Friday, May 29, 2015

A Drive On The "Parkway", Two Dinners, Saying Good-by and A Little Shopping

Marion, NC.

61 deg. mostly clear, no wind.

Forecast = Mixed clouds and sun this morning. Scattered thunderstorms developing this afternoon. High 82F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%.

After Linda woke up and had her breakfast, Wednesday morning, the discussion of what she and Jim were going to do came up and even though the weather looked "iffy", they decided to take Big RED and head up to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Once up there the weather turned out to be really nice with mixed sun and clouds with the temperatures in the low to mid 70;s.

Jim decided to take NC Rt. 80 up there and Big RED said that it was an "interesting" drive with most of it being a very narrow 2 land road with lots of steep hills, curves and switch-backs all along the route. :-O  Once up on the "Parkway" though, the road was wider with fewer hills and curves and Big RED said that he really enjoyed the drive. :-)

There are places that you can pull off of the parkway that are called "Scenic Overlooks" and one of the first ones they came to was this Black Mountain Overlook. The photos don't really show it, but I understand that it was a long way down to the bottom of the valley and it was very pretty.

Just before they exited the Blue Ridge Parkway, they came upon a Motorcycle accident. It looked like the cycle had run off the road at a curve. There were other cyclist attending to the injured man, but Jim was able to use the GPS to tell them exactly where they were on the Parkway so they could inform the 911 operator that they had called. It didn't look like the driver was hurt too bad, but one of the other cyclist said that he had a lot of "road rash" and was bleeding pretty bad. :-(

I hope he'll be OK, His beautiful full-dress motorcycle didn't look to good though. :-(

After they returned, Jim took a nap and Linda did some more embroidery work.

Around 6:00 Jim and Linda headed over to the pavilion where they had a tasty meal of hamburgers, hot dogs mac and cheese all the fixin's and a brownie for desert. It was served buffet style, so you could pick and choose what you wanted. Then after eating they headed over to the bonfire that Howard had just lit and sat and talked until it started getting "buggy" and chilly.

Yesterday, Jim and Linda were sitting out under the awhing talking to Pat and Jim from next door when Linda Payne, stopped by for a little while and joined the conversation. That was nice and unexpected because she and Howard have so much "Rally Stuff" to do to keep everything going smoothly.

After lunch, Jim and Linda took Big RED and headed over to the Tom Johnson RV Center store where Jim bought a new fitting for his sewer hose. It's the one that screws into the fitting at the CG and the old one he's using now is getting all weathered from age. He's afraid that one of these days it's just going to fall apart.

For dinner, Jim and Linda decided to go out to eat. Dennis and Char had told them about a place called "FATZ" that they had been to, so they headed over there and had excellent fish and chips meals at a very reasonable price. :-)

By the time they returned here to the park, it had started to rain off and on, so they came inside and watched TV.

A little later, Dennis and Char stopped by to say good-by. They're needing to head back down to Texas where they work-camp at a State Park, and will be leaving early this morning. It was really nice of them to stop by. It's too bad that they had to leave the Rally early. Jim and Linda have really enjoyed seeing them again.

Hopefully we'll be seeing them again some day.

Not much planned for today. Big RED needs a drink of that good old #2 diesel fuel and Linda has a letter ready to mail, so I suppose they'll do those things.

Did you know that the Blue Ridge Parkway is America's longest linear park and covers a distance of 469 miles?


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The RV-Dreams Reunion Rally First 3 Days

Marion, NC

70 deg. Mostly cloudy, very light SE breeze

Forecast = Cloudy this morning. Scattered thunderstorms developing this afternoon. High 84F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%.

OK!! I know I've been sluffing off on the job, but I've been so busy trying to see what's all going on around here at the Rally that I've not posted on this blog!!!

I'll try to do better..

When we first came into the Rally Park, (you come in from the opposite direction from where this photo was taken), we stopped and registered here at the entrance to the park. Then, Howard or one of the other volunteers led you to your site.

This is what it looked like, the first day we were here, (Friday), before many of the others arrived. That's Howard and Linda's rig to the right of us and Jim is standing on the walkway up to the pavilion across the street

This is what it looked like after most of the other RVs arrived on Saturday.

