Spring!

Spring is following us north.

Spring is following us north.

I was seriously tempted to take some of the redbud flowers to make pancakes with, but decided I didn’t want to have to explain to a ranger why I was eating his trees!

Field garlic

Field garlic

So I settled for using a little field garlic in our dinner omelets this evening.

It’s fun watching spring start all over again after experiencing it in Florida.

Dandelions.  My favorite spring flowers.  Seriously!

Dandelions. My favorite spring flowers. Seriously!

We have had to take turns walking since Sunny can’t be left alone now. We went shopping in Valley yesterday, but had to take turns shopping, too. It was too hot to leave Sunny in the truck without air conditioning.

Lush clover.

Lush clover.

I thought I would always have a dog. But after being so constrained by Sunny and Sheba this trip, I think that when Sunny passes on, I may wait a while and see how I do without one.

Nature's lace.

Nature’s lace.

Another beauty.  Can anyone tell me what it is?

Another beauty.

Another cute COE safety sign.

Another cute COE safety sign.

Saturday at Eastbank

I am posting this shot because before we got our Casita, I used to comb the web looking at interior shots and dreaming of how I'd do mine.  So this is for all of you who are interested in seeing how we live in a teeny-tiny camper.  :)

I am posting this shot because before we got our Casita, I used to comb the web looking at interior shots and dreaming of how I’d do mine. So this is for all of you who are interested in seeing how we live in a teeny-tiny camper–including essentials like dishpan, coffeepot and boiled peanuts! 🙂

How long has it been since you saw a pay phone booth?  This one is near Loop A and includes white and yellow page directories.

How long has it been since you saw a pay phone booth? This one is near Loop A and includes white and yellow page directories.

Stairs from phone booth down to Loop A

Stairs from phone booth down to Loop A

Loop A

Loop A

We saw this home built camper in the same spot in Loop C the last time we were here a couple of years ago.  Originally the big box was a dog house.  When the dog died, they turned it into storage.

We saw this home built camper in the same spot in Loop C the last time we were here a couple of years ago. Originally the big box was a dog house. When the dog died, they turned it into storage.

Loop C across the street from the lake

Loop C across the street from the lake

Tree with moss by tent camping area

Tree with moss by tent camping area

Welcoming committee.  Ron, Sheba and Sunny with dam in background.

Welcoming committee. Ron, Sheba and Sunny with dam in background.

Autumn leaves

Autumn leaves

Another gorgeous unretouched sunset photo from last night.

Another gorgeous unretouched sunset photo from last night. The water near the shore is very shallow and a lot of water plants grow there. I especially loved the little cypress tree with moss!

Last Day at Modoc

Last night's sunset

Last night’s sunset

We will be leaving tomorrow morning.  This is one of a small handful of our trips that I will be glad to see end.  It’s running an average of 8 degrees cooler at home.

Today is overcast and sweltering.  The people next to us had reservations through tomorrow, but they left today.

A little island out in the lake under gray skies.

A little island out in the lake under gray skies.

The only wildlife, other than birds, that we have seen here was one gray fox.  He was strangely unafraid of us, and in fact followed us for a short distance on the road a couple of times.  My first thought was rabies.  I meant to mention it to the host, but forgot.  Will try to report it on the way out tomorrow.

There were a lot of children running around over the weekend, and if it was going to cause trouble, I would have expected it to have already done so.  Ron suggested that it might have been one that someone tried to make a pet of when it was a baby, then released it when they discovered it wouldn’t domesticate.

Closeup of the island.

Closeup of the island.

In any case, it’s not normal behavior for a fox.

Anyway, our camping season is probably over until cooler weather arrives.

 

Modoc, SC in the Hot, Hot Summertime

Looking toward the left from under our awning

Looking toward the left from under our awning

When we were planning this camping trip, we originally wanted to go to Black Rock Mountain State Park in the NE Georgia mountains.  It’s a lot cooler there.

But we are not experienced mountain drivers.  And there is a winding, twisting 2 mile gravel road to the park at a steep grade.  The park’s website says that only those who are experienced at driving narrow mountain roads should attempt it.

