Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Camp Carlson

Camp Carlson Recreation Activity (Camp Carlson Travel Camp), near Fort Knox, Kentucky

Camp Carlson is open to active duty and retired military retirees (and guests).

On a scale of 1-10, I'd give it a 7.  We camped in a 40' motorhome.  I'd come here again.

Read other reviews:
When we were are on our way to Henryville, IN for some volunteer work, we stopped here. We have never been to Fort Knox or Louisville, KY which is about 40 minutes away.

We liked this campground and would visit again.  It is a well run campground and the people here know what they are doing.  They mow the grass and they have a lot of it.  They are friendly at the office and have a helpful way about them.  The price is right ($17/night).

A couple of things you need to know:

  • There is no AT&T phone service.
  • My Verizon wifi worked OK but it was slow.
  • The satellite TV works if you have a spot with good access.  Some sites are in the trees.  There is no cable TV.
The laundry facility is great.  It has plenty of washers and dryers at $1 a load.  It is located with a meeting room and the women and men's showers.

Our first campsite was on a concrete slab near the showers.  It had 50 amp and water but no sewer.
When a spot opened up with sewer, we took it.  It had a more open area which made satellite access no problem.

 The campground is set in a valley with a very small lake/ large pond and it is beautiful.  We had quite a few great evening walks.

The campground is about 40 miles from Louisville Kentucky and near Fort Knox.  It is actually 4 miles away from Fort Knox and does not have military gate access.  It is open which means a military ID is not required to get to the campground.

That is it for this edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles.  Thanks for joining us!  Until next time...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Louisville KY - The Kentucky Derby Museum

While in Louisville we went to the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs.  It has one of the best museums we have ever seen.  It was very well done.  That, along with a tour of the grounds, made for a great time.

In 1872, Meriwether Lewis, grandson of William Clark of Lewis and Clark fame, visited the Epsom Derby in England and the French Jockey Club in Paris.  Inspired, he returned to Louisville and raised money for the Louisville Jockey Club.  The Churchill family donated the land which became the home to what is now known as 'the fastest two minutes in sports'.
Our tickets included a guided tour of the grounds, access to the museum with very interesting displays, and the informative 20 minute film.
A lush blanket of 554 individual roses is draped over the winning horse.  The tradition of 'the run for the roses began in 1883.

Other displays show some examples of the hats ladies wear to the proceedings on the day of the Kentucky Derby.

The 30 minute guided tour took us under the viewing stands, over to the padduck, out to the track and over  to the place where a horse is retired and on display.
Just on the other side of the padduck is the stands the track.  During Race Day, the owners talk to the jockeys and horses before the race, and it is hard to get to their seats in the stands because of the mob of people.  They only have a few minutes to get from here to their seats.  Meanwhile the horses are being taken out to the track and placed into position into the starting gates.
A maximum of twenty horses run in the Kentucky Derby and one time in their life.  The Kentucky Derby is only for three year olds.  There is never a return winner.   Other interesting facts:

  • In the padduck, each horse moves from their stable to the infield and pass by a person who checks their identify.  Each horse has a tattoo on their gums for that purpose.
  • "My Old Kentucky Home", played when the horses enter the field, has been played by the University of Louisville Marching Band every year since 1936.
  • The fastest time (1:59:40) was run by Secretariat in 1973.
  • The track started out at 1 1/2 miles in length.  It was shortened to its present distance of 1 1/4 miles.
  • The infield will hold about 80,000 people, making it Kentucky's third largest "city" after Louisville and Lexington.
  • Since 1946, the Kentucky Derby is run on the first Saturday in May.
  • The traditional drink served at the Kentucky Derby is the 'Mint Julip' which consists of bourbon, syrup sugar and mint with lots of ice.
That is all for this edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles.  If you ever get a chance to see Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby Museum, I highly recommend it.  You will not be disappointed!

Thanks for joining us!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Patton Museum near Fort Knox Kentucky

We have been in the area for about a week now and have enjoyed it a lot.  The downside is that our campground is down in a valley which precludes us from having consistent cell phone or internet coverage.

We left Maynardville and spent a night at the Raccoon Valley Escapees Campground outside of Knoxville.  There, we had full hookups and dumped our grey and black tanks.  The next day we drove on to our site here at the Camp Carson Army Recreation Area about four miles down the road from Fort Knox, KY.

Fort Knox is not far from Louisville KY.  Since we have never been here we have done some sight seeing.

First we stopped at the General George Patton Museum at Fort Knox.  It was a freebie but none the less quite interesting and well done.
We have run into Patton's legacy in the past:  first in 29 Palms California where he did some tank training and again in Fort Clark, Texas along the Mexican border.  He was stationed there as Lt Colonel as a cavalry officer.

I think I first got interested in Patton when I saw the movie by the same name.
The 1970 movie became a classic and had some great scenes.  Interestingly enough, the movie was playing in the museum auditorium.
The museum had a pretty good array of artifacts to see.  I didn't realize that he went to the Olympics as part of the pentathlon team in 1912.

He also studied with the French and wrote the Army manual on fighting with a sabre as well as designing the last U.S. Calvary saber.

He petitioned and was allowed to go into Mexico with Gen John J. Pershing in the chase for  Pancho Villa in 1916.

He left his mark on the Army in World War II as the most well known Army Tank Commander of the war along with the German General Rommel.  During WW II Patton commanded the Third Army and was responsible for capturing more enemy prisoners and liberating more territory than any army in history.

 The museum is built around the them of leadership
 One of the B-3 bomber jackets worn by Patton
 The general's modified Jeep
The car in which Patton died, while being driving to a pheasant outing near Mannheim Germany, Dec 9, 1045

The museum is open to the public at no charge and can be reached without driving onto the post at Fort Knox.  It was a good museum and worth the time to see.

