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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sea Eagle Sailing

I know many of you will be amazed, but today I got up early and headed to the beach,

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and I got a picture of the sunrise.

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Yep, there is the sun rising over my head at 10:30 am.  :c)

I enjoyed sitting in my chair watching the sea gulls

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while Marti took a stroll down the beach.

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This afternoon, we went paddling in our Sea Eagle inflatable kayaks.  Four couples went, including the experienced Howard and Linda, who introduced us not only to fulltime RV life, but kayaking as well.

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We all got in the water on the Intracoastal Waterway after carefully checking the tide schedule.  We paddled south with the outgoing tidal current.

Howard and Linda had sharp eyes and pointed out some Ospreys to us.

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Here is George and Laurie,

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and Mike and Terri.

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We enjoyed the scenery, the waterway itself,

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as well as the trees, root systems and leaf colors.

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Nature is amazing, to see how life regenerates on old, dead tree stumps.

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We explored some narrow side channels.

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How far into the unknown are we going?

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There were some forks on the waterway and we checked Google Earth on Laurie’s Smart Phone to make sure we were heading in the right direction.

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It was about a five and a half mile, three hour excursion.  We had a ball.  Too soon it was over, but we had another thing to look forward to.   Pizza!

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Not all of us went kayaking, but we all dove in to the pizza.  Another great day at Hunting Beach State Park.

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Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Roasting Weenies

We made it to Huntington Beach State Park in a convoy yesterday.  Marti and I led, we were followed by George and Laurie in their fifth wheel, who were followed by Mike and Terri, driving their fifth wheel and car.  Not a PDD day, just about 250 miles and six hours.

We all checked in and got set up.  We have a nice, corner site close to all the others in the “Carolina Clan”.

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First order of business was finding firewood.  Can’t have any fun without a group campfire.  After a check of Craig’s list, Mike and I set off to a local firewood supplier.  He had some great wood for a very reasonable price.

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In no time, we had Mike’s truck loaded to the gills and we returned to start the fun.

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Today, (Tuesday) we had two items on the agenda, a swap meet where everyone brought an unneeded item and got a chance to give it away, or pick up an item they’d like to have.  George was the announcer doing his best to glamorize each and every item to make it seem irresistible.

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Why, Marti, did you have to pick that???

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Terri told Mike all he could take from the swap meet was pictures, if he knew what was good for him.  “Yes, Dear”.

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Our special surprise guests, Howard and Linda Payne from RV-Dreams joined in the fun. 

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We’ve all been to some of their excellent rallies, we invited them to our gathering so they could just kick back, relax and have some fun.

  Howard was nice enough to show his Wilson Cell Phone Booster to some of the guys.  No, he was not doing a Statue of Liberty imitation.

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Finally, all the junk, er, lovely items were passed on to new owners and it was time to roast some weenies.  Seems like it brought the boy out in a lot of the guys.

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Laurie took lots of pictures of everyone cooking and eating.

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We filled up on the hotdogs and all kinds of dessert goodies, then sat around the fire enjoying its warmth and good conversation.

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Good thing we’re going to go paddling our kayaks tomorrow to work off some of these extra calories!  :c)

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Vacation Already?

We’ve only been here at J. Strom Thurmond COE since September 30th, and we’re leaving tomorrow for a week.  Yep, a vacation.  Not that we’ve worked so hard we need one, even with the volunteer work we’ve been doing, it feels like we’re on vacation already.

Actually, we’re going to an informal gathering with a bunch of RV friends, most of us met at some of Howard and Linda Payne's  RV-Dreams rallies and have become fast friends, often meeting up on the road and following each other’s travels via blogs.

It will be a week long adventure for us, a repeat of last year’s gathering, nicknamed the “Carolina Clan”, at the Huntington Beach State Park, just south of Myrtle Beach, SC. We had such a great time last year, a bunch of us immediately reserved sites again for this year.

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Huntington Beach State Park is right on the ocean, the RV sites are only a brief walk to the beautiful, white sandy beaches. 

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On the opposite side of the Park is a large marshland populated by many different kinds of birds, fun for viewing the birds feeding and doing all kinds of birdy things (sorry Judy).

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The Intra-Coastal Waterway is nearby, too.  Last year we had 13 Sea Eagles and kayaks out for a paddle.  Some of us didn’t know how to steer too good.

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Best of all we’re looking forward to more campfire circles…and great food!

