Sunday, June 17, 2012

MANY, MANY PICTURES . . .


This past week since we have been home has absolutely flown by. Getting settled back into the house, unpacking, going through the mail, email, work, getting together with friends & family and cleaning the Airstream. One other thing I have been working on, in spurts, is backing-up and organizing my photographs. Merging iPhone photos with Nikon photos that were taken over the course of this three week trip. I have organized them into two separate collections on flickr ... just click the link below. There are five to six sets in each collection and somewhere close to 1,000 photographs total. Take time and enjoy the slide shows to see what else we got into over the course of this fun adventure that we had . . .

http://www.flickr.com/photos/wymer/collections/





Saturday, June 9, 2012

FIDDLESTICKS ...


We made it back home late this evening ... Uuugh.

Tim and I had a long drive home today from  north Georgia and finally I got a Starbucks. Every time we  get back home the house seems so big after living in 210 square feet for three weeks. We are all exhausted from the days travels including Roxy ... She has already gone to bed without us. 

Acquired, Lost, Blown, Broken & Seen Along The Way ...

Acquired 5 new t-shirts total
Blew two bicycle tires (one in Ohio & one in Georgia)
Down one bottle of rum
Acquired one rum soaked rug ... decided it was better to bring home a dry rum rug than a soaking wet one (if we had rinsed it)
Saw a couple of bluebirds ... Here & there
Bought one coat ... Goose down ... But it was really soft ... Had Airstream & Eddie Bauer on it ... It was on sale ... Really!
Saw at least 20 groundhogs along our travels
Blew out one pair of flip flops (ya know a girl is upset when it's her fave pair)
Goats on a Roof
Broken Airstream water heater
Bought several new stickers & pins for the screen door of the Airstream (for places we've been & want to go)
Saw a few chipmunks
Lost one pair of readers
Groundhog on a post

Back on grid now. I was lucky enough over the past week to barely get the daily blog posted. My attempts included doing the Statue of Liberty stance by the dumpster, walking around the park with my MiFi  hot spot as if I was a ping pong ball and catching a quick Internet wave while driving between mountain gaps during our daily outings. I hope to respond to all emails and posts over the next few days. Every blog post during this trip was posted from my cell ... It was just easier. I will also post links in a few days to the hundreds of pictures I took over the course of the last three weeks. For now we have made it home ... back to the heat, humidity, rain, mosquitos and reality of Florida. 


--

Safe Travels~

ALICE WYMER

(Aye chihuahua!)

FRIDAY, JUNE 8th


OK ... I think I lost ten pounds today. Our long awaited hike happened today on the famous Appalachian Trail (a hikers paradise) where those who live and  breathe adventure fight to survive. Tim and I have hiked a small portion of this 2,181 mile hiking trail that extends from Maine to Georgia about five years ago. At that point it was our first real hike. We had no idea what we were doing and were by no means even prepared for such a hike.  Now we have hiking packs, hiking poles, carry a map & compass, bring survival aides and pack food properly. The Appalachian Trail is what started our love for hiking. 

So today we hiked and conquered the treacherous and deadly portion of the Appalachian Trail leading to the peak of Blood Mountain. Known for it's steep inclines, tight  switchbacks and death defying rock ledges ... Where Mother Nature wreaks havoc among those whose travel her trails. 

Well maybe I exaggerated slightly but it really sounded good. Here are a feet stats from our hike today:

Parking lot at trailhead - 3,070 foot elevation
Peak of Blood Mountain - 4,459 foot elevation
Elevation climbed - 1,389 feet
Equivalent to height of a 137 story building (if we hiked straight up - very thankful for switchbacks & ridge trails)
Blood Mountain is the highest peak on the Georgia portion of the Appalachian Trail
Blood Mountain is the sixth tallest mountain in Georgia


--

Safe Travels~

ALICE WYMER

(Aye chihuahua!)

