Monday, June 30, 2014

Not our usual sightseeing!

Mount Airy, North Carolina
Mayberry Campground

We pulled out of Gretna, Virginia Saturday morning.  

The night before on our way home from visiting Garner and Inez Willey my foot started to itch in the exact spot where it had swelled up after the bee sting in Marietta, Ohio. It then started swelling and turning red.  Our plans were to visit the Richard Petty Museum but decided to head straight to Mount Airy and a urgent care.  

Bill and I decided we'll wait here in Mount Airy for our friends, Ron and Gay Smith, who are coming up this way from Florida.  We've stayed here a few times before and it's one of our favorite places to stay.  

A flat almost level site was quite a change from the previous RV resort.  The level ups worked perfectly.  As soon as we plugged in the power and water, we went to the local urgent care.  It was almost closing time and we got right in.  I was told I have a soft tissue infection from the sting area.  Bill and I stopped at the local Walmart and got the two prescriptions filled.  I was told to keep my foot elevated.  

Bill had a bite on his thigh that kept itching him.  We didn't do a thing yesterday but lay around and watch TV.  Bill started breaking out in welts and itching.  It's strange because it started above his knee and below his waist.  The urgent care had already closed at 3 pm.  I tried finding another in the area that was open with no luck.

This morning we went back to the urgent care.  The doctor told Bill he didn't know what it was but gave him two shots of cortizone and three prescriptions.  

My foot was looking real good--was looking good.  I went out to get something out of the truck and got stung between the toes in the exact spot as the first sting.  What's the chance of that?  

There are so many things in this area to see and the only place we've been is the urgent care and pharmacy.

Stay tuned this shall pass and we'll have some interesting things to tell you about.  

Turtle Safely......

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Willey's

Running Cedar RV Resort
Gretna, Virginia
Site 1 Back In

Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful drive.  It was a little crazy and it was exactly 200 miles so we were hitting our maximum comfort range.  We continued east on I 64 and it is one of the prettiest roads we've been on.  Unfortunately, there just wasn't a straight direction to take, pulling the trailer.   

We started down one two lane road that had so many low hanging trees, sharp turns, steep, and windy road that we decided to turn around and not continue.  I have no idea how Bill backed up and turned around on that road.  There was a no passing the entire length of it.  We were on a blind turn and I was trying to watch for any traffic (not that there was anyone else crazy enough to take it).  We had to go this way because of a low clearance on the other road. We ended up taking I 64 further east. As we entered I 81 the pleasant drive turned into any other interstate, trucks and other heavy traffic.  Bill and I both commented on how brown the vegetation looked compared to the beautiful lush green of West Virginia.  As it turns out, they need rain very badly.  

Our travels continued down 29 until our turnoff for the RV park.  As we were coming down the road which is another narrow two lane road, we saw a sign that said "Dead End".  It was a dead end and the only entrance to the campground had two low hanging trees beside the driveway.  There was no choice but to take the entrance down the hill as there was a ditch on the side of the road.

The whole driveway which is down a hill is very loose pea gravel.  The nice lady that I spoke to before arriving said she'd come by today so I could pay.  

We had a problem with the level ups as the front needed to go up higher than they can extend.  We manually tried to level and then the jacks quit.  We had no power to the LED control panel.  We hadn't eaten and were hot, tired and hungry so just left the problem until today.  

I did get a nice call from Susie and Bud Walsh, letting me know that the Montana Club finally posted registration for the rally.  She's doing great after her operation.  

Bill got up this morning and checked all the fuses and found one strange looking thing that the top wasn't completely shut.  He pushed it back in and the power came on. 
 Shortly after this, Garner and Inez Willey arrived.  We have been friends for 20 years.  Garner used to work in Casa Grande and the four of us went everywhere together.  Garner was also Bill's best man when we were married.  When Garner retired they moved back to Altavista to their beautiful home and to be near family.  
We sat around for awhile before Inez and I went to the store and we sent Bill and Garner to find a barber shop.  Of course it has to have a barber pole, or Bill won't go in.  

The campground owner came by to collect and asked how we were doing.  I told her we decided to leave in the morning as the site was so unlevel and we were worried about coming up that hill in the loose pea gravel.  She said she understood and wasn't going to charge us at all.  She didn't want anyone unhappy.  I said that would mean two nights as we came in yesterday.  No problem, no charge.  You can't complain about that.  The place would be perfect for small travel trailers but we are just too long.  There are flatter sites on the other side of the road but they were all rented.  The rent here is $220 per month for full hook ups, clubhouse and pool.  There is a boat launch nearby and it is very clean.   

