Gold Canyon and New Friends

February 1st – April 1, 2019,
The Arizonian Rv Park, Gold Canyon, AZ

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Our reason for heading from the wide open spaces of the desert was a change scenery and different trails for buggy riding. We were looking forward to spending some time at the Superstition Mountains.

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A Crested Saguaro that greets you arriving at the RV park

The Arizonian Rv park is located next to the wide open spaces around the Superstition Mountain range. There are 431 sites, two sides to the park, one side of the park is for campers with dogs, the other not. There are numerous sites with park models that have paved driveways and small yards. I will take a guess and say that between 80-85% of the people here in the park have one or two buggies or motorcycles. We have tried to stay in this park a couple of times but it has always been full, except this year we were lucky as there was a cancelation.  We were surprised that it was the prime spot, a corner lot with lots of room and no one on one side of us.  All the sites have a small cement patio by the doors, with small pea sized gravel around the site.

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Our home in its spot for the next two months

When you stay in an rv park there is always lots to do. The pool and jacuzzi are heated all winter with lots of hardy souls that use it rain or shine.

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The fountain at the front entrance with park models in the background

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putting green and pickle ball courts

They have a pool room, quilt room, game room, banquet hall, horseshoes and tennis courts, rc (radio controlled) car race track and rc airport.

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horseshoes

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shuffle board courts

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Game room

There is also an activities director that organizes monthly functions. Of course, we signed up for some of the things that were happening like, spaghetti dinner, Mother’s Day dinner, a couple of musical shows and The Organ Pizza House.

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Maggie Mae

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Frank Valley Tribute by “December 63”, fantastic performance

One of the functions we signed up for was the RC Car Race Day with a hot dog lunch.

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RC Car track with everyone standing for the American and Canadian anthems

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RC Car flying both the American and Canadian flags while each anthem was played

 

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The RC Cars waiting to race

The Organ Stop Pizza restaurant opened in 1975 with a Wurlitzer Pipe Organ as its center piece.  The organ has nearly 6,000 pipes. Massive amounts of wind are required for the operation of the organ, there are 4 huge turning blowers that are installed that produce the wind. The blowers can be seen outside the building thru the windows.

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once he was done with his performance he took requests from the audience

Around the room you can see 2 different types of pianos, different sizes of drums, cymbals, xylophone, orchestra bells and numerous other instruments which are played from the keys of instrument panel. The Wurlitzer theatre organ is the largest in the world and the largest type to ever be assembled.

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The Organ with all the pipes in behind glass windows that open as each section of pipes play

The restaurant opened for the Arizonian and Weavers Needle Rv parks, for $8.50 each they served all the pizza and salad you could eat. The organ performance was spectacular and was played as we ate.

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The American and Canadian anthems had just finished playing as the                                              organ sank down into the stage

We have some great neighbors, Rosemary, Dennis and Rocket, their sweet pup. They are from Ohio and are here most of the winter.  Rosemary and I have had some super conversations.  Across from us is Kathy, Lee and Heidi, their lab. Kathy and Lee also have a buggy and multiple friends with buggies here in the park. It was so nice that they would ask us to go with them on rides thru the desert and showed us many places to go. Through them we met LaDonna and Dale who are their long time friends from their home town in Nebraska.  We now consider them our good friends and will right more about them in the next blog.  Which as I’m writing this, Nebraska is going thru massive flooding, none of their houses were damaged but some of their fields were.

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LaDonna, Me, Kathi, Linda, I’m sorry I don’t remember her name,  Jennifer in the back

This has been a crazy year weather wise across the whole country, Arizona included. The day time temps have been in the 50’s – high 60’s, with the nights down in the 30 range. We have had rain most every day, snow, hail, and wind. Some days it was colder here than at our kids homes in Alabama.

                             Some of the cool cactus you find out in the desert. 

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The wood framing of a dead Saguaro Cactus

Even with all the rain and wind we did get some buggy riding in. At the back of the park  is a gate that leads out to Az Trust Land. You must buy a yearly pass for $15 to go thru the trust land and out the back gate. A rancher leases the land for his cattle, if it rains he locks the gate for 2 days and more if it’s been raining a lot.

                        Some of the first blooms of the season growing in the desert

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Some of our desert Friends

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I was driving the buggy and this new friend of ours didn’t want to get out of                                           the way until I honked the horn!

The trails were super, the views from the top of the mountains were amazing and making new friends was priceless. Most of the trails were pretty far from the camp and took awhile to get there, one was 18 miles to the best spots, one day we drove our buggy about 10 miles on the main roads to the trails.

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We found some hieroglyphics on numerous rocks, as well as holes in the rocks where the Indians ground their corn and spices.

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the holes for grinding corn and spices

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Guy at the edge of the mountain top

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The Superstition Mountain in the back ground

I will just post a few mountain pictures to show how beautiful the surrounding area is. I will have a part 2 from Gold Canyon and tell you about the rest of our awesome stay here in the Arizonian.

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The Arizonian Rv Park in the distance

This is just a short part of our stay in Gold Canyon, come on back and check out the awesome places we go with the buggy that you don’t see unless you get out on the dirt roads.

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Fun times in “Q”

January 11 – Feb 1, 2019 Quartzite Arizona

Leaving Fort Davis and heading towards “Q” (Quartzite) we wanted it to be a one day trip. We left before the sun came up, it was a little scary heading down a mountain road towing and only having driven once before. Needless to say, we did not make it in one day, and ended up deciding to stay the night at the Elks Lodge in Gila Bend, AZ. We put the address in our gps thinking we were set to go, wrong. When we got to Gila Bend it took us thru a small neighborhood, hummm? We took the left she said to go, it was a narrow sandy road, then a right which was another narrow sandy road. Guy put on the brakes, fast, as we knew that if we went further we would be in trouble, turning around this 45’ beast would be challenging if not impossible. After checking it out we did indeed need to make a 12 point u turn. It was a challenge in the soft sand with a high burm on each side.

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January in Quartzite, AZ is the place to be if your an RVer!! Every year in January the Sports, Vacation and RV show happens, with close to 1,000,000 people, mostly in RV’s converging on this sleepy little desert town. The show started over 40 yrs ago on Jan 28, 1984 and has grown in size every year since.

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The Big Tent in the center

The “BigTent” is 69,000 sq ft, and fully carpeted over the desert floor, there are vendors of every kind inside the tent as well as outside. The streets are lined with tents selling everything you could possibly think of either rv or food related, clothing and every kind of household gadget or cleaner. Campgrounds from around the country selling spaces are there to hand out their information. You can also find any kind of rock or gem from all over the country as there are vendors all over town.

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we had so much rain we had our own river

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lake front property in the desert

The most fun for us is the buggy riding, there are no restrictions about riding the buggy  on the streets all over town. The wide open desert is our best play ground. We love to ride the desert exploring all the different abandoned mines, old abandoned shacks, or checking out what’s over that next hill.

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our first sunset in Q

The Desert Inn out in the middle of the desert  on a dirt road                                                                             only accessible by an off road vehicle. It looks like people bring stuff and leave it.

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our view

The GoldEye Mine was mined by LH Erdman until his death. There are now others who mine there now. His parts of his rock house is still there as well as other items that are now all rusty.

