goes up must come down. Beginning on Wednesday evening, Opal was not feeling well. She had diarrhea. We thought maybe something she ate didn’t agree with her or maybe different water was causing the problem. The problem continued through Thursday and got worse. She had us up several times that night. She’d been a very healthy dog until now. At some point in our journey I knew we’d have to deal with a medical issue. Again, I just didn’t think it would be so soon. We called my sister-in-law to get her vet’s number. They don’t do emergency calls. The number they referred us to was 30 miles in the opposite direction or 60 miles away. So Friday AM we got on the computer and found a vet in Carlisle about 10 miles away. Before we could get going Opal began bleeding. Now we were really worried. The vet in Carlisle  was booked since it was the day before July 4th but referred us to the Banfield Clinic at a nearby PetsMart. Both for myself and my animals I’ve always shied away from corporate controlled medicine. Beggars can’t be choosers so off we went. What a pleasant surprise this was. From the receptionist to the technicians and the vets we received prompt, thorough and professional care for Opal. The communication with us was excellent. Before the examination could be completed, Opal “exploded”. The examination room was covered everywhere in blood. It looked like an axe murderer had been there. Later when we were talking with one of the vets she said “that was impressive!” Opal needed to stay in the hospital for medication and IVs but came home that evening since they don’t have night time attendants. We brought her back on Saturday for another treatment. By then her symptoms were controlled and she could travel. I have a reputation for not being very nice to the vet when I go for my regular checkups. They’ve even given me some stuff to make me dopey. I knew these folks were trying to help me. I felt so bad I didn’t care. I was even nice to other dogs!

In the midst of getting Opal care we also had to deal with moving the trailer. We were due to leave on Friday. The RV park couldn’t accommodate us as they were fully booked due to a car show in the area. So Steve moved the trailer to a storage area at the park and we stayed with his sister. We called the next campground and told them to hold our reservations that we anticipated being there just a day late. As if that wasn’t enough, we also were informed of an offer on our house. It was 30K below our asking price. We countered but didn’t hear back. So we figured it was just someone trying to take advantage of the house being vacant. We put it out of our minds.

On Sunday with temperatures hovering over 100 degrees we left for southwestern Virginia.

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