Saturday, October 17, 2009

     This was a "shortcut" between the BR Pkway and Weaverville.

Paul and Sue Graham from "Odyssey", GH37 in Brunswick, GA
                   Well marked trails!

                         Connie, Iris and Brooklyn

                       The yard at "Kleymont"

We did some hiking on the Blue Ridge Parkway, great viewThe Buck Mountain Band


The Luray Caverns in Virginia

Dr. Charles Bowkley, fiance' Cherie and his Mom at Amiccis

Saturday, 10/17/09

Since our last post we have closed up The Rose with our mechanic Drew directing us along the way. The water lines have been cleared, waste tank emptied, traps and lines filled with antifreeze along with changing the oil and filters. She will remain in the water at Wharf Marina for the winter, close to shore and in front of Drew's shop where he'll check her on a weekly basis.

Connie & I drove a rental car from RI to Florida stopping in Baltimore,MD, VA, North Carolina, Charleston, SC and Brunswick, GA to visit with friends and fellow cruisers. We chose to drive the Blue Ridge Mountain Parkway and were not disappointed with the view.

A few years ago, (2001) we made a "mad dash" from RI to FL and did a marathon 22 hours from start to finish. We're operating with a different schedule now and promised each other that this would be a vacation, driving no more than a leisurely 300 miles per day.

One of the Doctors who helped us through our time in RI Hospital is finishing a fellowship at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD. I had the benefit of a great "team" working on me, but he spent a great deal of time with both of us, way beyond what was called for. We were able to have dinner with Dr. Bowkley, his fiance' and his Mom at Amiccis in Little Italy, Baltimore. What a treat to spend time with him in a non-hospital setting! A good guy and an exceptional physician.

We drove along the Blue Ridge Parkway, a scenic wonderland that stretches for miles. Along the way we managed to catch a performance of The Buck Mountain Band at a National Park Service site. What an experience. Connie & I listened to "Mountain Music" for the rest of that day since we bought CD's as souvenirs.

We took a side road from the Parkway into Weaverville, NC. Our host, Jim Barkley had warned us that while it was a short cut, it was also a gravel road and remote.

Was that the understatement of the day?

Fortunately we only encountered one other vehicle and the road was just wide enough to allow us to pass.

Jim & Iris spent a winter in 2005 alongside at Boat Harbour in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas. We could not have asked for better hosts. What a reunion we had, chatting late, (for us!) into the night. Their home is both magnificent and comfortable. After a wonderful meal that included Iris' black beans with rice, we enjoyed a crackling fire and comfy couches.

Our next stop was historic Charleston, SC home to Bill and Robin Evans. We had spent time with them in Lucaya on Grand Bahama Island and Marathon, FL. Last year, Bill graciously skippered The Rose from Melbourne, FL to Charleston, SC when I was still recuperating from the Aneurysm and Blood Clot. We once again had time to catch up on our activities, family stuff and plans for the coming season. We'll catch Bill & Robin again this winter as they are planning to winter in Florida on "Blue Magic", their Fleming motor yacht.

The following day we drove into Brunswick, GA. to meet with Paul & Sue Graham on "Odyssey" another Great Harbour 37. They guided us on our first trip south in 2004, and have been the folks we've relied on for advice ever since. They treated us to lunch in honor of our birthdays.

While we were in Brunswick we also visited with Dave & Barbara Bluto on, "Chablis". Dave is the former Commodore of the Royal Marsh Harbour Yacht Club and also served as our transportation to church there in the islands.

This winter here at the condo promises to be quiet while we spend time on land after 5 years cruising to various locations. Enjoy the pictures and as always, feel free to fire away with questions or comments.

Paul and Connie
anchored in
Melbourne Beach, FL


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