Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Buc-ee's and Jefferson Davis Capture Park

We left High Falls State park on our way back to Tallahassee.  It is a pretty easy drive.   South on I-75 and then turn South on to US-319 and straight to Tallahassee.  We left at 9:30 and got home at 3:30.  

On the way home we made a couple of stops.  First stop was at Buc-ee's.  Bec-ee's is the super center of all gas stations.  They pride themselves on their clean bathrooms and in addition have BBQ, and all sorts of stuff.  It just can not be described. Once only available in Texas, Buc-ee's has expanded to several other states.  The one we stopped at was just South of Warner Robbins, GA right on I-75.  First we filled up the Fuse with diesel from the 100's of pumps they have (price was pretty good as well).  Then we got breakfast biscuits, some Buc-ee bites (think caramel coated Cheetos), fudge and some drinks.   Not exactly our diet but since it was vacation why not.


Then we continued down the road.  Another half hour down the road was something we had been going by for years.  A sign pointing the way to a the historic site where Jefferson Davis was captured by Union cavalry.   About 15 min off the Interstate is Jefferson Davis Memorial Historic Site.  This is a small park with a museum.  A monument on the spot of the capture, a picnic area and some historic artifacts.  The one thing that impressed me was for years  (70ish) after the war, the site was marked with just a iron wagon axle stuck into the ground.  A historic site marking the end of the Civil War.

Jefferson Davis Surrender SiteJefferson Davis Surrender Site

After that we got back on the road and continued on to Tallahassee and home.  

High Falls State Park

 High Falls State Park is located right off I-75 between Atlanta and Macon.  This is another nice GA state park with camping and pretty nice sites.  We stayed in the River Campground area.  There is also a separate Lakeside Campground area.  The lakeside area is much smaller but near all of the activities.  The River area is larger (more sites) and situated along the river.

High Falls State Park

The park is situated at some waterfalls where an old mill site with large lake was constructed.  There are lots of recreational activities here.

High Falls State ParkHigh Falls State Park

High Falls State Park rapidsHigh Falls State Park river

The sites are nice and level.  No issues.   

High Falls State Park site

There were 3 different bath houses I looked at since we were at a site between several of them.  One I would grade a C.  Older and needing some help.  Two were graded B.    Nicer, newer and in pretty good shape.

High Falls State Park bath house

High Falls State Park showersHigh Falls State Park showers

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Cloudland Canyon State Park

On our way home we stayed at Cloudland Canyon State Park.  This park is located on the top of Lookout Mountain, South of Chattanooga.  

We traveled from Pennyrile State Park to here through some very beautiful country.  Mostly on the Interstate.  The Fuse did very well.  We went up and down some serious grades without slowing down.  Most 18 wheelers were struggling and we just kept fuseing along.  And believe it or not, the gas mileage was not impacted to any extent.

Once we left the Interstate, access to get to the Park was over some harrowing roads.  Narrow with shear drop-offs.  In the Fuse no problems.  It takes these roads like Sonya's SUV.

Cloudland Canyon State Park

The campground was nice.  Sites were level and well kept.  We had rain so we did not get out too much to look around.  Lily still got some good sniffing in as always and the waling between showers got us some decent exercise.

Cloudland Canyon State Park sites

The bathhouse was reasonably nice.  Grade given was a state park B.  Clean and well kept, reasonable modern.  Plenty of water pressure and plenty of hot water.    

Cloudland Canyon State Park Showers

We left mid-morning and being on top of the mountain there was no rain.  Why, because we were in the clouds.  Visibility was very limited, 100 feet or less.  As we went down the mountain, we left the fog and entered the rain.  Eventually it stopped and we went on our way.

We stopped North of Atlanta at Cabellas just before noon to look around and eat some lunch.  I got a new $5.00 Cabellas T-Shirt.  Got to love a bargain.  

Sonya noticed one of the tank heating pads was dragging and I got to get underneath and secure it.  Glad I had the duct tape.   Well if nothing else I now have a topic for a new blog entry in the future when I fix it.

Then there was a downpour.  I mean real gully washer.  A number of folks took refuge in the parking lot  along with us to wait it out.  We were going to stop in Kennesaw at a museum be decided that we would do that later due to the rain and we would go on to our stop on the other side of Atlanta.

Once the rain was over we went on down I-75 through Atlanta.  This time was new for us.  Since it was still raining some and traffic was disrupted from the earlier rain we got to go through 20 miles of suburban and downtown Atlanta at 35-40 miles per hour.   Best part was I was getting 18mpg.  Worst part, It was still white knuckle driving in the traffic.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Pennyrile Forest State Resort Campground

 On our way back home from the Fuse rally, after the LST museum, we stopped for the night at Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park.  

A tale of two campgrounds in one:

I have said multiple times that the Fuse is so small that I can always find a spot that is level by moving back and forth or side to side .   I have now found a place where I could not.  

Pennyrile Forest campground

The campground was pretty empty and the manager said to take any site we wanted.  Well, we tried out 6 or seven sites that looked the closest to level and the best and I mean best we could do was get the bubble half in.   None of the sites looked level.   One camper I saw had 6 inches of blocks under one of the tires. An Allegro Bus had one tire completely (3 inches) off the ground with his levelers.

The original site we picked was next to the bathhouse.  That was its only redeeming quality.  The electrical and water at that site were pretty far away.  Mud and drop-offs around the site to be mindful of.  Not our cup of tea.  

Note: If you were staying here the electric posts are shared so you will probably need an extension cord, the posts and water are not close to the sites.  

The bath house gets a C grade for a state park.  About normal.  Functional and clean but that was about it. 

