Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Stone Mountain GA & Montgomery AL

Back on the road again and headed to Stone Mountain GA.  The trip was uneventful but an hour out of Atlanta the traffic was tough and this was on Sunday.  We arrived at Stone Mountain and got setup on a nice site by the water.  Our site was water and electric only as we were only going to be there 3 nights.  Full hookup was $43 and partial $37, personally I thought it was pricey for the campground.  It was fine but it needed work and I don't think the revenue from the campground goes back into the sites.  Anyway it is what it is and we did enjoy our time at the park and would recommend visiting Stone Mountain.

We had a large pull through site.
The next day we went for a pedal bike ride and then drove around the park just getting our bearings as it is huge with lots of amenities but we were here really for the mountain.  Can't say the town of Stone Mountain impressed us much at all, my advice is enjoy the park.  

Alright so today is mountain day!

Stone Mountain is a monadnock which is a hill or mountain of erosion-resisting rock rising above the surrounding countryside.  The resisting rock in this case is granite and with time (roughly 285 million years) the 8-10 miles of land wore away leaving Stone Mountain standing almost 800 ft high.

Starting the walk up the mountain.

A Gum Tree.
  Actually it's a power pole that people stick their gum on.

About halfway up it really starts getting steep!

The total hike is 1.5 miles, once on top the views are awesome.  It was windy but it felt good as it was a hot humid day

Atlanta 14 miles away.

It was so enjoyable on top.  We spent time just taking it all in then made our way down the mountain to the education center where we watched some movies and looked at the displays.  

Next we drove to the Confederate Memorial on the mountain which is the largest basrelief carving in the world.  The idea was conceived in 1909 by Mrs. Helen Plane .  It took over 66 years and 3 sculptors to complete the project.

This was very impressive, on the weekends in season they have a lazer light show that is pretty spectacular.  

We enjoyed our time at Stone Mountain and highly recommend it.  Again we were there in the off season and during the week so it wasn't as crowded.


Next stop was Montgomery Alabama

We stayed at Capital City RV Park which is minutes from Montgomery.  It was a nice clean park with big level sites at $27 a night with Good Sam discount.

The next day we went to the Hank Williams Memorial Cemetery.

"Praise The Lord I Saw The Light"

"Now I'm So Happy No Sorrow In Sight"

Next was the Hank Williams Museum.

It was a wonderful display and of course the baby blue Cadillac was the icing on the cake.

Across from the museum was the Riverfront.

Behind the sign is Union Station located on the Alabama river which is now the visitors center.  The Romanesque Revival style station was once the heyday of railroad travel.

This towering Train Shed behind Union Station is a National Historic Landmark and one of the few surviving industrial structures of this type.  The stained glass on the end of the structure was beautiful.

The above picture was taken from the river front.

This spot is the deep bend of the Alabama river.  The first steamboat, the Harriett,  arrived at this point in 1812 and the first railroad arrived 1840 making Montgomery a transportation hub for people and commerce.  When cotton was king, millions of bales were shipped from the wharf here by steamboat to Mobile and the mills of England.   

Next stop was the First White House of the Confederacy.

Many personal items of President and Mrs. Davis are in the house as well as authentic furnishing of the period.  The 1835 Italianate style house is beautiful.  Next to the house on the right is the Alabama Department of Archives and History.  

The ADAH has been the home of Alabama history for more than a century.  It is the nation's oldest state-funded, independent archival and historical agency.  Also home to the Museum of Alabama this magnificent all marble building is very impressive.  Across the street is the state capital.

Well after being a tourist all day we needed an adult beverage and were lucky enough to find the only brewery in town.  

We enjoyed our time in Montgomery and actually could have spent more time as there was so much to see but we needed to continue south.  So tomorrow is a move day which will put us in Louisiana.

Thanks for following our travels.  


Check out my handmade jewelry on Etsy by clicking on the link

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Hot Springs NC

We left Bracey VA in our rear view mirror headed to the mountains of NC as it was still warm and we didn't want to go south too soon.  Our first stop was Hildebran NC just outside of Hickory at Indian Springs Campground.  This was a small family owned place with 26 sites, half of which were workers or permanents.  The owners were supper friendly and they kept the campground very neat.  No charge for my truck or trailer which is always a plus!

We camped here for 3 days settling into vacation mode.  One cool spot that we checked out was the Henry River Mill Ghost Town where the Hunger Games was filmed. 

 It was built as a planned community with its own textile mill, dam, water and fire-protection systems, and company store. Today most of the village's original buildings remain sited along a small gorge of the Henry River.
In 1904 Michael Erastus Rudisill laid out the mill and village on a 1500-acre tract, chosen for its hydro power potential.  In its early years, the mill operated 4,000 yarn-making spindles. By the time it shut down in the late 1960s, the mill had 12,000 spindles and produced fine combed yarn for lace. Only 21 of the original 35 worker cottages remain today and the mill burnt down in 1977.  The entire movie was filmed in NC.


