July 2016

Sunset July 1st

Scooter - New Stuff
07/08/16 - We had accumulated a lot of points (Harley Cash) and if we didn't spend it we were going to lose it the end of this year, So we cashed it all in (a little over $3000) and headed to the Harley dealer to get a 20k service and spend most of the rest. We took the bike over last week (6/30) and dropped it off. The list included a new speedometer with a MPH and RPM and  an extra that I didn't know I'd get an electronic fuel gauge :)) The other additions included a new "Live To Ride/Ride To Live" cover on the primary case, new bag for the back, a windshield bag & a new tool kit 'fork bag'. The final item was new tires. The old ones were not worn out, but we got them in 2012 and I like to keep fresh tires on the bike at all times.

Everything seems to be working well but I did need to clean the bike up again after the ride home. That 0% chance of rain proved not to be very accurate. But being a trusting soul I didn't take my rain suit and Murphy accepted the challenge. But I only hit some very light rain which stopped as soon as I stopped and got my leather jacket and goggles from the car. The only thing that I was a little disappointed in was that they didn't clean up the back wheel while they had it off the bike to put the new tire on. I did say something about that and about them not doing as good a job as I'm used to cleaning the bike and was told they would have done both if I'd told them to and paid them extra for a detailing and cleaning the wheel. I think I may get a stand for the bike so I can start doing the back wheel myself. It's all enclosed in the back with the fender, saddle bags, etc. so hard to get to most of the time. Stay tuned - more to come as we start our month away tomorrow. Till then be safe and happy, .
07/10/2016 Pecan Park, Jacksonville, Fl
Pecan Park
7/10/15  - on our way. We'll we've stayed close to the Mayo with little day or two trips for quite awhile, but we're finally on our way for a big vacation. A month in the Ga mountains and we're both smiling a lot. Sheila is finally past the quarterly and 6 month testing periods and is free to wander more now. She still has her port so for the moment, until we can figure out how to get the monthly port visits done elsewhere or she gets the port out we're stuck with a month being the length we can spend away, but we arranged that this time. She has a port visit and blood tests tomorrow early and then once the vampire is done bleeding her and her port is flushed we'll get some breakfast and then hit the road.

For those who've been following our adventures you'll remember Pecan Park. We stayed here for awhile after the transplant until she was well enough to go back to the river. It was a good park, we could get connected to the cable internet while we were there and it served us well. Since we weren't going to have time to walk the beach anyway, we figured we'd stay there this time. It' sort of on the way out of town as we head north.

So tomorrow morning we'll officially head for the the Georgia mountains and we'll be there July 12 and head back south Aug 12 (on my birthday). It will be cooler there and we're hoping for some hiking, wheeling and a few motorcycle rides. Till next time be safe, be happy and remember to keep smiling :)))
07/11/2016 Forsythe KOA, Forsythe, Ga
Forsythe KOA
Things are going as planned so far :)) We got to the Mayo a little early and they took her in right away. So we were bled & fed and headed back to the park by 8AM. We finished closing up, hooked the car and headed north by 9:30. Turned out to be a new route when we ran it on the planner so we headed north on the 95 for a little ways and then cut across to the 75 on a series of back roads. But they were mostly divided 4 lane highways with fairly light traffic so the drive was enjoyable and relaxing. We had packed lunch so we ate on the way and got to Forsythe fairly early. We have stayed at that part previously, it's right off the highway and easy to get to. They're on the frontage road, but as you can see from the photo the sites are back in a little ways so there's not much noise. I planned the trip so we'd doing close to 300 miles the first day and then doing the remaining 180 or so on the second day. Since we have to go through Atlanta on day two I figured a shorter day would be appreciated. Atlanta is generally hectic and tiring whether you take the loop or run straight through.

We did have a minor power issue at the park, All 3 A/C's kicked in immediately when I connected the power and I think it overloaded the circuit for a few minutes. The front and middle A/C's shut down and we just had the back one running. I walked up to the office and reported it and within a couple of minutes we had power again. It was just the circuit breaker in the locked distribution panel that had blown and they got one of the guys to come reset it. We're still excited, it's good to be going somewhere and we looking forward to our month away. Have fun - we are :))
07/12/2016 Bald Mountain RV Park, Hiawassee, Ga
Bald Mountain RV Park
We didn't get started until around 10:30, several customer tickets for me to tend to and we didn't want to get started too early and hit rush hour in Atlanta. We got to Atlanta and it didn't disappoint, it was hectic and crowed all the way through town. Then up to the 575 and it started to thin out a little once we got there. The route was up the 575 which then turns into the US75 and then into the US76 for the final leg to Hiawassee. The campground is really nice and the drive, after getting a little ways away from Atlanta was easy. We put lunch off until after we got far enough away from Atlanta to be able to eat and drive so it was a few minutes late, but still before the hunger bug had time to strike. We did have a nice sunrise the first morning here :))

