Monday, May 1, 1989 -
Mileage @ Start: 57324.0; @ End of Day: 57438.5
The day began with some uncertainty about whether we would get away as planned. Some perplexing problems at the office threatened to delay us, but by noon, thanks to help from my partner, Richard Wheeler, the decision to "go" was made. We pulled away from home about 2:00pm, and headed east on I-4 to Orlando; then SR50 to the Airstream Park at Christmas, Florida, arriving about 5:00pm.
Planning for this trip began in January. We didn't know how long we would be on the road, but we allowed ourselves four months. Planning for that long an absence presented some unique problems. For example, how would we pay bills, handle mail, keep cash on hand, take care of the yard, make bank deposits? How could I keep my files open and available for my clients? How should the telephone be set up? How would I put responsibilities on hold for four months? How much gear do we take along with us? It has all come together with the help of some special friends and neighbors.
We planned to make this trip without a detailed plan. Generally, the plan was to work our way north through Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, and Michigan; then west along the northern perimeter of the country; then south along the Pacific coast; then east through the southwest and southern states back home. We would make side trips as opportunities were presented; and we would take whatever time we needed to thoroughly see those areas of particular interest. We would spend some time looking up family roots in Indiana and to visit some friends and relatives along the way. I had my video camera and editing equipment, so we would have a complete video or videos of the trip ready when we got home. And I had my computer aboard which would make writing a travelog a snap.
And so, we were on our way, "roughing it" with our 34' Airstream trailer and '86 Chevy Suburban tow vehicle. We were well stocked with clothes, food, tools, books, spare parts, and other assorted goodies.
Tuesday, May 2, 1989
Mileage @ Start: 57438.5; @ End of Day: 57507.2
After a leisurely breakfast, we drove over to Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center. We took a tour bus from Spaceport, USA to the space complex. First stop was an exhibit of the space vehicle that went to the moon, with a movie of the first landing. From there, we drove past the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), but were not allowed to go in. The building is the second largest in the world in volume enclosed, and is the equivalent in height of a 52 story building.
The space shuttle, Atlantis, was on Launch Pad B in a countdown hold. We could only see it at a distance. It is scheduled for launch in two days with a mission to launch a satellite for Venus, which will take 15 months to make the trip. It took 500 people to perform all of the work involved in launching the moon rocket. Now, due to more powerful computers, it takes only 50 people to launch a shuttle flight. The tour took about two hours. Actually, there has not been much change in what tourists are allowed to see from 15 years ago when we last saw the Cape. Love bugs were really out in force. After leaving the Cape, we decided to come back to Christmas to relax for the afternoon. Ann was having some headache problems.
Wednesday, May 3, 1989
Mileage @ Start: 57507.2; @ End of Day: 57642.7
We hooked up early and traveled up I-95 to the Old Dixie Highway; then east to Tomoka State Park. I was a bit shocked by the campsite rental -$18.50. We were told that the rates were scheduled to come down to $8.00 on June 1st, but a lot of good that did for us today. Not too many people in the campground. The park is located on a peninsular between the Tomoka and Halifax Rivers on a site once occupied by the Timucuan Indians. White man first discovered the location in 1605, when the Spaniard, Alvaro Mexio led an expedition from St. Augustine. It is easy to see why the Indians chose the spot for their village. Good hunting plus fishing in the two rivers provided food, and the barrier islands to the east protected them from storms coming off the Atlantic Ocean.
We played 18 holes of golf in the afternoon at Palm Harbor Golf Course in Palm Coast; then drove to the beach and south on A1A to Ormond Beach and back to camp.
Thursday, May 4, 1989
Mileage @ Start: 57642.7; @ End of Day: 57796.6
We called, John Drew, from the campground and found that he and Frances had nothing planned for the day, so we made arrangements to visit them at their home in South Ponte Vedra Beach. John is a second cousin. His grandfather, John Steven Drew, was my greatgrandfather. John also went to Ga. Tech on the coop plan, and graduated as a Chemical Engineer. He worked for Hercules Powder Co. until retiring. He has written several books and is still in demand as a consultant. He also has a keen interest in genealogy, so we had a great deal in common. He shared some of his information about the Drews with me. They took us to their club overlooking the Atlantic Ocean for lunch.
After leaving the Drews, we headed north on A1A intending to catch the ferry to Amelia Island and then go to Fort Clinch State Park for the night. However the ferry was not working, so we had to go back through Jacksonville and around to approach Fort Clinch from the north, not arriving until after 6:00pm. We had been told that the campground would be full, but found that there were plenty of campsites open.
The Shrimp Festival started the next day at Fernandina Beach and lasted through the weekend.
Friday, May 5, 1989
Mileage @ Start: 57796.6; @ End of Day: 57859.2
Drove into Fernandina to watch preparations for the upcoming festival. Fernandina is a very old town on Amelia Island, which claims to be the only place in the U.S. which has been under 8 flags: French, Spanish, British, Patriots, Green Cross of Florida, Mexican, Confederate and U.S. Hence the official name of the festival is the Isle of 8 Flags Shrimp Festival. The shrimp industry in Florida began here in 1913. and the festival has been going on for 26 years. It is a combination of an arts and crafts show and a commemoration of the shrimp fleet. We strolled around town getting our bearings before the expected crowd of 130,000 comes tomorrow and had a delicious fried shrimp lunch at the Snug Harbor restaurant.
