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196  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Allatoona Lake, Georgia on: November 01, 2013, 09:10:07 am
Thanks Judi! I just discovered Clark Creek is closed for the season already. What's up with that? It is gorgeous here - fall colors, 60-70 degrees, cool, comfy nights - PERFECT camping weather. We know the Maryland campgrounds need to close so their pipes don't freeze but I don't understand the southern ones shutting down yet.

That riverfront campsite you are heading to looks like a great place to run away to. We are definitely going to be picking your brains when we hit your neck of the woods. We are still on the slow meander toward Florida and will probably go down the east coast (sort of) and back up the west coast (sort of). We have spots we want to hit but no actual plans except we usually know our approximate next spot.

As a side comment, we have discovered Americans ARE terrible at geography... of their own country. Our boss, coworkers and friends ask where we are and when we answer, they have no clue where that is. Example 1: We reply we are at Mammoth Cave (July), they ask, but what state is that? Example 2: We reply we are in NW Georgia - they answer OH, are you by thus and so (which is somewhere they've been that is in south central Georgia)... uh, no. These people have internet, smart phones, etc. and can't figure out where NW Georgia is. Very sad.
197  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Grandchildren - staying in touch on: November 01, 2013, 08:17:54 am
We are very close to our granddaughter (just one) and need to stay in touch now that we are on the road fulltime. Besides planning to steal her during school vacations, we toyed with other ways to keep in contact. We planned to do Skype but it will kill our data plan and we need that for work. We may do it when we have enough excess data at the end of our billing cycles. We signed up for Club Penguin and enjoyed that while we were at the house (she loved having our penguin pop in and visit - she even put a coffee pot in her igloo for Papa). That was another data hog so it is for limited use also.

What we settled on is twofold:
-First: We read to her. We have Kindle PaperWhites and have downloaded books that she likes. We call her a half hour before sleep-time on nights she does not have late activities and read to her. If she is ready for bed ontime, she gets more reading time. If she dawdles, she either gets one short chapter or we chat a minute and then she has to go to sleep without the reading (sad for us all). This works since we have Verizon signal most of the time with unlimited minutes. We all love the chatting and reading.
- Second: We play "Where's Papa?". I purchased the 2014 Rand McNally Road Atlas and it lives in the pocket of the drivers seat with a yellow highlighter. I ordered an identical one online and had it shipped to her. Whenever we move, I email coordinates to her daddy who prints them out then takes them home to map it out with her using a yellow highlighter on her book. She keeps track of us and learns mapping and geography at the same time. At the end of the trip our books should match. An example:
28-Oct   Map point #8
      State: Tennessee
      Map Page: 74
      Map Grid: K-3
      Route Driven: US 40 west out of Asheville and up over the mountains. West on 411 to Sevierville, then South on 441 into Pigeon Forge
   We are camped along Little Pigeon Creek which babbles along happily beside us. A great blue heron likes to hang out right across the creek from us and groom himself. He squawks and calls as he flies in and out all day. It is just 7 am and I hear him out there already. Papa loves working at the picnic table and watching the water flow past.

This is working well for us so I thought it might be useful for others that keep in touch with grandkids. The mapping would work as easily for a dozen. You send out the books and just copy everyone on the email.
198  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Allatoona Lake, Georgia on: October 31, 2013, 07:58:45 am
Has anyone stayed at Allatoona Lake just outside of Atlanta?  We met a couple last January that said in 20 years of camping, it was the most beautiful place they ever stayed. It is our next stop and is an Army Corps of Engineers park. The only problem with finding that gorgeous campground is that COE has 4 or 5 around that lake and the couple didn't tell us which one was so awesome (maybe they all are). So we are looking for other opinions before we try to narrow it down and book in.
199  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Cloudland Canyon State Park GA on: October 31, 2013, 07:46:48 am
Ah Mike, you have furry friends. They can be useful with a hammock. We stayed at a place once that had hammocks for guests and the resort dog liked to come rub against you asking for skritches... thereby helping you sway when you were too mellowed out to put your foot down and do it yourself. Train those puppies!

If you go shopping for hammocks, we bought the ENO hammocks and the special straps that secure them VERY quickly and easily to trees. Each is rated to 400 pounds. The hammock has a carabiner that clips onto loops spaced out on that strap. You are lounging within minutes. They scrunch all down into a little bag for storage. The ranger said if we have an overhead branch, we can hang the two ends together and have a lounge chair. Pretty cool. John is thinking about sleeping in one if we get a nice night with no rain forecast. 

