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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!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pigeon Forge, TN

Hi everyone. We are in Pigeon Forge, TN enjoying some down time. Doug has been fixing little things on the motorhome and I have been doing some concentrated CHAP work that needs done in preparation for our CHAP Convention in May. We got our new dining table – I posted some photos under the entry "Remodeling." We arrived here last Saturday amid all the weekend tourist traffic. It is good that Doug loves this place or he wouldn't have been such a happy driver negotiating all the crazy tourist drivers through the 15 miles from the I-40! We often stop off in this area on our way north or south - this is the busiest we have seen it. For some reason we both like the area. Maybe because it reminds us of Hershey, PA, our home area. I'll get some photos as soon as it stops raining!

We've made a mental note to not visit our "residence" area, Rapid City, SD in October OR March. We were chased out of there last mid-October by a blizzard of 26" of snow. Now we see they had a late blizzard of 20 + inches of snow. Hmnnn..... not where we want to be anymore!

Blessings on your day!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Stone Mountain, GA

We were at Stone Mountain last February and thought it was such a lovely park and location so after the Rally in Perry we decided to spend a night at the campground at Stone Mountain. There were more people here this time than a year ago February. It was a beautiful time of year to visit. Doug took these super photos of the Memorial – Jackson, Jefferson, and Lee. I just can't get over how beautiful this park is. When I (Nada) was here when I was in junior high, it was nothing but a gravel parking lot. There was a chain-gang working the gravel with picks and shovels in their stripe prison uniforms with chains around their ankles and wrists. Can you tell it made quite an impression on me as a young adolescent! Now this park is a quiet enclave surrounded by suburban Atlanta.

As I said, it was a beautiful time to visit. The redbud and cherry trees were in bloom. The weather was in the mid 70's.

Our campsite was looking out over the lake. As we were eating our lunch on our deck, Doug spied the snapping turtles sunning themselves on the log floating in the lake.

As I write this we are crusing up through Georgia and Tennessee headed for Pigeon Forge, TN where we will stay for awhile. See you soon!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Family Motor Coach Assoc. Rally, Perry GA

We went to FMCA's national rally in Perry GA just south of Macon, GA this past week. Learned alot of things. One of our purposes was to review how they run the convention so it will help in our work in running the CHAP Homeschool Convention. The photo above and below is of the internet kiosk terminals.

This photo shows a way they divided some workshop rooms. These are some cattle pen dividers which are about 8' tall. Even though the wood had cracks where the supports were, it really cut down on the noise transfer in the seminar "rooms." In this particular building there were 4 rooms side-by-side – no problem hearing in the rooms, no bleed-over from one room to another.

The central focal point of the the GA Agriculture Center is the Clock Tower.

Remodeling the cabinets

We decided to take the plunge and remodel the cabinets on the one side of our motorhome to make them more conducive to our lifestyle of fulltime motorhome and working on computers. We needed a place for two laptops and file drawers plus we did not like the fixed dining table which made it hard to entertain a meal for 4. So we contacted Chris Berry who used to work for Tiffin Motorhomes and now has his own woodworking shop. We met with Chris and told him what we wanted and he built it in 7 days! We are really please with the results! The above photo shows the dining hutch on the left with the computer table on the right.

This is a "before" photo of the dining hutch with the slide out table. We had removed all the chairs and contents of the cabinets in preparation for Chris bringing the new cabinets.

I put this photo in so if anyone wants to know what it looks like when the dining hutch is removed. The sub-woofer is still sitting on the carpet.

Jason, Chris' assistant and electrician is doing all the wiring in the new cabinets below the low windows. We never could figure out why Tiffin puts in the beautiful low windows and then blocked them with the high computer table.

Here is a view of the new computer cabinet without any drawers or doors.

That is Chris' top end putting the finishing touches on the computer cabinet!

This is Chris' bottom end! I couldn't seem to get a full view of him working!

Now this is a full finish view. We will replace the EuroLounger with a Lambright or Bradd & Hall leather recliner in the fall on our way west.

A close up view of the computer cabinet with space for the printer/scanner below the left laptop area, three file drawers, and 5 other drawers. We are now in organized heaven!

Homer loves the nice big space he has for his bed now that the old computer cabinet is gone. He also likes that he can just raise his head and see out the 2 low windows.

