The RV Road Trip Blog - June 2010

Here we are in Etowah River Campground! Of course, it rained last night but we knew it was coming and prepared for it. This is a nice out of the way campground near Dahlonega (they pronounce it "duh-LON-uh-guh"), Georgia. It was easy to find but you have to travel on a dirt road for about 1/2 a mile to get to it. The office staff was very friendly and we used our Passport America Discount. We were assigned spot number 6, and it turns out it is the best spot in the campground. If you're rig is over 27', you won't fit in this spot, though.
Camp Site

The creek is about 100 yards away from our camp site and we did a little gold panning yesterday. We found squat - LOL. We both agreed we need to watch the YouTube video on how to pan for gold again. The campground has free Wi-Fi but it is a little slow compared to the 758k DSL we had back home. Signal strength is weak and I would be in a jam without my Rokland n3 antenna and my home-made signal booster.

We went scooter riding this morning since the rain is scheduled for the afternoons. We toured Dahlonega and the surrounding area. The pictures will be posted in the Picture Gallery (see menu on the right). Speaking of the scooters, we sure are glad they get 112 MPG. The truck averaged 8 MPG when towing the camper through the mountains! You could almost hear it gulping down the gasoline - LOL. We're just going to relax for the rest of today, might do a little more gold panning.
We did a little more gold panning today and I think we found some, but we're so skeptical we're not sure. We kept it anyway. We visited a nearby local church last night since it was Wednesday night and we like to go to church. Tomorrow morning we are loading up and heading to Murphy, NC to see the World's Largest Ten Commandments. The world sure would be a better place if everyone followed these 10 rules... but we know how hard that is to do. We'll arrive at Smokemont Campground in Cherokee, NC later tomorrow afternoon and we'll stay there for 4 nights. I really doubt we'll have internet for the next several days so updates will come as soon as we can.
We are now camped at Smokemont Campground near Cherokee, NC. It's a great campground by there is no electricity, we have to go get our water in 5 gallon jugs and we have to use the blue boy to dump our holding tanks. The drive from Dahlonega to North Carolina was amazing! We stopped in Murphy, NC to see the World's Largest Ten Commandments. That free attraction is very nice! If you're ever in the area, be sure to visit.

We also took the scooters up the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP). We went as far as Waterrock Knob on the parkway but also made a trip into Maggie Valley. That's a 9% grade on that mountain... going down was fast, coming back up was slow - LOL. We took a lot of pictures and a few videos but the videos were very shaky due to the scooters bouncing so much. Did I mention it rained on us? Well, it did. But we have rain suits so we continued on with our amazing ride. Jerry and Cynthia tackle the Blue Ridge Parkway! We'll leave Smokemont on Monday the head to Mount Pisgah. Once we get internet again, we'll update the site.
We left Smokemont Campground this morning and headed to Asheville, NC. The Blue Ridge Parkway has a closure near the Mt. Pisgah campground so we canceled our reservation there and opted to stay at Wilson's Riverfront RV Park in Asheville. The road closure cuts off access from Asheville and the detour they suggest is on a secondary road barely fit for a pack mule. We'll spend a night or 2 here at Wilson's then hop back onto the Parkway and continue north. We'll pick a campground somewhere between Asheville and the NC/VA state line and stay put for 14 days to save money.
Camp Site

On or about the 21st we'll head into Mt. Airy, NC to see Andy Griffith's home town. The town is set up to look like Mayberry with Floyd's Barber Shop, Wally's Filling Station, etc. We'll stay several nights here then find another campground on the Parkway (we get a 50% discount there). We'll camp here and there along the way but we have to be in Loft Mountain, VA by July 1st as we have reservations there.

