Heading West – Stop 1

Current Location: Parkers Crossroads RV Park and Campground, Yuma, Tennessee

Val had a stomach bug last night so she was up and down running to the bathroom. Malcolm had too much caffeine late in the day and paid for it by not being able to get back to sleep for awhile after waking up with Val at 3:00 AM. We both ended up sleeping in until almost 9:00 AM as a result.

We got rolling out of the Horse Park about 9:45 AM and made a couple extra rest stops for Val’s system to clear up a little more. We ended up eating lunch at the Tennessee welcome center rest area on I-65 south just outside of Kentucky. From there, we headed around Nashville on the Briley Parkway and picked up I-40 west.

Our stop here in Yuma is about 25 miles east of Jackson, Tennessee. Our process for finding a campground for the night involves finding the approximate area in which we want to stop (in this case, Jackson, Tennessee) and use the Allstays app to find campgrounds. For each one, Malcolm checks RV Park Reviews to see how each place rates. Parkers Crossroads had a lot of 9’s and 10’s, so we decided to drop in. Fortunately, we grabbed a spot, because they were nearly full.

Our site

Our site

This is a really nice park. The owners and staff are super nice. Since Val wasn’t feeling up to eating dinner, let alone cooking anything, Malcolm took up the park’s offer to have a pizza made (at the office) and delivered to the site for $8.75. Not bad at all. We decided since the site was so level that we would just stay hooked up to the truck.

Tomorrow, we hope to make it as far as Texarkana, Texas for another overnight stop.

Nice Lexington Day

Current Location: Kentucky Horse Park Campground, Lexington, Kentucky

This morning we slept in a bit (to make up for the loss of sleep the previous night). Malcolm wrote out some postcards and took them over to the campground office to mail them. He also inquired about buying horseback riding tickets there but was informed that we would buy those at the Horse Park main gate. We headed over there about 10:30 to see about riding at 11:00. As it turns out, only two other people (so far) had signed up for the 11:00 ride.

We filled out our forms and headed over to watch them saddle up the horses for the ride (11:00 is the first ride of the day on weekdays). These two horses were best buddies and stuck close together the whole time they were waiting for the ride. Val ended up riding the white horse and the brown one was left behind.

Two buddies

Two buddies

It was a fun and relaxing ride. It is the first time we’ve ridden since we rode up to the Hollywood sign last summer. During that trip, Val’s horse reared and spun with Val in the saddle, so Val’s been a bit leary of riding again. Today’s trip was a great, relaxing way to rebuild confidence since it was a simple nose to tail ride. The ride lasted about 35-40 minutes and rode around the Horse Park grounds. We took this same ride last spring when we were visiting here.

Riding stables

Riding stables

Val ready to ride

Val ready to ride

View from Malcolm's horse

View from Malcolm’s horse

View during the ride (from Malcolm's horse - Val is three horses in front of Malcolm)

View during the ride (from Malcolm’s horse – Val is three horses in front of Malcolm)

A quick chat between friends

A quick chat between friends

Scenery

Scenery

After the horseback ride, we walked over to the restaurant at the Horse Park and had sandwiches for lunch. Afterwards, we browsed the gift shop and picked up a few things. Then, on to the grocery store. At the grocery store, Malcolm had to run out to the truck and call in to work for an interview for a position that will be helping in Malcolm’s area. Once that was done, he headed back into the store to meet up with Val. Val’s sister and friend were both there talking to Val.

We checked out and headed back to the trailer. We got things ready to cook out and started the grill, throwing burgers, hot dogs and corn on the cob on the grill to cook. Val’s sister Anne and our niece Jasmine came over for dinner and to visit for a while. We sat around outside and chatted as well as admired some of the fall colors behind us in the tree row bordering the campground.

Anne

Anne

Jasmine and Bailey

Jasmine and Bailey

Fall colors

Fall colors

Tomorrow morning, we head out towards Texas. We’ll take three travel days to get to the Cisco, Texas area. We have reservations for several nights at the park where our friends the Dorseys and the Mayers are staying.

On to Lexington

Current Location: Kentucky Horse Park Campground, Lexington, Kentucky

Our rowdy neighbors at the KOA in eastern Kentucky ended up partying until around 3:00 AM. We got some sleep, though Malcolm had too much caffeine too late in the day and ended up staying up late, as well. We took our time this morning getting hooked up to head out and rolled out around 9:00 AM.

We arrived at the Horse Park about 11:15 AM and checked in at the office. Since checkout is at noon, we drove around the loop to our spot and saw that it was still occupied. Since we both needed a restroom break, we drove back around and pulled into the swimming pool parking lot (since the pool is closed) and took care of business. Malcolm walked back over and saw that our spot was free, so we headed back over and set up.

All set up

All set up

Once we were set up we headed into town to find some lunch. We tried to go to Joe Bologna’s pizza place, but parking was tight with the after-church crowd. We headed on south and found another of our favorite restaurants – Ramsey’s – and pulled up a couple seats at the bar (since they were busy and we could sit at the bar right away). We both had Kentucky Hot Browns for lunch.

