Sunday, November 28, 2010

Jordan Lake

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.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Meet me in Mayberry

Do you recognize this car?

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!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Day

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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.

Aufwiedersehen for now.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Maiden Voyage

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.

Lucy's looking out the window

Gracie takes a turn standing watch at the window.

(Notice the educational TV Show)

Do you think they look comfortable?