The view from our site looking across the street towards the pavilion.

The pavilion is where all the meetings are and meals are eaten. In these 2 photos everyone is waiting to have a great breakfast.

Breakfast is served!!!
Jim and Linda have been spending quite a bit of time with these folks that they met at the first rally way back in 2008.
From left to right, there's Linda, Jim Thomas, Pat Thomas, Dennis Stanford, and Char Stanford.

Of course there are lots of other folks that Jim and Linda have met and become friends with throughout the years, but Jim has been kind of lax in taking photos.

Maybe he'll take more in the next few days. :-)

So far, there's been a Welcome Dinner an Ice Cream Social, a Breakfast and a Pot Luck Diner. There's also been Games in the afternoon, and a Campfire every evening.

Today, there a bunch of people going Zip Lining and to Food Tours. There are activities planned for most days and if there isn't, you can always take a drive up on the Blue Ridge Parkway or see other sites that aren't very far from here.

Did you know that North Carolina is the largest producer of sweet potatoes in the nation?


Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day

Marion, NC

83 deg, Partly cloudy, S. wind @ 7 mph. 12 mph gusts.

Forecast tonight = Cloudy with occasional light rain late. Low 64F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 60%.

Hope all of you are having a great Memorial Day Holiday.

Please take a moment to remember all those who sacrificed so much, so that we could be free.


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Forest City, NC To Marion, NC and Arriving At The Rally

Marion, NC.

48 deg. partly cloudy, no wind.

Forecast = sunshine. High 82F. Winds light and variable.

After getting ready, hooking up Nora to Big RED, more visiting and hugs, we left Forest City about 10:25 and headed West in US 74A for a few miles until we came to US 221. then it was just a matter of following 221 North until we came to US 70, just North of Marion. Following 70 SW for a couple miles brought us to the Tom Johnson Camping Center where we turned South on Resistoflex Rd and to the Rally Park where the RV-Dreams Rally is being held.

It was 11:10 when we pulled up to the registration tent, so it took us right at 45 minutes to travel the 35 miles up here. All the roads were very good and there was no construction.

In just a few minutes, Howard, (on his bicycle), was leading us to our site, # P6, which is right across from the pavilion. Being that there are only 60 some RVs coning to the Rally and the park is huge, they are parking most of all the RV in every other site, leaving an empty site between the RVs. That's nice and it doesn't feel crowded at all. :-)

I was kind of surprised at how many RVers came in yesterday since the Rally doesn't start until today, but then I realized that being that this is the start of the Memorial Day weekend, there's probably a problem getting into any CG this weekend as all the sites will be booked.

Some of Jim and Linda's friends stopped by already yesterday afternoon, and last night, Howard and Linda (the hosts of the rally), built a campfire over near the pavilion, where everyone gathered and visited.

This afternoon, there will be the "official registration" for the Rally and then this evening there will be a "Welcome Dinner" over at the pavilion with a "Welcome, introductions, schedule, and fun
Campfire" afterwords.

This should be a fun week and I'm really looking forward to all the activities going on around us.:-)

 Did you know that Founded in 1844, the city of Marion was named in honor of Brigadier General Francis Marion, the American Revolutionary War Hero whose talent in guerrilla warfare earned him the name “Swamp Fox”?


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Last Days In Forest City

Forest City, NC

65 deg. overcast, no wind.

Forecast = Some clouds this morning will give way to generally sunny skies for the afternoon. High 82F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph.

Our time here in Forest City is coming to an end. It's been really great seeing Roland and Louise again, and once again, the visit has gone by too quickly. There's been a lot of visiting and renewing of their friendships, some great meals that Louise put together and a nice meal at a local Seafood Restaurant yesterday evening.

I don't think that there's anything special planned for today, probably just more visiting. Roland talked about maybe going to a Harbor Freight store, but no specific plans were made.

Oh!! Jim took a few photos yesterday.
This first one is of a view from the road. That large roll up door used to be where Roland and Louise's motor home, "Big Herb" used to stay during the summer when in this area. I miss Big Herb, but he now lives with a very nice couple who are able to full-time and I'm sure he's happier than he was sitting in a storage lot or in this garage most of the year, since Roland and Louise can't travel much anymore.

This photo was taken looking towards the North from the driveway. Can you see those mountains in the center of the photo? (You can click on the photo to enlarge it to see it better). Up there somewhere is where we'll be going to the rally. :-)

As much as Jim and Linda have enjoyed visiting with Roland and Louise, they're really getting excited about heading to the RV-Dreams Rally in Marion, NC. Jim checked the GPS and it looks like it's only about 35 or so miles up there and the little gal, "Tilly", that lives inside of the GPS is telling him that it should take less than an hour to get up there.

Tomorrow morning, (Friday), we'll be leaving here and heading up there. We'll probably be getting there somewhere between 10:30 and 11:30.

Did you know that Memorial Day was first called “Decoration Day” because of the practice of decorating soldier’s graves with flower?


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Final Visit With Mike And His Family and Moncure To Forest City

Forest City, NC.

65 deg. fog, no wind.
Forecast = Cloudy skies this morning will become partly cloudy this afternoon. A stray afternoon thunderstorm is possible. High 86F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph.

After heading up to Pittsboro to get groceries in the afternoon, Jim and Linda had a nice visit with Mike and his family Friday evening. Saturday nothing much happened except that Jim and Linda did start getting some things put away in preparation for out departure Monday morning. Sunday, a little before 11:00 they headed over to Mike and Gina's house for their last visit with them.

After eating a light lunch, Jim got out his camera and was able to get everyone together to get this shot of Mike and his family.

From left to right, there's Savanna, Mike, Dillon, Gina and Brenna.

About 2:30, after lots of h and k, (hugs and kisses), Jim and Linda left Mike and Gina's and headed back to the CG. On the way, they stopped and bought Big RED a nice drink of that good old #2 diesel fuel. Once back at the CG they continued getting ready for our Monday morning departure,

Yesterday morning, (Monday), we left Goodwin's CG about 5 minutes before 10:00 and headed for Forest City. We took the Moncure - Pittsboro Road up to Pittsboro where we turned West on US 64. 64 took us through Asheboro and then up to the little town of Holly Grove where we turned SW on I-85. 85 then brought us down through Charlotte and Gastonia and to Kings Mountain, where we turned off of I-85 and onto westbound US 74, 74 Then brought us through Shelby and finally to Forest City and Roland and Louise's house which is just a little NW of the city.

It was about 20 minutes before 2:00 when we arrived, so it took us about 3 hours and 45 minutes to travel the 210 miles over here. Not too shabby considering that part of the roads over here were 2 lane and we had to go through quite a few small towns and cities.

For the most part, all the roads were good. There was a short section of I-85 through Charlotte that was kind of rough, but not too bad. There were a couple of construction zones, but none that delayed us for any length of time.

After getting Nora positioned, set up and plugged in so that the A/C could be turned on, Jim and Linda spent most of the afternoon inside of the house visiting with Roland and Louise.

For dinner, Louise made some great "Southern Style" BBQ pulled pork for sandwiches  and then there was more visiting until around 9:30 when Jim and Linda came out here for the night.

Don't really know what the plans are for today. I do know that Roland has a dentist appointment this afternoon to have a tooth looked at that is giving him a lot of grief. :-(  We're all hoping that the dentist can get it fixed without too much trouble or discomfort for Roland.

Did you know that Forest City was originally incorporated in 1877 as Burnt Chimney? The name changed to Forest City in 1887.


Friday, May 15, 2015

Final Plans Made To See Roland And Louise Before Rally

Moncure, NC

Forecast =

As most of you know, we're heading to an RV-Dreams Reunion Rally in Marion, NC. But, before we go there, we've been planning on stopping  by Roland and Louise's place in Forest City, NC. Well, yesterday Jim called Roland and final plans were made to head there on Monday and stay until Friday morning, when we'll head up to the Rally, which is just a little North of Roland and Louise's house.

Jim and Linda are excited about seeing Roland and Louise again. They only got to see them a little this past winter, down in Florida, so are looking forward to spending some quality time with them now.

The past days have been spent just doing normal things during the days and then going to Mike and Gina's in the evenings. There have been a few evenings when they've had other things to do, and it sounds like Saturday is all tied up for them, but we're hoping that Sunday, they can either come out here again or we can spend some time with them at their house.

