Our Lazy Daze Motorhome

Our Lazy Daze Motorhome
2009 Lake Louise

Friday, October 22, 2010

2010 Oct B'ham, Charleston, Pensacola, Baltimore

 October 3 – 22, 2010

On this trip, we decided to do a loop from Birmingham to Charleston, SC to Pensacola, FL, and back to Birmingham. We were only home one night, then left for Baltimore, MD to visit kids/grandkids.


Birmingham to Charleston

We left Birmingham on I-20 Sunday at 2:30 pm CT. (It took us longer than usual to pack the RV.) Our beginning mileage was 50,385.7. We were headed to the SELD get together at James Island County Park in James Island, SC right outside Charleston. Our goal was to get through the Atlanta area on Sunday. We drove until 7:30 CT where we stopped in at Hard Labor Creek State Park in Rutledge, GA. When we arrived, our mileage was 50,582.


We left Rutledge at 1:00 ET. Rutledge is a beautiful, quaint, town very worth a visit. It has a famous 4 way stop sign that is in a barrel located in the middle of an intersection, featured in quite a few movies. We visited their wonderful old hardware store and ate lunch with famous buttermilk pie for dessert. Down 278 is Madison a larger town with many charming southern homes. We rejoined I-20 out of Madison.

Beautiful Downtown Rutledge

The Famous "Barrel Stopsign"

Rutledge Hardware, a Must See!!
We arrived at James Island Campground in Charleston, SC at 6:15 ET. Our mileage was 50,867.7. We were one day early for the SELD GTG but several rigs had already arrived. It was fun getting reacquainted.

10/5 – 10/8

SELD Members that Attended the GTG
James Island County Park is a wonderful spot for a GTG. Seventeen rigs attended. It is located very close to Charleston so lots of folks took day trips in on the JICP shuttle for $20. There are lots of bike trails; so many that we actually got lost biking. We enjoyed very much the camaraderie with our SELD friends. They are such a great group of fun people. And most are certainly willing to help out any way they can. We met Mike Coachman, owner of a 2010 LD. He shared his many improvements to his rig with the group during the tech talk. During our evening campfires, Mike and his wife also talked about their love for Newfoundland and encouraged everyone to travel there. We were sorry to leave, but knew we needed to get away pretty early on Friday because we were headed to Gulf Breeze, near Pensacola, FL to visit our Wyoming friends Harry and Mary Gottwals.

Carriage Rides

22 New Street B&B where we spent our first anniv!

Sweetgrass Basket Weavers

Charleston, SC to Pensacola, FL


We left James Island CG at 10:30 ET. We drove to Valdosta, GA (284 miles) arriving about 3:30 ET. We stayed at River Park RV Park in Valdosta. Our mileage was 51,155.4.


Fort Pickens

The Big Cannon!

Our Campsite

Gulf Islands National Seashore

We left the CG at 11:00 ET, drove until 3:00 ET, when we arrived at Gulf Islands National Seashore. Our mileage was 51,452.7. Scarlet, our GPS has been great on this trip. She gave us excellent directions! The CG is on the Gulf Islands National Seashore on Foley Road. A peninsula of sand with Fort Pickens at the end. Very nice.  We will definitely camp here again.

10/10/10 – 10/11/10

Enjoyed biking to the fort, touring, walking to the beach to collect shells. Drove our car with Gottwals into old Pensacola on Sunday. Unfortunately, everything was closed to tours, but very pretty. Enjoyed our visit.

Our Friends from Wyoming, Harry and Mary Gottwals

Departed Gulf Islands at 10:10 am. Scarlet says it is 265 miles to home. Arrived home at 2:40 pm after 4½ hr with final mileage of 51,452.7. Odometer says our mileage from Hoover to Charleston, Pensacola and return was 1325.5 in 9 days.

Birmingham to Baltimore, MD


Stopped to see Mom and left nursing home at 12 pm. Arrived at Rippling Waters CG off route 66 off I-40 near Sevierville, TN at 4:15 pm CT. We stay at this CG during most of our trips. Convenient. Mileage 52,383.3 miles. Drove 293.7 miles today.


