Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday, May 31st



HOT DAY IN MAY ... ALUMAPALOOZA DAY 1


Wow! It was blazing hot in the JC today. Word is it got to 96* here today. At least we had the wind helping us keep cool. We got moved to the field and parked about 100 Airstream trailers. Tim and I have the task of getting electric and water to all of them once they are parked. It's a great way to meet everyone coming to the event. Tomorrow we will have less to park and hoping the weather will be about ten degrees cooler than today. It got up to 91* in our Airstream today and is still 81* now at just after 11pm.

Since we were both busy working and not a lot of picture taking going on so I will tell ya about the next new gadget ....

GADGET #3

The Sewer Solution

I just call it the poo grinder. Not much explaining needed. I will only post a picture of the box. Tim had already done one demo and I am sure more demos are in the future. Let's just leave today's blog at that ....

Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday, May 30th


OFF AXIS IN JACKSON CENTER, OHIO

Something just isn't right when it is still daylight at 9PM at night here in Ohio. We have not watched any television since we left Florida. So . . . just curious if something went off axis in our absence from society. I do remember something about the world ending and thought maybe we got just a nudge. Anyway we did get a few things settled in the fields where we will begin parking the 200+ Airstreams tomorrow for the start of Alumapalooza. We are being told that 100 are planned for arrival tomorrow. Tim and I will be helping make sure they get their water and electric upon parking. Others volunteers will be directing and assessing the the parking and checking participants in. The organizers of the event will be making sure all is running smooth. As of lunch time today parts of the fields were still wet. Tim drove his truck all over to assess what was thought to be the 'bad' spots. This afternoon we had plenty of wind and temperatures hovering around 90* so by morning the fields should be in better shape. Tomorrow will be another hot day and a very busy one for us. Starting with our move to the FIELD.

Then the afternoon today was spent socializing with the new arrivals of the day to the Terra Port, washing our Airstream and a lovely trip to the local laudromat. It really is nice to see people we have met in the past and being able to catch up with them on their travels. A good majority of them full-time in their Airstream. This afternoon we also had a nice surprise visit form my cousin Tom who showed up on his motorcycle. We hope to see him and his mom, my Aunt Martha, before we leave Ohio.

PICTURES OF THE DAY

8:50 PM IN JACKSON CENTER, OHIO


GADGET #2 - ROTO-CHOKs / DOG LEAD HOLDER
(A much better and safer way to block your Airstream than a standard wheel chock)
Also taken @ 8:50 PM

ROXY'S POSE OF THE DAY
(Taken around lunch time)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday, May 29th



LET THE ALUMAPALOOZA PREPARATIONS BEGIN . . .

Tim and I spent a few hours today helping Rich, Eleanor, Bret & Lisa (the Alumapalooza gang) stuff bags for the attendants of Alumapalooza. It was a lot of work but good company makes events go by quicker than they seem. Tomorrow we hope to begin prepping the field for everyones arrival on Tuesday. Our fingers are crossed for no more rain and a dry field.

PHOTOS OF THE DAY . . .

ROXY STRIKING YET ANOTHER POSE

THE AIRSTREAM FACTORY ASSEMBLY BUILDING


MY DREAM TRAILER A 1957 AIRSTREAM CARAVANNER . . .

13 PANEL . . .

OH . . . YEAH!!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Saturday, May 28th



RELAXING IN JACKSON CENTER

Last night we decided to ride over to the other side of the factory to grab a bite to eat at Melvin's. Tim and I had gone there last year and enjoyed the atmosphere and cold brew. This years visit did not disappoint. We met the bar owners and the locals that were there. We hope to meet up with them later in the week.

This morning we spent catching up with our friends who are already here in the Terra Port (where we are currently parked) at the Airstream factory. The Terra Port is a great little mini-camp next to the factory used for those who are here getting their Airstreams serviced. The afternoon came and went so quick and soon it was time to meet up with my Aunt Martha. She had gathered everyone together, including my cousin Tom and his family, for a really nice dinner nearby in De Graff at Gangsters. This is a really cool place set in an old building. They have gangster memorabilia all around, the waitress's are dressed like little flapper girls and sing on the stage in the window in between waiting on tables. The food was really great and I know they will do good. Aunt Martha . . . thanks again for inviting us . . . we had fun and enjoyed seeing you again.

