Monday, August 29, 2016

Tombstoned!

My Sis and I have had so much fun!! Just being together is enough but to get to do something we both really enjoy doing is the icing on the cake.   I've mentioned before how we do volunteer photos for Find a Grave the website that has keeps records of where people are buried..So my sis researched where a number of photo requests were awaiting fulfillment and she found one in Spencer, TN! Just so happens to be the town where I was birthed..we stopped at 3 cemeteries to be exact...passed this lovely old almost gone barn, oh I'd love to have this wood!


this is the cemetery where we spent most of the day Spencer Town Cemetery.  It was humid and hot!  But we managed with plenty of water to FIND and photograph 40 headstone photos that had been requested...so now family that lives far away can see the headstone of their loved ones!!


Here is my Big Sis...she is 5 yrs my senior, she is getting organized to start hinting up these tombstones!  Thats her Jeep since Im heading north and she is heading back to SC we came in separate cars..Casey is in the back chilling in the shade while we go tombstoning!


My sis is very meticulous she had 5 sheets of names to hunt for we used the binoculars to scan the cemetery which helps save some time, but in the end its all leg work.  We found all but 5 of the ones requested...


My job was to help look and snap the photos as she left the chip out of her camera by accident!

We stopped for lunch halfway through, joined Casey in the shade gave him a walk about then back at 
it! Mission accomplished she is uploading to Find a Grave as I type this. 

then we left there and hit the last one...it was pretty old...we had  8 tombstones to find and photo...we found all 8 and it began to rain on us right as we headed back to the car! 


on the way back saw another interesting barn....this one with a Quilt Block! I must create a block for my shed once it gets refurbished! 


this pattern reminds me of a windmill. 

One headstone was very important to me...this was a lady Dr and she is the DR who brought me into the world, Rest In Peace Dr. Rhinehart.



Monday Sis heads back to SC and I am heading in the direction of Kentucky! I might 
'aught peel the Anti-Trump sticker off my bumper but I think I'll just grin and keep on making tracks!
Wish me luck! I sure am going to miss my sis it was the most fantastic 3 days!!


PEACE
Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Fall Creek Falls SP, TN

Friday we left as planned, zoomed up to TN, it was nice to see a different landscape as we drove the ribbon of highway wove it's way through solid rock!



We are staying at the Falls Creek Falls Inn, this park was established in 1944...the Inn is old and could use a make over but the food is good and the room has cool AC! And it's Casey Approved!



it sits by the lake and they could do some tree pruning...as it seems the trees are blocking the lake view...


here is the Fishermen's cabins we hope to rent one at some point and spend a week!


the water level is sooo low a hot dry summer has left the entire east with low water levels, we had a wet spring but then it just stopped and got dreadfully hot....so the big falls was barely a trickle...still an amazing fall off the cliff @ 256 ft!


We drove along the Gulf as it's called here, a deep gorge.... and then we took a short hike to the Piney Falls overlook, can you spot it on the left...the gorge here is awesome..you can obtain a back-country permit and camp in the Gorge. 



On our short hike, we passed this Mortar probably Indian, as the Cherokee Tribe once lived in these rugged Cumberland Mountain Range...






cane creek gorge


cane creek downstream

We both walked over the swinging bridge that used to scare us when we were kids...now we waltz over after all life has tossed upon us we feel invincible! Here is my sis on her trip over..




Piney Falls

Near the overlook for the Big FCFall is a point called Rocky point. It's one of my favorite views in the park...

Rocky Point

Part of the reason we are here was our Yearly Family Cemetery Decorations everyone brings a covered dish and its like a reunion as well where we commune with our passed loved ones! It was an excellent turn out!  We made up nearly $1,500 when we passed the hat around!! It was nice to catch up with our cousins and others we haven't seen in forever!


So this was Friday and Saturday's events and Sunday We went Cemetery-ing!! That will be next!


PEACE
Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Plan B!

With Plan A now in complete disarray,  I've been knocking on wood till my knuckles are rough and bruised!!  I may start chanting,  calling on spirits, ...I'll do anything to drive this bad karma away!
KARMA go pick on someone else!!  Aren't we all dealing with Karma in some way? Notice anything different in my dry bar?
                                                             

                                 my son stocked my bar with some of his overflow bottles...he works for a distributor...company discount!

