Homeward Bound

Earlier this week we were still feeling the dregs of the flu, so decided to take our germs and go home. Just north of Knoxville we got news that Nor’easter #4 was due to hit our hometown of York PA midweek, so we stayed put for three days, waiting for the storm to pass. Tonight will be our last night on the road for this trip. Thanks to all who have followed us – it’s been great having you along for the ride, and we loved your comments! Until next time…

Silos stand as sentinels over our campsite in Dumplin Valley TN
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Snow in the Shenandoahs
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Ollie, the Igloo – caught between winter and spring


Green Eggs and Ham

Screen Shot 2018-03-17 at 10.01.31 PM.pngWith their curved corners and smooth white shells, small fiberglass campers are known as eggs. The Green Eggs and Ham Rally takes place over St. Patrick’s Day weekend, and we were happy to see that it would easily fit into our travel schedule. 115 campers convened at Gunter Hill near Montgomery AL, and we were eager to meet other small camper enthusiasts. We didn’t make it through the first night before we realized that the dreaded flu had us both by the throat. We put ourselves in quarantine, and have spent most of the week sleeping and hacking. Rally.jpg

We had a nice campsite right by the lake. Note our newly installed bike rack on the back of Ollie!

Huntsville AL



Huntsville was just another small town until the spring of 1950 when the Army brought Wernher Von Braun and his rocketeers here. It became a mecca for American scientists and engineers, and soon the Army Ballistic Missile Agency was formed, followed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. “Rocket City” became the birthplace of the Saturn V.

Our oldest son came here for Space Camp back in the 1980s, so we thought we’d check it out in case any of our six grandchildren showed an interest in space or robotics.





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One of the many modules used in Space Camp. The emphasis now is on the Mars Mission scheduled for 2030.


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Carl Sagan came up with the idea of the Cosmic Calendar: A Guide to Imagining the Immensity of the Universe. In that context, today – the Ides of March – marks the birth of the Milky Way. Humans don’t show up until the last 15 seconds of December 31.



Nashville TN

Russ and Grady

Russ and Grady were AF Academy buddies, and have recently become reconnected as they plan be a part of the USAFA Class of ’70 Hood to Coast relay team. The good news is that Grady just set the World record for the M70 4x400m relay! He and his wife, Kathy, now call Nashville home, and they spent the day showing us the sights and taking us to one of the best BBQ joints in town.

Lunch at Edleys BBQ


Honky Tonk
The streets of Nashville were packed with revelers this sunny Saturday.
We only did a drive-by this time around, but we’ll be back to give this full-size replica of the Parthenon a closer look next time.
The wall
The history of the state is interspersed with quotes and poems along this 1400-foot granite wall at the Bicentennial State Park right by the Capitol.



Nashville Nudes
“The Nashville Nudes” aka “Musica” was a controversial addition in a revitalization project.
A parting gift – Grady autographs a copy of his book, 200 Tips Every Runner Should Know.

Tupelo MS

I was lying in bed listening to the radio, crying my heart out. It was 1958 (I was in 5th grade) and Elvis was being inducted into the Army. Though not an over-the-top fan, I’ve always like Elvis with his rich sultry voice and innovative style, and that southern charm that flowed so freely every time he opened his mouth.

Natchez Trace

The Natchez Trace goes right by Tupelo MS where Elvis spent the first 13 years of his life. His family moved to Memphis in 1948, destitute and nowhere to go but up. Eight years later, Heartbreak Hotel hit No. 1 on all three charts – Country, Pop, and Rhythm and Blues. Elvis had arrived!

Becoming Elvis
Becoming Elvis: 10-year old Elvis becomes the King of Rock and Roll
Vernon Presley borrowed $180 to build this two-room house where Elvis was born. Several years later, they had to move because they couldn’t make the payments.

Elvis was nominated for 14 Grammys, but it was his gospel roots that took him to the winner’s circle three times – two for Amazing Grace (studio and live versions) and He Touched Me.

Assembly of God
This is the church Elvis attended, and where his singing career began.

Birthday gift

Elvis had 40 hits in the 10 ten list. This one’s for you, Russ.

Jackson MS

The Natchez Trace is 444 meandering miles between Natchez and Nashville. Our first stop along this bucolic byway is Jackson MS to see the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum that opened in December 2017. The stories are shocking, even though I’ve heard them before. As the New York Times reported, the museum “refuses to sugarcoat history.” We’ve come a long way, but there’s still a long way to go.

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This soaring light sculpture fills the central gallery. Give yourselves a treat and listen to Odetta sing “This Little Light of Mine.”

The movement today for freedom cannot be pushed back anymore than a tidal wave can be pushed back by hand. That which seeks to destroy the freedom of man seeks to destroy the soul of man.”  – Medgar Evers, May 31, 1959






Natchez MS

Our first trip to Natchez was in 2015 on our Great River Road trip.  Perched on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi, it holds its small town southern roots close by being locked up tight on a Sunday afternoon. Natchez.jpg

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The Bluffs Trail offers great views of the Mighty Mississippi
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Ceremonial mounds dating back to 1000 AD are prevalent in western Mississippi.. The Grand Village of the Natchez Indians has three mounds that were built around 1350 AD and were occupied until 1730 when the French attacked the village.
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The riverwalk by our campground
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We can see the bridge to Natchez from our campsite.