Heading on Down to Georgia with a stay under a Loblolly Pine Forest-my Freaking Favorite!
Well, hello! Thank you for reading my blog!
As we prepared to head down south for some of the winter, a storm was predicted to hit us, Winter Storm Izzy they called it. We got out of town on a Friday at noon, having wanting to be on the road way earlier, LOL, but at least we got out! I drove the entire day to Rocky Mount, NC. I had the day mostly off, but Joel did not! We were well ahead of the storm and in great shape to not see any of it. We did end up with the crazy wind from Izzy and rain all night Saturday night in Georgia, but it was fine. There was no ice or snow; we were so happy to be out of the mess!
Once we got to Rocky Mount, NC we planned to overnight in the parking lot of Cracker Barrel. When we arrived it was pretty, late, we were very tired and we forgot all of our knowledge about parking and leveling. In our defense, the last time we used Miss Riggy overnight was back in early November, haha. We pulled into a very uneven spot. We tried the levelers twice, but we were too slanted and it wasn’t happy. Instead of remembering anything or trying any harder to get level, we made a quick dinner and went to sleep on an incredible slant. We made up the dinette to sleep on since we did not deploy the slide. When we are in a Cracker Barrel parking lot, we never put the slide out. We have seen other people deploy their slides, but we don’t do it. So we slept at a nice angle with our heads up high and the front tilting forward and to the right, so all night long I am sliding down to the bottom of the bed, lmao. Joel, being the wonderful sleeper that he is, slept through the night!
Saturday morning we ate a Cracker Barrel breakfast. I have discovered their egg in a whole breakfast and it’s pretty good. Because we overnight in their parking lot, it is customary to purchase a meal. After eating breakfast we took off for Georgia. Joel drove this whole day because I was toast after driving all day Friday. We do take breaks when we do these long haul drives and stretch and the doggies always want to run and play. I found a Harvest Host place to stay at just outside of our first State Park for Saturday night. Harvest Hosts, for those of you who don’t know, is a community of businesses that allow RVers to overnight for free. Now, of course, you do pay a yearly fee to camp for “free”, but it is only $89/year with a discount code. There is an option to stay at Golf Courses too for a little more. Using these hosts for just 2-3 nights a year pays the fee, so every night for the rest of the year after that, you are staying for free. The customary thing to do when staying at one of these hosts is to purchase something from their establishment. Typically we buy food. The hosts range from odd-ball “museums” to regular museum parking lots to breweries and wineries and all kinds of farms. Most of you know we do not drink alcohol any more so I opt to stay on farms when I utilize this community. THIS time we stayed at a place called Terra Firma Farm & Forest. It was in Patterson, Georgia.
I loved this Harvest Host stay so much! The weather was wild though! Because of that winter storm, we were getting rain and insane winds. We were sleeping in the middle of a loblolly pine forest. It was amazing. I don’t know what it is about a loblolly pine but I just LOVE them. They have the coolest bark and I just love their shape! The Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas is in a loblolly pine forest and I love it their too. There are these places I have found on this planet that for some reason or another give me amazing “feelings”. I don’t know how to describe it but it feels very peaceful and I feel a connection with earth and everything, just peaceful. Sedona, Arizona in the red rocks makes me feel like this, Hawaii, in the lush green peaceful landscape or at the top of Haleakala does it, there is this place just on the other side of my property line in West Decatur that I can feel these vibes too. Sometimes I refer to these places and the feeling that comes with it as my healing vortex. There are other places I have felt this too. There is a place in Utah, way up in the northern part, up above Park City, where everyone goes to ski, there’s a forest there, we did a hike at elevations over 10,000’. Anyway, there is a healing vortex there too, if you ask me! In the Colorado Rockies, one of the places we stopped and ate our packed lunch one time with Eric I felt those feels too. I don’t know what it is just a good feeling vibe and I love it. There is a spot we went to in Sedona a few years ago had the strongest feeling to me. There was even this old, peaceful, hippy man who appeared out of nowhere, I kid you not!, and handed us these small palm-sized heart shaped rocks. That were made from the red rock. He told us that he could feel our peaceful energy and that we were meant to have these naturally occurring “heart-shaped” rocks. He wasn’t selling them, he wouldn’t take any money. He was very peaceful and strange but in a good way. He sort of walked away and just disappeared. We don’t have any idea where he actually went. We were in the dessert. There was no place to hide. It was W I L D! I’ll post pictures of us there climbing in the “healing vortex“ of Arizona. These pictures are from 2017.
Joel, Eric & I on our way to climb a BIG ROCK
We climbed this tall pointy one
We made it up to one of the rock ledges. My fear of heights was strong here, but I overcame it! Having Eric with me, made it easier. He is a calming presence for me!
With the zoomed in shot it doesn’t look like we climbed much, but, it was NOT EASY!
We took the hearts with us to the Fiesta Bowl and helped Trace McSorley and the Nittany Lions bring home the win!
Ok, I veered off course there! Now back to this harvest host stay and our trip at hand.
This harvest host had a website. It said, among other things, that you could order a ‘from scratch’ pecan pie if you gave a 12 hour notice. The owner baked the pie from pecans from their farm. WOO Hoo! I am in! I ordered one! This place also had water and electric hookup for an additional fee. Normally, you boon-dock (camping without electricity or water) at a Harvest Host and there are no hookups. We opted to pay a little extra to use their water and electricity. We took this opportunity to de-winterize miss Riggy! Finally we had water and it shouldn’t freeze. We aren’t far enough south at this point yet though for it not to dip to freezing at night, but it has to get well below freezing and stay there for hours before we would freeze. It was a really pretty farm area. The owners were new to it and the woman running it was in her 60s, I think, and the land was in her family and her great-great grandfather got the land from one of those land grants way back when. The lady of the farm also runs a travel agency in Savannah and does a lot of traveling back and forth. She is a busy lady.
The high winds and rain from that winter storm Izzt lasted throughout the night while we slept in that loblolly pine forest. A few tiny branches and a few very large pine cones hit our roof overnight but that was it. The next day, Sunday, we had a leisurely morning, we were only 30 minutes from our next stop, and wanted to wait out the rain. We couldn’t wait out the wind, but we could, the rain. Our pie was ready and the woman brought it over with some extra goodies as well! She gave us a jar of poached pears, a jar of pecan nut butter and 2 HUGE lemons. All of these things were from her land. The pie looked amazing! The pie tasted amazing! It wasn’t an inexpensive pie, it was $35! The pie did not set up like it should have but it was still delicious! I was a little pissy about it at first since it was so pricey but since she gave us all the ”freebies”, I’ll give her a pass on the pie.
We were planning to stay in Georgia for one more night but Joel’s cap on his tooth came off, YIKES! We found a dentist in Palm Coast, Fl that would take him late in the week so we are heading further south a little earlier than planned. Happily I found a night at a state park we stayed at last year. It’s right on the coast, with campsites right on the beach. Woo! I love this park! It’s called Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area. The beach side campsites are amazing! They have riverside campsites too but I know nothing about that side of the park.
Here are some pictures from our Harvest Host farm we stayed at, plus the goodies and that pie! We were able to entirely miss the Winter Storm that pummeled our house. We only had to endure a night of high winds and rain. It was quite pleasant actually!
The homemade pecan pie and other tasty treats!
My View with a view!
51 year old loblolly pine forest and Joel de-winterizing Miss Riggy.