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YEAR #3 - STOP #37

Today was supposed to be a very short 31 mile travel day. What could go wrong? Everything was going great, we were only a mile and a half from the campground when the GPS told us to get off Highway 8 at Exit 38 Watertown. OK!

Problem was the southbound exit was closed. The exit ramp leading off the highway was not only closed, it was missing. There was a crew there putting in a new exit ramp, but they looked to be not making much progress, you know how road work goes.

Anyway we continued past the exit and luckily it was just three miles further down the road to the next exit. We got off, made a u-turn and got right back on the highway going back to Exit 38. It seems the northbound exit ramp on the other side was just fine so we made it to the new campground with no further mishaps.

I'm unhappy because you have to understand that I take the time to faithfully download and update the maps on my GPS, usually once a month, to avoid just this situation. That exit ramp work has obviously be underway for more than a month and has more than a month to go before completion. Isn't that the type of update that is supposed to be addressed by the GPS data people? If you think I'm asking for too much, let me know in the comments!

TUESDAY - This really is a great campsite we are at this week, even if we don't have water or electric at our site. What we do have is a wide open space with no trees to block the sun from reaching our solar panels. There is a break in the foliage behind THE POD that allows what ever breeze happens to blow through the area to come right in the back window where we sit at the dinette for work and meals, then it exits the bedroom where we sleep, making the temperatures very comfortable most of the time. It also blows through our outdoor seating area in front of the door and under the awning.

Plenty of room on both sides of THE POD.

Along with a fairly level spot at the back of the site.

The strong daily solar recharging we receive here means we don't have to conserve power to operate our necessities like lights and fans, recharging our Verizon Jetpacks, cell phones and laptops, or constantly powering little things like our CO2 and smoke detectors, and the water pump.

We will also be guaranteed to have plenty of power when it's time to leave to raise the stabilizer jacks, close up the huge front power awning and lift the tongue jack to place THE POD up onto ROVER's hitch ball.

Heck we could even be a little bit frivolous with our battery power and turn on our 120V inverter to watch a little television. Or run our refrigerator and water heater off of electric during the daylight hours to save on our propane costs.

It's nice to have these decisions to make! Back in our sticks and bricks home all we had to do was pay the electric bill every month and not worry about whether everything would have power, that is until hurricane season rolled around every year.

WEDNESDAY - Today it's all about PIZZA! You've undoubtedly heard about New York pizza and Chicago pizza, but what about Connecticut pizza?

Last year when we made our brief three day stop in Connecticut, we took the time to visit Mystic Pizza (opened in 1973) located at the seaport in Mystic, CT (founded in 1654). In October of 1988 the movie Mystic Pizza was released and included a future superstar, the then 21 year old Julia Roberts in her first major movie role.

Since there were no sporting events being televised while we were dining they instead had the Mystic Pizza movie playing on a dozen large screen TVs throughout the restaurant.

As predicted the pizza was good, but not great, although the chance to visit the actual location where most of the movie scenes were shot added greatly to the over all atmosphere and dining experience. The walls were covered with autographed pictures of the movie's cast and other celebrities who have visited the restaurant since the movie was shot over 30 years ago.

But that was last year, this year we had another Connecticut Bucket List item involving pizza to take care of. One of the iconic Connecticut must taste food items is White Clam Pizza from Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana in New Haven, CT. Their White Clam Pizza is made on a thin crust with Fresh Clams, Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese, Garlic, Oregano & Olive Oil.

Normally we would have chosen to visit the original location in New Haven (opened in 1937) to once again get the full indoor dining experience, but with the current COVID restrictions on restaurants that's not going to happen. So we did the next best thing! We ordered takeout from one of their other six locations here in Connecticut and ate it back in THE POD.

Once again the food was good, but not my new favorite, other than the fact that if you try and order a White Clam Pizza anywhere else in the United States you'll probably get the same response, "You want whaaat?"

The other two items in the photo are a sampling of Frank Pepe's Cannoli Pie, basically an open face cannoli (can you say YUMMY?), and a Gassosa Soda (an Italian inspired lemon soda) that is bottled and distributed right here in Connecticut.

SATURDAY - Most weekday mornings Tricia is up bright and early taking her morning walk. She is walking with one or both of her girlfriends from back in Florida, on the phone of course. I'm not sure how well that's going to work when we get out west with the time zone difference. I'm not sure Tricia will want to wake up at 4:30AM to go walking in the dark.

While her friends are usually walking the same route over and over everyday from home, Tricia's route changes every week or so while we travel around the country.

Here are a few photos from Tricia's morning walks while we were here at:


The walk begins overlooking the athletic field here in the park.
The swimming beach here at Black Rock Pond.
An illuminated boulder during an early morning scene over the pond.
A pedestrian bridge that connects the pond and the campground.
A brook leading out of Black Rock Pond
Another nearly dry brook leading away from Black Rock Pond
The back side of the Army Corp of Engineers dam the creates Black Rock Lake upstream and feeds Black Rock Pond downstream.
We are now in the home stretch of this morning's walk. Know how I can tell?
Because I recognize our back yard.
Back home safe and sound!

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