Left CG at 8:30 am CT. Arrived at Creekside Campground in Edinsberg, VA at 4:15 CT. We drove 374 miles today so it was a long, tiring day of travel.


Left Creekside at 10:00 ET. Scarlet the GPS tells us it is 138 miles to daughter, Ann's. We arrived about 12:30 ET where we found little 4 year old Andrew home with Ann. We both rode with Ann to pick up the girls. They were just as excited to see us as we were to see them!!

10/15 to 18

Campbell age 6

Andrew age 4    Dylan age 5

Alex age 3

Kiley age 7

We had a wonderful week-end with the children and grandchildren, celebrated Butch's birthday, visited farmer Toms to buy pumpkins, and experienced lots of love and welcomed chaos. Time flew by too fast, so next visit we will stay lots longer and visit each in their home.

Baltimore, MD to Birmingham, AL via PA, WV, and KY

We left Ann's at 10:00 AM, visited the outlets on the way to Gettysburg, PA. We arrived in Gettysburg at 1:15 pm. We were surprised that Gettysburg is located only about 45 minutes from Reisterstown, MD where Ann lives. We were very impressed with the Visitor's Center and the offerings at Gettysburg. We bought the full Monte; shuttle tour, museum visit, and film. The museum is quite impressive, gives lots of information regarding what led up to the Civil War. The film was very impressive and informative. At the end of the film, we went upstairs to visit a huge circular painting with many special effects. The shuttle stop is just outside the Visitor's Center. Our tour guide, John, was wonderful. He shared lots of information as we traveled the battleground that one might get only in Civil War text books, pointing out where all the state's monuments were located, when and where the battles took place, and names of important figures and dates of the battles.

We stayed at Artillery Ridge Camping Resort very near the battleground. It was very pedestrian. We thought it was fairly expensive at $43.48 for E/W/S but no cable or wifi. Although site 93 got good satellite reception.

We departed Pennsylvania headed to Harper's Ferry WV, we think. It was a beautiful drive on small country roads through small quaint towns. The fall foliage was spectacular, popping with color. We arrived at Seneca Rocks USFS CG (on state hwy 55) at 5:30 ET. $15 with electric. It was a beautiful campground. The host stated that the weather had been too dry for the trees to pop, but we thought it was absolutely beautiful. We drove 185 miles today in 3-1/2 hours. Our mileage today was 52,742.2.


We left Seneca Rock, WV at 9:30 ET. The rocks bring in lots of climbers, but we didn't see any. Today was a day of driving through beautiful fall foliage. Ed checked the foliage report before we left so we could take the most scenic route. And boy did we. It was gorgeous driving through the Monongahela National Forest. We drove to Salt Lick, KY (yes, there is really a Salt Lick!!). We stayed at the Outpost Campground. We think we were the only non-full-timers there. The fee was only $23 for full hook-ups so we didn't complain too much!

When we left the campground, we headed over to the Woodford Reserve Bourbon Distillery off the Bluegrass Parkway. It was an amazing drive over to the distillery. Scarlet the GPS took us through the most beautiful, back road, horse country that we have ever seen! The barns were HUGE!! We arrived at the distillery just in time for the film and tour. We got a real education about how the yeast is mixed, how it the bourbon is barreled and when it's ready to be bottled. We stayed at the Glendale Campground in Elizabethtown, KY. The worst part of this campground was that all the sites were unlevel. The good part is that when we were having a problem not getting all the cable channels, the owner came over and helped us with our TV settings and fixed it. Yeah!


Today, we left the campground at 9:00 CT and arrived home at 2:30 CT. Our mileage was 53,547. The whole trip was 3,160 miles in 19 days. Too fun!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Washington, Oregon Coast - July 20-24

Day 53, Tuesday, July 20

We left the campground at 11:15, stopped at Fred Meyers for gas and groceries, got on the interstate at 1:20. We drove down I-5 and I-405 down to Olympia, WA. We arrived at the American Heritage Campground at 4:45. We had driven 166 miles.

