Tag Archives: Greensboro

At last, an update

Dear readers, I’m sorry it’s been so long since I posted. This pandemic has thrown a wrench into my psyche, I think. There has been so much uncertainty about our travels and general life — it’s sort of sucked a lot of the enthusiasm out of me.

So, now to catch you up!  When last I posted, we had just fetched the bus from its parking spot in Greensboro, NC.  I didn’t bother to post another campground review for Jones Station RV Park, because nothing had changed from our stay last fall.

Altogether, we hunkered down in our Gatlinburg cabin for about six weeks, from Easter time to late May. We used the time to accomplish some desired upgrades to our cabin including re-staining the exterior, installing window tint film on the cathedral windows in the main living space (cuts down on heat) and installing a new gas grill on the deck. It WAS nice to live in an actual house for a while, but it was so strange to be in a tourist town with nothing open and nobody there.

In the last couple of weeks of our stay, the Great Smoky Mountains National park and some local shops and restaurants FINALLY partially re-opened. My sister and her husband joined us for a few days and we enjoyed some hiking, shopping and social time. That part was wonderful!

Our Northeast tour itinerary had us checking into Normandy Farms, near Boston, on May 22. We checked with the park, and because our month-long stay was considered “long term”, we were permitted to stay. Since we had renters booked to come and our RV booking in Pigeon Forge was up, we decided to take the plunge and re-join our planned northeast loop.

We took a leisurely 3 days to travel the 1000 or so miles, staying in rest stops along the way. We attempted to park overnight at a casino en route, but we were politely kicked out! Normally, overnight parking is allowed, but since the casino was Covid-closed, no one was permitted on property. Bummer.

Other than that minor glitch, our travels were uneventful and we arrived at Normandy Farms on schedule, ready to explore the Boston area (as much as possible).

to be continued ……

RV itinerary vs. Covid

c0481846-wuhan_novel_coronavirus_illustration-splIn a day of travel we transitioned from mid-Summer into early Spring. Central Florida temperatures were already reaching the steamy 90’s when we left for Jones Station RV park near Greensboro, NC.  (As mentioned previously, we cancelled our first planned Northeast tour stop in Hilton Head Island, to head directly here for a month.) The weather is glorious with brisk nights and sunny warm days. Bushes are in colorful bloom and trees are clothed in young bright-green leaves.

A simple change of scenery has provided us a mental and emotional boost. Most everything was closed down in Central Florida, including parks and trails. Here, recreation areas are mostly open for hiking and biking, including our favorite trail system. Truth be told, as much as I loved our wintering spot, even before the virus shut-down we were starting to get hitch-itch. A break into routine was welcome, but we were more than ready to begin traveling again.

We were able to (sort of) visit Sean and Marissa. We had a package to pick up from their place (and had some things to give them), so we headed over there last Sunday afternoon. Jeff and Sean saddled up to hit the nearby mountain bike trails while I walked the greenway. Since they are at a much higher risk for virus exposure than us, we maintained the proper “social distancing”. We didn’t go into their apartment. We chatted outside in the parking lot for a bit, separated by the requisite 6 feet or more. It was so sad not to be able to give my kids a hug and really spend time with them.

This isn’t a bad place to self-isolate. We’re in a small, quiet campground in a rural area. Folks here are friendly enough, but maintaining their distance. The campground office is closed to campers — all interactions are by telephone. Many campgrounds have also closed all amenities, but fortunately this bath house remains open. (Our currently-malfunctioning shower only provides a lukewarm trickle, OK in a pinch, but not desirable to rely on.) We endeavor to get out every day into nature to hike or bike. The rest of the time is spent doing bus chores, working, crafting, and keeping up with the news coverage. Trips to the store are few and we are careful. I even sewed cloth face coverings to have handy.

We are truly fortunate. We are healthy, with no “underlying health conditions”. Our financial situation is unaffected by the virus disruption. We can self isolate, hopefully avoiding Covid-19 infection until either an effective treatment or a vaccine is available. We can flex our travel plans as the situation warrants, and can afford to go to any RV park with availability. At worst, we are mildly inconvenienced. We are some of the lucky ones.

Looking ahead, we’ve had to make further adjustments to our itinerary. Colonial Williamsburg is closed, so no reason to go there. The RV park near Washington DC is not accepting new check-ins. Our current RV park is fully booked, so we can’t stay here. After researching a variety of options, we identified and reserved a site at an RV park in Pigeon Forge. That will buy us 3 more weeks in familiar territory as we wait out the various “stay at home” orders. Hopefully after that we can rejoin our scheduled itinerary already in progress.

If not, we’ll figure something else out.

Stay well, my friends!


008I am sooooo behind in blogging!! Time has simply gotten away from me, but I’ll do my best to catch you up!

After departing the Hendersonville area, we traversed to a spot between Greensboro and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. Our campground was located about 45 minutes from Sean’s place in Greensboro, a bit farther than we would have liked, but it was the only suitable place for us. I’ll do a full campground review later.

Our main purpose for being there was really just to be able to spend time with Sean and Marissa. The weekends were the only time they were free, but we made the most of the time we had! We rode bicycles along the local greenway, caught a movie, enjoyed meals together, and even fit in a Broadway show (Aladdin) at the Durham Center for the Performing Arts. (The show was highly entertaining!) One Saturday we travelled to nearby Pilot Mountain State Park to hike and watch Sean show off his (impressive) rock climbing skills.

It was fantastic to see how they are settling into their new home. Sean’s rock climbing gym is 10 minutes away, and some of the best climbing in the East US is within an hour or so. A beautiful bicycle greenway literally travels through their apartment complex, providing immediate access to a variety of mountain biking trails. His new job is going well. Marissa’s medical residency program is extremely demanding, but she takes advantage of the recreational opportunities as her schedule permits. All you want as a parent is to see your children happy and successful. It’s all good!

During the weekdays, we explored the area. We discovered a little gem of a park: George and Julia Brumley Family Nature Preserve. The park includes a network of flowy mountain biking, hiking, and multi-use trails that worked perfectly for our regular work-outs. As the weather cooled during our month-long stay, we got just a taste of chilly fall weather and changing leaves.

During our stay, we also had plenty of time to catch up on chores such as washing the bus, sanitizing our fresh water tanks, changing water filters, and such. It is a pleasant area, but it’s not a particularly exciting place to visit. If it weren’t for Sean and Marissa living there, it would not have been on our radar!

The only fly in the ointment, literally, were those darned stinkbugs! As we prepared to pack up and leave Greensboro, we pulled in one of our slides to find dozens of those pesky critters imbedded in one of the slide seals! We likely picked up the infestation at our Hendersonville location and carried them unknowingly to Greensboro. We squished all we could find, cleaned out the seal, and went on our way, knowing that there were likely plenty that we had missed. After reaching Florida, we went on an intensive bug hunt, through basement and cabinets, high and low, seeking and destroying. Nearly a month later, we still see an occasional stinkbug emerge from some unknown crevice. It’s rare though, so — I think — we’ve got a handle on the little stinkers.