Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Visit to the Cradle of Forestry (Pisgah Forest, NC)

Good Morning!

I skipped a day but I was thinking about you. Yesterday was our first day in NC. After a leisurely morning we went to explore the Brevard area. We knew we would end up at the Cradle of Forestry. We were just too anxious to see the place we’ll call home for the next 15 weeks. The first person we ran into as we entered the Cradle was Barbara Merrell. She is the volunteer coordinator that we’ve heard so many great things about and all the compliments are obviously well deserved. We also met some of our co-workers. Some have been there awhile and others are just arriving. Our conversation related to when will we bring our camper to the Cradle led to discussions about the long steep drive to the Cradle. This leads me to discuss a critical element of our life – the TRUCK.

We bought a 2006, F250, diesel, 6.0, long bed, crew cab, 4x4 in 2008. At the time it seemed like a lot of truck! When we bought the truck we still had our 30’ Sunnybrook and I confidently concluded this vehicle would pull any camper that, in our right mind, we’d ever buy. We have learned so much since then! Please remember the reference to my beloved research queen. Well, not surprisingly, we bought more camper then I ever imagined! So we are now on the upper end of what the truck is designed to handle. We’ve done our best (within some financial limits) to prepare the truck for its demanding task. We installed new 10 ply tires. We replaced the fuel filters. Had the transmission fluid changed to include new filter. Changed the oil and filter. We purchased and installed a 20k pound hitch (the old one was 15k). Lastly we had suspension air bags installed. There are other improvements that certainly can be made but I’m a realist. I fully expect that we will buy a bigger, better truck within the next year. We’ve resisted that move but it is inevitable. The truth of the matter is that, for the next ten months, the only real challenge is getting the camper up the hill to the Cradle. In this case, getting down hill is less demanding. When we leave the Cradle we’ll be going to the flat land of Florida and we won’t be leaving that area until next May. We move next Sunday morning. Please wish us luck! Thank you!


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