Thursday, February 23, 2012

Redneck Camping

Clayton, NC

The dental appointment went ok on Tuesday.  I now have a temporary crown and have to go to a Periodontist next week for a consultation.  He has to look at it and probably take more x-rays to see how much bone needs to be shaved off.  What joy awaits me. In love

Wednesday was a cool day here so we just did laundry and used the wide open floor spaces to cut some tire cover material while we still have access to the facilities in the house.  We call it “Redneck Camping” when we stay in the driveway like this, but we don’t have a lot of choice.  The house was supposed to have been sold on January 6 but the folks that were going to buy our house had their house sell fall through.  They still want it though.

So what do you do when you are once again in Limbo Land?  RV projects of course!  Today was a beautiful day so I washed Tawanda and put some Rejex on the front to keep the bugs from sticking.  Roamin now has a “reflective” place to wile away the hours.
RainX Shines on Window  Roamin has a clean outlook now

Gin’s done most of the work on the tire covers and will probably finish up tomorrow while I do more Rejex (if it doesn’t rain).  We’ll take advantage of the empty house while it’s not quite sold.  We’re keeping a positive attitude though.
Four squares for four tires  Gin tucking in a hem on a tire cover

Thanks for dropping by and enjoy each day of your life’s journey by finding beauty in the ordinary.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Back Home?

Clayton, NC

We left Crooked River SP on Saturday and drove about 300 miles to Dillon, SC and pulled in at Bass Lake CG which participates in Passport America.  FHU 50Amp for under $18 ain’t bad.  The sites are quite reasonably sized and there’s a pond on site to soak in a bit of nature.  It’s only drawback is the noise from I95 but it offers a convenient on/off from the Interstate.
Bass Lake RV CG...Dillon SC  Bass Lake RV CG Pond...Dillon SC

After seeing the weather report for Sunday, we decided to stay put one more night since they take the PPA discount for up to 3 nights.  No need to drive in the cold rain if you don’t have to.  We just took advantage of the FHU and washed a couple loads of clothes and vegged out in front of the TV.  We arrived here in the driveway around 1:00 today and Tawanda sure does take a lot more room than Wanda did!  Our neighbors Mark and Kelly came over to check out our new home and we got the same reaction from them as from most other folks…”Wow!”  As I like to say, it’s our home, not a camper.

So I’ve driven Tawanda now for about 700 miles and have gotten quite used to how she handles on the Interstate.  I’ve driven her a few miles in smaller towns while in Florida too.  It’s a much smoother ride than a gas MH so it can be driven further without fatigue.  Gin props her feet up in the co-pilot recliner and relaxes as we drift on down the road.  I did have to make the first stop for fuel while in SC at a FlyingJ.  I went to the “Big Boy” fuel islands and the diesel pumps faster there.  300 bucks flowed in pretty fast.  It will be interesting when it’s time for me to put DEF in since that tank is on the passenger side.  I may have to use a hose from the neighboring island.  As always, I’ll learn as I go.

Thanks for dropping by, and enjoy each day of your life’s journey by finding beauty in the ordinary.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Rainy and GBS

Crooked River SP (site #54)
St Mary’s GA

It’s been a couple of messy, drizzly days here but I did at least ride my bike around a little bit on Wednesday and took a pic of our site.  I think it’s the best pull-thru here.  We got out on Thursday afternoon and went to the waterfront part of town with it’s quaint, restored houses and ate shrimp at Lang’s.  Not really worth the price but it was nice to get out.
Crooked River SP GA site #54

Since we’ve been conservative with our water consumption, there’s plenty of space in the gray tank so I’m washing a load of clothes today since we’re leaving tomorrow.  It sure is convenient.  We plan to stop at a PPA CG along I95 in SC tomorrow night and then back to the house for a few days by Sunday.  We like it here and hope to return when the weather is nicer.

One reason that I started blogging was to get better at expressing myself.  I’m a quiet person in general and my thoughts don’t always translate into the proper words.  I don’t think that my self-expression has improved much, but I wanted to share a link to a site that I think is well written with more “inner thoughts” and thought provoking questions than anything I can come up with.  It’s not RV related but there is an emphasis on the great outdoors.  It is written by my nephew Philip and is about his life’s experiences.  It’s Green Beret Skills.  As you may have guessed, he was in the Army.  If you have time, please check out his posts from January 25,2012 thru February 6, 2012 to help put life in perspective.

Life is what you make of it…it’s how you handle adversity that makes you who you are.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

We’ve Escaped!

