Day 14 – Sights along the Seaway Trail Continued…

I awoke with no bear sightings…so the evening was a success.  I stopped by the lighthouse at the campgrounds once more, but the lady who runs it wasn’t there at 9:30 am, so I just marked it off as another virtual cache, but didn’t get to take the tour.  I met Arnie and Judy at the campgrounds the night before.  They were red hats and helped with pointing out the different hookups, so I talked to Brown's Racethem before heading to Rochester.  Believe it or not, there is a 100-foot waterfall in the middle of town.  High Falls, on the Genesee River, can be found in Brown’s Race Historic District, and lucky for me was another earth cache.  During the early 1800s the river supplied power to several mills and factories in the area, and Rochester became known as the Flour City.  After the decline of mills, Rochester became known as the Flower City.

Brown’s Race, a power canal, was constructed in 1815 and can still be seen today in the Historic District.  The Triphammercanal; 1,221 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 5 ½ feet deep; diverted water away from the falls and spillways and funneled the water from the race through the mills.  Next to the canal was the Triphammer Building built as a forge in 1816 and operated as a tool factory.  A large hammer (the triphammer) was raised by waterpower and dropped to forge wrought-iron tools.  Later the building was used to build fire engines and in 1860 it was purchased by Junius Judson, inventor of the steam governor used in locomotives and ships, who added a water turbine.

The building burned in 1977.  Workers who were clearing the rubble uncovered a basement room with the water wheel and the water wheelshaft to the water turbine.  The remains provide the layers of Rochester’s history.  Before I left the Historic District, two interns interviewed me about the banks and the new banking laws…haha.  They wanted to know if I was happy with how I was treated the last time I opened a checking account, how the bank communicates with me, if the communication is relevant, and who I thought would benefit the least with the new regulations.  Hmmm…I wonder.

Eastman kodakRochester is also home to Eastman Kodak.  Eastman Kodak’s office building is walking distance from the falls, and George Eastman’s 50-room Colonial Revival Mansion is only a few miles away in the East Avenue Historic District.  It now houses the International Museum of susan b anthonyPhotography and Film.  I stopped by, but as with most museums, it was closed on Monday.  I bet it is fantastic.  I also made a quick trip to the Susan B. Anthony House, as I’ve always liked the dollar coin, and expectantly settled for a picture of the house as it was closed too.

I maneuvered the downtown area back to the Seaway Trail that was peppered with apple and pear orchards, sodus bay lighthousefields of wild flowers, and crops with backdrops of lake views or green forests sprinkled with red, yellow, and orange from the changing leaves.  Thirty miles later I arrived at Sodus Bay Lighthouse.  According to Reader’s Digest, “It is said that slaves escaping via the Underground Railroad longed to see the Sodus Light, the last way station on their 1,000 mile trek” before they sailed across to Canada.  Currently, it includes a maritime museum, and it was closed as well!  At least I saved some money on all the entrance fees I guess.

I ended the day early at Southwick Beach State Park.  I saw two more deer, so my count is up to 13.  It has been raining since noon, so the dogs and I have been hanging out in the car.  I needed to get a few bills paid, emails sent, and review my upcoming trips, so it was good time to pull in for the night. ETB

Websites: http://www.eastmanhouse.org/, http://susanbanthonyhouse.org/index.php

For notecards or key chains, visit http://www.notablenotecards.com or http://www.etsy.com/shop/nichenotecards

triplets website copy

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Day 12 – Amish Byways in Ohio

Another great day…I got to spend some time with Kathy, Doug, and Micah.  Kathy has a barn with about 46 horses in walking distance from her house.  Micah, her daughter, has two ponies, Tangerine and Cummerbund (Cummerbund is black), a guinea pig named Sweetie, and two fish who seem to have several names.  We worked a horse jigsaw puzzle before we sat down for a delicious breakfast, banana nut pancakes and bacon, compliments of Kathy.  For work, Doug teaches courses on how to improve sales after having increased his sales at his own IT company.  For pleasure, Doug is a sailor and likes to race his trimaran.  Just like the horse show folks, he likes to get down south to Florida in the winter (out of the cold) to compete in regattas.  Kathy and Micah are Buddhists.  I learned the meaning of the Tumba, a Buddhist prayer…another new experience.

