Saturday, July 2, 2011

2011-18 Kentucky to Ohio


US 23 Country Music Highway

Ashland Ky (home of the Judds)

Stubs Ohio

Campground:  Greenbo State Resort Park.  $22 Standard site Elect/water.  Narrow dangerous road (US 1) leading into park.  Campsites are close together and many are short and uneven.  I would not recommend this park.

Campground:  Sandy Springs Campground.  $10 a night, 50amp Elect/water.  Passport America rates.  Nice country campground on the Ohio River.  Grassy sites, 50% are pull-thru back to back sites.  About 20 miles to the closest town.  Monthly rates:  $200 plus electric.  I would definitely come back again.

I was thinking about my posting from last week and can’t believe I didn’t mention US 23 the Country Music Highway.  It’s a route from Jenkins Ky in the SE corner of Ky and travels north through Ashland and Greenup Ky to the north.  With so much to do in the area, I plum forgot to tell you about this scenic highway.  This route will bring you to all the small towns that singers like Patty Loveless, Dwight Yoakum, hyLo Brown, Crystal Gayle, Loretta Lynn, Ricky Skaggs, Keith Whitley, the Judds and Billy Ray Cyrus hale from.  It’s a great RV route for driving and enjoying some great Kentucky scenery along the way.

What an absolute joy for me, a country western fan, to be able to travel around the area that so many famous country singers grew up around.  Last night I went into Prestonsburg (home of Dwight Yoakum) to the Mountain Arts Center for a free Friday night concert.  It’s an open jam session where many of the local singers and players get to perform.  This is a state of the art center with a huge auditorium, recording studio and home to the Kentucky Opry.

Further on down the road in Paintsville, I went to the US23 Country Music Highway Museum, small but well done.  Featuring all those local country stars.  It’s where they have free bluegrass performances every Thursday evening.  The museum has a video of Loretta Lynn talking about the film the Coal Miners Daughter.  A from the heart interview that makes one just want to give her a big hug and wish she was your best friend.

Building a bird house.

I feel like I’m getting my chance to do a few things I never did as a kid.  So today, I went to the craft project here at Jenny Wiley Park and built me a bluebird bird house.  Interesting watching young kids trying to hammer, and remembering my own inept hammering at that age as well.  Tried to give a few pointers, but discovered young ones don’t actually listen to adults.  Oh well, I tried.  I remember growing up in the U.P. and wanting to build a few things and my Dad pretty much taking over the project.  I can understand why, especially if I wasn’t following his good advice and direction.  But that’s also how we learn isn’t it, by doing it incorrectly sometimes and then hopefully trying to do it the correct way the next time around.

One of the reasons we were building these blue bird houses is that bluebirds have predator birds that kill the bluebirds eggs before they hatch.  Down here in Kentucky, it’s the cowbird that does the nasty.  Up in the New England states it’s the  house sparrows and European starling. I originally learned about the plight of the bluebird from Kurt Olsen a member of our Desert Trails Writers club.  I’ll add a link to a web page you can go to to learn more about the bluebird.  Skim thru the article till you get to the heart of the article.  Nice to be able to be a part of an ongoing effort to save the beautiful bluebird.

I met up the other day with my good buddies Ben and Walt and gave them the bluebird house to put on the farm here in Ohio.  They said they’d send a picture of it as soon as they get it hung up on a post or tree (facing an open field as the bluebird can more readily see the flying bugs they like to eat).  Sure was nice to visit with friends and catch up on what’s going on in their lives.

Camper lessons:

Yikes, kids trying to pull down a young tree sapling.
I’ve recently noted a few things that new campers should be aware of.  Under the camper etiquette category, new campers should be aware that it is not nice to walk or ride your bike through someone else’s campsite.   I’ve had this happen quite a bit lately, especially with kids running over my 50 amp electric cord.  Not something that I would deem safe to do.  Last night I had a half dozen youngins peek through my big picture window in the back of my camper, no doubt attracted by the big screen TV.  Not only had they walked around to the back of my campsite, but in essence, they were peeping Toms.  Parents need to teach their new camping children some camper etiquette.

While at Jenny Wiley park, I saw three young boys spend about 15 minutes trying to pull down a young sapling of a pine tree while the Mom’s completely ignoring their shenanigans.  Respecting nature is the number one first lesson any new camper should learn.  This area in particular has been hard hit by the pine beetle and every tree is doing it’s best to survive.

Watching a neighbors awning fill up with water during a steady rain, then luckily the awning dumped the water periodically, it reminded me that newbees need to be aware that awnings need to be tilted at least 5 degrees if left open during a rain to permit the water to run off and not collect in a pool.  Another camper in the same park lost his awning the same evening.  On the same note, if you have an electric awning like mine, one needs to retract it anytime it’s not in use or one goes touring away from the campsite.  Wind/rain can do major damage very quickly.


Another day, another road to travel up, since I’m continuing my northern trek.  Heading along the Ohio river I’ve landed at a small campground  (Sandy Springs) right on the river.  Online reviews mention that their isn’t anything to do in the area, which would be fine for me as it’s sometimes nice to get to an area and just veg out.   The campground is simple with large grassy sites.  Well the online reviews weren’t completely accurate.  The park itself is about 20-25 miles from any towns, but within Adams county, I discovered a great historical site called Serpent Mound.  It’s a mound in the shape of a serpent and is 1,348 feet in length.  It’s believed to have been made between 1,000 and 2,000 years ago.  As they found two separate burial mounds that could be carbon dated to 1 and 2,000 years ago respectively.  It sits high on a ridge at the edge of a bowl shaped crater created by a meteorite millions of years ago.

not a great pictures but the best I could do at mid-day lighting

The site is considered one of the top 100 man made spiritual sites in the world.  Ranked by National Geographic.  I’ve seen pictures of the site many times throughout the years and it was a pleasant surprise to find I was close enough to take a day trip exploring the area.  I had a great discussion with the small museum attendant and got some additional info on the state of Ohio as well as more in-depth thoughts on the significant of the serpent mound.  

Here’s an odd note about Ohio.  Ohio sold all their toll roads awhile back to a Saudi Arabia tycoon.  Obviously the state needed some ready cash.  However, in the agreement, apparently one of the major toll roads occasionally floods and the agreement states that the State of Ohio will pay the Saudi corp. the amount that would normally be collected,.  For every day that the highway was closed due to flooding.   Hmmm.  Wonder who wrote up that deal.

I'll be spending the 4th of July here at Sandy Springs before heading onto Pennsylvania and more adventures.

No comments: