Sunday, May 31, 2015

Beating Myself For A Stupid Mistake

After talking to a Mobile Repair guy at the last campsite, I tested using the air conditioner with everything shut off but the refrigerator.  It worked.  The circuit breaker didn’t overheat and the a/c ran for a good long time cooling us down quite nicely.

Yesterday we pulled into the Anvil Campground and it was in the nineties with high humidity so Mia asked if she could run the a/c.  I said yes and it performed nicely to cool the trailer down after a long day traveling in the sun.  We don’t over use it when we do use it so we turned it off and made sure all the windows and vents were open.  There was a slight breeze and it wasn’t too bad.

Later in the evening it got pretty stuffy so we turned it on again to bring the temperature down.  It worked great and I felt that perhaps we had solved the issues.  Basically I was told by the Mobile Repair guy to run everything on propane that can be run on propane so you don’t overload the circuit.  We had found by doing that everything seemed okay.

Well leave it to me to screw something up.  After plugging in all my technology to charge for the night, I switched on the a/c and went to bed.  It didn’t take ten minutes for the circuit breaker to pop….for the last time.  We have tried, at different points thru the night and this morning to reset the circuit breaker but it has died for the last time.  Why?

After wondering what was different this time from all the rest it was discovered that Ken must have turned on the electric water heater while plugging in the technology for the overnight charge.  So I managed to screw everything up as we are now sitting here with no electricity to run fans or the microwave.  While I have a generator with me, running it in a private park is not usually allowed and it isn’t big enough to run the a/c anyway.

There you have it.  Not sure what we will do now.  Last night was terrible with the heat and very little breeze.  Might see if we can find a hotel tonight and look for someone to see if  we can get it fixed in the next couple of days.  

I have been beating myself up all night over this stupid mistake.  I really knew better.

Long and short, if you don’t see a blog for a few days…technology has died.

Hope all is well and thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park

We were up early this morning and on the road to find Appomattox on our way to Williamsburg.  We arrived at the gate just about five minutes before they opened at 8:30 a.m. and we were first in line to visit the facility.  We visited the Welcome Center and found that a portion of the property was closed for renovations so we spent our time in a fairly small area.

I have never been a big Civil War buff.  I don't know why but wars after the Revolutionary War have never really interested me.  I think that may change after this visit.  We visited the McLean Home where General Lee surrendered to General Grant on the afternoon of April 9, 1865.  Lee was hopelessly out numbered and cut off from badly needed supplies that were waiting for his troops at Lynchburg.  Perhaps realizing that further bloodshed wasn't going to change his situation he met with General Grant in the parlor of the McLean home.  General Grant had written out the terms of the surrender in long hand and letter form.  General Lee signed the document bringing a close to America's deadliest war with 618,222 dead, many other casualties as well as the infrastructure of the South completely demolished. 

McLean in house kitchen

McLean Dining Room

Slave Quarters

McLean outside kitchen

McLean pantry

Cornerstone of Slave quarters

I'll let you guess

Jno. W. Woodson Attorney

Attorney's safe

Prisoner shackle point

Inside a cell

Half of the Palor

The other half of the parlor

We are enjoying high humidity and ninety degree plus weather just three miles outside of Williamsburg.  We are scheduled to stay here until next Monday when we will head up to Monticello for a few days before going to Washington's Mt. Vernon.

Hope all is well and thanks for dropping by.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Lots Of Driving, Lots Of Fun

We drove 365 miles from Paducah, Kentucky to Baileytown, Tennessee yesterday.  I made a reservation for the Anvil Campground near Colonial Williamsburg for this coming Saturday.  We left Baileytown this morning and drove through the Appalachian Mountains to arrive at the Lynchburg, Virginia KOA campground.  We are kind of in the middle of now where and there are new and wonderful things to talk about.

