Home Away From Home

Off to Fletcher, NC

Day Eight – Saturday – Fletcher

I had a difficult time going to sleep last night. Don’t know why though. It was quiet except for the gently falling rain and no TV. I read and even completed a book but still was not sleepy so I started organizing my Kindle. Finally fell asleep about 12:30 so it was after 7:00 when I got up this morning. It was pouring down rain! I am so very glad that Jerry put the car on the dolly yesterday because he would have gotten drenched this morning. We had our morning coffee and checked several weather sites and they all pretty much agreed. It’s raining, 90% chance and it’s going to continue so we decided to just bite the bullet and go on. I showered and got dressed first. That’s what we’ve been doing this week and it’s worked fine. I shower, dry hair, dress, put in contacts and apply my Accent face cream and while that’s drying Jerry showers, then I put on my make-up. We have quite a little routine now!

After that I started securing everything for travel and Jerry did the necessary things outside in his bathing suit!. Then he came in, dried off and changed clothes and we started on our way at 9:23. Crossed over into Kingsport, Tennessee about 10:10 and it’s still raining hard. Jerry commented that he’d never driven in the rain before and now he’s not only in the rain he’s driven in the mountains in the rain! I’ve been texting with Ivy and Holley about our arrival. Holley says they have planned for us to back in site 92. I told her to make sure Brian was there when we got there!!!!

11:27 – Rest Stop 24 miles from Asheville – still rainy and now getting foggy with low visibility

Got to Fletcher and the Western Agricultural Center where we’ll be spending the week about 1:15 and Holley and Brian were waiting for us to show us where to park. Unfortunately AGAIN the battery on the car was dead so Brian drove his truck over but the car wouldn’t start. We finally figured out that it wasn’t getting hot from Brian’s truck so once they reattached it the car started. Jerry backed in and we very quickly set up. After everything was settled Holley and I went over to visit with Ivy Jo and Les. They asked all of us to join them for them at the Moose Cafe but Holley had already asked us for pork chops with me fixing potato salad.

A bit later Holley, Brian, Jerry and I went to Camping World. Jerry found a stand for the grill and we got some covers for the steps. I hope the covers cut down on the dirt and trash coming in.

Came back and fixed the potato salad and the four of us ate. Then Brian took Holley, Savannah and me up to the show ring where we met Ivy and watched the show. Got back to the motor home a little after 10, worked on the iPad for a while and then crashed!

It looks like it’s going to be a grand week with good friends, good horses and a great horse show!

Home Away From Home

Coal Mines of Virginia and Kentucky

Day Seven – Friday – Big Stone Gap

Wow, we must have been really tired last night because both of us slept like logs and woke up feeling refreshed. We slowly drank our coffee and enjoyed our quiet morning and then decided we needed to get busy as we had several things we wanted to do today.

The first stop was the June Toliver House which opened at 10:00 – except it didn’t so we went to the Harry Meador Coal Museum.

Coal Miner's Quilt with the names of miners stitched on it
Coal Miner’s Quilt with the names of miners stitched on it
The guide, Fred was extremely knowledgeable and had worked in the mines for 40 years so as well as just knowing a vast amount of information about mining he also added personal experiences. Listening to him talk really makes one appreciate the difficulties associated with the life of a miner. To say it was not an easy life is quite an understatement.

Afterward we went by CVS and then the grocery store, then back to the coach for some lunch, a grilled cheese sandwich and hot tomato soup. It was a nice meal for such a cool rainy day.

