Saturday, May 31, 2014

Part 13 bus ride to the cave



Hey Gang,
I may have written this already about the trip to Memphis but will write it again.  Everything went smoothly even going to Mammoth Cave.  We arrived just in time for the tour to start and I mean just in time.  

We quickly bought the tickets for the Domes and Dripstones tour.  Big Mikes Rock Shop recommended it.  This cave tour is rated as moderate for the effort even though it has a descent of 280 steps down and a hundred or so more steps in various places.  It shows the Frozen Niagara one of the main highlights of Mammoth Caves and is 2 hours long. 

The park ranger/guide allowed us a few extra minutes to run to the restroom if needed and grab water and light jackets which he suggested.  I ran back to the GoGo Bus, got three jackets, some water and unloaded my pockets.  I could just imagine dropping my wallet and or phone in some deep crevice so those items were staying secure locked up in the Bus.
I ran all the way back to where they started to line up for the park bus that takes people over to the entrance of the cave.   I caught up with Ruth and Paul, they hand their ticket to the bus driver, I reach for mine and ….. Umm sir my ticket is in my wallet.  Good thing the ranger/guide who took my money a few minutes before vouched for me that I paid.  I was allowed on the bus with no ticket.

It was about a 10 minute or so ride to the entrance.  During the ride our guide gave us facts and some FYI about Mammoth Cave.  It is the largest cave system in the world, 400 miles of it have been discovered and explored, it is one of the oldest tourist attraction in North America with tours being offered since way back in 1816.  He asked if there were any questions.  I raised my hand and asked what about cave ins?  He responded we don’t like to call them cave ins but sink holes have developed but you are safe.

The park is heavily wooded and our guide noted some animals and birds we may see, one of them was the turkey.  Almost on cue a turkey flew in front of the bus.  We were about to stop so the guide asked one more time any more questions before we leave?  I raised my hand and asked YES I DO, why did the turkey cross the road?  I got no response or chuckle except from Paul.  Not even from Ruth, well from her I got an elbow.


Cave photos next installment.
Gotta GoGo!!
Carey

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Part 12 Big Mikes and Off to the Caves

Part 12
Church ended and people left rather quickly.  There was some time for introductions and handshakes and thanks for attending our church but it was brief.  I spoke with the pastor outside and maybe this is too obvious to print but he is very alarmed by what is happening in this country and especially what is coming out of Washington.  Even way out in the middle of nowhere people are paying attention.


I asked I believe it was the pastor’s wife what was there to see in the way of parks, scenic lookouts or whatever?  She recommended heading to Mammoth Cave Park.  Besides the caves it’s an excellent park system with lots of acres. I said perfect we were thinking of going there anyways to see the caves but what about bears?  Are there any bears around here, Ruth wants to pet a bear.  The lady was a bit alarmed and said well there may be some bears around here but you don’t want to try and pet them, that’s dangerous.  Ruth remarked later I don’t know what’s dumber, someone asking if there are bears we can pet or someone answering it?

We returned to the hotel to change our clothes and to check on Dan.  He was alright and gave us his blessings to have a good time. 

On our way to Mammoth caves we stopped at yet another throwback, Big Mikes Rock Shop touted as Kentucky’s largest gift shop.  There were signs leading up to Big Mikes with huge arrows pointing the way.  Their signs had intrigue and mystery written all over them; Mystery House, come see Big Mo a one-of-a-kind attraction - in the world,  Kentucky’s largest gift shop - You'll be amazed!  We were.




We wanted to see the Mystery House but time was ticking.  We did have time though to buy a few trinkets and doodads and visit with Big Mo.  Oh what is "Big Mo," well it is mosasaur fossil.  I even posed with the full scale replica of the ancient beast they have out front. 

Time for the caves.
Gotta GoGo!!
Carey

 turkey
World heritage site

Paul got sick

Batman  bat

caves closed

John from wounded warriors

rain and rain and a siren

Lincoln

State rep

gas cap

Part 11 - Gospel Time



Part 11

We are almost drawing to the conclusion of the trip; I sure do know how to drag out a story. 

