Stay dry out there everyone!! I'll talk to you later.
Spartanburg is normally a rather hot and humid place on the first day of August, so when the high temperatures down there this week were in the high 70's, Becky and I decided to head down I-85 today. That is until the forecast changed to this . . . .
Rob and Trisha are headed out to Kentucky today on the first leg of their journey to the big F.R.O.G. rally in Goshend, IN. I wish them safe travels this weekend. As for me, the pups and I are going to hunker down for some serious reading today. I'm not complaining too much because we certainly need the rain.
Stay dry out there everyone!! I'll talk to you later.
For the past fifteen years I have had a love/hate relationship with Charter Communications, my cable TV service provider at The Wee Cabin.
In the best of times I have had a wide selection to channels to watch, dependable and courteous telephone service, reasonable monthly rates, and quick solutions to problems both inside and out.
In the worst of times I have had encountered rude agents on the phone after jumping through many hoops to speak to an actual person, rate hikes with no warning, tons of snail mail here at home, unsolicited inane telephone conversations with agents trying to sell me bundles that I don't want or need, being forced to get bulky digital boxes, and having a pitiful selection of channels after deciding to switch to a basic package.
When I bought a new TV for the cabin a couple of months ago, I decided to cancel Charter cable and go with Direct TV like I have here in Newton. Yesterday I drove up to Black Mountain to meet the tech to have the service installed.
He showed up at the appointed time and for the next 30 minutes we danced around the yard trying to find a "window" for the signal. I knew when I ordered the service several weeks ago that that might pose a problem.
He turned it, he pointed it, he adjusted it, he fiddled with it. I was sitting on the porch watching the whole procedure and he turned to me and said, "I have a signal, but if the wind blows, it breaks up." In the path of the signal of the far right satellite were a couple pine branches swaying in the breeze. Branches so high up in the air that I had no way of removing.
Time for another dance around the yard. I suggested a spot in the front corner of the yard that would point the dish under those pine branches, across the golf course, and up into the sky. SUCCESS!
He dug a hole, put in the pole, mounted the dish, laid the cable line to the house, and we were in business. I chopped off about four low-hanging branches with the loppers to make sure the wind didn't interfere. The dish actually is tucked in nicely beside the azalea bush to the right and just under the tulip popular to the left so it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb!
I love the fact that the receiver is just a fraction of the size of Charter's digital boxes! I sure am looking forward to having many more choices of stations because I was getting a little tired of watching Judge Judy.
Last evening I called Charter Communications to cancel that service and I wish you could have heard our conversation. The lady I spoke with tried every trick in her book to keep me from canceling. It was kinda funny to listen to her frustration when nothing she did worked. The only thing left to do is return the two digital boxes to their office in Asheville and be finished with them forever!!
I'll have a fun adventure to share with you Friday, so you are invited to drop in to see what's up.
I hope everyone is having a good Sunday and thanks for stopping by to pick up your Postcard for the day!
I have said many times before that cooking and eating while camping is one of my favorite things. You just don't know what you're missing if you've never smelled or eaten something cooked outdoors on a grill or over a campfire.
Where else will people walk by, smile, and say "Umm, something sure smells good". Where else will you wave at folks who stroll by your campsite as you are eating. Think that this will ever happen in a restaurant? Not likely. It's expected while camping!
Sometimes I take the easy way out when camping if I'm near good restaurants or with lots of camping buddies. If you are lucky to have a master camping chef like Rob, then it's ratcheted up to a whole new level!!
My friends laugh because I document every meal while camping, but I'm pretty sure that I'm not the only one who does that. Because I have those photos from last week, today's Postcard will be all about Toe River Eats!
Monday night Rob fired up the Coleman and grilled Italian sausages. We had hoagies with mustard and relish, served with chips
Tuesday evening it was my turn in the kitchen. I pulled out my Super Pot and commenced to cooking Toe River Asian Beef & Noodles. The prep time was quick and the stir-fry cooking time even quicker. We sat down to one of my favorite camping meals and I know Rob and Trisha liked it because he took a photo of my recipe card. Throw in a warm Jiffy Mix cornbread muffin and it was pretty tasty.
Our Wednesday trip to Grandfather Mountain afforded us the chance for a picnic lunch, with a killer view I might add.
Thursday's day trip to Mount Mitchell and Craggy Gardens provided the opportunity for yet another picnic lunch. This time we dropped the tailgate on Truck, pulled out the vittles, and had us a parking lot picnic while relaxing in our camping chairs.
After Italian, Asian, and Mexican, it was only fitting that our last evening meal be All-American with burgers, slaw and beans. Rob took my leftover cabbage/carrot mix and whipped up a delicious cole slaw to compliment the cheeseburgers. Along with souped up baked beans, we ate once again like camping kings and queens!
So there you go my friends . . . Toe River Eats!
Mornin' everyone. It's an absolutely beautiful day here in the NC foothills. For all of you out there camping, traveling, sitting by the pool, taking a boat ride on the lake, or doing a bit of gardening, you picked a good one!!
Less than an hour and a half away from here is a NC treasure - Grandfather Mountain. Until 2008 it operated as a nature preserve and major tourist attraction. It was and still is best known for its mile-high swinging bridge, the highest in America. Built in 1952 by Hugh Morton, the bridge links two of the mountain's rocky peaks. In high winds, it will actually swing!
Morton inherited the mountain from his grandfather and is responsible for developing it as a tourist destination. He died in 2006 and donated his famous photography collection to UNC-Chapel Hill. In 2008, the state of NC purchased 2,600 acres and added Grandfather Mountain to the NC State Park System.
Grandfather Mountain rises 5,946 feet above sea level, and due to the considerable elevation gain, the mountain boasts 16 distinct ecological communities. The mountain is famous for its rugged character and is home to many hidden caves and significant cliffs.
It has been reported that Grandfather Mountain has experienced some of the "highest surface wind speeds ever recorded," with unverified speeds in excess of 200 mph.
Grandfather got its name when pioneers noted that the profile of the mountain's north face resembled that of an old man looking skyward.
Thousands of hikers travel to the park annually. The 11 trails on the mountain vary in difficulty, from strolls through the woods to some of the most rugged and intense hiking found in the Eastern U.S.
We had a beautiful day to explore the park and we stopped at the Sphinx Rock, walked across the swinging bridge, and had a picnic lunch with sweeping views at the Cliffs.
I hope you enjoyed the Grandfather Mountain slideshow and that you'll drop in tomorrow to hear about Toe River Eats. See ya then!
Well, I'm back home from a fantastic week of camping with cousins Rob and Trisha. I never fail to have a terrific time with them!
Last evening Chef Rob outdid himself again in his camp kitchen. Despite the rain outside, under the PahaQue Cottonwood it was all business for our all-American meal. Rob whipped up a tasty cole slaw with my leftover cabbage and carrots to go along with baked beans and burgers.
Just about all the photos I took this week were with my trusty Nikon, but yesterday I did pull out my new point and shoot Panasonic ZS-35. It had a nifty little flip out screen that lets me take selfies. So here is the very first selfie I've EVER done in my entire life!
Our nightly routine continued with a trip over to the office to compose our evening blogs. To celebrate a wonderful week, we all treated ourselves to ice cream!
Back at the campsite, Rob pulled out the little campfire in a can. I'm sure it has a proper name, but I can't remember it for the life of me. I took a few photos hoping to show you, but they all had a funky purple glow to them. I guess it's a propane thing.
This morning while getting ready, I looked out the window and saw our resident geese walking up to Splash as if they were coming to say goodbye. I was able to capture the parade just moments before the little white Scottie next door herded them all back to the water. I wish I had captured that because it was hysterical...wings and feet aflutter!!
We completed our packing duties first thing this morning and were on the road around 9:15. Splash followed Pod down the mountain and I snapped this shot while waiting to get on I-40 in Marion. Flashing my lights and waving goodbye, I turned right to Newton as they headed on to Landis.
My first order of business was to pull out my wet mat, Visor, and rugs along with my damp chair and footstool so they could dry out in the afternoon sun. Water actually poured out of the bag that my big camping mat was in!
I still have a few more Postcards to send you to recap our week at Toe River Campground. If you drop in tomorrow, I'll tell you a bit about our day trip to Grandfather Mountain. Until then, thanks for being such loyal Postcard fans!!
For the first time all week, we woke up to the sound of rain on the roof. Not heavy rain mind you, just a sprinkling. By the time our morning routines were completed, it had scooted over the mountain and we began today's adventure in grand style under sunny skies.
My plan for your Postcard tonight is to keep the words to a minimum and let you see where we traveled and what we did. I hope you enjoy today's photos!
Tomorrow morning we will be packing the cars, hitching up, and heading down the mountain for home. Thanks so much for dropping by each evening to pick up your Toe River Postcard!!
If you are lucky to be in the mountains, then you are lucky enough! That sums up our day here in my beloved Blue Ridge Mountains. We had the kind of day that most folks only dream about!
Under perfectly beautiful Carolina blue skies with clouds added for drama, we headed for the Blue Ridge Parkway via Highway 80. Once there, we stopped at several overlooks to take it all in.
