|Bud Ward admiring a Loblolly Pine|
It’s off the beaten path, so we almost decided to pass it by. This 24,000 acre park protects the largest contiguous area of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the United States. We hiked through the forest and were amazed at the size of the bald cypress and Loblolly pines. Spring is an excellent time for birding and the trees were alive with the sound of music. Our friends, Joy and Bud Ward, from home, had been trying to catch up to us on their return trip from Florida. They joined us at Congaree Swamp and camped near us. It was great. We also met up with them again along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Linville Falls. http://www.nps.gov/blri/index.htm
We tried to talk them into camping with us again but since they were tenting they decided to get a motel. That night it rained hard. We were on the outskirts of a tornado. We were thankful we were high and dry in our motorhome and Bud and Joy had decided on a motel.
|Enjoying the view of Linville Falls from a high point|
Between Florida and home, we made many stops to visit family and friends. Friends from Tennessee met us halfway for breakfast at Em’s Place up in the hills. They warned us we may pass it by because it doesn’t even look like a restaurant. Well, they were right. As you can see from the picture below it must have been a gas station at one time. Our new trusty GPS got us there. It was the only place open for breakfast for miles around. All the truckers ate there so we figured it had to be good (or else it was because it was the only place around). Even though it wasn't the greatest atmosphere, we enjoyed our visit.
|Our Tennessee friends, Beth, Steve, Michele and James at Em's Place|
Speaking of our "new trusty GPS," we almost had a bad accident because we were in the wrong lane to exit the freeway. It scared us so bad we stopped at the next Best Buy and Dick bought the best buy they had. You may remember he named the other one "The Witch" because I didn't like the name he was calling it. He hasn't named this one yet.
|Earl & Linda Stewart, Mt. Morris, PA|
|Linda with her father, Walter, who is 98 yrs old|
(We'll be there to celebrate your 100th, Walter!)
It was great to reconnect with our Mt. Morris, PA friends. We met the Stewarts in 1979 when Dick worked with Earl in Arizona. We try to spend time together every few years. As usual, they were the best hosts and treated us like part of their family. Mt. Morris is located right on the West Virginia border and it's always interesting to explore that part of the country.
|Enjoying a visit with my brother, Curt, and his wife, Lucy.|
We traveled on to the Elkhart area to visit my brother and his wife but while we were there we scoured the RV Salvage stores for parts for our 1989 motorhome. We also took in the RV Hall of Fame which I highly recommend to anyone who is an RVer. http://www.rvmhhalloffame.org/ingramhall.cfm
Our last stop was the AirZoo. My cousin is the Tech Service Mgr there and gave us the grand tour. My Aunt and Uncle joined us and we caught up on each other's lives as we took in the amazing exhibits and murals. What an interesting place and another place I highly recommend. http://www.airzoo.org/
|Enjoying the Air Zoo with my Aunt Rosemary and Uncle Red|
The last couple of days of our trip we drove in the rain and made it home in a downpour. We decided to stay tucked in the motorhome for one more night and move back into the house the next day. The rain stopped during the night so we enjoyed the sounds of our campground. The peepers were in full force. It was a nice welcome
P.S. Dick says we'd better leave town before something else happens. So far the creek backed up and washed out our driveway and he set the back forest on fire, but that's another story.
Info on other places we visited on our trip north.
New River Gorge
Amish Country, IN
At turn of year, when winter's past
and spring's at hand, I think at last
I understand. Then comes the night
when peepers shrill and geese in flight
gabble the moon. And then I say
that all I know can be stowed away
in an acorn cup. But this is plain:
That snow is snow and rain is rain,
that wind is change, that water ran
before earth felt the foot of man;
that flesh and blood of me are kinned
with grass and bush and tree and wind;
that love is sweet and salt are tears;
that days become the turning years;
that I am new and time is old;
that love is warm and hate is cold.
What more is there to understand
when winter's past and spring's at hand? - Hal Borland