We spent a lazy afternoon at the campground; got a locksmith to come out and try to fix our deadbolt lock which has gone awry. As it turned out, he had no more success than I at fixing it. After supper, we went back into town to the festivities. The crowds had begun to gather; a band was playing, the art exhibitors were getting set up; several shrimp boats had docked at the wharf. We had some icecream and came back to camp.
Saturday, May 6, 1989
Mileage @ Start: 57859.2; @ End of Day: 57873.2
We went into town about 9:00am and found that the exhibitors must have worked all night to get set up. The streets were full for about 10 blocks with arts and crafts exhibits. After walking through most of the area, we boarded the shrimp boat, Georgia Bulldog, for a shrimping and crabbing exhibition. This boat is owned by the University of Georgia for experimental purposes. It all was becoming quite a spectacle.
Upon returning to the park, we saw that something was going on at Fort Clinch, so stopped in to see. Civil War reenactors were set up to portray life at the fort in 1864. It was a Union fort at that time, so the soldiers were in the their Union blues. Many women were about also dressed in attire of the time. There was a call to arms while we were there, and an assault by a rebel group was turned back. These people really go all out to make their activities authentic. There was a bugler, a bagpipe player, experts in firearms instructing others in how to fire rifles, cannon, mortars, etc., a medical unit set up with nurses and surgeons, a jail containing a gambler and a drunk. Bread was being baked in an open fireplace. At a sutler's store, I bought a piece of hardtack and a cold rootbeer for a dollar. There was a telegraph office in actual operation. Tents were set up on the parade ground. The same people act out Confederate roles on other occasions.
To get some exercise, and to "take time to smell the roses," we hiked down and around a nature trail in the park. There was not much to see, but it was nevertheless a pleasant stroll through natural Florida scenery. The woods here are full of pine, palmetto, cedar, magnolia and live oak trees.
We watched the sunset from a shady spot on the eastern shore of the island, then went back to the fort for a candlelight tour of the fort. The same activities we saw earlier were going on under candlelight. Fort Clinch was built to give a defense to early Florida in the 1840's. It came under Confederate control for the first year of the war, but was soon abandoned. The Union troops took over in 1862, and held the fort until the end of the war. It was re-activated for a time during the Spanish American war in 1898, and then again during the Second World War as a communications station. It overlooks a natural harbor and channel between Amelia Island and Cumberland Island in Georgia.
Sunday, May 7, 1989
Mileage @ Start: 57873.2; @ End of Day: 57954.0
It was hard to believe that we had been on the road almost a week, and we were still in Florida. We went to the First Baptist Church of Fernandina Beach for Sunday morning worship. The service had been rescheduled for 10:00am to accommodate the Shrimp Festival. Parking was an evident problem in the downtown location, compounded by the festival. The church was small, but nice, and we were greeted warmly by several people. There were other visitors there as well who were in town for the festival.
After church, we had a lunch of shrimp and hushpuppies at a waterfront restaurant, and then watched the blessing of the fleet. From the roof of the tourboat, Tradewinds, anchored out in the harbor, a priest offered a prayer in which he noted that the first Christians were fishermen, and then blessed each boat as it passed with a sprinkling of holy water. He was connected to loudspeakers ashore so the crowds could hear.
We checked out of Ft. Clinch State Park about 2:00pm and headed for Brunswick, Georgia, arriving at the Golden Isles RV Park about 3:30pm. After setting up, we drove into Brunswick for a look at the town. There are surprisingly few changes from when we lived there 24 years ago. King Shrimp Co. is now King & Prince Seafood Corporation and appears well kept and prosperous. This is where we leased shrimp processing space in 1964.
Back at camp, Ann took a load of clothes to the camp laundry to complete our first week on the road. All was well.
Week 2: Monday, May 8, 1989
Mileage @ Start: 57954.0: @ End of Day: 58150.5
Our trip from Brunswick to Perry, through the pine woods of South Georgia, was uneventful. We arrived at the Perry Overnite RV Park about noon. While Ann did some housekeeping I went into town to buy gas and some other supplies. While in town I stopped by Don and Betty Bradley's old house, and to my surprise found them there. They came by our campsite later for a visit before heading back to their mountain home in Franklin, NC. We had a good visit and were updated on the status of their children, Marci and Geoff. Their brewery in Alaska was apparently doing very well.
Tuesday, May 9, 1989
Mileage @ Start: 58150.5; @ End of Day: 58300.6
It began raining not long after leaving Perry and rained off and on the rest of the day. We arrived at Stone Mountain about noon and found an Allegro motorhome rally just starting at the campground. But there was room for us, so we checked in and promptly got set up between showers. We drove around Stone Mountain Park to get oriented, then hiked to the base of the sculptured wall. There were not too many people in the park, partly because of the weather. The laser light show began at 9:30pm and was spectacular. Since the show took place on the face of the mountain where the stone carving of the Southern heroes of the Civil War are, I expected the theme of the light show to have something to do with the war. But the first half was more like a rock concert and had nothing to do with history or the Civil War. It finished, however, with a Georgia theme, and Lee, Jackson, and Davis came alive and led their troops into a final battle. Then there were fireworks to end it just as the rains came again harder than ever with a natural light show - lightning and thunder.
