Sunday, June 30, 2013

Introducing our Mountain Retreat


Wesley Chapel, Florida (hot, rainy and humid)


While up in the north Georgia mountains, we looked at some RV lots that were for sale.

The lot we were staying on was at Paradise Valley Rv Resort in Cleveland, Georgia and it was for sale.

It was a very nice lot.  It had a gravel driveway and then a paved pad for the motor home.  There was a raised deck that was as long as our motor home.  On top of the deck was a nice screen room. It was very nice sitting outside at night inside the screened room.

There was also a little utility shed.


The park was beautiful with a mix of RV’s and cabins.  Many were beautifully landscaped and it made for some interesting walks.

Rv lots in Paradise Valley, Cleveland Georgia

Rv lots in Paradise Valley, Cleveland Georgia

Of course, the nicer the sites, the more expensive they were, and most of the nicest ones were not for sale anyway!

The down side of this lot was that it wasn’t the easiest to get in or out of, in a 41 foot rig. A two or three foot shorter rig would have made a huge difference. There was no good place inside the campground to unhook the toad, which we didn’t realize when we pulled in. 

The deck made it difficult to back out because you had to clear the deck before you could make any turns. By the time we cleared the deck, we were right against some tree branches, so we had to go forward and back a few times to get at the right angle. We had trimmed the branches, but it turned out a lot more trimming was needed.   Another down side was our satellite dish went right into some big trees, so we had to set up a portable dish and run wires in through the windows.   Also, we got a slow and sporadic Verizon signal.

All of these issues could have been worked out, but not having decent internet was really a biggie for both of us.


There was a big range in prices for RV lots.  The most expensive one we looked at was $199,000.   Of course it included a very nice, large and newish 5th wheel, the truck to tow it, a beautiful cabin and storage shed, and another RV  lot next door for your friends. It had was on the highest point in the campground with a wonderful view of Yonah mountain.  If we would have had a spare $199k, we would have snapped it right up!

Another one we looked at was beautifully landscaped with a tall row of Rhododendrons and a covered deck, giving you a lot of privacy.  It also had two of the most gorgeous Japanese maple trees. These pictures do not do this site justice.

River Vista, Dillard, GA

Japanese maple

It was a great site, but also out of our budget.

We saw a few that were the last to sell in an rv park that had recently changed hands.  I think they were going for about $6000.  Of course they were small, unlevel lots with nothing but grass and dirt.  A good price, but you’d end up spending a fair amount of money in improvements.

One of the first lots we looked at, ended up being the one we kept going back to, and that’s the one we decided to buy.

I know some of you are wondering why we decided to buy an Rv lot.  Yes, we still plan on traveling as much as we can.

Yes, we intend to go west someday.

However, we feel tied to Florida right now because of my Mom.  I hate to be too far away if something should happen to her.   We have learned that our traveling style is to find a place we like, and really get to know the area, so we’ll spend a few months in the fall in north Georgia.


So, on to the lot we purchased.

It’s in Blairsville, Georgia, at the Rivers Edge RV Park.  All the lots are individually owned.  Some lots are on a trout stream and some on a pond. Ours is on neither.

It’s easy to get the motor home in and out, there is a place to unhook the toad, and both the satellite and Verizon get good signals. The HOA and property taxes are inexpensive.

That’s a 45 foot motor home parked there now, so I think ours will fit.   :)


It has a cute little “coach house” or “cabin.”

Rivers Edge Rv Park

The cabin is completely finished inside and  complete with washer, dryer, sofa, refrigerator, and heat and a/c.

Rivers Edge Rv Park

Rivers Edge Rv Park

There is a nice sized deck which has a huge umbrella and nice table and chairs, which are all staying with the property.

Rivers Edge Rv Park

Rivers Edge Rv Park, deck

This currently empty spot will be a good spot for a hot tub, don’t you think?   A fence or shrubbery will block the view of the neighbor. 

Rivers Edge Rv Park, the hot tub goes here.

There is an open air clubhouse, but no pool or other amenities, which keep the maintenance fees down.


We really like the Blairsville area and we are near Brasstown Bald, which is the highest mountain in Georgia.  We’re just a short distance from North Carolina as well.

