June 19, 2014

Heading Home….. after 4700 miles 6.11.14

The Rocky Knob Campground doesn’t have electric hookups and we didn’t want to start the generator at 7 am to make coffee. Jim suggested we pull out and head to the overlook at Rock Castle Gorge. This is the gorge that has the 10 mile hike we are hoping to do one day.


Once there…we started the generator and made coffee. He definitely had a great idea. The gorge was beautiful with all the fog lifting.


It was breezy and a bit chilly but well worth it.


Several people stopped to enjoy the view and visit a few minutes.


We had a nice visit with this couple….classic car lovers  out enjoying their ride.


After the trip on Skyline Drive and The Blue Ridge Parkway….the rest of the trip was pretty boring.. We got home and had a lot of grass to mow. We usually mulch it but it was so thick it kept plugging up so Jim had to take the cover of and let it go where it wanted.


As my friend, Debbie, said….the bees were still in the Top Bar Hive.


The big surprise…were the ones in the squirrel box!!! I think they’ve been there for at least a few weeks…


I took some pictures later and could see comb. They chose this for a home so we’ll leave them there and see how they do.


We had a comfortable little place to stay and a great car to haul it with…..


It towed for over 4700 miles….at approximately 13.7 mpg. And only one small stock radiator problem….Jim fixed that in no time..It was not the best fuel mileage…but the thumbs up..honks…waves and picture taking made it worth it.! And with such a small camper you can believe the trunk was loaded…102_3485 (1)

Wonder when the next trip with the Hudson will and where to…….

June 18, 2014

Spikenard Farm, Honeybee Sanctuary 6.10.14

When we got back from our walk yesterday…Babe (our Lovebird) had died. She and Raisin had survived a sinking of our boat and multiple trips to NY and VT as well as several trips aboard the boat…some as long as a month. Perhaps she missed Raisin. She was over 10, but it was still unsettling to have them pass away 3 days apart.

We buried her at Jo Anne’s.

Today we are visiting the Spikenard Honeybee Sanctuary.


They have many kinds of bee hives….Top Bars….


Honey Comb shaped hives…..


Langstroth  hives…..


There are even a few Warre Hives mixed in.


Their mission is"” to promote sustainable and biodynamic beekeeping through education, research”, where people can learn to help care for and plant for Honey Bees. They give classes for hive management without drugs.

They are testing different styles of hive and even ways to keep them. The hive entrances are on the far side.


They have several water spots for the bees…this is just a large ornamental basin with rocks for the bees to sit on so they don’t drown.


They even have chickens…I like the screen door for ventilation and the low  roof over the entrance. Looks like it would keep rain and snow out.


They have some beautiful gardens and most of them had Milkweed planted in them for the butterflies.


They gave us a great tour…Jo Anne took lots of notes on what to plant and how to plant for the bees and butterflies.


They had a beautiful garden…look at how well this butterfly blends with the sunflower.


I was very pleased to see there are a lot of others out there who want to keep Honey Bees treatment free. I am trying to do the same. I use no pesticides or herbicides on my yard…needless to say…I have lots of flowering weeds for the bees. I try to plant a lot of native flowers but do plant bushes that produce a lot of flowers for them.

It was well worth the trip to Spikenard’s. We really enjoyed it. Cant wait to get home and see my bees. I caught a swarm 2 days before we left and put it in my Top Bar Hive. My neighbor says they are still there.

Rocky Knob, VA on the Blue Ridge Parkway. 6.9.14

Babe, our Lovebird, didn’t act up to par this morning so I heated up her thermos (no stopper so it heats the cover) and put it under her blanket. Put some meds in her water.

Jo Anne showed up and we went on our hike. Not doing the 10 miles this time. It is supposed to be a strenuous hike…I'm not up to that right now…working on it though.


First part of the hike is through a cow pasture. Uphill but a nice walk…just avoid the “cow pies”.

Jo Anne resting on a trail marker. They were spaced out through the pasture. We hiked to the top and then through the trees you can just see over the ridge.


Our view from the top.


Once in the trees the trail got a bit harder…lots of rocks to watch…easy to turn an ankle on them.


