Thursday, February 25, 2010

Croatan National Forest; Cedar Point NC

November 21-27, 2009
Croatan National Forest, NC
Cedar Point CG Site #15
$51 for 6 nights
271 miles round trip, 7.0 mpg

Saturday-Travel day.  We enjoyed watching a mating pair of Mallards on the pond at our house before we hit the road.  It was an easy drive with light traffic.  We had mostly overcast skies.  Dorothy and Chris are in the site across the street.  They are full-timers that we met here last year.  They plan to go to California after Christmas.  We rode our bicycles around the park and to the little boat launch.  Julie and Steve, the friendly camp hosts, chatted for a while.  She said the fish were biting on the White Oak River.  We played rummy at night.
Sunday-We went to the grocery store and Lowes to get a doodad for the CG water spigot so our hose will fit it.  Gin got a nice campfire going while I cut up veggies and put a roast in the oven.  We had Gin's brother Butch, his son Nick, and Nick's girlfriend Becca over for supper.  It was enjoyed by all.  It rained and we called it an early night.
Monday-It was a drizzly day.  Gin and Nick went to the shore to fish but it rained harder.  They came back and played video games.  We watched squirrels.  One of them stuffed a lot of leaves in his mouth and scampered up the tree to his nest.  I guess that was an extra blanket for the night.
Tuesday-Nick and Becca were both off work today so the four of us went to the shore.  They fished while I enjoyed walking the beach and watching the birds.  We saw fresh deer tracks in the sand leading straight to the waves and then back to the dunes.  I can't imagine what the deer looked like gazing out over the ocean.  Pretty awesome, no doubt.  Gin caught a fish and a rag.  Nick suggested shrimp at Golden Corral for supper since we didn't have any luck.  Gin's parents got set up in the CG while we all cleaned up.  The 6 of us went to Morehead City to eat.  We all played cards afterwards.
Wednesday-It was a rainy do nothing day.  Nick came over for a bit.  The lazy, stir crazy day was finished off by playing canasta with Gin's parents.
Thursday-Happy Thanksgiving!!  The sun came out and it was a beautiful day!  All the food was ready and laid out at Gin's parents at 12:30.  Nick, Becca, and Butch were there.  We invited Dorothy and Chris and Roger (camp co-host) to join us.  A good meal was had by all.  We enjoyed a bike ride around the park and to the water.  We gave our leftover firewood to Julie and Steve.  We packed up the outside stuff after Nick and Becca played Guitar Hero.  They're pretty good.  The squirrels were gathering fresh dry leaves for a cold night.
Friday-Travel day.  It's sunny, cool and quite windy.  That made for a long 3 hour drive.  I got a good nap before going to work night shift.  Sad to say that this was the last RV trip of the season.  We can't wait until next year.  It'll be so nice to visit Sylville on a more frequent basis.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Happy Holiday RV Park; Cherokee NC

October 24-30, 2009
Cherokee, NC
Happy Holiday RV Park Site #97
$295 for 6 nights
663 miles round trip, 7.3 mpg, $2.65 per gallon gas

Saturday-Travel day. We left the house before 6:00am. It was misty and rainy half of the way but it was clear blue sky west of Winston Salem. I40 is pretty rough there but driving this route was comfortable. Gin had major surgery only a couple of weeks ago so it was a long ride for her. Our site is on the creek. It's very muddy since there's been a lot of rain and there is no gravel left on our site. The creek's full too. Gin's folks are next to us in site #98. Her dad is here for an accounting seminar. It's a beautiful time of year. Gin's mom has fixed supper for us. She likes to cook and we like to eat. :) Here's our muddy site.

