Phillie in a day

Our buddy Anthony who we met back in Shenendoah National Park had emailed us a recommendation for Timberlane Campground in New Jersey but just 30 minutes from Philadelphia.  So we made a reservation for 2 nights as a basecamp for a full day to explore Phillie.  The campground was nice and quiet and Brielle found two girls, Naomi and Kaylin, about her age who she played with every free moment we had at home.  These two sisters raced BMX bikes and so Brielle raced around the campground with them on her pretty pink bike and princess helmet.
Naomi, Brielle and Kaylin

Now, think back to our 3 mistakes in Caledonia…do you remember mistake number 1?  Here is where we realized what we had done.  Steph said, “wow the water pressure here seems really high”.  This could not be, because we use a pressure regulator at the campground water hookup…or do we?  I had just hooked up the water but now I’m wondering if I saw the regulator or not.  I go outside and find…no regulator. DOH!!!  I knew immediately what mistake we’d made.  Steph has never had to connect or disconnect the water so she had no idea that there was a little pressure regulator piece connected to the inlet side of the hose.  When we filled the tank at Caledonia, after I connected the hose (and regulator) to the spigot she held the valve open at the inlet side while I filled the rig tank at the outlet end of the hose.  When we were done, she disconnected the hose FROM THE REGULATOR (leaving the regulator behind) and when I wound up the hose I did not realize it was missing.  So, all Caledonia State Park campground residents now get to benefit from pressure regulated water compliments of the Wach family!!

The next day was a perfectly sunny day and we headed into the city.  We paid a $5 toll and $17 for all day parking at Penn’s Landing then walked to the visitor’s center.  There were LOTS of school groups there for the day.  But we managed to get free tickets on the LAST tour of the day for Independence Hall (the last tour was the only one with space left!).  The line to see the liberty bell was crazy long so we looked at it through the window before we went down to the Ben Franklin area.  Steph and the kids went in the Franklin museum while I stayed in the nice shady courtyard to get a little work done.

For lunch, we shared a few Phillie cheese steaks from Campos.  Caden and Steph and I got them with “the works” and I talked Steph into sharing one “with wiz”.  Dacen and Brielle got the classic cheese steaks.  We all enjoyed them immensely.  And I have to say, I think “with wiz” is better than “without wiz”.
Philly Cheesesteak
We went back to check out the printing press in Franklin’s area then up for a tour of Congress Hall.  The line through security was sort of a pain but we endured.  Our tour guide was good and made sure to include the kids.  But we were very rushed through the building it felt.  After that tour we went back to the visitor center to get the kids’ Jr Ranger badges and made a stop at the Liberty Bell that had a much shorter line now that the school kids were mostly gone for the day.

We had to endure the security line at Independence hall again….this time it was much longer.  But we made it and were able to get on the 4:15 tour instead of our scheduled 4:30 tour.  Again, the tour felt super rushed and the tour guide was a bit scattered.  At one point, seemingly out of the blue, he mentions that Morely Safer had died.  He made the 60 Minutes ticking sound and quoted the intro “I’m Ed Bradely, I’m Mike Wallace, I’m Morely Safer….those stories and more, tonight on 60 Minutes.”
Independence Hall front

All the historic buildings were shut down by the time we finished the tour so we headed back to the truck.  Steph and the kids needed to refill their water bottles but we could not find a place to fill them.  We tried Campos, we tried a 7-11, and finally we tried a bar and the bartender was very happy to serve us a round of waters on the house!
Kids at the bar

We fueled up the Beast on the way home so we’d be ready for our travel day the next morning.  We got home and Brielle played with the 2 sisters while Steph made dinner and I worked.  While I was working we got a comment on our blog from a new reader.  I would have never guessed this would happen….but it was Clean Skittle’s mom!!  Do you remember Clean Skittle?  We met him on the Appalachian Trail in Shenendoah!  She was just browsing the intertubes to see if her son was elsewhere on the web and she found our blog post.  Not long after, Clean Skittle dropped us a comment too and invited us to follow his journey on his YouTube channel.

After dinner Dacen and I walked over to the campground office to upload some video using the free wifi.  While we were there we also watched one of Clean Skittles YouTube videos.  On our walk back to the rig Dacen said, “when we hike the AT we should have a YouTube channel.”  We talked about how challenging it would be both physically and mentally…how crappy stuff can (will) happen but you have to keep your spirits up, persevere and you’ll come out the other side a better person and look back on it with fond memories.

Epilogue – After we left Philadelphia I remembered that Anthony from New Jersey had offered to show us around Phillie and also offered us a home cooked meal and homemade wine at their house that was only 5 minutes from Timberlane campground.  I am sooooo kicking myself for not capitalizing on the opportunity to meet up with Anthony and get to know him and his wife better.  Anthony, thank you for your very gracious offer and my deepest apologies that we did not get to reconnect with you.  There is a standing invitation for you in northern CO if you ever find yourself in our neck of the woods.

Penn's Landing



Digital printing


At Ben's



Philly Cheesesteak

Abe and JFK


Printing press





Jr Rangers

Liberty Bell

Independence Hall front



Continental Congress meeting hall

Independence Hall back

Kids at the bar

At Timberlane Campground

Naomi, Kaylin and Brielle


Naomi, Brielle and Kaylin


4 thoughts on “Phillie in a day

  • May 26, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    Hey guys I am a faithful follower of your posts early in the am before my school day! It was our last day yesterday and we are hoping your return to 6 th ave is coming soon. Caden looks as tall as Steph in the last photo I saw! I have enjoyed the touring vicariously through the wachs experience reconnecting with history and that other part of the U S. Huck you have a knack for interesting details about the people and tiny details others might miss . So speaking if missing things,.. We miss you all !!!

    • May 26, 2016 at 12:28 pm

      And we miss everyone back in the ‘hood!! We’re a few days away from our turn around point which brings a mixed bag of emotions for me….on one hand I don’t want to be finished with our adventure, but on the other we miss our communities back on the home front. We are considering keeping Ava and the Beast for awhile longer to take a few more (shorter) trips during the next year or so. Sooooo, if you know anyone in or near the hood that might be willing to store a 38’ 5th wheel at their house please let us know. One thought is to make it available as an AirBnB while we’re not using it and we’d be happy to share the profits with the property owner.
      But, we’re totally just at the brainstorming statge.

      • May 27, 2016 at 1:35 pm

        We look forward to seeing soon but meanwhile keep the stories coming. Enrique is 100% right and you are too right. He is an agent of God….an angel of sorts. They are all around us and you have a knack for finding or maybe meeting them. Its all about being open to the Grace . So safe travels and I’ll keep your storage need in mind. Not many large garages in old town. … No building boom on those in your absence.
        They had an interesting article on your pal Mr Mustache in the Boulder magazine this week. I’ll bet his teachings come in handy on this trip!! Many of us in old town are frugal sorts …. My own kids call me coupon queen and Stephen is deal dad.
        Anyway happy travels to you all!!

  • May 26, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Been following y’alls travels for a couple of months. Makes me look back on our trip with such fond memories! You’ll never regret this time with your family. On our RV road trip several years ago, we also stayed at the Timberlane Campground for our sightseeing days in Philadelphia. And we ate at Campo’s!

    Here’s a peek at our time in New Jersey and Philadelphia.


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