We turned into Altapass Orchards because Rob and Trisha had never been there before. We were immediately greeted by a big friendly Lab. Inside I chatted with a couple of musicians, sampled some fudge, and bought a book for me and one for Wendy.
Rob bought some postcards, while Trisha got a fudge sampler. Outside Rob and I meandered through the butterfly garden and apple orchard before getting back on the Parkway.
We drove all the way up to Grandfather Mountain State Park next and because I took about a hundred photos, I'm going to do a special Grandfather Postcard after I get back home on Friday. I know that you can only handle looking at just so many of my photos at one sitting...LOL.
I will tell you that Rob and I walked across the Mile High Swinging Bridge while Trisha watched from a safe distance. We shopped a bit in the gift shop and got new decals for Splash and Pod before heading for our picnic lunch at the Cliffs Picnic Area.
From Grandfather we drove into Linville, making a stop at the Hampton General Store and then on to Newland for a visit to The Donkey Nest where we scored another camping decal.
As soon as we pulled back into the campground about 3:30, the skies opened up and for the next three hours it poured. We all had a little afternoon down time.
That didn't stop Chef Rob from whipping up chicken quesadillas for supper under the PahaQue tent. There are hardly words to describe how good they were! He has a nifty gizmo that holds them together as they are cooked over the Coleman.
Trisha offered to do dishes while Rob and I headed for the office to do a bit of blogging and load some photos over on Facebook. I hope you are taking time to check out his blog each evening. We take a lot of the same photos, but he often puts a totally different spin on things that I really like. Just look for the link over on the right side of this Postcard and you'll find it.
We have another most excellent day in store tomorrow and I hope you'll drop by to see what kind of things we did. See ya then!!
We pulled out of the campground with a full agenda for our day, with the first stop being the Micaville General Store. They advertise themselves as having OOAK merchandise...One Of A Kind and it's true. Pottery, stained glass, jewelry, whimsical lamps, and such. Inside and out we saw some really beautiful items, not to mention a very cool screen door.
From Micaville, we traveled to Spruce Pine via Hwy 19E to The Soap Shed. This is always one of my favorite places to visit when in the area. The handmade soaps in 130+ fragrances are some of the best I've ever used. What "flavor"? Why patchouli of course! 6 bars worth. I was super excited to find out that they have soap making classes, because that's something I've always wanted to do.
Rob was in soap fragrance overload, so our next stop was for fresh air on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Even though the morning clouds were still hanging around, the vistas were still beautiful. We even took a dirt road from Altapass Orchards that ran under the Parkway.
On the next portion of our travels today, we came upon a red Clinchfield caboose sitting out in the middle of nowhere beside a set of railroad tracks and a tunnel off in the distance. What a neat surprise!
We timed our arrival at the end of her lunch and the beginning of a rest period. I walked in, scanned the dining room for her and we both locked eyes at the same time. She came running over to see me and greeted me with a big hug. When she saw Rob and Trisha behind me, her eyes filled with tears.
After chatting a few minutes, she said, "Would you like to see my dog?" DOG?? Yep, she has a little one year old Border Collie that she's named Foxy. So not only did I get to snap some photos of Jessie, but Foxy too!
The campground wasn't logically laid out, would be difficult to maneuver a trailer around, and simply wasn't very appealing. What we did see were some very cool mushrooms and fungi.
We are sitting at the office for another strong WiFi signal and then we'll head back to Splash and Pod and call it a night. Thanks for dropping by this evening. Tomorrow we are off for Grandfather Mountain State Park and a picnic. See ya then.
Greetings from Toe River Campground, just outside of Burnsville, NC! Rob and I are sitting side by side on the front porch of the office, in order to get a good wifi signal to send you Postcards this evening!
Our mini caravan left Newton just after 10 this morning and we drove through drizzle on and off as we made our way to this out-of-the-way campground.
We are tucked into the mountains not too far from Mt. Mitchell State Park. The temperature has been in the low 70s all day and we haven't seen a ray of sunshine. No worries though, because we had dry weather to set up camp.
Rob and Trisha are in site 92 and I'm right next door in 91. We have pull-thru sites and are close to the Toe River, but not actually on it. We can hear it winding its way around the campground.
Rob and I took a little stroll around the campground to get the lay of the land. Down by the river are really nice tent sites with a rocky beach. The first thing we noticed were some rock cairns that someone had left behind.
The campground has a neat general store, a large activity building, arcade, and public swimming pool. There are about a dozen flavors of ice cream in the general store cooler I might add! The buildings have a national park kind of look to them that's very nice.
Rob put on his chef hat and we had some de-lish Italian sausage hoagies for supper!
I am so happy to be camping again and doubly happy that it's with Rob & Trisha. Nite, nite from the Toe River Campground!!