Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, totally worn out, shouting "Wow...What a Ride!"

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Hocking Hills State Park-WOW

Easter Sunday we arrived here at Hocking Hills State Park, we left the rig in the parking lot and took our small truck up (and up and up) to the campground to choose a site. I had seen online there were lots of sites open for the next 4 days so didn't bother with reservations, after driving around we settled on site 65, it is a large site at the end of the loop by the water tower. While down at the camp store we had no Verizon signal but up top at the site there are 2 bars, so we are able to get a good internet signal and the satellite dish works great too.
There are sites that have more trees and some completely open. There is a non reservable area of about 15 sites and a loop of non electric sites, all of the OH state parks we've been the in sites are electric only, we took on water down by the camp store and have ended up with a water spigot next to the site. The park looks like it is very popular in the summer time as there is a pool in the campground. On the state park grounds there is also a dining lodge (seasonal) and 40 family cottages, there are 24 miles of hiking trails and 4 miles of mountain biking trails, seems like something for everyone.I called my folks on Easter and when they found out where we were they asked me if I remembered being there before, evidently when I was very young, considering it's proximity to Cincinnati where my dad's folks lived I'm not surprised. As we were driving here I saw a sign to Serpent Mounds which I  recognized as a place we'd visited when I was real young.

During our 3 full days we had at Hocking State Park we explored each of the 6 areas that make up the park, irregardless of Dave's heel we did some hiking everyday. Each area had a gorge trail and a rim trail, we did many but not all of the trails.

Old Man's Cave area:

Rock House and Cantwell Cliffs area:

 Cedar Falls, Ash Cave & Conkle's Hollow areas:

A few of the many wildflowers we saw blooming:

See Mom, we did find some trillium :) 

What a great 3 days we had enjoying this wonderful state park, we would strongly recommend if you like to hike and enjoy nature to stop here for a few days at least. The area has lots of small inns and cabins for rent and this is clearly a very popular area, can't wait till we get a chance to pass through here again.

We have now moved on to West Branch State Park in Ravena OH where we will spend three nights and leave on Sunday for VT. With just one overnight stop, it's going to be a couple of long driving days.

Until next time...

Monday, April 21, 2014

Blue Lick Battlefield State Park + Queen-King-Queen

Last Thursday we pulled into Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park in KY, the campground was okay just had to watch what site we took. No pull through sites and no way to stay hitched if we had wanted to. The first site we tried would have been fine except for the low hanging wires but we found another one but that one had the services on the door side. Oh well it was only for a few nights and what with the road noises we ended up not sitting outside much. A lot of the sites are nice, especially if you can get the services on the correct side and are not a 40' long 5th wheel.

Blue Licks Battlefield State Park also has a lodge with a dining room, rooms for non campers to stay in, cottages and a pool. Their Pioneer Museum was closed due to renovations, it appears to be a popular place during the summer even if the campground leaves a bit to be desired.

Blue Licks Battlefield State Park has a long history, from prehistoric time to to the Revolutionary War. The area was once a salt lick which through time attracted prehistoric animals to eventually settlers that came to the area. It is the site of Kentucky's last battle of the Revolutionary War where Daniel Boone fought a losing battle with French Canadians and local Indians. On site is the Tanner Station,
a reproduction of a small trade station known to have been at the spring in 1784. Early documentation shows David Tanner settled the lower Blue Licks in the summer of 1784.

Friday we took a ride into Lexington in search of a new mattress, after 2 months the king that came with the rv was getting really bad. I knew when we changed rigs I didn't want to keep the queen tempurpedic mattress we had, with my nightly power surges that mattress was just exasperating them. Unless we special ordered or went to Camping World we knew we wouldn't be getting another king, didn't have time for a special order and Camping World would be a lot of dollars for a lesser quality than we could get in a good queen. We came home with a 12" queen memory foam with an euro top. It's quite interesting getting in and out of it but man does it sure sleep good. So in the span of a year we've gone from king (house) to queen back to king and now back to a queen, it is much easier to make the bed now with the queen and there's a bit more room in the bedroom, very happy with the choice we made.

Friday afternoon we spent time with our neighbors Dale and Melissa and their border collies Max and Maddison. Melissa would like to full time someday and Dale is slowly coming on board with the idea, we spent time talking with them about our lifestyle, gave them a tour of our rig inside and out and shared our love of the lifestyle. Dale even came over Sunday morning while we hitched up to see how easy it is. Since it was the last day in our Verizon monthly plan and we had a gig left we got to Skype with some friends in VT, we are really looking forward to getting back and seeing everyone, think our friends are ready for us to come back too.

