Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Cleveland Browns gave to me

How many renditions of the Twelve Day of Christmas are there? I know I must have written at least 6.  Well here is another.
Not the best but had fun writing it.

It was the first game of the season and the Cleveland Browns gave to me
A 21 to 18 loss - to Pittsburgh

It was the second game of the season and the Cleveland Browns gave to me
A beating from the ole Browns and a loss

It was the third game of the season and the Cleveland Browns gave to me
A 15 road game losing streak and a loss

It was the fourth game of the season and the Cleveland Browns gave to me
Sole possession of last place and a loss

It was the fifth game of the season and the Cleveland Browns gave to me
2 missed field goals, 3 bloody turnovers and a loss

It was the sixth game of the season and the Cleveland Browns gave to me
Another brutal beating and a loss

It was the seventh game of the season and the Cleveland Browns gave to me
A Joe Thomas injury, Kizer getting benched and a loss

It was the eighth game of the season and the Cleveland Browns gave to me
A game in faraway England so I wouldn’t see them lose and a loss

It was the ninth game of the season and the Cleveland Browns gave to me
A losing record for the 10th consecutive season and a loss

It was the tenth game of the season and the Cleveland Browns gave to me
2 interceptions, 2 Kizer fumbles; 5 lousy turnovers and a loss

It was the eleventh game of the season and the Cleveland Browns gave to me
Elimination from the play offs and a loss

It was the twelfth game of the season and the Cleveland Browns gave to me
The worst 28 game start ever and a loss

It was the thirteenth game of the season and the Cleveland Browns gave to me
A refund on my season tickets, an apology from the commissioner and a loss

It was the fourteenth game of the season and the Cleveland Browns gave to me
An autograph from Bill Belichick a Tom Brady jersey and a loss

It was the fifteenth game of the season and the Cleveland Browns gave to me
Who cares, what’s a Brown anyway and a loss

It was the last game of the season the Cleveland Browns better lose
I want to see the only 0-16 parade and a loss

Carey On...

Friday, December 8, 2017

Christmas Day Trips 2017

Thank you to everyone who attended the Christmas Day Trips I planned to Amish Country (Wayne and Holmes County) the last two weekends.

I should not be so boo hiss of the changes I have seen through the years with seldom if ever an improvement from how things were. I need to enjoy these places now as is because for those who attend these trips there are some who have never experienced these areas before so to them it’s new and refreshing.
But dang blasted I miss yesteryear when my parents traveled down to these parts many years before made in China stickers were found on any goods.

Lehman’s Hardware is one such place that was turned into a tourist trap. The store still has nice merchandise with some unique items but prices are quite high with those dreaded made in China labels on many things.
Even the snack bar when I inquired if the eggs were real the answer was well they are pre-scrambled which is the only way we serve them.
We opted to go elsewhere to eat.

Enough of that, let’s talk about the good. Well except for poor Walt, he got sick. While he rested and recovered which he did miraculously the rest of us enjoyed a museum, found food which the museum recommended and enjoyed a cow auction.

The museum was the Kidron Community Historical Society located in the village of Kidron in Wayne County next to Lehman’s Hardware. It was free, friendly people manning it and quite a bit to look at. They will even do a free genealogy which does no good if you are of any ancestry other than Swiss.

The recommended restaurant next door was in a basement of a grocery store/shoe store called Kidron Town & Country which I believe was also the name of the restaurant.
Now this is a real throwback place, nothing fancy but good food with affordable prices.
Walking back to our vehicles we stopped in the Kidron Auction billed as Ohio’s oldest livestock market. If the restaurant is a throwback then this is a double throwback. Only Cassie, Danni and I went in. The all-male Amish crowd with a few young ones all turned and looked at us.

The building is all wood and shaped like a mini arena that is kind of steep with the back half squared off with a door for the livestock to come out and another door for them to exit. The auctioneer is set up over the little pen with someone in the pit directing the cows out with a whip to keep them moving so you can see if they are lively or not; very interesting experience.

From there we ventured to Guggisberg Cheese for what else but cheese.

Then it was onto Berlin for their Nativity Parade which I won’t write about. You can either scroll through my blog as I wrote about it before or wait for my second book which includes a write up about it or do an online search.

For the second Saturday it was a small group. I was about to cancel when Walt called and said hey me and Dani are coming. So it was off to Zoar. I like larger group outings but when there are only a few you can go so much faster and see more things. So it’s a trade off.

