Hello! Please allow me to introduce myself…
I know. Yes, it has been another month. Come. Gone. If there was no such thing as a camera, memories would be faint [sigh] and I wouldn’t have anything to write about. I could not possibly remember all the fun we have had along the way. I would just remember… we’ve had fun!
Before we left the Outer Banks, we celebrated Greg’s 48th birthday. (Greg is the owner of RV Solar Solutions, a mobile solar company.) Now, it’s very difficult for me to comprehend how these “kids” are able to hit the road at such a young age, but maybe they know more than I did at their age. However it is they have been able to accomplish very early retirement, my hat’s off to them! You rock, Greg, and may you have 48 more happy birthdays… on the road!
After leaving the Outer Banks, we drifted in the direction of Ebenezer County Park in Rock Hill, SC. It was a 2-day trip and we were just passing through, so we all boondocked overnight at our second Cracker Barrel since hitting the road. Everyone else arrived at a reasonable time; however, it was a much longer day for us. You see, we are, well, anal about the salt air we had been subjected to for the previous month and we wanted to stop and have everything washed… over/under/around/through. So, we sat in the truck line for 2-1/2 hours at a Blue Beacon truck wash near Rock Hill and had everything (our truck included) washed… thoroughly! Waiting that long was definitely worth my peace of mind. As we sat and waited our turn, I put my time to good use and whiled away the hours by playing Candy Crush on my cell phone. Craig, of course, spent a lot of time talking on his phone. Yes, my man is most definitely a talker! But that’s O.K. He loves it. Makes him happy! And occasionally he’ll even learn something new.
Upon arrival at Cracker Barrel, we had a great out-of-the-way spot in which to park that gave us room to push our slides out on one side. The only problem was we had to parallel park. I never gave parallel parking much thought before because, actually, I never thought about getting myself in such a situation. But, for those of you who do not know me, don’t ever tell me I can’t do something!! It was a hoot trying. I did it, quite easily, and here’s proof!
Upon arrival at Ebenezer County Park, we were very surprised to see what a beautiful county park this is, and very clean. It is a fairly small, quiet, peaceful park on the shores of Lake Wylie. This is where we would call “home” for the next week. We were ‘foreigners’ as we quickly learned that this is where all the locals go to spend time in the great outdoors. Nice!
While at Ebenezer, we took some time to visit Glencairn Gardens and the local shooting range with our group.
The following Saturday, we headed for the Tom Johnson RV Camping Center in Marion, NC where we were attending another RV-Dreams rally. The camping center is located in the foothills of the Smokey Mountains. We just fell in love with the area. It is absolutely beautiful!
This “family reunion” rally was “a first” and, specifically, for anyone who has attended one of Howard and Linda Payne’s past rallies. I’m not sure of the exact number of attendees, but there was quite a crowd. Or should I say, quite the crowd!
The Class of 2014 (which we are part of) certainly had a large presence at the rally.
We truly enjoy each other’s friendship and companionship, and our time together is always priceless! We went on outings together, played games, shared some campfires, ate/drank, danced, and had some hoots and hollers. Our mantra is… Just go with it, or… What happens in _____, stays in _____! Now, don’t get me wrong. We are not deviant, just fun and freedom seekers. David even entertained us with his guitar pickin’ and original music, while his sweet wife, Sharon, sang background vocals.
Note: For more information on David and Sharon, they are the original owners/creators of a well-known hidden retreat in the foothills of Gordonsville, TN a/k/a Butterfly Hollow. While David and Sharon recently sold their beloved B&B to follow their dreams of hitting the road, I encourage you to take a look at the website to learn more. And, note, that out of 139 TripAdvisor reviews, ALL 139 reviews gave them a 5-star rating! Now, that’s a success story, folks!
I will let the following photos speak for themselves.
During our rally week we had a choice of going on excursions or doing absolutely nothing. I chose to visit the Biltmore House with Kelly, Pam, and Red, as Craig had already been there, done that.
Later in the week, Craig and I joined our friends on a Pub & Grub Crawl.
At the last stop, we celebrated Sue’s upcoming birthday (June 13). What a surprise it was!!
Finally, many of us met at a local winery where we spent the entire afternoon enjoying cheese/crackers/wine, live entertainment, good friends, and the view!
