Friday, June 17, 2022

Finally Back On the Road

June 10 – June 16, 2022                                          Most Recent Posts:                   
Riverbend RV Resort                          Happy 6th Celia & Trying to Leave Town
Lake Toxaway, North Carolina              Spring is Finally Bustin’ Out All Over



Back on Thursday June 9, these were my views.  This was Nine  days after I first tried to set out for the North Carolina Mountains and 9 months after I was sidelined by vandalism shortly after returning from a wonderful summer in Vermont. 


20220609_201623 On May 31st I was towed here.  Six days later, parts  finally came in and everything is good to go but then as I try to leave my brakes fail so I’m back to the service area parking view.  At least I have electric in the heat that is June 2022. 




Bet you wish you could camp here.


20220609_2017263rd time is the charm and on June 10, my 44th wedding anniversary, I am actually able to leave   

I make it about half way and spend the night in Wytheville Virginia but not until after I make a stupid mistake. 

I have a patriot brake controller which I like.  I remember to charge it up before leaving but I do not remember to disconnect it from the car’s battery for the two 1 hour rest stops I make along the way to delay my arrival in the Walmart parking lot in Wytheville.  I can’t make it all the way to my North Carolina destination in one day but I don’t want to get to Walmart in mid afternoon.  

When I arrive, the brake controller tells me it isn’t working.  Long story short I have drained the car’s battery to dead, dead, dead.  Luckily this Walmart has an auto shop and they kindly squeeze me in before closing and install a new car battery.    This forgetfulness on my part is no doubt a result of not being on the road for 8 months.  Hopefully neither of these will happen again.  A $130 mistake.   No camp Walmart pictures.


20220611_122803On Saturday I move on in to North Carolina and stop at the visitor center where they have beautiful Rhododendron in bloom and great mountain views.  I’m counting on it being cooler here than in most of the rest of the country including where I just came from.





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Mighty fine view from their Welcome Center even if it does overlook the interstate

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The aptly named smoky mountains.

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After a harrowing drive on STEEP and NARROW mountain roads where it’s either ride your brakes or drive in 3rd and sometimes 2nd gear, I arrive at Riverbend RV Park in Lake Toxaway NC where I’ll be until July 29th.





After driving nearly straight down their narrow gravel driveway with a right hand hook, I pull up to the cute office where Larry checked me in and did a superb job of guiding me into Site #1.                   I AM EXHAUSTED.


The site is right on the little  stream which is very nice.


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Even though my  site has no privacy it is conveniently located right across from the Office, the restrooms and the laundry 

View out the front window of the office and restrooms, on the right is the gathering pavilion.


I took this picture of the pavilion after it emptied out.  It was full when I arrived.
It has a full kitchen, a giant grille, plenty of chairs for circling round, a fire place and picnic tables.   Lots of community activities happen here, like daily happy hour and a Wednesday after golf grille.


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After my 240 mile drive and white knuckling the last hour of it, I was EXHAUSTED  with a capital E, starving and too tired to cook. 

Lucky for me – LUCK!! They were having a “horse auction” for the Belmont stakes.  It was also a potluck,  I didn’t have anything prepared but they were gracious and I was starving so it was great.  I felt much better after I ate.


20220611_183709I had no idea what a horse auction was but apparently they do this for every race in the triple crown.  Someone writes out the big board with the horses, jockeys, trainers, odds and owners on it and the owner of the RV Park, John, auctions the horses off.  If you “win” the horse, of course you don’t get to keep it but you get a piece of the pot if it wins, places or shows.  Bidding went up to $60 for one horse.  Not sure how much was in the pot but those who won got their money back I think.   Me – I don’t have gambling funds.


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SOLD!

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Rosemary and I didn’t meet until the next day though we’d talked on the phone multiple times as I delayed my original June 1st arrival date over and over.  She is one busy woman running the office, the social events and who knows what else.


