Sunday, October 30, 2011

Almost Time To Go

Our shortened time here at Corinth Recreation Area in the Bankhead National Forest is coming to an end. The campground officially closes to the public at 2:00 PM tomorrow.

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For all intents and purposes, we are considering it closed today. There is only one camper left other than the manager and the hosts.

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In our loop, Firefly, we ARE the loop :) It’s just us and the beautiful Fall foliage.

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Tomorrow, the last few items on the closing “list” will be taken care of, the remaining restrooms will be winterized, the gates will be locked and “closed” signs put out.

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We, too, will take care of our “list” and prepare to leave on Tuesday morning.

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We will miss this park. It helped us get our feet wet in the volunteering/workamping arena. We could certainly do worse than to volunteer our time in such a beautiful place :) We also met some nice people here but, as they say, all good things must come to an end :)

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We’ll see you from Tuscumbia, Alabama next time. Thanks for stopping by. Turtle

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Surprise Visitor and An Open Door…

 

We have been at Corinth Recreation Area for a little over a week now. This continues to be one of our very favorite parks. Not only is it beautiful, but the sites are all level, everything is paved and the grounds are impeccably maintained.

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It is also pretty much in the middle of nowhere, but that’s one of the things we like so much. There are hiking trails, there’s the  lake and there’s the beauty. Perfect!

When we were here in March, we did the tourist thing. You can read about that here, here and here. This time, we are just enjoying our surroundings.

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Because we are volunteering our services in exchange for a free site, some of our time is spent working. Doesn’t Rick look like he’s having fun?

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He rides around in style Smile

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Sunday afternoon, Rick’s cousin Michel from Montreal found us in the boonies of northern Alabama! He had taken a road trip to New Orleans and was on his way back to Quebec. The guys had a great time catching up. I put them to work doing a little grilling out in the rain :). It hadn’t rained since we got here, but started the minute Michel pulled into our site :)

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Michel brought a wonderful wine to go with dinner. Then more stories  and reminiscing was done :) Michel was our first “adult” overnight guest. He got to try out the pullout sofa bed and declared it to be fine :) I think he was being polite :) Regardless, we’re glad he found us. Safe travels home, Michel!

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After Michel left Monday, Rick and I took a drive to Florence, Muscle Shoals and Tuscumbia, AL. We wanted to check out a couple campgrounds up there. With this campground closing the end of October instead of the end of November, we were scouting a place with a monthly rate for November so we could stay in the area. We had, quite some time ago, made an appointment with Brannon at Custom RV outside Red Bay, AL for December 2. Lucy needs a couple things taken care of and we planned to do that before heading to Texas. We tried to move the appointment up but it looks like Dec 2 is going to be it.

One of the campgrounds we went to was Heritage Acres in Tuscumbia. We drove through the campground, which was nothing fancy but clean and well maintained, then stopped to talk to the manager. As it turned out, he was the owner and was looking for a couple to work on Wednesdays for him to give him a break. It would be a total of 12 hours per week combined between the 2 of us in return for our site for November. All 12 hours would be worked on Wednesday. The rest of the time would be ours. Such a deal we couldn’t pass up! I guess it is true. When one door closes, another opens.

Thanks for stopping by. Turtle

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Corinth Recreation Area, AL-Our First Workamping Gig

We arrived at Corinth Recreation Area in the Bankhead National Forest in Alabama on Saturday afternoon. We had agreed, back in March, to volunteer here for 6 weeks, starting Oct 15 and ending when the park closed the end of November. This is a beautiful, well-cared for park and we were very excited to be able to spend 6 weeks here in exchange for some volunteering.

Bummer! We’ve been reduced to 2 weeks. The park is closing the end of October instead of the end of November. Bigger bummer! We found out less than 24 hours before we arrived, so we had no time to change our plans. In fairness to our supervisors here, they also were informed the same day. We all ended up on the short end of the stick.

So, we make the most of what we have; we’re here for the 2 weeks. We’ll learn what we can, then move on. We both are scheduled to work about 20 hours a week. I start work tomorrow, working from 3-6 PM. Rick started today. He’s cleaning campsites as people leave, I’ll be in the office.

Our site

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Views of the loop from our site

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The drive to the office and the office interior

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The boat ramp

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Although we are disappointed in their change of schedule, we are not going to let it spoil our time here. We’ll take full advantage of the beauty of this park until they close and chase us away :)

Thanks for stopping by. wlEmoticon-turtle[2]

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Nashville Kids

After making a couple of quick stops through Tennessee, we arrived at Cedar Creek COE Park in Mt. Juliet just outside Nashville. First on the agenda: travel to Franklin to see Carrie, Thomas, Lily, Patrick, Maggie and Sabrina! And their brand new house! So, once we got squared away, we jumped in the Jeep and off we went. It’s an hour drive to their house. Nashville does not have any RV parks on the south side towards Franklin, so we drive.

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They had just moved into their new home that week and were still in the midst of boxes upon boxes :) After getting the grand tour, we helped tote some of the boxes in the garage to their appropriate rooms inside. After pizza for dinner, we headed back to our house :) This was the first of many round trips we made while here. We must find something closer.