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desert as far as you can see

When arriving at “Q” we headed to La Posa South, a BLM camp area in the desert. At this point the government was still shut down, so the normal fees were not being taken. Our friends were camped somewhere in this area but we did not have a clue where. It’s a huge desert area with rv’s parked all over. Our friends were all out riding buggies in the surrounding mountains and could not receive texts or phone calls. Driving down the main dirt road we kept looking for our perfect spot to stay for the rest of the month. I think I drove Guy crazy, as I would see a place and then change my mind, we finally settled on our perfect spot.

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the desert flowers blooming in Jan

Some would think that camping in the middle of the desert that there would be nothing to do or people around, that would be a wrong assumption. You can be as busy as you want to be, there are over a million of your like minded friends there with you. Guy and I seemed to find a happy medium for us. Our friends were camped less than 1/4 mile from us, we could walk or take our buggy over for happy hours at Diane and Steve’s in the afternoon, or to Red and Pam’s for a fish fry, Debbie and Steve’s for a campfire.  Les and Sue were a little more challenging as they were about 2 miles further out in the desert. One night Sue invited 14 people out to their campsite as she had cooked dinner for us all and had a little campfire.

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8 of us going on a ride with Diane and Steve, friends from Canada

One afternoon 10 of us went to the big tent to walk thru it, then looked at some rv’s and worked up a thirst for beer and ended up at Beer Belly’s. As we listened to the music the conversation moved in food as we had all worked up an appetite.  As you can imagine with 10 people and different ideas of where to eat, drive to Parker for Mexican or into Blythe, Ca for Italian. Then reality hit about how far the drive was to each, so we went about 1/4 mile away at Silly Al’s for pizza.

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In front on left is Cori, Greg beside her, Debbi in Black, Steve behind her, back on left is Diana, Glenda peeking over Cori’s head and Curt beside her, Guy behind Greg, Steve on Guys right with the glasses and hat.

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as you can see there are mountains in AZ

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Camped across from us was our new “son” Troy from Alberta, Canada, he is the same age as our son. We spent almost everyday with him, checking out the big tent, buggy riding, sitting by the campfire or eating together. We enjoyed him so much we took him with us to functions with friends, which is why he was dubbed our new “son”. I wish I had taken a picture of his 3 yorkies which are all rescues. I did take take a picture of LaciLou with Mia.

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Troy

 

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LaciLou on the left and her friend Mia, one of Troys babies

My sister, Penny and her husband, Roger came from California with their motorhome and buggy for 5 days. Which made for great times with lots of laughing, eating, drinking, buggy riding, campfires and just plain conversation.

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Penny, Me, Roger behind me, Troy, and Guy in front

 

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Pam and Red by their buggy

 

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Penny and Roger in their buggy

 

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Pam, Red checking his tires

My good friend Kathi, also from Ca was camped about 7-8 miles on the other side of Q with her group of Leisure Van owners. When her group dispersed she moved over by us for a few days before heading to the beach in Northern Ca.

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looking down as far as the eye can see the rvs in the desert

Debbie and Steve told us about a hike we should take to Palm Canyon, so off we went. I am just so amazed at the mountain ranges in Az. The desert flowers were all just starting to bloom with such awesome colors, the cactus even bloom with beautiful flowers in spring. I’m hoping we get to see them.

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the road leading to Palm Canyon

The hike was pretty easy, we noticed palms growing up along the trail high up on the mountains.  The hike stops at the sign pointing to palm trees which were growing in a crevasse high in the volcanic mountains. You wonder how did they get there? Scientists suggest that two immense volcanoes erupted covering the surrounding area with hundreds of feet of ash, rocks, cinders, and lava. Millions of years later the rock layers cracked, split open, tilted and lifted. Could there have been palm trees in those layers of rock millions of years ago? It’s a conundrum!

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the view from the crevasse of palm trees

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Starting the hike up the canyon

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The Palm trees growing in the crevasse

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the circle of life made in the middle of the desert, in the center are rocks built into a ring, the rest of the circle is dirt

Well, our month was up and time to move to Gold Canyon, which is on the other side of the state on the south east side of Phoenix and the Superstation Mountains.

IMG_1666.jpgGuy and I thank you for coming along on our journey around this wonderful country. Come on back and check out our travels and the fun we had in our next adventure.

We do love to hear from y’all and I do answer all posts made to our blog, so please leave us a message.

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Wide open spaces of Texas

December 26, 2018 – January                                                                                                                                 Birmingham, Alabama to Spring Branch, Texas

 

Wow, where has this year has gone? Christmas has come and is over for another year, and it’s finally time for the Alexander’s to hit the road!!

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The long road to Fort Davis, Texas

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The Davis Mountain range, Texas

Guy and I have been busy getting things back into our storage unit, like our yard art and patio furniture. We also needed to take things out of storage to pack up our new 5th wheel.   We have been super excited about moving across the country for the first time in over a year. It felt good to get on the road and heading to Texas and beyond to see  friends we haven’t seen in a long time. But, also felt like newbies just starting out as we made multiple errors driving the route we had planned. We were headed to Cori and Greg in San Antonio,Texas, we wanted to check out their new property and have Greg install our solar. I had to call Cori 3 times with route changes as we made another wrong turn. Our plan from Birmingham, Al was to head towards Shreveport, LA on Hwy 20, yup, the first wrong turn, made a left turn on Hwy 59 and headed towards Hwy 12 into New Orleans.  We missed the turn for Hwy 12 and ended up going around New Orleans on Hwy 10 instead. At that time it was getting late and were trying to make the decision if we should stop for the day. We decided lets just keep driving and head to Lake Charles.

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Rocks along the road to the campground

Actually, it all turned out great, as we called our friends that live in Lake Charles, James and Cindy. They were home and available to go to dinner with us. 

They were very gracious and invited us to park at their house but with all the rain and mud we decided cement was our friend that night. It was a cold night, pouring rain, but James and Cindy made the trip to the Coushatta Casino in Kinder, where we were staying. Once they arrived the plans changed and it was decided to have dinner at the casino. We had such a wonderful time catching up with them since we hadn’t seen since our trip thru on our way to Texas in November.

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Looking down into the valley of Fort Davis, Texas

When leaving the next day we googled a Pilot Station for much needed diesel and headed to the station on Hwy 10. Low and Behold, there were detour signs at the bridge going to Hwy 10, yes, we followed the signs. The bad news we went about 75 miles out of our way, again another missed turn, and we missed the Pilot. Thankfully we did find one just at the border before we left Louisiana.

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Our rig getting ready for solar panels

 

It was a great relief when we finally landed at Cori and Greg’s as we didn’t need think about maps for awhile. We all kept busy while we were there, our solar install was one item planned. Cori and Greg had a new Chinook class B that they will use for short trips instead of their 45’ class A  and they were in the process of tearing it apart. They were redoing the inside and also adding solar, cabinets were being redone and painted, couches and front captains chairs were redone with new leather, the floors were ripped out and replaced with new wood ones.  Cori and I made teal pillows and valances and covered her white shades with teal fabric. The guys would work between the rain drops going from our rig and their rig, trying to do two projects at once. Of course, time was made for other important stuff like the hot tub under the stars, massive campfires, bike rides and dinner outside under heat lamps. It certainly was a crazy and fun couple of weeks.

