Wed. September 29

Our Two Rivers Site

On Wednesday, 9/29, we arrived at the Ridge Outdoor Resort in Sevierville, TN. We had planned to spend our 7-days here but the resort is under construction and many of the amenities they advertised were not in place. This will be a great resort when completed.

Our Campsite on the French Broad River at Two Rivers Landing RV Resort

We moved to Two Rivers Landing RV Resort   located on the French Broad River. Our site was a “pull-in” with a fantastic view of the river. This RV Resort is top notch and we will be back. 

We had to shorten our stay here due to the extra time we spent in Red Bay and the move between parks and an unexpected trip to a veterinarian in Knoxville for Lucy. The vet there diagnosed her with Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD). They didn’t do any

Sunset From Our Site

X-ray or CT scans so when back in Florida we’ll have to have a cat scan performed to confirm their diagnosis. We’re hoping they were wrong. Along with that and several days of rain hampered our exploration of the area.

We went into Knoxville and walked some of the shops and art stores. We had dinner after in an area where the street was blocked off from vehicle traffic. During dinner we were entertained by street musicians and animal acts. Knoxville, like some of the other areas we visited this summer. 

Marcy & Joe at Smoky Mountain National Park

We spent much of our time touring the area via vehicle. The Smoky Mountain National Park scenery is beautiful but the area has become a Mecca for tourists seeking the entertainment offered in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. We did visit Gatlinburg SkyLift Park and rode the SkyLift to the SkyBridge, the longest pedestrian cable bridge in North America. The views were fantastic at 1800 feet above sea level.

Tunnel on I40 on the Way to Asheville

On Tuesday, 10/5, we pointed the “Bus” east towards Asheville, Swannanoa, NC, to be exact, for our 4-day stay at the Asheville East KOA. 

Unfortunately it rained the entire time we were there. The drive was wet but the leaves are becoming more colorful, with the reds popping through the yellows, oranges and greens.

Whenever the rain stopped we ventured out and visited the town of Black Mountain. Black Mountain was voted Best Small Town in Western North Carolina. Located a mile from the Eastern Continental Divide, Black Mountain is situated amidst the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, the oldest mountain range on earth. 

Near Black Mountain is Montreat. Montreat is a secluded, beautiful village deep in a mountain cove. It’s best known for Montreat College.

We also ventured into Asheville, one of our favorite destinations, for lunch at the Twisted Laurel Restaurant and a little shopping. Stopped by and viewed fantastic photography at Benjamin Walls Fine Art Gallery.

Blue Ridge Parkway

When in this area we always take a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is a beautiful and serene trip.

As the National Park Service states, “A Blue Ridge Parkway experience is unlike any other: a slow-paced and relaxing drive revealing stunning long-range vistas and close-up views of the rugged mountains and pastoral landscapes of the Appalachian Highlands. The Parkway meanders for 469 miles, protecting a diversity of plants and animals, and providing opportunities for enjoying all that makes this region of the country so special.”

Fall Colors in North Carolina

Friday, October 8, we drifted south, the beginning of the end to our summer trip. We will stop at the beautiful Lake Toxaway area where we will live in luxury at the Mountain Falls Luxury Motorcoach Resort

 

 

Today’s Thought 

“The time to make up your mind about people, is never.”

Philip Barry

Upcoming Trip Schedule

Fri, October 8, 2021

Lake Toxaway, NC

Mountain Falls Luxury Motorcoach Resort

We will spend 7-days in the Lake Toxaway area exploring Brevard, Cashiers, Highlands and much more.

Miles from last stop: 60

 

Fri, October 15, 2021

Savannah, GA

CreekFire RV Resort

We will spend 4-days in the Savannah area exploring the area. Our next stop is home!

Miles from last stop: 334

 

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Wed. September 18

Approximately 36 miles NW of Red Bay we discovered an area that consists of several small towns that have an incredible impact on American music.

The towns are:

  • Muscle Shoals. The 2019 census states the population was 14,575. 
  • Sheffield, located in the Shoals metropolitan area, had a population of 8,986 in 2019.
  • Florence located across the Tennessee River had a population of 40,309 in the 2019 census.

That’s what makes this area extraordinary and disproves the adage that “size matters” which alludes to the larger, the better.

