Sunday, June 18, 2017

Carrollton, Kentucky

We left Franklin, Kentucky, and drove north on I-65. When we got to Louisville, we detoured around the eastern part of the city and drove on to Carrollton, Kentucky. Terry, navigator supreme, has been trying to find new and interesting places to spend the night instead of always going to the same parks. He found a city park in Carrollton, Kentucky. It turns out this is an absolute jewel. It is a new park, about five years old, and has 33 sites, all paved and all full hook up sites with 50 amp. It has a bathhouse which is very nice and clean. There is a small playground, shelterhouse and a dump station. It is right on the Kentucky River. In fact it is called 2 Rivers Campground because the Kentucky River runs along the one side. The Ohio River is here as well, hence the name "2 Rivers" and you can walk from the RV park along the Kentucky River, under the bridge and right into "Point Park" which is on the Ohio River. The roads are all paved in the park and the sites are all level. For once, it looks like someone who knew what they were doing actually laid out the park because the facilities are spectacular for campers. The sites are long, most are pull through, except for the perimeter and the hookups are well positioned. They do allow some discounts and we ended up paying $103 for 3 nights. Not bad. It is very clean and park attendants drive through a couple times a day. We called in, made a reservation, and paid by credit card as there does not seem to be any park host or anything. There is a checkin/out station with a 5th wheel which we assume must be a work camper, but no one has been there since we arrived. Perhaps they had some emergency.

I have been able to get out in the mornings and walk before it gets too hot. It hasn't always been possible to get my walk in when we are traveling, so I am glad I have been able to do that here. It is nice and flat and the roads are paved, so it is easy.

Yesterday we drove down to "Lock #1" on the Kentucky River. Terry thought there were locks on that river and he was correct. We didn't have to drive too far. You have to look at it from the fence. It is a small lock at a dam which has water flowing over it. The lock would only be for fishing boats or pleasure boats as it is quite small, but it is interesting just the same. Boats that had passed by us at the campground were sitting down here. I'm guessing it must be deeper there at the dam because boats were stopped and people were in swimming. The water was pretty murky and muddy and I wouldn't be in it, that's for sure. There were two homes on the hillside at the lock that are very old and were in total disrepair. But they were roped off. We wondered if they were historic and renovations might be planned. There are several more locks along the Kentucky River, 14 total. I think several of them are closed, however, and some have been renovated. Lock #1 looks like it has been redone.

We leave here tomorrow and will camp just south of Indianapolis. We have to be in Indy on Wednesday for my THREE-MONTH checkup with the neurosurgeon who did my back surgery. Can you believe it's been three months? I can't. . . Wow the time has flown by. I'm so glad I had it done.

Till next time. . .


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Sightseeing around Franklin, Kentucky

When we stay for more than a day at a camp, we always try to find out a little of the history of the area. So we did an internet search and found "15 things to do in Franklin, Kentucky." One of those "things" was to visit Octagon Hall. Octagon houses are a real oddity and we actually had one in the small town of Shirley, Indiana, not far from where we once lived. It was a wood framed house and the local preservationists had purchased it and moved it to an area where they began working on restoring it. You can read more about it here: Shirley, Indiana, octagonal house.

So off we went on an adventure to learn more about Franklin's Octagon Hall. As usual, I searched the internet and learned more about the house before our visit. That is a good idea whenever you know you are going to visit because you know what to look for and may have question you can ask the docent. The home was built by Andrew Jackson Caldwell beginning in 1847. It wasn't completed until 1859. It is the only surviving octagonal house in Kentucky and one of only a few in the country that were built of brick. During the Civil War it became an asset to both Confederate and Union forces as both an observation post and a camp. There were many hiding places where troops would hide from the enemy. It was used as a hospital by both Union and Confederate forces at different times. It survived the Civil War without being burned down and has remained a private family residence all these years until it was obtained by The Octagon Hall Foundation which offers tours to help fund the cost of preservation. It is now used primarily as a museum with artifacts from the Civil War including many items recovered from the homestead itself. In addition there is quite a collection of artwork depicting many scenes from the War

Legend has it that the Hall is haunted and it has been a frequent "haunt" by paranormal investigators who confirm that it is indeed haunted. Our guide said they haven't identified any of the ghosts, but they believe them to be family members who have died there.

In addition to the hall, there is an original slave cabin, slave and family cemeteries, a summer kitchen and a well on the property. It has not been restored, so your $5 helps to go toward making improvements and maintaining it so that future generations may have a peak at the past.

We had a thunderstorm while we were there that produced quite a lot of water, so we weren't able to get outside pictures. It was a very informative stop and if you find yourself in the area, you might want to take it in. It is definitely worth the price of admission.