Then we headed to Lynch to visit the coal mine, Portal 31. We left Big Stone Gap, went to Appalachia then headed up the mountain to Lynch which by the way is in Kentucky. Who knew? No wonder we couldn’t find any information on it when we googled Lynch Coal Mine in Virginia! The road up is so very curvy, by far the most mountainous road I have been on in many years. At times I had to just close my eyes. The rain and fog didn’t help at all and neither did the idiot tailgating us who then passed us on a double yellow line. Hope he didn’t fly off the side of the mountain – it wouldn’t have been difficult. We reached the top, drove into Kentucky and arrived at Black Mountain, the highest mountain in Kentucky. Then we started the descent into Lynch. Wow. Jerry did a terrific job navigating the treacherous road, at times one lane. I couldn’t believe the big trucks. Glad I was not driving one. As we entered Lynch we noticed all of the houses very close together and very similar. You could tell at once that they were miner’s houses, little to no front or back yards. We stopped at Portal 31 and were directed to the next town where the museum was located. There we could visit the museum and buy tickets for the 3:00 tour. We spent about 30 minutes at the museum. They had a large area devoted to Loretta Lynn so I thought Butcher Hollow where she was born might be nearby. No, Butcher Hollow is about 2 hours from there although she had thought of putting her museum there, thus all the memorabilia. One of the most poignant moments was when I read a letter written by a man to his wife and children after he had been in a mine cave in. He knew he was going to die so he wrote literally his last words. There were three messages from men but only one of them showed the copied letter. It was heartbreaking.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWe went back to Portal 31 and began the tour. The young man who was our guide had worked in the mines for 10 years until he got laid off. Several years ago there were over 250 mines in Harlan County and now there are only 6. Mining is the only employer in the county so you can imagine the economic state of the county now. This young man is going back to school and then will leave the area. His story was so sad and apparently typical of many young people in the county. He gave an excellent tour lasting over an hour. In fact we were in the mine so long that someone came looking for us to make sure everything was OK. When the tour started and we went through the opening I had a moment when I wondered what in the world was I doing going 2000 feet below. I just took a deep breath and tried not to panic. That’s not to say I didn’t immediately grab Jerry’s arm! The mine was dark and cool but the air was clean. I could just imagine though the miners who many years ago suffered with Black Lung. What a way to make a living. Oh, Jerry got a small piece of coal and a piece of slate.

We came back to the campground through rain and fog. I had wanted a picture of us at the sign at Black Mountain and the sign saying Welcome to Kentucky. It was raining so hard that I just got out and took a picture of the Black Mountain sign. I tried to get a picture of the Welcome sign but the fog was so dense that it didn’t show up on the camera. Darn.

We made it back to Big Stone Gap and made another try at the June Tollier museum. It was an interesting visit. I really want to watch the movie and read the book.

Came back to the campground and Jerry took the sheets over to do the washing and I stayed in the rig and cleaned and straightened up. Later went over and paid for our visit – $30 a night plus tax – visited with a few people and then helped Jerry put the car on the car dolly so all he’ll have to do in the morning is disconnect the electricity, water, etc. and flush the tanks. That’s a good thing because it has begun to rain even harder. Sounds nice on the roof but I hate for Jerry to have to deal with mountain roads and rain.

Good night – it’s 10:00.

Home Away From Home

Big Stone Gap, VA

Day Six – Big Stone Gap, VA

I woke up about 6:00 and waited until I smelled the coffee and then got up. Jerry also got up so we enjoyed just a few minutes of coffee and then began prepping to leave. I got my shower and got dressed and then went outside to drive the car on the dolly. While Jerry was securing it I finished with my make-up and started putting everything away for travel. Jerry came in and showered and the only thing left to do was disconnect the sewer and electric. We noticed that getting out of the site was going to be a tight turn so I realized that the guys in the Class C right in front of us were preparing to leave also so we waited just a few minutes and after they left we pulled right out. I had also noticed that our receipt said that Tuesday night was our last night. I wanted to make sure that we had paid the correct amount so I went into the office to verify. It turned out that the receipt printed out incorrectly and we were paid in full, $129 plus the deposit we had paid earlier. We pulled out at 8:36 into a lot of traffic. Jerry is a bit nervous although he is doing a great job. It is a little mountainous though!

The hunt for gas! We started looking for a Hess station around Roanoke but couldn’t find anything. We finally saw a sign that indicated that a Hess was in Christianburg so we turned off and drove right through a lovely town. Hanging baskets and planters filled with purple flowers were everywhere. We did find the Hess station but it was small so we passed it by and got back on the highway. We kept looking and finally ended up at Love’s station where we filled up both the RV and the coach. Gas was $3.23 and wouldn’t you know a mile down the road we saw a Hess and a Pilot at $3.19?

A few miles further we stopped at a Rest Stop and had lunch consisting of fresh tomato sandwiches and chips. Took off and then the drive! Although we were four lane until the turn off for Stone Gap it was very mountainous. At one point Jerry jokingly said that he was now thinking about a diesel! He has said all along that driving the coach is boring because you just get in one lane, set the cruise control and drive. I asked him if he was bored today and of course the answer was no. He really had to concentrate today!

