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Sunday, October 28, 2007

I hope this isn't going to be an annual tradition!
Seems like about this time last year my roof sprung a major leak just before a 4 day rainstorm. Now in the midst of drought it's done it again. The rain started Tuesday in NC. Apparently I wasn't quite level - I had a few drips at the doorway but nothing that looked catastrophic. We finished the store and I drove to my friend Phylis's house and the leaking started in earnest. After I'd dumped the third dishpan I re-leveled to again have the drivers side a bit high and the rain went to the curb side more. Still wet as *expletive deleted*.

With plastic bags covering things that ought not get wet as best as I could set it up, I went in her house and finished a few beading projects. What can you do?

This morning the sun came out and I began a project I had not planned on until spring: removing the yucky carpet. Only now it was a WET yucky carpet. I know carpet's easy, cheap, and looks good in a showroom, but I think it's nothing but stupid to put it in a motorhome. This is the third motorhome I've ripped the carpet out of and replaced with sweepable flooring - but the first one I've done under duress. The floor has to dry as soon as possible.

I would have liked to see hardwood flooring - fat chance - but I was relieved to find chip board under the carpet and not that horrible pressed sawdust stuff my old travel trailer was floored with. THAT stuff disintegrates if you cry over it, never mind have a leaky roof.

I tore out as much wet yucky carpet as I could, then drove to my son-in-laws' parents' house, otherwise known as Tool Heaven, where Thom and his tools removed the table I couldn't get off the wall so I could get the rest of the wet yucky carpet. Thank you Thom!

Now I have a ceramic heater and another fan doing their best to help the floor dry out. Stuff is in odd places. The wall table is cleaned and polished in normally unreachable places.

The A/C cover is off. Water got in there and every time I stepped on the brake it sloshed out. So now it's drying and I need a new filter. Not that I ever USE the A/C. It requires AC electricity and makes too much darn noise. I'd be ok replacing it with a roof vent with a fan in it.

Thom and I climbed up and looked for the source of leakage. Unlike the last 3 leaks, it was not obvious. I know it's forward of the air conditioner - or perhaps it IS the air conditioner. But it's not something I can see. I need a new roof. I can't afford a new roof. So I must find something that works in the interim. Maybe that paint-on rubber roof stuff? Gee I hope it doesn't rain where I am until I figure it out. There's still a drought, and I hope it gently rains all over the East Coast except where I am. Just not IN my motorhome!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Camping is alive and well in South Carolina.

I have been to enough underutilized campgrounds in the past few years to be convinced everyone is at their stick houses watching tv, playing computer games, or who knows what. Or catching up on their chores. My own Izaak Walton park, which used to be packed on weekends and well used during the week (I'm told) is now seriously underutilized. I don't understand it - you can swim, boat, fish, camp, shoot skeet, rifle, pistol, they have a wonderful archery range and woodswalk... Why wouldn't it be packed all the time?

Anyway - last weekend I pulled into Cheraw State Park in SC on Friday morning and they were FULL already. They suggested I go to H. Cooper Black Recreation Area which was adjacent and only 7 miles away. I did that.

I have never before camped at a campground intended for horse people. All the campsites had paddocks in back. (I'm not a horse person so they could be technically called corrals or something - what do I know?) And because they were intended for people with horse trailers, they were all quite spacious.

The other thing that happens at H. Cooper Black is hunting dog events. I was aware that duck hunters hunted with dogs, but I'd never seen them in action.

This was a weekend of Retriever Trials. The dogs must show how well they follow instructions from their handlers, find the birds and bring them back, and refrain from doing so when it's another dog's turn. That part seems to be the hardest for the dogs, who obviously love their work.

Saturday morning they retrieved ducks in the field. In the afternoon they retrieved them from the pond, which required swimming.

Retrievers are great swimmers. I understand they used to use them to find bodies and stuff from shipwrecks. This I was told by a gentleman who, instead of tossing a ball for his dog, would toss a rock into the water. His dog would dive for it and bring it back.

Here's the bird!

