Sunday, December 17, 2017

Week 16 at Amazon!

For most of y'all following this blog, you can probably guess what that means - this is The Biker's final week at Amazon this year. Wahoo! Oh, and winter has also arrived, as evidenced above. It's definitely time to head south!

This also means it's time to put this blog on a teeny tiny hiatus until the first week of January. 

What are we doing until then? Our current plan is to pack a little bit every day, so we can hit the road next weekend. We will then amble down to Summerdale, Alabama, where we have reservations for a (hopefully warmer!) spot for January and February. At least, that's the plan now. Being from Texas, we know the two things that can't be trusted is the weather - and the weatherman! 

We want to take a quick moment to tackle and hug each and every one of y'all. We really appreciate all the love and encouragement, and hope everyone has an awesome holiday.  Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Staying At Louisville North

We stayed at Louisville North Campground while The Biker worked for Amazon (it's hard to believe, but we are almost done and will be leaving in two weeks!). Amazon paid for our lot, but the daily price is $45. Let's clear up some confusion about this campground. This park was a KOA until 2016, and you may still find some maps and reviews list it as a KOA. The only KOA in the area is now in Sheperdsville (30 minutes south of Louisville). Second, this park is not in Louisville. This campground is in Clarksville. Three small cities, New Albany, Clarksville, and Jeffersonsville sit side by side, and across the river from Louisville. 

Address: 900 Marriot Drive, Clarksville, IN 47129


Dog Friendly: There is a city park next door to the RV park called Colgate Park, and Falls of Ohio State Park is an easy 1.7 mile walk away. There are no unleashed areas in either park.
Motorcycle Friendly: The road surfaces were OK in this park, but there are some pretty uneven surfaces. While all the roads are one way, about 25% of the spots are permanent residents, and they don't seem to pay much attention to the rules!
Cell Service/Wifi: Verizon was 3-4 bars, without a booster. The park has Wifi and it's decent, although expect the signal to slow in the evening when everyone is home. The park used to have cable, but it's our understanding they no longer offer this service.
Amenities: The park has washers and dryers, and bathrooms with showers. It is an older park, but the facilities are clean; and the washers and dryers are decent size. The park also has gas pumps, a small convenience store, and propane.  Tom Stinnett Camper's Inn is next door, and has an RV store.

Getting There: The park is just off Hwy 65. Be very careful putting this park's address in your GPS. There is a low bridge (10 feet clearance) on E Montgomery, just a few feet east of Marriot Drive. You will want to approach this park from Marriot, and avoid E Montgomery!
Know Before You Go: All bridges, except I-64 ,have tolls. If you intend to visit Louisville often, it's a good idea to register with  Spots can be tight and you may be asked to park your car and/or trailer in the field across from the park. The park is both in the flight path of a major airport (and a hub for UPS) and bordered by a train track. The trains frequently brake before going over the nearby bridge, so expect a lot of noise at night. 
Local Stuff: While most people stop here to visit Louisville, there is quite a lot to do in Jeffersonville, which is only a few blocks from the park.  We also highly recommend checking out New Albany and Southern Indiana, and the Big 4 Bridge. There is a Kroger's 2.6 miles away and a Walmart 4 miles away. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Cave Hill Cemetery - Free!

Last week, the Biker got an extra day off for Turkey-day and the weather finally decided to co-operate. (Ok, it was in the 50s, but sunny) He asked me if there was anything I wanted to do, and I immediately said, "Cave Hill Cemetery." He programmed it into the GPS and off we zoomed  - after he pointed out that 'normal' people would probably want to do something related to either the Derby or Bourbon. You know, cuz we're in Louisville.

(clicking on any photo will open it up to full size)
Cave Hill Cemetery was opened in 1848. The City had no plans for a garden-style cemetery, but the designer quickly realized it was the easiest way to work with the old farm's hills and ditches. The cemetery's entrance was built in 1892 and features a bell tower with a 2,000 bell. 
Cave Hill is a very large cemetery. It has 296 acres, five lakes, and a natural spring that comes from its namesake cave. The cemetery also contains 600 species of plants.
This is the Eastin grave - a wife's loving memorial to her husband. Since it was winter and we wanted to get home before dark, we were only able to walk through a few sections. There are many more graves we would have liked to have seen if we had more time; especially Sam's swingBarney Bright's grave and nude sculpture, the Wilder monument, and the Heffner grave
When I went back to look at the photos later, I spotted what might be a white bronze monument in this picture. I wished I'd noticed at the time - I could have checked to see if the monument was hollow or not!
The cemetery contains sixteen miles of winding roads. The vistas and beauty of the place are breathtaking.
There are 195,000 people buried here. The cemetery is still in use, and sees around 500-600 burials a year. There is also a scatter garden by one lake, for those who prefer cremation.
There are angels and birds everywhere, many of them exquisitely carved.
The grounds are beautifully kept, and the cemetery has a system where families can ensure regular upkeep of both the graves and the plants.
Another forest of obelisks, just beyond the Cave Hill National Cemetery, which in the northwest corner. 
There are a few Woodsmen graves at Cave Hill, but this is not one of them. In the background is the Thompson family grave site, marked by a large tree stump monument The family members graves are marked with log-shaped headstones.
An elaborately carved Celtic cross marks the Strater gravesite.
There are many modern sculptures, too,
including favorite pets.
A mother and her young son were feeding the swans and ducks. We couldn't resist snapping a picture of this little guy, waddling around in mid-molt.
This imposing obelisk marks D.C. Parr's grave. His parrot, Pretty Polly, is buried behind his grave.
The cemetery does have several mausoleums, in a rather bewildering range of styles.
I believe this gothic one is the Gheens Masoleum.
One of the most heartbreaking memorials we saw. These three small angels mark the graves of a family's three children.
The cemetery also contains the graves of 200 Confederate soldiers, and a small memorial. As somebody proud to have family members who fought in the Union army, I find myself torn by the controversy. It's all to easy to forget that most of these graves and memorials were paid for by grieving women, who had lost sons, brothers, and husbands. 
Over 5,500 soldiers are buried in the National Cemetery section.
Eleven soldiers of the 32nd Indiana Infantry were the first soldiers interred here. They died in 1861, and were later moved to Cave Hill.
The 32nd Indiana Infantry Monument is the nation's oldest Civil War monument. This is a replica of the original monument, which has been removed for conservation. Because the 32nd were German-Americans, the monument has inscriptions in both English and German.
The cemetery staff is active in not just caring for the cemetery, but making it a place that honors and remembers its dead. One recent project was to find the names of the 200 children buried in this plot and then create a suitable memorial. The statue's base has plaques with the children's names.
I think it's fitting we close this post with Muhammad Ali's grave site. He personally picked the site himself, and asked that it be open to the public and filled with lots of color. The cemetery has honored his request, and added a quote by him, "Service to others is the rent you pay for your room in Heaven." RIP, Ali.