Saturday, October 23, 2010

A birth, a death, a Trace and fall

Here we are back in the State of Tennessee with our front window looking over a lake with the fall colors all around us. More on that later. We took a drive the other day to see this area of the country and made a stop at the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln at what is now the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park across the boarder in Kentucky.

He was born here but only lived here for about the first two years of his life.

From the visitors center there was a boardwalk trail that led to the monument next to Sinking Springs where the family got all it's water. A short but pretty trip through the woods.

This monument was erected between 1909 and 1911 as a tribute to him and his family.

A closer look shows some of the beautiful marble that the structure was made from.

Inside is what at one time was thought to be his boyhood home but turned out to be a neighbors but it does depict the size and style that his parents were able to build for the family.

When he was about two the family was forced off the property and moved a few miles away on 30 rented acres in Knob Creek. After the family lost their battle with the courts to prove ownership of the property where Abraham was born, they packed up and got out of Dodge. He was born in Kentucky but spent most of his young life in Illinois.
He did help the family work the field in the back of this picture and lived in a cabin similar to the one here.

As we traveled around this part of the country we saw lots of very large barns and were finally able to find one that we could get close to. We have all seen the pictures of the tobacco drying in the barns. This was our chance to see it first hand. This is just the first layer of the plants and in the next picture...

you can see how big this operation is. This is about as close to tobacco that we want to get these days. This is the only barn we saw that had open sides; most were wooden sides with vents in the roof. Very interesting but not for us.

We found a Thousand Trails Wilderness Preserve or park near Hohenwald, Tennessee and settled in with this view out our front window. Just a little morning mist on Chief Creek Lake.

This area is close to the North end of the 450 miles Natchez Trace (trail) and we were able to travel about 1/4 of it. A winding 2 lane road through the countryside with limited access roads to or from it. It was built with most of the cross roads going under or over this roadway so there is little or no traffic on it. The original trail was used by merchants, travelers, indians, and thieves going from the New Orleans area to Nashville area, some as early as the 1700's.
Not sure how we did it but just realized that some of the pictures are out of order so will try and fill in the details as best we can.
One of the pull-outs along the Natchez Trace showing some of the Kentucky farmland or I think they called them ranches around here.
What was amazing to both of us was the mowed grass around here. Along the Trace there is grass between the road and the tree line as much as 100 yards wide, and it's all mowed. The larger homes around have huge, like 50 acre front yards and it's all mowed. Must be very sick people around here.

Another stop along the Trace we found the death and burial place of Meriwether Lewis. This is the monument that was erected over the burial place of Meriwether.

The death of Meriwether still has not been solved to this day but most people think it was a suicide that happened on this property.

Back to the RV park watching the fall colors over the lake behind our campsite.

Might as well share one more picture before the end of this Blog. Happy fall to all our friends.

We headed out this morning and are now in Red Bay Alabama where our MH was born. We have a few items that need to be fixed so what better place than Tiffin factory. Looks like we maybe here for some time as this is the busiest time for repairs at the factory, with so many folks heading south for the winter. But we have friends here which should make the wait more bearable, once they get well. (They both have bad colds, so our playing cards or games in the evening will have to wait.)

To be continued...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Indiana and a Mammoth cave in Kentucky

While at the Montana Owners Rally in Goshen, IN, we had a little time to do some site-seeing. We passed quite a few of these Amish buggies. It was really interesting on the narrow roads, especially at night. And even Wal-Mart has space set aside for parking them!

A traffic jam! Hey Molly you could take all the kids to school in one of these.

Back in Batesville, IN we took one day off from moving into and setting up the RV to drive to a little tourist town called Metamora. Here is Jackie outside one of the interesting buildings.

But look what is inside! It was so crowded with "stuff" you could hardly move through! But the lady in charge seemed to know where everything was! The weekend before we were there was their big festival (Canal Days) and thousands of folks had been in town. She complained that people had moved her stock and she had spent all day putting it back into place!

There was room after room of more "stuff"!

Down the road was the Cookie Jar Store. Dick asked if this was an earthquake zone and was told no, but all of the shelves are covered with a special blue cloth, "just in case". They had every cookie jar imaginable! (Several Star Wars for Deb and Wiz for Deanna--sorry we can't bring them to you!) They also sell very delicious ice cream. I think she said thay had over 2,500 of them.