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The Chinook getting repairs and ours getting solar

Since it was getting close to New Year’s it was decided that we needed to go out and celebrate New Year’s, have a great dinner and relax. The restaurant was pretty busy as all places were but for some reason our server either forgot us or was to busy to wait on us. The wait just for water was at least 15 mins, another 15 before we got menus and so on. When our dinner came it was really good, even tho they forgot a few things. Lets just say we were not worried about anything after a few adult beverages. It did feel good to finally sit down and enjoy some time together to just talk and enjoy the company.

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work in progress

Before we could get back on the road, we needed to head to the rv repair shop to have our slides looked at, as water was getting in under the slide when it’s raining as we are driving. It was an easy fix, the rubber seal under the slide was not long enough and to flexible which allowed the water to get in. We had 2 slides fixed just in case. They were fast as we were in and out in about an hour. By the time we left to head out it was noon and we had a 6 hour drive ahead of us.

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looking towards the Mexico border

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Sierra Vieia mountain range

Due to the government shut down our plans changed. We wanted to head to Big Bend National Park, Tx and Carlsbad Caverns, NM,  they both were closed. So we headed to Fort Davis National Park. Due to the late start from the repair shop it was dark by the time we made it to the campground. That’s one thing we try very hard not to do. Trying to park and set up in the dark is just to risky as to many mistakes happen. But remember we are feeling like newbies, and yes, we missed the turn to our spot!!! By this time it was dark and very little signage. We were headed to a very steep and windy road with no turn around at the top.  Luckily we stopped to check the campground map, some campers came out to explain and helped us turn around. We felt very lucky and relieved when we pulled up to our site and it was a pull thru and pretty flat.

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cool cactus

While our stay was short, our days were filled with bike riding, hiking and taking a ride to the top of the mountain for the view of the campground and a 360 degree view of the whole valley (pictures are in the blog). The campground has no internet or phone service unless you drive up the to the top of the hill, where the view is outstanding.

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looking down at the campground and the Indian Lodge, our coach is in the center of the picture with a tree between us and the coach in the fore ground

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the road to the top of hill above the campground

 

While bike riding one day we saw something moving in the field ahead of us, not sure what it was we slowed down and very carefully snuck up on it. To our surprise, up popped a big buck. We were surprised that he just stood there looking at us and allowed me to get pretty close to him so I could take a picture, then he casually turned and walked away.

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One night as I was talking LaciLou out, I opened the door while holding her and I’m so glad I was, as there were about 20 Javalins standing around our door and picnic area. I actually had not seen one before and thought they were some kind of pigs. I sent a picture to a friend, Jo and she repeatedly told me to stay away from them as they are very dangerous. I did listen but still needed to take pictures, so stood on our steps and tried to snap them but they were moving away. I was scared to get off the steps and they never even looked up or seemed to notice me.

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javalina

The McDonald Observatory was about 22 miles away, so off we went to check it out to see what was there. When we walked in, they were just getting ready to sell tickets for a talk on the sun and stars, as well as a tour of two of the telescopes on the property. One of the telescopes is 82” and called The Otto Struve Telescope, it was built in 1939. At the time it was the second largest in the world and is still in use today. The next one we toured was the 390” Hobby-Eberly telescope.

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McDonald Observatory

 

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The Otto Struve telescope

The Davis mountains is an excellent location for the astronomical research because of the clear dry air and moderately high elevation. The Davis mountain range is at an elevation of  8,383, which is the highest peak in Texas. The Observatory is part of the University of Texas, Austin. Research today encompasses a wide variety of topics and projects, including planetary systems and stars. The observatory hosts live solar viewing, daily tours, as well as star parties 3 nights a week. The star party allows visitors to look through numerous telescopes. Because it was cloudy and rainy while we were there, they did not open up the telescopes for the star party that night.

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We had a wonderful and knowledgeable tour guide but she gave us so much information that we could hardly retain it. I highly recommend going to Davis State Campground and the McDonald Observatory.

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We are headed out to “Q” (Quartzite, AZ) come on back and see what we find there and the experiences we have.

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Following the Black SQUIGGLY Road

January 6, 2019                                                                                                                                   Spring Branch, Texas

Happy 2019! The year has started out awesome for us Rovers. After sitting in one place for over a year it feels good to tell you we are back on the road and heading for parts unknown. This is the first time in 4 years that we don’t really have a plan nor any reservations…I really like the planning part and knowing where we will be but then we were locked in to those reservations, now we can roam at will.

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This is our roaming route for 2019!

I last left you way back in the summer of 2018, while we were at Camp Alexander waiting for our new RV home to be built. A lot has happened since then, but for some reason I couldn’t sit down and write a blog. I guess I didn’t think anyone would be interested in our down time.

In a nutshell here are some of the fun times we had while in Blue Ridge, Georgia.  We continued riding our new electric bikes about 3-4 days a week thru the Chattahooche National Forest and  attended a couple of neighborhood concerts.

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Jacksonville State University steel band played island sounds

 

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Georgia Mountain String Band, it was a picking-n-grinnin good time

Our friends, Steve and Paul were headed to their new home in Florida and wanted to stop for the night and catch up. We invited Karen and Al, that own an rv lot in Key West by Steve and Paul. I have read her blog for the last 5-6 years, but they have now purchased a home in Blairsville, Georgia. They still have a small trailer that they will be using now to travel. We all met in Blairsville and had a great mexican dinner along with wonderful conversation. Time sure flew by and before we knew it we were saying good bye to Steve and Paul. Someday we hope to get down to Fl to see their new home.

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on the right, Paul, Steve, Al, Karen, Guy and I

 

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Gas Monkey Garage

We met up with my sister Penny and her husband, Roger in Dallas where we took a tour of the “Gas Monkey Garage” as well as the John F. Kennedy museum. (If you haven’t been there I suggest you go when in the area).

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The four of us at the Gas Monkey in Dallas

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Me, LaciLou, Penny and Guy at sunset on Lake Martin

We were asked to spend the weekend at Lake Martin with our friends, Penny and John and Sherry and Gary. They took us on a great boat ride around the lake and by our old home we lived in for 25 years. It was great listening to the stories of all our friends and the happenings of our old neighborhood.

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John and Guy

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Our sweet home on Lake Martin

We spent many afternoons and nights with our Blue Ridge neighbor, Peggy, relaxing on her porch having adult beverages and playing with her two goldens, Bailey and Yogi. I’m amazed that after a year together I did not take any pictures.

I spent many days with my 1950 Singer featherweight quilting for friends and family. The top left quilt was for our 18 yr old grandson, Ryan, the bottom right was for my sweet friend Cori. The rest I still have on a shelf above our bed in the rig. I have a hard time giving away quilts as I fall in love with everyone of them.

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I made this for our daughter and husband for their rv

We finally got the word Oct 9, that our new Luxe Toy Hauler was finished and we could head to Indiana to pick it up! To say the least we were excited. We headed to Shipshewana on our way to Elkhart Indiana so we could meet up with Craig and Jo, who are camp hosts at the Shipshewana Auction and flea market, campground. It was great seeing them and listening to what goes on at the campground. Craig cooked us a great dinner from a recipe of his grandmother.

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Our new home and truck

We really didn’t know what to expect when we got to the factory, but we were so surprised with our first look at our new home, it was beautiful. We had gone through many renderings on our color choices and in the end opted for one of their standard ones with our colors of choice, white , grey and red. With all new rv’s there are changes and add on’s that need to be made, as was the case with us.

