3-5 November; Birthday’s, Elections, Tours, and Beam

Another great few days in the RV life.  We thought I’d be able to report by now that our hydraulic and slide out issues would be fixed, but that is not the case.  We took a nice walk early Monday morning, but the rest of the morning was consumed with talking to the technicians at HWH, who made the hydraulic and slide out system on the coach.  We were also on many of the RV forums we belong to, to determine alternative fixes for the swage compression leak.  HWH and the folks on the forums that are either present or former hydraulic professionals all indicated that we need to replace the entire hose and not just splice in a new fitting.  So…calls were made everywhere from Iowa, Indiana, to Kentucky, to North Carolina and South Carolina.  We ended up selecting the Camping World in Bowling Green, KY which is on our way to where we are going.  We had to order the part from HWH and have them drop ship it to the dealer.  We have an appointment there tomorrow at 2:00.  They think it will only take an hour or two, but having been doing this for a bit now, we know that will not be the case.  After much research, we know it will take at least an hour to trace the hose and replace it, after which the entire system has to be bled and recharged.  We realy hope these guys know what they are doing.  They are listed on the HWH site as an authorized repair facility, but after talking to their tech’s, we have our suspicions.  There is a facility in South Carolina that is not too far away from where we will be for the next two months that is much better suited for the repair, but they cannot get us in until the 4th of December!!  The mobile repair guy that I mentioned in a previous post relayed that he really didn’t know the HWH systems well, and was too busy to make it here to help.  We will take our chances tomorrow and see what happens.  Enough of the depressing stuff!  What about the fun stuff??

After all of the phone calls and such, we decided to head to Fort Knox to stock up on groceries and check the place out a bit more.  Well, the Commissary was closed (say wut??) So we grabbed  a couple of things that we needed at the PX (Alternative form of department store for you non-military types…PX is Post Exchange/Army, and BX is Base Exchange/Air Force…all a part of AAFES, which is the Army Air Force Exchange System.)  When we arrived back at the Camp, the weather was real nice, so we took a walk, and then Terri decided it was time for her to start building her own fires…after this she is determined to teach herself how to fish.  She did a really good job!  We only had tops in the woods to deal with, so we scavenged, and she made a really nice fire for the night:

Building her first camp fire!

Building her first camp fire!

Was nice and toasty...

Was nice and toasty…

We grilled some “red meat” and enjoyed the fire for a while, and while Terri was on one of her wood refresh scavenging trips she struck up a conversation with one of our neighbors…sheesh, that doesn’t sound like Terri at all, does it??  We met a few folks at a 5th wheel a few spots down.  He is retired Army and a Civil Servant now working at the Human Resources Command here at Ft Knox.  There are quite a few DoD Civilians and Active Duty here in the park long-term.  Apparently Monday Night Football is a big hit at “Bob’s 5th Wheel,” so we spent quite a bit of time there and made some new friends.  That is what is great about both the RV lifestyle and the military life…staying on a military recreation area park allows you to talk to folks that have a common core of experience, and it is like being with family.  That is much of what the military life was like for most of us, as we made special friends wherever we went serving this country, spending years away from our roots, and we can meet another active or retired member of the service at any place or time and “relate.”  Guess what?  We all grew new roots, and they have always proven to be transportable.  It was a special night, and we look forward to many more nights like this one.

Tuesday, 4 November is likely a day that most of you associate with election day.  That is true in many instances, but for me, it has a longer lasting, more important meaning, as it is my brother John’s birthday.  John is a hero of mine, and was the best man at my wedding.  He and his family reside in the “Promised Land” of Green Bay, Wisconsin…home of the Frozen Tundra…Lambeau Field!

This day was also historic in that another man I respected and admired while growing up went home to be with the Lord.  I’m thankful I was able to talk to his son and one of my lifelong friends at our nephews wedding last week.  We will miss you Jim, and our prayers go out to your family and friends.

I’ve heard there was also an election yesterday…no matter your political leaning, I only hope and pray that we come together as a nation rather than tearing each other apart as it has seemed we have been doing recently.

OK, so what did we do on election day?  Well, we had a blast!  We packed a lunch and headed into Louisville to see what we could see.  The weather was turning to wind and rain, but that is not a reason to not go out and explore.  The first place we headed was the Big Four Railroad Bridge.  From my friends at Wikipedia:

The Big Four Bridge is a six-span former railroad truss bridge that crosses the Ohio River, connecting Louisville, Kentucky, and Jeffersonville, Indiana, United States. It was completed in 1895, and updated in 1929. The largest single span is 547 feet (167 m), with the entire bridge spanning 2,525 feet (770 m). It took its name from the defunct Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway, which was nicknamed the “Big Four Railroad”. It is now a converted pedestrian walkway from Louisville into Jeffersonville, Indiana.  Access to the Big Four Bridge is limited to pedestrian and bicycle use. A pedestrian ramp on the Kentucky side was opened on February 7, 2013. The original approaches that carried rail traffic onto the main spans were first removed in 1969, earning the Big Four Bridge the nickname “Bridge That Goes Nowhere”.

The people of Kentucky are very proud in stating that their approach to the former RR bridge was completed almost two years ahead of the Indiana side:)  I guess the term “Kentuckyana” isn’t so friendly here.  It was a real nice walk/hike.  We noted that several people either  walk or run the bridge on their lunch break…KEWL!

Barge Traffic on the Ohio from the Big Four Bridge

Barge Traffic on the Ohio from the Big Four Bridge

Looking from Indiana to Kentucky from the Big Four!

Looking from Indiana to Kentucky from the Big Four!