Yesterday, Jim and Linda took Big RED and went to a Target Store and purchased some items for an embroidery project that Linda has planned. Today, they need to head up to Pittsboro to go to a Walgreen's to get a couple prescriptions refilled and then to a grocery store to buy a few items that they're out of. Then, this evening they'll go to Mike's for dinner and more visiting.

Did you know that today is "National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day?"

Yum!! Yum!!


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mike and Dillon Visit and A Lily For Linda

Moncure, NC.

66 deg. mostly cloudy, no wind.

Forecast = A mix of clouds and sun. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 92F. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph.

I was a little worried Sunday morning as the weather guessers were forecasting a 100% chance of rain for the day and I knew that Mike and some of his family were coming out here to the CG for the afternoon.

But, as I've said before, "Worrying works. 90% of what I worry about, never happens!!!", and the afternoon turned out to be beautiful with only a few small showers passing through.  ;-) And, being that Jim had the awning out and chairs set up under it, everyone managed to stay dry while enjoying the temperatures in the middle 70's with a little breeze blowing.

Gina, Brenna and Savanna didn't come, (they went to Gina's mom's house for Mother''s day), but Mike and Dillon came out here for about 3 hours during the afternoon.

Dillon is 7 years old now and he's at that age when boys seem to just grow like weeds. :-) I think he grows at least 6 inches in between each of our visits!!!

I think he's going to be tall, just like his dad and grandfather who are both around the 6'4" mark.

Mike and Dillon also brought Linda this beautiful potted plant for Mother's Day.
It's called a Calla Lily and Linda was thrilled that they gave it to her!!

Not a whole lot happened around here yesterday. It got up to 88 degrees here at the CG and the humidity was right up there too. Today, the weather guessers are forecasting the first 90 degree day for this year, but there's supposed to be a cold front coming through in the afternoon which will cool things down.

I sure hope that cold front doesn't bring any severe storms along with it.

Then, the plan is to go over to Mike and Gina's for dinner and to visit for awhile this evening. Jim and Linda won't stay too long though, because the "kids" start getting ready for bed at about 7:30 or so.

Did you know that May is "National Hamburger Month"?


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day and Virginia Beach, VA To Williamston, NC To Moncure, NC

Moncure, NC.

68 deg. Overcast, light rain at times, no wind.
Forecast = Showers and thunderstorms. High 79F. Winds ENE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 100%.

Happy Mother's Day to all you Moms out there, I sure wish I could call my mom and wish her a great day. :-(

I miss you, Mom!!!!

After lots of hugs, we left Virginia Beach Thursday morning at about 10:10 and retraced our route back to Pierce's RV Park in Williamston, It was 12:40 when we pulled into the park, but we did stop in town to buy Big RED a nice drink of that good old #2 diesel fuel before we arrived there. We traveled 121 miles.

The trip was un-eventful, the weather was good and we made fairly good time.

As soon as we pulled into our site and had the electric hooked up, the stabilizer jacks down and the slide out, Jim dumped the tanks that were very, very full. After putting away the sewer hose and connections, Jim came in, got cleaned up and took a nap. ;-)

For dinner, Jim cooked a couple burgers on the grill while Linda put together some salads. After eating the rest of the evening was spent watching TV.

Friday morning, the weather was still nice, (even though the weather guessers had been forecasting rain), so we got an early start on our travel day. It was only 9:15 when we pulled out of the CG in Williamston and started heading West on US 64. We crossed I-95 at Rocky Mount and then continued over to the Raleigh area where we took I-440 around the South side of the city and then turned SW in US 1. Following US 1 brought us down past Apex, (where Mike and Gina live) and to Moncure, NC where Goodwin's RV Campground is located.

It was just 11:35 when we pulled into the park so it took us about 2 hours and 20 minutes to travel the 136 miles over here. Not too bad considering the Raleigh traffic and construction on I-440.

Oh, and it never did rain on Friday as foretasted!!!!

We really like Goodwin's RV Campground. It's a small park and I'm not saying that you couldn't get a 40 foot MH or a large trailer in here, but It'd be pretty tight and you'd have to be a pretty good driver. Once you get into a site, they're quite large, but the trick would be getting to and into the site.

