Thursday, March 10, 2016

Back to Asheville, NC

Aaah it is nice to be back in the land of trees! All that sand and cactus stuff gets boring after a while.

We are back in Asheville again, this time trying Bear Creek Campground instead of our old standby Wilsons.
 We are here for a week just regrouping and relaxing a bit more than the constant touring affords.

There are several new breweries we had to check out although we still like the outdoor space at Wedge Brewing the best!  And it was full of dogs too!  We didn't have Tucker with us.

We also tried a couple new places to eat and did some new hikes.  Some of the Blue Ridge was still closed for winter repairs but luckily we picked hikes that you could still drive to.
Bear Creek is also right next to down town but unlike Wilson's isn't walking distance to Tucker's Dog Park.
While here we also took care of routine oil change #2 for this trip.
We visited a few antique stores and the good used book store we found last time. I managed to trade in 4 of the books I read on this trip (all either used or free) and buy two new books to read.
On the way west we tried the new Catawba Brewing company so this time we had to drive out and actually hike to Catawba Falls. It is a pretty cool set of falls.

Repair note: I managed to flip the fridge door over and move the latch/handle and get it all back on the hinge. So we have a working fridge door.  I had to hack he shelves back onto the door but much better than the close to $500 a new fridge door would cost.  That's more than 1/2 the price of a brand new fridge for a plastic door!

Just a few more stops and we will be home.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Memphis, TN

We skipped Memphis on the way out but managed to hit it on the way back.

We walked around the downtown and Beale St and saw the Ducks at the Peabody Hotel.
We did have some ribs but they weren't the style of Memphis Ribs I was looking for. They were still good but not like the dry rubbed ribs I remember from when I drove cross country in the late 90s.
Although the ribs weren't super awesome the Pie we had after was!

We also skipped Graceland but did hit the Bass Pro Pyramid.


 We took a tour of the Civil Rights Museum as well which was really interesting.

One highlight for me was seeing a "Green Book" in person.  We had recently heard a Pod Cast all about them and how Blacks had to use them to know where it was safe to stop for gas or food when they traveled around the USA.
After Memphis we did a long drive day and stopped at the Jack Daniels Distillery.

The free tour of the distillery was really good.  Sadly when we got back to the trailer (Parked in a nearby closed bank) we found our freshwater water tank was leaking.

And not just leaking but leaking till empty and we had just filled it when we left Memphis.

Good thing we are almost home!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Hot Springs National Park

Hot Springs National Park was the first National Park. The Springs were so valued for their healing properties that it was set aside in 1832 as the first protected natural resource.
 Many of the outlets for the hot water are covered by protective locked boxes but this one still cascades down the hill.
Bathhouse row is wonderfully preserved original recreational bathhouses. Two still operate as spas and one is a museum which is setup with all the original equipment.

We took the tour and before medicine really existed people had some strange ideas about things that would heal them.
This large hospital building was setup for the Army and Navy as a place to recuperate

 The old buildings are really amazing and in great condition.
With lots of details, landscaping and fountains.
Very cool dome, we also got to view it from above as we walked the promenade that was higher up the hill.
In another first this is the only National Park with a Brewery in the Park.

The beer was delicious!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Moving faster than normal through TX

This week we moved a little faster than normal.

First a couple days In TX Hill Country where we had some great German Food.

We also hit San Antonio for a few days where we rendezvoused with my Brother and his Wife for a couple days.
We also had some awesome Brisket Frito Mac & Cheese Pie there and some Mexican food.

After that we hit a Walmart in Henderson Tx and then on to Crater Of Diamonds SP in Arkansas.

We spent a few hours looking for Diamonds but came up empty.
 It was actually a good time to be looking we were told as they had just plowed the field for the first time of the season and tit had dried out a bit from the recent rain.

It was pretty empty but we did was some Pro's do their thing. No one found a diamond the day we were there but usually 2 or 3 are found each day.
 In an unfortunate event the fridge door decided to fall off. Basically the plastic hinge on the lower part of the door just disintegrated.
The door actually still closes and will stay on but you have to be careful every time you open it.

As a stop-gap measure I used gorilla tape to make a hinge which should keep the door on and usable till I can figure out a better solution.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Seminole Canyon State Park

Since we retracing some of our steps we only spent 1 night at a Walmart in Las Cruces and then a night in Marfa, TX where we didn't see the famous "lights".

Then we pushed on to Seminole Canyon State Park in TX a park on the Rio Grande.
 Will did some work while I took a hike around the rim of the Canyon.
Cactus!
 The hike followed the canyon rim which was little like walking along a fractal.

Fossils are even better than petroglyphs and this was cool example of some sea creature and a fully 3D fossil of a sponge.
 The park is pretty nice. We spent a couple of nights here because the weather was pretty crappy for one of them.
Native Americans lived he in past and I was on the lookout for my elusive arrow head.
 Down in this cave there were pictographs but you could only go visit them by a special boat tour.

The Rio Grande which we hung out near on a number of occasions on this trip.