Passing Time in Pennsylvania
We are in the Delaware State Forest, in northeastern Pennsylvania. We arrived here yesterday after traveling, resupplying, doing laundry, and going to a BMX race this weekend.
We left the Buchanan State Forest on Friday and headed into Breezetown to pick up the part for our bike rack that we needed. Unfortunately, there were some complications with UPS leaving the package for us at the post office, and we had to contact UPS and Alta Racks to have it rerouted, so we could get the part this week. Fortunately, we travel in a bus and our 6 bikes, can travel with us in the bus, if necessary. It is not the most convenient, but when we are receiving mail through general delivery, it does not always make it to us.
After leaving Breezetown, we headed toward Allentown where we had a spot booked at the KOA, for the night. KOA’s are not our preferred type of camping, but they are great stops to do laundry and take showers if other options are not available. On the way to the KOA, we stopped at Walmart to resupply for the next week. We got food, restocked on bug repellant, water, and other essentials. When we came out of Walmart, a couple was waiting to say “hi” to us near the bus. They live in a skoolie called Bat Crazy. They asked about us and told us a little about their bus and travels. We love it when we cross paths with others living the skoolie lifestyle.
We reached KOA in the late afternoon and took care of laundry and each took showers. I love our bus shower, but it always feels good to take a long shower and fully wash my hair, without having to worry about the amount of water I’m using. We can get through 7 days in the bus on our 65 gallon tank if we limit our water use accordingly for dishes, cooking, and coffee. We made chicken tacos for dinner, Bryon chatted with the diesel mechanic that was in the spot next to us, and we took care of a few things in the bus, before going to bed.
Saturday, we went into Bethleham, PA to get mail. We had several packages being sent to Bethleham. Three of the five packages showed up. One indicated it was there based on tracking, but I’m still trying to reach USPS to figure out where it is, and the other one just wasn’t there. I am learning it is necessary to communicate with local USPS to determine if they will accept general delivery before ordering items to be delivered. I am happy to say the packages that did get there were the most important, as they included custom printed fabric, logos, and a customer’s template.
From Bethleham, we went down to Pottstown so that Bryon could race BMX at a local race at Trilogy BMX park. Bryon has been telling me for the past couple years that he wanted to start racing BMX again. We had hoped to go the national in Rock Hill earlier this summer, but it was too much of a rush to drive to South Carolina, so we decided to bypass it. There is a national in Severn, Maryland in a few weeks though and we plan on going to that event. Bryon mentioned wanting to go to local races on our way there, so I hopped online and found where there are tracks on our predicted route.
It was fun to watch Bryon race. His class did not have enough participants, so he raced in the 17-20 cruiser class. The first moto had 5 guys and Bryon was in the lead most of the race, despite not having raced in over a decade and being the oldest one in the race. He got passed and took second that moto. The second moto was just Bryon and a young teenager. In the final moto Bryon came unclipped at the gate, but still took second overall. April was excited to see daddy riding bike and excited to see kids racing riding their bikes. She wants to try the strider races, next time. I may have to give racing a try too, if we regularly go to local races, in areas we pass through, as we have discussed doing.
After, we loaded up are gear at the BMX track. We headed toward Hamburg, where we were going to overnight in the Cabela’s parking lot. We stopped at got a pizza at Russo’s Pizza on the way to Cabela’s. We have been grilling pizzas at our camps but haven’t had a good greasy pizza in quite some time. Russo’s was an excellent choice. After picking up the pizza, we went to Cabela’s, set out our chairs and a blanket for Daphney and devoured our meal, in the grass. After dinner, Bryon and April cruised around the parking lot on their bikes while I cleaned up our few dishes and got Daphney to sleep. April loves riding bike with Bryon.
We woke up yesterday and the sun was already shining down on the asphalt, at Cabela’s. We filled our freshwater, emptied our grey water, and loaded up our gear. A guy camping next to us, in a motorhome he recently bought stopped to chat. He was curious about water fills/using the dump station. Bryon was able to help him with a couple of his questions, while April pet the two yorkies he was walking.
From Cabela's, we went to Walmart, to grab extra water, otter pops, and a couple other small items we had forgotten to get. With temps expected in the 90s this week, we thought it would be wise to get extra water. We headed toward the Delaware State Forest, after our stop. The Delaware State Forest offers free camping permits to sites throughout the forest, as the Buchanan State Forest did. We secured a permit for this week from yesterday through Friday.
Our campsite is surrounded by a mixed forest of red cedar, oaks, and ferns. Birds sing around camp constantly. We are on a gravel road and hoping to ride the roads from camp to explore the forest this week.
April is excited to play and explore from camp, no matter where we are. Nature walks are a part of our daily routine. Every morning after breakfast, April questions if it is time for our walk. Chico does a dance on his rear legs when I move his leash and get Daphney into the Burley. I take April, Daphney, and Chico out on walks multiple times most days. Our location dictates what we do, see, and discuss on our walks. Today, we walked to field on top of a hill, that may have been clear cut in recent years, as the forest is so thick all around the open area. There were lots of stones and sticks in the fields, so April and I built houses on a big flat rock. We looked at flowers and observed fuzzy yellow bumblebees going between flowers. We discussed pollination, as we regularly do when we see butterflies, bees, or other insects. April told me how bees make honey and help make more flowers. We also talked about how plants get food from the soil. On our walks, we practice using our five senses, counting, talking about letters and what letters things we see start with. We compare our observations to things we have previously seen and discuss topics related to our observations and experiences. Today, as April jumped in puddles, with her stuffed elephant in hand she told me how elephants like water too. She is watching a short youtube video showing how elephants play in water, now. As a teacher, my favorite teaching environment was place-based education in the natural world. I loved focusing my students’ studies on their interests in the natural world and connecting topics to the environments we explored in the greater Teton area, as a class. April may not be going to preschool formally this year, but everyday is our own version of a learner-centered, nature-based preschool. We are exploring the world and learning more about what is around us first-hand each day.
We are back to work on bags today. Bryon is working on several framebags and smaller matching bags this week. As all our events this summer are cancelled, we are continuing to release a deal of the day, most days. Check out our Instagram @fbj_creations or Facebook each day to find our special! Also, it is never too early to order bags for fall and winter riding. We have had a consistent workload with a list 6 weeks out since March. We appreciate all our customers, as they make our skoolie life possible.
We can’t wait to work, play, and explore the Delaware State Forest here in Pennsylvania this week! We look forward to sharing more about this area, in future posts!