Till next time. . .


Friday, June 16, 2017

Leaving Red Bay

We pulled up stakes and left Red Bay on Wednesday morning. Our A/C was working great, new windshield, no more foul smells and slide toppers in good order. Couldn't have asked for anything more. While we were there, we did go visit one of the guys who does renovations. We are wanting to get our flooring changed, but haven't made any decisions yet.

We took my favorite road from Tishomingo, Mississippi, to Nashville, Tennessee. That would be the Natchez Trace. It takes a little longer, but the benefits are huge. Almost NO traffic, certainly no truck traffic; leisurely pace at 50 mph. . . plenty of pull outs for even large rigs. We stopped at one and had lunch and walked Duchess. It's definitely getting hotter, and more humid. But that's what happens in the south in the summer.

We drove on through Nashville on the Briley Parkway and that went smoothly. We stopped for two nights (thank you Terry) at Dad's Campgound. This park used to be known as a bluegrass park where they had entertainers and jams for the residents and visitors. It has been closed for a couple years. The previous owners just walked away from it and it sat for three years until the current owner bought it. He is extremely nice and just wants people to have an enjoyable time. It makes me feel good when people will say. . . "We know you have options and we appreciate that you chose to stay with us." What a great attitude. Plus, he gave us the Passport America discount which really helped. We will stay again. When driving south on I-65 we typically stay just north or south of Nashville in order to plan our drive through the city and this park is handy.

Till next time. . .


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Red Bay Time!

Whenever we come to Mississippi for the family reunion, we normally schedule some time in at Red Bay for any repairs we need. They have changed the system at the Tiffin Service Center, but we can still get service. On our way down here from Indiana, our windshield broke and Red Bay is the best place to get it fixed. They have them in stock and we don't have to wait. We drove over to Red Bay on Sunday.

We had an appointment with Bay Diesel to have our cab air fixed. It had quit cooling us down and with temps in the 90's, we need A/C going down the road. Some people run their generators and roof air, but it doesn't help with the heat coming in the front windshield.

True to form, Tiffin called early Monday morning and asked us to come in to get the windshield changed out. We knew they would probably call us, so we set an alarm and got up early. We had Phaeton Place ready to roll and were out of there and in the proper bay in no time. We had developed a problem with fumes from the gray tank and so we went into the office to ask about getting that tracked down. The gal said no problem and as soon as the windshield was done, they took us into an express bay. There the two techs worked the rest of the day and fixed the vents which had dropped down too far and were expelling foul air into the coach. That worked and we are once again fume free.

While we were there, Terry mentioned he wanted to have the slide toppers changed out and a guy stopped by to talk to him. They came out that evening and measured for our new toppers and came back on Tuesday evening to put them on. They work at Tiffin and do this on the side. So we got our new slide toppers. They work great and look better than the ones that were beginning to fray and had holes in them. Thanks, Tiffin, once again, for the fine service and a safe place where we can come, continue to live in our coach and get things fixed. We were ready to roll on Wednesday morning.

Till next time. . .


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Reunion Time!

We left Clifton, Tennessee, on Wednesday morning and drove a short distance to Piney Grove Camp on Bay Springs Lake in Mississippi. This lake is one that helps to make up the Tenn-Tom Waterway, aka Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. We got setup in camp and ready for the week.

We marveled at the weather we were having. Normally it is very, very hot with high humidity with rain, etc. This time, the temps were in the 70's and it was very nice out. We didn't even encounter any mosquitos which was quite unusual.

We drove into Booneville to the flea market that  Shirley and Paul own. We figured they might be there and we were right. We had a great time visiting. We were there soon after they bought it. Shirley has worked at getting things organized and in order. She has done a great job and it's fun to walk through. I even found some things I couldn't live without! LOL

On Saturday we gathered at Ramey's Family Restaurant for the annual Pace/Stephens reunion. We weren't sure how many to expect because the numbers continue to dwindle. Terry's Dad and his brothers and sisters are the ones who started the reunion and when they were all alive, family would come from many states to visit. There were many who are distant relatives. Ma and Pa Pace were each married before and widowed. Each had about five children. Then they married and had five more. So there are "half" brothers/sisters/cousins/nephews/nieces, etc., involved. I cannot keep them all straight, but there are those in the family who do! Thank goodness for them. Since only Uncle Bob is left from the generation that started the reunion, attendance has been dwindling. Uncle Bob is in a care facility and has Alzheimers, so he was not there this year. Even though there are fewer who come, we still had about 16 and we all enjoyed good food and conversation. Hopefully the next generations will continue to come and we can visit with them again. We intend to continue to go. . . it's always held the Saturday before the second Sunday at Ramey's in Marietta. So family. . . mark it on your calendar and plan to be there next year!

