Saturday, May 24, 2014

Miss Kitty Worships the Sun

Yes! Yes! The solar panels have been installed! I now have 405W in three solar panels on the roof.
Greg Young of Solar Solutions finished today.  I am so excited to go to a remote location and let Miss Kitty take care of me.

Okay, I need to clean the roof! Don't fuss!

The install went quickly and Greg was such a dear. He took the time to explain the control panel and the various readings.  He is such a pleasure to work with. I already had an invertor so he only had to tie everything in. I would recommend him highly if you need to free yourself from constantly having to use your noisy generator and let the sun power your rig.

Solar is low maintenance, eco-friendly, and low cost when you think of the fuel that you are saving. My biggest gift is going to be electrical independence.  I no longer have to run my generator to power my lights and electronics when I am out boondocking. The generator does not charge the batteries fully anyway. Solar tops off the batteries and keeps them charged.    

Greg's plans are to do these installs as a business when he becomes a fulltime RVer next year.  I do hope that he does. I would like to meet up with him and his wife on the road.

Thank you RV Solar Solutions!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Folk Festival Fun

I should be telling you all about my time at the Escapees Boot Camp in Goshen, IN, but you will have to wait for that. Instead this will be all about the folk music festival I went to. I need another folk festival! What fun, fun, fun!

I saw this sign on the way from Goshen. What does 'We have Shock Coffee' mean?  I know that I do not want any.

I spent the night at a Cracker Barrel in New Stanton, PA and then headed to 
Naylor Winery, a Harvest Hosts location for the next night. This is a place that I would go back to even if I did not need a place to stay. They have wine for every taste, I had a hard time choosing but I bought a semi-sweet for me and my daughter to drink at the festival and a bottle of sweet for me to drink just because.

  Mr. Naylor and his grandson stopped by the RV to make sure that I was comfortable before they left for the evening and we had quite a long conversation about my travels and the winery.  Mr. Naylor started making wine as a hobby, that was 35 years ago.  All summer there are great musical events but unfortunately, I will be out west. This is truly a 'must stop' if you are in the area.

 I parked in front of the winery in a level parking lot overlooking the vineyard. 

 This photo is a barn with a painting of the Mr. Naylor and the vineyard as you are coming into the winery.

Then it was off to the Folk Festival!

The "28th Annual Folk Festival" was held at the Spring Gulch Resort Campground in New Holland, PA.

You can not go to a folk festival without tie dye so my daughter, son-in-law and I gave it a hand.

This guy tie died his dress shirt. Makes sense to me. What else are you going to do with your work wardrobe when you retire?

 If you are going to enjoy your music, you should be comfortable.

And of course you have to dress the part.

Folk Fest 2010
There were craft vendors.

Someone had a giant bubble maker that the children really enjoyed.

My daughter and I walked around the campground and saw some interesting sights and spoke to people that I think are happily stuck in the 60's.

Yes, there was a group there that loves SPAM! They were so much fun to talk to.

Speaking of of the vendors had this to buy:
It is a hot dog wrapped in curly fries, covered in chili

They also had sing-a-long campfires in the evenings but it was too cold for us to attend, and a song writing workshop with Gene Shay who is also the founder of the Philadelphia Folk Festival. As the evening progressed, the blankets came out.

Folk Fest 2010
We did not go to see Dave Mell's Blues Band on Thursday evening but did make the Friday evening schedule.

It started with a brand new band from Philadelphia, the Downtown Shimmy band. Josh Fialkoff was piano/vocal, Frank Velardo on guitar, Alex Malo on drums, Matt Keppler on bass and Ansel Barnum on harmonica. Ansel accompanied other artist as well during the festival. The band plays folk, blues, gospel, soul, R& B and funk. They started out getting people to dance as you can see in the video. There were really good.

Next was Antje Duvekot. She stated that her inspiration was John Gorka who was the artist performing after her.
Antje Duvekot

Her music was true folk and she had a beautiful voice, but unfortunately all her songs sounded alike and a bit depressing so it was not my most enjoyable act.

