Thursday, November 03, 2016

Rv Issues, More Critters and Fall Foliage

 

Blairsville, Ga (high 70, low 45) 

We had a cold front a week or so ago which brought overnight temperatures down into the 30’s.  Wouldn’t you know that would be the time our furnace decided to quit?  We don’t have a heat pump on the Cameo, and have been very happy with the furnace which is much quieter than the one in the motorhome.  We never use the furnace in the motorhome because  it’s so noisy. We have been enjoying having a quiet furnace and not having to worry about the heat pump quitting when the temperature got below 40 degrees.

The other morning when I turned on the furnace the fan started right up, but it never got warm.  After a few minutes the fan kicked off.  We re-started it 3 or 4 times with the same results. No heat.  We did a little trouble shooting.  It wasn’t an air pocket and we weren’t out of propane, so we called a new mobile rv service that we hadn’t used before.  Integrity Rv service (for my records). The first thing he did was to turn on the furnace and wouldn’t you know it started right up and warmed up right away?  We turned it off and on a few times and it always worked.  He didn’t find anything he thought was wrong, so we paid for a $100 service call for nothing.  Fortunately, it has been working just fine ever since.  We’re having another cold front and so far so good.

 

In a previous post I mentioned the mama cat and kittens that had been dumped here in the Rv park.  Thankfully, we were able to find good homes for them all.  The mother cat is in a shelter and has recently had another three kittens.  Sad smile

 

We had been hearing that there was another stray cat hanging around on the other side of the rv park.  The people there had been feeding her all summer and were now worrying about her since everybody was preparing to leave for the winter.  We hadn’t see her, and I figured all these “caring” people that were feeding her would take care of her.   I was wrong!   At that point we realized if we didn’t help this cat, she would be on her own all winter.

We finally realized we needed to intervene or the cat would be on her own all winter.  It turned out a local Veterinarian had lost her cat a few months ago in this area. Apparently it wasn’t the same cat, but she agreed to take this cat if we could catch it and bring it to her.  We figured the cat was pretty wild and would be difficult to catch, but we were wrong. We  quickly located her and in about two minutes she was in my lap,  and shortly after that was in a cage on her way to the veterinarians office and her new home. 

That makes 7 cats and kittens that we got out of our RV park this fall.   We got real lucky that we were able to find homes for all of them.   I hate to think how many cats we would have had here next year after they had a few more litters of kittens.   We feel good that we were able to make a big difference in the lives of these poor little kitties.  I still miss the kittens two kittens we kept for so long, but I’m adjusting and they are happy in their new home.

We still have Baxter but he loves his dad the best.  

Baxter

 

Mom has been doing ok back in Tampa. We have some new caregivers and our live-in Stacy has been working out real well.  Knock on wood.   We are in no hurry to go back to Tampa and are planning on staying here until the cold drives us away.  The weather has been warmer than usual giving us days in the 70’s and nights in the 50’s.  This is our idea of perfect weather.

We’ve really enjoyed the fall foliage this year.  We have been in a drought all summer so we didn’t know what to expect.  It seemed the reds have been more vibrant than other years and the color has lasted for weeks now.

Here are a few photos from our travels around town.  Our Rv park is situated between several scenic and popular drives, so we don’t have to go far to find beautiful places.

 

 

IMG_4534

 

 

Brasstown Bald

 

 

 

Brasstown Bald

Suzanne and Heidi who are our part time neighbors in Wesley Chapel and also have a lot here, came for 2 weeks with Heidi’s Mom Madge.  Madge is 80 year old, but didn’t let her age stop her from a hike on the Appalachian trail!

The next picture shows Madge, Suzanne, rescue dog Cindi And Al in the background. 

Brasstown Bald Heidi, Suzy, Madge, Cindi and Al

This next photo is Heidi and Cindi at the top of Brasstown Bald which is the highest mountain in Georgia. 

Heidi and Cindy

 

Brasstown Bald

 

Since we are so close to Brasstown Bald, we go there often and on this particular day, it was clear enough that we could see the Atlanta skyline, some 85 miles away.

Can you see it?   The blue haze you see in these mountains is not smog, it is isoprene gas which is caused by decaying vegetation.

Brasstown Bald - Atlanta

On cold days, you have a better change of seeing the Atlanta skyline.   Can you see it now after I zoomed in?

Brasstown Bald - Atlanta

 

We sometimes get up early and drive up to watch the sun rise over the mountains.

IMG_5034

 

We’ve been hiking, and were really enjoying it since it had gotten cooler.  Unfortunately, Al hurt his knee the other day so our hiking has been curtailed for now.  We’re hoping a few days of rest will help, but we’re already on day 3 or 4.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Blue Ridge Parkway

 

Blairsville, Ga (high 85, low 52)

 

Did you notice our predicted high temps today?  Yep.   85 degrees.  No fear, the high for tomorrow is supposed to be 60 degrees with a low of 38 for the next few nights.  We’ve had perfect weather until the last few days when we had a bit of a heat wave.