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removed the dinning table and added our desk

In the design faze of our rv we had made many changes, removing the dinning table and replaced with a desk unit, removed the oven/stove unit and adding an induction stove with a cabinet for pots and pans under neath, adding more cabinets in the kitchen, replacing the couch with recliners, having the carpet replaced with tile and marine carpet in the slides, adding a sleep number bed, put silk window screens on the outside of the windows, removing the extra bathroom, loft and happy jack seating in the garage. We had 3 season glass/screen doors made for the rear of the garage,  added a large tv cabinet in the garage. Guy changed out the generator to a commercial 7000 w Onan fuel injected gas. Above our fireplace we wanted to hang an art piece of Elephants, they did a great job of making the area sturdy enough for us to hang the piece. Needless to say we were loving all the changes we have made.

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added the cabinet right of  the sink to use as a pantry and added cabinet on right of  stove

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our elephant art

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King size bed

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washer and dryer on left

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our buggy in its new garage home, the garage has changed as the black flat bench seats above the buggy are gone and the mattress has been replaced with tubs of clothes.

On our way to Indiana we got a text from Steve and Diane that they were in the area having some work done on their rig and wanted to know if we could get together. We hadn’t seen them in 2 years when we were last in Az. It sure was fun going to dinner and catching up with each other.

 

IMG_1459.JPGThe next day we all went to the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum. We had been there before but seeing all the awesome cars again was even better. It was great spending time with Steve and Diane and will hopefully see them at the big RV show and flea market in Az.

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Diane and Steve

We stayed in Indiana for 2 weeks while some minor repairs and add ons were being completed, but our generator and glass doors (specially made) were still not in yet. Instead of waiting in Elkhart, we headed back to Camp Alexander. We were sure hoping when we headed back it would be before the snow started. We weren’t so lucky as we drove thru a snow storm on the way back to Elkhart which lasted off and on while we were in Elkhart. We were glad it was cold so that we could test our arctic package and happy to say we were toasty warm. Our tanks and pipes are wrapped and insulated and heated.

 

On our way to breakfast at 6:00am

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our little rv home in the snow

Finally, when all was done on the rig we headed to Camp Alexander and loaded it up, leaving after 3 days and headed to Gulf Shores State Park, Alabama for 2 weeks. Long time friends, Debbi and Marty had just bought a new TT, and we all wanted to spend sometime together before Guy and I left town.  I can’t believe that I didn’t take any pictures of our week together. It was a busy week, the weather did not co-operate with us as we had lots of rain and cold days. There were 2 good days where we could ride bikes, walk on the beach, as well as eating and drinking adult beverages. We also spent the day at the Navel Aviation Museum in Pensacola. If your ever in the area it really is a great museum.

While we were in Gulf Shores I was checking out Facebook and found a picture of David jumping high in the air by the beach yelling “I’m at my happy place”….I immediately called Sharon to find out where they were and what beach??

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David jumping with excitement (Sharon took this picture)

Wow, what a surprise it was when she said “Gulf Shores”….and they were camping in the same campground! How awesome is that…they had been camping at Camp Alexander with us in April, what a surprise it was that we could see them again. That was the start of more rounds of dinners and cut throat games of dominos.

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the front of the Flora-Bama

The Frank Brown International Song Writers Festival which is put on by the Flora-Bama was happening while we were in town. The festival is dedicated to the late Frank Brown who was a night watchman at the Flora-Bama for 28 years. Song writers and up and coming stars of tomorrow come to perform original songs in multiple locations, such as restaurants, bars, pizza houses or the Flora-Bama. It was held around the areas of Perdido Key, Pensacola, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

Some of the singers and below the original writer of ‘When Grandma got run over by a reindeer”.  Click on it twice to play, I hope it works.

The Flora-Bama has been around for the last 50 yrs and is known as an original honky tonk. It is on the state line between Alabama and Florida and right on the beach. The Flora-Bama holds a mullet toss (cow chip throwing) every year with over 30,00 attending.  It has 5 full-service bars, snack bar and restaurants, numerous performing stages, 40 indoor restrooms and on Sundays it becomes a church. David, Sharon, Guy and I attended on Sunday, which was an all musical Sunday. Guy and I have attended many Sundays when they have held a normal church service.

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David writes his own personal songs, plays guitar and sings, he put his name in to sing  at the Flora-Bama. It was so great being there watching him sing on the stage. We have only heard him around the campfire where he really prefers to sing. He likes to tell the story of why he wrote a song and the history that goes with it, that way we can appreciate it better. It was so much fun going to numerous bars and restaurants around town and listening to the different musicians.

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David singing

Thanksgiving and Christmas came and went in the blink of an eye. Both of our kids and families came up to Camp Alexander with their rigs for 5 days of camping, campfires, s’mores, laughter, sharing, and just all around having fun for Thanksgiving. There were 11 of us (counting 2 girlfriends). Our son in law hired a photographer to take family pictures at a farm\wedding venue, which was amazing that any pictures came out with all the joking that went on.

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on the left Stephen, 22, Stephen (son), Ryan, 18, Craig, 9, Poppie and Jason (son in law)

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Me, Mallori, 14, Kristi (our daughter)

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all 11 of us, Dixie in pink and Cari in green

Guy and I put away all the yard art, furniture and packed the rig and left Camp Alexander on December 12, heading to Birmingham.  Yikes, we won’t be back until 2020, it seems like a long time away but it’s just around the corner. There is a great rv place not far from our daughters home where we stayed.  Our daughter who was having her 4th foot surgery and would be laid up for a few weeks.  We tried to help as best we could with the kids, cooking, laundry and getting ready for Christmas. Our son and Cari came as well as our grandson, Stephen and Dixie. Everyone picked up where we left off over Thanksgiving, more laughter and lots of food.  Guy and I packed up the rig again on the day after Christmas and headed to Texas, stopping in Lake Charles, LA to have dinner with rv friends, James and Cindy.

tree and village (our daughter made the ladder that displays the village)

Well, I think I have brought you up to date on the Rovers. We are now on the road and headed to Texas to spend some time with our friends Cori and Greg. Greg will be installing solar on our new rv home. So come on back to check out what our new travels will be.

Guy and I thank you all for following along on our journey in this wonderful life we live. Everyday is such 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.

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Blue Sky, Clouds and Rain

June – July, 2018, Blue Ridge, Georgia

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Camp Alexander Greeter

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.

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look what I found hiding in the bushes, looks like a baby getting ready to fly

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.

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taken from my car along the highway

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…

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it is so green with all the rain

with all the rain comes lots of wonderful green ferns, berry bushes, native azaleas, magnolias, mountain laurels, rhododendrons and numerous other green things.

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Occoee River, Tenn

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Mallori and Craig in the Occoee

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.

 

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Mallori and Craig camping on the floor

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…

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Poppie and Craig having some boy time kayaking

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moving trees along the driveway

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.

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Happy Independence Day

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.

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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.

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our sweet new E bikes

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love our helmets we got while in Sturgis, Sth Dakota, we also use them in the side by side 

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.

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We met Eldon, 92 and Stan 86, brother in laws, on the road, who have lived in the area since 1975. It was great talking with them and hearing about the area and how much has changed.

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private lake along our bike route

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.

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the view from the top of a hill not far from Camp Alexander

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.

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notice the flag

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Church outreach community garden

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.

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love the old barns

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.

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someones home from long ago

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.

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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!!

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interesting fungus

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love these mushrooms

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.

