Door Problem Again

10/29/14 Wednesday in Advance, NC (Forest Lake-TT)

Boring morning: I got the blog posted and John watched TV and read. After lunch we went for a campground walk, meeting a nice couple (Don and Pat). Then it started to rain so we scooted right on home. Those Asian Lady Beetles (plus a few stink bugs) have been getting into our rig lately. More and more each day. Most annoying. John’s on a mission to kill all that he can. I’m mostly concerned that they’ll try to nest/breed in the coach.

That early rain was just a tease, so John was able to grill our pork steaks. Naturally, as he was about to put them on the BBQ, he couldn’t get back inside/open our door. For awhile I couldn’t open it from the inside, but that was because he was holding the handle out… The good news is after a bit of a struggle, he once again got it to work, hoping that he got the “bad” part bent better this time. THEN he could put our meat on the grill.

Lots of rain came then, when we’d cleaned up our supper dishes and the grill. I love that sound. Naturally, when we went to bed and I could enjoy it unadulterated with other sounds (TV), it stopped raining!

A bit of Forest Lake Campground-very near where we’re parked.

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Old Salem

10/28/14 Tuesday in Advance, NC (Forest Lake-TT)

We were not so organized, thus late getting out on the road, but that’s life. Old Salem (in what is now Winston-Salem,NC) is the original town that the Moravian Church built in the 1700’s. Similar to Williamsburg where Rockefeller financed the rebuilding of that old city, here RJ Reynolds (tobacco) financed the same thing for Old Salem in the ’30s. Old Salem was first Wachovia settlement (yes, the bank got it’s name from its start here); 100,000 acres to the Moravians from the government to encourage people living between the Mississippi River and the East Coast. They chose this spot because it was along the “wagon road” which ran N/S, between port cities, so they’d have lots of customers to serve. These outsiders were called strangers and welcomed via Salem Tavern, where they could eat and lodge before moving on. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

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At the Visitor Center ($20/senior) we saw the beautiful restored Home Moravian Church Organ. The first organ built for them by David Tannenberg, the premier 18th century organ builder from Lititz, PA (we were there-just type this into search line to see what we saw), is now in the Single Brothers’ House which you’ll see later. The second, far more grand, is the largest of the 10 (out of 50 built) that have survived. It has two manual keyboards, a pedal keyboard, 644 pipes, and eleven manual and two pedal stops.

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At the Frank L Horton Museum Center we got a tour of MESDA (Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts). I love how they’ve set up rooms built as the kind of house/place where the special furniture/paintings of that time would have resided. Having a guide explain things was nice compared to reading lots of signs too. Unfortunately, no photography. Packs and cameras are locked in a locker just like at Williamsburg Art Museum. We also found out that MESDA had loaned about 40 pieces to the Williamsburg Art Museum, receiving some from them in exchange. Such a small world. If you come here and like fine crafts, make sure you see this.

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Nearby is the state’s oldest African American log church. Originally the Africans who joined the community joined the others in their church, but in time the Moravians moved as their neighbors toward separating them. After the log church got to small, they built a brick one. Because the Moravians believe all are equal in God’s eyes, their headstones are flat. In the brick building the fancy chairs were donated from the Lutheran Church in town. They taught Sunday school and had a brass band playing on the second floor. They (the church desegregated later) still have services here every 5th Sunday.

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By this time we were starving, so we stopped at Old Salem Tavern. The food was excellent! Lovely setting, great service, reasonable prices. Yum!!

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Now oh so full, we checked out the Salem Tavern Museum. The place with the bars is their bar, where they served the drinks! Nearby is the game room, where the guests entertained themselves. The game I highlighted is the early form of “Candy Land.”

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The wealthy get this 1st floor bedroom and privacy, the others are upstairs. George Washington slept here for two nights, so I included his thank you note. In the kitchen the “sister” showed us how cocoa was processed: cocoa bean, roasted beans, shell those roasted beans, melt the resulting “nibs” to form large bars. They’d receive the chocolate in this bar form, then grind it to a powder. They’d put this powder into hot water and whip up some foam topped chocolate drink. It was only available in the winter since the chocolate would melt in the summer.

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A stop at the Schultz Shoemaker Shop to see the shoemaker. He would make 6 pairs a week, generally.

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The Single Brothers’ House, where the group (they called groups choirs) of single men lived and apprenticed in various trades. The Moravians even buried their people according to these choirs. The first half was built using timbers, to save on expensive limestone, then they added the second half. Those black buckets are fire buckets (for hauling water from source to fire engine). Here is that first organ of David Tannenberg. Note the hat on our tailor. He said it was the easiest thing to make (a tube) and generally worn inside. The last image is of a faucet in the kitchen. Salem was the first place in this part of the country to have water brought inside the house this way-there were 4 in the town.

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On to the Mirksch Gardens and House where the Mirksch kept a garden for the townspeople and was their Master Gardener. Everyone had their own garden here (large spaces behind their houses), so he didn’t make lots of money. The Moravians, realizing this, let him be the sole maker of gingerbread cakes, as well as all the church services bread. He sold bread as well. That stove looks like it could have been made at Cornwall Furnace! It is over 250 years old.