After breakfast, I took the highway to the beginning of the next drive, Lexington, OH.  My first stop was Malabar Farm State Park.  Malabar Farm was once the country estate of Pulitzer Prize-winning author, conservationist, and farmer, Louis Bromfield and was named for Malabar Coast in India.   It was at this farm house mansion where Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall spent their honeymoon.   Bromfield studied agriculture for a year at Cornell University, left to operate his family’s farm, enrolled at Columbia University to study journalism, and enlisted in the United States Army Ambulance Service during World War I.  He went on to become a reporter, publishing several articles, stories, screenplays, and novels.  His third novel Early Autumn won the Pulitzer Prize in 1927.

I happened to visit Malabar Farm on Heritage Days which is one of Ohio’s largest free outdoor living history and crafts festival.  I would describe it to be a combination between Grapefest and Pioneer Days in the Dallas area.  Several booths were set up inside the farm with crafts like soap, dried flowers, and confections for sale.  In addition, a banjo band played old music while horse drawn hayrides passed by civil war demonstrations and old farm machinery.  It was a big day at the park…I’m thankful I didn’t have to try to find a campground up this way last night, as it think I would have failed.  There was a line of cars being directed to overflow parking.  Before I left with some local Loudonville bologna and swiss cheese for lunch and some jam for my PB&J’s, I met three horseback riders, Pam, Tina, and Sandy.  Sandy moved to Ohio from Pilot Point, a town north of Dallas.  What a small world!

I weaved around a few more back roads to Mohican Memorial State Forest.  I walked over a covered bridge that spans the Clear Fork-Mohican River and along a trail toward Big and Little Lyon Falls.  I didn’t have a trail map with me and there wasn’t one at the trailhead, so I asked people along the way how far it was to the falls…”it’s pretty far back, ½ mile maybe”; “oh, it’s a ways back, 1/8 mile and rugged terrain”; and finally a better answer, “oh, it’s far, but if you want to get a good shot of a waterfall, you won’t get it there…no water…if you go a 100 yards up you can get to a nice spot on the river though”.  Thankfully I settled on her advice, as I later found out it was a 1.5 mile roundtrip which would have been hard on the dogs!  I met tons of people along the way, but it was mostly quick chit chat.

Scout, Petey, and I continued our journey through Amish country, between Millersburg, Berlin, and Sugarcreek (aka The Little Switzerland of Ohio).  As we shared the roads with horse drawn buggies, we passed by farmsteads, white houses, and huge dairy barns.  At the same time, I felt like I was at Disney World walking around the lake area where you could sample different cultures…Germans here, Swiss there.  One farm offered produce, pony rides, and buggy rides; while another offered quilt making demonstrations.  I was surprised the Amish country was such a tourist attraction.  I expected it to be simple, though to me it seemed commercialized…maybe it is because it is hard for me to grasp the likes of German and Swiss villages in the middle of Ohio.  North Central Ohio claims the largest settlement of Amish.  I did stop by the Mennonite Information Center to learn more about the culture.  The Amish are the most conservative group in the Anabaptist Family.  The Mennonites and the Hutterites are additional groups in the family.  The Anabaptists differed from popular reformers in that they rejected infant baptism, and they were the first to teach the separation between church and state which was unheard of in the 1500s, thus they were driven away from their homes in Switzerland and Germany by persecution.

My final stop before resting at a private campground just across the Ohio River in West Virginia was the Schoenbrunn Village State Memorial, Ohio’s earliest Christian Settlement.  According to Reader’s Digest, it was founded in 1772 as a Moravian mission to the Delaware Indians and lasted only five years.  Today the site is comprised of 17 reconstructed log buildings representing life on the Ohio frontier. ETB

Websites: www.dnr.state.oh.us/parks/parks/malabar/tabid/762/default.aspx, www.ohiodnr.com/forests/mohican/tabid/5160/default.aspx, www.ohsweb.ohiohistory.org/places/ne06/index.shtml,

