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.

 

Fantastic Forms Down by the Water

 

Huge tree kept from toppling into the lake by rocky supports.

Precarious twins

Precarious twins

It’s still sweltering here.  Far too hot to do anything energetic.  So I’ve meandered around amusing myself by searching out intriguing and unusual natural formations.

Many of the trees at waters’ edge just about have the supporting earth washed away.  It looks like the Army Corps of Engineers has put rocks around some of the more precarious ones to help support them.  But every time a jet ski flies by, strong waves crash relentlessly against them, taking a bit more of the red clay support.  And leaving even more fantastic forms behind.

This one can't last long.  It looks like grandaddy long-legs spider legs are holding it up.

This one can’t last long. It looks like grandaddy long-legs spider legs are holding it up.

We have had nice, strong breezes today as the ever-threatened, seldom-materialized thunderstorms pass us by.

One thing this trip has taught us is not to ever camp in South Carolina in the summertime again!

Ron brought home superb Mexican take-out for dinner this evening.

I’m still drawing plans for a camper van.  I am so itching to tackle that project!  Hopefully next year!

Clutching at the disappearing earth

Clutching at the disappearing earth

Interlocking roots

Interlocking roots

Odd trees on the swamp side

Odd trees on the swamp side

Trumpet flower vine hidden in underbrush

Trumpet flower vine hidden in underbrush

Growing at water's edge.  I used to know their name, but have forgotten and am too lazy to look them up.  :)

Growing at water’s edge. I used to know their name, but have forgotten and am too lazy to look them up. 🙂

Sunlight  glinting on water

Sunlight glinting on water

Thunderclouds passing over

Thunderclouds passing over

 

 

 

Still Beautiful; Still Hot

Our sunset last night.  The color was not enhanced -- it really was this gorgeous.

Our sunset last night. The color was not enhanced — it really was this gorgeous.

Although it’s 8 degrees hotter here than it is at home, we are managing to enjoy it.  There’s usually a nice breeze off the lake.

There is water across the street behind us, too.  We are surrounded on three sides by water.

There is water across the street behind us, too. We are surrounded on three sides by water.

Yesterday I sat outside under the awning doing crosswords and admiring the million scintillating sun sparkles on the blue water.  Waves gurgled onto shore and slapped up against the rocks.  A few brave birds, ignoring the heat of the day, sang in the deep woods around me.

Although this is a man made lake, I dreamed of Indians centuries ago paddling their canoes around the point.  The deep woods on the far shore beckoned mysteriously.

As evening fell, a lone, far-away whipporwill called.

Sheba.  The sun is giving her black fur red highlights.

Sheba. The sun is giving her black fur red highlights.

We spend a couple of hours in the hottest part of the day inside in the air conditioning doing crosswords, surfing, reading or napping.  We can’t do anything too energetic or we will overheat, so we mosey around — and when we get too hot, we head inside and cool off for a while.

In case any of you northerners ever wondered why southerners move and talk more slowly  sometimes that’s why.  It’s an adaptation to the extreme heat and humidity.  It was a lot more pronounced before everyone got air conditioning.

My precious little aging Sunny.  He is having enough trouble going on walks that I will have to get him a doggie stroller soon.

My precious little aging Sunny. He is having enough trouble going on walks that I will have to get him a doggie stroller soon.

So I can’t say that our trip is exciting.  It’s not.  But it’s beautiful and we are glad we are here.

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

Clark Creek

Our Casita at Clark Creek

Our Casita at Clark Creek

We did something a little differently this time.  We chose a small campground (only 24 sites – all waterfront) very near to a small town.

Across the creek

Across the creek

We are at a bend in the creek.  The more impressive water views are on the other side of the campground.  But they also get full afternoon sun, and our site is in lovely deep shade all afternoon.

I’m surprised at all the different types of water activity here.  Pleasure boats, fishing boats, jet skis, rubber rafts.  And several people were swimming in the creek today, and one guy was snorkeling.  I swore swimming in creeks and lakes off after a fish bit me when we were camping in Mississippi a couple of years ago.  The only way I will swim in a natural body of water is if it is as clear as Salt Springs in Florida.

