BY ELLIE CUMMINGS • Gazette Correspondent
FRANKFORT -- A hint of the pending autumn's in the air, so come the weekends leading to Labor Day and beyond, area roads will be crowded with folks heading to their favorite campgrounds.
One of the recreational vehicles on those roads will be a white Sierra fifth-wheel belonging to Chas and Tracy Kottenbrook, 42, of Frankfort, and their two special needs foster children, Brenton, 10, and Collin, 4. They'll be headed north to a spot on Lake Erie called East Harbor.
A truck that will be used for "getting around" will pull their fifth-wheeler, so all in all, their rig is about 70 feet long, and it's usually packed with apparatus galore for regular --as well as unexpected --treatments required for the boys.
"This will be our third time at East Harbor," Chas said. "It really works for all of us. The camping is great, and it's a good mood lifter. We especially like it (in early autumn) 'cause the scenery is awesome."
Planning and packing consumes at least two days and the purported 4 1/2 hour-drive often stretches to seven hours to accommodate some 15 potty stops, etc.
"So we arrive at seven," Tracy said with a smile. "It's a long haul, but we get there and the quality of our three days at East Harbor is great."
Brenton loves feeling the sand on his toes and splashing at the water's edge, and Collin has his own happiness, too. Because they will be far enough north to be above the jet stream, there is significantly less barometric air pressure, so he gets swabbed for chronic drooling only 20 or 25 times a day instead of the usual 150 times.
Taking the family on the road is no small undertaking. Whereas at home, they have two full-time nurses to help surround the boys' round-the-clock needs, they just bring one nurse when they go camping and spell each other for the balance. READ MORE...