Saturday was a kick back day, we did take a 2.5 mile walk on one of the trails here, forgot the camera but there wasn't much to photograph anyway. It may have not been the best idea for Dave's foot,he ended up with ice afterwards, we really look forward to getting his bone spur taken care of because this walk did show us how out of shape we are. May 6th we should know more as that's when he has an appointment with the surgeon.

Sunday we headed to OH, we are now at Hocking Hills State Park, we paid for 2 nights but will probably on Monday we added 2 more nights to our stay. When we got here we weren't sure how the cell and satellite would be so didn't want to commit to 4 days right up front, but since all are working good we'll add a few days then Thursday head to north east Ohio for three nights before making a 2 day push to VT.

This post is already way too long so I'll end here.
Until next time...

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

KY-Biding Our Time

our first site #7
 Last Thursday we moved to Nolin Lake State Park in KY, this area is considered Cave Country. In 2011 there was massive flooding that shut the park down for the season, water was so deep it covered the gate house, there are markers on some of the light poles to show how high the water was, looks like they're 15-20' up the light pole. There is a COE dam here but flooding was already occurring down river so they couldn't release any water in the lake. Because of all the flooding the campground has been redone and the electric and water hookups are all new, the dump station and bathhouses have all been redone too.
our lakeside site #25

The park is off the beaten path, the closest
Walmart is 30 miles away, there are a few small grocery stores closer but we're definitely off the beaten path. Our Dish satellite works fine and we are on Verizon extended network so our internet is a slow, but what a nice place to be for our last week long stay until we reach VT. When we made our reservations there was nothing on the lake for the whole time, with the changes we had to make because of our quick trip to IL we were able to get a site on the lake from Sunday on, so once again we have moved during a stay.
site 25

We thought about taking the canoe out below the dam, while most of the ride would be with the current the last mile or so would be in a larger river and all up river, with the rains they've had here recently the river is very full and running really fast so that's out.

We've gone into town one day to restock at Walmart, other than that we've just been taking short walks around the campground and enjoying our last few weeks of freedom. There are mountain bike trails around the park but again with all the rain they are very muddy, so we've both been kicking back, I've been doing a lot of reading and Dave has been on the computer. The temps have been nice so we just hung around the campground over the weekend, met some of the local campers and got lots of doggie fixes.

lots of roads around here have this sign

 We tried to hit up some caves but the one we chose was closed when we got there, we then headed over to Mammoth but decided against spending money on the tours we had already done.

some of them had ferries just don't try taking the rv on it

1953 1st model year

2014 model year

We ended up in Bowling Green at the National Corvette Museum. Earlier this year a sinkhole developed in the room that displayed some of there priceless 'vettes,  some will be repaired but others are beyond that.

 Before and after of the 2009 Pace Car

During our ride we our brakes started making some not so good noises, after we got home Dave looked at them, he then started calling around for replacement parts, we need a new caliper, rotor and shoes. As soon as they are in we will be making another drive to Bowling Green for the parts, one of the advantages of having two vehicles, we're not stuck with out wheels when one of them is being repaired.  We found an O'Reilly's Auto Store in Bowling Green that was able to get the parts for us, Dave took off the old caliper, the next day we headed into Bowling Green and $178 later we were headed home and soon there after were good to go. We've had the Honda Ridgeline since they came out in 2006 it has 136K miles on it and has had no real issues over the years just normal maintenance. We even have guys who want it when we are done with it, Dave isn't ready to give it up yet though.

It takes all kinds, there is MH here, they came in the other day looking for their site, since no one had put out names on the site post they didn't know which one was theirs, just that they had one reserved. I don't know about anyone else but I try to know what site number I have reserved. They finally found out which one was theirs then went around the one way loop the wrong way so they could pull in the parking area to unhook their car trailer. The next day they then moved their car trailer into the driving lane in the parking area took their car off and have left the trailer sit in the parking areas roadway for the last few days. In our walks around we have seen that they also have their sewer hose hooked up (water and electric sites only) and hopefully only using it for their grey tanks. Like I said it takes all kinds.

In less than two weeks we'll be back in VT getting ready to work the summer through. We made some summer plans, attending a concert at the local fairgrounds with my best friend from high school. This is something we've done for many years while living in our house, she would come up from southern NY and we'd attend a concert at the fair. This year her and her husband will be coming to our campground in VT, there is room on our site for a tent so they'll be roughing it a bit, I did promise her I'd leave the door open so she could use the facilities during the night. It'll be great to show them how we live and to spend time doing what we've enjoyed doing together for years. Just heard from our friends in VT and they had 3" of snow last night, the only good thing about it is it slowed down the flooding a bit, hope that's it for the season.

So that's been our week here, we've enjoyed our stay here even if there isn't much to do in this small state park, tomorrow we head for another small KY state park, Blue Licks Battlefield State Park about 48 miles north of Lexington.

Until next time...

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

TN to IL and back

Well our visit with my folks did not go as expected, they arrived on Thursday evening late so we agreed to meet up with them early Saturday morning. As we were getting ready to go over to their hotel I received a phone call from my dad, he wasn't feeling well and wanted to go to the emergency room. We arrived at their hotel and got them packed up, they hadn't liked their hotel and wouldn't be staying another night no matter what happened at the ER.  We headed to Vanderbilt Medical Center where my dad was promptly seen and soon admitted, after running a number of test it was determined he needed surgery for a fat hernia that had twisted and was cutting off blood flow. Mom sent us on our way home where we hung out waiting for updates, by 8pm he was out of surgery and in recovery and expected to be released on Saturday. Saturday came and Dad was going to have stay another day, he hadn't taken his normal meds so his heart rate and breathing wasn't good, they started him back on his regular meds and he was released on Sunday. We picked them up in the early afternoon and took them to a hotel in Mt Juliet near our campground. Monday morning we all set out for IL, Dave driving my dad in his van and my mom riding with me in our small truck, after a 7 hour 335 mile ride we arrived in Neoga IL at their home, Dave and I emptied their van out since my dad shouldn't lift anything and then we all went out to dinner. Dad is feeling better but not able to drive for awhile so it was great we were in the area to help them get back home, we headed back to our home early today. We saw checked on line and one of the waterfront sites were open for the next two nights so we quickly got transferred to it.

We did get out to visit  The Hermitage home of Andrew Jackson on Saturday afternoon, we toured the mansion but no photography was allowed. We also toured the gardens where it was nice to see lots of flowers blooming.

Since we've been busy with helping my folks we haven't seen as much of Nashville as we'd have liked and I imagine tomorrow will be spent relaxing in this gorgeous lake front site we now have. Thursday we have to move up the road a bit to Nolin Lake State Park near Mammoth Caves in KY.

Until next time...

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Goodbye AL On to TN

 While we enjoyed our time in AL our last campground, Point Mallard Campground in Decatur, was a bit of a disappointment, guess we've gotten used to the nicer state and COE parks.  The sites were close together and ours had trash all over the place, oh well it was only for 5 nights and a few of the days were rainy. One nice thing about the park was the bike trail they had so we got out as much as we could on the bikes.

Part of our bike ride was around the golf course, we found this sign amusing.

We had a rainy drive from Gunter Hill so we decided to treat ourselves to dinner out. We finally made it to a Mellow Mushroom restaurant, what a variety of different pizzas they had and Dave got to enjoy some Fat Tire on tap. We look forward to visiting them again when we find one in an area we are in.

One day we headed to Huntsville to the US Rocket and Space Center where they house a few Saturn V rockets and have a great museum. There were many great displays and lots of folks willing to share what they knew.

Another day we took a ride to Florence AL to visit The Rosenbaum House by Frank Lloyd Wright we have been to Taliesin East in Spring Green WI a few years ago and were interested to see if we would like this one better. While I understand the concept he was going for some of his ideas just didn't seem practical.

While in the Florence area we took a ride to Tuscumbia to the Cane Creek Canyon Preserve, though we didn't have the correct shoes (nor was Dave's foot up for it) to hike to the canyon we took a short walk to the waterfall there. If we are ever back in the area and able to we want to go back to hike some of the trails there. 

We are currently at Cedar Creek COE in Mt Juliet TN on the east side of Nashville. This is a very small campground with sites on Old Hickory Lake. Because of our timing when making a reservation we were not able to get into some of the other nearby COE campground nor were we able to get a site on the water. In spite of that we are really glad to be back in a COE park instead of a private campground.

We have the bird feeder out and are enjoying watching all the birds who are attracted to it.  

We've already found the local Camping World, we were in search of a light bulb to replace the one that went out in one of our pendant lights over the island. The bulb is basically an automotive bulb and the auto store we stopped in could order one for $17, at Camping World we found 2 for $2, now we even have an extra. On our way home the temp on our truck was at 88 life doesn't get too much better than that. While here my folks will be stopping over on their route to IL from FL where they have been wintering over with my aunt.

Until next time...