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Fort Boonesborough State Park, Kentucky

Our next stop was a campground that we had actually booked a couple years ago with our adopted family.  Then the Covid pandemic hit and all campgrounds were closed.  The following year, 2021, the campground was closed yet again. The Kentucky River reached historic water levels from rain and snow melt earlier in the year flooding not only our town but the campground as well causing damage to the electric hubs at the camp sites and trashing the bath houses. Two years later we finally made it to Fort Boonesborough State Park just north of Richmond, Kentucky.  Better late than never!

Our camping crew occupied seven camp sites and there were as many as thirty plus people at any given time over the course of the Memorial Day weekend.  It was an awesome week of catching up, relaxing, fishing, playing games, hanging out at the camp fire and eating.  So much so that I failed to get any photos while at the campground.

Since fishing was high on the agenda for many we discovered a beautiful spot to fish about seven miles from the campground – White Hall Lake.  I went with Ronnie one afternoon when no one else wanted to go.  He packed his fishing stuff, I packed my camera and knitting needles, we each grabbed our chairs and we were on our way.

White Hall is a beautiful property with a mansion, picnic area, walking trails and a lake.

While he fished I walked around with the intention of taking photos but just after the following shot by battery died.

Sigh. One of these days I’ll get a spare battery.

White Hall has some interesting history associated with its inhabitants.  In case you’re interested you can read about it HERE and HERE and while you’re reading up on it you can see photos of the mansion which I was unable to get.

Saturday was camper appreciation day at the fort where campers were allowed free admission from 1:00 – 1:15.  We found out about it just before one o’clock but since we weren’t really doing anything in particular we decided to check it out.  We like history and we really like free!

The fort we toured had actually been relocated and rebuilt a few miles away on higher ground.  After all the flooding we’ve witnessed since living in Kentucky that was a smart move.  The original fort had fallen into disrepair and was smaller in scale than the new fort.

Several volunteers were dressed in period style and were demonstrating things like candle making; weaving and blacksmithing.  Of course having weaved a thing or two myself I was very interested in the weaving process.  Back in the day it would take a year or more from the time the hemp or flax seed was planted before the fibers inside would be ready to be spun into wool or thread.

Can you imagine having to wait that long to have access to thread or wool just so you can make a necessary item of clothing or blankets?  I simply can not fathom it.

The fort was a community with a tavern…

… where important meetings and business also took place…

and a store…

I find it fascinating that there is so much Transylvania history and mention of Transylvania in Kentucky.  (Transylvania University is in Lexington. It’s a private university founded in 1780 and was the first university in Kentucky.) My family ancestry goes back to Transylvania.  The sign in front of the store reads Transylvania Store, R. Henderson, Est. 1775.  How cool is that?

Another thing I found really neat was the living quarters…

So simple and cozy with everything you need.

We thoroughly enjoyed touring the fort.  It’s something we never would’ve done had it not been for some camper appreciation that weekend.

One day we ran some errands. We picked up a trailer we had to leave at the farm and took it to our friends’/adopted families place. In return for allowing us to store it on their property we offered the use of it to whomever of the family needs it. After that we tended to some business at the bank then stopped for a few groceries before heading back to the campground. Another day we spent a few hours at a doctor’s appointment. A day later we found out that we needed to hang out in Kentucky until at least July 5 for another doctor’s appointment. Once again our travel plans have changed so we’re playing it by ear until we get the outcome of that appointment. It’s a good thing we’re able to be flexible.

While we were at the farm we bought some of our ol’ girls’ eggs…

… so pretty and so tasty. One thing we sure miss is our farm fresh or country eggs as they say in these parts!

We’re discovering that a lot of campgrounds don’t offer full hook-up. What that means is most camp sites offer water and electric but no sewer. Water + electric + sewer = full hook-up. We’ve learned that we can get by for at least one week without needing to empty our tanks – both black and gray water tanks. That’s good to know. However, that also means that the use of the toilet is minimal; showers are taken at the campgrounds’ bath house; and water used for washing dishes is used sparingly at sites without sewer. So far, all the campgrounds have had a dump station or two so we’ve been able to dump our tanks before heading to the next campground.

