Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Calhoun A-OK Campground - Calhoun, Georgia


Yep, there is that distinctive old KOA A-Frame building.

In most of these buildings one can find bathrooms, laundry room, the office, and sometimes even some food.  A swimming pool is typically close by.

As the parks get older, and new owners take over, the KOA name goes away.  In this case, as in a few others I have seen, they change the name to A-OK, or "A OK", or even A.O.K.   I guess KOA should have registered its reversed three letter trademark.  (AOK is KOA backwards).

I have seen these older KOAs have fishing ponds too...this one is right at the entrance, and I did see a couple of people fishing earlier.

When we pulled into our campsite yesterday we knew it would only be for less than 20 hours.  Sure enough, at 9 am the people in our new spot had moved on, so we moved over even before we had our coffee.  Some how or another, the Microwave-Convection oven went missing from the front seat of the HHR where I put it last night...I guess that quick stop by the dumpster did the trick.  The 5th wheel came in next to us around 3 pm.  They have a couple of dogs, and I've seen two teenagers too, but I am not sure they all came in the truck that pulled the 5th wheel...the teens might be staying in a different RV or even a cabin.

Yesterday we were parked next to this tree with the blue sign on it.  I like where we are much better, even though Indy is hyper glued to the comings and goings of our new neighbors due to the two dogs.

One thing this park has that I have not seen in other parks is a (or some) Peacocks.  A Peacock is a male, a Peahen is a female...I have only seen a Peacock.  Saw it yesterday when I did a quick look around to see our new spot, and check out where the dumpster was.  I "think" the microwave would have ended up in the dumpster yesterday, but the Peacock was protecting it.  I told Marcia I would get a picture of it with it feathers up ... and today I did.

What a pretty bird!


One thing about this older park is that many of the sites are not very level.  The owner, according to the young lady who checked us in and brought the cookies yesterday, has only had the park for 18 months or so.  This motorhome has both of its front tires up off the ground to level it out.

This area above is at the back of the park, and it looks fairly new.

There's around 70 RV sites, some tents sites, and 8 cabins.  It is pretty much full except for tents and cabins.

And I have no idea what's up with this one below...probably rented out as a cabin now.

As I said yesterday, the only damage the falling microwave did was it busted our kitchen faucet.  After much research, I discovered that the faucet is a Delta, which is a great faucet, but it is hard to find parts for sometimes.  With a lifetime guarantee on their stuff, who wants to stock Delta parts?

Would you believe that Home Depot has OUR sprayer on their website, AND, they are shipping one to us (already confirmed on the shipping by FedEx) and it will be in the Calhoun Home Depot on July 1st.  See the bottom of the sprayer above...it busted right near the top black seal...but you can't get that part, you have the buy the entire sprayer, with a hose that we also don't need.  We will just disconnect the hose, and connect the new sprayer to the existing hose...all will be well...except for the $125 bill to get the sprayer.  NOW we know why Delta has a lifetime warranty!


Monday, June 28, 2021

Forgot to Schedule Campsite for 4th -- Fireworks Come Early


Woke up last night with that 'cold sweat', the one you have when you KNOW you did something wrong...in this case, it is what you DIDN'T do that is the problem.  It is Monday morning (although 1 am in the morning) and in just seven days it will be the 4th of July.  The 4th is one of the BIG campground crushers...when EVERYONE and their Mother goes Camping for how many days as they can get away with.  In this case, it falls on Sunday, so either Friday or Monday are part of the weekend, and in some cases, BOTH days...take 3 days vacation and you can get NINE days off in a row.  I spent over 2 hours trying to find a campground with openings over he weekend along our route...to no avail.  More on that in a minute.

