Bill and Kit’s 2016 Excellent Adventure, Journal #21

 Bill and Kit's Woody and Airstream-2015It is a strange thing to come home. While yet on the journey, you cannot at all realize how strange it will be.

Selma Lagerlof

 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016:  Since today was to be a short travel day, Kit and I enjoyed a leisurely morning of catching up on correspondence and walking about the grounds of Rocky Mountain State Park just outside Cumberland, Maryland.

Underway shortly before noon, we wound our way through the Northern Maryland countryside.

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Within an hour, we located I-68 which then merged with I-70 near the town of Hancock.  At 1300 we crossed into the state of Pennsylvania and made our way to I-76 which we rode east toward the town of York, PA.

Once again using All Stays, Kit found a highly rated campground just a short distance from my cousin’s home so I set the GPS to guide us there.  That’s when things began to get interesting!  Not only was it commuter rush-hour and therefore a bit congested, but there was a detour to contend with as well.  No problem, we just hit the detour button on the GPS and were rerouted…to a road that featured a bridge with a 12-foot 3-inch clearance!  Yikes…our rig stands at 12-feet 6-inches!!  Fortunately, Kit noticed the warning signs before we hit (pun intended) the bridge…whew!  So another push of the detour button and the GPS wanted to reroute us right back to where we started from!?!?  Time to go for Plan B!  Selecting another campground a few miles further and also highly rated, we made our way north to the small farming community of Dover, Pennsylvania and pulled into the Cedar Lake RV Park.

A very nice family owned campground which was built by the grandparents of the current owner, Cedar Lake features a manmade lake, well more like a duck pond…and some beautiful landscaping.

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There are a variety of waterfowl in and around the park…even some that formed a committee to welcome us to our site!

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Turns out, they were all pets of one of the owners who cares for and feeds them daily.

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In talking to the fella, I discovered he knew the species and gender of every bird in his flock and even named the majority of them.

According to the current owners, their great-grandfather tired of the difficult farming life and one day took an old bulldozer to the fields, carved out the valley where a stream already lay and created an earthen dam to form a rustic camp ground.  Each succeeding generation has enlarged and improved the facility to what it is today.

Just up from the campground on a high hill was a bucolic scene that featured the old family farm still in operation but today more devoted to horses than crops.

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The majority of the RV park was devoted to seasonal folks that set their rigs up permanently with decks, fences, plants and lawn ornaments.  However, there is a small section of the park set aside for travelers such as us.

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What our stark campsite lacked in landscaping was more than made up by the friendly owners and pleasant grounds.

The main reason we stopped in York was to visit with my cousin, a materials engineer who works for a company that builds components for NASA.  At this very moment there is a vehicle wandering around the surface of Mars that he had a hand in developing…pretty cool, huh?!  Since cousin Don is working on some more Jules Verne like gadgets, he wasn’t available until later in the day, but he did suggest some local points of interest we might like to checkout.  One of which was the Harley-Davidson factory.

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I didn’t think Kit would be too enthused about touring a motorcycle factory, but I was wrong…she loved it!

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Especially the trike…primarily because it is capable of carrying all her essentials.  As for me, I keep most of my necessities in my pocket so the V-Rod suited me just fine!

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Wonder if we should sell the truck and trailer and acquire a couple of these bad boys for touring the US al fresco?

Since we arrived at the factory fairly late in the day, actually just in time for the final tour, we were the only ones that our guide had in his group.  As an enthusiastic Harley owner, our tour guide took far more time with us than usual and explained each step in the process thoroughly.  As per corporate policy photography was not allowed on the factory floor, however suffice it to say we were really impressed by the level of robotics and automation used!  Very little of these bikes are outsourced, all engines, frames, fenders gas tanks, etc. are produced in house.  A sense of the manufacturing process is on display in the visitor center lobby. There you can see a representation of the various components coming together to make the completed bike.

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The quality assurance department was particularly interesting.  Each completed machine is placed on a wheel dyno and run up through the gears to test its operation.  Additionally, some bikes are randomly selected for detailed inspection…they are torn down, all specifications and tolerances measured and reassembled.  The bike is then subjected to real world testing on the streets in and around the city of York!

