Short, Short Trailer, Long, Long Trip: Death Valley 2016_10_22

There are several reasons why Death Valley will be remembered. Although, it ought to be for its wonder and beauty, on this trip at least, we will be remembering for other reasons.

It all starts on October 22, 2016. We have spent another night at a Casa Walmart in Bakersfield, CA. We know where we need to go, only, the GPS does not recognize anything we put in for Death Valley. We settle for Lone Pine and hope for the best. As we got closer to Lone Pine, we found our sign, and we veered off into Death Valley.

We know this is a desert…but it is the end of October…and we have been freezing in several places. Anyway, I am rambling, here’s our Death Valley tale, and we’re sticking to it!

Saturday, October 22, 10:00 A.M.: Leave Bakersfield, CA, heading to Death Valley. No GPS address.

Pilot and Co-pilot, I’m not saying which is which. With vague GPS information, we are off to Death Valley

Saturday, along the way:

Trains and train tunnels everywhere. Awesome! Death Valley National Park

California, of course there are more wind turbines. Death Valley National Park

Have you seen anything green for a while? Death Valley National Park

Getting closer. Death Valley National Park

Saturday, 5:30 P.M.: Arrive in Death Valley. Take touristy photos in front of sign. 5:59 P.M. Stop at Father Crowley vista point for more touristy pictures. All is well.

We made it! Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park

Saturday, 6:15 P.M.: Decide to camp on the other side of the park. We need to go down, through the valley, and then back up the other side. All is still well.

I know this is elevated by Florida standards…but it’s only 3,000 ft. Death Valley National Park

We need to go down there and up yonder. Sounds good. Death Valley National Park

Saturday, 7:15 P.M.: Destination Stovepipe Wells campground, 28 miles. It should be cooling off soon, right? All is going to go hell in a hand-basket soon.

Campground 28 miles. We got this. Death Valley National Park

A little dry down here, huh. Death Valley National Park

We did that. Death Valley National Park

Saturday 7:40 P.M.: The temperature is rising. We have the A/C off. We think we can, we think we can. Radiator decided we could not.

Pull over. Fortunately, we are carrying our own water supply…do you think all that extra weight had anything to do with this problem? Naw.

Add water. Wait. Temp down, elevation rising. Can she make a 9% grade…up?

Are you kidding me? It’s 7:30 P.M. How can it be 95 degrees. Death Valley National Park

We passed a private campground a few miles back. Panamint Springs it is. Time for a U-turn.

Saturday, 8:00 P.M.: Register for site at Panamint Springs Resort. (are you kidding me, they call this a resort???)

Panamint Springs Resort. CA 190 Death Valley National Park

Panamint Springs Resort, Death Valley National Park

Saturday, 8:20 P.M.: Resident mechanic, trouble-shooting over-heating issue.

Resourceful. That’s my man! (and a little epoxy) Death Valley National Park

One of the things about camping is the good people you meet along the way. James was visiting Dave and Nancy, a couple of sites over. Dave and Nancy are heading South, to Quartzite, AZ, and James came for a get together of the Panamintvalley.com group. (yes that’s a real thing!) He had just the right socket that was necessary for removing the radiator. The Captain patched the hole with 2-part marine epoxy, let it dry, and put it back together. They also had local knowledge of the best place to get parts and other resources that we might need.

Did I mention that we were in Death Valley? In the middle of no-place. And I mean no electricity…they made their own with on-site generators. No cell service. The “resort” used a satellite phone, and the little bit of wifi they put out might open an email…if 200 others, weren’t trying to do the same thing. It looked as though we would have to wait until Monday to get out and find the parts we needed. There was running water (piped in) from nearby Darwin Camp, so we did have showers and a good nights sleep.

Views from Panamint Resort, Death Valley National Park

Views from Panamint Resort, Death Valley National Park

Views from Panamint Resort, Death Valley National Park

Views from Panamint Resort, Death Valley National Park

Sunday, October 23, 9:00 A.M.: Pressure test. Can we drive her out of here? Will we need to make other arrangements to get a new radiator at the the nearest town with an Auto Zone? Ridgecrest is 65 miles away. Dave and Nancy, were heading out, and were stopping at the only place around that received cell service…a small pull-out off of Panamint Valley Road (Minnietta Road.)  So we followed them to cell service and called Auto Zone, and amazingly, they had the right radiator for an ’04 Safari Van, on the shelf. Thanks Dave and Nancy! We really appreciate you both!

