The Freedom Rolling Blog

Travel Update: No Need to Rush

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. So it is also true in the RV world.

Needless to say, the summer workamping opportunity is no more, so it's time to hit the road once again. The good news is, as we had some plans for short trips in the area, we're now able to extend those and actually enjoy ourselves. Being in this part of the country is still necessary for at least a little bit, as we have other motives for being here, but once those are complete, who knows where we'll go. That's the beauty of the RV lifestyle.

Where does the Internal Compass take us next? Keep tuning in to find out.

WRITTEN Jun 16, 2024 at 12:50 PM
TAGS: travel, trip 20

Brew Review Trifecta

Welcome back to Freedom Rolling's Brew Review, as we sample three different beers from across this great nation and give our take on what they have to offer. As with all of the Brew Reviews, please ensure that these, or any beers, are enjoyed in accordance with local laws wherever you may be.

Take a trip with us to the Three Notch'd Brewing Company in Charlottesville, Virginia for their 40 Mile IPA. Brought to you in a wonderful golden color, the immediate scent and first sip of this particular brew is the American-grown hops we've all come to know and love with the West Coast version of this style. The amount of hops isn't as heavy as some other IPAs, whether single, double, or imperial, as this beer is given a refreshing balance to relax the palette between sips. This was recommended to us by a local connoisseur, and we can understand why it's so popular, as it's one of the better IPAs we have had in the Brew Review series.

Shooting down to Charleston, South Carolina, we go to the Cooper River Brewing Company for their orange-infused blonde ale. The first scent makes the oranges very clear, as the entire fruit is used in the creation. However, the lack of a foam head coupled with the fruit would make someone think it was a cider. Aside from the overpowering taste of oranges, there really isn't much of anything else to this particular brew. Although it isn't so bad for a foray into outdoor grilling, there are plenty of other better choices to enjoy.

We head back to Charlottesville and the Three Notch'd Brewing Company for another one of their IPAs, this time the "Minute Man". This particular brew a little more of an orange-ish color, along with the scent of hops, you also smell what seems to be the zest of an orange. Upon first sip, the flavor of the orange, which seems more like the powdered drink style than the juice, seems to overpower the taste of hops that you would expect from an India Pale Ale. Hops lovers will find themselves disappointed, but the drinker that is just starting to get themselves into this style will find it to be an appropriate education, as they'll be eased into the familiar after-taste of the hops so they know what to expect when experiencing other IPAs.

So until the next time we review more beers in the country, be sure to Follow Your Internal Compass.

WRITTEN Jun 02, 2024 at 12:05 PM
TAGS: brew review, south carolina, virginia

Zoo Review: Greenville Zoo

Welcome to the heart of the city of Greenville, South Carolina, home of the Greenville Zoo. First started in the 1950's after a blessing from the Greenville City Council to replace a smaller location, the Greenville Zoo has become a destination for children in the greater Upcountry South Carolina area with a few dozen different species within this menagerie of 14 acres.

Greenville has your typical walk-around zoo, with free municipal parking offered to its patrons, and a large enough lot to fit a good number of people looking to attend. Visitors are encouraged to book tickets online, as they can also tell when the various schools are taking a field trip to this location. Tickets at the door are also available if looking to visit at the spur of the moment. Large numbers of children can sometimes be seen as a distraction when looking to enjoy what they have to offer, but they all seem to have fun, which is the most important part of the zoo experience.

At the end of the day, Greenville Zoo offered a fairly low value for the price being paid. After half an hour of walking the property, we were left with a feeling of "That's it?!", making the experience underwhelming. Sure, we were looking for a "Tell Me About It Tuesday" event that had absolutely no markings whatsoever, and we understand the zoo had recently lost one of their prized exhibits, but we were disappointed in our visit. It might be fun in a pinch for a youth group, but there are better choices for menageries even in this area, and Greenville Zoo is not a place where we would return, nor recommend to the zoo enthusiast looking for a valuable experience.

There's nothing wrong with Following your Internal Compass to places such as this, but do be careful where you seek to visit, as it may not be what you expect.

WRITTEN May 26, 2024 at 12:25 PM
TAGS: trip 18, south carolina

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Is Appalachia calling your name? Check it out!

Welcome to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a popular destination for tourists between the states of North Carolina and Tennessee. The Great Smoky Mountains are so aptly named after the natives saw the immense amount of smoke-like fog coming from the mountain range, and the name stuck. Many communities had settled with what are today's boundaries, resulting in controversial land purchases around the time of the Great Depression to create the park. Today, visitors are able to drive, hike, and camp within the park as weather permits.