As we arrived left the Puducah campground I discovered an infestation of some of these little black buggers:
There are hundreds of them and various places in and out of the trailer.  I don't see the nest or where they got in but they were in the electrical cord holding box until I sprayed it with penetrating oil.  They have since moved to the back area of the refrigerator outside, the counter in the kitchen and inside the upper burner cover of the stove.  In addition, we have seen them on the floor and in the sinks.  We stopped at Lowes and purchased some bait in a bottle and it seems to be working but it will probably takes weeks to completely eradicate them.

As we drove through the Smokey Mountains (really just a bunch of rolling hills) we drove into the eye of the storm and got pelted again with rain, hail, sleet, lightning and thunder.  Fun driving when there is a lot of traffic, especially truck traffic, trying to leave or get somewhere before the weekend.  Something we don't recall seeing anywhere else:

Obviously on their way back to school from a field trip out in the Mid-West.  They have a full time meteorology program that allows students to take field trips to the storm prone states to study and release probes.  Like I said, haven't seen these before.

Tomorrow is a much easier day.  We are traveling to Appomattox tomorrow morning on our way to the campground near Williamsburg.  History is here and why not see it if you can.

I have to say that the rest areas in Kentucky and Tennessee are by far the best we have encountered on our trip.  Fully staffed and complete with handouts, maps and general traffic and weather information they are the cleanest bathroom facilities we have found.  Kudos to there states for making  it such a pleasure to travel the roads and byways.

The use of Y'all is prominent here in the southern half of the country.  Everyone uses the term and sometimes there are those who use it nearly every time they talk to you.  For example, our waitress at the Cracker Barrel this noontime used it every single time she addressed us.  I looked it up and it isn't a bad thing but it is one of those terms of endearment that often get over used like, darling or little buddy.

Hope all is well and y'all come back.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

No More Cabin Fever

As of noon today we are packing it up and getting ready to head back out onto the highway.  The pills arrived in todays mail and we are ecstatic at the chance to move again.

Looks like we will head for Williamsburg, Virginia next to visit the historical sites around that area and take a day trip up to see Monticello.  We are scheduled to stay at the Anvil Campground and we have three days to cover the 780 miles.  Don't think it will be a problem, knock on wood.

Today we decided to go back out to Mayfield and get a couple more of the casseroles, some banana nut bread and cinnamon rolls.  While this isn't an Amish place they certainly do bake and cook a lot like the Amish do and they are nice folks.  If you're ever in the Mayfield/Benton area do yourself a big favor and head south through Mayfield and connect with highway 97.  A rural road that leads out of town you'll find the Mayfield Creek Market just about two miles out of town.  Open every day but Sunday and they have some really good stuff.  The lasagna is unbelievable.

I went into town and picked up a couple more shirts.  Don't seem to have enough regular shirts in between wash days.  We decided to go ahead and wash all our dirty stuff today and thankfully it worked out with the pills arriving as well.  As soon as we eat I will finish getting the trailer hooked up and ready to roll so I don't take any chances getting caught in the thunderstorms that have been happening around here with some regularity.  We are supposed to get hit again overnight.

Tomorrow we will be up early heading back to Nashville.  Sadly we will just drive right thru it and up I-40 to West Virginia.  We will overnight somewhere along the route.  

Hope all is well and thanks for dropping by.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


The medications didn't arrive as we expected that they might.  The U.P.S. website shows the last scan as 
Evansville, IN, United States05/22/20153:53 P.M.Electronic Shipment Information Received for Package by Post Office
Basically saying that the pills were in Evansville, Indiana last Friday afternoon and as near as we can tell they haven't moved since.  The estimated delivery date is tomorrow, May 27th, so we will wait and see if they arrive with the mail.

Having no particular expectation for today we took off and headed up into my favorite part of the states we are visiting, Amish Country.  Here in Kentucky it is less of a tourist destination and more of a really Amish experience unless you consider some of the Amish who are trying to make a buck out of their homes.  It is very interesting to visit some of the different business such as Mast Lawn Furniture and Bakery.  Obviously Amish the home sits on a slight hillside with large trees to shade it from the hot summer sun.  White like all Amish homes it is very inviting from the outside.  You park next to the barn where a young Amish mother with her daughter are unhitching a buggy.  I walked up the steps and opened the back door and found myself in a small mudroom just off the kitchen.  The kitchen in this house must be the biggest room in the house though it only had on old time stove and oven.  The lady of the house invited me in and and I looked around and talked with her for several minutes.  Being Tuesday it is her laundry day and she doesn't bake.  She usually has baked goods for the weekend.  Sadly we hope to be gone by then. 