Morning walk. Death Valley National Park

Sunday, 1:30 P.M.: On the road again…

Following Dave and Nancy to phone service, and then we headed to Ridgecrest, CA. Radiator temp is holding perfect. Death Valley National Park

Yeah, I’m not too sure about that.

Hey, thanks for visiting! Death Valley National Park

Sunday, 3:30 P.M.: Auto Zone: New radiator. Sears: New socket set. Since we didn’t have any temperature issues, during our 65 mile drive, we decided to take it with us to our camping site for the night. It is October 23rd…that would be our anniversary!

Sunday 6:30 P.M.: Arrive at Trona Pinnacles. We hit some rain on the way, but this is Death Valley…its a desert, right?  Are we really going to get stuck by a train in the middle of no-place?

On our way to Trona Pinnacles. Trona Road from Ridgecrest, CA.

Not sure. Not everything you see on the side of the road is explainable. Trona Pinnacles

Campsite at Trona Pinnacles.

Happy 18th Anniversary! Every year is a new adventure, and a new place to celebrate. Trona Pinnacles

Monday, October 24, 2016, O’dark-thirty (6:00 A.M.): It rained all night. We got little sleep.  All we could think about was the flash-flood signs we had seen on the way in. As soon as it was light, we hit the road running!

Storms = flash floods? Florida ppl just don’t know. Trona Pinnacles

Monday, 9:30 A.M.: Breakfast at Kristy’s, in Ridgecrest, then heading South on CA 395. Joshua Tree National Park, is our destination today. Radiator holding up fine.

Monday, 1:20 P.M.: Pass NextEra Energy Kramer Junction Solar site. Turn left at Kramer Junction onto CA 58. Van stalls. Radiator is fine, still holding and outside temp is in the 60’s. Seems like a fuel issue, turn around and go back to Kramer Junction, which is literally a Pilot gas station and not much more. We stop. She won’t start. We call a tow truck. Nearest town for service is Barstow, CA, 35 miles East. That would be an expensive tow bill, thank you Allstate for paying some of it! Geez Louise!

NextEra Energy Kramer Junction Solar site. Kramer Junction, CA. and what a real rig looks like.

Monday, 2:40 P.M.: Tow truck arrives.

Poor baby. Kramer Junction, CA

Nyah’s first tow truck ride. She liked that comfy bench seat! Kramer Junction, CA

Monday, 3:35 P.M.: Arrive at Barstow Tire & Brake. They can’t check her out until the morning, but we can stay in the Short, Short Trailer, in their parking lot. “It’s safe,” they said! Overnight tale would be a whole other rabbit trail of a story. Suffice to say, we made it out alive…with little sleep.

Barstow Tire & Brake, Barstow, CA

Monday, 4:00 P.M.: Unload Harley, take a little ride…to the Ford dealership…just to see what they have…really!

Monday, 10:00 P.M.: Remember, we are just looking. Drive new F250 4×4 pick-up truck back to the Short, Short Trailer. Try to get some sleep already.

Couldn’t they throw in the caboose, too? Mojave Auto, Barstow, CA

All that money, and we don’t even get a temporary tag? California issues a sticker for the front window, which is a one way ticket to your destination to get tag and title.

How to get a vehicle out of California. Barstow, CA

Can you fit the gas pump in the back? Barstow, CA

Tuesday, October 25, 2016, 9:00 A.M.: Auto Zone opens, return radiator. Yep, we never installed it, it was still sealed in the box. Eat breakfast, get out of Barstow, CA.

What do you mean I don’t get the same room as I had in the van? This stinks! Barstow, CA

WAIT! YOU CAN’T LEAVE ME HERE ALL ALONE!!!! COME BACK, YOU UNGRATEFUL INFIDELS, COME BACK!!! I CONTACTED GOOGLE, SO YOU COULD FIND ME…COME BACK!!!

We need some rest, Joshua Tree National Park, we are headed your way. Thanks for sharing our adventure with us.

Short, Short Trailer, Long, Long Trip: Family, San Jose, and San Francisco, CA 2016_10_10

We made it to the West Coast, to enjoy a week of family, and exploring the area like a real tourist. Even though the drought wrought area was blessed with rain, almost our whole stay, we still had a great visit! We spent the week with our daughter, Jennette and her husband, Ray, and our grands, Monta and Gabby. Our son, Josiah and his girlfriend, Sami, flew in to meet us also, so it was a great week for family.