We arrived in Zoar a bit late but I still saw things I didn’t in previous trips and Dani and Walt loved it. I like this festival/Christmas event.
Again I won’t write about because I have blogged about this in the past.

After Zoar it was onto Walnut Creek for their Christmas event Journey into Bethlehem.
Now this was fun.
They have a route mapped out for you where you follow the path of Christ’s birth. The scenes are set up in different locations inside of stores and hotels with the last stop at a farm called The Farm at Walnut Creek. I was there this past summer.
It is something to see Amish folk with their accent dressed up like the 3 wise men and biblical characters.

The last stop after the manger scene is a horse drawn wagon ride to a large house where they had open house. Snacks and drinks were served and they allowed you to tour the house.

Jeff told me about this event and at the entrance to the manger scene we ran into him. So that was nice.

Not many pictures were taken. Amish frown on having their photos snapped so I took what I could. Or were they Mennonites?
All of these events are small town America, hokey, simple and fun. Different and laid back.

Gotta Go-Go!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Ark Encounter, the Great Eclipse, Falls and More Part 7

Hey Gang,
some photos, for the whole store get a copy of "Cruising Across America"!

. Gotta GoGo!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Ark Encounter, the Great Eclipse, Falls and More Part 6

Hey Gang,
So what were my thoughts on the great eclipse?

I was late jumping on the bandwagon for joining in on the hype and excitement. When Janet mentioned going down to Tennessee to see the eclipse, I viewed it more as an opportunity to travel.
But traveling down there that was all people were talking about.
The newspapers had headlines such as “Schools to close Monday for eclipse”.

Quietly the excitement was building inside of me. Then standing there with people I just met who were really into it made me giddy like a child on Christmas morning.

The eclipse started right on time about 1:30. Slowly, very slowly the moon started covering up the sun.
When the eclipse was in full what was a hot day of low 90’s cooled down a good 20 degrees.
Then it got very quiet out. An owl or something cooed or hooted but that was the only sound, well besides us yelping and hollowing at the moon.

But what I thought would be darkness like at midnight was more twilight like. I also thought it would last much longer but as quickly as the sun was covered it slowly was being uncovered. It was still fascinating to witness and something I won’t forget.

During the hoopla we tipped our glasses and saluted the event. What was that firewater? Yowee!

Thank you again Karen & Michael for opening your house to us. What an experience, I was blessed.
But wait I am not done yet with this saga, there is still the kayaking and Cumberland Falls to write about.

Gotta GoGo!

If you want to see the most horrible video watch this link. I can do somethings right, other things I excel and then there is video.
Take some motion sickness pills before viewing, you have been warned.
And yes I used that YouTube feature where you can edit and stabilize a video but that only slightly corrected the mess.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Ark Encounter, the Great Eclipse, Falls and More Part 5

Hey Gang,
It’s amazing how different a place looks in the daytime.
Karen’s property was not eery at all but it was as rural as can be.

Where I parked I was concerned it was too close to the road but found out that the road is a dead end with only two families living on it and Karen's family was one.

Karen didn’t exaggerate when she said we would wake up to some beautiful scenery, it was an understatement.
They have such a wonderful spread. Her parents bought the land in 1972 and built the house right next to Rocky River.

My thoughts then briefly went back to where is Janet? The ranger said stay away from Rock Island, her and her family could be enjoying all this. Oh well.

I asked if I could help with setting up for the eclipse party but they already had everything under control. I decided to hurry to a store and buy something to contribute to it.
The options were drive back into McMinnville or much closer was the HWY 30 Market which is where we went.

I walk in. Gary the owner says hey neat vehicle. I introduce myself. He asks to see my book. From there it went like this....
Sure we can do some swapping. So I ordered a fried pork chop sandwich, a ham & cheese sandwich, (both were delicious especially the pork chop) a 2 liter Sun Drop pop, a water melon and a newspaper. Gary received the book.
If ever around the Rock Island, Tennessee area stop in HWY 30 Market order a sandwich and sit a spell.

It was now back to Karen and Michaels place but not before stopping at the cemetery to check on my phone messages then we would return and await the big event, the eclipse.

When we returned they had everything set up right on the bank of the river. While waiting I enjoyed a quick dip, wow was that refreshing, talk about cold water.
Karen had more than enough food but only two friends showed plus Ruth and I.
Here I was enjoying what possibly could be a once in a lifetime event with people I just met, now that’s the way to make lasting memories.
To be continued....