We stopped at another farm that advertised with a hand painted sign that they had baked goods.  Unfortunately for me, no cinnamon rolls.  But she did have some banana nut bread.  I am a sucker for that and I bought a loaf.  Attached to her kitchen was the Shady Trail Saddle Shop.  Her husband is a journeyman leather worker making saddles, bridles and belts.  Beautiful belts.

Normally I would take pictures but these folks are the ones who don't want pictures taken so I wasn't about to take any chances of accidentally messing up and capturing something that I shouldn't.  Each person I met and spoke to were very friendly and even when they where a little standoffish I can certainly understand their position.  We stopped several places and spoke to several Amish folks and they all excepted us easily.

Out on the county roads folks here in Kentucky drive like they are all trying to delivery moonshine to some destination and can't afford to get caught.  I swear, male or female, when they get in the car it is like the revenuers are on their tails.  Fifty-five translates to seventy-five and when it is time to slow down in town it all depends on if the township has a police department.  Those with get some to slow down to ten miles over and those without, no slow down.

We stopped at the Marion Pit Bar-B-Q and had some pulled pork with salad and baked beans for lunch.  This place is light with the sauce and it was very yummy.

We haven't seen any huge plantations or fancy big houses as depicted in "Gone With The Wind" but we have seen some pretty nice houses, some very recently built.  These two are for sale.  Most of the homes around here have an acre or more of property and the vast majority of them have huge, lush, green lawns that the proprietor mows regularly with their tractors.  Yep, tractors.  No riding mowers here.

The last thing I have for you is our dessert that we had after dinner tonight.  Imagine Amish banana nut bread (baked this morning) with a layer of fresh strawberries (that we got from a little old Amish couple in Salem, Kentucky) topped with store bought (I know) whipped cream.  Can't see it????
Here's a picture.

Hope all is well and thanks for stopping by.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day 2015

It was quite muggy last night as we prepared to go to bed so we had nearly every window in our mobile condo open to allow what little breeze there was to make its way in and out of the trailer to help cool us.  We have several fans that move air and they help some but there is nothing like the sound and feeling of good ole fresh air.

Memorial Day Skies

Unfortunately, early this morning there was a major change that had been predicted.  All hell broke loose over the skies here in Culvert City, KY and the lightning started flashing in the night air followed by loud thunder.  Soon there was what sounded like hail hitting the trailer.  We sprang from bed to make certain none of the windows and vents that can leak were open.  We closed most of the windows and went back to bed.  The event continued from most of the early morning hours, drenching us with a lot of water and the lightning and thunder got closer and closer until it finally moved off to the east.  From the sounds of the weather reports for the area we can expect more of the same throughout the region this morning thru tomorrow evening.  So it appears we will be trailer bound today unless we decide to go for a ride like we did yesterday.

We left the trailer and headed up Highway 62 thru the Kentucky Lake State Park and out to Grand Rivers.  It is a cute little town where Patti's 1880 Settlement has its home.  Patti's is a tourist destination with shops, restaurants and a reconstructed fort.  We drove past it on the way into this quaint little town that was obviously having a celebration complete with a parade.  Most of the towns around here line their streets with the U.S. Flag.
Grand Rivers has a beautiful marina complete with RV camping spots and cottages set on the hillside overlooking the Kentucky Lake.  And there is an operational light house that marks the entrance to Kentucky Lake from the Tennessee River about a mile south of the Kentucky Lake Dam and Lock facility.
We rolled on up the highway and thru a township called Lake City.  I lived in Lake City in north Seattle for most of my years growing up.  There are several different Lake City's across the nation.  We drove a bit further as I was interested in finding Marion.  We drove through Eddyville, Kuttawa and Fredonia.  These small townships were along county route 641 on the way to Marion.  Unfortunately we never got to Marion as I misread a sign and turned off 641 before we arrived.  We had a beautiful day and found ourselves way out in the country and even heard, "Dueling Banjos" a couple of times.  We passed thru Mexico which is a small township south west of Marion.  It is truly amazing some of the places that you find when you go out into the country.

