Friday, September 30, 2016

Visiting Friends and Travel To Moncure, NC

Moncure, NC

71 deg. overcast, no wind.

Forecast = Partly cloudy with isolated thunderstorms possible. High 79F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 30%.

When I last posted, we were at the Creekwood Farm CG near Waynesville, NC. We left there about 10:40, after a 1 nights stay and continued Southeast on I-40.  Since we had already gone over the Smoky Mountains the day before, the driving became easier the farther we went. When we got to Asheville, we turned South and then East on I-26 to Columbus, NC where it again turned South and we continued East on US 74. 74 took us to Forest City, NC where we turned off on local roads and headed to Roland and Louise's house just outside of the city.

It was about 12:25 when we pulled into their driveway, so it took us just about an hour and 45 minutes to travel the 90 miles over there.

The next 4 days were spent visiting, eating, visiting, going to get fuel for Big RED, visiting, eating and just enjoying each others company. :-)

It was sure good to see Roland and Louise again and we're hoping we can see them some more, down in Florida this winter.

On Wednesday, the 28th, after hugs and handshakes, we left Roland and Louise's in Forest City at about 9:50 and headed North on US 64. 64 took us up to I-40 where we turned East and followed it over to Greensboro, NC where we turned off on I-73 and then I-85 until we came to US 421 where we turned SE. 421 brought us down to Siler City where we turned East on US 64 and followed it over to Pittsboro where we turned off on local roads which brought us here to Goodwin's RV Park near Moncure, NC.

Goodwin's is a small park and they now only rent sites to RVers who have reservations, so you can't just arrive and expect to get a site. They've been completely filled up every time we've been here.

Anyway, it was about 1:30 when we arrived, so it took us right at 3 hours and 40 minutes to travel the 211 miles over here.

Marc Goodwin, (the owner of the park), helped Jim get backed into the site, (which required a bit of maneuvering), and even helped Jim level Nora, (side to side), with boards that he had available. He's a really nice guy and it's one of the main reasons we continue to come back to this park. There is another park close to here that we've used, but it's nothing more than a gravel parking lot with hook-ups. Here, we have nice shady sites and quite a bit of space between most of them.

We like this park much better even though it is a little more expensive. ;-)

We'll be staying here for 2 weeks. Most days we'll be here during the daytime and will go to visit Mike and his family in the evenings. Of course on the weekends, we'll see more of them. :-)

Did you know that on this date in 1939 - "Captain Midnight" was heard for the first time on the Mutual Radio Network?


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Jim's 75th, Leaving Rantoul and The First 3 Days Of Travel

Waynesville, NC

55 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Some clouds this morning will give way to generally sunny skies for the afternoon. High 83F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph.

Saturday, September the 17th, Jim and Linda took Big RED and headed to the Longhorn Steakhouse down in Champaign. You see, Sunday the 18th, was Jim's 75th birthday, but neither Jim nor Linda wanted to go on Sunday when it would be much more crowded at the restaurant. They both had very good steak dinners and really enjoyed themselves.

Then, on Sunday, Louise and Paul, (the campground hosts), had Jim and Linda over for a Pork chop farewell dinner, ( Louise didn't realize the it was Jim's birthday). The meal was great and the conversation even better. :-)

By Wednesday morning, Jim and Linda had everything packed up and ready to go, so after hugs and handshakes, we left Prairie Pines CG and headed East towards Indianapolis.

After following I-74 into Indiana, we took I-465 around to the South side of the city where we pulled into the Lake Haven RV Park. It took us about 2 hours and 15 minutes to make the  135 mile trip over there. After arriving, Jim took a little nap and then he and Linda headed over to Linda's cousin's house for a visit.

It had been a year since they had visited with Mike and his wife, Sandy. Both Linda and Jim really enjoyed seeing them and hopefully they'll see them again next year.

Thursday, we left Indy and took I-465 the rest of the way around the South sided of the city where we picked up I-74, heading SE towards Cincinnati. Just before the city, we turned off on I-275 and followed it around to the South side of Cincinnati where we turned South on I-75. We then took 75 all the way down to Berea , KY where we pulled into the Walnut Meadow RV Park.

It was a long day for us, but Jim did well and by the end, we had traveled  235 miles in about 4 hours and 5 minutes.

The reason for coming to Berea was to stop and see Linda's other cousin, Rick and to meet his new friend Barb. Rick went through a nasty divorce a few years ago, and everyone is really happy that he found someone he really seems to enjoy being with.

Anyway, Jim, Linda, Rick and Barb went to the local Cracker Barrel Restaurant where they all enjoyed the good food and the great conversations. Then, after the meal, Rick took everyone back to his apartment where he surprised Jim with a belated Birthday cake and ice cream for desert!!!

Afterwords, they all sat around visiting and catching up on what has been happening the last few years since they last saw each other. It was good seeing Rick again and he seems much happier now that he has met Barb, who seems like a very nice lady.

Yesterday morning, we left Berea and continued South on I-75, down to Knoxville. Just North of Knoxville, we turned East on I-640. We followed it around to the East side of the city where we picked up I-40. 40 then took us first East and then South down here to Waynesville, NC where we turned off on US 276 and followed it a few miles here to the Creekwood Farms RV Park.It was about 12:55 by the time we arrived and so we had traveled another 223 miles in about 3 hours and 45 minutes.