When we returned from the store Inez showed me her  pottery for chicken.  She used a bottle of beer to cook chicken in a special dish that looks like a pottery version of an angel food cake pan.  She poured beer in the center hole and placed the chicken butt side down.  

I didn't think to take a before photo but here's the finished product and did it ever smell good in the oven.  Two hours later it was done.  I got the pottery place address in Kentucky and plan to check it out.  

Inez had apricot salad, potato salad, green beans and rolls to go with the chicken.  I made a pig out of myself and had seconds.  If that wasn't enough, she had a home baked apple and peach pie with ice cream.  

Here's the four of us before the fabulous meal and before the guys haircuts.  

Here we are with full bellies  and nice haircuts for the guys.  It was so nice to visit with them, and even though we've only seen them a few times over the years we just all picked up where we left off.  We really miss all the good times with them.  

RVing gives us the opportunity to be able to visit with such good people.  Garner has had some health issues so it was important that we see them.  

Stay tuned for our trip out of the park.  

Turtle Safely.....

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

It was a DUD!

Lewisburg, West Virginia
West Virginia State Fairgrounds
Back In Site 27

After all the busy days we've had lately, I was glad today was a dud.  

Last night when we were heading for bed, Bill went to lock the front door and he couldn't get the lock to work.  This morning he found out that a screw came out of the plate that goes around the striker and slid across preventing the striker from engaging.   I was very glad he could repair it as we have the programmable entry where you don't need a key. This just goes to show, if Bill fixed this, there is hope for Nick Russell.  
The day started off cool and sunny and there wasn't anything special we wanted to do other than get Bill a hair cut from a barber that has a barber pole outside his shop and fuel up the truck.  As we were eating breakfast and looking through the brochures the fairground provided, I showed Bill something about a cave tour.  That isn't something Bill would choose to do normally but since it talked about the Civil War cave tour it sparked a flicker of interest.  Next thing I know we are gathering up the jackets and headed down the road.  I plugged the address into the internet address which showed the cave address to be in Rocenverte.  It wasn't far as the crow flies, but the winding, two lane roads with no shoulder around a lot of blind turns took a lot longer to get there.  When we arrived in this small town, we asked around for the location of Organ Cave.  Nobody ever heard of it.  We headed the couple blocks out of town to find somewhere to turn around when we spotted a sign that said 5 miles to Organ Cave which turned out to be a little town not a cave.  We went out the road and never saw any more signs for the cave.  They also advertised on the internet that they have a 34 site RV park for $21.00.  You couldn't pay me to take an RV out those roads!  We were hitting tree branches with the truck.  The cave tour was advertised on the internet as $15.00 admission per person.  I looked at Bill and he looked at me, so we just came back to town to get fuel and a haircut and forgot about the cave.

If you've been following the blog, you know what an adventure Bill has in getting a haircut.  I thought we'd better get fuel first and then deal with the haircut.  This is the first time, we've ever had a hard time finding diesel.  We checked all the stations out and the only one we found with diesel had something wrong with the pumps.  I finally went into a station to ask where we could get diesel.  I was told to go to the Exxon which was the one with pumps that were closed off.  The only other one around was back down the hill toward Roncervete.  

After fueling the truck we made another pass through the quaint town of Lewisburg.  It looked like a pretty town but they only had parallel parking and very very narrow streets.  We couldn't find anywhere to park, (even if we would have had a Mini Cooper).  

We spotted Tom's Barber Shop with a barber pole.  There were three people waiting outside to get in not knowing how many were inside.  Bill decided to wait until the next town.  Based on how things were going today, I was afraid he'd get a haircut like he had in Quartzite.  
It clouded up this afternoon and as soon as Bill went outside to check the air on the tires, the rains came down.  Lasted a few minutes and somehow he didn't get wet.  

I can't believe I was worried about the heat.  Might have to have the fireplace on before we leave here.  

Finally, an afternoon to catch up on my reading and rest my feet.

Here's a few photos that I forgot to download yesterday.
The West Virginia state capital in Charleston.
We didn't stop this trip, but this is the New River Gorge where they do the bungee jump from the bridge.  

Turtle Safely.......

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Peoples Mortuary Museum--Get Low Movie

Fairlea, West Virginia
West Virginia State Fairgrounds
Site #28

This morning we debated on whether to stay an additional day or head down the highway.  We both decided we had enough things left to see that we'd need a couple of days. Since it was a beautiful day we'd head down the road and when we come back, we'll still have a lot to do and see.  

