In preparation for the long overdue dredging of our marina, all boats need to be moved out for a month.
The deadline for doing so is next Weds December 15th
Soon ei' Lean will be floating above the bottom 24/7. No longer will her keel be sitting in mud during extreme low tides.
It's been rather cool here lately and I kept postponing our moving of the boat but since I was scheduled for surgery yesterday and would be out of commission for a while - I could wait for warmer temps no longer.
So off we went. It was clear, cool with temps in the low 40's. Fortunately there was only a gentle breeze so the wind chill was not too bad. Above is a picture exiting our marina in the channel out to the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW)
Here is the Admiral keeping watch over my helmsmanship.
It was a short 4 mile run down the ICW to Towne Creek Marina (remember that place Hayden?) where ei' Lean will sit until mid January when we will move her back here.
ei' Leans new (Temporary) home
This truck driving Mama drove us home
This is a picture of the marina this morning. There are only about 15 boats remaining to be moved. It is my understanding that there are 6 people who are refusing to move their boats. (there's always a few bad apples). It's looking pretty strange back there now with so few boats remaining.
Well we woke up to freezing temps - packed up the Doodles yesterday (Saturday) and headed 3 hrs east to Jordan Lake State Park.
This was us leaving Stone Mountain.
Jordan Lake is quite a beautiful area. Lots of Pine and Oak trees. It was one of those clear late fall days, the sky was bright blue, cloudless, crystal clear, and we had the wind and chilly temps to match.
Hanging out at the day-use area
The odd thing here was that when we arrived at noon - we were informed that someone had been camping on our site the night before and since check out time was not till 3pm, we would have to go somewhere and hang out till then. When I asked if we could check in once they left the Ranger said yes. However we would not be allowed to enter the campground to check to see if they were gone, and most people do not check out when they leave - they just leave. So.... The bottom line is we had to go to a day use area for a few hours and hang out. No big deal but it would have been nice to drop off the camper and go exploring earlier.
Our Campsite on the lake
Early Morning Mist
Next weekend we hook up with friends who have a big class A RV down south in Myrtle Beach, SC.
Ok let me warn you right off. I'm feeling a bit nostalgic today so I might start waxing philosophical.
One of the reasons for our visit here at Stone Mountain State Park was our desire to visit Mt. Airy, NC the birthplace and home of Andy Griffith. It was Mt. Airy that Andy used as the basis for Mayberry. Many of the places mentioned in the series - Floyds Barbershop, Snappy Luch, well they are right here in Mt. Airy.
I don't know about you, but I grew up watching Andy, and Opie, Aunt Bea, Helen and of course Barney Fife. There was always a lesson to learn, and a value to be gleaned from each and every show. Tolerance, Compassion, Responsibility.... it had them all. We might not have realized it then, but looking back it's hard not to see.
It was a special place and time. Those of us who were able to live then, and share in that special place were truly blessed.
They say you cant go back home - and I for one am a believer in that. Try as I have, I've learned that lesson the hard way. So todays adventure - while not truly going back to that place and time, at least was a fond remembrance.
Our Day in Mayberry started with Lunch at Snappys and of course that means their Pork Chop Sandwich with the works. This is not a meal for the faint of heart. This is not Nouveau Cuisine. No this is good old down home Southern Cooking with all the cholesterol that you can handle. But boy was it good! They say this place is unchanged since Andy sat here as a young boy and the recipe is the same.
Walking the streets with the Doodles is always good for meeting people, and while Kate went in and out of all the stores, I stroked my Doodles on Main St and got to meet all the local characters. I have to tell you, one deputy who called him self Barney wanted to give me a ticket (just for fun) and one other gent who was the spitting image of Don Knotts in his later years stopped to welcome us to town and tell us how glad he was that we were here.
I have to say this just might be the friendliest town that we have ever been to and we've been to some friendly ones.
Several times we saw the Mayberry Squad Car drive by. There were several of them. Ford Galaxy 500's. I don't have a clue to what the year is but they are the real deal.
On the way out of town we stopped by the Andy Griffith Museum where they have this bronze statue out front. Remember the opening scene where Andy & Opie walk hand in hand to the "fishing hole". Well here it is preserved for all time.
It was a great day with alot of fond memories. Thanks Mayberry.
Back at the State park, I just had to show you a picture of the road with all the Rhododendrons everywhere. This place is just loaded with them. We have to come back here when they are blooming. It has to be out of this world!
We are currently camped at Stone Mountain State Park in NC. Kate is playing a fireplace dvd on the TV and I'm sipping my morning cup of home roasted Java.
Getting here was a 6 hr ride here thru varying states of leaf color. Starting out at the coast we were in high color and by the time that we arrived here at 1,900' the leaves were all gone. The photo below was a stop that we made to pick up some barbeque for last nights dinner. The trees were so pretty that I had to take a picture.
The campground itself is not exactly the prettiest that we've been to but our site is backed up to a Rhododendron forest. I would imagine that in the spring it would be quite spectacular. Reminds me of camping in Oregon. We did have a wonderful sunset however. By the time I got around to snapping a shot it had diminished somewhat.
