Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Oh this gorgeous scenery

 I awoke Monday morning to a slight drizzle, actually it was more like a heavy mist.  So on went the coffee pot and I cranked up the heater a bit since the outside temperature was only in the high 40's.  We spent a leisurely morning, enjoying our coffee, figuring out our days plans and still working on all the ins and outs so to speak of our new land yacht.  I wandered over to the shower house to take a shower.  Upon entering I had a  huge flash back of when I used to work at Lutheran Memorial Camp during my high school years.  Not sure exactly why, but I can remember working there in the winter and the warmest place was always the restrooms.  The temperature in this restroom was whoa pretty much off the charts.  I definitely was not going to get cold.  Neither was that huge spider that was sharing the warmth with me.  So glad that certain family members (you know who you are) were not there to share in the experience, it wouldn't have been pretty. I chose to let it occupy the shower next to me and just leave it alone.  Okay enough about this.

Before leaving this nice little camp ground we decided to take a hike up to the water falls they had mentioned in the brochure.  It was still pretty misty and overcast, but the hike was enjoyable and the scenery was delightful.

Our little home away from home tucked in amongst the trees
There was a small stream close by
Someone in the campground had gotten creative.

The waterfalls
Of course we had to do the selfie.  Hard to get it in focus when you can't see through the lens.

We finished up our hike, returned back to the trailer and worked on getting ready to hit the road.  Traveling with the trailer is a lot like the boat in the sense that there is a list of things that need to be done before getting under way.  Things that if not done properly can be a bit detrimental.  

By 11:30 we were on the road towards Greensboro, NC.  We had about 3 hours of driving today and it all went pretty well.  We were both so joyously overwhelmed by the scenery. The leaves in the mountains were just breathtaking.  That really doesn't begin to describe the view.  Even on an overcast day they still looked spectacular.  Below are some photos of along the way.  They really do not do them just since I took them out the truck window, but you can get an idea of the magnitude of the view.  

Tunnel Driving

Our truck found it's name sake.

We arrived safely at the Greensboro Campground and after settling in, we went in search of a grocery store to do some stocking up.  Mike also contacted our friend Jeff Bacon to find out where he and Sandy where currently docked.  After some "lively" conversation we decided we should be able to make it to their location by Tuesday afternoon.  So looking forward to seeing these two and Hatch (their pup).  I made burritos for dinner and treated ourselves with some cookies hot out of the oven while we settled in to watch Dancing with the Stars. Then off to bed (well at least for me).  Tomorrow we are off to the coast of NC.

Monday, October 26, 2015

And so it begins...

Whoa what a day!  It started out pretty well and then had a few ups and downs and scary parts. After we awoke this morning, showers were taken, coffee drank, breakfast eaten, we then began to pack the truck for the 3rd time.  We had already taken over two loads on Saturday.  This adventure is starting a bit differently than the ones we had taken on the Lady J.  I literally had a day and a half to put everything we needed together, packed and brought to the trailer, unloaded and put away.  Now needless to say I have had a little experience in doing this, but in the past it has taken place over a couple of months not 24 hours.  But we made it to the trailer by 9:15 a.m. and by 9:30 we had it all hooked up and ready to move, not too bad for our first time.

Every good journey starts with a good cup of coffee.

Hooking up the camper to the truck

Starting our way down Route 23

Across the bridge in Portsmouth

We traveled down Route 23 from Columbus to the river, crossed over to Kentucky, took a by pass around Ashland on Interstate 64 then over to Interstate 77.  The ride was beautiful.  Today had to have been peak season for the fall foliage, it was breathtaking.

A Factory
I actually took my turn behind the wheel today.  I must admit I was a bit apprehensive about the idea of driving something so HUGE, LONG, UNNERVING.  But Mike has a good way of pushing me to do things that are out of my so called comfort zone.  And like always it really wasn't as hard as I had expected.  I drove for about an hour, didn't run into anything, cut anyone off, run anyone off the road.  It wasn't as difficult as I had expected, but I still need to get the hang of figuring out where the back end is.  Note: we now use roadside rests much more often and now have to park with the big guys, we don't fit anywhere else.

Parking with the big boys
Even though it was overcast most of the day the clouds were just perfect.

Downtown Charleston, WV

It was hard to keep your eyes on the road with all this fall color surrounding you.