We drove right to the campground and I went up to the office which was locked but there was a phone number to call posted on the door. John answered immediately and said he was cutting grass and to just pick a site and he’d catch up with us later. We chose Site 27, a pull through but in the sun. Oh well, it’s supposed to rain. Jerry wanted to time the set up including getting the car off of the dolly. I set the timer and he went out to start the process. When I got in to start the car the battery was dead – again and we have no idea why this is happening. We saw a couple sitting in front of their camper so Jerry went over and asked for a jump. Bill came over and we started the car and I finally got it off. I left the car running as Jerry set up and start to finish it took 25 minutes, not bad considering we had the battery issue. After everything was set up we jumped in the car to ride around for a few minutes to recharge the battery. We rode into Stone Gap and saw a CVS where I thought I could get my face cream however I realized that I didn’t have my wallet with my CVS card in it so we decided to go to the grocery store instead. I told Jerry that I’d sit in the car while he went in so we could keep the car running. He got out but was very quickly back as he didn’t have his wallet either. I told him I hoped we didn’t get pulled as we had no identification at all! When we got back we went over to thank Bill and met his wife, Karen. A very nice couple with a rather small camper but I think they said they had visited 43 states including Alaska which was their longest trip, 3 months. I don’t think they’re full timers but very close to it.

We came back to the campground and finally located the laundry facility which is by the office and by a large covered porch. We took the clothes and towels over and got the wash started. We sat down in the rocking chairs to read while the clothes washed but as people began to come in we just visited. Interestingly enough the rig next to us is Adventures for Christ and although they live in the motor home about 10-11 months of the year their home base is actually New Bern. He was assistant City Manager in Kinston during the 80’s and she taught briefly at HJ. Small world.

After the clothes finished we rushed back to the camper, ate a quick dinner, dressed and headed to the outdoor drama, The Trail of the Lonesome Pine. We had a little trouble finding it as we didn’t realized that it was in a theater in the middle of the town and streets were blocked off for it. When we arrived a young man was singing for the pre-show. His songs included Amazing Grace, Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA and other sacred songs. Before the drama started one of the ushers approached Jerry and asked him to serve as one of 10 jurors during the second act. Of course he agreed. The drama was superb. I couldn’t believe there were that many talented vocalists in a town this size. I think some of them come from UVA at Wise. Wherever they’re from, they’re great! We thoroughly enjoyed it.

Got back to the rig a little after 10 and by that time the temp had really dropped. We turned off the air conditioner, tried using the antenna for television to no avail so we went on to sleep.

Another great day!

Home Away From Home

Natural Bridge, VA

Day Five – Wednesday – Greenwood

Today started off slowly enough. In fact since I really didn’t sleep well last night I slept a bit later today, after 7:00 and then slowly drank coffee and woke up. Jerry had been up a long time but was pretty quiet. Theresa called a little after 8:00 and brought me up to date on what has been happening in her life and I shared the bad news about the river house.

We left about 10:30 to go to Natural Bridge with Jerry complaining that we should have started earlier. I disagreed with him as I am really enjoying this pace of life and the “we’ll go when we’re ready feeling”. On the way we discussed the “what if” – what if we were to ever buy another motor home and what would we want in in. Besides the five things already on our list such as 22″ tires, fireplace, walk around bed, split bath and yep – one more thing that I can never think of – Jerry wants a bigger shower. I don’t have any problem in it but apparently he does, more than I thought. I would like an inverter so we can cook as we travel on the road. Of course we both decided that at this point a diesel was still out of the question.

We did also discover today that Gypsy, our infallible GPS is indeed fallible! We missed the turn to the Natural Bridge Museum and boy did we go on an adventure. We turned on a small paved road to the left and immediately wondered if we were headed in the right direction but we soldiered on. The road got more narrow and was heavily wooded on one side, even the side that had a steep drop-off.

This looks pretty and not nearly as formidable  as it really was!
This looks pretty and not nearly as formidable as it really was!
Then the road turned to gravel. Gypsy kept telling us to go on so we did amid many giggles and uproarious laughter to the point that I had tears running down my face. Suddenly then what should appear but a nice big truck. He very kindly pulled over as much as possible and we continued on down the dusty, gravel road. We finally admitted defeat still amid much laughter and found a place to turn around. We started retracing our tracks and suddenly were face to face with another truck that had been going A LOT faster. We got by and then met another truck. There was no passing but the guy nicely backed up until he could pull over so we could get by. I suggested Jerry ask him for directions but Jerry forcefully declined and said he was getting out of there. We finally saw civilization again and quickly got to the museum. Then we sat in the car and ate the sandwiches we had prepared earlier. We decided before our trip began that we wouldn’t eat out very much and so far we have stuck to it. We’ve fixed a picnic lunch every day and had good dinners in the evening. I’m sure we’ll be eating out next week at the horse show.

