Saturday, October 31, 2015

Endless Autumn - Westbound Again

On Weds we ended our visit home and once again set the wheels of the bus
in motion.  Our eventual destination another winter in the Arizona Desert.

Unlike our past migrations however, this time we've decided to take it a bit slower
and meander our way west, stopping here and there along the way.

In preparation for the trip all the maintenance items on the bus were completed
and we are at 100%.   The bus was hand washed, followed by two coats of
acrylic paint sealer applied by hand.    This was then followed by two machine
applied coats of Carnauba Wax which were hand buffed.

When I was finished, the aluminum wheels had been polished to a high shine
and the bus was looking mighty fine. 

The night before departure Kate had cleaned the house and we decided to sleep
in the bus on the driveway so as not to mess it up - plus it just seems easier to
get underway when you are already on board.

True to form, as has been the case on so many other departures,
 our departure day was pouring rain so within 10 miles my clean and
shiny bus was no longer....

I've always said though...   a rainy departure turns into a perfect trip, so
I gladly make that exchange.

Leaving the coast - there was only the slightest hint of color in the trees.

As we travel across country the next several weeks we shall be in and out of fall numerous times.
At times the leaves will be gone, at times the colors will be peak.
Other times they will be only slightly changed.

These endless seasons is one of the joys of traveling during the change of seasons.

Our first stop was 7 hrs west in Swannanoa, NC about 5 miles east of Asheville.
Here we took a premium mountainside site at Mama Gerties Hideaway with a
view to die for.

The drive into the park was up a steep and narrow road - 1st gear all the way, but once
we were at our site - #37 - that climb is worth it.

The clouds had begun to part and the weather turning cool and fall like.

The following morning the rising sun painted the mountainsides with a red glow.

A short drive into Asheville for the day led us to 12 Bones Smokehouse.
An Asheville favorite - and one of ours too - we always stop here
when we have the time.

We took the food to-go and reheated for dinner that night.
On the menu:  Blueberry Chipotle rubbed Baby Backs!

After two nights at Mama Gerties, Friday morning it was back on the road westbound.
The skies were crystal clear, cool and calm.

You can see a couple of hot air balloons taking advantage of the calm air.

Lucy sure knows how to travel in style, 
napping on the couch while the miles roll away.

Friday afternoon we rolled into Natchez Trace State Park in Western Tenn.
We are here for Friday and Saturday (Halloween) nights.

Its Halloween and the rain has returned.   Lightly sprinkling on and off.
Kate & I slept in today, then enjoyed a couch potato day watching scary movies
all snug and warm in the coach.

Tomorrow we will roll another 4 1/2 west to Hot Springs, Arkansas.
We've never been there so are looking forward to our visit.
We will stay in the National Park campground and plan on getting some
time in the hot mineral baths while visiting the old historic bath houses.

Remember - if you want to see where we are, or have been, you can click on the
link at the upper right hand side of the page to see a real-time map that us updated
every 5 minutes on travel days.

Once on the map you have all the normal functionality of a google map, zoom in/out
satellite view etc.
On the map you can also click on the link (top left) that says TalesFromTheHighway
and a drop down box allows you to select various customizations.  Among the choices is
 "adjustments" that allows you to select a time period for the map.

For instance - If you clicked on 2 years - you would see our tracks for the last two years.
Its an interesting map - In the last 2 years we've put a lot of miles on.

Stay tuned for Hot Springs and points west.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

A visit from the fleet

One of the highlights of our year is the annual (and sometimes semi-annual) visit
by the Rock Hall Fleet.

Our waterbased RV Sailing buddies make their seasonal migrations north and
south on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) which passes right by our house.  
It's a tradition that we've been enjoying for about 7 or 8 years and we try to time
our arrival and departure of our own migration to coincide with theirs.

We will be departing in one week for our winter run west. 

The regulars:

Hayden & Radeen on Island Spirit.  Their Blog

Eric & Pat on Cutterloose  Their Blog


Rueben & Mollie on Priority  Their Blog

The Gang headed out to dinner in Beaufort
Hayden & Radeen on the left  Pat & Eric on the right.
Me & Rubin in the rear.
Kate & Molly in front.

Hayden & Radeen were able to take advantage of our slip in the marina out
back.   Priority & Cutterloose were just up the road a couple of miles at
Town Creek Marina.

Our first night together was one of Mama Kates Italian feasts...   
Eggplant Parmigiana, Ziti with Sausage & Meatballs.
Kate makes a mean Eggplant for sure...   I tell everyone its all about how the
eggplant is sliced.   (guess who slices the eggplant?)

First some antipasto.   I picked up Pat & Eric while Rueben remained on
his boat finishing up some electrical repairs.  I went back and got he and Molly
when the electrician was done.

The doodles made sure that they got equal time visiting with everyone.

After Rueben and Molly arrived we kicked it up a notch.

Soon it was dinner time...  Yum!

8 of us for dinner - sorry Pat & Radeen I didn't get you in the picture.

Yesterday Hayden & I worked - he on web projects from Island Spirit,
and I from my home office.
While we were working our fingers to the bone, Radeen, Kate, and Pat
went shopping and tried out for this years Santa Elves Review.

I think they make quite an attractive trio - don't you?

Hayden walked over mid-day for some expresso and doodle time.
The doodles go nuts every time that they see Uncle H.

Kate & I posed for a photo shoot with the Doods in front of the bus.
The bus is pretty much ready to head west.  I need to turn on the fridge and pack the
food and we're done.

After everyone spent some time touring the Party Bus,  I might
have some future land yacht converts in the making.

I could not think of a better present than spending some road time with this gang.

This morning Hayden & Radeen departed the marina to rendezvous with the rest of
the gang near Morehead City.

Radeen gave a wave from the dock and Hayden & I traded blasts from the boat horns.

Truly a special group of friends...
 All are incredibly successful people in their own fields.
Living each day to the fullest and not wasting a drop of life.
Our lives are enriched by knowing each other.

But as quickly as it began...