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.