We wandered through a large gift shop that featured a lot of butterfly themed trinkets from stained glass to other knickknacks. We later learned that there is a butterfly garden there but unfortunately we didn’t see it. We bought the tickets and then headed down the 137 steps to the beginning of the hike to the Natural Bridge. It was a little steep but an easy walk. We reached the small cafe and the guide sent us on our way. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWe very quickly reached the Natural Bridge and I wish I could adequately describe it. I will say that it is the most spectacular thing that I have ever seen other than the Grand Canyon. To think that nature created it is absolutely amazing. We hiked on and reached the Monacan Indian Village. It was interesting to see how they lived and I took several pictures. We hiked on to the Saltpeter Mine. Don’t really know what is was other than the entrance to a cave that was chained off. So we took off for the water fall. We made it but it was a bit disappointing… After seeing the Crabtree Falls on Monday this paled in comparison. Then we had a 3/4 hike back to the cafe. At times it was cool with a slight breeze and at times it was just plain hot. Although I didn’t sleep well last night but think I will tonight! We took the shuttle back to the gift shop rather than climb the 137 steps back up. We went in the gift shop and I talked Jerry into buying a t-shirt.

Our next stop was the Natural Bridge Caverns. The temperature in the cavern is a steady 54 degrees so I grabbed my State jacket that I keep in the car. It felt really good going in but by the end of the 3/4 mile walk I was ready to take it off. The cavern descend 34 stories the last part not recommended for those with breathing or heart problems because of the change in pressure. When we got to the end the guide wanted us to see how dark dark is. Having visited the Luray Caverns some years ago I was somewhat prepared for this although not looking forward to it. When we visited the Luray Caverns we walked into a pretty narrow crevice and were lined up in there. Unfortunately Jerry and I were at the head of the line in Luray Caverns meaning we were the deepest in the crevice. Talk about claustrophobia! When they turned the lights off Jerry had to keep telling me to breathe and it’d be alright. This was nothing like that. In fact when he first turned off the lights several cell phones or cameras still showed some light however when they were turned off it really was dark, so dark that one could not see your hand in front of your face. We hiked back up to the top, a lot of steps and I was no longer cold when we got there.

We headed back to the campsite but made a couple of stops along the way. We had planned to wash clothes and the laundromat instructions were to only use liquid soap so we made a stop at Target to get some. We had also decided that we wished we had bought the bowl we saw and liked at Monticello so back to Monticello we went. Jerry dropped me off at the front of the gift shop and it took me less than 5 minutes to get the bowl, get it wrapped and get back outside – then Jerry had to find me. All of the streets led out and not in but eventually we met.

On the way back to the campground we decided that since it was getting so late, nearly 6:00, and we hadn’t had dinner we’d wait to wash clothes. We came on in and immediately started getting dinner started. This was my first time using the convection oven and I didn’t quite know what I was doing. We were having a meatloaf that I had prepared at home. The instructions for a regular oven say cook it 45 minutes but I thought it took less time in the convection oven. Having heard about the bottom of things burning I cooked it 30 minutes, checked it and cooked it 10 more. Actually I think 45 would have been perfect. I warmed up the stewed potatoes and peas we had on Monday night and sliced some cucumbers and tomatoes.

After cleaning up the kitchen I went outside to read hoping for a visit from Robert. His RV was closed up tight and I never saw him. Jerry joined me and we read for a while and then I began typing the day’s activities. Since I didn’t get much sleep last night I went on to bed. Jerry came in about 10 and by 10:15 I think we were both sound asleep.

It was a very good day and I think Jerry’s favorite. It was certainly the most fun day. We laughed until we cried. I don’t know what the future holds for us as we transition into Jerry’s retirement but right now we are having so much fun together. What a blessing. That you Lord!

Home Away From Home

Stonewall Jackson House in Lexington Va

Day Four – Tuesday – Greenwood, VA

Again started the day slowly. It is so nice not to have to be somewhere at a certain time or to have to wait for someone. Just the two of us and we go whenever we get ready.