The story of the carving on Stone Mountain is a remarkable one. It began in 1915 when the Daughters of the Confederacy decided that a monument to Robert E. Lee would be appropriate. They consulted Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor who eventually did the carving at Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota. He spent several weeks surveying and studying the face of the mountain, then drew up sketches and submitted them to the UDC. He estimated that the project would take ten years and cost 3 million dollars. He ultimately convinced Congress to authorize a new coin and designed the Stone Mountain Commemorative Half Dollar for the purpose of raising the funds needed for the carving on the mountain. The coins were sold by the UDC for a dollar apiece. Borglun sculpted a model of what he proposed to carve on the face of the mountain, then rigged a projector and projected the image of his model onto the face of the mountain. He had men hanging from the mountaintop apply paint to the outlines of the figures in the projected image.
The UDC had obtained a deed from the owners of the mountain, which included a right of reverter if the sculpture was not completed within 12 years. This created a deadline of March 20, 1928. Borglun worked for 7 years, then got into a dispute with members of the UDC and abandoned the project in a tantrum, destroying his sketches and models in the process. A new sculptor, Augustus Lukeman, was engaged in 1925 to complete the work, but he had no chance to finish before the deadline. He nevertheless did finish a new model, made on a scale of 1 inch to 1 foot, and managed to block out the figures of Lee and Davis and finish their faces on the mountain. In 1928, however, the former owners exercised their right of reversion and the work ceased for 37 years. It was not until after the Great Depression and Second World War that work began again. In 1958, the State of Georgia bought the mountain and surrounding property - 3200 acres - and named a group called the Stone Mountain Memorial Association to complete the memorial. In 1963, a new sculptor, Walter Hancock, won a competition for submitting the best plan for completing the carving, and was engaged to do the remaining work.
Hancock made several alterations to Lukeman's model, and hired a crew to actually do the work. He also began looking for an experienced stone carver. As it turned out, the foreman of the crew, Roy Faulkner, a young Marine Corps veteran with no experience in art or stone carving, was discovered to have a real talent. He experimented with a new thermo-jet torch as a carving tool. With this torch, he could remove more material in one day than 48 men had done before in a week with drills and wedges - and could do it with more accuracy. The search for an experienced carver was abandoned. Roy Faulkner completed the carving, which now includes Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson on their horses, in six years.
Wednesday, May 10, 1989
Mileage @ Start: 58300.6; @ End of Day: 58357.9
Checked on the golf course and found that a tournament was going on all morning, but made arrangements to play the next day.
Our neighbor in the campground was an Airstreamer from Daytona Beach, just back from the Williamsburg Rally. He told of tornadoes playing havoc with the tents that were set up for activities there.
We drove into the town of Stone Mountain and then to Decatur looking for computer paper and bought some books at a Walden bookstore.
We had a good visit with Ease and Stan Hudgins during the afternoon and toured some of the attractions at Stone Mountain with them - the old plantation, the Georgia War memorial, etc. The Georgia War memorial is on the back side of the mountain where the walking trails start up to the top. Being there brought back memories of past hikes to the top. I remember one trip up with sons Larry and John when John had on leather soled shoes and spent more time sliding back than climbing up. On another occasion when I was in school at Ga. Tech, several of us made the climb at night. We then went into Decatur for dinner at Morrisons with the Hudgins.
The rain has stopped and the air was very cool. Looked like blanket weather that night.
Thursday, May 11, 1989
Mileage @ Start: 58357.9; @ End of Day: 58388.3
We awoke to a beautiful day - cool, but clear. The golf course is beautiful, with almost every hole giving a different view of the mountain. We played nine holes and went into Stone Mountain City for lunch at the Old Post Office Buffet. Now, that was something! For $4.75, it was all you could eat of the best country food imaginable. Fried chicken, country fried steak, meat loaf, barbecue beef, shrimp, rice, mashed potatoes, all sorts of vegetables, corn bread, biscuits, and then desserts. This may become a regular stopping place.
I spent the afternoon waxing the trailer while Ann washed clothes. Then about 6:30pm, what a surprise! Up walked friends Paul and Betty DeGuenther. They had left Riverview, Florida on Thursday and had just come in from Ocmulgee State Park near Helena-McRae, Georgia. We visited a while and made plans to meet for breakfast at the Plantation House in the morning.
Friday, May 12, 1989
Mileage @ Start: 58388.3; @ End of Day: 58535.0
Paul and Betty spent the night in the parking lot at the entrance to the campground because all sites were taken. They made arrangements to take our site when we left. We had breakfast with them at the Stone Mountain Inn and it was just as good as the last time we were there. Every breakfast food imaginable was served buffet style. After the meal we said goodbye and departed for Hiawassee. The DeGuenthers planned to stay a couple of days at Stone Mountain and then join us in Hiawassee.
We tried a new route out of Atlanta to Hiawassee. Via I-285, we picked up SR400 at Sandy Springs and followed it to Cleveland; then US129 and Alt.75 to Helen; then SR17 to Hiawassee. It was good road all the way and quite a bit closer, but the road from Helen into Hiawassee was steep and very curvy. We arrived at the Georgia Mountain Campground about noon, and learned that we would have to take a different site from the one reserved for later, but all sites here are good, so it was no problem. We also learned that singer, Randy Travis, was holding a concert there on Saturday night, so bought some tickets.
