Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dillard - Georgia

The park here is really nice and it is nestled in amongst a mountain range with fantastic scenery. We decided to go out for a scenic drive in the early evening – First stop was the Popcorn Overlook

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Then a short stop at the edge of Lake Burton to admire some of the houses of the idle rich.

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One last stop, we read that Tate City had good views, the bit they left out was that we had to drive through the forest on a dirt track to get there which in the truck was a bit like being in a dinghy coming down a river. To cap it all this road was nearly ten miles long and the views in Tate City were not as “spectacular” as the write up said they were.

We got up early on the Tuesday to go and hike the Tallulah Gorge – they only let 100 people in per day so we wanted to make sure we could do it. We ended up being the first there. You have to go down over 150 steps cross a rope bridge across the gorge then down another 230 steps and then the adventure begins!

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The adventure begins with a trip back across the river by scrambling over boulders in the river ( which are very slippery when wet ).


Did we make it across dry ?…….. no we both ended up with one wet foot, luckily the weather is still so warm it was hardly noticeable. We then had a scramble down alongside the river past 4 waterfalls. The last of which is called the bridal veil and people slide down it into the pool below.


The way back was just as interesting with chances to stop and enjoy the views and also prepare ourselves for climbing back over the river.


So did we fare better on our return trip over the river ? ……….. well the plan was for Rob to go first, deposit the backpack with the cameras in and then come back to help me a bit. He did quite well, just the one wet foot. Me, not so good, slid down one to the rocks and was wet from the waist down. Rob grabbed my sun glasses then 2 mins later slipped again and dropped my glasses into the river. Ever the gentleman he then went back and tried to retrieve them, without success.


Now deep joy, we just have those 350 odd steps to climb ! on the way back we passed a shop called Goats on the Roof – and that's exactly what they had. The roof was covered with grass and they had small goats wandering around up there.


I also found perfect T-shirts for us in there but the old goat  Rob would not let me get them


Wednesday started with a slightly overcast day and no internet or cell coverage to the site. So we changed our plans and went for a hike on Dicks Creek it was a gentle mile down to the Chattooga river. They must have had some severe weather last week as we could not join the river trail ( bridge was out ) or the Bartrum trail ( trees down ).

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On the way back to the camp we stopped at a great farmers market. We went swimming in the camp pool and then a nice BBQ outside before packing up as much as possible ahead of our next journey. Tomorrow we head for Tabor City NC, 20 miles from Myrtle Beach and a RV park within a working vineyard.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Allatoona Lake - Georgia

We got up early and were ready to leave the RV park in Virginia by 7 am. We had only got 2 miles down the road when we stopped at the traffic lights only to fine the brakes on the RV had locked on and we could not budge.

Luckily Rob was able to reboot the system ( see even in the world of RV – if you have a problem, reboot ) and we were on our way. This is the longest journey we have done together in one day in the RV. We stopped three times but still made very good time and pulled into the camp at Allatoona just after 5. Honey Bunny did not get a sister but she did get ears, arms, pants, bobtail and a dress. photo

We have been here for 10 days and have had a really great time – we are about 30 miles from Paul, Robyn and the girls. We were sorry not to miss Blake, who is currently cruising the Med. Lucky Boy!PICT8077 P1010959

We have had a great time relaxing at the camp walking the dogs around the lake interspersed with trips over to the Pinto household where we got to swim in the pool (yes dogs as well!) trips out for some retail therapy with Robyn, incredible food ( with care packages for the RV for the days we were not visiting ) even a trip to Church on Sunday. Needless to say we were made to feel like part of the family and had a great time.

There have been some strong thunderstorms here but they have been a welcome relief as the weather has hit the high 90’s on a few of the days.



We are looking at maybe buying a piece of land on the brow of lookout mountain in NE Georgia – so we also went up there to have another look and see in in the summer months. Rob and Paul went up there on Sunday and took some great views which minus a few tree tops will be the view we would get out of the windows. There is a ledge about 100ft back from the brow so we would look to build the house on that and have it as a architectural feature of the basement.



They also found the remnants of an old homestead on the land – it will be great to keep it and use the chimney as an outdoor fireplace. We should get a metal detector up there, I bet we would fine some interesting things.


Today Monday 28th we are going to move the RV to a camp park near Dillard NE Georgia.

Below just a few of the animals we saw and also motor biking for dogs !

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Shenandoah Valley and Skyline Drive

Monday we packed up our RV and left Lancaster county to drive down to Waynesboro Virginia, Some 260miles. We stopped at a truck stop to get some lunch (They are the only places big enough to haul in our 55ft of body length) its really funny to see us in amongst all the Lorries and to realize we are the same length- Must take a picture next time. We arrived at the campsite running on diesel fumes as Rob had insisted we did not need to fill up at the truck stop, that made his heart race a bit :-)

It meant I got to do a lot more of my knitting, here is Honey Bunny’s current status. That’s her legs body and head done P1010947

Last night we took a trip to the local Walmart – they had a RV section so we were able to stock up on a few things  then off to Mickey D’s to use the free wifi. Rob takes me to all the best places !

