Freeport

LOBSTAH!

We've finally arrived in Maine. From Northampton, we overnighted at another Walmart in Rochester, NH. We booked the first part of our stay at Recompence Shore Campground at Wolfe's Neck Farm. It is, to date, my favorite campsite. We lucked out as we hadn't really done our research into our options.  We ended up picking a campground that many of our nomad friends have enjoyed in their own travels.

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ZOMG Apple Crisp

Yep, it's a ridiculous title for a recipe post. But there was something about the ratio of sweet-tart apples to crunchy, nutty crisp that made me want to devour the entire pan of apple crisp.

I was inspired to bake a crisp for several reasons. One, hello fall and hello apple season! Two, I had a bag of apples local to where we stayed in Maine languishing in our fruit basket. We weren't eating them because they turned out to be mealy which was disappointing. (Don't you hate that? You commit to buying a whole bag of apples and they all end up mushy. Ugh.) Three, we recently were able to meet some virtual friends in real life at the tail end of our stay in Maine.

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Northampton

From our stay at Gifford Pinchot State Park, we drove east on the PA Turnpike, headed north a bit and ended up at my family's house for a weeklong stay. We didn't do much aside from soak up family time, particularly with my younger (but 21 year old (!!)) sister Sophie, take luxuriously long, hot showers and indulge in some delicious homecooked food. (My mom knows her way around a bubbling, cheesy, gooey dish of potatoes au gratin. I'd say it's her "thing".)

Our goal for the rest of fall was to spend it in New England to experience the leaves and lobster. First stop (technically second, as we overnighted at a Wal-Mart in Fishkill, NY between NJ and MA) was Northampton, MA. I went to Smith College for my first and second years of undergrad and I hadn't been back - in 15 years! I transferred for good reasons, but if I have any regrets (and I don't, ultimately, because I can't imagine my life being any different than it is now), one is leaving Smith.

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Maumee Bay State Park + Gifford Pinchot State Park

Up until this point in our blog recap of our early nomad adventures, the Vandy Vagabonds crew had been mooch-docking in the driveway of Jeremy's family's home in southern Illinois, or in the front yard of NeXus in Elkhart, Indiana. 

At this point, mid-September, we'd had a few fixes done on our rig and - finally - our compost toilet installed by the team at NeXus. (Don't you worry - we'll be sharing a post on just how the toilet's been working and what we think!) It was time for us to head out on the road and get a few days of driving and a few nights of camping under our belt before another week of driveway camping with Alexandra's family in New Jersey.

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Denver Mattress + Lippert Components, Inc. Tour

Most RVs come with a standard issue mattress - a mattress that will more likely than not greet the new day with every single joint in your body aching. Seriously. I'm not exaggerating here.  The manufacturer's goal is to keep costs down and to cater to those RV owners who only take their rig out a few times a year.  

Jeremy and I had slept on our mattress for just a few weeks before we realized we wouldn't be able to make it long on the road without a decent night's sleep. Granted, this is more nights than your average RVer will sleep on a mattress all year, but it wasn't going to hold up to long-term daily use.  We started doing research into some modest alternatives we could order and swap into the Velma the Viper. While in in Southern Illinois, we considered reaching out to the Sterling Mattress Factory to see if they could create a custom mattress to fit our short queen platform. It would stretch our budget beyond our plan, but we both felt it was worth it.  Before we could pull the trigger, though, the patron saints of full-time RVing had other plans.

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