Day 54, Wednesday, July 21

We got up at 8:15. It was very overcast. We drove to Astoria, OR, stopped in the visitor’s center, and drove to Fort Steven’s State Park to get a campsite. The campground was very family friendly, with lots of tag-alongs, tenters, and kids. We had driven 178 miles today. Watched the movie “It’s Complicated” and turned in.

Day 55, Thursday, July 22

We were up at 8:15 to rain. We visited the wreck of the Peter Iredale ship and the Battery Russell located at the Fort Steven’s State Park. Interesting note: the Battery Russell was the only site to be fired upon by the enemy on the continental US during WWII. It seems that a Japanese submarine fired 17 rounds at the battery, but no fire was returned to keep secret the location of the battery. We then drove to Astoria and had lunch at the Silver Salmon CafĂ©. We returned to Fort Steven’s CG to see if we could stay another night, but there were no sites available. We drove on to Fort Clatsop where Lewis and Clark spent the winter of 1805. We drove on to Bud’s RV CG in Gearhart just north of Seaside, OR.

Day 56, Friday, July 23

When we awakened this morning it was 60 degrees. We left the campground around 10:00 and drove down to Seaside on Rt. 101. Some of the streets are restricted to RVs, so we parked and walked ½ mile to the beach. It was a very cute town. We took pictures of at the end of the street at a roundabout where a bronze sculpture of Lewis and Clark stood, commemorating the end of the Lewis and Clark Trail. We drove on to Ecola State Park. The road was several miles long and very narrow and windy. When we arrived at the gate, the ranger told us that the road is not recommended for RVs, but we didn’t see the sign. We had great views of the Haystack and other rock formations, including the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, nicknamed “Terrible Tilly”. We drove on to Cannon Beach to get better pictures of the Haystack. We ate lunch at the Wayfarer. The clam chowder was wonderful! We drove on to Tillamook and visited the Tillamook Cheese factory. (Got an ice cream cone, our second of the day.) We got a site at the Pacific Campground in Tillamook, full hook-ups and very nice people (31.00). We drove 65 miles today.

Day 57, Saturday, July 24

We left the campground about 10:15 and visited the Cape Meares Lighthouse 10 miles west of Tillamook on Hwy 101. Too bad some kids had taken a shotgun to the light. It continues to be foggy and cold and very windy. We drove part of the three capes scenic loop. There was lots of traffic in Lincoln City. We don’t know why but it was Saturday so maybe just local traffic. We drove on to the Yaquina Head Lighthouse near Newport and it was completely fogged in at 1:30 pm. The wind was so strong that it rocked the RV so hard that we thought it was going to blow it over…no kidding. We stopped at a few USFS campgrounds but ended up at the Heceta Beach RV Park just north of Florence.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Alaska 2010 - Part VIII - July 12 -19

Day 45, Monday, July 12

We were up at 6:30 to say good-bye to Tim and Pam as they left to go to work. Tim gave Ed halibut, shrimp, and deer sausage from his freezer so we back to Anchorage to ship our fish home. We stopped in to see our friends, Herb and Nancy, in Peter’s Creek. We visited with Nancy and she gave us some 15 half pints of canned salmon and we were on our way. We drove to Glenallen and stayed at the Northern Lights campground. We grilled halibut and veggies for dinner. The temp was around 70 degrees. We watched the movie “The Visitor” and then went to bed.

Day 46, Tuesday, July 13

When we awakened at 9:30, it was raining…again. We called Tracy at 10:13 (1:13 her time…the time she was born). We headed toward Tok and had dinner at Fast Eddies about 5:00. We checked in at the Tok RV Campground, did laundry, watched the entertainer in the Ice Cream Parlor at the campground, watched some TV and went to bed at 1:00 am.