Harley Davidson Motorcycle Company began life in 1903 as a manufacturer of motor driven bicycles.  Their first model featured a tiny 7 cubic inch engine and was so anemic that it couldn’t climb hills.  By 1920, Harley Davidson was the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world and were building numerous models with various engine displacements.  The company survived the depression which saw many other manufacturers folding.  Harley Davidson spent the war years building bikes for the military and then in 1945 reverted to civilian bike production with some very innovative designs.  However, the company almost ceased to exist after being bought out by the AMF Corporation, a manufacturer of bowling and golf equipment…quality suffered greatly and sales dropped correspondingly.  Then in 1981 a group of investors led by Willie G. Davidson, the grandson of one of the founders, bought the company and turned it around to become the institution it is today.

The factory tour was enjoyable and a very informative look at a true American original being manufactured in an American factory by American workers!

When cousin Don got off work, we all met at a very nice tavern called The First Post.

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Where we enjoyed a few micro beers, good food, and great conversation.

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I selected the Shrimp Scampi and it was some of the best I’ve ever enjoyed!  Don’s wife Pat, a school principal, couldn’t join us as she was busy with end of the year tasks and responsibilities.

A nice stay in York, Pennsylvania but tomorrow we must be moving on.

 

Friday, May 13, 2016:  Up early and following a leisurely walk about the campground Kit and I hit the road at 1048 hours.  Winding our way through the Pennsylvania countryside we headed east on a variety of country roads.

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After a lunch stop at the Tangier Outlet, Kit wanted to engage in some “retail therapy” and found a pair of diminutive coveralls for young Silas, our new neighbor back home.

At 1500 we pulled into the quaint town of Springfield which is just to the west of Philadelphia and set up the camper in the driveway of another cousin, Mary Kate.

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This is a spot we’ve stayed at in the past and a perfect driveway for dooryard surfing!  Kit and I enjoy staying here and look forward to a few days of visiting with my mother’s kinfolk!

No sooner than we settled in a number of family members started showing up to visit, then some pizza was ordered, beer and wine was acquired, and a real party broke out!  Such is the case whenever we are in town, or whenever the mood strikes this large close knit family…which is pretty often.

 

Saturday, May 14th and Sunday, May 15th, 2016-Springfield, Pennsylvania:  My uncle Don and my Aunt Mary have raised a large, loving and wonderful family and they are all proud of their Irish Catholic roots as my mom was.

Aunt Mary passed a few years ago, the loss of a beautiful soul.  As the oldest living relative, Uncle Don is the family patriarch and as his generation is wont to do, came calling at our camper with food in the form of some incredible pastries.

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Apparently, as evident by a blank spot in the box, the bakeries Quality Assurance Department is required to sample the box of rolls to determine they were of the highest quality!

Kit and I spent the day relaxing with Mary Kate, Alora, Jimmy, and the newest member of the family, Gidget.

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The older son Jack, a talented and aspiring actor, was off to rehearsal for an upcoming performance.

Yet another party was planned for Sunday by another of my Philly cousins, Anne whose home is a short distance away.

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She was assisted by her daughter and able assistant Alli who, by the way, is an actress in her own right having performed in a number of local productions…this is one talented group!

Most of the family still lives in the Philly area except for cousin Don who we visited in York, PA a few days ago and cousin Bill who lives with his family in North Carolina.

Amongst those that attended the party included John, Denise and their sons Owen and Neil…their daughter Erin Marie is away at college in New York.

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Also Mark and Ruth with Katie and Steven.

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Representing my Aunt Joan were cousin Barbara and her husband Jason.

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There was plenty of good food, drink and wonderful conversation including stories about my mom, her sister Aunt Joan, her sister-in-law Aunt Mary and others that have passed.  Fortunately, although threating, the weather cooperated so we could enjoy the nice backyard to relax and visit.

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As mentioned earlier this family has a lot of talent!  There are always a few folks that bring guitars and singing voices to entertain…such as Timmy, Anne’s son on the right and Jack, Mary Kates son.

