Friday, September 30, 2022

Georgia, Georgia 🎶

The whole day through
This old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind...🎶

Was Ray Charles talking about the state of Georgia or a lady?  Well, I'm referring to both.

On Weds. we were in Columbia, S. C., preparing to head towards Myrtle Beach on Sat.  As you can see on the map, we were projected to be in the center of the aftermath of Ian. After hurricane Ian left Florida, went out to sea, it was projected to land again in the Carolinas and carry high winds inward.

On Weds. the forecast for Hurricane Ian shows the dark blue dot in the center as Columbia, S. C. where we were.

We decided to pick up and head west into Georgia and see what happened. No need to be sitting in an RV if the projected winds hit 50. Pretty sure we had winds that high in Maine a couple of years ago but they also had trees come down with one landing on someone's RV. Pat found a campground 3 hours west of us on Lake Oconee and Thurs. morning we left for Parks Ferry Campground in Georgia.

Seems to be a big campground. Thurs. night there were 7 camped here and tonight even fewer.

Lake Oconee

We had a pull-thru spot so no need to unhook the car. I'm always looking for interesting things to do at our stops. Well, something I'll share next time came up and we needed groceries. Searching for grocery stores the Uncle Remus Museum popped up and since the car had to be unhooked anyway, we went to the museum. At the museum we found Georgia, not the state, but the lady. Georgia Smith was our docent today. She said she is nosy (I think just curious), she had a great sense of humor, and basicly seemed like your own grandma. 

The museum was constructed with 3 small slave homes and a wing from a plantation house. Georgia took us to the back, the plantation wing, and told us to grab a chair and sit around the table (pretend table that is). She reminded us to keep our elbows off! Not only did we learn about the author of the Uncle Remus folktales, Joel Chandler Harris, but we learned first hand about life in the 1940's when there was still segregation between Blacks and Whites.

I actually have an Uncle Remus book and had some background about the stories, but I still thought the book might be considered racist or offend some people. Georgia set me straight. She said people shouldn't be offended by most things, history is important and needs to be remembered--the good as well as the bad. In this case Harris' stories, put in writing in 1881, were the stories told by African American families from generation to generation. Because many slaves couldn't read or write Harris'stories were maybe the first time these folktales were put in writing.

Georgia graduated from High School in 1958 and said she only had black teachers until she went to college. Raised by her Grandma, who lived to be 110, she has lived in Eatonton, GA her entire life. Georgia had 6 children and was very proud that 3 were in the service. As a child she said every family had a story teller. In hers it was her Grandma. Children, Black and White, would gather round to hear these stories and the morals they held. By the way, in Eatonton at least, Georgia said that you do not refer to "animals" in the Uncle Remus stories they are "critters."

Br'er Terrapin

Br'er Bear and Br'er Fox

Pictures were not allowed inside the museum. Song of the South was a Disney movie based on the Uncle Remus stories and the ingenious critter Brer Rabbit. Hanging on one wall in the museum were a couple of still life's from the movie, both signed and donated by Walt Disney. The Uncle Remus stories were translated into 27 languages and they had several in a display case. The museum, though not large, could have captivated us for hours with its artifacts.

We were so fortunate to have met Georgia today. It's not often you meet someone who has an impact on your life, as she did mine. Just like every grandma she asked for a hug as we left! Oh, and if we were in town Sunday, she invited us to her church.

Eatonton, population near 6,300, is the only town in Putnam County Georgia. It has a huge county courthouse.

Uncle Remus and critters sitting on a bench at the Putnam County Courthouse. 

An audio recording at the Courthouse by Georgia, according to her, reading one of her favorite Uncle Remus stories, How Br'er Rabbit Lost his Tail.

On our way back to the campground from Eatonton you could see clouds from Hurricane Ian.

Great food

Where are the Piepers now? Lake Oconee, GA

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Our thoughts are with the people affected by Hurricanr Ian!

A beautiful sunset at Dreher Island State Park.
On Sunday we arrived at Freightliner Custom Chassis Service Center in Gaffney South Carolina. Nearby is the factory where they make RV chassis. Many of the service employees have worked here for many years and many started in the factory, so they know their stuff. Ryan started in 2003 in the factory and has been at the Service Center since 2014. 

