Saturday, September 28, 2013

WOW, it has been awhile

I just looked at my last blog post and we have put on a lot of miles since I made a post.

 I guess Face Book and the smart phone has just about replaced doing a blog. When you can put a post online right then and there almost anywhere you are makes it too easy and I forget to sit down at the computer and type out a blog post.

 So I will try to catch you up....

 We left Raccoon Valley as soon as I had finished my doctors appointments. Our first stop was the casino in Cherokee NC. Marcia was driving Jon's car and I was driving the MH pulling the jeep. Corey was keeping Jon's car for him while he was in Afghanistan and we were taking it back to Ft Stewart so Jon could have it when he returned home.

 After driving the MH over the Smokey Mtns from Pigeon Forge to Cherokee I was ready to relax for a day or two. We parked the MH in the designated RV area. We went in to make our donation and to let them know we would be spending the night there. We had intended on spending a couple days there, but the casino has a one night only rule, so the next morning we headed south.

 It was a good day for driving, but Marcia driving Jon's car and me driving the MH wasn't as much fun as when Marcia is in the MH with me. Vidalia GA was our next stop, we would spend a couple nights there while we visited Lisa and her family.

 The next stop would be Ft Stewart GA. George (the camp host) had some disturbing news for us when we pulled in, he informed us they only had one site available for 4 nights. That wasn't what we wanted because Jon would be home until the fifth night. Tuesday morning when the Fam-Camp office opened we went in to pay and check on staying longer. Kathy (the manager) informed us they would be full but she would do some checking to see if she couldn't work something out.

 Later that day George came by and told us we could stay 7 days but we would have to move to a different site. We were happy because that would give us two days past the day Jon returned. We figured out the reason for the Fam-Camp being full in southern GA in August. The fam-camp has 20 sites, one taken by the camp host, and 15 being used by active duty soldiers. Apparently some of the active duty stationed at Ft Stewart have chosen to buy an RV and live in it rather than living in government housing or renting a house there. The major problem with that is the fam-camps aren't set up to be government housing.

 We did our week there, we welcomed Jon and his unit home from a 10 month deployment. We got to have dinner with him and a few of the others in his section. With Jon having all the debriefings and getting settled in to his new room in the barracks we didn't get to spend as much time with him as we wanted to, but we were thankful for the time we did get to spend with him.

 Our next stop was the Fam-Camp at Mayport FL. This Fam-Camp is NE of Jacksonville FL, it is on the St Johns River and the Atlantic ocean. You can sit in your rig and watch ship go in and out, or you can walk a half mile or so to the beach. A very unique military installation.

 Our next stop would be one of my favorite, Seasons in The Sun RV Resort in Mims FL. We stopped there a few years ago and liked it so we keep returning when we are in that area. Most of the time we are there, there aren't too many other campers there. Most of the regulars haven't made it to FL for the winter, or they have already left for the summer. I guess that is one of the things we like best, we have the entire park almost to ourselves.

 We delayed our departure a couple times for one reason or another, the latest was because our rear ac unit quit working and we couldn't get it into a shop until Wednesday. We enjoyed the quiet of an almost empty rv resort for almost two weeks. For several days the rear ac wouldn't work, but when the service tech checked it, it worked perfect. I know the good lord upstairs had some reason for us spending half a day at camping world (the only place that could look at the ac that week).

 Now we are at John Pennekamp Corral Reef State Park for a week. This will give us a chance to see what the upper Keys has to offer......................

Monday, August 19, 2013

Just Waiting Around

  Once we left CGNHP we wound up at the Escapee RV Park near Knoxville. I.m not fond of a few changes the Escapees have made to their park systems, in fact the only reason we will be staying at any of the escapee parks is to visit friends. Raccoon Valley is no exception, the "dub -u-s" Wanda and Wallace are here for a couple months.

   One of the changes to the escapees park system is you pay for your site up front. That causes me to determine how long or how many days we will be here, and anyone that knows me knows that isn't something I know nor is it something I want to decide right now. (unless right now is when I want to leave). So in an effort to save a few $$ I was forced to say a week, (with no refund if you depart early).

  We had a few good meals with the "dub-u-s", and Corey brought Miss Jaelynn over a couple times to entertain us. We took a day and got the rig all cleaned up, it was as bad as it has ever been because the rainy wet summer here kept me from cleaning all summer. Figure that in with the rain under the trees at CGNHP and you can imagine how bad it was. But thanks to rangers Caroll and Scott the walnut tree that has stained our rig for the past three years will stain nothing else. It was cut down the day after we left.

 Our week at Raccoon Valley ended and I had to make another decision, stay, go, how long to stay???? Figuring in my appointment (s) (another one has been added) and the fact that Jenelle is selling her house and everything she has to move to Lutz FL to finish her graduate school, and the thoughts of saving a few $$ we paid up for another week.

 Thursday Corey brought Miss Jaelynn over, this was her last chance before starting school so they spent the night. Corey must have heard about our rig entertaining 8, dinning 4, and sleeping 2, because he brought their air mattress and they slept in the back of their SUV. Even though they are on the short list of exceptions we make for spending the night in the rig.

  Friday didn't go exactly as planned, we decided Jenelle needed our help more than we needed to play. I used the pressure washer to clean her driveway, patio, and front porch, while Marcia and Corey manned the yard sale while Jenelle kept busy going through her stuff deciding what she could take with her and what she had to get rid of, and Jaelynn entertained Aidan, ( Jenelle's Dog).

  We were very lucky with the weather because the rain held off all day Friday while the yard sale was going on, and all day Saturday too. Sunday was a different story though, the rain is back, and so is the pain in my back. Something about the deteriorating disks in my back and rainy weather just don't mix.

 Monday will be a free day with 0 plans, but Tuesday and Wednesday we will be doing the doctor things again. No way I could get the two appointments for the same day so we will be driving up Tuesday and back on Wednesday. If rain had not been forecast for so many days we would have driven the rig up and headed east on I-64 out of Lexington, but the rainy forecast convinced me to hang around and do one night in a motel.

 Thursday or Friday we will leave here headed for Ft Stewart GA where our son Jonathan will be returning from Afghanistan. This is his second tour in the "sand box", one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, he also did two tours in Korea while serving our country in the U S Army. It will be really good to see him home again.

 From there we will slowly drift south to the Southern Most Gated RV Community, in Key West FL.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Another season almost gone

 Where does the time go? It seams like yesterday we were pulling into our site here at the CGNHP, but in reality we only have four nights left here. Marcia will put in her time at the visitors center this weekend and then we will start packing everything up and getting everything done before we head out on the 31st.

 Marcia has been busy this year, she has done several hikes with the last one being almost 12 hours. Marcia, Beth, Ranger Caroll and Corey did the hike up to the sand cave and the white rocks. The white rocks has been a land mark for travelers for many many years. Daniel Boone used the white rocks a guiding landmark when he blazed a trail from the east to the wild wild west.

 We took a day trip to Big South Fork National recreation area. It is a beautiful park with a very nice campground. It has two campgrounds one in KY and one in TN, we checked out the one in TN. I was SHOCKED when we saw only two campers in the entire park, and one of those was a host. The only draw back was the road going in from the east, it was a winding road with very steep grades and sharp curves. Driving the road in the truck showed me not to take the RV there, and that might be why the CC is empty.

 When we sit for an extended time it makes it really hard to do a blog, so maybe when we leave I will do better at keeping the blog more up to date....
 But until then it is what it is...........................

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Summer is here

  With all the crazy weather we have been having in the US the past few years it is hard to say what the normal weather should be at any given time or place. We left KW thinking we could follow the warmth as it migrated north. Well we were wrong, we did avoid any 30's, but we had 40's a couple times since leaving KW. With the low hitting 57 while we were in KW we have seen colder temps in May and June, but summer is officially here and we "should" be good to go until next year.