Once here we got set up. Unhooked the car, unloaded the bike and checked emails. Getting the bike off is getting a little harder than it used to be or I'm getting older than I used to be. But mainly I think the 'getting older' thing is just a convenient excuse for anything that you're out of practice on. Getting it off the rack has always been a pain. I think maybe I need a reverse so I could power off rather than pulling it off manually. But I can also see some issues with a reverse when you're trying to balance on the rack and back up. Keeping your feet under you while backing up could be a bigger problem than pulling the bike out of the wheel chock which is the problem area. I think the big problem is I just haven't taken the bike anywhere for a while and I'm out of practice. I'll see how it goes before I jump out of the frying pan into the fire with a reverse kit. As usual there were a few customer tickets to take care of and that pretty much finished up the day.
7/16 Hiking Up Bald Mountain
Bald Mountain
The week was busy after we got here, but it went quickly. Saturday came along and I was determined to get out for the day and do something. So we decided to go visit Bald Mountain and then see what else we could find. The picture to the left is on the path up to Bald Mountain. There is a path - 6 tenths of a mile up to the peak and then an observation building there. I asked at the gate how far it was to walk up (they also had a shuttle for $2 each) and she said it was equivalent to walking up to the top of a 42 story building. So in that .6 miles we rose about 500 feet. It was a steep trail and we just stopped often to catch our breath. From there we went to Duke's Falls the books say it's a 1 mile fairly level path - it isn't more like a mile and a quarter each way and the trail varies from real good to very washed out and rough. I would not have wanted to walk it without my walking stick. But the falls were interesting, there are several of them and we both were very pleased with ourselves that we had make the 2 hikes. It was a long day but we had a lot of fun and really enjoyed it. .More pictures below :))
Bald MountainBald MountainBald MountainDukes Creek FallsDukes Creek Falls
7/17 Wheeling In The Woods
Wheeling Forest Road
Till next time keep smiling. Life Is Good so why not choose to enjoy it  It really is just a choice :-))
Sunday we did our usual stuff, Sheila's pills, etc. and then we packed a lunch and headed off to find a back road we saw on the map that looked like it might be fun. Turned out it was perfect. When we turned on to the road there was a sign saying the road was closed in 6.5 miles, but we decided to ignore it and see what developed. The first part of the road was obviously private road, lots of POSTED - NO TRESPASSING signs and the road was pretty rutted in spots. A fairly well traveled road and we saw a half dozen cars going out as we were heading it. We didn't check the mileage, but we eventually ran out of houses and the Posted signs stopped so we assumed we had made it to the forest. The rutted road gave way at that point to a gravel type forest road which was not in bad shape. We did run into a road block, a downed tree, see picture 4 below, not a good representation of what was there, but at least I remembered to take a picture this time :) A large tree had come down and was blocking the road, but with a little effort I was able to move it enough to squeeze by. It was not a drive over size log. The second picture below gives you an idea of how 'forest' the ride was. It was a great forest and extremely quiet which we really enjoyed for our picnic. All in all it was a fantastic day and really enjoyed the back roads and a little light wheeling again.
Picnic SpotWheeling - forest roadWalk in the woodsRoad BlockWheeling - Forest Road
7/20  Moving  Day
New Site
Ok, I know it's the middle of the week and I am busy working BUT this spot we are in really is in the middle of a parking lot. But don't take my word for it, skip back up a couple of frames and see for yourself. It's a giant flat area with 4 rows of spaces and a couple of small trees here and there. I'd been thinking about moving but putting it off as it's a bit of work and I do have other things I could be doing instead. Then Sheila asked about moving, so the motivation went up enough to get me into gear. We went to the office to ask about moving and what sites were available. They were real nice about it and gave us a park map with the available sites marked so we checked them out and decided on this one. It's much more like being in the woods and we have shade all morning and then a little again in the evening. We have a hillside behind us and then the tall trees growing on the hill so it's a good sun screen :)) So I packed up, piled the tow bar, the motorcycle cover and all the other extraneous stuff that's on the ground on the motorcycle rack - that wood platform is handy back there - put a couple budgie cords around everything to secure it in place and we moved. Rode the bike over first - still waiting for a day that doesn't start with a 40 to 80% chance of rain and when I'm not loaded with customer issues and we'll get out for a rice. Yesterday started out with a 60% chance of rain. Actual rain that fell zero, none, not a drop. But on the plus side that meant I wasn't out in the rain packing up and moving - see there's a bright side to everything. It really is how you perceive it and how you perceive things is a choice. So we'll just go on choosing to look at our half full glass smiling and grateful that we're not thirsty :-)) Till next time hope your enjoying your half full glass as well. SMILE - it makes you feel good LOL.
7/23 Waterfalls - Ammond Falls, Ga.
Ammon Falls, Ga
Remember A smile a day keeps the blues away :))