Sunday-We all started the day without electricity. It was a bit cool but it came back on in 30 minutes. I guess the CG circuits couldn't handle all that coffee brewing at the same time. We relaxed with Judy and Odie, Gin's folks. I walked Smudge around the pond to talk with the ducks. Odie and I rode in to Cherokee to find some snacks.
Monday-Gin didn't feel too good. She had a headache and her innards were still healing so she stayed at the CG. Judy and I went to the Mountain Family Farm Museum on the other side of Cherokee. I remember visiting it 40 years ago in my youth when my family would camp in the summer. Judy and I enjoyed our leisurely visit there. When we got back, Gin walked Molly and I walked Smudge around the whole CG while Judy grilled chicken. Odie had a very long day at his seminar. Tomorrow won't be as long.
Tuesday-It rained all day. I took a DVD over for Judy to enjoy while Gin and I just relaxed and worked on a tiny 1000 piece puzzle. It stopped raining after supper. The creek sure is loud and full.
Wednesday-It's a beautiful day! We all rode to Brevard via the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was a long but enjoyable ride. The leaves have already fallen at the higher elevations, but they were beautiful near Brevard. We stopped at a few overlooks and had a good lunch at the Peak of the Parkway restaurant at the Pisgah Inn. We checked out the National Park CG there. Not bad for the discount price. We stopped at Sliding Rock to walk a bit and see the falls. We were also lucky enough to park right at the top of the steps at Looking Glass Falls. We checked out the National Forest visitor's center and Davidson River CG. I think her folks want to come stay here some time. We drove to pretty downtown Brevard and went back to Cherokee via Hwy 280 to Asheville. It was less curvy. I long to spend a summer in the mountains, especially the Brevard area. Here's a pic of Sliding Rock and also Looking Glass Falls.

Thursday-Gin and I took Smudge to the Oconaluftee River Twin Islands Park in Cherokee. Dogs aren't allowed so I carried her the whole time. It's a great place for a picnic and to watch people fly fish. There is a thick bamboo forest that's pretty neat to walk through. We came back to camp and sat by the stream and watched a pair of mallards bathe on the opposite bank. We played canasta with her folks and "let" them win. Then they "let" us win. Here's the mountain bamboo.

Friday-Travel day. It was overcast which is good for driving. We left the CG a little after 10:00am and got home a little before 5:00pm. There was stop and go traffic on I40 at Cary and at Hwy 70 just a few miles from our exit. This was another enjoyable week in Sylville even if we were in a muddy site at an overpriced CG.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Jordan Lake State Park; Apex NC

August 22 - September 3, 2009
Jordan Lake State Park; Apex NC
Poplar Point CG Site #E94
$276 for 12 nights
84 miles round trip, 7.6 mpg

