Monday, May 25, 2015

The Friends and Family Plan

Old Stone Fort State Park

Following Fall Creek Falls, Grace and I headed out for Old Stone Fort State Archeological Park in Manchester, TN.  A short drive through some beautiful country.

This would be our home for the next two weeks while we caught up with kids and grandkids and friends. 

The Old Stone Fort is a prehistoric Native American structure.  Most likely built between 80 and 550 AD during the Middle Woodland period.  Native Americans used this area continuously for about 500 years, eventually leaving it abandoned.  The park's museum consists of displays of prehistoric Native American replicas as well as dioramas and photos. The exhibits provide information on the theories regarding the enclosure's builders, archaeological excavations at the site and the culture of its builders.  There are some great walking trails with small waterfalls and access to the Duck River.  According to the website, the main hiking trail follows the wall of Old Stone Fort which was used by the Native Americans as a ceremonial gathering place.  You can see the original entrance of the fort which was designed to face the exact spot on the horizon where the sun rises during the summer solstice.
Our campsite for the visit.  Sites are small, but private

Waterfalls along the Duck River

Grace is loving water with no alligators!

Maureen ("Momo" ) and I enjoyed several hikes
Just one, please...

Got to visit with my brother John, and see his soon to be completed new restaurant

Watched granddaughter Vera graduate from 5th grade up to middle school next year... how did that happen!??  She is such a beautiful young lady.

And had a lovely dinner with these lovely ladies.... it was great to catch up with good friends.  Miss you guys!

After two weeks it was time to leave for our next destination....
Farewell Tennessee.... until next time

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Fall Creek Falls State Park

After a jam packed week at the Blue Ridge Rally, Grace and I headed to another Tennessee state park for some hiking and downtime -- accompanied by a friend, Judy, and her two border collies.

From the website:  "Fall Creek Falls State Park is Tennessee’s largest and most visited state park. The park encompasses more than 26,000 acres sprawled across the eastern top of the rugged Cumberland Plateau. Laced with cascades, gorges, waterfalls, streams and lush stands of virgin hardwood timber, the park beckons those who enjoy nature at her finest. Fall Creek Falls, at 256 feet, is one of the highest waterfalls in the eastern United States. Other waterfalls within the park include Piney Falls, Cane Creek Falls and Cane Creek Cascades."

The sites were large, with some privacy between them, shady, and I had 3 bars of LTE for work.  We did a bit of hiking, a few scenic drives, some cooking and visiting and lots of relaxing!

Some of the scenery...

Around camp...

Living riveted!

Hey -someone's gotta do it!

Grace - post hike

Hello Spring!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Spring Adventure Part III - The Blue Ridge Rally

Held this year for a second time at Big Meadow Family Campground, in Townsend Tennessee -- 65 trailers of Tabbers and former Tabbers descended on the peaceful side of the Smokies.  Hosted by Sharon Sigmon and Splash Tab, along with assistance from her sister Becky... this is the rally highlight of my year.  As evidenced by the growing numbers, lots of people feel the same.  The rally is now attended by R-Pods, Roadtreks, Airstreams, Transit Vans, Lance trailers, a Sonic, and of course - a plethora of T@Bs.  Sharon will tell you, once you are part of the Blue Ridge family... you are always a Blue Ridger.  I've never met a more welcoming group of people.  There is so much to do and see, and you can participate as much... or as you'd like.  I was having such fun this year, I forgot to take photos but here are a few highlights from the week!
Our campsite at BRR
Florida meets Redneck - sign contest
Bear sighting!

Cade's Cove Driving Tour 

We had a pancake breakfast, a potluck, bingo, corn hole, Bill's now-famous Happy Dance Party to start the day. There were drives to Gatlinburg and the NOC store there, along with Pigeon Forge and the Lodge and Coleman outlets.   We toured a winery, had a free tasting (or three), some went horseback riding, on a hayride or fly fishing in the Little River. 

Lois, Elaine and Bill gave a dutch oven cooking presentation.

Townsend held it's annual Old Timer's Festival with local crafts and music and fresh fried pies.

Sharon held a make-a-sign party and accommodated all of us and our various camper shapes!

Grace and I had a great time and can't wait for next year!!

Spring Adventure Part II - The Country Living Fair

A Visit with Friends and The Country Living Fair

Our first planned stop was back to our old stomping grounds to visit friends and attend a SOTF event.  The Country Living Fair was going to be in Nashville for the first time ever, and coincided with our already planned trip to visit.  We attended the SOTF event, although we were in stealth mode (I had Grace with me) and visited the Country Living Fair at the nearby fairgrounds.  Met a lot of new faces, and re-connected with some friends.  The Fair is miles of booths of crafts, antiques, furniture, and about anything else you could think of.  Some very creative people and lots of ideas.  I managed to escape with only one purchase - a bright red soap dish for Breezin' !

Arts & Crafts
...and a giant chicken??
Breezin's newest accessory
Dinner with the Sista's

Spring Adventure - Part 1

After a quiet February and March at home, Grace and I hit the road again in April with Breezin' in tow for the next adventure.  This is our first time really working from the road so we've had a few lessons to learn.  Connectivity has been pretty easy (thank you Technomadia for all the info you provide) but learning to travel and work at the same time has taken some practice.  I've learned that 4 hours at the Macon GA rest stop on conference calls wasn't very fun...especially with the big rig diesel engines coming and going right next to us!  It took two overnight stops to get up to the Nashville area.  For the rest of the trip, I'll try to stay parked and move on our time off.
On the road

The Office Evolution