Been having so much fun both at the truck camper rally and then traveling on with friends that the blog got behind. Tonight we are west of Asheville, NC and are debating taking a tour of the Biltmore House tomorrow. I'd like to at least see the grounds since the azaleas are blooming and the rhododendrons are close.
The rally at Tall Pines was extra fun this year as it was so relaxing and gave a lot of time to chat with old friends and meet a lot of new ones. There must be something in the personality of those who can live and travel is such a confined space. Yes some of us have pretty big campers but it is still a small space. That ease of living seems to show in the way we can share so much of our lives on the road. The "boys" do have fun with their toys.
Thursday the 1st of May more and more TCs showed up. We had big rains and winds and the campground had many flooded sites. Not just standing water but big deep puddles. Raye, the campground owner, worked long and hard on bringing in gravel to level out sites. The Tall Pines Campground is very hands on by both Sherri and Raye and is kept in excellent condition.
We went with Terri and Roy to Ray's Seafood, a local long established place serving fresh caught fish, oysters and really good hush puppies. I so rarely eat fried food anymore that this was quite the treat. Most days here at Tall Pines we were walking 3 1/2 to 4 miles a day. The big storms finally passed and we were blessed with sunny warm days and beautiful sunsets. This picture is from a fellow camper Bob Fenton. Thanks Bob.
We had "Butch the Sign Painter" add our names to the F-450 truck doors. Joe refused to be first on both sides of the truck. LOL
The campground put on a hot dog roast on the beach Friday night and followed it up with a DJ. Farewell Saturday night was fireworks on the beach and a very enjoyable time hanging around the Whistler's camp. How silly can 30+ adults get? VERY! but what a fun time. Poor Doug with the patient wife Fran from the Jersey Shore will always be known as Sasquatch.
Monday May 5th we left the Eastern Shore and headed over the Bay Bridge Tunnel, then followed Route 58 across the bottom of Virginia. We like to camp at Corps of Engineers Park campgrounds as they are so well maintained. $12 got us a concrete pad, water and sewer on the John Kerr Dam Lake North Bend area. Four other truck camper couples from our Northeast TC group were there also. We are almost glad so few people know about the COE parks as we can usually get a space with no reservations.
We all split up to follow different paths and we traveled to the other end of the Kerr Dam Lake to Fort Hambley Park and another $12 well spent. On the way we drove quite a lot of the Blue Ridge Parkway. I hadn't been on this stretch before having spent most of the time before on the north end of the Skyline Drive. That end is limited access and more park like. The portion we were on had a lot of access points and was just like a back country road. We'd stopped for a walk and just gotten back to the camper when a fairly large black bear walked out of the woods about a hundred yards away. So surprised no photos were taken ! Beautiful animal just as black as tar almost. The leaves are such a soft green and almost fully out on top of the mountains. I love driving these kinds of back roads.
Today we traveled westward on Route 221 towards Asheville, NC. We did find a Ford dealer in Boone, NC who took our truck in for oil and filter change. He worked us in and it was greatly appreciated. We took the Chalet off the truck in the yard right next to an Arctic Fox. That truck was having engine work but how odd there were two TCs there. Nice lunch and an even better yarn shop in Black Mountain, NC. That is a town that has maintained the old character of shops along a main street without the chain establishments. It was 86F and sunny but not humid so we walked quite a bit.
Tomorrow we head southwest again towards Chattanooga, TN with the idea of cutting a bit more south after than and going to New Orleans. Joe has been there years ago while in the Coast Guard. I've never been and would like to ride a trolley and walk the French Quarter. We'll see as we have no reservations that way. Still headed to Big Bend National Park in TX as the goal for this trip.