Tennessee then on to Illinois
Jun 1, 2009
|We were very happy to arrive in Tennessee to J.C.'s Dad's home in Winchester. I have not done any traveling in Tennessee and am pleasantly surprised how pretty it is. It is hilly and green with lots of trees. There are too many dead armadillos along the roads but otherwise very nice traveling.
Dad and Betsy live in a little private community surrounded by a gorgeous lake. It is really nice. Our first night, we parked the rig at the boat storage and launch lot. The next day, J.C. spent 2 1/2 to 3 hours trimming the trees lining the driveway so we could get the rig in. It was a labor of love and I know Dad really appreciated it.
We are here to visit Dad & Betsy but also to pick them up for a family vacation/reunion to celebrate Dad's 80th birthday. We are supposed to leave Monday, June 1st, and head for Milford, Il to meet up with J.C.'s two sisters. Then we are all headed Mackinac Island, Michigan for a week. Betsy was not feeling well and went to the doctor Wednesday morning and was admitted to the hospital. Betsy had been in the hospital early in May with Asthmatic Bronchitis. She had pretty much recovered from that illness but has contracted something called Clostridium Difficile Colitis aka C-Diff. This is a nasty, unpleasant bacteria residing in all of us which rears it's ugly head when our good bacteria count is too low. In recent years, it has been recognized as a growing problem in hospitals and patients. We all need to wash our hands with soap and water often. Most hand sanitizers and anti-bacterial cleaners will NOT kill the C-Diff bacteria. Bleach and a few cleaners will kill this bacteria. Lysol is one cleaner but the word is that bleach is the most sure thing to get rid of the bacteria and spores.
As the saying goes, "Best laid plans..." Reservations and pre-payments make impossible to reschedule the trip for Dad & Betsy. Betsy will probably be hospitalized for about a week. All this certainly put a damper on our visit.
I cooked for Dad and J.C. and cleaned/bleached door knobs, counter tops, kitchen and bath surfaces, the furniture, etc. This will make it easier for Betsy when she gets home and make sure Dad does not pick up the bug.
J.C. and I played one round of golf. The little community course was 9-holes with 3 extra holes called practice holes. I never heard of a 12-hole golf course. The greens were very challenging. They either had a severe degree of angle or were rolling. We had a really good time. The fees were a whopping $9.00 each plus $6.00 for a cart. And, we found nice set of women's used golf clubs for $50 and a small new bag for $30. They are perfect for me and the price was right. Maybe now J.C. can play more golf. It is much easier if I have my own clubs that are short enough for me.
We explored the Tims Ford State Park Campground. If we could not get the rig on Dad's property we would have stayed at this campground. This is a nice campground with lots of trees. It is not very satellite friendly but really quiet and lots of nature trails, hiking and biking.
It was really hard to leave without Dad and Betsy, and worse, with Betsy still in the hospital. Still, it was really good to tell stories and laugh together. Despite the circumstances, we had a very nice visit.
On Monday, June 1st, we hit the road by about 8:30 am. It is a long drive to Milford, Illinois. We needed a dump station. We decided to stop at Old Stone Fort State Park near Manchester, TN which was the closest along our planned travel route. It is also a place I want to come back to visit and stay for a couple of days. The Old Stone Fort is a 2000 year-old American Indian ceremonial site. It consists of mounds and walls that combine with cliffs and rivers to form an enclosure measuring 1-1/4 miles around. The 50-acre hilltop enclosure mound site is believed to have served as a central ceremonial gathering place for some 500 years. It has been identified as the largest, most complex and spectacular hilltop enclosure in the south. Settlers tended to name such enclosures “forts.” The beautiful Duck River forks around the plateau and rejoins itself. It is one of those perfect, quiet places rich in beauty and history. There is also a very nice 9-hole golf course that runs along the Duck River for under $20 per person.
We travelled through the rest of Tennessee, thru Kentucky, the tip of Indiana and up the eastern border of Illinois to Milford, Ilinois to J.C.'s sister and brother-in-law's "farm". The farm is a 20,000+ square foot mansion (18,000 sq. ft. of living space) on 300 acres. It has it's own lake and forest with cool trails for quads. A 4-hole golf course. A 1,500 sq. ft. guest house. I could go on and on. Needless to say, it is spectacular. I will share some pictures in another post.
We arrived at Kathy and Gerry's around 7pm just in time for a severe thunderstorm. It was coming down so hard, we grabbed our pillows and spent the night in the house.