The Great Smoky Mountains, although being a national park, does not honor the National Parks pass used in several other locations across the country. Similar to Mount Rushmore, it is dependent upon parking fees to fund the location while allowing visitors to drive through at no additional cost to them. One can enter along US Highway 441 from either Cherokee, North Carolina to the south, or Gatlinburg, Tennessee to the north. The Newfound Gap at nearly a mile high in elevation serves as the midpoint of the highway through the park, as well as the border between the two states. Stop to experience the wonderful views of the Great Smoky Mountains. While along the route, perhaps make a stop to view the elk from a distance. When at the southern end, you can also find the southern terminus of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

One of the features of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the BARK Ranger program, where your pup can become a sworn ambassador of the park. Completing this program is fairly simple, as you'll do a sort of scavenger hunt along one of the two pet-friendly trails near the visitors' centers of the park. Take a number of pictures of your dog along the way, and submit to the ranger on duty. They will help your dog to take the oath of BARK (Bagging waste, Always leashing, Respecting wildlife, and Knowing where to go), and receive a certificate with his or her paw print. As of the writing of this, Miles the Chug Terrier has become an official BARK Ranger at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We are proud of his accomplishment.

So the next time your Internal Compass takes you to the southern Appalachians, be sure to visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

WRITTEN May 19, 2024 at 12:10 PM
TAGS: trip 18, north carolina, tennessee, nps, pup

Disc Golf Match: Sertoma Field

Once again, time to head to the park!

Welcome to Walhalla, South Carolina, home of Sertoma Field for today's disc golf match. Sertoma Field is a free to enter public park, and is northwest of Clemson University in the northwest corner of South Carolina. This is probably the most well-kept course that we've visited thus far, and is home to not only many casual players, but several tournaments throughout the year. It is a full 18-hole course with concrete tee pads and both traditional and "spicy" goals, the latter of which is meant to be a shorter par used for hole-in-one contests. There is a map available, but it's so well marked that you probably won't need it.

This first match saw us playing the red "spicy" goals where available, and the traditional yellow goals when there was only one. Same equipment, no pup. She was nursing a slight injury that hampered play a little bit, but not enough to not play at all. How did it go?

Course Result:
His Holes: 5
Halved: 2
Her Holes: 2

Course Record: Him 6 - 2 - 3 Her
Holes Record: Him 34 - 25 Her

Right away is a potentially scary moment for the beginning player in having to go over a water hazard. Both made it just fine, and the first two holes were halved. He pulled a par on the third to take the lead, after which holes were traded. Some tree luck, or lack thereof, was seen by each player leading to another trade in holes. He then pulled away on holes 8 and 9. On what is a "par 18" for the "spicy" goals, the final shot count was 31-36 in his favor.

This match may be in the books, but the course is not, so be on the lookout for the back nine. Until then, be sure to Follow Your Internal Compass.

WRITTEN May 12, 2024 at 12:25 PM
TAGS: trip 18, south carolina, disc golf

Upcountry South Carolina

Looking for some fun times in the outdoors while in Upcountry South Carolina? Try these on for size.

Welcome to Oconee County, situated in the northwest corner of South Carolina. This place is named after the Oconee Bell, a flower that is found in this area, but very rare to find anywhere else in the world. It is so rare that botanists who first discovered the Oconee Bell didn't even find it again until nearly a century later! Couple this with the fact that it only blooms during the spring, and much of the plant life was placed underwater by the creation of the twin lakes in the area, this is certainly a one-of-a-kind spectacle. A celebration of this flower's bloom takes place at the annual Oconee BellFest during March at Devil's Fork State Park along Lake Jocassee. This park also has a nature trail along which people are able to see the Oconee Bell, along with many other different species of plant life.

While around Oconee and the neighboring counties, why not take a peek around at the various waterfalls? Many adorn the area, but if you want to be able to see all of them, get out your favorite watercraft, because some are only accessible by boat. For an easier walk, try Twin Falls in Pickens County. Although the trail will go high along the river, the end view is worth it. Maybe try the Whitewater Falls, the lower and upper being separated by a state border. The aforementioned BellFest may be a good time, as Lake Jocassee has a number of waterfalls around it.

If the city life is more of your cup of tea, why not take a trip over to the city of Greenville? Park the vehicle for a couple of hours while taking a stroll down Main Street, with all its fine shops. Maybe head over to Falls Park and walk the suspension bridge to see another of the waterfalls that adorn the area, this one being along the Reedy River. Plenty of museums and other attractions are also available downtown, so be sure to take a trip over to those and see what they have to offer.

So if your Internal Compass takes you to South Carolina, although many will love visiting the low country, don't forget about the upcountry and its beauty.

WRITTEN May 05, 2024 at 12:06 PM
TAGS: trip 18, south carolina, let nature be your teacher

Travel Update: Another New Soul

Well, once again, Freedom Rolling has a soul. Ghost of Johnny Olson, tell the people what we bought!


Yes, based upon the issues we had previously, coupled with the lack of reliable inventory, we have purchased a 2024 Ram 2500 Diesel with a much more powerful 6.7L engine. We'd like to thank our sponsor, "Bob", for his generous support in this particular endeavor, and although he is no longer able to read this, his contribution will go a long way towards the well-being of Freedom Rolling for years to come.

