Friday, June 29, 2012

Moving South to Biloxi, Mississippi

On Wednesday, June 27th, we left Cave City continuing down I-65 into Alabama. Most of this highway traverses through rolling wooded hills. We did travel through Nashville, Huntsville and Birmingham on I-65 with little problem. We stopped for the night at a campground south of Birmingham, Birmingham South Campground. A nice campground but a little pricey- it was $44.12 for one night ( the previous campground in Cave City, Ky. cost us $32.00 for 2 nights with a Passport America discount and both had full hook-ups with 50 amps electric). We had a pull through site that we did not have to unhook the Jeep for the night so we decided after seeing an ad in the campground information paper of a Johnny Ray's barbecue joint that would deliver to order dinner from there. Well- Tom called and asked for delivery, they had to check if there was someone there to make the delivery, then he tried to order catfish dinner for me and was told "we don't have catfish" which was on their website menu. At this point Tom told them to forget it and I cooked dinner. We had planned to go to the Mobile, Alabama area to hang out for about a week but it seemed that was not to be. Hurricane Debby was spinning around Florida and we were hesitant to make any reservations for fear that if Debby continued west the Gulf coast could be in jeopardy. So when we tried to find a campground inb Mobile after the threat of Debby had passed there was no room. We then started going into Mississippi Gulf coast area and we found sites in Biloxi, Ms. Thursday morning, the 28th, we continued further south on I-65 to Montgomery and the southwest to Mobile. I-65 ends in the Mobile, Al. area and at that point we connected with I-10 west into Mississippi and the Biloxi area. We had reserved a site at the Cajun RV Park that is located across the Gulf Highway from the beach area. It is an older park but well maintained and does have some trees around- but like a lot of campgrounds there is an active train track close by and Kessler Air Force Base has planes flying overhead. Oh, well,these things never seem to bother us too much. In the evening we drove around looking for a seafood restaurant for dinner and found McElroy's on the Bayou. We had really nice dinners of broiled shrimp and scallops while looking out across the bayou- good food and a nice location.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bowling Green, Ky. and More Caves- June 26, 2012

Today we drove south about 30 miles in the Jeep to Bowling Green.  The Corvette plant is located here and we were going to tour that facility.  We had taken the tour several years ago but as with everything things change.  There are now just certain times in the day that the tours are scheduled- we were about an hour and half too early for the next scheduled tour.  And there is now a $7.00 per person charge- I guess this is helping GM in their financial recovery effort. So we opted to do something else.

We drove around the city of Bowling Green and when we saw a Sam's Club we stopped to pick up a few items and then a stop at Walgreen's.  We decided to go to the Lost River Cave but thought we had better get lunch before doing so.  Not surprising we found a Mexican restaurant and had our lunch and then to the Lost River Cave.  The Lost River Cave is a privately owned cave unlike the Mammoth Cave run by the National Park services.  The tour is more expensive, less informative and shorter than the tour at Mammoth.  But it was a different experience as we were on boats that went a short distance into the cave.  This cave is also a wet cave that has the beginnings of stalactites.  Jesse James and his gang used the cave as a hide out.  Outside of the cave there are several blue holes, pools of water that is blue due to the the rock sediment.  A trail to a Butterfly Garden took us to an enclosed flower garden with hundreds butterflies flitting around on the pretty flowers.

The weather today was just perfect, bright blue skies, low humidity and temperatures in the low 80's.  Tomorrow it is forecasted to change to higher humidity and temperatures reaching into the 100's by week's end. After returning to the campground we walked about the grounds in the evening.  This is a nice campground that honors Passport America membership which is half the usual price and we would certainly return if in the area.  The owners are very friendly and helpful.  Tomorrow we will be moving on, not sure where but a little further south toward Mobile, Alabama.

