Tag Archives: Road Trip

We Have Arrived

Yes we have landed in Georgia, Blue Ridge to be exact.
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That is the good news. The bad news is I am too tired to blog tonight. So tomorrow you will get a full report of an amazing trip.

I can say our truck performed flawlessly. We had sufficient power to go up hills and plenty of stopping power when coming. I even beat out a Ford F250 pulling a lighter 5th wheel. You could say I left that Ford in the dust.

Please check back tomorrow for the full story. This is the view we get while sitting under our canopy or sitting at the dining table.
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Thanks for stopping by.

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Almost There

We are almost there now. There being Blue Ridge, Ga. One more short drive of 160 miles through the Southern part of the Appalachian Mountains.

This morning I got a little turned around when we left. The plan was to grab a breakfast at the Backyard Grill (recommended by Hagan-Stone Park manager), then fuel up the truck and head west. I should have taken I-85 to I-75 then I-40. Somehow I missed I-75 and stayed on I-85. That put me on course for Charlotte. Carol did a little navigating and determine that we can get back on course by taking US 64 North at Lexington. That is what we did. I-85 was rough in spots. We certainly would prefer something smoother. Oh yes, US-64 is asphalt. This is what we prefer.
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We still cannot get over US highways being 2 lanes wide with no shoulder. We made it back to I-40 and are now headed for Asheville. Our camp site is just east of Asheville. At Exit 94 (South of Lake James State Park, I got a glimpse of what lies ahead. Pretty cool.
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So far our truck has not stumbled on any of the small grades up or down. In fact at this point, I am very pleased with the way our truck has performed; no engine strain and good stopping ability. We pulled off I-40 at Old Fort to find our stop for the night; Catawba RV Park. This is a small family operated park.

The park is nestled in a valley so TV reception here is nonexistent. We watched a DVD movie instead. Carol worked on a seeing project while I worked on the blog.  We tried to connect via Internet with our Houston daughter but due to iffy Internet, could not make that happen.
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Our site backs up to the Catawba River. Currently it is flowing like a small creek. Here is a view from our back window.
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After a short rest, we ventured into Old Fort and found most of the better restaurants closed. We ended up grabbing a quick meal at Hardee’s. Nothing to brag about other than that it was quick. When we got back, we walked the doggies and chatted with our neighbors. They are here from St. Agustine, FL. They came up to celebrate their twin Aunt & Uncle’s 95th birthday. Tomorrow we need to make one stop at Camping World in Asheville to replace or water hose. It has developed a leak at the fitting where it connects to spigot. Then we will take more photos as we travel along to Blue Ridge.  Hope the rain in forecast will not interfere with our travel plans.

Thanks for stopping by.

No More Flat Land

We got off during a lull in the storm system that moved through the East coast late yesterday. We were able to get hitched up and hit the road by 10:00AM. By 10:30, the rain started. Fortunate for us, we were headed West and the storm was headed East. Our route took us North on US-17 to Pollicksville where we picked up NC-58. The two lane highway had very little traffic and was very smooth.
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The surrounding scenery was colorful in spite of the rain. Color provided by large Azaleas and blooming Apple Blossom and Cherry Blossom trees. We passed one home with an over sized lot that was full of large Azalea plants. If I were not pulling the trailer, I would have turned around to get a photo of the yard. The following photo is one that did not blur as we drove past.
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Carol got a little excited over this small cluster of trees. She said, Jerry, look. These trees are not pine trees. That was funny because we have been in pine tree forests since we drove into Louisiana.
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As we connected with I-40 just South of Raleigh and the sky started to clear up a bit. I-40 is a concrete highway which makes it prone to be rough. The concrete joints tend to shift creating an up and down motion in the truck. This is what we call wash-boarding. This interstate was not that bad.
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I sure am glad I do not need to be on this stretch of I-40 during rush hour traffic. By Houston standards, this is small. However, for us 8 lanes was large.
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We followed US-64 Southwest of Raleigh. Here the highway returned to 4 lanes divided and is covered with asphalt. Good smooth road. This is what we like.
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Finally we are nearing our destination. Notice the rolling hills. Nice but short drive to Hagan-Stone Park.
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Yea! We have arrived, Hagan-Stone Park is a small county park that is a great get-a-way for folks wanting to get away from Greenville, NC.

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We asked for a recommendation on a local restaurant. Joshua, the park person said we should try Four Winds Cafe.  They have an interesting history. That is where we went for dinner. All I can say is WOW, that was wonderful. It was a little pricey but well worth the cost.

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I had Filet Neptune – Grilled filet medallions topped with asparagus, fresh crab meat and Lobster sauce. Carol had Summer Breeze Chicken – Fresh Boneless breast grilled and topped with pineapple, sun dried cranberries and a orange zest champagne sauce.

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Plus I had a bottle of Hoegaarden – a Belgian White Ale to go with my dinner. Sure was good. I include Carol in this photo because she is always fun too watch. The blouse she is wearing is one of the projects she worked on last week.

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After we got back from diner, Carol went across the way to check out a group that had assembled in the pavilion. Turns out this was a group of family that included blue grass musicians.  Carol really enjoyed the music. She also got to meet the park manager and his wife. Nothing wrong with doing a little networking while we travel.  This would be a fun place to workamp a while.

That’s it for tonight. Tomorrow we head Southwest to Catawba Falls Campground in Old Fort, NC.  Thanks for stopping by.