All too soon the week was over and we were packing up and saying goodbye. Or rather, till we meet everyone again, Lord willing, at Christmas.

Till next time friends!

dates at Fort Boonesborough: May 22 – 30

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Levi Jackson Wilderness Road Park, London, Kentucky

From Asheville we took the scenic route between the Smoky and Appalachian mountains and headed to our next destination – Levi Jackson Wilderness Road Park in London, Kentucky.  It was a longer drive than we typically like to take but we wanted to be closer to our next destination.  LizzieBelle was over it after about three and a half hours.  She was antsy and wouldn’t settle down on my lap.  I finally put her towel on the floorboard between my feet and put her down there.  It took her twenty minutes or so before she settled down but she finally laid down and went to sleep.  That’s when I decided that from now on I would put her bed down there and see if that makes the trip easier for all of us.  By the last half hour of the trip we were all more than ready to arrive at the campground and get set up and settled in.

Speaking of her towel, there was a little incident right before we pulled out at the KOA.  I was walking her around trying to make sure she was all tinkled and poopied out before we started our journey when the neighbor dog wanted to say hello.  Even being blind and deaf LizzieBelle doesn’t mind other dogs ‘checking her out’ within reason.  This dog was a Boxer and as the owner was telling me that he sometimes will attack smaller dogs if they growl or snap at him I was thinking that I should grab LizzieBelle because there are times when she’s had enough of being ‘checked out’ and will snap at them to tell them so.  Before I could even finish the thought it happened.  She had had enough and snapped at him.  He attacked and before we could separate them they were both rolling a few feet down the hill right into the lake.  Thankfully it was shallow but poor Belle was laying in the water with her head and feet sticking up wondering what in the world just happened.  I snatched her up and did a quick assessment and found that she was OK, just a little startled and a muddy mess.  Since we were ready to pull out I had to squeeze between the slide out and the kitchen counter to get her towel while Ronnie dug a garden hose out of storage.  We rinsed and dried her off outside then we were finally on our way.  Dogs – ya gotta love ‘em!

We reached our destination – Levi Jackson Wilderness Road Park in London, Kentucky – around mid-afternoon.  We were there on a weekend so the campground was full.  It was a large campground with nice facilities and a unique history.  You can read about it HERE.

We backed up to the woods but our site was right across from the basketball court which wound up being a bit too much for these two old fogies.  It seemed the best time to play some basketball was in the evening.  Multiples balls constantly bouncing even after quiet time which was ten o’clock.  The bouncing balls could still be heard inside our camper and with the fan running.  Since falling to sleep was out of the question for me I got back up and edited some photos until the bouncing finally stopped and the court lights were turned off.  Whew, now this ol’ girl can get some sleep!  The next night we just planned on watching a movie hoping it would end about the same time as the bouncing balls.  Thankfully the timing worked out well.  And, thankfully, we were only here for two nights.

As has become our custom, after getting all set up we headed to town to see what’s there and to find a local place to eat.  We like checking out Main Streets and old downtowns so that’s where we headed.  We found two restaurants across from each other – The Abbey and The Butcher’s Pub.  Finding no more options we turned around and chose the one on the right, The Butcher’s Pub.

As I looked at all the flags and memorabilia from England displayed in the restaurant it dawned on me why there was an Abbey and a Pub downtown – we were in London, of course!  Well, London, Kentucky that is.  Having been to London several times I was curious as to how the town got its name.  I found the following from Wikipedia – “Upon the establishment of Laurel County in 1825, a vote was held to provide for the new area’s seat of government. The land offered by John and Jarvis Jackson was selected, along with their suggested name of London, honoring their English heritage.  The town was founded the next year, its post office established in 1831, and its city rights granted in 1836.

During the late1930s and early1940s, London served as a central collection agency for books donated to the Pack Horse Library Project. It also had a pack horse library which delivered books to rural residents in the mountains.”