Bluebird scolding his shadow in the glass

Bluebird scolding his shadow in the glass

You can stand in neck deep water there and look down and see the individual grains of sand on the bottom.  Not here!

It was sweltering today!  We want to go fishing while we’re here, but will plan on going early in the day before it gets too hot.  After we got a shower this evening it was pleasant sitting outside…. except for the humidity.  So we are chilling inside tonight enjoying icy air conditioning.  I would love to open the windows and hear the night sounds, but don’t want the heavy, damp air that comes with it.

There's the enemy!

There’s the enemy!

How the other half lives :)

How the other half lives 🙂

Jetski towing rubber raft

Jetski towing rubber raft

Mimosas blooming on the bank

Mimosas blooming on the bank

I have never seen Sunny's tongue hanging out so far.  He was hot!

I have never seen Sunny’s tongue hanging out so far. He was hot!

Always beautiful Sheba

Always beautiful Sheba

This isn’t the ideal time to go camping, but we were so desperate to get out that we are glad we are here.  We’ll manage the heat by cocooning inside during the hottest part of the day.  And going for ice cream cones.  🙂

New Window Vent & Camping Preps

The new Window Maxx vent

The new Window Maxx vent

I got the new vent for the Casita’s dinette window installed yesterday.  Today we got a gusher of a downpour, so I was able to test the trailer with the roof fan vent open under its cap, and the rear and dinette windows open with their Window Maxx vents.

I was thrilled that not a drop of rain got into the trailer!  So we now have excellent ventilation without hookups, even in the rain.

We’re planning to go to Lake Allatoona Wednesday.  I’m not sure which campground yet.  But some of the campgrounds keep waterfront sites open for walk-ins.  And we should be able to get a nice one if we arrive in the middle of the week.

Ron finishing the mowing so we can go camping

Ron finishing the mowing so we can go camping

It’s going to be hot.  But, like Ron said, it will be hot here, too.  Partially cloudy days mixed with intermittent thunderstorms are predicted.  So at least the sun won’t be blasting us full time.  As long as we have a breeze, we will be okay.

We are so excited to be getting out!  And Sheba will have a lake to splash in!

I took the dogs to the vet for checkups Friday.  Sheba is doing great.  I was afraid Sunny wasn’t doing well because he has lost two pounds and sometimes has trouble standing.  But the vet said the weight loss is no cause for concern.  He said the trouble standing is due to arthritis in his hips.  So we are going to try supplements and hope they help enough that he will not need arthritis meds for a while.

 

 

 

Leaving Tomorrow, EZ Low Carb Cooking & A/C Filter

We’re heading out tomorrow.  We plan to make it a short travel day and find a nice place to stay overnight.  That way we’ll arrive at our meeting with Gail and Mike with energy to spare.

Grilling — Easiest way to cook low carb

Now that the weather is hot, I’m doing as little cooking inside as possible.  I found that if I set the grill on a very low temperature, chicken wings and basted zucchini come out perfectly cooked at the same time.

That’s Sheba and Sunny’s favorite meal for us to cook because they get the wing tips!  🙂

The Casita’s air conditioner filters needed to be replaced.

Only the cardboard frame is 1″ wide. I cut the green mesh to fit my unit and they look like they are just the right thickness.

I had cleaned and washed them so many times that they were no longer filtering out dust.  Instead the fan sucked in dusty air and deposited the dust on the ceiling behind the unit.

I found a foam filter similar to the OEM filter at Walmart, only it was a lot thicker and denser.  I was going to use that, but was worried that the extra effort drawing air through might burn out my A/C motor.

Compressed, they are really thin.

So Ron went back and found some filters that were 1″ thick, but loosely woven so they wouldn’t restrict air flow.  Actually, the filter itself was very thin.  The cardboard frame was 1″ thick.

So I cut them to fit the camper’s air conditioner, and I think they are going to be a satisfactory substitute.  We’ll see how well they do on this trip.

They expand just the right amount to fit my air conditioner.