After lunch, we drove over to Young Harris and up to our property. The recent rains have done some damage to the roads. It was our hope that this would make the people in there think more seriously about a homeowners association. We saw Wilson Earnest, who told us that Lamar Cockrell had had a heart catheterization. Upon calling home to find out more, Frances told us that the test had showed no blockage, but that for a while things were tense around there. We were thankful that all was well.
It had obviously rained a lot here in recent days. The lakes are way above their normal high water levels. The weather was very clear, but cool. It was expected to get down to about 40 degrees during the night.
Saturday, May 13, 1989
Mileage @ Start: 58535.0: @ End of Day: 58640.0
BRRR! It was cold last night! Someone said it got down to 35, and I believe it. The air was crystal clear. You could see for miles through the mountains. We drove over to Franklin, NC and did some shopping, then ate lunch at the Hickory Ranch. I spent the afternoon sorting through maintenance supplies to refamiliarize myself with what I had.
After a stroll through the rhododendrum garden, we walked over to the auditorium at 6:00pm to the Randy Travis show. The place was packed. There must have been 5,000 or more of all ages there. It was good, but very loud, lasting about an hour and a half.
The man sitting next to me at the show was from Sylva, NC. He said that the temperature had gotten down in the twenties over there and had killed all of their newly planted crops. We hoped to get a warming trend soon.
Sunday, May 14, 1989
Mileage @ Start: 58640.0; @ End of Day: 58645.1
It rained most of the night, but warmed up some during the day. We went to church this morning at the McConnell Baptist Church in Hiawassee, then met Betty and Don Bradley at the Fieldstone Inn for a buffet lunch. After lunch we went with Betty and Don and some of their friends to Tusquiti to see a mountainside development being laid out with an airport. Then took the Bradleys to see our property near Young Harris, Georgia. While there, we stopped by to see Betty Jean and J.W. Ray who had driven up from Brandon the day before. When we got back to the campground, we found that Betty and Paul DeGuenther had arrived from Stone Mountain, so visited with them for awhile.
As night fell, it started raining again. It was good sleeping that night. This completed our second week out. All was well.
WEEK 3: Monday, May 15, 1989
Mileage @ Start: 58645.1; @ End of Day: 58748.3
We tried to call Dave Schumaker to wish him Happy Birthday on his 70th, but failed to get through. When he reads this, he'll know we were thinking of him.
Today we played golf with Paul and Betty DeGuenther at the Mill Creek Golf Course near Franklin, NC. This course is located in a beautiful setting in the mountains. The back nine holes are are especially pretty. We rode on into Franklin for ice cream and another trip to Walmart afterward.
We went to the Rays' home for hamburgers and a few games of Spades in the evening. Unfortunately, the team of B.J. and Walter did not do so good.
It has warmed up considerably. The morning started off with threatening showers, then cleared for a beautiful afternoon.
Tuesday, May 16, 1989
Mileage @ Start: 58748.3; @ End of Day: 58754.2
Paul and I played golf today at the Holly Springs Golf Course in Franklin. There just could be no prettier setting. It was a nine hole course that we played twice. We were expecting to use the Golf Card, but they would not accept it. The green fees and cart, however, were only $12.50 each. The mountain air was cool and envigorating. Paul was feeling good and beat me by a stroke, 91 to 92.
Later, Paul cooked a sumptuous dinner for us back at camp. The main course was Spanish paella with shrimp and mussels, peas, yellow rice, etc. It was preceded by a delicious tossed salad, and followed with a dish of flan. He served a chilled white wine with the meal. It was a delightful experience, quite different from usual campsite cooking.
Afterward, we came to our trailer and watched the tape of our 1987 Western trip.
Wednesday, May 17, 1989
Mileage @ Start: 58754.2; @ End of Day: 58904.5
After trying to visit friends in Helen, we decided to check out Amicalola Falls State Park between Dahlonega and Ellijay, Georgia. Amicalola Falls are the highest falls east of the Mississippi River, some 729 feet in 7 cascades. They are called one of the seven wonders of Georgia. I recall reading somewhere that the Amicalola River is the only river in the United States that is completely environmentally protected from beginning to end. I suppose that means that the river lies completely within federal or state lands. There were camping facilities, cabins for rent, hiking trails, picnic areas, and playgrounds set up, and it appeared that many other things were under construction, such as a lodge, restaurant, and convention center. We walked a footpath up most of the way to the top of the falls, then backtracked and drove to the top. The view from the top is not as spectacular as from below, because you cannot see the falls after the water passes over the brink. There were wild flowers in bloom, including mountain laurel and flame azaleas. The trip to the park took up most of the day.
We had dinner later with the Rays at the Georgia Mountain Restaurant in Hiawassee and then came back to the trailer for some more Spades. Betty Jean and Walter got some well deserved revenge.
Thursday, May 18, 1989
Mileage @ Start: 58904.5: Mileage @ End of Day: 58910.0
Paul and I played 9 holes of golf in the morning at the Butternut Creek course in Blairsville, then came back to the campground to move over to new sites that we had reserved for the weekend. The campground was sold out for the weekend due to the Blue Grass festival at the fair grounds.
