Thursday, August 27, 2015

Back to Crossville TN

Saturday (Aug 22):

We tried to find one of the trails in the park to walk today. We found the start of the trail, but since the trail was not marked we ended up giving up and going back to the campground. The afternoon and evening was spent cleaning up the Duchess and getting ready to leave tomorrow. We went to The Abbey, a local restaurant, for dinner that evening and had a good meal.

Sunday (Aug 23):

We left Levi Jackson Wilderness State Park and headed south to Spring Lake RV Resort in Crossville TN. As we approached Knoxville we ended up driving through rain again on I-75 and I-40. We had stayed at this campground when we were here in June and remembered it was a nice park. The campground was sold to new owners on July 1st and we were curious if there had been any changes. Everything was the same except the new owners have added dumpsters to the location instead of a number of trash cans. We checked into the campground, met the new owners, were assigned to Site 58. We got set up only for one night since we are going to Creston RV Service to have the old refrigerator taken out tomorrow.

Small lake in middle of campground

Our Site 58

Monday (Aug 24):

We took The Duchess to Creston RV Service to have the old refrigerator taken out this morning. We left the motorhome with Bill Dodson to do the removal and let us know what size of residential refrigerator we can put back into the space. We then went and did some shopping. We got a call from Bill around 1:00 PM with the dimensions available to us. The replacement frig we selected is a Samsung 17.5 cubic foot model with French doors. We went to Crossville Tire and Appliance and Lowe's and neither had this model in stock. Lowe's told us that it would take them 3 weeks to have one delivered to their store here in Crossville. So we returned to Creston RV and discussed with Bill our options. After calling several on-line stores, Bill called Samsung directly and found out who had this model in stock. We ended up placing an order with ABT Appliances in Illinois and they are shipping one to Creston RV this week (we hope it will arrive this week).

"old frig" is now out/waiting on the new one
In the evening we found out that Fairfield Glades, a local community near the campground, was having a live concert and serving hamburgers and sandwiches. We ended staying about an hour at the concert and left when the sun started to go down and it began to get cool.

We were one of the "young ones" in the audience

Tuesday (Aug 25):

A slow day for us. We did some shopping at the "Outlet Mall" here in Crossville (I bought some socks and shoes and Connie found her favorite pair of pants for $12 instead of the original price of $35). Then we decided to see if we could remove the mirror located on the wall where the refrigerator is located. It was slow going but we finally got the mirror removed (without any damage to ourselves) and then on to the removal of the glue/double sided tape Newmar used to hang the mirror. We tried a couple of products before Connie remembered that WD-40 works to loosen the glue. So we sprayed the areas of tape/glue and used scrappers to remove everything. In the end it came out looking good and we are proud of the job we did.

Before with mirror

Without mirror
Wednesday (Aug 26):

We make the one hour trip to Knoxville today to do some shopping. We went to Best Buy and bought a Samsung 32" HDTV, a wall mount and a wireless HDMI system for the motorhome. We also did other shopping along with stopping at Noodles and Company for lunch. We both thought that Noodles and Company had excellent food and was a great value for the price. Once we returned back to the campground I tested the wireless HDMI system to make sure it would work and it does. We are still trying to decide exactly how we will mount this TV in the wall outside the refrigerator. We will have to wait and see how the refrigerator goes in before making a final decision on this.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

London KY

Monday (Aug 17):

We packed up everything in the Duchess and make the move down I-75 to London Kentucky. We had called Monday morning and make a reservation for the week at the Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park.
The trip was about 90 miles and it took us about two (2) hours to make the journey. Once we got to the campground at the State Park the office gave us a choice of several sites. We took the one that was the most level (D-2), backed the Duchess into the site and got set up for the week. As we finished getting everything connected outside it started raining.

Our site in Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park
View of campground from our site
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (Aug 18-20);

Nothing much to report for these days. It rained off and on for each of these three days and we were stuck inside for most of the time. We did get out and walk around the campground when it was not raining. We also went into London KY and did our grocery shopping, picked up some light bulbs & water filters for The Duchess and visited a couple of other shops to see if we could find Connie a particular type of shoe (no luck with this).