That was only the start of the day!  We headed to the Louisville Zoo from the bridge.  RV TIP: If you like Zoo’s like we do, become a member of a zoo that has reciprocal agreements with as many zoos in the US as possible.  It just so happens that the Brevard Zoo (where we are from in FL) has many reciprocal agreements.  We were able to get in for less than $15, and normally it would have been over $30 for both of us.  Many Zoos in the country allow you in for free if you are a reciprocal member.  The Zoo was very nice, but I really didn’t get any good pictures of the critters.  It is a big Zoo, and we got some good exercise, and enjoyed, it, but would not rate it as one of the top Zoo’s we have been to.

After the Zoo, we decided we really needed to find out what the huge areas of walled property with razor wire keeping people out were all about.  It turns out they are huge cemeteries in the city.  So…being the curious sort we are, we pulled into the Cave Hill cemetary!  It is rated #6 of 73 attractions to see in Louisville.  This place is…wow.  The security guard (yes they have security guards…to keep people in or out, I’m not quite sure.)  It is unreal at this place!  The most ornate head stones and markers we have ever seen.  I guess some people still thought they could take it with them,  It was over 250 acres.

After the dead people place, we wanted to check out a little known really kewl place in town called the mega caverns.  Apparently, Louisville has more miles of man-made caverns, or caves under the city than anywhere in the US.  We wanted to take a tour, but the tram tour is discontinued until after Christmas as they are making a display that you can drive through.  We did get to see some of it, and it is awesome,and we will be back to see this.  The place is at 58 degrees year round, and is classified by the state of Kentucky and the City as a building!  I wouldn’t want to pay tax for that.  There are not only neat things to explore, but they have boat and RV storage, the largest zip lines underground in the country, and rope courses, but storage for many other “things”.  As I said, we will be back, as I have to see this stuff.

We have been trying real hard to find a really good little mom and pop restaurant around here, but everything is either fast food fried, or chain, so we headed back to the Coach so we could grill some more red meat!  It was great, and I regained my honor from the night before when Terri kicked my but at Cribbage.  Terri crashed early, and I spent way too much time trying to figure out who won what with only one major network available on OTA TV.  When did ABC start only providing election coverage from 9-10 PM?

It rained most of the night, and we slept in way too late…but we enjoyed it!  This is a special day for us, as our eldest daughter graced our presence on this day in (nope, not gonna say how long ago.)  She is a classy lady that we love very much and has an awesome family!  We love you Ashley!

Got some work done early (late early) and decided that since we were in the part of the country that 90% of the Bourbon Whiskey is made, we should take a tour!  We did!  We went to the Jim Beam Distillery in Clermont, KY.  What a great tour, and great information.  This is not your Blah blah blah tour.  It is hands on, and very informative.  If you are retired military it is half price ($5) and if you are active military it is free.  You get you money back, as the glasses they gave you at the end are $7.50 in the store.  We learned a lot today, but the #1 thing we learned is that we really don’t like Bourbon that much!!  Dont get me wrong at all..this place is great, and well worth the time and the tour and info…we just are not the Bourbon types I guess.  Here are some pics:

I had many more pictues, but don't have limitelss storeage ont his site....this is the low wine on the left and the high wine on the right.  After the mix, the heat, then the mash, the low wine is doubled to the high wine before it is put in the charred barels.

I had many more pictures, but don’t have limitless storage ont his site….this is the low wine on the left and the high wine on the right. After the mix, the heat, then the mash, the low wine is doubled to the high wine before it is put in the charred barrels.

It seems a very simple process, but many variations.  The tour guides are very informed and take as much time as you want to answer questions.

We got to transfer aged Bourbon from a barrel to an area where they add their special limestone high calcium, low iron water to the mix to bring down the proof level.

We got to transfer aged Bourbon from a barrel to an area where they add their special limestone high calcium, low iron water to the mix to bring down the proof level.

We were able to make our own bottle of Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve...aged 9 years (I guess that's a good thing???)

We were able to make our own bottle of Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve…aged 9 years (I guess that’s a good thing???)

IMG_3547

Most of the Knob Creek Reserve goes to a computerized “Cork and waxing” process…unless you make your own! We were involved in the dipping, and were able to place our fingerprints in the wax before it dried. I think this will be in our will…as they say it will never go bad if it stays unopened. As stated earlier, we are not Bourbon people, but his was very fun and extremely informative.

There are over 70 storeage facilties liek this one for the distillery.  They are 9 stories high, and are not heated.  They are painted black to absorb heat.  We got to go inside, and it was really kewl...and smelled good!

There are over 70 storage facilities like this one for the distillery. They are 9 stories high, and are not heated. They are painted black to absorb heat. We got to go inside, and it was really kewl…and smelled good!

When we left, the weather was still wet and foggy, so we decided to take a long way home to see what we could see. We had not eaten since breakfast, so we stopped in Elizabethtown, KY and found the Back Home Country Store and Restaurant.  What a treat, and the price was right!  I had a bowl of Pinto Beans and Fresh Corn Bread with Onion and “relish” for $3.95, and I’m still full!  OK…being honest here, Terri had the chicken salad croissant and I had some of that as well, and it was good too.  When we got back, we headed over to do some laundry.  At $1.00 per load, we are able to do much more than we can do in the coach, so it is worth it.  Besides, they have Direct TV and a huge area to hang out in.  We played some cards and talked to some of the folks in the park, who we realized come to the laundry and TV area to “hang out” when the weather is kind of off.

We hope this finds you all well and in good spirits.  we are looking forward to getting our square footage “expandable” once again tomorrow.  Wish us luck!!

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