Monday, July 4, 2016

Visiting Mammoth Cave

Arriving at Diamond Caverns Thousand Trails RV Resort:

It was a fairly uneventful drive from Raccoon Valley in Tennessee to the Mammoth Cave area of Kentucky.  Diamond Caverns is one of the many other privately owned caverns in the area.

The Diamond Caverns campground is a very pleasant and well maintained resort. Among the many Thousand Trails parks we've stopped in, this one is one of the best.  The facilities appear to be well maintained and even the sites taken by annual residents were relatively neat.  Although there are a number of 30 amp sites, we lucked out and obtained a 50amp full hook-up site.   The Verizon signal was strong with good bandwidth, while T-Mobile showed "No Service".

Our only objective for this stop was to visit Mammoth cave.  Although it is the longest cavern in North America - over 400 miles in length; the cavern itself was somewhat of a disappointment.   The cave really lacked any of the interesting and picturesque formations present in other caverns such as those in Carlsbad, New Mexico and Wind Cave in South Dakota.

Why does a wiild turkey cross the road?

We took the "Historic" tour which is a two mile walk to a depth of 330ft below the surface.  For those who want the experience of being underground, the tour fills the bill.  There were very narrow and very low  passages where those with clostraphobia might be in a panic.
The ranger conducting the tour was very interesting and entertaining.

I obtained only a few usable pictures within the cave due to very low light level.  By contrast I obtained quite a few photos in 2014 in Carlsbad's stronger lighting.

There was a fair amount of history to learn about.  Mammoth Cave was a source of salt peter (the bat guano based nitrate used to produce gun powder).  Over a million pounds pounds of the cave's soil was processed during the war of 1812.  We left Diamond Caverns RV on July 2nd north-bound for the Horseshoe Lakes Thousand Trails park in central Indiana.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Back On the Road Again

We are back on the road again - this time for a summer trip. We love avoiding the cold winter weather by our Wintertime travels to the south.

However, visiting many of the northern national parks and attraction needs to be a warm weather RV trip.

We left our northern Virginia home on June 22nd after our grand- daughter's birthday. Our first stop was the Thousand Trails RV Resort at Lynchburg, VA.  Although the park is a nice one with pool, hot tube, and lake; it rained for most of our two day stay.

The rain was very heavy and coincided with the flooding occuring to the north in West Virginia. We had no rain related problems - no leaks or other issues. While sitting out the rain I watched an older man and apparently his teenage son attempting to set up a tent site. They were working in shorts and teeshirts in the pouring rain. They spread a ground tarp and successfully erected a fairly large tent. No more than an hour later I noticed them tearing down the tent. The tent had apparently filled with water. They rolled up the tent and tarp; Then pitched the whole mess into a dumpster and drove away. I wondered why they didn't wait in their car for the rain to ease-up.

The next day we had our own "fun" while trying to break camp. We avoided the rain and packed away chairs and satellite antenna; and unhooked water, and electric. However, the rain began again in earnest while visiting the dump station.  I was soaked after completing dumping the tanks and hitching up the car. With a change to dry clothes we were on our way.  Of course the rain stopped as soon as we got on the road. I wondered why I didn't wait for the rain to ease-up.

The traffic was light and the road was smooth. About four hours later we checked in to the Raccoon Valley Escapees RV park near Knoxville, TN. Raccoon Valley is a nice park with gravel full hook-up sites. Although the sites are closely spaced, the park is neatly maintained and quiet.

We had no plans to visit any particular tourist destinations in the Knoxville area. At the suggestion of one of the camp hosts we paid a visit to the Museum of the Appalachia.
A man lived in this tiny house for over 20 years.

Peacocks and other livestock roamed the premises.

  The museum is basically a museum of the 19th century rural appalachian culture with many log homes and farm equipment.  The museum also has an excellent collection of the country music and bluegrass celebrities who grew up in eastern Tennessee. Although it rained during our visit; it was well worth the price of admission ($10 per adult).

Our five day stay at Raccoon Valley ended  on June 28th. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

FMCA Family Reunion - First Day

The Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) has two national rallies each year. This one is our first national rally.  About five years ago we attended the Eastern Regional rally at Winston-Salem, NC.  The national FMCA rallies are probably the largest organized meetings for RVers.  Over 2,500 motorhomes are camped out together for five days. 

FMCA 2016 Perry, Georgia Family Reunion  (

Here is our parking location.
March 15 & 16 are the main arrival days.  There were mostly open fields on the 15th.

 We are still seeing arrivals today, the 17th. Many of the large fields are now filled with motorhomes.
The view from the top of our coach.

The parking is layed out in blocks with numbered streets. Most attendees are parked  boondock style with no hook-ups.  Probably a third of the coaches paid the additional fee for electric service.

It's fun to stroll around and check-out the many brands and models.  Here's a Georgetown like ours with it's guard dog.
FMCA provides trams for transportation around the grounds.  Ina and I rode one of them yesterday just as an orientation.

Earlier today there was a golf cart decorating contest for Saint Patricks day.

There are dozens of seminars to attend covering everything about RVs and the RVing lifestyle.  Also the display of new motorhomes rivals that of RV shows (like the one in Hersey, PA), but without the crowding.
Here is a link to the gallery of photos on FMCA's web site (

Friday, March 11, 2016

Gunter Hills COE Park, Montgomery, AL

We've stopped for a few days at an Army Corp of Engineers (COE) campground near Montgomery Alabama. This campgound is one of the best COE parks we've seen.  Here is a brief photo tour of the new section where we are parked. The sites are all full hook-up with 50amp service.  With the National Park Senior  ("geezer") pass it is quite a bargain at $14 per  night.