Rollin home

“Home” is where we park it, but Dayton is sure a homing beacon!

We’ve decided to cut short our time here in order to attend an important family event in Centerville Sunday morning.

Probably land at Moraine Airpark Friday evening. Will be in town all next week.

Come see us! Call our cells, or post a message here & we’ll get back to you.

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Lumps & bumps, shoots & shags

Check out the really shaggy bark on some of the trees around here! I also liked the juxtaposition of the tiny oak tree’s leaves against the trunk of the massive pine.

Then, right in the middle of these mighty pine and oak trees…..a small grove of bamboo!

We ran across these two lumps on a rock….we would’ve been there all day if we’d let Ryan completely check out the rock with that left hand. We’ve started calling him the Paper Boy (check his right hand), because he has developed a delight in tearing papers and boxes. We save boxes for him, and he takes them along on our walks….or his Paper Route, as we now call them.

These pictures are from yesterday, because we were delayed in posting them due to events during our evening walk yesterday.

Ryan had quite a seizure as we were walking. Ross was a sweet trouper, standing by himself beside the road as we both dealt with Ryan, running back to the coach with me for some medication, standing very still and listening quietly as the siren of the ambulance came closer. Robyn rode in the ambulance, and the ER doc eventually decided Ryan could leave without being admitted.

HA! It was dark by now, and the coach was all hooked up and spread out….not possible to drive it to the hospital as we had planned to do today.

Then the camaraderie of campers stepped in. A couple who had just pulled into the campsite across from us earlier in the afternoon, inquired of me about the excitement, and when they heard, offered to drive me or to let me take the car they were towing, if it would help!

The couple, Dick and Maggie, had chosen the site because they could pull through without unhooking their toad (towed vehicle)…useful, because they were only staying the night and leaving in the morning. But Dick was eager to unhook the Jeep and give me the keys if it would help! It would, and he did.

Before Ross and I left, we had to arrange to get back into the campground….they lock the gate at 9pm! The camp attendant had already been to my site and talked with me about the ambulance and fire truck that had sped past his gate house. When he learned I would be bringing Ryan and Robyn back after the gate would be locked, he offered me his cell number to call when we were approaching the gate on return. He and his wife live onsite, and he would come down to let us in!

We make new friends all the time in our travels, and enjoy memorable occasions with them….but we prefer to avoid such high drama as the reason to meet them!

Ryan is fine today, although exhausted from his ordeal.

Another reason we have fun

Because we cruise the countryside and wind up near dear friends from long ago….

When Robyn was a child, her family was dear friends with Davona and her family. And I knew her as my brother’s elementary school classmate in Berrien Springs, MI.

When Davona found we were parked 90 minutes down the interstate from her home, she loaded her hubby, Max, and two sweet girls, Mariah and Staci, into the car and came on down today!

We had a great time….check out the fabulous table arrangement made so painstakingly by Mariah and Staci!

Now this is interesting….

Went for quite a walk today (one of three), and out in the middle of the largest closed section, in what looks to be some of the older campsites, the road makes a swing around a small fenced-in area. Whoa, it’s a burial plot! Keep in mind that we’re in a campground run by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

A closer look at the headstone reveals “Wife of GH McKinney”. Ohhhhh, this is McKinney Campground. She lived only 26 years, died in 1852, and is not named on the stone. Further inscription: “erected by a loving son in 1910”.

This lake….like the two previous lakes where we’ve parked….is way low on water. Still, there’s plenty to support all the boating and fishing a person could want. The website for our campground says this lake is one of the most frequently visited Corps of Engineers lakes in the nation, with more than 7 million visitors each year. Only half of this location’s 150 campsites are open this time of year, but they’re getting a good workout this weekend. It will be interesting to see how many people are around on Monday.

Turns out there’s quite a population of deer around us. Caught this herd just at dusk. We quickly made friends with them…not surprising really, our name is….


Sheesh, this business of getting out and actually doing something is hard work!

Yesterday involved pulling up from our campsite, traveling 150 miles including Atlanta during rush hour, buying groceries at three different stores, buying an air compressor/breaking it in/airing up one of our front tires that takes pressure few places can provide, buying fuel, getting the coach washed, and settling into our new campsite at McKinney Campground.

