Monday, November 30, 2009

Almost Done at Cloudland

I can't believe a whole month has passed since we came here. Tomorrow stars our last 5 days of work. As of yesterday they have closed most of the campground, and we won't have much to do. The work is never hard. There is only one bath house left open. Tim, the volunteer coordinator asked us if we would come back next year. That mean a lot. He's been very please with the way we do our thing with the other campers and the job we do with our chores. Our answer was that we don't plan that far in advance, we'll have to call next year. It's been pretty cold here at night when the sky is clear and no cloud cover. We've only had maybe 3 or 4 days of rain. The folks have been extremely nice, but folks usually are here in the South. It's been a pleasure to be here.
We have been to Chattanooga a couple of times. If you've never been, I recommend it. It has something for everyone. Good food, lots to do, and free, that's right, free shuttle service. You can park your car and take the shuttle to the aquarium, or just go downtown for lunch. The city has a variety of nice little shops and is utilizing the old warehouse district. They are bringing it back to life. Everything is clean and tidy. We would have liked to go on Sunday to the Market, but we had some other things to get done. Maybe next time. It's supposed to be really nice with lots of vendors.
Our converter stopped working. A trip to Camping World took care of that problem. They had just the one we wanted, so Tom installed it and PRESTO we have all the light we need. Our batteries are all charged up and all is well. While there we took a look at one of the motor homes we had seen on line. For a 2007 Monaco it wasn't in the best shape. I guess some folks don't care how they take care of things. Oh well, when and if we find the right one maybe we'll up grade. That one would have been ideal. I had everything we want. Maybe next time.
We had a great Thanksgiving. Ann, one of the camp hosts, made the turkey and stuffing and gravy. Everyone brought dishes to add to it. I took the sweet potatoes and spinach with cheese sauce. I also made a big batch of the peanut butter fudge Tom likes so much. Well, we brought about 10 pieces home. I guess it was a hit. I told him I'd make more when we get home for Christmas. Robin wants sticky buns, and pumpkin roll. Connor wants shape cookies. (That's what he calls my cut out cookies). The year we went full timing was the first year since we were married that I hadn't made them. This year the tradition continues.
Now I have to go to bed. Tom's been there for over an hour, and we have to be up and out in the morning. The air is so fresh here that you can fall asleep really easy. We'll miss this place. The good thing is....we can always come back.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Days Off

Today is the second of five days off. The plan was to travel to Chattanooga, Tenn. to see the sights. It started to rain before we rolled out of bed, so we decided to stay home. Tom did some stuff on the computer, and I did my thing. Those of you that know me best, know I like to bake or cook. Well, today was baking. This year I made sure my bread machine came with us. It was sticky bun day today. It was the first time, I tried this in this oven. We haven't tried them yet, that will come at breakfast tomorrow, but I think they came out OK. Let's hope so. Ann and Ron came over to give us some Thanksgiving info, and I gave them half of them. She said only one each, but no one can eat just one. Oops, let's edit this. Tom just opened the buns and is having one with some tea. Now we'll wait for a couple of minutes......He says they are good.
It's always hit or miss with the bread. I was using yeast in those little packets, and the first loaf, which was whole wheat, looked like Cloudland Canyon. Sunk in the middle. The second loaf, potato bread, looked really nice. The third loaf, I tried whole wheat again, didn't look nearly as bad. For Thanksgiving I'll make some oat bread. It's all yummy. I love that machine.
The other day we went to town to eat. We ended up at LaLita's. It's a Mexican restaurant. Tom chose a platter of taco, enchilada, and burrito. I had enchilada, renello, and something else. I can't remember the name. Everything was really good. We hope go back before we leave.
Tonight we find out who goes to the finals on Dancing with the Stars. We have our favorites, as I'm sure everyone does. I hope the best dancer wins. You just never know how folks will vote. I guess we'll just wait and find out.
Tonight we sat and watched the fog roll in over the campground. It looks really eerie out there. Looks likes one of those old Dracula movies. I hope it improves by the morning so we can go to see the Choo Choo in Chattanooga. It should be fun.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hiking Sitton's Gulch Trail

