Wilkesboro, N C

Our next stop was Bandit’s Roost, a Corps of Engineers campground on W. Kerr Scott Reservoir near Wilkesboro, NC. When I first learned of this park, I thought it was on Kerr Lake in the central part of the state on the NC/VA line. So imagine my surprise when the GPS was taking us someplace else? This is our first experience using a COE facility and if this is any example, we’ll be using a lot of them. There are two camping loops. Loop A is the most popular as it has several waterfront sites. Loop B is heavily wooded but has lots of private sites. There are two other campgrounds on the lake that we drove through marking “good” sites at Warriors Creek and Fort Hamby for future use.

lake, camping

Before arriving at the campground we stopped at Robert Handy Camping Center. If the old time hardware store with things piled floor to ceiling had a RV twin this would be it. Mr. Handy knows where everything is without leaving his desk. Steve bought a window mounted thermometer. It was in the mid-90s and they invited Opal and Chari to stay inside while Steve worked with the technician trying to solve our TV problems. While waiting I was treated to some entertaining stories from Mr. Handy and a peek into small town life as various people dropped in to chat much like in the old general store. Three hours later we were on our way. As we left the lot the right rear tires went over a curb and the trailer took a severe rock to the right. When we opened the door on arrival half of our dishes had been thrown out of the cabinet and lay broken all over the floor. I’d figured we’d break dishes along the way just not this soon!  From then on we took extra measures to secure things. I know a lot of folks will say use plastic dishes. That’s OK for short trips but I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life eating off of plastic.

We met our new friends Kathy and Joe and overlapped our stays by a few days. On Friday evening we went to a free jazz concert held once a month in conjunction with the Farmers Market where we listened to music before having a good dinner at an Italian restaurant.

While at the market Chari picked up some brochures (She never met a brochure she didn’t like.) One was about a barn quilt trail and another about a fresco trail of art works by Ben Long. We’d seen his fresco at the Bank of America building in Charlotte. After our friends left on Sunday we headed out to find the barn quilts. This was something new to us but apparently common in the western Carolinas. It turned into a scavenger hunt. Some addresses were accurate while others were off by a mile on the GPS.

barn quilt

North Carolina, photography


barn quilt


One of the addresses led us to a driveway marked Whippoorwill Academy http://www.explorewilkes.com/whippoorwill.php . We had no clue what this was. We drove in and saw a sign saying ‘museum open – no charge today’. On one building there was a barn quilt. The name Whippoorwill Academy came from the name the owners father gave to a school that was so far back in the woods that he said “not even the whipoorwills could find it.” The property is a collection of old buildings from the area: a church, an old school, some houses and the only Tom Dula museum. Who is Tom Dula you ask? Well, back in the 1860’s his last name was pronounced Tom Do-lay. Beginning to sound familiar? It’s the man immortalized by the Kingston Trio in the ballad Tom Dooley. For details on the legend please go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Dula. The Ferguson family of the owner of this property , Mrs. Edith Carter,  has been in the area for many generations and this county is Ferguson county. It was her great uncle who was the sheriff Grayson that arrested Tom Dula. As the song goes “If it weren’t for Grayson I’d have been in Tennessee. Mrs. Carter is an artist and has brought the legend to life in her paintings which are displayed in the museum. So we spent several hours talking with her, learning about the legend and photographing the museum. She told us that in the 1990’s she was contacted by a representative from the Kingston Trio. They had the footstone from Tom Dula’s grave. According to them, they were given it when they visited the area. They offered to return it if she’d put it in the museum and pay $100 for shipping. Her reply was that it was illegal to remove gravestones and if it was returned she’d see it went back to the gravesite. To this day it remains in California.

history, Tom Dula

history, North Carolina


Tom Dooley, folklore

Portrait of Laura Foster by E. Carter

Tom Dula

Portrait of Tom Dula by E. Carter

Tom Dooley

Portrait of Ann Melton by E. Carter

W. Kerr Scott Lake is fed by the Yadkin River and offers wonderful kayaking and tubing adventures. The shoreline is maintained in a natural setting so many birds and native plants can beseen. Below the dam the Yadkin is a shallow and occasionally rocky stream. We kayaked between the put in just below the dam to the takeout at the Greenway which was seven miles and took three hours. Other days we kayaked the lake then swam at one of several beaches. Not a bad life!

One of the best known landmarks in the area is the original Mast General Store in Valle Crucis, NC  www.mastgeneralstore.com/Communities/mast/index.cfm/original-mast-general-store/original-mast-general-store/ . Chari had been there about 15 yrs. ago and wanted Steve to see it. Now there is a chain of Mast Stores sprinkled throughout the Blue Ridge but this is the original store. A nice ride, sitting on the porch eating ice cream and listening to a music jam and buying original oil cloth for our picnic table was a relaxing way to spend the day.

Stone Mountain State Park was less than an hour away. We headed out with Opal for a hike one afternoon. The circuit up to the top of 600′ high Stone Mountain is 4 miles and considered strenuous. We’d gone almost halfway when we heard thunder  and started back. The rain caught up with us but we were able to seek shelter with many other hikers and dogs at the Hutchison Homestead. (Finally they’re out of the trailer and I can get on the computer. Well, let me tell you I was plenty scared! You know I don’t like loud noises and the thunder was like having your head in a metal garbage can. The lightening I could feel on my wet hair. Thanks, Mom for holding me tight, petting me and telling me it would be OK.) An hour later the rain stopped and we walked down an access road to the parking lot as the trail crossed a rain swollen stream that was impassable. By then we were chilled through. Strange day, we arrived with the A/C on and left with the heater running.

We really wanted to see Stone Mountain so a few days later when it was sunny and NO chance of rain, we returned. This time Opal stayed home so we could take our time photographing. We’d just begun to climb when a teenager came bouncing down the steps and cheerfully said “Only 514 more steps to go.” “I heard my brain say ‘Make my day’.” It really is a beautiful hike from the rhododendron blooming in the woodlands to the mountain bald and waterfalls. 

We really hate to leave this area so as we often say “When we come back………”

hiking, North Carolina, Stone Mountain

Chari and Steve at the Summit

Stone Mountain, hikingStone Mountain, photographyStone Mountain, North Carolina
Stone Mountain


wildflowers, North Carolina

Return to Badin Lake

Once again we moved back to what we consider home base for the Charlotte, NC area at Badin Lake Recreation Area. Before we left last time we had checked on the site we’d reserved and didn’t care for it so we’d changed sites (for a small fee) to site #15. We thought we’d looked at it carefully… well maybe we weren’t as rested as we thought. Or maybe we were’nt as rested as we thought. Maybe we’re still getting used to the size of our new trailer. At 35′ and 13’6″ high it is considerably larger than our previous one. Site 15 was a drive through site or should have been. We found that the circle was too tight to line up our trailer without the truck being at such a severe angle that we couldn’t unhook or might not be able to hook up again. After several tries Steve gave up and treated it like a back in site. This meant having to angle the trailer across the site. Then we realized that all the sites along this stretch have a severe downhill slope side to side. After three boards were under the right tires it was level. But this left the last step about 18″ off the ground. Out came the milk crate for a step but it was too flexible. So Steve bought two boards and reinforced it. Voila, a portable step and storage bin in one.

Steve went to Albemarle to meet a mobile unit to fix a dent in the truck. I think we forgot to mention we’d put a dent in the truck the first week when the canoe flipped out of the bed and whacked the side. “I found a great photo op for us in Albemarle. There are several old cars needing a picture.” So off we went. There aren’t too many people who would think spending an hour photographing old cars in a field was fun but we did.

old cars, photography

old cars, photography

old cars, photography

old cars

We also spent a great Saturday with friends Gayle and Bob from Charlotte and new friends Kathy and Joe from Greensboro at the NC Air Museum in Asheboro. The museum was sponsoring a fly-in festival with over 100 planes on display. While most were propeller single or double seaters there were a few small jets. The show stopper was a Corsair. “Who reading this is old enough to remember the TV show Ba Ba Black Sheep with Robert Conrad? Oh yes, this is Chari and I’m changing to green to make it easier to tell when I’m contributing.” There were model planes too. Even an old car on display that had been Harry Truman’s presidential car. The museum itself is worth a visit anytime. My favorite display was of women from the early days of aviation. The first black women to get a pilot’s license in the US had to go to France for lessons as no one would teach her here. Upon getting licensed she performed stunt flights across the US. She died during a performance when the plane stalled and went into a dive. She was thrown out of the plane because she didn’t have her seat belt on!  Another interesting display was the plane flown by the RJ Reynolds heir who flew around the world shortly after Lindburgh’s flight. He returned to NC and died six months later. We were able to talk with owners of several planes. I liked one named Hot Pastrami and asked how it got it’s name. The pilot’s wife told me he went back and forth to NY for over a year while restoring the plane and ate pastrami sandwiches each time. For more information on the museum go to http://www.ncaviationmuseumhalloffame.com .

airshow, North Carolina

airshow, photography


Corsair, NC Air Museum

We also needed to install the wiring for the satellite TV. Steve’s a retired electrician so naturally he thought this would be a no brainer. Two hours later and a lot of words not to be used here, he decided the RV dealer needed to do the install. We called. There was no appointment available all week. However, one of the mechanics does mobile calls on his own on Sunday. So we lined him up. All we need now was to contact Winegard, manufacturer of the satellite to activate the Direct TV box. We called and got voicemail. We left a message. We waited. We called. We left a message. Repeat six times. No call back. Then Chari called from her phone. Oh yes, she got a call back… 24 hours later!Steve never got a call. At his wits end, Steve called Direct TV directly and implored on a representative to help. Within 30 minutes we were up and running. Thank you Direct TV. I’m not sure at what point in this process we noticed that the over the air antenna that had been working no longer worked. We were leaving the next day. So we located an RV dealer in Wilkesboro, NC, our next stop . They said to come in and we’d be worked into the schedule.

Before I leave this entry I want to mention a book I’ve been reading, well actually it’s the first book in a series of seven. The series is called The Masters of Rome and the first book is First Man in Rome by Colleen McCullough. If you enjoy historical fiction, this book (and the ones that follow) will grab you and hold you. I haven’t been so enthralled with a series in years. It’s worth the 600+ pages per book. Colleen McCullough spent 13 years in research  before she began writing. If you watch the TV series Damages and think these are nasty people just wait until you delve into Gaius Marius, Sulla and Servilla. Do read it!

Spartanburg, SC Area

After a week of recovery time it was off to Croft State Park on the outskirts of Spartanburg. It had been 17 years since Chari had worked in the area and oh boy had it grown. Using the GPS we had no trouble finding the park.  Croft SP was an army training base in World War II. When it was closed in 1948 the area was littered with unexploded armaments. The area needed extensive clearing and was allowed to return to a natural state eventually becoming a state park.

Croft SP is a small park with two campgrounds, a small lake, horse barns and trails, hiking trails and a lovely creek with small falls and refreshing splash holes. Once a month the park sponsors a local saddle club show in their show rings. Unfortunately the two weeks we were there was not one of them. Not knowing the layout of the park we’d chosen a site in the Lake campground. When we arrived we realized this area was quite unlevel as compared to the other camping area. Our site was not too bad but the back area seemed muddy and there was a significant hill sloping toward the trailer along one side. Our site offered us privacy as it was at the end of a circle.

Steve was making a four- day trip up to New York with some cabinets and tools for his nephew while Chari stayed here continuing to tie up loose ends, have dinner with friends and get a long overdue haircut. Coming back one night after dark she realized there had been a heavy rain and found that mud had come down the hill and covered the patio carpet. Using her best Scarlett O’Hara approach to life she scooted across to the door and thought “I’ll worry about that tomorrow. ”It looked even worse in the daylight. So all 16’ of rug was dragged out in the sun and once dry the mud came off fairly easily. That’s if you call lifting, shaking and sweeping easy.

When Steve returned we did have time to do some sightseeing. I had to show Steve the famous Gaffney Peach Water Tower. For those of you not familiar with this, it is a peach from the northbound side of I85 but from the southbound side it looks for all the world like a sunburned buttock with a hemorrhoid We bought some local peaches which needed to ripen a few days but then the juice flowed down your arm as you bit them. We tried some local peach ice cream too. Then we went over to Hatcher Gardens. I’d picked up a brochure when we stopped at a Visitors Center last year coming home from Florida. It was the private home of the Hatcher family who took ten acres of barren and trash filled land and converted it into a garden oasis. Upon their death the land was donated to the county to be used as a park. There is no admission charge. Groups can arrange to have a tour guide with prior arrangement. www.hatchergarden.org .

We also made a trip to Cowpens National Battlefield. Both Steve and Chari went to school in New york State and other than Yorktown neither of them remembered learning about the very significant role the southern revolutionaries made. We watched a film about the battle. Although the battle was only ten minutes long it was a turning point in stopping Cornwallis. The untrained Militia men being victorious against a larger force of trained British regulars hung on an unexpected about face when it looked as if the Americans were retreating. Then we got on our bikes and rode the three mile circuit around the battle site stopping to read signs and go into a log home.

Another day we drove over to Musgrove Mill, which is a SC State Historical site. There no longer is a mill, just a Visitors Center with some educational displays. The one I liked the best was talking about the role of some local women in serving as spies and couriers during the Revolution.

Other days were spent at Camping World buying equipment for setting up our satellite TV, kayak the lake at Croft and getting Steve his own Interagency Senior Pass. For the latter we had to drive to Flat Rock as only sites that charge admission will carry the passes.

Several evenings we walked the half a mile to the creek where Opal could run and play in the water. Other times we just sat in the creek to cool off while she supervised from the bank. For the first time in many weeks we began to feel relaxed.

RVers in Waiting

We had planned to spend the first month in the Charlotte area to take care of any loose ends and some medical appointments. Little did we know how many loose ends there would be! Our first stop was at Badin Lake as Steve has mentioned. We really didn’t do anything but sit, read and recover as the adrenaline that had kept us going for the past 5 weeks stopped flowing. We crashed big time. By the end of the week we were beginning to feel close to normal.

Our next door neighbors, Kathy and Joe, originally from Long Island and now from the Greensboro area quickly became friends. One night I’d invited them to come over and play Phase 10. Then I couldn’t remember where I’d put them. Fortunately they had a set too. Oh the joys of moving! We enjoyed their company and made plans to meet again in a few weeks at a campground called Bandit’s Roost.

For now we had to cancel all the reservations we’d made for heading north to Maine for the summer and make new ones to keep ourselves within 3-4 hours of Charlotte until the house sold. The only stops we kept were for Pennsylvania in late June, another one for the Shenandoah area and back to Badin for a friend’s wedding in late September. I’ve used Google Earth to show you our travels from mid May- mid October 2012. Hopefully this will give you some idea of where we were as we talk about them in detail. To enlarge the picture, click on the picture once. To return to the blog, click the back arrow.

RV Route mid May-mid October 2012

Off to a Rough Start

May 22, 2012

 It’s four days since the scheduled “closing” on our house, and here we are at the Arrowhead Campground at Badin Lake Recreation Area in the Uwharrie National Forest not far from Albemarle, North Carolina. That’s about 60 miles from Charlotte. The last several months, going back to probably a year ago have been a heck of a ride, and it isn’t over yet.  For now, our lives are in Limbo, and God only knows for how much longer.

 This all began about a year and a half ago when we decided to build on our property in Idaho.  Since we were married, in 2009, that property had been on the market, but with today’s economy, not much was happening.  Selling the house in Charlotte and building out west seemed to be a good option. We first thought of building a log home, and began researching on-line various log home companies and floorplans.  We found a few from Yellowstone Log Homes that we really liked.  Based in Rigby, Idaho, not very far from our land in Ashton, Yellowstone Homes has a very good reputation and they looked like a good bet. 

 We were also in contact with neighbors who recommended a builder they knew had worked  in the Twin Rivers Ranch subdivision.  We  researched his references and all spoke very highly of him. We didn’t hear a single negative comment.  That, and his answers and suggestions when we talked gave us a good feeling. We decided he would be the one to build our home.  We told Jason we’d be building on a budget, and his suggestion was to go with a more conventional “stick-built” house, with some log accents to maintain the rural and rustic appearance.

 In the summer/autumn of 2011, we took our 26-foot travel trailer and headed west for a two-month vacation, centered on a visit to Ashton to meet with various people such as bankers, insurance brokers, and the builder.  This was a fabulous trip, which eventually we’ll write up in our America Through a Bug-Splattered Windshield series.  When we got home, we got started in earnest to prepare our home in Charlotte, NC for sale.

 The next several months were hectic.  A home inspector came and gave us a list of things that needed attention.  Contractors were coming and going to take care of the things we weren’t able to handle ourselves.   We started going through all our stuff, throwing some things out, bringing some to Goodwill, and packing the rest for the move west. Among all this activity, we were making changes and fine-tuning our floorplans for the new home, paying careful attention to the covenants. We didn’t want any surprises at the last minute, so we kept the HOA Architectural Committee abreast of our planning.

 In January, we listed the house for sale, and had several “lookers” the first few weeks.  Then came a lull.  We took a month’s vacation to Florida, since “a watched pot never boils.” While we were gone, there wasn’t a single showing.  We called our selling agent when we returned, and had a serious talk.  We’re not sure if it helped or not, since the season was changing from winter to spring, but soon after, the “lookers” started coming again.

 By now, we were happy with our drawings for the new home, and just about ready to have them drawn up as building blueprints.  But first, we sent them off to the committee for another perusal. The reply was not what we expected.  The house was not “rustic” enough.  Several suggestions were made and none of them were required in the covenants.  We were furious. This is our house, not theirs.  Screw her, and to Hell with building.  Let’s just get this house sold and go full-time RVing!”

 It was said facetiously, but the more we thought about it, the more sense it made.  It was now April.  Even with today’s economy, we naively expected more action on our house sale, but it was taking longer than we expected.  Who knows how much longer this may take?  We planned to live on our property in our camper for the duration of the building process, but if operations had to be closed down for the winter, this could possibly mean living in it for close to a year before moving in to the house. Maybe, we should think about buying a bigger truck and larger trailer now, rather than in four or five years as we had been thinking.  But, if we got ourselves into debt to the tune of a hundred grand for a truck and trailer, do we really want to take on the cost and obligations connected with building a new house?  At this point in our lives is this what we really want to be doing?  When would we find the time to do the traveling we really crave?  Who needs a new house anyway?  Maybe, just maybe, we’d been kicked us in the right direction!

 It was a Wednesday when we made the final decision to cancel plans for building and become gypsies.  We’d already been looking at fifth-wheel trailers for some future upgrade, and had a reasonably good idea of what we would want.  Thursday we visited a couple of dealers to see what was available.  Friday, I went out to look at trucks and see what Chevy, Ford, and Dodge had to offer.  My first stop was at Chevy, and they offered me a deal on a 2012 Silverado 2500 that would be hard to refuse.  The truck was on the lot, and I took it home for an overnight test-drive.  Saturday, we signed the papers.