About 2:00pm, the caravan from Florida pulled in, and many of our friends arrived for the weekend. Lamar, Charlie, Paul, Cecil and I played nine more holes of golf, then we all got together for a corn boiling in the camp pavilion. There are so many people up here from the Brandon area, that we wonder who is left at home. At the corn boiling were:
Wilson and Lucille Earnest
Haskell and Lucille Gray
Frances and Lamar Cockrell
Betty Jean and J.W. Ray
Jack and Barbara Armstrong
Jim and Margaret Willey
Charlie and Dollie Childs
Cecil and Ollie Brown
Carl and Myrtle Shaffer
Bill and Delorise Heath
Paul and Betty DeGuenther
Walter and Ann Berg
After supper, the Cockrells came over to our trailer for some card playing, and we caught up on all the news from home. Frances brought us all of our accumulated mail.
I was leg sore from climbing Amicalola Falls.
Friday, May 19, 1989
Mileage @ Start: 58910.0: @ End of Day: 59000.5
Lamar, Paul, Charlie, Cecil, Jim, and I were joined by Red Roberts at 9:00am for a trip to Cherokee Hills Golf Course in Murphy, N.C. It was threatening rain, but we managed to get in 18 holes. This is the prettiest course in the area. The mountain scenery is really beautiful.
The girls all went to Helen for the day, and while there went over to the Parkers' house. Another group from home is gathered there:
Dave and Jean Parker
Keith and Rose Howard
Roy and Zelda Shenning
Nat and Alice Storms
Ann had a little car trouble. First, she locked her keys in the car and had to get a locksmith out to get it open. Then the battery died and had to be replaced.
The entire group from last night met again for dinner at the Tucker Inn just outside Blairsville, Georgia, plus the new arrivals, Red and Dot Roberts and Broward and Hilda Williams from Plant City. We are becoming a crowd. Wilson had reserved a private dining room for us.
Harold and Lynn Flynn are scheduled to arrive in the morning.
Tonight was the beginning of the Blue Grass festival, so most of the group made an appearance there. Activities started at 8:00pm with an hour performance by the Georgia Mountain Staff Band which featured a banjo player, drums, a lead guitar, two fiddlers, two steel guitars, a piano player and several backup guitarists. They played several tunes, had a vocalist or two, and ended with some young cloggers. Then at 9:00pm, the first of the amateur talents performed, a singer accompanying himself on his guitar. This is to go on for several hours, then more tomorrow. Then from 8:00pm until midnight tomorrow, the 10 talents considered the best of the bunch will perform again. I suppose that it is from such festivals as this, that tomorrow's country music stars will emerge. Hiawassee claims to be the country music capitol of Georgia.
Saturday, May 19, 1989
Mileage @ Start: 59000.5; Mileage @ End of Day: 59138.2
We awoke to rain, and it looked like a day to stay inside. We played a couple of games of Spades with the Cockrells, then Paul came over to say that he had heard a good weather report. Based on that, Paul, Jim, Lamar and I loaded up and headed for Murphy and Cherokee Hills again. The weather did turn out to be good. For Paul and I, this 18 holes rounded out a 90 hole week. That was enough for awhile.
Ann joined the rest of the folks at the Rays for lunch. There was over 20 Brandon people there.
After Lamar beat me a game or two of dominoes, we loaded up to go to a local country music place called Mountain Home Music. I was a bit reluctant, but was surprised by the quality of the performance. It was really excellent. The band played blue grass, and there was country and gospel singing. Also some young cloggers from Marietta that were as good as they come. During the second part of the show, individuals were invited to participate. Haskell Gray and Harold Flynn were featured as the finale. Harold did especially well on the base and steel guitars. He finished with a medley of his version of America, Dixie, Battle Hymn, and The Lord's Prayer. I think that everyone was awed by this. There was not another sound in the house during the number. It all ended about 11:30pm. We were there for four hours, and it seemed like one. We learned that they do this every Saturday night of the year. Of the 200 or so people that were there, the 30 people from Brandon were given special recognition by the announcer. The hall probably holds 300 to 400 when full.
Sunday, May 20, 1989
Mileage @ Start: 59138.2; @ End of Day: 59169.8
We said our good-byes to all our friends about 8:00am, and pulled out, intending to get into Kentucky by evening. But that was not to be. About 10 miles from Murphy, NC, while going down a steep mountain incline, a transmission seal blew on the Suburban. With smoke billowing out, we coasted to a stop and luckily found a fairly wide spot on the side of the road to pull off. That's not the best thing to have happen while pulling a 9,000 pound trailer in the middle of the mountains on a Sunday morning.
When things cooled down, I put 5 quarts of new fluid in the transmission, and things worked for about 5 miles, then started smoking again. This time we were near a convenience store, so I bought out the store's supply of fluid - 8 quarts - and tried it again. It held together long enough to reach a campground near Murphy, so we pulled in and relaxed for the rest of the day, planning on seeking help on Monday. Listened to a sermon by Dr. Nelson Price, of the Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta, on TV. He was talking about the New Age problem that Martin Wedge is so concerned about.