After I left Cheraw, I spent the afternoon at a Farm Festival held just east of Pageland, SC. I ate some delicious barbecue, Watched the Sunshine Cloggers dance.

and looked at some spiffy antique tractors. (Yes, I think their tractor's sexy!)

I Won a door prize. Participated in a cake walk - don't know what I'd have done if I'd won THAT - fed my sugar-eating co-workers, I suppose.

South Carolina, incidentally, has A LOT of State Parks. Their facilities are quite nice and their rates are quite reasonable. Maybe that's why they get used!

I spent an afternoon at Lynches River County Park last week. It is just south of Florence, SC.

I walked one of their trails and took pictures,

Enjoyed the riverside,

And hoped I'd get a chance to come back after they build the environmental education center that's currently in progress.

Lynches River Park is a former state park now run by the county. They do have a campground, but since they don't advertise it it isn't used much. I would think it would be a nice peaceful place to get away from it all.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


My friend Sue and I have just returned from the Eastern Primitive Rendezvous, a 10-day camping event in the 18th Century.

The time period is 1750 - 1840. We camp in period tents, wear the clothes of the era, and practice the skills of that time. We cook over open fires, shoot muzzleloaders, throw hawks and knives, have archery tournaments. Sing around campfires. And go shopping.

Here a friend of mine is being fitted for buckle shoes. I bought a pair also, having traded off my old ones.

We dress as mountain men, Indians, suttlers, settlers, colonial businessmen, soldiers, anyone who might have been back then. Some of the most picturesque are members of Clan Wolf, who portray Scots...

And hold Scottish Games. Here they are Tossing the Caber.

Of course, a couple of times it rained. When I tell them about Rendezvous, sometimes people ask me "What do you do when it rains?"

We get wet.

Keep reading. i've played catch-up and posted several posts at once.
Canoe trip, critters, lights... bits and pieces left from pre-Eastern Rendezvous posts.

Sometimes at lunchtime, especially if it's a night set or a new store, a bunch of us will get together and have lunch in the parking lot. This time, we were joined by a few critters.

I'd always seen GREEN praying mantids. This one was brown. Sue said it was probably a Carolina Mantid.
( Note: now that she's seen it, she says no, it's either an American or Chinese Mantid. )

I went back to the Chesapeake Campground to have some more of the available fun - a friend joined me for a trip up the Dismal Swamp canal. We rented a canoe from the campground. It was a beautiful day for it.

I have always wanted lights for my awning. Kroger had some on clearance that I liked, so now I have a set. They make systems to hang your lights from the channel on the awning but I didn't have any so I made my own. I used bone hairpipe (beads) and hemp from my jewelry making supplies. The hairpipe fit in the channel perfectly, and the loops of hemp held the lights up.

Pinehurst RV Resort is a city run campground in Pinehurst, NC. It was maybe 10 miles from the store I'd just finished, and R&R was in order.

I set up camp, coaxed my warped-out-of-shape door into closing and latching, and headed for the pool.

After a refreshing swim in total solitude, I took a walk around the campground.

There was a larger percentage of big Class A motorhomes than I normally see in a park I can afford. Beautiful rigs.

I noticed that although there were plenty of RVs, there were no people outside enjoying the campground. Finally I figured it out: This was the middle of golf country. There are LOTS of golf courses around here, and the denizens of these big rigs were on the links enjoying the outdoors there instead of in the campground.

This bunny posed for an amazingly long time, showing off how well she blends in with the scenery.

There were a couple of rigs for sale in their storage area. I particularly like this one - about the size of mine but with a basement.

This is their lake, a peaceful place to be. I look forward to another visit.

Norfolk Botanical Gardens

I'd seen the sign last time I worked on a store on Little Creek Road, but hadn't followed it. This time - it was a night set, so I had time during the day - and shade was
important! So off I went.

These crepe myrtles are trained to cross decoratively like this.

Stacy, this pic's for you: an arbor of lavender and roses.

Mostly I'm posting rose garden pics because the rest of the zillion pics I took from the tour trolley. Hard to line up good shots from a moving vehicle.