Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Summery Wintry

A cove on  Hartwell Lake in Georgia


We had a weekend of summer weather here in north east Georgia, then it turned back to winter. Puppy and I cuddled in bed, by the heat of the mattress warmer at night. We set the electric ceramic heater on low.  By morning, it was down to the 40's!  We cranked up the heat to full blast, utilizing all 1500 watts while I scrambled for heavy clothes. 


Wolfman Harley dog wore a T-shirt under his sweater, with a vest over that. Still he preferred curling up in the afghan, all bundled up, than to going out, except to briefly water a few needy bushes and trees. 


He wants to pick a fight with the immense crow blackbird that seems to taunt him. Indeed, it appears to be larger than his 6 pound self.  Seeing as blackbirds are known thieves, I do worry about my little puppy becoming his victim. Since Harley is tethered when outside, I hope the blackbird can't run or fly off with my precious puppy. 


I found my last pair of clean long thick leggings, slipped into those, plus wore my fleece lined men's house shoes. On top of that I had a dress and a jacket. I just can't seem to get used to the cold. I had already put the dress on, when it felt too cold, so I added the leggings and jacket. I was a real fashion maven, though the colors coordinated, just an odd sort of collection to be wearing in the woods, across from  Hartwell Lake. 


It gets a tad lonely here at the lake. I am in a campground of one!  So I sort of miss the camaraderie of other campers and their dogs. Most of the boat people that frequent this area, bring their vessel on a trailer, launch it, park the pickup and trailer, then go boating. 
The road I walk to go do some  of my volunteer duties. 


Of course, after I accepted this workcamping assignment, many more suddenly called or emailed me with their various offers and situations from Vermont, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. I was really hoping for one that not only included the complimentary camp spot with utilities, but an option to earn cold hard cash, working extra hours. I guess those are really hard to find.


Being alone and single, made it super harder to find workcamping, as the vast majority want couples only. I wish I could find someone that wants to share the kind of adventurous life I seem to live, but that just hasn't happened. 


I do love my current workcamping situation. The rangers I volunteer for are super nice and accommodating. The camp spot they provided me was far nicer than I was expecting. It has a huge paved patio with a built-in grill on a pedestal, plus a large horseshoe shaped fire pit that also has a grill.  It came with a heavy duty 8 foot picnic table. I doubt a tornado could move that beast. It was about 100 or more feet from where I wanted it to be. I spent two days pushing, shoving, pulling, until I got it up the hill and on the patio. 


I guess I could have asked for help, but I wanted to be a "can-do" rather than a "can't do".  So that table and I battled it out for two days. Eventually I got my electric and water all hooked up nice and neat. 


When I arrived in the mid-afternoon, they promised me the gate would be unlocked with the power ready to go. Well, the gate was fake locked.  I parked the motorhome, then got out with Harley on a leash, while we toured our new surroundings.  I moved the gate, then  drove in, backing  up and moving forward,  at least ten times until I got to the exact spot I wanted to be in. 
The forest is not ancient, but it's thriving. I'm amazed at the garbage I find on my walks.  I pick up and bag all I can fins. That isn't part of my assigned duties, but I can't stand manmade garbage mucking up the place. I feel it's every American's duty to pick up anonymous garbage.  Nature looks so much nicer with just nature around. 


I had a tank load of water, so first I wanted to plug into the electricity so the refrigerator wouldn't be consuming anymore propane. Well, the electricity was turned on, but a secure padlock kept me from accessing the electrical box. I had no idea if it was 50amp or 30amp or 20amp. I had forgotten to ask, but I have adapters for all three anyhow. 


Luckily, my cell phone briefly came into range.  It seems to work randomly here. I found someone still in the ranger's office, which is about twenty something miles away. Eventually, they showed up, introduced themselves, found a key, unlocked the electricity. It was April fool's day too!  We had a good laugh over that. 


The next few days, I began settling in and setting up the huge patio with my various accouterments from the motorhome's basement. A few days later, when friends arrived for an spring fling cookout and visit with their oodles of poodles (they brought three large ones with them) I wanted to put the awning out. 


Now the awning is attached to the motorhome.  Apparently, it wanted to remain attached, refusing to unfurl or anything. My visitors were not RV folks, so they were clueless as to any magical remedy. Basically I afforded them great entertainment, while I tried various methods to rectify the problem. 


This awning has been a thorn in my side from day one. I've basically rebuilt it with a little help from a dear friend, (who is about as crazy as I am)  and from numerous spare parts accumulated from RV junk yards in more than quite a few states in my previous travels. Some old parts,  I got for free, some I had to pay for, in spite of them being heavily used and timeworn. 


Being on a ridiculous shoestring budget while fighting to get  well, living fulltime in a tiny camper, well, let's just say, life has it's moments for me.  Many RV folks are well off, with main homes elsewhere and a decent income to afford their  traveling pursuits and comforts. One day  I may be one of those too (Ha ha ha!)  Dream on! 
Numerous wild dogwoods are in bloom around the lake. 


How did my life go so topsy turvey?  I still wonder myself, but the illness, disease, head injury, it's all been so chaotic.  


For now, this is my reality, hanging on by a thread, trying to make everything all better...


Oh geez, I digress again, well, back to the awning. 


Eventually, after numerous amusing antics, I finally managed to coax the awning into letting me actually, fully set it up, so we could now choose between shade or bright sunshine. My friends seemed duly impressed, with the end result, as it is a rather large awning. 


It gives me an overall gypsy look, not the sleek refined awnings now in use on the newer, nicer motor coaches. But I love it, when it works. 


Later, I did some more modifications to the awning, as I had to take it back down for the storm, the next day,  then put it back up another, when the soaring heat made a visit. It did work much better after more tinkering. Hurray!


Harley is keeping a casual eye on the aroma from the outdoor grill.  He is wore out from wrestling with the purple hippopotamus who is by now, minus a goodly bit of his stuffing.  This outdoor mat is a treasured birthday gift from last year. It has held up really well. It feels nice on the bare feet too.  You can see the pollen piled up underneath the picnic table, I sweep everyday, but it comes back to taunt me in great gobs. That is old clean carpet runners tied on the picnic table bench. 



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1 comment:

  1. Looks to be a nice set up. When I was College, I worked for Wa. State Parks as Park Ranger. Worked at a park only accessible by boat in the Puget Sound. The seclusion mid week was introspective, but on weekends 250 boats would converge on my little Island. I would look forward to weekdays again.

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