Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Catchin' a few

August 23, 2017--More often than not, when we go fishing, we don't go catching. But this time, we did!

The RV park where we stayed in South Carolina, is on Lake Marion, a huge lake created by the dammed-up Santee River. We found the park through Passport America (half-price RV stays) and were grateful that they had an open spot for us so that we could watch the eclipse in its totality. The park is more like a fish camp, with probably at least a hundred permanent RVers (full-time or seasonal), and more than 600 spots for vacationers. All but three were taken for the eclipse-viewing.

The park has a long fishing pier, where we fished almost every day. That is where we had our luck, catching what locals call bream (pronounced "brim") and what we northerners call blue gills. The first one Jim caught he threw back, claiming it was too little.

It wasn't. Jim was used to needing to catch bigger fish, since we generally fish in salt water, and fish have size limits. After throwing back that first one, we kept all that we caught.

They were delicious.

The lake is famous for its catfish. We met an 11-year-old boy who was visiting his grandparents. This lad was quite a fisherman, even at his tender age. His grandma said that is all he wants to do. While we were fishing, he caught a two-pound perch (or something like that, not a bass). He showed it to his grandpa, then later released it. The next day, he fished with his grandparents on their boat and caught two catfish--an 18-pounder and a 26-pounder! He said he had to have help reeling in the larger one; it was just a bit too much for him.

We didn't have that kind of luck, but we certainly did have fun, fishing off the pier as well as in our kayaks.

We took the kayaks out yesterday for a couple of hours. We fished from them, but did not catch anything. (I believe it was too hot.) We had a good time, but I have to admit that I have not made up my mind about kayaking. Jim asked me what I thought--did I like it or should we sell the kayaks?

I told him we should try it out one more time, at least. We had put a different seat in my kayak, but unfortunately, it did not provide much lumbar support. The discomfort detracted by the possible pleasure of kayaking. Also, I was not completely comfortable riding the very small waves in the lake. Although we were near the shore, I did not feel secure. So, I think I would like to try kayaking one more time. Then we will decide if we want to keep the personal boats or sell them.

Until later,

Your Reluctant RoVer,


Monday, August 21, 2017

Just simply AWESOME!

August 21, 2017--It was awesome!

We arranged chairs outside of our RV and waited for the sun to disappear. Gradually, the moon did its job, and little by little, the bright orb in the sky started to darken.

We used two different types of eclipse glasses: a regular pair and a 2x binocular. Each worked equally well. Unfortunately, we could not easily mount the glasses to the camera to take pictures as the moon did its "thing." I did, however, take a photo of the actual eclipse with my cell phone.

We were lucky. Just as the eclipse approached totality, clouds started to roll in. Fortunately, they did not obscure the sight, but once totality passed, the clouds stayed. We could not watch the second "half" of the eclipse as the sun came out from behind the moon.
Totality in Eutawville, S.C., Aug. 21, 2017

I was a bit disappointed in one respect: I expected night-time darkness. It appeared more like sundown, or a twilight, not nearly as dark as I was led to believe.

Despite that minor disappointment, I am glad we traveled to South Carolina to get the full experience. It was worth it.

A selfie at the eclipse.

We have learned that the next total eclipse in the United States will be in April in seven years, starting in Texas and heading through Indianapolis. It should be total over my older sister's house in Texas as well as over my brother's in Indianapolis. Either place sounds like a good place to go to see it, assuming we are still in good health and can travel.

Until next time,

Your Reluctant RoVer,


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Ready in S.C. for the sun to darken

August 20, 2017—Tomorrow is the day that earth stands still. No, wait. It won’t stand still, but it will get dark in the middle of the day when the earth experiences a total eclipse.

We are in Eutawville, S.C., on Lake Marion near Santee. The RV park is in line of the total eclipse. Our hope is that the clouds will disappear and we will be able to get the full experience of this once-in-a-lifetime happening. After the eclipse, we intend to launch our kayaks on this large lake and seek out some unsuspecting bass, pan fish, or catfish. We don’t care what, just so long as the beasties take a bite of our bait.

It wouldn’t  be an RV trip without  misadventure or two, would it? (I guess we made an exception to that rule the last trip that we took, but all good things have to come to an end.)

Several months ago we had a new cooling unit installed in our refrigerator. It worked OK the last couple of trips we took. But when we turned the fridge on Friday (it takes a long time to cool down adequately), we discovered that it was not cooling. Not good.

The unit itself is under warranty, but that doesn’t help keep our food cold on this trip. So, we took down a couple of ice coolers and are camping the old-fashioned way, at least with respect to keeping our food stuffs cold.

Our other misadventure is relatively minor—a dead battery in our tow car. Fords are notorious for this malady. Jim had installed a trickle charge, but for the last two trips, we have suffered a dead battery. Thank goodness for those portable battery charges. At less than $50 on eBay, our charger has saved the day for us. (I highly recommend having one on-hand. You never know when you will need a jump-start.)

I am writing this on Sunday evening, but I don’t know when I will have it posted. My mifi connection is weak; I may have to wait until I get home.

Until later,

Your Reluctant RoVer,

Back home again...

Rob and I hit the road about 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 15. The movers were incredible: They had everything loaded into the huge moving tru...