Day 47, Wednesday, July 14

Dad called at 7:00 am AT with bills than he needed to pay. After stopping at the post office and getting a few groceries Jeanne drove 413 miles to Whitehorse. It was the worst driving day ever, frost heaves, rain, pot holes, ruts until Burwash Landing. The rain stopped around 3:30. We got to Whitehorse around 8:00 pm. High Country RV had no spot for us except $17 site dry camping. So we moved on to the Caribou Campground. It was nice and recommended in Mike Church’s book on Camping in Alaska. I made Pam’s taco soup. We turned in … in don’t remember when. We drove 413 miles today.

Day 48, Thursday, July 15

We got up at 9:00 am MT and left the Caribou Campground. The time changed when we left AK. We drove toward Watson Lake and turned south on Hwy 37 (Cassier). We arrived at the Boya Lake BC Provincial Campground around 4:30. Again, we had taco soup for dinner, bought wood from Ms. Jack Chief, the host, and watched the movie DOUBT, then went to bed. We drove 307 miles today.

Day 49, Friday, July 16

We awakened to rain (again) and left Boya Lake around 9:45. The Cassier was unlined, gravel, and awful, especially bad from beginning of the Cassiar to just below the Skitine River bridge. We stopped at Jade City. Apparently, 90% of the world’s jade is mined in this area. Jeanne bought jewelry and a gift for Amy for watching the house while we are away. We ran into a couple (part of a caravan) from Pennsylvania that had a Lazy Daze and spent about an hour talking. On this stretch of the Cassier, we saw 5 black bear. We turned onto route 37a toward Stewart, BC and Hyder, AK for about 40 miles and saw 2 more bears. The drive was just spectacular! We arrived at the Bear River RV Park at 9:00 in Stewart with TV, wifi, and full hook-ups…we were in heaven. A very nice park. We checked in late…on the road for three long days. We drove 336 miles today.

Day 50, Saturday, July 17

We drove through Stewart, BC and across the border 1.5 miles to Hyder, AK. Hyder is only a few streets…all dirt roads...very funky. We drove out to the bear viewing area. The salmon hadn’t come in yet, so there were no bears. We stopped for lunch at “The Bus”, had seafood chowder and halibut fish and chips. We bought some Alaskan crab for dinner. We had our RV washed by a guy that was working out of his truck, $1.00/foot. We met an ex-marine from Florida, who was motorcycling through Alaska with two buddies. His wife had given him a 6-week hall pass to travel Alaska with his friends. We drove on down to the Yellowhead Hwy (16) and stayed at Seeley Lake Provincial Campground about 20 miles past the junction of 37 and 16. We saw 3 bears today on the bottom of the Cassier and the beginning of the Yellowhead toward Prince George. We defrosted the crab and ate like kings for dinner. We only drove 171 miles today.

Day 51, Sunday, July 18

We left Seeley Lake on Hwy 16 at 9:15 am and drove to Prince George, then down the Caribou Highway (Highway 97) south toward Williams Lake. We drove through the 10 Mile Lake Provincial Campground ($21 for no facilities…what??) and the Lazy Daze Campground, which looked familiar because we stayed there last year (ICK) so we drove on. We finally arrived at the Robert’s Roost Campground ($30.00) just south of Quesnel around 5:30 pm, had steak and parsley potatoes for dinner, cable and wifi at the site…woohoo. We drove 361 miles today.

Day 52, Monday, July 19

We left the Robert’s Roost Campground in Quesnel, BC around 9:00. We crossed the US border about 5:00. We arrived at site 6 at the Bellingham RV Park in Bellingham, WA about 6:00. ($29.84 got you TV, wifi, side-by-side parking, laundry and nice hot showers). W e drove 393 miles.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Alaska 2010 - Part VII - Tim, Pam and Jim - July 9-11

Tim, Pam and Jim

Day 42, Friday, July 9

We awoke at 9:30 am and it was 47 degrees outside. We went to Seward to the Air Force Rec Camp to camp with Tim, Pam and Tim. Ed is going out with Tim on his boat tomorrow. We stopped at the Showcase Lounge for a ‘bucket of butt’ (halibut), and then went to Safeway and the Post Office. We checked in to the campground and had a campfire with Tim, Pam and Jim along with Sean and Greta, their friends. We turned in about 11:30.