As we departed Gangsters it was beginning to rain. It wasn't suppose to rain today. It's suppose to be drying out. This area has had soooo much rain this year. Raining every day and even floods. The ground is very saturated here and we know that this may become an issue next week with where we are to park in a field for the Alumapalooza event. The local farmers have not been able to plant crops yet this year. This time last year the field next to us had corn planted that was already about two feet tall by this time. Below I have a picture from last year and one I took today.


CORN FIELD LAST YEAR


SAME FIELD THIS YEAR


ROXY ON VACA . . . ENJOYING THE FLUFFY GRASS HERE

OUR SPOT IN THE TERRA PORT

OUR FLAGS ON THE AIRSTREAM

Friday, May 27th



TRAVELING DAY TO OHIO

Once we got on the road . . . hit a Starbucks (I have my priorities) and got a few miles behind us we decided not to do a stop over in Kentucky. The traffic and weather was not so bad so we pushed ahead through Tennessee and Kentucky up I-75 and made it safely all the way to Jackson Center in Ohio. We are just now hearing about all the bad weather over the past week. I'm in heaven. Sitting in my Airstream next to the Mother Ship . . . the Airstream Factory. Since we were in the truck all day I really didn't have much of an opportunity for photos. So I will chat a bit about one of our new gadgets . . .


GADGET #1 - CORNINGWARE PERCOLATOR

Yes, a percolator. My mother gave me her old corningware percolator coffee pot recently. When camping with out power and being off grid we have found this to make the best camp coffee ever. Even better than my french press. I had to research on how to use it and to get the perfect timing. Now we use it all the time when camping. THANKS MOM!!! Love ya . . . we think about you every morning when we get up to make our coffee. Sip'n a 'special' coffee as I am blogging right now. Yuuummmm!!!

Thursday, May 26th




Tim says this hiking pack doesn't make my butt look big.









Finally we were able to find a stash of marsh mellows AND graham crackers at the camp store yesterday. We already had chocolate & caramel candies on hand . . . that meant last nights campfire was the best yet.

This morning we slept in a bit then made our breakfast on the grill outside. Just after lunch we took off for a hike. Since the Abrams Falls Trail was closed we decided to do part of the Rich Mountain Loop Hike. We started on the Crooked Arm Branch portion and turned around 2.2 miles later at the Indian Grave Gap Trail. This took us to an elevation of 3,500 feet. With storms looming we later found our timing to turn around to be perfect.

Along the way we played ... who's poo is that? I would guess bear. Tim would say horse. By the time we finished we had seen both and a few more. The trails were gorgeous and plenty of Mountain Laurel still in bloom. The trail head we had started at is about a mile from where we are camping giving us about a six mile roundtrip hike ... Our total time gone, including an ice cream stop at the camp store at the finish, was four hours. As soon as we hit our campsite the rain came down. Perfect timing!

Right now we plan on heading out in the morning a day earlier than scheduled. Without connection to the world outside we want to find out the weather forecast north of here toward our next stops. We will be back on grid soon.

Wednesday, May 25th














This morning we got up early to participate in the bike ride around the eleven mile Cades Cove Loop. Now keep in mind prior to our departure I had been 'training' for this day. I was riding fourteen miles (1 1/2 hours at a clip) two days a week in Florida .... up and down those hills in West Orange County. Well ... Cades Cove eleven miles and three hours later had kicked my ass.

So with that being said and no sense in getting into details I will just let the pictures speak for themselves today ...

(We did see a lot more wild life today)

Tuesday, May 24th



































My day started out early with a walk-about around the campground. It was a cool and crisp morning. I took some photos of the surrounding forest and small river nearby. It was really nice being out by myself, smelling the early morning campfires, breakfast cooking and seeing everyone begin to stir.

Once I returned to our camp we got a few more things settled around camp and had a quick & easy lunch before heading out to the Cades Cove Loop. The 'cove' is a flat valley between mountain ridges. Then the loop is an eleven mile one-way driving tour within the Cove. Two million visitors a year make this drive. Today we decided to drive it and stop along the one way loop to see all the old settlement homesteads and buildings. Last year we did this and had Roxy with us ... So we weren't able to do any of the stops. Today we left Roxy in the Airstream to rest her paw while we did the tour. It was so amazing and I am so glad we came back this year to do this. The first non-Indian settlers came here in 1818. This place is a showcase for some of the most inspiring natural treasures. One of our favorite stops was at the Elijah Oliver house. At this stop you had to hike a half mile back in the woods to see this settlement. After five hours we made almost all of the stops along the loop and hope to hit the ones we missed in the morning. We did not see as much wild life as last year ... Just a few deer and a bear.

