Monday, October 29, 2012

Before and After Evacuation

Hurricane Sandy sadly interrupted our visit to the NC coast, but before that happened, we had a wonderful time in a wonderful campground-Cedar Point. Although this National Park Service campground only has electric sites, it’s still a lovely campground with a very entertaining camp host :) There is water available at the dump station when you arrive and the dump station is conveniently located if you need to use it during your visit.

Mike and Terri joined us there on Wednesday, the 24th. I was sitting in my chair that afternoon, reading their blog, when they drove by on their way to their site :)  We had them over for happy hour and chili that night as we caught up on each others travels and lives in the last 6 months.

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Thursday, we joined them for a tour of Beaufort, NC. We walked the waterfront before stopping at Clawson’s for a very good lunch. My lunch was, apparently, so good that I couldn’t hold the camera steady to get a good picture :)

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After lunch, we spent part of the afternoon at the NC Maritime Museum in Beaufort where they were preparing for Fright Night 2012.

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The biggest draw was the Blackbeard display and his ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge. There were numerous items on display.  In 1718, the notorious pirate Blackbeard lost his flagship,  the Queen Anne’s Revenge, when it ran aground in Beaufort Inlet. In 1996, the wreck was discovered and the museum has offered a small exhibit of them since 1997.

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We watched a movie about the  recovery operation of the Queen Anne’s Revenge. It’s a several year process and is ongoing. Very interesting. If you’d like to know more about Blackbeard and his pirate ship, go here.

We had a very nice cookout at Mike and Terri’s that night and made plans to visit Hammock Beach State Park the next day. We planned to take the ferry over to Bear Island where it is said the beach is the most pristine and unspoiled on the entire east coast. Rick and I had visited the main entrance to the park a few days earlier but at this time of year, the ferry only runs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and this weekend, the last in October, would be the last of the season.

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Friday dawned cloudy but pleasant but everyone in the park was aware of the Hurricane Sandy issue hanging in the air. About 11:00 AM we were informed by the camp host that we had until noon the next day, Saturday, to leave the park. We made the decision to leave that day and avoid the rush. We enjoyed this area very much and will be back. We still have that ferry to take to Bear Island :)  Mike and Terri also left that day. Terri had a doctor appointment in Raleigh that day so we all left and headed to high land in Raleigh.

We met up with friends Gary and Peggy as well as Jim and Dee once we arrived in Raleigh. We had a nice reunion Friday night with all 8 of us cramming into Mike and Terri’s 5th wheel for some homemade blueberry pie thanks to Terri :) 

We’ve had a nice time here, although it’s gotten colder, windier and rainier as time progressed. We’ve dodged a huge bullet as Sandy has done a real number on the Northeast and we hope all our friends and family in that part of the country is safe and sound.

In the morning, we’ll head out to Myrtle Beach, SC to join more friends for the 2nd Annual Carolina Clan Gathering. We were 7 couples last year; up to 20+ couples this year. We will be watching Sandy closely and praying for those sadly affected by this horrible storm.

Thanks for stopping by. Turtle

Friday, October 26, 2012

Evacuated!

Our time at Cedar Point Campground came to a premature ending today when we were told we must evacuate the park no later than noon tomorrow. Considering the dire predictions of heavy winds and flooding, we opted to leave this afternoon rather than risk driving in unsafe conditions tomorrow morning. Now, where do we go? The original plan was leave Cedar Point next Tuesday and drive to Huntington Beach in SC for the 2nd Annual Carolina Clan Gathering. It didn’t seem prudent to move from one coastal area to another, so we headed inland and ended up back at the NC State Fairgrounds in Raleigh! We just can’t seem to get away from that place :)

It’s a little different this time though! We have a mini CC Gathering of our own going on here! Mike and Terri were spending a few days with us on the coast, so they came to the Fairgrounds too. Jim and Dee were already here, as were Peggy and Gary! This area seems to be a much safer place to be than a coastal area for the next few days. If anyone else is traveling to the CC Gathering, and you’re in the area, come on over and join us! Nancy and Neil, you might want to start heading this way now! I see where Pennsylvania is going to get some horrible weather from this! Everyone that’s in the path of this storm, please do what you need to do and please stay safe.

This is a very short post and not even any pictures! :) I’ll get back to normal blogging shortly. We hope to continue on to SC next Tuesday.

Until then, stay safe out there and thanks for stopping by. Turtle

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Cedar Point Recreation Area, Exercise and Friends

We’ve settled in quite nicely here at Cedar Point Recreation Area on the NC coast. The week has pretty much flown by and we haven’t accomplished much of anything except for laundry :) That became a priority when we started running out of clothes :) You see, we didn’t have a sewer hookup out at Falls Lake and we don’t have one here either. Without that, it’s difficult to use the washer in the rig. The grey water tank would fill up quickly and we’d be pulling out to go to the dump station often. That’s more trouble than it’s worth.

It’s not often that I need to use a Laundromat but this was one of those times. I’m so glad I have my own washer/dryer that I’m able to use the majority of the time because the prices I paid to wash the clothes this week were shocking to me. Now, maybe they are normal. You full timers that use Laundromats regularly can tell me. Maybe I’m just living in the past. They had 3 sizes of washers. The small washers were $3 per load. The medium washers were $4.50 per load and the large washers were $6.25! The dryers were 25¢ for 5 minutes. It was $20 to do our wash that day and I didn’t even dry everything there. Seems a bit pricey to me but it had to be done and, it was the only one in town :) Guess I need to get over it because I’ll have to do it again before we leave :)

We have spent the rest of our week just enjoying the campground and the surrounding area…beach!!! :) Rick is thrilled that the campground is all paved and he can take his Trikke out for daily rides.

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It’s a great workout but if you don’t have a paved surface, you can’t use it, so he’s taking advantage. While he’s doing that, I’ve been walking. Those of you who know me well or know what a klutz I am, know that it’s better for me to keep my 2 feet on the ground or I’m likely to hurt myself :) The weather has been perfect for walking this week. I’ve done most of my walking on the asphalt also, but have spent a little time walking in the sand :)

There is a public beach access just a couple miles from here in Emerald Isle.

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The sun was shining and there was a nice breeze off the ocean.

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We almost had the whole place to ourselves!

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This is my favorite time of year to be at the beach. The weather is still nice but vacation time is over and it’s peaceful and beautiful.

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We also spent an afternoon with new friends Cynthia and Ronnie. We met them last year when we were back in NC doing the doctor/dentist thing. They were dreaming of joining the ranks of full timers back then and this year, it looks like their dream will come true. They have an offer on their home with the closing scheduled for mid-November. They are so excited!

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They were staying in a park right across the street from us. Quite convenient for a little get together :) We had an excellent “Linner” at Jordan’s House of Seafood in Emerald Isle, then came back to our place, sat around and visited while we enjoyed some adult beverages. They picked our brain about motorhome things and we shared what we knew. It’s a constant learning experience and after 2 years, we are still having “lightbulb” Light bulbmoments on occasion.  After awhile, the sun started to set and the mosquitoes came to visit so we called it a day and said our good-byes.

We still have over a week left to our stay here, so I imagine we’ll find something to get into before we leave :)

Thanks for stopping by. Turtle

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sometimes, Things Just Have a Way of Working Out

When we first arrived at the NC State Fairgrounds, we were told we had to leave on the 10th. We were certain we’d be done with our appointments by then and could, happily, be on our way. However, when you’re dealing with doctors and dentists, things don’t always go exactly as planned. Nothing super serious, but I did need a second appointment with my primary care doc and I needed more than another appointment with the dentist :(

Had it not been for those appointments, we would never have had the opportunity to spend some time with Gary and Peggy of Moorervfun! I was reading their blog one day when I realized that we were parked just a few spaces down the row from them! They were in town visiting family so we got in touch and made plans to get together. They were also getting “kicked out” of the Fairgrounds and we found that we were both headed out to Rolling View State Park on Falls Lake.

Having lived right off of Falls Lake for 14 years prior to becoming the Gypsy Turtles, we were very surprised that the campground was so close to our previous home and that it was so beautiful :) We had never been there before. Shame on us! We will definitely again though. It was a nicely wooded park on the lake and very quiet during the week. The weekend brought out the warriors and all their children but that was short-lived and we soon were back to our enjoyable peace and quiet. Because I follow Bill and Nancy’s blog, I already knew how much they enjoyed this park and that was one of the reasons we decided to try it. Gary and Peggy have also stayed here several times and loved it so how could we go wrong?

Falls Lake NC

We enjoyed walking the park. The beach and boat ramp were only a mile away so we would try to walk down there twice a day. It was a great hike. On our way, we passed a couple park bird houses. I’m not sure if they need to make a “site specific” reservation or it they are “first come, first served” :)

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We enjoyed a couple campfires with Gary and Peggy. Nothing like a fire and a nice glass of wine to finish off your day.

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We also had a great cookout at Gary and Peggy’s one night. Their friends Ron and Donna joined us. Gary grilled Italian sausages and we had a yummy feast!

Rick, Ron, Gary, Peggy and Donna

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Our hosts, Gary and Peggy

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Sometimes a nice cold beer is just as good as a nice glass of wine :) Thank you Gary and Peggy! We had a wonderful time.

Today, we left Falls Lake and headed east to the NC coast. We are now at Cedar Point for the next 2 weeks.

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It’s very nice to be back by the ocean even if it’s a couple miles away. We still have water right around the corner on the White Oak River and a salt marsh where salt water meets fresh water.

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We hope to take the Sea Eagle out and explore that salt/fresh water thing while we’re here.

Thanks for stopping by. Turtle

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Fairgrounds Have Been Invaded!

