Wheres Ray/Wendy yr 2

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Leaving Jekyll Island

Hi all,
This has really seemed like vacation to us. Is it possible to take vacation when your retired??
  I had wrote that on Thanksgiving we had got a nice bike ride in. Well, on our vacations we usually kept moving so this was no different.
 We then toured the Sea Turtle Center. It is in the center district of Jekyll. Jekyll Island is used by the turtles for a place to lay there eggs. The area is very important for the turtles and a lot of work is done at the center to rehab injured turtles and monitor nests. It is very informative and nice hands on activities for kids.

 Another walk on Driftwood beach and then we would get to finally eat some turkey. We cheated a bit buying a prepared bird that only required heating but the girls did cook the rest of the fixins. And they did a great job- we all ended up stuffed.
  Friday started with a walk on the beach then we had to take Pats mom Gale back to the airport. We then took a trip to St. Simons Island. This area has a busy shopping area, kinda touristy stuff. It also had some nice looking places to eat so we tried some yummy burgers. There is pretty lighthouse that you can tour and go up in for a price, but we just took pics and waked about.

 After that (did I say we keep busy) we toured Ft. Frederica. This is a national park and Wendy has been adding stamps to her National Park passport book. It is an old town/fort from 1742. For $3 you can watch a 20 minute movie, take a walk through old streets seeing some foundations and many nice narrative signs. Well worth the time and cost.

     We then headed back to Jekyll to finish the day with a walk on the beach.
 Saturday our last full day to be here started with a beach walk. After a nice breakfast we hopped on bikes and commenced to ride 50 miles (according to Pat). Well it was probably 15 to 20 and for us plenty.

 We then took a short rest and headed to a Christmas tree lighting in the Jekyll Plantation District. We sure don't feel like Christmas season to us being 60 degrees.
 We had a nice bonus to the day- Wendy had posted some pics on facebook and a classmate  had seen them and said we were in her area. Well she said she was going to the tree lighting. We said we'd be there but made no plan to meet up. Well you guessed by now we met and got a nice little visit. She says she doesn't get many visitors from Wisconsin- but I highly recommend anybody looking for a nice beach area to come spend some time. And next time we will look Connie Jo up for a good visit.

 So it was dark and we headed back to the house. We were packing up so we could get an early start for home Sunday. But Pat surprised and said we should take a night time walk on the beach. He said his sore knees and numb legs couldn't get any worse.So off we went.
 Sorry this was such a long blog but we won't have much going on after this. We need to get some projects at Mandi's done.
 To recap Jekyll Island is a nice quiet area. It is not real big. about 8 miles long and 2 or so miles wide.Not to built up with alot of the shops and stores. They have bikes and golf carts for rent.
  They do have a nice looking campground that is all shaded. We drove through and it looked nice. The beach just good stroll away.
 And lastly it  is pretty dog friendly. Only on the south area where alot of the nesting takes place dogs are prohibited. On the north you can let dogs loose under your control (except for nesting time).

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

    Wendy and I hope everyone  had a good turkey day. It is a bittersweet one for us.
 It is our first thanksgiving as fulltimers and we are spending it with our daughter at the beaches of Jekyll Island.

 The bitter part is missing our other kids and our grandsons. It is also my first holiday after my mom passed and my thoughts and memories are with her and dad.
                               We have been busy the past couple days exploring the area.
Jekyll is a nice small island. It has good ocean beaches and is not to overly commercial or touristy.
 One beach area called Driftwood has many old oaks that have lodged in sand. They are a lot of fun to climb on and are very picturesque.

 You need to pay attention to the tide schedule, or else you may get trapped down the beach and find yourself getting wet to return. Pats mom tripped on a branch and ended up soaked. Luckily she didn't get hurt and was a good sport of it.

Gale, Pat, Mandy, Wendy and Ray
  On Wednesday we took a ride to visit Cumberland Island National Seashore about 30 miles south and then you take a 45 minute boat ride. It was a nice sunny day but the wind was cool. We crossed the island did a hike down the beach and visited the Dungeness. This is the site of two magnificent estates through different eras. These estates of the 1880's have burned and only ruins remain. The size is unbelievable and to think how places like this were built and maintained is a wonder.

 The island also has wild horses roaming about. We saw four right away as we headed down a trail. Later we saw more at the ruin sites.


 Turkey day Wendy and I got up and got a nice bike ride in. As always it turned out a little longer than we thought- dang- lost again. Oh well it is a small island and if you keep going one direction you will get back.
                     ( Click on the pictures to see them bigger.)

Monday, November 19, 2012

This for that

Hi all,
 First off I want to get a short brag in, two of our grandsons hunting deer in Wisconsin were both successful bagging their first deer. Alex who is 18 got a nice doe and Noah,15 got a nice 8 pt. buck.
 Deer hunting in many Wisconsin families is a tradition, and is probably the hardest thing for me to have parted from. Ask Wendy- she has heard me whimpering like a dog wanting to go outside. I guess I'll get over it.  

  To help get over it we trekked off to the beach for the week. Mandi has rented a place on Jekyll Island. Jekyll is located off the coast of Georgia and was only a 6 hour drive from her place. We will be spending Thanksgiving here with her, husband(Pat) and his mom(Gail).