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Tim, an upcoming graduate from Drexel fronts a trio called Glengesh that specializes in Irish music.  They were recently honored to sing the National Anthem at a Philadelphia Phillies baseball game.

Tim at Phillies Game

Kit and I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with my mother’s side of the family…they are always generous with their time and we enjoy seeing them whenever we trundle through the Philadelphia area.

 

Monday, May 16, 2016:  This morning we had intended to pull out early and head north towards home.  However, my Uncle Don invited us to breakfast at a local café, and fortunately cousin Joe, who we hadn’t seen yet, was able to join us.

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A very good meal and some great conversation was followed by a nice ride through the countryside as we returned to the camper.

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Saying our goodbyes to everyone, Kit and I were on the road at 1315 hours following the Westchester Pike until we reached I-476.  An uneventful transit to the north led us to New Jersey by 1450 and to the New York state line at 1633.  Realizing that we wouldn’t get home until late in the evening, we decided to stay overnight at Round Pond, a Military Recreation Facility just outside the town of West Point, NY.

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Selecting a nice secluded campsite, we left the rig hooked up and spent the evening relaxing.

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And enjoying the sunset through the trees.

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While excitedly discussing tomorrows destination…home!

 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016:  Woke to a neighbor scurrying about outside the window.

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Likely from the nearby pond, he was a busy little fellow scampering about our campsite looking for who knows what!?

On the road by 0945 hours and winding our way through the rest of Round Pond Recreation Facility as we headed east.

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Today’s destination, Maine!

Driving toward the town of Cornwall on a small country road, we encountered a railroad underpass that had a height restriction of 12’10”.  Our rig has a height of 12’6”…hope everyone did their measurements correctly!  With only 4” to spare and nowhere to turn around, I slowed to a crawl and watched/listened for any contact.  Fortunately, we made it through…whew!

It was a beautiful spring day in New England as we motored over the Hudson River at Newburg, New York and selected a variety of roads and highways to wind our way toward the northeast.

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At 1117 hours we crossed the Connecticut border and by 1327 we were rolling into Massachusetts on I-84.  Finding our way to the Mass Pike we headed east until encountering I-495 which we took toward the north eventually merging with I-95.  At 1540 we crossed into New Hampshire and 16 minutes later into the great state of Maine!

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Always a great feeling to return to our place of departure, but a bit disconcerting as well.  Six months is a long time to be on the road living in a small plastic box on wheels!  And, we have lived very nicely with the items that we could fit in our truck or trailer…didn’t seem to miss the ton of “stuff” we left behind in the house.  Do we really need all that stuff?  After all, there are folks that pack their worldly possessions in a backpack and hike the Appalachian Trail for six months!  However, whenever Kit and I undertake the task of downsizing to make our Maine home a bit more serene, we find that we cannot part with very much!?!?  Our “stuff” doesn’t define us, but it does give us pleasure…so for now nothing will change!

A tradition when we return from these trips via the southern route is to stop at the Maine border town of Kittery and pull into the Kittery Trading Post.

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Not only is the parking lot very RV friendly, but the large store allows for some great walking around time while browsing at all the outdoor products that make life in Maine a bit more enjoyable.  In addition, it is our first opportunity to enjoy a fresh Maine seafood meal at one of the restaurants within walking distance of the place.

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Back on the road for the final leg of our trip, we follow the only interstate in Maine to exit 28 and thread our way through the town of Brunswick arriving at our “Sticks and Bricks” home at precisely 2000 hours!

This year’s Excellent Adventure has been as enjoyable as the previous seven!  Even though our journeys take us to the Southwest, we try and use different routes and explore new areas.  However, every year a strange phenomenon occurs…just as we cross off an item on our bucket lists, we seem to add a few new ones, or we just leave the explored location on the list as we vow to return and enjoy the destination again.  At this rate we will have to live forever to accommodate all that we want to see!

Before closing, a few additional random items that didn’t fit the narrative of this, our final journal.

