Wheres Ray/Wendy yr 2

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The fun begins

  Well we moved about another 90 miles to East Bank Campground. This was another corp park on Lake Seminole outside of Chattahoochee FL. There are 65 sites with a few right on the lake.

  We found another festival to check out. So off we went on Sat. to Quincyfest and Porchfest. Quincy is a small town and this ended up to be a very small festival. We listened to some music and walked around.
  After 3 nights stay we headed out for the final 140 miles to our winter home. We made it to our daughter and son-in-laws, Amanda & Pat on Halloween.
  They both were at work when we arrived, so we started our set up for our long stay. As we were doing this there was a ruckus coming from the goat area. Somehow a gate was open and the male goats & donkeys were in with the female goats! They were running after each other. It took us awhile but we did get them all separated. We'll see how many little goats there will be in 5 months.
  Amanda had been looking for different things to do on the weekends. Our 1st weekend we headed to Jacksonville to check out the air show. Traffic was terrible and we ended up going downtown to a BBQ Fest. This was a small festival for the size of the area. We enjoyed some bbq and listened to some very good country music.
  Last weekend we headed to Gainesville for the 36th Annual Downtown Festival & Art Show. The festival featured 240 local artists. Some very interesting one-of-a-kind pieces.
 It hasn't been all play since we got here. It's pecan season! Nuts are produced every other year and this year there are plenty. So far we have taken 100 lbs in to be cracked and blown. Then we go through the pieces and take out the remaining shell pieces. Still a lot more on the trees.

How they look after they're cracked and blown

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Slow Moving

Hi all,
So, not sure of where we were headed, a roll of the dice and Alabama was decided. Wendy had found a state park with some nearby waterfalls that sounded neat.
 Little River Canyon National Preserve located in northeast Alabama just a short drive from Fort Payne, Alabama. This was barely a hours drive which we sure won't complain about. It actually lies on Lookout Mountain which is really more of a range than a actual mountain.
 While here we stayed at Desoto State Park, a nice shaded forest campground with 94 sites.
 There were two pretty good falls in the area, Desoto Falls about 5 miles from the park, and Little River Falls only 10 miles or so away. These falls are known as "wet falls" being they are mostly the result of rainfall. Luck was on our side this time as there had been good amounts of rain so the falls were flowing pretty good.

Upper DeSoto Falls

lower part of DeSoto Falls
There was a nice visitor center where we were given thorough info on the Little River Canyon. We then headed for the falls and 11 mile scenic drive. It was a great drive with well marked pull offs for some awesome views.
 The drive  gets a bit dicey not to be done with trailers or big RVs, but perfect for the Silver Bullet haha. It continues along the river to the Canyon Mouth picnic area.
Little River Falls

mushroom rock

Graces High Falls

Another view of Little River Falls
 While in the area we checked out Mentone a small artsy village that during the week was pretty quiet. We enjoyed lunch at The Wildflower CafĂ©, offering  gourmet American fare in a hippie chic atmosphere. We were entertained throughout lunch by a local musician all quite fun.
 Next we drove another short piece 150 mile to Whitetail Ridge Campground on West Point Lake, La Grange, GA. This was right on the Georgia, Alabama border.
 This was a Corp park with only 55 sites, although there are other corp and county parks located on the large flowage. We sure like the Army Corp of Engineering Parks as they usually are kept up well and the cost about $24.00, of 1/2 of that if you have Golden Passport. They are mostly at large lake or reservoir locations.
 On the weekend here we took a little drive to Hogansville which was holding the Hummingbird Festival. A fun little town fest with almost 200 craft vendors and food, music, and games for the kids.
 Onward south we go another 100 miles. I am really getting to like this style of traveling. Another corp park White Oak Creek Campground just south of Eufaula, AL. This park holds 130 sites with many on the creek, which is more of a river and on Walter F. George Lake. We really lucked out and got a great site on the water.  
 Wendy struck gold again and found a great drive to make. She really should have been a travel agent. Off we went to Providence Canyon Outdoor Recreation Area. This is also known as Georgia's Little Grand Canyon. It was actually created by poor farming practices in the 1800's where land was stripped of trees and foliage for cotton fields. Soon the rains washed the sandy soil away gradually creating the Canyonlands. They are now about 150 feet deep and 300 feet across and slowly growing in wet weather.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Trekking South

Hi Y'all,
Now that we are in the south we have to get the lingo down.
This has been a nice drive down to our winter destination (Live Oak, Fla.). We had not planned much of it, usually making a reservation just ahead for a few days. One does have to make a plan where they will be on the weekends as things get full yet.
Our last blog had us leaving Indiana where we then made a stop at Lake Malone State Park, central Kentucky. This was a small 26 site campground off the beaten path as one might say.
Our neighbors
 We did a short loop drive of the area and watched as tobacco was being harvested. Other than that it was just a nice quiet place to relax a bit.
 Our next plan was a corp park in Tennessee but as we were packing up my portable oxygen concentrator quit. A call to the service center deemed not much help, a new unit would have to be shipped to us. So we changed plans and skipped the corp park to drive on to a Chattanooga KOA that would accept delivery of the unit. Luckily we now have the on board generator so we were able to fire it up and use while en route.

