Mmmmm

Unlimited wings, Monday Night Football with Green Bay, and Jared….who could ask for more?

Robyn and the twins in the coach in the parking lot eating their favorite foods, and going to sleep in their own beds…who could ask for more?

GO PACK!

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Take the slow road…..

We stayed the last two nights in a park only 100 miles from Dayton, and are due in town tomorrow.

But why rush back…….

So we’re spending tonight in Winton Woods campground, a Hamilton County park located inside the Cincinnati interstate circle. It’s VERY nice & clean, with full hook-ups, and is nicely “decorated” with tall evergreen trees. Can’t hear the city.

We’ve known and loved the park for years and years, having run down here for the day to bike its trails on many, many occasions. We used to have a trailer that hooked onto my bike, and the twins would ride in it when they were little. We did many miles here.

Neat to be spending the night here. Robyn just HAD to walk some of the trails, one of which crosses the lake on a bridge that is distant from our site but within range of the camera. She’s ready, wouldn’t you say?

Ready, it turns out, for Ross and Ryan’s baths…..long, hot, soaking, tub baths for these guys!

Look out, here we come!

We may be abusing your kind attention to our adventure by failing to keep up to date with postings…..sorry.

We reluctantly moved on from Paynetown rec area, because we have routine medical appointments in Dayton. Spent a quick night by ourselves in Hardy Lake State Park; so weird to see all the campsites, all the facilities, lovely sunshine….and no one in the camp (not even staff).

Went south across the river into Kentucky for the weekend. Had to snake through Madison, IN to get to the bridge to cross. Only bridge for many miles. Busy Friday afternoon traffic, zig zagging through town and finally a last, narrow turn to face the bridge approach 100 feet away, narrow lead-up to narrow bridge, fairly sharp incline because bridge has to rise above big boats on river, and just as we drive past leading edge of bridgework….a small sign flashes past: “truck load limit 15 tons”.

Oh, you mean 7 tons less than we weigh?

Oh baby, what a crossing!

Still wiping the sweat from my brow….

So here we are 40 miles from the deserted Indiana park, and the campground loop we’re parked on with full hookups is filled!

Heading to Cincinnati today, Dayton tomorrow. Probably in town most of the week. Heading to Kokomo to do Thanksgiving next week with Robyn’s family (Jared’s driving over).

Our big news: we don’t have to report back to Dayton for three months! We’re going south!

If you live somewhat near the following route, we’d love to hear from you so we could arrange to stop by. Dates are approximate, especially farther along on the route!

Dec 2: Albemarle, NC
Dec 10: Jackson, NC
Dec 15: Charleston, SC
Dec 18: Savannah, GA
Dec 21: St Augustine, FL
Dec 25: Orlando, FL
Jan 3: Tampa/Sarasota, FL
Jan 17: Pensacola, FL
Jan 19: Birmingham, AL
Jan 25: Chattanooga, TN
Feb 3: Knoxville, TN
Feb 9: Lexington, KY
Feb 16: Dayton

Gotta get going! Hope to see you soon!

This place is more and more and more!

Sheesh, 70 degrees in the second week of November? In Indiana?

We spent the day outside for sure! Truth be told, it took forever to warm up to the high, and the breeze all day kept the vests on Ross and Ryan.

Despite the vast area of nature to explore with the boys, we really can’t do much trail walking with them because the uneven, unpredictable surface is just too challenging for them….Ross hates it and goes nuts, and Ryan wants to get down and touch everything!

Walking along the roads through the mounds of dry leaves has been the extent of our off-roading.

But the playground equipment got a workout today! Ryan loves all the ladders and steps. What looks to be craziness with his feet is actually careful exploration of what’s available. He is never risky or reckless….he always has his balance, and knows the next foot- or hand-hold before committing to it. In the photos, while it might look like he’s climbing up, he might just as likely be climbing down. He goes up and down a set of rungs maybe six times before tiring and moving on.

Ross, on the other hand, wants to swing, swing, swing. He even pumps his legs a bit. He’s such a sober-side that it’s usually hard to tell if he’s enjoying the swing, but just you try to get him to stop! His feet may tell us something about his mood….

Robyn had more success spotting Bald Eagles; she observed some classic courtship behavior and some classic territorial dispute behavior, and there was much soaring….at one point there were five eagles in her viewfinder! Sorry, too distant to shoot photos….sure wish we could share this highlight with you!

We just can’t tear ourselves away from this place! Keep trying to think why we should be moving down the road….and keep coming up with nothin.

We’re staying another day.

Wild, and wilder

What a tonic….this place is huge, lovely, and deserted!

We’ve had such a good time just doing things….and doing them slowly….that I’ve neglected the photos. Particularly unforgiveable given the beauty of the park. You might want to sign up as a “subscriber” to get email notification of new posts, so you don’t waste time checking….

Robyn’s been following a nesting pair of Bald Eagles and their two young. My camera simply cannot catch them sitting or keep up with them flying….too distant. Managed to snag one shot of an immature.

Paynetown State Recreation Area, listed as Monroe Reservoir on the Indiana campsite reservation system, has 323 campsites but only 4 of them are occupied this week. Solitude is the word. Our section has deep, crunchy oak leaves to walk and play in. The campground meanders around the edges of the lake, and provides multiple vistas from numerous coves to catch sunrise and sunset.

And our golden luck has provided such wonderful temperatures this week!

You understand, we only initially planned to stay here one night. We’re now scheduled to leave tomorrow, which will make it four nights. We’ll see….

Dorothy, we’re not in Kansas anymore….

And we’re no longer in the city….

Columbus was a fascinating town, and our time there was a pleasure.

But Robyn and I needed to get back into nature, so we headed west into Brown County.

We actually transitioned by way of Nashville, which has a real country atmosphere even more so than its better known namesake in Tennessee.

Ha, the place is too small for the Taxi! We turned up its main street, drove slowly through town, but never found a place where we could turn or even pull off. Drove up the hill out of town before we found a turn-around. Drove slowly back through town and kept going out the other side toward Brown County State Park.

Pulled in to the famed Brown County park. Double HA. No parking lots big enough for us to stop! One hairpin turn was tighter than anything we’ve experienced, and two hills were steep enough to take your breath away. We drove out.

Actually, we were a little anxious, because we needed a source of fresh water and a dump station. Not today, but tomorrow would be nice or Monday would be mandatory. With a few calls, we found that numerous campgrounds in southwestern Indiana were either closed or had turned off their water for the season. Oops.

But wait, one park still has the water on because the weather has been so nice. But wait, it’s not turned on around the park or in the public restrooms, so they’ve cut the campsite price to $10 per night with 50amp electric! Water is only at the dump station….perfect!

So here we sit, plugged in for all of life’s electrical needs, facing Monroe Lake, fallen leaves a foot deep on the roadway that rustle so loud.

Robyn’s down at the water’s edge with her big binoculars, scouting for eagles. Thinks she saw one in the distance.

Ahhhhh….we’ll stay tomorrow, too.

It’s more than just going through the motions….

Today’s mission was to spy out some of the more interesting architecture in Columbus, IN, and cover some more public art.

We went from one end of the town to the other. The middle school was near the two churches, in the midst of a cluster of four schools (it certainly stood out! Notice the red-orange color….the Cummins color).

The church with the extreme spire was situated quite modestly, with a tar-and-stone driveway and parking lot, but the details added up: the one-lane driveway wound through trees and past small parking lots surrounded by hedges about car-top high, several large groupings of trees were planted around the building using a different shape, size, or color of tree for each grouping….and they were planted in rows. The spire can be seen for miles, because the city is quite flat.

The school administration building was the one newer school building we saw that did not follow modernist design. Water from the fountain out front (to the right) flowed across the front toward the camera and down alongside the building where a patio area was dug out to the left so a portion of the basement level had windows and a doorway to the outside.

The black granite globe of the world rolls on a film of water that pushes out from beneath it. Catch the photographer’s relection in it!

You would expect Cummins to post one of its very large engines outside the front door of world headquarters, wouldn’t you? The next two photos show portions of its very modernist main building that somewhat encircles an older brick building that anchors the sun porch-like employee cafeteria. I found it striking that they have encouraged large, leafy ivy-vines to grow on the canopy out front and the walls of the bare/spare modern building.

The all-glass structure is a bank across the street from the Cummins front door.

As we walked back to the coach after dark, we passed The Commons with its angled wall where Ryan climbed the great playground two nights ago. The lighted clock tower is on the historic county courthouse.

Our final photo is stunning as a structure, and more stunning for its use: the county jail! Once again, I notice the use of color very similar to the Cummins logo color of red-orange.

Columbus does not seem to be showy or glamorous, but rather committed to making life interesting and attractive. They seem to say “If we’ve got to do it, let’s do it well so we can enjoy it for a long time.” The more we looked, the more we saw.

One last thing: I love a straight line as much as anyone you’ve ever met, but even I find it just a teeny bit over the top to plant so many trees in grids of straight lines!