Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Greencastle, Indiana

We wake up each morning to the pleasant smell of smoking chimneys, as Bob and Rita use two wood-burning stoves to heat their home.
With plenty of trees in the woods there is always work to be done.
The challenge is in getting the wood out of the very steep terrain and across the creeks that dot their property. 
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  Each tree presents it’s own set of circumstances.P1060167
Bob has been doing this for years and as he says,”No hill too steep—No creek too wide”.P1060168
The woodshed was full when we left last fall and already Bob is stacking new wood to be split.
We will leave here soon and continue on to the Chain O’ Lakes State Park for the month of April.
Map picture

Friday, March 25, 2011

Great Smoky Mountain National Park

We woke up to temps in the high 20’s but are quite warm in our camper with our catalytic heater going all night.  We hardly use our furnace at all and the heater uses no electric and little propane.

 The morning was as cool and clear as the water in the creeks as we rose in elevation on Newfound Gap Road, the only route over the Great Smoky Mountains.

                     Soon we were treated to our first snow in the Smokies. 

 This is the first snow we have driven in since Yellowstone National Park on our way home from Alaska several years ago.

 Due to improved pollution control, air quality in the park has improved 30-40% in the last decade.  On a good day at Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the Smokies at 6,643ft, one can now see 81 miles.

Crossing the Appalachian Trail at Newfound Gap, it was tempting to follow fresh footprints in the snow all the way to Katahdin, Maine, but that will have to wait for another day.

  We made good time today on a long driving day and crossed over the Dunbar covered bridge, built in 1880,  just before arriving at Rita and Bob’s house in the late afternoon.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lake Hartwell, South Carolina

A quick check on our property on Lake Hartwell in South Carolina found all to be well and the water level on the lake is near full pool, which is good news for us.

In times of drought, the water can be as much as 16 feet down and our dock can be sitting high on the sand. 

With everything in order and not much to do we made a quick decision to head on and soon passed through the Sumter and Nantahala National Forests--

-- on our way to our night camp among the trees and along a bubbling creek in Smokemont Campground in  Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

On The Road Again

After a month on our new lot near Ft. Worth, Tx., we were ready to leave the 5th wheel under it’s protective cover and head East in the truck camper on a seven month trip to Atlantic Canada’s Maritime Provinces.


The truck is ready to go with new tires, new exhaust brake compressor, and free upgrades on our tire sensor system and timbren suspension.



Adding a second 120 watt solar panel and all three AGM batteries from the 5th wheel  gives the camper all the power needed to camp wherever we want to stay.



We  said goodbye to the deer on our lot--


---and hello to the many spring flowers dotting the roadside along our way.





We crossed the Mississippi River at Vicksburg, Ms.



After spending this week visiting our property in South Carolina and then Judy’s relatives in Indiana we will head to Illinois.   The month of April, we will volunteer at the Chain O’ Lakes State Park in Spring Grove, IL and be able to visit our kids and grandkids.


After two windy but beautiful driving days, camp tonight is at Deerlick Creek Park and  Campground with the Corp Of Engineers on Holt Lake, Northeast of Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Map picture