As Rod said in a comment on an earlier post, “I would have never guessed there would be so much to do in Western Penn”. We agree!
Besides our visits to the Flight 93 Memorial site in Shanksville and the Frank Lloyd Wright homes (described in my last two posts), we spent an afternoon in Johnstown, Pennsylvania at the Johnstown Flood Museum. On May 31, 1889, the neglected South Fork Dam, 14 miles upstream of Johnstown, failed under a torrential rainfall (read the interesting story by clicking on the link above).
The resulting flood caused the largest loss of civilian lives in the U.S. up until that time, 2,209 people (surpassed by the Galveston Hurricane in 1900 with over 8.000 lives lost). Both the museum (in Johnstown) and the National Park Service Memorial (at the dam site) were interesting, but if you have time to visit just one site, the Museum is the one. Their 26-minute documentary film won an Academy Award and is far superior to the lame melodrama shown at the NPS visitor center!
After Jackie and I discovered the appealing little town of Ohiopyle during our explorations of the Wright houses, we went back on Monday with Odel and Buddy. The town of Ohiopyle is adjacent to (surrounded by) a state park of the same name, known for the Class I-IV whitewater rafting on the Youghiogheny River. Where parking lots were packed full on Sunday, we found plenty of parking and few hikers on Monday. It was a great day for hiking and the company couldn’t have been better!
Rafters enjoying the whitewater.
Friends enjoying the rafters.
Jackie, Laurie, and the falls.
Fast forward to today, Thursday, time to move on after 8 fun days exploring the Highlands. Our drive was short and (mostly) easy. When we arrived and I turned on the water pump, we noticed water spewing from the pressure relief valve on our hot water heater (outside, fortunately). Uh-oh.
After a consultation with the helpful campground owner – who called an RV supply store for us and located a new pressure relief valve – we were on our way. Back home an hour later, Odel installed the new valve (I know! I know! Can you believe it?? He is turning into a major DIY’er) and we turned on the pump. AACK! The new valve acted just like the old one, spewing water all over the side of the motorhome.
Hmmmmm. To the computers! A message thread on the Escapees forum described the exact problem, with an important clue… it only happened when the writer was using their water pump. Blink! The light went on! We hooked up to the water faucet, and the spewing stopped.
A “temperature and pressure relief valve” opens, releasing water, in one of two conditions: either the water temperature reaches 210 degrees (which we KNEW was not the case) or the pressure reaches 150 pounds (which we never dreamed was the case, running our water pump). Apparently our water pump is malfunctioning (again!), running at too high a pressure.
By the time we had driven to the RV supply store, installed the new valve, and figured all of this out, it was after 7 pm; we were tired of working on it, and hungry. Odel fired up the grill, I nuked some fresh corn on the cob, and dinner was soon on the table.
Tomorrow we’ll tackle the water pump problem. Meanwhile, we’re an a wide open, mountain top campground we know we will enjoy, have just watched a beautiful sunset, and are ready to enjoy a restful evening. All is well.