I know the wait is hard for the Phoenix but once you have it... away you go.
200  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Cloudland Canyon State Park GA on: October 30, 2013, 08:20:18 pm
We found another great park - and a great deal! Cloudland Canyon State Park is on Lookout Mountain in the very North West corner of Georgia. The sites are large, mostly level with gravel. You get water and electric for $30.00. There is a dump station near each campground (East Rim and West Rim) and quite a few grey water drains sprinkled throughout the campground to dump wash water OR your grey water tanks. If you like being tucked away in the trees, this is for you. This park has more amenities including shower houses, laundry, picnic shelters, disc golf course, hiking trails, biking trails, camp store with great prices, and activities. This weekend alone they have a craft fair, hay rides with campfire after and a free astronomy program. We are close to Chattanooga and the Chickamauga battlefield. I will try to post pics tomorrow after we check out more of the park.

Now for the deal - we found this online and you can see what you get for membership and join there but due to our gypsy life (no way to get mail quickly), we had to sign up at the camp office when we checked in - the woman there was incredibly helpful. We joined the Friends of Georgia State Parks. Family Membership is $75.00 BUT I am a vet so it was $56.00. Membership is good for one year. We got two free nights of camping ($60 savings right there), 10% off any additional camping we do in that year, free day use of all GA run parks and historic sites (most seem to have a $5.00 parking fee that we won't have to pay) PLUS free admission to a several GA Historic sites that we were going to pay to go into anyhow. We also get 10% on purchases at the camp store except food and something else I can't remember. This particular store has great prices on awesome hammocks that I've had my eye on for years and we got an extra 10% off that price. John and I will be happily swinging from the trees from here on out.