Till next time. . .


Monday, June 05, 2017

Clifton, Tennessee

We arrived at our camp here around noon yesterday and got set up to watch the Nascar race. So many camps have a late check-in, but the marina here that runs the camp said we could come in any time. There are probably a dozen or so sites here but there is only one other camper besides us. We have good 50 Amp power which is great because it is really hot and humid here.

We are backed up against the Tennessee River and can sit and watch the traffic go by on the water. There isn't much, I can tell you that. Yesterday there were a few pleasure boats and two barges the entire day. Today I haven't seen any pleasure boats, but we have seen more barges being pushed by tugboats.

It rained last night so I had to keep one hand over the side of the bed on Duchess. She doesn't like being up on the bed, but she wants me touching her, so I have to hang my hand down on her.

We are just hanging out today. We've already been into Clifton and didn't find much there. It's a cute little mainstreet that T's into the waterfront but most of the stores are empty. We will leave here tomorrow and drive about 40 miles to Pickwick Lake and try to get a campsite there. From there it will be Piney Grove where we will stay while we go to the family reunion! Anxious to see the family!

Till next time. . .


Saturday, June 03, 2017

Tween the Lakes!

We arrived at the Land Between the Lakes on Friday, June 2. Details of the campground we had selected were quite sketchy but most agreed it was "poor." However, the lastest review indicated that apparently there was a new owner and they had gotten rid of all the "seasonals" and cleaned the place up. I am glad we didn't pass it up. There were only 4-5 campers there the two nights we stayed and there was no problem at all. There is no office or camp host, just an "iron ranger" in which to deposit your money and info. We had 50A good power and full hookups. All pads were concrete and our extra large slab had room for the car and the outdoor "living" area which included the picnic table. Easy in/easy out, right off the interstate. Couldn't ask for a better situation.

We did do some sightseeing while we were here. We wanted to check out the other campgrounds we had considered. We had stayed at Hillman Ferry years ago but can't remember what motorhome we had. It probably wasn't Phaeton Place or our other Class A because we would have had a hard time parking either one in most places in the camp. Also, only a few FHU sites were available and the campgrounds we investigated were pretty much full due to "boat races" going on this weekend. So we were really glad we were setup where we were. No trees to negotiate, no tight turns, no dump stations, etc. All is good. These camps would have been great for MinnieMee, but we prefer more space for Phaeton Place. We did tour the Canal Loop Campground which is a COE camp. It was very nice, but the same situation ruled there. Nothing but trees, few FHU's and tight circles, etc. These camps were built when RV's were much smaller and those and tents ruled the day. That's okay! Fortunately we had an alternative. The added benefit of camping in a forest is you do see the occasional wildlife roaming through the park!

We drove on down to the Elk and Bison Prairie which is a containment area for the 48 resident elk and 48 bison. We have been here before and the animals are quite elusive. We did manage to see the bison lying in the shade of a grove of trees. The elk were harder to spot, but we saw a couple. This picture is taken about 150 yards away. He wouldn't come out of the trees on the far side of the creek bank. We had seen a doe earlier, but this guy was just sneaking around.

We spent a little time looking around Grand Rivers which is a very small village at the north end of the Land Between the Lakes. It had a couple restaurants and some entertainment venues and seemed to have a good following. We also took a scenic lakeview drive of Kentucky Lake. There was no scenic view because trees and brush blocked all the decent views! LOL I got a couple shots between the trees.

We will be leaving here tomorrow and heading for Clifton, Tennessee, and will be camping at the marina there on the Tennessee River.

Till next time. . . 


Thursday, June 01, 2017

Mongtomery, Indiana, Amish country!

Once we left Remington, we headed south to an area known for its Amish settlement. It isn't nearly as big as Shipshewana and seems like it isn't quite as conservative, but we did see a lot of horses! It's that time of year where the farmers are out tilling and planting their fields and the Amish are no different there except they use draft horses to do the heavy work. They are beautiful animals.

We also checked out the Amish stores in the area and bought a few foodstuffs we like. We did eat at the Gasthof, where we have eaten once before. We had a good meal and enjoyed not cooking ourselves!

The next day we drove down to Glendale Park, which is a fish and wildlife area. They have a nice campground and probably one we would have enjoyed. We were okay where we were at, but it was not real easy negotiating with a big rig.

Tomorrow we are heading for the Land Between the Lakes. . . the area between Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake.

Till next time. . .