Tag Archives: Windy Valley Llamas

Photography 101 – Day 1: Home Is Where We Park It

We live in an RV and travel from place to place. We stay in one location for a short period of time then move on to another location. When people ask us, where is our home, we simply say, “Home is where we park it.”

Of the three years we have traveled, the best location we’ve had for parking our RV cannot be easily determined. I give you two photos for today’s Photography101 theme.

IMG_0724This is the view that greeted us each day as we stepped out of our RV. We were working at Windy Valley Llamas in Blue Ridge, Georgia during the summer of 2012. The barn in the photo was ‘home’ for the male llamas.

IMG_1004This is the street view of our ‘home’. We were working at Mark Twain Landing in Monroe City, Missouri during the summer of 2013.

Our locations change, but “Home Is Where We Park It“. Every place we’ve park, we’ve met new people who are now life long friends.

Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.

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5 Day B & W Photo Challenge

I have agreed to participate in a 5 Day B&W Photo Challenge beginning Sunday March 1st. Fellow blogger The Happy Hugger has been doing this for the past few days. I’ve looked through my photographs from the past three years and selected a few that I believe will be suitable for this challenge.

The photos presented here did not make the final cut. Rather than let them remain in a dark electronic folder, I decided to give you a preview of what is to come. Feel free to re-blog this post or copy/paste this link (http://wp.me/p2BR7o-OI).

DSC_0344This photo was taken just outside our RV in July 2012 while we were workamping at Windy Valley Llamas in Blue Ridge, GA.

Missouri, Old BarnCarol and I were taking a drive through the country side near Monroe City, Missouri in June 2013 when we came upon this old building. It is amazing to see these old structures unoccupied, yet still standing tall and strong.

IMG_1105We workamped at Mark Twain Landing in Monroe City, MO from April through October 2013. This reflective symmetry photo is of the catch and release pond on the property.

DSC_0661We workamped at Tremont Outdoor Resort in Townsend, TN from November thru December 2013. Cades Cove, on the southern end of the Great Smoky Mountains, has to be one of my favorite spots to explore. This shot was taken mid afternoon in November 2013 looking through the trees that provided a backdrop for the photo. The historic Missionary Baptist Church, built in 1915, is to the left of were I stood for this photo.

DSC_0697Another shot from Cades Cove – this well-preserved wagon has found its resting place in a cantilevered barn in the Cable Mill area.

DSC_0735Between Cades Cove and Townsend, we came upon this Great Blue Heron perched on this large rock in the middle of the West Prong of  Little River. He put on quiet a show for us.

Old BarnWe stumbled upon this old barn while taking a side trip from Townsend, TN to Blue Ridge, GA in December 2013. The barn is near Hiwassee Ocoee State Park in Delano, TN.

B@W,Hello, Laughing Gull, Bay Front, Corpus Christi, TXThis Laughing Gull greeted us the last time we were in Corpus Christi, TX (Jan 2014).

DSC_0832A parting shot along the sea wall looking towards the Corpus ChristiMarina is a final farewell to the town where we spent 20+ years prior to retiring.

j IMG_0645The tree on the right was covered with a thick layer of ice from a cold spell at Lone Star Yogi in Waller, TX. This is where we spent the summer 2014.

Shorty's SaloonShorty’s Saloon is a cute art piece that sits in front of an auto repair garage on I-40 in Amarillo, Texas. The fence behind the saloon is a standard 6 foot privacy fence.

This has been a fun project. I look forward to the start on Sunday, March 1st. Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.

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Tuesday Pet Share

I’ve taken the liberty to include some of our favorite pets we’ve worked with. Well, they may not actually be pets, but they found their way into our hearts.  During the summer of 2012, Carol and I parked our RV at Windy Valley Llama in Blue Ridge, GA.  We enjoyed our stay there, worked with some fantastic folks and fell in love with some beautiful llamas.

Say hello to Sushi. She was born on May 6, 2012 and Carol was there to help bring her into the world. That was one of the perks of working at Windy Valley Llamas.

DSC_0053Here is Sushi with Dee, her mama a few hours later.

DSC_0061Click here for the rest of the story about that eventful day.

We left Windy Valley in September, 2012. You can see that Sushi grew up a bit. It was hard for Carol and I to say good-bye.

IMG_1102We went back to Windy Valley Llamas in December 2013 for a short visit. Sushi remembered Carol. For that story click here.

DSCN0554It has been 2 1/2 years since we spent that wonderful summer there. We think of the llamas and share stories about our time at Windy Valley Llama often. Pam and Jerry Fink, owners of Windy Valley Llamas are great people to know. If you ever travel to Blue Ridge, Georgia, please stop by Windy Valley Llama. You will be treated like family.

Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.