Tomorrow we will get up early and ride our bikes on this same eleven mile loop. A few days a week during the summer the loop is closed in the morning to vehicles to allow for walking and biking only. This evening we grilled our hamburgers outside and had another great campfire.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Monday, May 23rd





























Travel day through Sequatchie Valley . . .

Trying to depart a location early never works for some reason. But the best excuses can be found to justify this. Just as we were to depart Oneonta AL Tim's Uncle James came to visit. Uncle James had been gone all weekend at a car show in Helen GA and had just returned from his travels. This was such a treat to be able to see him prior to us leaving. I had begun to think we wouldn't. It totally made my day. Oh .... and how we managed to unload half of our belongings into Louise's place I'll never know.

We finally pulled out just before ten o'clock AM. Once on the road we found the traffic to be light. Our selected route took us out of the way up through the Sequatchie Valley and along the Tennessee River. The scenery was well worth the effort and uneventful for the most part. There were a few odd things to see along the way. One of the best stops of the day was to hit a Starbucks and pizza place along the way. Yum! Our arrival to Cades Cove in The Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee was later than anticipated but it's so nice to be in the woods and off grid. Awwww .... It's beer thirty. Oh yeah! Finally a campfire. But we had no marsh mellows. Maybe the camp store will have a supply.

We Are Back On Grid

This past week we were in Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains. We had a blast there. Currently we are driving north through Knoxville TN. Once we get settled at our next stop I will do updates for the days we were off grid.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Departing Alabama Soon


Today we had a wonderful lunch with some of Tim's relatives The Buckners. YUM! Thanks you guys! Then I think before it was over half the town had come by. Late in the afternoon we spent some time with Tim's cousin Shirley . . . the one who is allowing us to courtesy park on their property across the road. She and her husband are building their new home in front of their existing place. Later they will demolish the older home. They will have a beautiful place when its done. It's always great to catch up with everyone on our visits here. Then we did more chores for Louise this evening. Even though it has turned out to be a busy day I was still able to take a few photos. Louise always sets up feeders for the humming birds and it takes no time at all for the little tykes to show up. We took a nice stroll down the hill to the creek on Louise's property. Things are now beginning to grow up a bit along the its shores.

SWEET LITTLE HUMMING BIRD

LOUISE & JOSE ON HER FRONT PORCH


A VIEW OF THE VALLEY FROM LOUISE'S FRONT PORCH


THE CREEK IN THE BACK YARD

Now our short stay in Oneonta Alabama is coming to an end. All way too fast. Tomorrow morning we will begin heading North East to our next stop. Along the way we will be paralleling part of the Tennessee River through some of the most beautiful back country around. We hope we will be able to stay on back roads as much as possible and stay off the interstates. We plan on departing early just in case we see places along the way we want to investigate. Once we get to our next stop, where we've stayed prior, we will have no cell or internet service. We will be going off grid. SO at this point I'm not sure when the next blog post will take place. But I will be sure to keep everyone caught up.

We want to thank Louise, Tim's mother, for her gracious hospitality. She always takes such great care of us. The Buckners are, as always, the best hosts for a family gathering. And we want to thank Tim's cousin, Shirley and her husband Randy, who allowed us to courtesy park on their property here. Louise has a very short and steep drive way. Tim's truck would have absolutely, no doubt about it, had any trouble getting our Airstream into Louise's place but the problem lies with . . . will the Airstream have it's bumper, tanks and all its piecey parts once we get to the top or back out onto the road again. We still have many miles ahead of us and I'm not one to take any chances. Stay tuned for our next stop!!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Place We Seek ...

Is said to be the meaning of the name Oneonta here in Alabama. It is a very picturesque setting among the rolling hills and rocky crests.

Last night was rough. Roxy kept us up most of the night with some sort of allergic reaction. This morning at dawn the weather was very refreshing. Roxy and I enjoyed a long walk out to the barn in the cool air. The majestic old family magnolia tree has almost started blooming. In a few weeks it will be absolutely gorgeous. Every southern girl needs a magnolia tree in her yard.

Tim spent part of the day making repairs around his mom's place. Then this afternoon we all made a trip to town to go to .... Walmart. Yes, I said Walmart. I survived and Tim got his Smoked Spam. Only in America ...need I say more?

My little buddy Jose was in rare form and has kept us all in line. He is so cute. Just in case the AHS is monitoring this ... No animals were harmed in the making of this blog post. LOL