Sunday, May 22, 2016

Our Closed Road Adventure.....

Happy Sunday afternoon all.  We're back home from the 2016 Blue Ridge Rally (BRR for short).  We arrived back here shortly before 1 p.m., and by this time, laundry is nearly all done, Levi is unloaded and washed, and all the normal get ready for work on Monday chores are mostly done.  We had a grand time, and want to thank Cousin Sharon (with lots of help from Cousin Becky) for another successful BRR. While we didn't do a lot of BRR stuff, we did have fun, and did a bunch of sightseeing and scouting for future camping trips.  

Now, back to the title of today's post.  You see, on Saturday after a breakfast of bacon, fried eggs, and whop biscuits, Sue, Trisha, Mark, and Rob loaded up in Levi and headed out to find Balsam Mountain NFS Campground.  As it turned out, the road to the campground wasn't open yet for the year, but as you know, a closed road is just an opportunity for some other adventure.

And this adventure wasn't even too far away, really only about 200 feet or so.  You see, we happened to be parked at the site of a Masonic Marker.  Now it turns out this wasn't just any Masonic Marker, but a marker built with stones sent from all over the world by different Masonic bodies.  

This turned out to be a special stop for Rob.  You see, his grandfather's Ritchie and Jones were both 32 degree Masons.  In fact his dad was also a 3rd degree Mason. One grandfather (Ritchie) lived here in North Carolina and the other (Jones) in Alabama.  Rob said he grew up hearing about this special marker from his Grandfather "Pop" Ritchie.  The only thing was, Pop Ritchie was terrified of driving in the mountains after very bad driving experience in the North Carolina mountains in the late 1940's, so never made the drive up to see the marker.

But, as fate would have it, Rob made the trip for him (by accident) in 2016.  We all know Pop Ritchie was very happy to know this!!

We saw bits of stone from places like Kansas, the summit of Pike's Peak in Colorado, Gibraltar, and the highest Masonic Lodge in the US, at elevation 10,618 feet.

This turned out to be quite the closed road adventure for us, and while it was too bad we didn't get to see the campground we wanted to see, we did see a campground we really liked.

You'll be sure to hear more about this stop later.  All we'll say right now, is that this may be the sight of an adventure in August 2017.

Since plan A didn't work, after checking out the Masonic Marker and the Mile High Campground, we turned right on the BRP instead of left, drove about 22 miles along the BRP, saw some wonderful mountain views, drove through some tunnels, and even visited the Oconaluftee Visitor's Center.  T-shirts, stickers, and other such stuff was bought too!!!

Lastly, here's a picture of three pods lined up leaving the BRR this morning.   R&T's-Pod is in front, with furpod following and Tink'r-pod bring up the rear.  We drove about 1.5 miles to I-40 where we went east and our friends went west.  Was a short podvoy indeed!

We'd like to think everyone who followed along with us the last few days, as we celebrated the 9th BRR, visited with friends, and got to see some pretty special places.  

For us, only 12 days left with the kiddos, two work days, and then we hit the road to Traverse City, MI for the 2016 ERU.  

We very much would also like to thank all of our readers who follow along with us on our adventures.

Until next time, stay safe out there......-R,T,&J.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

A Day With The Famous Tink.....

Happy Saturday morning from a damp, drizzly, and very foggy BRR here in the North Carolina mountains.  It's Pod and I'm back with today's blog.  I also need to tell you that parts of today's blog were told to me by Levi, but he didn't much want to try his hand at blogging just yet.

At any rate, the day started off with breakfast with me.  Rob fried up square sausage, and Tink (the official mayor of all things r-Pod) supplied the batter, and waffle maker for breakfast.

Being as how she is the mayor and all, Tink gets to eat first....

Square sausage cooking in a round frying pan....

Everyone finally enjoying breakfast, you see, there was
only one waffle iron, so Rob was only able to cook one 
waffle at a time....

About eleven or so, Tink, Sue, Trisha, Mark, and Rob 
all loaded up in Levi to head out for the day.
The destination was Mt. Pisgah campground on the
Blue Ridge Parkway.  Furpod and I are planning on 
doing some off-grid camping next summer, and this was a 
scouting trip.  I got to tell you, we liked what we saw.

As you can see it was an extremely foggy (cloudy) day 
up on the Parkway, but Levi told me everyone had
a grand old time anyways.

Levi then told me about this awesome drove down NC 151
on the way to take the group to Asheville for lunch.

Rob stopped to take a picture of a waterfall, and realized
the better picture was looking the other way!

Lunch was at the Mellow Mushroom in downtown
Asheville.  Afterwards, Tink walked back to sit with Levi,
and the rest of the gang walked the couple blocks to 
Mast General Store.  I was told several things 
were purchased there.

Among the purchases, were of course, several neat stickers.  
I was told that Sue gave Mark some grief as to why
more stickers, like that's even a question
that needs to be asked.....

Levi brought them all safely back to the campsite around 4 p.m.  Then it was dog walking, napping, lounging, and just generally enjoying a quiet afternoon time for all my peoples.

Needless, to say, none of them attended the T@B potluck supper, but that was just fine.  We know the T@BBer's put on quite a spread, but Rob says with the limited time we have here, we wanted to spend it sightseeing and visiting with friends.

Finally, about seven or so, the gang gathered back under my dome for some tasty snacks and more visiting for the evening
courtesy of Madame Mayor (Tink).

And of course, I'm glad to report, Tink fixed her plate first.....

Well that's about it for the Friday fun.  You'll have to check back later to find out about our Saturday here in the mountains.

Until next time, stay safe out there......-Pod (with help from Levi)

Friday, May 20, 2016

It's BRR Time......

Happy early Friday morning all.  It's Pod here blogging this morning while most everyone is still in bed.   We're all at the 2016 Blue Ridge T@B and Friends Rally, BRR for short, at Pride RV Campground here in Waynesville, NC.  

We left home about 8:30 yesterday morning, made one comfort stop and rolled into the campground about 11:30.  In about an hour, camp was set up and the fun began.

The Mr. and Mrs. spent the day hanging out with friends and even helped cook supper.  Which they ate over at Furpod with some podding friends.  

This will be a short post this morning, and here are a few pictures of all the fun yesterday.

It's me of course, who else?

Mark giving some cooking lessons to Micah....

A big pot of chili cooking for our supper.....

Some of Sue's homemade cinnamon rolls to go with our chili....

Taking things just a little slower this weekend.....

The ever elusive early morning Tink.....

Sue preparing the cinnamon rolls for baking.....

Trisha and Jackson watching Sue.....

The ladies enjoying the chili and cinnamon rolls....


Well that's about it for this morning.  Be sure to check back later for a report on the day's activities.

Until next time, stay safe out there.....-Pod (with friends furpod and Tink'r-pod)