Thursday afternoon, after returning from that days appointments, we took a walk to see why there was so much activity around us all of a sudden. There seemed to be an inordinate number of motorhomes coming in and they did not seem to be affiliated with the fair. They continued to arrive Thursday evening and all day Friday so by this morning, this place was full! We have been invaded…by NC State fans and Florida State fans :) Their big game is tonight and because Carter-Findley Stadium, home of the NC State Wolfpack, is right across the street, this campground is THE place for the adult tailgaters. By this morning, there was one whole row of Florida Staters and about 4x as many NC State fans all set up with their regalia. There is food cooking, beer drinking, other football games being watched on outdoor TV’s, horseshoe games and a lot of camaraderie going on. They should be pretty baked by the time the game starts at 8:00 tonight :)

NC State Florida State Battle

While this is going on, the State Fair preparations are ongoing and in full force. They are putting up tents and dropping off banks of porta-johns all over the grounds.

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Some of the rides are arriving for setup

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Even the trash dumpsters have been given a paint job to freshen then up :)

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Everywhere we turn, it seems we see one of these pickups with a couple people in them, just driving around. Guess there’s a lot of supervisors :)

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This guy was actually working, mowing the grass :)

Well, we’ve had a full week of appointments and I’ve been poked and prodded plenty. On top of that I got a flu shot, a pneumonia shot, a shingles vaccine and a blood draw for routine tests. Both my arms want a break! But we’re not done yet…more to come this week. Wish me luck :)

Thanks for stopping by. Turtle

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Back To Where We Started From…

Almost 2 years ago, we packed up Lucy and headed south for the beginning of an adventure that is not yet close to being complete. We’ve visited 25 states in that time with 25 left to go. Make that 24. I don’t think we can afford to take Lucy to Hawaii :) We have been fortunate enough to have visited Hawaii in the past so will have to concede that state as one we will not visit on this journey. However, there are Canadian Provinces and Territories to add to our list and several Mexican states we’d like to see, if it is safe to do so. Our journey is far from over :)

This week we found ourselves right back where we started from: the Triangle area (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill) of North Carolina. We have several medical appointments lined up for the next few days. With any luck, we’ll get a clean bill of health and be on our way shortly.

It was hard saying good bye to Carrie and Thomas and the grandkids in Tennessee. We got kind of comfortable being so close to them in September, but we’ll be baaack! :)

We pulled out on Saturday morning and headed to I-40 E. The closer we got to the Smoky Mountains, the more it became obvious that Fall was in the air. It seemed a bit early for color in this part of the country, but we could see plenty of tinges with the promise of much more to come.

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We broke this trip up into 3 days. We do not like to drive more than 200 miles a day and prefer to do it in less if possible :) At the end of the first day, we stopped in Newport, TN at the KOA. We are not big KOA people. For the most part, they are way overpriced but sometimes you just have to suck it up :) Sometimes, it doesn’t make much sense to drive 20 miles out of your way to save $10, while you’re burning $20 worth of diesel!

Sunday’s drive gave us a visual of just why these mountains are called the Smoky’s. It was slightly overcast as we left the campground and the views of the Smoky’s were awesome!

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We drove as far as Statesville NC on Sunday and completed the trip on Monday. It was raining when we left and it continued to rain while we drove. Thankfully, the mountain driving was behind us, but it’s never a fun time driving in the rain and certainly not when you’re in a 32,000 # vehicle! This was our shortest leg and just before we arrived in the Triangle area, the rain stopped…and the traffic stopped too. Nothing. Nada. We sat. It’s times like these that do make it nice to have your home with you. I fixed us something to eat and we had lunch while we waited. The backup eventually dissipated and we were, once again, on our way.

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We arrived at the NC State Fairgrounds, checked in with the Public Safety Officer and got set up. It was cool and wet with a feeling of Fall. We were given permission to stay until October 10, the day before the State Fair begins. After that, they want these sites for the vendors at the fair. The old vendor sites are being swallowed up by the fair itself as it’s grown over the years and they needed more space. The area we are in is off the beaten path and all the facilities are new. This year, they’ve doubled the number of sites available adding approximately 50 more to the mix. It remains the best option for visiting the area and anytime after October 21 it will, once again,  be a good choice. During the fair, not so much. It would be best to find alternative accommodations.

Today was the complete opposite of yesterday. Yesterday the high was 68º and very Fall-like. Today, it just missed hitting 90º and the humidity was even higher than that! Yeech! I hope it doesn’t last long. We made a Trader Joe run, picking up a few groceries and a few bottles of Three Buck Chuck. I know it’s known as Two Buck Chuck, but at $2.99 a bottle, I think it should be “3”. We also picked up a coffee order at Staples. If you have a Keurig Coffee Maker, Staples has the best K-cup prices, bar none. Check it out. I normally have it shipped directly to us, but this time, because we are at the fairgrounds, I opted to have it sent to a local Staples for pickup…a less than 24 hour turn around.

Tomorrow, dentist appointments and flu shots! Yay! :)

Thanks for stopping by. Turtle