Saturday-Travel day. Gin drove the Suki with the kayaks on top while I pulled the waverunners with the MH. Some folks were still on our site so we stayed at the boat launch parking lot for a few minutes until Gin's folks got there. I took Smudge for a walk down the amphitheater path and we scared up 3 deer. I looked one of them in the eye for a while. He was a young male with budding antlers only the size of my middle finger. It sprinkled some while we all set up camp so we decided to launch the waverunners and pontoon boat tomorrow.
Sunday-Squirrels can run with a hot dog bun. I saw one holding it in his mouth while he jumped into a small tree. We got the boats in the water but had a little trouble with the pontoon launch. The water is so low that one of the trailer tires dropped off the end of the ramp just as the boat floated free. Gin's mom Judy got in her Suzuki while Gin and I got in the water and picked up that side of the trailer. You can lift a lot more in water. All's well that ends well. We saw hummingbirds at our feeder that is mounted on the windshield. One has a yellow top knot.
Monday-It's a work day for me and Gin's dad Odie. I met the work camper at the gate at 4:45am. He works in the Public Utilities Department of Raleigh. Odie drove to Rocky Mount. His work day was shorter than mine. Gin and her mom worked around the campsites. It was very dark at 4:45am. I saw a deer along the roadside as I left the CG but Gin and Judy saw a herd of deer while walking the dogs. They also saw them at the end of the cove behind the MH eating green stuff. They witnessed an attempted theft too. A squirrel tried to steal a pack of nabs. I came home to a nice meal and bed.
Tuesday-Another long work day for me. Gin went shopping with her folks and vacuumed the MH. She saw crows eating the wild grapes at our site. I look forward to sleeping late tomorrow.
Wednesday-Some friends of Gin's folks came to visit for the day and I think they enjoyed it. We walked the dogs around the whole loop but had to stop to stare at some beautiful deer. It looked like a mom, last year's offspring, and this year's fawn. We enjoy our wildlife sightings. :) We rode the waverunners quite a bit. It was a beautiful day with the lake almost all to ourselves.
Thursday-We took the waverunners to the swimmin' hole close to the boat launch. Gin and I were bobbin' as a bald eagle soared over head looking at us as he flew down the cove. It was awesome to hear his wings flap. Gin's folks joined us for bobbin'. I took Gin's mom for a calm ride on the waverunner. We all played canasta in the evening.
Friday-No new neighbors yet. Next weekend is Labor Day so I hope people wait. We all went to Lowes in Pittsboro and Walmart in Siler City. Gin got a nice new water filter for outside and put it on. I did a $4.00 paint job on the Suki. We did the blue tank duties for both MHs. We played canasta again.
Saturday-We all just piddled around the campsites. It had rained overnight so it started off very humid and cleared up nicely. We just needed a day of relaxation.
Sunday-We tried the waverunners since we knew the next couple of days would be cool and rainy. The lake was just too bumpy for us old gals so we came back to camp. We had a neat visitor as we stood amongst the trees at the shore...a black and white warbler. He sang a bit as he perched on the trunk and limbs. We set up the tent top and mat to welcome the cooler weather.
Monday-Deer, deer everywhere. It was a cool rainy day so we hung out at camp. A doe and her twin fawns were on the vacant campsite beside us. She was only 10 feet from the driver's door of the MH! I saw another family of four while Gin and Judy went to get groceries. They said they saw them as they drove away. It was pretty special.
Tuesday-Gorgeous day!! It was in the mid 70's with low humidity. We kayaked and Gin's folks took out the pontoon boat. They didn't catch a fish but Gin caught a crappie. It was windy with whitecaps on the lake so we stayed close. I walked Smudge and had another deer sighting. Three of them jogged across the road. The last one had finger long antlers. We finished the day playing canasta again.
Wednesday-Another gorgeous day! All we wanted to do was lay around outside and relax but it was pack up day. We took the waverunners to the boat ramp. Gin's aunt and uncle visited. After they left, we loaded up the pontoon. I hooked up the trailer and backed it down the ramp all by myself. :) We came back to camp to put the kayaks on top of the Suki and put away both tent tops. Gin put away her computer stuff so we are quite tired. We plan to relax some in the morning before packing the patio stuff. We've enjoyed the hummingbirds and deer families.
Thursday-Travel day. We relaxed outside with our coffee and packed the dish and patio at a leisurely pace. We walked Smudge around the loop one last time and cranked up to leave at 1:30 just as the next camper pulled up for #E94. Hope they enjoy their time there as much as we did.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Jordan Lake State Park; Apex NC

August 1-6, 2009
Jordan Lake State Park; Apex NC
Poplar Point CG Site #E99
$115 for 5 nights
84 miles round trip, 8.8 mpg

Saturday- Travel day. I towed the waverunners with the MH while Gin drove the Suki. It was too hot to bring the kayaks much less firewood. Gin's parents got here with there MH just a little after us. they brought their pontoon boat and stay on site #E93. This is the first year of the reservation system so we didn't plan ahead. They will be next to us the last couple of days. We all paced ourselves during the heat of the day and launched all the boats in the evening. It was a nice time for a wet ride.
Sunday-It was a rainy day so we all went to WalMart in Cary and got Panera bagels on the way back. It was chicken wraps for lunch. Gin's folks grilled chicken for supper. It stopped raining in mid afternoon but we stayed out of the water.
Monday-We rode the waverunners a couple of hours in the morning. Gin visited with her folks while I got gas from the corner store and put it in the boats. Ten gallons for each. The pontoon boat was bone dry. We fixed veggie burgers, cheese fries, and 3 bean salad at Gin's folks. They fixed peach ice cream to top off the day nicely. :) Here's Gin slicing the water.

