Monday, April 28, 2008

Springtime in the Mountains

It's Springtime in the Smokey’s.

The Dogwoods, Apples, Cherry and Azaleas are wearing their most colorful coats.

White Dogwood

Pink Dogwood

Pink Azalea

We arrived on the 22nd after spending those few nights on the road. When we arrived we found that we had little water when we opened the main valve and turned on the faucets, Oh-Oh. Well we just knew it had to be an aged valve buried in the ground out in the yard, not too much trouble as we had the 'Lance' to stay in and a National park campground down the street if we needed more H2O or a dump. I dug up the valve the next day, do you know how much clay and rocks live in the ground here? Not like the sandbar we live on for the last 35 year. After all that digging I turned on the water in the house and it seemed we had plenty, naw, somebody’s funnin' me. So I turn on the shower that had a small trickle yesterday and there is a nice strong flow, What's Up? You see we have a spring water setup here and it is gravity fed from up on the mountain behind us, so other than a little cleanin' type maintenance, all we have to do is turn on the valve and let 'er flow. I give up all it took was threatin' that old valve to get water. Well now all I have to do is fill in that big hole in the yard, maybe tommorrow, maybe not. We spent the next two days cleaning the house from top to bottom as we had company coming Saturday, almost got it completed before they arrived too. Amy and Randy arrived earlier Saturday than we expected and we were doing some last minute errands. They arrived minutes before we got back to the homestead and almost got to make themselves at home. We spent the afternoon on a little road trip just around the area, some o' the Natl. Park and then home for some supper. Linda was whippin' up some Garlic and Parmesan Chicken Tenders after some brews and conversation. We talked on into the night till all were too tired to go on and we called it a day. Sunday stated with a hearty breakfast and we were on the road again to see more of the local sites. Ya see Amy & Randy moved from FLA to Maryville, Tennessee on across the mountain almost two years ago and this was their first trip over to visit in NC. We took them up the North Shore Road, better known locally as the "Road to Nowhere". You see when the government created Lake Fontana, a TVA project in the 40's to supply hydro electric power to Alcoa, TN for the production of aluminum for the war effort; they flooded many towns in the valleys the lake inundated. In return the 'feds' promised to construct a road on the north shore of the lake through the Smokey Mountain National Park to provide access to the many cemeteries that remained in the vacated areas. Well they constructed about 8 miles of roadway through the park and then halted the project after tunneling through a mountain. The road was never finished and recently I believe the 'feds' paid off this county with millions of dollars instead of completing the project. The poor people that have friends and loved ones interned in the inaccessible cemeteries are at the mercy of the park service to access those gravesites. A ride out Fontana Road travels through miles of beautiful mountains before terminating at a parking area, a short walk down the paved, striped highway leads you to and through a tunnel to the other side of the mountain where the striped asphalt terminates at a footpath, the way it will remain for eternity. "Sure you can trust the government, just ask any Indian".

We then ventured to the Nantahala River west of town to see if any brave souls were shootin' the rapids on the river. Seems there were lots of folks with stronger constitutions than us cause they were a passle o' kayakers and some rafters. Rafting and kayaking is a major contributor to the local economy during season.



"Had to get in the water to get this one"

We then ventured up the road towards Lake Nantahala to see the source of the river, which we never made. On the way we were sidetracked by a nice waterfall and then a forest service road, wound up lost, then made our way back to home. Did I say lost? I meant we took the 'Scenic Route', I never get lost.


After an early dinner of homemade hot dogs our guests supplied from their last trip to Wisconsin, we bid them farewell and a safe trip home to Tennessee. Later that evening Linda and I went for a hike up Deep Creek in the Natl. Park to Juney Whank Falls and the home for a quiet evening together.

Until next time, see ya down the road as we're Dancin' on the Wind.

Monday, April 21, 2008

On the Road Again!!