Finally, we also chose an all-day whitewater rafting adventure. What fun that was… until I fell out of the raft! You see, one of our guys in another raft had fallen out in the rapids. While on our way to rescue him, somehow, we got scrunched between a couple of boulders and we hit so hard that I just plopped into the water. I was later told I actually went under. In case this has never happened to you and you are wondering what it is like… the experience is quite surreal. It happened so quickly that I have no recollection of even going through the motion of falling into the water. One split second I was seated in/on the raft. The next split second I was in the water, going over the survival techniques in my head as earlier instructed. OK, my feet were good… pointed downstream in the right direction. (Still, I’m totally calm.) The raft is up against my head, but I realize I am between the raft and a huge boulder sticking out of the water. I instantly came to terms with being smashed between the raft and this boulder. Still, calm. I just figured I would bend my knees as I hit the boulder and push off with the raft still at my head. Before any of that could happen, I realized that someone had a hold of my right arm. It was Craig. He was yelling something at me, but I could not understand what he was saying. The next thing I knew, he had let go of me. Why? The guide told him to release me. I know that was hard for him to do, but from his years of experience as a firefighter/EMT he knew it was for the best and I could be rescued more easily otherwise. And so it was. As I drifted rapidly (no pun intended!) toward the back of the raft (I later learned), the guide stood up, reached in the water, and tugged on my life jacket. That is when water seeped up into my nose. For the first time I began to get concerned that may have been the beginning of the end. But, my number was not up as I felt an even more determined tug on my life jacket. All of a sudden, voila, I was laying in the raft, on my back, on one of the cross bars. (I later learned that our guide had reached down, grabbed my life jacket, and yanked me out of the water with one fell swoop.) WOW! I laid still, not saying a word, trying as best I could to reconcile what had just happened in my head. With my eyes still closed, I could sense and hear commotion all around me and I heard our guide say, “I need everyone to get back in their places!” I continued to lay there, still processing what had just taken place and thinking ‘they’ could all just cover for me. I was busy processing what had just happened. Then, I heard him say, “I need ALL oars in the water!!” For some reason, I snapped as I realized he meant business by the determination in his voice. In order to avoid another mishap, I had to fulfill my role and obligation of helping keep us all safe. So, I immediately sat up, took my rightful place, and followed instructions until we entered calmer waters. And, no, I did not get any pics. I was under water with my camera around my neck, and everyone else was too busy rescuing somebody. LOL! BTW, Bob was eventually rescued, and so was his lost sneaker… down the river! Praising God for two great rescues!! (P.S. Bob was a little more beat up than me. He had a much longer out-of-boat rapid event than I did!)
After the rally, we decided to stay one additional night before hitting the road Monday morning. We got a fairly early start, but ended up having a really long day. Five hours, somehow, turned into 12. We took our time and made several stops along the way, but… really? Oh, well. What do we have but time, right? That night we decided to use our Thousand Trails membership at a campground in Batesville, IN.
Note: We are not the type of peeps to sign up, pay for, and get involved with various memberships across the country. However, because we are staying on the East Coast this summer where campgrounds are few and far between, and in a campground that runs over $700.00 for only TWO WEEKS, we decided the wise thing to do was join Thousand Trails for much less, and pay $0.00 for camping fees. With this membership, we can also enjoy free to nominal campground fees for an entire year in the 2 “zones” we purchased. These zones reach from the East Coast all the way West across Texas. Just made better financial sense!
Back to the story…
Granted, we arrived at Indian Lakes RV Campground and Resort in Batesville, IN around 7:30-ish, but campgrounds will usually leave an envelope with campsite information, etc. in it for late arrivals. Nope. Not here! There was someone in the “guard” shack, but no one in the office… and no envelope. So after much conversation with the “guard” and showing him the e-mail confirmation on my phone, we eventually managed to get on the other side of the gate and headed for a site. “Any site. Just pick a site,” the guard said. So, that’s what we did. We pulled in, Craig got out (I was driving), and a voice came through a window in the RV next to us that said, “There’s no water. Nothing works around here.” Craig did a little further investigation, came back to the truck to discuss the situation, and we looked at each other with cringed eyebrows. So, Craig directed me out of that section of the campground, but not until after I took this photo.
AND, if you can believe it, they even charge a $4.00 “resort” fee. Now, that is laughable!
Once we ventured into another section of the place, we found it a little more appealing, but only two other campers were there. It made us wonder about this place, for sure, but it was late, we had traveled all day, and we were tired. After all, we only needed a place to lay our head for a few hours. Tomorrow was another day.
Now that we have arrived safe and sound here in Shipshewana, IN. Shortly after arrival, we witnessed something a little nerve-racking. We were parked in a parking lot facing the street when an Amish carriage carrying a young family (husband, wife, small child) began to approach. As they reached the cross street, the horse began to, well, go a little nuts and began to rear up. The horses that pull the carriages are usually fairly small in stature but this one, however, was quite tall. When the carriage settled down long enough for the young man to jump outside to grab the horse, the horse reared up (I swear it was 25′ tall!) and came down, narrowly missing the gentleman. Even though the horse broke free of the harness, the young man eventually was able to get a hold of the horse, but not before the horse had pulled them both across the street… while cars were coming and going! The carriage was left sitting in the street with the young lady and child still in it. Once things settled down, the young lady was able to exit the carriage and pull it across to the safe side of the street. Sheesh! That was an experience I don’t really care to witness again! (The clarity is not very good as I had to take these through the windshield.)
We are in a holding pattern before we take our “Baby Girl” in for warranty work in just a few short days (Monday, June 15). In case you are interested in our experience, stay tuned. While we are actually dreading what lies ahead of us for the next few weeks, I will be reporting on our ‘experience’ with unabashed sentiment… good, bad, ugly! Nothing will be embellished. Just the facts. I am keeping my fingers crossed all goes well as I truly believe in this company… Lifestyle Luxury RV, an Evergreen company.
Until next time!