We hiked up to the rocks that Rocky Knob was named for…this is one of the views. That is tree tops at the bottom of the picture.


There is a log structure with a beautiful stone fireplace. Jo Anne took a water break.


I followed this trail to see where it went.



After the overlook we took another route back to the trail we started on.


We hiked down to the trail that is called the “picnic” trail. This old building was one of a couple at the end.



I think our hike was only 4 or 5 miles but it was beautiful. We were both getting pretty anxious to do the 10 mile but got smart and decided to wait.

If you have your “senior pass” for National Parks you can camp here for $8 a night. No electric or water hookups…but they have a dump station and water fill up. Several motorhomes and campers came in just for overnight parking. They were doing the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive.

If you ever get a chance to run them….it is definitely worth the time.

June 17, 2014

Skyline Drive, VA 6.7.14

Everything was loaded yesterday afternoon so all we had to do was get up…have coffee…say goodbye to our friends, Don and Sandy, load the bird and hit the road.

We decided to run the Skyline Drive in VA. It takes you across the mountain tops and max  speed limit is 35…that gives you some idea what the road is like.

This is one of the 75 overlooks on the 105 miles of the Skyline drive.


Most of the overlooks have these beautiful stone walls….even the curves with steep drop offs have them.


Each was breath taking…..there were several hiking trails along the road….here are a couple hikers below.


One tunnel along the route….



Have to put the Hudson in to prove we were here….



We stopped for fuel and a group of horsemen were tying up and taking a rest stop. We were surprised that the cost of fuel on the Skyline Drive was no higher than most places.



Since we only have a 110 fridge we have to start the generator and let the fridge cool down every 5 or 6 hours. Jim is getting it ready. We’ll drive half an hour and make another stop to shut it off.



The Skyline Drive runs into the Blue Ridge Parkway….max speed 45mph….


No stonewall here….



We stayed on the Blue Ridge Parkway until we started to get low on fuel. There are no fuel stops here so you have to get off and head into one of the towns nearby. It was getting late so we ran I 81 until we got to Floyd, VA and took rt 8 back to the parkway and to our campground at Rocky Knob.



We will spend 3 nights here. Joanne and I are going to hike one or two of the trails tomorrow. I don’t think we’ll try the 10 mile one. Might have to save that one for the next trip.

June 14, 2014

Don and Sandy’s 6.4.14

We stopped to visit some long time friends of Jim’s….and now mine.

Another GPS shortcut?  Nope…just Jim having fun. He thinks he can go anywhere with that old Hudson.


Jim’s daughter doesn’t have room to park in her driveway, so Don and Sandy let us base out of their place.

We met another friend, Jerry,  for lunch and he showed up in this ‘23 Dodge.


After lunch Jim followed us in the Hudson to Jerry’s place.

Here we are…side by side.


We needed to go to the cemetery so away we went  …in a ‘23 Dodge Touring Car.


What a neat ride. Love those wheels…


While we were at Don and Sandy’s, our 16+ yr. old poodle, Raisin, passed away.


They let Jim pick out a nice spot by their pond to bury her.


Don found a nice rock for a headstone…Jim carved “Raisin” on it. 053cs

I’d rather be here than in some big fancy cemetery.

She was a great traveling dog….boats…campers…it didn’t matter as long as she was with us. Sorry to see her go…but she was getting old …had lost her sight and hearing and was slowly going down hill. She was my Mother’s dog and now she is with her real mother.


We had some good times with Jim’s daughter, Sandy, his granddaughter, Keira, and the great grandkids ..Brandon and Dakota. Of course, not enough time.

They set up the trampoline and it was fun watching the little ones compete with each other and the girl next door. Dakota is only 2 and showed no fear.

When we got back to the camper we loaded all the gear while it was still dry…ready for our trip in the morning.

We are going back to VA, and run the Skyline Drive (35 mph speed limit) and the Blue Ridge Parkway (45 mph). We’ve reserved a campground at Rocky Knob for 3 nights. Joanne and I plan a hike.

Thanks again Don and Sandy…..we had a great time.