Day 43, Saturday, July 10

Ron knocked at the door at 8:00 am. He had driven down from Quartz Creek to go fishing with the guys. Tim, Jim, Ron and Ed left in Tim’s boat to some undisclosed location in Resurrection Bay to fish about 30 miles out. When they arrived there was an armada of boats out there. It was foggy, rainy, and cold until about 1:00. They started catching silver salmon around 2:30. After about 30 minutes, Tim got a hook imbedded into his left index finger. Jim sharpened the filet knife to cut it out…didn’t work, so after Ed had caught 3 silvers and Ron had caught 2, they turned the boat around and headed in to the Seward Hospital to have the hook cut out. Jeanne, Greta and Pam went to lunch at the Train Wreck and shopped in Seward while the guys were fishing. The guys cleaned and sealed the fish at the campground fish house. Pam made Taco Soup for dinner for everyone. We had a great campfire with them and Sean and Greta and laughed about the day. Ron left to go home and we turned in around 12:30.

Day 44, Sunday, July 11

When we awakened it was 57 degrees. We stayed a little longer than Tim and Pam. Carol McNaughton called to see what time we were coming by and wanted us to stay one more night at Quartz Creek, but we decided to say good-bye and head up to Tim and Pam’s for the night. They offered to let us stay in their driveway. We stopped in Anchorage to go to Costco and Best Buy (hand vac). We had a nice dinner with Tim, Pam, Jim and Les. We turned in at 10:00.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Alaska 2010 - Part VI - Cooper Landing, June 15 to July 9

Fires, Food, Friends, and Flying

Our campsite for 24 days in Quartz Creek CG

Looked out at just the right time. Taken out the lounge window of the Lazy Daze.

Kenai Lake Sunset

Just as we did last year, we camped at Quartz Creek Campground in Cooper Landing-this year for 24 days. While we were here, we hiked and biked, shopped for groceries, did laundry, attended Mass, all in the small town of Cooper Landing, halfway between Anchorage and Homer. We visited with our friends Ron and Carol (the camp hosts), Herb and Nancy and their teenage grandchildren (Cody and Leah), Tim, Pam and Jim (Fish and Wildlife guys), and Denny and Suzanne --all from the Anchorage area--all here last year while we were here. Longtime friends, Jim and Martha, flew in from Birmingham and rented an RV and joined us for 2 weeks. We also met new friends, David and Nola, that have a Lazy Daze just like ours. We loved meeting them and seeing the modifications they made to their rig. We had so much fun with everyone--fishing, pot lucks, laughing around the campfire, and plenty of wine. The wonderful people of Alaska were the main reason we wanted to return to Quartz Creek. We know the friendships we have made here will last our lifetime.

Mint Juleps all the way from Alabama

They were a big hit

Jeanne Sandwich

The girls

Those crazy guys...acting out

Coolhand Jim

Pam, Tim, and Jim...AKA: Pam and her two husbands!

The Gwin family all smiles

Our camp hosts, Ron and Carol

Secret fish tales...

Campsite #10, Denny and Suzanne

Cedar stole the show

In Seward

"2010" Martha and Jim

Our newest Lazy Daze friends, David and Nola, Eugene OR

However, the weather didn't really cooperate (very wet, maybe 3 partial sunny days) and the first salmon run up the Kenai didn't really happen. But that didn't matter since we had friends to spend time with around the campfire, even when we were soaking wet from the rain. Ed did manage to catch 3 salmon that he kept and a Dolly Varden that he released. The 24 days that we were here, we kept hoping the salmon run would "happen" and the sanctuary would open (where the fish were hold up), but it was not to be.