On Saturday, along with Ron and Ann, we set off hiking on the Sitton's Gulch Trail. Tom followed Ron down the mountain to the parking area to leave his truck, and drove back up to their camping spot on the east rim. From there we hiked on down to see the waterfalls at the bottom of the canyon. The waterfall trail is about 2 miles round trip. Not bad except for the 1200 steps. We only went down, so we went about 600 steps. Then we crossed the bridge to where the Gulch trail starts. It works it's way along the bottom of the west side of the canyon following Daniel Creek. The way the creek tumbles and falls over numerous falls and cascades is so beautiful Tom took some great pictures, and could have taken so many more. We stopped about half way and had a snack and a drink. Although we started off at 11:00 and ended at about 3:15, we had a really wonderful day. After the hike we all decided to go for pizza at Rafael's. It doesn't matter what size pizza you order, you get one free. It was really good. No doubt we'll be back before we leave here.
Yesterday we stayed around home trying to rest our aching legs. We fixed some ribs on the grill. With a side of my cole slaw and some fried okra. MMMMMMM!!! We ate outside at the picnic table. I think the temp went up to about 75. What a perfect day.
Just before I went to bed on Saturday night I received a phone call from Joan. She lives across from us at How Kola. She had some bad news for us. Our friends Butch and Jo Miller from up there were just starting to go full timing in their new fifth wheel. They were excited to be going traveling. Butch retired last year, and when they got the new trailer they thought they had a piece of heaven. Joan called to tell us that Butch had had an apparent heart attack while diving and hit a vehicle on the side of the road. They think he was gone before impact. Jo is in a hospital in Johnson City Tenn. quite banged up. The truck is totally gone, but the trailer seems to be OK. I really don't know much more than that, but we are saddened by the thought they didn't get far. Jo has a lot on her plate right now. Her health isn't really all that good, but she seemed to be getting so much better this summer. We worry about her. Butch, rest in peace our friend.
That's the ups and downs of the weekend. Two days left till we start working. The rain is on the way. I don't imagine there will be many campers out in the bad weather.The bright colors are fading to rusts and browns and are still beautiful. This is a beautiful peaceful place. Some of God's handiwork.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Cloudland Canyon State Park

Here we are at the beautiful state park in northern Georgia. We arrived last Saturday, and started work the next morning. We worked for 5 days, and now we are off for 5. Our jobs are to clean the bathhouses each day, and keep the camp sites clean. Selling wood is, I suppose, is also one of our duties. If someone comes in after the office closes we have to get the nights fee. A golf cart is ours for the month. Oh, I forgot. When we checked in they asked if we could stay on for an extra week. As of right now our leaving date is Dec. 9. Folks here are really friendly and the campers are vary good at keeping things tidy. This weekend is fully booked, and we have a family with 3 little girls next door. It's nice to hear children.
Today we took a trip to a Civil War Battlefield. It's a really nice place not unlike Gettysburg, Pa. Tom wanted to get his America the Beautiful Pass. We were going to get it before we left home, but with getting ready to travel we forgot. The good news is that the state parks in Louisiana take the pass. After Christmas we plan on going there for maybe a month. We'll see. Gotta go get some of that good Cajun food. Tomorrow we plan to go to the lookout path. It overlooks the canyon, and is really stunning this time of year. I'm afraid we'll miss peak season for the leaves, but we missed it by about a week. Believe me, we know how many leaves have fallen, Tom blows out the sights. Sometimes you can't even see where they are because there are so many leaves falling on them. I'm sure it will still be wonderful.
Last night we went to a pot luck dinner. One pair of volunteers is leaving, and we were welcomed. I made a chicken pot pie that came out really good. I also took a loaf of bread I made in the morning. Ann, with her husband Ron, have given us lots of instruction and have have been very nice to us. They work over at the East Rim Campground. We work on the West Rim. She loved the bread, so I gave her the leftovers. There was lots of good food, and about 26 really nice folks to eat it. Including rangers and their families. It seems we'll have a great month.
So many times we are happy to report how many good people we find where ever we happen to stop. Whether we stay for a day or a month. It does the heart good.