Lexington – nice drive – Today was our day to visit Lexington, Va. It is about an hour from Greenwood but an easy drive on the Interstate. Upon arrival we went to the Visitor’s Center and got the layout of the land. We decided to first have a carriage tour of the city. We had a few minutes to wait so we just sat in the car and read, then crossed the street to the pick-up site. The horses were named Minnie and Pearl, white Hanoverian. The tour was interesting and we saw a lot of places that we might never have seen otherwise.. After the tour we sat in the adjoining park and had our sandwiches.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThe next stop was the Stonewall Jackson House. We got there a few minutes late for the 1:00 tour so had to wait until the 1:30 tour. We wandered around the town for a few minutes and then headed on back. At exactly 1:30 we started the tour which began with a video. After the video had been going for just a couple of minutes Gary called with information about the river house so we kind lost the gist of the video. Oh well – read about him on the web. Then we toured the house. It is a simple house with simple furniture with some period pieces but very little original furniture. Still an interesting place to visit. Next we went to the Cemetery where Jackson was buried. I was fascinated by the lifespan of some of the people. Many lived into their 90’s and some to be over 100. Surprisingly however there were also many children.

Jerry was not too excited about the cemetery and decided that he was just sated with history for a while so we decided to call it a day and head on in. We stopped at a Lowe’s so he could get some screws for a hanger and then went to Walmart and did the grocery shopping. Next we drove through Crozet. Since it is the setting for many of Rita Mae Brown’s books I was excited to see it. What a disappointment. It’s definitely not a little hamlet nor a village. It’s just a town with little of interest.

The next stop was the General Store just down from Misty Mountain. Another disappointment. It’s a yuppie store with a lot of wine, high priced relishes, cheeses, etc. Nothing of interest to us. We still haven’t bought our Virginia souvenir. Wish we had gotten the bowl at Monticello!

When we got back to the campground I got my Kindle and went outside to read. A really nice gentleman walked by and when I spoke he began to talk and eventually just sat and visited with me. He was an elderly gentleman who lost his wife of 63 years in October. Apparently they had been RVing for a long time because after she died his granddaughter suggested that he buy a new motor home so he did. He had camped in May and although alone in his camper he was accompanied by his family in their camper. This was his first trip out by himself. I could tell that he was so lonely so we sat and talked a long while. Hoping I see him again. He was from Fredericksburg which is not too far from Greenwood.

Went in and we had dinner, sloppy joes and french fries. After dinner I went back outside and then Jerry joined me. We read for a while and then another Robert came over. He was a mite haughty and I might be too if I was in 42 foot Tiffin Allegro. Wow – a nice rig but expensive, probably in $350 range He was from Knoxville and kept saying he wished his wife would come out but she never did. They’re going to Monticello tomorrow (we never saw him again either).

Inside and early to bed again.

Home Away From Home

Hiking Crabtree Falls

Greenwood – Day Three – Monday

Started the day off slowly enjoying a cup of good coffee and then got a text from Helen Jo a little after 7:00 asking if I was up. Fixed a second cup of coffee and called her and we talked for over an hour. In fact we talked so long Jerry went back to the bedroom to read and went back to sleep. I figured he needed the rest so I didn’t wake him after I finished talking with Helen Jo. We finally got it altogther though and left about 10:30 for Crabtree Falls in Montebello. We had talked about hiking at Humpback Rock which was about 1/2 the distance to Crabtree Falls but when Jerry looked at the trail distance we decided that we were not quite seasoned enough for such an endeavor so we decided on Crabtree Falls instead.

We took the Blue Ridge Parkway part of the way and it was a winding road. For a while we followed a motor home towing four down and I was hopeful that they would stop so we could chat but they never did. Interestingly enough we saw a number of bikers and even more interesting they were all going up hill abeit with a struggle. Some of them teetered so much I was afraid they’d fall in our path.  We stopped at several lookouts and took lots of pictures. I tried to get a picture of the name of the lookout so we could know exactly where everything was taken. We’ll see how that works out. Jerry took his camera and I had my new one so I imagine we have a lot of mixed up pictures.

