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Smokey Mountain National Park, Newfound Gap

Number of Visitors

Thursday, May 19, 2011

We are Back (Flushing-NY)


We are home, well we are in our house in Flushing.  Our home is parked temporarily in Amityville.

Tuesday night we stayed in a Flying J Truck stop.  Now there are Plusses and Minuses to staying at a truck stop.

Plus:  Its Free, Nothing, Nada, does not cost a penny.  That is if you don’t buy any fuel or food there.

Minus: Trucks make noise, A LOT of NOISE.  Especially when they are refrigerated trucks that have a diesel engine to power the refrigeration unit. The units are on 24/7.  What is worse is when they park right next to you and doesn’t leave until 1 AM. But I am not complaining.  After all it is FREE.  I guess the adage is true: “there is no such thing as a free lunch”.

We got up at 6 AM, after finally falling asleep around 1 AM.  Ate breakfast at Denny’s, which is part of the truck stop and left.

We got on the NJ Turnpike and headed north to the Big Apple.  We exited at exit #13 and took the Goethals Bridge, crossed Staten Island.  We waved to Helen and Stu as we crossed Staten Island.  Went over the Verrazano Bridge, up the BQE to I-495.  I must say NYC has some of the worst roads we have seen in a month of travels.

When we got onto the LIE, (that’s I-495 for all of you non New Yorkers), other drivers began pointing to the roof of the RV.  I finally pulled over to the service road at the Main Street exit.  I climbed up the the roof and found that one of the solar panels had broken loose and flipped over onto another panel and breaking it.  Now what to do, so close to home?  Of coarse,  I called Ralph.  I told him what happened and said I would drive to the house, or as close as I could park and call him back.

Luckily, by the grace of God, there was a spot right in front of the house.


If you click on the picture to enlarge it you can see Ralph and I on the roof.

                                  Pictures by Ann

So while we remounted the solar panels, Ann unpacked the RV thereby saving many trips to Amityville where the RV will be stored.

A great big Thanks to Ralph.

I have emailed the factory, where the solar array was installed to see if they will at least cover the cost of replacing the broken solar panel.

Se here we are in Flushing.  Going to doctors, getting the house ready to sell and planning the next trip.  Maybe up through Maine and the Canadian Maritime Provinces. 

To Be Continued…

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ann Saves the Day (Milford-VA)


Today we are staying (for one night) in a campsite just north of Richmond VA.  It is the R-D Family Campground.  The owners are friendly and accommodating.  It is a wooded campsite with level pull through sites.  It is too bad we are only staying here one night.  We will keep this in mind when we have time to really explor the area.


Now you ask how did Ann save the day?  It is a long and sad story with a happy ending.  The hinges on the rear compartment door broke. 


So Ann offered one of her favorite belts for Job.  I removed the broken hinges and cut pieces of her belt to make a temporary hinge until we get home and can order new hinges. 


Now I owe her a new belt (and whatever else) once we get home.  OK,  Ann wrote that so we will see!!!

Ralph, it looks like we have a lot of work to do starting next week.  The list of things to do on the camper keeps growing.

To Be Continued…

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Heading Home? (Surf City–NC)


Well, that’s a bummer.  Who would have thought that one month could be so short a time.  Well, I guess time does go fast when you are having fun.

Yesterday we drove up US 17 from Savannah to Surf City NC.  Surf City is about 25 mile north of Wilmington NC.  Since we could not get a campsite close to Wilmington we decided to go up the coast and find a campsite there. We could then go back down to explore Wilmington.

We are now in a really nice campsite right on the ocean.

Camp Ground - Surf City (1)Camp Ground - Surf City (2)Camp Ground - Surf City (3)Camp Ground - Surf City (4)

There are about 350 sites, most are permanent or seasonal. 

Today we drove down to Wilmington to see the city and visit the Battleship North Carolina.  That is one big boat, or I mean ship.

Battleship North Carolina (1)Battleship North Carolina (2)Battleship North Carolina (3)Battleship North Carolina (4)Battleship North Carolina (6)Battleship North Carolina (8)Battleship North Carolina (9)

The North Carolina was a WW II Battleship that saw action in the Pacific theater fighting the Japanese.

We then walked around Wilmington’s main shopping area and river walk.  It looks like it has been hit hard by the recession, as there were about 5 empty stores on the main shopping area.

Well, tomorrow we start heading back towards the Big Apple.  We will head up I-95 taking our time and should be back on May 19th.

To Be Continued…

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Grueling Schedule ( Savannah, GA)


Well here I am sitting in my recliner with a chilled glass of Chardonnay and the air conditioner is hard at work.  Finally, after five days of running around hither and yon, I can relax.  I know you all feel for me and will tell me so.

Last Friday (after a full day of pulling that 10 ton trailer around), we arrived at an RV park in Norcross, GA, just north of Atlanta.  I was so tired that we had to take a day off and rest.  We went to Wal-Mart for some items and to Publix for groceries.  Ann insisted on relaxing the rest of the day.  Of course, I wanted to keep going, but to keep the peace, I agreed.

Sunday was Mother’s Day.  After talking to Heidi, Andrew and Caroline on Skype, we went to the Jimmy Carter Center.  The grounds are like an oasis in the middle of Atlanta.  A beautiful place and very well done.  Adam and Debra joined us for dessert.  Ann really enjoyed her day.

