It's about time.

Many of you that can relate to this. Working long hours at your career. Raising your families. Buying a home and paying all the bills related to being homeowners and parents. We're now retired and don't need all that work and expense. Now "It's about time" to follow our dreams.

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Thank You for following this Blog

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Lots of “See You Down the Roads”.

Our Location today is Marion, North Carolina, USA.

We both slept so soundly last night that we were wide awake by 7:30 this morning. On one hand we were not in a rush to go anywhere today but on the other hand we didn’t want to miss the closing ceremonies of the RV Dreams Reunion Rally. 
The last Reunion Breakfast Get-together.
We made our way over to the pavilion where again this morning we were served another full breakfast. After a few brief announcements from Howard and Linda who both got a little emotional because they had not expected the outpouring of Love and Appreciation they were shown for putting on this Reunion. There was mention that it looks like they’ll be making plans for another reunion somewhere down the road.   
Howard and Linda about to make the final announcements.
Everyone at the breakfast immediately started working together one last time storing the tables and chairs cleaning the floors and making certain the trash was collected. Within ten minutes everything was completed and then there were a lot of hugs and handshakes going around before many of the participants prepared to pull out today. 
We sat and watched as rig after rig pulled out.
Kathy and I like many others had made plans to stay an extra day in order to avoid the weekend traffic. We sat outside and waved farewell to the nearly forty rigs that pulled out heading for their next destination. 
Reunion attendee's rigs on Friday.

Once the traffic had slowed quite a bit we chose to go for a bicycle ride to try to limber ourselves up. Since the Tom Johnson RV Dealership is attached to the edge of the campground we went over to the Parts Sales looking for a copy of the Next Exit. Unfortunately they didn’t have any but they were having an Open House so we took the time to look around a number of A and C class units. We only saw one unit that enticed us but it will have to wait for when we choose to downsize from our existing RV.
 
The few rigs left today.
It was nearly 1:00 by the time we returned to the trailer to have lunch. Afterwards while I worked outside to close things up Kathy vacuumed the inside. I also installed our new outdoor weather gauge and it kept showing the temperature above the 90 degree mark. A few of the other remaining Reunion attendees stopped over to talk as well but when the skies darkened and the distant thunder grew more intense everyone headed indoors. I was a little damp before making it inside our trailer.

The rain stopped just before 5:30 so Kathy and I went to Taco Bell for supper in hopes that what was still outside would dry off before we returned. The temp had dropped to the low 80s by the time we got back and everything was dry. I just managed to finish packing up everything outside for tomorrow’s travels. 
Just before 7:00 this evening. 
As I sat down to write this post the rain really started coming down which sent lots of people scrambling for cover. For a while the stone roadways were beginning to look like small streams and the temperature is just above the 60 degree mark. At least we had gorgeous weather for the Reunion Rally. Thanks for following along and feel free to leave a comment. Be Safe and Enjoy!

It’s about time.

Krackers

How do you cure a headache?


Put your head through a window and the pane will just disappear.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Linville Falls and A Luau.

Our Location today is Marion, North Carolina, USA.

Yes I managed to get the blog posted just before midnight last night but that didn’t give us any time to sleep in this morning. The Reunion attendees were being served a Continental breakfast this morning. What was strange was that Kathy and I were the first to arrive and the server informed us we could step right up and have breakfast. It was almost a shock not having to wait for our table number to be called. Breakfast consisted of Orange Juice, Coffee, a Danish and an assortment of fruit to complete a healthy breakfast. 

The hills were long and tiring but deemed moderate walking.
When Gerry and Sandy had finished eating their breakfast we asked if the wanted to hear the Certified RV Tech give his presentation or if they wanted to head out to Linville Falls early. They were about to stay but when I explained how warm it was supposed to reach this afternoon they chose to go this morning. Tom and Marcie chose to stay and ask a few questions in hopes of learning more about their rig. 

