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!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

How cool is this...

Hey Gang,
How cool is this...

When I attended Wickliffe's Bicentennial I was talking to the local historian about how my grandfather came to Wickliffe from Italy at a young age to pick grapes. She was all excited and wanted me to come back because they have a list of all the Italians, there is a good chance my grandfather is written down and they can put a face to a name.

Last weekend I did dinner with Dale at his place whom I met at the Ashtabula cruise in. I saw a sign on his wall that said Puckerbrush. I said dad use to fish there. Dale said my dad owned that and if your dad fished there more than likely we have a photo of him or at least have his name registered.

So I am excited to see if Wickliffe has a photo of my grandfather holding a grape, Dale has a one of my dad holding a fish and me well I am holding my breath.

Gotta Go-Go!

1950s Puckerbrush, on Lockwood Road near North Perry Park… a short ways from the ‘bubbling waters’ that the Indians associated with good fishing… offered rentals of Lyman Boats with Johnson 3-horsepower motors. We fished off the rocky bottom for perch. I remember asking my Father about the armada of small boats farther out… their lanterns twinkling in the twilight. ‘those are the pike grounds’ he replied. Blue Pike, a close cousin of the Walleye