Side note: Hammocks are dangerous. You lie down in them and the world just drifts away.
201  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Where are all the Phoenix Cruisers? on: October 29, 2013, 09:42:51 am
We stopped in at Camping World in Hendersonville a few days back (outside Asheville NC) and there was a Phoenix Cruiser waiting it's turn at the service bay. It was still there on Sunday so the owners are probably nearby. We couldn't tell which model but it was lower paint blue. Anyone out there have their baby at the shop in Hendersonville?
202  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Lake Powhatan Recreation Area, NC on: October 29, 2013, 06:45:57 am
Lake Powhatan campground got permission to stay open through November - just in case anyone is looking for a nice wooded site with full hookups to hang out in near Asheville. The campground manager/host told us as we were pulling out and we seriously considered turning right back around. We are now in Pigeon Ford Tennessee amidst major honky-tonk and miss the peaceful woodland we left.
203  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Lake Powhatan Recreation Area, NC on: October 27, 2013, 09:29:55 am
We are doing civil war sites as we go (John is a big civil war buff). Unfortunately, many were closed due to government shutdown but we saw most of what we wanted to see. We cross into Tennessee tomorrow to hit sites over there. I found this website which has been quite helpful www.civilwartraveler.com - note that a lot of "sites" listed are "interpretive signs". We walked for blocks in Winchester and after considerable searching, found a little sign on the side of a building that told us no more than what we read at the visitor center or in the brochures - basically "things happened in this area but you can't see anything anymore because the town was built on it". We didn't bother searching for additional signs. I do recommend you go to the visitor center in Lexington VA. You can park all day (though probably couldn't fit an RV) and they give you a map for a walking tour that takes you to Jackson's house, General Lee's tomb (and Traveler's gravesite), VMI where they have several museums (and where the cadets lead a very good, free tour at noon - not Civil War but good), on to Jackson's grave and back to the visitor center. I doubt you'll be in Maryland in December but the Antietam Illumination is awesome. It takes place the first Saturday in December. A luminary is placed for every casualty (missing, wounded, dead). They are placed on the lawns and fields in a 5x5' grid and lit near sunset. There is a little speech at the Maryland monument then they play echo taps. At dark, cars drive slowly through the battlefield to view the luminaries - VERY sobering. Note that the cars line up hours in advance. The volunteers that set and lit the luminaries go first then the public (our Scout Troop managed one of the corn fields for years.) If you are up there, I highly recommend it. If not, you can see some pics online but you only see bits and pieces, not miles of little lights.
204  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Need tips on Hot Springs NP on: October 27, 2013, 07:01:10 am
What did you bribe Mother Nature with to get 45 degrees? Don't tell me it's because you've been so good, I just won't buy that one. I thought this cold came from Canada but now I'm thinking you Yoopers sent it our way. We're going to need to keep a closer eye on upper Michigan. (Hey Frank, I can't type without moving my hands either).
205  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Need tips on Hot Springs NP on: October 25, 2013, 07:40:27 pm
Sparky, if you torment us frozen people with your "Texas winter", we're going to wait until it gets REALLY hot down there and torment you right back. It is expected to hit 26 degrees tonight here in Asheville NC... yee-ha! We unhooked the hoses, turned on the tank heaters, fired up the house heaters and snuggled down in our woolies to wait it out. Temps should trend back up this weekend. You might want to check weather before you roll east to camp. Canada sent us some downright nippy weather.
206  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Blue Ridge Parkway October 2013 on: October 25, 2013, 07:32:30 pm
The weekends have been crazy busy on the parkway since the government reopened, and that includes Friday all day (a lot of people playing hooky). The other days have been great. It was empty the entire week due to the shutdown but traffic is still light mid-week with everything open again. Remember that this is October - FALL COLOR season so it is the busiest month of the year for the Blue Ridge and people leave their common sense at home. We've seen people stop dead in the road, get out and take pictures with 20 cars lined up behind them. There are also a lot of close calls pulling in and out of the overlooks and just plain stupid parking maneuvers. We decided to work on the weekends or play at local towns and festivals and travel the parkway Monday-Thursday. That has worked well for us.
207  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: 2551 Can't get the front seat to swivel. on: October 24, 2013, 09:08:04 pm
 I open the passenger door, slide the seat all the way forward, swivel it slightly, then slide it back a bit and complete the swivel, then adjust the slide and recline. It can be done without opening the door but I find it easier that way.
208  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Generator won't start on: October 24, 2013, 07:36:03 am
Thank you all for the info. We don't hear any change in noise when cranking from the outside so it is possible the pump is out. We bought the carb cleaner but chickened out on using it after reading the Onan warranty that says if you use anything other than what they recommend (which is Onan brand carb cleaner) that it voids your warranty. There is a camping world nearby so we plan to go there and see if they have the Onan stuff. If that doesn't work, the camp host here has a local RV repair guy he recommends so we will probably have him take a look at it.
209  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Lake Powhatan Recreation Area, NC on: October 23, 2013, 08:15:42 am
I forgot to mention that when your GPS says you have arrived... you haven't. Keep driving about 1 mile and there is a can't miss sign for rec area. Another note is John and I are into nature and seldom make use of amenities in a park. Those items I mentioned are about it. The camp hosts sell firewood and ice but there are no extra buildings, game rooms, snack bar, movie rentals, etc. It looks like they run a few activities in the summertime. Also, we have Verizon and can get fairly good signal in about a half dozen of their sites without kicking on our cell phone booster. Our mi-fi is getting 2 bars at 4G. However, they said that some people have no cell service at all in here. We drove around the campground with cell phone and mi-fi in hand checking signal prior to selecting our site since we work from the rig via the internet. And, if you are here during hunting season and plan to hike or bike outside the campground, bring an orange vest. It is better to look dorky than dead. Walmart sells them. We always wear them in/near hunting areas. It seems someone is always hunting something. If you don't do dorky, I saw one female mountain biker in a day-glo pink top. You couldn't miss her flying through the woods but there was no dork factor there.
210  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Lake Powhatan Recreation Area, NC on: October 22, 2013, 05:07:19 pm
Gorgeous campground! We stumbled upon Lake Powhatan Recreation Area just outside of Asheville NC. Our site is a large, shaded, almost level, paved pad that easily fits the cruiser and our toad, with gravel pad for the picnic table and fire ring, very nice showers and baths, and full hook ups for $31.00 per night (no additional tax or fees, electric post handles up to 50 amp service). Everything looks new. We are in a National Forest but the campground is run/managed by CFAIA (Cradle of Forestry in America Interpretive Association -  http://www.cfaia.org/campgrounds-recreation-areas/lake-powhatan-campgrounds-in-north-carolina.php). There are numerous hiking and mountain bike trails nearby and several campers are carrying kayaks (we think to use on the nearby French Broad River since the lake here is beautiful but small and does not allow boats). There is a nice sandy swimming beach and a fishing pier on the opposite side of the lake. The lake and streams are stocked with trout and posted signs say no minimum size but limit of 7 per day. We are ten minutes from Asheville and even closer to the Blue Ridge Parkway and NC Arboretum. Biltmore is nearby as well as tons of other parks and sites. Very nice. They have a 14 day camping limit which is probably good because we would probably never leave.
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