Friday, June 8, 2012

THURSDAY, JUNE 7th


The area here in north Georgia has so much to offer. Tubing, hiking, camping, kayaking, trout fishing, biking and the list goes on. Today we had planned  another full days schedule. The day started with a short hike at Anna Ruby Falls just south of Top of Georgia. It is a Chattahoochee National Forest park but to get there you must drive through Georgia's Unicoi State Park. The falls are where two creeks meet becoming Smith Creek which tumbles downhill into Unicoi Lake and then to the Chattahoochee River. Eventually this joins the Appalachicola River in Florida and ends it's 550-mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico.

The next part of the day took us north of Top of Georgia (1,850 ft elevation) across the Appalachian Trail to Brasstown Bald. At an elevation of 4,784 feet this is Georgia's highest point.  The start of our ascent had the temperature at 72*. Once we reached the parking lot up the mountain the temperature was 61* and then after our hike to the peak, very steep hike, to the top observation deck the temperature was 58*. When we returned to the bottom of the mountain the temperature had jumped up to 78*.

The afternoon was finished with a visit to the new home of our friends, Jerry & Irene, who live in nearby Blairsville. They have an Airstream and moved here last summer from the Tampa area. Their new place is gorgeous and it comes with spectacular views of the local mountainsides. We then went out with them to enjoy some yummy local BBQ at Jim's Smokin Que. Tomorrow brings our last hike of this trip ... I can't wait. This will take another item off the bucket list. 



--

Safe Travels~

ALICE WYMER

(Aye chihuahua!)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 6th


Schnitzel with spaetzle and all that!

Tim and I were finally able to sleep in this morning. Once up and about we had a late  but light  breakfast. Tim finished up the morning with the repair of the wardrobe latch. It really works better than new now. In the future as a safety precaution we may add an additional strap & snap on the exterior of this door. 

The small town of Helen, located just south of us, kinda makes me think that 'It's a Small World After All' has busted loose from Disney World  into reality.  Located on the Chattahoochee River, Helen is a re-creation of a Bavaria alpine village complete with cobblestone alleys and old-world towers. It's a cute little place to visit and to get some good German food and of course German beer. Which is exactly what we did at the Old Heidelberg Resturant and Pub. Yum ... Schnitzel with spaetzle!!!

The rest of the week we plan on staying here at Top of Georgia on the Chattahoochee River... with full hook-ups ... Water, electric, sewer and cable. Being that the  nightly fee is only $7 ... Seven dollars ... We will take advantage while we can. 


--

Safe Travels~

ALICE WYMER

(Aye chihuahua!)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

TUESDAY, JUNE 5th


Slade, Kentucky to Helen, Georgia

Still exhausted from our hikes we had to get up early in order to get on the road. Today we had about 6 1/2 hour drive and just over 300 miles to tow the Airstream south. The duration of our drive turned to nine hours in no time. Between fuel stops, lunch and bathroom breaks AND getting behind slow pokes AND Tim and I not being on the same navigational page ... the drive took longer than anticipated. 

Tim wanted to go one way. I wanted to go another route. Lee Garminitta had a different way in mind and Google was on its own track as well. After getting on the road it took us a few minutes to get everyone on the same page. From now on we will have a drivers meeting prior to departure. Lesson learned. 

Driving back through Daniel Boone National Forest and through the Cherokee National Forest then over the Appalachian Mountains. Our final route had the start and end on back roads and driving the middle portion on I-75. We drove on at least ten different serpentined roads with tight switchbacks and steep grades. I knew that the mattress on the bed in the rear of the trailer would be on the front couch when it was all over. 

Once we arrived at Top of Georgia, an Airstream RV park, we realized that The Silver Palace aka Trailer Park Lounge had taken on its name literally. The mattress was fine  but the latch for the center wardrobe had ripped out and things like my precious percolator, a plastic pitcher, table cloths, towels AND liquor bottles had tumbled out. All survived EXCEPT for one bottle of rum. There was shiny shattered glass and rum flung from one end of the Airstream to the other. What a mess! Uuuugh. I had to strip everything out that was on the floor to sweep and vacuum all the glass up. Then mop the floor. By the time I finished I still had the rum soaked rug and a towel to deal with ... It will just have to wait until tomorrow.


--

Safe Travels~

ALICE WYMER

(Aye chihuahua!)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

MONDAY, JUNE 4th


Is it two times the charm??? Ehhhhhh ...

For those who remember me complaining about our arrival two years ago at Kentucky's Natural Bridge State Park ... Well here we are ... Yes ... Again. The last time we came the site that we had reserved we found ... outside the gate on the edge of the road and partially in a ditch and with only electric hook-up. Since that was a holiday weekend with the campground booked solid we left immediately. It just was not a safe place for us to camp with people exiting the campground having to drive around us. 

So we find ourselves here again. But with a much better site. One on the end of a culdesack, in an actual site, on a creek and with water & electric hook-ups. We landed here Sunday evening. There are some wonderful things in the area that just can't be passed up and this was the perfect opportunity to try again and to get this off the bucket list. 

Our best site in the campground comes  complete with the sound of Whittleton Creek, whip-poor-wills and a hiking trail head that leads to one of the largest natural stone arches ... Whittleton Arch. Most of the day was spent hiking. We did two big hikes today one to Natural Arch and the other to Whittleton. The plan at Natural Arch was to take the sky lift up and hike down so we could save time in order to get both hikes in. As our luck goes the lift was broke and they were waiting on FedEx to deliver the part to fix it. So we decided to drive farther up the mountain to catch a shorter hiking trail at the Lodge. Once we reached the arch we realized how amazing this natural stone arch is. Then every step became even more spectacular. Especially when we discovered we could climb the arch and walk across the top. Breathtaking! We decided to take a different route down ... Battleship Rock Trail which included Devil's Gulch. When I saw the trail drop into the gulch there I nearly turned back. Catching my breath I pushed forward and conquered the fear of having to descend down this steep trail. The effort was well worth it and one of my favorite hikes to date. 

As soon as we finished Natural Arch we made a quick stop at the Airstream then hiked straight to Whittleton Arch ... We were loosing daylight. This trail follows the grade of a logging railroad built in 1898 that ran from Natural Bridge to Chimney Top. Both hikes were great and I hope to make it back here again to  be able to hit some of the other trails in the area. There are over 100 natural stone arches in the area that were sculpted by 70 million years of wind and water. 

So much For the 'quick post' that took over 24 hours to send. That's what happens when your off grid!



--

Safe Travels~

ALICE WYMER

(Aye chihuahua!)

QUICK POST ...

While I have a signal on our hike. Guess where we are in Kentucky?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

CLEAR FOR DEPARTURE


Adios Jackson Center... Until next year!!!

Tim and I woke early to help wrap up what we could of the field and tents as everyone departed from Alumapalooza. We hope to see everyone again next year. We had an amazing time ... Every year here seems to exceed the previous year. 

Ohio is behind us now and currently we are in Kentucky heading south. The plan is to relax for a few days ... Off grid for the most part. I'm making this blog post a bit early because of it ... No cell or internet service to upload my posts to. 

So since we just departed Ohio I'll leave with a few bizzar laws from that state:

Weird laws in Ohio: 

It's illegal to fish for whales on Sunday
It's illegal to get a fish drunk
No one may be arrested on Sunday or on the 4th of July
Participating or conducting a duel is prohibited
It's illegal to catch mice in Cleveland without a hunting license
In North Canton it's against the law to roller skate without notifying the police
In McDonald your duck may not be paraded down Ohio Avenue
In Bexley ordinance #223,  of 9/9/1919 prohibits the installation and usage of slot machines in outhouses
In Marion it's a violation to eat a donut while walking backwards


--

Safe Travels~

ALICE WYMER

(Aye chihuahua!)

ALUMAPALOOZA 2012 - DAY 5


The final day. As Alumapalooza winds down we begin to think about what's  next. Where do we go from here? What's our next meal? And we can sense home on the horizon. Nomads on the run not wanting to return to reality. 

 Today didn't involve very much event work for us. So between yesterday afternoon and today we could slow the roll and socialize with all those we have met over the last week. The days events were a swap meet, Rivet Master Competition, cooking seminar, sword swallowers & fire breathers, dinner sponsored by GEICO and last but not least ... Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours! I know you remember me talking about them last year. They rocked it out of the tent again this year. 

Tomorrow morning, Sunday, will bring the sad departures that I try not to think about. This year was a blast. Thanks  to our fellow volunteers who worked so hard along with us and thanks to the Alumapalooza organizers for putting on a great event. Save our spots for next year ...

Pictures:
Rhasta Standard Poodles
Me & Sophie
Rear Exterior of 1966 Airstream Tradewind
Interior of the same 1966 Airstream Tradewind 



--

Safe Travels~

ALICE WYMER

(Aye chihuahua!)

Friday, June 1, 2012

ALUMAPALOOZA 2012 - DAY 4


Late Thursday we knew a bad line of storms were coming so we had already put everything up ... Awnings, chairs, flags, Roxy's dog bed and a few other items. It seemed like the storm line parted at the Airstream factory and other than some crazy wind, a few sprinkles ... we were in the clear. We were not so lucky this morning. The temperature was 61* when we woke-up then the rain came then more crazy wind. By lunch the temperature was 54* with a 16 mph wind and 75 % humidity .... With a real feel temp of 46* ... Brrrr. The whole afternoon was freezing cold. Lucky for us we only parked a couple of trailers but still with the constantly coming in and out of that weather it is not what this Floridian likes. As expected a few folks decided to drive in the messy, muddy field and got stuck. 

A few events in the morning were either canceled or rescheduled. The best event of the day was still able to be pulled off 'The Backup Derby'. This event consisted of ten teams of 2 people (couples mostly) showing off their back'm up skills. The best time with the least errors gets the prize. As you would guess this was very entertaining. Tomorrow they will hold the couples Rivet Master competition. 

The afternoon was spent trying to keep warm under my four heavy layers I scraped together. I warmed up my home made spicy sausage lentil soup for dinner ... that turned out to be perfect for the weather. The evening was finished up with the musical group Hymn For Her ... A very talented couple who do an interesting eclectic rock-a-billy grunge style of music. 

Currently as we ready for bed the wind is still screaming outside my toasty Airstream. The temperature is 49* ... And I'm not sure what the real feel temp is ... Glad the heater is working. Brrrr


--

Safe Travels~

ALICE WYMER

(Aye chihuahua!)

ALUMAPALOOZA 2012 - DAY 3


A works in progress ... At least the first picture represents that. It's a brand spank'n new trailer still on the assembly line inside the Airstream factory.  The next picture is of the bike ride tour getting ready to take off. The last two are a few of the Airstream trailers parked here in the field. We have 175 Airstreams on property so far. And finally this is what the Airstream factory looks like at  night. 

Now I'll leave ya with a few fun Ohio facts . . .

Cincinnati had the first professional city fire department
50% of the US population lives within a 500 mile radius from Columbus
Dresden is the home of the world's largest basket
Charles Goodyear of Akron developed the process of vulcanizing rubber in 1839
Akron is the rubber capital of the world
The official state rock song is "Hang On Sloopy"
Leading producer of nursery & greenhouse plants
In 1899 opened 1st full time automobile service station
Seven US presidents were born in Ohio
Only state with a pendant designed state flag
Akron was 1st city to use police cars


--

Safe Travels~

ALICE WYMER

(Aye chihuahua!)