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Sisters On The Fly Reunion

 If things are not going well, just wait it out, things will change.  

I last wrote to you when I was at Bald Ridge Creek Campground in Cumming, GA Northeast of Atlanta.  It was a very nice campground and it wasn't far to get to an Anytime Fitness to start working on getting my straight posture back.

I had mentioned there were lots of children at the campground.  It was energizing to see them running, playing, riding, and swimming.

A woman walked up to get a closer look at Lilac.  

Gabriella lives nearby in Cumming and when I asked about all the children, she said that she was part of a group of parents with children in a Catholic School.   The group has a camping outing at this campground twice a year.  The children attend school two days a week and are home schooled three days a week.

She said that she has four children.  She told me there were families there with nine children and seven children.  

I told her it was a delight to see active slim children running and playing for hours.  

She told me that they never had an outbreak of COVID in the school.  They had never had to shut down after the initial shutdown period in March of 2020.  That parents kept the children home when they were the least bit sick and because they only meet twice a week it reduced the chances of infection.

She said her husband and she had just bought a Sol trailer.  I told her I had looked at it with interest on my walk around the campground.  She invited me to come take a look.  So I did.  It was very nice, but too big and too much for just me.  I did like the big window around the dinette and the outdoor kitchen stuff.

I asked Gabrielle about hiking in the area and she told me to go to Sawnee Mountain.

I was glad I didn't have to leave on Sunday.  As the campground emptied as check-out time approached, the trailers lined up at the dump station.  

Speaking of ... dump stations...  I did a boo boo.  I pulled in on the first day and there was electric and water and a pipe that had a blue flat lid laying on top of it.  I emptied my toilet into what I thought was the sewer.  But later that first night I walked around the campground and saw that not one trailer was hooked up to their pvc pipe with the blue lid.  Oh oh, what did I do?

I called Debra.  She said to go to the guard station and ask.  I was a chicken, buk buk, and never did ask.  I was afraid I had contaminated the water source.  Maybe they would kick me out for doing something so destructive.  Another person I called said that they wouldn't make it so easy to contaminate the water supply.   

I then thought that maybe it was an old septic system that they don't keep up so don't offer it anymore.  I don't know.  If someone knows, please tell me so the mystery will be solved.  And maybe, just maybe, my boo boo with the poo poo was no big deal.

I tried to start a fire after I wrote you last time.  I used a lot of fire starter and twigs, but the wood I bought didn't stay lit.  I failed my campfire girl test.

I drove to Sawnee Mountain.  After I parked I saw that I really need to get a better handle on where the tires and edges of Big Blue are located.

There were several trails.  I took the long one up to Indian Seat.  Up up up, it felt good to work.  I used my walking sticks and they kept me from falling down a couple times when my toe caught on a rock or root.

At the top I guess we could see several states, but I didn't look at the kiosk.  There were a lot of people standing in front of it studying it and the vista.

On the way down I went into the Fairy Trail that was created by a girl scout troop.  

It kind of was junk and toys placed along side the trail in places.  
As I headed back to the parking lot I passed the nature center and I heard a buzzing.  Lots of buzzing.  I searched for a bee hive.  There was no hive but the tree branches above me were covered in little white blooms and the bees were loving it.  The lovely fragrance followed me to the parking lot.

In my last blog post I had some pictures of the safety chain on my trailer.  My friend Bill emailed me with a warning.  The cable going to the brake activator was too loose and wrapped around things.  I re-wove it through the chain and unwrapped it from around the jack.  This until I can come up with something better.

On May 9th I packed up again for travel.  It was neater.

I had enjoyed this place and I was looking forward to my next place.  Derry and Susanne are two Sisters on the Fly from Virginia.  I had camped out with them last fall in Virginia at a Sister camping event.  We had fun together, so when I made plans to ride the Virginia Creeper I contacted them.  They both said yes to meeting up!

The campground that I chose was in Sugar Hollow Park in Bristol, Virginia.  Bristol sits on the border and the Tennessee/Virginia border goes right down the middle of State Street.  I hope to get over to State Street tomorrow night.  It will be a Friday and there may be music in the downtown area.

