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Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Land Between the Lakes

On my phone, I can only post one-picture blog entries.  Now that I'm where I can use my computer to do it, I can put the pictures with this one and post it.

My friend Norajean told me I should go to Land Between The Lakes on the KY/TN border, and since it was about 200 miles from Memphis, I did.
I stopped at the South Welcome Center on June 12th, and bought a basis/dispersed camping permit good for 3 days for $7.  There was no cell signal, so I went back to town for ice and enough internet to let my kids know where I was. It was a hot sunny day so when I got to the area I would camp in I was glad to find a shady spot by the lake shore. It was beautiful.

I set up my privacy tent and hung my hammock and sorted out some things that needed sorting out, and read some more of the series I've been reading.and started to hear thunder.

It was very distant and not in the direction the wind was coming from, so I didn't really think it would come to where I was. Just in case, I fixed dinner and that was done just in time.

It rained. Off and on all night and into Wednesday morning.

I was reminded of things I already knew but had failed to practice. Assume it WILL rain. Don't put the totes on the ground; they'll get muddy. Don't let stuff block the sliding side door of the van. Don't park on a place where all the water goes. Especially, check the weather report before you go to a campsite with no internet access.

I spent a lot of Wednesday drying stuff that shouldn't have gotten wet.

My original plan had been to camp at that southern camp one night, then explore and camp at one in the central part of LBL on Wednesday night, then explore again and camp at one of the northernmost camps Thursday night. I felt torn, because that first site was so beautiful and I wanted to stay. As it turned out, I couldn't actually drive out of there until Thursday anyway due to the rain and mud, so I spent 2 nights there.

On my way up the trace, I stopped to say hello to the bison herd at the southern bison range.

They had calves, and obligingly came to me so I could take pictures. Then they ran off, only to all come back and watch me do a K-turn with my trailer.

I checked out the exhibit and film and gift shop at the Golden Pond Visitor's Center, and filled up my water containers. Three was 4G Verizon signal there so I caught up with some internet stuff and a raccoon investigated my trailer hoping for goodies.

Then I moseyed down the road, got a shower (available at the campgrounds with more amenities and nightly fees, for $2), found the Twin Lakes campground and took a nice but unspectacular site on solid ground. With 4G Verizon signal. That last enabled me to connect with who I needed to to plan my next stop.

Besides lots of camping, hiking, boating, etc., there is a planetarium, a living history farm, a nature center, the bison and elk prairie... I'll leave those things for another time when I can get the annual pass and spend more time here.

Did you notice, in one of those last pictures, that the hood was up?

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Today's Yard, 7/3/18

Enjoying the cool of the morning on my friends' porch in Ohio. Coffee, internet, BuJo, until the sun clears the tree and chases me into the shade or into productivity. Birds are singing, solar panel's charging my house battery, flowers are in bloom, life is good.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Today's Yard, end of FONW

There goes the neighborhood.

It's a sad scene. This rendezvous is over til next year. Some return to the modern world quickly, dressing in modern clothes, packing up, and leaving early in the day. Some of us return reluctantly, slowly, sipping our coffee, and are still dressed in 18th century clothing even as we load the last items into our vehicles.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Today's Yard, Friends of Old Northwest rendezvous

Soon I'll be doing several posts, but computers haven't been invented yet. I'm in the 18th century at the Friends of Old Northwest rendezvous, at Grand Rapids, Ohio. We've had excellent weather, food, friends, music. I'm told the competitive events were good too.
And in Grand Rapids, I found the Natural Fiber and Yarn Company. They have yarn, roving, and an amazing variety of Alpaca socks. Hmmmm, comfy!

Friday, June 08, 2018

Repair of the Month Club Membership

I've been traveling with Maxine the Minivan for several years now. She's been a wonderfully reliable vehicle. She is, however, a 19-year old and has covered a lot of miles. And someone seems to have signed me up for the Repair of the Month club. I'd like to cancel my membership, thank you.

It started in March when a brake line blew out in Florida on my way to the Osceola NF. Of course, I was attempting to stop for a red light when that happened, and I'm truly grateful that the traffic going the other way hadn't started moving yet. I got stopped on the shoulder and a mobile mechanic came out and fixed the problem.

Then I heard power steering noises on my way into Lake City. Yes, the fluid was low. Added fluid and that took care of it. For then.

When I got to my SC daughter's, the high pressure steering hose blew and spewed fluid all over her father-in-law's driveway. Got that fixed.

In April, I was driving, on a Sunday, from Stevenson AL to Memphis TN. I had just got on the interstate, in pouring rain, when I heard an ugly crunchy noise and my wipers quit working. I couldn't see squat! I managed to get off at the next exit and parked at the conveniently located convenience store and drank coffee 'til the rain stopped. Then I went to my Memphis destination and Maxine got to visit another repair shop for a new wiper motor.

At the end of April (sometimes the ROTM Club shipments come early), on another rainy day, I suddenly had no defroster and yet another visibility problem. Cue installation of new blower motor. I had for about a year only had on and off for the blower, not the full range of speeds that I was supposed to have, so I was even kind of glad about this one. Have all the speeds now, and it's quieter too.

During May, it became apparent that coolant was getting out somehow. A new thermostat and new radiator cap did not fix the problem, so Maxine went into the shop yet again, for a radiator replacement.

And then the wipers suddenly have only high and low speeds, don't have intermittent, and don't park themselves. After investigating all the possibilities, the mechanics who installed my radiator determined that the wiper motor was at fault. So I'm headed back to Memphis to get that taken care of.

And at the first rest area in Arkansas, the transmission started slipping. I put 3 quarts of fluid in and went to a repair shop. It's always an adventure when you have to pick a shop in a place where you don't know anyone and you're on the road with your rolling home, but I checked Google Maps, and the reviews, and went to Jody's in Van Buren AR. Drop the trailer, put the van on the lift... Well, the bottom of Maxine is thoroughly lubricated by tranny fluid now. The radiator includes a transmission cooler (who knew?) and the hose connecting them was old and set in its ways and decided to blow tranny fluid Everywhere instead of where it belonged. Fixed now. I recommend this shop: they passed up a golden opportunity to fleece a lone woman traveler.

The offending hose is found.

So I think maybe Mercury went retrograde or something, as some of this stuff came with do-overs. (I also had to get my new glasses done over!) I'm hoping that once I've gotten the wiper motor thing straightened out in Memphis, that we can stop this series of repairs and go back to buying gasoline and doing regular maintenance.

Til next post, May there be a Road!

The Old Mill at Little Rock AR

You didn't really want to read about me sorting through storage or getting bit up by chiggers, right? This is more interesting.

I would never have found this on my own, because I avoid cities. But since my good friends NoNose and Miss Hattie live in Little Rock, Arkansas, I find myself in Little Rock to visit them. Nothing like having a local tour guide.

The Old Mill was in Gone With The Wind.

What looks like wood, in bridges and archways and what-not, is actually concrete.

The millstone inside, however, is real and authentic, brought here from an actual old mill.

Lots of wedding and graduation pictures happen here, because it's so pretty.

Find out more here.

Until next post, May there be a Road!