Tuesday, October 17 – Day 50
Sunny and cooler this morning. Falling autumn leaves covered our rigs we needed to climb onto the trailer slides to clean them off before departure. Closing a dirty slide pushes debris under the rubber flaps.
Traveling through bright morning sunshine makes any trip more enjoyable. Especially this morning with the east coast autumn leaves in the middle of their vivid color show.
Our plan for the day’s drive was a success, our route took us through relatively light traffic in southern New York State along I-84 across the Hudson River into northern New Jersey and then south to the coast and Atlantic City.
The only fly in the ointment was highway tolls, by the time we reached our destination near Atlantic City our total climbed to $28. Mine was the highest, something about dual wheels and a commercial vehicle.
Shady Pines RV Park is our destination and our home for the next 5 days as we explore Atlantic City. The park has full hookups, great free wi-fi, a clubhouse, laundry and even a free cable box, the cost is reasonable at $230.00.
We are getting low on propane but not urgent, Ralph, Henry and myself are similar in this regard, we like to fill empty bottles sooner than later.
During check-in, our host mentioned the park sold propane, $31.50 for a 30-lb. bottle and $21.50 for a 20-lb. bottle a bit pricey but curiously only slightly higher than other outlets within driving distance. We opted for the park’s propane.
The rest of the day was spent setting up our rigs, doing laundry, hooking up cable TV, which was not as simple as one would think and checking out the park’s amenities.
One problem traveling during the fall, some RV parks close for the season. When searching RV parks for a fall trip make sure to check their season closing date.
Shady Pines has several fulltime residents probably why they are open all year.
Once settled we spent a pleasant sunny afternoon and evening planning our stay and what area attractions everyone wanted to take in.
Wednesday, October 18 – Day 51
Everyone enjoyed a good sleep in this quiet country location. The morning air was cool and damp forcing us to bring out the electric heaters, a dryer heat than propane and no furnace noise.
New Jersey is called the garden state and for good reason, the government and the citizens have done their best to retain as much of the natural vegetation as possible. Most community roads are shaded with a canopy of arching trees and many houses are built amongst the trees.
The fall flora is beautiful this time of year but without evergreens, after the trees shed their leaves I’m sure the area will take on a stark winter grey.
The garden state is a pleasant contrast after the concrete jungle of New York City.
Lois woke with pain in her side, from a mishap at our last stop, she tripped on the way into their trailer. She spent the day recouping while Ralph drove the rest of us to Atlantic City, the east coast’s Las Vegas.
A beautiful sunny day as we approached the island city on the Atlantic Ocean. Traffic was much lighter than I expected, much less than Las Vegas.
Henry explained the economic downturn of the last 10 years has greatly affected this gambling town. Atlantic City is a major employer in the State of New Jersey the downturn caused the state unemployment rate to rise dramatically.
Apparently, casino jobs were desireable offering steady employment, benefits and generous tips.
As we entered Atlantic City we saw more evidence of the struggling resort town, vacant lots, homeless people, and poorly maintained roads.
We parked and walked toward the ocean and the famous oceanside boardwalk. Once on the boardwalk, the atmosphere improved dramatically.
On one side of the boardwalk are souvenir shops, t-shirt shops and casinos and the other side grey sandy ocean beaches.
The warm fall sunshine provided a pleasant summertime feeling.
We wandered the boardwalk checking out souvenir shops, casinos and many homeless types occupying the boardwalk benches.
Soon lunchtime was upon us, a burger at Johnny Rockets was our choice. The casinos were almost deserted, a strange contrast from Las Vegas of the west.
Our goal was to find a buffet and spend an evening in the City. Unfortunately, Atlantic city has gone the route of many casino towns, no longer enticing gamblers with good reasonably priced meals.
The price of the buffet was a deterrent at over $30. per person, a lesser price would ’ve brought us back for dinner and gambling.
So, if you are a casino owner or plan to become one, lower your buffet prices you will attract more suckers………patrons.
On the way back to the truck I picked up some salt toffee. It and fudge were for sale everywhere.
Unfortunately, the package I picked was sitting in the sun, the multicolored toffee was stuck to the waxed paper wrappers. Once back at camp I put the package in the freezer.
The next day I passed them around, the toffee is closer to candy not as sweet as I expected but still delicious.
Back at camp Lois said she felt better but the expression on her face said otherwise.
The group decided to take the rest of the afternoon off, I took advantage of the downtime to make an appointment with a local GM dealer and have my truck wiring issue dealt with.
The first dealer could not work on my truck because of the dual wheels, it would not fit on their hoist. I guess mechanics no longer crawl under vehicles.
I had success with the second try and made an appointment for 8:45 the next morning.
A quiet cool evening around Ralph’s propane campfire, our location near the ocean brought high humidity exaggerating the temperature.
Even though the temperature was in the high 60’s the high humidity forced us to change into jackets and pants.
Thursday, October 19 – Day 51
I was up early for the 12-mile drive to the GM dealer. I arrived early this beautiful sunny morning, my truck was immediately taken in.
I was hoping the repair would not take long and I was not presented with the worst scenario, “we need to order parts, it will be a week before they arrive.”
Several hours went by, the counter guy and the mechanic visited me in the customer lounge several times with updates.
In the end, the mechanic could not definitely state what the cause of the problem with my wiring except for a slightly corroded connection on the truck trailer plug. He cleaned and greased all the connections and sent me on my way.
Back at camp my first attempt to plug in my trailer plug was a success, no check wiring error on the truck info center, fingers crossed the irritating “ding ding” was gone.
Lois was feeling better, so we decided to take a drive south to Ocean City, a summer hot spot with another boardwalk.
We arrived at the small island town to find an almost deserted ocean boardwalk with most shops closed. It was apparent this was strictly a summertime area with many fast food places, souvenir & fudge shops, and even a midway.
Despite the closed shops the girls managed to find ice cream and delicious fudge.
Our next stop was Cape May a Victorian style fishing town farther down the coast.
We wandered the tourist corridor elaborately decorated for Halloween. The old houses and building were beautifully maintained with many displaying plaques describing their early 1800’s history.
We strolled this quaint old fishing village until dinner time so of course, the natural choice was seafood. Another fish and chips dinner, delicious.
Dusk began to fall as we headed back to camp. Once back Henry quickly disappeared into his trailer. Allyson appeared later announcing Henry was sick and hugging the toilet, hopefully, a 24-hour bug.
A glass of juice of the grape for the rest of us and early to bed.