Aside from the car trouble, this third week out has been a good one. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing so many of our friends. When we get on the road again, we'll really be on our own in new territory, and we will miss them.
WEEK 4: Monday, May 22, 1989
Mileage @ Start: 59169.8; @ End of Day: 59434.4
Well, it has been an interesting day. On the recommendation of the owner of Riverbend Campground, I called Mr. Carl Swanson to seek help in getting back on the road. <(704) 837-8407> Mr. Swanson turned out to be an excellent transmission mechanic and an honest man. His first reaction was that he could not get to the job today, but on checking closer, found that the seal was still in tact and all that was wrong was a clogged filter. I know some places at home that would sell a new transmission for $300 - $400 under the same circumstances. As it was, he had me fixed up in an hour, charging $50.00 for his work. His shop is located about 7 1/2 miles west of Murphy, NC, off SR64. He lost an arm in a mill accident, but has not let it slow him down. He is also a parttime Baptist preacher. I was grateful for his help to say the least.
So, after a 24 hour delay, we were back on the road about noon, taking SR64 west to Cleveland, Tennessee, and then I-75 north to Williamsburg, Kentucky for the night. The road from Murphy to Cleveland is really a scenic highway. It follows the Ocoee River through the mountains to Ocoee Lake, which was created by TVA. The mountain laurel was in bloom in all its splendor. From Cleveland to Knoxville, Tennessee, the countryside is hilly and a rich green color. Traffic was pretty tough through Knoxville, but from Knoxville on into Williamsburg, the scenery was really nice. The roadway climbed to the top of the Cumberland mountains, then followed the ridge for miles. It rained off and on, but between showers the air cleared to reveal fantastic panoramas. This was all new territory for us.
The temperature was in the 80's during the day, and in the low 50's at night.
Tuesday, May 23, 1989
Mileage @ Start: 59434.4; Mileage @ End of Day: 59602.1
It rained off and on all night and was raining this morning. As a result we bypassed Cumberland Falls to save it for another trip. We stopped at Corbin to buy some fried chicken at the original location of Col. Sanders' Kentucky Fried Chicken. Interstate 75, from Williamsburg to Lexington, KY, passes through the Cumberland mountains and was a beautiful drive even in the rain. From Lexington, we headed west on I-64 to Frankfort, the state capitol, stopping at Elkhorn Campground, near Forks of Elkhorn. After our KFC lunch, we drove into Frankfort and took a tour of the capitol building, visited a memorial to Kentucky servicemen killed in Vietnam, rode through the Frankfort Cemetery where Daniel Boone is buried, and then bought some ice cream and just sat on a park bench for awhile.
The state capitol building in Frankfort is a massive structure, built in 1909 out of marble from Georgia, Tennessee and Vermont. The legislature meets only every other year and this was an off year. It was also election day, so there was very little going on, but we got a personal tour of the building by a young lady assigned there for that purpose. In the rotunda are large bronze statues of Kentucky's most famous men of history: Henry Clay, Jefferson Davis, Alben Barkley, Ephriam McDowell, and Abraham Lincoln. The senate and house chambers are at opposite ends of the building on the third floor, connected by a huge hallway lined with 32 massive marble columns. The ceiling of the hallway is curved with stained glass skylights providing natural lighting. All of the stone work was placed by hand as the only mechanical device on the job was a steam engine for mixing mortar. In terms of architecture, artistic achievement, and plain massiveness, it was more impressive
than the Federal capitol building in Washington, but of course, it is not as politically significant. Outside on the grounds is a beautiful floral clock that must be at least 30 feet in diameter and adorned with growing flowering plants and rocks.
The Vietnam War memorial is very unique. The names of Kentucky's war dead are engraved in granite slabs which make up a large outdoor floor area. In the center is a large stainless steel sundial which casts its shadow on the floor. The names are placed in such a pattern that the tip of the shadow passes each name on the anniversary date of his respective death.
Frankfort Cemetery is located across the Kentucky River from the capitol building on a very high hill. Standing at the gravesites, one can look down on the capitol across the river. Boone's grave is on the western slope of the hill with nothing between it and the view across the river. We found several Lewis graves including a William J. Lewis, but there is probably no connection with Ann's family.
Downtown Frankfort was essentially deserted. Most businesses were closed due to the election, and there were very few people about. It is a very old city of 28,000 permanent residents, and it is the home of Kentucky State University. It appears to be a very clean city, even though a railroad runs directly through the heart of town.
Tomorrow, we are going out into the countryside. From here back to Lexington is the heart of Bluegrass section of Kentucky with many horse farms around.
Wednesday, May 24, 1989
Mileage @ Start: 59602.1; @ End of Day: 59734.2
We drove back to Lexington and spent the morning at the Kentucky Horse Park northeast of town. There is a campground there that would be a good place to stop en route to the Derby in 1992. The horse park is owned by the State of Kentucky and is designed to tell the story of the Kentucky horse industry. It also serves as a home for former champion horses and a museum of horsing events. There is a race track, several polo fields, hundreds of stalls, etc. They try to keep several horses of each breed on display. We attended a "parade of breeds" show in which about ten breeds, including a Pasofino, a Saddlebred, a Welsh pony, a Morgan, an Authenticated Barb, a Quarterhorse, an Arabian, a Missouri Foxtrotter, and a wild Indian pony from the American West, were ridden and shown. In their stalls, we saw a Palamino, a Cannamara pony, a miniature horse no larger than a large dog, Shetland ponies, a Lipizon stallion, an Appaloosa, several Belgian draft horses, two Clydesdales, and several others, many of which were to be ridden at the next show. We took a horse drawn carriage ride around the complex that was interesting. The grounds are beautiful, really typical of the rolling hills of Kentucky, covered with bluegrass and crisscrossed with white fences.
