04/15/19 Anderson, SC

DAY #177

Went into Hartwell, GA to check out that city. Hartwell is 13 miles from the park going south, and Anderson, SC is about the same distance going north. I’ve gone into Anderson a couple of times but admittedly not to the city center. What I’ve seen of Anderson so far hasn’t really impressed me, but to be fair I’ve not gone into the city center which is were you really see the reflection of the culture of the town and surrounding area.

So hop in, buckle up, sit back, and enjoy the ride as we meander around Hartwell, GA. (have I used this line before? Oh well, kind of like how it sounds).

The Savannah river.
Lake Hartwell dam.
You can see I really was taken with the old station.
Just so much history.

You can tell by all the photos that I really liked spending some time in Hartwell. strip away back to the bones of the buildings and you can see so much history in this southern city.

It was a good day to be alive.

04/14/19 Anderson, SC

DAY #176

Spent the day for the most part just hanging around the campsite. Heavy thunderstorms came through the area early but fortunately, the worst of it spared the campground. It did get quite windy and wow, all the seeds from the trees (not sure what kind) that got blown around. It covered the truck and trailer with seeds/pollen everywhere. After the wind came the rain and it rained pretty hard for a short while. One positive note, the slide did not appear to be leaking, that was such good news.

Afterwards, it cleared up but remained quite breezy and the forecast was for more storms, potentially severe going through the area later in the evening. I had survived round one, would I be so lucky to get through round two unscathed?

I headed into Anderson and went to Walmart and then McDonalds where I thought I could use their wifi to upload some apps on the iPad. It seems that Verizon requires the use of wifi when you want to download an app thats over a set amount of data (e.g. my facebook site). I get it that Verizon is trying to save costs by limiting the amount of data you can download at one time, but when as in my case you have the unlimited data plan, it doesn’t make much sense, and it does make it inconvenient and frustrating. After getting my order and sitting down to load up, I Found out that since this McDonalds was new, they had not yet set up their wifi for customers to use.

Made it back to the campground and hunkered down for the rest of the night. The campground is situated along the shores of Lake Hartwell and looks very similar to the campground at Dreher Island State Park which was situated on Lake Murray. Lake Hartwell like lake Murray is not a natural lake but rather a man-made reservoir and a big one at that.

The lake bottom has a pronounced red tinge to it as does the soil in the area.

The park takes you out of the hustle and bustle into the peace and quiet.

The road entering the Park.
Some views of the park coming and going to the campsite.

The sites are pretty close together but fortunately for me, the ones next to me are open which is making for a nice cushion from the other campers.

Some views of the campground.
It really is beautiful what with the trees coming alive with spring.
Home away from home.

Night came and so did the storms. Spent the bulk of the evening watching the storm front on TV and simultaneously tracking it on the internet. Is there going to be a tornado or not? Is the worst of the storm going to go over the campground or not? These were questions going through my head most of the evening as I oscillated between it’s going to be OK, to all is lost, I doomed. In the end, the winds came and blew hard, the trailer she was a rocking and it wasn’t about knock en, it was about is this thing going to blow away? Then the rains came and it rained hard. After a couple of hours, the worst was over and the trailer was saved. No being blown away and no water leaking in the trailer. I am thankful for being spared this night.

04/13/19 Chapin-Anderson, SC.

DAY #175

Moving day once again (so soon?). Up early and got the trailer ready for the road. I’ve got the routine down pretty well and I am still so thankful when everything goes as it’s supposed to.

Relatively short time on the road today, only about two and half hours and I was at the next stop on the journey. I could have taken freeway most of the way but because it was such a short ride and hey, since I wasn’t in any hurry, I decided to take back roads, for me it’s the only way to go. the roads were quiet and going through the small towns gave me a satisfying glimpse of remnants of the old south.

This part of South Carolina looks pretty much like the area around Dreher Island State Park and while it’s not what I would call exciting, it’s still has a really nice look and feel to it.

Made it to Sadler Creek State Park without incident and found the campsite. It was a tight one and I was feeling good about myself for getting the trailer into it without much trouble. When I checked the trailer it was once again at a bit of a slant similar to the last site. I took one of the leveling pads I had and put it down on the ground and backed the tire onto it. Got the level out and checked, yes! that did the trick and this time, the trailer was level. Let it rain I thought, I’m ready for it.

