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Welcome to the travels of Doug and Nada. We love the Lord and are traveling full-time in our motorhome with our German Shepherd, Homer. Homer is the star attraction wherever we stop and he gets us talking and sharing with many people. DON'T FORGET: YOU CAN ENLARGE EACH PHOTO BY CLICKING ON THE PHOTO! The newest blog post is at the top and they go back in time as you scroll down. If you want to see each photo larger, you can just click on the photo and it will enlarge. If you decide to leave a comment, don't forget to sign it so we know who left it. ;-) Folks: This site is under continual construction as we travel and see this beautiful country. Check back for more updates and photos. Thanks for visiting with us! May God bless your day!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Williston FL

We next headed to Jacksonville, FL. Doug thought that Air Photo had some photos for him to sell in the Jacksonville area but we found out after we arrived that wasn't the case. So after a quick drive through St. Augustine (oldest city in the USA), we headed to the Gainesville area where they do have photos for him. We found the gated Williston Crossings RV Resort in the sleepy little town of Williston about 15 miles southwest of Gainesville (home of the Univ. of Florida). The town is a sea of orange for the Florida Gators. We are going to stay here at the Williston Crosssings for at about a month - a combination of sightseeing and Doug selling photos. This resort is just in its third year and is still under construction but what they have done so far is beautiful.

To the right is a picture of the fire pit where many folks gather after dark each evening for a time of sitting around the fire and conversation. The weather is beautiful. Last night we walked with Homer at 11 PM and it was 73 degrees. Today it was up to 80 degrees again. It is hard to imagine the cold and snow that is at home in Pennsylvania. The owner of this resort has the vision of a small town done in the 1950's style of Mayberry from the Andy Griffith Show. He has already installed a covered bridge and he had purchased working antique police cars, fire engines, and trolley cars.
The resort will span a total of 160 acres when all done. The campsites are large and also secluded so we are really enjoying our stay here.

Doug took the opportunity of the warm sunny weather to take everything out of the basement of the motorhome and reorganize everything we had thrown in there in the cold snowstorm as we were preparing to leave Pennsylvania. So here is a photo of Doug and Homer organizing the "stuff." Homer has made many friends (and growls at a few doggies, too!). Almost everyone has a dog here - every kind from a huge spotted Great Dane (he looks like a dalmatian on steroids) to the smallest dog I have ever seen.

Stone Mountain, GA

We next headed to Jonesboro, GA where we bought the motorhome in October. The dealer was going to do some maintenance and repairs for us. We enjoyed some Georgia pizza with our friends, Ken and Mary Jo Patterson. They were kind enough to have looked over the motorhome for us back in August before we actually bought it.

While the coach was worked on, we took the opportunity to visit Stone Mountain - the south's equivalent of Mt. Rushmore. I (Nada) had been here when I was a kid. At that time, the carving had stopped and they were just talking about finishing it. As a kid, I vividly remember prisoners in orange and white strip suits and chains around their ankles and wrists working with picks and shovels to make the "new" parking lot. Since that time, they have finished it and also made a beautiful park around the base of the granite mountain. Homer enjoyed the time to walk around with us seeing how they used to mine the granite and the quaint grist mill. We just love going to these places in the off-season. We have the whole place to ourselves. It is so peaceful and beautiful.

It's too cold! We're heading south!

It's too cold! We're heading south! After spending over a month and a half remodeling our house and cleaning out our possessions, we are finally heading south for some R & R where it is warm! Our house was on the market for a week and we have a contract! Praise God! On February 14th, we were going to leave home (or run away from home, as some might call it) but a winter snow storm and a warning on our transmission pump on the Lexus tow car caused us instead to head to Lancaster to the RV dealer who installed the transmission pump so we could tow the Lexus. We spent our first night in Willow Street, PA so they could look at it first thing. It turned out to be an air bubble and we were on our way by 9:30 AM. So south we headed.

We drove until 11:30 PM and made it to Sieverville, TN to the lovely Riverside Campground where we had stayed two years ago. It is owned by a Christian couple. Two years ago, we wondered why the road from I-40 through Sieverville and Pigeon Forge to Gatlinberg was 6 lanes wide. We found out since it was President's Day weekend as the traffic was solid and just creeping. We waited until the next day and left early... My goal was to go up the aerial tram to see Ober Gatlinberg. Josh and Doug had done this with Bruce Eagleson and the Eagleson kids many years ago but I (Nada) had never been there. We tried two years ago, but the tram was under going its routine maintenance as they switched from ski season to summer tourist season. So I was hopeful this time. Alas, I still haven't made it to the top! This time, a front was coming through and they closed the tram due to 75 MPH winds at the top of the mountain. It was beautiful in Gatlinberg with temps in the high 60's and lots of Christian folks as the United Church of Christ was having a Winterfest Weekend there. It took us an hour to walk 3 blocks as all the Homer admirers kept stopping us to pet Homer. We ate our lunch at an outdoor cafe and Homer under the table was once again an attraction. He is such a ham - he loves all the rubs he gets!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Rothgaber Travels

For those of you that don't know our details, here goes a quick summary......

We fell in love with motorhoming years ago (1970's) when we rented a friend's motorhome for our vacations. We even took it to the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, NY. We got away from motorhoming as
we raised our son and Doug's job with Penn State took him all over the state doing conferences at hotels. In 2003 we rented a motorhome to drive to Phoenix, AZ because our son, Josh, was going to New Mexico. That trip got us hooked again. Three months after we returned home, we bought a 1976 GMC classic motorhome. The GMCs were way ahead of their time as 13,000 of them were made from 1973 to 1978. About 9,000 of them are still alive and well. There is a super network of owners throughout the country and on the web. When Doug decided to retire early from Penn State, we first thought we would travel in our GMC and return to our home base. The more we thought about it, the more we decided to go fulltime and sell our home. Many issues contributed to that decision, but I don't need to go into that here. We decided to sell our GMC and move into a larger motorhome. We researched and shopped for about 9 months trying to make the decision which motorhome we should buy.

On October 1, 2007 we bought the Tiffin Allegro Bus. We traveled home with it from Atlanta, GA. Now we are packing it and getting ready to take our first long journey in the next week or so. Of course we want to head south for sun and warmth! Doug is going to sell aerial photos of homes to suppliment his retirement income as we travel around the country ministering as we go. More on that later!