Saturday again :-)) We headed out early and it's a good thing we did as this was really an all day outing with 4+ hours hiking some more difficult trails and a couple more driving/wheeling. According to the book it was an easy hike down to the Holcomb Falls and then another 1/4 mile to Ammond Falls. But they neglected to point out that it was a steep 1/4 mile and almost straight up in some spots. They did also point out that there was another way back that would add a 1/4 to the hike if you wanted to do a loop which we're thankful for as it was a much better way back. But I do think it adds more than a 1/4 mile to the hike. It took us an hour (remember we go pretty slow) to get down to Holcomb Falls. The trail wasn't bad really but it was steep in places and we were being careful going down hill. We stopped at Holcomb Falls for our picnic at a nice spot on the rocks below the falls and I found a pretty rock. Then we headed up to Ammon Falls and the trail was a really hard climb. Steep, narrow in spots and a lot of obstacles.We stopped a lot also as it was as I said already very steep. But Ammon Falls was worth the climb (picture to left and #1 below). Coming back we took the high road suggested in the book. Much easier trail but seemed very long.and pretty narrow in spots.  We wore ourselves out but had a great day.
Ammon FallsThe TrailThe Road To The FallsCould have driven through this culvertGeorgia Mountains
7/24 Another Waterfall
Picnic By The Lake
Remember Go ahead make my day - SMILE :-)
Sunday and we're off again - this time for a much quieter and hopefully easier day, at least that's the plan heading out the door. The plan included 2 spots that we were going to go check out and a picnic of course. So we headed out for Minnehaha Falls as our first destination. We were, supposedly, following the directions in our book, but apparently took a wrong turn near the end and as lunch time was at hand and we ran across a perfect spot for our picnic we stopped for the picnic first. That's the shot to the left. A pull out next to Lake Rabun. After lunch we played with the GPS routing in the car, it didn't have Minnehaha Falls, but we did find a street from the directions, so it routed us around the lake to the falls. Now the directions said "Hidden stairs and a barely visible sign". So on the way we came across a parking pull out and picture 1 - which seemed to fit the bill. So we parked and went up a few stairs and turned around. We decided that didn't fit our desire for an easy day. So we started to stop 2. On the way to step 2 we came upon the Obvious Stairs, pic 2. We parked and headed up to the falls. Pic 3 is the falls and I also have a close up of Minnehaha Falls Pic 4 is the road to the falls and Pic 5 is the trail. It was a pretty good trail. Little steep but short and fairly easy walk. After that falls, and the getting lost it was later so we skipped destination 2.
Hidden StairsObvious StairsMinnehaha FallsThe RoadThe Trail
7/30 Another Waterfall - Anna Ruby Falls
Anna Ruby Falls
Blow this one up it's worth seeing :))
Saturday again and the forecast is 86 and a 15% chance of rain. Sounds like a bike ride to me :)) - Sure enough it was, we found a nice windy twisty way to go - US76 east to the US 75/GA17/GA180/GA348 to the park where the Anna Ruby Falls is located. Pic 1 is the view from the top of one of the mountains on the way to the falls. Pic 2 is the same spot, I remembered to bring the tripod, so a pic of both of us. The ride through the forest and the windy twisty roads reminded us why we love to ride. It was a great ride. Once we got to the park it was noon, so we walked to their picnic area and had our picnic next to the stream that flows down from the falls (Pic 3). Then we put the cooler away and headed up the trail. Pic 5 is the trail and Pic 4 is a butterfly that we spotted on the way to the falls. The trail, as you can see, was paved all the way but as noted in the book, it was steep but they provided us with placards about the trees, the forest and the environment on the way up so we had lots of excuses to stop along the way. The falls was pretty spectacular and worth the walk. The return walk is downhill all the way so we made it back to the bike without stopping. As it turned out it did rain, but it was just a drizzle and only lasted a few minutes after I put the face plates on the helmets and we put our jackets back on. GA is a helmet law state, so we have to wear head buckets here.
The View - on our rideJ&S on the mountain top.Picnic SpotButterflyThe Trail
7/31 another forest Road -
Another Forest Road
Sunday and we took off in the car again looking for a forest road to explore. I don't have a lot of pictures and we just went back to the forest and found a road to explore. We weren't sure where we were headed, but we found a road that (according to our directions) should take us to another waterfall that was worth seeing and off we went. We were heading for horse trough falls and we actually did get there, but by the time we got there we were tired (it was a long drive to the end of the road) and we didn't have the book on the falls with us. So we weren't sure what the hike or walk to the falls would be like and we turned around and came back. We did stop at a forest service campground at the end of the road and we walked around a little, put out a fire that someone had left burning in one of the fire pits, but I didn't take any pictures there. So all I have for pictures are some of the road and the forest. Rather than post 5 boring pictures I decided to just do the one to the left of the car parked on the forest road where we had stopped for our picnic and gone for a little walk on the way back into the forest looking for the falls.

It was mostly just a driving day - long road back into the forest and then long drive back out the same way we had gone in. We'll see if we can find something more interesting for next weekend. It'll be our last weekend here and we're hoping for good weather so we can get another bike ride in and another explore. So a boring picture day, but a fun romp in the forest. Till next month be safe, be happy and pass out some smiles. :))