This morning the weather is hot humid and very cloudy but we are only here for one day so we took off for Skyline drive and the Shenandoah National Park. It was really beautiful and I can only imagine how much more spectacular it would have been if the weather had played nice for us.PICT8049 P1010944

On the way up to the Byrd information centre we spotted a hiker looking for a lift to the next highway. He had been walking the Appalachian trail since March and had arranged for a fresh lot of supplies to be delivered to Elkton before he continues on his way up to Maine (another 3 months of hiking). The trail is over 2100 miles long and runs from Georgia through to Maine. It has long been an ambition of Rob’s for us both to walk this at some point. Me, not so keen ! but we may do it some day. It is not the distance or the time, although they are not making me super enthusiastic. Its the fact that you have to sleep out overnight and carry your tent and food with you – there are stretches where you spend days not passing any form of civilization.  I took a picture of Rob on the trail just in case it was his only chance P1010940

Tomorrow we have to be up and out very early as we are planning to drive 550 miles down to Georgia. That is our longest trip to date and there is a strong chance honey bunny could end up with sister after probably 12 hours of driving !!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Lancaster County PA Saturday

After a nice leisurely breakfast we headed out to explore the local countryside. Everywhere we went we were passing horse drawn buggies as the Amish got on with their daily life. I must say the children all looked very happy with their lot in life. The “Men of the House” were busy working in the fields ahead of their Sunday day of rest PICT8002

We drove through the towns of Strasbourg, Paradise, Bird in Hand and Intercourse. PICT8033 Then arrived back at the campsite for a late lunch. Rob watched the US versus UK football match until the goal was let in by the British goalie and at that point he decided we were off out again. Saturday afternoon is really busy for the locals so the drive was a slow one. We headed up to one of the local farms, Lapps, where they milk their own cows, pasteurize it, then turn it into ice cream. I had chocolate and almond and Rob had raspberry. It was delicious and no of course he was not sharing it with the calf.P1010922

On the way back I stopped at a  house where they sell their own home made quilts, they also had a very nice cookbook that I bought. It contains all their family recipes mixed in with poems and information about the area, a very nice keepsake of the area. We also stopped at a farm that sells hand painted gourds – they are used as birdhouses in this area. PICT8029

That evening I felt inspired and finished the binding on my latest quilt. Toni, if you read this, the “T’s” are made from the reproduction fabric that we bought when we were out  wandering around the woods. We had spent the day looking for covered bridges in New England and we just stopped to check the map and found we were outside a quilt shop in the middle of nowhere!


This morning it was very hot so we just took a run down to the town for a quick walk around and then drove around and spotted some covered bridges and old mills. It was also lovely to see the Amish gathered together at various houses – when we went past one house there must have been some 20 plus children all under 10 dressed in their Sunday best and having a great time playing in the garden.P1010934 P1010930 P1010932

Tomorrow we are going to drive on down to Waynesborough VA. which is in the Shenandoah Valley.

So much time - but where does it all go !

I thought not working would give me far more time to do "stuff" but in fact after working so many years the lack of structure to the day means I am actually doing less ( including writing my blog) . But... this is my new start. We decided on Tuesday to pack up the RV and hit the road.Late Thursday morning we started the first leg of our journey, down the 87 through New Jersey and into Pennsylvania. Our last 50 miles were on minor roads through local communities slow but very pretty. I spent most of the trip knitting a bunny for Alana, I worked out on our last trip that if I am focused on something other than the road and Robs driving it makes for less "discussion". I managed the legs and the start of the bodyP1010912

Our Campsite is small and quiet and nestled right in the middle of the Amish farmland. Beautiful rolling fields with farm buildings sprinkled as far as the eye can see. In the farm right next to the campsite, the farmer spent all day on Friday turning the hay in the field, he was using a horse drawn plough to do it. What a great way of life, if it was not for all the many hours of praying, I am sure I would make a good addition to the community and Rob should be a shoe in given he wears the same clothes everyday already..When I was based in Latvia - the fields there were all tended by hand. I was imagining trying to explain to them that the Amish are doing it out of choice not because they are too poor to buy motorized ploughs. P1010894

Those of you that know I am an avid quilter these days will also understand that this is a fantastic place for us to visit. We drove through all the backfields yesterday to a barn right out in the middle of the countryside filled with quilting fabric -- over 12,000 bolts YEAYYY. I was reasonably constrained, I bought about 30yards of fabric and 30 fat quarters. The fabric was about 2$ a yard cheaper than I normally pay and then they gave me an additional 20% off as it was my first visit. Rob took the girls for a long walk while I was in there. One of the local girls was sitting outside the store with a table of home cooked cakes. The double chocolate cup cakes were delicious. P1010924

We drove on down to a town called Lititz, famous for its chocolate factory ( Wilbur's) there was a museum there so we had a quick look around but given how hot it was outside we resisted buying any. Then took the dogs for a walk in the local park. They were a little disappointed to not be allowed in the lake with the ducks.we rounded out the visit there with some home made ice cream. Further on down the road we came to the main town for this area, Lancaster, we parked up and I took a stroll through the central market. All of the stalls are owned by the local farms so we were able to buy some great aged goat cheese. Fresh lettuce, new potatoes peas and miniature peppers. i also treated myself to some almond butter and rhubarb and strawberry jam. As we were walking back to the car we saw a shop selling all things British so we took a quick look, I bought their last box of oat cakes and Rob reminisced with the owner who came from Lancaster England some 30 years ago. P1010904

Tomorrow we are going to Bird in Hand, Intercourse - where Witness was filmed ( movie with Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis) and Strasbourg.