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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.

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covered shelter for hikers of 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.

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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.

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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.

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Hanging in the Smokies

Feb – June 1, 2018
Camp Alexander, Blue Ridge, Ga

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Wow!! I cant believe it is June already, where has this year gone….my last post was in January!! I kept telling myself that there wasn’t much to write about and who would want to read about the everyday life here in Blue Ridge? Then I was going thru the pictures on my cell phone, how surprised I was at all the fun places we have explored in the last few months and decided I needed to update y’all.

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awesome barn

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beautiful view of the surrounding mountains

We are still hanging here at Camp Alexander, much to our dismay. The new truck had been done since January and was waiting for us at Classy Chassis, Valapariso, Indiana. With the weather and health problems there has just not been a convenient time to head to Indiana. We finally flew on May 10th, to Chicago to pick up the truck, then headed to the RV Factory for a meeting about the new 5th wheel and the changes. We also drove down to Shipshewana, Indiana for a short visit and dinner with JoLinda and Craig. They camp host and do odd jobs at the Shipshewana Auction and Flea Market summers.

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picking up our truck from Tom Martin at Classy Chassis

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of course, all new trucks must get washed

No”, in case you were wondering, our 5th wheel has not even been started!!! The new frame design, which will be stronger, took longer than anticipated. We finally got the call May 19th that they have ordered the frame. With a new frame also comes changes in walls, windows, cabinets, electrical and anything else you can think of. We needed to start over designing what we wanted as there were so many awesome changes. We knew this would be a little wait but did not realize it would be 6 months just to start the prototype. If all goes well they say we should have it by mid September, which will be 1 year since we ordered it.

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prototype frame

After we picked up our truck we headed out to South Dakota to get our driver licenses and register the truck. We ended up going thru 13 states in 13 days by the time we landed  back in Ga. We did stop along the way to see a few places we have been to before, like the Corn Palace, Custer State Park, Wall Drug and Pactola Lake.

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Corn Palace in Mitchell, Sth Dakota, the murals are all done with corn cobs, they redesigned and are changed every year. This year there are 13 different colors and shades used.

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“Dignity” in Chamberlain, Sth Dakota along the Missouri River, can you see me?

 

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I needed to see the Buffalo in Custer State Park, we saw hundreds of them all over the park. It was sad to see the effects of the fire that lightening started last year.

 

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We were about 20 miles away and still in the Custer State Park

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Pactola Lake, Black Hills, Sth Dakota

We took a ride to meet up with friends, Les and Sue that we had last seen in Quartzite, Az 2 years before. They write a blog: The Rambling RV Rat, which is written by POPO, the rambling rat…sitting in the middle of Guy and I. LaciLou is sitting on POPO’s lap. Les and Sue are camp hosts for the next 4 months at Pactola Lake, in the Black Hills of Sth Dakota. We wished we had our 5er and could have stayed, it was a super campground and even had a few sites that can handle a big rig. There is a 14 day limit, there is no electricity, with lots of trees, so could be hard to use solar.

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On our way back to Alabama I had read that our special friends, Steve and Paul were in Kansas and heading west. I sent a text asking where they were and if we were close enough to meet up.  Lo and behold, they were about 500 miles from us heading in the direction we were headed. We planned to meet up for dinner and drinks. They arrived at their campground just about 1/2 hr before we arrived at our hotel, love it when plans work out.

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Enter a caption

We have certainly enjoyed our time here in Blue Ridge, but as we read our friends blogs and what they are experiencing, we get a little envious and want to get on the road. We surely have not been sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves but have been keeping pretty busy.

Our friends, Cori and Greg were in Greenville, South Carolina, holding a few Rv seminars at the  Camping World RV show.  We decided not to pass up the opportunity to see them and headed there to spend the weekend, eating, drinking and enjoying each others company.

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our new greeter to Camp Alexander, “Yogi”

We spent time with our long time friends Marty and Debi and the manatees in Crystal River, Florida. We also attended the Super Tampa RV Show.

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We have spent lots of time cutting firewood and falling dead trees

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these are just 2 of the 6 piles we have

Had great times with our kids and grands, celebrating new homes and 6  birthdays. We have one more birthday left and that would be our grandson, Ryan’s, 18th in August.

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our son, Stephen, Cari (our sons girlfriend), grandson Ryan and me

 

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Craigs 9th birthday

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Mallori celebrated her 14th birthday

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Mallori, Jason, Craig and Kristi

We helped our son paint and do some repairs to his new home in Auburn, Al

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One of the first things he did was hang his American Flag

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Enjoyed many campfires, music and potlucks with our neighbors and friends

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our new neighbor Peggy in Blue Ridge

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enjoying special time with Sharon and David playing and singing

 

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David

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Guy and David helping themselves to cookies

We tried taking a 15 day cruise and getting kicked off the cruise on day 5 in Granada, with a hospital stay thrown in.

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Bob and Jo visited from Florida on their way to Alaska. They owned the cabin across the street from Camp Alexander but decided to go full time and sold to Peggy. They owned the cabin for 6 years and figured that they spent less than 1 year at the cabin.

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Bob and Jo were driving out our driveway when they had a regeneration problem which caused the engine to stall and roll backwards 20′ which caused the wheels to go over the edge and almost down a 12’ embarkment. The regeneration problem is caused by carbon and waste in the exhaust system.  The tow truck driver was excellent, not a scratch or any damage after getting them out.

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Yikes

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the tow truck guys hooked cables around our trees, one to the front and one to the back of the rv and pulled out them sideways and forward

We have done some small hikes checking out the area waterfalls and  taking friends to the highest point in Ga, Brasstown Bald, elevation 4,783.

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Brasstown Bald, with Lake Chatuge,  South Carolina behind us

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We got to take our little yellow Honda out of storage and enjoy the top down

Our daughter, her husband and kids brought up their TT for 4 days over Memorial weekend, which was a busy weekend. The weather man said the storm “Alberto”  was on its way, 65 mile an hour winds, with 3-5’s of rain and possible flooding, tornados could also arrive. That sure didn’t bother us, we decided to plan and play anyway.

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some pictures of the town of Blue Ridge

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Blue Ridge Scenic Train, goes from Blue Ridge to McCaysville about a 2 hr ride along the Tacoa river

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Blue Ridge Scenic railway station

We walked around downtown Blue Ridge, checked out the boutique stores, the beer joints, stopped at the Vine for wine, then hit up the Fightingtown Brewery for burgers and fries. The next day we attended the Art Festival being held in the downtown park. Yes, things were purchased, bracelets, bow and arrow set and a black and white picture of the Eiffel Tower for Mallori. Later that night we went to the Monster truck show, the clouds were really black and rolling but no rain, until we got in the trucks to leave.

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it was extremely hot and humid and as you can see extremely dusty!!                                                  You can imagine how red we all were when we left.

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the dust was flying

 

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The last day they were here,  Guy and Jason decided to cut down 3 more dead trees. We had been teaching Mallori to drive the buggy around the neighborhood, so the guys decided to use her to drive the buggy and drag the trees down the driveway. We are having gravel delivered so we can line the driveway to make it wider. We placed tree trunks along the driveway to hopefully help keeping tires on the roadway.

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Mallori dragging the tree trunk

 

For the first time Guy and I  will be here at Camp Alexander thru all four seasons. Fall was absolutely beautiful, the colors were so vibrant.