It was quite a hill up to the campground.  Big Blue did her job well and without complaint.  I backed the trailer in just fine and didn't even have to prop up a wheel.  It was level right away.

Once camp was set up I called the local Ford Dealer to see if they could look at Big Blue while I was in town.  Remember I was getting an alert that my trailer wasn't hitched when it was.  I was so happy to hear they could get me in first thing the next morning!  Yay!

The campground is lovely.  I really think Regis and Cindy would love it.  It has hiking trails, and each morning I am serenaded by either wood thrush or hermit thrush.  Their song is one of my favorites with the flute-like two note quality.  

And a big plus, lots of space and shade for only $20 a night!  It is right at the edge of town, so it is less than two miles to the Anytime Fitness.

After I was all set up with the trailer, I went to set up my outdoor sink.  There is a label that says the water isn't intended for drinking.  I walked around and I couldn't find the label on any of the other water connections.

The next morning I called before my appointment to make sure I didn't have to bring Lilac along.  That would have taken time to get her travel ready again.  I was relieved that they didn't need my trailer.

It turned out to be a loose connector on the Ford.  They replaced it.  I have not tested out the new connector yet.  I will be hooking up again on Saturday.

Susanne and Dee were staying at a different campground with a higher price ($50?) and no shade.  But it was close to Damascus, Virginia and right by the Virginia Creeper Trail and Appalachian Trail.  Dee said, "It isn't about the campground, it is about the location."

Right after my Ford appointment I headed over to visit with them.

What a wonderful time we had.

Susanne had a new camper, a Cassita.  George and I looked and lusted after Cassitas.  I still would like one... kind of.  But they don't come with a single bed.  She gave me a tour.  It is very nice.  She bought it used for the price that the brand new Cassitas were selling for when George and I were looking in 2010 or so.

We went for a hike on the AT.  Up up up we climbed for 1/2 an hour.  

Then we sat around a bit.  I noticed how we could sit surrounded by trees and bushes and we weren't getting bit by flies or mosquitoes.  This was Devine!

Dee saw a tick and I realized I had not sprayed myself before entering the woods.  I told them about the tick bite on my ribs that still hadn't healed.  Dee told me to get the treatment for Lymes Disease as a preventative measure.  She said the symptoms may not show up for a long time, but it is better to endure the treatment than to get the long-term symptoms of Lyme. 

Dee had trail stories to tell.  She once hiked and camped 10 days on the trail.  She slept in shelters next to other hikers.  One of them turned out to be wanted by the FBI for embezzlement.

Then we walked back down down down.  We stepped aside as a few loaded hikers were on their way up.

We walked into town then to check it out and discovered the town of Damacus was getting ready for their annual trail days festival.  There are several trails that come through Damascus or nearby, not just the Virginia Creeper and the Appalachian Trails.  It was getting warm, we cooled off our feet in the clear rushing water of the river.

We saw men with beards and packs, we saw a man in a kilt, a couple of hikers with a goat.

Back at their campground the only shade was that cast by Dee's tall Nissan van.

They put together a great meal.  I had nothing to contribute.  I had not planned ahead for meals.

After dinner I had to rush back to Sugar Hollow campground because the park closes at 8:00.  I wasn't sure I could get in after 8:00.  I pulled in at 7:55.

The next day we took a shuttle to White Top which is way up a mountain.  Then we pretty much coasted through the most beautiful areas on the Virginia Creeper Trail.  The surface is quite rough on this part of the trail, sometimes ruts and sometimes big rocks dotted the surface of the trail.  I think it was 17 miles.  More miles than Dee and Susanne are used to doing on a bicycle.

There were lots of bridges.  The shuttle owner said their were over 30 just on that part of the trail.

I had packed up food so that I could take a turn feeding us.  I used my instant pot to make a quick pot of chili that we used on tortillas with cheese.

Then we took the dogs for a walk through town.

I had such a wonderful time again with Susanne and Dee!  They are both very kind and giving.  Susanne just retired from the police force.  Dee used to be a veterinarian.  Now she really loves building things.  She built all the cabinetry in her van and put in all the electric/solar.  They are both an inspiration to me.