For notecards and key chains, visit http://www.notablenotecards.com, http://www.etsy.com/shop/nichenotecards

boots website copy

Day 11 – Scenic Southeastern Ohio

Cedar Falls

So now I understand why the campground was so hard to find last night.  As opposed to having an entrance to the park with all the attractions inside it, the park is separated into six separate areas which are named for the attraction, thus Cedar Falls had its own parking lot as did Ash Cave, and the other attractions.  I wound around a few 15 mph curves and through falling yellow leaves, to arrive at Cedar Falls for the first hike of the day.  The attractions visited today were based on the shortest trails.  It was only a 0.5 mile out and back (verified with a local in the parking lot) walk to the falls, albeit mostly steps.  Due to the drought, the falls weren’t really falling.  The side of the rock was wet…that’s about it.  I left Cedar Falls, and stopped at Ash Cave per the lady’s recommendation at the campgrounds.  She said it would be a good path to take for someone with a sprained ankle…I’ll say, it was wheelchair accessible, short, and one of the neatest places I’ve been.  I’m glad the State of Ohio was able to make this area available to the physically challenged.  Moss covered trees lined the path to a giant cave or rock ledge.  Many trails led to the rim above too.  I’m certain neither my description nor the pictures will give you much of an idea of the grandeur as I was only able to capture a portion of the cave in each photo.

At the end of the trail, I ran into the local that pointed me in the direction of Cedar Falls.  He asked if I had walked the 3 mile trail!  “Oh, gosh no”, was my reply…”I see you ran the trail though?”  Not only did he run that trail, Brad planned on running 8 miles worth of trails before going back to Columbus.  He was a criminal defense attorney, who helped kids that mistakenly took a detour in life.  Not repeating felons or gang members, but ones that made that one mistake getting into drugs or stealing from their employers.  He said to help them, he plucks them out of their environment and gets them involved in the outdoors…sort of like the trip I’m doing.  He drives an hour down to this area every Friday for his run and plans on camping with his family at Hocking Hills Park tomorrow.

I drove up and down over some more hills; so steep, that when you pass over the peak, you aren’t sure where the road will be on the

“Best Burger in Town”

other side and when you look out your rear window, all you see is sky; until I got to Nelsonville.  Nelsonville is full of Victorian homes, and its square is home to Stuart’s Opera House and the Dew Hotel which still look almost as they did in the 19th century.  I tried “the Best Burger in Town” per the sign outside The Mine Tavern.  If the mayonnaise had been Hellman’s instead of Miracle Whip, maybe it would have been!  As I walked around the town a bit, a side street on the square had a dive shop…had to take a picture of the red flag with the diagonal white stripe.

The Drive began meandering along the Muskingum River and through river towns that flourished when 10 locks were built from 1837 to 1841 to tame the river for steamboats.  I stopped and toured one of the locks outside McConnelsville.  Each lock required eight muscle powered, geared winches to open the miter gates.  One winch was used to open the gates while a corresponding one was on the opposite lock wall to close the gate, simultaneously.

1 of only 4 remaining

My final stop on the drive was Marietta, the first American settlement in the Northwest Territory.  I stopped at a historic park on the river that displayed the towboat W.P. Snyder, Jr., the oldest pilothouse, and other signs about floods, and the Underground Railroad.  From 1812 through 1861, fugitive slaves fleeing toward Canada were aided by descendants of early settlers who operated Underground Railroad Stations along the Muskingum River.  Additionally, the first documented African American born in the Northwest Territory, James Davis, was born in Marietta.

The towboat W.P. Snyder was first operated by Carnegie Steel Company and launched in 1918 to push barges and accommodate a crew of 20.  It carried no passengers or cargo.  Later it was purchased by the Crucible Steel Company of America and would have been scrapped like most others, but the Ohio Historical Society requested that it be preserved and displayed.

The oldest pilothouse,  was removed from the steamboat called Tell City which was built in 1889 after it sank in an accident at Little Hocking, Ohio on April 6, 1917.  It served as a summer house on the river front lawn of the Bent family.  This is the type of pilothouse that Mark Twain (my favorite “classics” author) wrote about.

After last night’s fiasco, I thought instead of passing up offers for a place to stay in Cincinnati, that I should take Page up on her contacts in Columbus, that is nearby the start of the next scenic drive in Lexington, OH.  I called two contacts, but one was out of town and the other was out of pocket as I never heard back from her.  Around 6:00 or so, I decided to veer off from Columbus and head toward Lexington and hope for a campground.  I’ve learned it is much harder to get a spot on the weekend.  When my cell service reappeared, my iPhone bleeped with a message.  It was Bobby, checking in on me.  Being a horse trainer, he knows horse people everywhere, and yes, he knew someone in Columbus.  One and a half hours later, I was parked in Kathy’s  driveway!  I briefly met her before she and her family went to the movie,s and my van is plugged into her garage.  I’ll have to keep Bobby posted on my whereabouts…I might be able to reserve a lot of driveways.  Hopefully, I’ll get to talk to Kathy a little more tomorrow.

Websites: http://ohsweb.ohiohistory.org/places/se09/index/shtml

For notecards or key chains, visit http://www.notablenotecards.com, http://www.etsy.com/shop/nichenotecards

colorful canoes website copy

Day 10 – Indiana, Hill and Dale

If I had a redo day, this would be it.  I’m not going to complain since Scout is doing well, and I’m unemployed and homeless, but I have to say all my mishaps resulted in a frustrating day.  I began the morning in the park where I camped last night.  The park is almost 16,000 acres and the largest in Indiana.  It had three separate entrances…the southern one was specifically for horse campers.  The entrance I came through had a covered bridge.  I drove for miles within the park.  It was quite nice.  As I said yesterday, I finally had cell service, so I opted to go caching to make up for lost time in Missouri and Illinois.  The geocaching website showed 5 caches around Ogle Lake.  After reviewing the trail map, I opted for trail #7, the Ogle Lake Trail.  The first cache, which I found, ended up being on the upper ridge and I had to climb up a steep, slick incline to get to it.  I tried with the dogs, to no avail, so I tied them to a tree, ran up there, signed the log, and ran back.  In the process, I rolled my ankle, but it seemed fine.  We proceeded along the 1.2 mile loop to the area where the next cache was supposed to be.  It was on trail #4, 500 feet from trail #7 in a hollow tree.  I searched and searched and then decided to reference the logs as the logs state if other cachers found it or not.  At least 4 in a row didn’t find it, but the last person said he did.  Huh, well I looked in every hollow tree in the vicinity, it was getting hot, and the dogs were going to need water soon, so I aborted the search…there were a handful more in the area, or so I

Ogle Lake

thought.  Anytime I got near one, the GPS always showed them hidden up on the ridge, thus virtually none of the caches were on trail #7.  Ok, so if that is the worst part of your day…not so bad…there were other places in the park.

As I drove toward the exit, I navigated to a cache at a scenic overlook…number two found!  I really wanted to find three (one each for my failures in Illinois and Missouri and one for Indiana).  So as I continued toward the exit, there was another one hidden on trail #8.  It was only 0.2 miles away.  The dogs just had a long hike, so I thought I would just leave them in the car and jog down the path…I haven’t gotten much aerobic exercise aside from slow paced strolls.  At about 450 feet away, I stepped on a root, heard a

Scenic Overlook

pop-pop-pop, and felt a searing pain in my ankle…yes a severe sprain, and I’m 0.2 miles from the car with my dogs locked inside.  It’s amazing what adrenaline can do.  After a few seconds of hobbling around, the pain dissipated and I returned to the mutts promptly.  The best thing to do for an ankle sprain is to leave the shoe on, apply ice, take ibuprofen, and prop it up above your heart.  My best solution was a cooler pack that I had in the refrigerator – not exactly as cold as ice, but still cold.  I had to briefly remove my shoe to wrap the cooler pack on my ankle so it would stay on while I was driving…OUCH…the throbbing kicked in!  Of course, I had every type of medicine you can imagine, except Advil.

My next stop was supposed to be Nashville, Indiana because I wanted to try the Nashville House’s famous fried biscuits.  I thought it would be a nice change of pace from hiking and history, and it was time to test the local flavor.  Outside of my free fish dinner, I haven’t ventured out to the local restaurants which I really like to do.  For some reason, however, I got it into my mind that I was supposed to try fried biscuits in Ohio tomorrow, so I didn’t even stop in Nashville because the town didn’t look that historic.  I didn’t figure out that I missed out on my chance until I was almost to Chillicothe, OH, so there was no turning back.

I skipped Nashville to go to the T.C. Steele State Historic Site.  T.C. Steele was a painter, who was inspired by the local scenery and the barn at his home site, which Steele used as a studio, displayed his paintings.  At this point, my ankle felt like it was on fire, so I just took a picture of the barn, limped back to the car, and took The Reader’s Digest’s suggested route to Bloomington, home of Indiana University.  I’m not sure why I really kept going that direction, because I didn’t intend on touring the campus looking for the Auditorium Hall of Murals or the Art Museum which display works by Picasso, Rodin, and Warhol.  And while I think it would be fun to watch the Little 500, a bicycle race at the University, it doesn’t take place until April!  After driving around the town, I typed Chillicothe, OH into my GPS.  It promptly led me to a dead end into the campus, so I drove farther away from the University area and tried again.  Before backtracking right past Nashville again, I picked up some long overdue Aleve, an ACE bandage, and a McDonald’s burger for Scout.  I find it doubly annoying that not only did I have to backtrack (I don’t like that), I unknowingly had a second chance to try the fried biscuits!!

Chillicothe was about four hours away…cool, I could drive just past there to Hocking Hills State Park and pull in around 6:30 or so.  Mind you, my friend Page had two people lined up for me in Cincinnati, but I decided it would be best for me to get farther on my route because the next two days I have to cover a lot of ground.  It was time for David Baldacchi’s First Family books on tape.  I listened to the first disc, but then needed to concentrate on where I was going.  The GPS wanted to take me a different way to Hocking Hills State Park which bypassed Chillicothe, and I wanted to at least drive through the town if I wasn’t going to stop .  On the way to Chillicothe, I passed the first Dental School in America and Margie’s Crafts (I don’t think my Margie would have liked them).  According to Reader’s Digest, Chillicothe is the Shawnee Indian word meaning town.  It was the first capital of the Northwest Territory and in 1803, the capital of Ohio.  The town was smaller than I expected and was home to several historic buildings.  I was glad I rerouted my GPS up until I got to the road construction…a long delay.  I kept thinking, what are you getting so uptight over…you just have to get to camp and you know the reservations line confirmed 70 sites available.

I guess I could feel the ACE bandage tightening, and I wanted to get my ankle up with some more “ice”.  Furthermore, I had reached for my point and shoot camera to take a picture of the Ohio State Line Sign and noticed it wasn’t around.  When I stopped for gas, I still couldn’t find it.  For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out where I would have left it.  I looked under every seat, under the dog beds, in the seat pockets.  I was only going to have one picture to post from my good camera.  Not only would I have lost my pictures, it would have been the 3rd time something had happened to this model camera.  I was beginning to think it was jinxed, and I was irritated with myself for being stupid once again (I lost one and waterlogged another).  Furthermore, it is much easier to have on the trails than my good camera, and I have to buy it used because technology has improved with newer models that don’t fit in my underwater camera case, thus it is harder and harder to find and more expensive than a new model (but the case is more expensive than the camera and cases for the new models tend to be designed a year behind).  If that wasn’t a run on sentence, I don’t know what was!

So, it’s getting late, I’ve driven for four hours, I’m in traffic in the middle of nowhere, I have a sprained ankle, I missed the fried biscuits, and I’ve lost my camera.  I was starting to get frustrated and to add fuel to the fire I got lost!  Now it is dark and a black cat crosses my path.  My GPS wants to take me all over these back roads with no lights.  The map shows the same route, but there isn’t a sign the Hocking Hills State Park anywhere!  There are signs to places in the park, but not a park entrance to the campgrounds.  After circling around and backtracking I don’t know how many times, I found a convenience store and the lady there confirmed it was just a mile away…FINALLY.  So the fee station is generally closed at night, so the procedure is to pull in, pick a spot, and pay in the morning.  Lucky for me, I found a ranger near the entrance, and he gave me a map.  He said, if I didn’t have a reservation that I could only pick from the 12 or so “walk in” spots.  Since reservations said there were so many spots available, I didn’t make a reservation because I wanted to be able to look at the locations before I picked one.  At this point, however, I didn’t really care how many choices I had, as long as there was one (and hopefully near the bathroom because I didn’t want to walk far on my ankle).  I get all set up, go look for the water pump which I can’t find, and then realize the bathrooms don’t even have running water…nice…no flush toilets, no showers for the “walk ins”.  The shower house is in the reserved area.  Furthermore, my electric didn’t work and my camera was still missing…UGH…and it was all in the dark.  With my headlamp attached, I went to work, and I am happy to say, everything is in working order…electric on…and camera found – hiding between the back seat and the storage cabinet.  I think I set it on the back seat when I was wrapping my ankle, and it must have slid to the side.  I’m very relieved now, but as you can tell from the number of pictures and the story, I didn’t do a whole lot of sightseeing.  I did manage, while I was lost, to stop, take a deepbreath, and snap a picture of the moon because it was pink from the sunset.  It was so cool.  Now, after having cell service virtually all day, none is available on the campgrounds!  Maybe I should have stayed in Cincinnati!

Websites: www.dnr.state.oh.us/parks/hocking/tabid/743/default.aspx, www.tcsteele.org, www.browncountyinn.com/content/nashville-house-restaurant, http://www.notablenotecards.com, http://www.etsy.com/shop/nichenotecards

Day 9 – Indiana, Hill and Dale

What a day!  I rode a horse.  Outside of about 3 trail rides over the last 17 years, I haven’t truly ridden a hunter/jumper until today.  It was so fun to be back in the saddle again, though it didn’t last long as I got bucked off.  At least I landed on my feet.  Horse smell to me is an aroma.  I love it!  I could have sat at the barn all day and watched people ride.  It was so hard to leave Bobby and Karen.  Such a blast from the past.  For those of you who know Karen and Bobby, they have a great little barn – 9 stalls or so.  Their paddocks are  spectacular – 5 huge turnouts, full of grass – a horse’s dream.  The horses are great – fat, pretty, and show material.  They are still showing, mostly in Tennessee and in Mississippi, I think.  Bobby got his big R, so he is judging a lot, and they have one investor who likes to buy horses, so he gets to go to Europe every now and then.  They’ve got a great house and lucky for me an extra bed.  And as always, a dog to boot.

After spending the morning chilling with them, I backtracked to Corydon, Indiana.  This time I got a picture of the Indiana State sign.  Corydon was once the capital of Indiana (dating all the way back to 1816).  I spent most my time walking around the courthouse square and at the Battle of Corydon Memorial Park, the location of Indiana’s only Cival War battle.  The battle was between Gen. John Hunt Morgan’s Confederate Calvary Division and the Sixth Regiment of the Indiana Legion (The Harrison County Home Guards).  It was the only organized resistance that Morgan met in Indiana and one of the few battles fought on Northern soil.

Morgan’s division crossed the Ohio River; captured two steamboats, sinking one of them; fought and overtook 400 Home Guards on July 8-9, 1863.  He stayed in Corydon long enough to rob the county treasury, loot the town merchants, place a levy on the flour mills, and steel all the local horses leaving the division’s tired ones behind.  The raid continued through Indiana and Ohio for 17 more days covering over 1,000 miles before General Morgan surrendered, making it the longest calvary raid of the Civil War.

I tried to find a cache at the park.  After reading the description and hint, I determined it was supposed to be a bullet under theAmerican flagpole.  After reading a few more logs, I found out it was no longer there.  In cacher terminology…it needs maintenance!  On the way to my next stop, I met a prosecuting attorney that worked for an Indiana county.  That VANilla just attracts people.  He just walked up and asked if I thought it was going to rain.  I replied, it did where I came from…so the story began.  He didn’t want me to post his name or anything, but he already texted me and rooted me on.  And before we parted he told me to call for a cup of coffee if I was ever back in the area!