First off, shortly after returning home we received a nice message from the folks that did our 50th Wedding Anniversary photo last year, Pierce Studio.  As you may remember, they wanted to use the photo in their annual advertising in this year’s Maine State Music Theater programs.  Well as a thank you the kind folks at Pierce Studio offered Kit and I two tickets to the production of Mama Mia being performed later this year.

Another interesting item that occurred was when I received an e-mail awhile back asking permission to use one of my photos of the Coronado Bridge rising above the marina at San Diego’s Fiddlers Cove.

Sunset on Fiddler's Cove-Edited

Apparently an event coordinator had stumbled upon the snapshot lurking in the Google Images archives. She thought it would be the perfect backdrop for a Power Point presentation they were developing to support a major conference in San Diego this summer attended by an international group of research scientists. Of course, I humbly gave my permission to use the photo.

Also a note about travel expenses this year. The single most expensive item we have to pay for is fuel. With the average cost of diesel at historically low levels, we saved over $700.00 in fuel costs this year compared to last! But, yea we know, we shouldn’t get used to that continuing!

And finally, during this “Quadrennial Silly Season”, some random thoughts about the upcoming general election. OK, the jokes getting old and it isn’t funny anymore…where are the actual candidates for president? Since there doesn’t seem to be any viable contenders, I offer the following: For president the former US congressman Anthony Weiner and for VP, the former Attorney General Eric Holder! Now their qualifications and suitability for the highest political office in the land may be lacking, however the campaign bumper sticker would be hilarious! (From Kit-Bill has acquired his mother’s sense of humor!)

Well, that’s all for this year folks. Hope to have you along for the ride during Bill and Kit’s 2017 Excellent Adventure when we will be as surprised as you are where we go and what we will experience. Until then, have a great summer!

Kit’s Bit’s:  It’s always great coming home!  We miss our Maine Family and are always eager to hear what they’ve been up to during the last six months.  Joe and Abby have been very busy restoring their 185-year-old home and are mostly moved in to it.  They have done an awesome job so far and still have more to do.  However, it is livable.  It usually takes us a few weeks to settle in to our home after being on the road for a while.  The first few days, we wind up running out to the trailer to get stuff.  After a couple of weeks, we have most everything we need, in the house.  Then, we have to clean the trailer and get it ready to be stored for a few months.  Once it’s stored, we can relax and enjoy the beautiful summer and fall here in New England!  Most beautiful place to live in the US!

Here are the statistics for our 2016 Excellent Adventure:

Length of Trip:  170 Days

Total Distance:  12,327 Miles

Total Fuel Used:  1,134.8 Gallons

Average Fuel Economy:  10.9 MPG

Highest Diesel Fuel Cost:  $3.00 in California

Lowest Diesel Fuel Cost:  $1.90 in Arizona and Mississippi

Highest Camping Cost with Hook-up’s:  $55.44 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Lowest Camping Cost with Hook-up’s:  $10.00 in Gila Bend, Arizona

Average Camping Cost:  $24.67 per Night

Freebie Camping:  17 Nights, “THANK’S FOLKS!”

Bill and Kit’s 2016 Excellent Adventure, Journal #20

Bill and Kit's Woody and Airstream-2015Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.

Gustave Flaubert

 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016:  Woke to the songs of birds and the rustle of the wind in the trees while we remain nestled in our camper on the banks of Kentucky Lake.

This morning, Kit and I were delighted to learn that we have a new neighbor back home.  Young Silas was born a few days ago to Katie and Nick, a very nice young couple who live next door to our sticks-and-bricks home up in Maine.  And since Kit loves babies as much as knitting, she has really enjoyed spending the past few months creating a baby blanket for the new little guy.

Kit the Knitwit

Welcome to a wonderful world and to our great neighborhood Master Silas!

Well, today is a travel day…so we pull chocks and roll out of the Corps of Engineers park that has been our home for the past two days.

Jumping on I-24 heading east until we intersect I-69 which takes us to the north.

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It is a beautiful day to be on the road and we are really looking forward to our next destination, another of our nations national parks.

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Mammoth Cave marks the fifth US National Park we have enjoyed this trip during the park service’s 100th Anniversary Celebration.

Scoring a nice campsite in the sparsely populated campground, Kit and I set up for a few days stay in one of the few National Parks located in the eastern half of the US.

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After getting settled, Kit and I enjoy a stroll to the visitor’s center to secure some brochures and information.  Returning to our camper, we relax under the trees until the sun began to set into the west horizon.  Since our site was heavily wooded the following photo is the best I could do in capturing the sunset.

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Goodnight!

 

Wednesday May 4th and Thursday May 5th 2016-Mammoth Cave National Park:  This park features the longest known cave system in the world.  To date, explorers have discovered over 400 miles of tunnels and caverns which is estimated to be only half of the massive underground labyrinth…and the cave system is still growing thanks to the relentless forces of hydraulic erosion!

Access to most of the public areas of this mammoth cave system (no pun intended) is only available during a ranger guided tour.  However, there is one self-guided route through the original Natural Opening into a small part of the cave but there is some much needed infrastructure work going on so unfortunately it was closed.  Since the pathway down to the Natural Opening was still accessible I decided to go down and take a look.  The access trail was a pleasant walk along a heavily wooded path which led to steps that descended to the opening itself.

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Not seeing any signs restricting access, I made my way down the steps, under the waterfall, and entered the cave.

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Within about 50 feet I came to a locked gate.  Since there was no artificial illumination, all I viewed was the inky blackness of a deep cave…it was a nice little hike however!

I did sign up for a couple of guided cave tours which were very enjoyable.  Both required boarding a bus to access the cave opening which was a few miles from the visitor’s center.  Then there were many steps to be negotiated to take you down into a sink hole where the entrance was.

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Once entering the cave, there were more steps that led through the steeply angled access tunnel.

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Everything was covered with water and the steps were a bit slippery, but watching your foot placement and utilizing the robust handrails made for a safe descent.

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Mammoth Cave has been, and continues to be, sculpted by centuries of ground water seeping through cracks in the harder surface capstone to find and dissolve the underlying softer limestone.  The water then formed underground streams and rivers that flowed horizontally until it reached the Green River valley.  The erosion process continues to this day…there is a river flowing hundreds of feet below where we were touring and at times you could hear the rush of water, and at certain points you could look down an illuminated shaft and see the underground river flowing along!

I have explored many cave systems over the years.  My two favorites are Kartchner Caverns State Park in Southern Arizona and Jewel Cave National Monument in South Dakota…both of which feature gorgeous formations.  Due to the way Mammoth Cave was formed, it does not have any of the majestic and colorful dripstone formations of those caves, however what is lacks in pure beauty is more than made up by its massive size.

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In the photo above, one can visualize the flow of water eons ago carving out the huge oblong tunnel.

There are a few places in the cave where surface water has percolated through slowly enough to create stalactite and stalagmite formations.

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Explorers of Mammoth Cave have discovered evidence of American Indian presence within the cave.  In addition to pottery, grass sandals, and cane torches, there are many areas that contain mummified human remains leading scientists to the conclusion that Mammoth Cave was a ceremonial and spiritual place to the native population.  Many of these mummies still lie where they were found and are protected by federal law.  These places of eternal rest are not illuminated or marked for the publics information so we were likely very close to some of them as we walked upon the designated pathways!

I thoroughly enjoyed the tours of Mammoth Cave…Kit being a bit claustrophobic decided to wait above ground and enjoy the many displays in the visitor’s center.

However, Kit did enjoy a drive to the nearby “gateway” community of Cave City.  A small town with a nicely defined downtown area that appeared to cater to the many tourists that visit Mammoth Cave National Park.  In addition to the antique and craft/gift shops, there were a few nice restaurants.  Since it was May 5th, we decided to check out the Kentucky version of Mexican food at El Mazatlán.  Not bad, not as good as in the southwest, but acceptable…and they were serving two dollar Margaritas!

One day following a morning cave tour, Kit and I drove south to Bowling Green, Kentucky to visit the National Corvette Museum.