So people are probably wondering, what happened that caused this to occur? Well, it's an interesting story. While we were out exploring one of the region's fine locations, the 2006 decided to start shaking while heading out. Fast forward to an incredibly busy interstate highway, and it shakes a bit more at highway speeds. Then comes up a piece of metal, and it takes out our driveshaft, and the transmission followed. Luckily we were able to get out of the way of traffic without causing any further accidents or injuries. Transporting it to the next state for repairs because the present state didn't have any good locations in the direction we were going, neither of which being where we were living at the time, is a way of life for the full-time RVer. Needless to say, too much damage was done that we could not fix the vehicle.

Unlike the last time we acquired a new soul, because of the multitude of changes in states, we are starting a new trip with this one. We didn't move the heart anywhere else, as we're still where we were previously. However with this new soul, we're looking forward to not only Following our Internal Compass, but also being able to pull our heart a bit easier with the more powerful engine.

WRITTEN Apr 28, 2024 at 12:41 PM
TAGS: trip 19, travel

Travel Update

Well, it's official: Freedom Rolling has no soul.

More to come in the coming weeks.

WRITTEN Apr 21, 2024 at 12:12 PM
TAGS: travel

Brew Review Trifecta

Freedom Rolling is back with yet another brew review! This time, we're looking at some beers in South Carolina. As always, please ensure that these, or any brews, are enjoyed in accordance with not only local laws wherever you may be, or any regulations from the campground where you may be staying.

Come down to the Atlantic Cost of Charleston, South Carolina, home of Edmund's Oast Brewing Company. One of their popular popular offerings is a dark brown Dopplebock known as "Wolves at the Door". As with many beers of this type, this particular one is a bit on the heavy side, so it's probably not one you'll want to enjoy in the summer by the lake. Save this brew for the winter season, as the sweet and smooth taste will help you to curl up by the fire on a colder night.

Take a quick trip northwest to Greer, South Carolina, and the Southern Growl Beer Company. While there, perhaps you'll want to sample their "Garde Dog", a French-style bière de garde offering known for its lovely golden color. Although this particular brew goes down smoothly, there is that slight hint of hops that is able to keep the drinker's palette excited. This is a good brew for those who seem to like a little of everything in their taste buds, and is suitable for all seasons.

Heading a little south, we look to the Good Times Brewing Company in Greenwood, South Carolina. First founded as a pizza restaurant known as The Mill House, they would later expand to also include a brewery. One of their offerings is the Irish Whip red ale. One sip of this particular brew, and it is everything that a red ale can and should be. From the lovely amber color to just that subtle bitter hop taste behind the smooth malts, drinkers will want to enjoy this concoction for a long time to come at almost any point in the year. Consider having poured from a nitrogen cask instead of through carbonation, and it's a possible contender for one of the best beers in the country.

Before closing this one out, just a quick announcement about the beers of South Carolina: Most of the brews that we review come from micro-brews, farm brewers, and similar classifications. Unfortunately, a number of states have been placing stringent and sometimes excessive regulations on brewery-bars, more specifically "establishments that sell and serve alcohol", requiring expenses that these companies cannot reasonably handle. More information can be found at this link.

So as your Internal Compass takes you across the country, try some of the local craft beers as able, and see how they fare for you.

WRITTEN Apr 14, 2024 at 12:16 PM
TAGS: brew review, south carolina

Travel Update: Finding a Work Pattern

Trip 18 has also become a multi-leg adventure, this time with two locations. In a way, this one was planned.

As has been the case with many of our winter jobs so far, this one was found at the last minute. It's not the most secure way to live, but with so many different workamping singles and couples canceling their contracts for one reason or another, people like us are happy to come in and pick up the slack. We're very grateful to the management for offering a safe place to stay through the winter via workamping, and that the entire working situation remained as it was when we came in so we were able to make it through the season, not to mention them working with us when he had the monkey wrench of an emergency 1000-mile-each-way trip thrown in there.

As we reflect on the last few months while we wait to finish out other work obligations before heading to our next destination (one of us picks up seasonal work in town while the other works at the park to keep some cash flow), it dawned on us: Perhaps a couple weeks to actually relax and enjoy ourselves is really what we need after 5-6 months of seasonal labor. We've been going from job to job without so much of a stop, and it's certainly what we need to keep going and not get burned out. Maybe that's why we've found solace in the location we visited on trip 8 and trip 17, because in both cases it's been our "nice break". I don't know if we'll be going there again (at least anytime soon; I'm sure we will at some point), but it's always nice to have that "retreat" of sorts.

For now, we're ready to have a bit of a break as we look forward to our summer work; more on that will come as time passes. One the Internal Compass recharges, we'll be set to follow it where it takes us.

WRITTEN Apr 07, 2024 at 12:44 PM
TAGS: trip 18, workamping

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