Nanny was excited to see the wind turbines, because that meant we were getting close!!!

Are we there yet?

We set up camp at Sanborn County Park, just up from Saratoga, CA. Although we had an awful time with our reservation due to lack of any cell communications and the fact that we arrived on the Columbus day and that is a holiday for County employees. We managed to get a site for the first night, and a move to the site we would have for the rest of the rainy week! The park had an area for tent camping, RV electric hook-up sites, a dump station and a huge park for picnics and hiking.

Sanborn County Park


Sanborn County Park, we had a cook out, of course!

A fun day at Happy Hollow Zoo. I think PopPop may have had more fun than the grands!

Happy Hollow Zoo


Happy Hollow Zoo

PopPop helped someone master the stepping stones over the water.

Happy Hollow Zoo


Happy Hollow Zoo


Happy Hollow Zoo

PopPop can even make fun at Costco!

Shopping with PopPop

Do these ducks look a little spoiled? I guess the drought is real, when the ducks have to find swimming pools.

California Ducks

We celebrated Ray’s birthday with cupcakes and assorted shenanigans.

Happy Birthday Ray!

The shenanigans included lots of excitement in the bear castle.

PopPop and Uncle Josiah might be a bit large for this bear hut

Hanging out fun. PopPop where did you find that famous orange hat?

Strong Mama. And, yes, this hat does have a story! What goes around comes around, hahaha

Noooo, Uncle Josiah!

Playing outside in between the rain, at Jennette’s courtyard.


Playing outside in between the rain, at Jennette’s courtyard.


Dinner inside! Yea, more rain!

This is how low tech Silicon Valley really is.

Low tech


Who’s bigger, the kid or the cat? Say hi to Tyson!

Let’s do a family photograph!

Family photo time…

Ok, that works…I guess?

As good as it gets around here!

We all headed out on Saturday, to the Campbell Oktoberfest celebration. I somehow managed not to get pictures of everyone.

Campbell Oktoberfest. Nanny checked for trains…no grands were injured during this photo-shoot!

We had a great visit with Josiah and Sami, but they had to head back home…wish you could stay longer!

Josiah and Sami

On our last full day, we tempted more rain and headed to San Francisco. Off and on, but we had a great tour guide…Thank you Ray!

RAIN


Nyah made it to San Francisco


Nyah heading into the City


San Francisco, CA


San Francisco, CA


San Francisco, CA


San Francisco, CA


San Francisco, CA


San Francisco, CA


San Francisco, CA


Fun at the Fort. San Francisco, CA


Bridge view from the fort. San Francisco, CA


Yea, that hill that thinks its a street, or is that, street. Lombard Street


San Francisco, CA

Dinner in China Town at Brandy Ho’s on Columbus Avenue.

Brandy Ho’s, San Francisco, CA


After dark. San Francisco, CA

Well we had one last morning at the park, and then it was time to say goodbye to our babies.

Saratoga, CA


Saratoga, CA


Saratoga, CA


Saratoga, CA

Last smile for Nanny…you know I cried all the way to our next stop!

Saratoga, CA

I never understood my grandmother’s tears when we left…until now!

Saratoga, CA

We had to be on our way. Thanks for stopping by, this trip isn’t over yet…and you won’t believe what’s going to happen. Come back again!

Over the mountain to our next adventure

Short, Short Trailer, Long, Long Trip: Moving West – Making Miles 2016_10_02

Running from the cold is what Florida Crackers do best! Who wants to be cold, if it isn’t necessary. We wanted to stay a few more days at the beautiful Atherton Creek National Forest Campground, but the weather was calling for snow…soon, and we wanted no part of it!

So South and West we went.

Day One: 243 Miles to Willard Bay State Park, just outside of Salt Lake City.  We only stayed one night because it started raining, and the “campground” was nothing more than a large paved parking lot. There may have been amenities, we would have loved to ride our bikes around the dyke or done something on the water, but the rain pushed us on.

