Wednesday, May 30, 2012


May 29th
Jackson Center, OH

Our 56 mile drive north on I 75 was uneventful, even finding a Walmart that was close by was a breeze, very easy in and out.  Our new "Gypsy Girl" (GPS) was was in fine form and even has a couple of new features.

Waiting in line to get checked off and assigned a parking spot at our first ever Alumapalooza

still waiting

The grain fields are just starting to turn yellow.  Lots of grain and corn grown here

 One thing we needed at Walmart was a new 3x5 US Flag. It was time to retire our faded one. The faded one was at one time very nice with sewn on stripes and stars and cost about $25.00. We fly our flag at almost every stop so it was well worn over the last few years. This time I bought a cheapy $8.49, it's just a piece of stiff material and looks like the stars and stripes were painted on, but it's pretty and bright. So off with the old and on with the new. One of the parkers here lives close by and is still affiliated with the Boy Scouts. He made one call and someone from the local troup will be here this afternon to pick up the old flag to dispose of it properly. Yea!!

The old one actually is frayed a little and very faded

And, here we go with the bright new one.

Safe travels to all, thanks for visiting

Nancy and Joe

Monday, May 28, 2012

A few days at Dayton

May 23 - May 29
Wright Paterson AFB
Dayton, Ohio

Tomorrow we will be leaving for Jackson Center, Ohio, a whopping 56 miles north of here  It's been really hot here for the last five days, today 96', tomorrow they expect it to be in the 80's then down to the 70's  which is great because we are going back up to Jackson Center to the Alumapalooza Rally with only enough electric to keep the batteries charged, about 3 amps. With our two Fantastic Fans and the 12 volt Breeze we we should be just fine.

Our main reason of coming to Dayton was so I could go to the correct lab for a blood draw.  Before we left home last October my doctor gave me several lab slips for the upcoming 10 months.  I use LabCorp and they are throughout the US I just have to look them up online.

While here we went to the National Museum of the USAF.  The museum takes about three days to go through, luckily it's open every day and it's free.  The museum starts with the beginning of flight, then WW I, WWII, Korea, Southeast Asia and then present day all in six hangers connected together. Joe saw several of the aircraft that he had work on or flew when he was in the Air Force.   They also have an IMAX, they were showing Hubble, Fighter Pilot and Air Racers.  We had already seen Hubble a few months ago, today we saw Fighter Pilot.  I would highly recommend both of these IMAX films.
We have also been to the Pima Air Museum in Tuscon, AZ, the Boeing Air Museum in Seattle, Cape Canaveral and each one is exceptionally well presented and worth a visit.

My Gypsy Girl (GPS) has not been doing well for about 6 months or so, I have been just babying her along, well I finally broke down and got a new one, taking advantage of the Memorial Day Sales at Best Buy.  I have her ready to go tomorrow when we leave.  It will be nice to have one that doesn't turn off when we go over a bump.

Well that's about it, not too much going on for the last several days but we did get caught up on laundry and washed the truck and trailer, they sure needed it.

Safe travels to all

Nancy and Joe

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Jackson Center, Ohio

May 20, 2011

The Springtime in Kentucky Caravan is over and everyone has gone about their separate ways, well almost everyone.  We traveled with Jim and Dixie, and also ran into Byron and Cathy along the way at a rest stop, we all had a nice lunch break.  Then, on north to Jackson Center Ohio to the Airstream plant, they have full hook ups and we had an appointment to get the wheel bearings re-packed and a couple other minor repairs on Tuesday, Jim and Dixie had an appointment on Monday, Byron and Cathy headed toward Detroit to visit family.  Soon after we arrived at Jackson Center another couple that was on our caravan Barry and Sue arrived.

Joe and I have never been here at the Airstream plant so we took the tour.  Very informative, no pictures allowed, we were able to see the entire process of building an Airstream.  If you order one you can come and watch it being made.  The town of Jackson Center has a population of about 1,400.

Inside the waiting room, besides three TVs and comfortable chairs there was free wi-fi, free coffee & cookies, a microwave and popcorn maker; and dog friendly. The repair shop crew all go to lunch at 11:30 and we were allowed to go into our trailer and make our lunch which was convenient.

We ended up staying three nights at Jackson Center, free

That's it, thanks for stopping by

Nancy and Joe

Renfro Valley

I just realized I'm out of order and published day 22 before this one.