Another long day for us. :-(

Today the plan is to head down to Forest City, NC to visit Jim and Linda's very good friends, Roland and Louise. Long time followers of this blog will know that Roland and Louise have been very good friends for many years and they always enjoy being together and catching up on what has happened since their last meeting.

We'll be staying at their place, out in the country, for 4 nights before heading to the Raleigh area to see Jim's son  Mike and his family. 

Did you know that on this date in  1977 - "The Love Boat" debuted on ABC-TV?


Friday, September 16, 2016

Dave And Dee Dee Visit and Jeff And Heather Arrive From Portland OR

Rantoul, IL

64 deg. mostly cloudy, E wind @ 4 mph.

Forecast today = Thunderstorms - some may contain locally heavy rain, especially during the morning hours. High 81F. Winds S at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 80%. Rainfall possibly over one inch.

Dave arrived last Thursday but Dee Dee wasn't able to come until Friday afternoon. It sure was good to see them again. When he arrived, it was hot and muggy and the mosquitoes were just horrible. Jim helped him with some of the set-up of his travel trailer and then came back here into Nora's air conditioning.

Friday morning, Dave had an appointment for some oral surgery down in Champaign so Jim drove him down there in Big RED cause the doctors didn't want Dave driving after the procedure. They were back before noon and soon after noon, Dee Dee arrived.

Dee Dee and Dave

Dave brought some firewood, so one night while they were here they had a cook-out where they roasted brats and hot dogs over the fire. Another evening they all went to the Blue Star Restaurant over in Fisher, IL. During the days, they got together to visit.

Monday, Dave and Dee Dee had to leave, but before Dave left, Jeff and Heather came, so he got to meet them.  It sure was good to see Dave and Dee Dee again and Jim and Linda are hoping that we can meet up with them again this winter down in Florida.

 Jeff and Heather

Jeff and Heather rented a car and drove down here from Jeff's Mother's house. Jeff said that the drive  took them about an hour and a half.

After talking for awhile, everyone got into Big RED and they headed down to Urbana where they went to a grocery Co-OP store that Jeff and Heather knew about. From what I understand, Jeff and Heather belong to the same Co-Op group out in Oregon.

After returning and talking some more, a couple pizzas were ordered from Monical's Pizza.

 Jim and Jeff
After eating almost all of the pizza, everyone enjoyed more conversation and catching up on what's been happening since we last saw them 4 years ago. 

Jeff and Heather stayed until about 8:45 when they left for the hour and a half trip back up to Jeff's mother's house where they would spend the night before getting on a flight back to Portland, OR,  Tuesday. 

It was a short but great visit with Jeff and Heather. It was really good to see them again and we're hoping to see them again in the near future.

Jim and Linda are now starting to do things that have to be done before we leave here on the 21st of this month. That's less than a week away and as usual, they have a pretty long list of things they want to do.

 Did you know that on this date in 1620 - The Mayflower departed from Plymouth, England. The ship arrived at Provincetown, MA, on November 21st and then at Plymouth, MA, on December 26th? There were 102 passengers onboard.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

A Nice Labor Day Weekend and Gatting Ready For Company

Rantoul, IL.

74 deg. clear, SW wind @ 7 mph.

Forecast = Sunshine and a few afternoon clouds. High 93F. Winds SW at 10 to 20 mph. Tonight, partly cloudy this evening. Scattered thunderstorms developing after midnight. Low around 75F. Winds SW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 40%.

As many of you may know, Labor Day is one of my favorite holidays because after it, the kids are back in school, many RVers put their RVs in storage for the winter and most people have taken their vacations and settled down somewhere for the winter. That means fewer cars and RVs on the road and less crowded campgrounds for the most part. :-)

Also, the weather will start cooling down and if you plan your travels right, there's a very good chance that you'll have some beautiful fall travel weather.

The CG here at Rantoul wasn't completely full for the Holiday this year, but most of the good sites were taken. Also, it seemed like there weren't as many kids here this year. Either that, or they just weren't as noisy as in years past. Can't really say that about the dogs that the RVers brought along though. They were very annoying at times. :-(

Louise and Paul, (the CG hosts), had a cookout Saturday afternoon. They furnished the brats, baked beans and potato salad and everyone else brought food to share. By the time everyone brought something, (about 30 people came to the cookout), there were 2 picnic tables full of food. If anyone went away hungry, it was their own fault!! ;-)   

Jim and Linda went grocery shopping yesterday. There weren't too many people shopping the day after Labor Day, so it wasn't crowded at all. Again, they bought too many groceries and had trouble getting everything into the refrigerator and cabinets.

Tomorrow, Dave, (I don't know if Dee Dee will be coming tomorrow or not), will be coming here to Prairie Pines. He'll probably be getting here somewhere around noon. I hope the weather co-operates and the rain holds off so he can get his trailer set up without getting soaked.

Friday morning, Dave has a dental appointment to get a broken tooth taken care of. Jim will be taking him to his appointment because Dee Dee will be busy and he needs someone to drive him back here as he will receive a sedative for the procedure.

The weather for the Labor Day weekend was really nice, but is has been quite hot the last few days. This weekend, it's supposed to cool off again though, and we should have decent weather for the last half of the weekend and into the first part of next week.

Today and tomorrow morning, Jim and Linda will be getting ready for Dave and Dee Dee's arrival and for Jeff and Heather's arrival on Monday. I'm getting all excited about all that company coming and can hardly wait to see them!!!! :-)

Did you  know that on this date in 1930 - The cartoon "Blondie" made its first appearance in the comic strips?