So far we are not having any trouble finding free Wi-Fi spots. It seems everyone has it set up to attract business. The solar is performing extremely well. It has been cloudy and rained every danged day while we were at Smokemont but the solar brought those batteries back up without a problem. All the other campers are amazed at all the mods we have done to our camper to make it home and they are shocked that we are full-timing in a 19' travel trailer. Jerry and I are very happy and are excited about our lifelong full-timing adventure.
Today we scootered all around Asheville, North Carolina. This is a really neat city and great for scooter riding. Pictures have been posted in the picture gallery if you'd like to see them. We went by the Biltmore Estate and the Biltmore Village but were not really impressed. We rode all through the downtown area and we really enjoyed that. We saw a lot of other scooter riders but none were on a Ruckus. We got a lot of looks and a few comments about them. After riding for 4 hours, we stopped and filled up wth gas... $2.80.

When we got back to the campground, Cynthia plopped down in one of our Cabela's chairs and soaked up a few rays. I came in to update the web site and plot our next destination. It looks like we'll be heading to the Julian Price campground on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We'll spend 12 nights there without any hookups so tonight we'll take really long showers in the bath here at Wilson's. :) We saw some cruiser style bicycles at the GIGANTIC Walmart here in Asheville. We're discussing purchasing them but we have to figure out where we will carry them when we move. If we can figure that out, we may go get them.
Yep, today we leave for Julian Price Campground near Blowing Rock, NC. We'll be there for 12 nights and will move to another campground on the 21st, somewhere in Mt. Airy. That may be the next time you hear from us - LOL. We'll try to scout out hot spots on the scooters but we can't make any promises. We need to save some money to make up for the higher than expected fuel costs and sitting in a Federal campground will help with that. Until then...
We love Julian Price Campground! Deer walking through the park, spots well spaced and plentiful, hiking trails that Jerry can't use, bathrooms close by and much more! No showers or utilities but the water spigot is very close. We added about 40 more pics to the Blue Ridge Parkway section of the picture gallery. Check them out at that link or you can see them by clicking the link below this picture. :)

Amazing weather today! Lots of sunshine, temperatures in the 80's and perfect for scootering. We rode down to Grandfather Mountain but they wanted $15 PER PERSON to get in there!! We decided it simply wasn't worth the cost and rode on up the Parkway. We stopped and took some neat pictures of us goofing off on some rocks, trying to give the impression that Jerry was rock climbing. He was really at ground level and just grabbed on to a rock and I squatted to take the picture. There are so many trails around and we really wish we could hike them but that just isn't going to happen. As Jerry said, we could wait about 10 yards from the end of the 9 mile trail and wait for people to walk by... then we step out and say "Whew! That was a long one!". :)

We rode the scooters into Blowing Rock and that is a very pretty little town. Very neat, lots of shops and things to see plus they had a wonderful city park in the middle of downtown. The town was bustling with people and we really enjoyed it. We enjoyed it so much we forgot to take any pictures of it - LOL. We stopped into the post office and they accept General Delivery so we will have our mail sent to us there. We'll be at the Julian Price campground long enough for the mail to arrive from our Mail Forwarding Service.

We shot a few short videos and they should be available on YouTube by now. You can get to them by visiting the Video Gallery (it is also in the menu on the right). Sorry that the quality isn't so great but we are new at this. We're still trying to figure out our video editing software.

The weekend is here and the park is filling up to capacity! We'll hold a scavenger hunt for the kids and do a few other activities that will give us a chance to interact with other campers. That's the whole reason we are out here! Anyway... the poop tank needs to be emptied. We'll post again when we get back to an area with free Wi-Fi.
We had a great weekend, the campground filled up and there were a lot of folks milling about. We never realized how much fun it is to just sit under the awning and wave at the people that walk by. Jerry got in a good 2 hour nap yesterday out there, the cool weather and the light rain must have zonked him right out. It rained off and on last night but nothing major, nothing like they had in the middle of the country.