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Inside was an incredible collection of historic automobiles spanning the years from the very first model in 1953.

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Which might have been the last year produced as well!  Since the car featured a rather anemic six-cylinder engine with a two speed automatic transmission the performance did not match the sexy looks of the new sports car.  The slow performance was matched by slow sales and the Corvette model limped along in the Chevrolet lineup until a V-8 engine and four speed transmission were introduced in 1955.  Then two years later an optional fuel injection system raised the power of the 283 cubic inch displacement engine to a whopping 283 horsepower.  That car was the first mass produced automobile to attain one horsepower for one cubic inch!

The museum also features some of the famous race cars through history, such as this 1963 model.

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In addition, there were a few concept cars on display.  These one-off creations were made by Chevrolet to generate buzz for the marque at the various annual “Autorama” shows of the 1950’s and 1960’s.  Sometimes, between presentations, the cars were repainted a different color so the automobile magazine spreads didn’t all look the same.

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Many of the Corvettes are placed within a display representing the era of the cars manufacture, such as the service station exhibit below.

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Much of the collection belongs to the National Corvette Museum or are on loan from the Chevrolet Motor Division of General Motors.  However, a fair number belong to private citizens who place their car on display at the museum…one of these recently loaned cars belonged to a gentleman who was in to see how the staff presented his car.

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Being a 1973 vintage Corvette, it is not particularly noteworthy or collectible as this was at the height of the national gas crises and the engines were tuned more for economy than performance.  However, this particular car is a fully optioned and very well cared for survivor with only 56,400 miles on the odometer during its 43-year life.

While chatting with the fella, he asked me to take a photo with his iPhone which I gladly accommodated.  In further conversation I learned that his name was Jeffery Taylor and that he is not only a Corvette collector but a Kentucky State Representative as well!  Another example of a serendipity meeting of an interesting person!

A few years ago, tragedy struck the National Corvette Museum!  Upon arriving for work on the morning of February 12, 2014 this unbelievable sight greeted staff members.

national-corvette-museum-sinkhole

A large sinkhole had collapsed the concrete floor in the Skydome and took 8 rare Corvettes to their demise.  The ground underneath the National Corvette Museum is composed of the same geologic strata as Mammoth Cave and the same erosion forces that created the National Park created this natural disaster.  Even though the loss totaled in the millions of dollars, the good news was that there was no one in the museum at the time and that all eight cars devoured were owned by either Chevrolet or by the museum itself…no private cars on loan were damaged!  In a classic “Lemon-Lemonade” move, the cars were exhumed, the floor repaired and the damaged Corvettes were pretty much left in the condition they were when pulled from the wreckage.  They are once again on display in their original orientation on the Skydome floor.

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The sight of all these beautiful and rare Corvettes all mangled and twisted makes a gearhead like me cringe.

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But at the same time, it’s a fascinating sight…I spent more time in this display area of the museum than any other!  Apparently I’m not alone, the membership and attendance at the National Corvette Museum has increased dramatically following the disaster.

Both Kit and I agreed that the National Corvette Museum was well worth the time to explore, so if you ever find yourself in Bowling Green, Kentucky make sure you stop by for a visit.

After a quick dinner at a nearby Cracker Barrel we headed back to the campground as the sun shone through a distant rain shower.

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Goodnight!

 

Friday, May 6, 2016:  This morning, while taking my morning walk about the campground, I spied this unusual tree formation.

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I guess that explains the age old question as to if a bear does his business in the woods!

Kit and I were on the road at 1100 hours under sunny skies and a temperature of 65 degrees.  As we wound our way through the national park we couldn’t help noticing all the songbirds that were giving us a farewell serenade.

After finding our way to I-70 and heading east we rolled into the Eastern Time Zone and lost yet another hour of the day!?!?  However, this puts us in the same zone as Maine and marks another milestone toward getting home.

At 1330 Kit and I arrived in Fort Knox, Kentucky and headed for the US Army Recreation facility known as Camp Carlson.

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The campground was pretty full with active duty service members and their families.  In addition, there was as a number of retired folks that appeared to be camping here for an extended period of time…however, we were able to bag a nice spot for a few days.