We drove to a restored Shaker village at Pleasant Hill during the afternoon. Along with the restored buildings, we saw exhibits of woodworking, barrel making (cooperage), weaving, wool spinning, cooking in a fireplace, and more. We were too late for lunch in a restaurant which was serving authentic Shaker meals, and too early for dinner. That would have been interesting.
Officially, the Shakers were known as The United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing, and preferred to be called simply the Believers. The first Shakers were originally Quakers who came from Manchester, England to New York State. Among their customs was a style of dancing in which there was a lot of shaking, thus they were first called the Shaking Quakers, and then simply the Shakers. Under the teaching of "Mother Ann Lee", they practiced a communal, rather isolated society, in which the individual family was not recognized and sexual contact was forbidden. Thus, they were doomed from the start. However, they were honest, hard working people who produced high quality goods for sale to their more worldly neighbors. Most notable of these goods were their furniture products. The furniture is distinguished by its plain squared look, but it was solidly built from available hardwoods, mostly walnut and cherry.
The Pleasant Hill colony began in 1805 and continued as a functioning community until 1910. In its peak years, there were over a hundred buildings. Twenty seven of these have been restored and are now being maintained by a non-profit corporation dedicated to preserving the historical aspects of the community. This community was one of nineteen Shaker communities in the U.S.
On the way back to Frankfort, we stopped at the little town of Midway. Midway is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is still much like it was when it was built by the railroad in 1832. The buildings, however, are now occupied by antique shops and a few restaurants. Apparently, they roll up the sidewalks on Wednesday afternoons. There was not much activity. Still, it was a bit interesting.
We bought ten ears of Silver Queen corn on the way back to camp for $2.00, and had a feast reminiscent of Haskell's corn boil at Hiawassee. We will both weigh a ton before this trip is over.
Thursday, May 25, 1989
Mileage @ Start: 59734.2; @ End of Day: 59890.0
We spent the morning moving from Frankfort, KY to Columbus, Indiana, a small town about 45 miles south of Indianapolis. Thank you, John Coetz, for telling us about this place. Otherwise we'd have motored on by without knowing. We went into town in the afternoon for a quick look and a stop at the visitors center. Columbus is called the "City of Architecture." The population is only 32,000, but the city ranks only behind New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago in architectural achievement. Back in the 50's Cummins Engine Company, whose international headquarters are here, agreed to pay the architectural fees for 25 public buildings if the city would challenge the world's best architects to create a unique atmosphere in Columbus. Once that was done, others got on the bandwagon and used some of the same designers to create new churches, office buildings, and recreational facilities. Then, the more historic of the old buildings were restored to bring about a mix of old and new. As a result, instead of a decaying inner city with shopping malls in the suburbs, they have a beautiful, attractive downtown area that is alive and full of people. At the visitors center, we watched a 20 minute slide show which told the story.
With Memorial Day weekend coming up, finding a campground was a bit of a problem. We were in a KOA about 6 miles south of Columbus, just west of I-65, but we had to move out of this spot to an overflow area for the weekend. Apparently, the Indy 500 race brings in swarms of people.
Just out of Frankfort on I-64, we came upon an unfortunate scene. A Suburban pulling a new 31' Airstream had jackknifed, and the trailer had broken loose from the tow vehicle and buried itself in the embankment. Luckily, neither the trailer or vehicle had overturned and no one was hurt. It was caused by the buffeting wind from a passing semi, and a panicky application of brakes. The trailer brakes were probably not functioning properly. Even though the back of the Suburban was demolished, it was miraculously drivable. The entire hitch assembly had been ripped out of its rear end. We stopped to see what we could do, but could only assure them that we would report the accident at the next exit and call a wrecker. It was an elderly couple who had been down to Lexington to the Kentucky Horse Park and were on their way home to St. Louis, Missouri.
It had been an overcast day with showers threatening but not occurring. This area had obviously received more than their share of rain in recent days. There was a lot of flooding in the fields, and all the rivers were running high. The days were warm with nights in the low fifties.
Friday, May 26, 1989
Mileage @ Start: 59890.0; @ End of Day: 59950.5
Today was laundry day, so we stayed in camp long enough to get that chore done. It rained all night with lightning and thunder, but the sun came out brightly with the dawn. We had passed through a time zone, so what was 11:00 was now 10.00, etc. At 10:00am we went in to Columbus and did the self guided tour, first on foot around town, and then by car to the further out things. Everything the brochures say about Columbus architecture is true. Even Walmart is getting in on the act and building the biggest store in the country here. It was reported that Sam Walton was seen wandering around the construction site in his coveralls. All of this novel architecture was really something to behold. It should be a must for any architecture student to come here and study what has been done.