Road From Hell

Today we thought we had smooth sailing. The plan was to take I-20 from Heritage RV Park in Augusta, GA to Florence RV Park in Florence, SC. A trip of 159 miles. This should be an easy route so I asked Carol if she would like to drive it. Nothing tricky, no small roads, no tight turns. Carol makes all the correct turns and we are now headed on I-20 into South Carolina. Looks pretty cool.
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Then we get to the South Carolina state line. Our nice comfy trip turned into the road from hell. Carol described it as riding on a washboard. Think about driving on the highway, listening to the tires crossing over the transition joints. You know the sound. It almost sounds like a train on railroad tracks. In a Lincoln TownCar, you can hardly feel the tries crossing those joints. In a 1 ton truck pulling 15,000 ponds, not only do you hear the tires crossing the joints, you feel the tires crossing the joints. The feel is amplified by the weight of the trailer and the stiff suspension of the 1 ton truck. For 4 miles we had washboard road. I beseech the South Carolina DOT to change their sign at the state line to read something more appropriate such as “Welcome to South Carolina, The Rough Rider State”.
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Fortunately after 4 miles, we were back on asphalt so the ride was much better. Just about the time I was ready to take a short cat nap as we were approaching Columbia, guess what showed up again. Good guess – more road from hell. By the time we got to Florence, we were both beat up. We arrived safely at Florence RV Park northwest of the city around 1:30. We were unhitched and set up in about 40 minutes. Now time for a rest.

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I asked the office staff about a recommendation for dinner. We were looking for a place unique to Florence and South Carolina. The ladies thought for a moment and said, “Most of the folks here just go across the interstate to the Flying J.” I said thanks for the suggestion.

When I got back to our RV, I googled “good eats, florence sc”. From the links that came back, I found RedBone Alley. This is a unique restaurant in that the owner converted a J.C. Penney’s store in a mall into the restaurant. You can read about it on their website.

I planned to have photos of our dining experience but the camera battery apparently had its energy jolted lose on the trip today. I had CHICKEN PONTALBA, their “infamous” cheese grits loaded with spicy fried chicken, local sausage, mushrooms and Low Country hash brown potatoes. Carol had FETTUCCINE MOSAIC, hearty bowl of fettuccine Alfredo tossed with grilled shrimp and chicken topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a few green onions. Served with a side salad. YUMMY.

After dinner we fueled up at Walmart (3.85) plus bought a few groceries that will get us to the weekend. Tomorrow we will be at our March Workkamp gig – Safe Harbor Farm in Maysville, NC.

Thanks for stopping by.

TGIM

TGIM? Yep, TGIM. Thank God It’s Monday. Wage slaves are going to think I am crazy with that. A few days ago, I got confused on what day it was. Saturday, I thought it was Monday. I remember telling Carol that once we get settled in for the night, we could watch Castle. Now today is Monday for sure. So TGIM.

I read on another forum that our friends Pete and Jane from Arizona had a blowout on the Cedar Creek in El Paso as they were headed back to Arizona. Thankfully, they were able to get their trailer off the road and tire replaced safely. Their trailer suffered minor damage. Reading about that, plus avoiding the stranded chair on the freeway yesterday got me thinking a bit about safety. For the past few days, we have noticed a shimmy in the front end of the truck. The shimmy only appeared between 40 and 50 mph. To me that sounded like a tire out of balance but I am not the expert. We decided to get it checked out this morning before hitching up the trailer. I googled Discount Tires because that is where I had purchased the rear tires on the truck. There was only one Discount Tire in Macon. It was fairly close to where we were so off we went. We were prepared to spend some time there so we brought our tech gear. Neal met us as we drove up. I explained what the problem was and he said they would be able to get to the truck right away and should know something in a few minutes. They found the two front tires were indeed out of balance. They fixed that and sent us on our way. Total time? Less then 30 minutes. Cost? Nothing. When I reminded Neal we did not purchase the tires that were balanced from them, he said there was no charge because we are Discount Tire customers. WOW. Thanks Discount Tires.

Our journey today was a short 120 miles from Macon, GA to Augusta, GA. We headed North East on GA 49 to Milledgeville, then GA 22 to Sparta, GA 16 to Warrenton, and finally GA 80 to I-20. From there it was a short drive to Heritage Mobile Home and RV Park on the West side of Augusta.

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I can assure you I had both hands on the steering wheel when I took these photos. The drive reminded me of driving through the Piney Woods of East Texas.
We got settled into our site, rested for a bit then went forging for food. We found a place called The Chop House which is located in the Augusta Mall just down the street from us. I opted for the Chop House Chops and Carol went for the Petite Pork Chops. I did not get a photo of hers but here is my plate.

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Carol gave me her Parmesan Creamed Spinach (YUM). The small cup next to the baked sweet potato was a dipping sauce for the chop made from apple, mustard, and orange zest. It may sound weird but it sure was tasty. I do not normally order pork chop because most of the time the chops are dry. My chop was juicy and tasty. Carol’s was OK. Service was quick and good. I would recommend this place to others.

After dinner, Carol went for a mani in the mall while I went for jeans at Tractor Supply and diesel for the truck. Paid $3.99 tonight. Seems like the further we get from Texas the more the fuel cost.

Tomorrow we have to be out of here early so to avoid mingling with the morning traffic, we will pull trailer into the shopping mall parking lot down the street and walk to Starbucks for a heart healthy bowl of oatmeal. Tomorrow destination is Florence South Carolina.

Thanks for stopping by.