My first full day at the campground I familiarized myself with it and the walking trails.  I’m not sure how many miles I could get in by walking around the campground itself and then up the mountain trail and along the short stream trail.   But to even approach 10K steps, I’d have to do it at least twice.  Maybe 3 times.

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There are 24 sites as well as several sites for folks who leave there rigs here all year though they may not live in them over the winter.  I really like that it is such a small campground.  No pool or pickleball but that’s fine with me.  I hope to get to know some of the people who are here for extended stays like I am.


I walk through the campground and start up the hill where there is a small pond with a dock for fishing or sitting.   There is another pavilion up here as well.


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I continue on up and can look down on the pond, dock and pavilion.

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The resort has a number of interesting metal sculptures on the grounds.  The first one I come to is behind the pond.  A runner with a butterfly on her leg.

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On up the hill on the road I pass by two metal backpacker sculptures.

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At the top of the road, there is a mowed area surrounded by trees with a picnic table if you want lunch after the climb.   The only views are coming back down the road but they are lovely today.


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Taking another road I pass by a fenced pasture with 3 metal horse sculptures and a very small pond.   Two grazing sculptures.


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One running sculpture in the middle of the field.

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Fewer feed and vet bills – believe me, I know from experience.

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My last trail goes through the woods and along the stream further down from my rig.  It’s a beautiful area that I look forward to returning to frequently.


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On the trail I find one lone jack in the pulpit.  Isn’t he wonderful looking?  Can you see the “jack” in the right hand picture?


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I’ll close with the information board on the front of the office.  There are a lot of get togethers here.  Even one not mentioned on this board which is occurring on June 22nd – a Louisiana gumbo dinner put on by two campers from Louisiana.  They should know how to do it right.  If I keep eating like this I have no chance of fitting into my hiking clothes.


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As you all know I am a waterfall lover and spent last summer seeing many many in Vermont and a summer before that hiking to every waterfall in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  One reason I chose this park is that there are SO many waterfalls nearby.   I’ll share my hikes to a couple of them with you in the next post.

32 comments:

  1. Fantastic that you are back on the road. I so enjoy reading of the lovely hikes and paddles that you take. Wishing you a lovely stay in NC.

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    1. Thanks so much for the comment. I'm really glad you enjoy it and glad you told me. What browser did you use in making your comment?

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  2. Laurel (www.ravenandchickadee.com)June 17, 2022 at 5:07 PM

    This works! Yay, I can comment again!

    I'm glad you're at Riverbend, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did last summer. Your site right on the creek is lovely, and you have such a nice sitting space even if you do feel a bit exposed. How fun that you're participating in the social gatherings! It's quite a social group, LOL. Unfortunately, we didn't feel comfortable last summer socializing because of stupid COVID, so we didn't do much in a group. But we did enjoy the couple of things we did. That gumbo evening coming up sounds wonderful!

    I enjoyed walks around the campground and up the hill a couple of times on the days that we didn't go out hiking to get in my 10,00 steps, just as you described. Aren't the sculptures scattered around the grounds fun? It looks like they've added a couple of new ones since we were there.

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    1. Best surprise of the day to see you in the comments again. Can't wait to find out how you did it. What a friend you are to persevere and to recommend Riverbend. Wish you were here.

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  3. So happy to see your troubles behind you. Envious of your pictures, makes me want to go traveling again. What a lovely park!

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    1. Glad you are traveling along with me Laurie. Troubles behind me is just what I need.

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  4. Seems rather incredible to me to be staying for more than a month at one campground. Whew! At least according to Laurel, it is a nice one. Your spot looks quite lovely. I am sure you will be kept plenty busy with all the waterfalls. I just am so thrilled that you finally made it out on the road. Now that you are in one place for awhile, let's hope there are no more icky surprises down the road. You deserve a nice summer rest in a cool spot. Have fun.

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    1. When David and I traveled, we only spent longer stays a couple of times and both near National Parks. But the packing and moving is such a chore for me that staying long enough to see "everything" works better for me alone. Lots of folks spend a whole season in the same spot.