04/12/19 Chapin, SC

DAY #174

Another slow day here at the ranch, the last day at Dreher Island State Park. Had a bit of rain in the morning, then it cleared up (for the most part) and continued to be warm and humid.

On my agenda today was to figure out how to use the iPad in transferring photos from the camera to the Nikon ‘Snapchat’ app and then to google pictures. Since Apple and Android are two different operating systems, they each have their own learning curve, and right now, that curve is with Apple. I tend to forget that it’s all a learning experience, it’s supposed to do what I want, when I want, and how I want, and if it doesn’t, well I’ll just throw a tantrum and that will show it. In the end I was able to do it but how I did it, well not quite sure about that, still learning I guess.

Strolling around the park early this afternoon I came upon a Blue Jay. First time since getting here that I saw one and it was a fun sighting.

The big event for today was to take a ride into town to do laundry. get some cash from an ATM, and gas up the truck for tomorrow’s departure.

One thing I did notice was water still coming in from the slide. I went out and put some duct tape (isn’t it good for every situation?) around the corner of the slide in an attempt to block the water from running into the trailer. I also put a towel in the trailer to soak up any water that may come in. When I brought the trailer in for the leak from the vent I did also mention the leak by the slide and was assured that it was not because of any sealant issues. I still think it’s because of the slant from not being level. Next site I’ll make sure this doesn’t happen again.

I guess if this is my most pressing concern, I’m doing pretty good.

04/11/19 Chapin, SC

DAY #173

Decided that I wanted to upgrade my tablet. Did I need to? Was there anything wrong with the one I had? No, and no, but that little voice in my head began to speak to me in that ‘I want it’ dialect and I was helpless.

I had been looking at the new iPad Air 10.5″ online and the more I looked the more convinced I became that I just had to get it. Did some checking and found that there was one available at a Verizon store in Columbia. I called to make sure they had one and when they confirmed they did, I was off.

I decided to stick with Verizon. I know I’ve had issues connecting with their service numerous times on the journey but the fact is, none of the others are really any better. Plus by buying from Verizon on a two year contract, I saved $200.00. That was enough to push me over the edge to stay with them.

The transaction and switch over from my old tablet which I traded in and got a whopping $31.00, went seamless, and I was now the proud owner of a Apple iPad Air.

I was so worn out from all the excitement that I had to go back to the campsite and recharge for the rest of the day.

04/10/19 Chapin, SC

DAY 172

Another day of just hanging around the campsite. Even though nothing was accomplished (and I mean nothing), it continues to be so peaceful and satisfying just watching the squirrels and robins as they go about their business, or walking down by the lake and seeing turtle after turtle sunning themselves on logs. Where as the squirrels and birds seem pretty used to being around people, the turtles are a lot more skittish, and you have to go into stealth mode to get close enough to observe. It doesn’t take much and plop, off they go into the water.

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Usually they could care less about people, that is until you try and take a photo of them.
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Ah, the life of a turtle.
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These guys are one of my favorite birds, they just have a way about them.

I spoke too soon when I said I did nothing today, I did go into Chapin to mail a letter, and I stopped for a bite to eat at a local restaurant which turned out to be really good.

Viviendo la buena vida.

04/09/19 Chapin, SC.

DAY #171

Yesterday turned out so well I decided to do it again today, which means that again, I did very little. The weather was beautiful and having the birds, squirrels, turtles, and all the rest just going about their business was so enjoyable. Ya know what, it never gets old. I had a new sighting today. Driving down the road into the park I came across a young doe, it was just so cool.

I think I could grow old here (Oh yea, I already am).

04/08/19 Chapin, SC

DAY #170

Not much accomplished today but that’s part of the lure of setting up the trailer in a State Park campground. I’m working on it to feel OK doing nothing (within reason) and as I’ve said before, I’m really good at it, in fact I excel at it.

My front street at Dreher Island State Park.