Brasstown Bald

We will  be able to rent the site out when we’re not there.  We still want to do some traveling, but for now, we don’t feel comfortable going too far away from Mom, so this will be a nice little place to go where we won’t need a reservation.

We can’t wait to get back. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

In Need of an Ark?


Wesley Chapel, Florida (hot, humid and rainy)


I don’t really have much to blog about since we’re only taking care of business while we’re back in this area, but I’m so happy to have Live Writer back, I just feel the need to post something!  :)

We have been watching the weather and hoping there will not be anything tropical forming (as in hurricane) until we can get out of town.

Next week they are predicting tons of rain for several days because of a cold front stalling right over Florida. Our favorite weatherman has mentioned getting an ark.  Rain isn’t going to be convenient for us next week, but I guess as long as we don’t get anything severe, I can live with it.   


We noticed a leak coming from our Splendide washing machine before we left Tampa.  It wasn’t critical to get it fixed while we were gone and we didn’t take the time to look at it, we we just used the Laundromat.  Al thought it might be the water pump. I was hoping for a loose hose.

The other night, we finally removed the wood panel in the closet and the back panel on the machine.  It wasn’t readily apparent where the leak was coming from, and getting back in there was next to impossible.  We thought it might be a loose water connection and Al tightened the connections as best as he could without removing the machine.  The one leading to the drain hose had a loose clamp, but the hose appeared to be snugged in just fine.   Our local mobile rv repair guy was in the neighborhood yesterday, so we stopped him and asked him about it.  He said since the leak was coming from the right rear corner, it was possibly a water pump.  We went ahead and scheduled him to do the repair, but unfortunately he’s booked up this week, and on vacation next week.  It looks like we’ll be going to the laundry mat for a while longer.   I sure miss my machine!  

We are meeting today with the man that wants to buy Al’s business.  I hope we can get things moving along, so that we can get out of town and back up to the mountains.

Speaking of mountains.  Does anyone have any suggestions for an overnight campground south of Atlanta near I-75?   We would prefer avoiding going through Atlanta, but it appears that’s not an option, so we’re wanting to stay just south of it and possibly traveling through Atlanta on a Sunday.  We’ve heard awful stories about the Atlanta traffic.


Here are a few other pictures from the mountains.  Now that I have LW back, and can quickly post pics!

These were all taken from Paradise Valley Campground.



Rv lots in Paradise Valley, Cleveland Georgia

Rv lots in Paradise Valley, Cleveland Georgia

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Welcome Back Live Writer!


Wesley Chapel, Florida (hot and humid)


There is no sense in posting the temperature daily.  It’s Florida in the summer, which means it’s hot, sticky and will more than likely rain somewhere every day for a little while.

Thanks to Rick and Erin for their comments regarding my issue with Live Writer.

Here’s what happened, in case anyone else runs into the same thing.

A few days ago, I got an email from Google telling me there was suspicious activity on my G-Mail account.  It appears someone in Chile tried to hack into my account.  They recommended I change my password. 

My first thought was, how do I really know this email is from Google?   I did not follow any links from the email, but went directly to my Google account, which told me the same thing.

The last time I changed my Yahoo password, I ran into a bit of trouble, so I really didn’t want to change this one, but I decided I had better change this one.

Google gave me the option of having a 2 step verification to make it harder for anyone to get into my accounts.  I had to authorize my computers, net books and Android phone, one time with this 2 step verification code.  The code was sent to my phone.  It worked just fine.  The instructions were clear, short and easy.  There was a list of some programs that might not be compatible with the 2 step verification, but I didn’t see any that I currently used, so I kind of forgot about it.

The first time I tried to post with Live Writer, I got an error message saying they couldn’t log onto my Blogger account.  There was no mention of needing the 2 step verification code, so I tried to log in using my new Google password.  It failed.  Several times!

We were busy getting ready to leave Georgia and then 3 days of driving to get back here, so I didn’t have much time to work on the problem.

Rick and Erin both mentioned in a comment about the two step verification and it got me to thinking.  Sure enough, Live Writer is one of those programs that doesn’t work with the regular two step verification. 

