Our next three stops were back in the Carolinas. This five week period was not so much about where we were as about waiting for the house closing set for August 15. Dealing with a house under contract isn’t easy for anyone but especially when you must handle everything long distance. For example the Realtor’s office called and said “the home inspector saw a big copperhead near the crawl space and wouldn’t go in to finish the inspection. Do you want us to call Critter Control?” What could we say? We knew the snake wouldn’t hang around waiting for Critter Control but the inspection had to be done. So yes, send them over. No snake found but they suggested baiting for mice to prevent a food source. So $200 and 2 weeks later we get the report. Even though this is the third inspection on this house there is a long list of findings. Thanks to a wonderful handyman we know most of them could be handled by him. One item we refused to do was install a $1000 dehumidifier in the crawl space as the inspector found the humidity there to be above 22%. Hello. This is August in NC where it has rained a lot, temp over 95. Is there anywhere the humidity is less than 22% without AC? (This is Steve here… 22%? I don’t think the Sahara Desert is 22%!)
As for our next stop, we went to Medoc Mountain State Park. This was our first experience with an NC State Park as most do not offer RV hookups. It is a small park just off I95 and north of Rocky Mount. Temperatures continued between 95-100 degrees so we didn’t feel like doing hiking or kayaking. We did manage to ride our bikes early in the day for about 4 miles every morning. There isn’t really a mountain here. The park is named for a 300 foot high ridge that is the highest landmark between the piedmont and the coast. This area was once thriving small towns in the tobacco and cotton farming area which now is sadly depressed. We drove around a lot but didn’t find much to do. Neither Steve or Chari had ever seen tobacco in flower so of course we had to stop in one of the fields and snap a picture.
The one attraction in the area we really enjoyed was Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park. It’s one of the largest sanctuaries and breeding facilities for waterfowl from all over the world. We splurged for the photographer’s pass ($30) which provides a key to open ports for fence free views. We haven’t had time to go back and identify all of the birds. I hope you just enjoy seeing them.
After a week we moved on to the Poplar Point Campground at Jordan Lake State Recreation Area near Raleigh. This is a very large area with a total of over 600 sites divided between tents with no electric and water/electric sites for RVs. When we arrived our assigned site was on a curve with a guardrail on one side and a drop off on the other. Normally Steve gets the trailer in on the first or second try. Here it took about 6-7 tries along with hugging the rail to allow enough room to turn the truck. Looking at sites on the web only gives you so much information. Whenever we go to a new park we walk around and mark the best sites for future reference. Once we were in, the site was wooded and private. Our only problem with the park was that the bathrooms were not well maintained. We chose to use our own shower as a solution. The lake is large and during the middle of the week we kayaked with very little boat traffic. There were several sandy beaches for swimming. We coaxed opal in up to her stomach but even with us out in the water she wouldn’t swim. She’d go back up on the beach and try to herd us in. Her border collie instincts I guess.
One morning we went to the Raleigh Farmers Market for breakfast and to do a bit of shopping. Oh, those peach and white chocolate scones were to die for! We came back with a chess pie, sun dried tomato cheddar cheese, fresh tomatoes, hard rolls and pulled pork for dinner. We eat very well on the road.
It was here that we decided keeping the Subaru wasn’t practical. Plus we missed driving together. Now what to do with all the stuff stored in the little car? More downsizing was needed. So out everything came. We’d need to rent another small storage unit. Gone was the large tub of X-mas decorations and my ‘someday’ sewing and knitting items. Gone was the extra heavy winter garb with the idea that if it gets that cold we’re out of here! Somehow we made it all work.
Next it was onto Lake Wateree State Park near Winnsboro, SC just off I77 about halfway between Charlotte and Columbia. We’d been here about 2 years ago but didn’t remember there was no cell service here. This came at a very inconvenient time since we were fielding many calls from the closing coordinator and emails about repairs. So we’d drive around until we could get a signal and then park along side of the road or in a lot.
For those of you who didn’t know about our previous blog, if you are interested in reading those posts go to http://vagabondpress.wordpress.com . This blog was left midstream when we put the house on the market but we do intend to get back and finish it… some day!
Every morning Opal and Chari had their long walks often seeing heron and egrets. One morning a red fox ran across the road. We had time to bike a bit but didn’t get on the lake. Steve was busy repairing our bed and adapting our cargo carrier on the back to accept the bikes the Subaru had been carrying. We drove the hour and a half up to Charlotte several times for appointments and clearing out the very last few items from the garage. One evening as we returned home, we saw another trailer with bikes mounted on a rack similar to ours. We stopped and talked. He also showed us an adaptation he’d made for the outside shower when he was at the beach. Then we found out he was traveling by himself down to Bahia Honda SP in Florida to be a volunteer. His wife was still working and would join him later. To say thanks for all of his information, we asked him over for dinner and spent the evening exchanging travel info and adventures. Hopefully we’ll keep in touch.
Less than a week to go. We were both nervous but not saying much. We’d been here before. Our stomachs were the size of walnuts. Surely everything would go fine this time. Time to move on to Edisto State Park on the SC coast. We moved the trailer and stayed one night. Back to Charlotte on 8/14 to stay with our friend Cheryl for two nights. Tomorrow was THE DAY. We are glad to be able to say all went well. After the closing, we returned to Spicewood one last time to pick up Opal. As we drove out of the driveway we sang “So long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, adieu……GOODBYE……..Good Bye……..good bye……………”
A good time was had by all who could come and celebrate with that night. We were finally Homeless and Loving It!