of these houses have been converted into apartments and we have seen several in the process of being restored again I would assume that apartments were going to be the end use.
Wednesday, August 10
We see deer crossing the road on a normal basis which of course is down to the type a country were driving through, with forest either side of the road and mountainous. We carried on down the scenic Road crossing and to Maryland and we decided to stop for the day at Oakland. Very hot!
Thursday, August 11
Friday, August 12
We saw one sign which warned of a bad tempered bear on the route, and then we saw another sign urging you not to feed the animals, I have course wondered what would happen if the bad tempered bear took a bite out of you would a Ranger then arrest you and give you a fine?
When this drive finished was right at the beginning of the probably longest drive in this country called the blue Ridge Parkway, it runs for 469 miles along the crests of the southern Appellations and links the 2 Eastern National Parks the Shenandoah and the great Smoky Mountains and again it’s something that should be driven in probably a months time with the autumn toning is but the green toning is absolutely magnificent and again there’s lots of stopping points where you can walk and view waterfalls and cascades.
About 4 o’clock we pulled into a parking area and it looked nice and quiet with a beautiful little stream running beside it was all the magnificent trees that was nice shade so we thought this would do us for the night we thought it would be nice and quiet, but when darkness fell all of the cicadas started talking to each other creating one hang of the racket, but we think there must been some rule in the park like with RVs running generators that they cannot do that after a certain hour because all of a sudden all the cicadas stopped as if a switch had been turned off.
Saturday, August 13
We stopped for the night at Rocky Knob campground at mile 170 on the Parkway.
Sunday, August 14
Monday, August 15
Tuesday, August 16
Wednesday, August 17
Thursday, August 18
Friday, August 19
We moved on to Highway 20 and travelled on through Mississippi crossing over the River of that name and being amazed at how little water was flowing down the river. When read of floods at that reach assumed the River would be bank to bank. We pulled into a rest area which contained a building that was labelled as a tornado shelter and also the promise of information on what to do about tornadoes, but we carried on South very quickly passing into Louisiana.
As we crossed over the border we could see very black clouds ahead of us and we wondered a little bit about the tornado warning, but we drove on very soon crossing over a line ahead of us on the motorway where we were driving through torrential downpour. That lasted about 15 minutes and then we were into clear blue sky again for about 30 minutes and again another downpour. The land either side of the motorway was forest but it was all flooded and the bridges that we went over that were over a River or a Lake contained wall-to-wall water on the muddy brown colour which was a very similar sight as to what we passed over at the beginning of our trip in this state.
No sooner had we reached our parking spot for the afternoon that we started getting thunder and lightning and very heavy rainfall which fortunately we did not have to drive through, earlier today we saw a sign on the side of the road morning of bears, with the heat that were experiencing as we pass through the state I’m sure we would not recognise the bears as they are probably put their fur coats away for the winter.
Saturday Sunday Monday 22nd
We have however seen two cowboy churches lots of American and Texas flags everywhere lots of ordinary churches for the Baptist Methodist and Lutheran and one very large sign which said “God’s message to America” REPENT !!!!!!! I’m not sure how the message was delivered but nevertheless it was there on a very large sign.
We have course are all aware of just how dismal the American knowledge is of the rest of the world so it was with some surprise that we saw 2 billboards stressing that the product being advertised was World-Famous! What I guess had just boils down to the question of how big it is your world?
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 25
As we were close to the white sands national monument we drove out there have a look at
To get there we drove through the white sands missile range which is where they tested the 1st atomic bomb be it 100 miles north of where we were today.
Friday 26 August
Saturday 27 August
Driving back on the main road we passed a monastery that had a RV camp attached so we stayed the night there was very quiet and a very good price. And it had a 80 foot Celtic cross as a feature in the centre of their monastery, evidently a private person had this at his house and he got so much problems from his neighbours he made a donation of it to the monastery.
As part of the establishment of the monastery they were deeded a part of the true cross, evidently a founder of the monastery, one of his forbearers was fighting for the Vatican I guess hundreds of years ago, and as a token of their gratitude they gave him this relic which was part of the true cross, this was enough to established a monastery in the desert near Tucson.
Sunday 28 August
I was returning to New Zealand and Luda was flying to Minneapolis spending time with her daughter and grandson and then going on to Russia to spend time with her other daughter and grandson and to supervise her father was having cataracts done on his eyes and also sorting out anything that needed to be done which cannot be done from New Zealand.
Age and arthritis has finally caught up with me and this will be the last trip that I will attempt so likewise is probably going to be the last newsletter, but as we have covered the majority of North America and unless we drove south there would be nothing that we would really like to see in the North and the thought of driving south was just too much for me to consider, I should really have started 10 years earlier but that falls under the heading of coulda, shoulda, so we won’t go there.
This means I have another motorhome to dispose of in America it is in storage at Tucson and like most American motorhome is has everything and it including the kitchen sink, generator, air conditioner, TV, DVD player, about 50 DVDs, Rand McNally GPS with all the campgrounds in America, I would throw in a computer with software that you can draw a map of where you have been, this had been ideal issue machine for three or four people to buy as a timeshare and if anyone is interested I have a plan of how this would work.
The motorhome is set up for two people with all the blankets towels sheets crockery pots and pans knives and forks that you will need. Just arrive with your suitcase unpack, put your suitcase in the very large storage area and drive off to see the world. The motorhome is designed to sleep five or six people so to do this you would need extra bedding et cetera.
At the moment it is in storage in Tucson and before the new owner takes possession it will be checked over by the garage at Camping World in Tucson they have done work for me for the last three years and intent is that the motor is checked over, tyres, new batteries, refrigerator, water heater, and anything else that they can find faulty would be fixed. The buyer would be involved with the garage and be able to ask any questions that they wish. Full details will be on my website at http://www.ivan.co.nz/A23.html
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