I checked back to the emails I received from Google when I was changing the passwords over, and there was a link to get programs running that weren’t compatible with the regular two step verification.

Here is the information needed to set this up if it comes up for anyone else.   I cannot include the link Google sent me because it was specific to my accounts.  But if you follow the directions, it’s very easy.

So…….Welcome back Live Writer!

Some comments have stated they have always used Blogger and have no problem with it.  All I can say is to try Live Writer once and you probably won’t go back.  That’s what happened to me.  I think it was Rick that suggested it, and once I used it, I never wanted to use Blogger again.   I love Google, but they really could do better on this one.  

Another commenter said they used Blogger, but composed the  blog in a word document then cut and pasted.  Why not just compose the document once…in Live Writer.  No need to take that second step.

So….don’t be afraid (Sherry) to occasionally change your passwords.  There is life after a password change!


I debated on what title I should use for this post.  It was between “Grumpy Guy Part Three” and the one I used.

Yes, I had another day of a grumpy guy.

Only this grumpy guy was closer to home.  Much closer.  : )

Al is going to kill me when he sees this photo.  It was taken a few weeks ago in South Carolina and he was just playing…but this is really what he’s been looking like the past few days……grumpy!

He has had a tooth ache, so he has an excuse, but I”m really getting tired of grumpy people.   To top it off, we went over to visit Mom and she was grumpy too!  Sheesh!

Al went to the dentist yesterday and has another appointment Monday for a root canal, so hopefully that will help his mood. 

oh yeah….he’s going to kill me.


Now that I have LW back and can easily and quickly post pictures, I wanted to post a few more from the Georgia mountains. 

This was a view from Black Rock Mountain State Park.


We went for a half mile hike down to the falls and it about killed us.  I guess it was the elevation. 

black rock mountain

waterfall at black rock mountain state park

The falls were nice, but not spectacular, but there were some beautiful flowers near the falls and that made my day.

I don’t know if these were Mountain Laurel, or Rhododendron?  Sherry???

black rock mountain sp

One other day we made a trip back to the town they call “Alpine Helen.”   It’s a touristy little few blocks with all alpine style buildings.

Helen Georgia

What you don’t see in these photos is the very popular river right across the street.

Tubing is very big this time of year.

river tubing at Helen, GA


river tubing at Helen, GA

While we were watching, we noticed a woman hop out of her tube and walk back up river.  It was only about knee deep, but the water was flowing pretty good and she had some difficulty.  Fortunately, she had on shoes.

river tubing at Helen, GA....rescue

I wondered why she had gotten out of her tube, but soon found out there was a young girl standing in the area before the rapids.   If she had gone over the rapids without a tube, she would probably have been hurt.

I assume that was Mama coming to the rescue.   She got back to the girl, grabbed her hand and tried to help her to shore.  The girl didn’t have on shoes (or a life vest) and was having some trouble. We tried to see how we could help.  There were no life rings on the dock we were standing on.

Finally,  we walked up river.  Mama and the girl had nearly made it to shore, but were having trouble the last few steps up the river bank.  Al walked down to the river bank and held out his hand for the girl.  She was freezing cold, but appeared to be okay.  Mama got out with no problems, probably because she had on shoes.

Lesson learned.  Children should probably be wearing life vests and everyone should have on shoes.


This little guy lived at the campground we where we were staying. The picture was taken through a very dirty window.  We don’t have Chipmunks in Florida, at least not that I’ve ever seen, so he was a treat to watch.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Grumpy Guy - Part Two

Wesley Chapel, Florida

We arrived back in the Tampa area early afternoon yesterday.  It was really, really hot.  In the summer, we travel with the generator and air conditioner on, but once we get to a site and ready to plug in, I turn them off while Al plugs in the EMS and coach.   It takes a few minutes for the Progressive Energy Management System to check the circuits and give you the okay,  then a little longer for the a/c to  start running again.

Al got the ok from the EMS and plugged in the coach.

I was inside with no air and patiently waiting for it to start.  The a/c never came on and it was getting really hot inside.   It's amazing how fast an Rv can heat up when it's over 90 degrees.    It's something I worry about in the hot months with the cats inside.  If a circuit should be tripped, or the power goes out while we're away, we may come home to some dead cats inside a very hot motor home.  Something to consider, even if it's not 90 degrees, Rv's heat up quickly in the sun.