After lunch we wandered down to Joseph Beth Booksellers and also wandered around the Fayette Mall for a while. We headed back towards the trailer, but stopped at a golf course near the Horse Park and asked if they had a driving range. They did, so we stopped at the trailer, grabbed our golf gear and headed back over to practice with a couple buckets of balls. We also practiced putting a bit on the practice greens.

Golf course marker

Golf course marker

Malcolm taking a swing

Malcolm taking a swing

All in all, it was a relaxing and pleasant day.

 

A Special Trip

Current Location: Ashland / Huntington West KOA, Argillite, Kentucky

We got up early this morning and had the trailer hitched up and ready to go. We pulled out of the KOA around 7:10 AM headed to northeastern Kentucky. It was a beautiful day. As we got further north and east in Kentucky, the fall colors were starting to show more and more. Still a bit early for brilliant colors, but there were a few yellows and reds starting to pop.

We originally were going to try to meet several of Malcolm’s high school classmates that still live in his hometown area of Russell, Flatwoods and Ashland, Kentucky. His friend, Margaret King, had mentioned how several of them get together for dinner occasionally and the talk eventually drifts to us and our lifestyle. However, we found out recently that Margaret’s husband is in the final stages of a several year battle with cancer and she’s been busy transferring him from the hospital to rehab. Instead, we offered to come visit him and she indicated that she might like to get away for some quiet time and we readily agreed.

We pulled into the KOA here about 2:30 PM and got set up. Val had been crocheting a lap blanket for Margaret’s husband, Dave, on the way up in the truck. She had already crocheted a shawl for Margaret. Val did some more crocheting in the trailer after we got set up and then we decided around 5:00 PM to head into town to get a couple gift bags. Margaret called right after we left and said she’d meet us for dinner at 7:00 PM.

Since we had a couple hours, we took a tour of the area along with buying the gift bags. Malcolm took a bunch of pictures since he wanted some more current photos of places he remembers from home. We met Margaret at Giovanni’s Pizza (one of Malcolm’s favorites growing up) and had dinner and talked for a couple hours before turning over the prayer shawl and lap blanked to her. She was very touched.

After dinner, we took the long way back to the campground via Ashland and US 60 back out to the interstate. Malcolm took the opportunity to stop and get an ice cream cone on the way out of town. When we got back to the trailer, some of the neighbors here in the park are having a little party with whooping, shouting and loud music. Hopefully they give up before it gets late. We’re up early again tomorrow heading to Lexington to visit Val’s sister and other friends there.

Here are several pictures Malcolm took around his hometown area.

The Middle School that Malcolm attended

The Middle School that Malcolm attended

The high school that Malcolm attended

The high school that Malcolm attended

The house where Malcolm lived from 1966 to 1974.

The house where Malcolm lived from 1966 to 1974.

The "Spider Web" house. Hard to see, but the big window in the middle is made up of a lot of pieces of glass in a spider web pattern. Yes, it is a real log house, too.

The “Spider Web” house. Hard to see, but the big window in the middle is made up of a lot of pieces of glass in a spider web pattern. Yes, it is a real log house, too.

The house where Malcolm lived from 1974 until he moved to Lexington during college in 1980.

The house where Malcolm lived from 1974 until he moved to Lexington during college in 1980.

The AK Steel plant (formerly Armco Steel) where Malcolm's Dad worked

The AK Steel plant (formerly Armco Steel) where Malcolm’s Dad worked

Downtown Ashland, Kentucky

Downtown Ashland, Kentucky

The Ohio River, looking downstream. Kentucky on the left, Ohio on the right.

The Ohio River, looking downstream. Kentucky on the left, Ohio on the right.

The pizza buffet at Giovanni's (they were just loading it back up with pizza after the picture was taken)

The pizza buffet at Giovanni’s (they were just loading it back up with pizza after the picture was taken)

Time for ice cream

Time for ice cream

Ready to Travel

Current Location: Nashville KOA, Nashville, Tennessee

Not a whole lot going on the past week. Malcolm has been working, Val has been taking care of stuff around the trailer, doing some sewing and general other things. Tomorrow we are heading out for a two week trip, so today has been spent taking back the rental car, notifying the KOA that we’re leaving tomorrow (which surprisingly garnered us a refund for unused days) and generally taking care of things around the trailer to prepare for travel.

We did manage to go bowling again on Wednesday night, which will probably become a regular thing when we are in Nashville, at least.

Bowling

Bowling

David earned his green rope in the Air Force. I’ll let the astute reader do a Google on that to see what it entails. It generally signifies more leadership skills earned in training.

Green Rope

Green Rope

We’ve done a little modifying around the trailer. We took down the huge picture collage frame from above our bed and are going to replace it with two smaller multi-frames. Val found that the space saved with the newer frames allowed her to hang the picture she had painted the night before we left Washington.

New picture

New picture

Our next stint in Nashville is the second and third weeks of November. Malcolm went ahead and put in a reservation here at the KOA for that visit. We found out that the management is changing at the park. Should be interesting to see when we get back.