 

Getting Ready for a Trip Home

Our electrician installed my new Progressive Dynamics 4645 converter with 4 stage smart charger this week.  So I can leave the trailer plugged in without boiling my battery dry now.

It’s too late for the existing battery.  It was reading 10 amps the other day.  So I plan to get a new Deka Group 27 battery this week.  I wanted an AGM battery, but the RV place said they don’t carry AGMs for RVs because it needs a specific kind of charger.

I guess that’s true technically, but I had very good luck using two 6 volt AGMs in the Aliner with a PD 3 stage charger.  I have to get the battery this week for our trip next week.  If anyone reading this has a better suggestion, I’d love to hear it.  We are in a rural area and there aren’t too many battery dealers nearby, so I’m not sure where to look for true deep cycle batteries.  Most people only know about dual purpose marine batteries.  Sure don’t want to pay for shipping on one!

I caulked around the refrigerator vent, outside lights and kitchen vent.  Not a perfect looking job, but I did it with Proflex, and the seals are nice and tight.

In the process of cleaning before and after the caulking, I damaged my PoliGlow finish, so will have to strip and redo a few areas.

I am not fond of going to Florida when it’s hot (and it’s already in the 90’s at Mom’s place), but that’s how it worked out this spring.  We plan to leave on May 6, spend three days with my sister Ann, then move to Mom’s for Mother’s Day and stay there a few days.  Then we want to head somewhere in Central Florida that’s central to Ocala, Orlando and Clermont so it will be easy for friends and family down there to visit us if they want to drop in.

I was thinking Lake Louisa State Park in Clermont would be ideally situated.  But there’s no shade there, so I’ll look for some place a little cooler.  We might end up staying at Salt Springs again as they have full hookups, the icy spring to swim in, and a beautiful campground for $18 a night with our senior pass.

I’m working on trying to regulate the temperature in my refrigerator.  It usually gets up to 65 when days are in the mid to high 90’s.  It looks like it is only cooling 30 degrees below ambient temperature.

I need to take it in and have the refrigerator properly serviced, but the budget is REALLY tight lately, so I am going to try to make it through this trip without it.

I’ll probably take it in to the shop before we head to Mississippi in June.

I love our little Casita so much.  I would so desperately love to fulltime, but it’s not in the cards.  So I escape out there and just soak in the peace and beauty of my own private little retreat at least once a day.

It’s the most perfect little camper in the world!  🙂

Bees, Blossoms and 80 degrees in February

Wasp pollinating fruit tree blossoms

Although honey bees have virtually disappeared from this area, I was very happy to see that the apple, pear and plum tree blossoms were being pollinated by swarms of small wasps, mason bees and a few small bumblebees.    I tried to get photos of them, but they are so small and move so quickly that this fuzzy little guy was the only one I could capture on camera.  So we might not have honey, but at least we will have fruit!

The weather here in north Florida is unbelievable.  It was 80 degrees on my mother’s back porch in the shade today.  It was really hot in the sun!  But ice and snow and cold are still too fresh in my memory for me to complain.

Mom's house

But if it’s this hot now, I wonder what kind of summer we are in for.

Today we visited Daddy’s grave and Mom put new flowers on it.  I forgot to take my camera.  I hope that Dad is aware of how much we love and miss him.

This little tatted star flower needs blocking to straighten out its points.

Our usual camping spot under the big live oak at Mom's place

I’ve done a bit of tatting in the evenings, but not as much as I expected.  I completed Monica Hahn’s star flower pattern from her Christmas Angels book.   I’ve also started over several times on a flowery snowflake pattern that I don’t quite understand.  Maybe I’ll get it on my next attempt.  🙂

Yesterday Ron discovered that the floor under the water heater is even softer than the floor under the shower.  So apparently my original floor fix with the PC Petrifier was worthless, as I obviously didn’t get the leaks fixed.  So when I get back home, I’ll start the job of replacing the floor.

I thought of using marine plywood, but it is so frightfully expensive.  I think I’ll just use regular plywood, but soak it with clear penetrating epoxy sealer.  That should last for years, I hope.

 

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