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Spring was very short lived, 50’s during the day with nights in the 20’s, summer has come in with a bang, we have gone into the 80’s over night!! We are in the south so along with the 80’s comes humidity.

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Hwy 515

Winter was the longest, coldest and whitest on record of snow (10 1/2”), the temps went down into the the single digits.

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Camp Alexander

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smokey mountains

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sunset over Lake Blue Ridge

Guy has added a lean too against his garage to house his side by side buggy. He also purchased a trailer to haul tools and firewood around the property and around the neighborhood.

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the side by side with its new trailer

We have sure enjoyed our time here at Camp Alexander and the surrounding area. There is plenty more for us to explore, it should be a great summer while we patiently wait for our new home. Until next time y’all have a “Blessed Week”

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Catching up with the Rovers

September 10, 2017 thru January 2018

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the beautiful site we came back to in September

The Rovers have had a wonderful 2017 summer spending 6 weeks with our great friends Gary and Carolyn who are from St Augustine, checking out NY, NJ, Vermont, Maine, touring the Canadian Maritimes for 60 days with new friends from Adventure Caravans, traveling over 4,000 miles and a fantastic week with the cousins, Dawn and Bob, Paul and George, enjoying Kingston, New Hampshire and the Cozy nest on Plum Island, Mass.

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the colors were to vibrant in Blue Ridge

Guys heart doctor from Alabama called while we were in New Jersey and wanted us to return. They wanted to tell us that the monitor that keeps track of his pacemaker/defibilator was showing that the batteries and or the devise needed to be updated. Yikes!!! We explained our travel schedule for the summer, was it imperative that we return then (May) or could we wait until we got back in September. We were told to be in the office on Sept 20, and keep the activity minimal. It was a two fold relief for us that we didn’t need to change our schedule but at the same time it was unnerving.

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we took a ride to the higher altitudes in North Carolina

We had an extra week before needing to head to Birmingham, so after our cousin time, we looked at each other, both thinking where did we want to go…..we decided on the Hershey RV show. I got on the phone calling campgrounds all over, we finally found one an hour away from the show in Gettysburg. Of course, as we were heading there alarms were going off on the dash board of the coach, neither one of us could figure out what was happening, there was nothing in the maintenance books about it either. We taped it and played it back to the maintenance department at Monaco, they didn’t have any idea either…hmmm…what to do….and making the decision to keep heading to Gettysburg. We played with all the bells and whistles on the dash and on the side panel…finally…Guy figured it out…the tire monitors…they were showing that a battery had died!!

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camping amongst the horses

 

Both of us were so tired from all the traveling we did over the summer that we just relaxed and never did go check out Gettysburg and all the history of our country. The campsite we had was surrounded by horse corrals, there were about 50 horses that could wander between the corrals. It was great sitting in our chairs, wine in hand, just watching the horses.

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I don’t think he liked his picture taken

We did manage to roust up enough energy to attend the RV show…this is where our life makes a big change. If you have been reading our blog for any length of time you know we have a polaris razor side x side that we wench up on the top or our truck. It is a time consuming and difficult to rope down, we tend to not use it as much because of that. Guy also needs to climb around the top of the truck and buggy tying it down.

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don’t know who shot this picture but it shows how the buggy was on the truck

We started looking for an easier way of taking the buggy with us, and making it easier to load and unload. While at the RV show we looked at the new model motorhomes that have a garage under the bedroom, where the master bed moves up and down when the buggy is there in the garage. But much to our dismay they are not wide enough. We then started looking at all the many brands of toy haulers, which to us did not seem to be made for full time living. We finally decided on the RV Factory, our main reason for this decision was our ability to design the rig our way and make it more full time friendly.

They only build 5th Wheels if they are preordered…and build the way you want…so we got to design ours the way we want, colors of cabinets, flooring, counters and everything in-between. We upgraded the suspension, tires, springs, brakes, outside steps, and many other things…. our new 5th wheel won’t be ready until April/May. Since our meeting in September, we met with the RV Factory again with many changes between them and us
(all for the good)…it will delay the build slightly.

While at the show we happened upon Tom of Classy Chassis Custom Trucks. They make Rv style Aluminum Hauler Bed Conversions which we will have done on our new 450 Ford dually.

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making the new body for the back

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almost finished, just need to add the red strips to match the new RV

Things have moved pretty fast since then, we finally landed in Birmingham, Alabama and parked at the Hoover Met for a few weeks while Guy had his surgery. Things went great, they put in a new pacemaker/defibrillator with all new batteries and new leads into his heart. He now feels so much better and has so much more energy and back to his old self.

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our daughter Kristi and Guy after surgery

We are happy to report on his last check up there have been no new episodes of A-Fib or VTech.  He also was rechecked for cancer with it also coming back great. We have one last Doctor appointment before we are back on the road and we are looking forward to heading out on this amazing journey.

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out to dinner with our son, Stephen

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our 17 yr old grandson, Ryan

It was great being near our daughter, Kristi and son in law Jason and grandkids for the few weeks we were there in Birmingham. We attended their soccer, basketball and volleyball games, had wonderful dinners together and even had the grands over to spend the night in the coach. Of course, there are those Dad things that need to get done, our daughter found a great deal on antique tin hanging lamps, it took awhile to figure out how to hang them from a single whole in the ceiling but with 6 brains working at once…it is up!!

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hanging an antique light in dinning room, how many people does it take to hang it? 

 

Our son had ordered new shoes for the coach at his shop in Auburn, Al, so we camped close to his shop.  We spent time with our son, Stephen and his girl Cari and Ryan our grandson, having dinner one night at the campsite and going out to the restaurant where our grandson works, Vendatoris.

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Stephen and Cari

We then headed to Camp Alexander in Blue Ridge, Georgia where we still are and will be until our new toy hauler and truck are ready to pick up. Our friends Steve and Paul came to Camp Alexander to hang with us for a couple of days as they made their way over to Texas for the winter. We have mutual friends, Karen and Al, me thru her blog and friends on Facebook,  Steve and Paul thru Key West where they both own RV lots.  Karen and Al also have an RV lot in Blairsville, Ga about 12 miles from us. We invited them over for drinks and a campfire, then headed to our favorite pizza joint, Cucina Rustica. It was a great night of laughter and stories.

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Steve and Paul

 

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Karen and Al

We put our coach on the market and sold it about one month later to a wonderful couple from Virginia. They came to get right when we were having a snow storm, which they are used to driving in snow, but had Guy take out of our community as the road is pretty narrow with lots of curves. It was a bittersweet moment, we enjoyed the time we spent living in it and traveling in it was pretty easy. But we are on to new adventures with the 5th wheel, we hope to boondock a lot more as we won’t be as heavy, the 5th will also be a lot lighter.

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As you know our coach is our only home….what were we going to live in now? We scoured the papers, and the internet looking for something used, we found a really great 2008 Cedar Creek 30’ 5th wheel, had it delivered and moved onto our lot. It has been an easy adjustment moving from 45’ to 30’, except for 2 issues, 6 gal water heater and 30 amps!! I keep blowing the circuits every time I turn on the blow dryer, coffee maker, toaster or blender while the electric heater is running!!!

