Category Archives: North Carolina

Photography 101 – Day Eleven: A Pop of Color

When we were preparing to sell our house, our real estate agent said we should paint the front door red. Why? Because it is inviting and makes the house pop. I think any color that is brilliant can make a photo pop.

I was sitting on the beach near Bogue, North Carolina a few years ago watching the waves roll in. Something in (or on) the water caught my eye!

11a DSC_2349I switched to my telephoto lens and captured this golden glow on the waves.

11b DSC_2384Spring is a time for pollen to float in the air. This particular day, the pollen settled on the water. I am glad I was sitting on the beach and not swimming in the water.

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Photography 101 Day 6: Connect and Tags

Tags are a means of connecting a blog post with others who share a common interest. Merriam-Webster defines connect as:

  • to join (two or more things) together
  • to join with or become joined to something else
  • to think of (something or someone) as being related to or involved with another person, thing, event, or idea

Capturing these concepts in a photography can be easy or challenging depending on how the photographer interprets the definition.

I chose these photos because they demonstrate power in connections.

Safe Harbor Farm, K-9 Rescue, Rehabilitation and Rehoming CenterMaysville, North Carolina

Safe Harbor Farm, K-9 Rescue, Rehabilitation and Rehoming Center
Maysville, North Carolina

My wife found a connection with the resident cats at Safe Harbor Farm by using food as the tag.

Union Covered BridgeParis, Missouri

Union Covered Bridge
Paris, Missouri

Union Covered Bridge is one of 4 remaining covered bridges in Missouri that incorporate the Burr Arch design. The bridge connected early travelers with either side of the Elk Fork Salt River. Additionally, the timber connections of the Burr-Arch design provide strength and integrity to the bridge.

200 AMP Transfer Switch
Mark Twain Landing, Monroe City, Missouri

The transfer switch transfers power from the source to the users. Without the switch (tag), there would be no power distribution or connection to the electrical users.

Dam on Mill CreekCades Cove, Tennessee

Dam on Mill Creek
Cades Cove, Tennessee

The log across Mill Creek and the flume gate are tags that connect the creek to the water wheel at John Cable Mill.

John Cable's MillCades Cove, Tennessee

John Cable’s Mill
Cades Cove, Tennessee

Without the tags (log and flume gate), there would be no power at the mill.

How do you connect?

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Thanksgiving, A Reflection

As I sit at my computer this morning while parked on the edge of the Smoky Mountains, I thought about the early RVers (aka pioneers) who decided to ‘Go West’ to a land that was flat and fertile. Leaving the comforts of their homes, families and friends in Virginia, North and South Carolina they headed west searching for a new life and happiness. As the coastal waves and rolling hills where behind them, they encountered the Appalachian Mountains. Here they faced what seemed like an endless climb to cross of the mountain range.  I thought about their courage and strength that fueled their desire to push on and not turn back.

It was courage and vision that led the pioneers to leave behind a comfortable, settled life and trek West to begin a new life in a new place. Many of those from the East that went West found a strength within themselves that they didn’t see while they were in their old life. Instead of being one of those that just kind of went along with the others in the old life, they became leaders and visionaries in their new lives.

I borrowed this comment from Terry and Jo Miller, who inspired me to take on the pioneering spirit when I struggled with retiring in 2011 so we could begin our RVing life. You can read about that emotional journey here.

In the past two years, we have driven our  RV to Maysville, North Carolina; Blue Ridge, Georgia; Piney Flatts, Tennessee, and to Ledbetter, Texas; then back east to Jasper, Alabama; Monroe City, Missouri and our winter resting spot in Townsend, Tennessee. We encountered excitement, met new friends, and have seen some beautiful country. This is not to say we have not encountered difficulties or challenges along the way. As an example, in the last two days, we encountered a our first minor snow storm and long-term cold freezing weather. We’ve learned to adapt and be flexible.

Today we have so much to be thankful for that the list would just go on and on. Instead of doing that, I would like to say that I am most thankful for my wife’s maternal grandparents. Blanche Barrett (aka Mom ‘B’) and Bill Barrett. Mom ‘B’ was the person who planted the seed of Jesus in my heart in 1966, one year before my wife and I married in 1967. Their Christian walk had a tremendous impact on my life and spiritual growth.

I am thankful that we have two beautiful daughters and their families. I am thankful for our health and our friends. I am especially thankful for the joy we’ve met along the way. And I am thankful that our future is secure in knowing God is directing our lives and leading us on to new adventures.

May the God of Peace and Comfort bring joy and blessings to you and your family. Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.

The Amazing Trip

Our trip on Monday began with a climb up I-40 to Ridgecrest, NC. Sunday evening we stopped at Catawba Falls Campground off I-40 at Exit 73. Elevation there is 1530 ft. The peak of the climb (2570 ft) is just North of Ridgecrest, NC Exit 66. That was my first real test of our truck, trailer combo on a long climb. Transmission downshifted when needed and kept things rolling pretty well. Big trucks in the truck lane were struggling but we just went on up and up and up. I was impressed.