Tuesday-Loons fly about 40 mph. One flew beside me for a while before he went up a cove. We waverunnered over to one of our favorite spots just past Crosswind CG and soaked in the water. We all watched "Mall Cop" during the heat of the day and waited for our neighbors to leave so we could move Gin's folks to site #E100 right next to us. Here's her mom Judy at their rig.

Wednesday-We rode the waverunners in the morning and met Gin's folks on their boat. We all "swam" a bit (floated). It clouded up so we came in and packed the outside stuff. We ate too much again. I gave Smudge a bath. She is a 100 pound toy poodle...10 pound dog and 90 pound attitude. :) A storm moved in for the night while we packed up some of the inside stuff.
Thursday-Travel day. We slept kinda late but still had time to enjoy the waverunners one more time. We got the pontoon boat and waverunners out. It was a nice trip to the house. Had time to do a couple loads of clothes and get things ready to go again.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cascade Lake Recreation Area; Brevard NC

July 3-9, 2009
Cascade Lake CG Site #B7
Pisgah Forest, NC
$135 for 6 nights

615 miles round trip, 8.2 mpg, $2.58 per gallon gas
Passport America discount during the week :)
Like Sites B8,B9,C7,C32,D19,P4, and P9.5 (sat tv should work on these too)

Friday-Travel day. We came to this CG last October to celebrate our 25 years together and knew we had to return. The traffic wasn't too bad. We stopped at the RV Super Store in Mocksville NC and test drove a Newmar Dutchstar MH. Very impressive (drool). As we arrived in the CG, we noticed our brakes smelled hot. We're in the mountains near Brevard. Transylvania County is known as the "Land of the Waterfalls". It's comfortably cool (79) here but crowded. Most of the people will leave on Sunday or Monday but the families are certainly enjoying themselves.
Saturday-Happy Independence Day!! We were tired so we just relaxed at the CG all day. It's very nice weather so we sat outside a lot. In the afternoon, we walked down to the kayak/canoe launch stopping to watch the kids 3-legged races. It was a lot of family fun time at the swim lake. After supper, we decided to take our bag chairs down to watch the kids sing karaoke and more family fun. We enjoyed watching but we certainly didn't sing. They held several prize drawings at the end of the evening and we won the Grand Prize!! It's a free 7 night vacation here next year. We are checking my schedule for June. When I call to make the reservation, I just need to remember to mention it. We like site B8 beside us. On the other side of us is a volunteer host who is a retired deputy from the area. His son is a trooper with NCSHP and has his family here this week also. We always meet fellow LEOs when we camp. They must crave positive interaction with people as much as I do.
Sunday-Boy did this place clear out in a hurry. It rained some in the early morning so it was humid all day. We went in to Brevard to get a few things and relaxed at the CG the rest of the day. We tried ladderball. It's not as easy as it looks.
Monday- We launched the kayaks in Cascade Lake and paddled upstream to Hooker Falls. While Gin fished a cove, I looked into the trees and saw a big owl silently float from one tree to another! The banks are steep and thick with green. There is mountain laurel, rhododendron with blooms all along the way, hemlock, mature white pine, scrub pine, and dozens of other kinds of plants. There are spent blossoms floating on the clear, cool, still water. We got out of our kayaks at Hooker Falls and floated in the cold water. Gin caught a bass on the paddle back. She released it of course. It started raining pretty hard so we paddled to some overhanging hemlock to stay dry. It was a wonderful day in Sylville. This is a pic of Hooker Falls in the fall of 2008.