  We are close to half way through our volunteer position here at the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park this year, and the buck list of things to get done here is no where close to being half way. I keep trying to figure out where the time goes and what we have done since we have been here and all I can see is we eat a lot.

 We have done a few things, the Gap Cave tour is one we do every year, and this year Miss Jaelynn was able to go. She enjoyed it but not as enthused as I thought she would be. We also spent fathers day with Jenelle and Corey at Hensley's settlement. Several people were dressed in era clothes and demonstrating how they lived there back in the early 1900's. Marcia and Corey had a booth set up selling wares for Eastern National, and Jenelle and I wandered around seeing and learning about how life was 100 years ago on top of the mtn.

 I think I have pretty much got all my doctors appointments set up to do when we are here, and this year everything is going really well. I had cyst removed from my back, had my ex-rays, and my annual doctor appointment. Next week I do the follow up on the surgery, and the first week in July I will do my hearing tests. I think I will wind up getting hearing aids because everyone I know has started talking softer and quieter.

 We will be here until the 1st day of Aug. + or - a day, and where we go from here all depends on the "etch-a-sketch". The only plans so far is being back in Key West the first week in Oct so Marcia can start her camp-hosting position. That allows us 2 months to get to KW, I guess I'll have to rush a bit but I think we can do it........................

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Good for another year

We got moved to our little site the CGNHP provides us while we volunteer. This year we pulled into the site to give us a little more privacy, and everything worked out well. Except the trees have grown some and I haven't been able to find the satellite for direct TV. So we ordered a Winegard Carryout so maybe it will find the satellite and we will have TV again. I get to set it up today.

 The 4th was my annual doctor appointment, and my eye appointment, and the 5th I had ex-rays, and an appointment to have a place removed from my right armpit so we got a room at the Hyatt and spent the night in Lexington.

 The Dr appointment went well, he refilled all my meds and gave me a good examination. He found an irregularity in my prostate so he referred me to an urologist which I got to see on the 5th. He found the same irregularity and decided it was nothing major but we needed to keep an eye, (or finger) on it so I go back next year.

 The eye doctor said all was well and my prescription hadn't changed much since my last exam and he wrote me a presciption so I could get new glasses. I spent the rest of the day with my eyes dilated so I was fighting the sunshine, but that part was all over and done with. A trip to Sam's club and I now have a new set of glasses being sent to me.

 Then we checked into the Hyatt, it is connected to Rupp Arena where the UK wildcats play their home basketball games. A huge place, a very over priced hotel, and down town Lexington. After we got settled in the room I took a nap hoping my eyes would be back to normal when I got up. The nap wasn't long enough but it was time to eat so we started walking around the area looking for a place to eat.

 I have never felt more like a fish out of water as I did walking around amongst all those big buildings, handicapped by dilated eyes. We passed by several pubs with tables on the sidewalks, but nothing really jumped out and said eat here. After a while we came upon one pub and I sat down and said how about here? Marcia was quick to notice the 93 score by the health department and said no. So we made it back to the hotel parking lot and took the truck, we wound up at MacDonald's because they had easy parking.

 After a sleepless night, (I like my bed, and my pillows) we headed to the VA hospital to get ex-rays, meds filled, and EKG, and general surgery. There were a few mix-ups so I was able to see the urologist between all the other appointments I had to do. The problem spot in my armpit doesn't seam to be a problem any more so we all (the doctors, Marcia and myself) elected to remove a cyst from my back that had been getting larger and bothering me, so into surgery I went.

 They just numbed it to cut it out, I think they used something like a plasma cutter to cut it out. They put a "grounding" patch on my leg and every time she started cutting I heard a sound very much like a welding machine makes when someone is welding. Then the worst part came, I smelled the burning flesh, and knew it was my flesh that was burning. But all went well, I wasn't hurt too much, the cyst was gone, and the doctor got a little experience.