 In case you want to know what to do when you do not enjoy an act. YOU KNIT!

Next was John Gorka
 John Gorka
I enjoyed his music so much that I brought his CD, "Bright Side of Down".  His music is what I think of when I think of contemporary folk music.

The last act for Friday evening was The Boxcars. I did not stay for this because not only was I cold, they were pure bluegrass which is not my favorite music.

Saturday was a full day of music.  The morning schedule started with Tom Chapin. We did not attend this since he was having what they billed as a "family show" and I was not in the mood for a Puff the Magic Dragon songfest.  However, we did make the Vinegar Creek Constituency show.

Vinegar Creek Constituency

Mustard's Retreat 

They were followed by Michael Braunfeld
His brother is also the founder and organizer of this great event.
Michael Braunfeld

The next group was Spuyten Duyvil. Please do not ask me to pronounce this. The name is taken from a neighborhood in the Bronx.

The last act for the afternoon was BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet.
They specialize in Cajun, Zydeco and Creole music. That got people to dance.

The afternoon began with Dante Bucci.  He plays the Hand Pan aka Hand Drum.  He was amazing so I had to buy his album!
 Dante Bucci

The next act was Cassie & Maggie MacDonald.
They are from Canada and play Celtic music and do some step dancing.

I had never heard of Brother Sun but did enjoy them, mainly because I love acapella music and they did it well.
Brother Sun - Pat, Joe & Greg

The band of the evening was Alexis P Suter Band.  This was a blues band, and she had a powerful voice. I would loved to have stayed but I was frozen.
Alexis P Suter.

On Sunday, the schedule started with Mustard's Retreat again but this time they were doing a "family show". Instead of going to that we went out to breakfast and took a leisurely drive back.

We arrived in time to catch Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line. 
They were a fun band that played a little bit of everything from folk to bluegrass and even a little bit of gospel.

They were followed by Mary Gauthier.

Then came the band that I came all that way to see.... The Grand Slambovians! My friend Collin said that he hated bands were in person it is like listening to the album all over again.  Well, he would have loved this band because the live performance was awesome!

Unfortunately, blogger does not like the video I took of the performance but I found this one for you....

Apparently when it's dark, people like to bring out glow sticks to wave about while the band played. As this was only late afternoon and the sun was really shining, people happily twirled their umbrellas in time with the music!
They had the biggest crowd up front dancing of all the acts at the festival.

Joziah and Sharkey

My daughter, TeAntae, getting her autograph with Joziah!

We went out for breakfast each morning because it was either raining or just to cold. No one felt like cooking. 

The first morning we went to Yoder's Country Market, which is a grocery, restaurant and gift shop combined. They offer a buffet and a menu. We went for the buffet. Though not a large restaurant or buffet, it was all very tasty. OK, except for a dish called "Stewed Saltines". Looked and tasted exactly like how it sounded.

One morning we went to Jennie's Diner, open 24 hours. It's a classic little diner, full of travelers, truckers, and locals. It's located on Lincoln Highway (route 30), one of the original old travel roads in America. Our server Anthony was wonderful. 

This was breakfast. Cheap, enormous portions and delicious!

I later found out that Jennie's is a place I can overnight at next time I'm in the area. 

Another morning, we tried Shady Maple Smorgasbord. They boast that they have 200 feet of authentic PA Dutch cooking. Frankly, I think it is more. Not only is there a room full of buffet tables but there are 4 made-to-order stations. The food is plentiful and was quite good.
You cannot see from this picture how large this building is.

I had a philly cheesesteak omelet from the omelet station

I am sorry it is over but there are more music festivals around the country that I hope to attend.

I have been crafting. This is my latest creation. The technique is called "Stitch 'n Slash".  I made a pillow.  Bet you thought that I did not have time for anything but a good time!

Heading off to get my solar panels installed..... Talk to you soon.