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211  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Grandchildren - staying in touch on: November 07, 2013, 12:36:27 pm
Ours is now 7 with a mind of her own. She intends to spend school vacations on the road with us - we just have to convince mommy and daddy. I don't know how young they can fly alone but we figure one of us can fly out to get her or we bribe daddy with a nice vacation destination and get him to ferry her one way. We have a toad so we can play fetch if we are close enough.

A trip to Alaska would be awesome with the grandchild- I hope you pull it off. A good book to read and use is "The Nature Connection" by Clare Walker Leslie. We've only used it a bit but our granddaughter has already started keeping nature journals, planting trees from found seeds and using our nature ID books to identify plants and critters she finds. She's currently on a mission to see the rings of Saturn through a telescope. We have a hard time keeping up with her.

ENJOY your grandchild, they grow up way too fast.
212  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: A/C Fan runs when furnace is turned on on: November 04, 2013, 06:43:33 am
If your system is the same as ours, there are three settings for the fan: Lo, High and Auto. Set the fan to "auto" THEN turn on the furnace. This also makes it so the fan only runs when heat is needed with the heat strip instead of all the time. Took us a while to figure that out.
213  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: 2551 Can't get the front seat to swivel. on: November 03, 2013, 07:31:44 am
I am able to see the TV from the middle or far position of the couch in the 2552 with slide out. However, I thought I'd toss in my parents' solution for a 15 year old 19' Coach House which had no couch or extra seat - they mounted a mirror on a forward facing wall. My dad would lie on the bed in the back where he could see the TV and my mom would sit in the swiveled passenger seat doing her crafts and watching TV in the mirror.
214  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Allatoona Lake, Georgia on: November 02, 2013, 08:47:44 am
Judi, the Corps only lists one Clark Creek and that is North which closes early September. McKinney is year round so we may try that when we finally pry ourselves out of here. Thanks for the info!
215  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Cloudland Canyon State Park GA on: November 02, 2013, 08:26:54 am
The promised pics. We camped on the west rim. The campsite pics are taken from the driveway of the next site on either side. Some are much closer but the west rim sites are nicely wooded and spread out. The east rim is more open and closer together but also right next to the overlook and interpretive center.
216  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: PC 2350 Fuel Mileage on: November 02, 2013, 08:18:51 am
Hey Mark, I thought that the only hills in Florida are called overpasses.  LOL
No, Tom, they are called landfills turned into parks. Mount Trashmore is a fine example.
217  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Allatoona Lake, Georgia on: November 02, 2013, 08:13:29 am
West, Texas is located in central Texas and calls itself "The Czech Point of Central Texas"
218  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.
219  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.
220  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.
221  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.
222  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.
223  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?
224  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.
225  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.
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