I now have BOOZE!!  It is one way to go tripping.... but I prefer a different way... In case you missed the news in the comments section about Annie it's good news no cancer it is called Perianal Gland Adenomas mostly occurs in male dogs so can't figure why Annie got this...she is recovering well...She finished her meds and has till Monday on reduced exercise...


So I'm packing again! My one week out was great fun and trust me once we got under way Annie and I had a great time and just lived in the moment and forgot about all our worries! I found she is actually a better roadie than Casey! His main attribute is he is 1/4 her size..other than that she is just the bestest...(Floss would be also). She ate without me begging, she did not have to sniff every blade of grass, just any ole spot was a good place to squat...and she didn't mind hanging around camp on a tether while I read my book waiting on the evening to cool enough for us to hit the hay..she does NOT like bees tho and she wants to run and hide from bees, she got stung once and she never forgot!!

                                                        now I can mix some big girl drinks-if I knew how 

Casey is the opposite, I have to bring along squeeze cheese or whipped cream to put on his food or he will most likely just sniff it and walk away, and sometimes I have to go to McDonalds' to get a sausage patty if he has turned food down 3 times in a row---  He must sniff out every single scent in camp before he lifts his leg and the surrounding forest before he finds a suitable place to do #2... this could take an hour and most of the time I've hiked till I'm blue in the foot, and he is fresh and ready to roar.  Casey is nocturnal I am not... he is most active between 6-9 pm!  He will wiggle out of any tether you put him in....BUT- what he lacks in being a team player he makes up for in cuteness!!  People will look the other way If I sneak him into the ladies room.  I think I could sit on a sidewalk with him, put my hat down and watch the money roll in! My sign might read: "Cuddles with Casey $1." Casey is going on the 2nd leg of my journey...meanwhile Floss is wondering why she is not on the A-team? LoL...Mainly because she is a home body she loves to eat and sleep...she makes it easy for someone else to step in for me. 

                       they did jot down their favorite margarita recipe and he showed me how to make an old fashioned

 so....heading out again on Friday and this time for the first 3 days I am caravaning with my Big-sis!  She wants to attend "Graveyard Decoration" at the Walling Cemetery where many of our relatives including our Father and both our Grandmother's and many more are buried in TN.  Our family cemetery just happens to be located near the entrance to Fall Creek Falls State Park...so that will be my first stop we have 2 nights at the Inn there and I should have reserved a third night we will do that when we check in...Little sis is stepping in to take over our duties here at home for the weekend then Big sis heads back to my house Monday and I head on into Plan B!  This is all part of how we (3) are keeping our 92 y.o. mother home, and not in a nursing home! We juggle!
I bought a pair of Walkie-Talkies so we can stay in touch on the road, the book says 26 mile range!! So all afternoon we been practicing up on our radio slang--I used to know all the codes when I was in EMS, but so far we're sticking with 10-4!
I'm knocking on the best wood I can find...but I'm very confident this is going to be a fun experience!! Im really looking forward to "grave-yarding" with my Big Sis! We take volunteer photos for the web site called Find a Grave, its is now a part of Ancestry, and a great place to find your long past relatives!



PEACE
Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A River Runs Thru It!


The last day of this one week trip was spent in Ohiopyle, PA.  Its not that far into Western PA, but far enough for me to enjoy the beautiful rolling hills of the Allegheny.   I had intended to use this path and make my way up to NY's Watkins Glen, and then beyond....so I don't know when and IF I get to head out again if NY is still going happen...so Im glad I was able to see more of PA, I have done some travel in Eastern PA, been to Lancaster Co. Went to Philly to a John Denver concert, and got lost in one of the Ghetto's up there after the concert!  The great thing about Ohiopyle is the Youghiogheny River (Yawki-kee-gany) or some call it the Yawk....that flows right through the town...in fact the town is a State Park! It's a small town...and it is part of the Laurel Highlands about 3,000 acres of wonderful woodlands! I did not get to do half of what I had planned for this area due to the schedule I was now on, but I will hit what I did do!  Like I siad the town is a state park with the river embracing the town! Shops and homes on the left and the river on the right!!  I wanted to show you the relationship the town and river share the best way to do that is from the air, this photo is copyrighted so I couldnt copy and paste I hope you will click the link and go take a LOOK 
So the major draw is water sports, mostly rafting, kayaking, duck boating, and of course hiking, biking, and tourism.  The Campground is the Kentuck, where I stayed.  It was PACKED so i didn't take one photo and it was warm so I didn't even pull into my site till just before dark when it was cool enough with my battery powered fans to be inside the van, it did cool nicely overnight. 

