NOTE: IN ORDER TO BETTER SEE PHOTOS IN THEIR FULL 1600 PX. RESOLUTION, VIEW THEM IN THE ALBUM FORMAT BY CLICKING ON THE LEAD PHOTO OR ANY PHOTO IN THE POST. This is especially true for landscape shots. Thanks to Mark for the idea of adding this alert so the photos can be seen at their best!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Everything is Tickety-Boo? Totally Disco?

Recently I watched the British TV show "Luther" on Netflix and he commented "Everything is tickety-boo.  Totally disco."  Now I did not know what that meant so I looked it up.  It's a song from the 1958 movie "Merry Andrew" starring Danny Kaye which I mean to add to my must watch list based on the music video.  I might be more likely to incorporate the phrase "totally disco" into my personal lexicon though since a decade ago I used "groovy" with annoying frequency.

Love the optimism in the clip and the carefree enthusiasm he is showing!  I've been out of the loop with blogging and hiking recently due to a number of things, but one of those is the problems I've been having with carpal tunnel.  Since I was just about to hit my out-of-pocket limit for the year under our insurance I scheduled my first surgery which I had done the day after Thanksgiving.

My doctor was highly recommended and I had the procedure done pain-free and under local anesthesia only.  Very weird to feel them retract after the incision by the tugging sensation but to not actually feel anything they were doing!  I was in and out of the operating area in about 15 minutes and 10 minutes after that my mother and I were out the door and off to breakfast and shopping.

Yes, we went shopping at Mayfair Mall which was just across the street on Black Friday.  I don't say we got a lot accomplished though except for hitting the Apple store when there was no line and finally getting her upgraded to a smartphone.  I crashed at the end of the long day and slept for 12 hours, however post surgery pain has been easily managed by ibuprofen - the Tylenol 3 they prescribed seemed to be fairly useless.

Day 5 - free at last!

Surgery was on Friday morning and now on Tuesday morning the bandage is off and here I sit typing at my normal speed with both hands.  Not everything is that easy, I tried to put a sweater on a hangar and whatever movement I made the pain was shocking though brief.  So, still some healing to do and I will ease into it.  For the most part though everything is Tickety-Boo.


I also got the tree decorated yesterday much to the delight of our young cats.  Totally Disco!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A Spin Around Clarksville and Jeffersonville

After ending up in Clarksville by accident I realized it looked like I could make my way over to the Colgate clock, something I've wanted to do for quite awhile but my plans always seem to get thwarted.  And hey, I spelled that right on the first try so bonus points for using thwarted and spelling it correctly!

Colgate clock, from intersection of Center and Woerner Streets

The clock is the second largest timepiece in the world, measuring over 40 feet across.  And even though it has been atop this building since 1924 it is still working!  I know the plant was in danger of destruction at one point so who knows if it will make it to one hundred years.

From there it was a hop, skip and a jump over to another stop I have wanted to make for a long time and that is the Falls of the Ohio State Park.  The 390-million-year-old fossil beds are among the largest, naturally exposed, Devonian fossil beds in the world.

notice the tiny people in the distance

I had great timing as the water was really low and I got to walk out and spot a lot of fossils.

horn coral

I didn't look hard enough up closer to the interpretive center which is apparently where all the good stuff is, but I enjoyed walking out as far as I could and trying to guess what I was looking at.

Normally I would get more information at the interpretive center but there was a $9 admission charge which I was unwilling to pay knowing I would be back with Wayne some time in the future.  He would definitely like having a look around.

The lobby had what looked to be some Chihuly glass hanging from the ceiling.  Score!

From the park I just had to cross a few roads along the river to Jeffersonville.

Their historic district featured painted crosswalks and unique bike racks, but the real crowd pleaser is Schimpff's Confectionary.  I liked the free lemon drop sample so much I bought a bag to go home and their chocolate was pretty good too.

I bought a little candy for everyone back home and then drove around looking for public art.

Not a window!

Painted kitties were not the only mural I found, the Jeffersonville Floodwall sported quite a few and one was in progress.

Next up I'll update where those who support civil rights should be spending their money this holiday season and beyond, I found a few surprises on the list this time around!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Hopcat in Louisville

Louisville, Kentucky, is home to many fine bridges crossing the Ohio River including the George Rogers Clark bridge (Second Street Bridge) pictured below.

I crossed the bridge after spotting the mural below while driving down Bardstown Road.

I did not mean to leave Louisville so abruptly, I should have taken a ramp under the bridge but it was too late once I realized I had gone the wrong way.

What other murals might I have missed as I zipped out over the Ohio River and in to Indiana?  Who knows, but I found my way to some other great things instead as I always seem to.  Linking up to Monday Mural.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Campfire in Shelbyville, Frost at Last

Never content to stay in one place I was up with the sunrise and off in search of adventure yesterday.  I ended up in Shelbyville where I walked through the historic district, content to catch Pokemon and take in the sights.

Shelby County Courthouse

I wasn't tempted by any of the shops, but I was glad I stopped for the campfire machiatto at the Sixth and Main Coffeehouse.  No actual fire was used in its concoction, for which my lungs were grateful.

Not only did my server dispense coffee, he also doled out advice on things to see as I swung through Louisville and up into Indiana.

But first I had Pokemon to chase, and I ended up at the cemetery of all places which I have noticed is a hotbed of Pokemon activity in other towns as well.  I like to seek out the unusual headstones and this one with the lillies also  had a lovely sentiment on the backside.

I would do something similar for Wayne if he departed before me, but we both intend to donate our bodies to science and be cremated so no lovely sentiments in stone for us I guess.

I thought the well or fountain image was an odd choice for the late 1800's, perhaps there is some symbolism I am missing.  Fine workmanship and holding up rather nicely considering it is well over 100 years old.

Another bit of interesting carving was the Coca Cola building that was turned into apartments.

While walking around I discovered the Clear Creek Greenway snugged right up behind City Hall.  Most of Kentucky is experiencing a mild drought and low water was evident at all the creeks I encountered.

I didn't get a chance to go inside, but I passed the Carnegie Library which in Shelbyville's early years the lot was occupied by a church. When the church building was demolished, the cemetery was mostly relocated, but these graves were left behind.  I love that John Russell's wife's name was "America"!  Sad that she died so young though not uncommon in those times of course.

Back at the campground only one of the sites was occupied at the horse camp.

The RV sites at Taylorsville Lake were nicer than any I've seen in a Kentucky State Park and very generously spaced.  I would definitely consider bringing Wayne back down this way with our camper and making some day trips around the area.  Campfires were few, and the two nights I camped we got frost so my asthma actually died down and I reached for my inhaler a lot less the past few days which made me very happy!

The trail system wasn't very well marked, so I just gleefully stumbled my way around an hour before dusk both evenings which is how I found a little bridge crossing a very dry creek.  Landed flat on my back on my way down to it, forgot to be mindful of acorns rolling around underneath those leaves! But at least I remembered to wear my blaze orange so I wouldn't be shot by any hunter out after the plentiful deer.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Campground and Shopping Mall Reviews - And Heavy Thoughts

So even though I just returned from a trip to Newfoundland I hit the road for a hiking trip before winter catches me by surprise and spoils things for me.  I just have not hiked this year like I did last year, and I never did keep off those extra 8 pounds I put on this time last year.  Nothing lifts my mood more than tackling those rolling hills in Kentucky.

Irwin Park campground

So yesterday I put 300 miles behind me and made it as far as Edinburgh, Indiana. I've never stopped overnight there and after consulting Allstays I chose the Irwin Park city campground which I've wanted to do for  awhile.

morning view of the river

It was a nice little park for smaller campers right in the old downtown section, with a river flowing behind the campsites.  However, a word of warning because everything on Allstays was incorrect.  The park is RV ONLY, it is NOT free ($15) and it is NOT open year round.  I got lucky that it was open due to the mild weather, but I was the only one there and since I arrived after 8 PM I had no way to check in and pay which is done a mile away at the parks department.  This could definitely be a problem for anyone towing as it didn't look like there was much room to turn around, however you can pay ahead of time though I don't know how you then display your permit unless they go out and put it up for you.

When I settled in for the night in my car (no tents allowed) at midnight I figured I wasn't going to be challenged until morning but alas I was awoken at 2:30 AM by a knock on my window and a bright flashlight in my face.  After checking my drivers license and ascertaining that I wasn't homeless or cooking meth they gave the address for the parks department and a breakfast recommendation.  Of course when I arrived in the morning to pay I tipped the staff off to the inaccurate information on Allstays and they did not even know they were listed on that site, so a caution to all RV'ers to double check information listed there when possible ahead of time.

While I haven't camped in Edinburgh before I ALWAYS stop at the Premium Outlet Mall to get some Harry & David pears, usually for half off the second box that I give to my mother.  My best find was the sheep shaped tea infuser which I can't wait to use with all the David's Tea I brought home from Newfoundland!

Taylorsville Lake State Park , the last few autumn leaves hanging on above my site

My other favorite stop is the Mall St. Matthews in Louisville, mainly for their gigantic Dillards and the reasonable 6% sales tax.  My checking account is the lowest it has been in two years, but that didn't stop me from buying a few treats for myself.  Just half an hour away is Taylorsville Lake State Park, another place I have not camped at before.  The campsites seem roomier than I expected and even had flat spots for tents, something that is not always guaranteed in hilly Kentucky.  No one else is in the tent loop yet besides me though about half a dozen sites are reserved for the weekend.