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The Vierling House, where the town doctor lived. This guy was wealthy, but he must have been constantly busy. There were few hospitals in these times so he made house visits for all physical issues, including child birth. He was also the local dentist, veterinarian and pharmacist (apothecary). Amazingly he’d been trained as a surgeon in England, so these people were especially fortunate.  Under Doctor Vierling’s direction the Moravians advanced public health in the Back Country.  He promoted smallpox vaccinations, clean water supplies, a market house on Salem Square for fresh meats and a carefully supervised “corpse house,”  where the dead were kept until burial.

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We bought some fabulous chocolate dipped ginger cookies at the C Winkler Bakery, in operation since its beginning 200 years ago. They even use a dome bake oven. I believe that’s for special items only. Boy, those ginger cookies are incredible! They sell some other items as well, like these Moravian Stars.

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At the Market-Fire Engine House we learned they held a fresh meats market here weekly. The fire engine has hand pulled, no engine.

Next we came to the Timothy Vogler Gunsmith Shop learning lots about guns. The top gun was for the wealthy who cared about appearances, the lower gun was just as good a gun, just more plain (and cheaper). We loved the windows of his shop-can you see how they keep the shutters open?

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He closed his doors as we left – it was 4:30 pm and closing time!! We managed to purchase a couple postcards in the Visitor Center, then made our way home. We didn’t manage to see Salem College, established in 1772, one of the oldest women’s colleges. A testimony to the Moravians’ progressive belief that women deserved education on par with those available to men.

A beautiful trip on a beautiful, warm fall day.


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Back Home

10/27/14 Monday in Advance, NC (Forest Lake-TT)

The Interstate to/from Hurricane, WV was just full of fall colors. They even have several wild flower plantings.

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My niece’s wedding was so much fun!! I loved their theme (comic book heros). Unfortunately I forgot to bring my regular camera to the wedding, so all I have are phone camera images. Our largest wishes for your life together, David and Brooke:

Brooke and David

Brooke and David

 Lynn (my sister) wearing her comic book shawl and husband Gene

Lynn (my sister) wearing her comic book shawl and husband Gene

Trish, my brother Don, my sister Lynn

Trish, my brother Don, my sister Lynn

Brooke and David

Brooke and David

Two Comic book Superheros with Brooke.

Two Comic book Superheros with Brooke.

Our trip home from Hurricane took a lot of time because, besides stopping for fuel for body and car, we stopped at Costco for groceries (plus a new computer for John). That wasn’t as much on our was as we’d thought, so after another stop for normal groceries, we got home at supper time.

Thus today we sort of took a day off, from driving especially. I cleaned house, did laundry and cruised the Internet. John got his computer running and enjoyed the Internet as well. His old one had been running on Windows XP, then Google Chrome crashed and he couldn’t seem to install it. So he’s now the happy owner of an HP laptop with Windows 7.

Before lunch we did manage a walk around the campground in this gorgeous fall weather, even getting to visit with a couple who’ve had experiences with Winnebago, Newmar, Tiffin, Holiday Rambler and Fleetwood!! Great resource for comparisons of issues with those different rigs and companies.

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Homemaker Day

10/23/14 Thursday in Advance, NC (Forest Lake-TT)

Cold this morning, so I felt like baking; granola bars and cornmeal muffins. Even though I was extremely careful with my measurements and button pushing on the microwave, they still didn’t cook like they should have. I’m now suspecting my LoMix program may not be working well. It alternates Convection energy with Microwave energy. The Convection alone and Microwave alone seem to work just fine.

Getting ready for our trip to West Virginia tomorrow I also did 3 loads of laundry. Note: our little combo washer/dryer does 4 t-shirts at a time, 2 bath towels plus hand towel and wash cloth at a time. John ran into issues on his computer. He was figuring out our path to Hurricane,WV and his Google Chrome stopped working. His computer has Windows XP, so it’s not being supported any more. He REALLY doesn’t want to buy a new computer and deal with Windows 8……

We washed the CRV this afternoon, so it’ll look sharp in West Virginia. Next we had a wonderful walk around this great campground on this crisp fall day.

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I took a nap while John enjoyed his METV and Antenna TV of old shows.

We’ll be guests at my niece’s wedding on Saturday, so we’re taking a long drive there at the west end of West Virginia tomorrow. Thus I’m taking a blog break for the next few days: Wedding Time

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Ken in the Morning and a Kenneth in the Afternoon

10/22/14 Wednesday in Advance, NC (Forest Lake-TT)

Ready for another quiet day, John cleaned our front end cap (windshield) and while doing that he met our next door neighbor, Ken. As they talked about RV issues I was inside working on the blog, then typing up our maintenance checklist, wondering what I was missing (in their conversation). I got busy with an item I noticed was up for cleaning: heat pump/ac filters and microwave filters. When I got out to join them, they were just about finished talking. I asked John, did you find out what he’d recommend doing around here, what year is his RV? Nope, just RV antennas.

