Friday, July 31, 2015

Erie, fascinating places...

Wordsmiths better than I have expounded on the values of travel.  The truth about travel is that there is some primordial urge in humankind to explore, to be dissatisfied with familiar surroundings, to experience more, to discover.  I believe that travel is integral to the need to be free.  I travel, therefore I am free!

From July 27 to July 30 we were camped at Timber Ridge Campground, Amherst, Ohio.  Ohio is not unlike Indiana with most of the rural roads running perpendicular to one another - due north and south and east and west.  The early surveyors faced with mapping the vast new country made the work as easy as possible for themselves with land that was flat, flat and flat.

You can go south, west or east and you can take your time making up your mind because you will sit at the intersection for half hour before a farm tractor, a pickup truck or another car will be seen.
Many of the country roads are not striped and are the old tar and gravel Macadam roads that have been here since the Ford model-T.

The fishing pond at Timber Ridge Campground.

Morning due drop.

The flat farm land is suddenly interrupted by shale cliffs carved by the Vermillion River near Vermillion, Ohio.  A little boy plays in the gently flowing river water.


 You never can tell what you might find exploring old country roads.
In 1847 the US Congress authorized the building of the Vermillion light house to aid navigation on lake Erie.

 The beach at Vermillion.
The "port" of Vermillion was a fishing and small boat harbor established in 1837.
19th century residential architecture.

 Travel east on US 6 which hugs the coast of Lake Erie and you arrive at Loraine, Ohio.  Loraine is proud of their park on the beach which featured a large rose garden.  Loraine is a sleepy old Rust Belt town that was once much more prosperous before all of America's manufacturing went to Mexico and China.

Many of the books that Joanie and I read come from "exchange" libraries - take a book when you leave a book.  Most RV parks have such libraries.  This one we found on the beach in Vermillion.  Reading is a common beach activity.

 A pretty little country cottage out in the farm lands of north central Ohio.
 SURPRISE! Out in the middle of no-where, next to a working farm, we came upon this thriving business.  Model O-scale trains!  We got my dad his birthday present here.  This a BIG store that attracts model railroaders from Toledo and Cleveland and mail order. 
The owners of the business had some very handsome layouts and demonstrated some very expensive trains just for us.

 I was really impressed with the smoke these models could produce.
This is just one of the many walls of merchandise they stocked.  We saw a warehouse of cases of locomotives, rolling stock and model structures.  There are a number of Korean companies that manufacture O-scale models that run on Lionel track. 
Ya never can tell what ya might find when ya go exploring!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Fort Wayne Bro...

From Scottsburg, IN in the southern part of Indiana we went to a campground in Garrett, Indiana so that we could visit with my brother Andrew and his wife Sue who live close by in Fort Wayne.
Andy and Sue were great hosts and we enjoyed our visit immensely.

Margaritas were large and enjoyed.


One day we took a road trip to a large Amish community in Shipshewana, Indiana.

Andy got us tickets to an oldies concert by a group called the Sounds of Touch - nostalgic Motown sounds. 

I have to admit, however, that the campground left a lot to be desired considering how much they charged.  They did not enforce their own rules, many sites had gotten quite trashy, they had no WIFI nor cable TV and had no trash receptacles inside the park which required you drive out side the park gates to a poor overloaded dumpster then drive back into the park.

We also had to cross a narrow bridge which was owned by the RV park and not maintained by them.  We were the heaviest vehicle in the park and we held our breath as we maneuvered over this skinny little bridge and hoped we would not drop to the creek ten feet below.  Wish I had gotten a picture of that bridge. 

The big annoyance, however, was not the fault of the RV park.  This winter, spring and early summer this part of the country has had record precipitation which was why the campground was still muddy, was under flash flood advisories any time it rained and created the monster mosquito menace!  Joanie I both are scratching bites today. 

Joanie say that I am Sweet Meat and that was why they swarmed me every time I went out.  This one was one of many that followed me in, too.  There was already one confirmed case of West Nile virus in Indiana this year but not near Fort Wayne.
From Fort Wayne we headed to Amherst, Ohio.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Fire in the sky ...

We are staying two nights in Scottsburg, Indiana on our way farther north.  What a difference a couple hundred miles makes!  From Nashville's hot and humid, hazy gray days to southern Indiana's clear blue skies, bright sun, and cool nights that are wonderful for catching Z's.

I had to get this shot of the last light of the day.  The colors were so vibrant and the clouds made an exciting design.  What huge, great canvas God has on which to paint!  

The fire is reflected on the front of Phaeth.
Tomorrow we hit the road again and go to Garrett, Indiana to visit with my brother, Andrew, and his lovely wife, Sue.
We have been staying at Nashville Shores which is a large water park on J. Percy Priest Lake which also has boat and jet ski rentals.  It also has a large RV park. Because it is a family oriented venue, we selected it for Jacob's sake which he loved but Joanie and I also had a few adventures while we were here.

We are parked right in front of the waterpark.  When we are outside the coach, from 10 AM to 7 PM we hear screams, booming music and life guard whistles.  At night it is nice and quiet.

Tour of the Grand Ole Opry...
There are a lot of things to see when you come to Nashville but by far the biggest is that Nashville is home of country music.  To fans of country music this is the Mecca and the cathedral is the Grand Ole Opry.  We did not want to fight the crowds at a performance which are 4 times a week (if my memory serves me) because we are not fans, so we decided to take a back stage tour. 

The green room.

On the stage.

View of the audience from the stage.  The Opry seats 4,000+.
 There is a wall at the stage entrance with the names of performers who have been invited to become "members" of the Grand Ole Opry.  This is a very great honor indeed and not all country western performers are invited.  One has to be a very special person as well as a country western star.
Darius Rucker is a member.

There about a dozen dressing rooms and some stars have their favorite dressing room.

The dressing room that Dolly Parton likes.

Antique Archaeology ...
Mike Wolfe of the History Channel's top show American Pickers has a store in an old industrial section of Nashville that we wanted to see and evidently a lot of tourists wanted to see also. 

We left Nashville yesterday morning and headed north hoping to find cooler temperatures.