Looking toward the right from under our awning

Looking toward the right from under our awning

So that scared us off.

Next, I had wanted to go to Vogel State Park at the base of Blood Mountain.  I wanted to climb the mountain again and see how much harder it was than when I did it in 2003.  I remember it being an easy climb.  I also thought it would be so much fun to see Neel’s Gap again, which was my first supply stop on my Appalachian Trail attempt back then.

But Vogel did not have reservations available for the time I wanted.

The water seems to go on forever.

The water seems to go on forever.

So we scrambled around for a substitute destination.  We had camped here at Modoc when we first got our Aliner 8 years ago.  I remembered it being beautiful.  I also knew that South Carolina in June would be hot and humid — and is it ever!

Modoc COE is an older park. All of the sites are pull-thrus.  But, at least in our loop, they were designed for the size rigs that were popular when the campground was built.  Our truck and Casita are a perfect fit for them.  Big rigs would be out of luck — at least on this loop.

We are having to take precautions due to the extreme heat here.  Yesterday after we got set up, my face was beet red.  Then my head started throbbing.  The dogs desperately needed a walk, so I took them on a short stroll on the shady side of the road.

When I got back my head was pounding with a splitting headache.  I went inside and took something for the headache and slept for a couple of hours.

A huge luna moth on our back door the night before we left.

A huge luna moth on our back door the night before we left.

Since then, we are moving slowly.  I bring the dogs in every hour for a half hour or so to cool down.  Then it’s gentle, easy movements to keep from getting overheated.

Thunderstorms are predicted later in the week.  Although they will raise the humidity, the clouds will obscure the sun which should help keep us from being steamed quite so badly.

But it is STILL a LOT better than being at home!

weather

Whitetail Ridge

My favorite little camping buddy.  Sunny coming out of his sweater.

My favorite little camping buddy. Sunny coming out of his sweater.

Carla and Jerry stopped by this morning to say goodbye on their way into Montgomery to see some of the historical sites.

Our site at Whitetail Ridge

Our site at Whitetail Ridge

I had fallen asleep last night and slept like a rock –until around 12:00 a.m.  Then I couldn’t get back to sleep until around 5:30 this morning.  So I had a bit of trouble getting up and moving this morning.  When they stopped by to say goodbye, I stumbled outside looking pretty disheveled.

Waterfront access behind our site

Waterfront access behind our site

I sure hope they don’t remember me that way!

We were planning to go to one of the COE campgrounds farther south, but ended up deciding on Whitetail Ridge on West Point Lake.  I’m glad we did.  This place is gorgeous!!!

We are surrounded on three sides by water, so get to see the sun set over the lake, and also enjoy the afterglow reflected off the clouds and water behind our trailer.

Looking down the road from our site

Looking down the road from our site

It’s a little cool for camping.  I think we might head into town tomorrow and see if we can find an inexpensive screen room with a wind break so we can enjoy sitting outside while we are here.

Fiery sunset across the loop

Fiery sunset across the loop

The sunset reflected in the clouds and on the water behind our trailer.

The sunset reflected in the clouds and on the water behind our trailer.

Gunter Hill

The view from our site

The view from our site

We left I-20 and headed south toward Montgomery on Alabama 9 yesterday.  I am leery of driving two-lane roads because we often end up with traffic backed up behind us, or we get stuck behind someone driving 20 miles under the speed limit in a no passing zone.

Carla, Jerry and Ron

Carla, Jerry and Ron

But it couldn’t have worked out better yesterday.   Twice, for brief periods, we had one vehicle behind us.  And we never had anyone ahead of us.  In fact, for most of the way we wound through the rolling hills with the road all to ourselves, except when passing though an occasional tiny town.

We didn’t see one Walmart.  And I only remember one chain grocery store.  A Piggly-Wiggly.  🙂

Carla and Jerry's Casita

Carla and Jerry’s Casita

We did get lost after we got into Montgomery.  But Ron stopped at a Waffle House and asked directions.

Carla and Jerry were waiting for us when we arrived.  They are the friendliest and most delightful couple!  What a treat it was to finally meet them!