Driving Utah

Making miles, Utah

Are we there yet? Utah

Willard Bay State Park, Great Salt Lake, Salt Lake City, Utah

Day Two: 388 miles to Casa Walmart, Winnemucca, Nevada. One more State behind us. We stopped for a lunch break at the Salt Flats, and made it to Winnemucca well after dark. This was definitely a little town with a big gambling problem! It took us a bit to get past all the casino joints (please, don’t think Las Vegas style,) and find a friendly place to eat some dinner. We had just O.K. BBQ at The Pig, it could have been the late hour, but it was a little dry for our taste, but everyone was very nice.

Welcome to Nevada! Salt Flats? We love Salt Water. Nyah is suspicious, this doesn’t look like her kind of beach!

Usually a stay at Casa Walmart includes a little shopping for food and ice, but today’s adventure began with a trip to their tire center. Seems the Trailer tires aren’t wearing evenly, so this was a good opportunity to have them switched on the rims and try to salvage a few more miles. Job accomplished, sandwiches in the parking lot and we are on our way.

Wearing out rubber

Day Three: 186 miles to Washoe State Park, Carson City, Nevada.

We went under several of these odd bridges along the way. A little Googling indicated they were Wildlife Bridges. Top one is under construction, bottom one is up and working (we guess…didn’t actually see any wildlife out here. Should I be looking for them to cross 2 by 2?)

Wildlife Bridges, Nevada

Washoe State Park, Carson City. We loved everything about this park, except the night-time temps (more to come on that one!) We were greeted by several B.A.S.E. jumpers careening towards our camp site from the cliffs and hills above. Not a sport for the faint of heart, looks interesting, but I’m sure my motion sickness would kick into high gear over that stunt.

B.A.S.E. Jumping, Washoe State Park, Carson City, NV

Our campsite was right in the valley/lake basin. There are no reservations here, first come first serve. But there were plenty of sites to choose from.

Washoe State Park, Carson City, NV

Washoe State Park, Carson City, NV

Washoe Lake. Washoe State Park, Carson City, NV

Nyah lovin the run and jack-rabbit fun

Which Way did he go? I could get that jack-rabbit, if I get another chance!

Which way did he go?

The bridge to Carson City, NV

This was our camp site, right in the thick of things.

Washoe State Park, Carson City, NV

The wild horses came through the back side of the camp every morning!

Wild horses can’t keep me away!

Going into Carson City gave us the opportunity to try the In and Out Burger place. It was good, for fast-food.

In and Out

We stayed at Washoe for an extra few days because we finally had cell service, and there was this little problem at home which required attention. Fortunately, we avoided a direct hit and all went well, except for a few days without power. Thank you Ashley and Ron for rescuing the conch and Ashton for keeping No Ka Oi safe!

Hurricane Matthew!

Hurricane avoided at home! But here we had a different weather concern. The freezing weather finally caught up with us! Night one, we were cold. Night two…we were really cold. We woke up several times…we had every blanket we owned on…we wore several layers of sweatshirts and pants…we snuggled…we shivered! In the morning, when I picked up the tea kettle, the water was frozen. The dog’s water dish was frozen. The top of the trailer and the van had a layer of ice. We went to Carson City to shop for a heater! Night three…we slept much better!

Ice!

The cold weather caught up with us, and we were ready to move along and we were ready for California. Next stop, Calaveras Big Tree State Park.

Time too find some warm weather!

Short, Short Trailer, Long, Long Trip: Yellowstone 2016_09_26

 

North Gate, Yellowstone National Park

North Gate, Yellowstone National Park

I haven’t given up our blog. Yes, the past few months have been crazy, with the holidays, a sick pup and more travel, but I am determined to post an overview of our Short, Short Trailer trip. So here is the next stop along the way…YELLOWSTONE!

We were so excited to get to Wyoming, because we were only hours away from Yellowstone. Actually, we were 355 miles from a Casa Walmart, which put us about three hours away from Gardiner, Montana. We were able to get a Wyoming sign shot at a rest area.

Welcome to Wyoming

Welcome to Wyoming

We made a reservation for a site at Rocky Mountain RV Village. It was a very nice park, with an Elk problem, they only did walk throughs, we never saw one enter a camper. This is our camp site. We had electric for A/C when we had to leave Nyah to ride the motorcycle.

Nyah soaking up the Montana sunshine

Nyah soaking up the Montana sunshine, Rocky Mountain RV Park, Gardiner, MT

This is the view from the campground overlooking Gardiner and the North entrance to Yellowstone National Park.

