Tuesday, April 25, 2017

MURPHY JOINS US AT LEBONAN, TN


“Life happens”  I cannot begin to tell you how often in our travels I have said this.  If you have been following my blog since we set out on our journey of a lifetime you know we had already had many visits from Murphy of Murphy’s Law, so we weren’t really all that surprised when he jumped in the back seat of the truck as we left Seven Points COE Campground near Nashville, TN.

We hadn’t gotten very far on down the road to get to Williamsburg, VA when Gary noticed a wheel, yes a wheel not a tire but a wheel, bouncing down the other side of the road.

He said “Wow, that was close someone just lost a wheel.  Luckily it has missed every one,”  Then “It’s OURS!”

Sure enough, we had lost an entire wheel off the fifth wheel.  Apparently when we had the tire work done on the trailer at the same service center that did our bad rear end repair on our truck they had partially broken our lug nuts off.  The travel on I 40 and other roads had added stress to those lug nuts and now our new tire, with the even newer brass valve stems on it was traveling down the highway without us.

Thus began a six hour wait in the heat for a proper sized tow truck sent by AAA to show up.  Five hours into the wait it dawned on one of the various tow truck drivers AAA had contacted trying to get us trailered to a place that could take care of our problem for us that the bridges between where we were and where we could go for help in any direction were too low for the fifth wheel to be trailered, as it needed to be due to the missing tire.

Further complicating the matter was the fact it was a driver’s side wheel that was missing and we were on a very busy highway.  Any onsite work would be dangerous for the person doing said work.

Research on Gary’s part discovered just a few miles down the road was a former weigh station.  It was then decided we would creep down the shoulder to that parking area where repair work could be done safely.

I must admit that was the longest five miles in history, especially when we had to pull back out into traffic on the various bridges on our route.

Once we finally got to the rest area it was another hour before a wrecker showed up.  However, he had brought the equipment and parts needed to do a safe repair that would get us to where we could get a new wheel the next morning.

After he got us put back together the wrecker driver volunteered to help us look for the missing wheel and to see that we got to a place to sleep overnight safely.  

We all walked the woods where we had seen the wheel go, we even tried locating it with the tire minder, but it was not to be found.

I know that six hours sounds like a long time, but considering where we were and all the specialty wreckers they tried to send us, we really couldn’t complain.

After all we had food, drink and a toilet while we waited.  We even had air conditioning in the truck we could turn on during the heat of the day.

Most of all we are thankful that our runaway tire didn't cause any wrecks or harm anyone.


We knew this wouldn’t be our last visit with Murphy but that day we left him sitting in a truck parking area on the side of the highway.  Just wish he hadn’t found away to find us again, and again, and again the next few months.



THE HERMITAGE, ANDREW JACKSON’S HOME



For those of you just joining our travels I should warn you we visit a lot of historical and natural sites, although we do also visit amusement parks.

In all our years together Gary and I have often visited various historical homes.  This was our first visit to the Hermitage and we were not disappointed.  

We scheduled a whole day to visit it properly and were certainly glad we did.  In fact toward the end of our walk around the grounds we were offered a ride on a golf cart back to the main buildings by a docent and we gladly accepted it due to the heat and quite frankly we were tired.

From the parking lot you enter the information center where you purchase your tickets.  It is a self-guided audio tour that allows you to move at your own pace.  The ticket price for adults is $20 or for seniors age 62 and up $17. Active military and children under five are free. This is a privately owned historical site so your national parks pass will not get you a discount.

We started our tour in the information center reading the displays prior to buying our audio tour tickets.  Doing so refreshed our memory on the events in Andrew Jackson’s life and in what was going on in the world in general at that time.


Once we had finished the displays we paid for our tickets and were given instructions on how the unit and the audio tour worked.

Quite frankly I loved how they had the audio tour set up.  As you came to different sign posts or information kiosks you put in the appropriate number for adult or child and listened to various voices portraying different visitors and residents of the Hermitage telling you not only what you were looking at but information on the history or use of the item and/or location.

