Thursday, May 26, 2016

Tires, Bridges and Coca-Cola Awnings

Raccoon Valley RV Park
Heiskell, Tennessee

Yesterday we saw all the school children in Tennessee.  We went to the downtown area of Chattanooga and we ran into all the kids waiting to tour the Tennessee Aquarium.  It must have been field trip day.  We thought the best place to be was away from the aquarium, so we walked down to the riverfront.

Chattanooga has a very nice walkway along the Tennessee River.

Unfortunately, the riverwalk is much lower than the rest of the city, so there is a very long set of stairs back up to the pedestrian bridge.  We were on the bike route, so ended up at this switchback.


View of trail from pedestrian bridge.

To get to the bridge, we went up the switchback, climbed some stairs to the art center, and then walked over a glass bridge to get to the walkway.

I love these Coca-Cola bottle cap awnings over the outside eating area.

In the afternoon, we toured Coker Tire.  This company specializes in tires, wheels and other parts for vintage automobiles.

Custom wooden wheels are made in their wood shop.


The company also does restoration and customization.  Jay Leno is one of their favorite customers.The white truck (hearse) on the left was hand carved from mahogany and is awaiting restoration.


The owner has a very large collection of cars and motorcycles with many one of a kind vehicles. All the cars in his collection run well and are driven regularly.

Today we drove over to the Knoxville area.  We are planning on staying here until the Memorial Day weekend is over.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Votes and Runaway Trains

May 24, 2016

Camping World Campground
East Chattanooga, Tennessee

We keep getting mixed up with the time, so we got a later start this morning.  I don't understand how the time on Dad's phone can be different from mine.

To get a more complete idea of the Civil War battles in this area, we went to the Chickamauga Battlefield.
Among the many monuments on the battlefield is the the Wilder Brigade Monument.  It has 132 steps inside that lead to an observation deck.

 You'll notice that there are no photos from the top.  We only climbed up to the first window which looked more like an arrow slit.

By the time we finished with the museum,  gun collection and battlefield tour it was late afternoon so thought we'd make a quick stop at the Western & Atlantic Railroad Tunnel.


As we drove up to the museum, we saw the edge of the road was almost obscured by numerous campaign signs.  This seemed very odd since we didn't see many signs in other parts of Tunnel Hill, GA.  It turns out that the museum was closed and was being used as a polling place today.

Our disappointment at missing the museum quickly dissipated when we got a private tour of all the remaining structures and the tunnel.  It was nice to ride in a golf cart instead of walking the entire route.

The Clisby-Austin house was used as a hospital during the Civil War.  After Confederate General John Bell Hood was severely wounded at the Battle of Chickamauga, he was brought to this home along with his amputated leg.  Since soldiers frequently died after amputations were preformed, Hood's amputated limb was brought to the hospital with him so when he died, his entire body could be buried at one place.  Hood recovered from his injuries and so his leg was buried alone on the property.

This is a nifty piece of furniture.

When the top is raised, a fold up bed is revealed inside.

The entrance to the W & A Railroad Tunnel.

"The Great Locomotive Chase" ended near this tunnel.  The Union men involved in the attempt to steal the Confederate engine, "The General" were later awarded the Medal of Honor.  The southern men who caught them were not.

Monday, May 23, 2016

We Walked to Georgia!

May 23, 2016

Camping World Campground
East Chattanooga, Tennessee

The U S Space and Rocket Center was on our agenda for yesterday.  The place was not very busy except for the area that was filled with the kids attending Space Camp.  Gorgeous day and NO RAIN!

When attractions are this large, we don't have to worry about not having enough steps for the day.

This is a view of the Space Shuttle from the front.

Space Shuttle from the side.

International Space Station

I can't figure out how the Beetles' Yellow Submarine ended up at this NASA facility.

 Today we drove to Chattanooga and this afternoon we drove up the winding road to Lookout Mountain.

