Well I am here in beautiful Dutchess Co. NY, where the leaves are in full color and falling fast. It was cold last night but warmed up today. When I took the 2 dogs out for an early morning walk, the big one (Lady) stopped halfway down the stairs off the deck and just looked out into the back yard. I kept telling her to move it, until I looked up and saw that she and a deer were making eye contact, and when I yelled "Wait", of course she ran. The deer was much faster as Lady is a bit overweight, so naturally it disappeared up the hill and into the woods. I had forgotten all about the fact that there are a whole lot of deer and they come down through the yards mostly in the early morning and early evening. The deer also make it tricky to plant shrubs or flowers, as they usually only stay away from yellow ones, so in the spring here you see lots of forsythia and daffodils. They also avoid pachysandra, but if they are really hungry they will eat anything. As is happening everywhere, humans are crowding animals out of their habitat. In NC where I lived it was the poor bears who were being shoved out. I wish there could be reserves set aside for the wildlife, close to the developed areas, although people owning the land wouldn't like to be told they couldn't sell to a developer if they wanted to. I met a man a couple of years ago who was deeding his farm to a national trust organization, because all his daughter would do with it would be to sell it and spend the money as fast as she could. Many people in the Carolinas have farms that have been in their family for generations, and it's very sad when it gets to the point that they have to sell to a real estate developer who changes the landscape so much you couldn't recognize it, and then gives it a fancy name with the words "ridge, grove, forest" and the like.
I didn't intend to get on a soapbox today! I have just about decided that when the deal is made for the Hitchhiker II & Ford 350, I will take over the storage rental in NJ until I'm ready to go south. It is winterized and I should leave it so until I get far enough south. I had thought maybe I could find a campground in this area still open, and maybe live for a couple of weeks in the 5ver before leaving NY, but it would be too cold and I think I will just wait. If anyone has driven in or around Philadelphia, I would appreciate any comments or suggestions on possible routes. I don't want to take I-95 south, so from Burlington NJ it looks like I could cross the river and be on or close to the PA Turnpike in the northern part of Philly. I hope to take the turnpike over to I-81 in the vicinity of Carlisle PA, and then head south. From there on I should be ok except for the 10 or 12 miles that I have to drive through Maryland. Lord, how I hate the way they drive! I wish I had been able to spend the first few weeks driving in a less traveled area just to get used to it, but that's not going to be, so I will deal with it.
Black Tuesday Vandalism
2 hours ago