Sunday, June 26, 2011

Richard Pettty Museum

On Thursday, I had a little free time.  So I took off on my own and went to Randleman NC to see the Richard Petty Museum.

It was a $10 admission, and Jan would have been bored within 15 minutes.  As it turns out I was there about 90 minutes.  It is not a very big museum, but if you like NASCAR, it is worth the time.  Several of Petty's cars are there.  There are lots of historic photos.  Petty has collected a lot of stuff over the years.  Some are to be expected - trophies!  But there is a huge display of guns, rifles, belt buckles, model cars, personal gifts from many sources, dolls (his wife's), and lots of other stuff.  

Drive In Car Show

As it turned out, we drove through Asheboro on the way home from the garden adventure.  This was a nice diversion.  I live old cars.  Maybe one day I will have a little hot rod....maybe.  But for now, I love seeing the care that is taken to keep these old machines rolling down the road. 

Visiting the Garden's of Greensboro NC

On Saturday we figured the highways would be quiet and we could sneak up to Greensboro NC.  I was wrong!  Oh, we snuck up to Greensboro OK.  But the southbound Interstate was horribly backed up from a wreck involving two camper trailers!  It did not look like anyone was hurt.  My plan was to see a 'Bog Garden' and the Tanger Family Bicentennial Garden.  The gardens were nicer than expected.  In fact, the Bicentennial Garden was as nice of a garden as I have been in ever.

The 'Bog'...
 The 'Bog' garden was a project by the city.  Imagine a place where roads and housing developments meet and down the middle is a drainage area, wet and not suited for development.  Well, the citizen took that piece of 'ditch' between a VERY UPSCALE neighborhood and the commercial district and turned it into a very nice garden.

There is either a concrete path or wooden path through what is now a canopy of trees.  They added plant types that would thrive.  There is a bamboo Forrest.

 All kinds of wildlife has settled into the garden.

There are waterfalls and walking paths.  It could be done anywhere, REALLY it could.  What a grand vision.  Most damp, soggy, creeky, ignored drainage areas like this are eyesores.  This one is a beauty.

Bicentennial Garden...
Just across the street is the Tanger Family Bicentennial Garden.

 This is a formal garden, fabulously planned and laid out.

 It has acres of walking paths of differing types,

 sculptures of different types,

 sitting areas of different types

 and glorious plantings that are perfectly maintained.

We really enjoyed our trip to the Gardens.

 If you ever have the occasion to be in the Greensboro NC area, take the time to walk this garden.

Well, we were hungry after our walk.  I really like having Google Maps on my Thunderbolt phone.  It is so easy to get around and find what you want.

 After discussing the options, we had lunch at Mimi's Cafe.

 The decor, staff and food were wonderful!  :)

Uwharrie National Forrest

Our campground is right on the border of the Uwharrie National Forrest.  We spent Friday tooling around and this is a beautiful area of North Carolina.  The day was cool, providing for a window and sunroof open day.  This is one reason why I like the mountains in the summer. 

We discovered a covered bridge in this Forrest.  It is the Pisgah Covered Bridge.  There is a nice walking trail around the bridge.  The creek bed was rather dry, but it would be even more beautiful after a rain. 

We went on a driving tour and ended up at the Marrow Mountain State Park. 
 This is a really nice park.  It has several camping areas.  It has a huge river with boating access.

 It has a nice scenic ride to a mountain top just under 1000', with a nice view and great hiking.

 Folks from the beach even like it too! 

For lunch we ended up in the city of Albemarle.  We stopped at Ryan's Steakhouse.  For $5 you can still get a great buffet here.  It was a nice day. 

Asheboro NC

We are on the move again, with our version of the 'Thousand Trails' plan; two weeks at Thousand Trails, one week on Passport America.  Our next stop with Thousand Trails is Lenoir NC.  But we will be out of the 'network' for a week.  So, having left Williamsburg VA we stopped after a short drive on Tuesday in Roanoke Rapids NC.  This was just an over night short haul.  I wanted to make sure the RV was driving well after loosing a tire during our last major travel day.  On Wednesday we hit the road late and drove on into our next destination,  Asheboro NC.  Why?  The Passport America connection. So far it has worked out well.  The drive was off the interstate and pleasant.  We decided on Zooland Family Campground. 

This campground has changed ownership recently and it is working well; nice place. 
 We will be here for 6 days. 

In my previous post I mentioned that I think a week is just right for RVing travel intervals, and I have enjoyed this week.  We have had several day trips, and also several relaxing days.  We have been real lumps on a log today.  This weekly pace is nice. 

Travel Days - How Often?

This last Tuesday we pulled out of Williamsburg.  We had stayed for two weeks at the Thousand Trails facility (also Encore / Outdoor World).

We stayed one week at American Heritage RV Park, minutes away.  And then back to Thousand Trails for a week.  We had to be out of the Thousand Trails 'network' for a week.  That totaled to 4 weeks in one 'area'.  We made some observations as a result.

A month in one place can be a drag, just hanging around.

The only reason we did this was for family time, and we are GLAD we did.

However, (family aside) as much as there is to see and do in the Williamsburg Area, we concluded that two weeks anywhere is plenty.  In comparison, on our travel up from Florida we stopped for 3 nights on two occasions.  These were busier days, with lots of sightseeing.  It was fun and we would do it again, but is is a busier, more highly paced way to RV - kind of like the working world. Schedules, timetables,consistent planning and mapping.  My point...RVing can be varied and flexible, relaxing or demanding.  It can be what you want to make it.  I thought at one time that staying some place for a month would be ideal; not so much now.  I guess there is one exception - work camping / volunteering.  I do believe I would enjoy extended stays if I had some purposeful commitment to occupy some of the time.  So, to date I would have to say that a WEEK at one spot would be ideal.  Moving down the road every 2-3 nights would be a more rapid pace and lend itself to many more miles and sights.  Staying put for 2 weeks is very relaxing and would lend itself to a total 'vacation' feel.  My humble opinion.  I had some anxiety about the Thousand Trails concept when we bought that membership.  I did not think I would LIKE having to move out every two weeks.  As it turns out, it works well -- for me.  As it turns out it prompts time for relaxation and exploration on a varied schedule. 

Family Time

The blog has been quiet for some time, for several reasons.  We had been in our home town during the first several weeks of June.  Not much to see or do or blog about there because we were not sight seeing!  I did blog about these areas in previous posts found here -- Williamsburg Area Info.  We really were busy with family events.
 My youngest daughter graduated from High School.

Jan was able to spend some special time with her grandchildren.  Jan's daughter was hospitalized, was critically ill and has thankfully recovered.

We visited at my brother's place for Father's day.

A lot of catching up and problem solving mixed with some relaxation.  These few weeks made us realize how vulnerable life can be and how blessed we are for the life and family we have.  We have moved on now and hit the road again.  Those stories will follow.  Whether it be graduations, weddings, hospitalizations, Father's Day or any other milestone event in your life, I trust you find yourself hopeful - happy - joyful!  We are.