One of Marks instructors Michael Witt from RV school told us of a nice mountain town 30 miles north of Asheville called Hot Springs, so that's where we setup camp for a week. 

We camped at the Hot Springs Resort and Spa right along the French Broad River.

 Hot Springs has been a resort destination since the early 1800's renowned for its healing mineral springs and scenic mountain setting.  

The campground is right in town so we walked everywhere.
The Mountain Park Hotel was built in 1886, a higher-temperature spring was discovered, prompting the town's name from Warm Springs to Hot Springs.  The Mountain Park was one of the most elegant resorts in the country during its heyday.

The hotel burned in 1920, two other hotels were built on the grounds both of which succumbed to fires, and the town was nearly forgotten as a tourist destination.
But today it is recognized as Best Small Mountain Town by Blue Ridge Outdoor Magazine.  Rafting, tubing, mountain biking, motorcycle riding, zip lining and of course hiking the famous Appalachian Trail.  The trail runs right though town and this is the only place that it happens in the 2,100 miles.   
After all that activity you can enjoy soaking in a hot mineral bath in secluded outdoor tubs.  We did and it was awesome!

The first couple of days it was rainy but after that the weather was perfect with high 70's and 50's at night making it just right for campfires.  
Tuesday we rode the bike on "209 The Rattler" and that evening we met our friends Mike Witt and Denise Meyers for dinner at the Spring Creek Tavern located right on Spring Creek.  It was nice catching up with them and talking about the RV Repair business.  
The next day we hiked Max Patch and had a picnic lunch on top.

At an elevation of 4,629 feet, it boasts a 360-degree view of the Appalachian Mountains including the Blue Ridge and the Smokies.  The Appalachian Trail crosses the top of the grassy bald which was once cleared for pasture land in the 19th century.  

Not a great picture as some dark clouds were rolling in but a camera just can't do justice to such beautiful scenery.

My birthday was on the 14th and my gift was Zip Lining!  Our friend Mike help build the zip line course at French Broad Rafting & Ziplines in Marshal NC.  So on Thursday I soared through the trees on this awesome new course, I had a great time!  Then on Saturday Mike who is also a rafting guide for this company took us on a trip. 

It was such a perfect day to be on the river and we felt special as it was just the 3 of us in our raft.  This was my first time whitewater rafting and I can tell you it won't be my last time!  

Thank you Mike you are a great guide and we had a wonderful time!

Todd and Ellen from RV school where in the area on Saturday so we all met for dinner and had a wonderful time catching up.  As a matter of fact they will be in Florida this winter just north of us setting up their business as well.  Safe travels to you both and see you soon!


When we left Bracey VA we had a little problem with fruit flies, well it turned into a big problem.  So this is how I solved it.  Apple cider vinegar with a drop of dawn, cut a corner out of a baggie (just a small cut, big enough for flies to get through), put cut corner in glass 1" above liquid and then put rubber band around the top.  Change the mixture daily and after a week they were completely gone!  Thank God.  
But now that the fruit flies are gone we have a problem with stink bugs!  While in Hot Springs the rig was covered with them and they keep popping up.  It's always something but I'd rather deal with them and not be worrying about painting the outside of the house!  It's life on the road grande.

Be sure to check out my handmade custom sterling silver stacking rings at 

Thanks for following our travels!

Monday, September 8, 2014

RV Technician School in Clearwater FL & Bracey VA

First off I must apologize for not blogging for 9 months.

We spent the winter in Clearwater FL where Mark went to school to be a Certified RV Technician.  Ah Florida you say, it must have been warm, well not really.  Yes the weather was better than what the folks experienced up North but that darn jet stream kept dipping down to us bringing rain and cold temps.  All in all it wasn't too bad and we did have some nice weather.  With Mark being in school 5 days a week and studying all the time we didn't really do any exploring.  We did make a trip to Winter Park, FL where I attended a jewelry class on making rings then we visited Ray and Kathie who we worked with doing the Sugar Beet Harvest last fall.  One weekend we visited Honeymoon Beach spending some time on the beach and doing metal detecting.

  Clearwater/Tampa is not an area we would winter in again as the traffic is horrible with on going construction on HWY 19 and it is just too congested.  We will travel farther south this winter around Lake Okeechobee.  This was the largest class that the school has had.

Mark completed his training with flying colors becoming a Certified RV Technician.  He would highly recommend the school to anyone interested as there is a need for technicians.