On Thursday we took a drive over to Corbin KY which is about 13 miles south of London. London and Laurel county are "dry" and we wanted to purchase some box wine to have on hand. We found a store in Corbin that had decent prices on wine and purchased a Bota Box Old Vine Zinfandel which we have not tried before. 

Corbin KY in the town that Colonel Sanders (Harland Sanders) started making what became Kentucky Fried Chicken. He started out with a Pure Oil station that sold gasoline and then added a restaurant and motor court (which is what they called motels in that era). His restaurant first became well known for it's breakfasts and only later added fried chicken.

Recreated restaurant kitchen from Colonel Sanders' Cafe

Small museum dedicated to Harland Sanders

Artist's painting of Colonel's original location
He became very successful but when the interstate highway bypassed Corbin his business suffered and he ended up having to sell the property to settle his debts. The buildings ended up being torn down a few years later. At age 65 he started a new business with only $105 (the legend goes) by going to restaurants in Kentucky and selling them his "secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices" for Kentucky Fried Chicken. He later started franchising the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants and in the mid-1960's sold out to a group of Kentucky businessmen for $2 million dollars. He remained a spokesman for KFC during the rest of his life. In Corbin there is a KFC that houses a small museum dedicated to Colonel Harland Sanders and his life and businesses.
Sanders Cafe is really a KFC location
Connie sitting with the Colonel
As we drove back to the campground it started to rain again.

Friday (Aug 21):

Connie and I have continued to practice our 30 days of Yoga. Today was Day 7 for us. After we ate breakfast, we went for a walk in the park. We stopped by a replica of some old log buildings along one of the trails in the park.

Connie front of a log cabin with a dog trot

Mike in front of a smaller log cabin
We also stopped where a number of white settlers were killed by Native Americas at a location with-in the park.

Plaque about the "massacre"

Grave sites from the 1780's of the victims
There is a story that three individuals survived the massacre one of which was a woman who was pregnant. She is said (in the story) to later have given birth inside of a hollow tree near this location. There is suppose to be a plaque at the location of the hollow tree but we did not see it.

From there we walked to a mill that is located in the park. The mill has been around for a long time and it still being used today to make corn meal.

Connie with mill in background

McHargue's Mill

Mill stones that had been used in the grinding of corn and wheat

Connie in front of the mill

Man made water fall to power the mill

Turbine that uses water to turn the mill
We met Bob a volunteer who runs the mill for several hours each week. He told us the history of the mill and we were lucky enough that he was going to be doing some grinding today. The original mill would grind both corn and wheat at the same time and in the winter it would be used as a lumber mill. None of the lumber making equipment has survived. Bob told us that there was a movie filmed at this location in 1955 starring Burt Lancaster called The Kentuckian. The mill and surround water was used in several scenes in the movie (it was also the first movie that Walter Matthau starred in). We ended up going back later and purchased one of the bags of corn meal that was ground in this mill by Bob.

From there we walked over to a 1/2 mile section of The Wilderness Trail that runs through the park. This was the trail used by Daniel Boone and others from 1775 to 1795 to bring settlers from North Carolina to Kentucky. We talked about walking on the same trail as Daniel Boone did 230 years ago.

Mike at entrance to trail. Plaque was placed there by the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Connie along the Wilderness Trail

Mike following along
After lunch at the campground we decided to visit the Camp Wildcat Civil War Battlefield. The information we read on-line said it was off the beaten path which was an understatement. The site is located about 3.5 miles off of the paved road on what looks like a logging trail that has been improved. We were glad to be in the Jeep although we never had to put it in 4 wheel drive.

View of road to battlefield site
We stopped a took a picture of a plaque showing where the Confederate troops camped at the bottom of the hill before the battle started.

