Catch-up Post – Chattanooga

We’ve been so busy having fun and traveling, and Malcolm has been busy working in-between, so our blog has not gotten a lot of attention lately. This is the second of a few posts to catch up.

Location: Holiday Travel Park, Rossville, Georgia

After we left Lexington on Monday (Sept. 19), we headed to Chattanooga, Tennessee for a Heartland Owners Club rally. We were there from Monday, September 19 through Sunday, September 26. We were joined throughout the week by around 30 rigs at the venue. We had a great time catching up with Heartland friends while there.

We did a little sightseeing while in the area. On Tuesday, we went to the Chattanooga Aquarium. As part of a package deal, we rode on their boat up river to view the gorge area. It was a fun and interesting ride. We’ve been through the aquarium before, but it was a nice visit to go back again with friends.

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Our site at the Tennessee rally

Malcolm worked during the daytime hours and we attended the various evening functions related to the rally. On Thursday evening, the club sponsored a cookout with hamburgers and hotdogs. On Friday, the first official day of the rally, we had a pitch-in get-together with finger foods and desserts.

On Saturday evening, we enjoyed a freshly cooked catered meal. Prizes were given away and many were auctioned off in a silent auction. Proceeds from the auction and other giveaways during the weekend went to a local charity that helps homeless women get back on their feet.

On Saturday, we did some other sightseeing with our neighbors, the Funderbergs. The four of us  headed up to Rock City to visit and to eat lunch at their restaurant overlooking the Chattanooga valley, below. We drove back down the mountain and rode the incline railway up and back down, as well.

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Overlook view from Rock City

On Sunday morning, we got everything all hitched up and headed to the rally breakfast to grab some food and coffee and to say our goodbyes. We headed down to Alabama since we had been invited to a baby shower on Sunday evening.

 

Catch-up Post – Kentucky

We’ve been so busy having fun and traveling, and Malcolm has been busy working in-between, so our blog has not gotten a lot of attention lately. This is the first of a few posts to catch up.

We were in Kentucky from Thursday, September 15th through Monday the 18th. On Friday we headed over to the Horse Park to visit and to go horseback riding. We picked the first horseback ride of the day (11:00) since it was supposed to be pretty hot in the afternoon.

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Let’s go horseback riding!

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Val is saddled up and ready.

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A group of horses watches us ride by.

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It may be “nose to tail”, but still fun.

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Still back there?

Before and after the ride, we wandered around the Horse Park. It’s not an uncommon sight to see folks (typically volunteers) sitting or riding around the park on horses.

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A couple of costumed riders outside the main building.

We wandered through a couple of indoor exhibits since it was pretty hot outside and there weren’t many horses outside.

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Full-size diorama in the history of horse museum.

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Exhibit in the Arabian Horse exhibit

On Saturday, we headed to Paris, Kentucky to take in the annual Secretariat Festival. The festival celebrates the famed racehorse, Secretariat. A good friend of ours – Patrick the Miniature Horse – is the official mascot. We hung around with he and his owner, Sarah, and her mother.

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Patrick, Sarah and her mother talking to Val.

Each year, they usually have a few people show up to sign autographs. This year, Secretariat’s jockey, Ron Turcotte, and his exercise rider, Charlie Davis, were in attendance. Last year, Secretariat’s owner, Penny Chenery, was also there. She didn’t make it this year.

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Charlie David, Secretariat’s warmup rider, gives Patrick the Mini Horse a peppermint.

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Charlie gives Patrick a kiss.

After the downtown festivities, we followed Patrick, Sarah and her mother out to the fairground where Patrick was giving a demonstration of his jumping abilities. It ended up starting to rain just as his turn came. He did his best, though.

We said our goodbyes to Patrick, Sarah and her mother and headed on back to the trailer where we entertained Val’s sister Anne and our niece, Jasmine, for dinner. We visited for a while until they had to leave.

Sunday morning we drove down to Nicholasville and attended church with Malcolm’s Aunt Margaret and Uncle Jerry. After church, we went to Margaret and Jerry’s house for lunch. We were joined by cousins Lary and Dale. We visited most of the afternoon.

When we left Nicholasville, we headed to Columbia’s Steak House in Lexington to have dinner with some friends, then back to the trailer to start packing up for our move on Monday.

