Hiking Lake Whelchel Trail

Sunday, November 22, 2020

It’s Sunday, so of course we started today with our live stream of our worship service at Lester Memorial.  Great service!  We will be so glad when Covid is history and we can all worship in person but are so glad our church will continue to live stream for those of us who can’t always be there in person.

Of course, we also enjoyed more of our goodies from Sunny’s Donuts for our breakfast today.  Today’s treat was cinnamon rolls.  YUM!  Max also found another hike (we did eat cinnamon rolls) when he was looking for new things to do in Gaffney.  Today’s hike was the Lake Whelchel Trail which loops around the lake that is the water source for Gaffney and the surrounding areas.  The trail also happens to be part of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail that stretches 330 miles from Virginia to Gaffney, SC.  The Patriots used this trail during the Revolutionary War Battle of Kings Mountain. The Lake Welchel portion was 8.5 miles of trail through a mostly wooded area with many ups and downs and roots and rocks.  It was a very peaceful trail that today seemed to be used more by mountain bikers than hikers but we think it is a great hiking trail.  It is scenic forest, similar to much of the north Alabama forests with views of the lake for much of the route.  It took us just under three hours to complete and was a good workout.  We are already making plans to do this hike again next year.  It was another great day!

We Are Rolling Again

Saturday, November 21, 2020

We are on the road again!  We spend the first part of the week getting the houses ready to leave again, all the laundry done and Fred ready for travel.  There were also dental appointments and some shopping to do.  Friday we headed to Gaffney, SC to the Freightliner service center for Fred’s annual maintenance.  We arrived yesterday afternoon and are set up waiting for service Monday.

Today we hiked a Broad River Greenway trail, a calm and peaceful, approximately 5 mile, trail running by the river.  This Greenway is just about a 15 minute drive from the service center and we never knew it was here until Max happened to find it online this morning.  The internet is such a great thing!  It’s been a fun, relaxing day.  Everybody stay safe!

Another Week in Review

Saturday, November 14, 2020

We have been the busy ones this week.  Of course, first things first, we worshiped with our Lester Memorial friends Sunday morning.  We have decided to go back to streaming our services due to the major spike in the Covid cases in our area.

Our leaves are in full color.  Our mountain is so very pretty.  It is also time to do all the fall maintenance items for FRED.  We started on Sunday afternoon – a beautiful day – and washed the roof and applied 303 Protectant.    Monday, we washed the entire rig.  Then we had to wait a couple of days because of rain and more rain.  Then we began waxing in sections.  As of today, we have the entire rig waxed.  Feels good to have that job done.  Now we need to do our tank sanitizing that we also do every 6 months.

Tuesday night we had Boondockers Welcome guests stay with us.  They were a sweet couple with two sons age 8 and 10.  They are circumventing the lower 48 and plan to be back home in Washington state for Christmas.  We visited with them a little – social distancing and masks – and would loved to have shared a meal with them if it had been non-covid times.  Instead we just made them a loaf of blueberry bread for them to enjoy in their motorhome.  They left Wednesday morning heading to Montgomery.

We are thanking God for our new addition to our family, our great niece, Miriam Noel, 5#15oz, born Wednesday.  Of course, she is beautiful.  God is so Good!

Stay safe and healthy.

Oak Mountain State Park

Friday, 11/06/2020

Tuesday when we arrived at Oak Mountain State Park, south of Birmingham, we checked the electricity at our site and found the voltage was too low. We talked with the rangers at the office and found there were a number of sites that were having problems. The power company was supposed to be working on it but of course the had some higher priorities such as schools still without power. Hurricane Zeta caused tremendous damage south of Birmingham last week. The winds were still tropical storm strength when they arrived at Oak Mountain and there were many trees down. (Very unusual for Alabama to suffer from hurricanes 250 miles from the coast.) The park was closed for about a day and a half while they cleared roads. The campground was without power for a couple of days and the park was still without phone service when we arrived Tuesday. The rangers and volunteers were so helpful in trying to find us another site. They were trying to keep us close to Mark and Jo but all those sites were having the low voltage problem. They did the next best thing and provided us a full hookup 50 amp site at the equestrian campground for Tuesday night – while still holding our reserved site for when the power was repaired. The equestrian campground is at the opposite end of the park from our original site. However, about 7:00 Tuesday night while we were enjoying a campfire with Mark and Jo, the power company arrived and made the necessary repairs. We still stayed the night at the equestrian campground because we didn’t want to move after dark. We actually were glad to learn of the equestrian campground because it is about 5 minutes from I-65, south of Birmingham, and with nice pull through sites it would make a great place to overnight for people just passing through.

Wednesday was another beautiful fall day at Oak Mountain State Park and after breakfast we moved back to the main campground where we had a site close to Mark and Jo. The four of us headed out to do some hiking mid-morning. We decided on a trail around the lake and really enjoyed ourselves. The trees and the lake were beautiful and we saw areas of the park we had never visited previously. Mid-afternoon more NOMADS friends, Rita and Dave who live in Birmingham, joined us for a great visit. The 6 of us have worked together in the past and it was again a great time of catching up – of course with social distancing. So much fun!

Mark and Jo pulled out Thursday morning in route to their next project where they will be leaders next period. We spent the day hiking and geocaching, and exploring other areas of the park. Oak Mountain was one of our state parks that we had visited once or twice with friends but had never camped at and never really explored. The staff was amazing and the park beautiful with many amenities. We really enjoyed our stay and plan to return.