Wednesday, October 22, 2003


Barbara and a couple o friends she met at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. =

My Uncle Edgar walks through the rainforest exhibit at the Botanical Gardens in Atlanta.

We have been at Stone Mountain, Georgia for two days now. Yesterday, we visited the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. They have a great tropical plant house and orchid house. The faciity is quite nice and we highly recommend a visit to anyone in Atlanta. The plant houses are grouped by climate and it was fun to go from tropical rainforest to tropical mountains as we walked. I must say that the Andes were the most pleasant enviornment being cool and damp. The orchids and other plants were very unusual and beautiful. We get underway in the morning to head south. We have had a wonderful visit with my aunt and uncle and will have dinner with my cousin and her family tonight.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

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This is a photo of the shop at Tinker Creek Woodworks in Roanoke, Va. We had a great visit with the owner and master woodworker, Rob Erwin. Must have spent an hour and a half talking about wood and woodworking. We bought some items for our home here.

Thursday, October 16, 2003


This is our neighborhood here in Salem, Virginia. It is a real little
village. Note the niced paved streets and parking areas on the sites.
We are at the back of an area of permenant modular homes. The school bus
runs every day and the garbage trucks come once a week. Everyone has
been very friendly and helpful here. Not bad for only twelve bucks a

This image is the route we are planning to take on the next leg of our
trip. Our destination is Stone Mountain Park near Atlanta with an
intermediate stop at a campground in Gaffney, SC. Our present plans are
to depart Roanoke on Sunday, October 19. We will spend the night at
Gaffney, SC and continue on to Stone Mountain the next day, Monday,
October 20.
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Just a sample of the fall colors. The mountains are brilliant with color.
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A classic view of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
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While driving the Blue Ridge Parkway we stopped at the Peaks of Otter
Lodge and Restaurant for lunch. This is the view from our table looking
at Sharp Top Mountain. There is a road going almost all the way to the
top but you have to take a bus to get there. We did not take the ride
up this time but when we did a few years ago it was really scary. There
were steep drop offs and the bus seemed like an old school bus converted
to ferry service on the mountain. The guy driving said he had not lost
anyone, YET! The view from our table at the Peaks of Otter Restuarant
was like a scene on a postcard.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

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Monday, October 13, 2003, we drove to the Blue Ridge Parkway near
Roanoke. The Parkway extends 469 miles along the southern Appalachians
and links two national parks - Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains
National Parks. We entered the Parkway near Roanoke and drove northeast
enjoying the fall leaves and the cool temperatures. While the leaves
have not peaked to their maximum color they are nearly so and very
beautiful. The cool mountain air was refreshing and we saw many people
relaxing and just enjoying being outside. Last night, Tuesday, October
14, a cold front passed through rapidly bringing very high winds and
rain. Some trees in the area were blown down and the power was out in
some areas. Today is clear and pleasant but still very windy. This
photo was taken near Roanoke Mountain.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Parked in Roanoke

Left Statesville, NC this morning around 9 or 10. Climbed into the
hills on I-77 reaching 2,788 ft. as we passed Fancy Gap, Virginia. I-77
into Virginia is a beautiful drive as it climbs into the wooded hills.
The trees are just starting to show signs of color and will probably
reach their peak in another week or so. The fog had not burned off
completely but visibility was still pretty good. Turning east onto I-81
and joining the convoys of 18 wheelers that use this route the sun began
to burn the fog away. We enjoyed seeing the color patterns in the trees
and noticed that some of them were changing to fall colors from the top

We arrived in Salem, Va around noon and drove to the campground location
using our GPS. We were worried about there actually being a campground
at that location because we saw none of the usual camping roadside
signs. We arrived at the location and found a modular home village
called Salem Village. No one was in the office so after waiting around
for thirty minutes or so for someone to show up we decided to go ahead
and drive through. We found some motorhomes parked in the back of the
area. I knocked on the door of one and a very friendly gentleman
recommended that I just pick a site and setup. He said that they were
pretty casual here and we could park and locate the management later.
He did indicate that the creek behind the campground floods if there is
a lot of rain but we have our weather radio and always keep an eye to
the sky. The gentleman that we met said if heavy rains are forecast we
will just crank up our engines and head for higher ground. The forecast
is good though. The campground area is clean and quiet and those are two
things we like a lot.

Underway for Roanoke

We are on our way to Roanoke, Virginia. The map is the GPS location of
our campground near Statesville, NC. As we approached Charlotte, NC on
the way here we saw a sign that said, "I-485 Freeway." It appeared on
the map to be a bypass around the downtown part of the city. What we
did not know that it was incomplete and found ourselves on a small two
lane highway in a fifty foot rig including the auto in tow. Fortunately
we were running the GPS with a moving map display on the laptop. With
the aid of the GPS we were able to navigate our way back to the
interstate. While it was not a path we would have intenionally chosen we
both found ourselves not stressed out about it. The fact that we are not
on a limited number of days as we were while working had a lot to do
with it. We just saw it as an interesting diversion since we are not
using up our limited annual leave days. We saw parts of Charlotte that
we would never have seen had we not taken the incomplete beltway road.
It was also a good thing that we called ahead and made a reservation at
a campground because when we arrived we found it filling up fast.

We drove over to Statesville and were surprised at the development that
has taken place since we last visited here. The last visit was well
over ten years ago when we picked the first glider I owned, a Libelle
H-201 that I bought in Elizabethton, Tennessee. On that trip we went on
to Blacksburg, Va. to visit Barbara's mom and dad and then came back by
Statesville. We both remembered that Statesville was a small town at
that time and the only place to eat was a local barbecue place, The
Carolina Barbecue. We had a lot of fun that time because people kept
asking us what was in the sailplane trailer. When I told them it was an
airplane they were disappointed. Most people in this area wanted it to
be a race car of some type and they expressed their disappointment at it
not being one.

That's about all the news from The Mothership for now. No internet
connectivity at this time so this will be uploaded at the next place I
can get online.


Monday, October 06, 2003

Uncle Bill's new car (note the WWII glider logo on the door)

We got up at 6 am this morning and drove into Sumter, SC to have breakfast with all of my aunts and uncles. Bill, who is 90, treated us all to breakfast. He has just returned from a World War II Glider Pilot's Convention in North Carolina. My cousin, his son, went with him to the convention. Bill is on a tight schedule because he has to return to his home in Fort Walton Beach to attend an invitational radio control model airplane meet. Bill is a talented RC flyer and builder. This is Bill's Pontiac Vibe which he just bought to transport his models to the flying field.
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Sunday, October 05, 2003

Mural by Carl

Carl's mural at a local restuarant near Columbia. His specialty is Tromp L' Oeil, "fool the eye", murals and production design for shows, live, film, or television. He is works as art director for theatre, film, and television shows. Ok, a shameless plug for my friened. He is Carl E. Copeland, (803) 996-5665, Fax (803) 857-8066, 5354 Augusta Road, Lexington, SC, 29072.

Great Day.

We had a great day with friends and family. Jack and Emily Shuman, my cousin and her husband, invited us over to their home near Columbia for a great meal and hospitality. Emily invited my old friend Carl Copeland and we had a great time reminiscing about old times. Carl has had more adventures and experiences in his life than twenty normal people. He should write a book. He is a very talented artist having worked on many movies and television shows. The mural in the above photo was painted by Carl in a local restaurant.

We visited the fantastic home theatre that my cousin, John, built in his home. Visit John's web site at to see details. John's web site has some great photos but nothing can convey the quality of his theatre like an actual visit. Kudos to John for creating a world class home theatre. I don't think I have ever heard a more perfect sound rendering when playing a cd than in John's theatre. Wish I had taken more photos but the web site has some great photos and info.

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Our table at the supper club


Mom and dad belong to a group that meets on a regular basis to have dinner or "supper" as it is called in this area. We were privileged to be invited as guests to a wonderful meal and good fellowship. The decorations and table settings were beautifully done.

Thursday, October 02, 2003


The weather continues to bless us with intensely clear days and crisp
cool nights. It has been in the mid to upper seventies each day and
down in the fourties at night. We are enjoying the temperatures and the
low humidity a lot. The heat in the camper comes on a couple of times
early in the morning so we know the motorhome is well insulated. It is
great not having to unpack and pack each time we arrive at a
destination. We have been in SC parked in my parents yard since last
Friday. Today, the installer arrives to put in my folk's new DirecTv
system with a DirecTivo as part of the package. We think they will
enjoy the convenience of the Tivo a lot.

My dad is having his house repainted while we are here. The house is
looking nice in its new coat of paint. They are doing a great job on
the painting.

We have not visited other family yet. We plan on doing that this
weekend. Friday night we are having dinner with a group of my mom and
dad's friends and on Sunday we are traveling to my cousin's house for a
big get together where we will see a lot of the family. Our plans are
to depart next week and work our way up to Virginia to see Barbara's
brother and sister-in-law. We always enjoy their warm hospitality and
have a lot of fun with them. After that we hope to catch the fall
leaves in the mountains and work our way back down to Atlanta where we
plan on visiting my aunt and uncle for a couple of days.

Yesterday we watched a gaggle of Canada Geese in the front yard. We
have been treated to beautiful sunsets every evening. Tried to capture
them with the camera but that never does justice to the real event.
That is about it for now.....more updates to follow.