I thanked them profusely for joining me.  After the stress of buying the new truck, this is just what I needed to put my head back in the right place.  Loving nature and life and people.

After saying goodbyes and talking about where we might meet up again, I left for home.

I got back to Sugar Hollow before seven this time, so I took a walk on some of the trails.  At one point I had to use Googlemaps to find my way back.

By my campsite I saw these interesting plants.  They kind of look like a succulent.  I am sure my friend Ann knows what they are.

I had two more days in the area!  Yay!  I wanted to do the other end of the trail, from Abingdon to Damascus.

This end of the trail was different, the surface smoother, the incline not as steep.  It was pretty in a different way.

The trail goes through private farm land.  I had a couple gates to go through.

My phone rang just as I was passing some cows and calves on the other side of a fence from the trail.

The cows watched me, but some even laid down while I stood there talking.  A couple of calves were playing adult games (humping) while I chatted.

It was Amy Spadafore in Ohio!  She had biked with me in Florida this winter.  She was trying to get some fellow Ohio trike-riders to join us for some rides next week.  We set up a place to meet to ride a trail near Chilicothe, Ohio.

We are also planning a three-day ride where we stay in a motel from Yellow Springs, Ohio through Dayton and beyond.  It should be a great time.

When I arrived in Damascus I called Susanne.  She was going to spend an extra day at the campground.  It turns out she was just a few hundred feet from me, walking her dog!  She joined me as I went to get ice cream.

As we were sitting outside the ice cream place, four people pulled up riding electric assist bicycles like we were talking about wanting to get next.

Two of the people were a young girl and her mother.  Susanne is so good at being friendly with strangers.  She picked up a conversation with them and we chatted for quite a long time.  It was so enjoyable!  Thank you Susanne for another fun time in Damascus!

I have another day here before I head to Ohio!  I have choices.

"Don't miss Grayson Highlands," people tell me.  It is a mountainous area with wild horses.   It is about 1.5 hours from here on very winding roads.

"You shouldn't miss State Street in Bristol," said the woman at the visitors' center.  It should have music on Friday afternoon or evening.

I really should figure out a better way to pack my bicycle in the back of the truck.  It is supposed to rain in the afternoon so I should probably pack up the outside stuff before I go anywhere.

I read this during these days of changing attitude, "Sometimes you have to take a chance on something.  You never know how many doors will open after that."  This quote was in a Coolworks newsletter.  I was reading about working on a National Geographic Ship in Alaska.  Ha ha.  How adventurous am I?

The very good thing is, I have choices.  

That is what I wish for you.  May you find that in your life you too have choices and that you are happy with the ones you choose.  


  1. Dear Sue,
    How wonderful that things are looking up for you. Fred and I have enjoyed the Virginia Creeper a couple times as well as the New River Trail, a bit farther north. Since you are heading to Ohio, you will find lots of great trails there, also. I am happy that the Ford folks found your loose connection, too.
    At some point, I hope you have someone more knowledgeable look at your truck to trailer connections to check out how you have draped the wire for the electric brakes as well as the ball height on the hitch to make certain your rig is level when you are towing. It will make a difference in how well the trailer behaves as you drive along.
    You can look forward to lots more adventures and hopefully they will be wonderful!

    1. The trailer looks pretty level when it is hitched, but I will get out my level and check next time. The trailer emergency brake cable is a big question.

  2. On the road again with great joy. That's wonderful. Makes me happy.

  3. Go for it - - - helping out on a National Geographic Ship in Alaska!

  4. I’m so happy things are back on track for you. Enjoy my friend!

  5. The Virginia Creeper Trail reminds me of the Old Natchez Trace trail in places. We saw it when we camped at the Davis Lake Campground in Tombigbee National Forest in Mississippi. It was $20 a night and we rode on the nearby Tanglefoot Trail.

    1. I have stayed at the Davis Lake Campground and rode the Tanglefoot Trail. 69 miles I did that day. It wasn't near as pretty as the Virginia Creeper with it's swift clear water, mountains, and railway cut throughs. Lots of wild flowers too!

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