Crooked River SP (site#54)
St Mary’s, GA

On Thursday afternoon, we decided to go to Bushnell FL and check out the SKP park there.  It’s about 60-65 miles from Lazydays.  While we were there, we drove over to Center Hill and bought some material to make tire covers like Karen and Al.  Here’s a post that shows a lot of their modifications.  Since we will be hanging around the house in NC for a while, we’ll make the covers then.

Friday and Saturday were just spent hanging around LD.  Our service advisor was real busy with 14 new coaches coming in and she had to work through the weekend.  The weather turned cool too.  We knew that we would not be bothered on Sunday so I finally mopped the tile floor.  It feels so much better!

While our slide awning material was being replaced on Monday, we visited with Dan and Tricia at Hillsborough River SP.  We intended to go for a paddle, but it was a bit too cool.  I guess we now have that Florida thin blood.  We all had on our jackets and sat outside to chat.  After a while we decided to walk a couple of the nature trails there.  We chose the Rapids Trail and the Baynard Trail.  Neither were very long and they linked together to make one nice hike.  Here’s the beginning as we walk towards the “rapids”.
Dan, Tricia and Gin...Rapids Trail Hillsborough River    "Rapids" on Hillsborough River

It was a beautiful day for a hike.   A suspension bridge led over to the other trail.  You guessed it…Dan and Gin wanted to check it out to see how it’s made.
 Suspension Bridge at Hillsborough River SP FL...Gin, Dan and Tricia

Our coach was ready to go on Tuesday and so were we.  We arrived at Hillsborough River around noon hoping to get a site for one night so that we could get in a paddle.  They were full so we headed north and arrived at Crooked River SP in Georgia around 4:00.  It started raining about the time we got here and it looks like drizzle again today.  Maybe we can still get the bikes off the rack and ride around some to check out the Nature Center and some trails.  There’s a nice boat launch and paddle trails here too, but it’s a little cool and tidal for us.  We just want to relax and enjoy the quiet setting that a SP offers after being in Tampa for the past month or so.  This is what we crave.

Nice thought

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Manatee and We’re Back

Lazy Days (site CD75)
Seffner, FL

Super Bowl Sunday started out so nicely.  We relaxed a bit and then joined in with Sherry and David on a bike ride around the park.  There’s lots of day use areas but that doesn’t keep the wildlife away.  The Osprey like the tops of dead Palm trees, and Ibis populate the area like crows and pigeons do back in NC.
Osprey   Ibis

We saw a big lagoon with a floating flock of ducks so we stopped to watch.  That’s when Gin saw something else in the water.  What was it?  It was so far away and none of us had binoculars.  I zoomed in with my camera but couldn’t hold it steady enough to tell.  We thought that it was Dolphin since they were jumping out of the water but we didn’t notice a dorsal fin.  We hopped on our bikes and pedaled off road over to a picnic shelter that was closer to the swells in the water.  That’s when we confirmed that it was Manatee frolicking in the water!  It’s the first time that Gin and I had seen any so we didn’t expect them to come out of the water that much.

After watching them roll around some, we went back to camp since we were expecting Tricia and Dan to join us for some fun before the Super Bowl.  They had just arrived.  Sherry and David went back to relax at Winnona’s site while Tricia and Dan put their tandem kayak and our two boats in the back of their truck so that we could launch in nearer to the lagoon and hopefully paddle out to the Manatee.  We all made it out there easily and locked oars around a “No Wake” marker and watched the show.  I think there were about a half dozen or so Manatee.  We did see at least three frolicking together at one time.

It was very hard to get photos because the water is not clear like it is up in some of the area springs.  I loved the sound they made when they cleared the surface to breathe through their noses…snort! We each had our close encounters with these gentle giants but Dan and Tricia had the best.  They are curious animals and one of them was curious enough to check out their SeaEagle.  I didn’t try to take photos because I didn’t want to miss out on living the moment.  This Manatee tried to suckle the boat right behind Dan and he put his hand in the water to touch it.  He said that it had bad breath.  We lingered out there for a couple of hours to just marvel the moment then went back to Tawanda where the six of us enjoyed some nibbles and watched a little bit of football.
Manetee nose to nose

Monday was a runaround day.  Gin and I went to Walgreens to get her medications and over to Walmart to get tubes for some bike tires.  Gin had a flat and so did Sherry.  No more riding off road around here.  Sherry and David joined us in the evening for some games on the XBOX 360 Kinect System.  We had a fun track and field meet with Sherry bringing in the Gold.

Tuesday was travel day back to Lazydays and it was rainy.  Yuck.  Well at least we know that the wipers work well.  We had called a few days ago to ask them to check out one of our slide toppers that was flapping excessively in the breeze so we had an appointment for Wednesday morning.  A technician took a look at it and said that the material was stretched out in the middle so they are either going to order a new one or make one here on site.  We told Tiffany that we need to leave here by the middle of next week to head back to NC.  Hope the timing is right.  Today looks like a good do-nothing day… well ok…I might make up the bed.

Thanks for dropping by, and enjoy each day of your life’s journey by finding beauty in the ordinary.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Back to Nature

Tampa Bay Area (site #55)

On Thursday we got our release papers from Lazydays.  While we enjoyed our stay there, we were ready to get back to a quieter more natural CG.  We gave Don and Jinny a hug and told Tiffany that we were going to stay in the area a few days in case anything popped up.  We hooked up and drove Tawanda for the first time.  She is one smooth ride!  It will take me a while to get used to her, but I like driving her.  We got an email from our realtor and we have put the house back on the market.  That changes things as for as our travels the next few months but it is what it is.

Friday was a very laid back day.  We basically just went to the supermarket and hung out with Sherry and David back at camp.  They are here too for a few days.  It’s been great visiting with them again.  We called Tricia and Dan who are staying at a nearby SP and invited them over for a paddle since we are waterfront on Tampa Bay.

We all got our boats out on Saturday and enjoyed a gentle breeze while we paddled amongst the mangrove. 
Ready for a paddle  Gin amongst the mangroves at Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay...David, Sherry, Gin, Tricia and Dan  Dan and Tricia

We saw a lot of birds in the mangroves, but I’m sure that for each one that we spotted, there were probably a dozen more that we didn’t see.  Here’s a Great Blue Heron, an immature Little Blue Heron, a Snowy Egret, and a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron.
Blue Heron in the mangroves  Bird in the mangrove
Snowy Egret  Heron

We paddled around a point and there were a few of these American Oystercatchers.
Bird on a stick
Further on down a canal,  I heard some splashes in the water.  It was just under this Pelican.  He had just relieved himself so that he could get comfy in the top of the tree.
Pelican in the mangroves  Nice and comfy

Wildlife, calm waters to paddle, and great friends to share it with.  It just doesn’t get much better!  Today we plan to pedal around the park some with Sherry and David.  Dan and Tricia plan to come over with their bicycles too and we’ll all relax and watch the Super Bowl commercials.  Who knows what all we’ll get into.

Thanks for dropping by, and enjoy each day of your life’s journey by finding beauty in the ordinary.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Bike Rack, Visits and Strawberries

Lazydays (site CD97)
Seffner, Fl

It seems that we did absolutely nothing on Monday because neither one of us can recollect anything now.  It’s good to have days like that every once in a while.  Gin was still getting over her cold I guess.

On Tuesday we went to Camping World and bought a new bike rack.  It’s a lot like the one we had but will be more secure between the MH and the toad.  After we put it together and put it on the hitch, we took a bike ride around the grounds.  We got a call from Jim who is the voice of the MH Emrys.  He and his friend Denny were at the nearby Camping World so we pedaled over there to chat and invite them back to see Tawanda!  I have followed Jim’s blog for a number of years because he gives an interesting twist on the daily life of a fulltime rver.  We also got a call from Tiffany who said that our window awnings had come in so they would take the MH to the work bay in the morning.

We got up early today so that they could get started.  We were homeless for the day so we visited Don and Jinny whose Tiffin is still in a work bay.  They hope everything is done soon so that they can visit with family and friends this weekend.  Then we drove over to Southern Aire RV Park to visit with Jim and Linda and see their long MH.  It’s a 45’ 2000 Newmar Londonaire.  That’s right…45 feet long!  They got it this past summer and it’s a very nice home.
Emry's at Southern Aire Jim and Linda

After our visit with them, we drove over to Parkesdale Farms which is near Plant City on Hwy 92 about 5 miles east of LD.  We had heard that they have some very fresh delicious strawberry shortcake we had to try.  They have any kind of plant and fresh vegetable there that you could want.  A little soft-serve ice cream on the berries was great too.

There is one last thing to be done tomorrow (replace a small light fixture) and then we hope to leave tomorrow afternoon.  It’s really been nice here since there are several huge Live Oaks with Spanish Moss draping down from the limbs, but we are ready to ride around a little bit before we head back to NC.

Life is what you make of it…make it count.