Al checked the EMS box and it showed two fault codes.  One was high voltage and the other was for an open ground.

Remember, this is the same site we just left 3 weeks ago.  We certainly didn't expect to have a problem there.  Looking back, we did remember having brief power outages  since we moved to this site.  In the future, that will tell me we need to have the pedestal checked.

I called the office and they sent  handyman Herbie to come check it out.  I was outside when he came up and I greeted him.  No reply.  He fiddled with some other things for a few minutes before he finally walked back to our pedestal. He completely ignored me.   By this time Al was there and told him what the problem was.  Herbie immediately told us he hated those EMS boxes because they were "unreliable."   Okay.  We told him that this system had saved us before (at a state park) and that we wouldn't plug in unless it told us it was okay.  The next thing we knew, he was back in his golf cart and driving away.   Was he coming back?   We didn't have a clue.

A few minutes later he came back.  I asked him if he found the problem. He ignored me (or didn't hear me). I asked louder so that he surely could hear me.  I'm not sure if I had to ask again, but he finally told me he was changing out the box.    Now, how hard was that?  

All we needed to know was if we should continue to set up, or plan to move to another site.

It only took him a few minutes to change out the part.  Al was a little aggravated by this time, after also getting ignored, and decided to ask him if we had offended him in some way.  Herbie apologized and said he was real busy and didn't mean to be grouchy.   We certainly understood that he was working outside in this oppressive heat  and it would be easy to be irritable, but we needed to know if we would be moving to a new site or what.  

I guess it's the heat that's bringing out the bad tempers.

For all of you out there that don't use any kind of energy management system, this is a good example of what can happen.  We had a problem at a site that was only a few years old with all new equipment.  We had stayed there before.   I don't know what would have happened if we had plugged directly into the circuit, and I don't want to try.   These systems are not cheap. I believe ours is now $431.   We have the portable one and we prefer it because if we do get a bad pedestal, we can take the portable unit to another site to check before we go to the trouble of moving the coach.

Anyway.....just  my two cents.

After we got set up, we took the truck in to see about fixing the broken bolts on the bracket for our Blue Ox tow bar.   The guys there were extremely helpful (and not grouchy) and we made an appointment for next Tuesday.  Unfortunately, that was the soonest they could get us in.  Hopefully it won't be an expensive fix. Yeah, right.  :)

My other continuing problem is Live Writer.   I changed my Gmail password and ever since, I can't get LW to post to my blog.   when I try to publish it the Blogger Log In box says that "Windows Live Writer is unable to log into the remote server using the user name and password.  Please check that the information is correct and try again." 

I'm able to log into my blog, so I don't think it's a Blogger issue--is it?  or is it a Windows Live Writer issue? 

I was going to un-install Live Writer and re-install it but it's now bundled with Essentials and I was afraid I would cob up something else.

I Googled this and someone else was also having this problem.  In fact I cut and pasted it here because it's exactly what happened to me.  Unfortunately, that person didn't get any good answers, so I'm back to square one.  

In the meantime, I guess I'll have to continue to use Blogger to post, but it's definitely not my first choice.

We have some business to take care of here and Al has developed a tooth ache, so we will need to be here a little while.   We're anxious to get back up to the mountains and away from this oppressive heat.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Welcome to Florida, Heat, Grumpy Guy, and Thunderstorms

Lake City, Florida

We drove 183 miles today and ended up just across the Florida/Georgia border.

We could really notice the temperature warming up the further south we went.  No more cool nights where we need blankets!

We chose a campground just off  I-75, called Casey Jones Rv Park.  It had good reviews and appeared to be easy in and out.

We drove in,  and there was a truck stopped in front of the office while getting a propane tank filled.  There was room for us, but then we were blocking anybody else from entering or leaving.  I jumped out and the man pumping propane told me he'd be just a minute.  I asked where we should park the motor home to get it out of the way.  He said it was fine there, but Al decided to pull ahead to an empty late arrival site to get out of the way, so that we could drive the truck around to choose a good site.