On Monday, we packed up, hitched up and headed down to Chattanooga, Tennessee for a Heartland Owners Club rally. We’ll cover that in the next catch-up post.

 

And We’re Here

Current Location: Kentucky Horse Park Campground, Lexington, Kentucky

“Here” would be Lexington, Kentucky, where we were heading after leaving Washington state 9 days ago. We’ll be here at the Horse Park campground in our favorite spot for a few days. Here’s a rundown of the rest of our trip here:

Once we left Sioux Falls, South Dakota, we decided to just drive as far as we felt like and stop for the night. As we were heading south on I-29 we decided to stop just after crossing into Missouri. Malcolm found a nice sounding campground (Rock Port Riversedge Campground) on our Allstays app and we just drove in. It was fairly full, but the super nice couple that run the campground found one open spot for us – perfect.

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Parked next to the cornfield in Rock Port, Missouri

It was sunny when we arrived in Rock Port, but it was rainy the next morning. We drove on south on I-29 to Kansas City, then turned east on I-70. That’s about when we ran out of rain and the skies turned sunny.

We realized in the last couple of days that we were going to have more days than miles, so we changed our Kentucky reservation to arrive on Thursday instead of Friday. Given that, we divided the drive from Rock Port, Missouri to Lexington into three fairly even increments. For Tuesday night, we ended up at another nice campground find – the Lazy Day Campground in Danville, Missouri. It was a really nice campground and had the bonus of giving a 15% discount to Escapees members (like us).

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Lazy Day Campground site.

We left Lazy Day on Wednesday with the intent of staying the night in Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park campground in western Kentucky. We entered the campground mid-afternoon to find the office closed but instructions to grab an envelope, find a site that isn’t reserved, drop money in and deposit the envelope.

We drove around the campground and found that the only empty 50 amp sites had the power post located 50 or more feet away from the site. Our power cord wouldn’t reach that far. We then decided to drive around and look at the 30 amp sites. About the time we found one that looked suitable, a gentleman in a plumbing company van stopped to tell us that there was a water leak in the park and that most of the park water was going to be off overnight. We decided to look elsewhere since all the sites were fairly unlevel, under low hanging branches or other issues.

We ended up Wednesday night in the nearby Paducah / I-24 / Kentucky Lake KOA, run by a very nice older couple. Given the For Sale sign outside of the campground and their age, we figured they were ready to fully retire. We left the truck hooked up to the trailer for the night and headed out in the morning. The gentleman that owned the place stopped us and thanked us for stopping through.

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Our KOA site

Today we headed up the road to our final destination here at the Horse Park. We had reserved our favorite site based on previous experience with the site. The nice thing is that it is the last site on the row with our door facing the large expanse of grass between our site and the main road. Plus, it is in the back part of the park, so less traffic going by.

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Most of our front yard here at the Horse Park

Plans for the long weekend are to visit the Horse Park, head over to Paris, Kentucky for the Secretariat Festival, visit with Malcolm’s aunt and uncle, have dinner with some friends of ours that live in the area and visit with Val’s sister and family.

Monday morning we head down the road to Chattanooga for several days at a Heartland Owners Club rally being held there.

 

Heading East and South

Current Location: Sioux Falls KOA, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

We left western Washington state on Tuesday morning and drove east on I-90. The first two days were longer drive days (close to 400 miles each day). As such, the first two nights on the road we just left the trailer hooked up to the truck overnight. We stopped at Kellogg, Idaho (same campground we stayed in on the way west) and south of Livingston, Montana. Both nights, Malcolm caught up on work and Val caught up on laundry.

On Thursday night, we stopped in Buffalo, Wyoming. Since it was a shorter trip, we decided to unhitch the truck. We drove into town and ate dinner at a downtown Mexican Cantina and Bar. The food was good. We also walked through a couple shops before they all started closing for the evening.

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Occidental Hotel, downtown Buffalo, Wyoming

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Buffalo, Wyoming downtown mural

After dinner and walking around downtown, we stopped at the gas station to fuel up the truck and headed back to the trailer. A cold front blew in overnight and brought the temperatures down into the 40’s overnight. Brrr. It remained cool on Friday as we headed to Wall, South Dakota for a two-night stay.