Caught in the act.
Kathy entered the Coordinates for our destination into the GPS and off we went by 9:30. For some reason when the GPS directed us to I-40 I thought it was taking us to the Blue Ridge Parkway. By 11:30 we were starting to get hungry because of our light breakfast so we stopped at a Hardees for an early lunch even though we hadn’t reached the parkway yet.
Kathy, Sandy and Gerry up on the path.
I see them too.
Even the Coordinates Kathy had researched took us to the wrong location. The woman at the tourist information center went with us outside and pointed us in the direction of the Parkway. Do you know how popular this parkway is with motorcyclists because of the winding mountain roads? Now imagine an F-350 going through those same curves surrounded by motorcycles and keeping up to their speed. I used the Scenic Lookouts to let them pass and calm myself down a few times. 
This is quite the root system of a tree.
Sandy and Gerry almost made it to the falls.
We finally arrived at the falls after 1:00 and started on the path behind the welcome center following the signs. The climbing of the hills finally got to be too much for Gerry who has been having problems with his knees on this trip. We told them we’d share our pictures with them so Kathy and I carried on until we were finally viewing the Linville Falls first hand. It always amazes us how Nature creates such awe-inspiring sites for us to enjoy. 
Linville Falls.
By the time we’d all walked back to the parking lot I stopped in to the office and spoke with the ranger about posting an address or coordinates for the location. Ranger Dwayne said that no matter what they tried the GPSs just could not accurately find the location so it all depended on finding the 315 mile marker on the Blue Ridge Parkway to find their location. 
That's all Poison Ivy by the base of that log Kathy is sitting on.
Kids cooling off in the Linville River.
It had taken us three hours to get there because of the GPS. Ranger Dwayne directed me to the closest US 221 interchange and we were back at the trailer in a half hour. Kathy took a Snap while I took a shower to get ready for our big catered Luau at 6:00 this evening. 

Part of the Thank You Card to Howard and Linda.
Howard and Linda started off with announcements but were interrupted. The special document that I’d done for Kathy that we delivered the other day was part of a giant Thank You Card that was presented to them for all their hard work making sure everyone had fun this week. We sat with Gerry and Sandy and had a great time visiting before our table number was called. 
Beech Ball Relay.
Dress-up Relay
Tonight was Double Hula-hop relay.
Myself and Kathy.
Sit-down Volleyball.
The meal was delicious starting with a full sized pig that had been cooked the traditional Hawaiian way and transported to the campground along with shrimp that was being grilled on the spot. There was also baked sweet potato casserole, fried rice along with a fruit salad of pineapple and mandarin oranges. There was iced tea to drink and cake for dessert. 

Poor pig didn't have a chance.
Before anyone could disappear Linda started the relay games. I was busy taking pictures and was surprised to look up to see Kathy getting in the mix of things and truly having fun. Once the relay races were finished there were more games being played outside. Flip-flop basketball, sit-down volleyball and pig hunting the Hawaiian way but instead of spears the hunters used darts. 

We sat visiting with others while watching the last campfire of this reunion. As Barb said it’s always hard to say goodbye to friends but we told her it’s not goodbye but see you later. The weather was perfect for a great evening of celebration. Thanks for following along and feel free to leave a comment. Be Safe and Enjoy!

It’s about time.

Krackers

You Might Be a Redneck If

You grow corn in your front yard.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Linville Caverns and Simple Coaching.

Our Location today is Marion, North Carolina, USA.

This morning we actually had a chance to sleep in. Until 8:30 that is. We had plans to go exploring again with our friends Gerry and Sandy. Right on schedule we all piled into the truck and were on the road by 9:30. 

Our first destination was the Linville Caverns just off US 221 under Humpback Mountain. The trip only lasted a half hour and when we arrived the parking lot was fairly empty. By the time we’d gotten our tickets a few more vehicles had arrived but they had brought their dogs with them and animals are not allowed in the cavern. 

Our guide took us down inside explaining how the caverns are protected under Federal Law and informing us of the wildlife that make the caverns their home. We were told how during the Civil War deserters from both sides hid out in the caverns. We saw some nice looking trout that swim throughout the water system of the caverns and told because of their lack of exposure to light that they were totally blind. 

One thing unique about this cavern compared to others we have visited is the constant dripping of water from the ceiling and the temperature staying around the 52 F (11 C) constantly year round. We saw what total darkness in the cavern looked like as well as what an old kerosene lantern used by the early explorers looked like compared to modern lighting.   

In the winter time the caverns are closed to the public because it becomes the hibernation grounds for the Eastern Pipistrelle Bat. Unfortunately the bat population has been in decline due to White-Nose Syndrome which is a fungus that causes irritation on bats when they hibernate. This causes the bats to wake before the spring causing them to starve to death. Bats are useful to our Eco-System by acting as pollinators and devouring millions of insects every year. 

On our way out of the cavern we came face to face with bus loads of 8 to 10 year old kids on a school field trip. After bleaching the soles of our shoes to avoid spreading the White-Nose Syndrome we headed for the truck glad we weren’t underground with all those noisy children. 