Our Tampa/Wesley Chapel friends arrived here about the time of the heat wave.   Hummmmm?

Fall in the north Georgia mountains is the best time to be here and we try to enjoy every day.  Unfortunately, the fall foliage show only lasts a short time, so you have to catch it while you can and that means a lot of driving if you want to catch the best shows.

Last week we took a very long drive up to Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  I’m behind on my posting but will post some pictures later. 

Twice this week, we did a fall foliage tour nearby on Brasstown Bald Mountain, which is the highest peak in Georgia.  It was gorgeous.  More on that later.

We got up and were on the road by 6:40 am yesterday morning.  It was dark when we left and we normally try not to drive at dark.  

It’s about 80 miles from here to Cherokee, NC which is the beginning (for us) of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  It’s actually the end, I guess since it starts at mile marker 1 in Virginia, and ends at mile marker 469 in Cherokee.

We took the scenic route from Hayesville, NC on Highway 64.  Shortly after we left Hayesville, the colors started getting very pretty.  As we approached Cherokee, the color was faded.

It was pretty foggy as you can see.

Blue Ridge Parkway

 

IMG_4565

 

Of course, the Appalachian mountains, whether they be called the Blue Ridge, the Smoky, or the Appalachians, are noted for being “smoky.”

Blue Ridge Parkway

It started off pretty chilly with temps in the 50’s, but by mid afternoon it was getting pretty warm.

We make a quick stop at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center in Cherokee.  There is a herd of elk that often hang out there. We were hoping to see the herd with the big bull Elk.

 

Oconaluftee visitor Center

We only saw a young bull that was not allowed to be around the herd. There is one bull elk in charge and he chases any other males away.

Oconaluftee visitor Center

This is rutting season (mating) to you might be lucky and hear them bugle.   Fighting is common among the males.

 

The entrance to the Blue Ridge is a short drive away.  Getting a picture of the entrance sign, is about as difficult as getting a picture of the Southernmost sign in Key West.  

Smile

Southernmost point

 

entrance to Blue Ridge Parkway

The fall color wasn’t great in Cherokee, but it started to change very quickly as soon as we got on the Parkway.

 

Blue Ridge Parkway

 

Blue Ridge Parkway

 

Blue Ridge Parkway

 

Blue Ridge Parkway

 

Blue Ridge Parkway

 

Blue Ridge Parkway

 

Blue Ridge Parkway

 

Blue Ridge Parkway

 

Blue Ridge Parkway

 

Blue Ridge Parkway

 

Blue Ridge Parkway

 

Blue Ridge Parkway

 

Blue Ridge Parkway

The nice thing about the Blue Ridge is that there are a LOT of scenic overlooks. Some have picnic tables and some have nearby hiking trails.

 

Blue Ridge Parkway

 

Blue Ridge Parkway

 

Blue Ridge Parkway

There are many tunnels on the parkway.  A lot of people take motorhomes and drive the Blue Ridge.

Blue Ridge Parkway

I don’t think we’ll be taking our motorhome up there anytime soon. There are others not this tall.

Blue Ridge Parkway,   Tunnel height

This next overlook was was about as high as we got in elevation.  The trees had really lost a lot of leaves and the color was fading.  We didn’t go any further but it appeared the color was better at lower elevations.

Blue Ridge Parkway

 

I loved all the Blue Spruce trees that were at this overlook.  Sadly there were many dead ones due to some sort of blight.

Blue Ridge Parkway

 

Blue Ridge Parkway

 

Blue Ridge Parkway

 

You can see all the bare trees.

Blue Ridge Parkway

 

Blue Ridge Parkway

 

Blue Ridge Parkway

We would have loved to have been able to keep on driving and heading further north, but unfortunately, we had to head back home.

Blue Ridge Parkway

 

We left the parkway and took a side road  back to Cherokee.  It was Al’s choice.  My vote was to stay on the parkway.  He had to admit I was right and the parkway would have been the more scenic. He thought it was going to be a pretty mountain road but it turned out to be a busy road with tons of electric poles and wires and trashy homes and businesses.   The expressway has no businesses and only occasionally can you see a home off in the distance up on a mountain.

We ended up back at the visitor center in Cherokee, hoping to catch the elk herd.  They are known to be there grazing in the field early morning and late afternoon. 

Everybody knows this and the cars were piling into the visitor center. It reminded me of going to a drive in theater years ago.

We saw an elk cow at the edge of the field, and felt sure the rest  would show up soon, but we were so tired by this time and we still had a two hour drive home, so we left before the herd came.

IMG_4768

 

Blue Ridge Parkway

We had a lovely day and thoroughly enjoyed our drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway.