Thursday, December 20, 2018

Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind - Free!

Hi! We're back! Amazon was crazy busy this year and we didn't get much time to blog. We will try to do a better job blogging in 2019 - we promise!
We did get a chance to check out one museum in Louisville - the Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind (APH). If  you've been reading this blog for a while, you won't be shocked to know that, yup, this museum is free!
The APH was started 150 years ago, thanks mostly to the efforts one man, Dempsey Sherrod. Louisville was chosen as the home of APH because of the city's central location. The nonprofit's museum is on the second floor and is our favorite type of museum - they encourage touching the exhibits! (Which is a good reason to donate a little to this musuem - we all need to support this!)
Most of APH's products are written in Braille. Braille was created by Louis Braille, a blind French man who was trying to figure out a way for the blind to read and write.
Although Louis created Braille, there were several competing reading systems for the blind throughout the nineteenth century. 
The musuem does a great job talking about this "battle of the dots" and the ensuing confusion before printers settled on one system.
The museum also has a large collection of different styles of Braille machines, many of which were innovations created by APH employees.
One section of the museum is dedicated to educating visitors on the many needs of blind students,
andincludes the many tools and inventions that APH has created over the years to meet these needs.
It's Buddy! Buddy was the first American Seeing Eye Dog. Buddy's human would go on to found the American Seeing Eye in 1929.
There was also a fascinating corner dedicated to Stevie Wonder, highlighting the the unique challenges he faced as he worked to get an education while handling the demands of being a child performer. Stevie is so successful today, we often don't think of the huge hurdles he faced at age 11 when he signed his first record deal.
The museum had so much to see (and touch!) we could've have spent the entire day there. Our stomachs, however, insisted on lunch. Fortunately, the museum is pretty close to a great restaurant we found last year - Feast's BBQ.
Their brisket is moist and flavorable, and the fried cheesecake sticks are excellent.  They also have smoked tofu. Yes, you read that right - smoked tofu. Since I am one of those weird people who loves tofu AND bbq,  this makes me very happy. Also, fried cheesecake. Just saying.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Winnebago Grand Rally - Part III

Yes, it has been a month since our last post. The Biker is currently working 60 hour weeks and I'm walking dogs for folks on four different shifts. We will endeavor to get more posts up, but things are probably going to continue to be slow until Christmas!
Time to wrap up the Winnebago Rally, which was, um, July? Yeah, we're not very good bloggers.  One of the most exciting things that happened at the rally was Winnebago techs tracked down our electric gremlin affecting the 12 volt system. It turns out our coach had a frayed wire. It only cost $5 in parts, but three hours of labor. Ouch!  Oh, well. It's fixed and we now have 12 volt all the time, which is kind of important.
We also got to go on a long bike ride with the WIT riders.
After all the rain at the beginning of the rally, it was nice to  enjoy some great riding weather.
We headed up the road to a tiny town called Rock Falls.  The town was built by the falls at Shellrock river, and was originally called Shell Rock Falls. We couldn't an explanation of why the town folk decided to drop the "Shell".
In the 1960s, Rufus Wilkinson and his wife donated 19 acres for a park. Cerro Gordo County Conservation Board has worked to expand the park to 80 acres.
Wilkinson Pioneer Park is now a valuable nature trail, and home to many birds, from blue herons to bald eagles.
The park is best known for its  covered bridge. The bridge was built in 1969, was destroyed by fire in 1997, but was rebuilt the next year. 
After leaving the park, we grabbed gasm and stopped to see one of Iowa's Freedom Rocks.  Ray “Bubba” Sorensen II, a native of Greenfield, Iowm launched the project in 2013. He is placing a rock honoring veterans in each of Iowa's 99 counties!
We then headed to Lake Mills to grab lunch at Teluwut, which has really good food - although I would have liked a bit more seasoning on my fish.
The restaurant is the old Merchant's Bank, so we got to eat in the old bank vault - which was certainly cool enough to make up for the lack of seasoning!
After lunch, we strolled over to the town's Arlington Veterans memorial.
The park was created in 2004 to honor local Veterans.
It currently has 124 flags and honors 1,234 veterans.
Another Freedom Rock. The black granite on the top of the walls came from the same mine that provided the granite for the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C.
This stone honors the 22 local men who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Reading their names and remembering these brave souls seemed like the the best possible way to end to this great ride!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Staying at Horseshoe Acres