We got to the falls and immediately checked out the bathroom facilities. They were gross to say the least. A portapotty in a little room – enough said. I washed my hands with the water I had left in my water bottle! Before we started our hike we decided to eat our sandwiches that we had prepared earlier. As we were eating we were chatting with another couple and I asked where they were from and he said everywhere. They both teach English and have just left Korea and are going to China after visiting his father in Staunton. He suggested that we might be interested in teaching abroad if we were interested in traveling but Jerry told him that first we wanted to see the USA.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWe started the trek up to the water falls. The first one was easily accessible and very pretty. The weather was nice and we had a nice breeze and then … we started up toward the next one which was two miles further. I didn’t know that .3 of a mile was so far. The breeze disappeared and it got really hot. We stopped and chatted with some people and decided that we really didn’t need to see the top of the falls. When I saw people in hiking boots with backpacks and pith helmets I knew we were out of our league. We hiked back down to the car and Jerry was wet as water.

Came on back to the motor home and Jerry decided to take a nap. About 3:45 I decided to join him however I don’t think I ever went to sleep. Just as I drifted off a big rig, an Allegra came in and for some reason decided he had to back his rig in his pull through. The thing beeped for about 10 minutes, enough to wake the dead.

We got up and decided we’d get groceries and ride through the University of Virginia. We really wanted to see the rotunda which I learned was closed for construction plus I wanted to see the chapel. After a stop at the Hess station where gas was $3.23 we went to Harris Teeter Then we rode through the campus but never found either building. The sky was looking bad and there was a forecast of heavy rain and thunderstorms so we headed on back to the RV. We ran into some heavy rain but fortunately when we got back to the campground it hadn’t rained at all.

Jerry grilled hot dogs and I fried some french fries in the fry daddy We had homemade chilli, relish and onions and it was all good. Since we drank the last of the tea tonight I fixed another pitcher. I used the water we had brought but had to add a little of the campground well water. After dinner I went outside and read a bit and Jerry joined me after talkng to Julie on the phone. After reading for a while we went for a walk around the campground. It really is a nice place and it’s quiet and peaceful now that all of the week-enders are gone Shame on me for saying that. There are several big rigs parked around us but everyone seems to be staying inside. I have only seen one couple walking their dogs but they didn’t pass our way so we didn’t get to speak.

After determining that we wouldn’t grill anymore before we left Misty Mountain Jerry decided to take the grill down. When he came in hot and sweaty he declared that that grill was going in the trash and he was buying another one. It is a good grill but very difficult to put up and take down. I usually help and when he put it up this time he said it was the easiest it had every been. Taking it down was the hardest it had ever been though. Looks like a new grill is in our near future! I think I saw one at Camping World. 🙂

A night for reading and then early bed.

Home Away From Home

President’s Homes in Central Virginia

Greenwood, VA – Day Two
I woke up early, about 6:30 and could smell the coffee so I got on up and enjoyed the quiet time. Jerry slept late for him so I was afraid he’d either had a bad night or a headache. Fortunately he had neither. Because he drank a lot of tea last night since he had a lot of pepper with his dinner he was up and down all night going to the bathroom. In between he slept well though.

We got showered and dressed and packed our little bad of goodies for the day. Jerry had put a couple of bottles of water in the freezer last night hoping to use them in the cooler today to keep our drinks cool. We packed the cooler with water, gator aid and lemonade plus added some nabs and chips. Honestly we felt that would be enough for the day. We decided that if we found that we were hungry today we’d pack sandwiches for tomorrow. We probably will!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESOur first excursion was to Ash-Lawn Highland, home of President James Monroe. It was a simple house with lovely grounds. The tour guide was very informative and able to answer all questions presented to him. The lady working in the gift shop was very nice and we even talked about her visit to Oak Island, home of the best seafood! We had a picture taken in front of a tree that was at least 250 years old and it was huge. I can’t imagine how many people it would take to encircle it. Very definitely the biggest tree I’ve ever seen! The mountain views were so pretty except for the towers that really took away from the beauty.

Jerry in a discussion with President Jefferson
Jerry in a discussion with President Jefferson
Next we headed to Monticello, home of President Thomas Jefferson. It was quite a contrast to the home of Monroe, nothing simple about that place. It was a home of change apparently as Jefferson would change his plans whenever he saw something he wanted to add. It is very palatial as are the grounds. We wandered around there for a couple of hours. There were also some huge trees there and interestingly enough they had large branches sprouting in different directions. Some of them looked like they’d been tied in a knot. Jefferson wanted to be remembered for three things: the Declaration of Independence, author of the Virginia religious freedom and the founder of the University of Virginia. Afterward we trekked back to the car and thankfully Jerry knew where it was. We ate our chips and drank our drinks and decided for sure to have sandwiches on Monday!

