I don’t want to admit that this camping season is beginning to wind down – but that is the distinct feeling that I got in the course of this weekend’s outing to Big Bone Lick State Park in Northern Kentucky. It was perfect fall camping weather with 60ish daytime temps, which would have been perfect without the brisk, 30-mph winds! A nighttime dip-down to the high 30’s emphasized that summer weather has indeed departed.
This camping trip started out as a small gathering, and then grew into a casual rally that was initiated by RPODders and extended to friends . . . and friends of their friends! That meant that the welcome mat was open for three T@Bs, an Airstream, a hybrid and a Surveyor -- as well as the RPOD gang! You would look long and far to find a more agreeable group of camping buds! Here's the whole story:
The name Big Bone Lick comes from the fossils of mammoth, sloth and bison that have been found there, drawn by a salt lick that the animals relied on for their diet.
The park features several nature trails that include a boardwalk around a marsh bog diorama with informative signs. Another trail winds through several habitats, including grassland, wetland and savanna and is well marked with interpretive signs.
The weekend of our visit featured visiting archeologists and paleontologists who gave lectures and narrated tours on the trails. There were also reenactment displays giving historical demonstrations.
This viewing area looks down on the salt-encrusted stream – the big attraction! The salt shows up as large white areas on top of the water, and the sulfur odor draws in your attention.
In 1755, Mary Ingles was twenty-three, married, and pregnant, when Shawnee Indians invaded her peaceful Virginia settlement, killed the men and women, then took her captive. For months, she lived with the Indians until she escaped while the tribe was encamped and gathering salt at the salt-lick! She walked home -- a journey of a thousand miles! Her story is commemorated at the park visitor's center, and in a best-selling book;it is a must-read for people enjoying historical fiction.
That's a quick re-cap of where we camped. Now here are some of the people we camped with and scenes around the campground!
My parting shot is of Johanna's tink'r pod decorated with the shadows of the tree leaves reflected from the light of the campfire, and the glow of her flamingo lights!
This past weekend was a grand journey down memory lane; a trip to Put-In-Bay on South Bass Island on Lake Erie. This is no first-time tour for us; it was the location of our honeymoon in 1978 as well as frequent visits throughout our marriage. This past weekend marked 34 years and 12 days since our honeymoon trip and the island trip was just as fun now as it was back then.
Here are some pictures from our wedding and honeymoon.
An officer gave us a police escort to a private residence where Dr. Cooke (in his late 80's!) had a little emergency clinic in an out-building. My swollen lip was blocking my nose and an allergic reaction was causing further difficulty in breathing; Dr. Cooke administered a shot of Adrenalin in the nick of time! Later, Tom got stung by a bee on his ring finger, and quickly thought to remove his wedding ring; avoiding (I am sure) another emergency trip to have the ring cut off!
Fast-forward 34 years and things have changed a bit!
The little shed where the doctor treated me for the bee sting is still there, and as pretty as a little postcard!
Our trip around the island on the golf cart was perfect -- 74 degrees and full sun! There are very few cars on the island during the weekend, as visitors enjoy riding carts, biking, hiking, and skating their way around the island.
I dropped Caleb and Tom off at the Beer Barrel Saloon -- the world's longest permanent bar at 405 ft 10" long -- to watch the Ohio Sate Buckeye Game. At the start of the game there was only one other person in the bar -- by the end of the game it was a regular party! Believe it or not, if you stood the bar on end, it would be taller than Perry's Monument! During the game, I enjoyed driving the island by myself and shopping in the many port-themed downtown shops.
After the ending excitement of the game, we took a last trip around the two by four mile island just to enjoy the weather. and the nation's third tallest monument, and historic homes. Our last stop was the Brewing Company where we have our traditional meal of famous Lake Erie Perch. At 6:00 we made the quick trip across the island where we turned in our golf cart and walked onto the last ferry leaving for the mainland! The day could not have been more perfect!
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2016 23' Airstream, and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown