Monday, September 27, 2010

Great Day Trip

Friday Barbie and I took a 170 mile day trip through north Georgia and briefly into southwestern North Carolina. It was a great trip. The purpose was to explore some of the campgrounds in the Hiawassee and Blairsville areas of Georgia and to check out some of the other rv parks that sell sites. We left Dillard and headed south to Clayton to catch Highway 76 and travel west through the mountains towards Hiawassee.

North Georgia Mtns #2

Before reaching Hiawassee we stopped at River Bend Campground. I found them through their website, which is a good one. Interestingly enough, there was an FMCA club having a rally this weekend. It reminded me that our Roamin’ Rigs chapter held the September rally this weekend as well. We hope all of our Roamin’ Rigs had a great rally to begin the new rally season. Wouldn’t you know the rallyers were involved in a beanbag baseball game as we drove through the park. The campground was neat and clean with colorful flowers landscaping the grounds. The campground had neat asphalt roads and large gravel sites, some along a creek and others facing the mountains. I used the picture below from their website. That is why it is out of focus-sorry.

Riverbend Campground

Check out the website if you ever plan on camping in the Hiawassee area and you’ll see pictures and read great reviews from folks who have camped there. After leaving there we turned south on Hwy 17/75 for a few miles and drove through Enchanted Valley RV Park. It is an established ownership park, completely filled with single wide park models with a few rvs. We actually considered buying in this park about 10 years ago. If I remember correctly they were going for $8000-$10,000 then. We left there and continued south on Hwy 17/75 a short distance before turning west on Hwy 180. This road actually leads to Brasstown Bald, the highest point in Georgia. We didn’t stop there this trip but we have been there in the past. It provides great 360 degree views on clear weather days. Before Hwy 180 intersects Hwy 19/129, we stopped at Choestoe Falls RV Park, a park that sells sites and the covenants allow only motorhomes, 5th wheels or travel trailers. No park models may be brought in the park. This park is extremely neat and all original sites have been sold, however there are several sites for sale by owners now. This park is more in a valley with some mountain views depending upon the site location. There are many trees in the park. FYI, I did not take the picture of Choestoe Falls that follows. It appeared on the homeowners association website.

Choestoe FallsAfter leaving Choestoe Falls, we turned south on Hwy 19/129 to go to River’s Edge RV Park, another owners park. Once again, only rvs are permitted-no park models. Barbie got out of the car to read the bulletin board to see which sites may be for sale and two different ladies came up and asked her if they could help her. They were really friendly and spoke highly of the park. This park had a small lake in the center. A covered pavilion was right on the lake for gatherings.

Rivers EdgeThe sites around the lake were not that long. The ones around the perimeter were much deeper. Again, this park had several resale sites by owners. Both this park and Choestoe Falls were about 5 miles south of Blairsville, Georgia in Union County. I understand this area is about 90 minutes north of Atlanta. Before traveling up into Blairsville we stopped at Vogel State Park which was only a couple of miles from River’s Edge. Vogel is one nice state park. There is a large lake with rental paddle boats available and lots of tree shaded campsites. Rigs larger than 35 feet would have it rough navigating I believe. We stopped at Vogel essentially so Barbie could use the restroom. I know—too much info right? After leaving Vogel we headed north on Hwy 19/129 into Blairsville then turned west on to Old Bald Mountain Road and about 2 miles west of town visited Mountain View RV Resort. This ownership park is really pretty new as only about 5 sites have rvs or a park model on them. This may be nice some day as all sites will be concrete as are all roads and they are building a huge clubhouse, pool and rec areas. There are no trees though and the mountains are a long view away. By this time we went back into Blairsville and stopped at McDonalds for lunch.

After lunch we headed for our last stop, Arrowhead RV Resort, which was north of Blairsville off of Highway 19/129 on the way to Murphy, NC, just south of the North Carolina line. Arrowhead Valley is an older, established ownership park that was the smallest of the parks we visited and had the oldest rvs parked in the park. It was well maintained, had a small creek passing through it and they did have an open pavilion building and a pool adjacent to it. Below is a picture I copied from their website.

Arrowhead ValleyAfter leaving Arrowhead we continued north leaving Georgia into North Carolina to Murphy. From Murphy we turned back east on Hwy 64 to Hayesville, NC, before turning south on Hwy 69 back to Georgia and Hiawassee. Highway 69 meets Hwy 76 just west of Hiawassee, so we drove through Hiawassee passing beautiful Lake Chatuge as we drove east returning to Clayton then north back to Dillard to complete the journey. We stopped at a rest area on Lake Chatuge to stretch our legs for the 60 minute drive back to Dillard. We were gone six and a half hours on the adventure total. It was a terrific journey but I know of two tired, sore butts from all the sitting.

I’ll leave you today with this picture from the past. Would you believe we passed the vehicle below on the backroads of north Georgia today?

CowcarC’mon, you didn’t think we passed this “vehicle” did you? Til next time…………………

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda

Well, it I hadn’t had the sudden back injury hit me on June 26th that grounded us here in Dillard for the summer, then we COULDA followed through on our plans to attend two rv rallies in Indiana beginning in late August and we WOULDA been in Goshen, Indiana today attending the Escapees 50th Escapade Rally, then we SHOULDA been headed through Ohio into Pennsylvania to visit some of my relatives before heading to New Jersey then down to North Carolina to visit Barbie’s family before returning here to Dillard for the leaves to change in mid-October. Well, most of us have had prior experiences with the COULDA, WOULDA, SHOULDA deal I believe. We know how that goes sometimes. The best laid plans…… Sure, it woulda been a great adventure but there was no way we coulda enjoyed or made the trip at this time. We’ll follow through at a later date with that trip. I do feel much better than I did in June and July for sure. I continue to make slow but steady progress on being able to walk without a walker. I leave the motorhome now daily whether it is to ride around the campground in our golf cart, go out shopping with Barbie (with the help of my scooter), go out to eat at a local restaurant, or to just take a ride in the car through the gorgeous countryside. From late June and through July, I bet I can count on one hand the number of times I left the motorhome. And, that was for doctor’s visits. 

We have had terrific weather lately with highs in the mid to upper 80’s and lows at night into the low to mid 50’s. The best part has been the extremely low humidity levels. This was planned and shoulda been a travel blog of our jouneys but has turned into a blog about my health issues. That will gradually change, I assure you. But, for our family and friends that are interested, you do know what’s going on with us on a somewhat regular basis.

Well, for my pictures for the day, since we shoulda been in Pennsylvania soon, check out these pictures from our trip to Lancaster County, PA, that we made in the summer of 2003.

Amish farm #1

The Amish farms were beautiful,

Amish farm #2

as were the covered bridges.

Covered bridge #1

covered bridge #4 

It certainly was an exhausting trip!

Jeff napping #2‘Til next time………

Saturday, September 11, 2010

My 9/11 Reflection


Today is a day to remember the heroes that risked their lives in New York, Washington D.C., and over that field in Pennsylvania. Today is a day to remember the innocent victims that lost their lives, and the loved ones that had to pick up the pieces. Today is a day to celebrate bravery. 

It is not a day to protest the war against terrorism. It is a day to remember those who have lost their lives fighting for our county. It is a day to thank the men and women who served, and those that continue to serve our great country. 

Let’s make today a positive one where we truly honor those who have made a difference.

God Bless the USA!

These are not all my words but they certainly represent my beliefs.

Enough said…………………’til next time.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Great Weather !

We’ve had great weather lately but the past couple of days have been spectacular. Check out the picture below.

Sept 5

The 60  at the top is the current outside temperature, which as you can see is the high for today at 10:29am. The temperature at the bottom was the current temperature in the rig with the windows open at that time. But, my reason for posting this picture is to show the 45 degree reading which was the low overnight sometime after midnight. What grand sleeping weather it was---even in a recliner chair! Today the high is forecast to be in the upper 70’s. This is why we are sitting in the NE Georgia mountains instead of sweating in sunny Florida.

River Vista here is full of Labor Day campers this weekend. We road around in the golf cart last evening and I counted only 7 vacant sites. Alot of folks walking around last evening plus they had a local DJ playing tunes and encouraging karoake singers down at the outside pool pavilion area. He played a few good tunes but still isn’t as good as Big Daddy DJ Jeff. Of course, that is my humble opinion.      :-)~ We went to Clayton to eat at Mama G’s, an Italian Restaurant, yesterday afternoon. We didn’t find the meal as good as it has been there in the past. They start you with out-of-this-world garlic butter topped dinner rolls. These didn’t seem fresh baked to either of us. I had a baked ziti with meatballs and Barbie had eggplant parmesan. My ziti was good but the meatballs had a frozen taste. Barbie said her sauce lacked taste. Of course, influencing our opinions might have been the fact that even though we’ve charged my Victory scooter when needed , it doesn’t seem to be holding a charge. We had just charged it and it was showing extremely low to the point, I barely made it in the restaurant and back out to the car. Now this is after Barbie had taken it in to Command Mobility, where we bought  it, Friday to have it checked out. They told her the charger was good and the batteries were good, we just needed to charge it each and every day whether I use it or not. Well, that isn’t what the manual said. Barbie will take it back Tuesday and demand new batteries.  Anyway after we ate we took a country ride around Wolfolk Valley Road which is between Clayton and Dillard.Wolfolk Road 1Wolfolk Road 2It is beautiful country I tell you !

I watched some football before we left to go out to eat yesterday. I started watching the Gators-they stunk and were lucky to win. I switched over to the Georgia Bulldog game (my second favorite team, obviously) and they looked good with local Tampa Plant HS quarterback, Aaron Murray, making his first college start. I’m glad the college football  season has begun.

Well, enough for this time with the exception of my “photo flashback”.

Old LadyWould you believe a Floridian here for the weekend? Actually I took this at the FMCA “Nifty Fifties” Southeast Area  Rally held a few years back when I was the official photographer for the rally.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It’s September….

I don’t know what it was but when I logged on the computer this morning and saw September 1, it hit me. The summer is nearly over. We have been up here in Dillard for about 6 weeks. Of course for me the month of July is a blur considering my back issues and all the meds I was on then. At least I’m on the slowww mend now and mentally doing much better. After I log on the computer in the mornings and check to see what the email inbox has in it, I check the 30 some rv blogs I have saved in my favorites folder and follow. The past couple of days that has been a tad tough as about a half a dozen of the bloggers are in Elkhart, Indiana, participating in the Gypsy Journal Rally that we were to be attending. Their posts have detailed the fun and comraderie they are having at the rally. The first night they had a “Hoosier Honey” Pageant where the guys dressed as ladies. Here is the winner.

Miss Hoosier Honey

We were really looking forward to that rally as we have been subscribers of the Gypsy Journal Newspaper we get each month from Nick Russell and his wife Terry for years. They are full-timers and travel across the country, mostly off the main highways/interstates and away from the big cities, writing about the places they visit. They also include lots of pictures. He was in the newspaper business for years before becoming a full-timer. They have held a rally in the west and one in the east the past few years. They are not huge rallies, between 75 and 150 rvs normally. We’ll just plan on attending one next year.

We went out grocery shopping and ate at La Cabana, a Mexican Restaurant in Clayton, yesterday. It was our first outing using the new scooter carrier on the back of the Terrain. It certainly made for an easier job for Barbie to load and unload the scooter for me.

To insure that I have at least one picture in each post, I have decided to start something new today with this post. I will include one picture from my archives that I’ve been saving from 1998 to the present. The picture may be of persons, places or things I’ve shot over the years. I hope you’ll enjoy them. I also want to remind you that you may leave a comment to a post by clicking on the word “COMMENT” at the bottom of each post after the words “Posted by Jeff and Barbie” and the date. I encourage you to do that. We love reading your comments for sure.

Following is my “Post Picture for the Day”. It was taken at the Friendship Rally in Moultrie, Georgia, in April 2004 in which about 15 coaches from our Roamin’ Rigs FMCA Chapter attended. Now I’m telling ya I could have won that “Hoosier Honey” Pageant wearing this same poodle skirt get-up that I won the “Magnificent Moultrie Mama” Pageant back then. What do you think?  :-))) ‘Til next time…….

Poodle Jeff