We stayed in the Sleepy Hollow Campground in Wall, which is only a couple blocks away from the famous Wall Drug Store. We stopped here last year, but it was just as fun this year. So much kitsch. The advertisements for the place dot I-90 for hundreds of miles each direction (we were seeing them back in Wyoming).

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Wall Drug Store

On Saturday, we loaded up in the truck and did a driving tour through Badlands National Park. It was a beautiful day and the temperatures were warming up into the upper 70’s by afternoon. When we got to the visitor center area, we stopped and ate lunch at the restaurant at the lodge, did some shopping and headed on out of the park back towards I-90.

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Badlands National Park scenery

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Colorful Badlands scenery

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More Badlands

Malcolm took a lot of pictures of the Badlands with his good camera. More pictures can be found in his photography site by clicking here.

As we left the Badlands park area, we ran across a small historical site that is an original prairie homestead. We decided to stop in and visit. Very interesting exhibit of the mostly original home from the late 1800’s.

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Prairie Home

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The kitchen and dining room. Bedroom behind the curtain

As we approached the interstate, we found that the fairly new Minuteman National Historical Site building so we stopped in. It was too late for any guided tours, but we were directed to an exit near Wall where we could take a look at a remaining silo. We did that on the way back to Wall. Pretty neat. (Malcolm couldn’t post pictures as our blog site is acting up).

Today we headed out from Wall and made it to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. We are staying at the KOA here. There is a craft beer brewery across the street, so we decided to check that out. Malcolm enjoyed a very good seasonal beer that they were serving. Val had a tasty root beer from somewhere nearby. We used them to wash down some Dot’s Pretzels, which are apparently a regional treat. They are pretty tasty.

Tomorrow we start heading southward as well as continuing east.

 

The Rest of the Washington Trip

Current Location: Crystal Gold Mine & RV Park, Kellogg, Idaho

Today, we started our journey back south and east. However, we need to catch you up on the last week and a half. So let’s start with last Saturday. Elizabeth held her 30th birthday party with the “Roaring 20’s” theme and it was a great success. Lots of friends and family came over, many of them dressed to the theme. We got lots of great pictures inside and out.

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Yard decorations

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More yard decorations

The gazing ball and pink flamingos are a nod to an old family tradition on Malcolm’s side of the family. Elizabeth kept the gazing ball and stand. We now have the flamingos traveling with us.

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Favorite Party Picture

This was our favorite picture from the party. A friend of the family brought his old Ford Model A and parked it in the back yard. Elizabeth’s “Aunt” Stacy dressed up as Charlie Chaplin. They staged this shot.

On Sunday, we went over to Elizabeth and Cole’s house. They had to go to a family function so we took care of the girls for them. We (and David) took them back to our trailer. David, Malcolm and the girls went walking, running or bike riding along the trails near the river.

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Malcolm and Scarlet

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Violet’s last day with training wheels

That evening, we got them ready for bed. Elizabeth sent us a text asking how the girls were doing. We sent back the following picture.

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Oh Boy!

On Monday through Wednesday, Malcolm got some work done either at the trailer or over at Cole and Elizabeth’s house. We also visited with the girls, ran errands, went shopping and so on.

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Malcolm’s Office

On Thursday, Malcolm and Elizabeth went out in the morning while Val babysat the grandchildren. Val and the girls went over to get Cole’s grandmother and take her to lunch. Malcolm and Elizabeth went to a doctor appointment (for Elizabeth), then ate brunch and headed over to go horseback riding. They decided to make it an annual birthday tradition (Malcolm’s and Elizabeth’s birthdays are only 6 days apart).

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Elizabeth ready to ride

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Malcolm getting settled

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And they’re off!

On Friday, we moved the trailer from the campground at Auburn over to Cole’s grandmother’s house over on Fox Island. We backed it down to the end of the driveway. We spent the entire holiday weekend visiting there with lots of Cole’s family and various friends. We had a great, relaxing time.

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The trailer set up on “the island”

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A couple of Malcolm’s buddies

Elizabeth and the girls stayed overnight on Monday night at the island. They rode with us back into town with trailer in tow. We dropped them off at their house, said our goodbyes and headed on out of town. We’ll be traveling back south and east over the next week and a half, ultimately ending up in Lexington, Kentucky at the Horse Park Campground.