Marcia got to enjoy a 2 1/2 hour, uninterrupted visit with her good friend of nearly 60 years, Gerry (picture above was from 2014).  Gerry lives with her daughter and son-in-law, and her granddaughter, her husband, and their new baby boy (about 3 months old).  They all live in a very large house, with the younger generation having the entire upper floor to themselves, and with Gerry having a portion of the lower area to herself.  Living outside Atlanta now, we made it a point to travel over to their house.  I stayed with Indy in the motorhome trying to find a place to stay over the 4th.  GRRRR....no luck.

We left around 2, and headed to Calhoun Georgia where we had a one night's stay at an older KOA (one that looks and feels much better than the one we were at last night, and they DON'T have the gall to call it a 'Resort' either.  As we pulled onto I-285 from I-85 there were these two very large potholes...ones I could not miss...and there was a BAM and a BAM and KABOOM!  Above you see what is left of our Microwave Convection Oven. One of the mounting screws broke, the other pulled out from the Microwave, and it all came tumbling down on top of our stove and countertop and faucet.  The only thing broke, besides the Oven was the faucet....and our shorts.  YES, scared the living daylights out of us...that's for sure.

I will provide pictures of the Campground in my next blog because, tomorrow morning we move to another spot in the campground and can stay for another six days!  HALLELUJAH!  They had ONE spot open (but it was taken for tonight only), and we were there to grab it.  And LOOK, this 'NON-RESORT' brought us some cookies for checking in....how nice that was, although we are both on a non-sugar diet...perhaps I can lure someone to help me toss that heavy microwave convection oven into the trash barrel for a couple of cookies.  😉

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Southern Trails RV 'Resort' (lol) - Unadilla, Georgia


We were looking for a spot to stop for two nights, within a couple hours drive of Marcia's life-long (nearly 60 years now) friend's house where she lives with extended family.  More on that tomorrow or the next blog I do...

Don't know WHY some of these parks call themselves "RESORTS", and this one is a prime example of it.  It is an older RV park, with little to no comforts one would find at a true RV Resort.

It is a former KOA, one from the 60's by the looks of the building...when you see an A-Frame like this in a RV Park, it is an old KOA.

The sites are on gravel which has grass growing up in the gravel.  They advertise $20 a night on a sign along the freeway, but as a Passport America park, it is only $18...unless you want sewer and 50 amp.  We only need 30 amp, but those sites are in the back and the WiFi is not strong enough to give us anything we can use.  Our Verizon Aircard picks up one to three bars, but in reality it is not giving us anything we can use...like 1/10th of a meg which is like the old dial-up Internet from when I was a kid...I mean adult, but it seems so long ago it seems like I was a kid...and that is only 25 some odd years ago!  Bottom line, we moved into a 50 amp area closer to the A-Frame where the WiFi beams out from (no extra antennas throughout the park either), at a price of $25 per night...cash.  Still, it has provided us a good night sleep, ability to sleep in for the first time in weeks, and I haven't even un-hooked the car.

There is ample grass for Indy to run around in.  Above she is on the scent of something.  Last night I tried twice to get her to do her nightly business...to no avail.  But the 4:30 am wake up call did its trick, it only took her a few seconds to unload, out on the grass.  So far, no messes in the motorhome, outside of what we call puppy pee...where she is so excited she drips just a small amount as I try to hook her up to her leash, or we come home from a dinner out.  She is getting better and better at not getting so excited.

After a trip outside she takes a nap under Marcia's open recliner.  We have always worried about forgetting that she is there, so I asked Marcia to slowly put her recliner down, and sure enough, Indy got right out of the way, and ...

...up on Marcia's lap to get some loving.  

We have three weeks to get up to the Cleveland area, and I have been plotting out a relaxing route through Northwest Georgia, Central Tennessee and Kentucky.   

PS: The traffic headed north out of Florida was absolutely terrible.  People driving like maniacs, fighting to get into truck stops for food and fuel, no accidents, no road construction, just stupid drivers.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Good Family Time, Indy Was a HIT, New Toilet

This post won't have many pictures, but just a short recap of our four days/nights at Orange City Florida.

Marcia's brother Dean and his wife Caryl live in Deland, and the Orange City Rv Resort is a short, easy 5 miles away.  We had breakfast at their house on Wednesday, then went out to eat at Texas Roadhouse that night (and the restaurant was BUSY...a good thing!).  Thursday we had breakfast at their house where I made pancakes with Carbquik (topped with Hungry Jack Sugar Free Syrup with some berries too), eggs and bacon...still a bit 'beat' from the past week so we stayed in Thursday night.  Friday we had dinner with Caryl and Dean making Shrimp Fajitas, not very spicy since Marcia can't have spicy food for another few weeks due to her Dental Procedures a week ago.  Indy was with us each time we visited the house, and we took her Chew Stick to keep her entertained...and she had a good time.  After breakfast Thursday we watched an old movie, Bringing Up Baby, with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn.  Dean watched Indy watching the movie more than watching the movie itself (but I think he has watched it so many times he has it all memorized!).  Anyway, in the movie there is a Dog and a couple of Leopards, and when the 'nice' Leopard played with the Dog, Indy went NUTS!  Dean got a kick out it all, and commented that he had never seen a dog (Indy) so entranced with watching TV.

Just before we left Holiday, our toilet broke...you push down the floor pedal and nothing happens.  Take a stick and you can move the ball, flushing it, but this is something we HAD to fix.  Put in an order on Sunday having it shipped to Dean and Caryl's house.  It came today and I took it back (leaving Marcia and Indy at their house) and got it installed in under an hour. This new Dometic Low Profile ReVolution 321 looks like a better toilet, keeping the goo away from moving parts yet still has the easy-to-clean toilet seal.  Time will only tell...

Saturday we are driving up into Georgia, about 300 miles.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Off to a Good Start, Orange City Florida


This is the start of our tenth straight year of traveling for 6-9 months each year.  Normally by now we would be in either California or along the coast of south-western Oregon.  But this year includes a wedding in Cleveland in late July.  Took a week to load up the motorhome, clean up the condo, get a tooth pulled for Marcia, and get up-to-date shots for Indy.  As for me, well I did all the work while those two had all the fun!  (OUCH!  Marcia just hit me in the arm...forgot just how close she is to my computer inside this here motorhome....LOL)

We got up by 7:30, and we were on the road by 9:00 and by 2:00 we were setup and tired as all could be.  Having slept in the motorhome since Saturday, it gave us a few days to be sure we had everything (and we found a couple things we forgot, and a couple things that went back).  For the first time, the condo is super clean...complete scrub down of the fridge, all of the floors clean and mopped, toilets scrubbed, shower scrubbed and bleached...it will be super nice to come home to a clean house, assuming no hurricanes take it out.

The pictures above and below are of the Orange City RV Resort, 5 miles from Marcia's brother Dean and wife Caryl's house.  Originally we were going to stay for two nights, but there is one more delivery we just have to have...and we hope it will be in by Friday.  Lucky for me I did not realize this was a Passport America park when I made the reservation on-line...so extending to four nights did not cost a thing.  

Like many of these Florida 'resorts', this park is made up of many mobile homes, many 5th wheels and trailers, some which stand empty until winter when the snowbirds come down, and this time of year, many empty spaces.  The park is located between Orlando and Daytona Beach, and with the Passport America price, it comes out to roughly $22 per night.  Not bad at all.  But to call it a 'resort' just because it has a nice pool, rec-center, exercise room ... well, it is a park with many amenities, including these older looking bathrooms / laundry areas.

But the worse thing is this dog park...as they call it on the map.  At first it looks ok, white fence around it...until you realize the white fence is protecting an irrigation pond, and the park is that bit of grass you see in front of the fence.

Around 4:30 the skies opened up, lightening and thunder all around, and we got a good Florida summer drenching...dropping the temps down from 90+ to a cool lower 70's.  It was the first time we have been able to turn off the A/C, open up windows, and enjoy some fresh air.  Looks like we might have this 'summer weather' for the next few days.

