Search This Blog

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Settled In

We’ve now moved to our site (#8) at the J. Strom Thurmond COE Volunteer Village.  When we initially arrived, there were no sites available, all were taken by serving volunteers, so we were put temporarily in the nearby public Modoc COE campground until a volunteer left.

The Modoc campground was excellent and for the last several days we were there, we had the entire place to ourselves because it was closed for the season.  Talk about peace and quiet.

The only downside was the Modoc site is just water and electric.  After a little over a week, the Journey needed to dump.  Bad.  But we were able to hang on using water carefully until we got to our FHU site at the Volunteer Village.

We’re now all settled in for the next three months.  A beautiful site right on the lake.


Complete with fantastic sunsets, at no extra charge.  ;c)


We’ve been putting in our volunteer hours and thoroughly enjoying every task we’ve been given.  We even had a great laugh the other day.  We were driving through a campground on an errand in a COE truck with “Park Ranger” lettering on both sides.  We came across a car deep in the campground that obviously didn’t pay the self serve entry fee of $4.00 because there was no “Paid” tag hanging from the mirror.

They took one look at us and stepped on the gas, flying out of the campground, with all the people in the car looking back at us to see if we were going to stop them.  We have no authority to do any such thing, but they didn’t know it and were in a panic to avoid a ticket.

It was a great laugh for us.  Now if it had been an actual park ranger, the story would have ended differently for them.  :c)

We’re going to go pin hunting (checking boundary line survey pins) in a couple of weeks, but we have a major job to get done, weeding and mulching at the rest of the COE park gate houses that didn’t get finished on National Public Lands Day.

Funny how much I disliked doing that when we owned a house and now I look forward to it.  Perspectives change a bit when you’re a fulltime RV traveler.  ;c)

Since the area around Thurmond Lake is so vast, I decided to get another GPS for use in the COE trucks as we travel around.  We carry a bunch of road maps for both South Carolina and Georgia since the lake is between the two states.  I figured the GPS would come in handy.


It looks like it will work fine for us, but it was a bit of a struggle to get set up since it didn’t have any maps preloaded.  I had to first download the maps to my computer and then download them onto the unit.  It was a little frustrating with the slow WiFi connection here at the Volunteer Village that sometimes dropped off and then the automatic Windows update that disconnected the download when it did a restart of my computer.  I had to keep monitoring it until it finally was finished.

However, I persevered and got it done, even if it did take to 2 am.  Sleep is overrated, I guess…  ;c)

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.



  1. We have a lot of traveling and things to see and do in the next year or two, but someday we hope to do a stint or two as volunteers.

  2. Any chore that is done because we want to rather than out of necessity suddenly takes on the characteristic of being fun, doesn't it? That's a good thing.

  3. At home I have the computers set for Automatic Updates but when we hit the road I disable the automatic part. If I left the Automatic Updates on it would kill our data usage in a couple of days.
    Glad to see you're back to enjoying the simple chores in life.
    Be Safe!

    It's about time.

  4. Nice site! Did Jim & Linda leave their little garden? :) Glad you are all settled in and back to helping the COE out!

    1. Yes they did leave their garden and Marti is on the job to care for it. Plus we now have the firewood you left. Hopefully, the upcoming cooler weather will make campfires a regular activity. :c)

  5. I usually make sure I'm sitting new to someone's DSL line before I allow any updates. For one thing, it's very slow and could take hours and for another thing, I'm just too impatient. We found the worst thing to update was the GPS. It took forever.

    Amazing the stress those folks in that car put on themselves for the $4.00 fee.

  6. No maps!?! That's weird. We recently got a new Garmon too and the maps were loaded. Glad you got it worked out.

  7. Do they cut the number of volunteers down when they close the campground? I'm actually surprised anything in SC would close this early. Maybe you can explain. Glad you are enjoying your site and your "work". Things do take on a aura of fun when you aren't "obliged" to do them. Are Mike and Terri there now?

    1. No, they keep as many volunteers on as they can get. In a recreation area as vast as this is, there are tons of jobs to do, shutting down a campground gives time for repairs and upgrades. Plus, the ranger staff has been downsized a bit, so every volunteer is that much more helpful.

      Mike and Terri were here for a couple of days to help out with National Public Lands Day, but sadly, they left us to head to another COE park in Florida for the winter. They plan on returning in May.

    2. That area looks gorgeous and I sure have enjoyed your past posts about pin hunting. What a great job! Maybe we'll get a chance to do that someday.

  8. Great site you have there at the park - nice view of the lake.

    We have a similar type Garmin Nuvi but I can't remember now whether the maps were pre-loaded or not. I know we have a lifetime map update so I'd better get on that one of these days.

  9. We have 2 gps units, a large 7" model in Lucy and a smaller 5" model for the Jeep. The maps on both as ancient as we never think to update them when we're on good free wifi. Hmm, good and free is usually an oxymoron :) Instead we tend to rely more and more on our smart phones/Google maps gps. I wonder if separate gps units will become a thing of the past? Their prices sure have come down in recent years.
    Enjoy your volunteering "job".

  10. Your presence in the 'Park Ranger' truck must be very intimidating. to get people on the run.

  11. At one place we camped, I was just "itching" to get on a mower and cut their long grass! You'd think that 5 acres 2Xweek would have soured me. NOPE.

    Have fun at your COE. Looking forward to your pin hunting.

  12. Nice new site you have and love the sunsets there.

  13. When we "Choose" to do something... it's NOT work:o)) Glad you finally got moved to a site in the Volunteer Village. I am sure it was lonely at MODOC campground;o((

  14. It looks like a beautiful place to settle in for a while. It’s close to nature, and has a fantastic view to offer. It's safe to assume you guys are enjoying your stay here. How’s the RV journey going? I hope there aren’t any problems along the road that will keep you from continuing on your journey. Have a happy life on the road!

    Ross Adkins @ Bullseye Auto Glass