Annie and I hiked to Cucumber Falls and enjoyed playing by the river right after we got our site paid for and I went to hang my Reserved tag...

                  

you  can swim, get behind it and play etc...we headed down stream to the edge of the river to play...just a little rock hopping and there is a narrow trail down..here I am looking back at the falls 


the water was cool and perfect for swimming, wish I had thought of a swim suit!  Annie got wet and loved it..


she kept trying to get me to come in with her I sat on a rock and enjoyed a good foot soak....here she is on the same rock..



the fellow in the duck boat stopped for a short chat before heading on down the river...he told me it is not as hard as it looks, I would like to try it with a guide of course to show me how to maneuver the rapids and rocks...this man with the red helmet,  was getting a lesson...and he did a great job...
As I said the river runs right through town and there are a couple small falls along it, people can swim upstream of this falls...swimmer beware of course!



There is a nice river walk and park along the river, with many good views of the river...



the walk has some interesting bronzes along the way...like this


there is a visitors center at the end of the walk since Annie was walking with me, I didn't get to go inside...


I really enjoyed these bronzes... and afterwards we walked across the street to the Falls Market, they indoor and outdoor dining, with a walk up window to order...


perfect since Annie was with me, so I ordered the Grilled Sesame Tofu wrap with a huge plate of box cut fries and freshly made lemonade...we sat outside and the grill chef brought Annie an ice cold bowl of water which she totally ignored! 


I had wanted to see Fallingwater while here it was one of the main reasons I picked this area...that did not happen, BUT I'm not giving up hopes of seeing it, since I drove back from this area in ONE day it could easily be a weekend trip to see it. I think fall would be the best time with color all around. We left the crowded CG while everyone was sleeping, and I headed back to Falls Market and got a breakfast sandwich to go with a large coffee, we sat outside near the bike bridge to eat, then headed out..



I made one fun stop at the New River Gorge...got a passport stamp and saw the river and the gorge bridge.  This is in West Virginia on US 19 as I made my way back to I-77 S

       




the longest arch bridge in the western hemisphere...so the sign says!


And from this point it was just driving to get home...got home about 6 pm and Annie had surgery on Monday she is doing well so far altho it has not been all peaches and cream. Hopefully the 14 days will go by fast and she will make a complete recovery...


PEACE
Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Harper's Ferry

Thursday I left Matthews Arm Campground in Shenandoah where it cost me only $7.50 to camp with my seniors pass...a great deal!!  Of course the N. Parks here have no hook ups, just a table and a fire-ring..
There was still about 20 miles of the skyline drive to finish with many overlooks yet to stop at
and we came upon a Bear Jam right away!!  This young black bear was up a tree nibbling on acorns I can't think what else he would be eating up there...



I saw one other young cub he was running full blast across the road! Just had time to hit the brakes and no time for the camera....but I was happy to have gotten some bear shots.   Annie and I did a few more overlooks, and saw even more awesome flowers, butterflies, deer, and a few birds my bird shots were just not happening on this trip they stayed too far back at the tree line. But bees are not too fussy about being close to humans if birds had a stinger they would probably land on our heads without fear.  


but soon we found the end of the Skyline drive and we took highway 340 North to Harper's Ferry, West Virginia! 


Since I was this close decided to go ahead and check it out! Unfortunately coming down off the mountain I had a brake issue, smelled the burning and felt the wheel pulling strong to one side so lucky for me Shenandoah Ford in the town of Front Royal, VA was only one mile away from me when it happened I saw their sign and  rolled in, and they were so accommodating.   They had a full load already but they promised to fit me in and get me back on the road within 3 hrs! They let Annie in the air conditioned waiting room  with me, and we watched the Olympics on a big screen TV and I had free WiFi and  uploaded a zillion photos including the ones you've seen in the previous blogs!! I must send them a card and tell them  how happy I was they came to my rescue and were so nice and helpful to me!  So right on time within 3 hrs we were on our way after I got over the Sticker Shock .....the delay put a kink into seeing Harper's Ferry that day...so we drove about 18 miles away to  Greenbrier campground, which was not only in another county but another STATE! This area is where the boundaries of VA, WV, and MD are so intertwined you can drive through 3 states within moments. SO my campground was in MD!   It was quite hot there too...At least they had a pretty good shower house! And there is a lake for paddling, swimming, and fishing. 

