Saturday, January 1, 2011

camping. snow flurries. ice. 2011.'s hoping everyone has a year filled with all good things!!

little did we know...when we made our camping reservations...months ago...
that an extreme cold front would engulf the entire east coast for christmas!
freezing weather... places where they rarely see any fluffy white stuff!
i say 'camping'...but you can get that picture of a tent out of your mind.
we're like a turtle. 
when we go camping...we carry our home on our backs!
(we have a slide-in sits in the back of the pick-up truck)

so on christmas we headed up to georgia for an unexpected...
colder than usual...winter vacation...
until new years.
anyway...we were hoping to see snow! and we did!
not enough for snowballs...snow angels...or snowmen...
but just enough to be mesmerized!

1st stop...George L. Smith State Pk - for 2 nights. this park sits on a
nice sized mill pond...filled with cypress and tupelo trees. there's a refurbished 
combination grist mill, saw mill, covered bridge and dam...built in 1880.
you can wander through the covered bridge/museum
and see the old tools...turbine & generator...and how everything worked...
((covered bridge/museum))

((view of the mill pond from covered bridge))

((the old turbine & generator))

christmas day. that's when we arrived at the park. 
and that's when it started to snow.
it got down to 18 degrees that first night...which isn't really THAT unusual 
since the temps sometimes dip that low where we live in florida.
it was the SNOW!
we loved it!
standing there, like little kids...
with our faces looking up...catching snow flakes on our tongues!

in the morning we realized we forgot to unhook the water hose...
from spigot to camper.
it froze.
we had to pack up the frozen hose...
next stop...Mistletoe State Pk.
luckily, by the time we got had thawed enough 
so that sam was able to get the ice to blow out!

BUT FIRST...on the way to Mistletoe...
we passed through Wrens...
where a small Veterans' Memorial Park was in the center of town...
and this almost completely frozen fountain!

continuing on...we made another detour through Harlem, Georgia...
the birthplace of Oliver Hardy - of the famous team 'Laurel & Hardy'.
you can see glimpses of these two everywhere...

if you happen to be passing through...
stop in at the laurel & hardy museum...
very cool...jam packed with memorabilia!

whew! are you still there? still hanging with us?
...go ahead if you want...take a break...stretch...get a drink...

on to mistletoe park. 
driving down the road with snowy pine trees on both sides...
snow on roofs of cars and houses...what a sight!
but by the time we reached the park...the snow had pretty much melted away.
just bits of ice here and there.
our campsite was lake side...Clark's Lake. facing east. 
beautiful sunrises. gaggles & gaggles of canadian geese. 
shimmering ice along the water's edge...looking like miniature stalagmites.

we hiked...along the trails through the woods...

along the shoreline...
and as the crunchy icy shore...began to melt...

our shoes started getting stuck.
my feet started feeling heavy.
they were getting sucked into the mushy muddy georgia red dirt.
(ooooh! my aching quads! miles of hiking...
i had to remind sam...for every step he takes...i have to take 2! 
hey! i'm not complaining...just realizing i have to get out and ride my bike more!)

we weren't the only ones getting stuck in the muck...


well, we didn't actually SEE a raccoon...
or a deer...just evidence of their presence...
their footprints...and poop. 
((yes! poop! sometimes taking pictures of SCAT (or footprints) 
and then looking it up later...
is the only way to ID what critters are in the neighborhood!!))

besides the constant honking of the geese...
we also heard an occasional woodpecker. 
we could tell by the sound of the 'pecking' 
that this was NOT one of  the usual woodpeckers we have at home. 
it wasn't a pileated, red-bellied or red-headed woodpecker.
luckily...we finally spotted it...
and lucky enough to get a picture before it flew away!
it's a female Downy Woodpecker! back home late yesterday.
much to get caught up on. emails. blogs to read. laundry...
pack away the christmas decorations...
i  just wanted to get this 'out there' while it was all still fresh in my mind.
i also took LOTS of pictures of fungi...and weathered wood...
THAT will be my NEXT POST!

OH! almost forgot...milo! she was such a good little camper!
in the not too crowded campgrounds...we were able to let her out.
she stays right our campsite.

so...that's it for now. a whole week crammed into one post!
i hope it wasn't too much wandering...all at once...

today is the start of a new year!
have a happy one!!

We will open the book.  Its pages are blank.  
We are going to put words on them ourselves.  
The book is called Opportunity 
and its first chapter is New Year's Day.  
~Edith Lovejoy Pierce

take care. stay cool.
laura  :]


  1. Welcome home Laura K and Family from what one can see and read has been a wonderful holiday adventure.
    Fortunate I feel to have the privilege to be here and share of the experience... Where do I begin... I think with the first photo - Exquisite. As I continue I feel I can sense the crisp air, and am awed by the rich colours amid such cold winters. Seeing Laurel & Hardy are still appreciated is heart warming. Milo is a treat enjoying the great outdoors.
    Your way of story telling so much a chat time with you. Your photos too are filled with stories. Have truly enjoyed the visit.
    Thank you for the sharing. May 2011 be wonderful for each of you. From M of Australia

  2. Laura, I am so glad that you and Sam and Milo had a great time! As usual, I love the pix!!! Loving the quote at the end of your post...awesome! Happy New Year, my friend!...:)JP

  3. Wow great post sounded wonderful. had to laugh with You about walking 2 steps for everyone of Sam's . i have told Carl the same thing. great pics too can't wait to see the fungi ,hugs
    Happy 2011

  4. I love the first photo. Either it's snowing or someone has a bad case of dandruff.... Happy New Year =)

  5. Beautiful, beautiful pictures! Isnt snow magical?? You are making me want to get out and go for a hike!!! I have been inside for too long...I'm huffing and puffing just reading this!! Welcome back!~stacey

  6. Welcome back Laura-you've been missed! What great pictures! The geese and the water! You get the best sunsets. That woodpecker almost looks like the ones we see. They're small and kind of spotted. And your ending quote-how true! Happy New Year!

  7. Oh, and Milo-what a fun cat!

  8. BRrrrrr! Sounds like a good trip! Happy New Year!

  9. Hi Laura,
    Wishing you and Sam a fantastic New Year full of great experiences.

    Really beaut to share your holiday trip through your photos. Wow - so cold, how crazy is that frozen fountain!
    The picture that absolutely knocked my socks off is the view of the mill pond from the covered bridge. Those reflections - it's a beauty.

    You both packed a lot into your holiday. Enjoy settling back into your nest again.
    Cheers :D

  10. Oh I knew you would bring back interesting tales and fabulous pictures!
    The 3rd is my favourite of a great bunch - just love the symmetry and the reflections.

    Happy 2011 to you both, and to Milo.

  11. Glad you're all home safe & sound, but looks like a good time was had by all. This time of year can be so invigorating and I never can understand those who stay wrapped up inside all the time - what they miss! All your pics are beautiful, as usual, and it's fun to see the ones of the animal tracks. I was out in our snow today looking for exactly that - what fun to see who comes around at night, and they leave such a clear trail to those who are alert. Glad to have you back!

  12. THANKS everyone!! yeah, animal tracks...magical snow...the ice and honking geese! what an adventure it was!
    but you know what they say...after one need another to recover...still trying to get caught up...and tomorrow's MONDAY!! AAaaarrrrrgghh!!

    i'm looking forward to swinging by you shortly...laura :]

  13. I like your blog! well set out! :-) cant believe how many followers you got!

    I have one over here:

  14. Happy new year Laura! :))) Cool pics.. I'm really impressed with all that walking you guys managed.. I could never have! glad you've had a fun time.. I'm stuck inbetween exams :s so im logging in after such a long time.. ooo I've seen some laurel n hardy epis.. a bit of the cartoons too :D

  15. happy new yr laura...u again put up some really nice collection of pics there...i like the snow on leaves...i've actually neva seen snow for real i wish cud c some tym!!! n love those water pics too!!!awesome!!!

  16. THANKS Tork, Amused Medic, and pranky!!...for stopping by...and wandering along the trails...glad you could make time to visit and leave a note!! :))laura

  17. Neat, neat photos. The trees' knees shots are really cool. LIke the kitty on the tree, too.


thanks for stopping by! it's always nice to hear from fellow wanderers!