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Notice the awning out, the chairs set up, and the barbeque on the picnic table…this is to be relaxation stay!

 

Saturday May 7th and Sunday May 8th 2016-Fort Knox, Kentucky:  Camp Carlson is a full service military recreation park with numerous walking paths along a nice creek.

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Also, in addition to the very nice and well-kept campground there is a stocked fishing lake bordered by picnic pavilions and a large community center.

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Where we enjoyed sitting on the veranda and enjoying the beautiful weather.

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For most of this two day stay, Kit and I just goofed off.  However we did take one trip onto the Army base to resupply at the large and well stocked Post Exchange and Commisary.  Also while on base we took a peek at the General George Patton Museum.

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An interesting display depicting the career of the famed WWII General as well as other US Army leaders throughout history.  A particularily poignant historical artifact was the 1939 Cadillac staff car that patton was riding in when a “Duece and a Half” military cargo truck turned in front of the Generals automobilie.

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The resulting crash fatally wounded Patton and a few days later he succumbed to his injuries.  A rather tragic ending for a soldier that survived many combat engagements during his storied career.  General George Partton lies at rest in the American Cemetary in Luxenburg as per his final wishes to be buried with his fellow soldiers who perished during World War Two.

 

Monday, May 9th 2016:  On the road at 1030 heading east on US-60.

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It’s a cloudy and rather cool day as Kit and I motored along until reaching I-64 where we continued traveling toward the east.

By late afternoon we crossed the border into West Virginia and started looking for a place to remain overnight.  The All Stays App showed us an RV friendly Walmart just ahead in the town of Barboursville so that became our destination.

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After securing permission from the store manager and doing some shopping, I walked next door to a Chick-fil-A to rustle up some dinner which we enjoyed in our asphalt campsite as the sun set over our benefactor.

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Goodnight!

 

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016:  Woke from a very peaceful and restful sleep, which is not always possible when parking lot camping!  There was only one other RV nearby and they pulled out  sometime during the evening or early morning.

As is traditional with us when dry camping, we left our campspot rather early and got some miles under our belt before stopping at a local diner for breakfast…a regional chain called “Butter it Up!”  They featured many interesting breakfast entrees that were fortified with localy produced and very delicious butter!

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Even the freshly pressed coffee was laced with butter!  Probably not the healthiest food choice, but boy was it ever good!

Back on I-64 we continued east through the rolling hills of West Virginia.

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Nearing the town of Charleston, we moved onto I-79 and headed north for a few hours before intersecting I-68 which led us toward the east once again.

At 1420 hours we crossed the border into Maryland and an hour later crossed the Eastern Continental Divide at an elevation of a mere 2,880 feet.  Soon, Kit began looking for a place to camp for the night…the All Stays App showed us a number of promising spots but she chose a Maryland State Park known as Rocky Gap.

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Securing a nice campsite, we left the truck and trailer connected and didn’t even deploy the leveling jacks as this was to be only an overnight stay.

Everything was brilliant green on this damp and overcast spring afternoon.  There were a number of hiking paths and walking trails passing the campsite and led into the back country.

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Where they occasionally popped out along the shoreline of Habeeb Lake.

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Before calling it a night I called my cousin who lives a few hours away in York, Pennsylvania to see if he would be available for a visit.  Fortunately he was, so we now have a destination for tomorrow!  But that visit, as well as the rest of the trip adventures will have to wait for the next, and hopefully final, installment of Bill and Kit’s 2016 Excellent Adventure…stay tuned!

Kit’s Bit’s:  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being back in the greener part of the US!  Love the desert, especially when the flowers are blooming but my very favorite places are green.  Maybe, due to being born and partly raised in Minnesota.  I passed on the cave tours due to being claustrophobic.  However, I used the time to get in lots of walking around the park and checking out the budding trees and flowers and listening to the birds.  I was also able to complete the baby blanket I’d been working on for a few months.  Very anxious to meet our new little neighbor, Silas!  Having a new baby in the neighborhood is about the most exciting news we’ve had!