Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Playing Catch Up and Easter April 13-16

We've had our Electra Townie Bicycles for several years, but haven't  used them very much. So since we were parked near Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA we drove the Jeep over and unloaded them for a scenic trek through the park on the designated bike trails.  
 
I was a little disappointed that we were a little late for the blooming of the azaleas  but it was a beautiful day and there were few people in the park.  The bike paths are in great shape, except for a little drop off on the sides (ask me sometime how I know that can be dangerous 😬) with few hills.  
 There were a few late blooming azaleas. 

The Chapel and my attempt at creative photography.




 A stop at the Butterfly Center in the park was interesting but it was not easy to get a photo of the active residents!


We enjoyed our 8 1/2 mile bike ride through the park! 


After leaving the park, we strolled through the little town of Pine Mountain.  There are several  little shoppes, but one that we found most interesting was the antique store that had a large collection of antique radios in every size, shape and condition. 



Easter Sunday was moving day for us.  One chore after parked under the trees for several days was to sweep the roof of debris.  I'm glad someone isn't afraid of heights!




Our Easter Holiday meal this year was different than in the past.  But I did make an effort to be festive and change up  from our usual cereal.  I was feeling a little blue though since we usually have a big Easter Egg Hunt with all the grandkids.  We did FaceTime with them though, thanks to our son and his efforts to round everyone up at the family picnic and egg hunt at a local park.  


This photo is so typical of any efforts to get all six of them together. We sure do miss these guys though.  The worst part of this new lifestyle:(  Thanks to our daughter for taking this pic and knowing I would have been trying to do the same!!  Happy Easter!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

On Down the Road April 3-16

Spending a week at Up the Creek Campground gave us a chance to get used to taking our home on the road.  Pigeon Forge was hopping with folks everyone, since it was still Spring Break for many and it was Car Show week also.  We really like this campground.  It's far enough away from all the traffic to be nice and quiet but yet it is on the shuttle route for an easy trip to all the shows, shopping and restaurants.  Every site has full hook-ups (sewer, water and electricity) but some campers might be disappointed that they have no pool, playground, laundry, or bathrooms/showers.  You need to be fully self contained to stay here.  The sites are generously separated and some are upgraded with patio furniture and fireplaces. 


We have a TV on the outside of the coach, so we tried that out when the weather was decent.  Otherwise we didn't do a whole lot.  We did take one of the popular hikes to Laurel Falls, along with several hundred other tourists.  Hard to believe I actually got a photo without anyone else in it! 

We had planned to drive up to Clingman's Dome, but a late spring snowfall closed the road.  But we did get an idea of the devastation of the fires in the Gatlinburg area last fall as we drove up Newfound Gap.  Spring is bringing lots of green though and the area will eventually recover.  We didn't drive into the areas where many of the cabins and homes were destroyed but could see a few from the main roads.



Someone was brave enough to stop along the busy road to make a snowman.  He was on his way to meltdown by the time we drove by.


Another hike with fewer people was to the School House (from the Metcalf Bottoms picnic area)   Some interesting creek crossings on this one.  So after our week's stay at Up the Creek, we headed on down the road  Georgia.  We knew to avoid the Atlanta area so after a good day's drive and a stop for groceries, we stopped for the night near Adairsville, GA at Harvest Moon RV Park.  We had a nice long pull through site since we had no need to unhook the Jeep.  This park is nice and convenient to I-75 and ideal  for an overnight stop, but not really a destination unless you have reason to be in Adairsville.  



One thing we've learned is to not trust Google Maps.   It will route you the shortest and fastest way to your destination, but there is no way to tell it that you are driving a 38 foot long, almost 13 foot tall house on wheels and towing a Jeep Trailhawk!  Sharp corners and narrow county roads are nerve racking.  We could invest in a special GPS for trucks, but we've heard bad things about those too. Instead, we (or I !!) will have to learn to do more zooming in and out on my phone before we commit to a route.  

But we made it safely to our next destination, Whitetail Ridge Campground on West Point Lake near LaGrange, Georgia.  We love COE (Corps of Engineer) parks.  They usually have nicely spaced campsites in scenic but sometimes remote areas.  And the price is usually good too, especially because we can use our Senior Access Pass for half price camping fees at National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands. 




We really lucked out with our site selection when I made the reservations.  This was  super long, level and private with a beautiful view of the lake.  I had booked only three nights, but we liked the area and campground enough to book another two nights, even though we had to move.



If we were fishing people, we could have tossed out a line!  Instead, we watched the birds, squirrels and enjoyed the peace and quiet (except for some noisy geese!).  The weather was perfect and surprisingly, there were few bugs out yet. But we did have several little hopping spiders visit us and hitch a ride to our next stop! 



We enjoyed our stay in the La Grange area and explored the Pine Mountain and Callaway Gardens areas one day.  I'll save those photos for my next post since this is getting a little long and heavy on pics!

City square water fountain with statue of Lafayette in downtown LaGrange.