We’ve heard musicians have pilgrimaged to Memphis or Nashville to get discovered and make their start. So why are we writing about the Shoals?

Founded by Rick Hall, FAME (Florence Alabama Music Enterprises) Studios originally located in Florence is now located in Muscle Shoals and had produced many hit records and was instrumental in what came to be known as the Muscle Shoals sound. The session musicians, known as “The Swampers”, created their signature sound, a combination of country, R&B and soul music. The group surprised black artists, who were often in disbelief to learn that the studio musicians were white.

FAME’s website states, “Some places retain a quiet magic. This magic doesn’t announce itself, but you do feel it nonetheless. It’s in the air and among the denizens as if they’re keeping a secret they can’t wait to share—but hold onto tightly nonetheless. You can count Muscle Shoals, Alabama among those mythical places… With little more than 13,000 residents, it’s located 678 miles from the Motown of Detroit and just under 1,000 miles from New York City. However, this cozy community built on 16 square miles of damned-up swamp land unassumingly served as the fertile creative ground for seminal smashes by everyone from The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan to Etta James and Aretha Franklin. You might know the words to every song by heart, but you only knew the place by studying the liner notes of dusty old vinyl’s from the 60s, during which the south was at the height of the Civil Rights movement. Under the shadow of Jim Crow and the KKK, this creative bastion made a stand for equality by uniting African American and Caucasian musicians in the studio on these immortal records.”

In 1969, four session musicians, known as the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section left FAME to start their own recording studio, Muscle Shoals Sound Studio (now mostly a museum) located in Sheffield. 

These two studios have produced the Muscle Shoals Sound and have worked with some of the Greatest artists in Rock music history.

Artists such as Aretha Franklin, Little Richard, Wilson Pickett, Etta James, Otis Redding, the Osmonds, Jerry Reed, Alabama, Mac Davis, the Gatlin Brothers, Bobbie Gentry, The Gregg Allman Band, Third Day, Michael McDonald, Vince Gill, Alison Krauss, Aloe Blacc, Chord Overstreet, Keb Mo, John Paul White, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Matisyahu, Band of Horses, Drive by Truckers, Bettye Lavette, Cyril Neville, the Civil Wars, Anderson East and Jamey Johnson and The Rolling Stones to name a few.

The Muscle Shoals Sound Playlist

 

We visited the Alabama Music Hall of Fame museum which tributes these musicians. Photos below.

 

We also visited the Huntsville Botanical Garden. The 112-acre garden is open year-round and contains a diverse ecosystem of meadows, upland and bottomland forest, wetlands, and a variety of specialty gardens and native plant collections. This garden is well worth the visit when in the area.

Huntsville is best known for its military technology and aerospace industries. It was here that scientists designed and tested the Saturn V rocket that would send men to the moon for the first time.

Garden photos

Tuesday, September 28, we left the Tiffin service area and Red Bay and started the last segment of our trip in search of “leaf season”, the beginning fall in the Appalachian Mountains. Our first stop is in the Chattanooga area for an overnight stay and then on to Sevierville, TN.

 

 

Today’s Thought 

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Winston S. Churchill

Upcoming Trip Schedule

Wed, September 29, 2021

Sevierville, TN

The Ridge Outdoor Resort

We will spend 6-days in the Sevierville area exploring the Smokey Mountains.

Miles from last stop: 159

 

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Wed. September 10

We are always looking for interesting things to do in the areas we travel. On this day we jumped into the jeep and headed to Elvis Presley Birthplace in Tupelo, MS. Tupelo is a short 34 miles west if Red Bay.

We were pleasantly surprised at this memorial established to Elvis’ early life. The grounds are landscaped beautifully and quite meditative. The exhibit and stories from friends and family were interesting. The Birthplace memorializes the first 13-years until the family moved to Memphis. This memorial is maintained by the East Heights Garden Club.

Their website says, “In 1934, Vernon Presley borrowed $180 for materials to build a small frame house in East Tupelo. Vernon’s father Jessie and Vester, his brother, helped with building the little shotgun house. It was in this humble two-room home lit by a single light bulb in each room that Elvis Aron Presley was born on January 8, 1935. Elvis was one of twin brothers born to the Presleys. His brother, Jessie Garon, was stillborn.”

The “birthplace” does not talk about Elvis’ later life and it is my assumption that Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.  has control of most things “Elvis”.