The man wasn't happy that we disobeyed and made it clear he would show us to our site. He asked why he parked where he did.    I explained we just wanted to park there for a few minutes to give us a chance to check out which site we wanted.  He told me that he would assign us a site out there "in the middle."  "In the middle where" I asked.  What's your definition of the middle? There were 4 different areas that could be considered "in the middle."  By this time I was getting grumpy.    He went inside, I walked back to Al and the coach and on the way a nice lady asked if she could help.  I felt like saying yes, please, because the grumpy guy was getting on my nerves.  I bit my tongue though, because she was probably grumpy guy's wife.

Grumpy guy must have realized I was angry and he proceeded to be "cute" and try to make amends.  Too late.  It was 395 degrees and I don't like spending my money at a place that treats their customers like that.  If it wasn't so much trouble to find another campground, we would surely have left.

After we paid him $29+  he led us up to a grassy site up on the hill (in the middle).   We had afternoon sun coming in the patio, no shade, but the site was long, easy to get into, and fairly level.  No problem getting satellite here!  When Al went to plug in the Progressive EMS  system, he normally flips the circuit breaker first.  This one had no breaker.  That's the first time we've seen that.

The park has no pool or hot tub, but they do have free wifi. good point.  I turned on the laptop and their signal looked pretty strong.  It turned out that all I could get was a "limited" connection...which basically means you get zip.    So no free wifi for us tonight.   There was no way I was going to call grumpy guy and ask him about it either.  I just kept thinking, that I'll be sure to leave a review on Rv

In the summer time, it's rainy season in Florida.   Since Florida is surrounded by water, it has it's own unique weather patterns.  The afternoon sea breezes from the Gulf of Mexico, and Atlantic Ocean often collide somewhere over the mainland.

Guess where they collided  tonight?  Yep, Lake City.   Actually, you could look on the radar and see an almost straight line down the center of the state.  This was the worst thunderstorm I've seen since we lived in Florida years ago.    It got a little windy for a while and we felt the coach rocking, but fortunately, it appears to have passed.

143 miles to drive tomorrow and we'll be back in the Tampa area.   The sooner we can get our business taken care of, the sooner we will be out of here and back in the cool mountains of Georgia.  Maybe when we get settled in, I will have time to get my Live Writer back.

Check Your Nuts....Part Two

Perry, Georgia  (high 90, low 71)

We left the beautiful Georgia mountains yesterday morning.

We had some maneuvering to do to back out of our campsite at Paradise Valley CG.  It was a site where you pull in forward.  There was a long deck that was just about the entire length of the coach on the patio side.  The site angled right back into some trees at the end of the driveway.

We had done some tree trimming and thought we were okay, but with our long coach, and the deck preventing us from making any turns until we cleared it, we ended up right next to the tree.

We had to go back and forward a few times to get away from the tree and then into the road, around the corner and then out of the park.

There is no place to hook up the toad in the park without blocking traffic so we chose a large truck repair stop behind a nearby Chevron station.  I followed Al there and we proceeded to hook up the toad.

When we were hooking up, Al noticed the left  bracket on the truck appeared loose.  Upon further inspection, he realized one of the two bolts was loose and he was unable to tighten it.  He thought it had been stripped.   Two good ole Georgia boys stopped by to help and they tried to tighten the bolt as well.  No luck.  The other one tightened up well and they thought we would be okay to tow, but advised we check it after a few miles to make sure it was still tight.

After some debate, we decided to tow the truck behind the motorhome.  Plan B would have been for me to follow behind Al, but I was concerned with getting lost getting out of the mountains and over to highway 441.  I wanted to be in the coach with him, to help make sure we didn't miss any turns.   I am the "nagivator"  (as Erin calls it) in chief!

We hooked up and proceeded down the highway, but were able to stop a few times to check the bolt. It stayed tight so we kept on.

Our intended stop for the night was about 186 miles and all went fine until we hit some heavy rain about 20 miles from our destination.   We checked into the campground, waited the rain out and paid for our one night at Fair Harbor Rv Park, in Perry, Georgia.  It's fine for overnight and just minutes from the interstate.