Our next destination was the Linville Waterfalls but we didn’t have any coordinates for it so we just tried to see if we could locate them. The road we were told to take was a very tight two lane road that twisted and turned its way through the mountains that would have been impossible to do pulling the trailer. The closer we got the signs seemed to disappear leaving us puzzled as to the location. 

With no luck we stopped at a small strip mall to have a late lunch at the Western Sizzlin Restaurant. We had the choice of choosing from the menu for ten dollars or more per meal or pay less than eight dollars a meal by eating their buffet. They had a great selection of salads along with the other foods so none of us waddled out and we managed to not destroy our diets like we have in the past. All the food was fresh and tasty and was not overly salty like some buffets we’ve been to. 
Western Sizzlin Restaurant.
We were disappointed that we hadn’t found the falls so when we got back to the trailer Kathy did more research and finally found a site that gave the coordinates to its location. We’ll try again tomorrow. 

We only had soup for supper before going to the pavilion for 7:30. Tonight Howard and Linda showed the first half of a video we’ll all have access to after tomorrow’s Luau. Tonight’s video was made from the activities on Memorial Day. There was lots of laughing as we all viewed it. 

It was then time for the campfire but Tom was having a problem with his trailer and wanted my opinion on the issue. After gathering a few tools that I had in the basement I simply coached him
on how to resolve the issue and everything is working fine now. We returned to the campfire where Kathy, Sandy and Gerry were just about ready to call it a night. 
Only white lighting is used in the cavern.
The colors are from minerals in the formations.
There is lots planned here at the reunion tomorrow plus we’re going to try to make it back to the waterfalls. Thanks for following along and feel free to leave a comment. Be Safe and Enjoy!

It’s about time.

Krackers

The World's Great Proverbs

Good fences make good neighbors.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Lazy Exploring and Visiting.

Our Location today is Marion, North Carolina, USA.

Since we weren’t signed up to go White Water Rafting this morning we slept well past the 5:45 departure time. Just knowing we didn’t have plans helped us to relax enough that we slept soundly until just after 8:00 this morning. We were that tired out from all the activities of this last week. 
More pictures from the Biltmore Estate.
Even though we were in a slow lazy mode after breakfast that didn’t mean we didn’t have things to do. Kathy needed help resizing a document so we swapped computers so that I could accomplish that for her. By 9:30 we walked over to hand deliver the finished product. 

A quick stop at the Gimmarro trailer told us nobody was home. We knew that Tom and Bryce were part of the rafting group this morning but Marcie must have been out visiting as well. 

Part of our Rally Package had included a coupon to the Tom Johnson RV Dealership Store. We could have walked but since we had other errands to run we drove through the Rally Park and entered the dealership through the back gate. They had quite an array of things that anyone could use in their RV but we settled on just buying sewer hose fittings for today. 

Our next stop was down the road to fill just the main fuel tank on the truck since we’ll be exploring more of the area we’ll stop in again the day we leave to top off both tanks. 

We continued down highway 221 in search of the Walmart store that everyone kept telling us about. We drove down to the next little town with no luck before turning around. Kathy had wanted to bring the GPS but I had insisted that this was a relaxing day and if worse came to worse we could always ask for directions. 

We continued past the road to the park heading into downtown Marion again with no luck. We were headed back towards the park when we decided to have lunch at a small mom and pop fast-food restaurant called the Bantam Chef. The parking lot was full and there were even police cars going through the drive-thru. The Bantam Chef established in 1971 was hopping inside with three people working on the grill alone. We placed our order got our drinks found a table and our food was delivered less than a minute later. The food was great, tasty and reasonably priced. 

Before we left Kathy asked the waitress where the Walmart was located and we were told to take I-40 to get there. We got a few more groceries before heading back to the trailer where I had to have a Snap. That is unusual for me but I must have needed it because I felt much better afterwards. 

Around 4:30 we went with Gerry and Sandy to the Wendy’s down the road where they treated us to supper. We spent more time talking than eating and had a wonderful visit. We also made plans to go out exploring together tomorrow. 

By the time we got back to the park the sky was filling with clouds and the wind was starting to increase so we said our goodnights. Shortly afterwards the thunder and lightning rolled in and the rain has been coming in waves. We are hoping it will clear up for all our plans tomorrow. Thanks for following along and feel free to leave a comment. Be Safe and Enjoy!

It’s about time.

Krackers

You Might Be a Redneck If

More than half your phone bill is booty calls.