 We continued visiting RV dealers.  While leaving one, on Monday, I mentioned to the salesman that he knew what we were looking for, and if anything previously owned, fairly recent, came in, we might be interested.  “Let’s see what we have on the used lot right now,” he said.

 To make a long story short, before we left we had left a $200 deposit on a 2011 Grand Junction fifth-wheel trailer.  It was a fantastic find.  Most of the trailers we had been looking at would have served very well as vacation RVs, but what we were looking for would have to serve as our permanent home.  The Grand Junction is a more luxurious model, and therefore a lot pricier than what we had been looking at, but being a used model, was right down into our price range.  Our only hesitation came from the fact that our house still hadn’t sold, and we had a mortgage to pay.  My intuition told me that since we would no longer be building, we could afford to hit my IRA for the extra payments of the truck and fifth-wheel until the house sold.  I wanted to talk with my CFP before making any final decision.  It just coincidentally happened that we had a telephone conference scheduled for the following morning.

 Dan, my financial guru, agreed, but before we went back to complete the deal on the Grand Junction, there was one more model trailer we wanted to look at that was on the lot at a dealer in South Carolina.  After hanging up with Dan, we got in the car for the drive.  On the way, Chari got a cell phone call from our agent that there would be a showing of the house that afternoon.

 We decided the Grand Junction would be the better choice, and called the sales rep to say “We’ll take it”.

 Wednesday morning our agent called to tell us that yesterday’s “looker” would probably be making an offer on the house.  The offer came that evening, and with less than ten minutes of haggling, we had a contract!  Closing would be scheduled for May 18.

 In one week, we made the decision to become full-time RVers, had a truck literally fall into our laps, had a trailer fell on top of the truck in our laps, and found a buyer for the house!  WOW!!!

 If we thought we had been busy before, it was nothing compared with the following five weeks.  We were no longer going to move out west, actually, we wouldn’t be moving into a house at all, so everything we owned, except what could fit in the trailer, would have to go!  We already had more than 200 boxes packed.  We had a house full of furniture.  We had closets full of clothes.  We had five weeks!  Where to begin?

 We gave ourselves three weeks to prepare for a moving sale.  That would give us another two weeks to get rid of whatever didn’t go.  I started calling Chari the “Energizer Bunny”.  She’d get up and start working and wouldn’t quit.  I had trouble keeping up, and have to admit that lots of times, I didn’t.  We sorted through all 200 boxes, plus the stuff that had yet to be packed.  We listed what we could on Craig’s list, and sold quite a bit before the sale date.  Tables were set up throughout the house and garage, items were displayed and priced.  Two days before the sale, we had friends and neighbors come in for a first perusal.

 It all went very well.  We got rid of loads stuff and made a bit of money.  One of the people who came had a business of clearing our homes and garages, and we made a deal with him to clear out much of what was left.  Some things would go to long-term storage for the time when we would decide to grow roots again, and we arranged for a mover.

 Shortly after signing the contract, the buyer had his home inspector come in.  Having already had an inspection before putting the house on the market, and taking care of all the major issues, we weren’t concerned.  Then we saw the report!  We were floored.  This guy wanted a forty-year-old house to be in absolutely perfect condition, as if it was built yesterday.  Luckily, the buyer must have thought the inspector was just as nuts as we did, and he gave us a list of a half-dozen items to have corrected.  Mostly minor stuff such as fixing a drippy pipe in the crawlspace, installing a dryer vent cover outside the house, repairing a small garden retaining wall, etc.  Being too busy to deal with it, we called in contractors, including a local handyman we’d used before.

 Monday, “C-Day” (Closing Day) minus 4

 “Honey, what’s that smell?”  “I dunno…  smells like something died.”  “It seems stronger here by the dryer”

 After a quick emergency call to our handyman, we had the remains of an opossum, really more a pile of fur with a hairless tail and an overpowering stench, in a plastic bag, after being removed from the dryer vent.