Our first mistake was to listen to the man at the desk.  We told him we wanted a pull through site that was easy to get into.  He gave us a map and directions.   We should have checked it out ourselves because it involved going down a tree lined road (no problem) and then making a hard left back up the very next row.  Easy with no toad, or a smaller rig, not so easy for us. That hard left had trees on side and a ditch on the other.  We should have never attempted the turn with a toad because we couldn't make the turn sharp enough  and with a tow vehicle, we couldn't back up.   We didn't quite make it wide enough, so that was our fault.  One of the hazards of having a big rig.

We were stuck in the middle of the turn and had to unhook the truck.  Unfortunately, at this point it was at a severe angle and we had a devil of a time unhooking. started raining like hell again.    Oh what a lucky day, we were having!

Fortunately we had rain jackets, and got it unhooked.  We got into our site, but were soaking wet at this point.

What a day we had!

But, we were safe and sound and didn't crash and burn, so we were thankful.

I hope today will be a better day.

No pictures today....or probably any day until I get my Live Writer back on line.  I can't update it with my new Gmail password and it doesn't like the old one either.   Someone suggested I re-install it, and I'll try that as soon as I get  a chance.    In the meantime....I sure hate posting with Blogger.   It's so much more trouble than Live Writer.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Waterfalls and a Scenic Drive

Cleveland, Georgia (high 82, low 62)

Thanks to Erin and Rick for their suggestions on how to get Windows Live Writer back onboard.  Unfortunately, even when I try to update Live Writer with my new password it gives me a message saying, "the blog cannot be accessed using the specified user name and password."

I'm certain I entered the correct user name and password.  It works on all my Google accounts, but for some reason it won't link to Live Writer.  I'm extremely frustrated because I really hate posting my blog through Blogger.  It takes forever to upload photos and it's not as user friendly.   

I'll keep messing with it, but in the meantime any and all suggestions are appreciated!

(I don't know why I get this white background when I cut and pasted, but this is another reason I hate to post the blog using Blogger.)

I also noticed my pictures aren't coming out well either.   What's up with that??

We've been real busy every single day exploring the area.  There is so much to see and do here that we've not really done justice to anything.  We've  done quick tours of a lot of many places, saying to ourselves that we'll come back again when we have more time.   

I've lost track of the days, but of course I've taken tons of pictures.  I want to share some of them because it's so incredibly beautiful up here right now.   They have had a lot of rain and everything is so green and lush.   The temps are 10 degrees cooler than in Florida and the humidity isn't as bad, so we've really enjoyed the cooler days.   We've done some short hikes and since they are in the forests, it's really very pleasant even though the temperature has been in the low 80's.

We drove some beautiful back roads from Blairsville to Hiawassee.  The lush vegetation on the rolling hills and valleys,  is incredibly beautiful.

They grow a lot of corn and hay around here.  They say the bears like to raid the corn fields.

The hay is a light golden color when it's growing and when they mow it, it leaves a beautiful green field in it's place.    I don't know which is more beautiful.

You can see this house in the valley with the mowed grass by the house and the hay in the fields surrounding it.

We've done some hiking in the lush green forests.  It's shady and cool and there is usually a stream beside you.

We did a short hike at Desoto Falls.  There were two trails to choose from.  We chose the lower/shorter trail.  We'll go back and do the upper trail soon.   According to the sign, a piece of armor was found nearby that is thought to have belonged to Hernando Desoto or one of his fellow explorers.

There are so many waterfalls around here, that it would take a long time to visit them all.  We heard that Anna Ruby Falls is not to be missed, so we went there yesterday.

As it turned out, we had to go up the mountain to Unicoi State Park.  You have to go through Unocoi to reach Anna Ruby Falls.   We didn't take the time to explore Unicoi.  They have a campground, but we didn't see it this time.  I can tell you that the road to the campground was very steep.  We saw a large motorhome coming down, so I guess it's do-able.  We'll go back another time.  It's a lovely park.

After you go a few miles down Unicoi road, you get to a gate for Anna Ruby.  As it turns out, they accepted Al's national Senior pass, so we didn't have to pay the $3.00 each to enter.

What an amazing place this was!

