Alabama

From the peanuts in the south to the rockets in the north, Alabama was an interesting state.

First stop was in Dalton, where the George Washington Carver Interpretive Museum is located. The museum was fascinating. Not only is there a comprehensive history of Carver’s life, but there is lots of information on other African-American inventors. Dalton is known as the peanut capital of Alabama. Their city has peanut statues all over. Cute.

Alabama is a long state to drive through. Cattle ranches and farmlands give way to hills and then some mountains in the far north.

I stopped in Huntsville, to visit the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Wow! What a great museum. There are real rockets on the property. I’m talking 30 stories tall. The Saturn program was built here and an entire building is devoted to that. I saw a National Geographic movie on the history of man’s desire to go into space, starting with Icarus. it was in 3-D; enjoyed that as well.

The center has all kinds of “rides” and interactive exhibits. A G-force simulator, a lift off simulator, a hyper drive ride, and a Mars rock climbing wall. I did not do any. Wandering around the exhibits took up all my time. An interesting idea is that there are retired NASA employees on hand to answer questions and explain things.

 

Vanniversary!

It’s my vanniversary!

Celebrating one year as a houseless person. I’ve been living as a van dweller for one year as of March 1st. It’s been .. .interesting. I figure I’ve done about half the year in the van and the other half staying with relatives, due to some unforeseen circumstances. Perhaps this year I will get more road under my wheels.

Snow Days

Why am I in Indiana? It’s cold here, Well, after my relaxing journey to the Arizona desert, I had some business to take care of back home.

First of all, I finally sold the Coleman trailer. Hurrah! It’s been a year and a half sitting on a lot at an RV dealer. I was selling it on commission and last month I figured it needed to be less expensive, so we lowered the price and Bazinga! Someone saw it at the RV Show and it’s gone. More money in the emergency fund.

In the meantime, I started a new writing platform to sell content. It’s called Vocal and it has many different categories where you can place articles. Payment is by number of views, or readers can pay the authors directly right on the web page. Here are the first 2 articles.

Computer Games – Comfort or Addiction

Convert Your Car to a Camper

Hopefully this will generate a small income. It looks to be better than the sites where you write an article and wait for someone to buy it.  Even though I live quite comfortably on my SS check each month, it’s nice to have another resource.

I’m also exploring marketing methods for the Trivia books. Book stores don’t buy from individuals, so I think I might try to get them placed in children’s stores and gift shops. Guess I’ll find out what kind of salesperson I am. heh.

 

Traveling Again!

Now that the holidays are over…new year, new trips. I’m on my way to Arizona for the annual gathering called RTR in Quartzite. That’s the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous, created and run by Bob Wells who is a popular nomad “celebrity.” He started this camp/meetup/school for newbies  several years ago. I went last year. Did you read about it? Check out my posts from last January. A summary is here.

I won’t do a day by day again, but if anything new and interesting happens I’ll be sure to post it.

Later in the year, maybe spring, I want to head to Maine. I have a thing for rocky coastlines. And I’ve always dreamed of exploring Acadia National Park so this is the year.

Then in June I have a family reunion to attend. It will be in Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio. King’s Island is on the agenda. Whoohoo!

Retirement is turning out to be more fun than I hoped. I thought some boredom would show up, but I’ve done many trips and had many family situations. Not much down time. So this year my “resolution” (laughing because, when have I ever…?) is to get that novel written.

For the rest of the year I think I’ll do a little crowd sourcing. Got any place you want info on? Send me a comment and I’ll go there and report back.

New Book

The past month has been spent taking care of family. My granddaughter who had surgery, my daughter who had surgery, and their various family members. So instead of traveling I’ve been in caretaker mode.

This has given me plenty of free time to concentrate on writing. I’ve finished the third volume in my Trivia for Kids series.

And here it is!

Just in time for Christmas gifting. It will be available on Amazon next week.

 

 

 

Sauder Village

Another day…another museum.

Sauder Village in Archbold, Ohio is a living museum. It’s a look at the American lifestyle in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Each building was brought to this spot and furnished with authentic pieces.

The village was the creation of Erie Sauder who started the  Sauder Furniture Company which is headquartered in Archbold. His own history is chronicled throughout the area. Other local families are represented with their homesteads and houses.

There are people at each building who are interpreters of the building’s purpose.

A barrel maker

A train depot

A one-room schoolhouse

There are many other crafts and businesses represented, several homes of local families, a farm, and a Native American area.

The cool thing is that in most of the buildings an artisan or volunteer actually works. So for example, in the blacksmith shop a man is making iron tools, in the basket shop women are weaving baskets, in a farmhouse a woman is cooking dinner, and so on. You can buy many items in each place.

The site also has a restaurant, a bakery, a candy shop, an ice cream parlor, a campground, and special events areas. Oh, and a children’s area where they can “be a farmer.”

I plan to take my grandkids there this summer. I highly recommend it if you enjoy history. It’s fun, educational, and I was impressed with the quality of information each interpreter gave. They are well trained and I liked the fact that they do not “become” someone in the past. Instead they explain and answer questions about their topic.

And I inquired about working there as a volunteer interpreter, maybe next summer.

Still in Branson

Today I had an AMAZING adventure! I went out to Table Rock Mountain and CLIMBED it. It was quite a journey. The trails are hard, even expert, but I prevailed. It took me 4 HOURS and 23 minutes. I crawled over 17 BOULDERS some were as big as a car, swam across a ROARING creek called the Arukiddinme, KILLED 2 snakes, AND…
you did look at a calendar today, didn’t you?

OKay, here’s what really happened. I slept in til 8:00. Had some breakfast. Decided I didn’t want to drive out anywhere so I did my walking at the Branson Outlet Mall. Had lunch at A & W. Came back to camp and had a great conversation with Joann, one of the campground hosts. Took a shower. Read a little. Worked on the novel. Ate dinner at an oriental restaurant that’s right next to the campground. Caught up on some TV. And then watched a movie.

Now that’s what I call a good, lazy day.

Branson!

Here I am in Branson, Missouri, which turns out to be a lot like Las Vegas. I want to go to a show or two, however, tonight we are in a tornado watch. Thunderstorms are predicted all night so I’m in a motel. I don’t want to be out in a storm in a town where I don’t know where I’m going, so the shows will have to wait.

I have booked a campground for the next two nights that is right in town. I’ll be able to move there tomorrow.

My goodness, this town is literally in the mountains. I don’t think there is any street that doesn’t go up and down. And ya’ll know how I feel about mountain driving. Gaahhhhh!

But it’s interesting. Lots of buildings that are more than just buildings. That first picture is a restaurant. Theaters and museums are extravagant.

           

Imagine driving down the street and seeing this.

It’s a theater.

Hopefully I’ll get to a few State Parks on the way home.

 

 

Go West Old Woman

I’m headed west. I decided to see where Interstate Highway 24 goes. I’ve been as far as Huntington, about 30 miles west of  Fort Wayne, but beyond that…no. So heading that way.

However, going south seems like a good plan, too, since this far north there are no campgrounds open yet. I’ll probably follow 24 into Missouri and then I think I might end up in Branson. It’s one of those places I haven’t been to yet, so, yeah. Gotta go. I got a nice tax refund this year and it’s begging to be spent. Hopefully there will be a show or two I want to see.

This will be  2 week trip. I’ll be back in Fort Wayne by April 7 because I have an event to attend.

Any suggestions about Branson or that area would be appreciated.

 

 

Family Time

I’ve been spending time with various family members the past couple of weeks. First with my sister and brother in Cincinnati. Good to just sit back and relax while catching up.
Then I went back to Fort Wayne to spend a few days with my daughter and her family. This is my “home base.”


Then we all got together back in Cincinnati – my sisters, brother, both daughters, the in-laws and the grandkids. We went to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. It’s the last tour before they shut down operations forever, so I was really happy that the little ones  got to see it.

Don’t know where I’ll be heading off to from here. Depends on where the warm weather is. I may have to wait a while, heh.