At the top of the hill we found the battlefield site.
Mike at the entrance

Our attempt at a "selfie"
We read the information at the covered pavilion located at the end of the parking area and then proceeded to walk the trail up to where the battle took place.

Pavilion with general information about the battle

Connie pointing the way "up" the hill

The union troops hauled several cannon up the hill. Parts of the hill was so steep
that it took nearly a hundred men to pull the cannon up the hill.
This was the first battle of the Civil War that was fought in Kentucky. It resulted in a Union victory since they held the higher ground and repulsed several Confederate advances. As was the case in many battles during the Civil War, more soldiers died from disease than from actual battlefield wounds. An interesting story from this battle: Samuel P. Carter who was in the Navy at the beginning of the Civil War joined a group of volunteers in the Union army that fought in this battle and later became a general during the war. After the war was over, he returned to the navy and at the end of his career became an admiral. He is the only American to hold both the rank of a General in the Army and an Admiral in the Navy during his lifetime.

We then returned back to London and ate dinner at the Heavenly Pizza Place on Main Street. We had their buffet and as usual with buffets we both ate too much.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Kentucky Horse Park Campground

Friday (Aug 14):

We made the 90 mile trip from the Little Farm on the River Campground to the Kentucky Horse Park Campground near Lexington Kentucky. The Kentucky Horse Park is a large facility that has several arenas with stands along with 3 polo fields. The campground is located in a separate area next to the main Horse Park.
Our site - B098
We had gone on-line and reserved the last site in the campground (there were several small "rallies" going on at the campground over the weekend). We had to maneuver the Duchess into the tight site and once we got located we had to trim some dead branches that were hanging over the RV. TV was from several local TV channels from Lexington since there was no way to get a DirecTV signal sitting under all of these trees.

We rode our bikes over to the Horse Park and watched a group of men playing polo on one of the fields (there were games on two of the three fields).
Looks like a couple of the polo competitors arrived in their personal helicopters.
It is called the game of kings for a reason.

We watched the match for a while. The players and horses travel
up and down the field at a rapid pace.
 From the polo fields we went up to the large arena where there was a horse jumping competition going on. There were girls and young ladies from all over the USA competing at this event which would be going on all week-end.

There were several arenas that were hosting different jumping events at various level of difficulty and skill level. We saw competitors (mainly girls/women but also a few men) from very young ages to a few our age. We rode our bike around the stables and saw some beautiful horses. At the Kentucky Horse Park the horses have the right of way so you have to be careful where you ride. They have crossing guards that stop all traffic when a horse passes and they have covered the roads with artificial turf at the horse crossing locations.

Saturday (Aug 15):

This was a resting day for us. We did start a program called 30 Days of Yoga that we are going to try and complete over the next month (today was Day 1). In the afternoon Connie took a nap while I watched the PGA Championship on TV. We then visited Kroger's to get our groceries for the next couple of days. With us only having a small frig, we only buy food for 2 days at a time.

Sunday ( Aug 16):

We completed Day 2 of our 30 Days of Yoga this morning and then went swimming at the campground pool. The water in pool was cool but once you got used to the temperature it was nice and refreshing. In the afternoon we took a drive into Lexington to see the city and the University of Kentucky. Lexington is a city of about 300,000 that is dominated by the University of Kentucky. The campus has a lot of construction going on and was not much to see. We were expecting it to be a pretty campus but it looks more like a community college than an old university.

We found a local brewery on the web and decided to visit for a sampling of their brews. The West 6th Brewing is located near a historic section of Lexington that has a number of large houses built in the late 19th and early 20th century. A number of these houses have been kept up over time but more needed to be cleaned up and painted. I had the "Flight of Five" sampler while Connie chose 4 different brews. We each tasted all 9 brews and found them all to our liking.
Connie making her selections

Connie choices

The "Flight of Five"

West 6th Brewing Company
We returned back to the campground where Connie cooked our dinner and then we begin to put items up for our trip south tomorrow.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Little Farm on the River Campground

Tuesday (Aug 12):

Today was a shopping day for us. We went into Cincinnati to the Camping World location and bought several items including a new rocking camp chair for Connie.