We left the banks of the Muskingun River and headed down Ohio Route 7 only to see a policeman in the middle of the road.  He made everyone u-turn because there was a plant explosion ahead.  No problem, we'll cross the Ohio River and just do the interstates today.  We took I 77 (the West Virginia turnpike) to I 64. This was our first toll road and cost us $5.00.  Normally we enjoy taking the red map roads (back roads) but the back roads of West Virginia aren't like other state back roads. This state has some real mountain paths aka roads.  

We are currently at the State Fairgrounds outside of Lewisburg, WV.  There are three other RV's here, but we have to be out before the weekend, due to a large group coming in.  $25.00 per night for full hook ups and wi fi.  It's strange because it's very quiet and we haven't heard any planes or trains.  We didn't realize that they also had 50 amp service along the fences, but it's not that hot so we decided to stay where we are rather than move.

Enough about today......I can't wait to tell you about our visit to the Peoples Mortuary Museum yesterday in Marietta, Ohio.

According to a brochure "Behind the stately Marietta Chapel of Cawley & Peoples Funeral Home, and tucked away in an unassuming building along the alley-way is a museum which exhibits one of the most interesting of cultural rituals.  The Peoples Mortuary Museum highlights the history around honoring the passing of a loved one."
This is the outside of the museum, but wait until you go inside.  

Bill Peoples introduced himself and we signed the guest book before entering.  Did you notice I didn't mention anything about an admission fee?  It was free, not even a donation jar.  
Bill is standing next to a photo of Don Knotts who is from Morgantown, WV and is his cousin.  

When we stepped through the threshold I couldn't believe the place.  Bill had told us about being involved with the movie, Get Low, as we were walking across the alley but I didn't think too much about it since we'd never heard about it.  
These photos were moving vertically resembling movie film.  The largest photo is Bill Murray and Bill Peoples.  It was difficult to get photos of it with it moving.  
Here's some more movie photos from Get Low with Robert Duvall and Bill Murray.
This was a portable embalming table that was folded up when the funerals were held at home.  I'm sorry I forgot the dates it was used, but it was very old.  They put the netting over the body to keep the flies off. 
This was another old table that also folded up.  
This was a death mask. Now, this is what you expected to see in this museum, right?  Do you recognize the person in the photo?
Well, would you expect to see this 1895 horse drawn hearse?  This hearse was hand carved and completely restored.  It had curved ends which could accomodate a present day casket.
And here is the movie star.....a 1927 Henney Hearse which was used in the movie.  Bill told us they filmed in Atlanta, Georgia over a period of about 6 weeks.  As part of his contract to use the hearse in the movie, he was required to be with the car the whole time they were filming, but after seeing the love in his eyes when he talked about the car, I'm sure that wasn't a problem.  

Bill said they put red clay on the car to make it look dirty. He said Robert Duval didn't know how to double clutch so Bill rode in the back on the floor telling him when to shift. When the car was returned there were  some scratches on it.  The movie company paid $49,000 to restore the Henney to it's pre-movie condition.  

Sissy Spacek was also in the movie and Bill learned that she was a special lady and that they have the same birthday.  We must find a copy of that movie.
Bill also told us that Robert Duvall and Bill Murray had to wear heavy coats for a scene and it was all they could do to get both in the front seat while they were wearing them. 

 Bill mentioned that when they were restoring the car, it had many coats of paint but when all the paint was removed from the steering wheel it had a beautiful wooden grain.  
Needless to say, this car has also won awards at car shows.
This hearse would also have been used as an ambulance/funeral car.  The top rack is for the flowers and the casket would be on the bottom.  
This is a Packard which I believe is a 1940 Hearse.  
It had a cathedral interior which was beautiful. 
 Now back to some funeral memorabilia which are more embalming tables and some signage.
Bill also told us about all the historically different ways they embalmed.  The infant casket to the left was ordered in 1941 and never paid for.  The casket company donated it to Bill.  
This was another small child casket that would be reused and the body removed for burial.

This must be the 1938 Packard Art-Carved Hearse.

This is what I expected to see in the museum.
Here's a basket style infant casket used for display at home.
I think this is the 1940 Packard Hearse.  My Bill, was taking the photos, so not sure what order he was taking them in. 
Bill did say that they use these Packard Hearse's for funerals at no addition charge if the family has a love of these old cars.  
This section was the embalming memorabilia.
Bill showed Bill the engine and there wasn't a speck of dust on it.
Here's Bill Peoples and I by the horses that actually have sound.  An Amish couple from Ohio made the leather harness.
They use shells of cars in the background for these kind of movie scenes.

I thought we had more photos of this man's collection but Bill was so interesting we spent the time talking with him and we neglected to get more photos.  You'll just have to see this place yourself.   

