We’ve been home now for not quite two weeks and figured it was time to finish out the posts for this trip as promised. I have come to the conclusion that after about 2 weeks we get antsy and bored and are ready to travel again. Actually make that 10 days since we haven’t been back even a full 2 weeks.
It’s not that we don’t have plenty to do, we just don’t want to do any of it and want to hit the road again. This bodes well for our future plans of no sticks and bricks home, just Lucy, Bitsy and the open road. Let me catch you up on the travel home and then we’ll jump right into what’s next.
The Most Peaceful Place
I promised to tell you about the most peaceful stop on the whole entire trip. It was in Franklin, NC at the Cardinal Ridge Farm and RV Park. Ahhhh, just a little bit of heaven on the mountain. We decided to make our trip out of Gatlinburg and over the Smokies a short day, and that led us here.
This was a really beautiful spot with only 8 campsites. We had the whole upper level all to ourselves. You can just make out Lucy & Bitsy in the trees below in the picture above. The hosts were so gracious and even gave us a tour of the farm although Jackson wasn’t too sure about riding in the utility vehicle. I had him in a death grip most of the way so he wouldn’t jump out.
The sunset hike views were just gorgeous. So many shades of blue and the mountain layers were like a tapestry. Add to that no noise other than birds and the evening critter sounds. This is the kind of place we just love.
This place was not like any other RV park, really because it wasn’t one. It is a farm and haven for the owners first and then an RV park site second. They have ballerina geese by a pond when you first drive in. Picture geese with feathers that look like tu-tus. Two talkative and friendly gals, but pretty sure they were ready to chomp down if I put my fingers through the fence.
The owners also used to do fawn rescue so they have quite the deer following. They feed them every night by the geese pond. The deer are a little tentative, but the turkeys are all over it. They are first on the scene so they don’t miss a crumb.
Here we have an example of exactly the kind of unexpected travel find where we would change our plans and tuck in for a few days. Unfortunately we made reservations downstream and were really on a mission to be home by September. We’ll be back here for sure to tour the area and just plain relax. The little touches like wind chimes at each campsite and flower pots made this memorable, along with the farewell hugs as if we’d known these folks forever.
Indian Springs and Inertia
We’re back in Georgia now for 3 nights at Indian Springs State Park. Sadly we are no longer in the mountains and Summer has found us again. We do, however, get half price camping in Georgia in August since we stayed at a few spots in July. It is a deal and we are happy to be stationary for a few days.
This is touted as the oldest state park in the nation – yes the entire one. Creek Indians used to come to the spring to collect the water since it was said to have healing properties. You can drink from it, too, if you are so inclined. We were not since inertia had set in for us at this point, and things at rest are staying at rest. Namely us. We walk with Jackson and I make a post about Gatlinburg and that is about entirely it.
We are teased by a few colorful leaves during our treks. A few are actually changing color and dropping. Very, very few, but I managed to collect up some nice specimens for my artsy shot. Had to have something to show for this stop.
General Coffee Homecoming
Finally our last stop on this journey before home. We love General Coffee State Park in Douglas, GA. It has great hills for bike riding, a heritage farm and was the very first place we ever camped in Lucy. The Florida parks were all full at the time so we had to leave the state. Randomly we picked this spot a ways off the beaten path, but so worth it. Pat remembers that trip where we rented bikes and he felt 12 again.
We had high hopes of riding our bikes here and seeing the heritage farm animals. Unfortunately, we were also keeping an eye on the tropical storm in the Gulf that would turn into Hurricane Hermine. Do we stay, do we go? We’ve only spent one of our two nights here. Oh heck, we’ll go down to the farm and continue to muddle it over.
There are geese here, too, but regular ones. No special feathers, but eggs! Jackson finds one and is not sure what to make of it. We love the view of the lake in front of the farm. Plenty of suspicious gooooooats, too. Also sheep and one that screams at me when I turn to walk away. Sassy bunch.
Then there’s Molly. She’s over 30 years old and interested in what you might have to eat. She doesn’t have much in the way of teeth so you can’t feed her, but she comes over to the fence to say hi. She regarded me with those eyes and I’m not entirely sure I made a good impression. Kinda like the look I get from the cat most of the time.
So we see the farm sights and check the weather again. Amazing, but we seem to be in the direct path of the storm for the next morning, while our Florida home is no longer in any watches or warnings. This is why we have wheels and we decide to bug out. Riding out 50+ mph winds in the woods in not the way to RV. Within an hour we are packed up and heading home.
I am happy to report that the drive home to Florida was uneventful as far as the hurricane was concerned. We did, however, have some excitement with a detour before we entered Florida. We’re driving merrily along and come upon an accident. We’re on a divided highway, so not a huge road to begin with. Three cops standing shoulder to shoulder motion all the traffic to turn off the main road to the right. We are directly behind a semi and also followed by another one. My Google map says no problem, just keeping going about a mile and a half, make a few turns, and get back on the highway.
Sounds good until I see a sign on the right – “Pavement Ends”. Are you kidding me?! Yes, the pavement does indeed end and is the bumpiest stretch of dirt we’ve even driven on. Honestly we could not go slow enough to make this ok. The dog is even peering out the windshield at this point seeing what we are up to.
Meanwhile we are following this semi I mentioned. It has a trailer with an open top hauling what appears to be tons of scrap metal and the trailer is a bit askew. I mean wiping out the trash cans on the site of the road askew. We’re back on the pavement by this point headed, we hope, back to the main road and twice are convinced this guy is going to roll the entire truck. Pat drops waaaay back as we ponder how we’ll get back if this way is blocked, too. Happy day! No accident (other than the trash can) and we’re back on the main road.
Back in the Shack
Of course we made it home that night in time for dinner and had no storm issues whatsoever. It was worth leaving early since our campground did turn out to be in the path of the storm.
What next you say? Well we are back sorting through the “stuff” we still have and carting it off to Goodwill. Pat has managed to sell one more boat – the catamaran – and now has one more to go – the inflatable. That’ll be a total of 2 cars, 3 boats and 2 trailers since June when all is set and done. We’re feeling much less encumbered by things.
The plan is to get as many house fixes completed as possible in September so we can enjoy a month away in October. We’re headed to a rally in Bradenton and will stay at an RV resort. Really looking forward to catching up with some good buddies on the West coast of Florida, as well as taking in the sights on that side of the state. If you have any suggestions, let me know.
Once we return, it is full speed ahead to completely empty out the house and get a realtor set up to list it. On the market by year end is our goal.
Jackson is doing well and happy to have his yard back. He’s enjoying more space and frequently goes into another room for some alone time. We miss kitty, well ok, I miss kitty, but she seems to be doing well in Maryland with Ethan. He’s good, too, and is in the middle of week 3 of classes and labs. He will work in a lab at NIH during Winter term. We’re all very excited about that.
That’s it for now. I’ll post again during our month at the RV resort and let you know where we go and who we see. See you on the way!