We found Rocky Hill Baptist church which wasn’t too far from our hotel but definitely out in the country.  Sunday service had already started when we arrived. We entered and took our seats as quietly as possible.  The preacher was in the middle of preaching up a storm.  



 His style was a throw back to the tent revivals of years past, loud and animated.  The church itself was also reminiscent of years past even though it was recently built.   It had wooden pews, piano and they still used hymn books. 





We enjoyed the service but what we found strange was the weird manner of how someone joins their congregation.  A woman stood up and gave a lengthy testimony about her struggles and how she drifted.  She went on for some time about how she repented and will stay committed to God.  Then she said I want to become a member of this church.  The pastor said OK lets take a vote.  But before he said anything further someone else spoke up and verbally gave his support to the lady saying he feels she is sincere.  The pastor then said alright lets take a vote all in favor say aye.  The small congregation gave a loud aye.  Anyone against?  It was silent so her membership was approved right there.  

To be continued...

Gotta GoGo!!
Carey

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sunday Breakfast



Part 10
Sunday I awoke and turned on my pocket transistor AM/FM radio to a AM station playing terrific songs of yesterday, not just top 40 oldies but forgotten oldies, at least in the Cleveland area they are.  And - YES I still carry a pocket transistor radio.  I feel it is a must to have one when traveling for weather alerts plus I just like it, no frills just 2 watts of awesome sound. 

The other sound we woke to was the sound of gunshots.  At first I thought someone was hunting maybe a little too close to the resort but that’s when I remembered on the grounds is a shooting rage.  Thank goodness.  That reminds me of when I made the reservations the lady told me they have a golf course and a shooting range.  I told her I don’t do either one and if I got a hole in one it may be because I misfired a gun and not from the golf course

 We met Dan and Paul for breakfast in the restaurant of the hotel called Look Out Restaurant.  I asked the waitress if it’s the name because of the lookout or because the food is so bad you need to look out.  She laughed but I think it was named for both reasons the scenery and the food which was average at best.  The lookout is terrific and added to the rustic old decor of the restaurant.




  We decided on finding a church before heading out to the caves.  One of the things I love to do when traveling is attending a local church.  I love to experience how others worship and conduct their service, plus it really gives you a feel for the area you are visiting.  Paul asked our waitress whose dad happens to be a pastor.  She gave us directions to Rocky Hill Baptist church.

fiery preacher

weird manner of joining
 any bears

off to mammoth cave
 turkey
World heritage site

Paul got sick

Batman  bat

caves closed

John from wounded warriors

rain and rain and a siren

Lincoln

State rep

gas cap

Friday, May 9, 2014

The dated resort


Part 9
We went from laughing to nervously saying is this where we will be staying?

We left the few lights in town for nothing but darkness.  What made the motel even more eerie was the steep incline to get to it.  Once you get to the top you just about enter the parking lot and there it was – dark and gloomy.

The best way to describe Park Mammoth Resort is a celicant, a real throw back and I mean a real throw back to years ago.  It’s only 2 stories but spread out in a ranch fashion, dark brown siding with few bulbs lighting it.

The overhang where you park under to enter the lobby was also poorly lit.  Once you entered it didn’t get much brighter.  The lobby, sign in desk and the dining area was as dark as the outside.  It looks way older than the year it was built – 1964.  I learned the reason is they built it to look rustic and old - so you add the old look they wanted plus 50 years and the place looks really OLD.  Very little has been updated.  At one time this was THEE resort to stay at.  The golf course, caves on the property, shooting range, swimming pool, a little train circling the hotel and if I heard correctly it sits on 2,000 acres made this the place to be.  I believe the winery and wine tasting room have been recently added; they are in the slow process of updating so you best visit soon if you are into time-warps.

The women at the front desk were quite friendly.  They handed us our room keys and explained that if we get hot they can give us a fan.  The place has air-conditioning but it is only turned on during certain months.  And yes I wrote a room key.  No cards in this place. I loved it.  

I walked the place before retiring for the night.  The halls were sparse and by the entrances old yellowed framed photos hung on the wall.

 

 The one that startled me was the one with the hand.  It seemed as if one time their honored guest Thing from the Adams Family stayed, or maybe it was their place.   


