2017 – Southeastern Indiana

Another beautiful town nearby is Oldenburg, IN which known as “The Village of Spires.” There are, indeed, many impressive steeples around town. There is a beautiful historic section with many old original buildings from the 1800s. We enjoyed eating at Brau Haus restaurant. We missed the lunch special since it was sold out but the pork tenderloin sandwich with red cabbage was very good and big enough to be shared.

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2017 – Indian Lakes Thousand Trails, Batesville, IN

We’re just finishing up our second stay at Indian Lakes Thousand Trails in Batesville, Indiana. We were here a year and a half ago and I did a review of this campground then. You can see it here. Really, things are pretty much the same now as they were then so there’s no need to do another major review. I will mention that we were happy to get a spot in Phase 4 again. It isn’t as easy to get into this popular section as it was because more campsites have been taken over by seasonal residents. We’ve been here 2 weeks and we have yet to see anyone at some of the campers around us. Beyond that, it’s my impression that over the weekends that all the full hookup sites in the campground were taken. However, this is such a big place that I doubt it ever gets completely full. We’ve enjoyed mostly good weather, had no problem getting our satellite TV, had a good Verizon signal, and, in general, had a pleasant stay. We give this Thousand Trails a “thumbs up.”

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2017 – Campground Review: Fort Boonesborough State Park, KY

Of course, the reason for this state park is that this is the location of Fort Boonesborough which was constructed in 1775 by Daniel Boone and those he lead. Today the recreated fort is a living history museum. We thoroughly enjoyed looking around, watching an informative film, and especially chatting with the folks who gave us a glimpse into life at the fort. We think the fort is well worth the time and modest entry fee and highly recommend it to all traveling through this Kentucky bluegrass country.

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2017 – Campground Review: Raccoon Valley Escapees, Heiskell, TN

We’re just finishing up a one month stay at Raccoon Valley Escapees RV Park at Heiskell, TN, just north of Knoxville. The setting of the park is scenic, in a pretty valley with tree covered ridges on either side. Of course, this is eastern Tennessee, home of the stunning Smoky Mountains. Without doubt, this is a great area. The campground itself is basically a gravel parking lot. Sites are very close to one another with one’s neighbor’s utilities in your front yard. The grounds are well kept, the rest rooms clean, and there’s a nice activity center.

The campground hosts a weekly gathering of local musicians who sing and play for a few hours each week. Anyone who plays an acoustical instrument is welcome to join in. The music ranges from pretty good to “not pretty good” (if you get my drift.) However, everyone is having a good time and it makes for a friendly, easy going evening.

The monthly prices here are quite good and that has drawn a variety of residents. There are traditional Escapees who travel in their RV’s full time and there are working people who had never heard of Escapees, but joined to get the discount rate as residents of this park. Most everyone is friendly or at least cordial. Because of price, location, and limited sites the park stays pretty busy.

My Verizon signal was good. Our satellite TV is via Dish Network. There are plenty of over-the-air TV stations but the primary Dish channels are on the Dish “eastern arc.” Since my dish is a western arc one, and since the trees pretty much blocked my western satellites I decided to bite the bullet and buy the replacement LNBs. I found them on Amazon for around $25. After swapping them out and aiming the dish to the eastern satellites I had all my channels again. From what research I’ve done, I’ll be using the eastern satellites for another month or two and in the future I’m sure I’ll be glad to have the option of switching between satellite sets when we travel east.

Honestly, a month was too long for us to be at this park. Had the campsites had a bit more elbow room we would have liked it better but it still would have been longer than we really wanted. I’d return here for a week or maybe two, but that’s about it.

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2017 – Knoxville and eastern Tennessee

We picked a pretty day to visit Knoxville’s Market Square for the Dogwood Arts Festival. There was a wide variety of items for sale there including jewelry, pottery, photography, metal art as well as a booth you could have a Henna design applied. There were many food trucks there providing a variety of tempting treats as well as local restaurants doing a brisk business. My favorite thing was the music stage where we heard the Empty Bottle String Band performing.

Nearby Oak Ridge is famous for its part in the Manhattan Project where uranium was enriched to be used in the first atomic bomb ever made to end World War II. We visited the American Museum of Science and Energy and did a bus tour of various facilities where scientists searched for ways to quickly produce what was needed for an atomic bomb. At the Graphite Reactor we heard a lecture on how it worked. We could walk around some and saw the actual log entry made when the enrichment was finally achieved. We were surprised to learn that several other buildings still being used for research and by the Department of Energy. Along the way we saw two original churches with their cemeteries that were part of the rural community before the area became a research area in World War II. The American Museum of Science and Energy has many hands on activities relating to atomic energy as well as information on the coal mining done in the area.

As you can see the Knoxville area has a lot to offer sightseers. It’s no wonder that it’s such a well known and loved area.

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