Tweaking the Netgear Nighthawk MR1100 for RV travel

So, you signed up for an unlimited network plan and while it worked great at first, you’ve moved to a new location and you’re now getting < 1Mbps speeds.

You might think that you need a booster if your signal strength is low or you might be at a complete loss for what to do if your signal strength is ok to good but you’re still getting terrible transfer speeds.

It could be that your router is not quite clever enough and latching onto the LTE bands that are strongest yet provide terrible bandwidth.

This happened to us when out in the wilds of Bushnell FL back in June of 2019.  The first night of our stay we had great signal strength but atrocious throughput.  When we sought out help we were told that yeah, cell access there is just terrible.  We could walk to the opposite corner of the park and probably get a decent signal but everywhere else we could forget it.

Ummm.  No.  We were going to be at the park for a week or two and there was no way we were going that long using our precious limited minutes on our Google Fi plans, from which we got both decent signal and speeds.

I was going to find a way to get something, anything, usable on our unlimited plan from OTR Mobile.  Especially since on the first morning of our stay we had pretty decent speeds.  Until it started to rain at which point bandwidth went into back the toilet.

Continue reading “Tweaking the Netgear Nighthawk MR1100 for RV travel”

West Virginia Touch Me Nots

Thistle Meadow Winery

While on our way to West Virginia from Asheville NC, we stopped for a night at Thistle Meadow Winery in Laurel Springs NC, a member of the Harvest Hosts network.

Continue reading “Thistle Meadow Winery”

The many faces of Chipster

We stopped at Snowshoe in WV yesterday and after walking around for a bit Susan stopped for a photo op with Chip.  He’s always willing to sit or stand for food.  He’s pretty much willing to do anything for food.

The entire lot of photos are over in his gallery but here are a choice few.

Nyah Nyah!
Dog shark!


Got food?

Ticklish Mushroom

While wandering around Rutledge Lake RV Park near Asheville NC we ran across a very noisy mushroom.


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The music used is 7th Floor Tango by Silent Partner, Fresh Fallen Snow by Chris Haugen available from Google


Fonts used are Lobster Regular from

Shrooms of Rutledge Lake July 16 edition

It’s been great fun wandering the woods near the park where we’re staying.

We’ve found at least one edible type of mushroom (Smooth Chanterelle) since we arrived and it seems like we run across new forms every time we go out. Continue reading “Shrooms of Rutledge Lake July 16 edition”

Blue Ridge Parkway Snake

Anyone know what kind of snake this is?

Found him along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. Almost stepped on him and thought he was dead until we saw him move his head. He made no attempt to slittther away and it looked like he had a horn sticking from the back of his head.

Once we got home and could look closer at the pics we saw that he’d molted over all of his body except his head. He didn’t try to get away because he couldn’t see us.

Soulé Steamworks

We were in Meridian Mississippi recently and took the time to visit the Mississippi Industrial Heritage Museum at the site of the old Soulé Steam Feed Works factory and went on a tour given by Greg Hatcher, executive director of the museum.  See also their Facebook page and Wikipedia page.

They have an amazing array of artifacts from the steam age.  Many of them in working condition though not all were in operation at the time we went through.

As well as preserved areas of the factory floor with examples of the casting tools used to make replacement parts

and workshop areas in much the state they would have been when the factory was an active operation.

They have several examples of the wooden patterns used when they needed to cast new parts for the steamworks.  They would create a mold in sand, using the pattern you see on the top of the block frame below and cast the new part in metal.

They have a working factory floor with the longest operating line shaft in the U.S. at 160 feet long with a single motor turning the entire shaft.  You can see this in motion in the video at the end of this post.

They also have an exhibit on the record breaking endurance flight by the Key brothers in 1935.  The flight was made possible in part due to to a plane to plane refueling invention by A. D. Hunter, an employee of Soulé Steamworks.

The Flying Keys

We were also able to go through the Soulé office area where they’ve gone so far as to reproduce the original layout using period pieces, such as an Ediphone wax cylinder recorder, as well as furniture that was actually in the office at the time.

The office also includes a steel vault from about 1914 which is no longer kept open as a previous visitor allowed his 6 year old into the vault and closed the door, not realizing that the vault was still in working order.  That would have been bad enough but then the child spun the knob from inside.  Fortunately the child was never in any danger as there was plenty of oxygen inside and once Greg Hatcher was able to reach the area they were able to re-open the door from the outside using the combination.

Near the offices are the shower and locker rooms used by the employees who would change out of their suits and into their work clothes in the morning and shower and change back into their suits in the evening.  This ensured that the people in town had a good opinion of the steamworks and the people that worked there.

They have several other artifacts such as a two-shaft loom, which needs a bit of TLC that Susan sorely wanted to give it

Broom making jigs

and an amazing printing press that would actually cast the type pieces in the machine as they were needed.

See below for a few of the machines in action and over here for many more photos.

If you find yourself in Meridian, drop by for a formal tour.  The days and times available for tours are listed on their web site.  You won’t regret the time spent.

A bit of treasure from Asheville

We liked our lunch plates from Cafe Yuzu so much that we had to take a couple home. They’re unglazed so it’ll be interesting to see what kind of character they develop over the coming years.Purchased from Akira Satake Ceramics

Well, this day didn’t suck

It was cool and flowery smelling this morning when Michael took Chip out for his morning walk.  Actually it was more accurate to say that Chip made it very clear it was time to go out and walk.  So, walk they did.

There isn’t much to recommend the area for a walk with the boy.  We have a very small RV parking area which has room for 6 rigs.  There’s plenty of grass and smells for the boy but it doesn’t take much time to cover the available territory.

There’s a “residential” street across the highway but even that has enough traffic to make a walk less that totally relaxing.  Residential is in quotes because it’s really a country road with smaller roads or driveways leading to houses, every 50 yards or so and a creek and cow pasture along the way.

On the other hand, we made it out to the local TI and got some much needed information on the largest local attraction, the Biltmore and decided that yes, we should go ahead and make a day of it.  It sounds like we could actually make several days of it.

We were considering going out on our last day at this camp, so we could drive Fay over, they have a lot for RV parking, and Chip could be happy at home while we tour the grounds, yet close enough we could check on him during the day.  We may just limit our Biltmore tour to 5 hrs and leave Fay parked at camp.  We’re not sure yet.

We also dropped by the Folk Art Center and was amazed and came away with a great looking mushroom reference and a strong desire to stay here for a few years.  Fiber, wood, clay, glass and metal arts, oh my!

By late evening we were treated to cloud lightning and lightning bug shows.  The latter were filling the trees around the camp and even going off high above our heads.  It looked like the trees were filled with stars.

Now there’s an impressive rainstorm drumming down on the roof while tree frog stowaways, we still have at least two, sing outside our bedroom.

Nighty night.