Thursday, April 23, 2009

Helen, GA Side Trip + Cleaning the RV

Hi all - Dianne here.  I will let Roger tell you about our side trip to Helen, GA the other day.

  We are down to our last day here at the Bald Ridge Corps of Engineers Campground on beautiful Lake Lanier north of Atlanta, GA.  We took advantage of a rainy day this week to wash the roof and sides of our motor home.  Yesterday, Roger put a new coat of Rain-X on the front windshield and I washed the outside windows.  

 The front cap of our motor home was starting to look really tacky with stains from bugs long gone.   The prior owners of our motor home paid extra to have Diamond Shield applied to the front cap.  This is a hard film that prevents rocks and other road hazards from pitting and chipping the paint.  It works really well, but when it gets a little older, it makes the front cap look dull compared to the paint on the rest of the RV.  After a little Google-searching, I discovered that it is recommended by Newmar and others to periodically coat the Diamond Shield with some 303 protectorant.   My project for yesterday was to get the latest bug guts off the front, wash the cap, and rub in some protectorant.  I must say it looks great!! 

 The unsightly old bug stains disappeared after gently rubbing in the protectorant.  We are once again "house proud," even though our house happens to have four wheels!

Laundry here at this campground is a BARGAIN -- 75 cents per wash or dry load, and the clothes actually get dry.  Compare this to $2.00 per load at Disney World.  Not only that, but now that we're out of  "snowbird" country and back into the land of weekend campers, the laundry is not busy at all.   Add in the fact that we are parked close enough to view the washer, and it is a perfect setup.  My laundry is now all clean, dry, and folded, and I won't have to do laundry again until after we're back in Indiana.  This summer, at least until the house sells, I can take my laundry to our "sticks and bricks" house and do it there while working in the yard.  Some lucky home buyer will inherit my new LG front-loaders, but at least I can use them for a while.

We have tweaked our plans just a bit.  Instead of arriving back in Indiana May 4 as previously planned, we will now arrive April 30.  The reason for this is that our daughter has an early meeting on May 4 and it would help her for us to have our granddaughter, Kaia, spend the night on the 3rd and take her to school.  Needless to say, I was not about to turn down that opportunity!   If you missed her guest blog from Disney, scroll down a couple and it's there.  

Now that I've covered the mundane day-to-day stuff, I'll turn it over to Roger.

Roger here...  Our time at Lake Lanier has been pretty quiet.  We have spent a lot of time walking, reading, and watching TV - both inside and outside.

 It was good to get some of the chores out of the way - especially the cleaning of the roof, long overdue.

The dogs (and cat) are able to have pretty long leads at this campsite because it is so isolated from the other sites.   The site is elevated about 15-20 feet above the level of the lake.  Yesterday, when we looked outside, we did not see Chaplin.  He has gotten away from us during previous years, resulting in hours of searching.  A closer inspection of the site revealed that he had slid down the embankment and was enjoying some quiet time resting in the woods. 

 The picture does not really show the steepness of the drop-off.  Suffice it to say that he was covered with that red, red Georgia dirt.

A couple of days ago we decided to venture away from the campground to explore some of the mountains in Northern Georgia.  We intended to go hiking at Unicoi State Park, about an hour away.  It rained off and on most of the day which put a damper on any hiking (wimps that we are).  We did, however, find the picturesque town of Helen cradled along a mountain stream.  

To say that Helen has a German influence is an understatement.  All of the buildings -- and I do mean all of them -- look as if they were dropped in the town from Germany or Switzerland.  It was a really interesting place - obviously a tourist destination.  

We decided to have lunch at one of the restaurants -  Hofer's Bakery and Cafe.  It was a good decision.  I had one of the best Reuben sandwiches!  We both hit the bakery aisle on the way out for some yummy German doughnuts.  (Mine was chocolate - of course).

Dianne again -- My sandwich was also delicious at Hofer's.  I chose the vegetarian sandwich, which had cucumbers, lettuce, tomato, onion, two kinds of cheeses, and more stacked on fresh, chewy French bread.  It was delicious!!  As far as the doughnuts - many of you know I never met a doughnut I didn't like!!

That's all for now.  We'll update from Chester Frost park outside Chattanooga.  We plan to spend a few days there and visit Roger's cousin, Beth, and her husband Russ (both were in Roger's high school class) before making our way back to Pendleton, Indiana.  Much yard work awaits us there!!

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