And I finally got my long-awaited tour of their Casita!

Behind our site

Behind our site

My first reaction when I walked inside was, “This is BIG!”  It looks so much larger than ours.  Jerry has cut a window in the room divider wall which allows you to see through to the the right rear window from the front, and also removed the range hood over the stove.  The difference in perceived space is remarkable.

But my very favorite mods are the fold-down tables that he has built on the bathroom door, so Carla can use it when she is in her side bed, and the one to the right of the stove, and to the left of the room divider so Jerry has a table there in the rear.

Carla fixed homemade beef and vegetable soup for us for dinner this evening, with crackers and a yummy home-made cheese ball, followed by apple cake.  Yum!  🙂

The weather is perfect.  Crisp and cool, but not cold.  Just perfect for a fall camping trip!

My Hiding Place

Where I go to escape the world.  :)

Where I go to escape the world. 🙂

When I’m stressed out, or when I can’t sleep — or when I just need a little space of my own — I hide out in the Casita.

Remember the old song from Paint Your Wagon —  A Million Miles Away Outside My Door?  That’s how I feel when I’m snuggled down for a nap out there.  I also use Ron’s bed then.  His is 3″ wider than mine, and that makes a unbelievable difference in comfort.

I don’t know why I offered him the bigger bed.  I’m a lot fatter than he is!  Just doing the wifely thing, I guess.  But it sure is fun to get to enjoy the big bed now and then.

The RV guy came today.  The new furnace part didn’t fit exactly like the old one did, so he had to take it out and fiddle with it for a while.  But it’s finally working — beautifully.

He had injured his leg and was in an ankle-hip brace, so was unable to stoop to rework my battery wiring.  He said February is his slowest month, so I’ll make a shopping list of all kinds of little projects I’d like done then.

We’ve got reservations to camp with Cozygirl and Mr. Jerry for 3 nights next week.  It looks like the weather will be warmer than we originally expected.  In the low 70’s!

After that I want to head to another COE on the AL/GA border far enough south that the days will also be in the 70’s there.

And just catch up on camping, on quiet, and on the glories of autumn creation.  🙂

 

 

Casita Tweaks & Plans

Weather stripping added around air conditioner to keep air intake from making black streaks on carpet

Weather stripping added around air conditioner to keep air intake from making black streaks on carpet

For a while I have noticed the Casita’s ceiling carpet around the air conditioner getting dirty.  Finally a nasty black streak of dirt appeared all the way around it.

I took a close look at it and realized the air conditioner housing wasn’t sealed tightly against the carpet. That was allowing air to enter through the top of the unit without the benefit of a filter.  So the surrounding carpet was acting as a filter.

So I took the AC housing down, scrubbed the carpet, and remounted the cover.  But the screws would not go far enough to snug the cover down tight against the carpet to prevent the problem from recurring.

An air conditioner filter that fits the Casita's unit properly

An air conditioner filter that fits the Casita’s unit properly

So I scrounged through my supplies and found some white weather stripping that I thought might work.  It looks like it will do the job.  Time will tell.  🙂

Another problem we’ve had all year is very high humidity from the exceptional amount of rainfall in the area.  Even the ground stinks like mildew sometimes.  Inevitably the Casita started smelling a little musty.  I knew that if I didn’t dry it out good, I would soon be dealing with mildew inside the trailer.

I bought Damp Rid, but was not convinced it would be adequate.  For a while, I ran the Casita AC or heater, but I figured that was getting to be an awfully expensive solution.  Finally I put the little electric heater that we used to use in the Aliner in the Casita.

The little electric heater makes a fantastic dehumidifier

The little electric heater makes a fantastic dehumidifier

I like the little heater because it is thermostatically controlled, and it only runs when it is actually heating.  The Casita’s air conditioner/heater fan runs the whole time it is on.

Running the little heater is a lot cheaper than buying and running a decent dehumidifier.   And it has completely dried out the Casita’s interior.  There is not a hint of dampness or mustiness in it anymore.

