Transit to Centreville VA

As noted in my last post…we departed Hanna Friday morning 5/27 on a 2 day trip over to Bull Run Regional Park campground just about 20 miles or so west of where we used to live in Fairfax VA…we have dental, finance guy, and Neil eye appointments this week so since Connie’s free until her next follow up visit on June 20 for her eye we decided to go ahead and keep those plans.

The difficulty in this is that we were traveling Friday and Saturday of Memorial Day weekend…and that means it’s hard to get a campground reservation. We wanted to over night in Champagne OH which is about 100 miles east of Columbus…this would have divided our 712 trip just about in half and 2 350 or so mile days in a row is hard but do-able. Unfortunately we ran into the holiday weekend thing. Sure…we could find plenty of places to park on Friday evening even in Champagne…but they all had a 3 day minimum since it was a holiday weekend and had jacked up the price for the weekend as well. Well…not really wanting to pay almost $200 for a single overnight spot we looked west of Champagne since doing the long day the second day when we would have no hitching to do made more sense. We found a nice spot…well, nice for just an overnight anyway…in Galloway OH on the west side of Columbus. 

We got on the road about 0915 Friday morning and rolled in around 1530 or so…and got set up for the evening, power only and stayed hitched up. We had leftovers for dinner and planned an early departure the next morning. The bad news was that the power in our site was pretty lousy…it was only 30 amps and kept tripping the 103 volt low cutout one our Progressive power management system. We knew it was 30 going in…which means we could only run 1 A/C at a time but since it was only around 89 degrees that would have been just fine if we could have kept the A/C running. After the EMS cut out 4 or 5 times we gave it up, opened the windows and turned on our fans and just resigned ourselves to being warm for the evening. Luckily it cooled down some once the sun set and was only uncomfortable rather than unbearable by the time we went to bed.

We got up early the next morning and were out of the campground by 0615…a quick stop at Denny’s for breakfast down the road 30 miles or so and then we continued eastward. Our GPS wanted to route us to Hagerstown MD from the west then down 270 and the DC Capital Beltway then back out I-66 to the park. Having lived in the DC area for 30 years…we quickly decided to head south on I-81 at Hagerstown and then east on I-66…no backtracking that way and even though it was about 60 miles farther than the GPS route it was certainly faster as we maintained our normal 60 mph all the way in…if we had headed down 270 we would have probably averaged 30 at best with a lot of stop and go around the Beltway.

We pulled into Bull Run 445 miles later about 1620…set up utilities and called it a day. Neil was too tired to cook so we headed out to what used to be a decent restaurant…Sweetwater Tavern. They’ve gone seriously downhill in the 4+ years since we left…the food was pretty awful and even the beer wasn’t to our liking. They used to have a dozen or so drafts for just about any style you wanted…but they built themselves a microbrewery and decided to serve pretty much only craft beer…and all of it was either wheat beer (which isn’t real beer at all) or heavily hopped like an IPA is…and heavy hops are just not our style. (Brief aside for those who don’t know beer…beer is made of water, usually barley for the grain, yeast, and hops. Hops are flowers which give beer it’s bitter notes in the flavor and also serves as a preservative. IPA stands for India Pale Ale and is the beer that was made in England then shipped to India during the colonial days. It was deliberately made very lightly colored as that is generally better for a hot climate and since it had to be shipped around the tip of Africa was heavily hopped so that the beer in the barrels wouldn’t spoil on the 5 or 6 month journey. We usually like amber ales or stout/porter style dark beers…these have more grain flavor and lower hops content so the bitterness isn’t there.) Anyway…suffice it to say that we won’t be going to Sweetwater again…definitely not impressed.

We didn’t do anything the rest of the weekend…just hanging out until Tuesday and our appointments. In the meantime we are making the rest of our plans until we get back to Hanna on June 17.

Interesting things this week…just two of them.

When alarmed the Pope-osarus can spray holy venom up to 25 feet.


And an obituary Neil found on the internet this week.

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense ,who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

– Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
– Why the early bird gets the worm;
– Life isn’t always fair;
– And maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better
Treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of
Coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death,

-by his parents, Truth and Trust,
-by his wife, Discretion,
-by his daughter, Responsibility,
-and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 5 stepbrothers;
– I Know My Rights
– I Want It Now
– Someone Else Is To Blame
– I’m A Victim
– Pay me for Doing Nothing

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

If you still remember him, pass this on.

If not, join the majority and do nothing.


About Gunther

The full time RV travels and experiences of Gunther the Bear and Kara the Dog…along with their human staff neil and Connie.
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2 Responses to Transit to Centreville VA

  1. Stu says:

    That’s too bad about Sweetwater. We used to go there a lot too. (Gloria had one of their jugs for the October beers.)

    But, as with the passing of time and changing of neighborhoods, so go the days of our lives.


    Happy Memorial Day!


    • Neil Laubenthal says:

      Yeah…when we left town there was just a single Sweetwater…down in Alexandria somewhere. It’s all part of the chain that owns Mike’s American Grill and Arties. All were good back then. This Sweetwater is out in Centreville near Bull Run Park where we’re parked and it’s a lot like the one named Coastal Flats over by Uncle Julio’s Mexican place…way too loud, food not good, and brews not really great either. I’m sure that the beer is actually good beer…just not our style as we aren’t big into IPAs or overly hopped brews…

      Happy Memorial Day to you and Gloria as well…I’m going to grill us a pork tenderloin a bit later but other than that we’re just doing nothing as Connie’s limited vision until her retina finishes healing up makes doing Fun Stuff© pretty hard.


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