Connie enjoying her new rocking camp chair

We visited a couple more stores before stopping at a Ruby Tuesday's to have their salad buffet and then apple pie for dessert. Some grocery shopping and then back to the campground.

This campground has two locations that are about 1/2 mile apart from each other. We were in the campground closest to the Ohio River.

River traffic - these barges came by quite often

Our site along the Ohio River
This campground is located in the middle of a farm that grows corn and soy beans in the bottom land along side the Ohio River.
Connie in the corn field. This has been a very good year for the farmers in Indiana.

Wednesday (Aug 12):

We went into Aurora Indiana today which is a small river town located about 7 miles from the campground. We took a short walk along a paved trail that ran along side the river at the edge of town.
Our morning walk in Aurora
We then moved the Jeep into town and walked around the small downtown area of Aurora. This is an old river town that at on point was a hub of activity with the bend in the Ohio River located at Aurora being one of the deepest points in the river. It also was a location for the railroads to maintain engines and box cars. At one time there were 14 passenger trains that came through Aurora each day along with a number of freight trains. 
Original train station that now houses the local Historical Society
We stopped by the local Historical Society and had a nice long visit with one of the researchers there. He is a retired coach (coached at both New Mexico University and Xavier University) who is now doing research on a local citizen who became a well know columnist even though he only had an eighth grade education. He gave us some information about the town and the Ohio River. His son is a writer/producer in California who has a show on the Discovery Channel about hunting for a sunken Spanish ship loaded with gold from the South American tribes in the 17th century call Snake Island - Treasure Quest. We returned to the Duchess, ate some dinner and then sat outside for a while to enjoy the cool evening.
Connie had to put on a cover with the temperatures dropping during the evening.

Thursday (Aug 13):

We decided to visit a couple of river towns down river from our campground today. Our first stop was the town of Vevay (pronounced VE - VE) which is named after a town in France. The town was originally founded by people from France in the early 19th century who wanted to grow grapes and make wines. The grapes did not make it here so they ended up moving to Kentucky. Vevay was also a town that depended on the river for it's livelihood. We stopped by the local Historical Museum to see what we could learn about the town.
Life on the Ohio River Historical Museum

The main part of the museum is housed in an old church building
 We had a nice visit with the ladies in the museum and learned a few things about the river boats that ran up and down the Ohio during the 19th and early 20th century.
Model of the City of Louisville river boat
Map of the Ohio River which run almost 1,000 miles before it empties into the Mississippi
We drove around Vevay and saw some of the large homes that were built during the 19th century by families that make fortunes with the river boats and trade along the Ohio. Benjamin Schenck who was an owner of several river boats married one of the daughters of the Ball Company founders from Muncie Indiana. He and his wife built two mansions a few blocks apart in Vevay.

The house on the hill

The house along the river
After leaving Vevay we travelled down river to Madison Indiana. We arrived late in the afternoon and decided to visit The Thomas Family Winery tasting room in the downtown area. We met Steve Thomas who is the owner of the winery and did a tasting of their wines. They don't grow the grapes themselves but buy grapes from vineyards in Indiana and California. After finishing the tasting we decided to split a glass of their Niagara wine which is a dry white wine. We had a nice visit with Steve whose daughter has recently moved to San Antonio.
Steve Thomas behind the bar and Ed (one of his regulars)

Inside of the tasting room
We spent a few minutes walking around the downtown area of Madison and then drove around town for a few more minutes. 
The Lanier Mansion in Madison
As it was getting late we were not able to spend as much time as we would have like to in Madison. 

One of the old buildings in Madison

View of the bridge in Madison over the Ohio River - Kentucky is on the other side

We made the trip back to Rising Sun where Connie spent a few minutes on the slot machines at the Rising Star Resort Casino. Unfortunately for us Connie was not a winner at the casino.