Now for the scary part.  Once we were on Interstate 77 South we decided to plug in the GPS.  I had updated it just before we left.  We call her Gabby, the GPS that is.  Yes we do have a tendency to name things, but anyway.  She told us to get off at exit 30 and follow this road, well about 3 minutes on this road and we had this really horrible feeling we were screwed!  As you can see from the pictures below the road is VERY narrow and VERY curvy.  Our first clue should have been the sign when we first entered road where it said "this road is not meant for large trucks".  Guess what?  We soon realized we are now one of those big trucks.  Now the problem was, other than the narrow, curvy road there was no place to turn around.  You can't just turn this thing in a patch of dirt, okay maybe a LARGE patch of dirt.  We drove for about 5 miles till we found a church that had a small parking lot.  It was worth a shot, the only problem is the lot was surrounded by a fence.  Well let's just say after we put our "mark" on the trailer this wasn't going to work.  So we continued on down the road.  About another 5 miles or so we finally found this place that held their emergency vehicles.  The driveway was large enough that Mike could maneuver the trailer around and get us heading back out to the interstate.  Can I just say he did an amazing job getting us out of this predicament.  Needless to say I was sitting in the passenger seat white knuckling it all the way.  

Well after that harrowing experience we took to the directions on the pamphlet we had picked up earlier about the campsite.  This got us right into the camping area without any problem.  Oh and as a side note, Mike was talking with the lady at the campground about that road we were on and she said that was an old logging road and that GPS systems seem to want to take folks this way.  Well guess what no more GPS for us, Mike just about threw Gabby out the window after this experience.  We are going back to a good old Atlas.  Maps are our friends.  

Can you see what was looking back at me?

Upon entering the campsite we were surrounded by all types of deer.  Its hard to see this little one in the brush but they were just right outside the truck window.  The campsite here is really nice.  We were finally all set up by about 6:30 p.m.  It had been a long day and on top of that we have somehow lost one of the sets of keys to the camper.  Luckily we have two sets.  Looks like trip to the hardware store is in our future on Monday.    

After I fixed us a little dinner and finished putting things away Mike went out and scavenged some wood and built a fire.  The man loves playing with fire.  I decided to try my hand at a little night time photography.  (definitely have to work on that more)

Taking it easy after a long day of traveling

The man loves his fires

Trying to capture the little bit of moon that was out.

Can't wait to see what Monday has in store.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Journey Continues

I have been leading up to this for over a week now.  Our travels have not ceased just because we have sold the Lady J.  As of this morning we are the proud owners of a 28ft Jayco Travel Trailer, hence the reason Grandma has such a big truck now.  Our old truck did not have the hauling capacity that we needed.  So we took the proceeds from the sale of the Lady J and purchased our trailer.  Mike did an amazing job on both purchases.  He studied and researched on the internet for about 4 days.  We spent 3 days just crawling around trailers, old, new used, gross, awesome, too big, too small after a while they all started looking alike.  During Mikes multiple hours surfing the net looking for just the right one he found it on Craig's list.  It was exactly what we wanted, brand, size, everything was perfect.  Including the amazing price the young man had it at.  We were afraid that it was too good to be true.  But came to find out the young man and his wife had just had their second child, she was currently on FMLA and was concerned that she might get laid off upon returning to work (others in her department including her boss had already been dismissed).  So they were working on getting their finances in order and needed to sell the trailer.  It was good to see these young folks doing the responsible thing.  The whole buying experience was great.  So we now have the big red truck, which my daughter so lovingly has named "Clifford" after the big red dog and a trailer to be towed by such a truck.
28 ft Jayco Travel Trailer

Living area

Kitchen, Fridge is huge compared to the Lady J

We wanted a trailer specifically with bunks so the grandkids could come along.  They are two full size bunks

Queen size bed for Nana and Papa

TONS of storage space

We still have the travel bug, but knew that we also needed a place to come back home to.  This way we can afford to do both.  Travel for a couple of weeks, then return back to Ohio to be with family and friends.

Our hope is that in the future we can take the grandkids with us or anyone for that matter that wants to join us for a little while.  

We have plans to leave in the morning for the southern states.  Our plan is to meet up with Jeff and Sandy Bacon somewhere down in the Carolinas.  They are currently cruising the ICW in their sailboat the Manatee.  We are really looking forward to catching up with them.  So stay tuned to find out where our journey leads us.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Honing my craft on fall colors

Anyone who takes the time to read this blog and any of my other ones knows that I am very passionate about taking photos.  I am not always the best at it, but I do enjoy it.  In fact I try to take some type of photos everyday.  My dear husband Mike is so patient with me.  We can't just go for a walk since I always have my camera in tow and stop every couple of minutes to take a picture.  Some times he will just take me for a ride in the truck simply to find new things for me to photograph.  Other times he encourages me to head out on my own and take the time to fine tune my craft.  I am so blessed to have a husband who encourages me in my craft.

So today instead of spending the afternoon packing he tells me to head out in the truck and take some time photographing the beautiful fall colors.  His comment was, "I don't think we will have too many more days like today so you better take advantage of it".  So off I went. I went to a park near by the condo and then drove a little further and found another park tucked back in off the road.  Took some great shots of the fall foliage.

I am truly blessed!

A little blurry, but I liked the look of it.