Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Year of RVing and Thanksgiving

Well, the 16th saw us owning the motor home for a year. Once we owned it, we haven't spent the night anywhere else. There wasn't any bedding the first couple of days, but we survived with a throw. We have had a wonderful year.

I will say that the initial daily excitement of something new has kind of worn off, but the sense of total freedom still exist. As I get up each morning and sit in the observatory watching the news and sipping a hot cup of coffee, I relish in the enjoyment of this lifestyle. I have always loved to see daylight come and the motor home gives me the perfect opportunity to see the sights very comfortably. Before selling the house, I would grab my cup of coffee and head for the hot tub on the patio.

We have seen many wonderful sights this year and ended up back in our original neck of the woods to end the year. In our rush to get back to the Atlanta area in August, we came through some nice country we will get back out to.

It seems as if there is always some minor inconvenience coming up that needs attention. It is surprising that I can work through the problem and usually know what the problem might be and sometimes work around it.  This is a very complicated machine that just shakes and shimmy's down the highway.  Imagine driving your house down the highway and how that would end up. But even with all of those mishaps I wouldn't trade this for anything at this time.

I've also found out that with all my research of the lifestyle and RVing in general that I am able to help people out of situations or impart with some valuable knowledge.  I know that for some of you that may be hard to believe, but it is the truth.

Carolyn has really gotten used to the lifestyle and really enjoys it.  The motor home has all of the conveniences of the house and we have always used our on board shower and laundry facilities.  Note: we did have to take showers using hot water heated on the stove and poured over the head, but that was just for three days. :):)))))  Carolyn didn't think much of that idea. :)

We have spent the last couple of weeks at River Country RV in Gasden, AL.  Several people had stayed there and said it was nice and Amy (our daughter) said it was a nice place.  Upon leaving Red Bay we just ambled over to there.  We were only going to stay for two or three days, but upon arriving and seeing where they were going to put us we just took a week.  After four days we took another week.  The first week was very windy with hurricane Sandy and cool, but with our location we just stayed in looking at the view.  No sand, but plenty of fish and birds.

The second week warmed up and wasn't near as windy.  It allowed for a little getting out with some nice sunsets.  Oh and that is Carolyn...
Our friends Steve and Debbie had been in Red Bay when we left and decided to come by and see us here before heading on down to Destin.  We had a couple of good meals and enjoyed the park views.  Steve had worked on his sound system and had put all of his components being delivered to the TV's by HDMI which increased the picture quality and significantly enhanced the sound quality.  Before it was muffled and not clear.  We would have to turn the TV all the way up to understand what was being said for most shows. We worked on mine and now all is great.  All it took was an HDMI splitter and a couple of short cables.
We also worked on my coach radio and hooked my Zune to the axillary input.  Result is music of my choice while driving down the road instead of constantly searching for channels.  Crystal clear!  Wish I had done that before that 2400 mile, 4.5 days of driving last August. :)
Thanksgiving was very nice.  We had way more than we needed to cook and are still eating leftovers.  Got to see some of the family and Amy, Heath and the kids got by.  It was a great day.  We are very Thankful for the good Lord to have guided us to this point in our lives.  It is all about choices of life and what you do with the results.  We are at a good place right now and look forward to what is before us to see.  If it is anything like the last year we will be truly blessed indeed.
Come follow us this year and share our experiences.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Asheville and the Blue Ridge Parkway

Many, well maybe one or two, may be wondering if we are still traveling.  We ARE.  We are just doing it slower.

We went to the Asheville, NC area to see the leaves change.  We weren't going to drive straight there as it is a long drive from B'ham and we didn't leave until about 9:30.  An easy drive to Chattanooga rest area led me to call Miles RV Campground in the Asheville area to see if they had a sight.  They did and indicated that I was still over 5 hours away and probably would not get there before they closed.  Well, that was like a challenge and I put the pedal to the metal. I got there in about 4 hours like I thought and just missed the office by about 30 minutes. It is a decent park flat with paved roads and gravel and paved pads.  We got a pull through site and faced into the center of the park with a large football sized field in front of us.  For $25 a night, weekly rate, it was a very reasonable rate for the area.  There was a little noise, Interstate, highway, business next door and a train a couple times a night, but it was convenient to everything we wanted to do.  We could even walk to the Post Office and get something to eat.

I've been coming to this area for 30 years to see the leaves during this time of year.  We were a little earlier this time and arrived on the 14th for about the start of the change.  We were here for 12 days and each time out saw an unbelievable change in color. Here are a few pictures, but believe me, they do not begin to tell the story.

Several years ago we were driving on the Parkway and saw a Motor home sitting in a pull off early one morning.  We imagined they were there having breakfast and set our sites to one day do the same.  Here is the location of where the Motor home was parked.  Don't you think that would be a nice place to start the day?
Everybody likes to come to Asheville and see the Biltmore Estate and we have seen it to.  Once you have seen it there is an understanding of how the Vanderbilt's contributed heavily toward the establishment of the National Forest system and their contributions toward modern forestry methods.  We benefit from their involvement every time we go into a National Forest or Park.  I can only imagine what it would be like if there were no protections.  They lived here.

We had an electrical problem during our stay that when we called a technician and talked with Xantrex required a new Inverter.  We cut our stay short and headed toward Red  Bay to get this done.  We installed a Magnum MS2812 as recommended by several people.  We stayed over at the facility that night and had another occurrence of the problem.  A further check came out that a bad breaker in the panel wasn't making good connection and burnt the connection and required a new breaker.  Now things that were hit and miss about working have worked since that install. (knock on wood)  End result I have a good Xantrex RS3000 inverter, AGS, and panel.  If anyone needs one I have a good deal going on. :) 

We are currently in Gadsden, AL sitting on the river at River Country Campground.  We are 15' from the water facing it.  More next time.