We’ve certainly enjoyed our time here among the Live Oak trees. Almost all of the rally attendees have left and (except for the train that is in within sight) it’s been nice and quiet. Since we didn’t have to be at our next destination until Friday the 26th, staying put for a couple of days seemed to make the most sense. We’ve been practicing “living off the grid” – and it’s been fun. We did move Lizzie closer to the action (and closer to the sunshine for those solar panels!), so we really are parked between huge Live Oaks – here’s the proof!
(Check out the images page to see more of this beautiful location.)
We’re finishing up some maintenance, cleaning and laundry type stuff, and getting ready to take off early tomorrow. We’re headed to Kingstree, SC where we’ll be part of a SOWER’s project at the Youth Academy Group Home. Hopefully, as we wind our way north we’ll have time to stop at Fort Fredrica, St. Simons Island, GA (along with Costco and Cracker Barrel!). On Thanksgiving we’re hoping to be strolling the streets of Savannah. We’re bummed about not being with family, but we’re all scheduled to be together for Christmas, so I am content with that. (Plus we’re waiting on word about a new grandbaby due VERY soon!). We have so much to be thankful for, our blessings are beyond counting really, so there’ll be no grumbling here!
Here is the sky that God painted for us tonight……..Blessing to you all!
We had signed up for this “Gypsy Gathering”, an RV rally in Lake City, FL back in March. (An “RV rally” is where any number of any type of RV/5th wheel/trailers meet together at a designated place for several days of seminars, camaraderie, idea swapping and general fun. They can be huge- over 6000 units were at the annual Family Motor Coach Association Rally at the Perry, GA fairgrounds. Or they can be small – this one has about 75 units.) It was to be our first experience at a rally and we were looking forward to it with great expectations. We were not disappointed!
The “Gypsy Gathering” is co-sponsored by The Gypsy Journal, a bi-monthly RV newspaper that is homey, humorous and helpful! The editors/authors are Nick and Terry Russell who have been full timers for over 5 years and love to share their adventures, trials and tips with other RV-ing folks! The other co-sponsor was Jonolyn Enterprises, a company that specializes in all things electrical for RVs. This rally was especially geared to boon docking, or dry camping. That’s camping without any hook-ups – no water, no electric and no sewer. In fact, the beautiful 500 acre property that is “home” to the rally is entirely “off the grid” – using no public utilities at all. Everything is run by solar power, generator power, and batteries. And yet here I am using their WiFi connection to post this journal!
This is a selection of the seminars we’ve attended –
• Living off the Grid
• RV Maintenance
• Free & Low Cost Camping
• Fire Safety
• Batteries, Inverters, & Goodies
• The Frugal RVer
Now, these may not sound too exciting to the general public, but for those of us trying to make a go of this RV thing (and have as little experience as we do!), every one of these seminars taught us something. Plus, we’ve met some great folks who are in many different places on their life journey. We’ve met folks who have been full-timing for 15 years. We’ve met folks who started full timing in August (like us!). We’ve met folks who are the classic “snow-birds” and we’ve met folks who just like to travel on weekends. We’ve even met folks who live around the corner from us in Warminster!
We’ve had a great five days here in Lake City, nestled along the trails among the live oaks and Spanish moss, learning about batteries and inverters and having solar panels installed. We’ve picked up lots of tips and tricks, made new friends, shared some stories around the campfire and enjoyed the encouragement of folks who have “been there and done that”. Glad we came!
Oh – we even came in second in the golf cart rodeo. I was the navigator and Gary was the blindfolded driver. Quite a sight, I assure you!
The rally is wrapping up today, but we’ll probably hang around for a couple of days – parked in the sunshine to test those solar panels. So much to learn……
As we traveled through Western North Carolina in search of a quilt fabric store, we stumbled upon the Carl Sandburg’s Home in Flat Rock. The house is old (built pre-Civil War), but since the Sandburg’s lived there until the 1960’s it has a very comfy lived-in feel. The Sandburgs were savers – keeping every magazine in piles along the walls. The house is decorated to be comfortable and useful. Mrs. Sandburg was an internationally famous goat breeder – she was well known for breeding goats that had increased milk production. The farm still has some token goats, the grounds are beautiful (as is the view) and the house tour ($5.00) was very interesting. It was a far cry from Biltmore, but all in all a great place to visit.
(And yes, we found a couple of fabric stores – My Quilt Shoppe in Flat Rock, Material Things, and Fabric and Foam Outlet. And I managed to find a couple of pieces of fabric that will remind me of our time in Western North Carolina!)
Our Sower’s work week is only four days, so on Friday we left early to see some more of Georgia. We headed west – through Plains, (I think Jimmy and Roseanne were still sleeping), Americus (home of Habitat for Humanity) and on to Providence Canyon State Park just outside of Lumpkin, GA. This is home of the Little Grand Canyon of Georgia. Now we haven’t made it to the Grand Canyon yet, and I’m sure this is nothing really compared to that, but it’s pretty impressive for Georgia! Check out our photo’s page for some pictures of that beautiful park.
From there we went to Westville – an 1840’s village in Lumpkin. We’ve done historic villages in the north – this was the first one in the south. It was very interesting to see the differences – both in architecture and lifestyle. This Yankee is really getting an education!
Saturday night we saw a “Swamp Gravy” production – Georgia’s State Folk Life play. It was a great play – and if you’d like to know just what Swamp Gravy is – here’s a link to a recipe – http://www.wctv6.com/recipes/headlines/1022041.html !
Georgia has more Baptist Churches than I have ever seen – On the drive from Albany to Vienna (about 40 miles -most of it on Interstate 75) I saw signs for the following Baptist Churches –
Thunder Hill Baptist Church
First Baptist Church
Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church
Charity Grove Baptist Church
Lakeshore Baptist Church
Cedar Creek Primitive Baptist Church
Lighthouse Baptist Church
Ebenezer Baptist Church
Antioch Baptist Church
Faith Baptist Church
…well, those were the ones I had time to write down!
I spotted this church amid the cotton fields while zooming along on Interstate 75. I don’t know if it was First or Third or Living Hope – but I’m sure it was Baptist – and that it was filled with praise on this Lord’s Day.