Sunday, June 29, 2008

And now for the fun stuff...

We left home on Thursday, June 19, as scheduled. The weather was great, traffic was relatively light. We stopped in Hero, FL, (just north of Jacksonville) for Krystal Burgers. I closed the laptop, putting it in sleep mode… from which the screen never recovered.

I was able to squint just right and see things on the screen just enough to get the exit number to the RV Park where we planned to spend that night. I was glad I mostly remembered the way there – this was our third year stopping there on the first night of our summer trip. Anyway, they were expecting us and this sign greeted us at our site.

I was able to hook up the printer and get the directions to our second stop printed out. I found out just how dependent I’ve become on having GPS navigation. We took a couple wrong turns, but were able to recover fairly easily.

Setting up at Banjo Creek was a bit of a challenge. The sites aren’t particularly level. But we got it worked out. The site and the campground are very nice. We look out over a little pond and a small fenced area where a family of ducks is living. (The babies have grown tremendously in the week we’ve been here.)

First order of business was getting the laptop screen fixed. It was a bit of a run-around, but we finally had a functioning PC by Wednesday. (I can’t believe how many e-mails piled up in only a week!)

We drove through the old downtown part of Asheboro on Saturday. We stopped and walked around to see the chalk drawings on the sidewalks. Apparently anyone who wanted to could pick up a bucket of chalks and go to it. Several kids had some fun drawings and a few adults had made some great art. It was just a fun thing to see.

Some old friends from our days in Colorado are now living in the Winston-Salem area, maybe 60 miles or so from here. We called then Sunday and they were happy to have an excuse to get out of the house and meet us for lunch. They talked about coming to Maggie Valley next month for a weekend get-away. We’ll see – it would be fun to see more of them.

On Monday, we drove about 10 miles south of here to a town called Seagrove. It’s got a pottery museum and lots of potters in the area. We envisioned a downtown with shops to peruse. We never really even found a downtown, much less any shops. I guess the potters work out of their scattered homes and we’re not into pottery enough to go all over. So we just drove further south and enjoyed the scenery. We stopped at this covered bridge which is one of only two in the entire state. It looked so small to us, probably only big enough for one carriage at a time.

On Wednesday we decided to go to the North Carolina Zoo. This is the one attraction attributable to the Asheboro area. And it was well worth it! We walked around 4 miles or so inside the park. It’s fairly spread out, but it has lots of great habitats and displays.

This polar bear was just basking in the sun.

There were black bears, too.

… and lions.

… and lots of other animals and birds. We enjoyed it thoroughly and would recommend it to anyone who visits this area.

When we got back to our car, the key simply would not turn in the ignition. Neither would our spare key. We’ve had similar problems, but it usually works itself out fairly quickly. This time it didn’t. Julian finally got out of the car and rocked it as much as he could. And voila, it was functioning again. (But here’s another problem needing to be fixed! Geez!)

So we treated ourselves to lunch at Rockola, the best food we’d had so far on the trip. And while eating, we got the call that the PC was fixed and we could pick it up. Hooray! Some good news.

When we got home, we found a small puddle of water on the kitchen floor. This had happened the day before, but we just passed it off. Well, Julian got more into it and discovered that the new hose & shower head were leaking and sort of following the tile cracks into the kitchen. Argh!! “If it’s not one thing, it’s another!” – Rosanne Rosannadana.

So the next day was spent getting a new shower hose and fixing the leaks. After this kind of day, we decided we needed dinner out! We had a very good meal at Sagebrush, a steakhouse chain. But this is a dry county – you can’t even get a beer! Oh, well, this too shall pass.

Friday found us at the Saturn dealership in Greensboro getting the ignition switch cleaned and oiled so that we won’t run into that sticking problem again any time soon. We felt very lucky to have gotten out of the zoo parking lot without having to call someone. It was a fairly quick fix and we were off to the Farmer’s Market.

It was Blueberry Day at the Market and they were giving away small cups of blueberries and a little cup of ice cream. Both were very yummy! We walked through all the areas and bought several items of produce. Then we found the healthy snacks and loaded up on pumpkin seeds, soy nuts, corn nuts and dried peas. Mmmmm, yummy snacks.

Troyfest beckoned on Saturday. This is the annual Independence Day festival in Troy, NC, about 18 miles south of here. After a big breakfast at the campground, we headed off to see what this was about. And what a hoot it turned out to be.

Several blocks of the down town main street were lined with vendors selling everything you might imagine at a festival like this. Tons of food, politicians campaigning, garden flags, church groups selling home made breads, jewelry, the whole nine yards. And then there was the parade! Small town America is alive and well! We decided that if you wanted to be in this parade, you just signed up and rode along. We found no rhyme or reason for some entrants, but it was all fun.

There were lots of political types hoping to be re-elected. There were church groups and the Shriners, of course.

Police cars, regular cars, and beat up stock cars on trailers came by. Even guys on tractors came by.

High school championship sports teams waved and one marching band performed. Quite a few junior beauty queens had “the wave” perfected on the backs of open cars.

Every fire and rescue vehicle in the county participated (glad there wasn’t a fire anywhere).

Military personnel and cub scouts were there. And there was this group of girls who apparently were championship caliber, but I couldn’t figure out in what event.

And the horses came through at the end, followed by their clean-up crews.

It was so much fun! It was reminiscent of my childhood, but a longer parade than we ever had in David City, I’m sure. But mostly it was reassuring to see the family and small-town values that still exist in this country. It’s good to get into the rural areas to experience it again.

That pretty well wraps up our adventures since leaving home only 10 days ago. We leave tomorrow for our next stop and hopefully we’ll be able to enjoy more and not have so many things to FIX!

Happy trails to all!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

If it's not one thing, it's another!

This will be quick and dirty. We've not had a marvelous start to our trip. Don't worry, we're fine.

We left the house on Thursday morning, 6/19, as scheduled. The laptop screen crapped out on us after stopping for lunch. I only got the PC back today with it fixed. And that was a run-around chore, the details of which I won't bore you with.

So not having a computer meant no blogging and a lot of hanging around, waiting for phone calls. But, we have been running around Asheboro, NC, some and trying to enjoy the in-between times.

We've just discovered a leak from the shower into the kitchen. This could take more of our time this week. It's a good thing there isn't a whole lot to do here in Asheboro.

We leave here on Monday. I hope to get some pleasant blogging done between now and then. But I wanted everyone to know that we are on the road, we are fine, and we are going to have fun! ... we're just not sure when the fun will begin. (giggle)