June – July, 2018, Blue Ridge, Georgia
Hello from North Georgia!! Yes, we are still here at Camp Alexander and enjoying every minute of it. What’s not to love, we live amongst the pine and oak trees, in the middle of 6 acres of piece and quiet. The only sounds are the birds chirping and fighting with the squirrels for their daily ration of bird seed and sunflower seeds and LaciLou chasing the squirrels up into the trees.
The nights are still nice and cool, 60’s, the windows are open, a nice breeze is flowing thru, we fall asleep to the chorus of the whippoorwills, the crickets and cicadas.
The days so far have been a little of everything, mornings are bright and sunny with nice white fluffy clouds. By the afternoons there is usually dark clouds and thunder, lightening with lots of rain…
with all the rain comes lots of wonderful green ferns, berry bushes, native azaleas, magnolias, mountain laurels, rhododendrons and numerous other green things.
Two of our grandkids came camping with us for a couple of weeks while their parents were in Mexico. Living in a 30′ fifth wheel is perfect for 2 people, adding 2 kids, 2 blow up mattresses and all their paraphernalia sure makes a difference. Sharing 6 gals of hot water with 4 people did become a challenge, but the kids made a game out of how long each person took and tried to take the shortest shower.
They sure kept us hopping and trying to come up with fun things to do while they were here. Guy and I haven’t played so many board games since our kids were small. There were campfires, marshmallows, kayaking, swimming in the lake and driving the side by side. They also loved playing in the Ocoee River, where the Olympics held the first kayak races. There are lots of rocks to climb on as well as swimming. A fun time was had by all….they have called us a few times now wanting to know when can they come back…
We had a great and quiet 4th of July. Where Camp Alexander is located there are 3 states within a 30 min drive. There are also 6 small rural towns within that area, this year every one of the towns had parades and fireworks, all on different days and nights. We choose to stay close to home and decided to watch the Blue Ridge fireworks on Saturday night. Usually the fireworks are shot off by the marina but the decision was made to shoot them off at the dam.
We decided to pay $10.00 to park in a field by the Taccoa River right below the dam. We took our chairs and some adult beverage and just relaxed and talked to those around us. It turned out to be an awesome place to watch. I’m sure that word will get out about this field so next year it will be pretty crowded. It’s alright with us as we hope to be in Canada.
One of the things that we had done before we went full time, was purchase Trek Bikes. They hung on for dear life on the back of our Class A for 2 years, we rarely used them. We finally put them in storage and forgot about them. In January, we went to the Tampa Rv Show, well, Trek was there showing off their new E (electric) bikes. Yup, we tried them out and really liked them. We walked away! Fast forward to June….Guy and I decided to walk around the little town of Blue Ridge and have lunch. The first store we walk up to is Pedego E Bikes….the end of the story is, they delivered our 2 new bikes that afternoon. Our good friends Marty and Debra had mentioned that they would like our old ones, so they are now the proud owners of our Treks.
We have so enjoyed these bikes…we are going places and seeing more of the surrounding area than we did in the car. With our old bikes we mainly rode them on flat land, now we can go anywhere. If you have never investigated E bikes, here is a little something on them: an E bike is just like a regular bike, only better. Ours have 10 speeds, a pedal assist, and a throttle for more power. The bikes can go up to 20mph which depends on the terrain, level of pedaling, rider weight. The pedal assist has 6 speeds, 1-5 work while pedaling, 6 is throttle only, but uses more battery. The assist program also keeps track of your miles, also has a timer and speedometer.
The motor works only when you are pedaling, the assist part starts if the bike feels like you are having trouble pedaling. I’m telling you going up some of these hills is now a piece of cake!! Guy and I have been riding these bikes at least 3-4 days a week and seriously we have done between 25-35 miles every time we ride. Our neighbor, Peggy, who bike rides, was so impressed with the bikes that she purchased a mountain bike for herself and now rides with us.
The pictures are from a few of our rides around the area of Morganton, Blue Ridge and Chattahoochee National Forest, Ga. We try to find forest service roads that are mostly gravel with little or no traffic, or the out of the way roads that have old farms or houses still standing or vegetable and animal farms.
One of our favorite and longest rides (35 miles) is in the Chattahoochee National Forest along the forest service road which follows Laurel Creek and Noontootla Creek. There are 2 hikes half way up the mountain one up to Long Creek Falls, the 2nd along Laurel Creek.
There is nothing better than riding along a dirt road after a rain, the smell of wet dirt, pines trees or the sweet fresh smell of cut alfalfa / hay and freshly mowed grass. The sweet smell of the flowers blooming.
Riding along the stream, listening to the water flow over the rocks, the ferns swaying as the water flows by. Being startled as a hawk takes off from the limb of a tree and swoops over your head.
The sun rays coming thru the leaves of the trees and little droplets of water landing on your arms. Stopping along a fence and watching the horses or cows in the fields munching on grass. Making a fool out of yourself as you call or whistle at them hoping to get a reaction…my husband just shaking his head!!
Biking along the forest service road there was a sign for Hickory Flatts Cemetery, we decided to head out and have our lunch. We really didn’t know how far it would be (turns out is was 5 miles) or what to expect when we headed that way. It turned out to be an interesting stop.
We were surprised at how many markers were in the cemetery. It was so sad that the dates and names had worn away on the markers, there were a few markers with dates still on the markers. They were of residents who were born and raised in the area, and had died 20 or so years ago. This is also a stopping point for anyone hiking the Appalachian Trail.
A large covered structure has been built with tables and seating, a restroom facility and fire pit for hikers to use for a short rest or as an over night stop. The New Bethel Church sponsors drinks and food to share with hikers. There were 2 couples in their late 70’s there waiting for hikers with ice chests full of drinks and food to share, they also had a nice fire going in the fire pit.
The town of Blairsville which is 12 miles east of us was having a Pro Rodeo at the Union County Saddle Club. Sounded like a fun time so we rounded up a few neighbors, Chuck and Dee, Bo and Debbie and Peggy and off we went. Of course, food comes first, we headed for the Armadillo Cafe, which was a great hit to all.
The rodeo started off with a prayer, then the National Anthem, while the Sass ‘n Saddle Precision Drill Team rode around the ring with each rider holding American Flags. It was such a wonderful time being with our neighbors and sharing this experience.
Guy and I thank you all for following along on our journey in this wonderful life we live. Everyday is such a blessing, we are so blessed to be able to do what we do and love sharing with everyone. Please take time to leave us a message as we love hearing from you and appreciate any and all comments.