We stayed at Horseshoe Acres for two weeks, while waiting to nail down a start date with Amazon. The owner was kind enough to pro-rate us at the monthly rate, which is currently $400.00. This is a park with mostly long-term residents, but its well-kept, with plenty of trees and nice size lots. We understand the owner bought the park a few years ago, and he has been working hard to upgrade both the park and the lots.
 Address: 12050 St Rt 70 West, Bremen, KY 42325

 Dog Friendly: The park doesn't have a dog yard, but there are plenty of open spaces to walk a dog. 
Motorcycle Friendly: The park isn't very motorcycle friendly.The park's roads are fairly rough gravel. Also, the park is laid out as a one way circle, and the way out is down a very steep hill.
Cell Service/Wifi: You can occasionally get signal in the field near the children's playscape, but we had no signal in the RV.

Amenities: The park has two unisex bathrooms with showers, and also has a small laundry room. The bathrooms were recently renovated, are fairly clean, and the water is hot.
Getting There: The park is right off of Route 70, but be aware it is very rural and there is a lot of deer on the road. 
Know Before You Go: The owner has a second job, so may not be around when you first arrive. We were also advised to we could pick any open spot, but we noticed some of the spaces are pretty short and quite a few were fairly uneven. We would definitely suggest parking and walking through the park if you aren't assigned a spot.

Local Stuff: Did we mention the park is very rural? After a packed two weeks at the Winnebago Rally, we were definitely ready to enjoy a slower pace in the Kentucky countryside before heading on to Louisville. If you're looking for fun and excitement (and easy access to grocery stores) this may not be your kind of park.
And finally, a picture of the hill leading out of the park. It's even steeper than it looks!

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Winnebago Grand Rally - Part II

 Thought we'd finish our coverage of the rally by answering some of the questions we had - and if you're wondering why we don't have many pictures of Puckerbush, somebody dropped and smashed their phone. Which had pictures of stuff like, you know, the parade. Oops!

A booklet of activities, along with a map, is provided in registration packet. The WIT club starts a new Facebook group for the Grand Rally each year, and its a good idea to join. That's where any announcements and last minute changes are posted. The rally also does have WiFi, but expect it be a little slow since the rally grounds will have 800 to 900 rigs!
There are people movers to get around the rally grounds and the schedule and route is also in the Rally booklet.
If you need to go anywhere in Forest City, there is a free shuttle service.
There are also plenty of golf carts to rent
There is a large red hall for vendors.  Most vendors will do installations at your campsite, but we didn't see many offering rally discounts. We did see a few products that had been marked up, though!
Next to the vendor hall are several tents. Most of the seminars are held in these tents - and there are seminars on pretty much anything!
There are also several restaurants on the rally grounds. We didn't get a chance to try everything, but the Flying W's spud buffet was pretty good.
Our favorite though was Scoopy's -
maybe because of the size of their "two scoops"? We recommend the cheesecake - before it runs out, of course!
The WIT Club and Museum is just across the street (and the train tracks) from the rally grounds. The shuttle makes regular runs, but its just as easy to walk over.
The WIT Club has a store with Winnebago stuff. The volunteers also run the plant tours. Make sure to sign up for the tours early - the tours fill up fast.
There is generally a few models parked in the parking lot, for people to check out. There are also more models parked near the red vendor barn. We'd been trying to check out the floor plan of the 22M for some time - and there was two 22Ms at the rally.  After we looked at it, we kind of liked the Fuse better. Maybe someday we can downsize?
The museum is free and has a lot of interesting memorabilia, as well as these two campers. The old trailer had an icebox instead of a fridge - and the Brave had no cruise control or GPS. Nice campers - but we'll keep our technology!
And finally, a quote from John Hanson. Can you tell he was a Midwest business man? 

Stay Tuned for Part III - Repairs and A (Minor) Emergency!