Tuesday-We rode around the area and picked up a nice geocache at Connestee Falls. Highway 64 west of Brevard is way curvy. The MH is not going there! The Blue Ridge Parkway is nice. It's cooler (65) at 4500 feet elevation. We were planning to hike to Moore's Cove Falls and do some geocacheing but it was too crowded. Looking Glass Falls which is right beside the road, was too crowded also. We found a nice little turnout not far from Davidson River CG. You could easily walk to the river. Gin bought a winning scratch off ticket ($100) on the way home. Our luck continues. Here's us at Looking Glass Falls in the fall of 2008.

Wednesday-We enjoyed our last day here by kayaking the lake. We took the GPS and I crawled up the steep bank to look for "Get Hooked". My legs were too weak. The irony of it is that on Monday when it rained while we were paddling, this is the exact spot that we took shelter under the overhanging hemlock branches. We got back about 4:30 to pack up the outside stuff and finished just as it started raining. We got the most out of the day.
Thursday-Travel day. It drizzled during the first half of the drive. It's funny how the tension of traffic returns when we get closer to Durham. We love the Brevard area and this CG because there is so much to do. It is a Passport America CG that honors the discount several days during the week instead of just one day. The camp volunteers are nice and friendly. It is operated by the Cradle of Forestry in America. We will return next year.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Croatan National Forest; Cedar Point NC

June 7-21, 2009
Croatan National Forest, NC
Cedar Point CG Site #13
14 nights for $119
270 miles round trip; 8.0 mpg; $2.64 per gallon gas

Sunday-Travel day. It was overcast which is good for traveling. We towed Suki with the bicycles and the kayaks on top. We also had firewood in the back. We got our usual spot. I don't think there's any bad spot here. It was hot but we set up the screen tent in front of the tv outside. Gin's National Parks Access Pass is honored here so it is quite a deal to be only 3 or 4 miles from the beach at Emerald Isle where there is free public parking at the shore.
Monday-We rode the bikes in the CG some. Gin's brother Butch lives nearby so we visited him on our way to Lowes. We drove over to Emerald Isle and picked up shrimp burger plates for lunch. Gin played Guitar Hero outside while I relaxed and enjoyed the squirrels. We rode our bikes again in the evening.
Tuesday-We kayaked to an island geocache near Swansboro. From the Wildlife landing to the island and back was about 2.5 miles. The climb up the sand dune to get to the cache was tough but the view was beautiful! We would have stayed and savored it longer but the terns let us know that this was their nesting grounds. You could see the ocean waves splashing into the inlet. We looked for little shells on the shore of the island. We went home, showered, and napped. Later we went out for supper at Pelican Island. A storm came in and it rained into the night. Here's a pic of me with the cache log and one of the inlet meeting the ocean.

