Roger here... First an editor's note. We have wasted a great deal of time fussing with Blogger, loading pictures from multiple devices and Live Writer. These are recent issues for us that have made the publication of posts far more difficult than they were in the past. Unless we figure out how to simplify things, our traveling posts will be far fewer than in the past.
Rant over. Now it's Rally Time. We have attended two RV Dreams Educational Rallies in the past. The first was in South Carolina (near Myrtle Beach). The second was in Kerrville, Texas. Howard and Linda Payne organize these rallies for RVers who want to spend extended time traveling in their RVs. We learned a great deal at the rallies, and we also made some good friends. Last week we arrived in the mountains of western North Carolina for a RV Dreams Reunion Rally (for people who had attended any of the past educational rallies). Instead of attending seminars, the focus of this rally was having fun with friends we'd met at previous rallies. Fun it was!
The Rally Campground at the Tom Johnson RV dealership in Marion NC had a huge covered pavilion, full hook ups, and a beautiful setting with mountain views and expansive stretches along the Catawba River to walk the dogs.
We spent most of one day walking around Asheville while many of the other attendees toured the Biltmore House, which we had previously seen. We stopped at the visitors' center and picked up a walking tour map. What a cool city for a three-mile stroll. Lots of interesting architecture, parks, shops, and places to eat.
Speaking of eating. We took a walk down memory lane having hand-made chocolate sodas and egg salad sandwiches at the restored Woolworth's food counter.
I had forgotten how delicious chocolate sodas were. You do not find them much any more.
We decided to drive back to the campground via the Blue Ridge Parkway. We enjoyed the quiet and scenic drive,
but it began to cloud up when we meandered through the mountains so most of the pictures we took were not worth posting.
I have always wanted to go zip lining. Howard found a perfect place for our group at the Navitat Canopy Adventures in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Dianne has a fear of heights and opted out of the trip, but I had a blast. Our group was able to zip on three very long lines (one of them 350 feet above the forest canopy). We were in the Blue Ridge Mountains, so the views were spectacular. This is definitely something I will do again.
BLACK MOUNTAIN FOODIE TOUR...
One of the afternoons we drove a short distance to the scenic town of Black Mountain. We had signed up for a walking tour of the town, which included sampling stops at four different restaurants, a wine shop, and a fudge/ice cream shop. The restaurants paired wine/champagne/lemonade and hard cider with tasty specialties from the chefs.
We were served roasted pork belly on a risotto at the Red Rocker Inn.
Bright red outdoor furniture seems to be a trend in this area.
The black bean quesadilla at Louisa was yummy. They also serve mimosas at breakfast (or, for the guys, a manmosa --- champagne and Pabst Blue Ribbon.) We did not sample that one.
The Monte Vista Hotel served a really good tostada paired with a sparkling wine and a strawberry.
While wandering the town prior to the tour, we had already bought two bottles of wine at the wine shop. We enjoyed re-meeting the owner, an Ole Miss graduate, during our tasting visit.
I am sure that there was enough walking between stops to work off all those calories... not!
HIKING IN THE MOUNTAINS...
Friends of ours, Bill and Nancy, from South Carolina arranged a group hiking trip to Linville Falls (a stop along the Blue Ridge Parkway). Our wives (and Bill) refer to us as long-lost brothers due to our similar idiosyncrasies. We are both organized and anal retentive to a fault. We both love the outdoors. We both love hiking and biking. We both sold our homes so we could travel. We even (unknowingly) wore identical shirts and shoes on the hiking excursion.
We even developed identically deformed pinkie fingers.
The relatively short hike to the water falls was great. It was exhiliarating to be able to resume our hiking activities in such a spectacular setting.
Moss on a log.
SOUTH CREEK WINERY...
On the last day of the rally, Dianne and I traveled a few miles to the South Creek Winery, where we sampled the red wines and...
... shared part of a bottle of cabernet franc on the patio while listening to live music.
There were many activities in the rally pavilion. They included games, relay races, videos, and eating. I was able to renew past fun that I have had playing corn hole. I had a blast participating in the relay races. We both enjoyed a variety of catered meals including: two full breakfasts, a southern feast with chicken and ribs and a hamburger barbecue. The last meal was a Hawaiian Luau. The roasted pig photo is a little disconcerting for some --- including me -- but the food looked and tasted a lot better on the plate.
We enjoyed our meals with new friends Bob and Lindy from Minnesota and...
... old friends (at least for me) Greg and Diana.
Ironically, Greg, Diana and I attended the same small high school in Pendleton IN. We rediscovered each other at a previous rally in Kerrville TX.
Dianne here -- The pet photo of the day was inspired after our Texas friends, Barb and Greg Jones, made a visit one afternoon to see their dog, Izzy, who we've been dog-sitting for the past month.
Izzy was so glad to see them that she jumped into their car, sat down, and refused to get out. She's saying "Take me HOME!" That day finally happens tomorrow, and she'll be one happy pup!