I can't remember all the rates, but for a tent site I paid $17 for tonight and it is $20 for a weekend night.  A very nice shower and laundry facility is right between the tent loop and the horse campground.  There is also a RV loop which had a few folks in it tonight.  I got about a mile and a half walked on a horse trail before it got dark, invigorated already by the clean air and brisk exercise after being in the car so much the last two days.

I have a lot to think about tomorrow while walking the trails including how I might do my part in the coming months and years to help fight discrimination and support other human rights issues if things get nasty for my fellow Wisconsin residents.  I never imagined these would be the issues that would finally draw me out and give me motivation to give back but hope I will be able to help.  Even better, maybe I am wrong and bigots won't be emboldened by recent events and if they are they will be dealt with justly.  I am also hopeful I am not the only one out there concerned for the well being of minorities and that I am not the only one who will be moved to act.  Peace to all!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Few Words

Few words today, just a few soothing pictures.

Lake Geneva, earlier this week

I hope every word of Trump's acceptance speech is true and that our country can heal and our citizens are safe after all the hate that was stirred up during the campaign.

I loaded up my new traveling vehicle yesterday and I am hitting the road for a much needed re-connection with nature.  Looking forward to the quiet.

Kenosha harbor, last night

Monday, November 7, 2016

Lukey's Boat in St. John's

We were only on The Rock for a week, but in that time I searched out new things to do in St. John's.  In addition to eating our way around town, buying some Newfoundland themed gifts at Downhome on Water Street and stocking up on Davids Tea at Avalon Mall I also wandered into an art exhibit at the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador on Duckworth Street.

While there I took note of the hooked rugs on display, a craft tradition I was not aware of in the province until my sister in law mentioned having to go help set up a display of her mother's rugs at a small museum.

My new favorite artist in Newfoundland though is Cara Kansala of the Grumpy Goat Gallery.

Her whimsical portrayal of Newfoundland traditions and scenes is right up my alley, and I was really tempted to buy one of her acrylics which was for sale at the Madrock Cafe.  You can also enjoy her art for free on the side of the Newfoundland Chocolate Company building.

Lukey's Boat is painted green!

Lukey's boat is a traditional Newfie song I remember singing on our visits home when I was a child, and never fails to make me smile.  See if you agree and click on the live version below!  Linking up to Monday Mural.

Don't forget to vote tomorrow!! Want to know if there are any referendums on your local ballot?  Google "view my ballot" and make sure you untangle any wording issues ahead of time!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Mad Rocks and Toutons in Bay Roberts- The Long Way Back Part Two

The next stop after Spaniard's Bay when I took the long way back to St. John's was the town of Bay Roberts, a large port town an hour from St. John's with a similar sized harbor and reportedly home to the best toutons in Newfoundland & Labrador.  You remember that a touton is fried bread dough, right?

Madrock Cafe is small but an authentic dining experience located off the main route on Water Street and it was definitely worth getting off the highway for a lunch stop.

I was tempted to order the fish cakes and beans, but went with the toutons and a bowl of turkey soup instead.  A bottle of molasses was conveniently located on the table as well to top that touton off.

After lunch Cory returned to the car to play a video game but I crossed the road and explored the Shoreline Walk instead.


Like Placentia this harbor town was popular to fishermen in the 16th century due to its large flat beaches for drying cod, but that's not what I saw on my walk.

From the access point at Madrock Cafe I walked along the trail crossing the headland and soon had a great view of Spaniard's Bay.

Even though it was the end of October I could've picked a bucket full of blueberries but had to settle for about a dozen handfuls straight into my mouth instead.

With a bellyful of blueberries I followed the path out to the cliffs, watching the light change on the land as the clouds whisked across the sun.

The wind was up, but the sky was blue and the salt air felt divine.

A sign pointed the way to Scogglins Gulch, where the water met the cliffs.

I didn't get too close to the edge with the wind so unpredictable, but I could see myself sitting there for hours gazing out across Bay Roberts Harbour on a sunny summer day.

More than half an hour had slipped by so I hurried back to the car and Cory and I continued down Water Street to the gravel road that went all the way out to the tip.  From the parking area we watched the Cormorants on Salmon Island and had a great view of The Three Sisters, and then I got a closer look at them by walking down a metal stairway to the pebble beach.

Here's my short movie.

I explored only a small section of the trail, it meanders past root cellars, rock walls and beaches too.  I texted my cousin from the trail and told her we had to come back!  The only question is whether to come for blueberry season or birds and blooms?  Maybe in July when the capelin might be rolling on the beaches?  Click here to see a video of that!