Life on Lake Juniper is wonderfully peaceful and relaxing.  Sometimes it’s nice to be still and this place is perfect for that right now.

Greetings Y’all, from Cheraw State Park and our 2018 “Winter & Spring home” from February until mid May !

After returning from Africa & France and then having some time in Gatlinburg and Knoxville  through January, Lisa landed her next travel Occupational Therapy gig here in rural South Carolina.  We had sort of hoped to be on the beach in Florida or another coastal warm spot for Winter of 2018,  but all paths seemed to lead us here to the land of Cheraw and an extensive longleaf pine forest that supports the endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers, significant wetlands with stands of Atlantic white cedar trees, and unusual looking Fox squirrels !  Lisa loved the sound of the job here and it all worked out.

So (other than Charleston) with very little knowledge of the state of South Carolina by either of us, especially this rural area in the northeast corner of the state near the NC border, we packed up the Chinook  and our new little Flyer Explore addition which we found in January when in Knoxville, and headed for the tall pines.

We did look around the internet for any potential places to dock the Chinook until we could meet some townies and maybe score an outlet from someone’s driveway or side yard – like the awesome space we had at Tommy & Susan’s in Laramie, WYO last summer.  The cool thing we discovered was that Cheraw (the town) had a SC State Park about 5 miles just to the south of town.  And since it was February and the dead of winter, we figured getting a site for a a week or so should not be a problem.

So here we are at the end of March and not only did we never leave Cheraw State Park since our arrival on Feb 2nd, we ended up being the “Campground Hosts” for the whole month of March !  The retired couple originally scheduled as the Campground Hosts for March had to cancel last minute.  Having already been around for nearly a month, we chatted with the Rangers about filling in to help them out and that was that. We moved over from Site #10 to the designated Campground Host site and assumed the duties of Hosting for this beautiful little 17 site loop here on Lake Juniper. We had already fallen in love with being here in February, so it was pretty much a no brainer to get to stay the month of March for free in exchange for cleaning the bathhouse and fire pits, and enforcing the quiet hours every now and again !

We count our blessings every day that we landed at such a beautiful, peaceful forest to call home for a few months.  We’ll try to post more about Cheraw, the town, and its fascinating history dating back to the American Revolution in another post soon.  It’s also the hometown of musician great, Dizzy Gillespie.  We’ll include some of the exploring that we’ve gotten to do while in this part of the state as well … Pauley’s Island, Huntington Beach, Brookgreen Gardens, etc.  We look forward to doing more in April and May. Campers here tell us about lots of beautiful state parks and camping places to visit here in the state.

Lisa is loving her job covering Marlboro County and parts of Cheraw. She’s doing home health OT with this job so she’s out and about from home to home all day.  Meanwhile, I hold down the Camphost duties during the day while writing the book about Kenya, which was always the planned phase 2 for the project related to our actual trip there.

Yep, you may not have known it, but the Lola Agency ( actually writes and designs books in addition to website design.  But this particular project is especially close to my heart.

Along with weaving stories of our own unforgettable experiences in rural Kenya this past Fall, and introducing the reader to about seven or so Kenyan individuals (and telling their stories of how their lives became a part of the lives of our dear friends Poppy & Richard Buchanan in Nashville, TN) this is also an 18 year history of how the Buchanans as a family became immersed in the lives of a few people in Central Kenya.  Then how those friendships grew over the years to include many others in these communities who had their own ideas of self sustainable businesses that could help their communities and their own families.  It’s about a particular philosophy of the most effective method of helping others in more underdeveloped countries … about learning a lot by putting your own boots on the ground. The primary story is that this is an extraordinary God story and a story about the mystery of God, faith, and divinely orchestrated relationships. It is such a joy to get up every morning and get to play with words and 18 years of information plus the personal recent experience that Lisa and I had when going there in Poppy’s stead to meet all of these people in person, interview them, and form our own friendships moving forward.

We’re loving our new tiny living “addition” that we’re pulling behind the Chinook.  We needed a better way to haul the Scooter around, a little more storage, and especially a bed that we didn’t have to make every single day!  We had never seen a unit that offered exactly what we needed until we saw the Flyer Explore by InTechRV at an RV show in January.  So now we have a garage when in transit and a wonderful “master bedroom” when we’re set up !

Guess that’s about it for now. Life on Lake Juniper is wonderfully peaceful and relaxing.  Sometimes it’s nice to be still and this place is perfect for that right now. We enjoy evening walks almost daily and canoeing up to the lake’s headwaters through a gorgeous cypress swamp was awesome as we got to see Osprey creating their huge nests and other South Carolina water foul as we paddled our way through the cypress trees.

We’re happy to have friends from Birmingham and Asheville visiting this weekend and more friends coming in April and May !

Gotta run. The folks on Site 11 are wanting to buy some firewood !



AKA, The Two Scruffy Campground Hosts ! 



  1. Avatar

    Bridgit McLeod

    March 25, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    Welcome to my hometown…Cheraw! Hope you two enjoy a wonderful stay in our little ‘Prettiest Town in Dixie!’ Love your blog, by the way. I’ve been a follower since you two began your travels.

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    March 30, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    Woowhoo! Campground hosts…y’all will be the best.

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    April 25, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    I envy your close connection to God’s beautiful creation. My life is too hectic and my time outside is limited. Love your command of language. I know the book will be a work of art! God bless and God speed!

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