Nov 15, 2009

Exploring around the Fort

Feel the (fort) Payne

Friday 11/13/2009 - Still in Will’s creek in Fort Payne. We like this campground and like being in the south. We want to avoid temperature below freezing, so we have to stay in the safety band until February-March, that means we have time, as we are only mid-November.

The ‘Safety’ band is a narrow band across the South border of the US starting in Florida and ending in South California, and we plan to go all across it during these coming months.
So anyhow – we are here in NE Alabama, and another W/E is coming. we want to leave by Monday, so we have to explore the area.

For Saturday we chose two parks. The first one is a very ‘unknown’ private park, hidden between farms with no signs or anything. We came across it by chance while doing our routine search for the attractions in the area.
Saturday 11/14/2009 - We packed our backpack with lunch, took the camera and hat (no GPS). After the success of yesterday we decided to take Moe (Our boxer, remember?) again today. We jumped all in the truck and were on the way.

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Feeling High at High Falls Park

High FallsWe did not expect much out of this small anonymous park but since it was on the way to Lake Guntersville state park – we thought we would stop anyways and see what it is. And gosh we were surprised.
We approached a small empty parking lot with no cars. We were the only ones there. we stepped out and started walking down the trail leading to the park, until we saw it.
Very wide river with a pedestrian bridge approaching a huge waterfall. High FallsThere are no rails or signs – all wild and natural. You can actually walk in the water just above the falls. One of the rocks at the bottom of the fall has a shape of an arch giving it a look of an old castle. If you like photography – you are in photographer heaven – High Fallsthe possibilities are endless, and since the park is not crowded, you can take almost any photo you like. The small nature park around is very impressive too with trails among small streams and miniature waterfalls all around.
So we walked the trails and took some pictures (few hundreds to be exact – G~d bless digital cameras) and moved on to our next park.

Enjoy the Lake in mid November

When you read this you need to remember – we are coming from upper mid west. Minnesota to be exact. This time of the year is when winter is starting to be serious. Temperatures are dropping below freezing and white powder is covering the ground (they call it Snow). All the boats, quads and other spring (they call it summer) toys are already winterized, and the winter motorized slays (they call it snowmobiles) are all ready to go.
The only time Minnesotans go to the lake in the winter is when they drive on top of it and Ice Fish. They are wrapped with a special overall dress called Carhart, gloves and air boots, living in a weird tents called ice fishing shacks.
So with this attitude we are going to visit a lake! in November…Lake Guntersville State Park, AL
We are amazed that in the very same country we live some states are freezing while in others people are going out on a lake fishing with their boat and only T-Shirt and shorts are on them.
Lake Guntersville State park is not just about the lake. It actually has some nice trail systems that goes through the mountains view that is so typical to the southern part of the Appalachians. We started at the bottom of the hill, and decided to take one trail up (The Nature trail) and come back in a different trail (Waterfall trail) all the way down.

Healthy living on the move

How to live Full Time in an RV , and still keep healthy life style.

Some of the biggest challenges of living in an RV is having limited space and the constant move. As a result, being active and maintaining healthy life style is not so simple. You cannot go the the Gym every day, even not once in a while (most of the campgrounds do not have a gym). You cannot have a Gym room or a swimming pool in your back yard.
iPhone 001 The living space in the RV is very limited. Unless you make a point to get out you are confined to a very small space without too much activity.
Even eating healthy is not so simple. The space in the refrigerator is limited, storing food and appliances is limited too, and on top of those limitation – the cooking space is not big either.
So if you want to live healthy – it must be a priority. With some creativity you can find alternatives to every challenge and still enjoy the charm of Full-Time RV Living.
When it comes to food – I am so grateful to live with a wife that not only loves cooking (or should I say passionate about it) but also very creative and health contentious. We eat lots of yogurt, cereals, oats and fresh vegetables, and dinner is lean meat or fish cooked deliciously to perfection. She is a magician and I am lucky.
BTW - We never keep in our RV pasta, snacks or anything that would be unhealthy temptation. We learned that the human being was designed to fall into temptation – so it is easier to avoid them altogether!
The other side is the sports and activities. Here it is more tricky, but I think we solved it in a very creative and natural (so to speak) way. We both love nature, and what would better than hiking and riding bike in the nature? That would give us both cardio training muscle toning and fun. So wherever we go, we try to find the parks and trails around it, and use them as much as we can.
In our case – it also gives the dog some space and activity and fit my love to nature photography.

Tick Tac Toe

Sunday 11/15/2009 - The next day I woke up and started to get ready to go to our Sunday exploring venture. While I was eating my morning cereal I felt something pinching my arm. I reached out to it and felt something small and hard stuck in my arm. I had to use some strength but I pulled it out. It was a tick, but not the regular one. It was an ugly deer tick. You can get Limes disease from that! I started panicking… I am going to die!
OK – I didn’t panic, but I did take it seriously. The DeKalb County hospital was just around the corner, so I drove there. The lady at the front desk explained to me that it would be faster and cheaper to go to the walk-in clinic two blocks away. So I did.
To remind you – we are talking November, in the US. The swine Flu is in its peak outbreak, no immune, the medicine is running out, and everybody are hysteric. The lines in the clinic are even worse – and I was told it’s going to be 2.5 (two and a half) hours before they will even talk to me.
I turned around and drove back to the hospital. I am not going to spend my last day in the area visiting a clinic! You cannot even hike there!
It was already 10:30 AM when I registered to the ER in the hospital. After waiting for 45 minutes in the waiting room, I was called in to wait inside in the exam room, waiting for the Dr. Another hour went by, by noon the Dr finally came. ‘Yes, it is a dear tick’ he said after I showed him the tick, I kept it and put it in a Zip-Lock bag. ‘and yes – you are right – you need antibiotics’. OK, so it took me 3 hours and $100 for them to tell me what I already knew and give me a prescription.

Do you know Russell?

We love the National Parks Service, and try to stamp our Passport and fill it up. If there is a National something in the area – we try to go. Every Park we have visited has not been a disappointment – Russell Cave 009they were all very pretty and worth the trip. Before continuing on with our trip we wanted to see the only ‘National’ attraction in the area – Russell Cave National Monument.
We started very late today, because of this stupid tick, so we planned a short trip this time. we got there almost before closing, and after visiting the cave and the small display at the ranger station, we took the nature trail up to the mountain – maybe 2-3 mile long. It was nice (and healthy) but not ‘Amazing’. Moe liked it though!

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