 

We went to Muscle Shoals for a bicycle ride.

The Muscle Shoals National Recreational Trail is a 17-mile paved and primitive trail and bikeway located on TVA’s Muscle Shoals Reservation. The ride took us through lush landscapes and across the Tennessee River on a long bridge.

Monday, 9/13, started our time in the Tiffin service bay. While the RV is in the bay, we spend time talking to other Tiffin owners in the waiting lounge.  On Thursday, we finished all of our “small” repairs and had a ladder installed on the Bus to make it easier for Joe to access the roof. Next stop is the cabinet bay to have our leaky shower floor repaired. After that, off to the paint shop for a minor scuff on the front fender and the bottom of the replaced spoiler. (No one seems to know why the bottom of the spoiler was not painted when they painted the top.) We’ll be in Red Bay longer than planned so we cancelled our reservations in Diamond Caverns Campground in Park City, KY. We’ll be re-planning our future routes to accommodate our extended stay here in Red Bay.

Such is life on the road. Flexibility and a good sense of humor is key. In the meantime we enjoy the company of friends at the campground and Red Bay Area.

 


Joe’s plug. … I use the 1440 Digest to catch up on the daily news. It is one of the most unbiased reports I get. Tired of the vitriol, give it a try.

There are 1,440 minutes in a day and every one is precious. That’s why 1440 Daily Digest scours hundreds of sources every day to provide a concise, comprehensive, and objective view of what’s happening in the world.

 

 

Today’s Thought 

“Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t goin’ away.”

Elvis Presley

Upcoming Trip Schedule

Sun, August 31, 2021

Red Bay, Al

Red Bay Acres

We have scheduled (+/-) 17-days in Red Bay, home of Tiffin Motorhomes. This is Tiffin owners place to be for repairs, modifications, etc.

Miles from last stop: 230

 

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Wed, September 1

We arrived in Red Bay, AL, early afternoon after a drive through Memphis (a town we love), but were unable to stay due to the rains of Hurricane Ida). We waved as we passed through vowing to return on our next sojourn. With an hour left on our drive we passed through Tupelo, MS, birthplace of Elvis. We thought we might have to go back and tour the singer’s hometown. Also, not far from Red Bay is the birthplace of Helen Keller in Tuscumbia, AL, Coon Dog Cemetery and the Rattlesnake Saloon.

When we got to town we went immediately to the Tiffin Service Center to turn in our paperwork that will put us in line for service. Tiffin will send someone out tomorrow, Thursday, to let us know the wait time before they can get us into a service bay.

We then went to Red Bay Acres where we will “camp” while we wait for service. RBA, as it is know here, is Red Bay’s luxury RV resort with their own restaurant, a fully stocked pond and pickle ball court. Red Bay has many places to “park” and hook up to support the influx of Tiffin owners getting service from Tiffin and the many 3rd party vendors.

The guy from Tiffin arrived around 9AM Friday and told us it will be a week to week and a half before a bay will be available. Now the waiting begins! We’re number 15 on the wait list.

We drove to The Fish Place in Belmont, MS, and had their excellent fried catfish. When in Rome. … To fill in the time we scheduled COVID booster shots for tomorrow. We’ll have to drive the 40 minutes to Muscle Shoals and Florence to get them.

After our shots, Saturday, we went to a Publix in Florence. Who would have thought Publix would have stores out here?! That evening we went to the Rattlesnake Saloon in Tuscumbia. The Saloon, located under a huge rock, took just 49 days to construct before opening on Labor Day weekend in 2009. Since its opening, it has been featured in magazines, music videos, and tv shows and has become one of the top attractions in the area. We met a couple of nice ladies, Cathy and Charlotte and rode down the hill to the Saloon in the taxi, a pickup with benches in the bed covered by a canopy. We joined them for dinner and music. The band, Backdraft, played country classics we all enjoyed.

 

Monday, Labor Day, we traveled to the Coon Dog Cemetery, aka “Key Underwood Coon Dog Memorial Graveyard” to join in the Annual Labor Day Celebration hosted by the Friends of the Coon Dog Cemetery. The Cemetery has become a popular place to visit when in the area. The popular 2002 movie “Sweet Home Alabama” starring Reese Witherspoon, even included a scene featuring a recreated version of the graveyard. The Labor Day entertainment includes music, dancing, food and a liar’s contest.

