Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Town Built By Ford: Richmond Hill

Henry Ford most likely sparks images of the Ford Motor Company and the millions of automobiles across the world that bear his name in that iconic blue oval logo. We visited the Richmond Hill Museum to see the town that Henry and his wife Clara came to back in 1925.

As we entered the front room, we were greeted by Ron who led us to a small room filled with wooden chairs. He started the DVD, A History of Richmond Hill, and stood to the side while holding the DVD player remote. I thought he must be tired of seeing this DVD over and over again. But then Ron began stopping the DVD player every 30 seconds and adding in additional information. Then more visitors came and sat behind us. I just kept thinking this would go a lot faster if you didn't stop the DVD every half a minute.

As we walked from room to room of the old kindergarten building, Ron would go over artifacts and explain how Henry Ford came into the area and changed it for the better. Malaria was eradicated. 50 miles of white fences were erected and maintained to keep people working.

We ended up paying our $6 a person after the tour (which was a first for me). He took my credit card and used his Square software, no machine necessary. Next door was the barbershop Ford went to, which has been moved so far about four times. We didn't think we could actually go inside.
That is, until we walked up to the screen door and went inside! It reminded me of Angel Delgadillo's shop in Seligman, Arizona. Everywhere you looked was a nod to the past, even down to the cutting utensils being used. On the wall was a photo of who I believed was Henry Ford sitting in the chair, which was now in need of repair. The seat was torn and the leg rest had quite a bit of tape on it. I debated if I should sit in it, but was convinced this might not be the best thing to do. After circling the small barbershop and admiring the old Coke machine and cash register, we walked past the old rusted Ford fire engine and past the Hyundai and Toyota in the parking lot.

Driving back, first we went to the Parkers across the way. Walking to their candy aisle, it was clear they didn't have what we were looking for. So casually strolling out, we got back on teh road. Then right before the freeway was an Exxon station. This place looked closed! We finally realized it was open, but I was wondering if it was safe to go in. Heck it! We opened the front door and then the other entry door and found a small convenience store inside. Green Apple Mentos! Plus cans of soda, bottles of Nehi and Combos. We loaded up and headed to the freeway.

Had to make a quick trip to Walmart in South Carolina to pick up some items, but then it was back to Rincon to call it a day.

Is The Bomb Storm/Cold Snap Officially Over?

Could the freezing temperatures of January 2018 be over? By the looks of the 10-day weather report that seems to be the case. Fearing cool temperatures, we bought the fuzzbeasts a cat bed and palate to lay on. Also, don't have to unhook the water hose from the RV so it doesn't freeze overnight. Could we be getting the weather we drove all the way from Canton, North Carolina for? Let's cross our fingers and hope that that is the case!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

¡Viva La Catbed!

The last week. There's always a hailstorm of plan making, purchasing, etc, etc. One of our purchases was this heat saving catbed so the cats will be nice and warm. They seem to be taking to it well, or at least one cat is. Have an appointment with the petsitter today to go over final arrangements. Hopefully they cats won't destroy the bed before we actually leave.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Playing Fort

After a few warmer days after the great snow of 2018, it's starting to feel really cold again. But the sun was shining bright and after our trip to Kimchi II, we headed over to Cockspur Island and Fort Pulaski, named after the Casimir Pulaski, the Polish nobleman who fought in the American Revolution.

The terreplein, or second level, of Fort Pulaski was cold due to the wind coming over the wall. But there's no better way to get a great view of the land beyond the fort as well as the interior of the fort. Though the second floor is large enough to feel safe, watch out for the edge as there are no guardrails anywhere on the premises including the stairs.

The first floor is a series of incredibly thick brick walls. You can understand how people felt these forts were nearly impossible to breach. Even Robert E. Lee, a lieutenant at the time when he worked on the creation of Fort Pulaski, thought the walls couldn't be damaged by cannon fire. On April 10th, 1862, an attack by federal forces led by Quincy A. Gillmore featuring 10 experimental rifling cannons indeed did some damage to Fort Pulaski's walls. So much so that by Noon the next day, Col. Charles H. Olmstead surrendered the fort to federal forces.

These walls also protected us from the winds that assailed us from the water. The floorboards echoed as the thick brick walls echoed our footsteps back to us.

We really wanted to see Cockspur Lighthouse which is located on the same island as Fort Pulaski. We checked out a map at the North Pier walking path and tried to find the path there. We started walking around the fort, viewing the swamplands that surrounded us. After a mile of walking, we did find the bridge that led to the lighthouse. However, a chain with a sign saying "Trail temporarily closed due to storm damaged" closed off the area. We said one day we might come back, but unless we want to pay the admission fee when you first drive in just to try to see the lighthouse, I think that's unlikely.

