August 1, 2011 This is the first time I have looked at my email since we left Baltimore. There are so many "adventures" in RVing that we are experiencing. Greg has really been a trooper and continues to be excited by each "adventure--CHALLENGE" that occurs. We have not yet gotten a tv hookup. So, here we are facing the end of the first month and "no tv"!! We have both been extremely surprised at how little we have missed it. We have obviously read a lot; listened to lots of "oldies", especially the Beatles and enjoyed establishing new routines as we seek new and different ways to more efficiently store all of the many items we have brought on board. We loved Natural Bridge--what a wonderful place with so much history and an amazing feat of Mother Nature--we were there for 5 days. We then moved on to Cherokee, NC and the Smoky Mts. We have spent lots of time on the Blue Ridge Parkway---this is truly magnificent country to see and visit. Lots of historic sites and lots of research on the Cherokee Indians. We have learned a tremendous amount and are beginning to formulate the layout for the first book that we will attempt. We were in a small 6-RV park that backed up to the Pisgah National Forest. While there we had no telephone (most of the timeInternetternet and no tv. We took the architectural tour at Biltmore Mansion, the largest privately owned home in the US. WOW! We learned so much and were able to walk out onto the walkway and onto the roof with the gargoyles. George Vanderbilt was a very OCD, detailed oriented millionaire and the details, even a pond that was designed that would never have "muddy!" water in it was designed especially for him. He's considered the founder of forestry school in America. He was a truly fascinating man who died too young, from side effects of an appendectomy. Our next RV park was north of Atlanta. We returned to one of the Prehistoric Native American Mound sites and were absolutely "wowed" by the tiny museum and its holdings. We were even able to see the stone dam in the river that had been made by them to funnel the fish into a cone shaped dam to insure that they could more easily catch fish. They could catch as many as 1000 fish per half day with this dam. While in Georgia we reconnected with Kathleen, a long-time friend (more like family)--always so good to catch up with friends. We are now in Mississippi and it is so hot that when we walk out the door it feels as if an oven-door is being opened. They are in a drought here and the crops are really suffering. Of course we are seeing family here. We attended a "Burgess" family reunion (my mom's family on Saturday--after arriving Friday night. This time, they are coming to our home and we are cooking for them. We got registered to vote today and learned that one of my cousins in running for state senator. We'll actually get to vote for him in November--that's NEAT! We will be assisting with the last week preparations for the BIG 50th wedding anniversary of my Aunt Texine (only 7 years older than me--very much like a sister. She lived with us quite a bit during her childhood years. It should be a real "blow out!" for a Baptist celebration. NO alcohol of any type; however, they are planning for 200 people--our side of the family could easily bring 75 to 100 people, if cousins and their extended families come. We are all excited about this celebration. She will be the 6th sibling to reach the 50-year milestone. AND in 5 years the youngest sibling (only 5 years older than me) will be married 50 years. We are meeting not only campers but locals as well, especially when we scout out the "home-made" ice cream stores. We've really had some yummy ice cream.
Paul B. Johnson State Park--If you want to see the park click here http://www.stateparks.com/paul_b_johnson_state_park_in_mississippi.html