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Blue Ridge Once Again

Since we are so close to Blue Ridge, GA and Windy Valley Llamas, it would only make sense that we would find time to visit the place we workamped during the summer of 2012. So on Sunday Dec 8th, we left Townsend, TN and headed south to Blue Ridge, GA. Our route took us to Maryville, TN; then south on US411 to Madison and south on TN 68 through the south end of Cherokee National Forest.  The Winter scenery of bare trees replaced the lush green forest we saw during the summer of 2012. Still the mountains are beautiful.

We made the 105 mile trip in about 2 1/2 hours. We were excited to make this trip because when we left Windy Valley Llamas, we knew we were leaving life long friends there. We were warned in 2012 that the Blue Ridge Mountain area would call us back. They certainly did. After a chance to catchup on what has been going on during the past year, we had a wonderful dinner with Pam and Jerry along with their neighbors, Tim and Karen, and two other workamper couples.

Monday morning we got up to visit the llamas. The two Great American Pyrenees dogs, who guard the llamas, did not have any problem with us coming into the pastures. It was apparent they remembered us. Our goal was to check out Sushi. She was the llama that Carol help deliver in May 2012. In the photo on the left Sushi is less than 6 hours old and standing by herself. The fence in the photo is about 5 feet tall. Monday’s photo (below) of Carol with Sushi shows how much she has grown.DSCN0554I fell in  love with Dior. One of two rescued llamas Pam has added to the herd. She was very friendly and loveable.

DSCN0550We had an enjoyable visit although it was too short. Working at Windy Valley Llamas was the best thing that we’ve done in the two years on the road. We love the Blue Ridge Mountain and all the waterfalls. As we headed back, we decided to take an alternate route (US-74, US-64, TN-40) that would take us past the Ocoee Whitewater Center. (Click the tag on the right to see that post). As we drove past, we noticed the water flow looked pretty strong. We turned back for a closer look. Sure enough, the Ocoee River was out of its banks. Only to serious kayaker would dare venture out on this river today. The two channels of water seen on the left of the following photo is a walk way along the edge of the river. Normally there would be more rocks on the right side of the photo where viewers can sit to enjoy the rafters and kayakers travel downstream.

DSCN0562Further down stream at the Ocoee Dam #2, the water was pouring over the spillway. Normally the water barely trickles at this point since the flood gate that maintains the water level would be open. Today is a different story. Make sure your computer’s speakers are on to enjoy the sound.

It is amazing to see this raging river turn into a quiet and peaceful scene down stream. Lakes Parkville and Ocoee had been lowered to accommodate the runoff from all the rain in the region.

DSCN0570We turned north onto TN-30 to head back into the Cherokee National Forest. As we climbed, we drove past a few isolated homes buried in the forest. These folks wanted to be far away from the hustle and bustle of city life; they want peace and quiet; they wanted to be left alone.

We next came upon the Hiwasee Union Baptist Church (founded in 1848) nestled on the banks of the Hiwassee River, The building was erected about 1899 through the joint effort of the Hiwassee Union Baptist Church and the local Masonic Lodge. This two-story, frame structure served as a community building. The upper floor was for lodge meetings while the first floor served as the church meeting hall. The first floor was also used as a schoolhouse for a brief time.

DSCN0573We soon found our connection to US-411 and headed for home. I leave you with yet another old barn. We love these old structures. If only walls could talk.

DSCN0575Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.

Texas Wrap Up

We pulled up stakes on Monday 2/18 and began our journey to our next adventure at Clear Creek Recreation Area in Bankhead National Forrest about 30 miles north of Jasper, AL. Before writing about that, I thought I would recap our Texas adventure. We ended up on Carl Wendler’s cattle ranch in Ledbetter, TX October 31st after a very disappointing experience in Pipe Creek, TX.

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During our short stay in Texas, we traded our 5th wheel for a motor home and purchased a car.

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We also acquired a new fur baby Mei Ling. We gave our standard poodle, Qianna, to our daughter and grandson.

Mei-Ling

We enjoyed being with our family for Christmas in San Antonio and enjoyed both daughters and grandsons visiting us on the ranch.

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Carol and I made the decision to purchase handguns for protection and qualified for our concealed handgun license. No, we are not turning into a modern-day Bonny and Clyde team.

CHL Qualifying

We also received word on Jan 31st that a tornado touched down on Windy Valley Llama Farms where we worked before coming to Texas. Fortunately, no one and no animals were hurt. The tornado blew down over a dozen trees and tore down the fences that separated the pastures. One tree next the big house fell onto the roof of the house causing some damage. For additional photos, click the Windy Valley Llama Farms link above.

Windy Valley TornadoAs expected, we made friends with some new folks in Ledbetter and had a chance to catch up with family. Plus I learned a few more skills that will help with future workamping work.

That’s a wrap! Thanks for stopping by. Y’all come back now.