I also, after using all kind of unsatisfactory substitutes for the factory air conditioner filter, found the perfect solution at Amazon.  It’s a foam filter just like the one that came in the air conditioner.  The only difference is, you have to cut it to fit.

I bought 3 filters, and figure it is good for at least 9 filter changes in my air conditioner!

spider

A spider lurking on the side of our storage shed

Our weather has been rainy and dreary the past two days.  I didn’t find much outside to take photos of.  But we have several big, fat spiders making their home around our storage shed.  So here’s the best nature shot I could muster up for you today!  😀

We had to cancel our trip to Texas.  Instead, we were going to meet with friends at a nearby COE.  But they’ve had to cancel due to a family emergency.

If the government doesn’t shut down, we’ll still use our COE reservations.  If the government shuts down (which means closing the National Parks and Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds) we may go to a nearby state park for a few days.

We are just bursting to get out again!

In preparation for cooler weather, the Casita's closet has been stocked with jackets, raincoats, dog sweater and coat, hats and fleece gloves..

In preparation for cooler weather, the Casita’s closet has been stocked with jackets, raincoats, dog sweater and coat, hats and fleece gloves.

Last Day at West Point Lake

This is the section where we camped in the Aliner on a previous trip here.  It's steep and difficult to back into -- but beautiful!

This is the section where we camped in the Aliner on a previous trip here. It’s steep and difficult to back into — but nicely private.

We had expected thunderstorms today.  But a cloudy morning turned into a beautiful, warm, partly sunny afternoon.  What a wonderful last day of camping before going home.

Baby leaves

Baby leaves

Keeping Sheba penned and Sunny leashed seems to work best at keeping both dogs happy.  And happy dogs make us happy campers!  🙂

Rather than a wordy post tonight, I’ll just post some of the photos I took today.  Hope you enjoy them.

Beargrass (yucca) flower stalks emerging

Beargrass (yucca) flower stalks emerging

Carpet of flowers at one of the campsites

Carpet of flowers at one of the campsites

Entrance to upper loop

Entrance to upper loop

Flowers in a flower.  I'm guessing the large outer petals are actually sepals.

Flowers in a flower. I’m guessing the large outer petals are actually sepals.

The goose family I also photographed yesterday

The goose family I also photographed yesterday

I was eating ripe blackberries in Florida last week.  Here they are still immature.

I was eating ripe blackberries in Florida last week. Here they are still immature.

Little flower gems

Little flower gems

I think this is Chinese privet

I think this is Chinese privet

I don't know what these are, but they are beautiful.

I don’t know what these are, but they are beautiful.

A good book... one of camping's greatest pleasures.

A good book… one of camping’s greatest pleasures.

Thistle flowers.

Thistle flowers. Beautiful!

The Casita that was here yesterday left this morning, so we didn't get to meet the owners.

The Casita that was here yesterday left this morning, so we didn’t get to meet the owners.

Yellow clover

Yellow clover

Day's end

Day’s end. Not a stunning sunset, but nice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still on West Point Lake

Our view with the weekend campers gone

Our view with the weekend campers gone

The campground almost emptied today.  It’s such a different atmosphere when the weekenders leave.

Another Casita in the next loop

Another Casita in the next loop

The thunderstorms that we expected weren’t nearly as bad as predicted.  There was occasional thunder and sporadic light showers.  But we still had plenty of time to get out for nice walks with the dogs.

While we were out, we spotted another Casita and walked over to their loop to say hello.  Their door was open, but no one was outside, so we didn’t bother them.  Maybe we can meet them tomorrow.

The tent sites are empty now

The tent sites are empty now

I did enjoy photographing a robin who was apparently having good luck hunting worms that the rain brought to the surface.

Due to the on and off rain, I spent much of the day inside reading.  I really appreciate this chance to just veg out for a couple of days because when we get home, we have our work cut out for us.  The yard is a disaster from all the limbs

Blackbirds at the lake's edge

Blackbirds at the lake’s edge

that blew down over the winter.  And there’s a lot of other sprucing up that needs to be done.

Robin

Robin

robin3

Geese family

Geese family

Ron with Sheba and Sunny

Ron with Sheba and Sunny

 

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