That's it for this edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles.  Thanks for joining us!  Until next time...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

You've Got Mail!

When we became full-timers over three years ago, our mail habits changed drastically.  Our mail forwarding service (Alternative Resources) in Sioux Falls, SD sends us mail whenever we ask for it.  We get mail every 4-5 weeks, sometimes longer.  There are a number of benefits to this and few drawbacks.

  • 99% of the junk mail we used to get has been eliminated.
  • More freedom:  We are far less dependent on mail system than I thought possible.  I am convinced our country could survive if we had mail delivered MWF instead of daily.  And how much money would that save us?
  • We can usually predict what is coming:  some paper bills we still get, a few RV magazines, a post card or letter now and then

But you never know what is waiting in the mail and sometimes we get surprised.  We did last week:
I got a T-Shirt in the mail along with a hat.  From Safelite Auto Glass repair.

About 18 months ago (April 2011), while we were in Albuquerque had our windshield replaced on our car.  We were so impressed with that, we had a technician come out to the Roadrunner and fix some chips.  Both Danny and John did an excellent job and I wrote about it in a blog.

I was very impressed and gave them high marks on the follow-up survey.  I am not sure if I suggested they send me a shirt or mug or hat so I could advertise for them....It would not be beyond the realm of possibility as I have been known to do that occasionally.

At any rate, when we got our last batch of mail, we had a box with nice letter from them along with a T-Shirt and hat.  Nice touch!

You never know what a nice word now and then will bring.  Or a smile as you walk through WalMart.  I don't do either often enough.  But sometimes I do.

That is it for this edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles!  Thanks for joining us!  Until next time...

Monday, September 10, 2012

Friday Night Lights

We went to the kids football games last week.  First, Noah had one on Wednesday night and then Kayla's was on Thursday night.  This is their version of Friday Night Lights.  They are Jeremy and Michelle's kids. Michelle is Pam's niece and Joan and Mike's daughter.

On Thursday we went to see Union County High School play Carter High School.
We really went to see Kayla perform at half time.  She is a senior and Union County's star majorette.
There she is doing that fire baton thing.  It was fun to see them at their half time show!

It is always fun to go to high school football games.  You never know what you'll see...
Like duct tape fashion jewelry:
I was tempted, but she already sold out of duct tape wallets!

Also during the week, we went to the Maynardville Patriots football game.  Noah is in his first year of football and enjoying it.
There's Michelle, Pam, Joan and Mike in the stands.
And Noah out in the field.  He is #47 hustling to make a play…
Our kids never played football but we went to quite a few baseball, soccer and lacrosse games over the years.

On Sunday we went to church and I got a photo of Kayla and Michelle with their friend Linda.
We always enjoy our time with Pam's family in Maynardville!

That's all for today - Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!  Until next time...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

In Tennessee

We left Virginia about a week ago and are currently in Maynardville Tennessee.  So there is a bit of catching up to do.

Kelly and Jon returned from their honeymoon in Costa Rica and they had us over for a chicken dinner the night before we left.  It was a really good choice.  We had never had 'Beer Can Chicken'.  Jon and Kelly got the stand for the chicken as a wedding present and put it to good use.
He put the chicken onto the half-filled can and then loaded up some broccoli, cauliflower, peppers vegetables around the side.
 He put a 'Cowboy Rub' on it that tasted great!

Monday morning we headed down the road and stopped about 1/2 way to Maynardville TN.  We found a campground in Greensboro NC and it turned out to be a good one.
Greensboro Campground is an old KOA that is in pretty good shape.  Schools here had started before Labor Day so it was not very crowded.  The site was a little uneven but we worked with it so the wheels were not entirely off the ground.

The rest of the campground and office area was in good shape.
Especially the pool.  I really liked the pool.  I don't know why but I enjoyed a good swim and sat around for a while.  I met some Tiffin Motorhome owners that were also staying in the campground so we had a good time talking about our coaches.  They were there getting their daughter enrolled at Elon University.

Later that evening, we went over to Dan and Ashley's place (northeast of there) for dinner and got to spend some time with them.  We just saw them at the wedding but they invited us to stop by when we were in the area so we did.  It was great to see their new house and spend some time with them and seeing their two darling little ones!

That it for now on the Roadrunner Chronicles!  Thanks for joining us along the way.  Until next time...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Roadrunner Financials - August 2012

Roadrunner Recap
The event of a lifetime was getting to walk our daughter 'down the aisle' in an outdoor ceremony during her wedding to Jonathan (Jon).  It was a beautiful day!
We spent the month over in the military campground before driving west to Tennessee for a few days to see Joan and Mike and our 'Roadrunner RV Resort and Campground'.
  • Ocean Pines RV, Oceana NAS Campground, Virginia Beach VA
  • Greensboro Campground, Greensboro NC
  • Roadrunner Campground and RV Resort, Maynardville TN
Here's an interactive map of where we camped during the month. Click on the letters (waypoints) to see locations:

Or if you prefer, a static map of travels during the month:

Good News Areas We Are Under Budget
Here's a snapshot of our spending for the month:

Biggest Expenses
Our biggest spending was in food:  groceries and eating out. It also included some beverages for the wedding.

Large One Time Cost Item
Wedding beverages: $249.11

Monthly Average
The monthly average continues to be under the budget but is on a steady incline beginning in June.  Diesel fuel continues to be above target levels.  All in all, we are very pleased with our spending levels the last few months.
I have often said this is more of a tracking tool and an estimate than a budget -- this month's spending proves it.  That's what our spending looked like for the month.  Thanks for taking a peek.  Hopefully they provide help or entertainment of some sort...  If you'd like a free copy of the spreadsheet I use, drop me a note and I will be glad to send it along.

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!