Yes, there was a segment especially for the younger visitors, but I must admit I often listened to both the adult and children’s playback to get all the information. 

It was well done and very interesting.  It also had where you could sometimes click another number after listening to the main section to get more information.  By doing it in such a manner your tour could be as long or as short as you wanted it to be.

I loved how they spoke of every day life things, or how the wall paper was chosen and so much more.
The grounds were beautiful and well maintained and the audio tour would often tell you of maintenance, and events that took place on the grounds.




Approximately in the middle of the tour you get a guided tour of the mansion itself. They take people in as a group and a docent tells you much of the history of the place.  You are given sufficient time to look around in each section, for which we were thankful.  You are free to ask questions of the costumed tour guides and will receive detailed answers to your questions.  Again a major plus, there was no rushing around.

In fact you are even given a chance to view in closets and such at the original wall paper to see how well the restoration team had done on copying the wall paper to match in the public use areas, where they had for reason or another had to replace the wall paper.

One warning to those with disabilities there are a lot of stairs to climb and descend in the house tour.



The final part of the guided tour for the home takes you through a rear exit door where you can view the summer kitchen and other areas you did not see in the guided tour.  It also allows you to continue on the other half of your self guided tour.  Along the way are many kiosks, or signs that show where various buildings that no longer exist had been located. 





















These information centers, along with the audio tour help make the area come alive and realize how hard the slaves of the time worked, as well as how crowded some of their conditions were. Even the sights and smells are discussed.

It was very eye opening, even with all the early American history we have studied throughout our lives.

From the main house you go past the spring house then on back through the grounds along a long winding trail that leads you to where an encampment had been and much more.  This trail slowly winds you back toward the main house.









Luckily there are benches and shade along the way to allow for you to sit and relax and just watch nature as it parades by.




It was toward the end of this trail we hitched the ride back up to the museum and parking lot.  All in all we both felt we got our $17 each worth.






SEVEN POINTS CAMPGROUND COE, NASHVILLE, TN-Camp 21


Because we only had about six weeks before we needed to be back in Oklahoma we decided to move a little quicker toward our destination of Williamsburg, VA.  Therefore, we parking lot boondocked the first couple of nights as we traveled. 

One stop wasn’t scheduled, but due to clumsiness on my part we had to stop and get my eyeglasses repaired.  So that delayed our travels by one day. 

Once we got to the Nashville, TN area we pulled into the Seven Points campground COE  to stay a couple of nights using our National Parks Pass to get the half price rate and to  visit the Hermitage.

In our rush to move on we forgot to take photos of the campground until we were already vacating the site.  Slides all rolled in and everything. 


It was a pleasant and clean campground, with very few campers there.  I don’t know if it was the time of the year, or the fact we travel mid-week, but we encountered very few campers in all the parks as we were headed east.


Our two night stay there was just long enough to visit the Hermitage and then move on.


TULSA RV RANCH, SECOND VISIT-Camp 20


As I mentioned after our visit to Sioux Falls we ended up just more or less going straight back to the Tulsa RV Ranch in Beggs, OK. 

A few things had changed there since our previous stay.  The saloon was closed, but the Silverado Steakhouse had re-opened.  We  have never eaten there, but a friend says the food is good.

More of the small cowboy cabins had been installed.  Otherwise everything else seemed to have remained the same.

While we were there was a beautiful full moon.


During that full moon this fellow showed up in our living room.


Since he was so well behaved we let him leave town with us for our fall travels.

We were only there two weeks, bouncing back and forth between the RV Ranch and our farm doing basic maintenance while there.

Because the farm is in the woods and near a game reserve we have wildlife at home too.  One evening as we were leaving the farm a doe and fawn crossed the road in front of us.




All in all it was a short stay and we were soon headed east our intended destination  Williamsburg.