 Our campground of choice was Avalon RV Resort as it was 1.5 miles from the school.  The sites are small only leaving room for one vehicle but they had storage space for the trailer ($35 a month) and we parked Marks truck at the school.  Several days Mark rode his pedal bike to school as it was quicker than driving because the traffic was horrible. 

Near the end of March we headed back to Wilmington as I had my Beach Week with my Sistah Peeps.  As always a great time was had with my Sistahs but it was a sad time as well.   On January 19 Sistah Gini passed leaving a hole in everyone's heart.  She had lymphoma cancer for 7 years and handled it with grace and dignity.  Our YSA group will never be the same, you will be greatly missed Sistah Gini but never forgotten.

We have spent our summer in Bracey VA where my Aunt Ruthie and Uncle Cliff live on Lake Gaston.   Cliff had a stroke last August and is in the rehab stages but sill unable to do certain things.  I have maintained the yard all summer and every time I mow it just reassures me that we have made the right decision, we will never own sticks and bricks again.
Ruthie belongs to the Red Hats and it was her turn to host the ladies so we put together a Hawaiian Luau.  What a hoot these ladies were and I so enjoyed seeing Ruthie having a good time!

 It has been a pleasure to be able to help them with anything that needs to be done around the house.  I have painted the outside shutters, her bathroom, her bedroom, his bath and bedroom, the foyer and the kitchen cabinets.  What a joy it is to see the smiles on their faces.
I feel blessed to have been able to spend the summer with them (no picture of Cliff as he is camera shy).

The campground we are staying in is Lake Gaston Americamps.   It is right on the lake and is a popular destination.

There is two parts to the campground one being the campground itself and the other section is for year round residents.  The campground side has several permanent sights and man do these folks fix these places up nice.  They are not allowed to live here year round but many spend their summers here.  We are only an hour from Raleigh NC so it is a perfect get away.  Every Saturday night they have a DJ that plays from 8-11 so folks load up their golf carts and head to the field for a good time.  Mark works on Friday and Saturday night doing a security gig showing campers to their sites, delivering firewood, handling problems and trying to keep party goers quite after midnight.  Its not too bad except for when he works all day doing RV repairs.

We have a nice site with a deck and lots of room for parking.  It is right next to the bath house and laundry room.  There is no view of the lake but we look out onto the open field, a nice change from Florida as we were packed in like sardines.

The AxleCrutch trailer and Marks truck is parked in the open field where campers park boats and extra cars.  It's nice not having to pay for extra storage.  We had use of a golf cart for Marks job so we sold our golf cart as we really haven't used it much and it definitely lightens my load in the trailer.

During the summer our friends and sistah peep Karen and Stuart came to visit us.  We got them a premo spot  looking out on the lake.  This really is a pretty location with boating and fishing.  One night we dinned on fresh caught catfish given to us by a friend but they had to be cleaned.

Stuart, Mark & Karen did a fine job!

During their stay we visited Rosemont Vineyard and did a tasting.  The winery is about 4 miles from the campground.  They grow all of the grapes making this an Estate Winery. The next morning we all went kayaking on the lake. 

A few weeks later our friends Lori and Greg Rooker and their boys come for a visit.  They stayed in a cabin and brought their boat.  They spent two wonderful days wake boarding and skiing.  So glad they enjoyed their time on the lake.  Both couples are from Wilmington NC and they had never been to Lake Gaston so now they know all about "Lake Life".

The end of August was Peep Week at Sistah Julie's in West Virginia.  This will be the last time we will go to WV as she has her house on the market, we have had alot of fun in that wonderful house.  Sistah Kari sold her house this past winter and just purchased a new home in Woodsboro MD so we all loaded up in the car a drove to see the new location for Peep Week.  It is a wonderful home sitting on 17 acres in the country.  We were all pleased with Kari and Clays selection and had to christen their new home by lighting off a sky lantern with messages written on it. 

Never a dull moment with the Sistahs.  We can make a production out of the smallest things.
It's called "Sistah Life".

The campground hosted a 5K Color Run/Walk which I participated in.  I don't run but I have been walking 3 miles 2-3 times a week since January and am happy to say that I have lost 19 pounds.


Our time on the lake is coming to an end.  We have been busy wrapping up last minute jobs, washing the rig, packing up and making one last trip to Wilmington to put Mark's work van in storage.

Moving with 3 vehicles and 2 drivers requires some more planning.  Once we settle in Florida for the winter Mark will fly home and drive the van down.  But in the mean time we will be in vacation mode!  We both have hitch itch and are ready to be back on the road seeing new things.

Thanks for following our travels and have a great day!


I was able to spend some time making copper bangle bracelets, check them out on my Etsy Store.