We ate breaded tenderloin sandwiches at the Columbus Bar, a former blacksmith shop across from the Commons downtown. This had been recommended by the lady at the visitors' center, and it was good. After lunch we drove the 16 miles to Nashville along SR46, which is designated a scenic highway. Frankly, it was not very scenic. Nashville is an old frontier town which was adopted several years ago by a group of artists as a retreat. Now, it is a tourist attraction, much like Gatlinburg, Tennessee, on a smaller scale. There are shops galore, several restaurants, antique shops, and art galleries.
On the way back, we drove through Brown County State Park. It must be an extremely popular spot in the summertime. Located in the hills, the park has facilities for swimming, hiking, archery, camping and many other activities. The campground was full, and tents were pitched all over the place. Apparently, the Memorial Day weekend is when the local people really break out from their winter confinement. The Indy 500 race also brings out the people.
We bought some fried biscuits and apple butter at The Nashville House, a restaurant and store that has been in operation since the mid 1800's. We brought the goodies back to the trailer to eat. Fried biscuits are a long time specialty of the area.
Saturday, May 27, 1989
Mileage @ Start: 59950.5; @ End of Day: 59970.1
This was a stay at home day, except for one trip out to get a haircut. This KOA is an unusual campground. They have hayrides for the kids, swimming, fishing, horseshoes, volleyball, a ham and bean cookout, a live country music show, and more. All sites were taken for the holiday weekend. The campers were mostly families out for the weekend. There must have been fifty kids running around, and every one of them had a dog.
Sunday, May 28, 1989
Mileage @ Start: 59970.1; @ End of Day: 60039.2
We tried to attend church this morning at the First Baptist Church of Columbus, but found an empty church. They had held their morning worship service at 9:30 instead of 11:00. Now I know how visitors to our church must feel when they show up at the regular time and find that we have changed the time or canceled the service. Don't know whether 9:30 is worship time every Sunday, or if they merely changed today to accommodate the Indy 500 which started at 11:00. I'd like to think that it was the former, but the race is an incredibly big thing around here.
We walked around town for a bit, strolling through the Irwin Gardens, then had a nice buffet lunch at the Pines Restaurant. The campground had scheduled a Gospel Singing group to perform tonight, so we planned to attend that. This was the end of our 4th week out. So far so good.
WEEK 5: Monday, May 29, 1989
Mileage @ Start: 60039.2; @ End of Day: 60113.1
We moved to Indianapolis this morning, a 50 mile drive from Columbus. During the afternoon, we drove downtown to the Union Station. This is a model for the nation in what can be done with an old outdated building. Indianapolis' Union Station was a "first" back in 1849, when four railroads, for the first time in the country, jointly created a common passenger terminal building. At the turn of the century the depot saw upwards of 200,000 people pass through every month as passengers on 200 trains a day. But with the development of the automobile and the growing popularity of air travel, the station gradually became a ghost of the past. In 1970 it was shut down.
In 1982, an organization was formed to convert the old depot into something new and useful. It became a more than 50 million dollar project. One of the more monumental tasks was to restore the ceiling. The ceiling originally contained over 3,000 square feet of stained glass which had been painted black during World War II for defense purposes. To restore it, each piece of glass had to be removed, cleaned and releaded. Now, the station contains more than 100 shops, dining and entertainment establishments. There is also a Holiday Inn with 275 rooms, 26 of which are in 13 original Pullman cars sitting on their original tracks. The Hoosier Dome is in the next block, where the Indianapolis Colts play.
When we were there, the place was alive with people. It is an understatement to say that the restoration was a magnificent success. Tampa could learn something from this with regard to its Union Station.
After walking through Union Station, we drove through town past the capitol building and out to the Indianapolis Zoo. The zoo is new in its present location and was very nicely laid out with many varieties of animals, birds, and fish.
Tuesday, May 29, 1989
Mileage @ Start: 60113.1; @ End of Day: 60169.3
I have been looking for a part for my electric jack since leaving Hiawassee and finally found it at the Airstream dealer in Indianapolis. Now I could quit cranking by hand. Spent the rest of the morning in the genealogy division of the Indiana State Library. I didn't find anything new about the Bergs or Joxes of Indiana, but confirmed some of the things I already knew.
Wednesday, May 30, 1989
Mileage @ Start: 60169.3; @ End of Day: 60271.4
We moved up to Logansport this morning, looking forward to getting a packet of mail from home. After getting set up at the Tall Sycamore Campground about 7 miles east of town on SR24, we drove in to look around. We had no trouble locating the St.James Lutheran Church and the nearby old Logansport Cemetery. We found the Jox family graves and a marker for Christian Berg, Sr., then walked over to the church. We were greeted by the church secretary, Darla Ward, and shown several record books which listed births, confirmations and marriages from early days. It was all written in German. She also gave me the name and phone number of Mary Berg Terry who was a member and a descendant of one of the charter members of the church. Darla introduced us to Pastor Hinkle,
who was familiar with church history and knew about Rev. Jox.
After leaving the church, we found the Logansport Library and spent some time there. I found a microfilm record of the burials in the old cemetery, which was much easier to read than the tombstones. Several years ago on a Halloween night, the old cemetery was vandalized. Most of the headstones and monuments were pushed over and broken. It was the worst desecration of a cemetery I had ever seen.