Marc Goodwin is a really friendly guy and usually helps everyone get into the sites, but when we arrived, Jim called him and he was busy elsewhere, so he asked Jim if he thought he could get into the site that we were in last time? Jim told him that he could, so he backed Nora into the site and after a little while Marc came by, welcomed us back to the park, talked with Jim for awhile and collected the rent for the 10 days that we'll be here.

Jim has already taken some photos of the park. Here's a couple of them. This first one is of the road coming into the park.

Our site viewed from out near the road

Looking across the road from the front of Big RED

Looking out from under the awning towards the front of the site.

As you can see by the photos, it's very hilly in this park. The first time you come into the park down the road shown in the 1st photo, (the photo only shows about 1/2 of the hill), you think, "What am I getting into here?", but there is some room to maneuver once you get a little farther in. Although it's very hilly, the sites are quite level and Jim only had to put one board under Nora's left side tires.

Oh, and you see those woods behind our site in the 2nd photo? We've already seen a fox back there and I know from the last time we were here, there's deer back there too!!!

Wildlife!!!!!  I like Wildlife!!!!! ;-)

Woof!!! Woof!!! Woof!!!!

Did you know that Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia who started Mother's Day celebrations also filed a lawsuit in an effort to stop the over- commercialisation of Mother's Day? She lost her fight.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Can You Believe?

Virginia Beach, VA.

59 deg. clear, no wind.
Forecast = Sunshine and clouds mixed. High 77F. Winds ENE at 10 to 15 mph.

Can you believe that we've been here in Virginia Beach for 10 days already?  Me neither!!! The time has flown by and Jim and Linda have been busy visiting with Joe, Nancy and Amber every evening and even during the days on days that they've had time.

Nancy has made some great meals and Jim and Linda have probably eaten too much at times. :-) The weather has been pretty nice with temperatures in the upper 70's to mid 80's most days and the lows at night have usually been in the 50's.

We've had a great visit, but all good things must come to an end, and today, we'll be leaving here and heading back to Williamston NC for 1 night to dump tanks and regroup, and then to the Raleigh area tomorrow. Actually, Mike, Gina and family live in Apex, NC and we'll be going to Moncure, NC where the RV Park is that we'll be staying at. Both cities are SW of Raleigh.

Speaking of RV parks, Jim called Marc Goodwin at Goodwin's RV Campground, (one of their favorite parks in the area), and found out that 2 RVers had just left so he has those sites available. Goodwin's is a very small campground, 20 sites), and is popular with fishermen who fish at Jordan Lake, nearby, and also with workers who come to the area to work on different projects, so it's pretty hard to get a site there.

We'll be staying there for 10 days also, before heading further West to see friends near Forest City and attend the RV-Dreams Reunion Rally up in Marion, NC.

Did you know that the states of Kentucky & West Virginia were formed from sections of the state of Virginia?


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Relaxing, Visiting, and Some Nasty Weather

Virginia Beach, VA.

50 deg. clear, no wind.
Forecast = Sunny. High 68F. Winds NNE at 10 to 15 mph.

Not much to report, but I thought I'd check in so you knew that I was still kicking!! ;-)

The last 4 days have been spent relaxing and visiting with Joe, Nancy and Amber when they weren't working or going to school. They've mostly spent time with them in the evenings, although some days Joe works from home, so he wanders out here to visit for a little while if he isn't busy. They've eaten some meals with them, but not every evening as sometimes Nancy doesn't get home from work until late.

It's rained here the last 2 days. Yesterday was especially nasty with heavy rain, temperatures around 50 and 20 to 25 mph winds with up to 35 mph gusts!!! There was a front move through the area last night though, and except for temperatures in the 60's today, they're forecasting great weather with highs in the mid to upper 70's, no rain and lots of sunshine for the whole next week. ;-)

The plan is to leave here on Thursday and re-trace our route back to Williamston where we'll stay for one night so that Jim can dump Nora's tanks. Then on Friday, we'll head over to the Raleigh, NC  area, to see Mike and his family.

Did you know that the first peanuts grown in the United States were grown in Virginia?