 

 

We spend time visiting with our fellow “Tiffanites” at the Red Bay campgrounds. We always meet a lot of nice folks as we travel around the country. As a matter of fact on each side of us are folks from Florida and we will no doubt try to keep in touch with them to see what they’re up to and where they are. Who knows, we could end up caravanning with them. We have friends from our neighborhood, Anita and Doug, staying a few sites away. We just never know who we’ll  run into when traveling in an RV!

We’ll stay in Red Bay until we finish the repairs and upgrades on our motorhome. When we got here we were number 15 on the wait list. Today we are number 3.

Stay tuned for more Red Bay action!

Today’s Thought 

“What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other?”

George Elliot

Upcoming Trip Schedule

Sun, August 31, 2021

Red Bay, Al

Red Bay Acres

We have scheduled (+/-) 17-days in Red Bay, home of Tiffin Motorhomes. This is Tiffin owners place to be for repairs, modifications, etc.

Miles from last stop: 230

 

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Sun, August 25

We continued our I40 trek eastward to the Ozark community of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, passing through Fort Smith, Fayetteville and Bentonville, home to WalMart. We visited the area in 2019 while in Branson, MO. We liked this area more than the commercialization of Branson and wanted to make it a stop on this year’s trip. “Secluded and peaceful with winding mountainside streets, Eureka Springs has flair like no other town. In fact, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Eureka Springs as one of its “Dozen Distinctive Destinations.” The streets of this north Arkansas town are lined with extraordinary Victorian homes hugging cliff sides, and its entire downtown area is on the National Register of Historic Places.” Parking can be tough however the town has a trolly that can take you to most destinations.

Photos of our Eureka Springs stay are below.

Thursday was “catch-up day” to get some of our admin and chores caught up. We also took a drive to Thorncastle Chapel. We visited this chapel two years ago and found it a peaceful stop. Their website states, “Thorncrown Chapel was designed by world renowned architect E. Fay Jones. Fay was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas in 1921. He studied at the University of Arkansas, Rice University, the University of Oklahoma, and finally under his mentor Frank Lloyd Wright at the Taliesin Fellowship.” 

We decided to cancel our Memphis stop and extend our stay in Eureka Springs due to Hurricane Ida’s effects on our route.

Friday saw us on the Eureka Springs Tram Tours. The tour passes literally 100’s of old homes and historic buildings, as well as several of the healing springs that made Eureka Springs so famous in the late 1800’s. We ate lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, Mud Street Cafe, an underground spot on Main St.

Friday evening we went to the Intrigue Theatre to see illusionist  Sean-Paul and Juliana Fay perform their  show, “Perplexed.” The show was fun and the illusionist interacted with the audience with every effect. This made the evening very enjoyable.

On Saturday, we took the tram into the downtown area of Eureka Springs and walked through many of the local businesses and enjoyed a pleasant outdoor lunch at the Eureka Grill.

Monday, our last day in the area, we decided to take a self-tour around the area visiting Pivot Rock and Natural Bridgeand Magnetic Spring.

Pivot Rock and Natural Bridge was first developed as a tourist attraction more than 100 years ago, the park features paved pathways winding through unique rock formations and the beautiful Ozarks. According to legend, the ravines and caves of the park  served as hideouts for outlaw Jesse James and the James-Younger Gang, the notorious band of Old West train and bank robbers..

Magnetic Spring was Eureka Springs’ number one attraction at the dawn of the 20th century. Its waters were said to cure drunkenness and drug addiction, which were big problems among the sick at that time, since many medicines were boosted with alcohol, cocaine, and heroin. Also, any metal object placed in the spring supposedly became magnetized — proof of the water’s mysterious power.

Tuesday we left for Brinkley, AR for our overnight stop at Dub’l R RV Park.

            This Segment’s Slide Show

 

 

 

Today’s Thought 

“Education must not simply teach work – it must teach Life.”

W.E.B. Du Bois

Upcoming Trip Schedule

Sun, August 29, 2021

West Memphis, AR

Tom Sawyer’s Mississippi River Park

Canceled due to storm

 

Sun, August 31, 2021

Brinkley, AR

Dub’l R RV Park

Overnight stop on our way to Red Bay, AL

Miles from last stop: 240

 

Sun, August 31, 2021

Red Bay, Al

Red Bay Acres

We have scheduled (+/-) 17-days in Red Bay, home of Tiffin Motorhomes. This is Tiffin owners place to be for repairs, modifications, etc.

Miles from last stop: 230

 

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Sun, August 22
Old Truck at the Big Texan RV Ranch

We reluctantly left Santa Fe and began our eastern trek. Our 25th stop will be the Big Texan RV Ranch in Amarillo, TX. We will only be in the area 2-days. We reserved a spot on the complimentary limo to take us to the Big Texan Steak Ranch for dinner. The restaurant is notable for their 72oz Steak Dinner Challenge. Even though this restaurant is obviously a tourist magnet, the food was excellent! Joe had the ribs and Marcy had steak. While we were finishing dinner someone decided to take the challenge. We did not stick around to see if he won because the challenge allows up to 1-hour to complete.

 

On Monday we explored the Palo Duro Canyon in Canyon, TX on Monday. Palo Duro is a canyon system of the Caprock Escarpment located in the Texas Panhandle near the cities of Amarillo and Canyon. As the second-largest canyon in the United States, it is roughly 120 miles long and has an average width of 6 mi, but reaches a width of 20 mi at places.

 

On September 28, 1874, part of the Red River War, the Battle of Palo Duro Canyon was fought. Late in the summer of 1874, a number of Comanche, Southern Cheyenne, Arapaho and Kiowa warriors led by Lone Wolf had left their assigned reservations and were hiding out in Palo Duro Canyon located in the Texas Panhandle. As part of the Red River War of 1874-75, Colonel Ranald S. Mackenzie was ordered by General Christopher C. Augur to find the Indians and force them back onto their reservations.

 

Palo Duro Canyon Slideshow

 

Tuesday we continue our eastbound loop to Choctaw, OK, where we will stay one night on our way to Eureka, AR.

Today’s Thought 

“We must protect the forests for our children, grandchildren and children yet to be born. We must protect the forests for those who can’t speak for themselves such as the birds, animals, fish and trees.”

Qwatsinas – Nuxalk Nation

Upcoming Trip Schedule

Tue, August 24, 2021

Choctaw, OK

Oklahoma City East KOA Holiday

This will be an overnight stop on our way to Eureka Springs, AR.

Miles from last stop: 271

 

Wed, August 25, 2021

Eureka Springs, AR

Wanderlust RV Park

We will spend 4-days and explore the areas around Eureka Springs, AR.

Miles from last stop: 271

 

Sun, August 29, 2021

West Memphis, AR

Tom Sawyer’s Mississippi River Park

We will spend 3-days in one of our favorite destinations, Memphis.

Miles from last stop: 304

 

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Sun, August 15

We arrived in Santa Fe, one of our favorite cities to visit. Santa Fe, New Mexico’s capital, sits in the Sangre de Cristo foothills. It’s renowned for its Pueblo-style architecture and as a creative arts hotbed. Founded as a Spanish colony in 1610, it has at its heart the traditional Plaza. The surrounding historic district’s crooked streets wind past adobe landmarks such as the Loretto Chapel and the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of AssisiWe set up camp at the Trailer Ranch RV Resort not too far from the Santa Fe Plaza.

On Tuesday, we picked up Wyatt and Magdalen (Marcy’s son and his girlfriend) at the Albuquerque airport. They will join us in exploring the area. 

When we were in Santa Fe”>two years ago we discovered Meow Wolf and it has become a goto whenever we are in the area. We told Wyatt and Magdalen about this and they were anxious to it check out. Meow Wolf’s website states, “Meow Wolf is comprised of over 200 full-time employees and hundreds of other collaborators, creating and supporting art across a variety of media, including architecture, sculpture, painting, photography, video production, cross-reality (AR/VR/MR), music, audio engineering, narrative writing, costuming, performance, and more.”

Meow Wolf Slide Show

 

On Thursday, we jumped on I25 South to take the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway. We hopped on the tram and ascended to the submit of one of America’s most stunning urban peaks. Reaching the 10,378-foot crest of the Sandia Mountains we had a view of 11,000 square miles. On our visit the view was a little hazy but beautiful to say the least.

 

After our Tram ride we visited the The Kuaua Pueblo Ruins and the Coronado Historic Site. This website states, “When the archaeological team excavated the Kuaua Ruins in the 1930s, they uncovered more than 1,200 adobe rooms, three ceremonial rooms, and six kivas. Several of the kivas contained a series of murals that many revere today as some of the best examples of Pre-Columbian artwork in the United States. Kuaua religious murals flourished throughout the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth centuries, reflecting religious and cosmological iconography such as references to rain, rainbows, clouds, lightning, and ritual figures engaging in rain-making rituals.”

We took a tour and learned about the Pueblo people. We descended into a restored kiva

 

Friday saw us in “old” Santa Fe. Our target tour of the day was not operating due to the 99th Annual Indian Market scheduled for the weekend. The tour operator’s website said they would only be closed on the weekend, however they were also closed Friday as Well. Not deterred we walked the streets of the town, did a bit of shopping and had a great lunch at a recommended Mexican Restaurant, Tomasita’s. After we drove around and did a bit of sight-seeing.

 

Saturday, after breakfast at the Pantry we trekked down to the Albuquerque International Airport to drop Wyatt and Magdalen off to catch there flight back to SeaTac.

That evening we joined some “friends” at a hogan located at the Institute of American Indian Arts Campus (IAIA) to hear the story of a member of a local tribe who is a descendent of a medicine woman.

Sunday we began our eastbound loop toward Amarillo, TX.

Today’s Thought 

“I like an empty wall because I can imagine what I like on it.”

Georgia O’Keeffe

Upcoming Trip Schedule

Sun, August 22, 2021

Tahquamenon Falls Stacked Stones

Amarillo, TX

Big Texan RV Ranch

We will spend 2-days in the Amarillo area.

Miles from last stop: 288

 

Tue, August 24, 2021

Tahquamenon Falls Stacked Stones

Choctaw, OK

Oklahoma City East KOA Holiday

This will be an overnight stop on our way to Eureka Springs, AR.

Miles from last stop: 271

 

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Sat, July 31

We left Wheatland, WY and hopped on I-25 South to Cherry Creek State Park in Aurora, CO. This was our home for 14 days (7/31-8/14). We have family and friends in the area and had a fantastic time seeing them. We arrived mid-afternoon and set up on a large paved site in the Pioneer Loop. Cherry Creek has large sites with plenty of space and open grasslands. We’ve stayed here before and is a go-to for us when in the area.

We met up with Barb and Troy, Joe’s sister and brother in law, at Bull and Bush Brewery for a great conversation and dinner. Bull and Bush is has been a staple in the area since 1971.

The next couple of days we relaxed and did a bit of shopping and visiting. On Wednesday, 8/4, we picked up Brian and Bella at Denver International Airport. The tours begin!

We started our tour for Brian and Bella at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater in Morrison. Their website states, “If you think of Red Rocks Park as just a beautiful place to see a concert, think again! All around you are 738 total acres of deer, dinosaurs, pines and prairie, geological wonders and spectacular vistas. At 6,450 feet above sea level, Red Rocks Park is a unique transitional zone where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains.” The Red Rocks Amphitheater, once known as the Garden of the Titans (1906), officially opened in 1941 and has hosted thousands of musicians including the Beatles, Grateful Dead, Jimmy Hendrix and many more. After our visit to Red Rocks we stopped by the Mother Cabrini Shrine. Frances Cabrini founded the Institute of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Pope Leo XIII told Francis to go West to New York and help Italian immigrants. She made 23 trans-Atlantic crossings and established 67 institutions: schools, hospitals and orphanages.In 1946, she was canonized a saint by Pope Pius XII in recognition of her holiness and service to mankind and was named Patroness of Immigrants in 1950.

On Friday we headed south to Colorado Springs to visit Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center. The last time we were here, Brian was just a youngster and climbed as many rocks as he could. It was a reunion of sorts although he did not climb as many rocks!

On Saturday, Teresa and Tim (Joe’s niece and her husband) launched their pontoon boat on Chatfield Reservoir. We cruised the beautiful lake and beached the boat on a nice beach and cooked hotdogs. It was a great day and we all enjoyed the hospitality.