Monday, June 25, 2012

"The Rally" to Cave City

"The Rally" kept us busy from Thursday(6/21) evening until Sunday(6/24) evening. Thursday evening we were entertained by the Gatlin Brothers. Friday evening Burt Bacharach entertained us with his beautiful music as he played the piano along with other musicians while 2 young ladies and a young man sang many of the songs. The entertainment Saturday evening was Cheryl Crowe and her very loud ensemble. And the last evening a professional Elvis impersonator entertained along with several rally attendees that also did an Elvis impersonation- the professional was the best but a couple of the amateurs didn't sound bad. During the day we were attending seminars pertaining to RV's and history of the area and, of course, checking out the vendors' wares. It was a nice rally and the Louisville Exposition Center made it pleasurable as everything was indoors in air conditioning. It was hot everyday with outside temperatures in the 90's. We had electric that allowed us to run one air conditioner, not the best but better than only being allowed to run the generator from 7am to 11pm. Sunday afternoon we took a break from the rally and went out on the Ohio River on the Belle of Louisville, a steam powered paddle boat. We had made reservations earlier in the week along with a group of Maryland Good Sammers and our friend from Tennessee, Lois Howard. The 2 hour excursion on the river included a buffet lunch which included fried chicken, roast beef and ham along with salads and other side dishes and pie for dessert. This morning, Monday, we left the rally grounds at 7:30am. The electric was being turned off at 7am so we decided to leave early and get to a campground about 85 miles south and then eat our breakfast. We had made reservations at a campground in Cave City, Ky, Singing Hills Campground. When we arrived, about 9am (actually it was 8am as we had entered Central Time Zone), our site was still occupied so we were directed to park next to an old barn and I then fixed breakfast. Shortly after eating breakfast and washing dishes, our site emptied out and we got settled. It was time to get some laundry done. Between loads of laundry we both fell asleep- rallying can be a little exhausting. By noon time we were ready to get out and see the area. We went to Mammouth Cave National Park and took the Historic Ranger Led Tour. This 2-hour tour of 2 miles included 440 stairs. Unlike most other caves Mammouth is a dry cave and does not have pretty formations but it is huge with 392 miles of passageways, the longest known cave in the world. We are now back in the motorhome recouperating from our Mammouth Cave workout.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

“The Rally” at Louisville- June 20, 2012

We got an early start this morning and pulled out of our camping site at 7:45am.  We had to stop at the dump before leaving the campground since we did not have sewer hook-up and we needed empty black and gray tanks before going into the rally.  We then stopped for fuel, had a tight squeeze getting out of the gas station necessitating us to disconnect the Jeep and then reconnecting once out of the station.  These things occasional happen- thankfully we have not had many of these occurrences.  We only had a 61 mile trip and we were on the Louisville Exposition Center grounds before 10 am and parked about 20 minutes later.  We were parked in the electric section but our energy management system would not allow the electric to come into the coach due to too high voltage.  So an electrician was summoned, responded to correct the problem with the area generator and we then were able to receive the electric.  We had to catch a tram to go to the area for registration.  After registering we saw some folks from Maryland- Esthermay Brooks and Woody Woodruff with his dog, Penny- Woody is a Traveling American member also.

Returning back to the motorhome and feeling hungry we jumped into the Jeep and went in search of a barbeque restaurant.  We found a place called Mark’s Feed Store and had a nice lunch.  The waitress suggested fried pickles, an appetizer, so we gave them a try.  Not bad but don’t know that I would get them very often.  I had a cup of burgoo, a local stew full of meat and vegetables, and a pork sandwich.  Tom had a pork dinner- lots of pork, cole slaw and fries.  We both had more than we could eat so brought part of a pork sandwich and pork back to the motorhome to have later.

As we were returning to the motorhome from lunch, we saw Woody and his wife, Linda, out walking dogs so we stopped by and visited with them.  Their dog, Penny, is a sweet dog that I have spoiled a little with treats so she knows me and I just happened to have treats available to give her some.  They were also dog sitting another dog.   Later in the afternoon we got a call from Lois Howard saying she had gotten onto the grounds and would stop by after she had gotten registered.  We had visited Lois in Tennessee  earlier this year and had talked about coming to this rally.  She did stop by and visited for a short while and then had to get back to her 2 little dogs.  Tomorrow the rally will officially begin and we will be busy going to seminars, going through displays and checking out the vendors wares.

Back on the Road- Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Monday, June 18th, we left home once again with the destination on Wednesday of Louisville, Kentucky for The Rally, a Good Sam rally.  The morning was cool and drizzling rain as we left Taneytown.  Our route of travel took us out through western Maryland and then south through West Virginia on I-79 to I-64.  The coolness continued most of the day in fact we even had some heat on in the motorhome as we traveled.  Showers of rain, at times with thunder and lightning, followed us most of the day until late afternoon.  Once we were in sunshine the temperature went up considerably and we eventually had air conditioning on.  Our travels went through mountainous terrain and sparsely populated areas.  We like to keep our travels to about 300 miles a day but sometimes the availability of campgrounds dictate.  Our stop for the night was at Jim’s Camping in Milton, W. Va. . about 18 miles from Kentucky and more than 360 miles from home.  Jim’s Camping was a small campground but had full hook-ups including 50 amp electric for $25.00.   After setting up we went out to eat at Shonet’s CafĂ©, a local eatery.  We ate from the soup and salad bar which had good homemade soups and good salads.

This morning, Tuesday, we continued westward on I-64.  The weather was sunny and very warm, temperature reached close to 90 degrees.  We are scheduled to go into the rally on Wednesday morning so Tom had made reservations at a campground, Elkhorn Campground, in Frankfort, Ky.  We had less than 170 miles to travel today and then about 80 on Wednesday to Louisville.  We arrived in the campground about noon today so we had the afternoon to explore the area.  We ate lunch at the La Fiesta Grande restaurant- Mexican, of course-  first.  Daniel Boone’s grave is in the Frankfort cemetery, at least, the Kentuckians believe his body was relocated here from a cemetery in Missouri.  The Missourians say that the body of Boone’s slave was sent instead and Boone remains in Missouri.  Anyway, we went to the cemetery and saw the grave stone for Daniel and his wife, Rebecca.

  Frankfort, Ky.

From the cemetery we could see the capitol building across the Kentucky river so we drove over to that area.  There were beautiful flower gardens on the grounds and a large floral clock.

  Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort


Floral Clock at Capitol in Frankfort, Ky.

  Our last stop this afternoon was at Buffalo Trace Bourbon Distillery, a distillery on the Bourbon Trail across Kentucky and into Tennessee.

Buffalo Trace distillery, Frankfort, Ky.


We went on a tour led by “Freddie”, a gentleman that grew up at the distillery.  The name Buffalo Trace comes from a time when buffalo lived in this part of the country and the site of the distillery, located along the Kentucky River, was the path that the buffalo traveled to cross the river as they moved west.   The warehouse has 10 stories that store the barrels of bourbon for aging and the quality of the bourbon differs from the various levels, the best quality bourbon is on the lowest story, the more inferior quality on the upper stories.  The temperature variance from top to bottom affects the quality.

Aging bourbon in oak barrels


The grounds around the distillery are well groomed and there are numerous flower planters and gardens.

Buffalo Trace Distillery grounds

Buffalo Trace distillery grounds

The tour ended with a sampling of  the bourbon.  It was a very interesting tour with a wonderful guide.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Our Busy Schedule Continues

Picking up from the last entry the part that was needed to repair the DEF sensor arrived at the Harrisburg, Pa Cummins repair facility and thanks to a cancellation the repair was made on Wednesday, May 30th. Thursday morning we loaded up the Jeep and went to Harrisburg to get the motorhome and then headed down the road to "Take It Easy Campground" in Callaway, Maryland- southern Maryland. This was a Traveling Americans weekend campout and we had decided that instead of going home for one night we would just go down a day early. Friday Tom and I drove to Point Lookout State Park. The lighthouse is being renovated by a group of private citizens and on this particular day had opened the house for self guided tours. Point Lookout was used during the civil war as a Confederate prison. Prisons were walked from Gettysburg, Pa. down to this prison, a trek of more than 200 miles. Over 3000 prisoners died here. Outside of the state park there is a POW cemetery- the federal government maintains this cemetery but refuses to allow the confederate flag to be flown there so directly behind off government land a confederate flag is flown. Adjacent to the cemetery a memorial to the confederate states was erected flying the various flags of the confederate states. Saturday after breakfast with the group we again struck out. We were drove through the town of Solomons, a beautiful small town on the Chesapeake Bay. We saw the Calvert Marine Museum and decided to take that in. This Cavert County museum was very interesting with stories and displays about life on the water- fishing, crabbing and oystering- as well as the history of slave marketing and tobacco growing in this area. We spent a couple of hours here. The admission allowed us to leave for lunch and then return to finish going through the exhibits. We enjoyed a nice outside lunch at the Captain's Table, a short distance from the museum and located by the water. Saturday evening at the campground the club gathered together for dinner and a campfire afterward. Sunday morning we had a potluck breakfast and then Tom and I quickly left for home. Once we were at home we got the yard mowed and then we went to Virginia to spend the week- Monday to Monday- with our grandchildren while Todd and Beth went to Mexico. Anthony, 12 years old, was with us from Monday until Friday morning, then he went with his grandparents for the weekend until Sunday evening when he returned back to us. Maddy, also 12 years old, was with us from Friday evening until Sunday mornig. Parker, 2 years and 10 months old, and Gabi, 7 months old, were with us the entire time. We spent a part of most every day at a county park where Parker was able to play on playground equipment and Gabi was pushed around in a stroller on nice pathways. Needless to say when Todd and Beth arrived home on Monday night Tom and I were ready to come home. In addition to the kids, there are also dogs, cats, ferrets, frogs and fish to tend to so we were kept quite busy. We are now home and this week is the Firemen's Carnival in town. Tom being a fireman helps out with this fund raiser. Years past I have also helped out but there seems good help this year that I have been staying home preparing for our next trip.