Monday we hobbled over to the Atlanta History Museum.  There we saw the Swan house, which was built by the Innman family around 1931.  We could only take pictures of the outside. Also on the grounds was the Tullie Smith House, which was brought to the grounds of the museum along with several farm buildings to recreate a farm in the area in the mid 1800s.  In the main building of the museum was an excellent display with an audio tour of the Civil war.  The causes and the aftermath.  Well worth the trip.


Monday evening we got together with Adam, Debra and Ethan for dinner.


Tuesday we left Atlanta for Savannah.  We arrived right outside Savannah about 5:30 PM.  We are staying here for 2 nights.  Today we made a mistake, I am sure not our first and not our last.  We took a tour on one of those trolley tours.  A waste of $60.  I must say it is not the complete fault of the Trolley Operator, the town does not have much to offer (in our opinion).   It seems the only claim to fame for the town is that the movies “Forest Gump” and “The Garden of Good and Evil” were both shot here.  Other than that we were not impressed.  Tomorrow we are heading NW toward the coast.  Charlestown, SC or maybe Myrtle Beach.  We will let you know.

Now you can see why we are EXHAUSTED.  So all sympathy emails will be appreciated.

To be Continued…

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Relaxing Day (Atlanta–GA)


Today we took a day off.  Woke up around 7am ate breakfast and just did nothing until noon.  After lunch we took a trip to Camping World to get a water filter, a small refillable propane tank for the grill and a map of the US.  The map is an outline of the US with all of the states.  It goes on the side of the camper.  As you travel across the states you fill in the states that you stay in.  You cannot count the states that you just drive through.


Yesterday we had our first major major problem.  The main satellite box that is the DVR started to turn itself off.  I let it cool down and it worked for a while but then it would not work at all.  This is the box I took from the house with all of our recorded shows   Since we are not at home, I could not call Dish for a replacement.  That means that there is no TV in the Roan.  OMG.  Not to worry,  I took the satellite box from the bedroom and moved it to the living room.  Now I have TV in the living room.  For $40 and a USB drive you can convert the box to a DVR. So that is what I did.

I am sure you all feel better now.  Major catastrophe averted.  I can sleep tonight knowing I can record my shows and not have to watch the commercials.

To be Continued…

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Smoky Mountain NP (Whittier–NC)


We left the Rally on Monday and traveled to a RV park in Whittier NC.  It is located in the foot hills of the Smoky’s. When we went to pay for the two nights we found that the credit card was declined.  After a long phone call to Capital One we found out that the card was frozen because of possible fraud.  There was no fraud that could be seen, but because of all of the out of state charges the card was frozen.  Now we had to get a new card.  That would take 2 to 3 business days.  So we were stuck at this camp site for the next 3 days.

As it turns out it was not that bad.  It rained all day Tuesday so we just stayed in and relaxed and went to Wally World (Wal-Mart).  We are becoming real Wal-Mart shoppers.  Wednesday we explored the Smoky Mountains.  What a beautiful National Park it is.

When you enter the park from the south via SR 441 you come across the Oconalauftee Visitor Center ant the Farm Museum.  The Farm Museum is a recreation of a farm that was in the area in the early 1800s.

We then drove to Clingmans Dome. We climbed to up the mountain to an elevation of 6,643ft.  OK, so we drove up.  As we drove the temp dropped to 34 degrees F.  It was a good thing we brought extra layers to put on.  The view from the top were spectacular.

Clingmans Dome Smoky Mtn NP (1)Clingmans Dome Smoky Mtn NP (2)Clingmans Dome Smoky Mtn NP (4)Clingmans Dome Smoky Mtn NP (14)Clingmans Dome Smoky Mtn NP (15)

The above pictures show the frost on all of the trees.

This is a slide show of the views from Clingmans Dome.

The following are just a few of the pictures from the parkway.

Some of the pictures above were taken by Ann.

Today we went to the Museum of the Cherokee Indians.  An excellent and well laid out depiction of the Cherokee people’s history.

Museum of the Cherokee Indian (1)Museum of the Cherokee Indian (3)Museum of the Cherokee Indian (4)Museum of the Cherokee Indian (6)Museum of the Cherokee Indian (7)Museum of the Cherokee Indian (8) 

Tomorrow we head for an RV park just north of Atlanta, GA to visit Ann’s nephew and his wife (Adam and Debra) and great-nephew, Ethan.

To be Continued ..

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Rally Update (Marion, NC)


This is the last day of the Rally.  Tomorrow we leave around 1 PM after getting the RV weighed.   Friday we went for a drive up the the Blue Ridge parkway.  To get to the parkway we had to take RT 226 into the mountains.  It was the steepest, curviest road I have ever been on.  We only took the truck.  There is no way I would tow the camper up or down that road.

First we stopped at Linville Falls.  After parking the truck we walked about a .5 miles into the Falls.

Linville Falls (2)Linville Falls (5)Linville Falls (6)Linville Falls (7)Linville Falls (8) 

Afterwards we drove further north stopping at all of the overlooks.  We stopped at the Linn Cove Viaduct Visitor’s  Center to eat lunch.

Right now we are sitting around Ann is at her computer reading the NY Times, I asm writing this blog and the washing machine is going in the bed room.We’re glad we did not get rid of the washing machine the way we were going to.

Tomorrow after weight in we will head to Smoky Mountain NP for a few days.  Then not sure what we will do, so stay tuned to find out.,

To be Continued ….