The view looking forward with our new drop leaf table. The table is big enough for Doug and I when the leaves are down and when the leaves are up, it makes a nice table for 4 and a tight table for 6. We just love the arrangement now as it is more home-like.

This is a view with the laptop desks slid out of the cabinet in the work mode. We just turn our dining chairs.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Red Bay, AL

We enjoyed a visit with Bob Tiffin, founder and head of Tiffin Motorhomes. He and Doug spent a lot of time talking football after he found out Doug played for Penn State and JoePa.

You can just see the corner of our Bus by Tiger's tail. Tiger was a really friendly doberman who we lived next to for two weeks. He and Homer got along fine.

This is a view down the one side of the service facility.

A view down the one aisle of the campground area. It is nothing fancy since it was built on an old air strip, but it is full hook-ups and convenient. Plus you can't beat the fellowship with other Tiffin owners.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Red Bay, AL

These are views of the Tennessee River in Decatur, AL. This has been an eventful week here in Red Bay, AL at the Service Facility for Tiffin Motorhomes. My last entry told about our drive to beat the snow. Now it is Friday and it is 75 degrees and beautiful sunshine – But first I must take you back to Monday.

Our Lexus battery decided it didn't like it in the cold Alabama weather so we decided to drive the 30 miles to the nearest WalMart to have a new battery installed while I did some necessary shopping. To make a long story short, I'll just say the mechanics installed the new battery hooking up the terminals backwards which fried the electrical system. Doug was the one who figured out what the problem was but by them the damage was done. So they tried to figure out what damage was done for about an hour. Finally, Doug called Lexus who called for a flatbed tow truck. Now keep in mind we are in rural NW Alabama so it took an hour for the tow truck to arrive and another hour for Enterprise car rental to get a rental car to us. Once we had our rental, we had to drive east an hour and half to the Lexus dealer to get all of our stuff out of the car since the windows were stuck in the half down position. Then we drove the 2 hours west back to Red Bay where the motorhome was parked. It took a day and half to fix the problem. Then we retraced our route back to Huntsville to the Lexus dealer and picked up the car. It is good we had the time to kill while they were working on the motorhome and we were waiting for Chris Berry to build new cabinets for in our motorhome. Such is life!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Beeline to Red Bay, AL

We left San Antonio at 9 AM on Friday, the 27th planning to take two and half days to travel to Red Bay, AL. As we were driving, I was working online and checked the weather. Turns out they were predicting that 4-letter word, S-N-O-W, for Saturday night into Sunday. We made the decision to drive long and hard to get into Red Bay by afternoon on Saturday instead of our planned Sunday arrival. So Friday was a marathon drive for us. Left San Antonio at 9 AM and pulled into a WalMart in the middle of Mississippi at 9 PM. Only stops were for fuel and a quick lunch. We ate dinner after we had okayed our parking with the manager at Walmart then crawled into bed for some needed rest. It started raining during the night and north of us we knew there was a tornado watch and heavy rains.

On Saturday, we got underway early and continued north on I-55 toward Jackson, MS as we were singing the old Johnny Cash and June Carter song, Going to Jackson. Just north of Jackson, MS , we hopped onto the Nachez Trace Parkway (a National Park which spans 444 miles from just south of Nashville to Nachez, MS). It is a beautiful parkway, as you can see from these two photos. It traces the trade route used back in the early 1800's. As soon as we joined the Trace, we saw a white-tail deer and a mile or two later a whole flock of wild-turkeys. THEN I got my camera out and, guess what, no more sightings of any kind! So hence we only have photos of the road. Even my photos of the flooding from the 4 inches of rain they had the day before did not turn out.

We pulled into the Allegro Campground at the Tiffin Service Facility by 2:30 PM so our long drive on Friday paid off. We woke this morning to about an inch of snow on the ground but it was all melted away by noon. We have one more night of cold and then the temps should be back up to their normals in the 50's & 60's.

We're here to have some service work done on our motorhome and also some modifications to the cabinets on the interior. Tiffin Motorhomes are made in the very northwestern corner of Alabama in the tiny little town of Red Bay. There is a service center at the factory where work can be done. We love to experience Red Bay - But it is like stepping back in time. The people are so genuine, laid-back, and hospitable. The town is like towns were back in the 1950's. No chain stores, just ma and pa businesses. The southern drawls and terminology make me think we are in a foreign country!