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Some of the beautiful flowers that are now starting to bloom around the islands

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One of the hardest things things about this life style is not being with our children for holidays. This year was our first Easter on the road as well as Mothers Day. Kelly, Tracy and I all have children and grandchildren that we missed and phone calls are not the same. So Cori listened to all of us and proceeded to head to the store and got us all Mothers Day balloon.

Guy and I have been dry camping (no electric, water or dumping) a couple of times in this new rig, we have a residential refrigerator that needs lots of electricity!! We have had to use our generator to keep it going, which is very loud and obnoxious!! Our friend Greg has his own company called, RV Solutions, he installs solar panels on RVs. We had gotten in touch with Greg before we left home to check with him about installing panels on our coach. While we were with Greg and Cori in the Outer Banks, Greg, Craig and Bill were all over our coach inside and on the roof working hard to get it done. Lee whose life work was filming, filmed the whole installation. It was amazing watching all this happening.

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Craig, measuring twice and cutting once into our wood panel!!

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Bill on the roof snagging a solar panel from Greg

We now have 6 new solar panels on our roof that will charge our house batteries to help keep us running when we don’t have electrical service! We also have 1 more solar panel that charges the charges the engine batteries.

Cori and Sue the supervisors!!

Cori and Sue the supervisors!!

Jo and Craig are from Texas and live in a 5th wheel pulled by a hugh dually truck, Jo drives the rig as much as or more than Craig. She had taken lessons with the RV Driving School, Glyn was her instructor. When she realized that all us girls had not learned to drive, she contacted the RV driving school about sending Glyn to the Outer Banks to teach the 4 of us girls. We all were very excited as we did want to learn, you must remember that these rigs are our homes, most of them with trucks, 5th wheels, coaches towing, we are all close to or over 60′ long. Its like a semi going down the street. Glyn was an ice road trucker from Alaska and been driving for over 47 years.

As the solar was being installed in drove a hugh rig, we all stated we would like to meet these people to tour their rig, we all laughed later as this was Glyn and Diane pulling in!!

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Glyn and Dianes new home!!

Diane took us all on a tour of their home later that night after dinner.They had just had it made to the way they wanted it and had just moved into it. She designed it herself, so it is not the typical layout for a 5th wheel, her kitchen is in the front and is very large, the bedroom is in the back with the most awesome cupboards, the most I have ever seen in an rv.

All of our lessons were  2/4 hour days. Some of us took our husbands and others decided to just go it alone with Glyn. SPA_5076

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Of course we all came outside every morning to cheer each other on and give our moral support! The top photo is Cori and Glyn, Tracy and Kelly(in her bathrobe cheering on Tracy before she leaves). Then Eileen and Glyn getting ready to head out. Tracy in her truck leaving with her 5th wheel. I don’t have a picture of Kelly leaving with her 5th wheel.

We all tried not the think about the lessons before hand just so we didn’t get scared nor did we really talk about it. When everyone came back, of course we all had different emotions! I will say I loved every minute of it and was so glad I had accomplished learning to drive the rig. I was not scheduled to drive on Monday but it was raining, the girls scheduled have 5th wheels which means that some of the time they needed to get out of their rigs, not fun in the rain. We only had so many days for all of us to drive and taking a day off meant someone might not get their second drive time so I decided I would go even in the rain. On that first day we went thru town, behind grocery stores, parked in parking lots, backed up using cones, made many left and right turns in a parking lot until I felt comfortable. I even backed into out campsite when we went back, it was a tight fit and pretty scary as there were trucks and cars I had to negotiate around but I did it. The second day took us up and over some bridges, thru construction, by an accident with police, stop lights, changed lanes, just normal driving but with our 45′  it was different. I felt as if I could now drive take over for Guy when he needs a break, of course we try to only drive 200 miles in a day. The next milestone that I needed to accomplish was having the truck attached at the back!! That adds a new dimension to it.

One of the many challenges you have with a group this large is food, how do we make this work?? Cori put together a calendar of what days everyone would get together and what the theme was for the night.  I loved dinner time when we were all together and everyone shared their life stories or just joked and laughed together making memories and lasting friendships. I know it was a challenge trying to figure out who was bringing what and everyone wanted to contribute, but we did have an over abundance of food and no one went away hungry.

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The other issue with such a large crowd was where do we all go in the rain so we can still be together.  Cori and Greg were the perfect hosts, their coach has the most room for the 10 of us. Eileen and Gene, Glyn and Diane were yet to arrive. Once we became 14 that was a different challenge. It only rained once while there were 14, luckily. So that day we all ate separately, that was the day Eileen and Gene arrived, we quickly put together salad, chili and garlic bread for them since it was a travel day for them, we didn’t want them to cook.

A sample of the calendar that Cori made, Monday,Grill your own meat; Tuesday,  Cinco de Mayo, Cori and Greg made beef, chicken and fish tacos; Wednesday, on your own; Thursday, Date night with your lover and best friend!!; Saturday, Progressive dinner; Sunday, chili cook off; Tuesday, Lazagna. Needless to say the food was excellent and there are many wonderful cooks in this group. Jo always seemed to have the dessert part of every meal….need I say awesome!! Her husband Craig and Guy are both diabetics, she made some of the most delicious sugar free desserts!!

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Don’t know what she called it but it was gone in no time!!

One night, Lee made us the most amazing cesear salad, Bill made homemade margaritas, too strong for this girl, and he kept count on how many each person had!!!! Later that night while we all were laughing and carrying on we had a streaker run thru the campsite, this streaker had tennis shoes and a hat on!! I think Bill will never be the same after seeing that!!! It sure surprised everyone!!! Too bad no pictures…and no names…what happens in the OBX stays in the OBX..

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Lee making his famous cesear salad!!

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Bill brewing up those strong margaritas that everyone loved!!

Then one night we were all serenaded by the new band group of Lee on Guitar and his partner Guy on Banjo!!

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Needless to say their music needs some work, they don’t sing, but their gyrations were GREAT!                                                                                                                                                                                          What a team!!

What would us girls do if we could not have a Girls Night Out?? The guys left and went to the local bar to have a few beers and play some kinda game. They actually stayed out later than us girls!!! Tracy had been walking the beach every day during her lunch break collecting shells. Then she and Cori went to the Dollar Store (they are everywhere) bought some $2.00 picture frames, glue guns and glue sticks and had us girls over for glueing shells and wine!! We took the picture of all of us together to put in our frames so we don’t forget how much fun we all had together.

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We all decided that Cori was the winner!!

Guy and I wanted to go to the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday while all the couples were not working.  The refuge encompasses 152,000 acres of wild lands and waters. There are black bear, deer, river otters, and red wolves along with birds and reptiles. We discussed it with everyone and Tracy said I need to make an invitation for everyone and plan it. So I did, wish I had kept a copy of it. We again had to do the car rotation thing and ended up with three cars, we put the address I had found on the internet in to the gps systems, well we all got different ways to go, as well as different addresses, we all followed one another to 2 different locations that were wrong but finally google maps led us to the right location. We had been driving over an hour by this time. There was not a ranger station, just a couple of wooden map holders with the Charles Kuralt brochure and a map of the area. It showed the wildlife drive, walking trails, and canoe landings and route. As you can imagine by this time we were all laughing and ready to see some wildlife, but with three cars speeding down the dirt roads and dust flying no wildlife was going to come any where near us!!

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We did find the walking trail and enmass decided to go on the mile or so walk. How many wild creatures do you think we saw on this walk? None!!! But there was scat from the black bear and wolves. Some of the girls did take pictures of it!! It was a beautiful walk, a couple of people were a little nervous after seeing the scat on the path and thought they should make lots of noise to keep the animals away and it did!!

We did encounter one wild animal:

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The only thing that Cori really wanted to do while we were in the outer banks was kayak, most of the days had some rain which we all decided was not fun for kayaking. But the afternoon came when it was possible 4 couples headed out. Greg picked out the spot we should go to and unloaded the kayaks, I think everyone thought it was a race and didn’t want to be the last ones putting theirs in the water!!

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We all had different types of kayaks but it seemed like they all took the same amount of time to blow up and get into the water.

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Walking our boats into the water, tide was out!

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Cori was multi tasking, she had a phone call she had to make but it didn’t stop her!!

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Gene and Eileen

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I think Tracy and Lee spent the most time pushing their boat than paddling!!

Since the tide was out it was pretty shallow and yes we did a lot of pushing and pulling our boats up and over the sand dunes. But that didn’t dampen our spirits any we just turned around and tried a different spot only to do it all over again. We laughed and decided we loved it and it was a better day than sitting in an office.  We then headed off for dinner at Watermans to watch the sunset.

There is a law in the outer banks that the only place you can have a campfire in on the beach. So a few nights we did just that…

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Wow, our time together at the Outer banks has come to a close, we shared, we laughed, we ate, we planned, we worked, we played, I think we all are going away from each other having learned so much about former lives, our children and what we are looking forward to in our future travels. Cori has made a calendar that everyone can put their itinerary on for the next year that way when we are traveling we know where we all are and hopefully can plan to be together again on the road.

We are all going to meet again on May 22nd in Marion, NC at a RV Dreams Reunion Rally, there will be about 60 rigs meeting up who have been to previous RV Dreams rallies throughout the years. Pam and Red will be coming in from Arizona to meet up with us as they are also part of our Class of 2014!

Thanks for following “The Nomads” and come back again to find out if the driving lessons for Sue really worked!!! Y”all have a blessed day!

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Our Sunset while at Watermans for dinner!!