The next day was Sabrina’s 2nd birthday. It’s hard to believe it’s been 2 years since her mom woke her dad up and said “it’s time”. In the middle of the night they got the other 3 kids up and headed to their other grandma’s house to drop them off. That’s when Carrie decided there wasn’t time for that and so they raced toward the hospital with all the kids in tow. Then, right there, before they even got close to the hospital, little Sabrina was born to a full audience! Luckily, the darkness of night preserved some of the mystery of birth :) Not a lot, but some :)

The birthday girl

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We have no pictures of the birthday celebration for her because she was busy sleeping. She had been wandering around the house for days, totally lost. She didn’t know where she was and probably was wondering when they were going home! She finally conked out. We let her sleep :) At 2, you can do that.

Her daddy and Rick spent most of that day mounting their 42” television, fishing the wires and  hanging it. It was quite the production and when it was done, both men said they needed a bigger one! I think it’s already on the wish list!

Thomas, Rick

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We  had a great time with everyone. Carrie and I did some shopping and catching up. It was great mother-daughter time.

Carrie, Patrick and Sabrina.

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The 3 oldest joined us and Lucy for an overnighter on Thursday. We grilled chicken legs that night and when dinner was over, we made Mexican S’mores. Now, those were the hit of the evening :)

Patrick, Rick, Maggie, Lily

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Lily, Maggie, Patrick

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We ended the night with a viewing of the movie “RV”. Although they had seen it several times before, it always brings a giggle, especially the dump station scenes :)

The next morning, we pulled in the slides, put everyone in a seat and slowly drove to the dump staion so they could experience it first hand :) Of course, they had visions of poop exploding everywhere and were not impressed with the actual process. Guess it wasn’t very exciting :)

Patrick, Maggie, Lily

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We bid our good-byes to everyone last night. Today we are enroute to Corinth Recreation Area, part of the Bankhead National Forest in Double Springs, AL. We are scheduled to do some volunteer work here in exchange for a free site. Stay tuned.

Thanks for stopping by. Turtle

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

George

I am so sorry I didn’t update you all about George in the last blog post! I got comments and I got emails, so just for the record, I am happy to report that George did not surface over the weekend :)

We all think we “know” where George is, but no one is talking. So, what we  think we know may not be correct, or what we once knew may come back to bite us :)

In any case, George is silent. Maybe George is trying to dig his upside down way out :) Maybe George is soliciting his sons to help him :)

All I know is that George may or may not surface at the next Carolina Clan Reunion!

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Thanks for stopping by Turtle

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Mini Get Together of the Carolina Clan For A Little Wining

We finished up our doctor/dental appointments on Thursday of last week and pulled out of the NC State Fairgrounds on Friday morning. We were headed west toward Nashville to visit our daughter and son-in-law and our 4 grandkids. 

A couple days before, I had gotten an email from our friends Laura and Bruce. They were thinking about a weekend in the Statesville NC area and touring some wineries. They were wondering what our travel plans were and if that would fit into our schedule. It was perfect timing. We agreed to meet at Van Hoy Farms in Harmony, NC on Friday afternoon and do some wine tasting on Saturday.

Before Friday arrived, our group had grown to 6 with Tricia and Dan joining us too. All 6 of us had taken part in the Cheraw SC First Annual Carolina Clan Reunion. We were really looking forward to a fun weekend! Saturday also happened to be Rick’s birthday, so there was no better way to celebrate Party smile

We took the scenic route to Harmony, avoiding the interstate until the very end. We pulled into Van Hoy Farms, the last to arrive. The owners had given us large pull through water and electric sites right by the office so we could be together. Everyone else that arrived chose the FHU sites in the back of the property, so we had this area all to ourselves.

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We commandeered a nearby picnic table and, with the owners permission, dug a fire pit for a campfire later. We found out later that these sites were usually not used except when there was some big activity going on, so they were not equipped with the standard table and fire ring. No problem for us. We are nothing if not creative :)

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The ladies had the best job of all! Supervising Smile

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A cool front had come through for the weekend, so a fire was the perfect solution. While Bruce and Dan started the fire, Rick manned the grill. That’s Dan with the blow torch. No overkill here!

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Rick grilled brats, we all added sides and before you knew it, we had dinner.

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Marshmallow roasting and Mexican S’mores for dessert…Yum!

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It was a great evening right down to the sliver of a moon.

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Saturday morning, we hit the wine trail. We stopped at 4 wineries and 1 Amish store. This is the view from our first stop.

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As the 3 of us ladies were wandering through their gift shop, we came across a kitchen towel that sent us all into waves of laughter. It brought back memories of Cheraw and a private little joke. So, Nancy Mills, this is for you! (Trust me, you had to be there :) !!!)

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After the first 2 wineries, we  stopped at the Amish store, purchased some lunch items and had a picnic lunch on their porch. I was so busy eating, I forgot to take a picture :) We finished off with the remaining 2 wineries and we are now the proud owners of 8 more wine glasses! Each of our tastings included the glass. I have stashed them for future use :)

Once we got home, another fire was started and we sat around and visited until dinner. Laura had a big pot of chili going in her crockpot and it was the perfect day for it. The wind was brisk on Saturday and we decided to eat inside rather than try holding onto our food outside. Laura and Bruce hosted in their 5th wheel. No chili pictures but it sure was good! For dessert, we had a birthday cheesecake.

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Tricia and Dan

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Laura and Bruce

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Rick and Gail

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We ended the evening back around the fire, but it was an early night for us all. We had a wonderful day and we were all very tired.

Sunday we all went our separate ways. It will probably be another year before we see each other again but we have great memories to take down the road with us. Thanks for stopping by Turtle