The next spot to visit was Michie’s Tavern. We didn’t want to eat but we did visit the shops. The General Store had a lot of interesting doodads and also a beer and wine tasting. The lady in charge of that was very informative and suggested some other places we might want to visit. Most of them were wineries though and as Jerry doesn’t drink and I drink only a little and moscato at that we probably won’t visit many of them. She said moscato hadn’t made it to Virginia yet!

As we were done with the tours of the day we decided to visit nearby Carter Mountain Orchard. It is at the top of a very high mountain. Glad we weren’t in the motor home and I suggested Jerry not run off the road as it was a sheer drop-off – wow! They had several different kinds of apples and peaches plus a general store with pretty expensive jellies, etc. We went in the wine shop and I tasted two of the wines, one with peach flavoring and one with chocolate flavoring. I’d rather eat the peach and/or chocolate! We did buy four apples which looked like the good old green sour apples from home. They were a little tart but that’s all.

Our next trip was to the Barboursville Winery. Barboursville is only about 16 miles from Charlottesville but it’s a pretty long winding road, pretty scenery though. On the way there Gypsy took us right through Charlottesville. The sign pointed toward Historic Charlottesville. Yeah – it was historic all right – not exactly the sites on the tourist trail. We made it to the winery and instead of a tour they just had a tasting which neither of us wanted and only wine things for sale in the shop. We only stayed a few minutes and then went to the Barboursville Ruins just down the road. It’s a ruin indeed. The house burned on Christmas Day about 100 years ago and it has just continued to “ruin” since then. Being the only car in the parking lot should have been a dead give away. There is a chain around the house so all one can do is walk around three sides of the house. Oh well.

We love taking pictures in the trees!
We love taking pictures in the trees!
Decided it was time to call it a day so we came back to the motor home and immediately started in on dinner. I fixed stewed potatoes and peas and we heated up the pork chops. Tomorrow we’ll finish the veggies! I had hoped for a walk but it began to sprinkle so I spent most of the evening talking to Mary Ann. Bed about 10! Ready for Day Three!

Home Away From Home

Misty Mountain Campground in Greenwood, Va

We left home at 7:56 and hit the road for Virginia.  We got as far as Snow Hill and stopped for breakfast!  Jerry went in and bought a ham biscuit for me and some sausage biscuits for him.  While in he got a brief visit with Ilene and Julia Harper.  Then, back on the road.  We drove until we stopped just in Virginia for gas.  Our gas card wouldn’t take but $75 so Jerry had to stop and start since he was filling both the RV and the car.  He put $115 in the RV.  He couldn’t finished filling up the car so he sent me in with the gas card.  They turned the pump on and it took a whole $12 more!  On the road again.  Jerry put some CD’s in and we rode along singing with the Temptations.  We did this last week-end while Emma was at the river and her comment was that we were weird.  Maye we are but we are having a good time!

We arrived at Misty Mountain Campground in Greenwood with no navigational problems a little before 2:00.  Check in was quick and easy and they put us in Site 8.  Fortunately we are not planning to use the bathhouse because it is a long way away!  Hopefully if the weather cools a bit we can go for a walk around the campground and see everything.  There are a lot of campers here and we’re pretty close to each other but it is pull through and we have a small little patio and picnic table.  The sites must be a bit slanted because when level our front tire is not touching the ground.  I suggested that Jerry do something about it but he’s not worried so guess I shouldn’t be.

Since we hadn’t eaten lunch was the first thing on our agenda after we got set up.  We had fresh tomato sandwiches and after cleaning everything up we got on the bed and slept until after 4!  Pretty unusual for me.

I got up and decided that I would check into RVillage.  I had tried earlier on the iPad but couldn’t get it to work so wanted to try on the computer.  Well, I discovered the first thing that we left home – the power cord.  Jerry said he saw it in the chair in the den but didn’t know that I was taking the computer so he didn’t comment on it.  Not a problem.  Fortunately I have the iPad and the chargers for it!

I tried very quietly to prepare the potato salad for dinner while Jerry was still sleeping.  Don’t think a bear in winter could have slept through all my noise.  I used the nuwave to boil the eggs and yes, it does take the same amount of time but it heats up quickly and the water is boiling in seconds.  It still takes 12 minutes though.  While they were boiling I peeled and cut up the potatoes and then mixed everything together.  At this point the potato salad is made and the gas grill is hooked up.  Now just waiting for a while before we have dinner.  All in all a great day!

