Water, Water Everywhere

June 11th, 2008

We’ve been in the Nantahala National Forest for nearly a week. We found a beautiful primitive camp site in the Highlands/Franklin, NC area. It’s only downfall is that its a good ten miles from the nearest phone service and internet connection. Since Sunday afternoon, we’ve seen a few people come back in the area to hike, but not a single camper.

I’m sure there will be a few coming in for the weekend just as last weekend, but the sites are quite spread out. Unless you are specifically wanting the single group site with four picnic tables, you can’t hear or see your neighbors except when they drive past.

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How many MPG does YOUR house get?

May 28th, 2008

Well, our house gets about 14 mpg on flat land such as Florida. We got more in the neighborhood of 12 mpg in the Virginia and North Carolina mountains.
I know everyone has been screaming about fuel prices lately, and I’d rather not get too terribly sidetracked other than to say that in less than two weeks while we were at the Bike Rally, we watched fuel prices go up 12% across the street from us.

I know these prices probably look low to many of you, but we are currently in one of the least expensive ‘fuel zones’ according to this map over at gasbuddy.com. The last I heard, diesel prices in Mexico are about half of the prices here in South Carolina. I guess it pays to be a country that is exporting oil and have state run petroleum companies. Hopefully we’ll make it into Mexico in the next year or two and brush up on some very rusty Spanish.

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Hunting Sites in NC

May 8th, 2008


Still heading south for the bike rally in Myrtle Beach, we spent a couple of nights in North Carolina. Since we had such good luck with WMA’s in Virginia, we figured NC WMA’s would be worth a shot. Turns out, they are kind of hit or miss. WMA’s in NC do not allow the extensive boondocking that VA has. You can, however, use some pretty secluded camping sites that are primarily for hunters. The catch is, the sites are only open during hunting season.

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A Mountain Christmas

December 30th, 2007

We hope everyone had a great Christmas. We spent Christmas with my parents in the middle of nowhere. Well, 10 miles or so outside of Boone, NC; but 10 miles is a long way in a place where everything is uphill both ways and not even the crow flies in a straight line.

As you can see from our Charlie Brown Christmas tree, Jenn, my brother and I went for a hike until we found something roughly Christmas tree shaped. The process of hiking in, choosing a tree, sawing it down and carrying it out took less time than the last tree we bought off a lot. It’s apparently a lot easier to choose a tree when you’re trying to convince yourself that something looks like a Christmas tree than when you’re trying to decide which Christmas tree is ‘best’. I’m not sure if we were completely on Dad’s land when we found this one, but I doubt the neighbor will miss it.

We spent the first couple of nights down on the road leading up to my parents place. We got in after dark the first night and weren’t brave enough to try the driveway. It’s something like a 30-40% grade and would have our rear jacks dragging if we hit it at the wrong angle.

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Truck Maintenance

December 16th, 2007


Today was a work day as we try and get the truck ready for a trip to North Carolina over the Christmas holidays. We were hoping to change the air filter, fuel filter, oil, the front brakes and add a set of timbrens.

We managed to get everything except the brakes done today. Thankfully, the rain held off, but it should come in full force tonight. We’re hoping it will be over by tomorrow and we can get the brakes done as well.

There was some mild excitement during the proceedings. Mostly, myself cursing the engineer that decided to use fine threaded bolts in the timbrens as I tried to get them to line up without being able to see them. The other exciting bit involved screwing the fuel filter cap down too tightly, which caused the gasket to bunch up and allow diesel fuel to spray out. It was a very fine stream, but between the wind and the spray, it covered the entire front half of the truck.

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