I can only imagine how crowded this place is in the summer.  The views were fantastic and so much Civil War history has been preserved.

 Notice how Dave is clinging to this rock.  I don't think he was very comfortable on this rock.

After we got back to the RV we decided to walk to Georgia.  The state line is about a block away on the other side of the campground.  My old brain and my cell phone has a hard time keeping the time straight as we bounce back and forth between Eastern and Central time.  It sure was tiring walking all the way to another state!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Sun Shines on Elvis

May 20, 2016

Cross City RV Park
Corinth, Mississippi

Yesterday it looked like the weather might be better so we drove down to Tupelo to see the sights.  Tupelo's main claim to fame is Elvis Presley's birthplace. He was born in this small two room frame house.

This is the church he attended and where he began singing gospel music.  After we were seated in the pews, three projectors and screens descended from concealed locations in the ceiling.  Different scenes were projected on three sides of the inside of the church.  It was very well done.

This is a life size statute of Elvis when he was 13. He was 13 when his family left Tupelo and moved to Memphis.  Many people must get married here because the event center was undergoing a major expansion.

We were lucky to not spot any rain clouds so took advantage of the weather and also visited the Natchez Trace Visitor Center and toured the Tupelo National Battlefied and Brices Cross Roads National Battlefied. This area has so many historical Civil War sites it's difficult to find the time to discover all of them.

The rain started again before the evening was over and it was still raining heavily this morning when we left for Shiloh National Military Park.

The rain was pretty heavy when we finished with the museum so just did the auto tour of the battlefield instead of the walking tour.

This is a mortuary monument to honor General Wallace and mark the area near where he was mortally wounded.

Four small pyramids of cannon balls in the corners surround a cannon tube standing upright in the center pointing towards the sky.

I had one more stop on my agenda today - the Apron Museum.  After several wrong turns we finally found it in the small town of Iuka, Mississippi.  Can you believe such a cultural treasure was not known to Garmin?  My elation was short lived because it was CLOSED.  Guess the regular hours don't start until the summer tourist season. 

Aprons were displayed on clothesline which is run back and forth across the entire interior of the building. Can you believe the size of those clothespins?  I never saw Dave look so relieved as when he saw the CLOSED sign.

Tomorrow we are heading towards the Huntsville, Alabama area to spend the weekend.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Rain, Rain, and More Rain

May 17, 2016

River View RV Park
Vadalia, Louisiana

Today we woke up to rain and it rained all day while we were driving.  I'm beginning to entertain the idea of adding pontoons to the RV.

When we drove into this RV park, the first rig we saw was this rather unusual rig. Evidently the water must get pretty high in this park and the owners wanted to be prepared.

The park is right on the banks of the Mississippi River directly across from Natchez, Mississippi.

For a short while I think I saw the sun.  It has been so long, I'm not sure I remember what it looks like. I wanted to get a video of the sun, but it didn't stay out long enough.

Between showers, we toured Natchez, Mississippi.  This is Natchez Down Under, the part of the city built under the bluffs, close to the level of the river. 

I imagine during the summer tourist season there is a lot going on in this area, but this early in the season, not much was open.

Monday, May 16, 2016

We're on the Road - Finally!

May 16, 2016
Coushatta  RV Resort At Red Shoes Park
Kinder, Louisiana 

We left Arizona last Thursday but just made it out of Texas today.  A weekend layover in San Antonio to visit with my sister and brother-in-law was a nice reprieve from the endless miles of Texan roads.  While in Texas we saw a lot of something we almost never see in Arizona - RAIN.  We had a long time to study the liquid that was falling from the skies and have come to the conclusion that the rain in Texas is pretty much the same as the rain in Louisiana.  I hope the sun finally comes out tomorrow.  Today we spent over two hours going 4.7 miles near Lake Charles, Louisiana due to one of the largest traffic jams we had ever seen.  We are eagerly looking forward to tomorrow because things can only go up from here.