Next I stopped at Story Inn, in the town of Story with a population of two and a resident ghost.  The Story Inn is a quaint hotel with a handful of rooms, a garden, a bar, a patio, and according to all the magazine articles a great restaurant.  In addition, it is rumored to be haunted by the Blue Lady.  No one knows who she is, but apparently she visits when you turn on the bedside lamp in the blue room.  I met a couple there who were celebrating their 24th wedding anniversary.  They were staying in the blue room.  Her husband had read online that it is rumored to be haunted, but opted not to disclose that tidbit of information to his wife until I did!  The articles were framed all over the walls, so she would have eventually found out.  The inn’s restaurant has a very

The blue room

strong weekend business, and several magazines say it is a great place to go.  I looked at the menu and wanted to stay, but I was off to my campgrounds.

I am camping at Brown County State Park tonight.  I can’t wait to explore the area tomorrow.  It may be my favorite campground, as far as location is concerned.  There are congested campgrounds and isolated ones.  This one has congested, isolated, and something in the middle.  I picked in the middle.  I have privacy, but I am near some other campers and a bathroom.  My location is up on a ridge underneath a canopy of trees.  I saw some wild turkey on my way there.  What makes it even better is Verizon and AT&T both work and the park is full of caches.  Hopefully AT&T will still work when I get down

turkey (ran into the bush again)

to the valley lakes.  I accomplished another first today…I may not have mentioned all of them, but it seems like I’ve done something I didn’t know how to do everyday since I’ve been gone (or at least out of my element).  Today, I was brave enough to light my propane stove in the van.  I’ve been avoiding the propane, but I know it will be cold soon, so I decided to test it out.  I’m proud to say I strayed from PB&J and salad and made a mushroom feta quesadilla!  It was delicious…I also figured out I don’t have a dish cleaning brush, so I had to use quite a bit of elbow grease with hot water, suds, and a spoon to scrape off some of the burnt cheese.  It’s about time for me to head to Walmart anyway, so I’ll pick up some SOS pads while I’m there.  Good night! ETB

websites:  http://corydonbattlepark.com/battle.html, www.browncountystatepark.com, http://www.notablenotecards.com, http://www.etsy.com/shop/nichenotecards

Pounds Hollow Recreation Area, Shawnee National Forest

Day 8 – Sights in the Shawnee National Forest

DAY 8 OF YEAR LONG ROAD TRIP FOLLOWING SCENIC BYWAYS IN THE USA

Cave in Rock State Park

We left late today…decided to finish posting while I had internet.  Our first stop was in the same park where we camped, Cave-in-Rock State Park.  Does anyone want to take a guess at what we saw?  Yes, it was a cave – 160 feet deep in a limestone bluff.  I was afraid I might miss it as there were stairs everywhere, but obviously that would have been hard to do once I saw its large size.  The cave was once a hideout for river pirates after the Revolutionary War.  They would lure pioneers into the cave and take their possessions and sometimes their lives.  Fortunately now, it’s just a tour attraction.  Continue reading “Day 8 – Sights in the Shawnee National Forest”

Thebes Courthouse

Day 7 – Sights along Shawnee Hills Scenic Byway

DAY 7 OF YEAR LONG ROAD TRIP FOLLOWING SCENIC BYWAYS IN THE USA

I’ve made it a week on my adventure…and I have to say it has been pretty smooth so far, except for Scout.  I’ll have to see how she is today.  For some reason, I get the feeling she’ll only get to enjoy the journey for a week.  At least that is better than sitting in the backyard in the Texas heat while I’m at work.

Due to the new experience of a private campground and the trains that cross the river (about four an hour), I didn’t get much sleep last night, but I did get to see the moon shining on the Mississippi at 3:30 in the morning, and it was phenomenal.  Despite the lack of sleep, I’d still recommend Thebes Landing RV Park & Campground to anyone.  Neal is going to bring in a barge and add a bar to it.  He said the Corp of Engineers denied his permit three times, but consistency paid off.  The guys in the St. Louis office decided to hand deliver the permit instead of mailing it because they just wanted to meet him.  Continue reading “Day 7 – Sights along Shawnee Hills Scenic Byway”