BTW – as I sit at the picnic table typing this Jerry is putting chocks under the tires.  Didn’t think he could leave it hanging!

It was so hot that we decided to come back inside.  We read for a while and then continued with dinner preparations.  I put the butter beans in the pot and didn’t know the pepper flowed quite so freely.  Needless to say the butter beans were a little spicy.  Jerry tried to soak up some of the pepper with paper towels and I tried to spoon it out.  Even though we got a lot out they were still a little HOT!  We ate them but didn’t save the left overs.  We had 5 pork chops, ate two so will be having pork chops tomorrow night also – without peppered butter beans though.

Cleaned up the dishes and then watched the Ladies 5-gaited class from the Lexington live feed, then we went for a short walk.  Didn’t seem to see much to walk to!  So far not too impressed with this park.  The ratings seem to be good so perhaps there are things we haven’t seen yet.  At this point no comparison to where we stayed in Williamsburg and yes, we’re here for five nights.  Since tomorrow is Sunday I’m wondering if some people may be leaving then.  There is a group across from us that is having a large loud time but as I was falling asleep last night I never heard them.

Read a little and then early to bed and a good nights sleep.

Home Away From Home

Preparation for our Virginia Trip

We got home from the river late on Wednesday afternoon, too late to go pick up the motor home so had to wait until Thursday.  Unfortunately, the repairman was coming to repair my windshield that had gotten cracked on my way to Raleigh the week before so we were home bound while we waited.  He was supposed to come between 8 and 12.  We were up at 6 so I got busy and started washing clothes.  The repairman came a little after 10 and afterward Jerry and I left to run errands and have lunch at Queen Street Deli.  I do so love their bacon, lettuce, cheese and peach sandwiches but $21 for lunch is a little steep.  It was great though.  Through the occasional downpours we got our errands done including stopping by Kings to get some barbeque to freeze for future meals next week.

Got home and left Jerry setting up the RV while I went for a pedicure.  By late evening the freezer was cold but the fridge had not even started cooling, still at 60 degrees.  We began to panic!  Finally Jerry asked me what time I would be done with my hair appointment on Friday because we would probably be going to Bill Plemmons in Raleigh for repair and then proceed on our trip.  Needless to say I started getting busy.  A late trip to the grocery store and then fixing spaghetti sauce to freeze completed the evening.  I had gone on RV Tips and asked for help.  They are the nicest group of people!  So many people responded with suggestions of what to do.  I also got some private messages from Kathy Ammons.  Many people had suggested that it would take longer to cool down because of the heat, to wait until the next morning and check.  Since none of our earlier trips had been in such hot weather it never occurred to us that it would take 24 hours for the fridge to cool.  I went to bed hoping everything was packed and thinking I was going to Bill Plemmons in Raleigh on Friday for some type of repair!

Soon after we got up Jerry went out and checked and sure enough, it was 33 degrees!  Whew – saved.  We spent the day getting haircuts and finishing preparations for the trip – and I had thought we were ready Thursday evening!  We left a little before 3 to go to Greenville to have dinner with Mom and run a few errands.  After our errands we arrived at Cypress Glen a little after 5.  Fortunately we had a brief visit with Mom because around 5:30 Gary Melton called and said water was running out of our river house so off to the Pamlico Beach we went.  Danny Barbour had ridden by and noticed the water pouring out of the house so he turned the water off and then called Gary who called us.  The master bedroom and bath and part of the hall are to say the least soaked.  The master closet is even wet and there are water stains about six inches up on the chair, the ottoman and the doors.  Gary and Janet came over and Jerry and Gary put the wooden furniture up on blocks wrapped with Saran Wrap hoping to stop any more water from seeping into the furniture.  Surely do hope it works.  Since there was nothing else we could do we came on home.  Jerry said there was no need to postpone our trip because we couldn’t even talk to the insurance agent until Monday and then there is no telling when we would see an adjuster.  We got home very tired about 10.  Our reaction though – it is what it is.  The water line under Jerry’s sink burst and that’s why we have insurance!  We called and left a message at Sloan and hopefully will hear from Loretta on Monday.  Gary said he would go over with an adjuster if he comes next week and surely he will.

Got home and continued preparation, washed a load of clothes and went to bed!  Wow – this day wasn’t what I expected but that’s OK.