Monday, September 25, 2023

Gaffney is known as the "Peach Capital" of South Carolina.

Pat's enjoying his new hat. 
It's certainly been a conversation starter. And, no, we don't have a Big Ass Fan in the RV.

Plenty of time to check out the Gaffney, SC area! The RV checked out OK Friday but it's time for new tires, 6 big tires, $$$! Motor home tires don't wear out, as in the tread looks fine. They do age however, crack and such. Generally they need to be replaced every 5-7 chassis years. Our chassis was built in 2017.  Actually, ours have not started to crack but Pat noticed a wear problem in the center of one tire. The bigger problem is they don't know why that happened but they are guessing it's from the old shocks that we had replaced last year. We found a place with tires but they don't put them on, and Freightliner who doesn't sell tires but puts them on, worked us in today (Mon.). They are a great company and very accommodating. No wonder people, including us, drive from all over the country to come here each year.

With electricity provided by Freightliner, we have stayed in their lot since Thurs. Tonight the lot is almost full with 20+ RV's. It's not real hot, 80's, but humid. With a gathering of RV's it's usually a social event, but tonight everyone's inside with their air-conditioners running.

Breakfast out isn't something we often do but when they take our RV in at 7 a.m. we splurge.

And splurge I did! Pat gave me a hard time for getting a dessert crepe on top of my pancakes. Rightly so too, as my stomach was not happy afterwards. 

My nightly walk ended with a good view of Gaffney's water tower. This was the backside of the peach.

These "synchronized" geese were swimming across the pond and when they saw me they all turned in unison. 

With a weekend to kill we explored a little. The Furnace Place Historic Site near Gaffney was tricky to find. Google took us down a "closed" road. Reading the reviews a lot of people gave up at that point, but not Pat. He went around and found a way in from the other side. 

This site is a mystery. There was a plaque with the site name but I couldn't find any other information about it, unless I was willing to subscribe to a newspaper. The area was known for it's iron furnaces so that's a good guess. The water that ran the water wheel to power the furnace runs into a creek now, but used to be diverted to run back behind the wheel. 

This was the bridge behind the waterfall that was "out" according to the sign blocking the road on the other side. Google wanted us to go that way, however, and was pretty insistent that we cross the bridge from this side too to go back!

"Don't be a Bob!" In the Smokey Mountains we saw that sign everywhere proclaiming the fine Bob, and anyone else, faced for graffiti. This graffitti was added just the day before. 

Where are the Piepers now? Gaffney, SC

Thursday, September 21, 2023

I highly recommend Gia's Italian Kitchen!

Last Saturday we had our second remote "cooking experience" with Gia's Italian Kitchen. We connected remotely with Kelley Cole, owner of Gia's Italian Kitchen, and each of our 3 sons and their families. Kelley is fantastic! She gave us choices for our menu. A grocery list, recipes, and a preparation/cooking schedule were provided to each of us prior to Sat. Kelley prepped and cooked right along with us. Questions could be asked ahead or live. A fun way to spend time together and the food was delicious!

Whether you are separated by miles like us, or are sharing one kitchen, wouldn't that be fun? And it makes a great Christmas gift! Check out the web page above and see what Kelley has to offer. You'll also find some great recipes and free tutorials.

On top we are on the left, Kelley in the middle and Josh, Zia, and Samira on the right. On the bottom Chris is on the left, Toni, Clara, Alexa, Lilah, Emma, and Eric on the right. Picture courtesy of Gia's Italian Kitchen.

On the menu: Roasted Vegetarian Lasagna, Butternut Squash with Maple Walnut Pesto, and Italian Lemon Apple Cake.

No dishwasher for us! Also just a microwave convection oven but we did it. Our biggest issue? Internet. We were on the Blue Ridge Parkway in a National Forest with basicly no internet or cell service. The campground had wifi but it wouldn't have supported a Zoom call. Fortunately, we could pay extra for better internet which got us through. 

I actually forgot to take pictures! Toni made her Italian Apple Lemon cake into cute cupcakes. The cake was unbelievable!

We arrived in Gaffney, SC today (Thurs.) for Liemon's annual and 5-year service. Can't possibly have been that long! We can stay in their lot and they provide free electric. 

Quite a line-up waiting for Friday's service appointment. 

Wednesday was our final full day at Spacious Skies RV Resort and Campground. We had been there a full week. Weekly rates you often pay for 6 days and get one free, monthly rates you often pay for 3 weeks and get a week free. We really liked it here. I will really miss it, but I won't miss walking up all of those hills!

Multi-tiered Linville Falls, with a 90 foot drop over the Linville Gorge, is probably the most famous waterfall on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was amazing! The steep walled Gorge is known as the "Grand Canyon of the Southern Appalachians." The 1.6 mile trail had four overlooks.

The first photo at the top of our blog is the lower Linville falls and this is the upper falls

Below this rock the water from the upper falls actually flows down behind rock to the lower falls  almost making it look like they aren't connected. 

If you zoom in to the left of both arrows you can almost see the upper falls.

Looking down river from the falls.

What is it? Old storage? An entrance of some kind?

Considering it's September we saw so many beautiful flowers.

Spotted touch-me-not were my favorite. 

This is not my picture. While we were in the area I thought it would be fun to see the views from Grandfather Mountain's Linville Peak (elevation 5,305 feet) from the mile-high pedestrian swinging bridge. America's tallest pedestrian suspension bridge by the way.  A private entity we discovered, with a $24 per person fee to drive up and see it, a nature center, trails and restaurants. Pat looked at me and I vetoed it. Pat asked if it came with a lobster dinner, lol.

Tuesday we took a final hike in our campground to see a two-tiered waterfall. 

We must have walked close to this all week and missed it. There wasn't an age limit but it said not to jump with back problems so I figured I best not, but I was really tempted.
Where are the Piepers now? Gaffney, SC  

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Furnace??? Heater??? 🍂

Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina.

It's hard to believe but after months of 100° temperatures we are experiencing fall. On the Blue Ridge Parkway we have been having low 70's during the day and 50's at night. We tried the furnace early Monday morning to take the chill off. After all of the driving and rough roads you can never be sure anything will work but it did. Since electric is free with our site I notice Pat has the heater on this morning (Tues).

Had to break out my new slippers this past week. I miss Kriikit terribly but the dog smell in my old slippers was just too much and NOTHING would get rid of it

Beautiful and remote campground. Sites are huge, isolated, and come with a fire ring and table. Also, a few bugs.🦟🙃 Mosquitos don't bother Pat much but I offer them a feast!

"Careers" on a rainy, dreary Sunday. This is the 1965 version, I think, where $500 yearly tution was not unheard of for a state college. This game has been well used and the print is getting just a little hard to read. 

Late afternoon the sun unexpectedly came out. 

We usually see a fisherman or two on the fishing side. 

We've seen a few hearty kids swimming, or at least standing, on the platform with swim suits!

A separate koi, or maybe goldfish, pond.

Maybe in the next month or so we'll get some fall colors? I hope so! We're back to "living" now though. A lot of touristy stuff over the summer but more day-to-day stuff now as we get ready for our wintering months. We are actually back to cooking. In the heat the last thing you want to do is compete with the a/c, so simpler meals were the norm. In the last two weeks we've had Meditteranian bean soup, lasagna, pot roast followed by beef and noodles, apple crisp and Tuesday is a "stay-at- home" day with chores, Pat's BBQ ribs--yum, and oatmeal cookies!

Monday we took a strenuous hike, fortunately only 3 miles, from our campground to a waterfall. The path was well worn but it still felt like walking through a jungle. It was one of the most rugged trails we've been on, with very long, steep inclines. Despite the large quantity of tree roots, uneven, and steep terrain, I managed to NOT fall at all. I think I may have torn something in my knee last week when I fell so I tried really hard to go slow and concentrate. We went clockwise on the loop. When we got to the end there was a sign, "Enter at your own risk, bees." Well, they could have posted it at both ends! Fortunately we weren't bothered by any, but pretty sure I heard some. 


According to Google this could be a Lobster Mushroom.

We hope you are moving into a beautiful fall season!

Where are the Piepers now? nestled in the Pisgah National Forest at Spacious Skies RV Resort and Campground, Bear Den, on the Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina