Thursday, November 14, 2013

We Saw Atlanta


Blairsville, Georgia  (predicted high 56, predicted low 29)

My Weatherbug app on my phone has missed the mark on low temperature predictions.  It was supposed to “only” get down to 23 degrees last night, but when it was 24 degrees at 8 pm, we knew it was going to get much colder.

When we reluctantly got out of our warm bed this morning, it was  17.8 degrees!

This was  supposed to be our last extremely cold night, but who knows.

After the sun came up yesterday morning, it looked like it was going to be a beautiful day.  The sky was blue, and the air was crisp.

We had been wanting to go back to Brasstown Bald (the highest peak in Georgia), because we were told on a clear day you could see the Atlanta skyline.  Cold weather makes for clear skies.

We didn’t get a very early start, but took the drive over to Brasstown and found mostly bare trees at the higher elevations.

bare trees on road to Brasstown Bald

This is the view as we approached Brasstown Bald yesterday.

Brasstown Bald

This is how it looked in August.

Brasstown Bald

This next picture is how it looked a few weeks ago.

Brasstown Bald

It turned out that the cold air did make it more clear and we could actually see the Atlanta skyline, which is about 80 miles away as the crow flies.

Here is the view we saw.   Atlanta is there.  Can you see it?

Brasstown Bald, Atlanta in distance

You really needed binoculars or a good zoom lens on your camera. 

Here it is with my “stalker” lens on my little Canon.

Atlanta skyline from Brasstown Bald 

You can just make out the Atlanta skyline.

Atlanta skyline from Brasstown Bald


We have been wondering if this area would still be pretty once the leaves all fell.

We got our answer yesterday.

Yes.  It’s still beautiful.



I believe this is Lake Chatuge.


This is a nice little campground that we haven’t been able to find yet.

Campground at Fodder Creek near highway 288

Here is the same campground a few weeks ago.


It was a little chilly up on the top, but look at those blue skies.


This is a wonderful place to sit and enjoy the view…..on a warmer day.


This sign was something we haven’t seen a lot of. 


Mt Yonah

panoramic from Brasstown Bald

We are still dragging our feet on when to head south.  Now we are thinking of leaving Saturday.   I hope we haven’t made a mistake, because now they are predicting a 20% chance of rain on Saturday, with increasing rain chances on Sunday.  We’re trying to pick the best weather, with the least amount of Atlanta traffic.


I got a comment on yesterdays blog, reminding us to use the diesel engine heater before starting the engine.  We never even thought of that.  We looked at our manual and it said we would need to warm up the engine, if the temperature was 15 or below.  It looks like it will at least be in the 40’s Saturday morning, so we should be okay.

My question for all of you with diesel engines.  If you try to start a cold diesel engine, will it just not start, or will it damage the engine if you try?   At what temperature do you turn on the engine heat?   How long do you need to heat up the engine, or do you just plug it the night before you plan on starting the engine?  I assume you don’t need to do that unless you intend on starting the motor.   Our manual wasn’t very specific.

Thanks for the reminder Gin.  We’re not used to cold weather and never even thought of it.

We were talking the other day, and had to laugh that we may need to run the heat when leave here.  We almost always run the generator and house air conditioner, but have never had to run the heat!  This might be the first time.

While I’m asking questions.  Have any of you had any problems with the black or fresh water tank freezing?  We disconnected the hose overnight, and are using water from the fresh water tank.  The black tank is almost full, and we left the gray tank valve open. There is a heater in the in the wet bay and we turned it on.  It’s pretty warm in the house, but we did leave the cabinets open under the sinks.

Is there anything else we should be doing?   We’re certainly not used to weather this cold.   Any suggestions or tips will be appreciated.


  1. The sun was out here too in Houston but a windy chilly day indeed.

    I saw Atlanta, too. Glad the trip was a good one.

    When we had our Tiffin and the temperature the next morning was going to be in the very low 30's or high 20's, Paul turned the engine heater on the night before.

  2. What a great view from up there. Nice that you got different shots from different times of the year.

  3. I don't know a thing about diesel engines, but if you've disconnected the water hose, I think your tanks will be fine. Good luck with Atlanta whenever you choose to go through. The weekend has to be better than during the week.

  4. I like to plug in my engine the night before and let it warm up. It then starts much faster in cold weather. Easier on the batteries and starter and helps the oil to circulate faster.

    In extreme cold weather, the diesel engine might crank, but not start. You're not in that kind of weather. If you didn't plug it in during the cool weather you're in, you might notice it would crank longer and probably a littler slower before it starts and then would smoke a bit of white smoke until it warms up.

    There may be some kind of intake pre-heater or glow plug, depending on the engine. On my CAT diesel, I have an intake pre-heater. I get a little yellow light on my dash when I turn the key to on (but not to start). Once the light goes off, it indicates the intake pre-heater has warmed up and it is okay to start. I'd Google cold start procedures for your brand of engine. Regardless, you should be fine starting and not have anything to worry about, it really isn't that cold yet.

    As to your tanks, you should have an enclosed basement that protects the tanks. An occasional dip in temps won't cause them any problems, it would take several days of Alaska type winter weather and no running of the furnace to cause any freezing.

    Also, there is duct work from your furnace that blows warm air into your basement to keep the pipes from freezing.

    Where people get themselves in trouble is they use just electric heaters inside and not run their furnace to warm the basement plumbing. But again, we're talking severe cold weather.

    Before we full timed, I never winterized any of my motorhomes before Thanksgiving and that was living in NJ and Northern VA. Bottom line, you should be fine. Hope that helps. :c)

    1. Thanks for your help Paul. We do have the glow plug that tells us when it's okay to start the engine. Our manual said to use the engine block heater when it gets 15 degrees. It looks like it's warming up, so we should be okay for departure tomorrow.

      We are those people that use our electric heaters and have not used our furnace. We HATE our's so noisy. I guess we may have to consider using it if we get into cold weather again. Probably won't need it in Florida this least I hope we won't.

  5. I think Paul just answered all of your questions and I agree with him too. You should be fine.


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