I hope everyone has a great Memorial Day and you take time to remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice so we can enjoy our freedom to have a celebration.  Since the founding of the country, good men and women and given their lives to protect those of us who have followed.  Enjoy your families and remember to thank those who served.
Hope all is well and thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

An Abrupt Standstill

It isn't the Holiday weekend that has us locked into our site at the KOA in Paducah, Kentucky.  It isn't the weather.  Nope, it is medications.  We ordered medications from Seattle and they didn't ship until the 20th so their arrival before the holiday was definitely questionable.  It now looks like we will be extending our stay at least a couple more days.  Hopefully they will arrive and we can pull up stakes and move on east with the next weekend.

Speaking of the weather, today is supposed to reach eighty-two degrees with thundershowers in the forecast.  The thundershowers here seem to come, dump a bunch of water and move off to the east.  We have had several experiences with them since crossing the central area of the country.  While thunderstorms are not unheard of in the Pacific Northwest the ones here in the eastern states can be dramatic.  Lots of lightning, followed by loud thunder and then the rains come and everything becomes a river.  An hour later the clouds have moved east, the ground is drying and the sun is out.

On the subject of strange and different stuff, consider Cicadas.  We have crickets in the Pacific Northwest and they come out at night and early morning to sing their mating songs.  These "tree crickets" sing all day long and they are loud.  They sound a lot like a weed whacker when they get going and the sound will last for hours and hours.  There seems to be no end to their need to mate.  This is another thing that is very different from our home region.
Sundays are slow days as most everything of any interest is closed.  I suspect the same will be true of Memorial Day.  There was a big race last night at the local dirt track and it went on until past eleven.  We could hear the cars running most of the afternoon and into the evening.  There are some more places to visit around hear so we will head out Tuesday to see what else we can find.

We went to Mayfield yesterday because we were told they have a farmers market on Saturdays in the city square.  One vendor selling corn, tomatoes and watermelons does not make a farmers market.  We drove up to Hatfield to find the Mountain View Market because they have homemade baked goods.  I was looking specifically for cinnamon rolls but they didn't have any.  They recommended a lady just south of Mayfield on Route 97.  We went down and found the place and didn't see any rolls in the display case.  They asked what we were looking for and I told them in a disappointed voice.  She said they were in the oven and would be done in a few minutes.  Wow, in the oven and done in a few minutes.  You can't get them much fresher than that.  We waited and got six big rolls with frosting in a separate container.  They are absolutely wonderful.  The gal has a nice workshop/bakery operation and sells frozen casseroles as well.  We couldn't resist the temptation to have a couple of those.  We visited the annual Arts and Crafts Show in the local state park on the way home.  Last night we heated up the Lasagna and it was very good.  Easy to fix, hardly any cleanup.  A salad and garlic toast and dinner was served.  We may be going back to Mayfield before we leave here.

Hope all is well and thanks for stopping by.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Highways and Byways

We have traveled a little more than twelve thousand miles on our retirement trip.  Some of it with the trailer attached but the majority of our driving has been solo.  Adding up the gallons of fuel that we have purchased and dividing the miles driven by the total gallons we are averaging 15.53 miles to the gallon on this trip.

There has been a certain amount of luck involved in our trouble free traveling and with the exception of the one flat tire on the truck in Arizona, the trip has been incident free.  We have dodged some bullets as we have traveled down the highways and byways.  Containers that fall off other vehicles, rocks in the roadway, road kills in the roadway, cargo dropped by another vehicle and so on, but the number one issue is the condition of the pavement.

There are areas of the interstate where the wash board effect has total control in more than one lane.  As you drive down the highway your teeth chatter and you feel like you're riding a horse.  It can be sickening to someone with motion sickness (not me).  There are troughs along the interstate and if you aren't careful you can end up loosing control.  Then the rain comes and fills the troughs with water causing hydroplaning and really dangerous driving conditions.

There are entire sections of the highways and byways that should be replaced because they are cracking or have large deep potholes.  Every state that we have been in has a problem with their highway system.  They just can't keep up with the work that needs to be done.  As they lay asphalt on one stretch of highway, another is being damaged by constant travel.

And the bridges are suffering just as badly.  Most states can't keep up with the maintenance and repairs to the bridge systems and some of them are in really sad shape.  When you think about it as you cross some of the really wide rivers like the Ohio or Tennessee here in Kentucky it kind of gives you the shivers.  The rust and corrosion to the structures is causing weakening joints that will collapse at some point in time and there are lots of them.

We travel along and watch the poor state workers and contractors trying to keep on top of all the work that needs to be done and they are lucky if they can pave a couple of miles a day.  Some of the crews appear to be really working to get a lot of paving done while others have several members just standing around doing nothing.  I read somewhere that it costs nearly $700.000 to repave on mile of highway.  No wonder we don't seem to be able to keep up.

Guess we'll just keep bouncing down the road and hoping the bridges hold.

Hope all is well and thanks for visiting.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Another Day Trip

This morning Mia, Honey and I left Paducah for Nashville, Tennessee.  Another day trip that promised not to take as long as the one to Maker's Mark on Tuesday.  Nashville is a quick, two hour, one hundred and twenty one mile trip from the location of the trailer.

We arrived in Nashville just before ten o'clock a.m.  I love country music but I just don't get all the museums, hall of fame's, and other hokey stuff that goes with the idolization of those who make the music.  We drove through downtown and visited the Broadway area where many of the smaller bars are the places where many of the stars of country got their start singing for free.  We saw the Hall of Fame but it is a huge building and frankly I didn't what to make Mia and Honey wait while I spent a bunch of time wandering through the building plus the cost is what I consider extremely high.
So we moved on and drove by the Capitol Building and some of the state offices.  There are some very old buildings in town and thank God we didn't have the trailer with us.  Some of the streets are so tight I wouldn't have made it around the corners.  We didn't stop.  The pictures are from the Internet.

I love history and Hermitage, Andrew Jackson's Home Of The People's President is just 15 miles outside of town.  It is a beautiful homestead that documents Jackson's history as a soldier, husband, father, farmer and two term President life.  We spent a few hours touring the grounds, home, and museum.  Filled with contradiction and conflict, a sense of style and destiny, politics not as usual and a love story, the life and times of the founder of what became the Democratic Party is beyond interesting.

The Revolutionary courier captured at age 13 later became a lawyer, moving to Nashville and becoming one of the founding members of Tennessee.  Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and then the Senate he was appointed colonel in the Tennessee militia.  He acquired the Hermitage plantation and had slaves working it for him.  In 1812 he became nationally famous as his defense of New Orleans and decisive victory of the larger invading British forces sparked his popularity.

In 1824 he was nominated for President but lost to John Adams.  Nominated again in 1828 he won the office but lost his wife, Rachel, who died just after the election. According to the brochure handed out to visitors, "His unconventional ideas and stands on controversial issues upset the status quo, brought muddy boots and common voices into the White House, and outraged the elite establishment."

These pictures are of the house, garden and property as we toured.
Outside the Museum

Presidents carriage

White Fence around the Home


Backside of the Home

Kitchen and Smoke House

House from the Garden

Andrew Jackson and wife Rachel's final resting place

Slave Quarters

Originally his home before building the big house, later converted to slave quarters.

I purchased a book on his life and times from Amazon for my Kindle.  It was less than a third of the cost of the hard copy version for sale in the gift shop.

We are looking forward to going to the Saturday Farmers Market in Mayfield, KY and then enjoying a quiet Memorial Day weekend here at the campsite.  Seems it might get a little warm.

Hope all is well and thanks for stopping by.