Moving on and Getting Back to Nature

On Tuesday, September 29 (Steve and Patty), and I went our separate ways. After spending the last month traveling the Northeast and having a wonderful time. It was time to say our farewells with them heading back to Wisconsin, and me working my way south. They were making their way to Gettysburg to spend a few days there. And then continue on to Indiana before heading back to Wisconsin. I on the other hand headed to North Carolina. My first stop was for a couple days in the Winston-Salem area. I stayed at Hanging Rock State Park just outside the town of Danbury, North Carolina. This was a natural setting, it was a nice change over what we been doing, spending so much time in the large metropolitan areas for the last month. It’s a nice Park but the sites are kind of small but being midweek and this time of year I had no problem getting a site big enough to accommodate Raabzilla. Here she is sitting in the woods.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA We arrived late afternoon on Tuesday and had been quite hot for the last few days. So I fired up the generator and kicked on both air-conditioners the cool the RV down. This campground has no hookups but at $12 a night, with my senior discount it was quite a deal. So I ran the generator and watch some TV as the evening progressed, it got cooler and I had a peaceful night. The next morning I thought I would take advantage of some of the beautiful hiking trails in the area. It’s been a while since I did any hiking on trails. Even though I put quite a few miles on over the last couple months, it’s been on level ground and inside air-conditioned buildings. So we headed out first thing in the morning on a trail to go to the lookout tower. It was about a mile and a half one way, to the tower. I’ve done these kinds of hikes many times before so I felt it wouldn’t be any problem. While here we started out and there were lots of stairs heading uphill.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Maxine was enjoying herself, I was able to leave her off leash, and by doing that she puts on about twice as much distance as I do, going back and forth and checking everything out.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA And  we continued uphill with lots more stairs.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA And uphill some more I wondered what I was getting myself into. But it was a beautiful walk.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA And after a few stops, to catch my breath and rest I was wondering if I would make it all the way. But finally we came to a sign that said the lookout was just ahead. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Finally we get a glimpse of the tower through the trees.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA It is a very nice observation tower built back by the CCC in the 1930s.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA There were few guys up there doing a bird survey, counting the different hawks and vultures that travel through the area this time in a year. And you had beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. It was a bit hazy for good photos, but there was still nice views.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Here’s a panoramic view of the tower.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA And a panoramic view while standing on the tower.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The views were worth the trip to the top and it was a good exercise for me. But then I had a make a decision continue on the trail that was about a 4 1/2 mile loop or head back the way I came. I decided to head back the way I came and even though it wasn’t as strenuous as climbing the stairs. Going down all those stairs was hard on my knees. But it was wonderful to get back to nature and do a little hiking just for the views. The main reason for stopping in this part of North Carolina, was to get a little work done on my toll dolly. As many of you know I’ve had a Acme “EZE-Tow” toll dolly, for a couple years now. I’ve been very happy with it overall and it has served me well for many thousands of miles. But what had happened is where the fender attaches to the frame, due to vibration it had cracked and broke the steel angle iron. I had welded this before, when I was in Green Lake. But not being as good a welder as I once was, I probably didn’t do a great job and here you can see where the steel had broken again that holds the fender on.20170921_090428 So knowing I was going to be in the area of their plant at Kernersville, North Carolina. I contacted them the see if they would fix it for me. I had made arrangements to bring it to them Thursday morning. They took excellent care of me in a matter fact put on brand-new fender brackets and beefed up the steel and did an excellent job of repairing it all. Here’s a couple photos of the finished product looks like new again.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Their customer service was excellent and if anybody’s in the market for a toll dolly I would strongly recommend considering them. After getting the repairs done I headed my way to Durham, North Carolina. This was one of my original planned stops in North Carolina. Friends of mine Randy and Susan had moved here 30 years ago from Green Lake, Wisconsin. Both Sonia and I did many things together with Randy and Susan over the years and it was great catching up with them again. The last time we got together was the year before Sonia passed away. I did stop in one time to see them, a few years ago on my way back from visiting Jennifer in Florida. It’s always great to get together with old friends and catch up on what’s been going on in each other’s life’s. While I was in the area I stated Falls Lake State Recreation Area this is a large state recreation area with a couple different campgrounds. The one I stayed at was Rolling View Campground and there are many large sites big enough to accommodate a beastly RV like my. Most of them have 50 amp service and water at the sites and they have a very nice dump station available. While we were there Maxine did get to go swimming in the lake and she really loved that. She hadn’t been swimming for quite a while. Here’s a couple photos of her down by the beautiful Lake.20170929_14555320170929_145502 It was a nice relaxing stay in the area and I got to visit my friends enjoying dinner at their house, and then Randy came out to the campground to spend Saturday with me. It was nice catching up with them and more than likely I’ll stop on my way back north, and spend a few more days with them next spring. On Sunday morning I packed up and headed over to the coast to get a little well needed beach time. I headed to Cedar Point, North Carolina. Where I got a campsite in the Croatan National Forest at a U.S. Forest Service Campground named “Cedar Point”. This is a more small campground only 30 some sites but they all have electricity and are nicely laid out. I was able to snag a walk-in site so I plan on staying here for a full week. One of the main reasons for planning this is part of my trip, was to visit a couple old friends that I worked with for many years at Cardinal Glass. My friends Tom and Pam both had worked at Cardinal Glass, and Tom and I had worked together side-by-side for several years while we were there. Tom and Pam had enough of Wisconsin winners and three years ago moved out to this area. They’ve got a nice apartment that they rent in Pine Knoll Shores which is on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the southernmost island on the Outer Banks. I let them know when I got in and they invited me over, right away for the evening to catch up. We sat visiting for several hours sharing what I’ve been doing and what they’ve been up to the last couple years. It was a great reunion and we made plans to get together at My place Tuesday evening for a cookout. I have a bad habit of not getting pictures when I’m get together with people because I’m too busy socializing. And sometimes the people I’m with just don’t want their photos on my blog and I can understand that. But we’ll have to see if I can get better at that. I should be able to get some photos of Tom and Pam sometime this week because I’m sure will get together more than once. As I’m working on this blog I’m cooking ribs on the grill. And I will be making some fresh local shrimp along with the ribs, for tonight’s dinner. So all have to make sure I get a picture of the food at least tonight. So that I can share them with you on my next post. On Monday Maxine and I went to get our beach fix. This part of the Outer Banks can be accessed by car easily, by driving over the bridge on Highway 58. So we jumped in the car and headed to Fort Macon State Park on the far end of the island. This is a very nice Park with lots of picnic and beach areas open to the public. Plus it has a historical fort that you can explore. You can find out more information about it here on their website. But unfortunately Maxine’s not allowed in the Fort so the day was all about the beach. Here she has enjoying the beautiful water.20171002_13325420171002_133303 I think the Pacific Northwest’s Coast is far more picturesque than the at Atlantic Coast. But the advantage the Atlantic has is that, it is much warmer and there’s beautiful long sand beaches everywhere. Both Maxine and I like that, I was into the water up to my knees and she did not want to get out at all.20171002_13332020171002_133306 Over the next week both her and I will be doing more exploring of this beautiful area and enjoying, and getting our beach fix once again. That’s a quick catch-up more to come as I continue my way towards Georgia. The plan is by October 12 or 13th to arrive at Hamburg State Park in Georgia where I will be spending the next three months as a host. So if any are in the area stop by and say hi I would love to get together with you all. Take care and safe travels, Rick

4 comments

  1. I know you read my blog – so you know how much Bill and I LOVE OBX! Glad you got to see some of it! Next time through you should check out Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands – beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

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