We are only a few miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway and Mayberry so tomorrow we will do some exploring. Today I think it will be couch potatoes, movies, and of course...... Dinner.
As for the holiday feast - Kate and I cooked Thanksgiving dinner on Tuesday and immediately shrink wrapped and refrigerated everything so today we will have the full meal deal.
We will stay here tomorrow then on Saturday we are headed to Jordan Lake State Park not far from Raleigh. It is 3 hrs closer to home and supposed to be beautiful. We reserved a site right on the lake. Should be nice.
It's actually surprising how many people are here. I would guess there are at least 15 or so families camping for the holiday. So much for having the place to ourselves. We are gonna have to go back to Granite Creek in Wyoming for that effect.
Till then let me just say that I'm thankful for the love of my life - my great wife Kate, our 2 little Doodles, great friends and a wonderful life. I'm a lucky guy and I couldn't ask for more.
Friday morning dawned cloudy but the forecast called for clearing and cool temperatures. Perfect for a quick weekend test run of the new camper. A flock of White Ibis (and one odd bird) strolled across the back lawn to send us off.
Our home for the weekend is Cedar Pt Campground in Croatan National Forest.
Only 40 min from the house and a couple of miles to the beach.
Yesterday, Sept 25th, at 2;12 pm we closed the loop on this trip.
What I mean by that is our outbound and inbound paths have now crossed.
From that point we are now backtracking our outbound path. I've always said however that one needs to travel the roads in life in both directions.... The view is totally different each way.
In a few days, when I get home, I'm going to put together a clickable google map, where you will be able to click on specific points, see a picture of that point, and perhaps a bit of a story related to the point as well. Isn't technology great!
Today we are going to spend the day here at Land between the Lakes (Interlaken of sorts - just not as pretty) - we will start organizing our gear, packing up some stuff, and get ready to transfer all of our stuff to the van tomorrow night when we get to our hotel.
Now - a short video of Gracie bopping to the tunes as we head down the road.
Today we traveled 9 hours from our camp in Iowa to tonights camp at Lake Barkley State Resort in Kentucky. We will now stay here tonight and tomorrow before making the final push to Alabama in preparation of turning in the RV and sadly heading back home.
On the way, our travel plans took us within a few miles of the breeder where I acquired Lucy, our second Labradoodle, so we could not resist a side trip to stop in and say hello, and reacquaint Lucy with her mom.
Since I flew out to pick up Lucy, Kate had never been here so it was a special treat for her.
Our timing was perfect. They had a litter of pups just last week, and then last night they had a second litter of 11 puppies..... Yes I said 11! That is a very large litter for a Mini Australian Labradoodle.
Anyway - here are few shots of our visit
This is Lucy's Mom - Cimmaron
This is Cimmaron (L) and Lucy (R)
this is a bunch of 6 month old dogs for sale.
Kate wanted to take them all home, especially "Apollo" the dark one with the white stripe on the right.
Kate in the Pen for Playtime
The Breeders - LaNese & Ron Duncan of Quad City Labradoodles really love their dogs and do the most to make sure that they produce a healthy, socialized family pet.
If you are in the market for a great dog you should check them out.
I can honestly say that our Lucy is the best dog that we have ever had.
Thanks Ron & LaNese. We enjoyed our visit.
We are now camped at Land Between the Lakes for our last 2 nights.
After Little House - we moved into road mode. That is, we now started to make some miles and our stops were primarily planned as just overnight sleeping spots rather than destinations in and of themselves.
That said - our Friday Sept 24th stop was Palisades Kepler State Park in Iowa.
When one thinks of Iowa, you usually picture endless plains, and fields of corn, but if you get off of the Interstate there is much more to the "CornPatch" as it is referred to by Truckers.
Our night spent as this great state park was short, but the variety of hardwoods, the friendliness of the people, and the beauty of this Location, just outside of Cedar Rapids on the Cedar River made it a winner in our book and certainly worthy of a return visit when we have more time to walk the numerous hiking trails.
Hot showers, Electric Hookups, and $16.00 per night - what's not to love?
I realized that I did not have any decent photos of the outside of the Ingalls Cabin (yes the actual thing) so in the morning before we left, Kate and I fired up the golf cart ( did we tell you that the lady gave us the keys to the golf cart and told us to go explore the homestead) and off we went in the morning to take a few more shots....
This is the actual Charles Ingalls cabin. Not quite the same as little house on the prairie, but Hollywood never was one to shy away from "artistic license"
This is the house (on left) with the Livestock Barn on the right
This is the front of the house.
The Kitchen and doors to both bedrooms were beyond the front door and the sitting room was the area to the right.
This is the back of the house.
Maw & Paws bedroom was the window on the right. The wall between the Parents and the girls was just to the right of the window.
Tonight Maw and I are camped on the Charles Ingall homestead. This the the real homestead where most of the stories from the Little House on the Prairie series took place.
Its been a rainy windy travel day, and when we arrived we were the only ones here. The lady running the place gave us the keys to a golf cart to tour the homestead and now we are camped here. Its a windy evening and we have the place to ourselves. It's really a hoot.