We went to church yesterday in Blowing Rock, NC. Lots of friendly folks and they made us feel very welcome. After church we hit the laundromat... you know how fun that is! It's not so bad, one of those things that need to be done. We're averaging about $6 per visit to the laundromat; 2 loads to wash and dry. We're in town today to fill up one of our propane tanks. The little indicator light started blinking that alerts us when a tank is empty (see the mods page). We're glad we installed that!

If the weather cooperates this week, we will try to get in a little sight seeing. If it stays overcast, we'll stay right here in the campground and watch TV, a movie or read a book. Sounds like fun to me!
The afternoon showers are showing up every day it seems... and when we are out riding the scooters! We got caught in another downpour but we were lucky enough to duck under one of the stone bridges that are on the Parkway. We stayed under there until the winds died down and the rain slacked off then we headed on back to the campground.

Caught in the rain again.

There's one scene that seems to be reoccurring quite regularly. Here's a picture of it... me sitting in the recliner under the awning staring out into the scenery. See my feet? :) Yesterday we had another deer come strolling by the camper. We waved but the deer pretty much ignored us.

The view according to Jerry.

Deer in our camp site.

We reviewed our plans and think we have settled on the following: We'll stay here at Julian Price Campground until the 21st then we'll head north on the Parkway up to Mt. Airy (aka Mayberry). We'll spend 3 nights there, that should give us enough time to see all the stuff in the area. We'll leave Mt. Airy the 24th and get back on the Parkway and drive up to Roanoke, VA. We'll stay at the Roanoke Campground until the 28th. While in Roanoke, we'll visit the Camping World there but just to browse. They are generally way over priced but hopefully they'll have a good sale on something we need. We'll stay in the Roanoke area until the 28th when we'll head on up to Loft Mountain campground. We'll stay at Loft Mountain until July 8th. From there, we're not really sure. Our goal is to drive up to Lancaster County, PA to see the Amish country but it doesn't really matter when we get there. Whenever we do leave Amish country, we will drive over to Chicago where Route 66 starts. We'll follow Route 66 as best we can until we get to Quartzsite, AZ. This is where we will spend the winter months. Of course, all of this is subject to change at any time without prior notice - LOL.

Lots more pictures have been added to the Blue Ridge Parkway page!
Welcome to Mayberry! We're in the Mayberry Campground here in Mt. Airy, NC. We'll be here for 3 nights as that is all the time they allow for the Passport America discount. We can't afford to pay regular price - LOL. We got an email from some nice folks who stayed at Julian Price Campground when we were there. They said they saw us and waved... but didn't stop and chat. Look folks, if you see us in a campground, please stop by and introduce yourself! We even went to K-Mart and bought 2 folding chairs so guests will have a place to sit when visiting with us. We'll take a picture of you with us and we'll put it online! Like Billy the Kid used to say... "I'll make ya famous!". :)

Cynthia got a new hair cut! She got it cut really short so it would be easier for her to take care of. Now she doesn't look like the picture of her on the side of the camper. That's OK, though... she's still very cute!

Cynthia's new haircut.
OK, Mount Airy is a fun place to visit! The downtown area is really cool and almost everything is within walking distance, even for Jerry. We took the scooters to the few places that were too far to walk. We ate a famous pork chop sandwich at the Snappy Lunch, Jerry got a haircut in Floyd's Barber Shop, we visited Wally's Service Station, Jerry got tossed into Otis' jail cell but temporary Sheriff Cynthia made a phone call and got him set free. :) The pictures are in the gallery if you want to see them all.

Pork Chop Sandwich   Jerry in Jail   Sheriff Cynthia

We also visited Horne Creek Farm. This is free to visit and it was amazing. It was like stepping back into the early 1900s! The old farm house, the well, the wash boards, the barns, the garden, etc. It really makes you realize how much you have it made in our time versus living back in the 1900s. Check out the pictures in the gallery, you'll really enjoy them if you're interested in that sort of thing like we are.