I called the RV dealers I’d found on the Internet yesterday. One had a couple RVs he wanted to show us. So after lunch we decided to go check them out. Plus John thought maybe they’d have a cup holder to replace the one that he’d broken a few days ago. Before leaving, we enjoyed another good conversation with our neighbor, Ken. This time I was there to ask MY questions.

Our Rand McNalley GPS got lost as we arrived in Mocksville (crazy name, I’d say), but my Waze (phone app GPS) did just fine. The rigs were very nice: 2013 Tiffin Phaeton (40′) and 2013 Thor Tuscany (40′). The big problem for me was that they both had a bathroom in the rear. Something about all that plumbing (especially when they add the washer/dryer weight) at the rear where the most effect is felt from “rodeo” roads (as we call them), bothers me. We’re noticing that they’re putting refrigerators and washer/dryer sets in slides sometimes. That weight in a slide makes me nervous too. I’m not an engineer, so it would be good to know what they would think about that. Those 2 rigs also cost more than we could afford, at least the Tiffin was $209,000. Oh, yes, our salesman was Kenneth!  The best news: we found the perfect replacement cup holder!!

Back home we relaxed with TV and books.  John of course installed his cup holder.

Isn’t our lake lovely in the morning?

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Moved to New Site

10/21/14 Tuesday in Advance, NC (Forest Lake-TT)

I slept in this morning, then we got talking to our neighbors who love sitting by their fire early on a very cold morning (in the 40’s). They are truckers (all men gathered), some of whom have been to Washington. Anyway, we mentioned that we needed a really level site. They noted a nice long pull through site that someone had just vacated this morning.

We went back to Miss Zanzibar, ate breakfast, then walked to the office to ask about being able to leave the rig for 2 nights while we attend my niece’s wedding. They said fine, as long as it was just for that and that we were letting them know. Knowing now that we wouldn’t have to put our RV into storage for those 2 nights, we wanted to move to a more level site.

We checked out the one near our fire lovers and another by the lake; the lake site won. It wasn’t perfectly level, similar issues to our other site, but we now have both slides out, FHU, great/strong 50 amp power ($3/night), face North, with lovely lake views. This campground is really nice; very friendly staff and campers, clean bathrooms, gorgeous pools (yes, one for adults and another for families), even 2 hot tubs. Lots of critters: birds, squirrels, ducks. Some of the roads have bad potholes and rough gravel, others are asphalt. They have lots of trees so few satellite sites and more short than long sites.

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Then I got my light housecleaning done. Believe it or not, it was lunch time already. In the afternoon I worked on the blog and caught up on Internet research (RV dealers, things to do/see, route to next destination). The perfect relaxing day. I’d set my chair out under the shade of a tree by the lake but never managed to get there. Even though it was pretty cold this morning, the sun brought wonderful warmth (low 70’s) later.

Nothing special for our evening except adjusting to no DVR. John watched “Person of Interest” in the bedroom while I watched “Frontline” in the living room.

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Moving on – to Advance, NC and Dentist Visit

10/20/14 Monday in Advance, NC (Forest Lake-TT)

On our way by 8:15 am. We had a little excitement when, on our way, John realized he’d never input the address into his GPS. Would we find a wide spot to stop and set it? He did, before I-64W, thank heavens.

Long trip, but mostly freeway roads so we were hoping our trip would be pretty endurable. I-64W, I-1295S, I-85S. The intersection of I-64 to I-295 went smoothly, although the road was pretty rough around there and for several miles, even on I-85S for several more miles. Plus we had the refrigerator break open and drop out a couple items. Finally, the road got decent. Ah, North Carolina – it’s beautiful.


We had a little excitement when John saw a sign for Pilot (fuel). He’d seen the paperwork for this Pilot saying there were no pumps, but he so wanted to get our fuel in Virginia because it’s cheaper than in North Carolina. Well, after pulling off we couldn’t find a Pilot. There was an Exxon with diesel, so John had to finagle some tight spaces to get to the pumps, only to realize that he’d driven onto the wrong side of the pump for our RV. At that point I suggested we just get back on I-85S, so we did.

I called the dentist. An appointment was available Tuesday. Good, no pressure. Later the dentist called. There was a cancellation for 3:30pm today. We might make it, but it would be tight. She said she’d leave my appointment for Tuesday and I could call around 1 or 2 if I thought we could make the 3:30 one. Meanwhile I’m to connect to the Internet and print some paperwork, bringing it to the office completed. In the interest of efficiency, I used my smart phone hotspot to connect and tell my computer to print. When we stopped at a rest area, I connected to the printer and printed them. Wouldn’t you know, it looked like we’d get to the campground at 2 pm, so we called to let them know we’d come to the 3:30 pm appointment.

Once we arrived, it took an hour to check in, unhook the car, find a place and get level. Off we went to the dentist in Lexington. They were wonderful and the great news is: No filling came out! My teeth are fine!!! On our way back we picked up some groceries.

Need I say, we were really tired then and glad we just had to heat up our leftover taco soup from yesterday. We couldn’t get satellite TV but we did get the locals so we were happy to enjoy “Dancing With The Stars” then hit the sack. You know, like the sacks of straw that the slaves had to sleep on in our colonial times……

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