Gotta Go-Go!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Ark Encounter, the Great Eclipse, Falls and More Part 4

Our hiking day was done, now what? Where do we park, where’s Janet maybe she would know?

Usually I can park anywhere for the night but not this time.
I spoke with another local ranger/cop who told me no you can’t do that when I asked if I can park in the overflow lot for Rock Island. I said years ago in Tennessee and Kentucky it was so rural you could have parked anywhere and camped for the night. I know, on a few occasions I ventured off the road and camped with people. He replied not any more, the health department won’t allow it, you need to be on a site and with facilities.
Health department? MY OH MY have times changed. I am sure there are spots you can get away with it but this was Rock Island’s big day for revenue. I saw plenty of tickets written for being illegally parked. I was told to stay away, venture out further for a place to park for the night, it was going to be madness on Monday for the eclipse.

So we left Rock Island, wandered and ended up in the little city of McMinnville, TN. Less than 15 miles away. Did some shopping, then it was off to find a local park with a grill to cook. A cop directed us to Pepper Branch which was perfect.

From the McMinnville website: Located at the Frank G. Clement Bridge and Barren Fork Dam, this park includes picnic tables and benches, great fishing sites, canoe and kayak launch, a 6 hole Disk Golf Course and a gazebo. Pepper Branch is also a trail head for the Barren Fork Green way.,-85.7773736,20z/data=!3m1!1e3

I circled the park looking for a grill close to where I would park. But the lot closest to the grills sat two cop cars with lights on checking out a car. I wanted to avoid what ever was happening but I also didn't want to lug everything a good distance so I chose this area.
As I walked past I was asked do you know anything about this? Did they think my circling the park was because I was returning to the scene of the crime? I said no, what happened? A car window was smashed and a purse stolen out of it but we can’t find the owner. HUH? That didn’t make sense, if the owner is missing how did they know a purse was stolen? Hmmm!

While the crime scene was being investigated we made our supper. It was now dusk and still no shower for me so it was time to take a parking lot shower then I would worry once again on where to park. How does one take a parking lot shower? Ask me sometime.

After my shower I slipped into fresh clothes when I heard Ruth talking to a lady. I peak my head out as Ruth is telling her what my vehicle was. I said hand her a postcard for my book. From there Ruth explained how we were clueless on where we were going.
The lady answered you can come to my place, park for the night and stay for my eclipse party. Ruth said OK. I came out and introduced myself and with that off we went to who knows where following a lady named Karen.
If you don’t know where you are going a last name doesn’t matter either.
Before speeding off Karen warned us there is no cell phone connection once past the graveyard, I will slow down when we get there in case you need to use the phone because once past it the signal goes dead but I do have Wi-Fi at home.

It was a challenge following Karen, she must have thought my vehicle was an overgrown slot car the way she was driving but the Go-Go Bus did good, only lagged behind a bit.
Here we were on some mountain road, following a speeding car, Ruth didn't worry but I was apprehensive as I didn't initiate the conversation to get a good feel for who ever this lady was but God does work in mysterious ways and we were sure on a mysterious path alright.

We arrived to her house and no one was around except Karen and her barking dogs.
She tried to convince me to drive down the dirt path and park by the river and in the morning we would wake to one beautiful site. She also asked if we had flashlights and if we did to go ahead and explore her property, we didn't explore and I decided to stay under their street lamp, if you could call it that.
We were about to pull the curtains and call it a night when the husband came home, introductions were made, our doors were locked, and their dogs kept sentry duty with occasional barking through the night.
Well it will be interesting to see what morning brings.

Gotta Go-Go!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Ark Encounter, the Great Eclipse, Falls and More Part 3

Hey Gang,
We take off without tidying up the Go-Go Bus to find the campground with only one site left that the ranger said do it asap hurry but of course that 8 am warning to me was not as urgent as sleep.

Everywhere you went the buzz was about the eclipse. Campgrounds full, more than average visitors and traffic same at the camp office. So I stopped a ranger who turned out to be the one who woke me to ask for directions to where this other campground was. Even with directions I got lost. So I called Godling River Camp, Ramp and RV Park directly and he put me on the right path.

When I saw the campground it was old school, make that primitive school. The entrance is a long drive and not the smoothest, where’s the ramp? It didn’t look like a campground more like a very small backwoods trailer park. Then we realized it was a mobile home park the campground was down another rut filled dirt path, again where’s the ramp? I can’t believe I tortured the poor Go-Go Bus driving down it.

