We headed north toward Maine by way of Milwaukee. A dear friend needed a little help with her new condo and so we took a detour.
Driving north we found a beautiful Corp of Engineers campground just outside of Atlanta. COE are always or first choice, they are well maintained, inexpensive and always near a lake or river. This one had us overlooking a recreational lake from our own wooden deck. Lovely spot after escaping the heat of Florida!
Continuing north we stopped at our first National Park of the year. Mammoth Cave is located in Kentucky and is, as the name implies, mammoth. It is hard to imagine surveying 365 miles of passageways deep beneath the surface, but think about the first 10 or so miles that were explored by prehistoric man without the benefit of a proper light source. When Mammoth was designated as a national park only 40 miles of passages were mapped. Early tourist were even offered a boat ride on the underground river and for a fee could have their name written on the ceiling using the smoke from a candle flame. Now fortunately preservation plays a much more important role. As with Carlsbad Caverns my thoughts were about how much grandchildren would love these intricate underground passageways.
Pictures in caves are tricky and my camera does not do justice so some of these pics are downloaded to give you an idea of what we experienced.
Milwaukee was wonderful as always. Great progress was made on Char's new condo and there were many visits, cocktails and meals shared with friends. What a great small town that just happened to grow up! Two weeks went quickly and we departed for the east to visit more friends along the way.
Indiana has the RV museum with a spectacular array of early versions of today's 'Glampers'. 1913 was the oldest one on exhibit and Mae West's was one of the more luxurious ones. How different it would have been to travel across the the country then on poor road with poor suspension but still feeling like a million bucks.
In Ohio we stayed with harvest hosts, a program that allows RVs to spend the night in vineyards, farms and attractions. No surprise that the vineyards are my favorite. Who wouldn't like to see rows of grapevine while sipping a newly purchased bottle of wine? This activity was repeated several times during the trip.
Cuyahoga National Park is located near Akron and is the first one we have found that doesn't have camping. It consists of a beautiful river and valley. Cuyahoga is an Indian word for crooked and that is exactly what the river is that they had lived by and used for transportation. Next came the traders and trappers that flourished along the lush river. Eventually the Ohio and Erie canal replaced its primary function as transportation and booming cities appeared. Soon railroads replaced the canal and further contributed to the areas growth. This valley also played an important role in the underground railroad during the civil war. Bike and hiking trails allow you to explore as much as you want with the ability to jump on a train for the return trip.
We stayed at a small city recreation area that had an amazing dog park. The fenced in area had a pond and pet showers for the much needed rising off. DeeO'gee loves running with the big dogs and sure slept well that night. All along our route we look for dog parks sometimes going an hour out of our way because we have plenty of time.