Fall Color....at home

Plans don't always work out.  Two weeks ago when we returned from the Cherokee rally, I intended for us to camp again within a few days.  Did not unpack the truck, clothes or food!  Then a campsite was not available where I wanted to go (to Allatoona with Tiny Camper) so put the trip off to this week.  Sunday night I started getting sick with sneezing and feeling lifeless. By Monday the trip was off, it was time to rest.  

So this has been a week of rest and I am trying not to resent lying around while we are experiencing some of the most beautiful autumn weather.  And, according to the forecast, this is it...the last sunny warm day!  

The trees have just peaked here and I wanted to get some shots of the dogwood tree I see from my kitchen window.  Once outside, I kept shooting.  It's a long time to next October.

I just had to get a shot of the Chatta-Egg peaking between the branches!

Squirrel food!

My favorite shrub is a native plant, oakleaf hydrangea.  I am fortunate enough to have a few in my back yard.  You can see why I love it.

This is our neighbor's yard.

Another neighbor.

I had to take a few flower shots.  I feel so guilty about our gardens....we travel now instead of pulling weeds and mulching. The plants are just hanging in there. 

Cleome or spiderflower.

Cypress Vine

My husband is a talented bird house maker.  Just throwing in one more shot with color.


Fort MTN State Park

Warning!  This post is not about Casitas!  But about a lovely GA state park that is just south of Chattanooga.  (Where you can camp in your Casita!)

We had planned to camp more after returning from the Cherokee gathering; did not unpack the truck, left food in the camper.  When weekend camping did not work, I decided to look up some old hiking buddies and head down to Fort Mountain State Park. This park about 50 miles southeast of Chattanooga.  (Take the I-75 Dalton exit.)

The leaves did not disappoint us!  Beautiful scenes everywhere.

The trail was full of rocks and roots.

An old tower with mysterious origins was on top of the mountain.  There are two legends about the tower.  One talked about a moon-eyed people who built the tower and the other legend involved Welch people coming over in the 1100's and inhabiting the area.

We have been to the Manchester Old Stone Fort and to the Desoto Falls fortifications not realizing this Prince Madoc connection.

A stroll around the lake through the full campground ended the day.  


Cherokee, Second Thoughts

There was so much more to the Cherokee rally.
My mom, who is turning 85 next week, and my step-father, 86, and my sister decided to rent a camping cabin and stay at Happy Holiday the same weekend as the rally.  It was good to be able to share some special moments with them, but it was also stressful!  I did try to be a good daughter and sister and think I succeeded. (Can’t say that all the time!)

Looking back, trying to remember what stood out, I think of the sunshine and the colors and the water.  There was a pleasant energy between the campers, friendly and excited to be meeting.  This rally was different (from my experience) due to many of the attendees not knowing anyone from previous gatherings.
Lots of first timers and we had participants from distant places.  One couple came from Vermont, the top part of the state where they work seasonally at a ski resort.  I asked them if they had come for the just for the event and, surprisingly, they replied in the affirmative.  Another couple stood out as she was 91 years old (and looked 20 years younger!)  There were awards at the pot luck for the oldest camping trailer and for those who traveled the most distance. 

This was our first year to leave the campground and explore some of the area.  We traveled to Mingo Falls with another couple (Sharon and Ron) and I am glad that we went.  Maybe next year, assuming that there will be a next year, we will visit the Cherokee village.

We did not fish as much as we did in previous years.  My husband did catch two very nice rainbows….no pictures, and they are now in the freezer.  I missed camping on the larger creek and watching all of the real fishermen reeling in the big ones!

We had two fun experiences with, what I am now calling, Casita lurkers.  One couple followed us up into Deep Creek campground wanting to see our trailer which we gladly showed.  Another car was parked alongside Chatta-Egg when we exited the Cherokee McDonald’s.  “Is that your trailer?”  Most people are so excited to see an egg and very grateful when allowed inside.  I guess I should come up with a nicer name for such nice people.

Changing subjects!  I got the duplex rented two days ago!  Such a relief and now I don’t need to feel guilty when we take off again.  And we do need to camp all we can….winter is on the way.  I am already mourning not being in the desert!


Deep Creek and the Cherokee Eggs

Fifty-five years of camping in the Smokies and I had never been to Deep Creek!  We took a detour on the way to the Cherokee Rally through Bryson City, NC to explore Deep Creek and decided to brave the cold and camp in the Park.  (Camping in the Smoky Mtns National Park means no hookups and no showers!)  
We knew how tough we were from our two months of winter desert camping and were fine, sleeping warm, although it was 39 degrees inside the next morning.  (It does get a little chilly when we need to get up in the middle of the night!)
Deep Creek

Tom Branch Falls
Pull through site

Welcome blue sky after a gloomy overcast day  

The next morning the cold temps drove us into town to McDonald's.  We had planned to see all three waterfalls in the area and do a little trout fishing.  Not that tough!

It was only a few miles, less than 20?, on to Happy Holiday RV Park in Cherokee, NC.  We were pleased to see all of the eggs that had already arrived.

I was anxious to meet Sharon and Ron, http://tinycamper.wordpress.com
and kept checking on the site where they were supposed to be.  Finally they arrived and I got to meet the family.  Sharon was as nice in person as she is on the blogs.  And Sheba definitely lived up to her reputation for being a handful!

Tiny Camper has introduced me to the beauty of mushrooms and these little wonders were showing their glory surrounded by campers.

I am having a dickens of a time with making my blog work this morning.....don't know if it is my ignorance or if there is something really wrong.  (Patience, Lynne, with practice you will improve!)

We enjoyed the mountains, the creek, the leaves, the weather but most of all we enjoyed the people!
One of the group summed it up by saying "These people feel more like family than family." 

I am going to close with pictures! 


Working Hands!

It feels like winter although my brain tells me that it is barely fall and   beautiful autumn weather is just ahead.
But it is rainy, overcast with a bone chilling north wind and I am wondering what I can do (or where I can go) to prevent the winter blues.

I have found a new indoor activity....trying to get my hands to return to their normal color.  So far, paint stripper, scrub brushes, soap, dishwashing liquid, lotions, cream, and loofahs have not worked.  At first there was pride in my badge of hard labor, now I am just embarrassed!

The aforementioned hard work was the application of a permanent rust removal paint, POR-15, to our Casita trailer frame.  We had used this recommended product 4 years ago on a badly rusted 1990 13' Casita and we were very pleased with the results.  This time we bought the special POR stripper thinking that it would remove the product.  
It does remove it, as long as it is still wet!  According to the fine print, it is going to be on our skin until it wears off.

This is after the first coat.  I love the way it looks....I guess it is worth it....and, I know, we should have worn gloves!

Yesterday, due to the rain, we took a break from working and went shopping at Camping World.  Came home with rubber gloves (wonder why?), more gel polish and a clothes dryer to mount on the Casita bumper.  Hoping that we can get through with the painting and get it mounted on the bumper before the next trip!

Cherokee, NC is our next destination and it can not come soon enough!