Monday, September 8, 2014

Recap of a few days on the road...

We left Lake Cumberland on Wednesday around 9:30a and arrived at the Chattanooga Holiday Trav-L-Park.  Hadn't been to Chattanooga for probably 15 years.

Thursday, we went up Lookout Mountain just to see the view, which was awesome.  The drive up and the drive down were horrifying.  Hate that kind of driving (two lane road, twisty, straight up or straight down).  Ugh.  Saw two Class A motorhomes and could only imagine the drive.  Yikes.

We looked for a place to have a cocktail with a view and found the Boathouse Chattanooga which overlooked the Tennessee River.  Not much boat traffic, but the crewing teams were working out which was cool.

Decided while we were at the Boathouse to bite the bullet and put new tires on the truck, so we did that.  Why can't those guys tell time?  Said it would be "an hour, maybe an hour and a half".  We got there at 4:30p, left there at 6:50p.  Had a couple of beers across the street at a little neighborhood bar.  Had to leave once the locals got there, they were all smokers.  In Tennessee, if you make the place 21 and over, you can dictate the smoking laws.

Friday, we made the short run to Stone Mountain Family Park Campground.  Not our candy bar of a campground.  Total tree shade.  The sites were OK, but getting into them was a challenge (and one that I was up for).  After two aborts, we got the big spud in there.  Another thing, when it rained EVERYTHING was mud (no sunlight, no grass).  Liked its location, wasn't crazy about the sites.

Saturday, we went to the Yellow Daisy Festival.  Fantastic.  Over 400 craft vendors, but the ONE thing we were looking for (a flag holder with a light on top), nobody had.  Talked to a guy on Monday before we left (the campground was pretty much filled with vendors rig's) and he said he'd been doing this festival for 20 years and this one was about 2/3 of what it had been in the past.  Rained on Thursday, Friday and Sunday made it a bad one.  We were pretty wide eyed, but we went there on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

Saturday night, we went to the Hudson Grille in Shady Springs to party with the Ohio State Alumni Club of Atlanta.  Great folks.  Shared a table with a Buckeye Alum and his girlfriend who was from Atlanta.  We had a great time, even though game didn't end up as we would have hoped.

Sunday was a good recovery day.  Sunday night, we went out with one of Connie's Wilmington HS friends that she hadn't seen for almost 30 years.  Ate at a place called Summit's Wayside Tavern and enjoyed the company of Nancy, Craig and Evan.  Food was good, company was terrific catching up on old friends and news from the Wil City.

Today (Monday) we made the short drive to Columbus, GA (actually Midland) and Lake Pines RV Campground.  Nice park, much more our style.  We can hear the shooting from the range at Camp Benning.  Check in guy said there might be artillery fire, but that didn't happen.  Nor did any paratroopers (that we could see from our site) which usually practice on Mondays.  Oh well.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Couple of Days on the Road

We got on the road Monday (the 1st) about 9:30a.  Pretty uneventful ride, not much construction to deal with, little or no traffic through Cleveland and Columbus.  Got into Caesar Creek State Park around 3p.

Pretty quick set up since there's no water or sewage and we weren't going to set up the dish.  We got cleaned up and went into Wilmington (our hometown) to see Connie's Dad and his wife for dinner at Damon's.  (I'm dieting so I had a salad.  Hated smelling those ribs and that BBQ everywhere, but I found the strength.)  Had a wonderful time with Marion and Betty.

After dinner, we ran out to Kroger (diesel was $3.51/gallon) and Wal Mart before meeting my lifelong friend Rich and his wife Kim at Buffalo Wild Wings.  Great time catching up, beating Rich at trivia, and enjoying each other's company.

On the way back to the campground about 0.3 miles from the entrance I double thumped a skunk.  Here it is Wednesday morning and the truck still smells.

Overnight it rained hard.  Carmen didn't get much sleep, so we didn't either.  Waited out the morning rain and got on the road about 10:00a.  About 5 miles from our destination (Renfro Valley, KY) we see a sign that says left land closed 5 miles ahead.  Things started slowing down in about a mile to a crawl.  There was a truck with a fifth wheel still attached that had broken down in the left hand lane.  We're still crawling after we get by him.  About a mile past him, there's a sign that the RIGHT lane is closed in 1 mile.  Now, its a mess and as I look in the rear view mirror there's a storm coming.  Long story short, it took us about an hour to go that last 5 miles and just as we got in the storm lets loose.

We took the 35 mile run over to Somerset and Burnside.  We first started coming down here with Connie's parents when we were dating in the late 70's.  Its where we both fell in love with boating and camping.  From that first time till now the road in from I-75 has become marvelous.  What once was a twisty, turning, up and down two lane road is now a great ride with 3 and four lanes gently going over the landscape.

If someone would have wanted to prospect on property since the 80's, Somerset, Kentucky would have been a great choice.  We rode with amazement what used to be a two lane highway and is now a booming commerce center with 5 lanes.  Nothing (except the 'floating Arby's' and Sonny's BBQ) was like we remembered it.  It was amazing.

Dennis, Craig and Don will be sad to know that "the bus" gave way to corporate America and is now where a strip mall sits.

We crossed the bridge out of Somerset into Burnside and our hearts sank.  That poor little town has almost completely dried up.  As much as Somerset has prospered, Burnside has collapsed.  The 7 Gables hotel and restaurant where we first stayed was closed down.  The little grocery store sat vacant.  Was kind of sad.

Connie's Mom and Dad prospected on a lot in Burnside back in the early 70's.  They still own it.  My friend Craig and I once went down and cleared it off.  The whole development is still not developed.  The lot is all grown over again, and probably fewer people live in the allotment now than before.  Again, it was depressing.

General Burnside Island State Park was our boat ramp, our campground, our golf course.  So many memories.  Other than the pool shutting down, it was in great shape.  The golf course was closed during the season of 2007 and completely renovated by the spring of 2008.  It looked fantastic.  The boat ramp that launched so many memorable trips had been renovated.  That was great to see.

This morning we head to Chattanooga for a couple of days before we're on to Atlanta.