 Wednesday, “C-Day” minus 2

 We were going crazy, loading up the trailer, making last-minute runs to the dump, contractors were there cleaning theducts and the carpets, the buyer was there with his agent, and his home inspector came for his re-inspection.  Finally, everyone left and we had a few minutes to relax before going out for a bite.  We hadn’t had a home cooked meal in over a week.  The phone rings.  It’s the buyer.

 “When I got home I had a phone message waiting for me.  My VA loan has finally been approved.  A few minutes later, I got another call.  I’ve lost my job.  The sale is off!”

 Thursday, “C-Day” minus 1

 What to do?  We had planned on leaving the house today, taking the trailer to Badin Lake for a week.  We’d come back the following morning for the closing.  Now there won’t be a closing.  We have a house, but no furniture.  We have a RV in the driveway, but it’s only plugged into a 20-amp outlet.  We can’t use the air conditioning.  This is North Carolina, and summer’s coming.

 Let’s go.

 The only time I’ve driven the truck pulling this trailer was the day we brought it home from the dealer.  It’s a monster, maybe not to some people, but it is to me.  A big pick-up pulling a thirty-five foot trailer is a lot more than anything I’d ever towed before, and I wanted to get an early start.  There were umpteen things remaining to do before we could leave, and I was getting frustrated.  Finally, mid-afternoon and we’re ready to hook up.

 The right blinker on the trailer doesn’t work.  “Damn” was one of the milder four-letter words that came out of my mouth.  There were others.  OK, Chari’s following along behind me in the Subaru, I don’t need a directional blinker.  I calmed down by the time we reached the park, but as we came in, I looked in the rear-view mirror and noticed a trailer tire looked a bit low.  By the time we were set up in the site, it was flat as a pancake.

 So, here we are.  “C-Day” plus 4.  But there hasn’t been a “C-Day”.  But we’ve had a few relaxing days.  The directional light turned out to be in the truck, and it’s been fixed.  A serviceman came to replace the tire.  The side-wall was blown out…  probably hit a pothole coming into the park.  I’ll need to get it replaced when we leave here in a couple of days.  Yesterday we had to go back to the house to deal with another odor problem.  Seems when the carpet cleaners were there they used way too much water and didn’t get things even close to being properly dried. Five days later, things were still damp. Chari’s “evil twin” got on the phone with the manager at Sears and raised Holy Hell!  They came back out, admitted they used too much water, and de-odorized everything.  The smell should go away… hopefully.  We’re keeping our fingers crossed.  Don’t want to have to pull up the carpets and replace the matting underneath!

 So far, things haven’t gone quite as planned.  But better days are coming!

Welcome Everyone!

We’re so glad you found us and hope you enjoy traveling along as we prowl the highways and byways of North America in search of well known destinations or stumbling across hidden gems. This site has just begun as we became full time RVers in May 2012. While we’re building this site, if you want to read about our previous adventures, please go to http://www.vagabondpress.wordpress.com .

Our decision to sell, store or donate everything we owned may have seemed a sudden one to friends and family. Many may have secretly thought we’d lost our senses as we downsized from a 2200 square foot home to a 300 square foot fifth wheel trailer. The truth is both Chari and Steve had separately thought of hitting the road a long time ago. Separately you ask? That’s because we were married in 2009. Chari had talked about RVing  as a single woman and working as a traveling physical therapist. Steve had thought about buying a boat and circumnavigating a route through the Great Lakes then down the Mississippi River and back through the Intercoastal Waterway. After retirement in 2010 we bought a travel trailer and fell in love with the freedom of the RV lifestyle. As every trip neared its end we’d say “I wish we didn’t have to go back.” One day we finally said “We don’t have to go back.” And so the adventure begins….

Note: You’ll find entries in different colors. Chari will continue using green while Steve will use blue. We suspect that at times while we’re out of the trailer, Opal gets on the computer too. Knowing her she’ll pick a color like orange.