Revelle’s River Campground

After staying in the NRQZ for a week, we decided we needed to be closer to civilization for a while.  If nothing else, we needed a grocery store closer than an hour away. We looked at a few places near Elkins WV and chose to stay at Revelle’s River Campground where we camped in the spot shown above. That’s Fay trying to hide behind that skinny tree.

Continue reading Revelle’s River Campground

Good things…

Are going to happen here.

We arrived at our spot in Charlottesville and quickly found this beauty sitting at the corner of our “yard.”
Amanita rhopalopus. Apparently smells of ammonia and rotting meat. We haven’t sniffed it yet. Probably won’t try a spit test either
Yes, we built a little fence around it. Our pet mushroom.

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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

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!

Erm?

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 https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/music

 

Fonts used are Lobster Regular from https://fonts.google.com/

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.

Keepin’ it 100 – fun with electricity

Recap:  Last night we pulled into a pretty camp in South Carolina, hooked up shore power and … nothin.  Would we have to sweat through the night and our shorts?  Would we share loudly rumbling diesel generator sounds and fumes with our neighbors?  Would the Hampton Inn take a mild-mannered Schnauzer?

The RV park had another 50 amp spot available and allowed / suggested we move there, to the edge of the campground where running the gennie all night would disturb other campers less.  They even offered us a refund, if we decided to go to a hotel instead, which was especially gracious and not something every park would do.  So Michael unplugged stuff, stowed the landing pads, and off we went to another spot.  Turn off the engine, the generator, and all air conditioners.  Plug in to this 50 amp pole, and wait for the fancy surge protector to run its checks.  It’s only 88° now but a zillion % humidity.  Wait.  And…. it works!  Happy, happy, joy, joy!  Turn on the cool air and break out the gin, ’cause the thing magically fixed itself!  OK, it didn’t really.  What probably happened, to get technical for a sec, is voltage dips at the old site made the transfer switch say “No way.”  South Carolina’s had flooding and a tornado recently, and maybe this power pole is corroded.  Contacts on our reel probably need cleaning too.  Many points of failure have to agree that today is not a good day to die, in order for the bus to have power.  It turned out fine, nothing caught fire, no misery this time.  Well, none apart from wondering whether essential utilities would function, after a day of driving with another travel day coming in the morning.

Speaking of the morning, guess what?  The generator didn’t feel like it, so it went … On?  …no, how about Off.  Ha ha!  *sigh*  No gennie while driving means no AC in the bus while driving six hours in upper 90° temps, except what blows out of the dash.  Trust me, that won’t cut it.  Parboiled ain’t a good look for Chip.  Experience told Michael to force a hard reboot on the generator’s brain.  Is there a switch for that?  Yeah right.  Here’s the switch: pull open the gennie drawer, take the cover off, remove a coolant reservoir, release a catch with a screwdriver, then lever a ribbon cable off the computer, count to five, and reconnect everything.  That’s how you reboot.  Thankfully, it did the trick and appeased the motor gods.  For now.

It’s another fun filled day of driving along the interstate.  What could go wrong?  Shush.

Keepin’ it 100

…as in keeping it real and honest.  Until now, we have posted mainly happy photos and fun discoveries here on The Great Wander.  Do you want nothing but sunshine and buttercups blown up your hind end?  Hmm, go watch a Disney movie, only not Toy Story 4 because that’s supposedly a tear jerker.  The last thing this big kid needs is more tears.  To all the people we meet who say they’ve always wanted to travel the country in an RV and how amazing it must be, sure, sometimes it’s great.  No, it’s not all gleeful, wacky Hollywood schadenfreude spectacle.  Now and then, usually on travel days, the bad thing happens to you, and that’s not so funny, is it chucklehead?

Today’s RV adventure is electrical.  We arrive in South Carolina (state #19 – whee) on a 90 degree day at a camp wooded with majestic pines and a wonderfully long and level pull-thru site reserved for us.  We’re only staying one night, but we have full hookups with 50 amp electric.  The dog park beckons, and we have fresh peaches, tomatoes, and cobbler in a jar bought this afternoon to entertain us before a long drive tomorrow.  Great!  Michael hooks up electric and water, Susan pushes the Auto Level button, Fay does her magic, no problem.  Turn off the air conditioning units, let the generator run a couple more minutes to cool, check for 50 Amp Service on the monitor panel in the cockpit, then switch the cool air back on.  Thump!  thump-thump—thump.  Nope.  No Service.  An hour and 20 later, after phone calls and Internet searches, we got nothin’.  Stay tuned to hear how tonight’s adventure ends.