This was a primitive campground not what we expected really suited for tents only which is what we saw, tents only. I don’t know if it even had pit toilets, maybe it was a carry in carry out park? Though I will say if I was tent camping I would love it. Right by the river and shaded, just perfect. And now I know why the word ramp is in the title, ramp is for the launching of boats. There was no way I was staying here. Going in and out with a suitable vehicle is OK but not with what I was driving.

It was approaching 1 pm and I wanted to see the sites and the little shops in town so finding a place to park for tomorrow’s big event was put on the back burner.
Maybe Janet will call and we can stay with them, where ever they are.
Little Rock Islands shops were all closed on Sunday so we went back to the state park and did some hiking, such a beautiful area with plenty of scenic trails and a beach.

Enjoy the photos.
Gotta Go-Go!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Ark Encounter, the Great Eclipse, Falls and More Part 2

Hey Gang,
After the Ark Encounter it was time to head south into Tennessee to find Janet and Rock Island to witness another phenomenon of God, the great eclipse. I was a bit concerned though because Janet had not called and the map I had I could not locate Rock Island. I thought when I briefly looked at it through Mapquest on my home pc it was by Knoxville. Well I was wrong.

I am sure you are thinking well why didn’t you call Janet? Simple I didn’t have her cell phone number and I am sure you are thinking why didn’t you use a Smartphone, simple I don’t have one. One of the joys of traveling is going carefree, getting lost, worrying where the heck you are then have it all turn out for the better, as in this trip.

We drove Rt. 75 into Tennessee and stopped right over the boarder at the Tennessee Welcome Center. The buzz and excitement at the center was all about the eclipse. The man behind the counter was talking to people from all over the US. I met a family from Pontiac, Michigan.

I asked for directions but the man manning it had no clue where Rock Island was and neither did a lady standing next to him. He couldn’t find it on the map. Finally he located it on a brochure for state parks. We were way to far east, head west young man.
He handed us a map that he hi-lighted. I shook his hand, thanked him again and left to find Rock Island.

Once I climbed in the GoGo Bus I decided on different route, the back roads which I think was shorter. His route was four hours. But if you are weary or scared of being in the middle of nowhere on curvy roads at 2 am it is not the route for you. I navigated the GoGo Bus through the dark, somewhat foggy mountain roads and arrived close to our destination without incident. Tadah!

Finding Rock Island state park was another matter. We wasted a good hour maybe more finding the park and then trying to figure out what to do. The campground had a barricade up with a sign, park opens at 7 am.
A person in a car behind me pulled up and asked if I was lost. He was local and said I am going in, park by the office until they arrive. But instead of waiting where he said we found an empty camp site, left a note at the office explaining when we pulled in, our vehicle, and time we would come to the office to pay for the site even though there was a sign at the office reading campground full.

Around 8 am a park ranger pulls up to our site and says hey we got your note but this site is taken. I called around for you and there is a campground nearby that has one site left, here’s their card, call them ASAP. How’s that for service? I asked if I could sleep a bit longer and he replied sleep till noon, they can’t sign in until then so you can stay. With that he drove off, I dozed off and Ruth took advantage of the showers, all for free.

No pictures this entry, it was dark out.

Gotta Go-Go

Friday, August 25, 2017

Ark Encounter, the Great Eclipse, Falls and More

Hey Gang,
What a whirlwind road trip of four days it has been, wow! We saw so much. What an experience we had.

We had an Ark Encounter, almost encountered my friend Mike, never encountered Janet but we did see Rock Island. Ruth met Karen who countered with follow me, you can park the night at my place, there is nothing around, you can roam the property, you do have a flash light - right?

Let me backtrack to the beginning.

It was Janet’s idea to see the eclipse somewhere in Tennessee at a place called Rock Island which I never heard of.
We decided on tagging along up with Janet and her family about a week before leaving but on the way down to Tennessee we added a stop in Williamstown, Kentucky to tour the Noah’s ark replica then join them.
We didn't take any directions other than to the ark, I figured Janet would eventually call and give directions to where they were.
Tour the ark then head south and find Janet is all that I planned, simple - right?