 One balcony I walked out on was a small table and on top were candles.  Yikes!  What ritual went on here?

The rooms are also seriously dated.  If you like frills with new mattresses don’t stay here.  I personally loved the decor and dated look, the feel of the place, the GoGo Bus looked at ease here.

What about that time warp smell?  Well yes it had that too.  In our house we call that smell moof, spelling it as it sounds.  It’s an Italian word translated from broken English.  You know that damp smell found in an old musty basement or cellar filled with old things well that’s the smell.  In today’s sanitized world of man-made products even smells have changed and this resort’s smell reminded me of yesterday, my grandma’s house.  After awhile that smell actually became like an old friend returning and brought back memories.  I started to miss it when I left.  

Gotta GoGo!!
Carey

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Nashville to Park City



Part 8
After our run around Nashville episode the drive up to Park City was smooth.  We drove through Bowling Green and probably could of saved time and found a better meal if we ate there.

Park City is actually a small town and a small town that time has forgotten.  Near the freeway exit a corporate dollar store has sprouted but little else in the town from the old days has survived like so many others in America.

Getting off the freeway we guessed at the right way to go but that dead ended into 31-W not to be confused with 31-E which I never did figure out how you could be on 31-W and head east or west and on 31-E you could go north and south, anyway on 31-W we went the wrong way.  There was an old style motel that had a car jacked up with regular table  lamps around it; someone at 1 am was working on their car.  I decided to pull in and ask for directions. 

Well it hit me and hit me hard, I had a laugh time.  Anyone that knows me real well knows that a laugh time can come on without notice.  I just sized up the situation of this car, tools all around, lamps plugged in with a man under it.  What were his neighbors thinking?  It occurred to me this must be my twin and I started to laugh and laugh. 

The man crawled out from under his car to talk to us but it was no use.  No matter what he said a loud BAH HA HA came out.  He had to think I was doped up.    It was bad.  Dan listened as best as he could.  I quickly pulled out with a tear in my eye and vague directions. 

Laughing is always good before a fright - time to find Park Mammoth Resort.

   Gotta GoGo!!
    Carey



gloominess of place  eerie driving up

time warp smell
woke to oldies on the radio
look out restaurant asked waitress if its the name because of the lookout or because the food is so bad you need to look out
 both, scenery and food is bad

rain and rain and a siren
shooting range

Paul asked for church waitress said go to my dads church

Rocky Hill Baptist church, fiery preacher

weird manner of joining

off to mammoth cave

caves closed
World heritage site

Paul got sick

John from wounded warriors
Lincoln

Goodby Tennessee



Part 7
 Memphis is an interesting city.  Parts are quite seedy looking but the city does have life and plenty of history.  I found it quite amusing that the cable car tracks are in the middle of the road, literally.   Not sure how traffic moves when the cable car runs.  The cable cars are restored from an early time.

It was time to retire; day two of the Constitution Party Convention would start early.  Seeing the MLK site haunted my thoughts though I slept quite well.

I woke late again and missed some of the lectures at the convention.  The one topic I was really sorry I missed was the talk on the affects of the illegal aliens on our nation.  Other topics were the danger of a Constitutional Convention (con con), common core, social issues for dummies, and the importance of issues in political campaigns.


The Constitution Preamble reads:

We the members of the Constitution Party gratefully acknowledge the blessing of the Lord God as Creator, Preserver, and Ruler of the Universe and of this Federal Republic.  We hereby appeal to Him for aid, comfort, guidance and the protection of His Divine Providence


It was great to be in a room with people from different walks of life, different states, different religions but all like minded in our agreement of helping this nation and stopping the Federal Government from encroaching into our personal freedom and liberties.  I felt at home.


 I met Daniel from Georgia, a logger from Colorado, a preacher from Tennessee; maybe I shouldn’t list anymore as I know I am leaving some out.

The two day convention went way to fast.  We had a long haul ahead of us so I said short good byes and headed out to find our hotel in Park City, Kentucky.   

Time was approaching 9pm so with a raise of hands we voted to stop off in Nashville to eat.  What a bad vote that was.  From the little we saw Nashville is no longer a country city, far far different than years back when I was there as a kid on a family vacation and again about 20 years or so ago.

