Just stuff

An ordinary…but lovely…day for us today.

I took the photo of the Red-bellied Woodpecker through a window of the coach!

Robyn and Ross always walk faster than Ryan and me. This was a stroll through one of the three areas of the campground that are closed during slow winter months. Road got cleaned off somewhat today by trucks that were doing work on this section’s bathhouse.

Of the 35 campsites that are open, only three are occupied! There were about a dozen more weekend interlopers, but only two other serious campers. We decided to be naughty and drive onto our site rather than back in, because it would allow us to sit in our “front porch” (the front seats) and watch out over the lake. What made it naughty was that we had to drive the wrong way on a short loop of campground road in order to get onto our site this way. And then the electric and water supplies were closer from the site next door than ours. But there’s nobody here!

Maid of the mist

Our two earlybirds ventured out this morning into the fog before the campground stirred awake.

Robyn said when she breathed the moisture of the mist, its smell reminded her of snowy days in Canada as a child, and of her little red plastic mittens.

Ryan just came inside and laid down.

This damp place

Fog almost every morning. Shining beads of water glisten from everything. Moss grows even on the pavement!

The headline doesn’t mean we don’t like this place! The humidity seems to make it more comfortable…none of that wintertime static and chapped lips.

We’re enjoying the daily temps: usually in the 60s in daytime, 40-50 at night. We won’t be getting sunburned, but we won’t break a sweat either!

The lake is low….waaaay down, although up a bit from several years ago. Still, boats criss-cross it all day long. Check out the Clemson rowing teams this morning!

Out and about

Lovely day! Most of the day saw the high 50s, but it crescendoed very near 70.

We were out and about for sure….Ryan played ballerino, and Ross put up with pushes from Dad (he prefers Mom).

The boat pictured here was not towing the skier….he was actually surfing the boat’s wake!

Even at night

From our site, the view straight north is up the lake right at Clemson University.

By road, it’s about 5 miles, but up the lake it must be less than a mile.

Since we arrived, the weather has been rainy or cloudy, and usually breezy.

However, tonight things cleared up pretty well and Clemson added much to our view!

We’re getting spoiled

These federal campgrounds located at bodies of water are pretty stinkin good!

Really just campgrounds with boat launches, they avoid the volume of people who are coming to a park for the day. The sites are generally larger than what you find in state parks, and they’re located farther apart. They almost always provide 50 amp electric and water at each site.

They are also generally left more natural than state parks, without areas of mowed grass and trimmed trees.

And it seems their designers are more creative in arranging sites, so you have a site that nicely fits the needs of your equipment while also really putting you into the natural environment.

But it’s the true beauty of the place that captivates us! Even when overcast, the colors and textures of this camp constantly remind you of the glories of nature compared to what man creates. As we traveled through several towns on our way to this campground, Robyn remarked about how little she missed “civilization”.

We see water out every window of the coach! We might see about turning the coach around on our site, just for the change of view. Will keep you posted!

Yeah, this is more like it!

We stayed only one night at Watsadler Campground.

Arrived in the dark, in the rain, to a site that had a complicated driveway shared by two other sites. Oh baby, we sweat bullets getting onto our site (and we both got soaked….me, from scouting the site, and Robyn, from illuminating the hazards as I drove in).

Awoke this morning to a glorious vista! Our site was out on the end of a little peninsula, with a clear view of the length of the lake.

And it was still raining.

And when we looked back at our driveway, and the route the coach would traverse every day or two on the way to dump our tanks, we realized it was a miracle we had pulled in last night without damage!

Everything was too small for our coach….our site, its driveway, the camp roadway, even the dump site.

We left.

Asked the camp attendant to cancel the remainder of our 14-day stay, and headed 25 miles up the lake to our next campground. Rained all the way.

I mention rain, because since we left Dayton the day after Thanksgiving, I don’t think we’ve had more than 3 days of rain! I know, we’re lucky.

We already knew the site we had reserved starting in two weeks was available now….we just didn’t know if we’d like it enough to stay for a month!

Check out the picture of Robyn and her binoculars….that’s a view that doesn’t do justice to our site. Like it? We LOVE it!

We’re on the end of a small peninsula, and have a view of sunset and of sunrise from the coach!


We’re movin on

Wow, we’ve been in this one campground for over three weeks!

That’s not usually possible, because they limit campers to 14 days straight in these federal parks. But this is the slow season, even in warmer Georgia, and only part of the campground is open because use is so small. So the nice attendant lady hasn’t worried a bit about our overstaying the limit.

The nice attendant lady has actually been one reason why we stayed….Margaret has been here for over 12 years and clearly knows her stuff, but much more than that, she is such a sensible sweetie! We’ve really enjoyed our dealings with her and getting to know her! It won’t be the same without her next week.

Watch the “Here we are!” tab tomorrow. It should show us moving from here before noon and heading mostly north to the town of Hartwell, GA. We’ll do shopping for two weeks of groceries, then move nearly due east a few miles to the foot of Lake Hartwell to Watsadler Campground, another federal park.

Hope to post pictures shortly from there, and hope they show a place nearly as nice as this one!

Eagles in love

We heard before we arrived that this lake is home to a number of Bald Eagles, but Robyn has not been able to spot even one before today.

Ah, today.

A dreary day with little sprinkles now and then. But the temp was nice at 66, and the sun shined through once or twice.

Couldn’t walk far or you’d get wet. Nothing to do but watch the lake with binoculars.

When it rains, it pours. Eagles, in this case.

Robyn spotted an immature eagle circling a flock of coots in the distance, and sure enough he or she flew low a couple times and grabbed one of the coots! The eagle flew with its catch around a point and out of view.

Only to reappear almost immediately with a more mature Bald Eagle in hot pursuit! They came toward Robyn, the immature clutching its catch while doing aerobatics with the nearly-white headed one.

As they came toward Robyn, the two eagles split across our inlet, the immature landing across the way, and the more mature…..nearly landing on us! He or she quickly realized the mistake and flew across the inlet past the other one and over the trees and out of view.

Robyn had already sounded the alarm, so I was getting the camera, big lens, and tripod ready for action.

The immature was nearly impossible to photograph, perched quite a distance from us and back in the shadows of the trees. Eagles of this age look like massive ruffians, their feathers rough and jagged, and their coloring a blotchy brown and cream. Because their feathers can’t lie smooth like adults, they make the birds look much bigger than they really are. Their legs usually become yellow early on, but their beaks gradually turn yellow from the base to the tip.

The bird flew….and I got the first picture you see here. Closest shooting of the day!

It circled, then flew away from us….joined almost immediately by the more mature eagle (on the left in the second picture).

And then it all became clear….the aerobatics in the third picture here was foreplay! The fourth picture would be x-rated but for the discreet branch obscuring our view!

The fifth picture shows the immature flying overhead with a branch in his talons (he was on top out back in picture 4). He’s apparently showing off his nest-building abilities!

Picture six shows the happy couple beginning their honeymoon!

Whew, I’m exhausted from watching…..