Update on the “booms”

A ranger told us today the booms we heard yesterday were, indeed, from our Marine neighbors. Navy, too.

Their boats were 15 to 20 miles offshore firing into the Marine camp next to us! We were hearing the naval guns firing, then we were hearing multiple-boom concussions as the multi-head projectiles exploded at impact. Sure glad their aim was good….

Just some extra color for our trip south at Christmas time!

Wish we could have pictures to show you!

We’re cooking over a fire

Had fun today with the fire ring behind the coach. We’ve usually had these rings when we park in a campground, but you’ve heard me make fun of our “camping” interests.

You know, how we sit inside the coach when it’s warm….with the air conditioning running and eating ice cream….watching other campers sit around their campfires….while we run our electric fireplace.

We finally hit a sweet spot today. Temps in low 50s, light but steady breeze blowing from coach toward fire ring, and plenty of firewood nearby in the form of old storm damaged limbs stacked along the campsites.

I used my faithful Pathfinder fire starter (nooooo, not white gas, the propane torch) and had nice coals in no time. Then Robyn piled on that gigantic chunk of wood.

She, the seasoned camp cook, got right to work toasting cinnamon swirl raisin bread and hot dogs, and putting in potatoes to bake. We ate like kings.

Listened to huge “boom” sounds all day from nearby Camp Lejeune. Couldn’t tell if the Marines were exploding bombs or firing huge artillery.

Have my field jacket hanging outside all night to get rid of the campfire smoke….

Like there’s no tomorrow

Multiple loads of laundry today, the result of bedtime accidents (punishment for our not getting them up just before we go to bed).

Voila, full holding tank. No problem, just do a circle of the small campground and stop by dump station. Refill on water, too.

Then HAIRCUTS and consequent baths. With the delay between baths (because of haircut), not possible to save warm water from one to the next, so TWO tub baths.

Voila, full holding tank.

Good grief, we act like there’s no tomorrow and all the water must be used now!

Ahhh, life’s little luxuries. And this:

Why we love this place

You’ll recall we started this odyssey in order to move a little each day. See the world around us, a little at a time.

So why choose to stay here more than a week?

A bunch of reasons: nice, clean, open, level campground, and we have it nearly all to ourselves. Ryan seems to have found some kind of holly and there’s a dogwood in the background still showing its fall colors. The temperatures are good: cool in the evening, warm enough in the day (but not too warm). This evening we have Christmas carols on the stereo and our fireplace going.

Those trails we’ve talked about: we walked them alot today (so much, we had to sit and rest for a while) and still haven’t crossed all the bridges across the tidelands! Ross and Ryan really like the bridges, because they have alternating wood and metal panels underfoot.

And we’re situated on a bay so that we have sunsets across the water as though we were on the left coast of this great country instead of the right! Robyn shot this one:

Just relaxin

Everybody slept in this morning….another miracle!

Then we all responded to the call of the sun and rising temperatures…even the sweet little squirrel just outside our door (check out the tiny branch he’s sitting on).

We’re camped beside a small river where it empties into a bay that is formed back from the intracoastal waterway. Sheesh, we’re quite a ways from the ocean! But the tidelands a short walk from our campsite provide the opportunity to encounter the saltwater ecosystem. The park has done a very nice job of making the area accessible while still protecting it from traffic. Notice in the photo of Robyn and the boys how the walkway even has a rise in the center to accomodate small boats or kayaks that might navigate these backwaters.

We’ve decided to stay here a further week. That’s the fun of our system….we can change the plan at any time to accomodate a new interest!

I can see for miles….

This eastern part of North Carolina is certainly a dramatic change from the west! F.L.A.T.

Then we hit the coast and the eastern vista is just the vast ocean….all the way to Spain….

Mostly gray day, but the looooong sandy beach for the Atlantic Ocean still stirs the emotions. And what should we see but dolphins playing just off shore! Two in the photo here, but there was a pod with a good number of them. Farther out, a flock of birds were repeatedly diving into the water. We could hardly see them, but the splashes from their dives were fabulous!

Ross and Ryan are puzzled by walking on sand, and fascinated to touch it. Sorry, I should have shot a photo of Ryan’s handiwork there in front of him…it was a fairly good representation of Picasso.

Oh, perhaps not. Robyn says I was looking at it upside down.

On the edge of land

We’re parked for lunch facing the ocean, back from the beach by only the width of a sidewalk! Funny how 60 degrees keeps everyone off the beach. But not us….we drove over 900 miles for this!

More, with pictures, later!

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Ohhhh, that’s nice!

How fun to awake to the sound of little waves on the shoreline, and the view of Jordan Lake out the front window! VERY brisk wind, but the sun brought temps into the 50s pretty quick.

Robyn found more Bald Eagles this morning; two were either challenging each other for territory or were mates having fun…you know how fighting and loving often look the same….I mean with eagles….

Shonagh and family came! Some of you may know her husband from Centerville High School where they met: Terry Moore. Their son, Nathan, came along for our entertainment!

She says her work with Ross and Ryan 17 years ago while she was in high school spurred her interest in college to pursue an educational program to research causes of birth defects. She has her PhD in psychology, and is a research fellow in the Center for Alcohol Studies at UNC Chapel Hill. We all had a good time reconnecting, even for just a short time!

Eventually today we had to move on. Made it 10 miles up the road. Had to stop for the night so we can do some grocery shopping in the morning. Check out the view…

Ahhh, back in nature

Gremlins have a lot of room to roam in The Big Taxi. One of them cost us a lot of time, and more than a few bucks, chasing the reason why the generator quit after it had been thoroughly fixed.

No reason for the failure. Worked fine after pulling apart the connections at the main transfer switch and various electric panels.

Great, pay the bill and let’s go!

We cruised some lovely back roads toward Raleigh. North Carolina roads are so nice and smooth….they don’t suffer from winter-time impairment, and the near-constant changes in elevation make for pastoral scenery and pleasant sensations!

We ended up in a state campground out in the middle of Jordan Lake on a peninsula. Our campsite faces the lake. Robyn was out with her binoculars scouting eagles before I had the coach planted and spread out. This area hosts more Bald Eagles than any other area of North Carolina; Robyn will verify that before we leave tomorrow.

Shonagh will meet us here tomorrow morning. In the meantime, I leave you with the view of the moonrise from our door.

Aw shucks

We’ve had to postpone the gratification of seeing Shonagh.

Took forever today for the shop to get the generator fixed and ready to go, which jeopardized our rescheduled dinner with our long-ago caregiver for Ross and Ryan….

And then the final test of the unit as we’re about to back out of the shop……pffffft. It abruptly died, giving a new code for its failure!


The technician was already 2 hours late, so we’re parked here another night, behind 7000 volts of electric fence.

Watch our “Here we are!” map tomorrow and see if we move from beside I-40/85 in Greensboro, NC. If we’re over toward or near Raleigh…..yessssss!