Sunday morning we had a nice breakfast and decided to investigate The International Church of Cannabis near downtown Denver followed by a walk down the 16th Street Mall. The “church” was a flashback to the 60’s with a fantastic “Beyond” light show accompanied by 60’s favorites. No cannabis is allowed during the public light show per local law. The 16th Street is a blocked off section to allow pedestrians to walk the mall to enjoy shops and resaurants.

Monday we drove to Estes Parkto tour the Stanley Hotel. Estes Park is a town in northern Colorado. It’s known as a base for the Rocky Mountain National Park, home to wildlife including elk and bears, plus miles of trails. The Stanley Hotel, The Stanley Hotel is an iconic landmark famous for its charm and history. The 60 minute walking tour provided the history of the hotel’s founder, F.O. Stanley, his wife Flora, Stephen King, and other noteworthy visitors since 1909. 

Unfortunately Brian & Bella had to return to Tampa on Tuesday. We traveled east to the Denver International Airport designed to look like snowcapped mountains. 

The rest of our Denver stay we visited with friends Craig and Jeannie from Polk City (who also reside in the Denver area). We grilled at the campsite, listened to Musician Josh Blackburn at the Tailgate Tavern and Grill in Parker, CO, had lunch in Idaho Springs at Beau Jo’s, drove through Central City and Black Hawk, homes to many casinos. 

We spent time with Barb and Troy and had dinner with family at Los Dos Potrillos Mexican Restaurant y Cerveceria

We had a great time during our Denver stay and were blessed to have been able to visit with family and friends. We invited all to visit us in Florida!

Saturday 8/14, we packed up the coach and left for Raton, NM, our overnight stay on our way to Santa Fe, NM.

Today’s Thought 

“In the end, what we regret most are the chances we never took.”

“FRASIER”

Upcoming Trip Schedule

Sat, August 14, 2021

Raton, NM

Raton KOA

This is an overnight stop on the way to Santa Fe, NM.

Miles from last stop: 217

 

Sun, August 15, 2021

Tahquamenon Falls Stacked Stones

Santa Fe, NM

Trailer Ranch RV Park

We will spend 7-days in Santa Fe and visit with Chris and Magdalan (son and girlfriend).

Miles from last stop: 173

 

Sun, August 22, 2021

Tahquamenon Falls Stacked Stones

Amarillo, TX

Big Texan RV Ranch

We will spend 2-days in the Amarillo area.

Miles from last stop: 288

 

LET’S KEEP IN TOUCH!

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Sat, July 24

We left Jackson, MN, and pointed the bus west on I90. Out target today is Hart Ranch RV Camping Resort in Rapid City, SD. This resort is a membership RV Resort however we were able to stay by taking a sales tour. The membership is quite tempting but we decided Rapid City is too far away from our Florida home to take full advantage. At least for now. …

 

Sun, July 25

Main Street, Deadwood, CO
Main Street, Deadwood, CO
Devil’s Tower
Deadwood, CO

Sunday we drove to Deadwood, a town that in 1876 played by its own rules that attracted outlaws, gamblers and gunslingers along with the gold seekers. The town is full of western gold rush history and is overrun with casinos and bars; probably just like in its heyday. It definitely has the vibe of a party town. We looked into taking a tour but they were all open air and the temperature was in the 100’s so we elected to walk Main Street for a short and then headed to Devil’s Tower. The tower is a rock formation that juts up 867 feet from its base. It is not uncommon to see climbers due to its hundreds of parallel cracks. It is considered sacred by indigenous people of the Great Plains and Black Hills.

 

Mon, July 26

Monday saw us in the Black Hills on Needles Highway as we traveled to Mount Rushmore. Needles Highway, lying in Custer State park, is a National Scenic Byway completed in 1922. The road winds through tall granite structures and forests and takes you through several tunnels; Needles Eye being the most popular. On Iron Mountain Road we could see the “faces” of Mount Rushmore framed by several tunnels.

We arrived at Mount Rushmore National Memorial and viewed the majestic figures of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Although the weather was warming we enjoyed the 60 foot sculptures of Gutzon Borglumwho created the sculpture’s design and oversaw the project’s execution from 1927 to 1941 with the help of his son.

 

Tue, July 27

We hit the trail early taking I90 East to Wall, SD, near our approach into the Badlands National Park. We entered at the Pinnacle entrance and began the 39-mile loop taking dirt and paved roads to the many overlooks. Each stop was like stepping into a different world with granite buttes and spires shaped in many configurations and colors created by deposition 75 million years ago and erosion 500,000 years ago. Even though the temps hovered at 107 degrees we enjoyed the park immensely.