We met a lot of other RVers who were there for service and heard nothing but praise for the work done here. One had been coming here for 20 years and another 15 years. Some travel across the U.S. each year to come here.  

At Thor we meet a lot of Palazzo owners and those who own other Thor RVs. The chassis made here is used on most diesel RVs so we met a wider RV group. Always fun to talk with other RVers. 

Liemon was scheduled for his annual service Mon. morning.  We had him back by 1:00. They completed a very thorough annual service, 2 recalls and a minor repair. We were impressed!

Hated to skip here.

Originally we were going to the Biltmore Mansion but plans changed when we decided to go to Freightliner. Pat said we could still stop on Sunday but with the price of tickets I wanted to devote an entire day.  We'll go back!

This is only part of the parking lot at Freightliner.  They only had 6 bays but I think most everyone with an appt. got their work completed.

The Peachoid water tower in Gaffney  is the world's largest peach.

They had a large outlet with a disappointing small number of stores left. 

A decisive battle of the Revolutionary War. Before the battle the area was occupied with cow pastures.

They are restoring the surrounding fields to their natural state. 

Since we had already gone maybe 1/4 of a mile in 30 mins. Tuesday,  the sign seemed a little late.

We exited here for an alternate route instead of the two hour delay. In the RV Pat relies on Waze on his phone and a Garmin GPS. The Garmin is made for RVs and hopefully tells us if there is a low overpass, a bridge that we would weigh too much for, or other obstacles. When needed I use my phone for maps.

Lots of Pampus grass around here. 

Tuesday took us here, originally for 4 nights. Then came hurricane Ian. It is expected to be a tropical storm when it gets here Fri. night. With high winds we're going to go ahead and move 2 hours west towards Atlanta (the wrong way).

As we left Gaffney we heard a terrible flapping noise.  Window was flapping.  Thankful for duct tape.

Pat is holding the window that separated from the opener/closer (sure there is a technical name) mechanism. It's happened with other windows and my job is to hold on to the window until Pat can stop so it doesn't break off.

Where are the Piepers now? Dreher Island State Park, Prosperity, South Carolina.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Pick-up, set-up, pick-up, set-up....

Ottumwa, IA 95°, Indianapolis maybe 70° -- what a change! Indianapolis Thurs. night was just plain cold. 

We saw at least 3 different hummingbirds at my mother-in-law's feeder.

We are headed straight to Gaffney, SC. Straight there for us, of course, means 4 nights at around 200 miles a day.

Night 1: Kamp Komfort, Carlock, IL

Night 2: Lake Haven, Indianapolis, IN

Bonfire Street ran perpendicular to Smores Lane.

We couldn't have stayed on a better named street!

Night 3: Wildside Winery, Versailles, IL

A wonderful spot to spend the night! Our Harvest Host for the night, and our winery hostess and owner, Elisha Holt, was so welcoming.  Elisha bought the winery in 2020.  Great service and over 40 different variety of wine make it a great place to visit.

Beautiful cable-stayed Lewis and Clark Bridge on I-65 crossing the Ohio River into Kentucky.

Following the bridge was the Drumanard Tunnel constructed to take I-65 under the historic Drumanard estate.

Built in 1929 was the 47 acre  wooded Drumanard Estate. The state bought the property for 8.3 million and fought the 1983 Federal Historic status, which would have let them demolish the property and build a bridge and approach. Hmmm, what did it end up costing to bore below and build the tunnels?

Kentucky: horses and Bourbon

Thank you to our Harvest Host Thurs. night.

You can barely see the top of our RV on the right.

Some wines are bourbon barrel aged.

We chose the double gold medal winner.

Sachem Butterfly

Cabbage White Butterfly

Night 4: Crazy Bastard Brewing West, Knoxville, TN

Parking was easy in and out in a paved parking lot. Ended up with 5 of us staying there over night. I can't drink carbonated beverages and Pat passed on the beer but the pizza, Hole in the Wall Pizza, was great. Name? You ordered the pizza at the bar amd they literally passed it out to you from a whole in the wall.

Night 5: Sunday we arrived at our destination, Gaffney, South Carolina. Stay tuned for our adventures there, including one that required duct tape.

Where are the Piepers now? Dreher Island State Park, Prosperity S. C.