Yep, those little dots are guys "combat" fishing

One of the most notable days was Sunday, July 4, a beautiful day. The sun was shining, the skies were blue, and the clouds were fluffy. Tom Brown (and his wife Lisa), a Delta cargo pilot, was camping across from us here in the campground and had his own 1946 Piper Super Cub plane (2 seater) docked on "our" lakeside property. He made the offer several days before to take us up so we decided to cash in today. Tom flew me down the Kenai River toward Skilak Lake and we saw a moose walking across a shallow river, a brown bear looking for breakfast along the same river, and a golden eagle. Tom flew Ed over Cooper Lake and saw no animals, but Ed said the scenery was absolutely breathtaking. It was a gorgeous morning to fly. Later we took a bike ride up the Quartz Creek Road and into a subdivision of lake homes, then down to a day-use area at the end of the road. We invited Ron and Carol over for dinner of barbecued chicken, potato salad, mozzarella cheese with tomatoes and mac and cheese. We sat around the campfire. Martha, Jim and Lee, Jim's brother, came over to say good-bye. They were leaving for Portage early the next morning.

Old Man's Beard. Ed has been thinking about growing his hair out!!

5 mile in-and-out hike to the Russian River Falls

Biking to Crescent Creek

Tom's 2 seater 1946 Piper Super Cub

Saw a brown bear from the air

and a moose.

One by one all our friends left the campground. We said good-bye until another time that we can either come back to Alaska or they can visit us in the lower 48.

Alaska, 2010 - Part V - Katmai National Park, June 22

Day 25, Tuesday, June 22 - Katmai National Park, Hallo Bay

I am skipping a few days here because I want to blog on Quartz Creek Campground in Cooper Landing in another post.

We met Chris Day, former owner of Emerald Air and our guide today, at 8:15 at the office. I asked her earlier this year to guide us, even though she and Ken had sold the Emerald Air business to Sarah and Craig Elg this Spring. Chris is a naturalist, a bear specialist, and has been guiding for 24 years. We got fogged out of Katmai last year and didn't get to fly over. We thought her experience would keep us from getting into harm’s way while we were bear viewing. She worked it out with the new owners to guide us. After we arrived at the dock, we got fitted for our hip boots. Us, the Bergers, the new owners, Craig and Sarah, and Chris loaded up in the 1956 Beaver float plane and took off for Katmai National Park. It took about 75 minutes to get there. The views of the snow covered mountains were spectacular. We flew over three glaciers, Douglas, 4 Peaks, and Hallo. As we approached, we could see the brown bears from the air. We landed on the water at the south end of Hallo Bay and waded to shore. We walked in through small streams, over driftwood logs, through high grass to get in to the tundra where the bears could be viewed. Chris is also quite the horticulturist. She pointed out various flowers, let us taste some of the edible foliage, as well as pointed out various items that have washed ashore. To our surprise there is still a layer of oil from the Valdez Exxon oil spill several inches under the sand in low-lying wet areas. We walked and watched bears for four hours. We probably saw 12 to 15 bears, some older males, females with one or two cubs, one female with her spring cub (which was the first viewing this Summer of a Spring cub), and a pair of siblings traveling together that were about 5 years old. Chris was great about getting us close to the bears, letting the bears relax, then moving closer. Most of the bears seemed comfortable with us being there. When Chris viewed a bear’s behavior as nervous or stressed, we didn’t get too close. We were within 20 feet of a couple of bears. They all had names from her previous years of viewings, Peaches, Popeye and Cocoa were a few. It was a fabulous day, just to be there surrounded by brown bears and watching their behaviour. Together, Ed and I took almost 650 pictures. The plane picked us up at low tide, but we had to hurry because the tide was coming in. We held hands as we waded out 100 yards to get to the plane. On the return flight, we saw several whales. We landed in Homer at the Emerald Air dock where we turned in our hip boots and put away our photographic equipment in the motorhome, and began the three hour drive back to Quartz Creek Campground in Cooper Landing. We got back around 9:30. We felt so blessed to have seen so many bears and to have had such beautiful weather while out on Katmai.

The Beaver and Homer Spit from the air.

A female with her twin yearlings. They were just so cute.

The Spring cub and our "lunch log".

The females are fuller and rounder with shorter legs. The males faces are longer and they are more gawky when they walk.