Gardiner, Montana. North entrance to Yellowstone National Park

Gardiner, Montana. North entrance to Yellowstone National Park

I already want to go back. It would be wonderful to schedule months of nothing more than hiking, viewing and soaking in all the beauty Yellowstone National Park has to offer, our five days in the park were not enough.

Having the motorcycle made touring Yellowstone very personal and close up. Being the end of September meant there was a little less traffic to contend with, but never underestimate how many times people will stop…dead in the road…to take a picture! We actually had a fender-bender while we were in the park, fortunately, no one was hurt, and we were in the van when it happened and not on the motorcycle.

 

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North entrance, Yellowstone National Park

Here is the photo-journal, with captions. I don’t have more words to describe all this beauty. Enjoy!

 

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Gardiner River, Yellowstone National Park

 

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Yellowstone National Park

 

Sheepeater Cliff, Yellowstone National Park

Sheepeater Cliff, Yellowstone National Park

 

Sheepeater Cliffs, Yellowstone National Park

Sheepeater Cliff, Yellowstone National Park

 

Motorcycling Yellowstone

Motorcycling Yellowstone

 

Phantom Lake area, Yellowstone National Park

Phantom Lake area, Yellowstone National Park

 

Wildlife, Yellowstone National Park

Wildlife, Yellowstone National Park

 

Wild flowers and fall folliage, Yellowstone National Park

Wild flowers and fall foliage, Yellowstone National Park

 

Results of Pine Beetle epidemic, Yellowstone National Park

Results of Pine Beetle epidemic, Yellowstone National Park

 

Petrified Tree, Yellowstone National Park

Petrified Tree, Yellowstone National Park

 

Tower Falls, Yellowstone National Park

Tower Falls, Yellowstone National Park

 

Hiking to Lower Tower Falls, Yellowstone National Park

Hiking to Lower Tower Falls, Yellowstone National Park

 

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone National Park

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone National Park

 

Norris Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

Norris Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

 

Norris Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

Norris Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

 

Midway Geyser Basin. Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park

Midway Geyser Basin. Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park

 

Midway Geyser area, Yellowstone National Park

Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

 

Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

 

Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

 

Mud Pots, Yellowstone National Park

Mud Pots, Yellowstone National Park

 

Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park

Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park

 

Gardiner River, where the Boiling River meets. You can swim and soak up the heat, as close as you dare! Yellowstone National Park

Where the Gardiner River and the Boiling River meet. You can swim and soak up the heat, as close as you dare! Two miles South of North entrance. Yellowstone National Park

 

Lewis Lake, Lewis Lake Campground, Yellowstone National Park

Lewis Lake, Lewis Lake Campground, Yellowstone National Park

 

Sunset, Yellowstone National Park

Sunset, Yellowstone National Park

Photos do not even begin to tell the story of how beautiful and how big Yellowstone National Park is. If you have never been there or if its been a while, I hope this post will spark your desire to see her again soon!

Thanks for sharing our adventure with us.

Short, Short Trailer, Long, Long Trip: Our next Adventure

imageWe have tied No Ka Oi up to the dock and stepped back onto dirt for a few months.

The Captain had the cogs in motion for a new adventure, even before we coiled the dock lines and unpacked the fridge.

We needed a road trip.

It should include the motorcycle.

It should be low budget, cause that’s how we roll.

Camping. Adventure. Two crazy people willing to try just about anything once. That’s us!

We plan to visit friends and family, as we make our way from Florida to California, pulling our new trailer/toy hauler/mini camper. We plan to make as many stops as we can squeeze in, while we take our retirement adventure to new places.

But, first we had to get our short, short camper.

We went trailer shopping. After looking at a bunch, we decided on one from Indian River Trailers, in South Vero Beach. The quality of their trailers became obvious compared to the others we looked at, and they aren’t shipped in from another state, but made right on site. Our baby was in the bay getting her final touches, and we picked her up the next afternoon. In addition to quality, our goal was to get the smallest trailer which could carry the motorcycle and also give us a bit of camping space.

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Repurposing everything we could from our formidable collection of stuff, because that’s how you keep the budget low, we spent several weeks getting her ready to roll.

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Welcome to the Short, Short Trailer goes on a Long, Long Trip.

Incase you have never seen Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in a Long, Long Trailer, this is the clip that describes us best.