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our home for a few months while waiting for our new toy

This year so far has been the coldest November and December in years, we have had 10″s of snow, temps down below 0 with the wind chill, freezing rain and ice. Our little 5th wheel has been really warm, no frozen pipes. Our neighbor and I have been walking the mile around our community with a snow day making it more fun…can anyone say

“Snow Angels” 

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our driveway looking back at the little 5th wheel

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Lacilou loving the snow

My girlfriend, Kathi came to hang with us for a month before she headed west and back to California in her coach. She has been traveling since August, following the same trip we had taken thru the Maritimes. We had a marvelous time enjoying our girlie talks, campfires and sitting outside until the snow came and her little rig froze, even after unplugging everything and keeping heaters on her pipes. She didn’t unfreeze until she left the mountain and headed into Alabama to see more friends.

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the little lake at the begging of the community

It has been 4 years since I have decorated for Christmas, since we were stationary, I decided a tree would be awesome. When we went to our daughters for Thanksgiving,  we got in her attic and there was an awesome small fake tree with my name on it….Walmart had lights, bulbs and ribbon that were just right for my (her) little tree. I also snagged some garland and ribbons to decorate the inside with. But decided the tree was enough and took it all back. We went to our daughters for Christmas so two days before we left I took it all down…I guess it will be my last time to decorate for a while…we usually leave our RV in Bullhead City at my sisters and drive the truck back to Al for Christmas.

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We have been having a wonderful time since being back and have kept pretty busy…so come on back and check out our time here…

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Cozy Cottage with Cousins

 

Sept 5, 2017, 247 miles
Wakeda Campground, Hampton Falls, New Hampshire

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Paula, Sue and Dawn

Normally our mornings on a travel day as pretty relaxed, but this morning I was ready to leave and get to our next site early as it was time to get together with the cousins.  My Cousin Dawn had called and wanted to come meet us at the campground when we arrived. She had researched all the campgrounds in the area and picked this one out for us, she thought it was the nicest in the area and close to her.

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farmers market

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pumpkins for sale

We were almost set up, which was a good thing because when all 4 of them, Cousin Dawn and Bob, Cousin Paula and George arrived,  it became a 3 ring circus with us all talking and laughing at once. Within minutes we were standing by a group of flowers with a selfie stick taking pictures of us girls and sending them to my sister, Penny who was unable to be there. The guys have decided to get out chairs and chat outside while we are goofing around. Next thing we know the door opens and George brings in a bottle of white wine…yea…he knows us girls.

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Guy, Sue, George, Paula, Dawn and Bob

Dawn is a planner and a thinker, she had been noodling what would be fun things to see and do while we all were together. So right away before we could blink our eyes, we were off….she had us packing our bags for a 3 day trip….now mind you we just traveled 247 miles in our home….this campground is costing $50.00 a nite and we are….what taking a trip….but first we are off to see something wonderful…

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yup…its a beautiful field of sunflowers…we, of course need a couple hundred pictures…from no less than 4 phones, and a camera…

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our view of Salisbury Marina from “The Deck”

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By this time we are all starving….Dawn has plans….we head to “The Deck” which is located at the bridge marina in Salisbury, Mass. It was such a wonderful night, a full moon, lots of stars, just the right temp, no sweaters needed. We sat outside overlooking the marina with the hundreds of boats anchored, swaying with the ripples in the water. You could hear the seagulls squawking as they walked along the wharf. Our dinner was excellent, Guy had ordered mussels which were so good Paula and I almost ordered another round.

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salt marsh with the tide out

Off we went headed to the cottage on Plum Island, which is off the coast of Newburyport. Newburyport is a small coastal city, of about 17, 500 residents. The city of Newburyport, had fallen into disrepair back in the 1960’s almost loosing the old historic colonial charm of the old buildings. In the 1970’s the historic downtown section was renovated and is used as an example for city’s around the country with renovations. The town, of course, offers many restaurants, and retain shops. Many of the colonial residences have widow’s walks, structures on the roof where the residents could watch for the return of sailing ships. Nearly every home has a splendid flower garden. Many of the homes are built right up to the sidewalks.

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salt marsh between Newburyport and Plum Island

Newburyport is on the south bank of the Merrimack River and between the salt marshes. Newburyport is 37 miles northeast of Boston and just 5 miles south the the New Hampshire border.

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tides out

Off the coast of Newburyport is Plum Island, accessible by a causeway that crosses over the salt marshes, where the Plum Island river connect to the mouth of the Merrimack River. Plum Island is a barrier island, and is approximately 11 miles in length. The island got its name from the beach plum shrubs that grown on the dunes.

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6:00am getting ready for the 1st cup of coffee and sunrise

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LaciLou loves the freedom of running on the beach

When on the beach at Plum island you can look from one end to the other and find nothing but beautiful beige sand, sea grass, and birds. While we were there we were the only ones on the beach which was just a 3 min walk from the cottage.

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I don’t know how to describe the cottage but to say we all love being there. It is nothing fancy, but it is warm and homey. The bedroom walls don’t all reach the ceiling so when sleeping we do hear someone snoring…someone roll over…someone getting up…but it’s just like the show the Walton’s when at the end….you hear “good night John Boy”. Yup, that’s how it is.

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The Cozy Cottage

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cozy livingroom

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the cozy kitchen

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the cozy porch/dinning room

We spent 3 days at the beach cottage, walking the beach, playing a New England style version of corn hole, had hair cuts, the guys went to “When Plgs Fly” bread store for lunch, the girls walked to a friends house, took pictures and then all too soon it was time to leave.

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some of the beach houses on the beach

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Our 3 days went by so fast, Paula and George needed to leave as they were headed to Texas to grandchild sit for a week. Guy, I and Lacilou headed to the coach to drop off our clothes then headed to Dawn and Bobs for a nice quiet dinner on their back deck. The weather was just perfect, no bugs, no rain, just a slight breeze. We all enjoyed wonderful steaks, great conversation, and Dawn and Bob’s beautiful home.

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Friday, we took a ride up the coast to Ogunquit, Maine, so we could walk along Marginal Way, which is a mile long pathway that extends from downtown Oqunquit to the docks at Perkins Cove. The path is along the rocky edge of the cliff that surrounds the ocean.

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hotel, beach club and restaurant

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very exclusive hotel

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my favorite house on the walk

The view is astounding, overlooking the crashing waves hitting the very rocky shoreline, the fresh air blowing in your face, the smell of the ocean, the smell of the roses along the path, the beautiful homes that overlook the path and ocean.

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We left the guys sitting on one of the many benches that line the pathway, while Dawn and I did the entire walk. Once we reached Perkins Cove we did not head straight back but looked through some of the many tourist stores. Both of us did not take our phones and wanted a ride back, ended up borrowing a very nice man’s phone to call Guy….not knowing that he had also walked behind us but lost us when we went into the stores and had headed back to where Bob was sitting.

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Sandy, Walt, Guy and Sue

That night Guy and I were meeting up with my mom’s half sister, Sandy and her husband Walt. We had not seen each other since I was about 17 or 18, we think!! She and her dad Walter (my granddad) came from Mass to California for a visit. They also have a passion for camping and traveling in an RV and have put their home on the market and would also like to live in their coach as full timers. We had plenty to talk about and decided that one dinner was not near enough time together.

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love this car. I have always wanted one

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Saturday was a busy day as Dawn found a wine tasting and car show at Mill River Winery in Rowley, Mass. We started off with a nice glass of wine while looking at the antique cars, and also walked thru the grape vines.

