Friday, July 27, 2012

Heading Home...Heavy Sigh

Well, my week of SplashT@B Stories has come to a close.  I really have had fun and it makes me grin from wheel well to wheel well to know that you've stopped by to hear them!  Thanks so much!

Momma Sharon had me packed and ready to roll down the road towards home bright and early last Friday morning.  The campground was just beginning to wake up as we pulled out.  I was so thankful that we weren't going back up that nasty steep road we traveled on Wednesday!

Pod led the way out of Fairy Stone State Park towards Stuart, VA.  From there we would roll along towards Mt. Airy and Highway 601.  But Cousin Rob pulled her over in a gravel parking lot before we got very far.  Her tow vehicle, a big Ford truck, had a low tire pressure sign to flash on suddenly and he wanted to make sure all was OK.  True to form, my Camper Mom pulled out her camera...LOL!

We all had a good laugh because as we were pulling back out on the road, the folks at the little restaurant were all pointing and smiling at us.  That's always fun!

So now I'm back home and waiting for my next adventure.  Maybe Momma Sharon will hand over that laptop from time to time and I can send you more SplashT@B Stories.  Until that time, enjoy my Blue Ridge Parkway Cruise Collage and remember...

"Peace, Love & Camping"

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fairy Stone State Park

Wow, I can't believe that it's been a whole week since I woke up to the smell of bacon at Fairy Stone State Park.  I just knew it was Cousin Rob cooking breakfast for everyone, but it wasn't.  He was sitting outside reading when Momma Sharon headed to the showers.

I'm convinced that the smell of bacon in a campground early in the morning is one of the premiere smells in the whole world!  Since we were spending two nights at Fairy Stone, I got to have a leisurely morning and enjoy another wonderful smell.....Mom's coffee!  Cousin Rob cranked up his trusty Coleman and Camp Breakfast was served!!

I've tried really hard this week to let you look at some new photos that Momma Sharon didn't show you over on her Postcards blog.  She takes tons of them, so it isn't hard to pick out some fresh ones...LOL!

You might be interested to know that the Virginia State Parks have been recognized as the best state park system in the US of A.  Fairy Stone helped contribute to that for sure.  It's got a nice gift shop, miles and miles of trails, a big beach, an amphitheater, pavilions for meetings, and friendly staffers.

I've mentioned Jackson, the camping pup, but I wanted to tell you that he likes to sit in the chair and protect us from squirrels.  My two camping dogs, Murphy and Baby Gracie, usually have to stay home because their campground manners aren't so hot.....they bark too much.  Jackson mainly barks at birds and squirrels and the rest of the time he's just chilling in his chair.

Speaking of chilling, that's exactly what I did all day Thursday.  The big kids went off looking for some rocks.....doesn't sound too exciting for me, but they had fun.  When a big storm blew in, Momma Sharon came rushing back to check on me and make sure I was OK.  Not to worry.....I was sitting high and dry.

Cousin Rob and my Mom love to do things for me and my buddy Pod called "mods".  They cook up ideas of ways to make us more comfortable or fashionable or unique.  I just gotta show you a tissue holder that Rob made for Pod.  He found it while out junkin' with Momma several weeks ago and re-cycled it.  I think I want one too!  Ahem, ahem.....

It sure does make me happy to know that you're dropping by for some of my SplashT@B Stories.....blush, blush.  I've got one more to tell you tomorrow, so drop in any time.....I'll be waiting on you!

"Peace, Love & Camping"

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wednesday In The Blue Ridge

Greetings from my home under the T@B-port on this rainy North Carolina morning!  I'm sitting here all cozy out of the weather, thinking about my SplashT@B Story for today.

One week ago, we woke up to a very foggy Blue Ridge morning.  Since my Momma Sharon left me hooked up to the car while at New River State Park, it was easy to get rolling again.  My buddy Pod got to take the lead today and that was fun just lazily following her down the road.

Cousin Rob likes to take pictures just like my Camper Mom does, so every time we stop, you can see the two of them with cameras in their hands looking every which way to find the perfect photo. 

They take pictures of big pine trees at overlooks..... in a field.....

.....lichens on tree trunks.....

.....long-range vistas.....

...and Me and Pod!

After another swell picnic lunch at Groundhog Mountain, we made our last stop at Mabry Mill.  I would guess that this is one of the most photographed places along the whole Parkway.  It doesn't matter what season you visit, it's a really fun stop.  There are buildings and exhibits that tell you about what it was like to live in the mountains and the kind of things that Appalachian folks did to survive.

It's also a great place for family photos, like this one that Momma Sharon took of our camping family!  I'm not sure how she took that picture though.  It's a mystery to me how she can snap a picture and be in it all at the same time!?!?

I had a pretty scary ride down off the Parkway on Highway 8 to our next campground.  The road was really, really steep and curvy.  Thank goodness we took it slow and easy.  But when a fighter jet zoomed past us, Momma Sharon thought I had blown a tire and Cousin Rob thought that Pod had run over something.  It's kinda funny now, but it scared both of them pretty badly.

Our destination for the evening was Fairy Stone State Park in Virginia.  Momma picked out a nice, level pull-thru site and Pod got to be right beside me once again.  We settled in for the evening and I can report that "life was good" in site 43!

I sure am having fun this week telling you SplashT@B Stories of my outing last week along the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Thanks so much for pulling up a chair to listen.  I'll be back here tomorrow if you want to stop by again!

"Peace, Love & Camping"

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Rollin' Along The Parkway

Hey Campers!  SplashT@B here with another Story for you today......thanks for dropping back by.

Before I get started, I want to send out a special hello to my new friend Tootsie the T@B way over in Scotland.  How cool is that to have a friend so far away......kinda like having a pen pal!

One of the coolest things about riding along on the Blue Ridge Parkway is seeing all the incredible sights.  Unlike Momma Sharon who has to keep her eyes on the road, I get to look around as we roll along.  I gotta tell you, some of the most gorgeous scenery is here in my North Carolina mountains.  Check it out.....

This is Alta Vista Orchards.  In the fall, you can go to an apple festival here, sample different varieties of North Carolina apples, and listen to bluegrass music.  It's a lot of fun!

Pod and I stopped at the Linville Falls Visitor Center just up the road from the apple orchards so our folks could get out and stretch their legs.  A long, long time ago, the Linville River cut a huge gorge through the earth and now visitors can hike the trails to see the Upper, Middle, and Lower falls.  Momma Sharon and Uncle Rob love to take pictures of signs...I'm not sure why, but they do.  They snapped this photo on their walk to the Upper Falls.

Grandfather Mountain is a big tourist attraction in these parts and I just love this Southern view.  There's a mile-high swinging bridge and a zoo and a museum.  It's a great place to take kids for the day.  Take a look at those clouds and Carolina-blue sky.....pretty, huh?

After leaving the overlook, we traveled over the Linn Cove Viaduct.  This section of the Parkway was the last to be finished because it had to be built around Groundfather Mountain without disturbing any of the landscape.  I love it because it looks like I'm traveling on a highway that just floats in the air!

My stomach was kinda growling, so I knew it was time for Momma Sharon to find the perfect picnic spot.  We stopped at Julian Price Park for a lunch break in the shade.  Once again, I had to give a T@B Tour!  Why do so many people want to see inside me and ask questions about me?  I guess I'm so stinkin' cute.....that's why!!

We spent the next couple of hours just moseying along the Parkway until we reached our destination for Tuesday night.....the New River State Park.  My buddy Pod was in site 9 and I was right beside her in number 10.  It was pretty hot sitting out in the sun, but we cooled off quickly around suppertime.

Speaking of suppertime.....have I told you what a great camping chef that Uncle Rob is?  OMG, that man has a way with a Coleman...LOL!  In addition to grilled salmon, he made his famous blooming onions with fajita seasoning.  Let me tell you, our folks ate like kings and queens!

So that's it for Story-time today.  Thanks again for coming by and  I'll see ya tomorrow!

"Peace, Love & Camping"

Monday, July 23, 2012

My Blue Ridge Parkway Cruise


Finally my Camper Mom has let me back on the computer to send you a post.  I can't believe it's been so long since I got to share a story or two with you.  Why in the world did she ever let me have my own story blog if I never get to write stories ?!?!  Geez!!

OK...I feel better now.

Last week, I traveled up to Spruce Pine, NC to meet my Cousin Pod for a week of camping and traveling together on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Y'all maybe recall that my Mom loves that road and to be perfectly honest with you, so do I.  It's a lazy winding route that runs from Cherokee, NC all the way up to the Shenandoah Skyline Drive in Virginia.  The scenery is beautiful, the pace is leisurely, and I never get tired of going there.

Momma Sharon had a little hiccup on the way to the campground.  She drove right past the entrance thinking it was a driveway and when she got to the end of the road and it changed to gravel, she said a bad word.  But I told her to calm down that I would help her turn around.  Luckily there was a little grassy road to the left and equally small driveway to the right and we wiggled back and forth until we got turned around.

I got to spend the night at a campground I had never been to before...the Spruce Pine Campground.  It wasn't the kind of campground where I could hang out with a whole bunch of my friends at a rally, but I still liked it.  It was shady, I got to pull right into my campsite, and it was quiet.

After I got settled in for the afternoon, I looked around a bit and saw a couple of really neat things...a huge orange fungus growing beside a tree and a grandmother Avion parked just down the road a bit.

About 3:30 I heard someone coming down the road and it was my buddy Pod along with Rob, Trisha, and their camping pup named Jackson.  It sure was good to see her again!  The last time we got to hang out together was at the Blue Ridge Rally when we were parked side by side.

Her Daddy Rob got her all situated, put out a tent, and we all settled down for a great Monday afternoon and evening. 

It doesn't take much to make Momma Sharon happy and the view from my window and the sunset that evening were icing on her camping cake!

Thanks for not giving up on me and dropping by to let me tell you a story about my latest camping trip. If you stop by again tomorrow, I promise I'll have more photos and stories to tell you!

"Peace, Love & Camping"