Day 20 and 21
May 17 and 18
Renfro Valley RV Park
Renfro, KY

This will be the last stop for our caravan and we will be driving a whopping 35 miles.  We are so laid back that we had our driver's meeting at 0900, the parkers left at 1000 and we left at 1100 for that big drive up the road.

Renfro Valley is Kentucky's country music capital with over 60 year of entertainment, of  music, signing, dancing, and comedy.  We will be going to a concert tomorrow night.

Today after getting settled in we headed for Brea College and a tour of the college.  Brea College is the number one Liberal Arts and Crafts four year college in the US.  Along with all their regular classes each student must spend ten hours a week working in a craft such as woodworking, weaving, ceramics, broom making.  These are lost arts that they are bring back.  Many of the students continue their craft as a hobby after graduation.

May 18th
Later we attended a show in the Old Barn featuring young performers that sounded like stars.  This was a tribute to Country Stars including Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Reba, Dolly, The Judds and a few more.  They were fantastic performers.

There are other places we have visited like White Hall, Fort Boonesborough and a few others that I will blog about later.

That's it for now
Safe travels to all

Nancy and Joe

Time to say our good byes

I just realized that I'm out of order and published this one before day 20 & 21 which will now be the next blog.

Day 22, Last Day of  Springtime in Kentucky Caravan
May 19, 2012
Renfro Valley RV Park
Remfro Valley, KY

First thing today is a Boarding House Breakfast at the Lodge across the street.  A great meal of scrambled eggs, biscuits, bacon and sausage, potatoes, grits and gravy, OJ and coffee.  What a feast.

The rest of the day was a time to visit with others, take a nap and check out some of the trails around.  Buddy went swimming in the creek, since it was warm we got a bath.

Tonight we had our final banquet at the Boone Tavern Inn.  This is not a tavern, in fact this is a "dry" county meaning if we wanted to have wine with dinner we had to bring our own and pay $1.50 for a wine glass.  Most of us brought a wine from Equus Run winery we visited a few days ago.  We had a very nice banquet with some fun and games.  At the beginning of the caravan I took everyone's picture in front of their trailer, we then printed these for everyone which helped us learn each other's name.  Anyway, at the banquet I received an award "The J. Edgar Hoover Mugshot Award" for "Taking Caravanner mugshots worthy of being displayed in any USA Post Office"  There were many other awards throughout the evening.

Our leaders Larry and Shala

The caravan was spectacular, Larry and Shala have lead this caravan for several years and I am sure they will continue in the future.

Our next caravan is "Southeast Coast Spectacular"  which starts October 2nd in southern Delaware and going down the coast.

That's it for now, safe travels to all

Nancy and Joe

Thursday, May 24, 2012

South Fork Railroad and Cumberland Falls State Park

Day 19 of Caravan
May 16th
Levi Jackson State Park
London, KY

A visit to Sterns, Ky and South Fork Railroad with a train ride to Blue Heron Mining Camp that now is a ghost town beautifully designed to show and honor the coal miners from this area.

This is a dog friendly place, our group had three dogs with us today

Look at this closely, this is a trailer that has rail wheels on front and back, 
the trailer's tires are up off the track about 6 inches or so.  This train was at least 100 trailers long.

Coal mining and timber were the major industries, now no coal and very little timber, 
this is a holding pond for logs

Old road going to the Coal Camp

This was the community bath house.  The miners went on strike for two days to get it.
The miners took their job serious and never joked around underground, but when above ground it was different.  It was common to take someone's clothes or towel so there were baskets that they could put their clothes in and then lock the basket and tie it on a rope that was then hoisted up high on a beam above where you were taking your shower/

Inside the coal mine

Looking down on the train yard where the coal was loaded

Buddy takes it all in stride. 