Whew, 10pm before we stopped. We were breathless.

Moved to a different site today, so only now getting settled in. Nice campground and really nice site. It will be fun to walk the camp roads as they undulate across the hills and valleys around this little piece of Allatoona Lake.

We’ll get some photos tomorrow if it doesn’t rain….

Leaving any way we can

Actually, not so fast…..

Today was our last day at this campground….we leave in the morning.

And what a send-off! Maybe the nicest day in the five weeks we’ve been here: 69 degrees, sunny, breezy, not much noise on the lake, only a few campers here! Robyn got a paddle wet with our neighbor Donna in their canoe.

We were introduced to a new sport….stand up paddle boarding…when this lady went past our site. Wikipedia has an interesting bunch of information about the sport, which is also known as stand up paddle surfing. This lake is large enough to attract quite a variety of people doing different water sports, and moreso because Clemson University is located at its middle with all its student activities.

Even the sky did a fun sundown sendoff for our last walk here….

Day is dying in the west

Our campsite is somewhat shaded from the setting sun, so we moved the chairs next door for this evening’s show. Notice we’re all four in the picture.

It’s been interesting to see the progression of weekend campers during the month we’ve been here. From the beginning, a month ago, weekday campers have numbered between 1 and 4. The first weekend saw 8 more; the second 14, the third 20, and this weekend the place is almost full at 27.

Shortly after this picture was taken, we had to move because a trailer backed in…for the weekend. It was time to come in anyway.

The long and winding road

that leads to your door….

We walk this campground road every morning and every evening for the boys’ exercise….and always carry our trash….to drop as we wind past the dump station.

Ross always walks faster than Ryan, and always walks with Robyn, so they’re always out in front of the camera crew.

We’ve been in this campground for nearly four weeks, the result of events that brought us here early and kept us longer than planned. Won’t leave for another week.

Pretty strange to be in one spot for so long. Thank goodness it’s so lovely! It’s so big, we have trouble exploring it all because we’re parked at one end. Still, we learn more about the areas we’ve seen many times as we walk past again….the light is different, different animals are noisy, or we’re walking slower in the warm sunshine.

And sometimes sundown is more remarkable than usual…..

So many Valentines

I’m a lucky guy, surrounded by my Valentines.

The obvious one has been with me, working hip-and-thigh on this lifetime project, for the past 18 years. Robyn is a rare beauty, because she thrives on the responsibility to meet the needs of these two young men who live with us. While it’s true that the responsibility also nearly overwhelms her on occasion, it’s also true that those occasions often cause her to review her priorities and her approach to our living arrangements….and the result can be something as earth-shaking as selling her house and van, and going on the road fulltime!

Robyn is thriving on the simplicity of our lives….because it allows her almost total focus on Ross and Ryan in surroundings that meet her own needs so nicely. She gets high on the constant view of nature and our ability to walk along quiet roads and trails through the woods and along the lakes.

My other Valentines are the two who have caused this upheaval in our lives, and allowed us to focus our attention almost totally on them.

“The little tyrants!” I hear you say.

Not really. That would give them credit for decision-making, and they just don’t have it.

They know what they like, and they know what they don’t like. And without any inhibitions, they tell it like it is! We work to understand their communication of likes and dislikes, in order to maximize the former.

They’re pretty good at conditioning, meaning we can condition them to respond fairly predictably. And they have unknowingly conditioned us to respond predictably! We have quite a number of routines that help things go quite smoothly…if only we could keep every day going through those routines.

My other Valentine is more distant. Jared adds another dimension to my life by his daily contacts….and stories of his efforts and escapades!

It’s an interesting life I lead, and I love it!

It’s nice to have each one of you along to share it with us.

Honey, where are my earmuffs?

Wowser, woke up to 24 degrees this morning!

Weather service predicted 21, so we were warned, and I unhooked our water last night. Others didn’t….and had their hoses unhooked and spread out to thaw in the sun this morning.

One camper left behind this memento that lasted the whole day!

Down to 27 tonight, but then up to the mid 60s later in the week.

We really are enjoying our stay in this weather….usually sunny with a light breeze, and cool enough that we always stay comfortable with just a light jacket or hoody.

The boys return from our walks with cool cheeks and warm hands!