We are on the road again. Since our last post on July 14, we made a leisurely 2 day drive back to Alabama. We have spent the two weeks in Alabama catching up on things for both aunts and working at Helen’s house. The landscaping looks better but we still have work to do. We also had a couple of doctor and dentist appointments (including a 2 hour root canal re-treat). For the family, please remember to pray for the aunts because as of yesterday the nursing home is closed to visits again. A staff member tested positive for COVID and with the numbers so bad in Alabama, I don’t expect them to allow visits again anytime soon. Glad we saw them Wednesday when we were in town.
As is the case for a large part of the country currently, it is very hot in Alabama. Temperatures are in the 90s with heat index above 100. We decided it was time to head north looking for some lower temperatures. Today around lunch time we buttoned up the house and drove as far as Paducah, KY this afternoon. Traffic was bad especially around Nashville. Headed into Nashville, we had a 30 minute traffic jam. We never saw the reason but traffic inched along for what seemed live forever and then suddenly cleared. We are overnighting in a church parking lot in West Paducah. You may remember we have stopped here previously when heading back to Alabama last year. The pastor is very familiar with the NOMADS and welcomes us whenever we pass through. We appreciate his hospitality. It’s a little cooler here than Alabama but not enough. We will continue north tomorrow.
We came to Ohio for what happened today. We visited The Wilds conservation center, not to be confused with the TV show. The Wilds is a private, non-profit safari park and conservation center located in Muskingum County, Ohio. It is about 35 minutes from Wolfie’s Campground. It is the largest wildlife conservation in North America encompassing 9,154 acres of reclaimed coal mine land. Currently they are only using between 3-4,000 acres for the park and the remainder will be used as they grow. They are doing a lot of work to preserve a number of endangered species. We aren’t sure exactly how they got their wildlife but know that some of them came from other zoos. We began our day with a not-so-safari like experience of ziplining through the park and canopy, over some lakes and in view but never over wildlife. Since this was our first time to have the opportunity to zipline we took advantage of the opportunity and really enjoyed the experience. We would definitely do it again.
The afternoon was spent in a safari type vehicle driving around the park. We saw most of the species in the park (too many to include) but not all and got what we think are some pretty good pictures too. It was a different and very fun day. We have enjoyed our short visit in Ohio. Tomorrow we start a trek back toward Alabama.
Gumby strikes again and we added another state to our RVing map!
We said goodbye to Rodney and Tammy yesterday as we headed out in opposite directions on I- 64. We went west to Ohio and they went east to Maryland. We backtracked through the gorge area and then continued to Zanesville, OH, about a 4.5 hour drive. The terrain the entire way was very similar to the area around to gorge – some 9-10% climbs and descents driving along rivers a good part of the day. Very pretty. Surprisingly Fred still got a little over 9mpg. We were expecting about 7.
Today we found a little trail on Alltrails in downtown Zanesville along the river. The river is muddy and running fast due to the rain but it was a nice little walk and very interesting. The Muskingum River runs right through downtown Zanesville and we walked out to Historic Lock #10 on the Muskingum. This was our very first time to see a manually operated lock. Very interesting. Unfortunately there was no river traffic today so we didn’t get to see the lockmaster open and close the gates for a boat to lock through. It is very tempting to return and rent a boat just to lock through. When we still had a boat, we locked thru on the Black Warrior, and Tennessee rivers many times but all the lockmaster did was press a button to sound the horn and then another to open or close the gates. We were glad to find a video of the manual operation to share with you. Hope you enjoy. We had no idea this type of gates were still in use. Love new experiences like this. It’s what RV travel/wandering is all about. The rest of the day was spent catching up on paperwork and getting a little rest.
This stop was a work stop but it sure did turn out to be a lot of fun. Last Thursday we left New River Gorge and drove a whopping 48 miles to our next stop, the State Fair of West Virginia fairgrounds in Lewisburg. We met Tammy and Rodney there to assist them with planning the 2022 NOMADS annual meeting. We reviewed the work done to date, met with the fairgrounds staff – all very helpful – and toured the RV sites, and meeting rooms we will be using. It is certainly easier to make plans when you have seen the facilities. We also ate well because we were looking for some caterers to use for the meeting. Our NOMADS friends may recall that we had planned to be in WV in 2020, and Harry, working with John and Jill had already secured the venue but then COVID happened. We are attempting to continue their plans. Saturday we visited the Greenbriar Resort and the Greenbriar Bunker as well the historical district of Lewisburg. The area is very nice with lots of activities available for those wanting to do some of the touristy things. And of course they can visit the New River Gorge.
Sunday after church, the four of us biked a section of the Greenbrier River Trail, another activity our NOMADS would enjoy. The trail was a hard crushed stone trail along the Greenbrier River, mostly shaded. It was a great trail that we really enjoyed. Hope we can do some more riding when we return in 2022.
Rodney and Tammy are doing a great job and putting together a wonderful team that will provide our membership with another great meeting and we thank them for all their work.