Wednesday-A day to relax but my bike had a flat tire so we went to WalMart in Morehead City. We stopped at Lowes Foods on the way home to get sushi for lunch. It was nap time and then Gin fixed my tire. She is tech support and life support to me. :) We walked Smudge (our devil of a dog) through the CG. There are about 45 sites and only 2 are vacant on a Wednesday. We finished the day with a game of Rummy before going to bed.
Thursday-We went to the NC Aquarium in Pine Knoll Shoals. It was remodeled a couple of years ago and is very nice. We had Dairy Queen moo lattes for lunch and Gin fixed her spinach souffle and okra, tomato, rice dishes for supper. We'll have left overs that way.
Friday and Saturday-I had to work Friday and Saturday so we drove Suki back to Clayton. We left Wanda (MH) and all the stuff in the CG. We'll be back Sunday!
Sunday-We got to the CG at 2:30Am to sleep a little. We got shrimp and scallops at the fish market and also got squash and watermelon at the produce stand. It rained all afternoon. Butch joined us for supper.
Monday-We started the day with blue tank duties. We rode our bikes on the trail to get the clues for the geocache "Marsha Marsha Marsha". We may go find it in the Fall when we come back here. We rested a bit and then rode the bikes on the longer trail to get "a bridge too far" geocache. We walked Smudge together in the evening.
Tuesday-Another rainy day. The camp host Julie dropped by for a chat while I cut up the watermelon in the morning. She and her husband Steve are very friendly and make great camp hosts. They don't put up with mess. We went to Lowes Foods for a grocery run. Our friend Marie visited in the afternoon. We met her and Nicole while camping in Luray, Va in 2008. They are from Philadelphia and are in Emerald Isle for a few days. Smudge enjoyed another family stroll at twilight.
Wednesday-We started the day by filling the fresh water tank. We put on our 45 sunblock, loaded up the kayaks, snacks and packs, and headed over to Hammocks Beach State Park to paddle out to Bear Island. It was too windy to go out but it is a pretty place. We decided to go to Long Point and paddle up to Haywood's Landing on the White Oak River. We ate lunch in the Suki while it rained. We paddled about 4 hours total. There wasn't much wildlife except for the alligator about 200 yards from the end of our paddle. It was a nice but long day. Our arms are sore.
Thursday-I took a good look at the map. We paddled more than 6 miles total yesterday so today is for resting. We took down the screen and lights from the outside room. Gin played Guitar Hero while I watched birds. We ended the day with peanut butter cup smores by the campfire.
Friday-We spent the day at the shore. The beach umbrella blew down so we got a little too much sun. Marie and Nicole joined us as we bobbed in the waves. The four of us went out for supper at Portofino's. Marie's daughters and nieces are with them but they are a generation younger so they went their own way.
Saturday-It was very hot but we packed up our outdoor stuff. We went over to Julie and Steve's (camp host) for a cookout. We were joined by Roger (co-camp host) and his girlfriend Frankie, and full-timers Dorothy and Chris. We met them here last year when they were using a tent and a car. They now have a good Allegro MH from the 1980's. She is from Canada and he is from Hawaii. Interesting couple. Gin enjoyed a healthy debate with Steve on every subject.
Sunday-Travel day. We rode the bikes one last time on the long trail. It was a windy ride back to Clayton. We like this CG because it is close to the beach and there is so much to do in the area.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Jordan Lake State Park; Apex NC

May 8-14, 2009
Jordan Lake State Park; Apex NC
Poplar Point CG Site #E99
$120 for 6 nights
83 miles round trip, 7.4 mpg, $2.25 per gallon gas
Like sites in Loop E: 93, 94, 95, 98(sunny pull thru), 99, 100, 122, 124, and 121(off water)

Friday-Travel day. I towed the waverunners with the MH while Gin drove Suki with the kayaks on top. She had people smiling and pointing as they drove by. It was a very smooth and relaxingly easy set up day. The waverunners launched great and started right up with their new batteries. We took a short ride on the waverunners in the afternoon. The water was a bit cool when it splashed on us.
Saturday-It was windy and hot(91). Since there were whitecaps on the lake, we didn't take the waverunners out. We kayaked a few coves over to a quiet sandy beach. We sat there on our blue folding stools and swam a bit to cool off. If you caught the waves just right while in the kayak, it was like body surfing. A storm came up at supper so we quickly rolled in the awning and put away the outside stuff.

Sunday-Happy Mother's Day! The overcast cool morning was great for paddling the coves. Gin took her fishing gear but didn't have any luck. It was a sunny afternoon so we took the waverunners for a ride. We found an island geocache. Another is on a bird nesting island. We just drove around it some and looked at all the blue herons and loons. It smelled fishy.
Monday-Rainy and cool. A good day to nap. We had a Panera bagel and coffee. I drove Suki to Parker's Creek CG across the lake and saw 3 or 4 deer bounding through the woods. After July, Poplar Point and Crosswinds are reservation only CGs. Parker's Creek will remain first come but it isn't as nice. While it does have new pavement, there is no electricity on the waterfront sites and big trees are growing in the patio area of many sites. We just spent the day relaxing in the MH. It was cool enough that we needed the space heater.
Tuesday-What a beautiful day!! We rode the waverunners to the dam and did some geocaching. We found one on an island but the log was way to wet to sign in. Gin is better at finding the caches than I am but we enjoy the hunt together. We came back and took a relaxing paddle. The water was so smooth. The crows cawed, the herons screeched their hoarse scream, and the buzzards "woofed" like a protective dog. We ate chicken rollups by the campfire and watched tv outside. This was a great day in Sylville.
Wednesday-It was too cool to enjoy the waverunners so we took them out at the boat ramp. We spent a little time on the kayaks in the afternoon. We enjoyed smores by the evening campfire. Our dog Smudge isn't doing too good. Her hips are hurting and I think I cracked a tooth.
Thursday-Travel day. It drizzled early but stopped long enough for us to pack up. It rained while driving around Raleigh. It was a very peaceful week of relaxation.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Huntington Beach Sate Park; Murrells Inlet SC

Stix n Brix; Clayton NC

It's that time of year for us gonna be full-timers that we start looking forward to the upcoming travel season. One way to look forward is to look back. The next few posts will summarize our RV outings from 2009. Travel with us.

March 13-20, 2009
Huntington Beach State Park
Murrells Inlet, SC Site #116
$182 for 7 nights
400 miles round trip, 7.1 mpg, $1.77 per gallon gas
Like sites 1,3,5,31,33,30,60,68,71,106,107,111,115,117,119,121,123,125, and 127

Friday-Travel day. It drizzled half the time in NC. It was slow going with that and an army convoy on I95. This is our first time at this nice quiet CG. It has paved roads. We are on a private spot in the woods next to the bathhouse. Satellite tv is good at this site. There is local hi-def also. We settled in and cycled the CG some.
Saturday-We rode Suki around the park. We explored Atalaya which is the castle style summer home of the couple that donated the land for this state park. We located a virtual cache at the foyer fireplace. We walked along the beach. The jetty is way too far to attempt. We found our first two geocaches!! (got a travel bug)
Sunday-We went into Myrtle Beach after driving through Murrells Inlet and had a big lunch at New China Buffet. We shopped at Tanger Outlet. I'm picky so I didn't get anything. It drizzled in the afternoon.
Monday-It rained most of the day. We got take-out from Harrelson's Seafood Market. We walked some of it off in the CG. We took the wooded walkway to the shore. Since it rained a lot, we finished the day putting together a 1000 tiny piece puzzle.
Tuesday-We drove into Georgetown and came back to bike around some in the CG. We found 3 geocaches. We enjoyed s'mores by our first evening campfire.
Wednesday-Finally a beautiful day!! It was "Wildlife and History Day" at Atalya. Some very interesting displays but we didn't think to bring a camera. A Ranger started a fire by rubbing two sticks together using a bow. The "birds of prey" presentation was the big attraction with a Harris hawk, barred owl, and yellow-billed kite (an African species) flying around the crowd. The seagulls left :). We cooked supper (Cornish hens and spiced apples) over the campfire.
Thursday-Another beautiful day!! We hiked the Sandpiper Pond Nature Trail. The Garmin batteries died just as we got close to another geocache. :( We checked out the nice Education Center. We biked the CG some more and walked along the beach. We packed up the outdoor stuff and ended the day by eating leftovers and s'mores by the evening campfire.
Friday- Travel day. It's back to work for me tonight. Gin drove the MH for the first time. It was only for 40 miles on I95 south of Fayetteville, but we both have more respect for each others usual seats.
We definitely want to come back to this CG. There are a lot of nature oriented things to do here and we didn't even get to check out Brookgreen Gardens right across the highway. We were in Sylville all week.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Stix n Brix; Clayton NC

It snowed last night so I thought it would be a good time to post photos.

This is what our back yard looks like in the cool, calm, quiet of the morning.