 The place is only a block off the beach and a big bonus -- fresh fruit trees on the property that are ripe for picking.

                So the week will be spent with walks on the beach and exploring the island.

Monday, November 12, 2012

NC and family

Hi all,
 First off thanks to everyone for the good wishes with the job. In case you missed it we accepted a camp host job at Custer State Park for next year. We will be there (tentatively) May through Aug. 15.
  Also thanks to the people that allowed us to use them as references.
  Well we arrived at the daughters house on Saturday.( Statesville N.C.) We will be staying with her through the holidays. Mandi, her husband Pat and son Alex moved to this area in 2003. Pat had a dream of working with Nascar.

 He had some background in welding and took a job fabricating bodies for John Andrettis cars. He then got his CDL and works with Goodyear. He was then doing tire prep for Kevin Harvick.  He's still with Goodyear & team drives a Nascar hauler for western races.

 Mandi has a masters in accounting and is working as a senior corporate accountant at a company with locations in seven countries.
 We are very proud of them for following and making there life dreams happen.
 Alex is currently living with his dad in Wisconsin and attending tech school.
 OK I will quit bragging now. But--- we are proud of all our kids endeavors, I will brag up Colleen and Nate another day.
 We will be helping Mandi with a few projects while here. I guess you might say our first workcamp job.

  Today on Sunday with the weather hitting 70 we took a ride up to Stone Mountain State Park. We got in a nice hike with her doggies and saw a couple more waterfalls.

                   We'll work tomorrow.
                                               Thanks for checking in.

Friday, November 9, 2012

WOW !!!

Hi again,
 Its been a busy couple days- really. Well okay maybe not to busy but some big news is looming.
 I'll let ya in later.
 Wednesday we took a nice hike to see -what else-more waterfalls.
  We had to find some different places to go as the Blue Ridge Parkway has remained closed for ice and snow.
  We took a drive to an area west of Cherokee near Bryson City called Deep Creek. It is part of Smokey National Park.
  It said three waterfalls with about a two mile hike. First off we set the GPS and off we went. Maybe not a good idea. The road to the area turned into a dirt mountain road with tight turns and no shoulders. But we made it. When we got to the parking area it was quite crowded. Seems there is a nice road coming in from the other direction. Boy you got to watch those GPS directions.
 We set off to the first falls kinda following a crowd. It was uphill right away, we gladly let a few others slip ahead of us. I do not like to feel pushed on a trail.

 We made it to the first falls only .3 mi. from parking lot. Then things got interesting. We left the falls after 2 other groups and came upon a fork that was not marked well. After some deliberation we made a choice and set off. Well it wasn't far and we came to another trail splitting off. What the heck! again not marked well. Wendy saw a sign ahead and went to check it out. No sense in us both doing that.
 Well as I waited the two groups that had left the falls ahead of us came up from behind. Seems we took the right trail earlier. So on we marched.
 The trail criss-crossed up the mountain side then down the other side. When we got toward the bottom it met up with a stream. We just continued to walk along. After a while we hit one of the other waterfalls.

  We walked up another trail along the river thinking maybe it was a loop trail. After about as far as we wanted to go we returned the way we had set out. And when we were just about back we found the last waterfall.

 Overall it was a perfect day for a hike and they were some beautiful falls- but- this area could be way better marked. The signs were old carved wood and many times arrows not directly pointed.
  Done with the hike had a nice picnic lunch by the river.
 Well it was still early and nice and clear so we figured we had time to drive to Clingmans Dome. Just as we entered the main area we saw squad lights and knew- Elk jam.

  Clingmans is the highest point in the park. And boy was the weather different up there. 54 in the lower park and 29 up by Clingmans.There also was still some snow and ice on the roads. And the wind was blowing hard. But boy was it neat. We kept saying that it didn't look real. Well worth the drive.

 Okay now for the news you have been waiting for...
 We got a job!!! Aren't you excited? We are. We will be camp hosting at Custer State Park beginning next May.  It may work out good as it is until Aug. 14th. So we can head back to WI. and get some family time in before we head to a winter location.
 Thx for checkin in.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Waynesville N.C.

     Hi all,
Weather here in Waynesville, N.C. has been cool and rainy. I guess it goes to show you can't always run away from it all.
  This area looks like it would be full of tourists in summer and fall. They have many nice small stores on main street. We pretty much window shopped until we hit a general store with candy that I couldn't resist.

 We took a drive up into the mountains and saw some light snow. It must have snowed enough last night to bring out the plows. We stopped and made a small snowman from a pile of plowed snow.
 They also had closed the Blue Ridge Parkway because of the weather.

 It is to clear up the next few days so it will be good to get out and get a hike in.
  We plan on staying in this area until Saturday then we will head over to our daughter's(Mandi) house in Statesville N.C. We plan on staying with her through the holidays then off to Alabama.
  With the weather being as it is we have been home bodies more. It reminds us of snowy weekends in Wisconsin. Yuk.

   A good thing is we are staying in a private park. Wifi and cable tv. woohoo!
  We had joined a club called Passport America and we used it at the last 2 campgrounds. It gives 50% off on week days. We do like state and national parks but the private ones are nice for a change of pace.