Friday, September 3, 2010

From Then to Now-May through June

Wow! What a summer it has been. As mentioned in the last post, things have been going non-stop since we departed Berry Oaks at the end of April. Retired life is supposed to be easy going, but I guess it is what one is involved in that makes one's life slow or fast paced. We'll have to look closely at what we are doing and consider readjusting our involvements. That will come later on this month, but for now here's what went on from the end of April to the end of June.
Departing Berry Oaks - April 27, 2010

We spent a total five months on Berry Oaks and we knew we had to return to Maryland in the spring to take care of the house. We were not happy about that. It took a week to police and pack up everything we had put in place to make us feel at home here in Georgia. We could not leave anything for it would be gone when we got back. Everything went into our storage facility in Savannah.

We decided to take a few days off before we headed to Ft. Stewart Campground to attend a Bluegrass festival being held in southeast  Georgia. Hoboken, Georgia, a small crossroads town, is about 15 miles east of Waycross, Georgia and about 15 miles north of the great Okefenokee Swamp. Several times a year the population of this small town triples with the Bluegrass festival events held at the Twin Oaks Music Park. The event area has a covered stage with room for many attendees under and outside the stage area.  What was most amazing about this place is it has camping hookups (water and electricity) for 875 RVs at very reasonable rates. It was huge.

We departed Berry Oaks on April 27, 2010 and stayed our first night at Laura Walker State Park.  The next morning after a short trip (10 minutes) we arrived at Twin Oaks and were greeted by a staff of awesome country folk.  They guided us to our spot and we began to settle in. 

The festival went from Thursday evening to late Saturday night.  There were a dozen or so groups performing throughout the weekend and we were pleased to be able to see each at least once. 
The entertainment was great and the atmosphere was very family oriented.  We will return here often.

We returned to the Ft. Stewart campground on Sunday and began making preparations to put the trailer into storage for the summer.  While cleaning the trailer's roof it came to our attention there was a soft spot near the rear.  Not good.  The next morning we brought the trailer to the Camping World in Savannah to have them look at it.  Not good again.  It seems the seals around the ladder had been leaking for a while and water had gotten under the rubber roof and rotted a portion of it.  The whole rear laminate had become detached, also.  Definitely not good.  It would have to be repaired soon.

We went back to Ft. Stewart and hurried our preparations for returning to Maryland.  On Friday morning we packed up, dropped the trailer at Camping World and headed up I-95.  It would take several weeks for the repairs.  The trip back was uneventful.  Once the trailer was repaired I returned to Savannah (alone), put it into storage and drove back to Maryland.

Once back in Maryland our time was consumed with putting the house back into shape after the terrible winter they had experienced here.  We were sad having to be here and Guinness was upset as to not being able to stay outside a lot.  We began to discuss adopting another Doodle as a playmate/companion for him hoping to make it easier on him and us.  After looking through many websites for rescues, we came across a three year old male Labradoodle residing in a foster home near Dallas, Texas.  We talked it over, made some calls and decided to do it.  We had been stationary for three weeks and we were eager to be back on the road.

We considered driving straight to Dallas and then back, but we came to the conclusion it would be better to take our time and not put too much stress on the new Doodle right away.  We drove back to Savannah, stayed a few days at the Ft. Stewart campground and headed to Dallas on May 31, 2010.  Our intention was to pick up our new addition on Friday, June 4th, however, the foster home had something come up and asked us the day we left for Dallas if we could pick him up on the 3rd.  We said yes.  That was going to be a long drive in two days.  We stayed the first night in a small and very quiet RV park in Marion, Mississippi which was about half way to our destination in Denton, Texas.  The next morning we were on the road early and made it to Dallas just at rush hour.  What a horrible experience that was, but we were pumped for the next day and pulled into the RV park in Denton and relaxed.

________MEET ROSCO___________

Hi All!!

Rosco is a small (35 lb), charcoal, male, 2nd generation Labradoodle.  He was put up for adoption by the family who raised him due to health problems with one of the family members.  Like Guinness, he has a wonderful disposition, well mannered, loves people, especially children and other dogs.  He is a perfect match for for the three of us.  We, especially me, were worried about how he would get along with Guinness and how he would take to our life style of traveling.  We were about to find out.

We remained in Denton that evening and started out for San Antonio, Texas the next morning.  We planned to stay at a campground down the street from my brother, Don, for a few days.  On the way we stopped and visited with a dear friend, Jean, for several hours then made our way to my brother's arriving around 4 PM.  Not a bad trip comparing it to the previous days of travel.

We kicked back for several days, letting Guinness, Rosco and my brother's dogs romp through the house while we all drank a lot of Shiner Bock and ate, ate and ate.  Thanks Bro.  It was good to see the family again.

Monday morning we started the return trip to Savannah this time, though, taking our time.  We wanted to make sure Rosco was comfortable traveling and being close to Guinness.  It turns out he was wonderful on both counts.  We traveled in 4-5 hour hops staying the first night in the Cagle campground in the Sam Houston National Forest in Texas. Staying off the main highways, we found ourselves at Chicot State Park in Louisiana the next night.  Our next destination was the campground at Pensacola Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida.  We had stayed there before and we had liked the location right on the beach on the Gulf of Mexico.  We figured on staying there 3 days before continuing on.  Guinness and Rosco loved the beach.  It was Rosco's first time and he was very wary of the water, however, he slowly got to like it.

What is this place?

Rosco's first swim

Guinness the Water Doodle

Ahhhh!   The Dog's life.

Next was the Atlantic coast.  We stayed at the Mayport Navy Station RV park outside of Jacksonville, Florida for three more days before we made the short trip back to Savannah.  We had stayed here, also, and liked the setting.  Different than Pensacola, but very interesting because the Navy ships come into the station right in front of the park.

Navy Tugboat

See Rosco?  This is how it's done.

We love this life.

We only stayed two days at the Ft. Stewart campground. We wanted to get that 12 hour drive back to Maryland over with as soon as possible and get Rosco settled into the house. We were concerned about him being in the truck for that length of time, but he took it like the little trooper he is.  We believe the several weeks he and Guinness were in the RVs tight quarters made a big difference in their getting along.  They took to each other right away and have since become inseparable.

The few weeks remaining in June were taken up with the house and the Doodles.  The house has been a big pain since every time we turned around something is breaking.  We remained close by and tried to suffer through the summer days.  Long and hot.  It was actually warmer in Maryland than Savannah.  Go figure.

Next post:  July through now.

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