Sometimes we look at sights in nature but don't really see. While hiking in the woods the other day, it became a realization that we need to open our heart and eyes to see the beauty of the simple things in nature with each season. There is so much order and purpose in His creation. God has given us awesome beauty in this world to see and enjoy... if we would but stop to see and feel it. Join us as this blog is about stopping to see the real beauty around us...to touch and feel it... "Through the Lens".

Our Friends

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

On to Another Great Campground

                           
It was sad leaving after the rally was over because we all had so much fun and we met a lot of people and got other's ideas.  We got packed up and were on the road by around 9:15 for what would have been about a 4 and half hour drive.  We decided to stop half way and spend most of the day and night at Oak Mountain State Park...glad we did.  When we entered the park, the lady at the gate said we had a 5 mile drive to the campground...wow it is really a big park.  We asked for a woodsy site near the lake, if one existed....well, it did.

   


We ate lunch and just chilled the rest of the day and night.  While we were sitting outside, we spotted a woodpecker and took a few pics.
         


Later in the afternoon, Mike found a trail that took him down to the lake and he got some pics of the lake and area.




We had a great stay and the area our site was in was so very quiet and woodsy, one wouldn't know
you were on the outskirts of Birmingham.  The next morning we packed up and headed back to
Auburn to meet some of our commitments we had made prior to leaving.   







Tuesday, May 8, 2018

2018 Oliver Owner's Rally

   
As we last posted, we arrived Friday in Lake Guntersville State Park for the 3rd annual Oliver Rally.  We booked reservations 8 months ago and have a prime lakeside site.  As the day rolled on, about 80 Oliver Travel Trailers were nestled in the mountains of north Alabama.
     
This front Oliver is ours

 The Lodge here is on top of the mountain and overlooking the lake as it intertwines through the hills...it is really a beautiful setting.
     




We had activities all throughout the 4 day rally as well as free time to visit around and meet a lot of people.  The schedule changed a bit as rain was in the forecast for Saturday afternoon, and as we all came to realize, that change was a good call.  Unfortunately that storm came up so fast that a couple of folks lost their awning because of the high winds.
   


Sunday afternoon we had our cookout at the beach pavilion and then a big bonfire after the cookout.  It was quite a fire and the cookout was very good. That night we just kind of walked around and took our environment in...what a peaceful night.


       

                     
 On the last day of the rally, we had the afternoon to visit other Olivers to see their mods as well as their decor.  That night, we had a buffet dinner followed by a program and closing remarks. However the evening was briefly interrupted by a beautiful sunset. We all kind of eased outside to take a few pics.
     



Tuesday morning came and we slowly got our things put up and broke down camp...that was a sad moment because we all had so much fun!!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

On to the Rally

After a quiet peaceful nights sleep we were on our way to the Oliver factory Tuesday morning!!  We backtracked into Florence so we could catch that section of the Natchez Trace!!  Since we had already completed this part of the Trace we didn't pull off too many times.  We had never seen the Trace during late spring before.  Every season seems to look a little different and beautiful in its own way.  
We pulled off at a picnic area to take a bathroom break...so nice to be able to just carry your own bathroom around with you.  I know its clean!!      



Anyway, we found this lovely creek with lots of running water.  What a beautiful sound!!  We stood there for awhile just enjoying the serene view and listening to the soothing sounds of creek water.  
A little further along the way we rediscovered our first stop and picnic on the Trace.  This is Metal Ford.         




  When we were here in late September the water wasn't running nearly as fast.  What we did discover is that in May there are plenty of little black gnats all over the place!!  Very annoying!!  I doubt we could have had a picnic there on this day!!  Still a beautiful area and obviously a favorite of local fishermen!!

We made it!!!!!   We arrived at the Oliver Sales Office Tuesday afternoon and got all set up in our spot.  We wanted to have our Oliver at the factory first thing Wednesday morning so spending the night here would really help us make that schedule happen.  This is such a nice privilege offered to Oliver owners (if space is available).  We usually call in advance to make sure there is space for us.  We are able to hook up to electricity and water.  So Wednesday morning we were at the back service area of the Oliver factory at 8:00 sharp. We were there to have a kit put on our Truma Aqua Go Tankless Water System that will allow us to decalcify the system so the water flows proper, not clogged and the system is easily maintained for proper use.  We have an endless supply of hot water in about 15 to 20 seconds from turning the hot water on.  Wow, it sure is nice to take a long hot shower and not worry about running out of hot water. That process took the factory a little over 2 hours to install and we received a discounted rate since they installed the system to begin with.  Always nice to save money!!               


Yoders Amish Market outside Hohenwald
While all of this work was taking place at the factory we made our pilgrimage to Yoders Homestead Market for Mike's favorite....homemade sweet rolls!!!  They are awesome!!  We also bought some of the homemade soaps they sell. 

The Old Natchez Trace Trail at Meriwether Lewis

This is just outside Hohenwald

 We drove through the Meriwether Lewis area of the Natchez Trace.  Once again, the bugs were pretty bad so we opted to return to the sales office and eat our lunch.             
Entrance to Cedars of Lebanon

 Our site at Cedars of Lebanon
From Hohenwald we headed east to Cedars of Lebanon State Park in Lebanon which is just outside of Murfreesboro which is where Mike's mom lives.  We wanted to spend some time with her and for an added bonus our very good friends, Darrell and Judy Patterson, were going to be camping at Cedars of Lebanon so they can visit their kids in Murfreesboro.  We hadn't seen Darrell and Judy in about a year and half but we picked right up as if no time had passed at all.  I keep in touch with Judy through emails, text messages and phone so we do keep in touch!!  Darrell and Judy full-timed for many years before buying a home in Crossville, Tennessee.  We met them when we stayed the winter at Rainbow Plantation in 2010.  

We were able to visit with Darrell and Judy on Thursday as well as eating lunch together at Demos Restaurant.  This is a new place to eat for us and we were very impressed with the food and the service!!  A definite place to return to.  We visited with Mike's mom, who lives in an assisted living facility in Murfreesboro.                         

Mike and Mimi, she is 95
She showed us this neat bird exhibit that had been placed in the main lobby since we were there last.  It is definitely a big hit with the residents but also the guest.       


It's been a great few days since leaving Chewacla.  We have accomplished quite a few things and now its on to the rally!!

We are now in Lake Guntersville State Park just outside of Guntersville, Alabama for the third annual Oliver Rally!!  This will be the first one we've attended and we are excited about meeting some owners we have corresponded with via facebook or blogs.  
Stay tuned for the fun and excitement of the Oliver Rally!!

Thanks for stopping by our blog!!












Monday, April 30, 2018

A Jello Moment

We left Deerlick Creek COE Campground around 9:30 this morning with the hopes of getting to McFarland Campground and securing one of their first come first serve sites!  We took the back roads and it has been a beautiful day!!  Little to no traffic and just lush countryside!
   
We arrived at McFarland Campground in Florence, Alabama around lunch.  We noticed right away there were tons of sites available but as we got closer we realized ALL the sites were available because they were closed.  What a disappointment!!  It seems as though there had been some heavier rains earlier and the water levels were getting a bit too high and they closed the park until the levels dropped.  So we decided to just stop right there and picnic right beside the Tennessee River!!
   


     
 It was a beautiful day and lots of people had decided to enjoy lunch beside the river!!  It's always nice to see people outside enjoying the outdoors instead of sitting inside somewhere eating.  I fixed us sandwiches a pistachio salad and chips and we enjoyed the lovely day.  As we ate we talked about where we would go from here.

Joe Wheeler State Park is only about 26 miles from McFarland Campground so we decided to give Joe Wheeler a try.  We drove to Joe Wheeler State Park and got a site that backs up to the river.  This is a nice woodsy state park that sits way off the highway so it is very quiet and peaceful.
Taken inside from our back window


After getting all set up we walked around and took a few pictures and sat outside for awhile.  Unfortunately the laundry was calling to me....it had been awhile since I had done the laundry and it was becoming a necessity!!  So we drove to the laundry facility and discovered a very nice, clean laundry room.  There are three washing machines (one was out of order) and two very large commercial dryers.  I was able to use the two washers and get our laundry done pretty quickly.

Tomorrow morning we plan to backtrack toward Florence, Alabama so we can catch the Natchez Trace for our drive to Hohenwald.  It is no secret...we love this parkway.  And why not...we have all day to arrive at the Oliver sales office.  They have a couple places at the sales office where you can park your Oliver and hook up to electric and water.  As Pete ( Pete and the Wonder Egg) put it....it's an exclusive, members only campground in Hohenwald, Tennessee!!   So we are looking forward to our trip up the Natchez toward Hohenwald  tomorrow and arriving at The Mothership

Thanks for stopping by!!!