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  5. I just talked to Rosemary about getting a reservation at Riverbend for next week…no luck! We’ve stayed there before and liked it.~~ Patty

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    1. Oh that's too bad, I would love to have seen you. Glad you liked it here and that Laurel recommended it to me.

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    2. You may not remember us but Jim and I met you at the Tampa RV show years ago. I’ve been following you ever since. We are headed to Asheville next week, since Riverbend is full. Our son lives in AVL so it will be good. Have fun!

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  6. Let's see if I can comment. ;->

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  7. It took some manipulation, but it looks like I was allowed into the inner circle once again. Let's see if it was a fluke, or if I am back in for good.

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    1. Well done ! How did you do it? I'm so blessed to have persevering friends to care for me.

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  8. You have had SOOOO many obstacles to work through but at last, you're back on the road! The mountains and water are lovely and I know you'll be having fun visiting all of the waterfalls. Love the horse sculptures! Have fun and take lots of pictures- xxxooo

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    1. Soooo many obstacles is right and you, good friend, heard about them in detail. Thank you for being there. Too many pictures I fear. LOL!

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  9. I'm happy for you that you'll be staying in NC till the end of July. That should be enough time for Winnona's brakes to cool off after those step hills you drove to get there.

    I'm disappointed you didn't show any pictures of RVer's favorite campground...Walmart. Maybe that's a good thing, many RV travelers will forget what a great campground that is and bypass it, leaving more sites for me! :cD

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  10. Thanks to your advice I managed to get here. Next time I'll think of you and take a picture of Walmart campground. The ones of my lovely spot at the RV repair will have to tide you over.

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  11. Glad you finally got on the road. Sounds like a good spot for a longer stay. Everything gets more exhausting as we get older, so we just have to adjust to maintain. Glad to you're enjoying beautiful nature.

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  12. I don't know why I'm anonymous, I signed in and usually it automatically uses my name, Lynne D.

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    1. Blogger and commenting is becoming so strange. Long time commenters can't comment at all and others like you have odd things happen to them. I'm sorry and wish I knew what to do but glad you are here in any way possible and that you let me know whose comment it was.

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  13. I am so in love with rhododendrons. Thank you for sharing their beauty. Glad you are back on the road. Enjoy!

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    1. I'm hoping to see more rhododendrons and next post will have a picture of the wild flame azalea. I don't know anywhere but in the Appalachian mountains where it grows. Thanks for your comment Janice.

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  14. I was so happy to see the title!! The summer can start now that you're back out here :-) I thought that was the place Laurel and Eric stayed - it looks like such a great spot to spend some extended time. Love the running horse - what awesome energy it shows.

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    1. Yes this is thanks to Laurel and I'm sure glad to be here and not in the rest of the sweltering Southeast.

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  15. Looks like a nice place to stay awile.

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    1. So far it is very nice here. I'd love if you'd sign your comment so I know who has taken the time to let me know they are out there.

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  16. So glad you are back on the road, and a little jealous too. Your site really is RIGHT on the creek. Hope the water don't rise. Seems you can be very busy at this little park with lots of activities. Here's to a great summer of waterfalls.

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    1. Yes I love being on the creek but last year this site did flood pretty badly. Fingers crossed.

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  17. Wonderful to finally see a post from the road! You'd been through so much to get there! That park looks like fun and I hope you will meet some nice neighbors as you enjoy the beauty of the NC mountains. Great pictures and nice to be right by the stream! xoxo

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    1. Thank you sweetheart. It's a sweet little park and relatively close to a lot of beautiful hikes and waterfalls.

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  18. So nice to see you back on the road and the site looks lovely! We have a wild plant in the UK called Jack In The Pulpit, I wonder if it is the same. It is also known as Lords And Ladies. It looks a little like the one in your picture, but not quite. It gets beautiful red berries later in the year, but it is very poisonous.

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