 So without the portable unit we were pretty much stuck in the campground. The new unit would take 24-48 hours to arrive. So since we had made the initial call on Monday as later Wednesday was looming I called to get a tracking number to check on it. Now the frustration really begins, for unknown reasons the unit had not even been sent. GRRR!! two days waiting and find this out. I try and speak to someone in supervision but that goes bad. Every time we made a call it was about 30 minutes on hold just to get a live person to speak to. I tried to be as civil as I could but said I expected the new unit to be shipped overnight. Well thankfully it arrived Thursday morning so Wendy and I could start exploring the area.
 The Chattanooga area is a beautiful area with Lookout Mountain and the Tennessee River offering great views and entertainment options. There is great history to be learned here as this was a major shipping artery during the Civil War and a great battle was fought in the area.
Point Park on Lookout Mt.
 The number one attraction in the area is the Incline Railway that has been taking people up Lookout Mountain since 1895.
 While in the area we also visited downtown Chattanooga, a free shuttle service takes you all around town. We also drove up Raccoon Mountain, and checked out nearby Cloudland Canyon Sate Park. All pretty cool, the only downside was we were to early to see much fall colors yet. It must be an amazing sight then.
Exploring Chattanooga
View at Cloudland Canyon State Park
Views from Raccoon Mt.
 We hit a small Mountain Festival that had crafts, Kettle corn, and some good local bluegrass music.

  Not to be overlooked one reason while here was hooking up with an old work buddy who had relocated down here.  We met Jeff and his wife Stephanie for dinner on Sat. And then were able to enjoy lunch and a  Packer game with them on Sunday. This was fun as we had not really seen each other in over 10 years so a lot of catching up indeed.
Jeff, Stephanie, Wendy and me

Saturday, October 7, 2017

And We're Outta There

Hi All,
 Not that we plan it but looks like we are down to our once a month blog post. I find it difficult to blog about being home in Wisconsin getting family and friend visits in. Time goes by quick and we just don't do as many interesting things.
 We did enjoy our time back home and got in many good visits. We always come up short on a few and are sorry we just couldn't check em all off. But that is a good reason to come back so we look forward to seeing you next year.
 We are also bad that we visit, have fun, and then kick ourselves for not pulling out the camera and getting the pics.
Our high school gang! 40 years getting together!!

My dad in his favorite spot watching the birds and drinking coffee.

Apple picking with grandsons Lukas and Isaiah

Halloween Campout with Nate, Colleen, and grandkids

A little Bon Voyage thrown for us by Ray's side
 We have now completed our 5th full year of full time RVing. Always a nice time to reflect back on the good times we have had and friends along the way.
 We headed out on Oct. 2nd, our plans pretty sketchy only knowing that we will be wintering down by Amanda and Pat's farm in Live Oak, FLA. We want to drive slow hoping to enjoy some fall colors. We plan to keep the drives short in the less than 200 range.
 Days one and two were spent driving through Illinois a quick overnight stop at Hickory Hollow Campground Utica ILL. Then to Peaceful Waters Campground in Bloomingdale Indiana. We really wanted to spend time here as there are 31 covered bridges in the area. But the all rain forecast has made a return trip to this area a necessity.
 Day 3 we have stopped at Lincoln State Park just outside Santa Claus, Indiana. A very nice state Park with Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial just across the street.
 This is a memorial to Abraham Lincoln as he spent ages 7 to 21 on the 160 acre farm. The memorial features some very exquisite relief sculpture works, a small museum, along with recreations of the original homestead.

 And yes it is Santa Claus, Indiana. Looks like a booming place if the Holiday Worlds Entertainment Park is operating. Off season not to much of a stop unless you need that one hard to find Christmas ornament. But a picture of the post office is a must.
What Wendy didn't sell was left at nephews flowershop for resale. Time to restock.)

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Enjoying time with family

Hi all,
 Things just keep rolling along. We completed our mini vacation to Michigans Upper Pennisula. This is one large area that one needs to give themselves plenty of time to explore. We just covered the central area and easily could have spent more time. It is just such a great area when the hot days of July and August are stifling in the south.

Bond Falls

Lagniappe Cajun Creole Eatery in Marquette

Lakenenland  Sculpture park
Upper part of Bond Falls
 Meanwhile back at Wendy's folks we are having nice visits. Colleen and the grand sons came up and we enjoyed a weekend with them. The following week Nate and a buddy came up to do some fishing on the Petenwel Flowage. Weather wasn't to great so I bowed out on that.
 We got in a visit with Marilyn and Bill from our Excel camping club. They live in not to far in Marshfield so we joined them for a nice lunch and chit-chat.
 Wendy and I took a little ride one day and ended up at Stevens Point Brewery. This is the second oldest brewery running in the original location. It began in 1857 one year before the town of Stevens Point was founded. It was a nice little tour although we hit at cleaning and maintenance week so no production was going on. They had a neat sampling area where good sized samples were available. Good thing we could use our sample tokens on some of their brewed soda so someone could drive home.
 It is nice getting to spend time with Wendy's parents, at 85 and 87 they get along pretty good. Her dad is actually going to work again and assist with the cranberry harvest. He has done this in the past and though he doesn't need the income he just has to stay active. He surely is something.

Isaiah and great grandpa celebrating

 Our next plans are to head down to Mukwonago (our old home grounds) and get more visits with family and friends there. We will hang there until the end of September and then begin a slow drive back to Florida, route not planned yet.