Badlands Slideshow

 

Wed, July 28

We checked out of Hart Ranch and moved a few miles up the road to Happy Holiday RV Resort for our remaining 2-days in the Rapid City area. We spent the day catching up on o “admin” stuff.

 

Thu, July 29

Today we go back to Custer State Park famous for its bison herds, wildlife, scenic drives, historic sites, visitor centers, fishing lakes, resorts, and campgrounds. This is a beautiful park with grasslands and granite spires and roads with carved-out-of-granite single lane tunnels.

Custer State Park Slideshow

 

Fri, July 30

We  turned south, the left side of our summer journey, if you will, and look forward to visiting with family and friends in the Denver area. We will spend 1-night in Wheatland, WY on our way to Colorado.

El Rancho Village RV Park & Cabins
El Rancho Village RV Park & Cabins
Our Site at El Rancho Village RV Park & Cabins

 

Today’s Thought 

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Upcoming Trip Schedule

Fri, July 30, 2021

Wheatland, WY

El Rancho Village RV Park & Cabins

This will be an overnight stop on the way to Denver.

Miles from last stop: 303

 

Sat, July 31, 2021

Denver, CO

Cherry Creek State Park

We will spend 2-weeks in the Denver area visit family and friends and see the many sights in this area.

Miles from last stop: 197

 

Sat, August 14, 2021

Raton, NM

Raton KOA

This is an overnight stop on the way to Santa Fe, NM.

Miles from last stop: 197

 

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Sun, July 18, 2021

Bay Ridge to Egg Harbor

If there was only a ferry! If there was our 216 mile trip from Bay Ridge RV Park to Egg Harbor Campground would be closer to a 60 mile “float and ride”! Oh well; we did get to see a lot if beautiful country traveling from Michigan to Door County Wisconsin. 

Downtown Fish Creek

Known for its picturesque and quaint towns, specialty shops, art galleries and performing arts, fish boils and cherry orchards,

Door County, WI

is surrounded by the waters of Green Bay on the west and Lake Michigan on the east. The Door Peninsula offers spectacular waterfront views, with more than 300 miles of shoreline featuring towering limestone bluffs, rugged rock formations and pristine beaches.The Door County area also offers a wide variety of outdoor recreation.

On Monday we took a Cave Point County Park Kayak Tour. We viewed the shoreline of Cave Point County Park. We learned about the Niagara Escarpment and enjoyed the company of fellow kayakers. We even cruised into a small cave and viewed a blow hole from the bottom side.

Concert in the Park

 

Later in the day we went to a concert in the park at the Evenings in Ephraim Concert Series. We enjoyed the melodic music of Katie Dahl. On her website a quote from Dar Williams says, “Katie Dahl’s songs aren’t just melodies and words, they’re journeys that are firmly grounded in a sense of place—beautiful, real landscapes that help you feel places that you may have never been before. That’s the very best kind of songwriting.” We purchased her album Wildwood and the songs and stories will take us back to Door County when we are away.

1926 Harley Davidson Peashooter

Now hungry we decided to try a restaurant recommended by a kayaker that was on our tour; Harbor Fish Market & Grille. We had a nice dinner in their garden as the sun was setting.

Having a Great Conversation with Dolly Llama
Stacked Balls Sculpture
A Very Big Bee

Tuesday we visited several art galleries around the area and a farmers market in Jacksonport.

We vowed to return to Door County and stay much longer!

Wednesday we begin a series of three one-night stops in Oakdale, WI, Jackson, MN, and Kennebec, SD, that will take us to the Black Hills and Badlands and the Rapid City area.  

Today’s Thought 

“The beauty is that through disappointment you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality.”

Conan O’Brien

Upcoming Trip Schedule

Wed, July 21, 2021

Oakdale, WI

Oakdale KOA Journey

This is one of three overnight stops on our way to the South Dakota Badlands.

Miles from last stop: 216

 

Thu, July 22, 2021

Jackson, MN

Jackson KOA Journey

This is two of three overnight stops on our way to the South Dakota Badlands.

Miles from last stop: 251

 

Fri, July 23, 2021