 Now we are back home and I'm having another sleepless night, but the doctors should be done for another year when we get to repeat it all again, less the surgery...............
OK I'm not writing a book so until the next time........................

Sunday, May 26, 2013

All most "HOME"

OK the title is a bit miss leading because home is where we park it and in the past six years we have been bless enough to be able to call home in all of the lower 48 states. Back to the title "home" is where we were born and raised, Middlesboro Kentucky, and we will be moving the rig to a spot the CGNHP provides for us when we volunteer that is in Middlesboro.

 Now we are at the campground located a few miles into VA. CGNHP is spread out over three states, KY, TN, and VA. The campground is located in the most western part of VA, only a couple miles from where KY, TN and VA meet. When people ask where we are from we often say, "if you look on a map and put your finger where KY TN and VA meet you will cover our old house.

 Since we left KW we have spent a few nights at repair shops, and I hope that doesn't start to be a trend. First it was the awning and water pump, then the gen set had to be repaired and serviced, and last week we had a circuit board go bad. So I hope we are good to go until we do a service on the rig for annual maintenance.  Since we will be sitting for most of this year I'm thinking we may wait until we come out of the keys next year before we do the annual service.

 It is good to see the kids, grands, and family we are looking forward to spending the next two months with them. Volunteering for the park gives us a place to park while we visit and it keeps us busy enough that we enjoy being parked for that long. ( 6 months in KW is going to be different )

 Tomorrow we will move the rig to "our" spot in Middlesboro (if the current occupants are gone) before we go to our first official family function, a cookout at Corey and Jennifer's.

Life is good, and we are blessed..................

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Northward Bound

  Spending the winter in Key West can spoil someone. We arrived in KW Jan 6th and left the first of April, the coldest temps we had was 57 degrees. A little below my 70 mark, but not near as bad as the last couple nights in Columbia SC where it got down to 44 degrees. This is mid MAY and it shouldn't get that cold, or I shouldn't be that far north.

  As everyone knows we brought a jet ski from Orlando to deliver to our son in Cumberland gap. Pulling doubles doesn't bother me at all, it does make getting fuel a little tricky if you don't watch out.
Monday Marcia left me sitting in Columbia SC. She took the jeep and the jet ski and took off to Cumberland Gap and I was left with the rig.

 Now for all of you out there that is just waiting for me to kick the bucket so you can latch on to the best wife in the world, or for the ones wanting to hook up with me to get all my $$ (both dollars) Marcia wanted to see Miss Jaelynn graduate pre kindergarten, and I wanted to stay where it was warmer until the last cold front moved through, so we decided she could go a head with the jeep and the ski and I would wait until the cold front passed before I brought the RV to Sevierville, and we would meet at River Plantation RV Resort today.

 Last night being one of my "those nights" I was up before the sun, in fact I had ate breakfast and had the RV ready to roll before the sun came up. I still had to have my headlights on as I pulled out of the FamCamp at Ft Jackson SC. (one of the hidden gems of FamCamps) Leaving that early I avoided most of the traffic around Columbia, and was eating lunch in Sevierville.

 As I pulled into the RV Park I noticed Marcia pulling in right behind me. I spent a couple days alone all hunkered down waiting on the cold front to pass, and Marcia had spent the time with our son and his family. It was pretty good timing for her to pull in right behind me.

 We visited with Billie Ford, a lady we met in KW a few years ago. She is unable to spend the winters in KW because of health reasons, but she still stays in her RV here at River Plantation during the summer. Tomorrow we will tour part of the Smokie Mtn National Park, ( Marcia needs to get her stamp from there) and Friday we will move the rig into the park or we will move to one of the state parks between here and the CGNHP where we volunteer June and July.

 It has only taken us six weeks to go from KW to Sevierville TN, and we have two more weeks to make it on up to the CGNHP.......... that will be a lot of driving in just two weeks..................