The Bill and Kit Go Fetch It Trip (Maine to Minnesota and Back)-Chapter Three
Friday, October 3, 2008:
We headed toward Indianapolis to fulfill one of Bill’s Life List (Bucket List) items. Spent 3 hours at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, toured the track, garage and infield area then visited the museum which is in the infield. Very nice tour; was able to see many historic race vehicles from the Indy 500 and the Brickyard 400. A true motorheads dream come true.
The most interesting car was this 1903 Premier.
It had a 923 CID engine with 100 HP at 1000 RPM. The only problem was that it exceeded the maximum weight by 300 pounds so the race team drilled 470 holes (look closely) and they were still overweight so disqualified. It did run a few practice laps however circling the track at 59 MPH. Skinny tires on wooden wheels and no seat belts or helmets. It did carry a race mechanic which explains the second seat.
Kathy spent the time knitting in the trailer in the parking lot.
We enjoyed our short stay in the Indianapolis, and then continued southeast towards Athens, Ohio. We made it as far as Lancaster, OH which is about an hour away from Athens. We arrived at around 9:PM and a good old, bib overall wearing, boy by the name of J.O. helped us to a site in the pitch black of night and even helped us set up. He then registered us at our site and loaned us an electrical connection called a “dog bone” so we could hook up to the 50 amp circuit. The park is called Lakeview RV Park and is a private campground alongside a picturesque lake. We met some nice folks there; a lot of them were seasonal campers. Do to all the visiting we didn’t leave campground until noon.
Saturday, October 04, 2008-Arrived in Athens, Ohio around 1:30PM at the daughter of an old friend and neighbor, Zo King. Zo is in an adult care home in the area and her daughter, Amy had arranged for us to visit her in their home.
Kit’s turn…..Putting my full trust (against my better judgment, I might add) in the new GPS, aka Lucy, she took us through many back roads, some which were gravel, to the road where Amy King and family live! Since their home is well into the countryside, I was amazed how close Lucy got us. Finally, I had to eat my words – and, admit that buying the GPS was a good decision. We are still learning to program it, sometimes with some funny results. All in all though, I’m glad we have it. Plus, not having to fight with maps while riding down the road is a huge relief!
While Bill was visiting with her husband John, Amy and I went to pick up Zo from where she lives, not too far away. Keep in mind, Amy knows the roads like the back of her hand – to me though, it was a half hour roller coaster ride!! Up and down and round the bend, I was a bit intimidated but relieved when we drove up to Zo’s home. We brought her back to Amy’s house to visit for the afternoon. We had a wonderful visit, it was great to see Zo and Amy and meet John and their daughters Alden and Ryan. Alden had just returned from a college visit to Oberlin and Ryan was heading to her Homecoming Dance.
Bill’s back-John and Amy live on 70 acres in a beautiful valley in the Appalachian Hills of Eastern Ohio. Even though John is a political science professor at Ohio University you can quickly tell his first love is living off the land in the country. They are pretty well self sufficient even having their own small natural gas and oil well. The gas flows at 100psi into there home and barn for heating, cooking and if need be for light. The oil is hand pumped up 1800 feet and stored in a tank and sold to a local dealer.
In addition they have a large garden and a farm pond full of bass and sunfish and raise a lot of there own beef and pork. It was very interesting to visit with them and see their place.
Oh yea, the weather was clear, calm and in the mid 70’s.
From there, we headed south to a little town called Coolville, OH. It was a very small town but we were intrigued by the name. Learning from our misfortune in Normal, IL we picked out the coolest local and said…..”Wuz up, homey? Got a crib we can crash at”? The fella said….”Huh, you guys didn’t get into Normal Illinois either, did you”? I guess he was one of the few dorks in Coolville, Ohio.
So we stayed at a real neat campground in Carthage Gap. The couple who own it are very nice and we spent some time visiting with them. Next to the camp entrance was the road to Deep Hollow.
Deep Hollow is a small Appalachian enclave of a few dozen hearty pistol carrying folks. They live at the bottom of a steep seven mile road in a dark hollow by the Ohio River. Local legend has it that their family tree looks like a telephone pole. We were advised not to go down there.
Sunday, October 5, 2008-Lounging around the campsite this morning before pulling up stakes and heading into West Virginia. No particular destination in mind; just meandering basically northwest heading for points unknown. The hills and valleys of West Virginia and Northwestern Maryland are truly breathtaking! Not unlike upper New England except a lot less pine trees and the mountains run about 3000 feet. As with most places we have traveled through the past few weeks we could spend a lot more time exploring this area.
Stopped for the night in Hancock Maryland at another very nice private campsite way, way, way back in the woods. Traveling along a narrow country road that wasn’t on the GPS we rolled past the entrance. Apparently that is a common occurrence as someone cleared out of the woods a very large turn around so we could reverse direction. Turning into the campground entrance was a leap in faith as it looked like a dark cave. The trucks headlights and fog lights barley penetrated the darkness. Kit thinks she may have actually seen some shrunken heads hanging from the roadside trees. We arrived after the owners had gone off to attend to their Halloween Haunted House so a couple of local fellows on ATV’s showed us where we could set up. They were on ATV’s and one was painted up to resemble a confederate flag. We expected to see a moonshine still somewhere. Again a lot of permanently set up and winter ready trailers. Not sure if these are folks primary homes or camps like we have in Maine. Everyone has been friendly, helpful and very interesting to talk to. One does not have to travel overseas to meet foreign and unusual indigenous folks.
Kit’s turn……This town is right between PA, WV and MD. PA is north of here, we are actually in MD and WV is on either side of us. It was definitely a ride into the boonies, a long ride at that but we had some company right behind us. Both of us pulled into the campground at the same time and have set up camp next to each other. It’s 8:30 pm. We seem to be getting on the road later and later and setting up camp later each night. Hmmmmm… we need to modify our routine a bit. Setting up camp is much easier when it’s still light outside.
We are discovering that the mom and pop owned campgrounds are as nice as the chain ones but generally are cheaper, have more character and are located in some truly beautiful locations.
Not sure when we will be home. Kind of getting real used to this lifestyle.
Love, Bill-Dad-Poppy and Kit-Mom-Guma