Lacey has nothing on us when it comes to rock collecting, here’s a sample from our last trip to North Carolina, and this doesn’t include the ones we used to build a waterfall in our atrium. Our jeep was “weighted down,” to say the least. We aren’t about to do that on this trip! I hope!!!

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We were weighted down with necessities, so the Captain added new shocks to our van, then we had to test the load. We made a weekend trip to the Keys, to catch up with friends. We had a great afternoon visit with Captain Jack, Cheryl, and Eureka at our campsite at Long Key State Park. Steve, Cyndi, and Molly came to hang out too and took us to Key West for a little more fun.

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On our way back home, we had a little fun on the Pilar, practicing our Hemingway impressions. Captain, you’ll need to work on the beard I think.

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Of course, the original Pilar is actually in Havana, Cuba. This is a remodeled sister vessel, sitting inside the show room of the Bass Pro Shop in Islandmorada, but it was interesting nonetheless. Here’s a little article about Pilar’s present state of condition by Captain Bill Pike, if you didn’t know. http://www.powerandmotoryacht.com/bboats/hemingway%E2%80%99s-pilar

Back home we did a little more tweaking and final packing before we were off. Just in time to meet hurricane Hermine at the Florida/Georgia border. Fortunately, we only hit one band and managed to skate past the rest, before rain deluged the area.

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We arrived in Blairsville, Georgia after midnight and the first night out on our adventure was spent sleeping in a Walmart parking lot! And YES, there’s an app for that! It lists the Walmarts that allow overnight parking or not (ONP Walmart.) I called the store manager ahead of time to verify the ability to stay, and since we only needed a place to sleep and had places to go early the next morning, it was the perfect “free” campsite. Thanks Walmart, we appreciate it.

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Friday was a busy day, we met John and Janet at a local flea market and then went to breakfast. They showed us their property, which is for sale, and their cozy cabin. They have a nice relaxing place. We are really liking Blairsville.

Smokin Jim’s Que, was what’s for lunch. We were so excited to to eat at our favorite place with the added bonus of sharing the time with former sailboat people. We forgave them for becoming land lubbers and had a great visit with Gary and Debbie. Their home under construction, in Hiawassee, is going to be so beautiful and Debbie has filled the foundations with scriptures, so it will be a blessing too. Glad they picked such a wonderful spot to plant themselves.

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Gary and Debbie also found us our second night’s camp ground, also a freebie, thanks to TVA. Lake Chatuge was a relaxing little roadside camp for the night.

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Late Saturday morning we made our way back to Blairsville, just in time for a Cuban lunch at Dan’s, with Rick and Jennifer. I know it’s a bit far from Miami, but this is gooooood food! Then we headed up to their cabin to unload the motorcycle and for Dave to arrive, at Rick and Jennifer’s cabin. We were ready for a week of riding and fun in the mountains.

You know there was more Smokin Jim’s in store!

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And a ride to Cherokee and the Blue Ridge Parkway, with Rick and Jennifer, Dave  and we met Don Curley, who led the way.

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Back at the cabin, the boys had a little bee problem that needed attention. This looks an awful lot like a Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn moment to me.

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The week was just getting rolling when the call from home came and Miss Nyah was not feeling very well. We had to go home and figure out what was up with our baby.

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This was a little glitch in our plan, but after vet visits and diagnosis, we decided to take her with us. Her diagnosis is most likely lymphoma, and her prognosis is unclear, but for now she is enjoying our trip and loving life, as only and Rhodesian Ridgeback can do. We are pretty sure, she just wanted to come along for the Short, Short Trailer adventure.

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Stay tuned…the adventure is under way…and it’s interfering with my ability to get blogs posted, so be patient! Thanks for following us.

‘Hamas: Grand Cays 2016_07_19

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Grand Cays was our last main stop on this Bahamas trip. Depending on what you look at, it is referred to as Grand Cay or Grand Cays. It is really a group of small cays, South of Walker’s Cay. Little Grand Cay (according to the chart books we have aboard) is the main island where its 350 plus residence live and work. This is the closest Island to Walker’s Cay, which was destroyed by Hurricanes Frances and Jean back in 2004, and is where many of the residents of Grand Cay used to work.

We love, love, love the Grands. The people are wonderful. The cay is friendly. There is no pretense here. The tourists are usually a bunch of fishermen and their families, who just like to fish. They come over from Florida for a few days to a week, on whatever fishing boat they felt safe to cross the Gulf-Stream in. Some fly over to hang out on the beautiful cay. All of whom you will eventually sit down at the picnic table and chat with if you hang around long enough. And you’ll want to hang around a bit, there is plenty of options for having fun.

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Long travel day for Nyah, we left Allens Pensacola for Grand Cays. top right and bottom left is outside of the Harbour of Little Grand Cay. The tower is still standing, and there are new houses since our last visit.

This is Little Grand Cay Harbour. The two story dock deck house is next to Flanigan’s Houseboat and usually flanked by the Big Daddy, Little Daddy and the Wee Daddy. The kids always enjoy jumping from up there too. Rosie’s place is the restaurant, but there is also a liquor store, grocery and marina and fuel docks. The guys from the Defense boat stopped by for a few hours for some “refreshments” dock side.

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Sights around the harbour. Top left, No Ka Oi, mid, Rosie’s docks, right, Rosie’s cargo barge. Middle row, left, Rosie’s docks and the Flanigan’s two story dock deck house, right, house on Grand Cay. Bottom, main street and the Bahama’s Defense Force stopped by for a few hours.

Our first stop is always Iris’ bakery. Her bread and baked goods are always yummy!!! We had bread, banana bread, and coconut sweets.

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Dinner at Rosie’s is a must. we had grouper and much fun!

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Rosie’s for dinner. My grouper was baked.

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The Captain’s was fried!

Cigars and sillies around Grand Cay.

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Police, I need help with this guy!

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This, Captain, is why I’m always behind…just one more pic.

We went kayaking all around Grand Cay. There were lots of coves and creeks and of course, beautiful beaches.

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I’m finally getting in front of you Captain!

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This is the electricity going to Grand Cays from Walker’s Cay.

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End of the trail overlooking the beach of Grand Cay.

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top right, trail from creek to beach. Open fields with benches and table for gatherings, we assume. Rocky beaches are still awesome.

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Crabs and shells

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The little bird was not happy with the big bird. He chased him all around the pond several times making quite the ruckus.

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“I see you!” says the Conch. Starfish, large lizards came dashing out for my dropped cracker. It’s just a shark!

We headed over to Seal Cay because we heard about the cave. We always have to check out caves.

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How to park. Get dingy in the right spot, toss out the stern anchor, adjust, tie up the front, adjust…pray it doesn’t get away somehow.

There were two memorials on Seal Cay, one for Joe “Big Daddy” Flanigan and one for Donald Wood. Be sure to bring your shoes, this is a rocky place.19 ea11643807bb48d2b386a65d9634e113

Seal Cay was really small, but beautiful just the same.

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If you didn’t know this was over here, you would miss it. After walking up the rocks, it just appears! Magnificent.

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Watching the waves and tide come in on Seal Cay.

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This is how the Captain gets the best Go-Pro shots. He has really made some great videos. I can’t wait to add them to the blog.

PHOTO BOMB! I took this shot with my iPhone and noticed something I thought would render this pic useless…

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When I zoomed in, it was the biggest Eagle Ray we have ever seen. Thanks for the photo bomb, I love it!

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Walker’s Cay was just a little further than Seal Cay, so we headed over to see what it looked like. We heard that even the customs officers were at Grands now, so we were shocked when we went in the marina and found someone mowing the hill. Walker’s was decimated by hurricanes Frances and Jeane back in 2004. We figured there would be ruins and remains, but everything was cleaned up and being maintained. The generators were running and the airstrip was in wonderful condition. Walker’s is for sale, if your interested, here’s the link. Only 14,000,000. Don’t miss out! And it comes with it’s own power company.

This is Marvin. Marvin does it all. He not only mows, he maintains the generators and anything else that happens here on Walker’s Cay…and he is a really nice guy! We had a nice chat with him while he ate his lunch, he drives the little whaler named M & M’s, that’s for Marvin and his three little boys. I’m pretty sure the Captain wants this job should he find he has to go back to work some day.

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Marvin mowing.

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Paths and road all over, and a few foundations and pools left. Customs office on Walker’s Cay.

Marina will need some work, but the water is still as beautiful as ever.

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Air strip, how about an air show here?

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Walker’s Cay power plant. The two generators supply the power needed here and over on Grand Cays.

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The Captain is applying for the vacancy, when it come available.

Toys for boys.

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One of the things I have enjoyed around the Bahamas is the flowers and plants. They grow in dirt, if its available, and if not, rocks are good too.

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I’m on a mission for some bougainvillea this color, my yard would like this.

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The Captain found more bananas. Unlike the last ones, which were quite small, these are mega bananas.

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I mentioned that I would like a little conch to take home in the freezer and the Captain fulfilled my request and then some. He is a keeper!
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A few days before we left the Grands, we headed over the Wells Bay. There are so many beautiful spots in this area, its hard to pick a favorite.

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Nyah started working on her fishing skills when we first arrived in the Bahamas. She was in her prime by the time we were in the Grands. There was no distracting her from her mission, she was all focused on watching and waiting, until it was time for the chase.
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Rock outcroppings in Wells Bay.

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I’ll have one more entry for our Bahamas trip, our passage home. I usually pick my favorite sunset to end, but this time, we were blessed with so many beautiful choices, I had to pick two. Thank you for following along with us, it is so good to have friends to share our adventure with.

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Sunset Well’s Bay, Grand Cays Bahamas.

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‘Hamas: Powell Cay 2016_07_13

DCIM100GOPROGOPR2128.After leaving No Name, we stayed a couple nights at Manjack on our way to Powell Cay. Cheryl and I hiked up to the bluff and down to the ocean beach, and enjoyed the gardens and trails around Manjack, while the Captain and Jack took out in the dinghy for one more dive.

The morning we were heading to Powell Cay, we found a seal had leaked on the generator. Oh my, what a mess! Oil, oil, everywhere oil. The rest of the morning was spent repairing the seal and cleaning up the mess, then off to Powell Cay we went.

We have been blessed with beautiful weather and it continued at Powell Cay. We spent three days exploring the waters around the cay, which included rocky areas on the north east side and a wreck located right in the anchorage.

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We anchored where the red triangle is and snorkeled from Soldier Cay to the north tip of Powell Cay.

First snorkeling trip.

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Sea biscuits

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Reef off Powell Cay

Nice catch, Captain Jack! 4 pounds of grouper for dinner…yum!

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Jack and Cheryl, these two keep us on our toes!

Grouper, what Cheryl and Jack are having for supper!

Grouper, what Cheryl and Jack are having for supper!

The closer to opening day, the braver the lobsters seem.

Does this grass make my tentacles look long?

Does this grass make my tentacles look long?

How about this rock?

You can’t see me, you can’t see me!

The Captain trolled me around and I found these conchs. The Helmet conch was beautiful, but it went back to the sea after its photo op. Of course, if we find conch, someone has to pound it out and fry it up (after the Captain gets it out of the shell and cleans it, of course!)

Queen conch (left) and Helmet conch (right)

Queen conch (left) and Helmet conch (right)

Cracked conch, put some muscle into it!

Cracked conch, put some muscle into it!

Here are some of the views of Powell Cay from the water, as we went around the cay.

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Beaches around Powell Cay

Beer-thirty.

Doggies need a walk, people need to talk...we call it beer-thirty. Happening at a beach near us.

Doggies need a walk, people need to talk…we call it beer-thirty, happening at a beach near us.

I wonder if they all quit on the same day?

Hard hat collection at Powell Cay.

Hard hat collection at Powell Cay.

Sunsets are awesome!

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Sunset Powell Cay

Second day of snorkeling. Off the North East side of the cay.

Powell Cay

Powell Cay

The wreck inside the harbor was much better than we imagined.

Must be something good down there...

Must be something good down there…

Wreck at Powell Cay.

Wreck at Powell Cay.

The Captain landed this Dog Snapper at the wreck.

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Dog snapper

And rid the world of one more Lionfish.

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Lionfish, another one bites the dust.

This anchor and affiliated weighted stuff, which someone used to make a mooring, was under our boat when we anchored. I really want the Captain to break this anchor loose and bring it home for me. It would be a perfect yard ornament and he could use it as a hurricane anchor when needed. But, at 100 to 150 pounds, it’s not happening!

Please, can I take it home?

Please, can I take it home?

We enjoyed beautiful days and gorgeous sunsets at Powell Cay. We didn’t explore the island this time, we have done so on previous trips when the weather wasn’t so nice for going off shore. Next stop will be back to Alan’s Pensacola for a bit, as we make our way toward Double Breasted and Grand Cays. Thanks for following along with us.

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