I like that there are so many squirrels, robins and cardinals just going about their business, paying little attention to us humans. I’m getting a lot of enjoyment watching the robins as they go about their routine, they are such cool little birds, and I gotta say, one of my favorite.

the cardinals are a little more skittish towards humans but they get close enough so you know they’re around. Everytime I see one with their brilliant red color, it really gives me a charge.

Finally got to get a photo of this little fellow.

One thing I did so today was to find out about my tax status for 2018. It’s a new and different experience having to do my taxes via email. but being over a thousand miles from home, doesn’t leave me with many options. Thankfully, it’s not as bad as I feared it would be. Yes, I do owe Federal and State but it’s an amount that I can handle. I didn’t actually file yet, what I did get was an extension. I still have to sign and send in the returns when I get back to Osakis, and I have to pay what’s owed by April 15, but I’m good to go tax wise for another year.

Another nice day on the journey.

04/07/19 Chapin, SC

DAY #169

First full day on the island. Took a ride into Chapin, SC, to do some shopping at the local Publix (I do like Publix) and do a quick once over of the park and the surrounding area.

A lot of folks have packed up and headed home making the campground a bit more serene. The sites are close together and not a lot of undergrowth to tuck you into the site, but the trees are large and diverse and with spring underway, budding and bursting with color. The lake surrounds the campground, and a big lake (reservoir) it is. Judging by the number of boats I’ve seen being towed down the road since getting here, this lake is mega popular with fisherman. The park is big, taking up a large peninsula of the lake, and has two campgrounds. After checking the other campground out I think it provides sites that are a bit more secluded but hey, I can live with where I’m at.

Chapin, SC, is a nice place. It’s more an extension of Columbia than a stand alone town these days. I get the feeling that it sits on the line between exurb and rural and judging by the growth of housing and commercial in the area, it won’t be long before that line will be gone and Chapin will become just another suburb of Columbia.

It’s nice coming back into the park, you really feel like you can escape the encroaching development and get back to where nature is still the boss.

04/06/19 Chapin, SC

DAY #168

Slept in late this morning, while the room was as I pointed out a kind of dive, the bed turned out to be comfortable and along with the TV, were the best things about my Motel 6 experience. Checkout time was 11:00 am and since I hadn’t heard yet from Gander RV, I didn’t leave until the last minute. I emailed the service advisor at Gander when I left and thankfully, she emailed me back letting me know things were coming along.

Before going to the RV place, decided to stop for lunch. Stopped at a place called the ‘farmhaus’ and had a decent burger and fries (far and away better than a fast food place). I do prefer patronizing local spots and this ended up being a good one.

I didn’t do any roaming around Augusta which I kind of regret. It’s a big city and combined with the overall situation, I was feeling out of synch and somewhat lost. I guess my interest and motivation had become temporarily zapped.

After lunch, made my way over to Gander RV and hung out in the truck waiting for the service to be completed, I was more than ready to finally be on my way. The delay now was not in getting the work done but rather, letting the caulking cure (dry), which takes four hours.

As I was waiting, I decided to do some research into the caulking (sealant) on trailer roofs. What I found out didn’t make me feel much better. It seems that the warranty on roof sealant is only for ninety days. I checked the owner’s manual (online) and yea, that’s the case. Also found out that this is considered normal maintenance and should be inspected at the very least once a year. I’ve had the trailer for just under a year and not sure how long it sat before I bought it so it wasn’t unreasonable that the leaks occurred. I guess one could consider this a lesson learned (the hard way) in the life of owning a travel trailer.

Finally, at around 2:30 pm the job was done and all that was left to do was pay the bill ($546.45) and I could hit the road once again. While the experience was certainly not a positive one (to say the least), the folks I worked with on this were decent and helped make it a little less painful. They seemed to have looked out for me (as best they could) on this issue.

Back on the road with my newly sealed roof and I gotta say, it felt good. Drove a little over an hour and half and made it to Dreher Island State Park.

Checked in with the ranger and proceed to my sight. After setting up I noticed that the trailer again had a bit of a lean to the right. I could have, and in hindsight should have tried to adjust it, but I was lazy and fooled myself into thinking it would be alright. Time would prove me wrong.

I was ready to spend some time here in South Carolina.