I stopped before heading to the CG at the VC, to get the scoop which is this:  


The Old Town is about 1.5 miles away...they load people up on buses and take them down, and it runs about every 1/2 hr to bring you back...but if you have a big black furry dog you are left on your own steam! There is no public parking in the Old Town...there is a parking lot near where the Appalachian Trail comes into Harper's Ferry and it leaves a 0.8 mile walk to get to the town.  So that's what we did...found out later I could have driven the Van through town taken my photos and then turned around and driven out..hot as it was I wish I had done that, since I was not able with Annie to go inside the buildings anyway....Here is the town as seen from crossing the Potomac River which I had to cross to get to and back from my campground in MD. Sorry about the radio antenna in the shot!




After a 0.8 mile walk alongside the Shenandoah Canal we entered the Old Town on Shenandoah Street, the rivers are directly to the South and North of town...


Shenandoah St.

Harper's Ferry is located at the confluence of the Potomac and the Shenandoah Rivers....and from that point on it is only the Potomac...as it flows to Washington DC. 


the famous Explorer Meriweather Lewis stopped here and designed and built his "boat" one that could be assembled after packing it overland...wouldn't he die for one of these inflatables of today?  The boat ended up being a failure. 


I will not give you a history lesson about Harper's Ferry but I'll show you some photos I took! 

White Hall Tavern

John Browns Fort 

this is NOT the area of Brown's Stronghold (and demise)  that is about a mile away didn't stop there but saw the signs, the C & O  Canal is also only a mile away dredged to make it easier for larger ships to bring cargo to Washington DC. Now its a great biking path! There again with my urgent time frame I had to forgo those stops. I think in all honesty the Canal would have been of more interest to me...in hindsight

this is what is left of the Ammunition Bunker that Brown raided...it was eventually covered with debris to make the elevated railway track, now the track is on a trestle type footing. 




St Peters

and here is the AT again!

The Trail Headquarters is just up the road from where we parked to hike into town. 

It crosses the Shenandoah/Potomac here over this bridge...and into that tunnel where if you go thru you can intersect the C & O path there. 

 

Harper's Ferry has been destroyed by flood a few times! Check out the flood levels over the years....the sign on the far left of the photo see the marker just below that window?


Highest level in 1936 flood was up to the second stories on the buildings

the bridge was moved off its foundations...

old bridge supports


                                                  This was a driving day so we  left by 11..



   Potomac St

So I   drove West to Hwy 9 North, then onto I-81 North,  to I-70 West, then I-68 West, then Hwy 40 West, then Highway 183 North into Pennsylvania's Allegheny Mountains and got a spot in the Ohiopyle State Park! The last doggie friendly site in the whole park.


PEACE
Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Footnote: In real time Annie had the surgery yesterday and she is doing well so far, she is sore and a little timid, she did eat breakfast and she is currently sleeping on the rug next to her beloved sister Floss who is keeping a keen eye on her! She has 3 pills a day to take, and on a 14 day limited exercise order. I assume they will contact me with results of the lab report...I was disappointed that my phone did not ring when the vet called to let me know her surgery was over so he left a message and I haven't gotten a chance to speak to him to ask his impressions...he was with a patient when I arrived to pick Annie up...so I must call 



IMPRESSIONS:
If you are going to take people so far away from their car at least have one beverage, ice cream, or soda parlor open so they can refresh themselves we went through the one water bottle pretty fast Annie got a drink out of the Shenandoah when I took her down to the bank to cool off, and the ENTIRE Potomac street  was torn up as a modern street debacle of some sort was going on, vendor and delivery trucks were spoiling the view in many areas, and yet none of the businesses were open.  Just didn't get the feeling I was in an old town with UPS, FedEx and Joe Bob's Construction crew all over the place trying to hog up the shady spots.  The NPS has dropped the ball on Harper's Ferry. Maybe if I went back at another time of year when its not so hot and the  construction is done it may be a different place all together. And they need to bury these power lines and who knows maybe that is what they are doing?  There is only a bit of cobblestone, I expected cobblestone streets....they need to invest some money and get it to really looking like the historic place it is!  They do have some nice exhibits inside some of the buildings.  Instead of the buses an electric powered tram would be better as the buses are noisy and smelly diesel. Just my 3 cents worth.