Monday, July 19, 2010

We’re at the Top! (Pisgah Forest, NC)

Well, we made the drive up the mountain (July 17) to the Cradle without any problems at all, arriving at around 7:30am. Big YEA!!! Debbie led the way in the Highlander ready with our new walkie talkies (the old ones failed to work properly so we replaced them). Her mission was to keep me advised of traffic coming down the mountain. I wanted to keep up a good head of steam and maybe use a little more than my share of the road to straighten out some of the curves. Debbie’s first transmission was a great one, “there’s a camper coming.” I tensed but we passed each other easily and faced no more downhill traffic. We did pass a couple of cyclists headed uphill and Debbie kept me well advised. Mike had told me to call him as I started up the hill so that he could ensure the gate was opened when I arrived. I had called as agreed and he was standing at the gate as I pulled thru. I’ll say it again, he’s a good man! I’m thrilled with how well the truck managed the challenge. I drove as fast as the road and I decided was appropriate. I say confidently that we had power to spare. I’m obviously pleased.

We had the choice of two different sites. One was secluded in the trees, private but quite small. Additionally, we would not be able to use our rooftop satellite due to the trees blocking the signal. The other was a pull thru (love those words) with a clear satellite view, nicely private and at least twice as large. The larger site was the obvious choice for us. There was one problem with the site of choice. The sewer connection was uphill. I was aware of this and was ready for the challenge. With the Cradle’s permission, I had located in the maintenance area some rough cut 4x6 material and some 2x10s. I was told where I would find a circular saw. I had packed in the camper a square and my treasured 37 year old 20 ounce hammer. I went to work and built some mega ramps to elevate the camper. You know it’s important for black water to run downhill. The end result was great. Everything’s flowing as designed and we have clear satellite reception.

Volunteer Campground at the Cradle of Forestry
(that's us on the left)
After getting set up on the site we donned our uniforms (Debbie looks so cute in uniform) and reported to our volunteer positions. Debbie is in the Gift Shop and I’m at the front desk. We didn’t get there until about 11:30am. Our neighbors, delightful Texans Joanna and Kenneth, had filled our positions until our arrival. It was their day off! The phrase “extended family “is frequently used here. I feel the family growing. Thank you kind neighbors!

We had a GREAT day!

Sunday, the 18th, Debbie was assigned to the front desk and I was assigned to the Café. You don’t wear a uniform in the Café, just shorts and a T shirt. Debbie, cute and capable as always, mastered the front desk in no time. The Café was fun. I was paired with Sue. She’s a very fashionable, loving grandmother. She had been assigned to the Café the previous day. She couldn’t have been more helpful or pleasant. We don’t cook anything in the Café. Mostly it’s microwavable burgers etc and other junk food. We do have to run the cash register and complete some other low impact tasks but it was another fun day. After “work” Debbie and I went to a Chinese buffet. The second time since we’ve been in the area. We’ll have to do better. The food is quite good for a buffet. Plus they have a nice selection of sushi. My daughter, Aubree Elizabeth, (hello darling - I love you) turned me onto it a few years ago and I enjoy it more and more as time passes.

Today is the first of our three days off. I had a nice walk this morning with the dogs. This is a walking/hiking paradise with trails of every description nearby. It’s a little rainy today so Debbie and I are “chillin.” Obviously I’m blogging, Debbie’s on her laptop researching I’m sure, we’re listening to the IPod (Debbie’s department) and I’m thinking ham sandwich. I’ll confess now, I eat ham sandwiches most every day of my life. I have now for several years. I’m easy to please.
It’s so great to finally be easing into the rhythm of full timing. Life has already been great and I’m confident that this will be the icing on the cake.



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