Well we left for the mountains yesterday on the 20th. Made it as far as Oceloa National Forest and stayed at Ocean Pond campground for the night. We've stayed here before, the campground has three different loops. One with water & electric $18, one with paved sites & water $12, one rustic with hydrants located throughout for $8, we chose the later. The mosquitoes were as bad as we've seen in a long time, mostly during the day, after nitefall they seemed to slack off, not that we gave 'em much of a chance then anyway. Up this morning and we're off for Macon, GA. Going to check out NU-Way Wieners. Seems they been makin' wieners in the same location on Cotton Ave. since 1916. Saw this on the Travel Channel during one of thier food specials, we've got a file on the laptop compiled with "eateries along our travels" and when we're headed in the area of one we'll check it out. Was it worth it? Well they serve the hotdogs 'all the way' with chili sauce, mustard & onions. A unique taste combination and I guess that has what made them so famous. We tried several other combinations and a Meg-A-Buger with fries. Would we go back? Maybe.
After NU-Way we were off for Oconee NF, Lake Sinclair campground. When we arrived we went through the first loop to find 5 sites, all with W&E, but the restooms which looked ancient were locked. Next loop was closed, last loop was right on the lake, no services, bathrooms were nothing short of disgusting. We've been in a lot of NF camps, even throughout the west in remote places and the ones in the east could take a lesson from them. Needless to say we were not going to pay to stay were we couldn't use the facilities, so here we sit for an overnite stay at Wally World. Thank you WalMart for being so gracious to accomodate us RVers. Another great day on the road in the life of RV-Anytimers.

See ya down the road as we're Dancin' on the Wind

Friday, April 18, 2008

Any Day Now

Well it's been nigh on a month since I've givin' ya'll some word on our doin's. Just the regular life of a Stix & Brix homeowner - yech. Nothin' excitin' to be writin' about lately an I didn't want to bore anybody.

We have been sittin' on go for the trip to the mountains for a week, fridge is packed along with all our possibles. Just waitin' fer word from an insurance company on a friends homeowners policy. See we got involved in getting an eldely friend of ours some new insurance for her homestead. She was payin' way to much with the company she was with an they were dropin' her when the policy ran out. Her agent told her she could get her insurance with the state's company, Citizens. Might as well get a quote from Lloyds of London while yer at it too, they are the highest company in the state. So we line her up an take her to our agent, get a really good price, excellent coverage, pay the premium and were good, we thought. She recieved the policy in days , then she recieved a cancellation notice, her home is more than forty years old and needs a home inspection. OK so we get the inspection and wait. Well there's another snaffu that we straighten out, so we wait. Now we've been leavin' fer a week and were waitin'. Yesterday late we get the word, the insurance is reinstated, yeah. Along with this Linda's been havin' some minor glitches with her blood work and been goin' back to get drained every other day, so's they can spin some more round in their little test tubes. Yesterday she's got a sore throat, wouldn't be from hangin' with all those folks at the doctors, naa. Last night she's got chills so bad she's shiverin', this is a gal that lives on the edge of a thermo-nuclear HOT FLASH! So I feed her some chicken soup fer dinner and cover her up, all curlled in front of the TV. After several bouts with the sandman, she's up at 10:30PM to tell me she feels alright. Well I been waitin' this long I'm waitin' till I'm sure she don't need to go back to the doc' before we head out. This mornin' she's up before me on her way back to the doc'. Seems her sore throat was back and kept her awake most o' the night. When she returns she's shiverin' again, so we go back to the "Couch & TV" therapy. She's feelin' better but I'm still of a mind to wait to see if she's really shakin' it. So maybe tommorrow or Sunday we'll be on the road.

We haven't posted a 'Safari Update' lately cause things were kind a slow, till the other day. Since my last update we caught a sow with her two young piglets, probably six-eight weeks old. Then we caught a small black sow, she looked kind a plumb if you catch my drift. Well time went on and we about convinced ourselves that she was not in a family way like we first thought. The other morn' we found that we'd more than doubled our population overnight, from 6 to 13 pigs. Got a regular farm goin'. She had 8 new piggy babies but one was stilborn, so we have 7 little ones. There so cute when there this small.

They're just hours old here.

Well if we get on the road I'll post again. We're headin' to Osceola National Forest for our first nights stay and then on to Macon, GA for a special treat, before we head north again. No need in rushin' up the road to North Carolina, I been waitin' this long. Till next time.

See ya down the road as we're 'Dancin on the Wind'