Pennyrile Forest bath housePennyrile Forest shower

So we wound up using a site towards the back and settled in for the night.  1/3 of the bubble in the center so we were OK but we could feel that we were off kilter.  Some rain and wind over night rocked us to sleep.

The next morning we got up and were ready to leave.  As I was walking Lily we walked around the turn around and saw another set of sites.  They were labeled H1-8.  These were Horse camping sites.  Bring your horses and your RV and enjoy the trails.  Well guess what, these sites were perfect.  Pull through, full hookup, the electrical and water next to the sites, and in addition, a very nice bath house.  Best of all , the sites were large and level.   

Pennyrile Forest horse campsite

And then there was the bath house in this area.  I grade it an A.  Not an A for a State Park, but an A for any campground.  

Pennyrile Forest Horse bath house

Pennyrile Forest Horse bath house showerPennyrile Forest horse bath house inside

After a poor night at the site we picked, I would actually stay here again, if I could get a site in the horse camping area.

LST 325 - The LST Ship Memorial

Sunday marked the end of the Fuse rally.  Lots of goodbyes but some sites looking forward to the next one.
LST Museum

So we left mid-morning and went to Evansville, IL to see the LST 325 Museum ship.  This is a real working Landing Ship Tank from WWII that participated in the D-Day landings as well as action in North Africa and Italy.  A true war hero and now preserved for all to come and see what these ships did to win the war.  They even take it sailing every year up and down the Ohio River for tours in other cities.

LST 325

A note on parking your Fuse.  There is good parking for RVs and cars but it is behind the Tropicana Casino.  We had to circle the casino/hotel but by just following the signs we found great free parking for visitors to the ship.  It was only block away.  There is a aerial walkway over the street if the traffic is bad but I did not use it on a Sunday morning.

I paid my admission and waited for the tour.  Since this is a operational ship, you take a guided tour to see it.  They are every hour on the hour while the ship is open and the tour takes about an hour.  The guide is very knowledgeable and is one of the people who maintains the ship (a part of the crew, not just a tour guide).  There were many of the volunteers working on upkeep the weekend I was there.

It was a great tour.  Instead of trying to describe it, I am just going to post some photos.  I find it hard to fathom how people took a ship that was this small across the ocean.  

LST 325 tourLST 325

LST 325 Bow DoorLST 325 Vehicle Deck

LST 325 TroopsLST 325 radio

LST 325 40mmLST 325 Higgins Boat

LST 325 wheelLST 325 Higgins boat bow

LST 325 frontLST 325 bow open

We went from there to Pennyrile Forest State Park.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Whittington Woods Campground

Whittington Woods Campground

Whittington Woods Campground in Whittington, IL was the location of our Spring 2021 Fuse rally and was a very nice campground all around. It is located just off I-57 just north of Benton.  I mention Benton because Benton is 5 miles to the south and the location of the local Walmart and all sorts of restaurants. 

The office, store, pool and showers were located in the main building.   There is a pavilion and another set of restrooms/showers in the back along with the event pavilion.  

Whittington Woods office

The second set of showers were closed due to COVID but the ones at the main office were open.  They were really nice and kept spotless.  They get an A for campground showers.

Whittington Woods Showers

The sites were nice and level.  Large with fire pits and tables at each one.   You can tell they take pride in the facility.

Whittington Woods Fuse

They also have a lot of art and other interesting features scattered around the campground.  Lots of woodcarvings and plantings.   We would stay here again without hesitation.

Whittington Woods GardenWhittington Woods Art

Day 2 at the Rally - I won

The second day of the 2021 Spring Fuse Rally in Whittington, IL was perfect like most Fuse rallies are.  The morning was spent with more Q&A, some show and tell on the best things you have found for your Fuse (I took notes), presentations on boondocking, electrical and general fellowship.  It is amazing that so many people can come together to discuss a little motorhome and have so much fellowship and enjoy each other so much.   

Fuse Rally day 2Fuse Rally day 2

A challenge was put down by Paul Benson to find the loudest generator.  After lunch several folks would walk around and check inside and outside to get readings on the noise all the coaches put out.  Guess who won?  Me, with the loudest generator noise inside the coach.

The afternoon was spent with people showing off their Fuses.  Robert Garbe went around and checked ATS switches making sure the connections were tight and there was no apparent heat issues.  Joyce N. had a generator problem and everyone stood around trying to get it started.  Only one of us volunteered and was small to enough to get underneath. (Way to go Lisa.)

Under the Fuse

After a great afternoon we had a catered dinner of pork chops (some of the best I have ever had) and wrapped up.  For all her hard work, Rebecca was given a present.  She had forgotten her peanut butter and some was presented to her for the trip back home.

Fuse Presentation

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Day 1 at the Rally

Thursday night was spent getting together with our old friends and meeting new friends.  A great time was had by all.   Rebecca apparently had ordered the best weather possible and it was delivered.  Clear skies, perfect temperatures and low humidity.  For someone from Florida, this was the best treat available. Perfect sleeping weather with the windows open.

Fuse Rally Thursday night

Friday was the first day of the Rally with Fuses coming in all day long.  A total of 21 & 1/2 (we had a Travato join our group) Fuses in one place and 38 Fusers are in attendance.  

Fuse Friday gatheringFuse Friday gathering

Fuse Friday gathering

Festivities started at 5:30 with a group dinner.  Bring your own and sit together and have great company to discuss the Fuse lifestyle.    

Fuse Rally DinnerFuse Rally Dinner

Fuse Rally Dinner

After Dinner was the Fuse "News You Can Use" event.  A great open discussion of topics, Q&A and putting people in touch with others to answer specifics.  Someone suggested a new game.  Who has the loudest generator contest.  We will be playing on Saturday.  

And one last photo as I was walking around the campground.  Take a look, this Fuse has been a few places

Fuse that has been some places