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Midway Museum - A New Old Building!

A rainy day in Eastern Georgia as the temperatures begin to lower once more in another cold snap. We managed to drive past the small visitor parking lot on the lefthand side, having to make a U-turn on the slippery streets. We park next to two cars in the visitors lot, one for the tour guide and one for the sole visitor. We walk up the steep front steps and see that the next tour is meeting at 1:00. It's around 12:20pm currently. So we either wait around 30 minutes in the rain or make alternative plans.

We walk around the campground where we found a water spigot and electrical post. We see a small dark frog. Clara finds a place called Captain Joe's to the left to the museum where we can eat and then come back at 2:00 pm.

Captain Joe's specialized in seafood, as expected, but they did have other items, including the quesadilla and fried pickles I had. We watched and waited, hoping the rain would calm down. Soon it was time to head over to the Midway Museum. We walked up the steep wooden front steps again at 2:00, grabbing the heavy knocker and tapping the door. After a brief wait, Midge Buppert, the Museum Docent, greeted us at the front door. As she ran our credit card for the $10 per person for adult admission, we saw the dreaded sign, "Please do not take photographs or video." Oh no! While that meant we couldn't get any pictures of the inside, we could also just take it easy and listen to Midge talking about the items.

In the Midway House are many stories about people who lived in the area during the colonial era and the Civil War, including Button Gwinnett, Daniel Stewart and Martha Pender. But did they actually live in the house? No, because the Midway Museum house was actually built in 1959 in the style of a house in the late 1800s. We saw a sitting couch once owned by Thomas Jefferson, a walking stick from a 91-year-old minister, and other items from the period that were older than the house they were located in.

As most kitchens were at that time, we had to walk outside to the detached building to where the food was cooked. The kitchens were detached simply because if the kitchen happened to burn down, it wouldn't take the rest of the house with it. Inside the kitchen was a simple cooking table with a stove, a bucket with shells. After the small room, we walked back out into the drizzling rain and the end of the tour. I was sorry not to get more pictures, but sometimes it's nice to just enjoy a tour without trying to capture everything.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Preparing for our upcoming trip, we start off by a trip to Great Clips so I can make myself more presentable to airport security. We should've saved a space online with their website, but it was relatively not busy. The stylist had a bit of a time getting my cranium into the sink to wash my hair, and commenced to death grip the water from my scalp while Gary Wright's Dream Weaver echoed in the background. I tried to spark some conversation, but when the radio began playing Afternoon Delight, it caused an awkward silence that we never fully recovered from.

Then it was a trip to Walmart for various travel sundries, but they didn't have the windbreaker or longsleeve shirts we were looking for. So traveling from Walmart to the Oglethorpe Mall, we first stopped by Old Navy, which DID have some nice waterproof jackets, but either in medium or XXL sizes. We did find some nice longsleeves though. Looking right from Old Navy, we did see a Sears. So we decided to visit if only because we may not be able to visit Sears again in the near future. And we actually found a nice blue hooded jacket that should hold up to the elements rather well.

Not just focusing on our upcoming overseas travel, but on summer ventures as well, we've been using the handy, dandy paper atlas to work out potential trips up the East Coast. Once you start looking at cities, so many interesting things show up and it's impossible to see them all. Our summer trip could end up being our most ambitious yet in terms of distance and time spent on the road.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Huzzah! It's Not Bone-Numbingly Cold Anymore!

Today, the temperature rose from 30 degrees to 50 degrees. Certainly not the ideal temperature of, say, 72 degrees, but for us it felt like short-sleeves weather after the week of incredibly chilly temperatures we've had near the Atlantic coast. We drove through Rincon with practically no snow or ice in the middle of the lanes. Little slivers and fields of snow remained where there was heavy tree cover, but most places were back to where they were before the January 3rd snowfall. We took a trip to Sushi Hana, then drove down the Atlantic Coast Highway before finally stopping for supplies at Walmart, who had neither mini-cans of Coca-Cola or Sprite, nor did they have much chicken broth. So after Walmart was a stop to Kroger where we completed our supply trip. I'm not sure if it were still 30 degrees during the day if you could ride this 3-wheeler.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Give It A Shot

First shot of the new year! Glad that's taken care of, although for some reason it stung like the dickens afterwards. Then a celebratory trip to Fatz Cafe where they gave us Dr. Pepper and forgot the ice cream, but gave us two scoops to make up for it!

While the snow continues to melt during the day, when 5:00 pm arrives, the sun starts setting and cold temperatures creep back in. On the roof of the RV was a half-inch coating of ice. Piece by piece the ice chunks got thrown to the ground and freezing water swept off with half of the broken broom. Plus to keep the water hose from freezing, I've had to wrestle the thing into the shower by 7:00 pm. I remember when it used to wrap up so nicely. Those days are clearly over!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Melting of the Snow

Today's temperatures began to rise past the mid-30s where icicles began dripping water  and the snow began to release its grip on the ground. If you listened carefully, you could hear snow and ice sliding from nearby RVs to the gravel below. The sun shined on patches of grass emerging through the thinning snow cover.

Filling up pots of boiling water, I purged the frozen water hose of ice so that we could start the water heater. Once completed, I grabbed a broom and starting with the car brushed snow from the roof and the hood, taking care to get rid of all the icicles hanging from the wheels and doors. Under the snow was a thin layer of ice that began melting under the midday sun. I then took the broom to the back of the RV and began brushing off chunks of ice. I was pushing snow off the roof when the broom buckled in the middle. So the broom that broke the dinette window in the summer of 2017 ended up broken in winter of 2018.

Not sure if the power system could take both the king size electric blanket and the space heater at the same time, we carefully tried out both, declaring success when the circuit breaker didn't trip. During the freezing temperatures, we didn't convert the bed into couches, just hanging back with the heater and the electric blanket. Oh, and cats. Can't forget about them. The colder temperatures are set to last through the weekend, then next week's rain should take care of all the residual snow.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

When Snowbirding Hits a Snag...

As I checked the 10-day forecast this week for a warming of the weather, Wednesday caught my eye, a forecast for snow... Was it possible? It certainly was cold enough. Then the forecast changed to freezing rain. Finally the day arrived and I lifted the Reflectix and looked outside. While everything was wet, there was no snow. As the morning changed to afternoon while we huddled underneath the electric blanket we just purchased, the rain seemed to stop and I chanced a look outside.

Not only was the ground coated with fluffy snow, but it was falling in arcing flakes joining the inch high base on the ground. I walked to the dumpster and back, making new tracks in the powder, then stopping to commemorate the unprecedented weather. If we had plans to go anywhere, they're on hold until the roads can be cleared. The Governor of Georgia, Nathan Deal, named 28 counties to be in a state of emergency, with Effingham County included. I guess when Lil' Bub says you're getting snow, you can take that to the bank!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Cold Start to 2018

We couldn't believe how cold it was as we lay in bed with the space heater buzzing ineffectively overhead. The water hose had already frozen earlier, but now it was really getting cold despite the heating pad and space heater. Rising up at 11:00 and donning our winter coats, we braved the cooling temperature, driving to Pooler Walmart. Inside, cleaning crews moved heavy machinery while long lines formed around self checkout kiosks. We walk through bedding, electronics and everything else before giving up and asking an employee where heating blankets were. After a fruitless search, she opened a few Sunbeam boxes only to find twin-sized heating blankets. Pooler Walmart was sold out of the things, it seemed.

I was unsure of any other Walmarts would have adequate sized heating blankets. But we soldiered on anyway, crossing the South Carolina border to the Hardeeville Walmart. And what should await us but a wall filled with wonderful heating blankets? We briefly discussed the merits of each one before picking up a Sunbeam king-size dual control heating blanket. We brought our purchase home where it got the two cat seal of approval as they rolled around in it's warm newness. Drawing the beige blanket to our chins, we tried our best to sleep.

When the terrible morning dawned in the low 20s, the electricity clicked on and off numerous times. I feared a problem with the electrical system due to cold temps, but eventually the electricity turned on and stayed on. Layering on a few warm items, I exited the RV to hook up the water and throw away some trash. When I turned the water on, cold spray flew from the blue filter that had cracked in last night's freeze. I also noticed some icicles around the edge of the RV that I scraped off. With the temperature at 34 degrees, it's going to be long sleeves weather for the foreseeable future.

Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year, New Plans

Happy (Cold) New Year! We celebrated by bundling up and driving to Sapporo which had all day all you can eat dinner. Then visiting a little shop with some Korean snacks. Then we went to Barnes & Noble to iron out some rudimentary driving plans for 2018 while having some tea and hot chocolate. Ended up getting a Rand McNally Road Atlas to check up on some of the states we're planning on visiting this year. Then did some shopping so we don't have to come back out tomorrow. Checking the weather, it's looking pretty chilly for the rest of the week. Crazy!