Discovering the tidbit of information about the Pack Horse Library Project was a nice surprise.  I love books and libraries and have read the fictionalized version of the Pack Horse Library Project ‘The Giver of Stars’ by Jojo Moyes.  I had the privilege of meeting her at Snug Hollow B&B where I was employed at the time.  She was working on the book while there and I couldn’t wait until it was published.  To imagine people delivering books on horseback to the most rural parts of the Appalachians astounds me.  Anyway, if you like to read I’d encourage you to check out her book and make sure you read the acknowledgements!  As I said, it’s a fictionalized version but you’ll get the idea of the work involved in organizing such a library and the tenacity of those that thought getting books into the hands of the most rural peoples was of utmost importance.

I digress. Anyway, we enjoyed a tasty meal then headed back to the campground.

Since we were only here for two nights we used this time to do some errands.  We weren’t far from our old stomping grounds so we decided to put a few more things in our storage unit then head over to see my great-niece.  We picked up some pizza’s and headed over to see her and her family and to pick up our mail and some packages that we had sent to her place.  One of the items, OK two items, we were anxious to get was the electric bikes we purchased.

A couple at Salt Springs had a pair so I got the scoop from them.  They had nothing but good things to say about the brand and the bikes so we decided to bite the bullet and get some for ourselves.  They each weigh 64 pounds and they fold in half making it easy to put in the back of the truck when on the road.

We enjoy bike riding but with Ronnie’s bad knees and my out-of-shape legs riding bikes was out of the question.  With the aid of Pedal Assist when going uphill riding bikes would now be doable.  We couldn’t wait to charge the battery and check them out.

We enjoyed time spent with family and all too soon it was time to head back to the campground.  Once back in London we stopped to have the oil changed in the truck.  It was almost closing time and we were the only ones there.  Once we were good to go Ronnie asked the guys if it would be possible to have air put in our bike tires.  They graciously filled the tires and we were on our way.  Now all we had to do was charge the batteries and we could take our inaugural bike ride.  The batteries charged in about four hours but since it was already dark we would have to wait until tomorrow for that bike ride.

Tomorrow finally arrived and we were off and riding first thing in the morning.  It took me a bit to get the hang of getting on and off and getting started but the old saying “it’s just like riding a bike” is true.  It wasn’t long before I had the hang of it again and I began learning about the bike and how it operates.  The inaugural bike ride around the campground was awesome!   We did most of the pedaling with only a few pedal assists here and there.  The exercise was invigorating and much needed.  Now that we have no farm work to do we’ve both packed on a few pounds since we began full time RVing.  Lots of delicious food and a more sedentary lifestyle is not a good combination. Here’s hoping for some lost pounds in the future!

After our bike rides we casually began the process of packing up. Time to head to the next destination which was less than two hours away. Yay!

dates in London, Kentucky: May 20 – 22

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Asheville, North Carolina & a piece of the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway

The trip from South Carolina to North Carolina was another short trip.  At the first sight of the mountains we both found ourselves smiling.

There’s just something about the mountains!

We spent four nights at the KOA East in Swannanoa just outside Asheville.  This was a campground with a view…

The camper backed right up to a small lake and the mountains could be seen through the trees.

No sooner than we got set up Ronnie was wetting a hook…

No sooner than he wet the hook he was pulling out a nice size fish…

He was one happy camper! He threw it back in but catching something right off the bat was a nice way to start off our stay in North Carolina.

You never know what you’re in for when choosing a campground sight unseen. Thankfully this was a beautiful campground…

… with nice facilities and amenities.

I enjoyed watching the young geese and ducklings imitate their parents and the turtles basking in the sun.

While we were in and near Asheville we thought we might check out the Biltmore Estate again.  We were there several years ago during Christmas and we toured the estate in all its glory while the halls were decked out in holly.  It was a sight to behold so we thought we’d like to see it this time of year with the gardens bestowing all their glory.

The days of just showing up and buying your ticket are gone.  As I got online to check out the prices I discovered a) that ticket prices had gone up considerably since the last time we were there and b) that reservations with time time slots needed to be made then paid for and c) tickets needed to either be printed or could be shown on one’s phone.  The first two were surprising to discover but not really a big deal.  The third one posed a problem as we don’t have a printer anymore.  I did manage to get my email set up on the phone so that would have taken care of the tickets.  However, I waited a day to make the reservations and in that time of waiting I decided that we probably wouldn’t get our monies worth since Ronnie is not able to be on his feet for very long.  He was willing to go because he knows how much I love that place but there’s a lot of walking involved between touring the estate and walking the vast gardens and I didn’t want him to be miserable.