So let me start with writing about the ark though I really don’t want to write much about the Ark Encounter as it is called because I want you to have the same wow and awe experience seeing it for yourself as we did.
I was very anxious and curious to see the ark and it definitely didn’t disappoint, it exceeded my expectations. Once you see the ark replica and read their explanations of events surrounding the flood and after, it all makes sense. Viewing it can really bolster your faith or make you think long and hard on your beliefs.

One thing we should have planned better though was viewing the ark. It is a long tour that is self-guided and if you watch the movies set up on screens, read all the descriptions and see all the displays it can take up to 4 hours, we took 3 1/2.
We should have seen half, took a break, ate at the buffet on the grounds then finished the tour. Lots to see.

So that’s all I will write about it. We left in awe of what we saw, well worth the price of admission. If you visit the ark let me know and we can swap our thoughts on it.

I have to tell you about this because I think its kind of neat.
My friend Mike and partner in the home repair business planned a vacation to Kentucky and Tennessee weeks ago same thing with Janet. Mike's plans were for a vacation, Janet's were to see the eclipse. I decided about a week or so ago on a whim to see the eclipse. We had just entered the ark when my phone rings. I answer it and its Mike. Hey I just saw your GoGo Bus in the lot. What's the chances of running into someone on the road like that? Unfortunately they decided not to tour the ark but it was still fun receiving that call.

My thoughts at that time of the phone call were, well if Mike can find me unplanned then meeting up with Janet and her family should be no problem, she'll call and we'll find them - yeah right.

part 2 to follow
Gotta Go-Go,

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Day Trippin' to Sugar Creek

Hey Gang,
The best things in life are flee as in just go and this was a nice mini get away.
The purpose of the trip was an Arbonne presentation in Walnut Creek but other than that no plans were made, just like I like it.

We arrived late, as if you didn't know that was coming, drove around and found The Farm at Walnut Creek so we could avoid the rush of Amish buggies and traffic in the morning. Then went searching for a place to park for the night.

Our first look was the parking lot of Der Dutchman which is quiet at night but the onrush of hungry tourists in the morning can turn that lot into a piranha like feeding frenzy. So back on Rt. 39 West where we found an old rest area that has shrunk over time with it now sharing its back border with a church. It was close to the road so I knew this was not a place that was going to be quiet. No car and trucks pulling in and out but zooming traffic noise would keep an eye or two open. But it was late and it was a place to park so we stayed. And wow did it get cold at night, is this August?

When I woke I walked towards the church when a truck pulled in. Thought she was going to tell me to leave. Instead she asks, is that your van? Yes it is. Do you mind if I take some photos of it? No go ahead.

Former introductions were made then she snapped photos, tossed a 20 at me for a book and said keep the change. Now that is a great way to start a day.

Hi Julie if you are out there, thanks again for the friendly Hello and Good Morning, I sure hope my book inspires you to follow your dream of traveling the open road.

Continuing on...

Amishland is sure changing with more and more shops opening. One we stopped at was called C&C Treasure Seekers. Connie the owner explained that her husband restored most of the merchandise. You need to check this place out. Very impressive.

You never know what you can find in an antique store. I found my neighbor at C&C. I told Connie you never heard of or met someone from Wickliffe, well now you have just met two and both are named Carey, well my neighbor is Kerry. How funny.

From there we toured the free German museum in Walnut Creek, then Yoder's Amish home. I met Ed of Bainbridge, Ohio who is a member of the historical society there. I know that area quite well. Ed told me they shut down the 7 Caves which I will be writing about another time. Hope to meet up with Ed soon. Anyway the Amish home tour was fascinating, at least to me.

Then it was off to the Farm at Walnut Creek for the Arbonne presentation. Here's the description of the Farm at Walnut Creek taken from their website: Come explore a working farm and feed our exotic animals while taking a horse drawn wagon ride. Tour our barns and houses. The Farm at Walnut Creek is also a great place to have a picnic. Or an Arbonne presentation.

The top sales winner was a Mennonite which is why Arbonne gathered in Walnut Creek. They usually award a white Mercedes but since this lady doesn't drive they made an exception and presented her with a white custom built buggy and a stallion from the Netherlands. How this lady built a successful business is beyond me. Not able to use a phone or other modern means is not easy building a business.

The Amish and Mennonites are confusing. Some things are allowed, other things aren't and some things are close to how we live so why not just just jump into modern times? OK I know what you are thinking... Carey you need to jump into modern times. YES YES YES, fine, then jump into the 60's at least.

Enjoy the photos.

Gotta Go-Go!