Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Blowing Rock Sucks!

Hi, I'm Rosie the dog.

Today we went to Blowing Rock, NC. What an awful place. They don't like dogs here. Look at this
What kind of park doesn't allow dogs? That's anti-American.

 And then look at this from the Bass Lake that my humans liked so much.

No swimming, stay off the ice, no boating, no horses. No boats or buoyant devises.  What is a lake for I ask you? And are these guys nuts?!!  Apparently the only thing you can do at this lake is LOOK AT IT. According to the sign, if you are a ferocious bear, a poisonous snake, a child eating coyote, or a disease carrying cockroach then you are welcome and even protected here. But if you are a DOG you must be collared and deprived of freedom, lept on a leash. Notice that no one signed this proclamation.  John Hancock signed the Declaration of Independence. He was proud of his work. Whoever wrote this trash had to hide his or her name. Says something doesn't it?

And the final insult was at the Cone Manor house.
"no pets allowed" What kind of pet are they referring to? Cats? I didn't see any of them here. Parrots, fish, pigs? No they mean DOGS. They should just admit their prejudice and discrimination and say so.

I say places should be dog friendly. We are people friendly. We make your lives so much more meaningful. We are alway loyal. We fawn over our owners. We deserve more respect. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.


Bark, bark.

Blowing Rock Rocks!

We have been camped at Flintlock campground in Boone, NC. Boone is the home of Appalachian State University, whose football team beat my alma mater, the University of Michigan, about 5 years ago. It is a beautiful college town and the university is literally the center of town. It has rained the whole time we've been here so that has tempered our fun.

Today however the sun came out and we were able to get out an do some touring. Blowing Rock is another small town 10miles away.
The main street of Blowing Rock has dozens of boutique shops and quaint cafes.
Just outside of Blowing Rock is Bass Lake which is part of the Moses H. Cone Manor, which is now part of the National Park Service. We hiked around the lake and then went to the Manor house which is a mountain craft shop.

The trip to Blowing Rock and to Bass Lake was well worth the trip

Thursday, May 10, 2012 television stations!!

Hi, It's Debbie.  After quite an eventful day, we finally made it from Tryon to Hot Springs Campground.  The problem was not the actual drive, which was uneventful, but the stops in between.  But I am getting ahead of myself.  Going back to this morning, I was busy packing up the things we wanted to bring from the mountain house to put in Diva (who was very safely parked in the drive by this time).  

Frank was outside doing the manly things that men do when they get in their garage. He packed up our fishing equipment, wrenches, sockets, etc.   He also ran to the hardware store to try to get a wire for the hitch.  He said he thought it would take about 15 minutes to fix the wire, but ended up taking about 2 hours.  Go figure!  It did work perfectly when he installed it. 

Finally got out of there with dog and trailer in tow....a little worse for the wear.  We had to stop to get our propane tanks filled.  I went into the camp store to buy a few more goodies so we could continue our inexpensive mode of living.  Meanwhile, Rosie saw her chance to flee and jumped out of the open truck window which her daddy had left open.  When I came back to the truck, Frank announced Rosie was GONE!  I called her and she came running.  Luckily, she didn't break anything during her jump.  It is pretty high up in that truck.  She did, however, get grease all over her back by running under some trailers.  Luckily, they were all parked at the time. I think she figured that this time she was getting out of that truck while she could, before she ended up on an embankment somewhere.  Suicide seemed to be the only option.

So back to my original point......we got into our campsite right next to the French Broad River in Hot Springs, NC.  All was well until I tried to program our (two) TV's.  No such luck!  There are no digital stations  that come in here. I probably will go through withdrawal without Grey's Anatomy.

We shared a steak for dinner and had salad.  It was great!  I am now sitting on my couch listening to classical music and listening to the river.  Not many people here now, but I am sure it will fill up tomorrow.  Hopefully, Kelley, Sean and the kids will come see us tomorrow night.  We are only about 20 miles North of Kelley's house.  We actually passed her on the way here and she got a quick glance of Diva.  She hadn't seen her yet.

I am headed to bed (early).  We have a very comfortable queen bed in this trailer.  I am ready.  More later.....

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Diva Disabled

Well, it was bound to happen. But before our first actual trip with Diva?

We brought Diva up to our mountain cabin in Tryon North Carolina to finish provisioning her and to get ready for our first trip to a campground.  Our log cabin sits at the highest point on a 3 acre lot. The driveway is steep and narrow. The sides of the driveway are lined with large rocks which help to define the driveway and to control erosion of the slopes surrounding it. Worse, we recently had the driveway repaved with "crush & run" which we thought was a combination of stones and asphault which is rolled into a hard driveway. What the pavers laid down was what we call "gravel". Small loose stones with nothing to hold them together. Even with the loose gravel we have never had any problems with our cars or trucks making it up the hill to the house. And we didn't have any trouble bring Diva up the drive to the front of our cabin. We drove straight in and had momentum going for us.

Then we tried to back Diva out. We wanted to place her near our garage which is one level down from the front. And there is a 90 degree turn to make. It all started well. We almost had it but the rocks lining the drive made impossible to complete the turn with the truck. So we tried to pull forward to straighten out/ But starting from a dead stop  we could not get the rig to go straight forward. The wheels spun in the gravel and Diva skidded sideways downhill carried by Newton's old friend, gravity. Still we didn't give up' We made 3 more attempts and almost had it twice. Each failure resulted in Diva being further mired in the slope, the gravel and finally the landscaping. We had to admit that we were hopelessly defeated.
Diva's Right side stuck

We called Good Sam Roadside Assistance and after some misunderstanding they sent help. Jim Cole & Sons Wrecking Service from Forest City, NC came and did a magnificent job. They had to attach chains to the side of Diva and pull her out of the ditch she was in. Debbie and I sat off to the side like parents worried that their child had some fatal illness. The driver (I didn't get his name but he was great) pulled Diva 5 or 6 feet up the slope to the driveway. It still took another 30 to 30 minutes to get her completely into a safe spot with her front facing the road a short straight shot away.

Viewed from the rear
Some lessons learned:
1.  For $79 per year Good Sam Roadside Assistance is a great buy. I bought my policy one week ago.
2.  Steep, narrow, gravel driveways with sharp turns are best left to the experts.
3.  Jim Cole & Sons Wrecking Service, Forest City, NC does their job well.

Rescued at last
So Diva and the truck are none the worse for wear. Debbie an I are expected to recover soon.