 He will usually put up with anything as long as we are with him

Going into a tunnel 

Next we are off to Cumberland Falls State Park

Crossing the  Cumberland River on the way to the Falls State Park

There had been a rain so the river is a little muddy and a little on the high side

Lots of water coming over the falls creating lots of mist

trail down to the look out platform
I thought this was a cute bug on the cement, he was in the way of traffic
 so I helped him over to the grass

Just happened to find a picture of him in the gift shop

View from the Cumberland Falls Lodge dinning room where we had lunch

Our next stop is only 35 miles away at Renfro Valley

Safe travels to all
Nancy and Joe

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kentucky Fried Chicken

Day 17 and 18
May 14th and 15th
Moving to Levi Jackson State Park
London, KY

Moving day and we are once again parkers because they needed a couple more volunteers, so up and ready to go with the leaders along with three other  caravaners plus the leaders.  All jobs on the caravan, including the leaders are volunteers, this keeps the cost down.  The leaders expenses are paid for by the rest of the caravaners and they are also audited by fellow caravaners.  In this case there are 24 rigs (plus the leader) so the leaders expenses were divided by 24.  This is the only way we can afford to go to so many places.  We have also been on a caravan through Newfoundland,  the entire length of Baja and several caravans in British Columbia.  If you missed our blog one year ago we were starting a caravan in British Columbia, just look back on the previous blogs of May 18, 2011.

Blogs are such a great way to look back on your travels.  Even though I'm not a great blogger and have trouble staying current I absolutely love this journal of our travels.  Now and then I will re-read a blog and will remember something else that we did and I just go back and update it.

Another small town close to us is Corbin, KY, and Colonel Harland Sanders Cafe and Museum and the birthplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken.  The Cafe has been restored and is on the National Register of Historical Places.  Colonel Sanders wanted his customers to see the cleanliness of his restaurant so he had an open kitchen enclosed with glass and everything was white so he could see right away if it was not kept clean.  He also had a motel connected to the restaurant which is gone now.  We are not really a fan of Kentucky Fried Chicken but we did have dinner there and is was pretty good once you got all the skin off.

original kitchen

Day 18, May 15th was a free day so we did laundry, cleaning a little grocery shopping and just sitting around visiting with friends, and ending the day with a campfire.

Have a great day

Nancy and Joe

Paintsville, KY

Day 14, 15 and 16 of Caravan
May 11th, 12th and 13th
Moving to Paintsville Lake State Park
Paintsville, KY

We are part of the parking crew toda, May 11th, which means we leave early with the caravan leaders.  The others leave at least one hour after us so we can scope out the campground and assign rigs into the size spot that will be best for their size.  Everyone takes a turn being the parkers or the deparkers.

A beautiful state park on a very large lake with lots of boating, fishing, playgrounds and beaches, a very popular summer place.

The parking crew arriving at the park

 We traveled on Hwy 23 the Country Music Highway which is designated as a National Scenic Byway honoring country music entertainers who were born or lived along Route 23.  A few of the musicians are Billy Ray Cyrus, The Judds, Tom T. Hall, Ricky Skaggs, Hylo Brown, Loretta Lynn, Crystal Gale, Rebecca Lynn Howard, Keith Whitley, Dwight Yoakam, Patty Loveless, and Gary Stewart.  We were lucky to be able to visit Loretta Lynn's home in Butcher Holler and had a tour with her brother, unfortunately I don't remember his name.

This little girl made three trips down the trail to the grocery store, each time carrying one or two items back up the hill.  This time she is she has a six pack of Orange Crush in bottles.  She was a real cutie, note the red boots.

Loretta Lynn's brother gave us the tour

 We visited the Mayo United Methodist Church in Paintsville.  John Caldwell Calhoun Mayo came to Paintsville as a teacher but soon became aware of the regions potential in coal.  He began buying mineral rights, eventually becoming Kentucky's wealthiest citizen.  He built a mansion in 1905 - 1912, is three stories tall with 43 rooms.  Today the Mayo Mansion serves as Our Lady of  the Mountains parochial school.

The Mayo Methodist Church, across the street from the mansion was also build by Mr. John C. C. Mayo.  It is renowned for the stained glass windows, lovely store construction and organ with 1,006 pipes which was donated by his good friend Andrew Carnegie.  The organ is still in use today and is played during events and services in the church.  We were very lucky to have the organist come in and play the organ for us, and, is it beautiful.

 The stained glass is using a special technique of painting on the glass and then scrapping the paint to make the shading, it was so beautiful.

Our tour guide played the part of Mr John C. C. Mayo, the lady siting on the left is the third organist to play the organ and she has been playing for 30 years
 1,006 pipes

Until later, have a blessed day

Nancy and Joe