  Saturday night was crazy busy.  We thought we could find a nice country restaurant or something different than what we have at home but all we ran into was chain restaurants and places like Hard Rock.  We stopped at a little independent diner but it was just closing.  My temp gauge on the Bus started rising so we ventured to the outskirts of the city.  Nothing.   We eventually found a Mexican restaurant and ate there.  The food was decent but our waitress understood very little.

What happened to ham, grits, greens and taters?

Gotta GoGo!!
 Carey

laugh time, man in yard working on car

gloominess of place  eerie driving up

time warp smell
woke to oldies on the radio
look out restaurant asked waitress if its the name because of the lookout or because the food is so bad you need to look out

both, scenery and food is bad

Paul asked for church waitress said go to my dads church

small Baptist church, fiery preacher

weird manner of joining

off to mammoth cave

World heritage site

Paul got sick

 mammoth cave resort caves closed

Lincoln

State rep

gas cap

Monday, May 5, 2014

From the King of Rock & Roll to another more important King



Part 6 
After leaving Graceland we stopped at a little place for wings and fry’s.   We took the food to go.  My inner compass just about got us back to downtown Memphis when a light went on and I said hey didn’t MLK get shot in Memphis let’s go find the hotel.  We asked a few people that sort of knew about the place and the general direction but when we got close we had to ask again.  This time the man we asked said follow me I will take you there; again another example of Southern hospitality. 

I had no clue that the motel was now a civil rights museum and a memorial to Martin Luther King Jr.   It was eerie and made more so because of the late hour we went to see it.  The outside is just like it was in ‘68 complete with cars that are the correct model year when the assassination took place and are parked exactly as they were on that fateful day.




It is a very somber place but the backdrop of noise from people partying at the bars showed the memorial little respect.  It made me reflect that this man gave his life to the struggle of bettering African Americans and really all Americans from prejudism but people abuse it or  have little care as to how they talk, dress or act.   What would MLK think of what is going on today?

MLK had a dream and in some respects part of that dream never became a reality and not because of what he did but because people today refuse to do the right thing.

Better road tales lie ahead.

Gotta GoGo!!
Carey

not the best clip but i tried   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGuHo1ea5l4

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Before Obama was King there was Elvis



 Hey Gang,

Part 5
I dubbed this trip the throw back trip.  Just about everything we did or saw had a connection to the past. 

The GoGo Bus is a 69 and just driving it gives you a feel of yesterday.  The convention I attended had to do with restoring the nation to years ago, then we saw Elvis’s house, the MLK memorial, the old hotel we stayed, Cave City, Lincoln’s birthplace, the junk antique shops it was just a neat flashback trip.

We followed the travel brochure to Graceland but somehow got lost.  I asked a woman at a gas station for directions.  She gave them, left the gas station, turned around, came back and said follow me I’ll take you there.  Now that’s southern hospitality at its finest.

I just couldn’t believe where Graceland was.  It is shoehorned between junk stores and strip mall after strip mall.  I was as disappointed as when I saw the Alamo in Texas.  The Alamo is also surrounded by stores and tacky tourist shops.   PLEASE don’t think I am comparing the Alamo to Graceland, only comparing the surroundings. 

I pictured Graceland to be like a sprawling southern plantation with nothing around or in an upscale community.  Maybe years ago when it was built it was like that.  I wonder if Elvis were alive today would his neighborhood have declined like it has or if it did would he have fled and moved elsewhere?

 Driving up you see this mirage like structure with a stone fence around it.  The fence is high enough that it makes it difficult to see the mansion.  Graffiti and signatures cover the stone barrier and makes it look almost ghetto-like.  On TV they always show a tight shot so it appears much different than when you see it in person.





Across the street is an Elvis themed gift shop and diner plus both of his airplanes which you can also take a tour of. 

 Next door there are a few tacky tourist shops touting all things Elvis. 


 It was just really weird seeing it, again much different than what I expected.  All the idol worship people give this man you would think leading up to Graceland the streets would be paved with gold, at least gold records.

I was all shook up....