Very old stove.
We stopped in Roanoke and hit up Camping World for some supplies. We picked up a macerator, a bike rack for the rear of the camper (we now carry the Barker Holding Tank in the bed of the truck between the scooters), a little sign that says "Campsite Occupied", Cynthia finally found a small lightweight folding table, we also bought a 5 lb. refillable propane tank so we don't have to use the expensive 1 lb. bottles with the Coleman stove... and finally a magazine rack. The macerator is a Sani-Con portable unit and it was on sale, $100 off. Many, many times we are in an area with no hookups and the "blue boy" is uphill from the camper! Now we won't have to drain water into the hose, lift the hose up to drain it into the blue boy... then repeat that 15 times! Just hook up the macerator and push the button. The water is pumped up into the portable holding tank.

Either Cynthia or the GPS (or both) took us on a road that was supposed to lead back to the Blue Ridge Parkway. We followed the road for 10.5 miles when the road abruptly ended! We should have known when we had to cross 3 rickety one-lane bridges. Luckily we were able to maneuver a 3 point turnaround and get headed in the right direction. We got back on the parkway and continued on it until it ended in Waynesboro, VA. YAY!! We drove the Blue Ridge Parkway from end to end! Anyway, Skyline Drive starts where the BRP ends and there is a fee to get on! $15 for a car, $10 for a motorcycle... but free for us as Jerry has a Federal Handicap Access Pass (he calls it his Cripple Card). 25 miles up Skyline Drive and we pull in to Loft Mountain.

We scouted out a nice open site so the solar panels will get full sun. We're also very close to water and a comfort station. We set everything up and then headed to town for supplies. Town is 40 miles away, down the mountain! While in town we made sure to take care of all our business so we wouldn't have to drive there again. We decided that finding Wi-Fi hotspots to update the site was costing us more in fuel than what an air card would cost. So we stopped by the Verizon store and picked up a Palm Pre Plus phone that has mobile hotspot built in. Now we both can surf the web anywhere Verizon has 3G coverage. There is a 5GB limit on data when using the laptops but if we use the web on the phone, there is no data limit.

The campground almost filled up this weekend but will certainly fill up next weekend (4th of July). We like it when there are lots of campers around. Oh, and there is lots of wildlife here, too. So far we have seen chipmunks, rabbits galore, a wolf, 3 deer (2 does and a nice big buck) and tons of birds. Cynthia has yet to see a bear though...
Well, we really like our new Palm Pre Plus from Verizon. We did have to take the first one back as it had a problem with the touch screen, but the replacement phone is working flawlessly. This phone is a lot more complicated... err, feature packed, than our old phones from Straight Talk. It will take us a while to figure it all out. Cell service is spotty at best up here on Loft Mountain but we are able to make and receive calls and text messages and check our email over the phone. We don't have 3G coverage up here so using the web or mobile hot spot isn't an option. When we do ride down the mountain closer to town, all of those features work great. We do get the 1X thingy to light up but we're not sure what that means. :)

The 4th of July campers are starting to arrive and the campground is filling up. Many of the campers are just now getting their campers out of storage and we hear them talk about remembering how to open the awning, how to turn on the water pump, where to put water in, etc. They also didn't pack the appropriate clothing. It is much cooler up here than down in the valleys. They are used to 100° heat during the day and high 70s at night. Up here the highs are in the low 80s and the low last night was 56°! Brrrr!

Our Camp Site

We're going to host a "Campfire Social" this Friday night and provide marshmallows for everyone. We think it will be a lot of fun. Cynthia has been busy gathering plenty of firewood so the fire will stay burning for a long time. We'll cook ribs on the 4th after the campground church service. We can't wait for Sunday!

RV Blog Archives

2017   JAN, FEB, MAR         Please visit
2014   We did our massive 22 state and 15 national park road trip.
2013   We dealt with Jerry's wreck and thyroid cancer treatment.
2012   JAN, FEB, MAR, APR         We stopped full-timing in April 2012.
2008   The Beginning

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