Then I-40 turned West as it traversed through the Southern part of Asheville. The view from the highway into Asheville was pretty cool. Made me want to consider a trip to Asheville for an extended stay. Maybe we can get workamping jobs at Ridgecrest Conference Center. Or may be at the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove. Or maybe at Biltmore Estate. I am sure we can find something in the Asheville area.

Several places along the route, the NCDOT apparently planted some colorful tress to improve the view. The white an pink blooms added a touch of color to the natural forest.
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A few more miles and we left I-40 at exit 27 (Clyde) to get on US 74 Southwest to NC 60.
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Things were going pretty well until confusing road signs had me going through the center of downtown Waynesville. Don’t ask me how that happened. Let the photo speak for it self. We certainly got a few stares.
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While there, I took on fuel at $4.25/gallon. That is the most I’ve paid ever. They saw a sucker coming. A few miles down the road, closer to US-74, fuel was cheaper. Finally got back on to US-74. I needed to turn left – but could only turn right. So rather than jump a few curbs, I went right for a few miles, and found a spot where I could get turned around.

Finally, we are headed down US-74, also know as The Great Smokey Mountain Expressway. Then we noticed that US-74 went down, down, down. Next we saw a sign for Rolling Thunder River Company (Whitewater Rafting) in Bryson, NC. Then we noticed we were driving next to the Nantahala River. Not what we were expecting but WOW, what a spectacular view.
US 74
We started climbing again. When we entered Cherokee County, we knew we were getting close to GA state line.
GA 60
We were in Murphy, NC and Carol decide we should stop for a Subway Sandwich. So we stopped. When I got out of the truck, I noticed the driver side dually tire looked low. Uh Oh! I asked the clerk behind the counter if he knew where a tire store was and he suggested Walmart. No, I mean a real tire store. He was clueless. Then I noticed three NC State Troopers enjoying a conversation so I asked them. They sent me to Well’s Tires about 4 miles back the way we came. I pulled the truck part way into a service bay so they could check tire pressure. Before they did anything, I noticed the tire looked normal now. SHEESH!! I had them check the tire pressure. Inner tire was a little low so they air that tire up and check the others. Back on the road, we finally made the turn to NC-60. Then a few miles later, we were home in Georgia.
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It did not take us long to get set up once we were here. We certainly enjoyed the view of the Llama pasture at our front door.
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Well, that’s it. Today we shadowed Dennis and Mattie, the other workamper couple, while they fed the Llamas, scooped Llama poop and fed Sophie and Bear two Great Pyrenees dogs who guard the Llamas.  Dennis and Mattie leave for Branson in a week so we have just a few days to learn what they do.

Then we went into Blue Ridge to take a look around. Did a little grocery shopping and checked out the town. It is certainly larger than Maysville and has more to offer.

Thanks for stopping by.

Almost There

We are almost there now. There being Blue Ridge, Ga. One more short drive of 160 miles through the Southern part of the Appalachian Mountains.

This morning I got a little turned around when we left. The plan was to grab a breakfast at the Backyard Grill (recommended by Hagan-Stone Park manager), then fuel up the truck and head west. I should have taken I-85 to I-75 then I-40. Somehow I missed I-75 and stayed on I-85. That put me on course for Charlotte. Carol did a little navigating and determine that we can get back on course by taking US 64 North at Lexington. That is what we did. I-85 was rough in spots. We certainly would prefer something smoother. Oh yes, US-64 is asphalt. This is what we prefer.
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We still cannot get over US highways being 2 lanes wide with no shoulder. We made it back to I-40 and are now headed for Asheville. Our camp site is just east of Asheville. At Exit 94 (South of Lake James State Park, I got a glimpse of what lies ahead. Pretty cool.
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So far our truck has not stumbled on any of the small grades up or down. In fact at this point, I am very pleased with the way our truck has performed; no engine strain and good stopping ability. We pulled off I-40 at Old Fort to find our stop for the night; Catawba RV Park. This is a small family operated park.

The park is nestled in a valley so TV reception here is nonexistent. We watched a DVD movie instead. Carol worked on a seeing project while I worked on the blog.  We tried to connect via Internet with our Houston daughter but due to iffy Internet, could not make that happen.
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Our site backs up to the Catawba River. Currently it is flowing like a small creek. Here is a view from our back window.
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After a short rest, we ventured into Old Fort and found most of the better restaurants closed. We ended up grabbing a quick meal at Hardee’s. Nothing to brag about other than that it was quick. When we got back, we walked the doggies and chatted with our neighbors. They are here from St. Agustine, FL. They came up to celebrate their twin Aunt & Uncle’s 95th birthday. Tomorrow we need to make one stop at Camping World in Asheville to replace or water hose. It has developed a leak at the fitting where it connects to spigot. Then we will take more photos as we travel along to Blue Ridge.  Hope the rain in forecast will not interfere with our travel plans.

Thanks for stopping by.