Instead, we took a drive a short ways along the Blue Ridge Parkway and stopped at almost all the scenic overlooks.  Such beautiful views!

We drove through tunnels; saw a waterfall and lake; and enjoyed the cool weather.

It was a wonderful day spent absorbing the beauty of nature.

On the way back and not far from the campground we ate at Okie Dokie Smokehouse for supper.  We like checking out local restaurants and this one was worth the stop.  It was delicious!

Another day we walked a block or two around downtown Asheville.  We spent quite a bit of time in two of the stores in particular – the Asheville Gem Mine and The Bee Charmer.  We stopped at the Bee Charmer first.  Oh my!  Honey and bee themed stuff galore.  I love them both so I’m pretty sure my mouth was open for the first few minutes after entering the shop.  They had such a variety of honey from local to around the globe.  There was even a taste testing bar.  I think we were both a bit overwhelmed so after walking the entire store we walked out empty-handed.

The next store we spent a lot of time in was the gem mine or rock shop.  Rocks are so cool because what may look plain and simple and possibly even ugly on the outside may have a beautiful gem inside.  I’ve always like rocks.  When I was a kid I had a rock tumbler.  It was a kit and came with some rocks and sand.  I remember it being noisy so I had to put it in the garage.  I can’t remember how long those rocks tumbled but when I finally turned it off and opened up the tumbler I had the smoothest, shiniest and pretty rocks.  They were so different from the rough and jagged rocks I originally put in. To this day I still have all those rocks stored in a glass Walt Disney World candy jar.

Ronnie and I must’ve checked out every rock and gem in the store and I walked out with this inexpensive but beautiful necklace…

…plain on the outside but beautiful on the inside!

We wound up back at the Bee Charmer and this second time around we weren’t quite so overwhelmed.  This time we sampled several various infused honey’s and walked out with quite a few of the one’s we sampled – Chai infused honey, Cocoa infused honey, Fireweed honey and Firecracker Hot honey.  When I saw the hot honey on the shelf I couldn’t imagine how it might taste but it was delicious!  It’s going to be so tasty drizzled over goat cheese or used as a glaze on chicken or salmon.  The Fireweed will pair nicely with Greek yogurt and the Chai and Cocoa infused honey’s will be lovely in a cup of hot tea and maybe over some ice cream.  I’m sure we’ll discover more uses for them but this bee and honey-loving girl was in bee themed and honey heaven!

We also snagged an adorable drip-free honey server sporting a honeycomb design. The honey comes out the bottom and you can put warm water in the stand to keep the honey from crystalizing.  It works great although I do have to put it in a cupholder in the truck when we’re on the road because it’s glass and I don’t want to take the chance of it toppling over or breaking.  It’s worth the precaution though!

After we were finished walking and shopping we stopped at the Mellow Mushroom for lunch.

It’s a converted gas station and in case you’re wondering what those colored things in the wall are they’re bowling balls.  How fun!

We started with a Bruschetta appetizer which was delicious…

…then we enjoyed an equally delicious pizza for lunch.  I failed to get a picture of the pizza because it was gone before I thought to get a photo. oops!

After lunch we drove around looking for a place like a park or something where we could sit and enjoy the French Broad River.  We could not find any such place on the river so we drove to the Historic River Arts District.  What a neat place!

I really like that these wonderful old buildings are being used as artists’ studios and shops and not sitting vacant or being torn down.

These buildings are part of our nations’ history and are still creating history and art.  We like trying to determine what the buildings were used for back in their day from old signage or writing. If those walls could talk I’m sure they would have some stories to tell!

While in the Historic River Arts District we did find a spot where I could see a portion of the French Broad River…

Shortly after snapping the above photo a couple of kayakers and rafters came floating by.

