This was a sad week for us—Al Wollmann, one of Ed’s colleagues from when he worked for CH2M HILL in Virginia, passed away on November 4th. Al was a great engineer who taught Ed what it really meant to be an engineer early in his career. He also was one of nicest, down-to-earth people Ed has ever known—he will be missed.
We left Charleston, SC last week and headed to Arrowhead Campground near Albemarle, NC. It is a federal campground located in the Uwharrie National Forest on Badin Lake, a man-made reservoir on the Yadkin River. The park is very isolated with a 40-minute drive to get to Albemarle or any other sign of civilization. We’re starting to get in a routine and to understand what it is like to live in the boondocks. We made an all-day trip to town last week to: 1) get on the internet at the public library, 2) do laundry at the Laundromat, 3) get haircuts, and 4) do grocery shopping.
One of the difficulties with constant traveling is determining where you should go to meet your everyday needs. This is especially a challenge in small towns where the options are limited, as well as the on-line reviews of what’s available. For example, we decided we would go to a local pizza place in Albemarle for lunch, which had eight reviews on Google Maps. Six of the reviews were very good, but one person said they had gotten sick after eating there, and the other said, and we quote: “People have died from eating here!” We calculated that we had a three out of four chance of not getting sick or dying so we went ahead and ate lunch there. Ed thought the pizza was pretty good, Patty thought it was OK, and the good news is that we survived.
Ed drove to Virginia to attend the funeral for Al Wollmann last weekend and Patty stayed in North Carolina. As a result, we did not do many outdoor activities this week so our photos are limited. We did do one hike and took some photos of the fall leaves, although we missed the peak of the colors once again—this time we were a little too late. However, there were still some pretty remnants of fall foliage and here is a collage of fall leaves.
Patty hikes on the trail in her (hopefully) easy-to-see hiking attire—it is hunting season which always makes her nervous. While Ed was gone for the weekend, Patty thought the campground was being invaded by guys with guns in jeeps. A caravan of ten jeeps came into the campground one evening, apparently after a day of four-wheeling through the woods.
It looks like another spiral orb-weaver in our campground—not as pretty as the previous marbled orb-weaver in our Airstream window (see our previous blog: http://wp.me/p1xeN7-60 ).
Before leaving Charleston last week, we spent another day touring the city. When Ed found out that one walking tour included a home that was formerly a sewage pump station, we had to go. If Ed, the former environmental engineer, had known we could live in a former pump station we might have ended up retiring in Charleston. However, after checking Zillow we discovered that the 2-bedroom pump station sold for over $900,000 so we’ll stick with Asheville.
We also visited Fort Moultrie which was used by Confederate soldiers to fire on Fort Sumter at the start of the Civil War. It is in much better condition than Fort Sumter and it provides a more interesting view of the use of the fort from the Revolutionary War through World War II. There are forts up and down the east coast that were built after the War of 1812 because we were a little upset that the British had burned down the White House. As it turned out, none of these new forts were ever used to repel foreign invaders, but they do make nice tourist attractions.
[Editor’s Note – It was Veterans Day yesterday and we would like to thank all our country’s veterans including Patty’s Dad, Jules, and our son-in-law, Alan, for their service. With the holiday, we could not post our blog because the public libraries were closed. We also could not post the blog this morning because the library’s Wi-Fi was too slow, so we are posting tonight from our hotel in Asheville—stay tuned for more Asheville news next week…]