I was standing on the deck just a few feet from the feeder. I couldn't catch all the birds that visited, but they where enjoying the fresh food. When our pet cockatiel, Aussi, died a couple years ago, we dedicated these bird feeders in his memory. He would be pleased.

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Schedule and budget

Stix n Brix: Clayton NC

Ahh...the end of a work cycle. It's different for me. I work a 28 day cycle. It's basically 3 weeks on and 1 week off. Sure, I get a few days off during the 3 weeks (about 5), but I get a whole week off every month! It's like a vacation. I work long hours and flip days and nights when I'm working so it's tough on the body and sleeping, but it's worth it. I got some good news from the office. If I'm really good and don't use any vacation time or sick leave, I'll be able to retire a month earlier than I thought. That'll be a great 50th birthday present! Now I just need to stay healthy and use my overtime wisely.

This past year is the first time that we have kept a written budget or at least kept up with the actual dollar amount spent. We did this because we wanted to know if our regular expenses would be under our target amount for full-timing. We learned a great deal from rv-dreams about the costs of the full-time RV lifestyle. There are many different budgets to fit your individual needs but as Howard summarized it, you'll spend about the same on the road as you do in a stix n brix. A comfortable amount is $3000 a month if you don't have any RV or car payments. You can easily stretch a buck by volunteering for a few months at a park or putting less miles on the road. It's quite a flexible lifestyle in so many ways. It's also a great way to appreciate nature with the comforts of home close by. That's what we look forward to.

We have been blessed by virtue of my work schedule, to take RV trips that last longer than just a week-end. It's great to see families enjoying quality time that only camping can provide. I believe that a kid that is fortunate enough to grow up in a loving family that enjoys RVing and nature, has a better understanding of their place in the world.

The opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver BC Canada are on right now. Perhaps in the years to come, we'll get up there to see the beauty of their wildlife. We hope it'll be during the summer however.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Tweaking and Rambling

Stix n Brix; Clayton NC

I just did a little bit of tweaking to the blog set-up. I want to say thanks to those of you that have come to check it out. If you only knew how much of a challenge a computer is to me. Maybe some day next week, I'll adventure out and try to get a photo or two in here. I don't know if my brain can handle that...brain strain...I don't think it's deadly.

We had a little bit of work done on Wanda (the MH) last month and we just got it back a few days ago.  We had the oil changed and a new awning put on along with new slide toppers. It stays in our driveway and we are so ready to get it cleaned up and ready for a trip. Why is it that the folks servicing your rig rarely treat it with the respect that it deserves? A couple of our bowls are gone (Corelle does shatter), and the dinette leg mount is pulled out of the floor. We don't let that bother us because we have more bowls and screws and glue will fix the mount.

Over the next couple of weeks, I plan to post some notes from our RV trips from last year. I had contemplated a blog at that time, but just put it off. My parents had taken a couple of cross-country trips in their Pace Arrow back in the mid '80s and my mom had jotted a few things down on a notepad. This, of course, was way back before home computers were even dreamed of and a laptop was only something that Santa had for the kids to sit in.

Until later...put a smile on your face. It wouldn't look good anywhere else.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

In the beginning...

Stix n Brix; Clayton NC

We are starting this blog a little early to keep up with our progress towards our goal of fulltime RVing. We know that there will be days and even weeks when it seems so far away. We also know that it is closer now than it was when we decided this would be the ideal lifestyle for us.

I will be doing most of the posts but Gin will speak up occasionally. She is definitely the tech support in all we do. I am Syl and plan to retire in the Fall of 2011. Many people are strong enough to quit their stressful jobs and travel fulltime in their RV. We aren't brave enough to do that on a wing and a prayer. I will be 50 upon retirement so we figure that should give us a couple of good decades.

Gin has a different life story than many people. She was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) while in her mid 20's and has her ups and downs with that disease. She has been on disability for 20 years due to MS. We've been together our entire adult life.