So far I like our new GUTA Tire Pressure Monitoring System.  It was easy to program, all of the sensors registered without needing the extender antenna, and it caught the mistake that the oil changing center made when they were suppose to top off each of the tires...but one they let out 10+ pounds.  Thank goodness I found a self fill tire filler less than a mile down the road...but it could only increase it to 70 pounds and not the 78 that I want it to be.

Secondly, we love our new bed topper, it is absolutely wonderful.  Might have to get one for our California King bed at the condo.

Finally, we will have to save Indy a space behind the driver's seat and the wall of the slide-out.  Typically we carry a few gallons of spring water and some sparkling waters.  Her little bed can fit back there if we move the sparkling waters...so that's what we will do.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Getting Ready to Leave for Six Months


With my youngest son's wedding in late July in Cleveland, we have hung around HOT and HUMID Florida a bit longer than "I" like.  Tuesday I took the motorhome out of storage, got the oil changed and tires leveled out with air (except for short local drives it has sat since October), and parked in the Holiday Travel Park nearby.  In fact, it is just under a mile driving, and a half of a mile as the crow flies.  It is very convenient for cleaning and packing.  We figured we would move in on Monday, and head for DeLand to visit Marcia's brother Dean and wife Caryl on Tuesday.  Yesterday morning (like around 4 am) I told Marcia that we might want to consider moving in on Friday or Saturday night making it easier to clean the Condo and not have all our stuff split between two locations.  So Thursday we cleaned a bit more, moved the food and other things in, and planned on moving our clothes and toiletries today...BUT...

Someone (not me or Indy) had a tooth that was hurting like heck.  At 4 pm Aspen Dental said they could see Marcia at 7 pm, and today they did a deep cleaning and pulled her tooth, which previously had a root canal, where one of the roots had broken off from the tooth causing pain related to infection setting in.  Could not believe we could get all that done within 18 hours of contacting them.  Of course, could not believe the price either, but that is life...just used Uncle Joe's stimulus money for that one!

Another way we have spent our Stimulus Money was getting a new Tire Pressure Monitoring System.  Our old one was having problems the past couple of years, and after some research I decided on this GUTA System with 12 sensor caps...we only need 10, so this gives us 2 extras.  So far I like how this system is programed, and it comes with an extender antenna if needed...we probably don't need it.  The sensor caps are a bit smaller than our current ones, and none of these are pass-through, so to add air I will need to take each one off like I did with the car.  The battery on the monitor lasts for 10-14 days, with some people reporting even up to few weeks...and you don't have to have it plugged in all the time like our previous one.

Another easy fix was replacing this black tank flush intake valve.  Wish all fixes were this easy...

Unfortunately, it was time to replace the duckbills on our Vacuflush toilet system, and found that the bellows needed replacing too.  Of all the motorhome jobs I have done, messing (no pun intended) with this toilet system is the worse.  Thought I lined up a repair man to do it, my legs are not what they use to be and my arms are big to work in this confined area...but it ended up that the repair guys fell through, and I did get it done.  All I can say is YUCK!  (I wrote in detail about doing this job back in 2018, just click here)

Indy has enjoyed our many weekly trips over to the Doggie Park...until the weather got so hot and humid this past 10+ days.  (Highs in low 90's, Lows in upper 70's, humidity in the thousands range!)  On this day she was one of 14 dogs in the small dog park area...by the time I took this picture all but 3 dogs had left.  She has been the only dog at the park a number of times, and that just is not fun for her.

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was on last weekend, and she was GLUED to the screen, sitting on my lap just to keep her from attacking the screen when they trotted around the stadium.  We were pulling for this Westie...but Wasabi the Pekingese won best of show.  Indy really enjoyed it, but we did have to take a five minute time out at first because she was just too excited by it all.

On Monday Indy gets her three year rabies vaccine shot and three year license...Tuesday we head out.