 Gotta GoGo!!
  Carey


Ride to mlk

cable car tracks in road

slept well

Nashville is no longer a country city

crazy busy  chain restaurants

laugh time, man in yard working on car

gloominess of place  eerie driving up

time warp smell
woke to oldies on the radio
look out restaurant asked waitress if its the name because of the lookout or because the food is so bad you need to look out

both, scenery and food is bad

Paul asked for church waitress said go to my dads church

small Baptist church, fiery preacher

weird manner of joining

off to mammoth cave

World heritage site

Paul got sick

Lincoln

State rep

gas cap

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Constitution Party Convention




Part 4
The Constitution Party Convention was not your typical political convention.  It was laid back, those in attendance were more of for lack of better words every day voters who decided to get involved; I am sure there were a few lawyers and some elected officials who decided to leave the establishment parties but that’s OK, you do need their knowledge and experience. 

The national chairman of the party is Frank Fluckiger.  His demeanor is quiet, soft spoken and very likable.  Far different from other political leaders I have met.  He had time for some joking a little non political talk.  I liked him.


 There was little talk about defeating the opposing party unlike Republican meetings where it’s all about downing and defeating the Democrats and visa versa at any cost.  Just some of the topics our conversation and dialog centered around at the convention was getting to know other party members from different states, how to organize the party, networking ideas, how to dispel the myth that a third party candidate can't win, furthering the Constitution Party for our ultimate goal of winning elections to restore our nation, our liberties and our freedom.    

Normally I would never and haven’t in the past post anything political on my travel/fun blog but our way of life here in America is under attack and that attack affects all aspects of life including our leisure activities.  How?  Just a very short list, inflation and the cost of fuel – fees to enter parks – for us who restore old vehicles the cash for clunkers program that took useable old vehicles and crushed them – mandatory check points that stop you for no reason – illegal aliens and the dangers they impose on us even in remote rural areas that seem safe – talk of most highways being converted to toll roads – corporate restaurants and stores that have flooded the market ruining the local economy and destroying the regional or local store so politics effects everything we do, sad but true.  The Constitution Party is trying to stop all of this while reverting back as close as we possibly can to the original intent of the Constitution. 

And that was your political minute.

I asked someone at the convention who lives in Memphis what there was to see.  She suggested a drive through an area downtown by the river but advised don’t get out and walk around like I wanted to.  She said it wasn’t a safe area. 

  We took a vote and instead chose to drive to Graceland even though it wouldn’t be open.  



Gotta GoGo!!
Carey



in the middle of junk stores

 Ride to elvis

Ride to mlk

cable car tracks in road

slept well

Nashville is no longer a country city

crazy busy  chain restaurants

laugh time, man in yard working on car

gloominess of place  eerie driving up

time warp smell
woke to oldies on the radio
look out restaurant asked waitress if its the name because of the lookout or because the food is so bad you need to look out

both, scenery and food is bad

Paul asked for church waitress said go to my dads church

small Baptist church, fiery preacher

weird manner of joining

off to mammoth cave

World heritage site

Paul got sick

Lincoln

State rep

gas cap

the uninvited guest



Part 3
Well we arrived at the hotel in Memphis at 2:45.  Dan and Paul shared a room, Ruth and I took the Bus and parked far back on the lot.  The hotel lacked any frills; it was strictly for business and conventions.  It did have one unexpected surprise in their room.  I went in first with Dan’s bag.  While he was being wheeled in he asked loudly does this room have any bedbugs?  The porter helping with his wheelchair was about to answer when I said no but they do have large animals.  There was a cockroach so big it looked like an animal.  The porter said oh it’s a water bug.  He grabbed toilet paper, stood on a chair and went to squash it.  He missed.  The bug fell and he did a nice dance making sure the thing wasn’t on him.  It took 2 stomps to kill it.  After that no bugs were found.   It was a nice welcome.

  I always sleep well in the GoGo Bus, probably better than at home.  It’s that comfy.  I was in a sound sleep when I heard these LOUD bangs, just a horrible sounding bad noise.  I turn off my sleep/sound machine start to fall asleep and there it was again.  It happened a few times.  Not sure if it was thunder, sonic booms, gun fire who knows.

Morning came and I was a bit late for start of the Constitution Party Convention.

Gotta GoGo!!
Carey