I asked if he had a professional museum company put the his personal collection together and he said no.  I mentioned the tin ceiling and he said he bought ceiling tiles from Lowe's and spray painted them silver.  

This personal collection dating back to the late 1800's along with the 1938 Packard Art-Carved Hearse, 1940 Packard Hearse, 1948 Packard Deluxe Sedan, 1927 Henney Hearse, 1947 Packard Limousine and the 1895 Horse Drawn Hearse made for a very interesting visit made better by having Bill Peoples explaining the stories behind the artifacts.  

After we left, we proceeded to the Ohio River Museum.  When we walked in the docents asked us if we were the people who visited the Mortuary Museum.  We told them yes, and we really enjoyed it.  The docent said she sees Bill driving the cars all the time through town but she'd never been to the museum.  I asked how they knew about us going there and she said they had a meeting with the Campius Martius docents and they told her they had called for a private tour.  

Turtle Safely......

Monday, June 23, 2014

Mortuary Museum, Campius Martius Museum, Ohio River Museum, Rufus Putnam House, W. P. Snyder Jr tour--Is that enough?

Marietta, Ohio
Ashland RV Park
Pull Thru Site 21

We try to obey our two, two, two, two rule.  For those new followers of this blog, the rule is no more than 200 miles  in a day, set up by 2 pm and stay 2 nights.  OK, we didn't break the rules on that part.  The last "two" is no more than two museums per day.  Did we ever blow that one?

Our morning plans were to visit the Ohio River Museum  and stop at Walmart for some bread.  I got stung on the toe yesterday and my foot swelled up so I didn't want to walk too much.  Should be home by noon, yeah, sure.

I plugged in "Evelyn" our GPS and off we went.  Bill followed the directions and in no time at all we were at the museum parking lot.  We parked the truck and walked around to the front of the brick building.  Well it was a museum, just not the one we were going to.  The docents were very nice and when we found out we could get a discount by paying $9.00 for the two museums, it was a no brainer.  We're still obeying the rules. 

This first museum was the Campus Martius--(Field of Mars).  The museum covers the time period of the Northwest Territory (1788).  It encompassed three floors and three separate wings.  There was a lot of civil war exhibits on the second floor.  

Bill chided the docents because we learned in Steubenville, Ohio that the land office at Fort Steuben was the first one. Behind the museum is the original Ohio Company's Land Office which also holds the title of  "The First".  Here is where Rufus Putman gave out deeds and also made maps of the Northwest Territory. We still do not know who has the first one?  That makes the land office the second museum for today.   

The docent came by and asked if we wanted to tour the Putnam House.  Why not? This house is over 200 years old.  What a massive structure?  We love having private tours. 

This house is three stories tall, with a basement.  Are you feeling sorry for our legs?

After we finished the tour we were talking with the docents and I mentioned something about the Mortuary Museum.  The docent called the mortuary and scheduled a private tour for us in 10 minutes.  We figured it was close by so we walked down the hill and a few blocks to the Peoples Mortuary Museum.  It was more than a 10 minute walk.  

I'll have to do a whole blog devoted to the Mortuary Museum tomorrow.  Bill and I both agree, we've never seen anything like it nor as well done.  Stay tuned, tomorrow.  

After the Mortuary Museum we walked up the street to the River Museum.  This one consisted of three buildings plus a tour of the W. P. Snyder, one of the last steam powered, stern wheeler towboats.  

This museum is located almost directly across the Muskingum River where we are staying.  We walked up and down steps all over that towboat.   Now I must say this was not air conditioned and we were in the heat of the day.  We skipped the grounds exhibit of the pilot house and the flatboat.   By the time we hiked back up the brick hill, we were exhausted and overheated.  I must say I might be rethinking our trip to Savannah, maybe we might want to go when it will be cooler. 

Olivia, this photo is for you.  You wanted to know about a Calliope.  Here is one that runs on steam and has keys like a piano.

 We still needed to stop at Walmart for a few things.  Of course the four things we needed were in all four corners of the store.  

Before leaving this morning, we talked with our neighbors who are from Surprise, Arizona and have a Montana.  They also have a red Dodge truck the same color and around the same year as ours.  Our intentions were to visit with them this evening, but we're just going to soak our feet.  

There is so much to see and do, we'll have to come back again for at least a week.  We're limited on time as we will be meeting high school friends to pop a bottle of Maker's Mark that we've been saving until we see each other.  

I'm sure when we come back, we'll be staying here at the Ashland RV Park--$25.00 per night with 50 amp and right along the Muskingum River.  

Turtle Safely.......