More cookie jars. I think there were seven rooms full!

A hint of fall showing around this house next to the train and next to the canal in Metamora:

One of the views in our campground as we walked in the mornings:
Fall is here and it's time to work our way South.

Off to Kentucky and Mammoth Cave National Park. Our first day here and we chose the 4-1/2 hour, 4 mile tour! It was very interesting with lots of steps and much up and down. Here are some folks entering the cave.

Most of this part of the cave was rock, but here are some drapery formations at the end of the tour.

Stalagtites and stalagmites, etc.

To be continued...

Friday, October 8, 2010

We did it...

We last told you we had gone to Tennessee to see an Allegro Bus for sale and then wanted to go to Ohio to see another one. Well, when we got to Ohio and walked into the 40' Allegro Bus, we both looked at each other and knew this was the one. We did a detail inspection and took it for a drive, negotiated a price with the seller, shook hands and told her we would be back in a week to pick it up.

We packed up and went north to Goshen Indiana for a Montana Owners Rally near the Keystone factory. We had an OK time with about 100 other Montanas. Took a factory tour, passed up a $1000 off on our next Montana and then headed back to Batesville Indiana on Wednesday.

We went to Ohio on Thursday, picked up the 2004 Allegro 40' Bus and came back to the RV park here in Batesville to begin the process.

The fun started, it took us 4 long hard days to sort through everything and move into the the Motor Home (MH). Then we had to take several loads to Goodwill, and still took another 3 or 4 days to reorganize the MH, hang our pictures and make it home. Now Dick has to start installing the Wilson antenna, router, and XM radio and other things.

We pulled up door-to-door and decided we needed the exercise up and down the stairs rather than put a board between the rigs.

Today we finally got to a point where there is nothing sitting out looking for a place to be put, so we took the time to get some pictures. The antenna booster and router will be sitting on the dash until Dick gets it all installed. (We need you, John.)

Starting from inside the front door looking back on the right side toward the kitchen. No gas oven so I guess we will be doing less cooking.(We do have a microwave/convection oven, so guess we'll have to work on learning how to use it.) The bright area above the counter is a decorative mirror. There is a great spot for CC just behind the chair. Yes Robbie that is a bottle of our favorite liquid behind the chair so CC can lick any drops around the top.

Storage, storage, storage, but not as much as we had inside the Big Sky, so some stuff which was inside before is now in the basement. Inside the area just behind the kitchen table is the washer/dryer. The couch folds into a double bed and if needed (for small kids) the table will drop down for another bed.

The cabinets are a very rich looking cherry wood and really make the place look great.

Just another view looking back toward the front. The MH has only two slides, the one on the left and one in the bedroom, but there is still lots of room. A little small for dancing, but that's never stopped us!

A sink in the toilet area and also outside next to the shower. The toilet is electric and could pose a problem if we are dry camping for an extended length of time. I think we will be filling the black tank in about a week. Oh well we will just have to wait and see.
Looks like we need to trade in the "trailer life" magazines for "MH life".

Just another picture looking back toward the bedroom.

And the bedroom looking toward the rear with the wash basin counter on the right.

And then turning around and looking at the shower and basin counter with some of the bedroom storage.

Looking at the chest under the bedroom window.

And peeking around the other side of the MH is our new toad, well it's new to us. We purchased a 2006 Jeep Liberty Renegade and we feel like we are in a sardine can after years in the truck!

We traded in the truck and came out with a healthy check to help pay off the MH.
The only problem is that we have to put most of the "stuff" that was in the truck in the basement of the MH. We are still trying to figure out how we can keep the boat with us so if we run across a pond while being tourist we can just blow it up and go paddling.
CC can now stand on the seat and look out the window in the back seat, which she did for the first time today as we took her to the vet for her yearly check-up. Poor dog, first ride in the Jeep and she had to go to the vet! Then to add insult to injury, after we got home she got a bath!

Our schedule is to pull out of here next Wednesday and start heading south but to take our time and see what is interesting in this part of the Country, if only to have pictures to post for you all, or is that y'all.
To be continued...