After 95 years or so of hanging out in Tennessee (okay, it just felt like that), we started thinking about hitting the road again. Well, that’s not true. MW (Mr. Wonderful) really started thinking about it as soon as we got back in March, but all of the Covid stuff and some work going on at the Barndominium kept us there for a bit. Chores completed include: getting the well house built and the water softener and filter installed; grading out a ditch and adding riprap to divert runoff from the hillside to the creek; removing wood from the old barn to use as accent in the house later; building a fire ring; and finishing the final upstairs work…installing beadboard as a backsplash and painting. There are still a few things to do like repairing the septic system and raising the driveway elevation in the low spot so we don’t keep getting flooded in. We hope some of it happens while we are on the road. I like going, but I don’t like thinking about what still needs to be done at the barn.

Near the beginning of June, things started opening up a bit more, which gave us a chance to take care of a much-needed trip. Our daughter, Amber, and her two Boogers made their way over from North Carolina, and I took off with them to visit the Florida Jones Crew and pick up a car. Amber had been without for quite a while, and when our nephew Alex decided to buy himself a new one (2nd Lieutenants can do that), they generously offered to give his old car to her. It was a gift she will remember for the rest of her life, I’m sure. After a LONG ride down, everyone was excited to get there. (MW stayed in Tennessee to get some work done on Petunia before our upcoming trip. Well that, and to avoid being in the car with all of us for 11 hours! LOL) The kids were immediately interested in the pool, but we managed to hold them off until after a delicious Spaghetti Pie dinner. The next day they swam until Uncle Mark got home, then we took a ride to Buc-ee’s in Alabama. Amber and the Boogers were seriously questioning why we would ride for 35 minutes to go to a gas station. However, all doubts disappeared upon arrival. Honestly, 100 pumps and a huge shopping area with all kinds of interesting stuff inside, including terrific food, is worth the trip! After some snack and souvenir purchases, we headed back for a fun dinner…individual, home-made pizzas. The kids really loved it, and Little Booger had some good “guy time” with Uncle Mark getting the supplies. The next morning we enjoyed Mark’s pancake and bacon breakfast, then they all headed off to the beach…on a red flag day…in a tropical storm. Not a beach person (and don’t think I even own a bathing suit, although I would have to search boxes to confirm that), I took the time to make a Target run. (I REALLY miss Target and Costco when I’m in Tennessee. The nearest are about 1-1/2 hours away, and I’m NOT a Walmart shopper.) Thankfully the kids were able to play for a little bit in the edge of the ocean, and they were perfectly happy with that. When the weather picked up, they came back to the pool, where they tried their best to wear Uncle Mark out. Later we headed out to a nice seafood dinner at Perdido Key Oyster Bar (yum!) then relaxed for the evening. The next morning, a great visit in the bag, we were up and out early to hit the road.

After another LONG day driving, we made it back to Tennessee just before bedtime. I learned something about myself on this trip: I am too danged old to spend eleven hours in a car! Exhausted, I went to bed soon after arrival. For the next couple of days we visited, had a cookout, and did a little exploring around the area with Amber and the Boogers (including Cumberland Gap and Tazewell) before they had to head back to Greensboro. I was exhausted, but sad to see them go.

For the next couple of days we prepped to hit the road, including washing and waxing Petunia. Then on Sunday we headed for Smith Ridge Campground on Green River Lake near Campbellsville, Kentucky. The trip was grey and rainy to being with, which was to be expected. We did wash Petunia after all! LOL. It was great to be rolling again, though. Lunch was a quick stop at Subway since the Wendy’s dining room was closed. Although Kentucky has loosened restrictions on most of their businesses, many still have not ramped up to full speed. After lunch the skies cleared, and the rest of the drive was beautiful. By mid-afternoon we were set up and enjoying the quiet. Our site was amazing…backed into the woods at the end of the loop with no visible sites on either side. The campground still had a few of the weekenders there, but by the time evening rolled around, the count was pretty low, and it was very quiet. Smith Ridge Campground is very well kept and clean. There are two camping loops: one mostly in the woods and shaded where we stayed, and another that was mostly open with sporadic trees. Both had their own bathhouses, which were pretty spotless. There were water and power sites, power only sites, and primitive sites. While this Corps of Engineers park is near the lake, access is nearby and not on the property. There are some hiking trails and a playground, too.

On Monday we headed into Campbellsville to do a little shopping. (I can never turn down a chance to check out Christopher and Banks!) Not sure I understand the logic in allowing bathrooms to be open, but not dressing rooms. Seems like the former would be much harder to sanitize. There was plenty of social distancing, though. We had lunch at Colton’s, where MW had a hamburger and I had a steak salad. Delicious! Then it was back to camp to relax for the afternoon. The weather was beautiful for sitting outside. We were able to sleep with the windows open at night, too, which I LOVE!

Tuesday we hung out at the campground in the morning, then headed into Campbellsville. MW found a highly-rated barbecue joint named Brother’s. Whoever did those reviews certainly didn’t miss. This place was the bomb! MW had The Dude, which is a pulled pork AND brisket sandwich. I had the pulled pork. The winner, though, was the Soul Fries we shared. They had pork, slaw, beer cheese, and something called “mean sauce”. We both thought we should have foregone the sandwiches and just eaten a large plate of those! Yes, that good! After lunch we ran a few errands, scoped out laundromats for tomorrow, and then checked out the Lake Shelbyville Dam. Access was cut off to some of the viewpoints, but we did get to take in the stilling basin. After that, it was back to Petunia to relax.

Wednesday was my first laundry day since we hit the road. I left MW at camp while I headed into Campbellsville to get it done. RV folks often talk about not liking laundromats. I prefer it, though. I can take it in, wash all of the loads at one time, and be done and back at camp in less than 3 hours. Chore completed, I ran into the grocery store before heading back. The rest of the day was spent doing a little work (me) and relaxing.

Next up….Indiana. See you on the road!!


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