The rest of our time in Asheville was spent at the campground relaxing, enjoying the view, fishing for Ronnie, and blogging and knitting for me.

Speaking of knitting, I checked email one day and discovered a request for ten dish scrubbies.  I had a little bit of scrubby yarn left so I was able to get started but I’ll have to get some more when we’re out and about.

And speaking of email, we’re finding out that there’s not too many campgrounds with Internet or WiFi available.  A few days without it is OK but we may have to come up with a solution so that we’re not without for too long.  Personally, I don’t mind being disconnected but I’m getting behind on blogging and we don’t want to miss any important messages or emails.  Hopefully we’ll find a solution that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Till next time friends!

dates in Asheville, NC: May 16 – 20

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Colleton State Park in South Carolina

Our next stop, Colleton State Park, was a little over two and half hours from St. Mary’s. We stopped here because our intentions were to go to Savannah, GA one day then Charleston, SC another day and this campground was almost in the middle of the two.

However, when we arrived at the campsite we decided neither one of us was very keen on driving the hour or so to each respective place so we stayed put. We’re terrible that way. Neither of us do well in crowds and we typically tend to shy away from cities so where does that leave us? Content at our campsite or checking out small towns and the treasures they hold.

Colleton SP is located in Walterboro.

It’s another quaint little town whose slogan is ‘The Front Porch of the Lowcountry’.

We checked out a couple of antique stores and visited the water tower.

The tower has an interesting story. The following excerpt about the tower is taken from the town’s website… “The tower (built around 1915) is built of reinforced concrete and is 133 feet high. The tank section above the windows holds 100,000 gallons of water. At the base of the Tower are three jail cells where travelers, if stranded here many years ago and not able to pay for lodging, were allowed to stay here.” Is that not too funny? Did you notice the bed frame in the ‘room’ on the right?

The very first thing I noticed about the town were the sidewalks made out of oyster shells…

It had me wondering where all these shells came from and why did the town decide to use them in their sidewalks. Which is kinda funny that I should wonder about such things. As a child I never asked questions. As an adult it seems that’s all I do.

On our way back to the campsite we ate at Duke’s Barbecue – an all-you-can-eat buffet. Our waistlines really didn’t need a buffet but the food was delicious and reasonably priced. Ronnie had the fried chicken saying it was done perfectly and I had a sizable vegetable plate.

Colleton State Park is a smaller campground and backing into one’s spot can be tricky because of all the trees. I’m so glad Ronnie is an excellent backer. They also had the cutest bath house I have seen so far…

We stayed three nights but had to change campsites after the first night because no spots were available for three consecutive nights when we booked. Moving was OK but the people in our spot didn’t leave until the last minute (I can’t blame them) which meant our morning was gone. That’s another reason why we opted to forego trying to get to Savannah and Charleston.

The campground is on the Edisto River and is a favored spot for canoeists and kayakers. We saw many people (both locals and campers) heading down to the water either in bathing suits or with fishing poles. When we walked down to the river we found a few people fishing but no one was swimming. We’ve declared it to be a secret swimming hole as we never found anyone swimming in all the areas that we walked.

Speaking of walking, there was a nice boardwalk to the river’s edge where people could launch their canoes…

… but once you left the boardwalk one had to watch where they were going so as to not trip over a cypress knee…

We noticed as we were walking along the swampy edge of the river that at one point the river had been up quite a bit. You can see the water line on the trees…

All those cypress knees would’ve been well under water.

The river was flowing rather quickly so we really weren’t sure where people might be swimming but it was a nice river and popular with motor boats.

There was a canoe rental across the river and there are a couple cabins for rent in the campground.

We enjoyed our short stay at Colleton. With leaving to only tour the town I had plenty of time to actually FINISH the cross stitching on the Christmas Bell Pull. YAY!!! I still have to get some fabric for the back, sew it together and find some hardware to hang it.

I’m just glad it’s done. This one was tricky with lots of blended colors to create the intricate shading and the use of various colored filament for some sparkle in each motif. The picture doesn’t do it justice but it sure is pretty and was worth the tediousness.

Now on to another adventure. Till next time friends!