On the Road Again . . .

Gaffney, SC

After a six week stay in our former hometown of York, PA, we are now back on the road again (cue the music!).  Before we left we did spend a nice Saturday afternoon with most of John’s relatives.  His nephew, Jamie, lives with his wife, Joanne, and two boys in Phoenixville, a suburb of Philadelphia.  Jamie’s parents (John’s older sister Patty and her husband, Bob) who live in Erie, PA were staying with them while on their way down to Florida.  John’ younger sister, Rachel, lives with her husband Bobby nearby and was able to join us along with their two grown daughters, Courtney and Kelsey (and her boyfriend Chris).  Our daughter Jessica and fiancee Dan rode there with us making the family group almost complete.

We spent a nice afternoon catching up with everyone.  The photo schedule apparently did not include all attendees so we apologize to those who didn’t get in a picture.  But below is a sampling of the attendees.

John with sisters Patty and Rachel (he’s the tall one in the middle)

Pam, John, Jessica, and Dan (he’s the tall one on the end)

John, Jessica, Pam, and our son Kevin (he’s the missing one on the end)

Bobby, Rachel, Courtney, Kelsey, and Chris

Sunday morning we pulled out of York and headed south toward Gaffney, SC.  We had an appointment on Wednesday at the Freightliner service center there to have the yearly service on our motorhome completed.  The chassis of most motorhomes is built there and they have the best service in the country.

The trip from York to Gaffney can be completed in two day, but we decided to split it into three just to avoid any long drive days.  The first day we drove about 165 miles to New Market, VA where we set up for the night at the Endless Caverns Campground.

This is a nice campground set on tiers at the base of the mountains.  But while enjoying a football game soon after our arrival, we discovered a definite negative to the facilities, stink bugs!

One of our many “visitors”

Now if you have ever spent any time on the east coast during the past few year you probably have experienced these annoying pests.  We were overrun with them while visiting York two years ago. During our stay this year they were present, but in much smaller numbers.  Before leaving York we checked all their favorite hiding places (they love to crawl inside the slide gaskets) and used the vacuum to suck up as many as possible.  So when we first spotted a few during set up in Endless Caverns we just figured they rode into town with us.  But when we looked out the window later in the afternoon, the side of the motorhome was covered with a large number of them.  In talking with others in the park, we found that the campground was teeming with them.  So for the next few weeks we’ll have that vacuum cleaner running each time we pull in the slides!

The next night we stopped at Ft. Chiswell RV Park where I-81 crosses I-77.  No stink bug infestation here but we did kill a few more during our stay.  The next day we completed the journey to Gaffney and found the last available spot in their lot (with electric).  Wednesday morning our tech arrived a few minutes after 8:00 AM to take the motorhome into the garage, so off we went for breakfast and some shopping.

With our service complete we are now headed to Atlanta to visit with our son, Kevin, for a week or so.  More on that later . . .

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37 Responses to On the Road Again . . .

  1. geogypsy2u says:

    You’ve done family in the east up really good. Not easy to gather that many together at once. And still more to go. Had stinkbugs in WA, in every nook, cranny, and box. Might have moved some to a couple states. Good luck with that.

    • placestheygo says:

      We did see lots of family this visit, Gaelyn:) We were glad all worked out to see so much of John’s family. The stink bugs excellent hiding ability is what brought them here in 1998. It seems they are slowly expanding their territory with PA one of the worst.

  2. Sue says:

    Wonderful that you were able to end your visit with a family gathering. Sorry that those stink bugs found you once again, please get rid of them before you head west. I’m sure Florida will take them in. Enjoy the rest of your travels. We look forward to the new year!

    • placestheygo says:

      It was nice that lots of John’s family got to meet Dan since there won’t be a big wedding. Our plan is to leave every last stink bug in FL!! We picked up more here in the Gaffney parking area! Moving south means we are closer to heading west again:)

  3. Joan Ritten says:

    Great spending time with family. We leave Atlanta after meeting newest grandson and hanging out with his sister. Going to NC before heading back to Florida. Don’t bring any of those stink bugs to Florida. I don’t remember seeing them when growing up.

    • placestheygo says:

      We plan to get rid of the stink bugs as we move to FL:) But FL does already have them just not many. The stink bug was first found in Allentown, PA in 1998. It came from Asia. That’s why no remembers them, but they are rapidly extending their territory.

  4. Jeff says:

    Yuck – bugs! Hope you manage to get rid of them without having to bomb. For us it’s an all too rare treat to have our spread family all together. Glad it worked for you!

    • placestheygo says:

      We are slowly eliminating the stink bugs, Jeff. We know their hiding places with the cooler nights. We rarely see family since ours is spread all over as well. Our timing was great for this family gathering.

  5. Jim and Barb says:

    Looks like a great time visiting family, maybe you should head north to some freezing weather to get rid of all those stink bugs!

    • placestheygo says:

      It was a great time seeing lots of family this trip:) Being in cooler temps is what brought the stink bugs into the MH. They seem to appear in October (we didn’t hardly see any all of Sept) and get into the slide gaskets at night when it gets real cool. That’s why we have to vacuum them up before we leave in the morning. The heat of the day wakes them and then they are trapped inside. We learned this the hard way! Hopefully, we will lose the last few as move further south.

  6. Gay says:

    What a great 6 weeks ! It’s always fun catching up with family…love those big smiles! We were infested once with stink bugs when we visited Elizabethtown, PA. Thank goodness we traded the 5 th wheel soon afterwards ! I know you are looking forward to your time with Kevin…enjoy!

    • placestheygo says:

      I do think we may have finally vacuumed most of the stink bugs! We only found six in the slides the morning we left Gaffney! So far so good with no sightings in Atlanta:)

      It was nice to visit with Kevin for an evening before he flew off for four days. But we are staying for a three day visit when he returns:)

  7. Sherry says:

    Nice to be able to see so much family at one stop. So that’s where our stink bug infestation came from when we headed north in the spring. Sure wish there was somewhere else along 81 North of Harrisonburg or near Winchester where we could stay. It’s Gaffney that makes us wish sometimes that we had a diesel. Mostly we’re happy with gas and its costs. Safe travels!

    • placestheygo says:

      It was wonderful to be able to see almost all of John’s family during our visit:)

      We won’t be stopping in that area again in the fall! The stink bugs were the worst we’ve seen.

  8. Jodee Gravel says:

    Great that Dan was able to meet so many of his soon-to-be-in-laws in one spot, and of course for you guys to get caught up as well! Kevin is looking good 🙂 Since our vacuum is a built in I’m not looking forward to trying to get bugs completely out of the motorhome. I did buy more bags though 😦 Nice to have everything checked out with the pros. Safe travels.

    • placestheygo says:

      It was nice that Dan got to meet John’s family since the wedding will be just immediate family.

      We also have central vac. We just reused the same bag. John would take the bag out after we finished and tie it tightly into a plastic bag. He then puts that bag back in when we got ready for our next departure. It’s crazy but keeps us from using a new bag every time!! The vac hose smells but I leave it out and the odor does go away. Finally, here in Atlanta we aren’t seeing any, except a dead one in the washer!

  9. Laurel says:

    Looks like a wonderful family gathering and send-off. Yay, you’re on the road again!! Too bad those pesky little stinkbugs decided to come along. Please don’t take them to Florida—you know we don’t need to increase the bug population there. 🙂

    • placestheygo says:

      It was a great visit in PA seeing family and friends:) But we are excited to be back on the road. We are thinking the stink bugs have all been vacuumed up:) We only had six when we got ready to leave Gaffney! We certainly don’t want to add to the bug population in Florida, but Florida already has stink bugs. We have seen them there but only a few.

  10. pmbweaver says:

    I love the photo of y’all. Kevin looks like he lost some weight. hehehe Looks like a great reunion.
    We are still sucking up stink bugs from two weeks ago. I hate those things.
    Glad the MH is in good health. Enjoy your visit with Kevin.

    • placestheygo says:

      Getting rid of the stink bugs quickly comes from vacuuming each slide gasket as soon as you bring the slide in. We didn’t realize that the first year. So we had stink bugs for weeks.

  11. I love family gatherings. And I think for you this time somewhat special as you have a new member (the tallest one) soon to join the family.
    Steve is a bit jealous that you are able to stop by Gaffney again.
    I hope all those stink bugs have not multiplied and unknowingly brought some with you to the west.

    • placestheygo says:

      We haven’t been together with John’s family in a couple years so it was great fun and nice that they got to meet Dan:)
      John does feel best when he gets the MH check up in Gaffney!
      We worked hard to get rid of all those nasty smelly bugs. But I am sorry to say that they have already been found in 40 states as of 2012! They are spreading rapidly since their discovery in 1998 in PA because they have no predators and they haven’t found a successful pesticide.

  12. Nancy says:

    HATE STINK BUGS! Glad you get to see your son soon! HAVE FUN!

  13. How nice you were able to get together with most of John’s family. It sure makes it easier when people all live fairly near one another!

    The stink bug issue sounds disgusting! Do they really stink? I can just hear them getting squished in the slides…!

    • placestheygo says:

      It was a great afternoon with John’s family. We’ll see some of them again in FL in Nov this year:)

      Yes, the stink bugs really smell!! They give off an odor when they are stressed and then also when they are killed. This is why you have to use a folded over paper towel to pick them up and then double is again before killing them. When we bring in the slide, they are all huddled in the folds to get out of the cold night. I have to have the vac ready because they start crawling as soon as they get the light on them. It is processes that takes both of us when we get ready to go. But this process really cuts down on them and we find very few inside. We only had six when we closed up in Gaffney. Hopefully, that was the last of them!

  14. LuAnn says:

    Glad to see you are back on the road again. We have never had issues with stink bugs, although a few years ago we did have an infestation of Asian beetles, who disguise themselves as lady bugs. They also stink when you try to get rid of them and it is best to suck them up in your vacuum. We picked them up in MI and unfortunately continued to carry them with us across 5 different states.

  15. Ha those stink bugs are real little stinkers. I know them well! Everything starts to smell of them after a while! “Endless caverns” good place to stop even if just for the name! Enjoy your road trip amd the adventures and pleasure it brings!


  16. rommel says:

    Those bugs probably got a sniff that you are taking on an awesome journey, that’s why they want to stick around. 🙂 Safe and happy travels.

  17. Debbie L says:

    What a great time and celebration of your daughter’s engagement. But no wedding while you two were there? Our daughter and son in law eloped but Bill and I were invited! Just five of us! She is our only child so we love our son in law for insisting we be there!!!
    Oh bugs….we’ve been infiltrated, too. But we don’t know what they are. A small roach of some sort. Bill scrubbed and sprayed every nook and cranny today….except my “medicine” cabinet. He’s been after me to clean it out….no medicine in it, just women stuff. So I opened it to get my toothbrush and guess what was attached??? Yuck! Guess I have some cleaning out to do. We’re not sure where they joined us….

    • placestheygo says:

      Debbie, we are having the wedding while we are in Florida on Dec 27th!! Dan’s parents have a house in Ft Myers so they are close. The wedding will be a sunset wedding on Anna Maria Island with a dinner at a local restaurant. It will just be the immediate family, eight of us:) Dan and Jessica are then having a party/reception in January for their friends.

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