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AppleCrest Farms

On the way home we stopped at  AppleCrest Farms where there was a fall festival going on. We walked thru the market checking out the fruits and veggies, listened to a band playing, watched the kids making scarecrows, outside there was wonderful array pumpkins and squash.

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I had been saying all week I wanted whole fried clams, we decided to head to Woodman’s Seafood Restaurant in Ipswich, Mass. I have to say the clams were awesome, but so many I could hardly eat them all.

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whole fried clams and they were so yummy!!

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“When Pigs Fly” awesome bread store with every kind of bread you can imagine

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Guy and I bought sourdough, apple cinnamon, garlic olive and cranberry walnut!!! Yummy

Well, our week with family was over and time for us to head to Gettysburg, PA to attend the RV Super show….yup, big changes are going to happen…..stay tuned to find out….Until then y’all have a Blessed Day!!

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Bar Harbor, Maine

Sept 2, 2017, 185 miles
Hadley’s Point Campground, Bar Harbor, Maine

Its been 60 days traveling with the Adventure Caravan group and time to be on our own. Our day started with everyone gathering at Will and Cindy’s coach for donuts and coffee for our last morning together. Slowly each couple walked away and drove to their next destination. Guy and I had decided to head back to Bar Harbor, Maine to spend the holiday weekend. Which meant we had come full circle, as we had ended our trip with Carolyn and Gary and started the Canadian trip all from Maine.

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Mount Desert Island is the largest island off the coast of Maine with 108 sq miles. It is also the second largest on the eastern seaboard. It is widely known as Acadia National Park. The area draws 2-2.5 million of visitors and by far out numbers the 10,615 residents. There is only one road on and off the island, which can be bumper to bumper traffic taking hours to drive. There are transit buses that will take visitors to many of the sites on the island.

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When we made reservations to stay out on the island at Hadley’s Campground, we knew that being the labor day holiday, traffic would be bad. There was so many areas we had not seen while we were there over the July 4th celebration. One place was Cadillac Mountain, so we got up early and headed up to the mountain, which is located on Mount Desert Island. It is 1,529 feet and the highest point in Hancock County. From Oct through March of each year Cadillac Mountain is the first place to view a sunrise in the United States, we did not get up early enough to see the sunrise.

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We had also not gone near Bar Harbor over the July 4th holiday due to the traffic and the crowds.  We wanted to walk thru town, check out the stores and have a nice dinner. Bar Harbor is a seaside resort on the northeastern side of Mount Desert Island, there were many boats sitting in the harbor, just bobbing in the water. We also could see that a cruise ship was docked out off the shore, with the whole ship walking the town. One of the boats off shore had been there for over 30 days and was rumored to be owned by a Russian Oil Magnate.

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Our friends, Paul and Steve were also staying in the area, so since Monday, Sept 4, was our 47 th wedding anniversary, we called them to see if they wanted to spend our anniversary with us. We walked around the town looking for a nice place to eat and decided on Jack Russell’s Steak House and Brewery. The restaurant looked like it used to be  someones home and was redesigned as a restaurant, we sat up stairs and enjoyed a great dinner and more important wonderful conversation with some awesome friends.

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Steve and Paul taken on the Cabot trail

Our stop on the island was short, we got a lot done, Guy washed the very dirty coach and truck, while I finally did 8 loads of laundry and cleaned the inside of the coach. We were heading to New Hampshire to meet up with my Cousin Dawn and Uncle Bob, Cousin Paul and George. We have always tried to get together once a year but since Guy and I went on the road, I’m sad to say we haven’t been able to, so I was looking forward to this visit.

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Come on back to check on all the trouble our little family gets into in Kingston, New Hampshire. Until then y’all have a Blessed Day.

 

Hopewell Cape, New Brunswick

August 30, 2017, 125 miles,                                                                                                     Ponderosa Pines Campground, Hopewell, New Brunswick

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the tide is out

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the rocks are called “Flower Pots” tide is out

Today was a 125 mile travel day. After spending one night in Turo we packed up and left about 8:30 am, and arrived at the Ponderosa Pines campground in Hopewell New Brunswick. Most of the drive was on good road except for the last 24 miles of road along the Fundy Bay. That road made me think I was back in Newfoundland it was so rough and pothole ridden.

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love all the rock formations

This campground is located less than 1 mile from the Hopewell Provincial Park. This is the park that contains the famous Hopewell Rocks (Flower Pots) that are in the Fundy bay at low tide.  Once everyone arrived, we all car pooled to the park to see the rocks at low tide.  A park ranger met us there and took us for a walk along the shoreline while explaining why the Fundy bay has the highest tides in the world and also talked about the rock formations that stand tall in the bay.

 

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Depending on the alignment of the moon and sun tide levels vary from around 34 feet to maximum height of almost 52 feet.  We arrived at the park at 1:45pm just after the 1:17pm low tide. The shoreline was wide which gave us plenty or room where we could walk for almost a mile along it. After our tour we left the park around 3:30pm and returned to the campground.

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Since high tide was to be at 7:30pm today we all headed back to the park at 5:45pm. We were told we could stay until the park closed at 7pm.  When we got back it was amazing to see how much the tide had already risen.

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water rising, notice the change from the picture above

 

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water getting higher

The Ranger there told us that at 6pm the tide was already 31.4 feet higher than when we had been there earlier.  He said at 7:30 today the high point would be 34.6 feet.  As we walked along a much smaller shoreline we could see the tide creeping ever so slowly closer to us. By 6:30 pm most of the shoreline was under water and people were heading for the stairway to take them up to the top of the cliffs.

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the stairway 

The stairway to the top is 100 steps with a couple of viewing platforms along the way. We stopped at the lowest platform to watch the tide rising. It was easy to see the huge changes 5 minutes would make. All in all it was a very interesting day.

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our view from our coach, again another awesome view

 

Today was our last official travel day with the Adventure Caravan group. We drove 106 miles from Hopewell, NB to Saint John, NB.  Saint John is the 2nd largest city in NB. We will be here for 2 nights and then the Adventure Caravan part of our trip is over.

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The weather was cool with a high of about 60 and we had a few rain showers throughout the day.  This morning started off with coffee & Tim Horton donuts provided by the staff then at 9:30 we boarded a bus for a tour of the city.  The driver was very knowledgeable about the city and the sights. We visited the Market Square, Carleton Martello Tower and Reversing Fallsview Park.  He also drove by many of the historic sites and homes around the city and explained the different types of architecture we were seeing.

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Carleton Martello Tower

Some of the things we saw were very significant in the history of the town.  St. John is the oldest city in Canada. In 1877 a large portion of the city burned (almost 60%). Whole sections of the city were leveled.  The City Market was in an area where everything around it was burned except it.

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We were told about various points of interest, houses with historical significance such as movie stars (Donald Sutherland and the founder of MGM), billionaires (the Irving’s), etc. Many beautiful historic houses are still standing.

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Our next stop was the the Carleton Martello Tower. This is one of few towers remaining in Canada that was built by the British during the war of 1812.  It was the oldest structure in St. John built on top of the rocky hill overlooking the city and the harbor.

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It was September 2nd and our tour was over with Adventure Caravans, everyone met up for another donut and coffee breakfast, said our goodbyes and packed up. Most everyone was heading back to where we all met up to start the trip in Herman, Maine.

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So come on back to see the pictures of the wonderful coastline of Bar Harbor Maine.