It's a short  4 tenths of a mile up a paved trail.   That's the first paved trail I've been on and it was kind of nice.  It was pretty steep, but you didn't have to watch your feet all the time to avoid tripping.    It was probably a good thing because the entire trail was along a very fast moving stream with a lot of smaller waterfalls, and many good photo ops.

It was very shady and cool in the forest setting.  With all the rain lately, the water was really moving.

The sound of the rushing water was with you the entire way, getting stronger and stronger as we neared the main waterfalls.

There is another 5 mile trail that takes you back to Unicoi State Park.  I imagine it would be pretty strenuous.

I have some other photos I would like to share, but it is taking me so long to upload each of these pictures via Blogger, that I will have to do it later.....if I can ever get Live Writer working again.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

21 Seconds, Helen and Waterfalls

Cleveland, Georgia,  (high 81, low 61)

this post was supposed to go out yesterday, but I had a few issues that I still haven't worked out.

When I got onto the computer yesterday morning I saw an email from Google telling me someone from Chile had tried to hack my account and they recommended I change my password.  I did, but for some reason Live Writer keeps sending me a message saying "Windows Live Writer can't log on to the remote server using the user name and password."

I changed my Blogger password and tried to log back on to Live Writer, but I keep getting the same error message.  

So this morning, I am having to try to post this blog via Blogger.....and I hate posting through Blogger!!!!

I tried the cut and paste method and that was real fun since it didn't paste the photos.


Al is a big Miami Heat fan and has been watching the playoff for what seems like forever.  :)
We’ve had quite a few early mornings and long days, so Al is struggling to stay awake to watch these games.       With 21 seconds to go and Miami was down 5 points, Al  he went to bed, not wanting to watch the victory celebration by the Spurs.  As it turns out, a lot happened in that last few seconds because the Miami Heat ended up winning the game and Al missed it!

On Monday, we drove to the city of Helen, Georgia.  It’s also called Alpine Helen. 
It’s your typical touristy little town, with lots of little shops and restaurants.

from the web:

In the late 1960’s, Helen was revitalized from a remote mountain community into a replica of a quaint Alpine Village located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Helen is 15 miles off Highway 365/I-985 and located an hour and a half north of Atlanta via I-85 or GA Hwy. 400. Currently, Helen is one of the top tourist destinations in the state.

Helen was definitely an interesting place to see, but we weren’t overwhelmed by it.  It might be more fun in the fall when they have more activities.

We are learning that this area is loaded with fun and touristy things to do.  It would take years to see and do all of what this area has to offer.

We are close to the Appalachian trail, but there are many, many other trails and waterfalls in any direction you choose to go.  The scenery is beautiful, but their main tourist season is October for the fall colors.  We certainly intend to be here then.

Yesterday, we hung around the house a while to see what the weather was going to do.  It had been raining off and on and we didn’t want to cross Blood Mountain in a downpour.  We ended up back in Blairsville, then over to Hiawassee for lunch at a Mexican restaurant.  The restaurant is across the street and up the hill from a huge lake.  What a beautiful view. It was pretty cloudy and rainy, so I didn’t get any pictures.  Next time!

The drive from Blairsville to Hiawassee was incredible.  Rolling hills, mountains and beautiful green valleys.

Since it was raining, this next picture is the best I could get.  We will be back there too!

After a wonderful Mexican lunch, we headed back towards Cleveland.  We saw a sign for Tallulah Gorge State Park, and  took a detour.  By this time it was after 5pm, so we didn’t get to see much, but it was worth our $5 entrance fee.

There are some  strenuous hiking trails to the falls.

It started off easy with nicely padded trails.

A sign of things to come

We took a short walk out to the waterfall viewing area, but to really see them, you need to hike down the 3 million stairs.   One day, we will do that. 

We haven't decided when we'll be leaving.  We'd love to stay until November, but Al has to get back to Tampa to finalize the sale of the business, so I guess we'll be leaving soon.  

We will sure hate to leave!

Monday, June 17, 2013

State Park and Rv Lots for Sale


Cleveland, Georgia  (high 81, low 64)


The weather has been very nice here in the Georgia mountains.  It’s not exactly cool with the highs between 80 and 84 every day, but the humidity is much lower than Florida and it’s pleasant enough that you can enjoy outdoor activities.  It gets wonderfully cool at night.  In fact, we’ve had to break out the sweats for a few hours in the mornings.  

Yesterday was a day for some exploring.  We ended back in Blairsville looking at an Rv lot.  The drive was gorgeous, as usual.

The scenery was beautiful.


There are many, many beautiful vineyards.  This one was on the top of a hill and really caught my eye.  I think we’ll have to spend some time exploring the vineyards, if not to drink wine, but just for their beauty.



We ended up at Amicalola Falls State Park.  We had been there years ago and the main thing we remembered was that they have a very steep hill going into their campground.   It was a 25% grade.  Oh, no….not for me!


They have a “Hike-In Lodge.”  The only way to get to the lodge is to hike.  It appears to be very popular.


There is another lodge that can be reached by vehicle.  We went inside hoping to see the waterfall.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t visible from the lodge.

It was a nice view though.


The Robin had the best view.


The falls are visible from the top, but you don’t get a very good view of them.


Spectacular scenery and hiking trails make this one of Georgia’s most popular state parks. At 729 feet, Amicalola Falls is the tallest cascading waterfall in the Southeast.

Visitors have choices on how to best view the tumbling waters, ranging from an accessible pathway to a challenging trail with staircases.  Those who tackle the latter can join the park’s Canyon Climbers Club.  An 8.5-mile trail leads from the park to Springer Mountain, the southern end of the famous 2,175-mile Appalachian Trail. Numerous other trails provide shorter day hikes.




We didn’t have time to do any serious hiking yesterday,but we did walk around a little and this most wonderfully fragrant plant was blooming.  I sure wish I knew what it was because it was so nice.



We ended up in Blairsville, and looked at another Rv lot.  More about that later.

Less than 3 miles from the Rv lot we looked at is Vogel State Park.  It’s another of Georgia's jewels.  We had also been there before and I was impressed that there was a lake up in the mountains.  Hey, I’m a Florida girl.  It doesn’t take much to impress me!

Vogul State Park

Vogel State Park

By the time we got to Vogel, it was getting later in the day, so we didn’t have too much time.   We had a 16 mile over the mountain and we didn’t want to drive it at dark, or in the rain.

The highway back home, is Hwy 129, which goes over Blood Mountain.  It’s a very popular area for crazy motorcyclists and bicyclists, with a lot of very twisty and windy curves.

The guys on the “crotch rockets” love this road.  When they are zooming around a curve, they lay the motorcycle down so low into the turn, that their knees are literally inches from the pavement.  Yesterday, one guy  have had on some sort of metal knee pads and when his knee hit the pavement, sparks flew!  It was kind of interesting to watch, but man, how dangerous is that?

No pictures…sorry, it happened too fast.


Our trip to Blairsville was to look at another Rv lot for sale.

This one has a huge  35x80 concrete slab.  A coach house (or cabin), a raised deck with table, chairs and umbrella included.

That’s a 45 foot motor home in there, so you can see the site is plenty big.

Rivers Edge Rv Park 

The coach house (cabin) has a washer and dryer, refrigerator, hot water heater, sofa, and shelving for storage and a place to hang extra clothes. 

Rivers Edge Rv Park

Rivers Edge Rv Park, coach house

Rivers Edge Rv Park

The deck comes with a table and chairs and huge umbrella.

Rivers Edge Rv Park

It’s a wonderful lot in an area that offers a lot to do.  It might be a nice place to spend a few months in the fall.


It rained pretty hard half the night.  I sucked it up and didn’t get too worried.  Of course, just in case I set the SAME code on the weather radio for our area and kept checking the radar for any signs of severe weather.   Other than heavy rain and lightning and thunder, we didn’t get much.

Rain is predicted today and tomorrow, so we may not get to do much exploring.   There is so much to do  around here, that we hate to miss a day due to the rain.

We could use a day of rest though.  We’ve been going strong for 2 weeks and are both tired.  Today might be a good day for a movie and a nap!

The final picture is of Al trying to get a “the end” picture for Judy.  It was of a big bulldog.   He worked so hard and when he finally got one, I took one look at it and decided it was too gross to post!

Al trying to get a "the end" shot for Judy