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Being right on the ocean might actually encourage me to get up early and catch a few sunrises…

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Hope we don’t wear ourselves out and need to come back to our workamping “job” to rest up!

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fixing The Tailpipe Woes

If you remember back in September when we were on our way to visit our son, Ryan’s family in their new home in Missouri, the Journey’s tailpipe went missing in action.

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After lots of “fun” trying to get correct parts, Ryan and I cobbled together a temporary fix until I could get the right parts and place to make a permanent repair.

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It wasn’t a great temporary fix, you can see the pipes didn’t fit together well and despite my cranking down hard on the right clamp, there was still exhaust leakage, you can see it near the top of that clamp.  Plus, it wasn’t really tight.  Looking at driving some distance next week for a week’s get together with some friends at Huntington Beach State Park, SC, I didn’t want to put off the repair.

I ordered a new chrome tailpipe on the Internet and some new clamps were procured locally.

Today, all the planets aligned and I was able to make that repair.  The first thing after removing the temporary pipe was to cut off the distorted part of the exhaust pipe so the new tailpipe would slide right over it.

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This time, the cutting went easy.  Instead of using a hack saw like I had to do the last time (it was quite a time consuming struggle), I used my SIL’s reciprocating saw that I borrowed.

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That went through the pipe like a hot knife through butter, cutting off the distorted piece,

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and leaving me with a straight, smooth pipe to slide the new tailpipe over.

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The tailpipe fit right over the exhaust pipe, it has a slightly expanded end to do so.

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I hung the pipe loosely in the support bracket with a “U” clamp and then fitted a band clamp around the joint where the two pipes fit together.

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After that, I finished tightening the “U” clamp on the hangers, it is all solid now.

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The new tailpipe is looking good and shiny (and functional).  I did this repair with aftermarket parts and saved a bundle over using the original manufacturer’s pipes.  Now we’re ready to hit the road.  :c)

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Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

We Walk The Line

It’s a new day.  Now that we’ve passed our defensive driver course, we started off on our day’s adventure…

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Pin Hunting and walking the COE property boundary lines.  We set off with one of the rangers and followed him way out into the boonies.  We were given a map with about a three mile section of line for Marti and I to cover.

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Why are the pins and boundaries so important?  With over 1000 miles of shoreline around Thurmond Lake, and even more miles of COE property set back from the shoreline, constant inspections of the boundary lines are necessary to prevent people from encroaching on the COE property.  You’d think this wouldn’t be much of an issue, but it is an ongoing problem resulting in lawsuits and structure removals that were built on COE property.

As a result, the entire boundaries are walked and inspected in increments over a five year cycle, so every five years the entire COE property lines are inspected.  The work is divided up amongst all the rangers in the COE Shoreline division, each ranger has to annually cover 15 miles of boundary line in their assigned area, along with all the other duties they are responsible for.  It is a huge amount of work.  Volunteers like us help get this task accomplished.

We started off near a property that had encroached on a chunk of COE property in the past.  After a lawsuit, the property owner reached a deal with the COE to purchase the property that part of his house had been built on.  We checked the pins to ensure they were in place.  In no time we found them.

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Marti marked the pins with pink tape.

You’d think this homeowner would have learned, but no.  After all the trouble they had in the past, they built a deck and a brick fireplace on COE property.  You can see the pin by the base of the tree and the ribbon lays out the 90 degree turn.  Half of the deck is right on the COE property.

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Looks like the COE legal department will be contacting these people shortly.

We continued on, following painted marks on trees all along the boundary lines.

Some tree markings were easy to see,

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others were hidden by brush and were hard to see.

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Most of the boundary line was in deep woods, it took a lot of patience to pick our way through the heavy brush, over fallen trees, up and down hills and across deep ravines.

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Despite the heavy woods and brush, we still located pins.

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We found more encroaching property issues.  Note the orange mark on the tree, indicating the property line with a fence built about six feet over the line.  Oops!

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Some of the pins were actually markers put on concrete poles many years ago, in fact these markers had the “War Department” stamped on them, circa 1940s.

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There were signs of life from the long ago past deep in the woods, a collapsed house,

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and its outhouse, still standing.  No, we didn’t make a pit stop here.

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There was even some old, rusty stuff, here were the remains of an old car.

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We hiked about two and a half hard miles through the woods in about three hours and located all the pins and boundary lines on our section of the map.  We would have continued on further, but I was attacked by a fierce resident of the forest, it dropped out of a tree onto my head.

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It was a close call, but I survived the encounter.

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.

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